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Should voting in the General Election be made compulsory?


gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2019 8:33AM
Most nations seem to break International law and there lies the problem, I think.
If the West breaks international law - as it frequently does - then it can hardly expect Russia, China or any other nation to take any notice of international law, either. Israel is breaking international law right now with it's occupation of Palestinian land.
I think the UN rulings should always be adhered to unless some clear malpractice is found within the organisation.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
21 Dec 2019 2:36PM
The middle ages barbarism is always there ready to fill the void. We move out, the Taliban moves in, blinding schoolgirls for daring to learn, banning kites etc

They will teach that the West, with its literature, cinema, music, art, fashion, debate, parliaments etc, is actually full of apostates who should be killed. They will get the people that they rule, with an iron hand, to blame the west for all of their own state's ills.

Whether we meddle or we don't, whether we befriend the Saudis or we ignore them, whether we prefer Iran or Iraq, whether we are seen to be more friendly to a Sunni or Shiite or Jewish state will not change how a theocracy works.

gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
21 Dec 2019 4:16PM

Quote:Whether we meddle or we don't, whether we befriend the Saudis or we ignore them, whether we prefer Iran or Iraq, whether we are seen to be more friendly to a Sunni or Shiite or Jewish state will not change how a theocracy works.
Well, I agree that theocracies will not easily change - seems to be the nature of the beast, doesn't it? It's taken the West centuries to move from a theocracy in all but name i.e. the Church controlled the people and the monarch ruled by divine right.
However, it seems to me that the West has foolishly stirred up the 'hornets nest' by its constant interference in the Mid-East over the years. I believe the West has destabilised the Mid-East and that's the main reason why so many of them hate us and we are getting "blow back."
To take just one early example: After the Shah fled to Italy, the British MI6 aided an American CIA operative in organizing a military coup d'état to oust the nationalist and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh.
dcash29 15 2.4k England
21 Dec 2019 6:00PM

Quote:Should voting in the General Election be made compulsory
No because the moaners would have nothing to moan about when they lose.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
22 Dec 2019 3:12PM

Quote:the West has foolishly stirred up the 'hornets nest' by its constant interference in the Mid-East over the years
That has to be our foreign policy. Some places have more of the world's resources than others, like gas and oil. We have to trade with them, they often want to buy arms from us.

It's lovely to say that we shouldn't interfere - but your foreign policy had to take into account the Cold War, that the Soviet Union, China and other non-NATO countries who would see us their bitter enemies and would be interfering in every other country.


Quote:After the Shah fled to Italy, the British MI6 aided an American CIA operative in organizing a military coup d'état to oust the nationalist and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh
Sorry, your example is a fantasy because Mossadegh was not democratically elected. He was appointed PM and people rioted. He scrapped UK-Iranian oil deals but was happy to seize our equipment etc.

gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2019 4:08PM

Quote:That has to be our foreign policy. Some places have more of the world's resources than others, like gas and oil. We have to trade with them, they often want to buy arms from us.
I disagree for the reasons I've already given.


Quote:Sorry, your example is a fantasy because Mossadegh was not democratically elected. He was appointed PM and people rioted. He scrapped UK-Iranian oil deals but was happy to seize our equipment etc.
He was elected as Prime Minister on a vote of 79 to 12, according to Wikipedia. A quote from Wikipedia also states: "Many Iranians regard Mosaddegh as the leading champion of secular democracy and resistance to foreign domination in Iran's modern history."

I can only repeat what I've already said: "After the Shah fled to Italy, the British MI6 aided an American CIA operative in organizing a military coup d'état to oust the nationalist and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh"
Surely, a clear case of breaching International Law. I'm only quoting what Wikipedia say.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
22 Dec 2019 5:36PM
Please don't misquote Wikipedia he wasn't elected, he was appointed. But let's just imagine for a second that Iranian elections in the fifties were never rigged (they were) and were free from corruption (they weren't) and free from interference from rival superpowers (they definitely weren't free from Soviet actors) then when Mosaddegh's reckless and illegal actions caused the Abadan Crisis we lodged complaints with United Nations Security Council - fingers crossed for Soviet sympathy or a fair hearing in Moscow. So when we illegally, along with the USA, backed an illegal coup we broke international law as did our US conspirators.

I feel we've let down the rest of the world Tongue

gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
22 Dec 2019 8:19PM

Quote:Please don't misquote Wikipedia he wasn't elected, he was appointed
Please don't accuse me of misquoting when I have not misquoted. Wikipedia mentions that he was appointed but also mentions on the same page that he was elected.

Quote:Sorry, your example is a fantasy because Mossadegh was not democratically elected.


I repeat: Wikipedia states that "After the Shah fled to Italy, the British MI6 aided an American CIA operative in organizing a military coup d'état to oust the nationalist and democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh".
Please do a more thorough research on Wikipedia and you will find it. Smile
Apparently, Mossadegh wanted to nationalise Iran's oil because he wanted to limit British AOIC's control over oil reserves - which seems quite reasonable to me (as with Nasser in the Suez crisis).
Obviously another factor, as you point out, is that the West didn't want communism to gain control in Iran.

I simply don't believe that it's right to oust foreign governments just because they don't suit the agenda of the aggressors i.e. the UK and US.

Quote:I feel we've let down the rest of the world Tongue
I take it you mean the UK and US? Well, yes indeed. I think all nations with empires or still think they have empires have a history of arrogance and corruption.

Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
22 Dec 2019 11:16PM
The US didn't have an empire but I take your point

What were we arguing about anyway? Smile

I feel that you are saying that if we take down some dictators, like Saddam Hussein, then that somehow excuses terrorists who murder thousands of innocent civilians in the West? Or it excuses them beheading aid workers? Or if it does not excuse it then perhaps it explains it?

They would do it anyway, it's their ideology. The reason they throw gay people from rooftops has nothing to do with the west. Neither does the constant battle between Sunni and Shiite, the wars between Iran and Iraq.

You are second-guessing the reasons that they hate us, all of us. Have you asked them why? Have you read what they say?

ISIS and Jihadists in general tell you clearly and repeatedly in their literature and it's nothing to do with Western meddling!

Why We Hate You and Why We Fight You




gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2019 9:46AM

Quote:The US didn't have an empire
I would have thought that the fact that I wasn’t using ‘empire’ in the literal sense was obvious (o.k., so I should have used inverted commas).Smile They have of course, effectively, the biggest 'empire' the world has ever known.

Quote:What were we arguing about anyway?

Both our quotes were correct but you were referring to the wrong quote.SadSmile My quote was from a different section of the Wikipedia on Iran and Mossadegh.

Quote:I feel that you are saying that if we take down some dictators, like Saddam Hussein, then that somehow excuses terrorists who murder thousands of innocent civilians in the West? Or it excuses them beheading aid workers? Or if it does not excuse it then perhaps it explains it?
No, it doesn't excuse terrorists. However it seems obvious to me that Mid-East terrorism that kills innocent citizens in the West is inevitable as a consequence of the West having killed even more of their innocent citizens in the first place.
I think killing innocent civilians is always wrong but the West always purports to take the moral high ground without a jot of honest self-examination. I don't for a minute think that nations like the US and UK are morally superior to other nations - they are just the biggest bullies in the playground.

Quote:Or if it does not excuse it then perhaps it explains it?

Yes, that's right.

Quote:They would do it anyway, it's their ideology. The reason they throw gay people from rooftops has nothing to do with the west. Neither does the constant battle between Sunni and Shiite, the wars between Iran and Iraq.
Fair point. As I've always said, I think all nations have a very dark side. However, there are millions of decent, moderate Muslims in Iraq and Iran and across the Mid-East.

Quote:ISIS and Jihadists in general tell you clearly and repeatedly in their literature and it's nothing to do with Western meddling!
Yes, I read that years ago and have no reason to doubt it.
You are talking about jihadist extremists - Wahhabism, etc - but I believe these people only gain so much influence and power because the West has committed so many atrocities among the moderate Muslims in the Mid-East.
I base these opinions on my personal observations and on the information I have read or heard.
I’m an atheist and I think both Christianity and Islam are stupid religions in many aspects.
You talk about the jihadist extremists but the West has plenty of vile and dangerous extremists on the ultra right – and they seem to be increasing. Extremists only gain real traction in an unstable environment.
gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2019 10:23AM
I can't help feeling that Sam Harris is somewhat Islamophobic. I don't dispute his views of jihadists but he seems to tar all Islamic people with the same brush.Sad
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
23 Dec 2019 11:52AM
He absolutely does not and he makes that clear every time I have heard him talk about Islam and other religions. He pointed it out there, he is very careful not to tar all with the same brush and I can find where he says clearly if you would like me to. I would not subscribe to his podcasts or his views otherwise


Quote:You talk about the jihadist extremists but the West has plenty of vile and dangerous extremists on the ultra right – and they seem to be increasing. Extremists only gain real traction in an unstable environment.
That's because we are talking about reasons the middle east is unstable, and the West has many vile extremists but that does not excuse vile extremists elsewhere as two wrongs don't make a right.
Chris_L 7 5.5k United Kingdom
23 Dec 2019 12:13PM
I'm an atheist too. Isn't it odd that people say things to atheists like "so what do you believe in?"

It's odd that there is even a word for us. There's not words for people who aren't stamp collectors, who aren't photographers etc. so why have a word for people who don't believe in a god?

Why are we challenged by believers with "prove that God doesn't exist then"? - they are the ones who are making claims about supernatural beings based on little or no evidence.
gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2019 1:29PM

Quote:He absolutely does not and he makes that clear every time I have heard him talk about Islam and other religions. He pointed it out there, he is very careful not to tar all with the same brush and I can find where he says clearly if you would like me to. I would not subscribe to his podcasts or his views otherwise

Well, you may well be right. the Jury's out for me on that one.Smile I haven't read or heard enough of Sam Harris yet.


Quote:That's because we are talking about reasons the middle east is unstable, and the West has many vile extremists but that does not excuse vile extremists elsewhere as two wrongs don't make a right.
Absolutely agree.

Quote:I'm an atheist too. Isn't it odd that people say things to atheists like "so what do you believe in?"

It's odd that there is even a word for us. There's not words for people who aren't stamp collectors, who aren't photographers etc. so why have a word for people who don't believe in a god?

Why are we challenged by believers with "prove that God doesn't exist then"? - they are the ones who are making claims about supernatural beings based on little or no evidence.

I agree 100% with all that. Wow! Wink
gcarth Plus
17 4.1k 1 United Kingdom
23 Dec 2019 1:42PM

Quote:Isn't it odd that people say things to atheists like "so what do you believe in?"
Yes - as if there should be a compulsion to believe in something - or they say we must have a belief in a deity in order to keep us on the straight and narrow!

Without getting too deep on this thread, I happen to "believe" that life has no meaning or purpose - it's just a blind, unstoppable 'life force' or energy field that is neither benevolent nor evil.Smile

I don't know about you, but I think I might continue our discussion on a more appropriate thread than this one - we seem to have wandered somewhat off-topic!
I might start another thread (No, not another one!Grin) However, I think there are probably one or two existing threads we can use?Smile

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