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Hello tsunami, goodbye Iraq

By jardinier ·
Well I hate to be the one to bring everyone crashing back to earth, but the fact is that while the news has been dominated by the tsunami tragedy, to the point where Iraq hardly gets a mention, the fact is that violence and civil disorder continue to escalate.

The insurgents are apparently determined to do everything possible to ensure valid elections cannot be held by the agreed date.

Here is the latest bad news from Iraq:

Gunmen have killed the Baghdad governor in Iraq's highest-profile assassination in eight months, and a suicide bomber killed 10 people near the Green Zone in an escalating campaign to wreck the January 30 election.

The targeting yesterday of Ali al-Haidri raised fresh doubts whether Iraqi security forces can protect politicians and voters as the national ballot draws near.

The assassination took place just hours after a suicide bomber rammed a fuel truck into a checkpoint near Baghdad's Green Zone, a sprawling complex housing the Iraqi Government and the US and British embassies. It created a giant fireball that rocked the capital, police and hospital sources said.

The bombing, which also wounded 58 people, brought new scenes of bloodshed and destruction to Baghdad a day after 17 security men were killed in a string of ambushes and explosions across the country.

These included an attack in west Baghdad early on Monday when an explosives-laden car tried to ram through a checkpoint on a road leading to the headquarters of the National Accord party of the Prime Minister, Iyad Allawi.

Three British nationals and an American were also killed in an attack on an American convoy in Baghdad on Monday.

Details of Mr Haidri's death remained sketchy. As the head of Baghdad province he was the most senior Iraqi official to be assassinated in Baghdad since Izzedin Salim, the president of the Governing Council, was killed by a suicide bomb last May.

Hours after Monday's bombings Dr Allawi spoke to the US President, George Bush, although US officials insisted that the Prime Minister did not tell Mr Bush that elections should be delayed.

"There was no substantive conversation about delay," an Administration official said. Dr Allawi"wasn't even a bit wobbly" on that point.

But some officials in Washington and in Iraq interpreted the call as a sign that Dr Allawi, who is clearly concerned that his party could be heading for defeat if the election is held on schedule, may be preparing the ground to make the case for delay to Mr Bush.

While White House officials were hesitant to give many details of the discussion between Dr Allawi and Mr Bush, they said the Iraqi leader brought up questions of security and the ferocity of the insurgency.

Yet Dr Allawi's cabinet is already showing signs of weakening on the question of holding the elections this month.

The Defence Minister, Hazim al-Shaalan, said in Cairo on Monday that the voting should be postponed to ensure greater participation by Sunnis.

[Reuters, The New York Times]

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by FluxIt In reply to a lot

There are no timeless achievements you listed although they have survived time - so far.

Art - Tell me a timeless period in art history? While some art points to principles and values, how does that advance mankind? We are still having wars, still dealing with hate, and still struggling against nature.

Science - in the late 1800's many scientist declared that nearly everything was known until Einstien popped their wigs in 1**7. Today science has uncovered more questions than it is prepared to answer. Quantum physics paints a picture that this world may be nothing more than a reflection or perhaps a projection of events somewhere else. In this world your embodiment may be nothing more than a shadow of another creature in which your soul is part of.

Philosophy - What is the point? I asked in a thread for people to discuss the essence and virtue of information and technology. No one could talk to it.

The point is that for all our toils it is only temporary. The only thing we seem to be able to do is manage our conscience so our souls will be timeless.

There are those of us who can see and there are those of us who cannot. How unfortunate for those who are unable to see.

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Time is relative.

by Tony Hopkinson In reply to NOT TIMELESS ACHIEVEMENTS

Mankind's achievements aren't single events isolated in time. Einstein himself said that he had reached his conclusions by standing on the shoulders of giants, so think how high up the next one is going to be, worth hanging around for a look I think.

If you are concerned about being a projection from a more probable quantum reality, read some Penrose, he believes that this idea is the result of an unjustifiable extrapolation of the maths used to express quantum mechanical concepts.
Or at least he did, may be he changed his mind, it was a few years ago.

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nice limited viewpoint you've got

by apotheon In reply to NOT TIMELESS ACHIEVEMENTS

Achievement is a continuum, not an end product. Advancement is a process, not a goal.

Art is its own reward. Art is beauty, and beauty is truth. I pity you if you don't find value in beauty and truth. Without being able to appreciate art, I rather suspect you live a bleak existence.

Science is, in terms of its real value, closely aligned with philosophy. These things are both the pursuit of truth, and truth is beauty. See above, re: value of truth and beauty.

The fact that you ask "What is the point?" when discussing the value of philosophy indicates your probable obstinate lack of sufficient understanding to bother putting even this much effort into continuing the discussion with you. You sound like an existential nihilist of the worst sort. You sound like a suicide waiting to happen. I find it difficult to care if someone with your apparent views kills himself, and because achieving that caring doesn't particularly reward me I won't bother to try.

"There are those of us who can see and there are those of us who cannot. How unfortunate for those who are unable to see."

Oh really? See what? See the same bleak, pointless nature of existence that you perceive? See nothing but a judgmental lack of valuation of humanity, intellect, and expression? See an existential **** of coldly nihilistic lack of point? Yeah, I saw that at one time. Then I matured. Teenage angst is behind me, thanks.

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by neilb@uk In reply to nice limited viewpoint yo ...

Yep, that'll do

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I do try.

by apotheon In reply to Nice

Ah aimz ta pleeze, y'know. Thanks.

After I'd posted that, it occurred to me that in arguing that there isn't a "point", he's engaging in some (very weak) philosophizing. I swear, you can probably cut the hypocrisy with a knife around here.

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