Thursday, December 30

Battlestar Galactica : Seeds of Truth in Fiction

In 1978 Battlestar Galactica hit the airwaves. It was an ambitious show, borrowing heavily on the space opera themes and visual effect advances of the then recently released Star Wars, the Glen Larson ("The A Team") created show with scripts by Donald Belasarius ("Quantam Leap") and starring tv legend Lorne Green ("Bonanza") only aired 20 episodes - nevertheless has spawned a devoted world-wide following of fans and fanatics.

One year ago the Sci Fi Channel aired a 2-part mini-series which "re-imagined" the original Battlestar Galactic in a way that updated it's themes and visual style - and many of those original fans many of whom who had lobbied for a new version and/or continuation of the series - have subsequently blown a friggin gasket.

The Original Series (often referred to as "TOS") they argue, showed the triumph and resiliency of the human spirit and values in the face of an unimaginable and devastating genocidal tragedy. They argue that the new show has been transformed into a "PC feminized rip-off" that lacks any morality, character and heart of the original show.

Fans of the new show, which is scheduled to begin as a regular series on Sci Fi in January, have said that it is far less stilted, cheesy and kitch-laded adaptation of the story which looks far more realistically - borrowing stylistically from more recent cinimatic movies such as "Black Hawk Down". Many lead characters who had previously been without depth, introspection or character flaw have now become "3 dimensional". A sense of impending and continuing doom and danger has been added and most controversal of all some characters, notable the brash womanizing gambler hyper-lucky risk-taking fighter pilot Starback (Dirk Benedict) have changed gender from male to female.

I've long known that arguements - particularly online arguments and debate pertaining to music and art have a tendency to be far more vicious and vitriolic than debates about politics. However, this debate - which has raged for the past 12 months over a variety of different websites has frequently managed to fuse both art and politics into the mix.

Many fans of TOS appear to be Reagonite Republicans. Conservatives who embrace the "strong moral values" they feel are at the backbone of the show. They rail at the "senseless" changes in the characters gender - at turns accusing the newly feminize Starbuck of being a "dyke" and nothing more than "eye-candy" to attract adolescent viewers. They especially decried one scene in particular where one of the villianous cybernetic Cylons, who are the shows antagonists bent on the complete annihilation of the human race, apparently murders a single baby in it's crib for no other reason than perverse curiousity.

Fans of The New Show (frequently referred as TNS) have been frequently accused of being "soft lefties" and "communist".

Recently on the some of these people who've shown an incredible depth of passion and frequent eye for the most minute detail, have decided to take their battle over Galactica into another subject which parrellels the themes of TNS: 9/11 and The Iraq War.

Most sites on the net where this is discussed tend to be by design either pro-left or pro-right and many people essentially wind up "preaching to the converted". Not so on SciFi. I believe many of the no-holds-barred exchanges that the TOS vs TNS debate has sparked are illustrative of the mindset of many on the left and the right and how they have been in ideological war for the past few years.

Read on:

[A] war crime is when you whole sale slaughter people and uniformed POWs for no apparent reason.

The captured prisoners are not traditional POWs. They don't wear uniform, by tradition, it is in our full right to sumarily execute non-uniformed combatant as soon as they're [captured]. This administration have extended certain POWs rights, which are a huge mistake.

Being non-uniformed, they don't deserve the same treatment as uniformed soldiers. I have no problem whatsoever with the torture of irregular forces. In fact, I encourge such action to discourage that type of combatants from being [popularized].

Don’t you see where this is going?

You think torture is okay?

Did you learn nothing from history?

1. Torture has a history of not being very successful in extracting information. It usually makes the victim say whatever you like to hear.
2. Morally you are on the same level as all the Arab terrorists, with one difference (which makes it worse): you are the occupying force.
3. By your statements I cannot see any (moral) difference between you and the Nazis.
4. You think having a uniform makes any difference?

Do you understand how much disgust and hatred you are creating? If those are the superior values of America – or of Christianity – then its time that the world changes.

Besides: How would you feel about being caught by – say some Chinese – that just happened to “liberate” your country. Torture? You want some more?

The US/Britain and their allies are the only one's with the BALLS to go in their and kick some arse. The Iraqi people will be able to vote into power who they wont and not have a dictator ruling over them anymore. As a Britain I'm ashamed that other European countries have turned their backs on the US although not surprised with France's decision

As for your second comment sometimes you have to go a little further in order to play them at their own games (fight fire with fire). These are people who use women and children plus use holy place's to launch attacks many of which don't even come from Iraq.

You dont win wars by having your hands tied behind your backs. Its hide enough now for our guys knowing they could end up getting arrested back in Britian for murder and what for, doing their rudy jobs. Christ I hate the do gooder brigades

We, the general public, were told that the invasion of Iraq was over the defence of our nations from terrorism. That we were under threat from WMD and funding of anti west terrorist groups by Saddam Hussein. Based on false intelligence!! Our leaders tried to deceive us of their motives.

I have a problem with that.

I don't have a problem with ousting a corrupt dictatorship, or placing democracy into a subdued populace, as long as that is what the target country wants.

This war is a long way from being over, and total actions such as Falujah, with the draconian post measures, will only turn the populace against the goal, extending the west's commitment.

Anyone else interested in who's funding the insurgence? Would a democratic state in the middle-east concern her neighbours?

Give it up. The America-haters are going to think that thugs and butchers who behead and target innocent people are righteous while they condemn the US and Brittain's attempt to bring democracy to a cesspool. You can't reason with people like that. These same morons (MooreOns) also look the other way when it is realized that the UN Oil for Weapons.. er, I mean food, er.. no I actually mean WEAPONS, program was a corrupt way of bypassing the sanctions. Saddam should have been ousted by 1995, but the weak-kneed loony lefties who were in charge were flipping retarded and allowed all things to fester. The hardcore left should never be allowed to have power again.



we did find plenty of dual-use items and components

No we didn't, a few dual-use items were found post invassion, but no forensic evidence, which would be almost impossible to scrub clean.

I notice that you cited Hans Blix and the head of the UN IAEA, but you only focused on what you wanted to be spoon fed by lefties.

Other reports, including British intelligence indicated and stand by their reports that Saddam tried to purchase uranium.

Let us also, though, look at chemical weapons. In terms of terrorist use, these are the easiest to weaponize. The infrastructure for dual-use facilities -- facilities which in the past had been used for producing chemical and biological weapons -- was being repaired using money from the UN Oil for Weapons program. Dual-use chemical precursors were being developed.

You can choose to interpret this information a number of ways, but I consider it to be threatening and needed to be dealt with.

It should also be noted that Iraq violated UN mandates heavily with regard to their missile programs.

It is fair to say that there is disagreement, even among the professionals, about what Iraq was capable of and what was being planned. I prefer to err on the side of caution on this and have the threat removed.

So Hans Blix is a lefty, is anyone who has a shred of evidence to falsify the original justification to go to war, a 'left-wing looney'. Would you be considered a right-wing nazi?

As to British intelligence having proof of Uranium sales to Iraq, are all pre 1989. Which could be argued can be projected, but no proof has arisen.

As to chemical and biological agents, we know he'd been active in their use, within his own boarders. But were more than likely destroyed after the first war. But there has been NO FORENSIC evidence that such dual-use equipment found post invasion, had ever contained these agents.

Again, they may well have been moved outside his borders.

As to his missile program, it was way off being inter-continental, the plan was to expand the basic scud range to over 400 miles. The US space programme should be testement to how long it takes and how difficult it is to develop such platforms.

I also would like to err on the side of caution, he, Saddam, should have been taken out...BUT, legally, with the backing of the UN. I know your opinion on the UN, to some extent, we share similar concerns. But the Bush administration was hell bent on going back to Iraq pre 9/11 !!!!! Which has only decreased UN authority, when it should have been strengthend.

As for chemical and Biological agents, they can be obtained or made, almost anywhere in the world, so I'm afraid we've not cut off the head of the source yet, nor likely ever to achieve. And, any links to international terrorism Iraq ever had are tenuous at the very least.

You'll notice the language used by the Bush administration has indirectly infered Al Queeda links, a large percentage of Americans still believe Saddam Hussein had connections to 9/11.

What has been achieved, is a state of paranoia between two religions and an esculation in hatred towards the west, re-inforcing the ranks the war on terrorism has tried to cull.

I didn't support the war. For the reasons, as follows:

1) Iraq posed no imminent danger to the US that required invasion. Saddam would have captiulated after playing some games again and while Osama was running around this was satisfactory in my opinion.

2) Which brings us to Osama was running around. Al-Quaeda was on the ropes but not dead and we let them off the hook. We diverted SOF units that had developed ties to the Pashtun into Iraq and backfilled them with units without the same capabilities or ties.

This lead to using more indig forces (both Pakistani and tribal) than was wise and IMHO was material in the escape of senior Al-Quada leadership.

3) Unilateral action by the US into Iraq clearly squandered any remaining good will after 9/11. International political capital is hard to get, we wasted it to crush a two bit dictator of no real importance.

4) The occupation in Iraq is more likely to cause the end of Pax Americana than a hundred Saddam Husseins.

Given the long term occupation this means a significant risk to the all-volunteer force.

Fewer folks will enter the reserves and the national guard units and these units represent a major portion of the total force (40%? Can't recall). The stop-loss program and the long deployments means a shallower pool of trained reservists for the next war.

5) In support of 4 the next big threat IMHO will be China. Given the financial stress of OIF we're seeing delays and cutbacks into both R&D and procurement to fund operations. Coupled with what I think will be a significantly downsized US military in the 2015 timeframe I suspect that if China was to make a move on the Taiwan straits that will be the right time and we wont be able to stop them.

In terms of total world production China is on the rise. By 2015 they will have the economic power to field a military capable of power projection. We'll have been paying for an expensive occupation for the better part of a decade.

If they play their cards right (the PRC) and stay the course then historians will point to OIF as the key decion point that lead to the decline of the US sphere of influence and the rise of a Chinese age.

This IMHO will be Bush's legacy and I'm too damn old to learn Mandarin and too damn young to be dead when it happens.

I was against the attack on Iraq from the very beginning. There was no reason whatsoever to attack a decaying third world desert country with a small and weakened 1970's era military.

"He was pursuing weapons of mass destruction."

Yeah Mr. President and so are 40 other countries in the world. Oh and by the way Mr. President. It was we the might world police USA that gave Saddam the nuke and bio/chem weapons back in the late 70's and early 80's.

Saddam was not a threat and never was a threat. He had no way of directly attacking the US.

"He could develope a nuclear wepaon and give it to terrorists to use here in America."

Okay Mr. president lets use a little common sense. What makes you think Saddam or any other country in that part of the world would be stupid enough to do such a thing?

Why would any country risk being turned into the 51st state just to kill a few Americans?

Now for China. Everyone wants us all to believe that China along with Russia are our friends. Fact is, nothing could be further from the truth. China is modernising its military with the aid of Russia.

China has built nearly 100 Russian SU-30 fighters under license from Sukhoi. Russia is also helping China modernise it's land and sea forces. And both have signed treaties stating that they would come to each others aid if one went to war with the US.

Yeah they're our friends alright. And China is still gearing up for an invasion of Taiwan.

But lets not worry about any of that. Lets worry about Iran and their nuclear program. So what if they are a sovereign nation with the right to build a nuclear power plant if they wish. And if they build nukes? Hey, as long as they dont launch one at us, so what?

Oh and never mind the draft thats coming next year.

As soon as the American People realize that this is a war with Islam the better. We need to use General Sheridans version of Total War, like he used against the Northern Cheyenne Indians. These Islamic terrorists are animals and need to be treated as such. America needs to nuke Mecca and let these Satanist know that their is only one god and his son Jesus Christ. Also the United States needs to cut all ties with the United Nations.

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