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Author Topic:   I hate being right
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 106 of 119 (74922)
12-23-2003 5:28 PM
Reply to: Message 95 by gene90
12-23-2003 2:22 PM


First of all I am NO fan of Clinton. Bush may make him look like a genius, but that's all relative.

The problem with your line of argument is that it had nothing to do with my statement. Clinton's issue was preventing Saddam from holding on to remaining WMD stocks as well as continuing to build WMDs. He never stated that Iraq posed an imminent threat, only that he was defying UN controls.

You may note that he did not attack because there was no support in the UN for an invasion at that time.

I was actually behind Bush's interest in reestablishing inspections and greater UN control in Iraq. Unfortunately Bush only became active on this post 9-11 and then rushed to the "final solution", rather than working at this thorny issue as something that needed to be solved intelligently.

There were many issues that should have been taken into consideration. First and most important was dismantling the terrorist organization that attacked us on 9-11. It's interesting how unpatriotic this position has become lately. Secondly there were other (greater) threats to our national security, as well as the security of other nations, than Iraq.

But more integral to Iraq itself there were very real issues of national sovereignty and international law. Civilization had been working toward establishing that "ends do not justify means" in international affairs, but Bush has set civilization back decades with this one rash move.

In a later post (to schraf) you essentially outline my own position. Iraq was not the right target at that point in time (it still isn't) and the way it was carried out was neglectful of what international precedents it set, as well as its effects on Iraqis.

Saddam has been removed, and so HIS threat has been removed. When you have a region filled with people willing to step into his shoes, or Osama's, removing this one guy seems like pulling an M-80 out of a firework factory and then telling people they don't have to worry about explosions anymore.

If anything there will now be more opportunities for extremist organizations to take root in Iraq and act as a base against US interests. And this is true despite having no WMDs. Homeland Security pointed out after the invasion began, terrorists were unlikely to import Iraqi bio/chem weapons anyway. That would be way too risky. It'd be easier to put together near the site of the attack. That's just how easy bio/chem weapons are these days.

Iraq already has a criminal, guilty of bilking millions of dollars from those under his control, established in the governing council. He now owns one of the principle news media sources as well. When Saddam was captured one of the first things he did was cover the media (which he controls) with images of him seated above Saddam Hussein. Such things do not make it look like we have ended the Iraqi peoples' problems either.

Iraq may not have missiles anymore, the one bit of "forbidden" technology which was found, but those missiles were unwieldly anyway and not exactly posing a threat to neigboring nations (or the US).

Other than that, Iraq now poses a greater risk to US national security and regional instability than at any time in the past 10 years.

That makes them a greater imminent threat now than they were then.

The best argument I have heard for why we actually invaded Iraq was to remove a bad man from power. He was a jerk who abused his own people, and posed a vague sort of threat that while not even close to threatening our nation as a whole, it dwindled resources (continuous containment admittedly being that) distracted attention (though running Iraq won't?), and could result in some loss of life somewhere down the road.

I do not believe achieving that end justified the means we used.

By the way... why has this really old thread come back to life? Those who said there was no real imminent threat, especially from WMDs have been proven right. No matter what Clinton or Bush thought. I guess this just goes to show how bad US intelligence is with facts or analysis. The intelligence community as a whole said exactly what I said (including former CIA officials)... that was one of my most important sources. Why it didn't reach Clinton or Bush I have no idea.

More to the point though, wouldn't it be more pragmatic to discuss current and future policy decisions in Iraq and the rest of the world? Frankly, I was hoping his capture would end debate about the war because it would mean the war was OVER.

That would leave us to ruling the country to get it back on its feet, as well as protecting the US in real ways, rather than telling us we need to capture some bogeyman and all our problems will be over.

Oh yeah, and if everything would be so much safer without Saddam, what's with the Orange Xmas we're having?

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 95 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 2:22 PM gene90 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 112 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 6:10 PM Silent H has responded

    
Adminnemooseus
Director
Posts: 3876
Joined: 09-26-2002


Message 107 of 119 (74923)
12-23-2003 5:37 PM
Reply to: Message 104 by gene90
12-23-2003 5:15 PM


Re: A 'Great Debate'???
Gene, a debate about Clinton's perjury may indeed be a fine topic, but it's off-topic here. Please take it to a new topic.

Adminnemooseus


This message is a reply to:
 Message 104 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 5:15 PM gene90 has not yet responded

    
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 108 of 119 (74924)
12-23-2003 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 100 by gene90
12-23-2003 4:28 PM


quote:
Didn't the invasion of Afghanistan break international law?

No. We were attacked by members of Al-Queda, which threatened more attacks. The ruling government was protecting that group and so posed a threat against US national security.

I do not believe anyone would argue that a nation would not have the right to attack another to get at a group that killed over 3000 people in one day in one of the most heinous, unprovoked, and shocking terrorist acts in history.

Add to it that those 3000 contained residents from many other nations than the US and you now have them involved (legitimately) in pursuing a war against the Taliban as well.

There was the added issue that the Taliban were not officially recognized by most of the international community. They were essentially the ruling warlords of Afghanistan. It gave the Taliban even less legal claim to sovereignty, which they would have lost anyway for protecting Al-Queda.

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 100 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 4:28 PM gene90 has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 109 by crashfrog, posted 12-23-2003 5:40 PM Silent H has responded
 Message 113 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 6:24 PM Silent H has not yet responded

    
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 109 of 119 (74925)
12-23-2003 5:40 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by Silent H
12-23-2003 5:38 PM


Yeah, and see, me, I would have finished one war before launching another. But hey, I guess that's why I'm not the President.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Silent H, posted 12-23-2003 5:38 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 111 by Silent H, posted 12-23-2003 5:54 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 110 of 119 (74927)
12-23-2003 5:53 PM
Reply to: Message 101 by NoniNeil
12-23-2003 4:36 PM


quote:
As for the WMD, I am sure glad that some people here know more about it than the intelligence agencies of MANY countries, the UN, the people who worked on them in Iraq and the people killed by them.

Everyone knows the guy had WMDs. The US gave Saddam tech and info to use them against Iran and his own people.

The question was how much remained of those original stocks and what programs he might have in place for obtaining more. ALL INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES except the US, Britain, and Italy said there was little to no evidence that there were ongoing programs (of any merit) and only a small chance that any of his original stocks remained.

Yeah, I am unaware what international intelligence sources you were listening to, but I was reading plenty. And the UN most assuredly did not say there were WMDs present. That's what the inspectors were all about.

Have you read anything Hans Blix wrote on the issue? Maybe you can pick up a copy of his book when it eventually comes out... skewering US and British intelligence for manufacturing intelligence.

I should note that not even US intelligence was on board with the whole WMD threat thing. Not sure if you missed all that stuff about republicans blowing the cover of a CIA operative because she found out certain info was not real. And many former CIA officials banded together at the time to criticize the manipulation of intelligence by the Bush administration, in order to drive policy.

Frankly the fact that you are so misinformed and illogical makes me wish you'd stop screaming that you are an athiest in every post (for what reason I cannot figure out). You are making me wish I wasn't, or question whether I am right about that.

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 101 by NoniNeil, posted 12-23-2003 4:36 PM NoniNeil has not yet responded

    
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 111 of 119 (74928)
12-23-2003 5:54 PM
Reply to: Message 109 by crashfrog
12-23-2003 5:40 PM


Yep, our "type" are underachievers.

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 109 by crashfrog, posted 12-23-2003 5:40 PM crashfrog has not yet responded

    
gene90
Member (Idle past 1869 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 112 of 119 (74932)
12-23-2003 6:10 PM
Reply to: Message 106 by Silent H
12-23-2003 5:28 PM


Ah, a reasoned reply.

quote:
First of all I am NO fan of Clinton.

I don't mean to imply that you or anyone here is personally are a fan of Clinton, especially since I can only guess at your party affiliations. But the war in Iraq is very much a partisan issue so I saw fit to make the comparison between the two presidents. It seems to me inconsistent that some on the Left at large (not anyone here in particular) are inconsistent in claiming Bush lied (again, I haven't caught anyone here making that specific accusation) about WMD, when Clinton made similar claims that he did not act on.

quote:
The problem with your line of argument is that it had nothing to do with my statement.

Actually this was a reply to Schraf's request for commentary, and not intended to be a direct answer to one of your arguments. Actually I'm not directly responding to anyone, just placing an argument after my silence had been noted.

quote:
Clinton's issue was preventing Saddam from holding on to remaining WMD stocks as well as continuing to build WMDs.

WMDs which now apparently do not exist. If Bush is a liar because he claimed that Iraq had WMD, does that not make Clinton a liar as well?
Or are both presidents guilty only of having bad intel?

quote:
He never stated that Iraq posed an imminent threat, only that he was defying UN controls.

quote:
"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

(See link in previous post)

quote:
You may note that he did not attack because there was no support in the UN for an invasion at that time.

This is the same reason Bush I ended Gulf War I, he felt that his UN mandate did not cover a regime change, yet I seem to remember partisan bickering over it.

So, should whatever happens to be popular in the UN dictate whether or not the US has a right to defend itself against perceived threats?

quote:
Secondly there were other (greater) threats to our national security, as well as the security of other nations, than Iraq.

I concur.

quote:
Civilization had been working toward establishing that "ends do not justify means" in international affairs, but Bush has set civilization back decades with this one rash move.

Wait a minute. I'm really eager to jump in on this one so I could be misrepresenting you. But is it your position that war is categorically wrong even if it precipitates positive results?

For example, would you say that it is wrong that Lincoln did not capitulate to the Confederacy, even though it resulted in the end of American slavery? Or that the Revolution was morally wrong even though it brought American sovereignty? Or had we attacked Germany early rather than waiting on Pearl Harbor, would that have been wrong, even though it would have prevented or ended the Holocaust?

quote:
If anything there will now be more opportunities for extremist organizations to take root in Iraq and act as a base against US interests. And this is true despite having no WMDs. Homeland Security pointed out after the invasion began, terrorists were unlikely to import Iraqi bio/chem weapons anyway. That would be way too risky. It'd be easier to put together near the site of the attack. That's just how easy bio/chem weapons are these days.

Unfortunately, these are all true.

quote:
Such things do not make it look like we have ended the Iraqi peoples' problems either.

I agree that that sort of behavior from our appointed ruler of Iraq is very disturbing.

quote:
Iraq may not have missiles anymore, the one bit of "forbidden" technology which was found, but those missiles were unwieldly anyway and not exactly posing a threat to neigboring nations (or the US).

That's what we know now. But beforehand our leaders (both parties) were convinced that Saddam had or would soon have WMDs. It is my opinion that the presence of the illegal missiles, and Saddams disturbing unwillingness to dispose of them even with war imminent, demonstrate that he could not be dealt with any other way.

quote:
By the way... why has this really old thread come back to life?

The implication in message one that I was cowering or avoiding the point so I wouldn't have to capitulate. In reality I had given up trying to convince anyone of my position and had gone to worry about more important things (namely, my education). Well here it is: I was wrong about the WMDs. My current opinion is that the invasion was the correct action under the wrong circumstances. It did some of what it was supposed to do but wasn't necessary.

quote:
The best argument I have heard for why we actually invaded Iraq was to remove a bad man from power.

This is why I felt like protesting the war was immoral. Regardless of whether or not there were WMDs, Saddam was going to be gone. Therefore opposing the war meant (indirectly) advocating allowing Saddam to remain in power. I can only speak for myself but I simply cannot do that with a clear conscience, though perhaps with different logic it is possible. I know that we support people who are just as bad and I know it isn't our job to go around righting wrongs but I couldn't stomach opposing the war.

Of course the case can be (and has been) made that the Iraqis were better off with Saddam and things are about to go back to the way they were. I'm going to give it a few years and then decide if my position had any moral validity. I will just admit now that I'm not particularly pleased with the way things are now.

quote:
That would leave us to ruling the country to get it back on its feet, as well as protecting the US in real ways, rather than telling us we need to capture some bogeyman and all our problems will be over.

In the short term the only way to safety is to catch 'bogeymen'. The war in Iraq shows that you also have to get the *right* bogeyman.

quote:
Oh yeah, and if everything would be so much safer without Saddam, what's with the Orange Xmas we're having?

I recognize we are no safer, unless terrorists are blowing themselves up in Iraq rather blowing themselves up over here. But, if invading Afghanistan made us safer, why are we at Orange Alert?

There are no 'quick fixes' to terrorism. Not even killing terrorists will solve it in the long run. We're just going to have to be more even-handed in dealing with Israel and the Palestinians, and stop propping up Saddamites.

[This message has been edited by gene90, 12-23-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 106 by Silent H, posted 12-23-2003 5:28 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 115 by Silent H, posted 12-24-2003 1:20 AM gene90 has not yet responded
 Message 119 by Silent H, posted 12-24-2003 3:23 PM gene90 has not yet responded

  
gene90
Member (Idle past 1869 days)
Posts: 1610
Joined: 12-25-2000


Message 113 of 119 (74933)
12-23-2003 6:24 PM
Reply to: Message 108 by Silent H
12-23-2003 5:38 PM


quote:
No. We were attacked by members of Al-Queda, which threatened more attacks. The ruling government was protecting that group and so posed a threat against US national security.

Okay. We've established that clear affiliation with al-qaeda justifies attacks.

What about clear affiliation with Hamas? Ansar al-Islam? What if (for the sake of argument) the claims that Saddam was associated with al-Qaeda turn out to be more than shoddy journalism or propaganda?

quote:

Add to it that those 3000 contained residents from many other nations than the US and you now have them involved (legitimately) in pursuing a war against the Taliban as well.


What if France, Germany, Russia, Canada, and Belgium had chosen not to support the invasion of Afghanistan? Would you then argue that we did not have the right to invade? What if the UN just snubbed their noses at us and told us that we got what we deserved?

Is what is right determined by majority opinion?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 108 by Silent H, posted 12-23-2003 5:38 PM Silent H has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 114 by NoniNeil, posted 12-23-2003 6:47 PM gene90 has not yet responded

  
NoniNeil
Inactive Member


Message 114 of 119 (74937)
12-23-2003 6:47 PM
Reply to: Message 113 by gene90
12-23-2003 6:24 PM


WMD & Clinton
Two things and I am out of here

There WERE, & there ARE WMD in Iraq.
They WILL BE found and anyone who wants to put money where their mouth is STEP UP!

First of all, IF the "perjury" you are referring to was when Clinton said he did not have 'sexual relations" with Monica, he was NOT
lying!

(I am sure I will have to explain that to you as you are most probably ignorant of the facts.)

A word (or words) are defined by how the MAJORITY of people use them.

SEVEN YEARS before Clinton testimony, a comprehensive sexual research project was compleated.

One of the questions asked was if the respondents considered "oral sex" to be "sexual relations"

SIXTY SEVEN PERCENT said NO!

That ONLY actual virginal penetration by a mans penis was considered to be sexual relations.

So when Clinton was asked if he had sexual relations with Monica, he CORRECTLY (in agreement with 67% of the people) said NO, he had NOT lied.

Did he lie about other sexual matters?

Maybe yes, and maybe, no.

The facts are that it is NONE of YOUR, or of ANYONE (other than maybe his wife) ELSE's business!

If he lied about sex, it did NOT get us in a war we should not be in. Like the Tonking Gulf bit. It did not cause the torture and deaths of ten's of thousands in Guatemala like another President's lies did.

FACT #1. EVERYBODY LIES!

The AVERAGE person LIES over 20 times a DAY!

FACT #2. Politicians lie just like everyone else does.

Jessie Helms told about the Chinese tank in Tinnemmen (however it is spelled) Square who supposedy squashed the lone guy standing in front tank as flat as a pancake.

The problem is that is NOT what happened!

What the Chinese did to the students and others was terrible and a one guy stopped a tank. Yet the tank did NOT squash him.

Eisenhower lied for United Fruit and over 50,000 people died in Guatemala because of it. Multi-thousands more were tortured and even more thousands imprisoned all due to that lie.

Nixon lied so much and so often it would be impossible to list them all.

Not only did Nixon lie and lie and lie and lie about Watergate, he also sabotaged the peace process in Vietnam and cost hundreds of thousands of lives!

Reagan lied. He lied about Iran and not dealing with terrorists. He lied about the Contra's.

(And I would have lied about them also!)

Kennedy lied.

Even Jimmy Carter lied.

George Bush Sr. lied.

George W Bush does not just exaggerate, or tell little "white lies" he tells big ones!

What a person's position is on hate crimes is not a little thing. And having a TV commercial and telling ever one that they should be accountable and then refusing to tell the truth about his drug use is hypocritical.

He did NOT tell the truth on his record as Governor of Texas.

What President is most famous for not lying?

Lincoln!

(He was more Atheist than anything else and anyone who disagrees with that need to do some OPEN-minded and in depth research.)

Since EVERYBODY LIES, (and even on very rare occasions, me) and since most people lie many times a day, it is very hypocritical for most people to rant and rave about others telling lies.

S are YOU being a hypocrite???

If things are going shitty for you and some ones says, "How's it going?" and you reply "Fine" you JUST LIED!

What the most important thing about a lie is, what is the lie about?

Does their lie stress a point or does it get innocent people killed?

Is it a "little white lie" or a major one?

Anyone with a truly FUNCTIONING brain knows that lies are NOT equal.

There are things which matter a LOT and things which matter very, very little.

Like who someone is "sexing' with is NO one else's business!

Getting people killed is!

And the more people killed, the bigger the effect of the lie!

Ever hear the press or anyone bitch about Eisenhower's lies?

Thus, it's logical that lies about mundane things is just a typical lie told by billions of people EVERY day!

Thus, what Clinton lied about was NOT A BIGGIE!

A dumb act? Yes!

A big deal? HELL NO!

People who make BIG deals out of LITTLE things?

NOT LOGICAL!

----
{For whatever it's worth, I believe this is a response to message 104 - Adminnemooseus}

[This message has been edited by Adminnemooseus, 12-23-2003]


This message is a reply to:
 Message 113 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 6:24 PM gene90 has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 115 of 119 (74963)
12-24-2003 1:20 AM
Reply to: Message 112 by gene90
12-23-2003 6:10 PM


quote:
If Bush is a liar because he claimed that Iraq had WMD, does that not make Clinton a liar as well?

If there is a question how bad intel was under Clinton, one must only look at our bombing a milk factory (they made a chem weapons call based on one ground sample), and bombing an embassy (that was targeted even though it was clearly printed on easily available maps).

That said, at least Clinton did not intentionally mislead the public about the extent of our knowledge. Powell presented evidence that had already been discredited, and then the US stepped on the media not to release that fact till the war was well under way. And Bush's attempts to rewrite history by claiming he never said Iraq posed a nuclear threat was much more abominable.

I must also repeat that while Clinton said Iraq's having WMDs posed a serious problem, that is different than an imminent threat.

A serious problem is one that must be dealt with. An imminent threat is the only kind of threat that excuses unilateral invasion. That is why Bush equivocated between the two, and built a myth regarding his nuclear capabilities.

quote:
So, should whatever happens to be popular in the UN dictate whether or not the US has a right to defend itself against perceived threats?

China perceives that the existence of Taiwan is a threat. India and Pakistan both view each other as threats. Many middle eastern countries view the US as a threat. Are you suggesting that they should ignore UN demands and attack at will?

In the end no country should have a right to "defend" itself against a "perceived threat". That is a recipe for chaos and a return to feudal era empire building.

However countries do have a right to defend themselves against real attacks, or in very select instances of IMMINENT attack, a pre-emptive action.

I realize Bush's whole line was that once WMDs enter the picture one cannot wait for an attack to be imminent, because it may be too late. At this point is this not an obvious falsehood? Iraq was simply not a threat at all.

Perhaps there is an argument to be made that a nation cannot wait for an attack if very credible evidence exists that WMDs not only exist, but have entered the playing field as an option. But that did not exist in this case.

And the idea that existence of WMDs means a country is an active threat must be thought through carefully. After all we have plenty of WMDs... does that mean everyone that we don't like has a right to attack?

Bush himself appears to have accepted this same idea when WMDs are known to exist (NKorea).

Okay I had more to say but I'll have to wait until tomorrow, my gf says it's time for bed... and she's got more clout with me than the UN.

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 6:10 PM gene90 has not yet responded

    
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3918 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 116 of 119 (74973)
12-24-2003 8:17 AM
Reply to: Message 94 by Silent H
12-23-2003 2:21 PM


...and hey what happened to that thread Q?

I do apologize. I realize I should have brought that discussion to closure of some kind. I offer in defense that there were quite a few personal and professional issues that intervened, and then later when things calmed down somewhat, I reviewed the thread and realized that our positions were extremely close - probably >90% convergence. Our only fundamental disagreement arose really from a single difference in starting assumptions and a slightly different approach to the problem (if you will, a pragmatic vs ideal approach). IOW, there wasn't enough there to really continue a debate of that magnitude and effort. In addition, although I truly enjoyed the discussion, there was a very irritating side discussion going on that detracted from my overall enjoyment. Again, I apologize for not following through and stating this at the time.

That being said...

Since Quetzal volunteered to moderate on this topic, stating that he didn't exactly agree with my opinion, and I thoroughly enjoyed debating him ... a Great Debate between he and I on the Iraq War might be more fruitful.

...our positions are not diametrically opposed. The principle difference that I see is that I consider action against Hussein to have been overdue and at least marginally justifiable from a national security/strategic policy viewpoint. However, we are in complete agreement that invasion (unilateral or otherwise) was inappropriate, caused more problems than it solved, possibly created more suffering than it relieved (at least in the short term), the follow through has been terribly bungled, &etc (me: right target, right time, wrong tactic; you: right target, wrong time, wrong tactic). The Iraq war is interesting to me principally in the sense of anticipating future consequences and impact in the Muddle East (not a typo ), and as yet another (as though it were needed) example of the "biter bit" principle: assuming "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" in strategic policy is invariably fatal in the long term. IOW, we're back to disagreeing on a fine point and agreeing on everything else - from administration lying and obfuscation to the lack of justification for invasion to the potentially very bad precedent it set, etc - as we did ultimately in the other thread. This doesn't make for a very interesting debate, especially not a formal one. In that light, I fear I must decline the invitation, although I'd be happy to arbitrate your debate with NoniNeal if it ever materializes.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 94 by Silent H, posted 12-23-2003 2:21 PM Silent H has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 117 by Silent H, posted 12-24-2003 10:46 AM Quetzal has responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 117 of 119 (74993)
12-24-2003 10:46 AM
Reply to: Message 116 by Quetzal
12-24-2003 8:17 AM


Fair enough. About the irritating side discussion, what was it? Is it something I was doing wrong?

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 116 by Quetzal, posted 12-24-2003 8:17 AM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 118 by Quetzal, posted 12-24-2003 11:06 AM Silent H has not yet responded

    
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 3918 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 118 of 119 (74995)
12-24-2003 11:06 AM
Reply to: Message 117 by Silent H
12-24-2003 10:46 AM


Let me put it this way: there were basically three people involved in the discussion. The irritation t'wasn't you and t'weren't me...
This message is a reply to:
 Message 117 by Silent H, posted 12-24-2003 10:46 AM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 3865 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 119 of 119 (75021)
12-24-2003 3:23 PM
Reply to: Message 112 by gene90
12-23-2003 6:10 PM


part 2
quote:
But is it your position that war is categorically wrong even if it precipitates positive results?

No. The idea that ends do not justify means suggests that just because there is a positive result from something, that does not mean the use of categorical wrongs to achieve it was justified.

War is a negative, but not a categorical wrong. Obviously when one is attacked, one has a right to defend onesself. When a force is preparing for violent action against you there is also arguably a right to proactively defend onesself.

Unilaterally attacking a country which was not actively threatening anyone, in order to overthrow its government which we claim no one wants, but it is clear they do not want us either, and we will have to kill many of their innocents to win... This is not quite the above two scenarios. Add to it the deception enacted to drive public support including use of the nuclear card, and the 9-11 card and we have sufficient wrongs already to question whether the ends justify the means.

The international repercussions in going to war the way we did (actively degrading relations with longtime allies, and pitting European countries against each other) heap many more dangerous wrongs on the situation.

quote:
For example, would you say that it is wrong that Lincoln did not capitulate to the Confederacy, even though it resulted in the end of American slavery? Or that the Revolution was morally wrong even though it brought American sovereignty? Or had we attacked Germany early rather than waiting on Pearl Harbor, would that have been wrong, even though it would have prevented or ended the Holocaust?

These are all different issues which have no cookie-cutter answer based on ends and means (or at least not without launching into hypotheticals). I'd be interested in discussing them but not in this context (or thread).

quote:
That's what we know now. But beforehand our leaders (both parties) were convinced that Saddam had or would soon have WMDs. It is my opinion that the presence of the illegal missiles, and Saddams disturbing unwillingness to dispose of them even with war imminent, demonstrate that he could not be dealt with any other way.

I hate to say this but it is not what we know now. It was well known back when I made my statements, and which is why I made my statements. Other than credulous comments of "The government must know more than we do" there was no rationale or evidence given to support the idea that he had an active weapons program.

More to the point, there was vast intelligence pointing out he was probably never going to use them, even if he did have them, in a first strike on anyone. This was especially true for his giving such weapons to Islamic terrorists.

I don't think Clinton ever made such comments. If he did then he was a liar, or exaggerating the threat for effect.

And I should note, I still believe it's possible that he had remnants of his older WMD stash. Some of this may even be found. But this has to be measured against their likely use in war or as part of a terrorist attack. As Homeland Security itself announced, it is unlikelt such weapons would ever be used against the US.

As far as Saddam not destroying missiles even with war imminent, the missiles posed no real danger to anyone (as their use in the war demonstrated), and if it looked like someone was gearing up to attack you no matter what, would you destroy any weapons that you have available? We put him in a position that it was unlikely he would destroy them.

That's the difference between a carrot and stick approach, and a just stick approach.

quote:
This is why I felt like protesting the war was immoral. Regardless of whether or not there were WMDs, Saddam was going to be gone. Therefore opposing the war meant (indirectly) advocating allowing Saddam to remain in power.

Killing leaders of foreign countries that we do not like, even if they are despots, is not a good thing if the only reason is that we think the people of that country would be better off. This is made doubly true when it will require us to blast through innocent people to get to him.

I think that is a valid reason to protest the war. The bad war was about to be waged, where we would become just as bad.

In fact, using your reasoning, other countries who felt Bush was going to far (and after all his election was under a shadow... appointed by members of his party and not the people) they would have a right to attack the US in order to remove him? Heck they could blast his destruction of the environment (which effects everyone), robbing money from the poor, and attempting to install a fascist Xian fundamentalist government.

Remember, Saddam had about just as good of reasons for attacking Kuwait.

But I want to add a totally different reason for protesting, which is why I felt sympathetic to the protesters. You said to be against the war was advocating that Saddam stay in power. But much to the contrary, it was the act of going to war with Iraq which allowed Osama and Al-Queda to not only stay in power, but to grow!

Thus to support the war was to support a more dangerous threat against the US and the world.

quote:
But, if invading Afghanistan made us safer, why are we at Orange Alert?

Heheheh. Isn't the answer obvious? We are at Orange Alert because we invaded Iraq instead of fighting the only real war we should have been fighting... the war in Afghanistan (and Pakistan) against Al-Queda.

We caught Saddam which means that war (and his threat) are over. If he was truly a threat then we should be be somewhat safer... but Al-Queda is stronger because of our detour into a wholly unrelated country, and so we have an Orange Xmas.

If we busted up Al-Queda and its leadership (which is not just Osama but that would go a long way), I feel pretty certain we'd be in a safer position, and that is whether Saddam remained in power or not.

By the way I want to address your comments regarding the UN as a specific topic. I think it is very important to discuss as we move away from the wreckage of the Iraq War. Your question regarding UN's control of national security issues for the US is valid. Keep checking the Coffee House. Sometime before the end of this week, I'll have a thread opened discussing this sticky issue. I'd love to have your input.

------------------
holmes


This message is a reply to:
 Message 112 by gene90, posted 12-23-2003 6:10 PM gene90 has not yet responded

    
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