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The QUESTION - some of you shouldn't look - you have been warned

Started by AstroMart, 04/07/2018 03:51PM

Poll Results:


0 Total Votes
Posted 09/12/2008 06:23AM #20
"Yeah, the big, bad, old, awful USA. Never does anything for anybody but themselves. What a horrible country."

I realize that sarcasm is fun, but does this response actually clarify or illuminate anything? Do you believe that the USA should comply with international law at all times? If not, isn't it awfully self-serving of you to invoke it when it's convenient to you?

"But, while I'm no expert on international law, I've heard it mentioned several times that there are international legal obligations which, assuming the nasty rotten no-good US government follows them, obligate us to help put the country back on its feet. "

So, you've heard that mentioned. It's good to know that all aggressor nations are obliged to clean up after themselves, lest they suffer the world's disapproving glare.

"Instead, Saddam hindered the weapons inspectors and actively engaged in programs to deceive them. "

Yeah, I remember the games he played. I also remember it was absolutely clear there was nothing Saddam could have said or done to halt the invasion. He certainly couldn't have handed over the non-existent WMDs which were being demanded (unless he launched into a crash program to develop some, or fake some, so he could hand them over). Possibly if he had walked out of the desert to turn himself over to the US commander with a noose around his neck, that might have slowed things down a bit.

Good for us if we actually hampered al Qaeda as thoroughly as you say. As you also say, your mileage may vary on whether that result was worth the many thousands of lives it cost and the hundreds of billions of dollars we've borrowed from China to pay for it. As for me, I'd be happier if we hadn't incurred that debt of blood and money, if Saddam had been left to fester and fall in his own time, and if the USA were in a state of far less turmoil as a result of this wholly optional war.

By the way, I'll hold few Democrats up as standard-bearers of integrity. I was living in California during the lead up to the war (which I always opposed). When she voted to allow the use of force I wrote to Diane Feinstein requesting that she consider not running for re-election, so a real Democrat might have a chance. She responded by saying she had secret information which made it clear an invasion was necessary. Mmm hmm. Sure you did, Senator.

Joe Bergeron

Moderator, Astro-Physics Forum
Posted 09/12/2008 07:06AM #21
What a train wreck the Gibson interview became.

What crackhead picked her?

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Posted 09/12/2008 07:11AM #22
Chris Myers said:

Well, for what it's worth, the GOP has had the upper hand in both the house and the senate for most of the time since 1994. Why do the right wing loyalists always seem to ignore that fact?

Twenty years from now when we all speak Chinese, they will be remembered as "The Party That wrecked America".

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Posted 09/12/2008 07:26AM #23
Daniel Perry said:

I'm quite aware of the various "threats" around the world.

I'm glad to hear that; it's certainly not the impression left by the first paragraph of your original posting, though. Even as I re-read it now, it says "bin Laden is our problem, so why are we in Iraq?".


People didn't "decide" they were lied to about the status of Iraq and WMDs. They WERE lied to.

The fact is that every major western intelligence service believed that Iraq was concealing WMDs. It's not a "lie" to believe something based on evidence that only *later* turns out to be incorrect.


are we to assume that you believe invading Iraq was absolutely the only way to deal with al-Qaeda? That's what it sounds like you're saying.

It's statements like this that reinforce my original conclusion that you believe there is only one problem in the world. al Qaeda had only a minor presence in Iraq before the invasion, and had little to do with why we removed Saddam Hussein from power.

And as to what it "sounds like" I'm saying ... I clearly stated that the defeat of al Qaeda in Iraq was an "unintended consequence" of the invasion. So your question demonstrates that you completely misread what I wrote.


And anyone who believes that any country's "ultimate outcome" can be known based on the last 5-10 years, seems to be a bit shortsighted.

My words were "appears to be hugely positive". And that's certainly the way it looks right now. Could it all still go south? Certainly; but that's not the way to bet at the moment.


The meta question is should we have taken the initiative to depose the government in the first place.

You are absolutely correct; this is indeed the question. Invading another country to depose its government is a serious action. We elect a national government (both Congress and the President) to make those decisions, and then we get to second-guess them after the fact and replace them in the next election if we decide they chose wrongly.


Was it also our "moral obligation" to invade the country in the first place? If the answer to that is "yes", then we should be invading MANY other countries right now as we speak.

This is another indication of why I believe you are missing the point. The decision to invade another country is a very serious one that should only be made on a case-by-case basis, not under some blanket rule that paints many different countries and situations with the same broad brush.

Saddam Hussein's Iraq was a most unique situation. He had in the past actually *used* WMDs in a war, and also against his own civilian population. He was in violation of numerous U. N. sanctions commanding his behavior. He was widely believed to be maintaining an active WMD program, and was systematically thwarting the efforts of weapons inspectors. He invaded a tiny neighbor merely to possess its oil fields; he threatened other neighboring countries as well. He responded to being counterattacked in 1991 by firing missiles at a country that had quite deliberately *stayed out* of the conflict. And there's lots more.

I don't think there are "MANY other countries" for which you can cite a similarly-egregious pattern of errant behavior.

Besides, most liberals seem to believe that we're incapable of fighting in *two* countries at once; I'm pretty sure they wouldn't go along with the idea of "many".


In other words, there's no need to talk down to someone just because they don't agree with you.

Well, it's a difficult balancing act, especially in the written (vice spoken) word, to question someone's command of the facts, or explain why you believe their conclusions are illogical based on the facts, without appearing to be arrogant or "talking down". That appearance is not my intention.

I pointed out to another poster that, with the national polls being pretty evenly split right now, while half of the country disagrees with him, half of the country disagrees with *me*, too.

I don't mind dissenting opinion; I like to point out to folks that I don't *learn* much from people who *agree* with me. But I do demand that opinion be based on a rational assessment of fact, rather than illogic and half-truths. Also, I tend to favor straightforward explanations over byzantine conspiracy theories, and, where circumstances admit multiple explanations, I tend to accept explanations presupposing good, rather than evil, intentions without credible evidence to the contrary, all things being equal.

You may or may not be surprised to hear that there are folks who do just the opposite.

Terry (astrotrf)
Posted 09/12/2008 07:04PM #24
Joe Bergeron said:

"Yeah, the big, bad, old, awful USA. Never does anything for anybody but themselves. What a horrible country."

I realize that sarcasm is fun, but does this response actually clarify or illuminate anything?

I think it does, yes. It pretty much defines, clarifies, and illuminates the prevailing liberal opinion of the United States. I would be fascinated by recent evidence to the contrary.


Do you believe that the USA should comply with international law at all times? If not, isn't it awfully self-serving of you to invoke it when it's convenient to you?

No, in fact I do not believe that. As with U. S. law, there are circumstances under which the law should not be applied. (I may be wrong about this; don't quote me: but I seem to recall that California law, in particular, specifically empowers juries to decide cases in accordance with this very point.)

Beyond invoking it when convenient, I invoke it when it makes sense to do so. That's the vast majority of the time, but there are exceptions.

And I would support violating international law when it is in the best interest of the security of the United States and its allies to do so. If that's "awfully self-serving", then so be it.

I realize that it's a liberal tenet that the United States should leave it to international law and the World Court to guarantee U. S. security, instead of the U. S. taking action on its own when it is deemed necessary.
Heck, you can't get most of Europe to fight al Qaeda *even now*.

In fact, there's plenty of evidence that indicates that liberals believe that *Europe* should decide U. S. policy on our behalf. They certainly attach huge amounts of significance to the fact that liberals in Europe don't often like what we're doing.


Yeah, I remember the games he [Saddam] played.

Yet you attach no significance to them. You act as though he should have been able to go on freely playing those games forever, without consequence. I imagine that he thought the same; he was wrong.


I also remember it was absolutely clear there was nothing Saddam could have said or done to halt the invasion.

That's completely incorrect. He could have *cooperated* with the weapons inspectors, invited them into places he'd previously denied them access, and provided the documentation they were seeking.

There were a number of other actions demanded by the resolutions, too. All he had to do was comply. None of what he was being asked to do was impossible.


He certainly couldn't have handed over the non-existent WMDs which were being demanded (unless he launched into a crash program to develop some, or fake some, so he could hand them over).

There you go again. The actual U. N. resolutions went much farther than demanding he turn over WMDs. All he had to do was cooperate and openly demonstrate to the inspectors that there were no WMDs.


Possibly if he had walked out of the desert to turn himself over to the US commander with a noose around his neck, that might have slowed things down a bit.

This statement completely ignores the fact that, even at the eleventh hour, he was given the option of simply leaving the country with his two sons. I'm sure he could have found some country that would be willing to let 3 such vile people live within its borders.


By the way, I'll hold few Democrats up as standard-bearers of integrity. I was living in California during the lead up to the war (which I always opposed). When she voted to allow the use of force I wrote to Diane Feinstein requesting that she consider not running for re-election, so a real Democrat might have a chance. She responded by saying she had secret information which made it clear an invasion was necessary. Mmm hmm. Sure you did, Senator.

What this says is that you were against the war NO MATTER WHAT THE CIRCUMSTANCE. And since she voted for the war, even when in possession of secret intelligence, then she's not a true Democrat. She made a judgment based on the information she had, and you, acting with far less knowledge of the situation, automatically labelled her a traitor to the liberal cause.

You had no basis for believing that she *wasn't* in possession of secret information; you just decided it wasn't true because that better fit your world view as a committed liberal, and you weren't going to let any possibly-contradictory facts sway your decision.

Terry (astrotrf)