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Bush bashing & warmongering

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JP
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0 posted 03-07-2003 11:47 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP


I don't know exactly what I want to say here. I'm tired and frustrated by the narrow views I hear and see expressed daily regarding the possible, probably combat with Iraq and about our president in general

I've replied to a few posts regarding the war and my replies seem to always be the same, to the same comments.  There are a few things we all agree on:

1.  We don't like war
2.  We don't want war
3.  We would rather a peaceful solution

What we don't agree on is:

1.  Who is the cause of this impending war
2.  What is the true reason for this war

Most seem to place the blame on President Bush, he is the cause, he is the warmonger, he is rushing headlong into war, etc...

Or on America. America is the big bad bully.  Doing what they want to who they want, etc...

War is about the oil...

Okay, the easy ones first:  This conflict is not about oil - honestly that is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard.  There are so many ways for us to get cheaper oil or other resources.  You expect me to believe that we are going to start a war.  Wipe out a country, put a puppet government in place and ship out thier oil to the US for pennies on the dollar?  and the rest of the world is just going to sit back and watch and life will go on?  I don't think so.  If it was about the oil, we would've turned a blind eye to Saddam and befriended him and gave him aid and food and everything else to get the cheap oil.

Now the hard one: It is hard because human nature leads us to focus on the entity that acts, rather than the cause for the action.  It is always the kids who hits back that gets in trouble, not the kid who hit first.

Our nation is at war, we are at war against terrorism and terrorists and all those who support, lend aid, and harbor them.  Saddam and his regeim is such an entity.  They have trained and supported terrorist groups, they have and still do.

Saddam, has invaded other countries, he has produced and used weapons of mass destruction, on his own people no less. He has murdered and ordered the murder of his own family members and his own citizens - all for the sake of retaining his dictatorial position.

As Mr. Bush said "there is no question about the character of the man..."   We know who and what Saddam is.  We know what he is cabable of.  We know he has biological weapons and has and will use them.  

We have given him 12 years to disarm - which he agreed to do, after the Gulf war.  He has not disarmed, in truth he has armed, he has increased his stockpile of illegal weapons during the past 12 years.  He has flown in the face of every effort of diplomacy for 12 years.  I do have to point out that the bulk of those years, he was ignored by the American administration whose sole purpose seemed to be having sex in the oval office rather than protecting the US and the world.

The question posed is this:  If 12 years of diplomatic efforts did no good to disarm Saddam, what will 1 more month do?  

If you see a bully strutting around and picking on other people, are you at fault if you cause that bully to stop?

When will it be 'okay' to go in and disarm Saddam?  Ofter he unleashes a biological or chemical weapon on a neighboring country and thousands upon thousands of innocent people die?  Or after he drops tactical missles on the Kurds, in his own country?  Will it be okay to stop him then?

I would rather avoid the avoidable.  Stop the inevitable.  We know the man, we know he will strike someone, somehow.  We know he does aid and will aid terror, and we know, without a doubt that he will cause, or help to cause some great hurt in the world.  We know this in our hearts and in our minds so what is the right thing to do?  Sit back and let happen that which we can prevent?  I think not.

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
Nil Desperandum, Fata viem invenient

Ron
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1 posted 03-07-2003 02:17 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I'm tired and frustrated by the narrow views I hear and see expressed dailyÖ

One would guess, JP, that you don't consider your own views to fall within that province of being narrow? Mightn't we also guess that those who choose to disagree with you feel the same about their own views?

Using a semantically loaded term like "narrow views" to describe something with which you disagree rarely seems to accomplish anything useful. I'm sure you feel your arguments are very compelling. I suspect those who disagree with you find their own arguments just as compelling. The sad truth is that we often find ANY argument compelling if we already strongly believe it.

If someone can't convincingly argue both sides of this question, they just haven't looked at it close enough.
Poet deVine
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2 posted 03-07-2003 02:46 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine



I havenít said much about this issue because Iím so confused..so conflicted. Iím at heart, a patriotic person. I vote. I put my hand over my heart during the National Anthem. I am the mother of a former member of the Air Force and am myself a member of the Womenís Auxiliary of the VFW. My father fought in World War II. With that background, I must tell you that I am not sure what to think or believe right now.

If you watched President Bush last night, you would have noticed how soft-spoken he wasÖthat was the first thing I noticed. I wondered if it was a ploy to soften the blow that we were going to war. But he made several references to Ďnotí being at war yet. He also mentioned Ďweapons of mass destructioní many times (Iím tired of that phrase). In my opinion, it seemed the questions asked were never really answered. The replies he gave seemed prepared. It was like we were being spoon-fed rhetoric from previous speeches.

I do believe Saddam is a terrible man. Iím not sure I want to see the civilians of Iraq suffer because of their leader. But with war, who is safe? Iím so confused.

I also believe that North Korea poses a very serious threat. While weíre all watching Iraq, what mischief will they cause?

What about the terrorist attacks around the world? The Philippines?  Israel? Russia? Germany? France? How can we stop all those? Should we? Iím so confused.

I donít want us to go to war. The loss of lives is the main reason. As a mother, I donít want to see another motherís son brought home in a flag draped coffin.

But I support my country. We have always had a history of coming to the aid of injustice in the world. We hung back in World War II and if weíd come forward sooner, I think it would have been better. We were chided then for staying out of the conflict.

Iím so confused. I want peace. I donít want war.

But I want everyone to live their lives without fear that their government will take away their rights, their lives, their children, their homes and livelihood.  Is it vicious of me to want someone to just find the Ďbad mení in the world and get them? But I suppose thatís naÔve. There will always be bad men. History repeats itself.

I remember the patriotic fervor after 9/11. We were united in our desire to find the terrorists and make sure nothing like this ever happened again. (Is it the same fervor that was felt after World War II? After the Korean War? After Vietnam? After the Gulf War?)

And still, Iím confused. I know I donít know all the precise history or the precise political ploys being used. Iím just one person. Confused. Afraid of war. Afraid of terrorism. Afraid that if we donít do something, there will be more destruction of innocent lives.

Iím just so confused.
JP
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3 posted 03-07-2003 04:11 PM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

PdV makes some very good points, and Ron as well.  I may have to qualify "narrow views" with the idea that I look at those who say "the only solution is to go in there and wipe them all out", or on the other end "There is never justification for war"  or similar sentiments.  War is horrible, but at times it is necessary.  War is never the 'only' solution but most often the last resort and the 'best' alternative.

I am a peaceful man at heart. I do not promote, nor relish the idea of war.  I have seen combat up close (albeit, limited combat) I have had the duty to defend my life and what was deemed the security of our nation.  I did that duty but did not relish it, but I understood its place and necessity.

We cannot solve all the worlds problems, we cannot solve similar problems with similar approaches. As humans we have the capacity to view a problem and deal with it.  In the case of world affairs, we will do ourselves and our neighbors a disservice if we try to take all the world's problems on at the same time with the same approach.

What to do about Korea? Somalia? Isreal? India? and a dozen other troubled areas?  I don't know.  I do know that if I had access to the information that our leaders do, I would take each situation seperately and most likely come up with different approaches to each considering the facts of the cases...

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
Nil Desperandum, Fata viem invenient

Balladeer
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4 posted 03-07-2003 05:48 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

JP, believe me, you are wasting your time. You may certainly state your views (which happen to be the same as mine) but if you think you have a chance of changing anyone's mind, you're mistaken. They are not interested in facts that contradict their way of thinking...and using factual information will not help.
Ron
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5 posted 03-07-2003 06:41 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Is that a generic "they," Balladeer?

Seems to me it's applicable no matter which side of the street someone has pitched their tent.
Poet deVine
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6 posted 03-07-2003 07:14 PM       View Profile for Poet deVine   Email Poet deVine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Poet deVine

On this side they are our they
On that side we are their they

Balladeer
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7 posted 03-07-2003 07:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Not true, Ron. There is a side that deals with fact and one that deals with emotion. The factual side has little chance of convincing the emotional side, who simply choose to ignore whatever actual facts go against what their feelings dictate. The emotional side will not convince the factual side, which uses logic as their base.

The U.N. right now is a perfect example...
Ron
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8 posted 03-07-2003 08:47 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You sure you want to go there, Mike?

Okay, I'll bite. Give me just one indisputable, completely logical fact to support either side of the issue. I'd love to see what one looks like.
Balladeer
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9 posted 03-07-2003 09:15 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

It is an indisputable fact the Hussein has used biological weapons to murder civilians.

If one is to believe scientists and engineers who have left Iraq (and recently appeared on tv newscasts, it is an indisputable fact that Hussein has WMD at this time.

It is an indisputable fact (by his own words) that he considers the United States evil.

It is an indisputable fact that Hussein has not lived up to the agreement of the Desert Storm surrender or the mandate of the U.N.

There are more.....
Denise
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10 posted 03-07-2003 09:37 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I work in a very liberal oriented environment, liberal in the extreme, I would even say.

I have had to listen to Bush bashing until I want to vomit. I have had to listen to distorted takes on various subjects ranging from how horrible Bush is, how wonderful Bill and Hillary were and are, how Bush stole the presidency (as if no one ever heard of the electoral college before) and as you have said, Balladeer, none of it is grounded in fact. The very words that come out of their mouths are evidence that they are formulating their opinions from some emotional level which seems to me a lot like an unreasonable hatred.

When you present a fact (like the process of the electoral college and its intent, or the fact that three major newspapers actually did do their own Florida vote re-counts, and all conceded that Bush was indeed the winner)you are met with silence and a condescending glance. Why is that? I think it's because they have no intelligent rebuttal grounded in fact. The facts confuse and silence them.

Someone today even said sarastically, "Oh they're supposedly closing in on Osama...that EVIL man..snicker...snicker". I was saddened that the deaths of over 3,000 people seem to mean nothing at all to some people. That is what I don't understand.

I realize that Saddam was not one of the masterminds of 9/11. I also realize that he is a threat to the security of the world, and that diplomacy does not work with him. I realize that he has had 12 years to come into compliance and that he hasn't, and in that time he has been able to create even more biological and chemical weapons because the U.N. and the prior administration in the U.S. issued idle threats, as the U.N. seems bent on continuing.

If 9/11 didn't teach the world how vulnerable we are, nothing will. A small group of fanatics caused 9/11. Imagine how much more damage could be wrought by a sponsoring nation bent on terrorist activity. To me it seems some people are afflicted with the "bury your head in the sand and everything will be okay syndrome". They don't yet realize, and maybe they never will, that we are in a fight for our very lives and future security from some very shrewd and dangerous factions. They think that we can sit down and have a civilized "tea" with barbarians and resolve all our differences and make nice-nice with everyone. Well, barbarians don't operate that way and are not interested in making nice with anybody. They are interested in domination, period.

As for the war protestors: Protest, that is your right. Just stick to the facts. Don't ascribe to Bush diabolical intent for his policies, unless you can back it up with FACTS. Supposition and innuendo are not FACTS. Don't say that the President is a baby killing, dictatorial, oil greedy, blood-thirsty warmonger, a leader more dangerous to the world than Saddam and bin Laden, for in so doing you are only showing your ignorance. You'll never be taken seriously by THINKING people.


Severn
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11 posted 03-07-2003 10:27 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Denise - hug...just have to say this:

'The very words that come out of their mouths are evidence that they are formulating their opinions from some emotional level'

What else do you expect from humanity as a whole? Logic and emotion are constantly at war (perhaps an appropriate metaphor, and one that is entrenched in every aspect of our society, battling this and that...)

It is of the vast majority to formulate opinions from an emotional basis. In fact, the majority of us (statistically proved, not talking out of sophistry here) first have emotional reactions to an event/issue/dilemna etc and then a  percentage of us then go on to make a decision based on logic.

Obviously, this means that many of our decisions are formed from our initial emotional reactions. Given that, I find it hardly surprising that many are currently deciding to speak from an emotional place, apparently without the presence of logic. Ever noticed how, when in the grips of an emotional response, it all seems so logical?

And this only serves to expose our human vulnerability: I feel tender and enraged toward our race at the same, if that is possible.

Bal...hate to say it, but facts are subjective things. Take a man from Papua New Guinea and show him his wife dying from cancer. To him it is a fact that she has been cursed by an angry ancestoral spirit. To us, it is fact that she is dying of cancer due to our cultural endorsement of the western bio-medicine system (also a system riddled in war metaphor).

Who decides for whom what the fact is?

K
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12 posted 03-07-2003 10:54 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Severn, you can't eat a rock by calling it bread. If you can't distinguish which is fact between an ancestor's evil spell and a medically-tested cancer diagnosis, then you are closing your mind to intelligence and logic. Counter with as many good spells as you may - the person will still die of cancer.

Yes, it is human nature to respond emotionally. That doesn't make it right or change facts. One should be glad to have someone in charge who will choose logical deduction over emotional response. I am....
Ron
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13 posted 03-07-2003 11:01 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

It is an indisputable fact the Hussein has used biological weapons to murder civilians.
Ö it is an indisputable fact that Hussein has WMD at this time.
It is an indisputable fact (by his own words) that he considers the United States evil.

Uh, which side of the issue are those statements supposed to support, Mike? By themselves, they are pretty much irrelevant to either side. At least I would hope so, since they apply to many other countries as well. Indeed, the first two points unequivocally apply to us. And, sadly, the third point appears to apply to more than a few American citizens these days, too.

It is an indisputable fact that Hussein has not lived up to the agreement of the Desert Storm surrender or the mandate of the U.N.

Valid point. And China says that you and I can't use Google. The question, of course, is whether you and I are going to recognize China's authority over us. Governmental authority, after all, is only valid if those being governed accept it. Or, of course, if it is enforced with a "might makes right" iron hand. Does China have the right to determine what we can see on the Internet? Does it have the right to kill us if we fail to obey?

Anyone have any idea how many U.N. Resolutions and other treaties the U.S. has failed to abide?

This game works both ways, of course. You cheated a little, I think, and gave me "facts" that apply to only one side of the issue. Give me some for the other side and we'll find they are either just as irrelevant as your first three, or are based on unspoken assumptions like your fourth. It's a bit like arguing abortion or capital punishment or a host of other irresolvable issues. People believe what they want to believe. They don't have reasons for their belief, though they like to call them that. They have only justifications.

Supposition and innuendo are not FACTS.

Amen, Denise. And neither are judgements or imagination.
Balladeer
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14 posted 03-08-2003 12:27 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Well, Ron, I'm sorry you consider my facts irrelevant....as far as the fourth, it was in reference to the surrender Iraq agreed to. therefore it is not the refusal to recognize other people's demands on them..it's the refusal to comply with what they had agreed to comply with (and which, incidentally, they are STILL claiming that they are complying with.) I only gave facts for one side because I only see facts for one side. If there are facts for the other I don't know them.

You asked for facts....I supplied them. The next step is to take the facts and derive whatever conclusions or probabilities from them one can.

Hussein has always been a tyrant. He has invaded other countries, used biological weapons on civilians and had an arsenal of WMD yet, until now, we have done nothing.  There is no doubt that 9/11 changed the playing field. Before that we were untouchable. No one had ever attacked the United States, with the exception of Pearl Harbor, which is outside of the continental borders. Now they have. We have felt our vulnerability. We know that there are groups out there who will infiltrate our borders and kill us. We know that terrorist groups have been inspired by our vulnerability and that the chance of further attacks are possible, even probable.
It is the administration's decision to neutralize these threats before they can act. It is their view that a tyrant with a stockpile of biological weapons who hates the United States and is sympathetic to terrorist groups presents a threat to the US and they intend to neutralize that threat before it can happen. If they were to do nothing and Hussein were linked to a future attack on the US the same people who are protesting now would be screaming for his head that he didn't do anything to eliminate that threat before it happened. Who would be the first in line to say, "Gee, I never thought...."? You? Maybe Allen? Probably not. Bush has looked at the facts at hand, weighed probabilities, and planned his course of action in the interests of the United States, not because of oil, not because he's a new warmonger...but to do his best to insure that there is not another 9/11. You may fault him for that if you wish. I don't.

On an interesting sidenote, the German representative (you know, the country that says they are not convinced Hussein has biological weapons) issued a statement today that, if American troops go to Iraq and come under fire, German troops will not enter Iraq to give aid for fear of biological weapons....you gotta smile.
Severn
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15 posted 03-08-2003 12:34 AM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Hey Bal - thank you for proving my point that facts are indeed subjective...

How do you know cancer is cancer exactly? I'm talking real knowledge here...your knowledge comes from the society you live in, its institutions, its ideologies, its philosophy of thought etc. Hey, I agree btw - the woman has cancer, not a curse lol...

but this is my point exactly: 'if you can't distinguish which is fact between an ancestor's evil spell and a medically-tested cancer diagnosis'..

Yes, we can distinguish the 'fact' here - us, in our society. 'They' can't. To people who do not live with Western biomed as their medical frame, of course it's a fact that their loved ones have been cursed. (Interestingly, the Haitians blamed the Aids epidemic on that...) Of course this is not the point...the point is only that facts are subjective.

We all see the world in different ways. One man's fact is another's one's humbo jumbo.

The fact that Bush is leading this war - and perhaps prematurely - is fact to me. I call this fact for several reasons, primarily because my information is gathered from internationally reputable news sources.

It is also fact, to me, that in today's Western society (and others) war is the answer that is viewed as inevitable. Grin and bear it and so on.

It is fact that we haven't developed a better way to deal with these kinds of situations yet.

It is emotional opinion that I doubt we're trying very hard.

K

[This message has been edited by Severn (03-08-2003 12:35 AM).]

Balladeer
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16 posted 03-08-2003 12:35 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

oh, by the way....you said...

"Give me just one indisputable, completely logical fact to support either side of the issue"

then....

"You cheated a little, I think, and gave me "facts" that apply to only one side of the issue"

You see anything strange there or am I just having trouble understanding English tonight?
JP
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17 posted 03-08-2003 12:39 AM       View Profile for JP   Email JP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit JP's Home Page   View IP for JP

I think our warmongering president stated his position well in his news conference.  He took an oath to uphold the constitution and to support and defend our great country.  He believes Saddam is a threat to our peace and well being.  His staff and many around the world believe the same.  He is making the decisions he feels are right and necessary to protect our country and the rest of the world.  We can second guess him, but the only way to know if he is right or wrong is to jump into the future along two separate timelines, one with and one without war.  Go into the future and see how it all turns out, then come back and let the rest of us know so we can move along with no mistakes...

Yesterday is ash, tomorrow is smoke; only today does the fire burn.
Nil Desperandum, Fata viem invenient

Opeth
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18 posted 03-08-2003 07:57 AM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Balladeer, JP, and Denise ~ I could not agree more.

Too many people on the "left side" of this issue reason with emotion rather than fact and logic, and utilize ad hominem when reaching a conclusion - mainly their dislike for Bush.

I do not want war. After the dust settled yesterday, the U.S. and her allies, have agreed to give Saddam til the 17th of March, I believe, to finally come clean.

To prevent a war against his nation, to put the lives of his people ahead of his personal ambition, to fully comply with the UN resolutions, to save his own hide, all he has to do is comply.
Brad
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19 posted 03-08-2003 10:45 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I was going to stay out of this one. I tried, I really did. The only thing I was thinking about was the facticity of facts and I was going to post that in the philosophy forums. The problem with facts is primarily two-fold: they become extremely hard to pin down and they aren't compelling.

Example: Don't go near that cliff, it's two hundred feet down. You might fall and kill yourself.

Answer: Don't tell me what to do. I know that. I won't fall, I'm not stupid enough to do that, and if I do fall that's what I wanted to do anyway.

----------------
Opeth,

While I agree that the Left has said some pretty stupid things -- Bush and Hussein are not morally, politically, or personality-wise the same -- I fail to see how that defeats any arguments that might be legitimate (more later). The Left and emotionalism are not synonymous, anymore than the Right and jingoism are synonymous.

Or are you really going to tell me that those on the 'right side' never use emotion to persuade people?

----------------------------

Michael,

It's not so much that the facts you give are irrelevant as that they never have been in dispute -- more or less. They were not in dispute in 2000. The belief then was that containment was the correct action. That he has not used any of these weapons on another country in twelve years is just as much an argument that containment works as it is an argument for war now. The change in thinking occurred as a result of 911.

The change then is not based on new facts that have come to light, it is based on a change in belief as the result of an event, not the event, a fact, itself (I'll add an aside on this later).  It is now believed that America is vulnerable, but the idea that America was invulnerable was a mistaken belief and I can show that with a list of facts if you want.

The advantage of making the argument that he might use them sometime in the future is that you only have to be right once. Of course, weapons of mass destruction may not be important as the weapon of choice on 911 was box cutters (a fact).

---------------

Severn,

Why I think I understand what you mean by subjective fact, I think it's probably better to avoid that usage. Facts are objective in that they are true regardless of what we believe. We call things facts if we inter-subjectively agree on them (and there's the rub). The problem is that people, on all sides of the political spectrum, use the term 'fact' to mean their belief. When you say subjective facts, you mean the way people use the word, but no saying, no statement, no word is a fact. These refer to facts, they aren't facts themselves. But this is tricky, facts are tricky, tricky things.

Needless to say, stating something as a fact is pretty much useless if the opposing party doesn't think it is a fact or, even if they think it is a fact, that it is irrelevant or insignificant to the issue.

An aside: does anybody remember the secretly televised interview of Bin Laden as he laughed and smiled at the fall of the twin towers? In that interview, he said something like, "With my training in engineering, I did not imagine that the twin towers could fall, praise Allah." Now this is all from memory right now so please correct me if I'm wrong, but I remember thinking, "So much for your knowledge of engineering."

But that's not what he thought. He meant that it was factually impossible for the twin towers to fall. So, how did they fall?

God must be on our side.

Facts, by the very nature, are interpretable and that's why they aren't compelling. For while I disagree that facts are subjective, we can have no facts without a point of view.

Huh? What?

But that's another thread.

-------------------

And so, what's my view. Luckily, I found an article that pretty much covers most of what I believe. It snubs the Russians and the French -- getting a little tired of that (though I know another interesting article that points out French bullying in Eastern Europe), but here it is:

   http://slate.msn.com/id/2079678/

author: Fred Kaplan

quote:

It is hard to remember when, if ever, the United States has so badly handled a foreign-policy crisis or been so distrusted by so many friends and foes as a result. I am among those who thought, and still do think, that Colin Powell's U.N. briefing last month made a good case that Iraq remains in "material breach" of its obligations under international law; that it constitutes a menace to its neighbors; that it is hiding, and probably continuing to develop, weapons of mass destruction;


quote:


There may be a case for preventive war, but if the aim of the war is protecting the international order, then that case should be acceptable to the agency that represents the international order. Specifically, if the war is supposed to enforce a U.N. resolution, then the case for war should be acceptable to the United Nations. (Bush implicitly accepted this premise last fall when he took his argument to the United Nations in the first place.)

So far, the administration has failed to make that case. This failure is not simply a matter of French or Russian obstinacy; the United States has not yet convinced even the three-fifths majority in the Security Council (nine out of 15 members) that would be necessary if there were no veto.



And finally,

quote:

What's particularly disturbing about these failures is not so much their legal implications as their political and diplomatic ones. If the administration lacks the acumen or persuasive power to deal with such familiar institutions as the U.N. Security Council or the established governments of France, Germany, Turkey, Russia, Chinaóeven Canadaóthen how is it going to handle Iraq's feuding opposition groups, Kurdish separatists, and myriad ethno-religious factions, to say nothing of the turbulence throughout the region?


I watched a BBC 'town meeting' tonight, a tit for tat 'conversation' between people from Jordan and people from New York (and Ed Koch of all people) on this issue. I found the most interesting comment came from a Briton. He said that the polls are misleading, most Americans are asking the same questions everybody else is:

Are we being a juggernaut?
Shouldn't we listen to others?
Is there another way?
What happens next?

I think that's probably true.

But, you never know, Bush may be right. Let's hope, as JP alludes, that he is if this goes through.

[This message has been edited by Brad (03-08-2003 11:03 AM).]

Ron
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20 posted 03-08-2003 11:10 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Balladeer said:
quote:
You may fault (Bush) for that if you wish. I don't.

You misunderstood, Michael. I wasn't faulting Bush or his Administration. Nor was I faulting those who believe war is the inevitable cost of ousting Hussein. If it sounded that way, it was only because those were the "facts" you gave me. Had you given me different "facts," like perhaps the historical failure of military action against terrorism, it might instead have sounded like I was finding fault with those who believe war is premature, and that too would not have been the case.

Current events are not being driven by facts, but by fear.

One side is afraid of what will happen if we don't act, while the other is afraid of what will happen if we do. Both sides are throwing around "facts" to support what they believe, and apparently forgetting that well-supported opinions are STILL opinions. Both sides are convinced of a future that hasn't happened yet and which, by definition, cannot be a fact. And both sides, it sometimes seems, think that cheap shots are the only way to win an argument they instinctively know can't be won.

I'm not faulting Bush. I'm not faulting those who think the coin toss will come up heads, or those absolutely convinced it will be tails. If I am finding fault with anyone at all, it would be those who think they can take some moral high-ground and utterly dismiss those who disagree with them. I've come to expect a "We're right, you're wrong" mentality, but will never be able to sit back and accept a "We're smart, you're stupid" stance from either side of an important issue. There are some pretty smart people on both sides of this question, with some very smart things to say to us. It might be wise to start listening.

Opeth
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since 12-13-2001
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21 posted 03-08-2003 12:43 PM       View Profile for Opeth   Email Opeth   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Opeth

Brad,

"While I agree that the Left has said some pretty stupid things -- Bush and Hussein are not morally, politically, or personality-wise the same -- I fail to see how that defeats any arguments that might be legitimate (more later)."

~ I'm all for legitimate arguments. From the evidence that I have read, I am still straddling the fence on this issue. I would hope that Saddam would comply with the resolutions. He knows the consequences if he does not comply. The ball is therefore in his court. All he has to do is say, "Uncle."
It is as simple as that.

"The Left and emotionalism are not synonymous, anymore than the Right and jingoism are synonymous."

Jingoism, now that is new term for me. I disagree. And not only that, the experience I have on this matter, it is not an opinion. It is a fact, that the "left" bases their argument moreso on emotion, than the "right."

"Or are you really going to tell me that those on the 'right side' never use emotion to persuade people?"

~ Did I ever say, "never"?  No. Of course, there are "polarizers" on both sides of the issues who base their opinions on emotions, not facts, but that does not mean one choice or the other is not more of a legitimate choice.

What I hear on most websites is this...

1. Damn republicans, all they want is war!
2. Bush is a warmonger!
3. Bush is doing this for oil!
4. Bush is lying.

ad nauseum...

That is the main argument that the peace lovers use, from what I have read, which in pseudoreasoning, is the fallacy known as ad hominem.

Not facts, but emotional dislike for Bush and republicans. Also, I should include, anti-trust of the American Government.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
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22 posted 03-08-2003 01:10 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Ah, but there might be a solution:
http://slate.msn.com/id/2079746/

author: same guy

The problem concerning 1441:

quote:
Paragraph 12 is the kicker. It declares that the Security Council will convene to hear the U.N. inspector's report, "in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security."

The resolution then "recalls, in that context, that the council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of the continued violation of its obligations."

There is some subtle but quite deliberate finessing here. Yes, Iraq "will face serious consequences," but non, the enforcement will not be automatic. The matter must first be taken up by the Security Council, which will "consider" not just "the situation" (vague enough) but also "the need for full compliance." Full compliance, in other words, is not necessarily required. It will be considered "in order to secure international peace and security." This provision doesn't mandate action. Instead it allows a question: Which will more likely promote "peace and security"ógoing to war or continuing the inspections (however limited the results of the latter may be)?


The solution?

quote:

Now that war nears, some members are beginning to propose just such a notion. Canada (though not on the Security Council) has circulated a memo that advocates setting specific timetables and deadlines for Iraqi disarmament. The French, German, and Russian foreign ministers made headlines yesterday by declaring that they "will not let a proposed resolution pass that would authorize the use of force." However, their joint statement also offered a separate plan for obtaining Iraq's "full and effective disarmament." The Security Council, they said, "must specify and prioritize the remaining issues, program by program" and "establish, for each point, detailed time lines." Possibly in response, the U.N. chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, drew up a list of 29 "clusters" of issues that Iraq must resolve, and started to figure out the order in which it must do so.

There is a glaring omission in the foreign ministers' statement: It contains no warning of what the council might do if Iraq fails to address the "remaining issues" or meet the "detailed time lines." Still, it is a potential step toward seriousness, a possible basis for compromise. Will Bush at least examine the notion, test its depths? If he does, and then negotiates the missing clause (outlining what will happen if Iraq fails), it could be the meaningful deal that 1441 wasn't.


A stab in the dark, I know. But a win/win situation if it works. The US and UK could claim that it was the immediate threat of force that caused the disarmament and everybody else could claim that the UN still has real utility.

Everybody still matters.

No, I don't think it's going to happen, but why not grasp for straws when people are going to die.

[This message has been edited by Brad (03-08-2003 01:20 PM).]

hush
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since 05-27-2001
Posts 1693
Ohio, USA


23 posted 03-08-2003 02:40 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

JP said:

'We know who and what Saddam is.  We know what he is cabable of.'

Sharon said:

'I do believe Saddam is a terrible man.'

Sharon speaks for herself, and she says that this is what she believes. I don't agree with her, in the sense that I don't believe anybody is inherently terrible. But she has a right to her view, and I have to respect it.

JP, on the other hand is speaking for some unnamed collective. Who are 'we'? Do you mean Americans? If so, watch it. Don't tell me what I know.

Are you speaking for the people who agree with you, that war is necessary? So, let me ask you this... how exactly do you 'know' what Saddam is capable of? Is this based on his past actions?

How do you know he isn't capable of completely changing his course of action, realizing what a bad guy he's been, and cooperating?

I mean, my father used to get drunk every day. I never would have considered him capable of quitting... but lo and behold, the man is now a diabetic and he never drinks.

I had serious behavioral and emotional problems as an adolescent, and I was holding about a 1.2 after my freshamn year. I graduated with a (hard-earned) 3.0, and now I'm holding a 4.0 at a challenging private school... and while I can't claim a perfect emotional balance (can any of us?) I think I've managed to straighten up... however, when I was 14, nobody saw that coming. I was a future women's prison inmate, a failure, a go-nowhere.

Somebody else mentioned this... but your 'factual' projection of what somebody is capable of is inherently flawed. Humans have an amazing ability to turn their lives around. Do I think Saddam will all of a sudden befriend us and be a 'good guy?' No... but that's my opinion. I'm not a fortune teller, and neither are you, or the Bush administration.

Of course... why the assumption that we are the 'good guys?' Ron pointed out that some of Balladeer's points about Iraq apply easily to the U.S. So by what moral authority can we disarm Saddam? I though Brad's excerpts were really interesting, as well... our argument to attack Iraq is based on their breaches of U.N. mandates... but the U.N. isn't really giving us the go-ahead either... what makes it okay for the U.S. to be aggressive against the U.N.'s wishes, while Iraq can't?

Severn's point about subjective truths are interesting, but I see why Balladeer can't relate to it- to us, it sounds silly. It's easy to think of an aboriginal culture as less advanced that Euro-American culture and knowledge. But what about our Euro-American heritage of 'truth'?

Until about the last century or so, really whacky medical treatments were commonplace in Europe and America... bloodletting, leeches, using poisons as a laxative... Now, there were some much more effective folk cures around, but these were dismissed and oppressed, first as 'witchery' during the inquisition, and later on as inneffective as 'heroic medicine' appeared as a commodity.

Now, St. Hildegard of Bingen wrote a book during the twelfth century, listing healing properties of different plants and trees. Derivitaves of these are used today in modern medicine- yet, they were lost for centuries in favor of church- and socially-mandated healing practices.

This is a case in which the objective (and easily quantifiable) truth was suppressed in favor of Roman Catholic 'truths'... for centuries! Even when Protestantism emerged, they carried on the tradition of ridiculous treatments- because folk medicine didn't produce immediate (profitable) results. Elements of this can still be seen in surgery-pushing doctors...

People who spoke out against these 'truths' were burned, hung, or socially ostracized. This isn't a matter of an 'uncivilized' tribe caliming a belief we consider ridiculous... this is a matter of the ridiculous completely hijacking the truth, destroying it, and implementing their own ineffective (but don't forget profitable) replacement.

Severn's point about truths being socially conditioned is very pertinent, I think. We are conditioned to believe that a dictatorship is inherently wrong, or evil, because of our relatively democratic culture. Yes, I believe tyranny is terrible, and wrong, but do we have the right to decide that for the rest of the world? Do we have the right to impose our beliefs as undeniable fact?

Interesting thread...

[This message has been edited by hush (03-08-2003 02:44 PM).]

Local Rebel
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since 12-21-1999
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24 posted 03-08-2003 03:54 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

I was with Brad in hoping to stay out of this one in favor of working on some overdue replies on some other threads, but there are a couple of areas where I think I can contribute.

I agree with Deer that it does absolutely no good to try to persuade anyone on this issue -- so I'm not even going to discuss that aspect of the thread -- there is a more compelling issue here.

Ron said

quote:

I'm not faulting Bush. I'm not faulting those who think the coin toss will come up heads, or those absolutely convinced it will be tails. If I am finding fault with anyone at all, it would be those who think they can take some moral high-ground and utterly dismiss those who disagree with them. I've come to expect a "We're right, you're wrong" mentality, but will never be able to sit back and accept a "We're smart, you're stupid" stance from either side of an important issue. There are some pretty smart people on both sides of this question, with some very smart things to say to us. It might be wise to start listening.



Unfortunately I think it goes way beyond that. Tonight something very telling is going to happen.  I agree with JP when he iterates his revulsion at people who use this subject to demonize Bush.  

Maybe I can speak with a little moral authority here because I think everyone knows I have no affinity for this President even if he is my moron.

It is absolutely ridiculous, and maybe even seditious, for American Citizens to make a claim that their President is more dangerous to the world than Saddam Hussein. But I don't want to go into the whys. It's disingenuous for a number of reasons -- but I'm not for silencing them or throwing them out of shopping malls for wearing T-Shirts.

On the other side of the coin --tonight at 5PM(E)-- making his debut on national television (MSNBC) is the notorious Micheal Savage.  This is a man who says the left wing of politics in this country is the enemy, that they are a greater threat to the country than Saddam Hussein or Osama Bin Laden. This is the man who, on the day of Fred Rogers death, dedicated his radio talk show to the topic of whether or not Mr. Rogers was an appropriate role model for boys.  And his voice is resonating with Americans.

People have been growing more and more entrenched in their ideology,  more polarized, and it's dangerous.  People can't just disagree anymore.  If you disagree with me I'm supposed to see you as my enemy.

This disgusts me.

Nixon and McGovern were friends.  This is NIXON I'm talking about.  

After Columbine the left screamed about gun control and the NEA being full of leftists helped implement "Zero Tolerance" policies in the schools to the point of expelling children with nail clippers -- or in one case an Eagle Scout about to graduate with honors who mistakenly left a butter knife in the bed of his truck with some camping gear after a weekend in the woods.

Yet -- these people say that containment is ok for Saddam Hussein.

After Reno's Raiders stormed into Waco to disarm David Koresh the right wingers started bantering about phrases like "jack booted thugs" and that he had a right to bear (illegal) arms.

One of them even blew up the Murrah building over it.

These people can't wait to go disarm Saddam Hussein.

Are these people dealing in facts or ideologies?  Was Europe ravaged by wars over ideology, religion, and land disputes for centuries?

Are we at a critical point in our nation's history when we can't have discourse without malice?

On a side note...

For the first time in history France, Germany, and Russia agree on something.

Spooky?

[This message has been edited by Local Rebel (03-08-2003 04:00 PM).]

 
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