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Old 10-06-2007, 03:19 AM   #56
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
First of all, you brought forth an idea of collateral damage being not as bad as torture, which I never put forth.
Actually, I did not. If you go back and read the post I said:

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I'm not sure how one condones collateral damage while snubbing torture.
Which does not mean that collateral damage is not as bad as torture. It means that it is as bad as torture.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
But, anyways, I have been answering your want of clarification for over a week now. Perhaps you remember my little piece about collateral damage being most often either unavoidable or unknown until after the fact.
IIRC, that's not how you posted it, but regardless of the words used, the thrust of the message was that collateral damage is an unavoidable cost of doing war. I agree that this is the case when you drop less-than-100% precise munitions on targets, accidentally kill civilians that you believe to be insurgents because they failed to respond to verbal commands, etc. But what this still doesn't tell me at the end of the day is how one condones collateral damage while snubbing torture.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
You said you attack contradictions, but you just made one yourself. You said you never said I didn't say that I condoned collateral damage (lol, mouthful), but you just said:

I'm not sure how one condones collateral..... -snip-

Who are you talking about there? Nobody did.
Then perhaps you can put this original quote in context for me then? Here it is once more:
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Oh, yea, Achilles. That totally compares to taking people who are KNOWN to be civilians and torturing them and killing them brutally. Yea.
Which was your reply to my pointing out that we drop bombs on Iraqi civilians (not intentionally, of course, hence why it's known as collateral damage). I hope this helps to clarify the discrepancy.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Instead of saying all over again what was said just above by Totenkopf, I will refer you to what he said very well. I agree - It's just too bad that you find it ok to bash my source by his connections or suppposed beliefs, but you fail to examine your own source.
I don't see Totenkopf's posts, so I'll need a quote if there is something that you would like for me to address. As for the 2nd part, if you can find fault with any source I provide, you are most warmly invited to share your concerns with me. In turn, I will point out any concerns that I have with sources that you provide.

In the mean time, we still don't have any evidence that Saddam had the WMDs that we said that we had evidence for. I'm not sure how I would source a "no evidence" argument. Since you are the one claiming that he did have them, it would seem that the burden of proof is on you to support your claim. That's not me; that's just how the burden of proof works.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Er... maybe in your opinion. First of all, he had the plans for one, and secondly, he was building other weapons to try and move against his neighbors. It's not just about a bomb, it's everything else Saddam was doing. Which we warned him not to do, but he ignored.
Well that's a different story and not the rationale that we were originally provided for our justification to invade.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
You asked why we were in Iraq, and then asked why we weren't in Afghanistan where the al-qaeda training camps were, as I remember....
I repeat: Please show me where I stated that we weren't in Afghanistan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Nice "spin" on discrediting the guy. I'm waiting for you to come up with something else other than just calling the guy a "neo-con think tank". Which, just an FYI, isn't a very strong argument. Now, just what could I say about your "sources"? I'm sure I could give Russert and Charles Ferguson various baseless attributes as well.
I'm not sure how it's spin if it's true. And just for clarification, I didn't say he was a neo-con think tank, I pointed out that his neo-con think tank was a neo-con think tank. They have all flavors of think tanks, the one that he founded and helps to run just happens to have a neo-conservative agenda.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I fail to see the analogy.
Well, you're using a neo-conservative publication which shares ownership with the same neo-conservative think tank which built the framework for the justification for the invasion of Iraq as a source for how our invasion was justified. I suppose if we wanted an additional level of verification of these statements we could have asked the Vice President, The Secretary of Defense, or the Deputy Secretary of Defense for their assessments, but it would seem that they are all members of the same think-tank, so that doesn't really do us any good.

Also, the aforementioned Deputy Secretary of Defense was a gentleman named Paul Wolfowitz. Paul Wolfowitz drafted something known as the Wolfowitz Doctrine, which was the foundation for the policies put forth by the PNAC.

You're free to research all of this yourself and draw your own conclusions if you're concerned that I am somehow attempting to spin this or fabricate any part of it. It's all public record.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I see. I hope that is not your way of discrediting info, by bashing everything connected to it.
Yes sir, it simply known as skepticism. If I "bash" it and it falls apart, then I don't believe it. If I "bash" it and it stands up to scrutiny, then I place a small measure of reliability in it.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Lol. Says the man who is right now, believing "No End in Sight" and Tim Russert. I wonder what is basis of faith in these sources is? I'd like to figure out that one. I guess I just mean: do you think that they might, just might be some bias in your sources as well? If it is the key to critical thinking, I would hope you would apply it to yourself as well.
Well, perhaps we could start by examining each of the specific concerns that you have with any source that I have provided and take it from there. It's obvious that you're incredulous, and I don't fault you for that, however the lack of specificity makes it difficult to nail down what your precise arguments are.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
So, let me get this straight. You are accusing them of celebrating the murder of thousands of innocent Americans?
"Celebrating" as in cake and ice cream with silly hats? No. Happy that they just happened to get the catastrophe that they said that they would need to fast-track their agenda? Yes, I imagine they were very happy indeed. And that it happened exactly one year after they published the paper asking for it was just a bonus.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And, just to let you know, I don't see this as any more than another weak attempt to smear someone in connection with the evidence I presented.
You're welcome to see it however you would like.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I don't really think I need to. At this point in our discussion, I think I'll let other people make the judgement on your decisions regarding my source, and your "reasons" for them.
Sounds good. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
It is rather hard to take this seriously. Your statement is almost funny, if you look at it. You talk about "some sort of evidence that should cause a reasonable person to question the validity of the information presented". So this method is all well and good - but shall we look at your example of how to do this?

Here it is: You point out that a good example of this superior type of reasoning was making a statement of how he was a "mouth piece of a neo-con think tank."

So, is calling someone names (i.e. a mouthpiece) and smearing their connections the new way of discrediting evidence?

In fact, it's even funnier when you consider that you have no evidence for this first "evidence". All you said for your reason of your accusation was: Kristol founded an organization that made some comment that (you think) meant they were celebrating on 9/11.

I think most would agree that your "example" or your reasoning method is, well.... a little weak, to say the least.
Hmmm...well there's a lot here.

Yes, I pointed out that the source you provided is owned by a neo-conservative that also founded a neo-conservative think tank, and that this source frequently acts as a mouthpiece for the think tank. Is any part of this untrue?

Second, "mouthpiece" is not a pejorative.
Quote:
: one that expresses or interprets another's views : SPOKESMAN
Third, I'm not "smearing" their relationship. I'm only pointing out that it exists and therefore calls into question the journalistic integrity of the publication itself. Doesn't say out right that it's garbage; it simply calls it into question.

Fourth, I have no evidence that Bill Kristol founded the Weekly Standard and the PNAC?
Quote:
The Weekly Standard was founded in September 1995 by William Kristol, the son of neoconservative intellectual Irving Kristol and a former aide to Dan Quayle when he was vice president.
Link
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William Kristol is editor of The Weekly Standard, as well as chairman and co-founder of the Project for the New American Century.
Link
It's public record, sir. I have no need to make it up.

Fifth, the PNAC published a paper in September of 2000. In it, the authors made the following statement:
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Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event like a new Pearl Harbor. (page 51)
Link
Again, public record so no fabrication necessary on my part.

So please be so kind as to point out which part of what I said was "weak". Thanks in advance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
But I will rephrase. What are you pretending is not happening?
To the best of my knowledge, my statement had nothing to do with me not pretending. Do you believe that civilian women and children are being killed by American forces in Iraq?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I was asking you if you could explain why I would believe the movie, to put it differently.
You might not. I was simply inviting you to see it for yourself before deciding that none of what it said was true.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Because the director Charles Ferguson is really just a usual war-hating liberal who had the usual indoctrination through college, where he was most likely taught by biased liberals.
And your evidence for any of these stereotypes being accurate or true?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Not quite. But we got there by ourselves. We don't depend on people to tell us what we should do and shouldn't do. I'll explain more:
Please let me know where I can find this additional explanation. I am unable to locate it now. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I hope that is not want you see America as doing.
At least in part, yes.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
But if you want us to do business, than I agree. Let's do business - lets take care of these terrorists like we know we can, but haven't put our full force into.
And in so doing make more terrorist, just like we made the last batch. Except this time, highly educated and in bed with countries that do have access to nuclear weapons like Pakistan.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
But, let me say this. We don't need other countries to tell us what is right or wrong. To use an analogy like you did, it is like letting the other kids in the playground decide what you do, whether it is right or not. No, you do what is right regardless of what any other third-world country or other thinks. You don't decide not to do something because of their opinion.
I think you might be missing the point. It's not that we need other countries to tell us what's right and wrong. We're a big boy country now and we can figure out "right and wrong" all on our own. And if we continue to do wrong in the interest of being "Number One", then we cannot call ourselves leaders and we cannot claim that we extend our influence via the example that we set.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I'm really glad your not in charge of this kind of thing, because that is not how you defend a country unless you are completely hemmed in.
I acknowledge that this is your opinion.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I will, again, refer you to what Totenkopf said.
Again, you'll need to quote his post if there is something you would like for me to address. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
No we don't. We take out who we have to, and those guys are going to have a much easier time if they do.
Right and then live with the consequences.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Are you suggesting that we not drop bombs on any targets unless there are absolutely zero civilians or "maybe civilians" near the target?
I am suggesting that this would be one way to eliminate collateral damage if one were so inclined to do so.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I'm interested to hear your views on World War I and II.
Fire up a thread and I'll be more than happy to join you.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Several of the prominent - or not - people on your "side" (for lack of a better word), to put it bluntly.
And what is "my side"? Am I to be indiscriminately burdened with arguments made by people other than myself?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Exactly. They are a small guerilla force. Why would they sacrifice members to blow up perhaps a dozen troops? That is not how they operate. Otherwise, it's going to be a really short war.
You are aware that this is precisely what is going on over there, correct? They blow themselves up and try to take as many infidels with them as they can. Martyrdom is sacred in islam.

And Viet Cong did the same during Viet Nam. Ho Chi Minh said that we could kill 10 of his for every one of our but they would still win. The war lasted for about 15 years, cost our country millions (if not billions) of dollars, and took the lives of 50,000 american troops before we finally had to leave because we had been routed out.

Granted, not the same conflict, but I think there is a little bit of history repeating going on here.

Looks like there was some "fun with tags" below. I'll try to clean it up. My apologies if I inadvertently miss anything.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I do? Lol. I never remember saying that, but it doesn't matter, b/c its not like I don't agree with that somewhat.
Well at least that seems to be your position. If it is not, then my apologies.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Oh, and I thought you said that it was the people over their had justification to hate us and want to suicide bomb us?
Yes, I believe I did state that. Doesn't mean that I think that they should though or that I like that they are. Same thing goes for us with our sanctimonious "war on terror".

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I'd love to believe him. But strangely, his place on my trusted source list falls just short.
Fair enough.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
They hated us long before then, man, it's been like this for a while. It doesn't help when half of the religious leaders are preaching the idea of "convert or die" to the masses.
Long before when?
Also, why do you think there has been a resurgence of islamic fundamentalism for the past 80 years?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And that is ok with you? Because it is "our" fault?
Is what ok with me? The attacks of September 11th?
No, that's not ok with me. I'm not sure how that absolves our government (past and present) of our involvment in events leading up to it though (i.e. stationing troops in Saudi Arabia, supporting dictators, etc). Can't necessarily draw little black hats on all of them if they are "getting us back" for what we did.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And so the proper action is to bomb buildings and kill civilians? What?
Proper? Who's argument is this?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Oh, and I didn't miss your little "devil" part, of "figuratively but maybe literally". So, now you are calling America the devil - or very close. I honestly hope I misunderstood you.
You probably did. islamic fundies refer to the US as "The Great Satan". Since the king was considered to be partners with us, I imagine there was both a figurative and literal bent to how that was interpretted.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I'm not even going to try and get to the issue of stationing troops yet, because I think that this issue should be resolved first.
Erm...but keeping our troops there and sending more...er...doesn't...resolve it. It makes it worse. That's my whole point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I meant every word of it. We need to end this "lifestyle" of suicide bombing and hating all Western Powers a.k.a "infidels". Otherwise, more Americans will die.
And we do that...how? Kill everyone that dislikes us? That list is going to continue to get longer, not shorter.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Before I just let your previous quote speak for itself (at this point I don't think we'll convince each other of anything on this specific issue), I would like to ask you this:

What should we do? Take our beating?
In moments like these, I like to ask myself: What would jesus do?
Now, I imagine that statement is probably going to tweak a few people, but before they snip it/petition to have it snipped, I'd like for them to answer it for themselves (and me too, if you're so inclined).

Wasn't part of jesus' message to love your enemy, turn the other cheek, take a beating for the greater good? It seems that there's some wisdom in the jesus story regardless of whether or not you believe it to be true, don't you think.

And if we know that this is what jesus would do and part of being a christian is to be more christ-like, then how can we claim that America is christian nation?

But religious philosophy aside and pragmatism back on the front burner: I think we take our enemy's word at face value and assume that they might be a little more inclined to leave us the hell alone if we removed our christian troops from their islamic holy lands. Maybe we tell Osama, "Hey, we're pulling our guys out, but if you come near us or any of our allies, we'll nuke you back to the stone age you love so much". But then again, maybe that will never happen because Iraq has the 2nd largest oil reserves in the world and we are a nation addicted to oil (source: the guy who's family made it's fortune in oil and his vice president, the other oil guy).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
As before, this is something else that I will let other people make the judgement, because there's not much else I could say right now. (short of flaming or some other pointless action)
Fair enough.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
How far are you willing to go, hmm? When does it become "all right" for America to go to war?
The short answer is: when we are justified to do so. And preferably when the war has been approved by Congress, unlike in this situation where they voted to abdicate their exclusive right to approve war to the Executive Branch, thereby circumventing every balance of power laid out by the Framers in our Constitution.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I really don't care. I was wondering, however, how you got your idea of those wars. I wasn't splitting hairs - just trying to clarify exactly what your opinion of those wars were.
I hope I have been able to do so. If not, please let me know and I'll be happy to try to clarify further.

I believe the rest of this is a response to Mimartin (and maybe others), so I'll step out.

Thanks for your response.

Last edited by Achilles; 10-06-2007 at 02:46 PM. Reason: spelling
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