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Old 10-06-2007, 11:54 PM   #60
RobQel-Droma
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
You misunderstood me. I was not saying that you believed that, I was just saying that nobody had said anything like that before you asked me "how one condones collateral damage while snubbing torture." So I was saying that you were the first one to suggest that something like that had been said.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
You can remove the parts I put in red, because they really are just your own beefs about what you see the army as doing in Iraq. If you take them out, you get the real idea of it:

"...this is the case when you drop munitions on targets...."

And that by itself is true. It happens in all wars.

Oh, and everything is less-than-100% accurate.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
But what this still doesn't tell me at the end of the day is how one condones collateral damage while snubbing torture.
You are saying it again.

Who condoned collateral damage while snubbing torture?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
I was not saying one was ok and one was not. I was merely pointing out that torturing and brutally killing civilians is a slightly worse crime than dropping bombs on military targets and accidentally killing civilians. As you say below:

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Exactly, we don't intentionally drop bombs on civilians.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Seeing as how Totenkopf's posts are just a little below mine, I'm not sure what the problem is with you going and looking at them yourself.

As for what you said after that, well; does it depend on what I say? It's not like I would say anything that would convince you probably, so basically you come out ahead, because you don't seem to want to take the time to examine them yourself. By your own ideals.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Do you have the other people in this thread blocked right now or something? Because I'm pretty sure I referred you to one of the other people posting right now who brought up the issue of Tim Russert.

Oh, and FYI, WMDs are not necessarily nukes. What do you think Saddam used on the Kurds in the North during that one incident where he gassed large mass of Kurdish Iraqis? Gas can be WMD as well. In fact, there was evidence that Saddam used chemical warfare in the Gulf War as well.

Just like Bill Clinton said, "We know they've got weapons of mass destruction." (perhaps not the exact quote, but close enough)

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Well that's a different story and not the rationale that we were originally provided for our justification to invade.
And your point is?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I repeat: Please show me where I stated that we weren't in Afghanistan.
Dude, it's not that hard to go back through your own posts. And I repeat - if I'm wrong, I apologize, but I remember you quoting something like:

"Then why aren't we in Afghanistan? I thought that's were the al-qaeda training camps are?"

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
It's "true"? Perhaps. Circular? Yes. He's a neo-con think tank because he's a neo-con think tank? True because you said it?

It's nice wording though. It tends to give the person a negative attribute by using the words "mouthpiece" and etc. It’s much different if you just say that they have an organization that is neo-conservative in its beliefs.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
That is a lot by itself. First of all, if it is indeed (as you put it) a "neo-conservative publication", why is that a problem to begin with? Does that somehow smear his name?

And secondly, your "evidence" is that he shares ownership of a company that you say, is a "neo-conservative think tank" (again, so what - you can word it however you want) and then make the claim that they helped orchestrate the invasion of Iraq. How did they do that?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Right, I see. So a conservative think tank, as you call it, has no value compared to your very reliable sources? Apparently you can now call people a member of this think tank and immediately discredit anything they have to say.

Do you have anything that actually combats the evidence that this "think tank" provided, regardless of their supposed motives?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Cool. Can't trust him now either I guess.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
No, you can claim that it is all truth. And it is, that is the beauty of it. But you can now get away with giving them this persona of being some kind of mouthpiece for a strongly biased group - if you can word it right. And its all "public record"!

But first of all, they don't have flashing red signs by their heads saying "conservative think tank". Just because you seem to feel that your view of them somehow makes them unworthy for you to listen to them, you don't bother to actually try and disprove the info on Saddam provided by Kristol.

You just "identify" these "biases." Which I could easily do for Ferguson - if you don't believe that he doesn't have bias, then there's not much I could say. This conversation isn't going anywhere if you want to keep on with this slightly hypocritical stance.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Bash away. Maybe you could convince someone else besides yourself that my source has fallen apart.

I didn't know skepticism disproved evidence, either.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Lack of specificity? I don't think there is any question of what I am saying. Why don't you go see if there is anything similar to what you have accused Kristol of for your sources?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
"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.
Splitting hairs here, but I don't care. But, you said it. You imagine that is what they are doing. And that is where your "evidence" for this is rather wobbly. Most of it is based on the fact that these people were "happy" about 9/11.

What do you think? That they had magic powers to cause 9/11 because of their own agenda?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
You're welcome to see it however you would like.
As are you. I just wonder how other people will see it.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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?
You could argue that it is "true", but it is kinda easy to pin a name on a group or individual and call it "true" because of their political beliefs.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Second, "mouthpiece" is not a pejorative.
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: one that expresses or interprets another's views : SPOKESMAN
And you have evidence that Kristol's belief is not his own?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
So? He's a conservative. Does that mean it calls what he says into question?

And if that is all it does, why have you completely ignored the publication because of this "question"?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Fourth, I have no evidence that Bill Kristol founded the Weekly Standard and the PNAC?
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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.
I wasn't talking about that. Again, you have “public record”, but that isn’t the issue? I won't repeat myself on this, as I addresed this above.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Again, what is the problem here? All they say is that a process of transformation will likely be slow (true) unless it perhaps is given a kick in the pants by some kind of catastrophic (notice the word) event. (also true to some extent)

And from this, you get the idea that they were happy on 9/11? What?

So how does this throw the PNAC in a bad light, using something that is actually a proven fact?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
So please be so kind as to point out which part of what I said was "weak". Thanks in advance.
Because your so-called "reason" for this evidence being meaningless simply comes down to the fact that you disagree with the organization and think (without any solid proof) that they celebrated on 9/11.

Basically, you could have just said that they were conservatives, and so had conservative beliefs - or possible bias. Which is nothing, because everyone has some measure of bias. Including your sources.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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?
You said that you were also "not pretending any of this was happening."

And yes, I do believe that some have died.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
You might not. I was simply inviting you to see it for yourself before deciding that none of what it said was true.
Would you mind investigating the report I brought forth before judging it simply by Kristol, as well?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
And your evidence for any of these stereotypes being accurate or true?
Apparently you didn't read the fine print below what I said - I was joking.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Please let me know where I can find this additional explanation. I am unable to locate it now. Thanks.
Just look a little farther down....

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Originally Posted by Achilles
At least in part, yes.
Where?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Again, we come to it. Don't kill the terrorists because we'll "make" more. Rather an interesting viewpoint. I'm not sure what practical good it will do us, unless you want more innocent Americans to die.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
No, I don't think I did. Perhaps you think we are just doing what we are doing in the interest to be "Number One" (especially since right now, I think we are pretty weak in strength as a country - not military strength, mind you). But there are many who think that we should not do things that would bring the "scorn of the world community upon us".

Well, you know what? Screw them. As I said, they don't cause us to change our actions because they dissaprove.

To be fair, though, I can see why you believe what you do. I agree in some parts; we shouldn't act arbitrarily, but we should do what we have to do, regardless of what the "world community" thinks. We are a superpower, after all, and so we are the ones in charge. Not to abuse that power, but to be the leaders and set and example, like you said.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I acknowledge that this is your opinion.
Go talk to someone who has military experience and you might find that it’s not just my opinion. It’s rather naïve to try and defend a nation by setting our army around it and hoping they can stop stuff before it gets to us.

If you had a rival village attacking your village, what would you do? Set your soldiers around it in a big circle, 6 men deep? And try and stop the bad guys from getting through? No, they would just keep coming, because you’re not making any progress.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Again, you'll need to quote his post if there is something you would like for me to address. Thanks.
Again, why it is so hard for you to do it yourself?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Right and then live with the consequences.
You’d rather we had no blood on our hands (whether it was guilty or not) so our “conscience” would be “clear”? At the cost of more attacks, just so you can feel good about us?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
I am suggesting that this would be one way to eliminate collateral damage if one were so inclined to do so.
Just like starving yourself would be a good way to lose weight.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Fire up a thread and I'll be more than happy to join you.
Since I am a little busy to do that right now, perhaps you could just give me a quick overview of what you think our foreign policy is – and what we are doing wrong.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
And what is "my side"? Am I to be indiscriminately burdened with arguments made by people other than myself?
No, no.

I’m not necessarily talking about you. Just that some who have similar political beliefs do bash them for “crimes” they committed. Like Mr. foolproof, for example.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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. Martydom is scared in islam.
Yes, but you still have not told me how they would be considered a “small guerilla force”. It would be more accurate to call them a “large terrorist organization.” As I said, a small guerilla group would not sacrifice members to take out a few enemy troops. Unless it had plenty to spare, in which case it would not be small; not to mention that they are not very guerilla-like in their structure at that point.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
And Viet Cong did the same during Viet Nam. Ho Chi Mihn 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.
And this is relevant to small guerilla groups how?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Granted, not the same conflict, but I think there is a little bit of history repeating going on here.
Perhaps in a limited way. I’m still not sure what comparison you were trying to make.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Well at least that seems to be your position. If it is not, then my apologies.
Its ok, I think I might agree with that anyways.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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".
You kinda confused me here. So are you saying that we are justified to go attack them, but you don’t like it?

Secondly, how are they justified to kill innocent civilians? I don’t think anything could justify the purposeful planning to suicide bomb an area containing civilians who have never done anything to these guys.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Long before when?
Long before you think it has.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Also, why do you think there has been a resurgence of islamic fundamentalism for the past 80 years?
I dunno, why?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Most of this seems to be based on your opinion that we started this all, which I don’t agree with. If you could tell me what very first action (in your opinion) we took to “make” these people hate us, that would be great. Thanks.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Proper? Who's argument is this?
I hope its not yours.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
By you or by them? Oh, and if this is true, you wouldn’t put “literally” in there; I think that it still falls under the “figuratively” category, right?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
Erm...but keeping our troops there and sending more...er...doesn't...resolve it. It makes it worse. That's my whole point.
I was referring to your point about us stationing troops there and starting this, which I wasn’t going to talk about yet since I was focusing elsewhere first. But, again…

What do you propose we do instead?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
And we do that...how? Kill everyone that dislikes us? That list is going to continue to get longer, not shorter.
I don’t have a problem with people disliking us. I have a problem with people disliking us and going to great efforts to kill innocent civilians.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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).
Yep, its tweaking me already.

Just a question: are you actually a Christian? Because if you aren’t, well, it would be kinda strange that you would use this….

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Um...

Ok….

So we let our civilians get killed by terrorists for a while for the greater good of…. Er…. Something?

Huh?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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?
This is really tweaking me now.

But, I will stay polite. First of all, this is not “Jesus” and “what would Jesus do”. People abuse this a lot. (and a lot of them aren’t even Christians) But this whole thing about Jesus – how does that even apply? If Jesus zapped back down to Earth for some coffee one day, and saw a terrorist bomber prepare to blow up some people, do you think he would let it happen?

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
You know, that’s funny – I thought we weren’t even in the Middle East when Osama hit the World Trade Centers.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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".
I like the last part, but, the first part of it still irks me, as I have explained before.

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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).
Yes, that would make sense as our whole economy is powered by oil.

I doubt that it is a matter of “those guys” fortunes….

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Originally Posted by Achilles
The short answer is: when we are justified to do so.
And that is where it becomes very subjective. In other words, when you feel like it’s ok for us to go to war. Not even if they attack us, we still have to be “right.”

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Originally Posted by Achilles
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.
Well, that would be their decision, right?

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

Thanks for your response.
Yep, but feel free to step in if you like.

Well, in closing….

I’m just having this vision right now:

“Hey guys, can the bombing mission; it’s over.”
“What? Why?”
“There are civilians within the area that might get hurt. In fact, pack everything up, we’re going home.”
“What about the terrorists?”
“We’re hoping they don’t attack cause we’re leaving. You’re going to defend the Homeland now on our soil.”
“So we’re going to go back and try and shoot some suicide bomber before he blows up an airport at home?”
“Oh, no, you can’t use guns. Have to be careful that you don’t make some other guys mad over here that you killed their buddy, ya know…”

If you get my drift.
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