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Old 10-07-2007, 05:07 AM   #61
Achilles
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
I provided you your own comments. You're still welcome to clarify them if you wish.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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:
They aren't my "beefs" at all. I was simply providing potential causes of collateral damage. Are you saying that these aren't potential causes of collateral damage?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
"...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.
So again, you're stating that collateral damage is an unavoidable cost of doing war. If you're not denying that this is your argument, then I'm not sure what is behind your contention.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
You are saying it again.
Indeed because you still haven't addressed it.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Who condoned collateral damage while snubbing torture?
Until you clarify your comments, I am still considering the possibility that you did. Since you won't clarify your comment, I really can't know for sure.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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:
Thank you for clarifying. How killing civilians via torture worse than killing civilians via bombs?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Exactly, we don't intentionally drop bombs on civilians.
But you just stated again, that collateral damage is an unavoidable cost of doing war. So if we intentionally drop bombs, then we do so knowing that they may strike civilians. So we either drop bombs on civilians or we do not. I'm arguing that we do.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Since you didn't provide the quotes, then I'll assume that they didn't contain anything that you wanted me to address.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
I already have. But examining them via "my own ideals" won't tell me what problem you have with them. If you have facts or sound arguments, then it would be pretty unreasonable of me not to consider them, don't you think?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Yes, I imagine that I do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Yes, I'm quite aware of that. What evidence do we have that he had them 5 years ago when we invaded? To the best of my knowledge, we haven't found any WMDs in Iraq at all. We did find some chemicals that we thought might have been used in chemical/biological weapons, but it turned out to be nothing.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Just like Bill Clinton said, "We know they've got weapons of mass destruction." (perhaps not the exact quote, but close enough)
I'll be more than happy to address an exact quote.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And your point is?
My point is that we should have had justification before invading rather than after. And changing the story from "Saddam has weapons of mass distruction pointed at us" to "Saddam was a cruel and brutal dictator" seems like someone had these posted on a "foreign policy dartboard" or something. We knew that Saddam would be a cruel and brutal dictator when we helped put him in power back in the 70's. We didn't care because he was pro-Western and hated Iran (whom we feared because they were mad at us over a cruel and brutal dictator that we helped put into power there back in the 50's).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?"
You are wrong and I accept your apology.

PS: I know exactly what I said in post #28. I don't need to look it up.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
Which part of what I wrote is circular? If it helps, you still appear to either misunderstand or misrepresent my actual comment. I clarified in the last exchange, so please let me know if that was unclear.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
If there's another word that you would prefer I use, that's fine. The argument was that I called the source "a name". The publication does frequently act as a mouthpiece for the think tank. Are you contesting this? If yes, on what basis?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
It identifies bias. Being associated with a neo-conservative think tank tends to be a cue that some of your statements might contain neo-conservative bias. The more strong the association, the more likelihood there is for bias. Therefore, being a co-founder/editor would tend to indicate a very strong likelihood for bias.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
He shares ownership of a think tank. They're called think tanks. And what they are generally known for is drafting policy. In this case, the PNAC, working with the Wolfowitz Doctrine, drafted a policy that suggested some key steps to increasing U.S. domination. In the paper, published in September 2000, they identified Iraq, Iran, and North Korea as being key to this objective. They also suggested that "a new Pearl Harbor" would help to grease the wheels for the continuance of this agenda. One year later were the attacks of September 11th, carried out by a terrorist organization based out of Afghanistan. 18 months later, we invaded Iraq under false pretenses. 5 years after that, we find ourselves in escalation with Iran. And the whole time, we've been going back and forth with North Korea. I don't see this as a coincidence, especially when you consider that many members of the Bush administration are associated with the PNAC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Right, I see. So a conservative think tank, as you call it, has no value compared to your very reliable sources?
I'm not sure I follow the comparison. Could you please elaborate?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Apparently you can now call people a member of this think tank and immediately discredit anything they have to say.
I think my argument was that you can't ask the people that helped orchestrate the war if the war itself was justified and expect an objective answer. If you call that "immediately discrediting anything they have to say", then yes , I'm doing that.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Do you have anything that actually combats the evidence that this "think tank" provided, regardless of their supposed motives?
Possibly. Was there something specific that you would like for me to address?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Cool. Can't trust him now either I guess.
You're free to trust whomever you would like.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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"!
I take it you won't be doing your own research then? Ok.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
How would you propose that I verify the veracity of internal, top-secret memo? The articles basically says, "We got access to top-secret memo. This is what it said. Trust us". If it came from a prestigious journalistic source with employees that had working titles such as "Fact Checker", etc, I might be willing to put a little bit of my trust into that "Trust Us" bucket. However, if that source has the problems that I've outlined for this source, then none of my trust goes into that "Trust Us" bucket.

Hence why I asked your for a different source almost a week ago. I'm still willing to say that there is some evidence for your argument, I'm just not going to accept that source.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
I've repeated invited you do so.

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

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I didn't know skepticism disproved evidence, either.
I don't believe that is skepticism's role. If the Weekly Standard's reporting is sound, then I imagine that it could easily be corroborated by one or more other sources. I never said that I wouldn't consider the evidence for your argument, only that I wouldn't accept The Weekly Standard as a reputable source.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
On the contrary, I don't see any specificity at all. I know that you've called the director "liberal", but that doesn't tell me anything.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
No contest from me. If you wanted to me to admit that my statement was conjecture, all you had to do was ask. I have absolutely no way of objectively proving how any of these people actually felt. But since they asked for it, I imagine that they were pleased. I'm generally pleased when I recieve something I've asked for, and I tend to suspect that others are as well.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
What do you think? That they had magic powers to cause 9/11 because of their own agenda?
Magic powers? No, not magic powers. But that's fodder for another thread.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
As are you. I just wonder how other people will see it.
Good. Done and done.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
I'm not asking you to vouch for their ideology. I'm simply asking you if you think any of what I stated is not factual.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And you have evidence that Kristol's belief is not his own?
Nope, not at all. My statement was that The Weekly Standard frequently acts as a mouthpiece for the PNAC, both of which co-founded by Kristol. So contrary to what you've posted, my contention is that it's all Kristol, all the time (well...figuratively).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
So? He's a conservative. Does that mean it calls what he says into question?
It might. There's conservative like my neighbor and there's conservative like some of the people in this forum and then there's conservative like Bill Kristol. Depending on what flavor of conservative we're dealing with, yes, it could potentially call what he says into question.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And if that is all it does, why have you completely ignored the publication because of this "question"?
Hopefully, I sufficiently addressed this question earlier. Please let me know if I did not.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
I must have missed it. Thanks anyway.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
Well, they asked for a catastrophic and catalyzing event and they got one. Not sure what degree that "throws them in a bad light", however I imagine they were happy to see that the event they had hoped for had come to fruition.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Oh, I think I said more than that, but I acknowledge that this is what you took away from my post.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
You said that you were also "not pretending any of this was happening."

And yes, I do believe that some have died.
I'll simply repeat that I'm very aware of what I did (and did not) say in post #28.

Thank you for answering my question. Now I know that we both acknowledge that this is happening.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Would you mind investigating the report I brought forth before judging it simply by Kristol, as well?
How? It's based on a top-secret memo. How did you investigate the information before accepting it as true?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Apparently you didn't read the fine print below what I said - I was joking.
Nope, I read it.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Where?
Err...Iraq? I mean, we did invade their country on false pretenses and began building 14 permanent military bases there.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Indeed. I suppose that we will continue to "come to it" so long as you keep asking me to repeat my rationale and then reply with an incredulous tone without actually addressing my argument or pointing out flaws in my reasoning. Please don't hold it against me if I keep answering the questions that you ask.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
I'm glad we were able to make some progress here.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
That's a good analogy, but I'm not sure how applicable it is for the situation that we are in. I agree that sometimes the best defense is a good offense, but you can't go into a village, murder women, children, and old men, and then act as though the warriors of that village are out of line when they try to exact revenge.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Again, why it is so hard for you to do it yourself?
As I already stated, I don't see his posts. That makes it supremely difficult.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
I'm speaking in the context of the individual soldiers that pull triggers and drop bombs. I imagine many of them would prefer not to have to live with the knowledge that they killed innocent civilians.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Just like starving yourself would be a good way to lose weight.
It certainly is one way. It's not the only way, but it's one of them.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Our foreign policy is imperialism. Imperialism is wrong.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Ok. I'm not sure how much I can do about what other people say.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.”
The "large terrorist organization" drives a car filled with explosives to a check point and then detonates a bomb?

The "large terrorist organization" is successful because they have organized themselves into small "cells" that are capable of operating independently with minimal intervention from the top. But again, I think you're confusing al-qaeda with the insurgents.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Sure they would. Not sure what part of suicide bombing you consider to be "large-scale" or "conventional".

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
And this is relevant to small guerilla groups how?
Because the viet cong operated in small units carrying out guerilla warfare.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Perhaps in a limited way. I’m still not sure what comparison you were trying to make.
Only that those that do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
You kinda confused me here. So are you saying that we are justified to go attack them, but you don’t like it?
From a very one-sided point of view, one could argue that we are justified. I don't think that we are, but that's neither here nor there with regards to the war in Iraq.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
It seems we've come full circle once again.

They are justified because we acted first. So they acted. So then we acted back. Then they acted back. We send missles. They send hijacked planes.

Their argument is that since we are a democracy and we elect the people that do these things, then we are complicit in the acts and therefore no longer "innocent civilians". Might make one think twice about how they vote.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Long before you think it has.
Fine. How long do I think it has?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I dunno, why?
Because of western interference in the middle east.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
From post #15:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achilles
Remember that Iraq only exists because of British colonialism. The modern country known as Iraq didn't exist until the 1920s. The ethnic tensions which we are now seeing have roots that go back decades (if not centuries).
We supported the British in their carving up of the middle east after WWI. We later acted directly to help orchestrate the overthrow of unsympathetic governments and sometimes replaced them with dictators that liked us. I suppose that if you wanted one specific event though, we could look to the 1953 coup in Iran. That would probably be the least obscure starting point.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
Dunno. Those islamic extremists are pretty serious guys. You and I might think they're speaking figuratively, but I get the impression they are being literal.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
I believe I addressed this in my last post. (You most likely typed this before you came to it).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.
Well, if they're disliking us because we killed their innocent civilians, then I imagine that this is a reality that we're going to have to learn to live with.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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….
You must be new here
No, I'm an atheist.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Um...

Ok….

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

Huh?
Who said that? I don't advocate allowing our citizens to be killed. I also don't equate killing other country's civilians with protecting our own. And since terrorists don't wear name tags....

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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)
So christians shouldn't worry about being more christ-like (with specific reference to the "good" parts of the new testament)?

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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?
"Gospel of John" jesus or "Book of Revelations" jesus? For the former, no. He would sit down and have a nice talk with the terrorist or use his divine power to prevent it or allow it to happen and then perform miracles to bring everyone back/heal them. For the latter, he would probably let it happen, yeah (but I'm just guessing).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
You know, that’s funny – I thought we weren’t even in the Middle East when Osama hit the World Trade Centers.
That's ok. I imagine many people thought that as well.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
I like the last part, but, the first part of it still irks me, as I have explained before.
You asked what I would do and there it is.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Yes, that would make sense as our whole economy is powered by oil.

I doubt that it is a matter of “those guys” fortunes….
Kinda puts that whole altruistic "brutal dictator" thing into persepective. At least I think so.

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
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.”
Yep, because we're supposed to be the leader and the leader sets the example (whether they want to or not).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Well, that would be their decision, right?
Their decision to circumvent the Constitution? Yes, it seems quite obvious that it was. I guess the Framers didn't anticipate that level of corruption when they drafted the Constitution. I mean, they emphatically told each branch to fight tooth and nail for the power they were given. I guess they kinda thought that we would care enough about our democracy to do something about it if we saw one branch violating their Constitutional powers (2 out of 3 of them being elected and all).

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Originally Posted by RobQel-Droma
Yep, but feel free to step in if you like.

Well, in closing….

I’m just having this vision right now:

<snip>

If you get my drift.
Yes, I see where you're taking it. Enjoy your vision.

Take care.
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