Well, since this would seem to be my last post on this subject, thanks for the debate.
First of all, even though you seem to be unsastified with my explanation of collateral damage vs. torture and murder, I have clarified it for about the third or fourth time now.
Collateral damage can be an unavoidable cost of going to war, since you can almost never stop it. Although now, with better technology, we have very accurate bombs that can successfully pinpoint the correct target within a few feet - which, just on a sidenote, makes me wonder about why you seem to think there has been so many civilian deaths by bombs. It probably comes back to the article you quoted, which I believe I did not take very seriously, due to the stated lack of facts that made up the estimate.
However, collateral damage is not
something that always happens every time a bomb is dropped, because it is always an accident. Either civilians were just in the wrong place, or the bomb turned out to miss its target. Which is by no means intentional, and cannot be blamed on the person dropping the bomb unless it was incompetence.
However, I would just venture to say that maybe kidnapping, torture, and murder of innocent civilians is not so accidental. If you know what I mean.
And the fact that those terrorists would feel the need to commit such a heinous crime makes an accidental death of a civilian that happens from dropping bombs, which has happened in every war, pale in comparison.
You seem to suggest that perhaps a way to stop this is to not go to war at all. Which you stated very ambiguously, BTW, after I asked you what should be done to stop this. If this is the only thing you could come up with, well.... I'll repeat what I said. It's just about as rational as starving yourself to lose weight. Sure it is a way, but that really doesn't mean anything.
Also, off this topic for a moment: you contradicted yourself in the last statement, besides your claims to attack contradictions. When you first stated the following: "I'm not sure how one condones collateral damage while snubbing torture," you said - after I asked - that I had not said something like that.
Except in this last statement you tell me that you are saying this because it was something I had stated. Which I'm still not getting. But, moving on...
On the actual matter of the war, you have stuck very close to your sources: "No End in Sight" and Tim Russert being some of the top two. I also provided sources of the connection between Hussein and Al-Qaeda, a publication by a newspaper run by Kristol - which you promptly ignored.
When I started to get to the bottom of your reason, it came down to... it was a "mouthpiece of a neo-con think tank." Now, of course, the mouthpiece is correct (in fact it doesn't mean anything) because the paper is, well, the voice for that organizations views. Duh.
Which you seemed to concede as we came down to it. Now, if you boil down the rest of that statement, you admitted that it was because they were "neo-conservatives", and so therefore, had strong bias, and for some reason you should not have to accept anything they say. You may not have said it, but you never dealt with the info in the publication; just those who published it.
When I stated that basically all you were saying was that they had bias - which, whether you want to believe or not, most of your sources have as well - you came back with another ambiguous answer that that was part
of it, but I had missed something. I had taken everything out of what you said, but there was "more."
You conveniently left out what it was that I had missed. (still deciding what it was? or perphaps it will just be something that isn't revelant to the discussion?)
Oh, and in the matter of the validity of your sources, I did provide something: or rather, I referred you to Totenkopf, who had summarized very well about Tim Russert. However, this seems to have been too hard for you to go and unblock his posts and look at yourself. I'm not going to hand you his quote on a platter, of course; so you chose to ignore it because I had not. Again, conveniently ignoring a piece of info.
From what you have said, you obviously do not believe we had the "right" to invade Iraq. There were no WMD, so we were wrong to do it. To which I replied that we had evidence that he had them currently, knew
he had had them before and used them, and known that he was a dangerous dictator in that area. But it still did not seem to be enough for you.
What did you expect, that our invading troops would just open up Saddam’s garage and find some nukes layin’ around?
But we had to be "justified." And we can't change our story, it's still "wrong." Even though all of what was said was still true. Also, according to you, we evil Americans started the whole thing. Because we stationed troops in the Middle East and they didn't like it.
So they bomb us and kill innocent civilians who never did anything to them? What? And you think they are justified to do that? First of all, I stated that I thought we didn't have troops in Afghanistan or Iraq when 9/11 happened. As your point was our "occupation" in past years had made them angry at us, and we should apologize and get out, I would think that would be a problem. If we were already out of there, why attack us afterward? That would put holes in your theory, obviously.
To which you gave yet another ambiguous answer that many people thought like I did too. Again, sidestepping the issue. To which I reply: We weren't
in Afghanistan, or Iraq, or near there. We had some troops in Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia, in friendly countries, and it wasn't some kind of occupational force. They were there just to keep an eye on things. So I seriously doubt it was our "occupation" that happened some years past, as you testified to, that got Osama going...
Even besides that, it does not justify the murder of thousands of innocent Americans. Except maybe you think so - next thing I know, you're telling me that since people voted for the person that these people hate, they take part of the blame and are no longer innocent.
So they should be killed? I guess we should all going around with nametags. Ya know... "I voted for Bush", "I voted for Kerry", etc. Then the terrorists should know who to blow up. (must be your attempt to make people vote for who you want them to)
But wait.... according to you, we can't kill terrorists. Because then their family will get mad at us for killing those terrorists (who you neglected to point out that they were trying to blow up innocent Americans) and will become terrorists themselves. Right... You asked me to give you the flaws in your reasoning, but its hard when its not reasoning at all. What do you expect us to do? (again, you gave me very ambiguous answers in response to this) Let the terrorists bomb us? And hope they stop eventually? They have been training people there to hate us for a long time, and whether or not we kill them, more will rise up. The only answer is to go out and take them out.
Not fall back to the U.S. and “defend” the country on our own soil. As I said, you don’t protect a village by stationing men around it six rows deep. Besides, what made you think we are on defense? We are attacking these terrorists, they are the ones on defense. Otherwise, more and more will keep coming. (and we didn’t do anything to deserve them coming at us) You, however, believe they are justified, because we did some wrong action “first.”
Talking of changing stories, you finally decided to surprise me with the classic “What Would Jesus Do?” I, frankly, was incredulous. How can you take a phrase like that and start talking about “turning the other cheek” in regards to a war? If you aren’t suggesting that we should let ourselves get bombed for some unknown greater good (which was your term), I’m not sure what the point of this was. In fact, you never really stated what this meant for us. You even went on to say that a “Revelation” Jesus would let a civilian die from a terrorist, which I don’t understand. There’s no difference between a “John” Jesus and a “Revelation” Jesus – take it from someone who’s actually
All besides the fact that you are a self-proclaimed atheist, which doesn’t really make sense with your new argument.
So, finally, after taking all of what you said together, I will go back to my vision. I know you tried to blow this off, but trust me…. I didn’t take it any
farther than you had already taken it. We shouldn’t drop bombs on targets because of coll. damage, we should pull out to appease these Middle Easterners (which we already had by 9/11), we should defend the country on our own soil, and yet not kill terrorists because we will “make more.” Very interesting idea… I dunno, I think it would be obvious to everyone that that would be a very bad
idea, but maybe that’s just me.
Well, to wrap up my rather long closing “speech”, I recall that you asked me for an exact quote that I once provided. Well, I’ll over-humor you. (just to make my post even longer…)
"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.
"Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations."
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, February 5, 2003
"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998
"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998.
"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998
"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."
Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003
Funny, they stopped repeating this some years later. Must have had their political fingers up in the wind and decided that it was no longer popular to tell the truth about this.
Cheers. Oh, and (of course)…
God bless America.