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Old 11-29-2006, 05:06 PM   #41
Spider AL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior:

Bah, use a higher screen resolution and avoid that problem.
Y'know, I would, but I've been using 1024x768 for five years and two monitors... and frankly we've become close. Unnaturally close, some might say, but I don't listen to them. Ahhh 1024x768...

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Afghanistan is a totally different animal. The goal there was to get al-Qaeda so we didn't have more planes plowing into buildings. I'm just sorry we didn't get bin Laden, though his kidney problems may have done him in instead of any US weaponry--we haven't seen him in awhile, though I could have missed something recently.
It's not all that different, Jae. The US and UK still decided to invade one of the poorest, most embattled nations on earth (just like Iraq), and were aware that this would cause massive destruction and death. (Just as in Iraq.) And now the country is poorer than ever, brutal warlords oppress the people (Similar to Iraq) and the drug trade is once again rampant as it never was under the Taleban. The much-feted women's rights are not significantly improved, and little or no attempt has been made to supply the necessary massive funds for reconstruction. (Just as in Iraq)

The reason the US government gave for the Afghan invasion was indeed To "get al-Qaeda" as you say. But the hijackers on Sep. 11th 2001 were- in the main- from Saudi Arabia. Why not invade there first if they were so concerned with preventing further attacks? Because of Bin Laden's presence in the country? He's one man. Do you send an army in to get one man? And what does it say about the way the government is using your army when they fail to capture just one man?

Furthermore, no genuine attempt was made to extradite Bin Laden in a diplomatic manner, though approaches were made by the Afghan regime requesting evidence from the US government in the matter. But the US government isn't in the business of providing evidence to support its claims, is it. No, war was the US government's first choice. A war that was inevitably going to cost us loads of cash, claim loads of innocent lives and ruin an already sickly country.

Plus: US/UK human rights abuses: http://hrw.org/reports/2004/afghanistan0304/

So pretty much exactly like Iraq in many many important ways. Not all ways, mind you, I concede that... but many ways, nonetheless.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

Well, I'm not, please don't think I am, but...

(CARTOON)

There are some truely sick people who do cheer this sort of thing, and it's not just leftists. Palestinions celebrated the terrorist attacks on September 11.
Sigh. You really have to stop posting spurious Neocon propaganda as if it's "evidence", Nancy. Three short points:
  • The cartoon depicts an incident in 2003 in which the Earth Liberation Front (ELF) torched an auto-dealership. Ref: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,95447,00.html
  • The ELF was (and is) an extremist environmental group, and their act of arson had nothing to do with the "war on terror", nothing to do with 9/11 and nothing to do with US foreign policy. The "cartoonists" have put words in the mouths of these eco-fundamentalists, in order to turn opinion further against them. Totally childish on the part of the "cartoonists".
  • The "cartoonists" in question are well known for their often ludicrously fascist, unbalanced output. They're crazy loony extremists.

If anyone's shown to be sick by this cartoon, it's not anti-war people Nancy. It's the cartoonists. I'd advise you to avoid visiting their site again. It's all repulsive, knee-jerk nonsense on there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

I know I cheered the bombing of terrorists in Afghanistan even though innocent people would be killed in the conflict.
Nancy... that was a very immoral thing to do.

Even if we were to accept that the violence against the Afghan Taleban was morally justified (which I do not)... cheering their deaths... and worse, cheering the deaths of innocent civilians... That's just wrong. It's exactly what you've accused the Palestinians of doing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

Sack him. Now. Even America for all it's faults rejected proposals for nuclear retalliation for September 11.
I wish I could sack him, and every man in government that abetted our war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq. But frankly Nancy, a couple of nukes probably wouldn't have equalled the damage we've done in Afghanistan and Iraq without nukes. It's serious stuff we've done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

By that I mean, what do you hope to achieve here? Convert a few neocons? Prove them wrong? What I'm saying is a lot more is going to be achieved bu having protests and rallies, which you do.
Well with all due respect, I think I have proved a lot of your original statements concerning the war in Iraq were factually incorrect. What you do with the evidence I've shown you is up to you.

As for "converting" you, it's a sad fact that no matter HOW much you debate, you'll never convince people of the truth if they don't want to hear it. It's up to each person to decide for themselves. I hope you decide to do the moral thing, and start campaigning against ALL amoral acts of terrorism and wars... whether waged by other countries, or waged by OUR COUNTRIES.

So why do I debate on this topic? Because speaking the truth... it's the right thing to do. Knowing what I know... if I were to keep silent... I'd be the worst kind of human being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen`` (To Mace MacLeod):

Using your logic things I have said are trollish. So using that logic some of the things you have said are also trollish, or don't the rules apply to you?
I'll admit that I don't approve of Mace's profanity in some of his posts, but I don't think he means it in an offensive, trolling way. It's easy to become angry when people won't accept the truth that's shown to them.


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Old 11-29-2006, 05:21 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Spider AL
[*]The ELF was (and is) an extremist environmental group, and their act of arson had nothing to do with the "war on terror", nothing to do with 9/11 and nothing to do with US foreign policy. The "cartoonists" have put words in the mouths of these eco-fundamentalists, in order to turn opinion further against them. Totally childish on the part of the "cartoonists".
Exactly, they're an extremist group, and other extremists and loonies do get their kicks out of deaths, as I'll explain a bit below.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Nancy... that was a very immoral thing to do.
I know, and I'm not about to hide behind the fact I had a thirst for vengence for September 11, I honestly felt the Taliban deserved what they got, everything they got, and still do. That doesn't make my cheering for their deaths any less right. And to further prove that anti war people or crazies don't shoulder all the blame on this I've spoken with fighter pilots and they would cheer dropping bombs on their targets, yet when it's sunk in a couple of days later and they've done the BDA, it does clean them up. I think in a way it shows that we are fallible, and we need to be able to see that it's wrong. We certainly do see that with something like Abu Gharib which goes well and truely beyond what I would consider justice or punishment. To get kicks out of torture and humiliation, well quite frankly is no diffirent to what the Sith do from what I've seen.
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Old 11-29-2006, 06:13 PM   #43
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Exactly, they're an extremist group, and other extremists and loonies do get their kicks out of deaths, as I'll explain a bit below.
Some extremist groups do get a kick out of deaths. But not the group depicted in the cartoon, and not "anti-war" people as Jae originally suggested. Because anti-war people aren't extremists. They're not left-wing nor are they right-wing. They're rationalists, and moralists.

Quote:
know, and I'm not about to hide behind the fact I had a thirst for vengence for September 11
That's a perfectly human reaction. Perfectly understandable.

But morality is often about overriding our instinctive human reactions to things. Instinctive emotions and morality rarely go hand in hand. If you want to criticise... say... the Palestinians for cheering the deaths of their enemies (as you did), you must first make sure that you are not guilty of the same acts that you are criticising.

Quote:
I honestly felt the Taliban deserved what they got, everything they got, and still do. That doesn't make my cheering for their deaths any less right.
I'm sure you meant to type "any less wrong" here.

As for the Taleban, they didn't plan or execute the atrocity of September 11th 2001, so they are hardly a candidate to slake your thirst for revenge on that score.

Quote:
And to further prove that anti war people or crazies don't shoulder all the blame on this
Anti-war people don't shoulder any blame for anything Nancy. Anti-war people are the ONLY people who don't shoulder any blame in this situation.

Quote:
I've spoken with fighter pilots and they would cheer dropping bombs on their targets, yet when it's sunk in a couple of days later and they've done the BDA, it does clean them up. I think in a way it shows that we are fallible, and we need to be able to see that it's wrong. We certainly do see that with something like Abu Gharib which goes well and truely beyond what I would consider justice or punishment. To get kicks out of torture and humiliation, well quite frankly is no diffirent to what the Sith do from what I've seen
Hear hear. I agree totally, and hope that you'll join us in campaigning against all atrocities- whether they're committed by foreigners or by our own nations.


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Old 11-29-2006, 07:00 PM   #44
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I am entertained about how well the OP has been proven true in this thread.


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Old 11-29-2006, 07:14 PM   #45
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I presume you're referring to the the first post in the thread when you say "OP"... so what about it exactly do you deem to be true? I think Mace's first post- though fraught- rather discredited many of the original assertions.


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Old 11-29-2006, 07:43 PM   #46
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Just that she (OP=original post) said that Iraq or Bush were the new Nazis in Godwin's Law - and here everyone is, talking about those topics.


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Old 11-29-2006, 07:57 PM   #47
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Mm, well my first post in the thread addressed that point. It's not surprising that Iraq and US foreign policy is brought up in threads that start out on a range of topics, because Iraq and US policy is possibly the most important issue in the world today, and relates strongly to such diverse topics as censorship and religion.

It doesn't really qualify as a "new Godwin" though, as Godwin is a statement on the curious predictability that an old issue that isn't really relevant to today's world or contemporary politics (The Nazis/Hitler) will be brought up in totally unrelated discussions.

But as I say, Iraq n' US policy is relevant to today's world and today's issues. So there's nothing curious about it rearing its head almost every day.

As someone who wishes for a lot of debate on the topic of Iraq, it's heartening to me that I haven't been forced to personally bring up the topic for the past... oh... three years. Everyone else seems to bring it up, I just join in.


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Old 11-29-2006, 08:33 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis
Just that she (OP=original post) said that Iraq or Bush were the new Nazis in Godwin's Law - and here everyone is, talking about those topics.
It does have a certain irony, doesn't it?


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Old 11-29-2006, 08:56 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Using your logic things I have said are trollish. So using that logic some of the things you have said are also trollish, or don't the rules apply to you?
You routinely sink to levels I never do. Your tirade I quoted earlier is incontrovertable proof of this. You could dig through my entire posting history and not find anything remotely comparable. On a regular basis, you freak out and accuse people of saying things they've never said. The entire reason the quote-fest started was because I asked you to provide one single solitary quote of either Al or myself saying anything about Bush being Hitler or hating America or anything of the sort. Nowhere in what you dragged up did we do so. Either you're greatly mistaken, or you're just lying.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Well I'm of the opinion that some of the things you've said are trollish.
I care deeply. I'm just crying invisible tears over here.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
By that I mean, what do you hope to achieve here? Convert a few neocons? Prove them wrong? What I'm saying is a lot more is going to be achieved bu having protests and rallies, which you do.
Uh, I believe it's called "debating". Al presents his arguments and opinions, then other people respond and post their arguments and opinions, the process goes on with agreements, rebuttals, arguments and counter-arguments and outside evidence brought in to support those arguments...which is the entire purpose for the Senate Chambers existing, remember?


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Old 11-29-2006, 10:10 PM   #50
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Mace:
Yes, the US eventually had no choice but to leave Vietnam in 1973 after getting their butts kicked all over the country. ...These aren't judgement calls or opinions, they're bald statements of historical fact.
-----------------------
Factually INCORRECT. What is factually CORRECT is that the US defeated the VC at Tet and that it took the NV almost 2 full years to mount a succesful drive to take the remainder of the country after VIRTUALLY ALL US ground forces were gone by '73. This was recognized by Gen Giap years later after the war, and in print no less. Saigon fell 2 years later, in '75. It was a
political defeat, not military.

Be careful when saying things like absolutely. The US also could have sued for peace terms in the middle of WW2. If the loss of human life is the sole arbiter of what is moral or immoral in war, then an attacked party, especially if weaker, should logically sue for the best terms it can get rather than risk annihilation. Back in the '80s, that kind of thinking could've been summed up as "better red than dead.

To those who would watch the Pilger clip on Utube, I reccomend that you research Pilger BEFORE viewing the film, both the positive AND negative. He seems like an accredited aussie version of michael moore, so I'll not waste my time, some 51 minutes of it, on this left wing propogandist.

As to Spider, you are quite slick. Your debating style is a more indirect approach. You may be able to claim that you did not say VERBATIM the things you are accused of, but it is clear that anyone reading your posts can in fact correctly infer what you really mean. It is in fact very obvious that you believe Bush et al (pretty much any western, read US most likely, leader since the end of WW2)are in fact immoral, not merely amoral. If this weren't so, you would not go to such lengths to vilify these people as you consistently have throughout your posts. You are very typical of the left wing military hating mindless idealogue that is an infestation on the so called anti-war movement. Your supposition that all anti-war people are just rational moralists is a sweeping and arrogant generalization. Do you actually know everyone in the so called "anti-war" movement? These groups often tend to support unilateralist moves (think the KGB infiltrated anti-nuke
movement of the 1980s) on the part of the US and western europe. We'd all be better off letting them sit around a fire somewhere singing kumbaya than listening to anything said by these kinds of people. Dangerous idealists who count themselves morally superior b/c they'd rather endanger their own countrymen than harm a hair on an enemy's head.

Also, given that modern warfare is much more sophisticated and deadly, not to mention swifter, than in the past, one is not afforded the luxury of waiting
for the enemy to strike first. If you spot an enemy terrorist encampment in the desert, you take it out if at all possible. It's almost always easier to seek
forgiveness than permission, if you can't do it in the reverse order. Normally this option is exercized AFTER you have informed the host nation of your future intent. If preemptive action is not considered moral by any one country, then neither would a UN sanction make it morally acceptable. It would be hypocritical to argue otherwise.

One thing is obvious to anyone with an IQ over 75, and that is that war will plague mankind long into the forseeable future and will get uglier as well. Due to advances in miniturization, "pocket nukes" may well become the terrorist weapon of choice, never mind all the chem and bio options. It will become increasingly important to root out such terrorists before they can
strike. Whether our descendants are saddled with a one world style global government or a pastiche of national ones as we have today, this problem will not disappear anytime soon. The option of doing nothing b/c "innocent
civilians" might get hurt or worse, die, will become the immoral choice. How many of your countrymen's lives is the enemy worth?

Since Adolf Hitler and the Nazis have become the personification of evil in the modern era, it's understandable that people like to throw around those labels at people or organizations they don't particularly like. It's usually done in a lazy and haphazard way that cheapens the concept.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:54 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Factually INCORRECT. What is factually CORRECT is that the US defeated the VC at Tet and that it took the NV almost 2 full years to mount a succesful drive to take the remainder of the country after VIRTUALLY ALL US ground forces were gone by '73. This was recognized by Gen Giap years later after the war, and in print no less. Saigon fell 2 years later, in '75. It was a
political defeat, not military.
While the Tet Offensive can be considered a military defeat for the Viet Cong, it is more often cited as the turning point of American popular opinion against the war. I didn't mean to imply that the US was forced to leave Vietnam out of strictly military necessity; I should have been clearer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Be careful when saying things like absolutely. The US also could have sued for peace terms in the middle of WW2. If the loss of human life is the sole arbiter of what is moral or immoral in war, then an attacked party, especially if weaker, should logically sue for the best terms it can get rather than risk annihilation.
The current US body count in Iraq is something around 3000 dead. 3000 casualties was a bad day on Omaha beach in June 1944. If the cause is just, sometimes the sacrifice is worth it. IF the cause is just.
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Also, given that modern warfare is much more sophisticated and deadly, not to mention swifter, than in the past, one is not afforded the luxury of waiting for the enemy to strike first. If you spot an enemy terrorist encampment in the desert, you take it out if at all possible. It's almost always easier to seek forgiveness than permission, if you can't do it in the reverse order. Normally this option is exercized AFTER you have informed the host nation of your future intent.
The "logic" currently in vogue in the White House that says, "It's ethical to attack someone who might be planning to attack us" is completely spurious and flawed. By this same standard, North Korea and Iran are perfectly justified in attacking the US. The US hasn't sworn it definitely won't attack North Korea and Iran, right? How many countries in the world can prove the US isn't a threat to them? I mean, if the US and USSR both thought like that during the cold war, the human race would've been nuked back to the stone age around 1955. Would you walk down the street and shoot someone 20 times just because it looked like he might mug you?


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Old 11-30-2006, 09:22 AM   #52
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Seems the big problem comes down to whether you believe something is worth it or not. No doubt, especially given the widespread anti-war sentiment in the 1930s and even up to the war itself, that many would have found the possibility of some kind of peace with the Nazis preferable to all the bloodshed of doing battle. All the more so b/c of our experience of WW 1 and the attitude that the US should have let the Euros fend for themselves. I believe, like I suspect you probably do, that the right decision was ultimately made. But some perhaps might have thought it forgivable to believe otherwise at that time.

The question of defining the nature of an attack is also less direct. Most of the cold war was proxy fighting on the part of the US-USSR. It never went to a hot nuke war, but US and Soviet assets (ie actual military forces) did engage in conflicts from Korea to Vietnam and beyond. Much is often made about US support of SH during Iran-Iraq (though same people often ignore european aid). Was the US guilty if SH used chems against Iran? What of the Europeans and Soviets that sold SH most of his arsenal? If Hezbollah gains nukes from Iran for use against Israel or even the US, do we blithely ignore Iranian complicity if they are used? It's obvious to anyone w/o a bias that any use of NBC style weapons by terrorists will be proxy war by such countries as Iran or NK. Do we (or any target of such attack) look the other way b/c the units using the weapon in question don't wear the national uniforms of the country of origination? Would not either Iran or NK stand in the UN and protest their innocence to a no doubt larely receptive audience that they were not culpable for such use of NBC weapons against "innocent civilians"?

We no longer live in the era of bows and arrows and stone catapaults, where 2 oceans provided ample protection from overseas armies intent on invading the US (though it didn't actually stop the Brits from trying early on in US history). No major power has used nukes since the end of WW2, but do you trust the leadership of Iran to act accordingly? Have you become so jaded that you don't believe that anyone else would do something like that b/c you yourself can't concieve of it? Given the current prez of Iran's obsession with the 12th Imam and his visions of messianic restoration of Sharia law to the world, do you truly believe that these kind of people wouldn't make use of the bomb, directly or otherwise, to serve that end? Remember, Hitler telegraphed his intentions in Mein Kampf and was actually militarily weaker than his enemies when he finally started the war. This isn't a question of whether Iran=Nazi Germany, but rather pointing out the similarity in their tactics. Both leaderships pumped up their domestic base and made clear to all their intent to take over the world, or parts of it by chunks at a time. After sensing weakness in their enemies, the Nazis finally struck. Are you willing to wait for Iran to do same, and w/nukes no less?

Preemption isn't about merely stiking out at anyone, as you seem to suggest, just b/c they look at you crosseyed. Just as the communists used Cambodia during Vietnam, the terrorists use places like Iran, Pakistan and other sovreign countries to mask their presence and train themselves for the next strike. To suggest as you seem to that the US is blindly striking out at chimeras in a fit of paranoia, is silly. We're not talking about Tibet or Lichtenstein here. A preemptive strike at somewhere like NK or Iran (perhaps even Syria) would not be unreasonable given the hostility of their current regimes. But in the case of your mugging scenario, if I had reason to believe that he/she intended to mug me or worse, I'd shoot 'em once, and between the eyes, b/c twenty is just a waste of good bullets.
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Old 11-30-2006, 10:04 AM   #53
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Okay, sure the guys running Iran and North Korea are fanatical and everything, but do you really believe that they are so phenomenally stupid as to attack the US or its allies with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons? All Bush has to do is pick up the red phone in the Oval Office, and any country in the world vanishes in a mushroom cloud within an hour. To attack the US or its allies with WMDs in 2006 is suicide. Kim Jong-il knows this. Whats-his-face in Iran knows this. The strategic and tactical situation in 1939 in no way parallels the modern dispersal of military might.

Considering the one major terrorist attack on US soil was perpetrated mainly by Saudi Arabians, I find your statement that anyone without bias seeing future terrorist attacks as proxy attacks sent by Iran or North Korea or Syria to be spurious.

Regarding the validity of preemptive strikes, the US has demonstrated in Iraq that it doesn't possess the ability to accurately assess potential threats all on its own successfully. You've got a situation where they rushed in all full of piss and vinegar because of all Saddam's horrible WMDs only to discover nothing of the sort upon their arrival. And now three years later...well, death, destruction, yadda yadda yadda. We've been all over that. And considering the US still hasn't found the one guy who they conclusively know orchestrated the 9/11 attacks after more than five years and levelling two entire countries, maybe their current plan of action needs to be rethought.


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Old 11-30-2006, 11:18 AM   #54
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Slow down there, boychik. What I wrote was terrorist attacks w/WMDs, not just any old style of attack. Given that the origin of a weapon can be determined after the blast, it wouldn't behoove the Chinese to use nukes this way unless they were ready to to take an opponent completely out of the picture. Same pretty much goes for Russia. Given the squeamish response of many in the west to the use of WMDs, anyone attacking this country (note I did not say any nation state) might not feel constrained by such questions of self preservation. Once such weapons are provided, what guarantee do you have that someone won't use them? Do you think suicide bombers are worried about self-preservation?

As to KJI, I don't think he's necessarily stupid enough to fire missles at LA, but providing weapons to a third party hostile to the west is not out of the question. He also knows full well that the US won't attack NK so long as China (or even SK and Japan) has any say in the matter. So, why does he need nukes? Money, plain and simple. Can the same be said of the leaders in Iran? Are you so cynical and sure of yourself that they won't use WMDs to hasten the apocalypse just b/c the US and USSR never used them? Are you not merely projecting western value systems on muslim fanatics?

The strategic situation was tipped by a question of willpower. The West lost it and the Nazi's had it in spades. That pretty well parallels modern day. Weapons are different, all else pretty much the same. At the current rate of things, Iran could develop enough nukes to hasten what they believe is the second coming....all the more so since they think they are the favored of Allah. They don't see the same downside we would. BTW, did you believe that Reagan was going to blow up the world when he got into office? If not, good. If so, then why do you think someone else in the world wouldn't risk annihialtion to achieve their national goals? Point here being that if people think that a person of religious beliefs in America could pull the plug/push the button, then why not a nation ruled by religious fanatics?

As to the whole Iraq situation, SH had 12 years to move any such weapons around or even out of his country. The UN mission to search for WMDs was compromised, so their conclusions aren't conclusive. Global intelligence, not just American, was subject to the same apparent errors in assessing Iraq. As to OBL, would you like to attack Pakistan or Iran to find him? Finding OBL, while a feather in the cap, is not crucial, nor was it ever, to success. Clinton made the mistake in Somalia of attaching too much importance to taking out Aidid (sp?). Such are the dangers of fixating on a singular personality. What happens when you get them? Does everything "go back to normal"? The conflict between radical islam and the rest of the planet is much bigger than a mere man.
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:39 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Factually INCORRECT. What is factually CORRECT is that the US defeated the VC at Tet and that it took the NV almost 2 full years to mount a succesful drive to take the remainder of the country after VIRTUALLY ALL US ground forces were gone by '73. This was recognized by Gen Giap years later after the war, and in print no less. Saigon fell 2 years later, in '75. It was a
political defeat, not military.
Anyone for a "Fish Called Wanda" .wav?

http://www.wavsite.com/sounds/591/wanda62.wav

There we go.

It's quite shocking that anyone can still hold this sort of nonsensical belief when faced with the obvious. Only a delusional person could point to the event that most demoralised the US and its South Vietnamese collaborators... possibly the single most important factor in changing the course of the war... and call it a "US victory".

1. The Tet offensive did indeed entail heavy losses of men for the South Vietnamese freedom fighters: the Viet Cong. They basically spent their army in the assaults. But the dead were quickly replaced by North Vietnamese fighters, and a more vital type of victory had been won; the offensive severely demoralised both the US collaborators in South Vietnam, and indeed demoralised the US forces to a great extent. The US public back home had been lied to by the US government, and believed that victory had already been assured in Vietnam. The Tet offensive showed that this was not the case. (Reminds one of President Bush giving his speech on the aircraft carrier declaring victory in Iraq, in fact)

2. You cite the fact that there were few US forces left on the ground by the time that the North Vietnamese won, and seem to think that this makes it less of a defeat for the US. If you were being serious however, you'd realise that to withdraw most of one's troops without fulfilling one's objectives (as the US did) is essentially to retreat, and is indeed to admit defeat. If victory were possible, doubtless the US would have pursued it with vigour.

3. Finally, you state "It was a political defeat, not military". But with a simple hypothesis we can disprove this. Imagine if you will that with the press of a single magical button, the US regime could have wiped out the North Vietnamese army. Okay. What would have happened if they had done so? Why, the US would have fulfilled its objectives of installing puppet regimes all over the country. So of course it was a "military defeat", because without military opposition, the US wouldn't have been soundly defeated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Be careful when saying things like absolutely. The US also could have sued for peace terms in the middle of WW2. If the loss of human life is the sole arbiter of what is moral or immoral in war, then an attacked party, especially if weaker, should logically sue for the best terms it can get rather than risk annihilation. Back in the '80s, that kind of thinking could've been summed up as "better red than dead.
Lol... you're sounding more and more like Senator McCarthy, Totty.

What sort of war is moral, Tot? Why, at a pinch, a war in self defence, or a war against a warmongering, conquering empire.

Since neither Afghanistan nor Iraq were attacking... nor even CAPABLE of attacking the US or the UK, and weren't even conquering their neighbors, our wars in these countries are simply not moral. Therefore the loss of life incurred in these wars is a dastardly crime contained within a larger crime: That of international aggression.

An ideological war is not moral. A war for profit is not moral. End of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

To those who would watch the Pilger clip on Utube, I reccomend that you research Pilger BEFORE viewing the film, both the positive AND negative. He seems like an accredited aussie version of michael moore, so I'll not waste my time, some 51 minutes of it, on this left wing propogandist.
Pilger's a serious journalist, so I second your recommendation that people go and research him.

-

People, go and research Pilger. You'll find that nobody can successfully attack him on a factual basis, so like Totenkopf here, they attempt to ridicule him without evidence, in the hope that people will ignore him.

And most interestingly of all, most of the critics of people like Pilger, Fisk and Chomsky have never bothered to watch, listen to, or read any of the material that they're denouncing. If Totenkopf were a serious individual, he would watch Pilger's documentary and attempt to counter his arguments with logic and evidence. (Not that he'd be able to.)

Instead, Totenkopf ignores the thing that doesn't agree with his already-established world-view.

I listen to Dershowitz, I listen to Coulter and Tony Blair and Rumsfeld and Bush... and more. And because I have listened to them, I can counter their "arguments" with logic and reason, disproving them and discrediting them. THAT is the way to debate. THAT is the way to find the truth. Research Pilger, then watch Pilger, and then go and check his facts. You'll find them to be correct, as I have.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As to Spider, you are quite slick. Your debating style is a more indirect approach. You may be able to claim that you did not say VERBATIM the things you are accused of, but it is clear that anyone reading your posts can in fact correctly infer what you really mean.
Totty, if I believe something... I say it. Without obfuscation, without hyperbole. If I believe it, I say it clearly.

This assertion that there's a dark undercurrent of US-hatin' Bush-hatin' Freedom-Hatin' Commie-Lovin' sentiment running through my arguments... Well, you're just being lazy if that's the best you can come up with. Or maybe you're not being lazy, and that really is the best you can come up with. If so I suggest you make like US forces in Vietnam and retreat in an orderly fashion.

And I guess I'll choose to take the faintly derogatory assertion that I'm "slick"... as a compliment. It's always nice to get a compliment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

It is in fact very obvious that you believe Bush et al (pretty much any western, read US most likely, leader since the end of WW2)are in fact immoral, not merely amoral. If this weren't so, you would not go to such lengths to vilify these people as you consistently have throughout your posts.
First of all, when referring to a person the terms "amoral" and "immoral" are in effect interchangable. The term "immoral" means "not moral", and is more generally applied to acts and not individuals. In fact, acts or things cannot be amoral, only people can be amoral. Thus, (technically speaking) a person can be amoral, immoral or moral, but an act can be immoral or moral only.

"immoral" is not worse than "amoral" as you seem to think. An amoral person will do immoral things if it suits their purposes. So will an "immoral person". Neither would do immoral things if those things DIDN'T serve their purposes.

In fact, I don't think that the word "immoral" should be applied to people, as "amoral" is much more apt. So I personally don't think of people as immoral, only amoral or moral.

I hope this helps you understand the words better.

-

Secondly I've actually said quite clearly that I believe the US government to be staffed by some very amoral individuals. Does that mean I "hate them"? No Tot, of course it doesn't.

I've stated quite clearly in past threads that US foreign policy is routinely immoral. Does that mean I "hate the US"? No Tot, of course it doesn't.

As a matter of fact the US is one of my favourite holiday destinations, as the US public are warm and friendly. Does that stop me from pointing out US atrocities abroad? Nope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You are very typical of the left wing military hating mindless idealogue that is an infestation on the so called anti-war movement.
You're being foolish in typing this sentence. I'm not left wing. People have called many of my opinions hyper-conservative in the past, which is true if you're referring to TRUE conservatism, not foolish Straussian neoconservatism. A true moralist will not identify himself with, nor will he be easily classfied as being within, any of the standard political camps.

Secondly, I don't "hate the military". Post a quotation of mine in which I say that I "hate the military", or even in which I imply that I "hate the military". You will find none. You are merely producing hot air.

Lastly you call me a "mindless idealogue". Well this is of course meant to be insulting, and therefore it's just sad. Like most neoconservative apologists, you have a set of illogically arrived at, terminally vague ideas and- judging by your posts of past and present- no ability nor desire to expose these vague ideas to the bright light of logical debate. Instead, you merely regurgitate easily parried propaganda... and routinely resort to personal insults. For shame, sir.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Your supposition that all anti-war people are just rational moralists is a sweeping and arrogant generalization. Do you actually know everyone in the so called "anti-war" movement?
I don't need to know all the people who are "anti-war" in the world, to know that if they're "anti-war", it's because they care about the amorality of the war. There is no other reason to be "anti-war".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

These groups often tend to support unilateralist moves (think the KGB infiltrated anti-nuke
movement of the 1980s) on the part of the US and western europe. We'd all be better off letting them sit around a fire somewhere singing kumbaya than listening to anything said by these kinds of people. Dangerous idealists who count themselves morally superior b/c they'd rather endanger their own countrymen than harm a hair on an enemy's head.
"Dangerous idealists"... oohoo you really have been hitting the Fox News channel, haven't you.

And when did Iraqi people and Afghan people become "enemies"? Why, when the Bush regime declared them to be enemies. They certainly never USED to be enemies. They used to be very good friends of ours.

As for "endangering our own countrymen"... YOU are the one who is endangering them by approving of the unnecessary and illegal wars that claim their lives! Along with the Bush regime and every other apologist for illegal and immoral wars, that is.

There was no necessity to go to war, therefore sending these misguided young people to war is what's "endangering" them. Not the anti-war camp's call for morality and good sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

If preemptive action is not considered moral by any one country, then neither would a UN sanction make it morally acceptable. It would be hypocritical to argue otherwise.
A UN sanction of a pre-emptive action would at LEAST mean that the evidence for going to war had been shown to other (less biased) nations, and that the other nations had accepted the validity of that evidence.

We had NO evidence that Saddam's regime was dangerous to us, in fact our governments stated repeatedly that he WASN'T dangerous, either to us or to Iraq's immediate neighbors. Until it became politcally "necessary" that Iraq be declared dangerous, of course...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

One thing is obvious to anyone with an IQ over 75, and that is that war will plague mankind long into the forseeable future and will get uglier as well. Due to advances in miniturization, "pocket nukes" may well become the terrorist weapon of choice, never mind all the chem and bio options. It will become increasingly important to root out such terrorists before they can
strike. Whether our descendants are saddled with a one world style global government or a pastiche of national ones as we have today, this problem will not disappear anytime soon. The option of doing nothing b/c "innocent
civilians" might get hurt or worse, die, will become the immoral choice. How many of your countrymen's lives is the enemy worth?
Again, you're just spouting nonsensical neocon propaganda. Wars in places like Iraq don't harm terrorists. Iraq had no connection with al-Qaeda. Because of the illegal and immoral invasion of Iraq, the risk of terrorism in the world is that much greater now.

If you're genuinely serious about wanting to safeguard our people against terrorist attacks, you should be campaigning against idiotic wars like this, not drooling all over them in rapt approval.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Since Adolf Hitler and the Nazis have become the personification of evil in the modern era, it's understandable that people like to throw around those labels at people or organizations they don't particularly like. It's usually done in a lazy and haphazard way that cheapens the concept.
Once again, you and your fellow neocons are the only ones who have thrown the terms "Hitler" and "Nazis" around here. End of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Seems the big problem comes down to whether you believe something is worth it or not. No doubt, especially given the widespread anti-war sentiment in the 1930s and even up to the war itself, that many would have found the possibility of some kind of peace with the Nazis preferable to all the bloodshed of doing battle. All the more so b/c of our experience of WW 1 and the attitude that the US should have let the Euros fend for themselves. I believe, like I suspect you probably do, that the right decision was ultimately made. But some perhaps might have thought it forgivable to believe otherwise at that time.
You're conveniently re-writing history again Tot. America didn't come in to the war to "defend the Euros against the Nazis". It didn't come into the war to "Root out anti-semitism" (which was rife in the US at the time) It came into the war late, when one of its foreign bases was attacked by the Japanese. The decision to enter the war wasn't altruistic or laudable, it was tardy and self-interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Preemption isn't about merely stiking out at anyone, as you seem to suggest, just b/c they look at you crosseyed.
Absolutely not! It's about picking the weakest countries with the best energy-reserves and invading THOSE.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Just as the communists used Cambodia during Vietnam, the terrorists use places like Iran, Pakistan and other sovreign countries to mask their presence and train themselves for the next strike.
The 9/11 hijackers trained themselves "for the next strike" within the US, Tot. Your argument is nonsense, especially since we haven't gone into Saudi Arabia, or other countries that actually MIGHT have some serious connection to the terrorists that attacked on US soil.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As to the whole Iraq situation, SH had 12 years to move any such weapons around or even out of his country. The UN mission to search for WMDs was compromised, so their conclusions aren't conclusive. Global intelligence, not just American, was subject to the same apparent errors in assessing Iraq.
Actually the intelligence was very good on Iraq. The Bush administration just chose to ignore it and cherry-pick the intelligence reports that might possibly support their assertion that Iraq was a clear and present danger. As I say, even Condi and Powell were ranting on about how weak Saddam and his cronies were, a bare few months earlier. One presumes they were actually listening to intelligence analysts at this point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As to OBL, would you like to attack Pakistan or Iran to find him? Finding OBL, while a feather in the cap, is not crucial, nor was it ever, to success. Clinton made the mistake in Somalia of attaching too much importance to taking out Aidid (sp?). Such are the dangers of fixating on a singular personality. What happens when you get them? Does everything "go back to normal"? The conflict between radical islam and the rest of the planet is much bigger than a mere man.
OOOH. It's not a "war on terror" now, then? It's become just another religious war now. I guess North Korea has nothing to worry about then.


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Old 11-30-2006, 02:27 PM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Slow down there, boychik. What I wrote was terrorist attacks w/WMDs, not just any old style of attack. Given that the origin of a weapon can be determined after the blast, it wouldn't behoove the Chinese to use nukes this way unless they were ready to to take an opponent completelyout of the picture. Same pretty much goes for Russia. Given the squeamish response of many in the west to the use of WMDs, anyone attacking this country (note I did not say any nation state) might not feel constrained by such questions of self preservation. Once such weapons are provided, what guarantee do you have that someone won't use them? Do you think suicide bombers are worried about self-preservation?

As to KJI, I don't think he's necessarily stupid enough to fire missles at LA, but providing weapons to a third party hostile to the west is not out of the question. He also knows full well that the US won't attack NK so long as China (or even SK and Japan) has any say in the matter. So, why does he need nukes? Money, plain and simple. Can the same be said of the leaders in Iran? Are you so cynical and sure of yourself that they won't use WMDs to hasten the apocalypse just b/c the US and USSR never used them? Are you not merely projecting western value systems on muslim fanatics?

The strategic situation was tipped by a question of willpower. The West lost it and the Nazi's had it in spades. That pretty well parallels modern day. Weapons are different, all else pretty much the same. At the current rate of things, Iran could develop enough nukes to hasten what they believe is the second coming....all the more so since they think they are the favored of Allah. They don't see the same downside we would.
Kim Jong-il is using his nuclear program as a bargaining chip to and to enhance his nation's status as being something to take Very Seriously by his neighbors. If you check the thread on his nuclear ambitions, you'll find that I never thought for a second he'd ever really use them unless his back was against the wall and he had nothing to lose.

And I think you're very unfairly characterizing everyone in Iran here. There's a neocon tendency to paint their Arab enemies and muslim fanatics as being so utterly beyond reason and common sense that there's no point in even attempting to talk to them or have any kind of meaningful understanding. Yes, there are some that are complete strangers to rational behaviour and are no doubt dangerous and worth keeping a close eye on, but I think that the vast majority of of the Arab states are just people with the same wants, desires and needs as everybody else. And one of those needs is not having your entire civilization vanish in a puff of smoke, which is what would happen if a WMD attack by some terrorist group occurred with the tacit aid or approval of Iran or anywhere else. The US nuclear arsenal packs a heavier punch than anything any terrorist group can cobble together by several orders of magnitude. And they know that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
BTW, did you believe that Reagan was going to blow up the world when he got into office?
Considering I was in grade 1 when he was elected, no.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
If so, then why do you think someone else in the world wouldn't risk annihialtion to achieve their national goals? Point here being that if people think that a person of religious beliefs in America could pull the plug/push the button, then why not a nation ruled by religious fanatics?
Because the key word there is "risk". There would be no risk involved, annihilation would be certain, and the US would still be around. It might lose a city or two, but it would persevere, and the will to fight back would be stronger than ever. So no Apocalypse, just that nation ruled by fanatics (or at least the other nation ruled by fanatics) disappearing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
As to the whole Iraq situation, SH had 12 years to move any such weapons around or even out of his country. The UN mission to search for WMDs was compromised, so their conclusions aren't conclusive. Global intelligence, not just American, was subject to the same apparent errors in assessing Iraq.
No, the UN mission just wasn't finished. Hans Blix repeatedly asked for more time to complete the task of assessing Saddam's arsenal, but the US went in first. By now, the intelligence regarding the need to invade has been proven faulty and very selectively screened by both US and UK authorities.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
As to OBL, would you like to attack Pakistan or Iran to find him? Finding OBL, while a feather in the cap, is not crucial, nor was it ever, to success. Clinton made the mistake in Somalia of attaching too much importance to taking out Aidid (sp?). Such are the dangers of fixating on a singular personality. What happens when you get them? Does everything "go back to normal"? The conflict between radical islam and the rest of the planet is much bigger than a mere man.
Finding Osama is IMHO absolutely crucial, not just for what he did but for what he might be doing right now (assuming he's not already dead from kidney failure). Think about the mechanics of the 9/11 attack. Get a good flight simulator and try to fly a jet liner into any one specific building; it's incredibly difficult. That requires skill far beyond that which can be learned through buzzing around in a cessna in private flight school. Coordinating multiple jet liners to be hijacked and flown into very specific targets is a massively intricate operation. Now think about the level of discipline that was required by the bombers themselves to live in the US, blend in, mingle in society unnoticed and uncompromised for as long as they did and still remain so utterly dedicated to their goal as to essentially be suicide bombers.

Osama bin Laden can coordinate attacks of that sophistication and inspire men of highly specialized training and skill to dedicate themselves so completely that they're willing to stay in deep cover for years and then kill themselves. And he's still out there. He got away with it. And everyone around the world knows it. Every day he stays in the field commanding troops, he's a menace.

And if those reasons aren't enough for you, the US needs to catch him if for no other reason than to show that they can.


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Old 11-30-2006, 04:20 PM   #57
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The Jae axiom:
Fruitcake leaders + nukes = Very Dangerous.

Someone who thinks he can effect the apocalyse by nuking the US (or hated country du jour) is also thinking that he'll have divine protection from nuke attacks on his own country.

I'd be surprised if either Ahmadinejad or Kim lived to be little old men and didn't meet with some untimely 'accident' caused by the Mossad/China respectively, though they'd vociferously deny any involvement, of course.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
All Bush has to do is pick up the red phone in the Oval Office, and any country in the world vanishes in a mushroom cloud within an hour.
Naw, the Red Phone is in Cheney's and Rice's offices. They left the Bat Phone with Bush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Do you think suicide bombers are worried about self-preservation?

Well, I was having a rather crappy day, and this one made me laugh and made the day better.


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Old 11-30-2006, 06:10 PM   #58
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Quote:
The Jae axiom:
Fruitcake leaders + nukes = Very Dangerous.
...



The sheer, pulsating irony of this statement would appear to be totally lost on Jae.

Yes Jae, the USA and UK are very dangerous. You're right.


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Old 11-30-2006, 08:22 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
...



The sheer, pulsating irony of this statement would appear to be totally lost on Jae.

Yes Jae, the USA and UK are very dangerous. You're right.
Y'know Al, Jae's a little sharper than you give her credit for being.


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Old 11-30-2006, 08:48 PM   #60
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What makes you think that I consider her "blunt"? I'm sure she's perfectly well rounded, mentally.

She's still patently wrong on the issue of our reasons for invading Iraq, the occupation of Iraq, US foreign policy, the trustworthiness of our leaders, the character of the anti-war movement, the necessity of showing the public imagery from the war and the consequences of war, the desirability of a military career and the degree to which one can complain when one's arguments are described in unflattering terms.


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Old 12-01-2006, 12:31 AM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
The sheer, pulsating irony of this statement would appear to be totally lost on Jae.
Yes Jae, the USA and UK are very dangerous. You're right.
*Jae inhales deeply* I love the smell of napalm in the morning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
Y'know Al, Jae's a little sharper than you give her credit for being.
Underestimation has its advantages.
"To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the
opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself."


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Old 12-01-2006, 05:28 AM   #62
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Quote:
Underestimation has its advantages.
"To secure ourselves against defeat lies in our own hands, but the
opportunity of defeating the enemy is provided by the enemy himself."
Woooh. By now I'm really hyped up to see all your dark, oracular predictions of my impending defeat actually fulfilled. Possibly by some oh, I don't know... logical argument?


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Old 12-01-2006, 01:47 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Woooh. By now I'm really hyped up to see all your dark, oracular predictions of my impending defeat actually fulfilled. Possibly by some oh, I don't know... logical argument?
This is one of those times when I wish we had visual/aural cues to help soften this a bit, because I'm really not intending this to come across as snippy (though I fear you'll take it that way)--I'm just trying to be very matter-of-fact in my tone.

When you can debate with me in a more polite way that does not involve baiting, condescension, and an insulting tone if not the insults themselves, I'll be happy to enjoy a good argument with you.

You have some great ideas that I find really interesting, but your attitude in your presentation is so offensive to me that I'm not able to debate with you without getting very angry. So rather than subject the entire Senate to a nasty flame war that might end up in both of us getting banned, and subject myself to far more aggravation than I want from a Star Wars forum (because this is supposed to be a fun place to be, not a place where I go to get flamed), it's better if we don't debate at this time. I don't speak to people the way you're speaking to me, and I don't tolerate verbal abuse from anyone. When you alter your argument style to make it less personal and more civil, I'll be more than happy to return to discussion with you.

Also be aware that sometimes I will play devil's advocate and argue a side just for the sake of debating, even if I don't personally hold that specific view.


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Old 12-01-2006, 01:54 PM   #64
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@Mace-- I wasn't disagreeing with the overall assesment that the US lost Vietnam in the end, just that it didn't happen militarily.

Actually, I'm not assuming anything about the population. Iran is purportedly demographically young and pro-western. That however is immaterial to the mullahs and rulers of that country. I would agree, if I read you correctly, that most people want to just get through life. Unfortunately, governments and individuals have greater (ie bigger) ambitions and goals than just survival.
And that, unfortunately, is what we are dealing with in this situation. There is probably no example of a government in human history that reflected the will or desires of its entire population.

As to OBL, remove OBL from the enemy's hierarchy and another will be found to replace him. But do you really believe that capturing Osama would be anything other than a moral victory of sorts? Nobody actually seems to know where he is anyway, or they're not talking. If he were alive, say in Tehran or western Pakistan, should we start wars there as well in order to be able to say we finally caught him? Does the fact that Hitler was never caught alive mean that WW2 was a failure?

The whole Blix mission was fatally compromised by food for oil and SH's informants w/in the UN. Blix was never going to find anything substantial b/c they always knew more or less when and where he would be coming. Much like Germany's plans on the eastern front.

Still, it would be foolish to assume that western countries can't be more seriously hurt than one or two cities. Trade is the west's Achilles heel. The sheer volume of cargo that's transhipped globally allows for ample opportunity to smuggle in all forms of weapons. The ascendancy of techint over humint in the intelligence biz has made this more precarious. If you don't know who's planning what, then you can't aim all your fancy gear at someone. If they know the schedule of your overflights, they can also plan accordingly.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Geez, al, quoting a throwaway line from pop culture as a defense of your position, soooo droll. Also proves nothing. I stated that it was a defeat for the VC, and the commie north as well. You seek to work your illogic to create a different statement altogether. Check your facts here, pal. The facts are born out by history, al. No pent up hostility on your part to the American government changes that. Face it, when even the commanding general of the enemy's forces conceded that they couldn't defeat the US militarily, my statement stands up and yours dissolves into it's own sillinesss. And really, VC=freedom fighters. What's next, that the bolsheviks were just a good bunch of guys that only wanted the best for their fellow Russians? Maybe you'd like to sell candy for those poor misunderstood fellas in Afghanistan, ya know.....either alqueda or the taliban. Perhaps you could sell the personal artifacts of their beheaded victims as souveniers to support a good cause. I stand in awe of your continual spewing of illogic and balderdash. But, the fact that you view the VC as freedom fighters says a lot more about you than any denial you churn out about how you're misinterpreted. In the realm of foreign policy you come across as a vapid mindless idiotologue from your posts. And your umbrage at Jae's suggesting that people w/in the "antiwar movement" aren't all impeccably moral and upstanding demonstrates your own blind arrogance. You can't speak for everyone under that roof. Just accept that and content yourself that you believe yourself and those personally known to you as being moral individuals. But quit preaching to the rest of us.

Also, your being a bit disingenuous again on the whole war thing. You claim to abhor the unnecessary loss of human life, then try to take me to task for drawing such a position to it's own logical conclusion. Are you saying it would be moral to commit genocide against an enemy if that's what it took to defeat it after they had attacked you first? Fight it out to the bitter end? Should you not concede defeat to a superior enemy, if only to spare the lives of countless of your own innocent civilians? Actually, given your posted stance on morality, it would be fair to conclude that you eject such considerations when you think that the "world" (read the UN) is on your side. As I've pointed out, if an act is immoral, as you claim the current gulf war is, then no amount of UN backing makes it a scintilla more acceptable. It merely enlarges the pool of culpable parties. For you to argue otherwise would be extremely illogical.

As to Pilger, you make the mistake of assuming my reasons for dismissing the man are similiar in nature to your MO for rejecting views that don't coincide w/yours. The difference between us is that I allow for other people to make up their minds about what to see or not to see. You on the other hand resort to mislabling those who don't support your outlook. You try to convert others by implying that you know the source of truth and that anyone who can't or won't see that is somehow delusional or some kind of miscreant. Blimey, sounds a lot like those fundies you deride. You also assume too much about what other people use as sources of info in making their decisions. Your brand of logic demands that anyone who'd read chomsky et al would have to draw the same conclusions as these people b/c those are also the conclusions you've reached.

Why get your panties in a bunch there on the military issue. I've already stated that your "slick" enough to try to avoid being quoted verbatim. I'm going from your alread posted comments about people in the military being little better than automatons or...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Oh believe me, I could have called professional soldiers much worse things. Like "wilfully ignorant puppets who abrogate responsibility for their actions more easily and willingly than they draw breath"... I think "noodle-heads" is a relatively mild- but accurate- description.

Originally Posted by Spider AL
No, they're the people who really have to justify their actions to themselves and others. If you talk to a soldier who is fighting an unjust war, what's he going to tell you? "Oh yeah, I've been shooting people for no good reason." Of course he isn't going to tell you that. He's going to lie to himself and to you. Or better still, he'll just believe and repeat the obvious lies that his government has told him through his superiors. Much easier than making up your own falsehoods.

Face it al, noone celebrates those kinds of opinions about things they hold dear. Your contempt speaks volumes. If you somehow, inexplicably, find hate to strong a word.....well that's just your hangup.


Actually I was spot on about the typical comment. I never actually called you, personally, a left wing liberal nor did I say that you were in fact a mindless idealogue. Merely suggested that you share similiar beliefs and behaviors on certain subjects. Frankly, my reason for not responding to a pompous windbag like yourself was I didn't wish to encourage you. Most of your posts are nothing more than your spin on the world, but presented as inalienable fact and are often loaded with vitriol. Your not interested in an exchange of ideas so much as converting people to your way of thinking, as those that decline are usually the recipient of derision. That's fine that that's your MO, but don't expect that everyone else should wish to waste their time by constantly humoring you.

Actually, the Iraqi's and Afghani's were never very good friends of either our countries. Sure they suffered at one point under British ineptitude and tutelage, but never good friends. I believe it was a Brit that stated that countries have no friends, just allies of convienence. Actually, what's endangering the west is it's inability to recognize the challanges placed before it by radical islam. It's not a question of merely religion. Radical islam is as much an ideology as a religion.

You're convienently reinterpreting my comments about WW2. Big surprise. I never stated that the US went to war to save Europe from itself. You're just ranting again for filler apparently. I was referring to isolationist sentiment stateside. There were many who felt that that war was Europe's mess and thus none of our business.

The problem with "cherry picking" is that it can go either way. Naturally, you collected most of the available intelligence at that time and are in a credible position to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Sure al, what's next....gonna try to sell me the Tower bridge.

For the record, the concept of preemption precedes contemporary events and even these neocons that your so worked up about. It has nothing to do with your rather overheated claims. You're just being sloppy and hysterical (in both senses).

As to the whole Hilter thing, you continue to misconstrue things. That's ok, I expect that from you. If you bothered to read carefully, whoops...your problems with comprehension are showing again, you'd notice that I was addressing the topic with regard to passing moral judgements, not using historical comparisons with regard to tactics or startegies pursued. Maybe you should stick your nose back in the dictionary as you seem to have problems with words as well.
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Old 12-01-2006, 04:52 PM   #65
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I'd actually go along with those two posts, as some things that are posted are baiting, condecending and said in an insulting way. I've also noticed that people intrepret what others write about them and then get upset when people draw conclusions from what they write.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:19 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

In the realm of foreign policy you come across as a vapid mindless idiotologue from your posts.
Wow, you're really being mature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

The whole Blix mission was fatally compromised by food for oil and SH's informants w/in the UN. Blix was never going to find anything substantial b/c they always knew more or less when and where he would be coming. Much like Germany's plans on the eastern front.
Hans Blix and his efforts were unconnected to the "oil for food" programme, which, by the way, was the subject of a witch-hunt on the part of the US government, designed to distract attention from the illegality of the war, and to discredit the UN. If the programme was marginally corrupt (as anything involving such large sums of money will probably be), it was corrupt with the knowledge of the US LONG before they kicked up a stink about it:

Ref: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/d9d4d8b0-64f...00e2511c8.html

As for "Saddam's spies in the UN", this claim was made by the US government following the invasion. "The US Iraq survey group" which delivered the report in which the claims were made, was headed by one Charles Duelfer. His predecessor resigned in 2004 stating that he did not think Iraq possessed any WMDs, and that the intelligence to the contrary that the Bush administration cited had been wrong. Here's the report:

Link: https://www.cia.gov/cia/reports/iraq...004/index.html
Link: http://news.findlaw.com/nytimes/docs...004wmdrpt.html - Mirror

The group's report concluded many points, five of which are:
  • That Iraq had ceased production of WMDs in 1991.
  • That Iraq had no deployable WMDs at the time of the recent invasion.
  • That Iraq had no plan in place to resume production of WMDs even AFTER sanctions were lifted.
  • That there was NO proof that biological weapons stocks had existed since the 1991 war.
  • And of course... that it was unlikely that WMDs were ferried out of the country before the war. (They had seen no evidence to suggest that this was the case.)

This was the US government's own report, Tot. So much for your (and the US government's) assertions that "Saddam had WMDs", that "Saddam was moving the WMDs to fool the inspectors", and finally that he "moved them to Syria". There's no evidence for ANY of these claims. Purely spurious.

Yes, the report made many allegations that Iraq had "bought influence" in countries like France and Russia through oil-for-food contracts... But these allegations were nebulous in the first place, and were never substantiated. They strike one as exactly the sort of thing that a US government desperately fishing around for excuses might latch on to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Geez, al, quoting a throwaway line from pop culture as a defense of your position, soooo droll. Also proves nothing.
It proves you have no sense of humour! Come on, Otto, lighten up. Everyone loves "A Fish".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I stated that it was a defeat for the VC, and the commie north as well. You seek to work your illogic to create a different statement altogether. Check your facts here, pal. The facts are born out by history, al. No pent up hostility on your part to the American government changes that. Face it, when even the commanding general of the enemy's forces conceded that they couldn't defeat the US militarily, my statement stands up and yours dissolves into it's own sillinesss.
Tot, the North won. It won in great part due to the effect of the Tet offensive on the US and the South Vietnamese US Collaborators. This is not a subjective judgement, it's the bald fact of the matter. Historians agree on this point. The objectives of the South Vietnamese VC and the North Vietnamese... were ACHIEVED. US objectives... WERE NOT. Yes, VC losses were huge in the Tet offensive, but their losses directly contributed to the achieving of their military goals. They were killed in their droves, yes... but not "defeated" in the way you'd like to think they were.

And once again, you accuse me of being all furious and emotional about the US government... What nonsense. They're corrupt and amoral, yes... but show me a major superpower whose government isn't corrupt and amoral. Anywhere in history. Go on.

The US government is nothing new, and your continued assertions that I'm boiling over with hatred for them... are sheer lunacy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I stand in awe of your continual spewing of illogic and balderdash. But, the fact that you view the VC as freedom fighters says a lot more about you than any denial you churn out about how you're misinterpreted.
Heheh... You'd like to call the VC "terrorists" eh? Just like you'd like to call the insurgents killing our troops in Iraq "terrorists".

Newsflash: When we invade a country, we don't get to call the partisan resistance fighters "terrorists". Because we've invaded their country. They're freedom fighters, because we invaded their country. We're invaders. It's quite obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

And your umbrage at Jae's suggesting that people w/in the "antiwar movement" aren't all impeccably moral and upstanding demonstrates your own blind arrogance. You can't speak for everyone under that roof. Just accept that and content yourself that you believe yourself and those personally known to you as being moral individuals. But quit preaching to the rest of us.
I'll say it again, really really really clearly this time, no possibility of misunderstanding:

If someone is "anti-war", they're concerned with morality, because there is no other reason to be "anti-war" than the moral reason.

If someone is "pro-war" on the other hand, they're an amoral warmonger.

This is basic stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Also, your being a bit disingenuous again on the whole war thing. You claim to abhor the unnecessary loss of human life, then try to take me to task for drawing such a position to it's own logical conclusion. Are you saying it would be moral to commit genocide against an enemy if that's what it took to defeat it after they had attacked you first? Fight it out to the bitter end? Should you not concede defeat to a superior enemy, if only to spare the lives of countless of your own innocent civilians?
We weren't attacked first by Iraq, or Afghanistan for that matter. They weren't even capable of attacking us. It's time you admitted that.

So logically speaking, I'm saying that unless you're attacked first by a party, or unless you have reasonable evidence, independently analysed, that shows you're about to be attacked by the party in question, your attack on them will never be moral, because it'll never be in self-defence.

Therefore, our invasion of Iraq is immoral as well as illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Actually, given your posted stance on morality, it would be fair to conclude that you eject such considerations when you think that the "world" (read the UN) is on your side. As I've pointed out, if an act is immoral, as you claim the current gulf war is, then no amount of UN backing makes it a scintilla more acceptable. It merely enlarges the pool of culpable parties. For you to argue otherwise would be extremely illogical.
Once again you're making a reeeeeally basic error. You actually made the selfsame error in the "saddam death penalty" thread. I thought I explained it clearly enough for you at the time... It seems I was wrong.

UN approval does not necessarily confer morality upon a military action.
But WITHOUT UN approval, that military action will never be moral. It can never be moral.

UN Approval = X
Morality = Y
Objectively legally approved evidence = Z

X does not equal Y.
X + Z equals Y.
Y cannot be present, without X.
Y cannot be present, without Z.
Y cannot be present with MERELY Z.
Y cannot be present with MERELY X.
X + Z equals Y.

***

That's pretty clear, but let me give you another couple of examples.

You = US
Man = Iraq
Policeman = UN

You cannot bash a man over the head if you believe without evidence that he is going to mug you in a month's time. That would be both illegal and immoral.

But even if your friend the policeman told you "it's okay for you to bash this man without evidence", bashing the man would not be moral. It might be legal, but not moral.

The only moral AND legal scenario would be: You give evidence to the policeman. He concurs with your conclusion that the man wants to mug you. He gives you license to act in pre-emptive self-defence, and you go and bash the man.

The presence of the law does not imply morality. But without the presence of the law, morality cannot be claimed. Do you see?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As to Pilger, you make the mistake of assuming my reasons for dismissing the man are similiar in nature to your MO for rejecting views that don't coincide w/yours. The difference between us is that I allow for other people to make up their minds about what to see or not to see.
No, the difference between you and I is that I will look at ANY evidence that is available or is shown to me. From any source. I will then judge the evidence on the strength of its logic and its factual basis.

YOU will refuse to look at ANY evidence that you consider to be "commie" in nature, e.g: Pilger. And I quote: "I'll not waste my time, some 51 minutes of it, on this left wing propogandist." He's a serious journo. Only neocons call him a "propagandist" in my experience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You try to convert others by implying that you know the source of truth and that anyone who can't or won't see that is somehow delusional or some kind of miscreant. Blimey, sounds a lot like those fundies you deride. You also assume too much about what other people use as sources of info in making their decisions. Your brand of logic demands that anyone who'd read chomsky et al would have to draw the same conclusions as these people b/c those are also the conclusions you've reached.
I don't try to "convert" you or anyone, Tot. I merely try to express the factually based truths that are so rarely spoken.

And I don't demand that you draw the same conclusions from Chomsky as I do. If you can come up with a better logically arrived at conclusion from analysis of his facts, I encourage you to do so. What I DO expect is that you at least LOOK at Chomsky's or Pilger's material before making generalised nonsense comments.

Let's make a deal: If you will go and watch Pilger's 50 minute documentary and then give us a detailed and logical critique of the facts it contains and the conclusions it draws, I will review any material of comparable size or length that you believe supports YOUR case, and provide a logical critique in the same manner.

I'm perfectly open to sources of information that disagree with my current views. Are you? Let's do it. Now. Gimme some hour-long stuff. Gimme.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Why get your panties in a bunch there on the military issue. I've already stated that your "slick" enough to try to avoid being quoted verbatim. I'm going from your alread posted comments about people in the military being little better than automatons or...
So you're admitting that you have no evidence to back up your claims that I "hate the military". I've never stated that I hate the military, I've never IMPLIED that I hate the military, your claim is purely spurious and foolish.

I HAVE said that I consider anyone who wants to join an army that is controlled by a clearly corrupt government to be at best ill-informed, at worst, amoral. End of story. I feel sorry for the ill-informed, and I think the amoral are reprehensible. I hate neither.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Face it al, noone celebrates those kinds of opinions about things they hold dear. Your contempt speaks volumes. If you somehow, inexplicably, find hate to strong a word.....well that's just your hangup.
So if you don't "hold something dear" then you HATE it. That's what you're saying. Utter utter nonsense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Actually I was spot on about the typical comment. I never actually called you, personally, a left wing liberal nor did I say that you were in fact a mindless idealogue.
Oh yes you did. You stated: "You are very typical of the left wing military hating mindless idealogue that is an infestation on the so called anti-war movement."

This is a direct assertion on your part that I personally am a "left wing military hating mindless idealogue". If you were attempting to formulate an indirect or implied insult, you failed.

Technically and constructionally speaking, your statement is much worse than merely a personal insult towards one person. You state that the "anti war movement" is "infested" with "left wing military hating mindless idealogues" and that I am "typical" of such people.

I'd be offended not just for myself but for anti-war people, but your assertion is just too ludicrous to create anything but mirth and pity.

Besides, you've directly called me much worse things: among other things, a "pompous windbag" and a "vapid mindless idiotologue"... whatever that is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Actually, the Iraqi's and Afghani's were never very good friends of either our countries. Sure they suffered at one point under British ineptitude and tutelage, but never good friends.
Mohohoh! The fact that both our countries funded and armed Saddam so he could pursue his war against our ideological foes the Iranians, and the fact that the US granted Saddam concessions that they would only have granted to other close friends like Israel or the UK... would seem to prove you wrong. Afghanistan- same situation with the funding and arming, in opposition to the soviets.

QED.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Actually, what's endangering the west is it's inability to recognize the challanges placed before it by radical islam. It's not a question of merely religion. Radical islam is as much an ideology as a religion.
Ah, so you still don't think this is a "war on terror", but a religious war? Good luck with either interpretation, frankly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You're convienently reinterpreting my comments about WW2. Big surprise. I never stated that the US went to war to save Europe from itself. You're just ranting again for filler apparently. I was referring to isolationist sentiment stateside. There were many who felt that that war was Europe's mess and thus none of our business.
You stated that the US decision to enter the war was "right", and "right" in the moral sense, directly in relation to Europe. And I quote: "many would have found the possibility of some kind of peace with the Nazis preferable to all the bloodshed of doing battle. All the more so b/c of our experience of WW 1 and the attitude that the US should have let the Euros fend for themselves. I believe, like I suspect you probably do, that the right decision was ultimately made."

And my comments were perfectly pertinent. The US decision to enter the war cannot be considered morally right, becuase it was tardy and self-interested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

The problem with "cherry picking" is that it can go either way. Naturally, you collected most of the available intelligence at that time and are in a credible position to seperate the wheat from the chaff. Sure al, what's next....gonna try to sell me the Tower bridge.

For the record, the concept of preemption precedes contemporary events and even these neocons that your so worked up about. It has nothing to do with your rather overheated claims. You're just being sloppy and hysterical (in both senses).
Ooh, feel the disdain of the emoticons! /me shudders.

I've read all the reports and analyses of the intelligence associated with Iraq that I can get my grubby little paws on, and have come to my conclusions because they are the logical conclusions to come to when the evidence and analyses of the evidence are analysed dispassionately. Cherry-picking is choosing select bits of evidence to support an already existing claim.

As the US/UK governments did Re: WMDs.

As regards US doctrine of spontaneous pre-emptive strikes without evidence, nobody's saying it's new, they're saying it's immoral. Small wee little difference there you might wanna look at!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As to the whole Hilter thing, you continue to misconstrue things. That's ok, I expect that from you. If you bothered to read carefully, whoops...your problems with comprehension are showing again, you'd notice that I was addressing the topic with regard to passing moral judgements, not using historical comparisons with regard to tactics or startegies pursued.
Once again, nobody's comparing anyone with Hitler in moral terms or any other terms, and you and the other neocons are the only ones who keep bringing up the WORDS "Hitler" and "Nazis" even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Maybe you should stick your nose back in the dictionary as you seem to have problems with words as well.


What COULD he mean by this? How bizarre.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

This is one of those times when I wish we had visual/aural cues to help soften this a bit, because I'm really not intending this to come across as snippy (though I fear you'll take it that way)--I'm just trying to be very matter-of-fact in my tone.
Jae, I think you'll find that I have never exhibited the rather... yes, oversensitive attitude that you have exhibited in recent threads, so you have nothing to fear. I will not take your message as "snippy" unless it... actually is snippy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

When you can debate with me in a more polite way that does not involve baiting, condescension, and an insulting tone if not the insults themselves, I'll be happy to enjoy a good argument with you.
You've perpetually accused me of being "condescending" in this and past threads on the topic of Iraq. This is of course, erroneous. The fact is that I do consider your spurious opinions on the topic of Iraq to be a result of the fact that you lack important information on the topic... and have no desire to acquire said information. And refuse to accept said information when it is presented to you.

I'll give you one example. I suggested in a recent Iraq-related thread that you look at some of Chomsky's material on the topic of the Iraqi invasion, and to your credit, you did. (Well, I presume you did, although it is possible you merely glanced at his bio on Wikipedia or something like that.) However, when you returned and posted a reply, you stated that you were dismissing all Chomsky's analyses, because his day-job is that of Professor of Linguistics at MIT and therefore- you concluded- he was unqualified to dispense opinions on US foreign policy. And you further stated that you also considered him "too left-wing" to listen to. (Despite the fact that Chomsky's hated by portions of both the left, and the right.)

Now, this is exactly the kind of thing that I'm referring to. You look at a noted commentator on US foreign policy, (who has been writing on the topic in scholarly circles for some thirty-five years or more, I guess,) and you dismiss everything that this commentator has to say, for two utterly illogical, arbitrary reasons.

I cannot respect such a judgement. I must conclude that it's part of a larger process of denial and self-delusion. You can call this condescending all you like, but if you can dismiss the work of possibly the most read moral activist of the past century, out of hand... Who else are you dismissing out of hand? Will you dismiss the work of Robert Fisk out of hand? Pilger's work? As I've stated previously, I read as much commentary as I can on the war in Iraq, from neoconservative nonsense to Islamic propaganda. I accept as truth only what is backed up by facts that I myself check. I consider this to be the ONLY way to divine the truth, logically and with a critical mind.

I consider your method of formulating your opinions (insofar as it has been demonstrated to me) to be utterly logically flawed, and frankly beneath consideration. It seems to be broadly made up of accepting politically tainted hearsay as truth, and giving your leaders the benefit of the doubt that they have in no way earned either contemporarily or historically.

You can call that condescending... but it's merely the truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

You have some great ideas that I find really interesting, but your attitude in your presentation is so offensive to me that I'm not able to debate with you without getting very angry. So rather than subject the entire Senate to a nasty flame war that might end up in both of us getting banned, and subject myself to far more aggravation than I want from a Star Wars forum (because this is supposed to be a fun place to be, not a place where I go to get flamed), it's better if we don't debate at this time. I don't speak to people the way you're speaking to me, and I don't tolerate verbal abuse from anyone. When you alter your argument style to make it less personal and more civil, I'll be more than happy to return to discussion with you.
Yeah, that's fine. I fully respect your right to use the forums purely for amusement rather than weighty discussions. I do NOT accept your assertions that I'm condescending or offensive. And frankly I don't consider that you've been "debating" in any serious way, for some time now.

I further note that you're observing what I consider to be the correct way to deal with conflict resolution as I recommended in the thread called... I think it was called "common courtesy", namely expressing yourself clearly and removing yourself from the situation that's aggravating you, while also delineating your boundaries.

I seem to recall you expressed a different opinion on the ideal way to resolve such conflicts at the time, however... so I flatter myself a little to think I've had some influence on that score. Maybe, maybe not.

Thanks for the compliment regarding my "great ideas" though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

Also be aware that sometimes I will play devil's advocate and argue a side just for the sake of debating, even if I don't personally hold that specific view.
You seem to be implying that you've "played devil's advocate" at some point during the threads on the topic of Iraq... but that's irrelevant. I debate the points that are presented to me, whether those presenting the points actually believe in the points or not is of no concern to me.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

I'd actually go along with those two posts, as some things that are posted are baiting, condecending and said in an insulting way. I've also noticed that people intrepret what others write about them and then get upset when people draw conclusions from what they write.
If you believe this, post some examples, post some quotes of these "people getting upset", and I'll refute your claims on the basis of fact. If you're just going to make non-specific generalisations, your claims will remain spurious.


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Old 12-01-2006, 05:23 PM   #67
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When Mace kept baiting on that topic there was this post I made here.
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Old 12-01-2006, 05:37 PM   #68
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Ah, your "random quotes" post.

As stated before, none of my quotes in that post are insulting or condescending towards anyone. Neither do I "get upset at the conclusions people draw" in those quotes, or at any other time.

Hmm... Mace's first quote though... yeah, it could be called a little insulting I suppose. But only slightly. Mace has been denigrated much more fervently than that in previous threads, so he showed a bit of restraint there. But hey, let Mace comment on his own quotes.

I'll comment on mine: NONE of those quotes of mine you cite support your case.


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Old 12-01-2006, 05:55 PM   #69
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"And frankly, a little propaganda here, a little scare-mongering there... and the US public would shut up and accept it." isn't condecending? "So in effect, you want to punish committed moralists for being so... so... so MORAL!" isn't condecending? "So there are several ways to solve the problem we have created... but we're not going to do it! Oh happy day!" isn't condecending? "The idea that showing anonymous coffins on a news report would decrease your personal safety in any meaningful way is ludicrous, bordering on paranoia." isn't out and out trolling? "Ah! The old "I pay my taxes... so I should get to decide what you can and cannot do and see and watch!" fallacy." isn't condecending? "Ohhh quote it all, Jae, quote it all." isn't out and out trolling? "Is this REALLY the image you have in your head of the way Anti-war people think and feel? If so, you're deluded. If I were to be uncharitable, I'd suggest that such vitriolic lies totally invalidated any opinions you might hold on all related topics." isn't out and out trolling? "Wrong once again. And quite a glaring error too." isn't condecending? "But if YOU don't recognise their amorality, that does rather make you wilfully ignorant." isn't baiting? "Oh believe me, I could have called professional soldiers much worse things" isn't baiting? "Is that the best you can do? "Well, half a million Iraqis may be dead because of us in the space of three years... But... umm... YOU CAN'T PROVE THAT SADDAM AND HIS EVIL SONS WOULDN'T HAVE KILLED HALF A MILLION PEOPLE TOO!!!!11"" isn't baiting and trollish? I was going by what you and Mace said, but maybe I should double check with Skinwalker? Hey, you or anyone else think these comments are a little off base?
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Old 12-01-2006, 06:07 PM   #70
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Quote:
"And frankly, a little propaganda here, a little scare-mongering there... and the US public would shut up and accept it." isn't condecending?
Nope, it's not condescending. Condescending is talking down to someone as if they were a child. This statement is pretty plain and innocuous. It's also true. The US public and the UK public accept propaganda and scare-mongering on a daily basis, because that's all the government will give them.

Quote:
"So in effect, you want to punish committed moralists for being so... so... so MORAL!" isn't condecending? "So there are several ways to solve the problem we have created... but we're not going to do it! Oh happy day!" isn't condecending?
Nope, and nope. I mean feel free to get an unbiased second opinion on this. The first quote could be called "flippant", I suppose... but that's the worst it could be called. The second quote is SO not condescending or baiting or flaming... You surely must see that. Obvious.

Quote:
The idea that showing anonymous coffins on a news report would decrease your personal safety in any meaningful way is ludicrous, bordering on paranoia." isn't out and out trolling?
No! Because the claim that showing anonymous coffins on news reports would decrease ANYONE'S personal safety, IS ludicrous. It DOES border on paranoia. It's a strange, wierd idea that makes no sense, and therefore must be based on irrational fear.

I mean, do YOU think that showing anonymous coffins on the news puts ANYONE at risk of being burgled or assaulted? Come on.

Quote:
"Ah! The old "I pay my taxes... so I should get to decide what you can and cannot do and see and watch!" fallacy." isn't condecending? "Ohhh quote it all, Jae, quote it all." isn't out and out trolling? "Is this REALLY the image you have in your head of the way Anti-war people think and feel? If so, you're deluded. If I were to be uncharitable, I'd suggest that such vitriolic lies totally invalidated any opinions you might hold on all related topics." isn't out and out trolling? "Wrong once again. And quite a glaring error too." isn't condecending? "But if YOU don't recognise their amorality, that does rather make you wilfully ignorant." isn't baiting? "Oh believe me, I could have called professional soldiers much worse things" isn't baiting? "Is that the best you can do? "Well, half a million Iraqis may be dead because of us in the space of three years... But... umm... YOU CAN'T PROVE THAT SADDAM AND HIS EVIL SONS WOULDN'T HAVE KILLED HALF A MILLION PEOPLE TOO!!!!11"" isn't baiting and trollish?
NO! Godssake, you've typed MUCH more trollish things yourself. Can't you recognise the difference?

Just because you don't LIKE them, doesn't make them baiting or trolling.

Quote:
I was going by what you and Mace said, but maybe I should double check with Skinwalker? Hey, you or anyone else think these comments are a little off base?
Hey, look, feel free to go and ask a mod whether he or she thinks that those quotes are "trollish". Do what you have to do.

Once again, you've typed some dubious things yourself. Some very emotional things. This is the last word I will say on this subject: These quotes you've singled out... they don't prove your case. End of.


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Old 12-01-2006, 06:12 PM   #71
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Well I'm sorry to spoil your fun but I'm going to have a new rule to not reply to posts that are baiting, Mace I'm talking to you on this, trollish or where the poster will not listen no matter what and encourage everyone else to do the same. Of course you'll swoop in and have to have the last word like an idiot, and if you think that and other comments I make are trollish, guess what? I sleep well at night.
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Old 12-01-2006, 09:31 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Quote:
The idea that showing anonymous coffins on a news report would decrease your personal safety in any meaningful way is ludicrous, bordering on paranoia." isn't out and out trolling?
No! Because the claim that showing anonymous coffins on news reports would decrease ANYONE'S personal safety, IS ludicrous. It DOES border on paranoia. It's a strange, wierd idea that makes no sense, and therefore must be based on irrational fear.

I mean, do YOU think that showing anonymous coffins on the news puts ANYONE at risk of being burgled or assaulted? Come on.
At the time I wrote that I was having a nasty bout of insomnia and was up way too late. The concept I had in mind at that point was actually names associated with coffins, but I didn't write it in an obvious manner. Anonymous coffins aren't the same security risk, obviously. However, knowing a relative day of death/funeral associated with a name makes it very easy to look up an obituary on google, find out what town they lived in and the name of the spouse (among other information), do an address lookup, etc....

When I had to have knee surgery at the naval hospital, I googled the doc's name because I wanted to know more about this guy who was going to be cutting on me. I learned all sorts of interesting things--where he went to school, where he did his residency (these 2 being the most salient for me), a home listing when he sold his house, his rank in the military and when he got promoted, who he studied with during his residency (happily, an attending who was known in the orthopedic field for study on knees), his specific area of interest based on a journal article he co-authored (also happily, it was on knees), the years he graduated college, med school and residency, and the fact that he owned a red Volvo. I could have learned significantly more about him had I done just a little more research. If I could learn all that with just a little effort of typing a name in a google box, what could someone learn about my family and me if they were to see Jimbo's name and his coffin and were far more determined to accomplish something?
With 2 young ones to protect, security is a far greater concern for me than it used to be when I didn't have kids, so I have to be concerned with anything that could invade my family's privacy.
The rest I don't feel like dealing with, but I had to clarify that one.


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Old 12-01-2006, 11:19 PM   #73
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Actually, you're wrong again on a lot of things. First, I have as much a sense of humor as you. The fact that I'm even dealing with you is proof enough. You continue, however, to make a lot of half baked assumptions throughout. I'dve included one of those ROFL icons at the beginning had I been able to find it. My initial reaction to your last reply was almost just that, laughing my arse off. I actually saw that movie when it came out and thought it funny. Your attempt to use it as a preamble to your, to put it charitably, argument seemed a bit misplaced. Fact is, I'll take General Giap's interpretation over yours. Your contention that the VC were freedom fighters is still too ludicrous to take seriously. So you might as well drag out that hoary old saying.....one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. But seriously, what freedom are you citing here exactly? The freedom to ruthlessly oppress your own people once you take control? Or is it just the "freedom" of sending any foreign influence packing (or rather replacing it with one more to your liking)?

As I said before, you really need to get out of your pulpit. You still have a problem with twisting people's comments so that you can go off on one of your rants. If you don't understand what you're reading, and it's woefully apparent that you still have problems with comprehension, then perhaps you should hold off and ask what is meant before you commit the same kinds of errors you seem to believe others are doing with you. Fact is, you are rather rabid in your assertion that your morality is beyond reproach and silly in your assertion that everyone who claims to be antiwar is only so b/c they oppose war (of course unless it's defensive or "UN approved").

If you think I'm being unfair in my description of you as behaving like an idealogue of that nature on foreign policy concerns, it's no more unfair than you're referring to me as a neocon b/c I've not come out and condemned vigourously the campaign in Iraq.

The heart of the problem about moral vs immoral is your insistence that the UN has any moral weight whatsoever. No country needs the impramateur of the UN for moral legitimacy. End of story. We are going to be perpetually at odds on this point, so there's no need for you to attempt to answer it. You think it's necessary, I don't. The end.

Fact is, nowhere have I said that you are foaming at the mouth. You are, however not as dispassionate as you claim. You are no different from anyone else here in that you are also working from a set position on issues. You believe, erroneously, that you have the corner on the truth. You work from your biases and reject that which does not fit within your comfortable framework, much as you accuse others. You also assume a great deal, which has been pointed out. Your ego, unfortunately, gets in the way. Many people have pointed out that you're basically a condescending sob, and they're right, though we all know you won't (can't, more likely) admit to that. Not the sign of a very mature mind, though one that is often quick to label others as being immature.

You obviously enjoy putting words in other people's minds and insisting you know what they meant, not them. A perfect for instance:

"You stated that the US decision to enter the war was "right", and "right" in the moral sense, directly in relation to Europe. And I quote: "many would have found the possibility of some kind of peace with the Nazis preferable to all the bloodshed of doing battle. All the more so b/c of our experience of WW 1 and the attitude that the US should have let the Euros fend for themselves. I believe, like I suspect you probably do, that the right decision was ultimately made."


Nowhere was the term moral used in my argument. You inserterted it so that you could once again attack the US govt of behaving in an amoral/immoral manner. You do it intentionally once again in responding to the whole issue of using the word nazi. I merely agreed that calling someone a nazi b/c you didn't favor their stance on the issues was merely diluting the impact of the jab. Since I haven't used Hitler or Nazi in the perjorative to describe someone here, your point is kinda moot. Hitler is consigned to history and any reference to hitler and or nazis is not automatically a moral judgement, except perhaps in your mind. But just b/c you seem to need the reminder, right and wrong aren't used exclusively in reference to moral issues.

Preemption, is not as you put it only "about picking the weakest countries with the best energy-reserves and invading THOSE." That's merely your politics overiding any remaining vestige of common sense you might still have in you.

Have you figured out incredulity yet, btw?
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Old 12-02-2006, 12:31 AM   #74
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Totenkopf, the Viet Cong were the military branch of the National Liberation Front, an insurgent group. Insofar as the VC were concerned, they were given lots of personnel and supplies by the North Vietnamese army, and were under NV central command. It's important to note that there were indeed South Vietnamese in the NLF; it was not just a construct created by the communists. Spider was correct on this one, apparently.

Quote:
Nowhere was the term moral used in my argument. You inserterted it so that you could once again attack the US govt of behaving in an amoral/immoral manner...
You used the word "right." Generally that is reserved for value judgements. Were I talking about something else, like if the war was financially expedient, I would have said so, because to do otherwise would be unclear.

Quote:
The heart of the problem about moral vs immoral is your insistence that the UN has any moral weight whatsoever. No country needs the impramateur of the UN for moral legitimacy. End of story.
No, it doesn't. The only problem is that the U.S. agreed to abide by the laws of the U.N. when it joined. This is like a citizen's relationship with the state; the citizen is able to vote directly on issues, but is also expected to follow the directives of the state. If the citizen does not follow the laws that it agreed to, then any justice it persues is never legitimate. It is simply vigilanteism. These acts may or may not be morally right. However, if there's a law against something on the international scale, there's generally a good reason. The Geneva Conventions are an excellent example.

I think the options are sort of like this:
Legitimate + moral: good
Illegitimate + moral: not conducive to order, essentially a country is acting like a lynch mob
Legitimate + immoral: bad
Illegitimate + immoral: Iraq.


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Old 12-02-2006, 02:09 AM   #75
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I want to remind everyone that threads in the Senate can get a bit intense at times, but I have to echo something that Spider said above: just because you don't like a comment or the assertion of another poster doesn't mean that this is "trolling" or "baiting." In debating serious topics here in the Senate, there have been many a miffed and even "pissed" person, but such is to be expected when people are debating topics for which they have genuine feelings and passions about.

Indeed, I've always held to the quote by John Reith, one of the innovators of the BBC which says, "there are those for whom it is one's duty to offend." That is to say, in order to bring to light those issues in society that are important, it might be necessary to do so at the expense of proponents and adherents of these issues who would prefer anything but honest inquiry.

Having said that, I'd also ask that we be considerate in tone. The written medium, which includes the internet, is one that allows for a special kind of condescension. One that easily has plausible deniability -and one I'm guilty of partaking in myself. If all your interested in is being the loudest and most annoying voice, this is a tactic that will easily win for you. If, however, you are one that is concerned with inspiring others to think and to examine their own positions; or at least to force them to justify their positions, then care must be taken to avoid unnecessary condescension.

Don't get me wrong. Condescension has its place and can be an effective tool in certain, limited situations. It also isn't strictly against forum rules. It will, however, quickly turn against you even those who are in general agreement with your premises. And I'd add that condescension can be more easily perceived that realized to be uttered. You may not intend to be condescending in written style, but others might perceive it so. Ultimately, it will serve only to make the forum a hostile venue and one that others may not wish to participate in.

I moderate another forum elsewhere on the internet that is currently a madhouse of insult and flames. I just started there a few weeks ago and I'm having a heck of a time getting a handle on it. I would certainly hate to see my friends here in the Senate, whether you are friends I agree with or disagree with in various principles, degrade to such standards.

Please forgive my lecture but take my concern to heart. I'm a bit busy over the next few weeks and I'm a bit stretched to read each and every post these days. Even when I don't actively participate, I usually read everything you guys write until recently, but I'll be back on track in a couple of weeks. As always, though, I respond to all PMs and Reported Post emails.


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Old 12-02-2006, 04:26 PM   #76
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

My initial reaction to your last reply was almost just that, laughing my arse off. I actually saw that movie when it came out and thought it funny. Your attempt to use it as a preamble to your, to put it charitably, argument seemed a bit misplaced. Fact is, I'll take General Giap's interpretation over yours.
Oh really? Okay! Let's accept General Vo Nguyen Giap's interpretation of events as factual:

In this interview with CNN, General Giap said of the Tet offensive:

"The Tet Offensive is a long story. ... It was our policy, drawn up by Ho Chi Minh, to make the Americans quit. Not to exterminate all Americans in Vietnam, [but] to defeat them.

It could be said [Tet] was a surprise attack which brought us a big victory. For a big battle we always figured out the objectives, the targets, so it was the main objective to destroy the forces and to obstruct the Americans from making war. But what was more important was to de-escalate the war -- because at that time the American were escalating the war -- and to start negotiations. So that was the key goal of that campaign. But of course, if we had gained more than that it would be better.

And [after Tet] the Americans had to back down and come to the negotiating table, because the war was not only moving into the cities, to dozens of cities and towns in South Vietnam, but also to the living rooms of Americans back home for some time. And that's why we could claim the achievement of the objective"


Ref: http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/cold.war...terviews/giap/

So I guess General Giap and I have proved you to be incorrect Tot. Don't feel bad, with a great strategist like Giap as my ally, you really never had a chance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Actually, you're wrong again on a lot of things. First, I have as much a sense of humor as you. The fact that I'm even dealing with you is proof enough.
You cut me to the quick, Sir!

Perhaps you DO have a sense of humour. There's evidence to suggest that you have a sense of humour; you crack plenty of jokes in these threads. I found the ones about the Iraqis having WMDs to be quite amusing. Your skit about Iraq "moving WMDs around to fool the inspectors" was a really good one. Hey, did you ever hear the one about the US "bringing democracy to Iraq"? Oh that one's great. The punchline's a killer. Six-hundred-and-fifty-thousand times over, in fact.

Now, it's worth pointing out at this juncture that the ratio of arguments to personal remarks in your posts has changed somewhat in this post. While in previous posts your points were incorrect and your arguments dubious, at least they were arguments of a type. In this post, you seem to have addressed a grand total of two of my points, and the rest is just unsubstantiated impugning of my character. Which, you know, is fine by me. My shoulders are broad, and the fact that you've run out of even spurious rebuttals essentially means that- whether you admit it consciously or not- you've accepted that you've been proven wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Your contention that the VC were freedom fighters is still too ludicrous to take seriously. So you might as well drag out that hoary old saying.....one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. But seriously, what freedom are you citing here exactly? The freedom to ruthlessly oppress your own people once you take control? Or is it just the "freedom" of sending any foreign influence packing (or rather replacing it with one more to your liking)?
As I said before, Tot, I KNOW you'd like to call the VC (and the Iraqi insurgents who are killing our troops) "terrorists". But as Samuel Dravis has already pointed out, I was correct.

My definition of "South Vietnamese freedom fighters" is the correct one. You know why we call them freedom fighters? Because they were indigenous forces fighting against our invading forces and the corrupt puppet government we kept in place in their nations.

When a country aggressively invades a sovereign nation and is an occupying, invading force, it doesn't GET to call the resistance fighters "terrorists". Whether you admit this simple fact to yourself or not, it's patently true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As I said before, you really need to get out of your pulpit. You still have a problem with twisting people's comments so that you can go off on one of your rants. If you don't understand what you're reading, and it's woefully apparent that you still have problems with comprehension, then perhaps you should hold off and ask what is meant before you commit the same kinds of errors you seem to believe others are doing with you.
This is just a string of unconnected, childish, derogatory remarks that make NO salient points, challenge NONE of my arguments, present NO new evidence and say NOTHING about the topic. Shame on you.

Instead of just being unpleasant, perhaps you should take me up on my earlier deal. (which you ignored) I said: If you will go and watch Pilger's 50 minute documentary and then give us a detailed and logical critique of the facts it contains and the conclusions it draws, I will review any material of comparable size or length that you believe supports YOUR case, and provide a logical critique in the same manner.

If you ignore this idea one more time, it will be clear not only to me, but to everyone who reads this thread that you are NOT interested in analyses of factual evidence, you are NOT interested in hearing other people's views and that you are NOT interested in divining the TRUTH.

I am interested in all three. Let's find the truth together, old buddy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Fact is, you are rather rabid in your assertion that your morality is beyond reproach
There is no "My morality". There is only morality. Morality must consist of a universally applied, logically arrived at standard, or it is not morality. Go to these two threads for more in-depth information:

Moral relativism
On the origin of morals - and the preservation of favoured logic

If you have any logical argument to present that refutes my claim that the invasion of Iraq was immoral... please, present it. If not, we can accept that the invasion was immoral and move on from there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

and silly in your assertion that everyone who claims to be antiwar is only so b/c they oppose war (of course unless it's defensive or "UN approved").
Well let's examine our two opposing viewpoints.

I believe that those who are anti-war... oppose war. I believe they oppose war for moral reasons, as there are no other reasons for opposing war.

You seem to be suggesting throughout your posts that anti-war groups are merely fronts, concealing swathes of evil commie-rats and devious islamic fundamentalists who are pointing out the illegality and immorality of our actions MERELY in order to weaken the wonderful government of the United States, and ruin its noble quest to bring the light of democracy to backward, savage nations like Iraq. Despite the fact that you have no evidence to support this belief.

If you believe something less ludicrous, please, tell me. I wouldn't want to ascribe such an utterly infantile belief to you if it wasn't yours.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

If you think I'm being unfair in my description of you as behaving like an idealogue of that nature on foreign policy concerns, it's no more unfair than you're referring to me as a neocon b/c I've not come out and condemned vigourously the campaign in Iraq.
Oh, you didn't say I was "behaving" like anything. You directly called me (and I quote):

1. a "left wing military hating mindless idealogue"
2. a "pompous windbag"
3. a "vapid mindless idiotologue" (my personal favourite)

And the reason I call you a neocon is that you express belief in neo-conservative propaganda (WMDs), approve of neo-conservative actions (War on Iraq) and routinely regurgitate neo-conservative fallacies (War was not immoral). If you don't want to be called a neo-conservative, try extracting information from sources that aren't neo-conservative in nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

The heart of the problem about moral vs immoral is your insistence that the UN has any moral weight whatsoever. No country needs the impramateur of the UN for moral legitimacy. End of story. We are going to be perpetually at odds on this point, so there's no need for you to attempt to answer it. You think it's necessary, I don't. The end.
Wow, you DO have an open mind, don't you.

Samuel addressed this (as did I, twice in the previous post alone) but it's worth going over again.

The UN is the only body which can serve a truly international interest, and the only body capable of applying international law. It's like a huge police station.

The US/UK's actions in Iraq are counter to international law. Like... murdering someone. If we murder someone, it's the police who will catch us and bring us to trial.

But if the police CAN'T catch us, perhaps because we (the US and UK) have got too many guns, that doesn't mean that our actions weren't ILLEGAL.

And if an action is ILLEGAL, but it is done in the NAME of law and morality (as our invasion was), it's hypocritical as well as immoral. Like the actions of a lynch-mob.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Fact is, nowhere have I said that you are foaming at the mouth. You are, however not as dispassionate as you claim.
You directly claimed that I personally "hate the military". I disproved this assertion. End of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You believe, erroneously, that you have the corner on the truth. You work from your biases and reject that which does not fit within your comfortable framework, much as you accuse others. You also assume a great deal, which has been pointed out. Your ego, unfortunately, gets in the way. Many people have pointed out that you're basically a condescending sob, and they're right, though we all know you won't (can't, more likely) admit to that. Not the sign of a very mature mind, though one that is often quick to label others as being immature.
Once again, a completely irrelevant series of personal remarks and spurious assertions, in support of which you provide no evidence whatsoever.

I am not like you. I have no affiliations with any normal political camps. My politics is the desire to know the truth, and I arrive at the truth as best I can by reading and watching and listening to ALL the information I can, and then objectively and logically analysing this information.

Can you say the same? I think not. You haven't even bothered to look at one short documentary I've posted for you, dismissing it as "left-wing propaganda". It's your choice, and your failing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Hitler is consigned to history and any reference to hitler and or nazis is not automatically a moral judgement, except perhaps in your mind. But just b/c you seem to need the reminder, right and wrong aren't used exclusively in reference to moral issues
Samuel addressed this. You described the US decision to enter WW2 as being "right" in the moral sense. I proved it was not a morally based decision. QED.

Secondly, once again, nobody's comparing anyone with Hitler in moral terms or any other terms, and you and the other neocons are the only ones who keep bringing up the WORDS "Hitler" and "Nazis" even. I'm not making these references. You are.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Preemption, is not as you put it only "about picking the weakest countries with the best energy-reserves and invading THOSE." That's merely your politics overiding any remaining vestige of common sense you might still have in you.
Once again I don't have "politics" in the sense you're trying to imply, I merely have a desire for fact and truth.

Secondly, neocon pre-emptive doctrine has so far been ENTIRELY about picking the weakest countries to invade. We haven't invaded any strong nations. And Iraq has some of the best energy reserves left in the world. So my statement is factually accurate as far as it goes. I could take it further, but you'd probably have an aneurysm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Have you figured out incredulity yet, btw?
Oh, yes, I forgot to tell you:

You accused me of being "incredulous" and I have figured out that you haven't yet realised that you used the wrong word. I don't know what you were trying to call me, but here's the American Heritage Dictionary definition of incredulous to help you along:

in·cred·u·lous (in-krej'?-l?s) Pronunciation Key
adj.
1. Skeptical; disbelieving: incredulous of stories about flying saucers.
2. Expressive of disbelief: an incredulous stare.

[From Latin incredulus : in-, not; see in-1 + credulus, believing; see credulous.]
in·cred'u·lous·ly adv., in·cred'u·lous·ness n.


When you've found the right word, let me know.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

At the time I wrote that I was having a nasty bout of insomnia and was up way too late. The concept I had in mind at that point was actually names associated with coffins, but I didn't write it in an obvious manner. Anonymous coffins aren't the same security risk, obviously.
That's fine, but any statement you post is your responsibility, regardless of how much sleep you've had.

When someone accurately describes a statement you made as ludicrous and bordering on paranoia. (When you chose to post it while mentally debilitated through lack of sleep,) You cannot then accuse them of "being condescending" or trolling or baiting. Because if you misrepresented your OWN point of view, it's your own fault.

As for your clarification, I still consider the idea that named coffins are a security risk of ANY appreciable size to be still really ludicrous.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

If I could learn all that with just a little effort of typing a name in a google box, what could someone learn about my family and me if they were to see Jimbo's name and his coffin and were far more determined to accomplish something?
With 2 young ones to protect, security is a far greater concern for me than it used to be when I didn't have kids, so I have to be concerned with anything that could invade my family's privacy.
Well for starters, the amount of information that is available on any one individual online varies greatly from person to person. I've done searches on really obscure people and found a wealth of information, and I've done searches on quite gregarious individuals and have found virtually nothing on them. (As I'm sure you have, or if you haven't, you can try it now.)

And often one's personal dedication to security is a contributing factor in keeping information OUT of the system.

So with that in mind one of the undesirable situations you're describing might unfold thusly:

1. First, some deranged violent individual wants to assault another random individual.
2. They happen to watch the news and see some named coffins returning to the US.
3. They pick a surname at random, and decide (without evidence) that there must be a vulnerable spouse somewhere.
4. They decide (without evidence) that the spouse will have NO other adults around to protect her.
5. They then find out what area of the US the poor dead soldier came from.
6. They research local papers, the internet and any other available sources to find an address.
7. They succeed in discerning which is the one correct "Mrs Smith" or whatever out of the many possible candidates.
8. They then luckily find the address of this spouse.
9. They then travel to this area of the US from wherever they live.
10. They "case the joint" for some time without arousing suspicion.
11. They see that they have miraculously found a war-widow without anyone around to protect her. What good fortune!
12. They then perform whatever dastardly crime they were planning without hiccup.

The chances of all these things happening are astronomical, and for the life of me I can't see how ANYONE who wishes to do a random war-widow harm could do so without going through these steps or similarly unlikely steps. You're more likely to be eaten by a shark, frankly. I'd be more worried about sharks.

And since the US public has a right to see the consequences of an illegal and immoral war, I'm afraid that irrational fears don't weigh very heavily against that right. The coffins should be shown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jae Onasi:

The rest I don't feel like dealing with, but I had to clarify that one.
Mm, okay. But if you want to debate properly, I personally would prefer it if you'd address all the points and questions directed at you, rather than just addressing one and going away. If I didn't want to debate properly, I wouldn't debate at all.


[FW] Spider AL
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Hewwo, meesa Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah. Excusing me, but me needs to go bust meesa head in with dissa claw-hammer, because yousa have stripped away meesa will to living.
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