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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » The Iraq war: a Hatrack retrospective (Page 2)

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Author Topic: The Iraq war: a Hatrack retrospective
Blayne Bradley
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How can there be any tone *other* than anger? Your country screwed up so spectacularly that 600,000 are dead, and you just don't give a crap so long as you can white knight your country and rationalize it away.

You are completely lacking in reading comprehension as you keep misreading or otherwise misinterpreting my words, for example, I didn't say realpolitik is reprehensible, only that the US embarked in it and that by doing so, by doing so for the selfish reasons of national interest, it discredits virtually ALL the arguments that the United States was "just" in its illegal invasion of Iraq. So stop shifting the goal posts.

You keep not getting this somehow, like some kind of willful exercise in blatant ignorance and denial.

Again more non-sequitors and trivial tangents, excuse mongering and rationalizations completely lacking in substance shifting the conversation away from your white knighting of a failed policy and a failed baseless and illegal invasion that you consistently refuse to engage or answer to attacking the opposition rather than the address points of substance.

Maybe you should stop pedantic nitpicking the largest international organization for its flaws while trivializing it's undoubtable successes and focus on the the issues at hand rather than you know, consistently derailing the topic to get away from you know, not having to defend your arguments.

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Lyrhawn
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Some of the blame for those dead goes to Iraq itself. It's a country designed to fly apart at the seams without a strong bonding agent. Saddam was that bonding agent, and he only governed effectively when he was killing off scores of potential violent forces. When we destroyed the bonding agent, the country immediately fell apart.

Do we bear the blame for breaking the bond? Yes, of course we do. We should have had a bonding agent in place ready to go.

Do we bear all the blame for the destruction that followed? No. You take some heat for putting a gun on a table and walking away. But when an adult picks up the gun and shoots someone else, you don't say it isn't murder because someone gave him the gun. Sectarian violence claimed many of those lives.

Having said that, I'm glad Iraq is over, I was never, ever in favor of the war, and I think we have a lot to answer for.

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Rakeesh
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Like you've said before, Blayne, I just don't give a crap about civilian deaths-in fact I'm *happy* about them, I'm sorry there weren't *more*! Why, I certainly haven't expressed contempt for the way the Bush Administration waged the war in this very thread and dozens of times elsewhere!

Man, I just hate me some Iraqi civilians. It's probably because they're usually so *brown*, and as a fat self-glorying American I just hate 'em!

ETA: Again, Blayne, take refuge is fantasy however you like, this isn't a case of you posing damning arguments and observations, and me getting all blustery arrogant American and just refusing to answer because your powerful truth makes me realize a guilty conscience. Nothing like that. I'm willing and indeed eager to discuss this, as I have with Destineer and others.

I'm just not willing to engage with you, because of the straightforward dishonest or careless way in which you're discussing it. Instead, I'm having a good time watching you go nuts-just now I had some fun watching you declare I just don't care about the civvies, and I think my country is a white knight in this affair. If it were someone else saying it, I'd be suspicious of irony.

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Destineer
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I think Blayne has made some very good points that you should address.

quote:
There isn't any sillyness but the 100% serious allegation that the United States committed war crimes and crimes against peace under the standards and precedents set at Nuremburg and continues to flout international law as it sees fit.
Indeed. We seem to have forgotten how many Germans we found guilty of the crime of "waging aggressive war."

quote:
Also again to address the "parole" argument, international law makes it very clear that nations are only akin to individuals but otherwise do not have the same standards applied to them as applied to individuals. After all the United States was not Iraq's parole agent, the UNSC was. Further enhancing the war's illegality because its vigilante justice outside your jurisdiction to carry the analogy further.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Some of the blame for those dead goes to Iraq itself. It's a country designed to fly apart at the seams without a strong bonding agent. Saddam was that bonding agent, and he only governed effectively when he was killing off scores of potential violent forces. When we destroyed the bonding agent, the country immediately fell apart.

Do we bear the blame for breaking the bond? Yes, of course we do. We should have had a bonding agent in place ready to go.

Do we bear all the blame for the destruction that followed? No. You take some heat for putting a gun on a table and walking away. But when an adult picks up the gun and shoots someone else, you don't say it isn't murder because someone gave him the gun. Sectarian violence claimed many of those lives.

Having said that, I'm glad Iraq is over, I was never, ever in favor of the war, and I think we have a lot to answer for.

This is not historically accurate, Iraq had a functioning government pre-Saddam and had a functioning government since it gained Independence from the British Trusteeship. It had a rocky history with coup's and what not but what developing country today hasn't?

quote:

Like you've said before, Blayne, I just don't give a crap about civilian deaths-in fact I'm *happy* about them, I'm sorry there weren't *more*! Why, I certainly haven't expressed contempt for the way the Bush Administration waged the war in this very thread and dozens of times elsewhere!

Man, I just hate me some Iraqi civilians. It's probably because they're usually so *brown*, and as a fat self-glorying American I just hate 'em!

ETA: Again, Blayne, take refuge is fantasy however you like, this isn't a case of you posing damning arguments and observations, and me getting all blustery arrogant American and just refusing to answer because your powerful truth makes me realize a guilty conscience. Nothing like that. I'm willing and indeed eager to discuss this, as I have with Destineer and others.

I'm just not willing to engage with you, because of the straightforward dishonest or careless way in which you're discussing it. Instead, I'm having a good time watching you go nuts-just now I had some fun watching you declare I just don't care about the civvies, and I think my country is a white knight in this affair. If it were someone else saying it, I'd be suspicious of irony.

You are the one that relied on fallacies as your opening statement, you are the one that relied on a false equivalence "well china did this or that" as a deflection tactic to avoid have to be accountable for your argument and avoid substantiating it. We are not addressing China here, we are addressing the United States, and whether its actions constitute war crimes under the precedents set at Nuremburg. An allegation you have thus far ignored and instead brazingly pushed on with the assumption that the war was somehow "just" and that only the "implementation" was bad. As if we just only need to invade a few more countries and we might get it right "this time".
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:


Kmbboots,

By all means, seize on one-word self-righteous replies founded in the substantive posts other people make (Samprimary, in this case) rather than actually replying to the objections and criticisms I've raised to you specifically.


One word posdts are so much easier from my phone. It wasn't all that tricky. I had originally mentioned investment. You said you didn't know what I meant by clarification. I clarified and then noted when Samprimary gave an example of people with an investment in going to war.

You mentioned the anti-war movement's naivety. You also talk about regretting the civilian deaths. Do you really think that the invasion could have been accomplished without those deaths and various other atrocities? What makes you think so?

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Rakeesh
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Really, Destineer? That's all you have to say? 'He made some good points?' He didn't, say, tell some insulting lies about my own statements?

As for Germans after WWII, quite true. Why the Nuremberg trials are held so highly is curious to me, though, considering what happened to so many of the convicted defendants. I have to wonder, though, aggressive war like the Nazis? We're still in Iraq, after all, we took and held much of its territory and deported or enslaved or murdered their inhabitants, yes?

Please. If we're really going to bring up Nuremberg, we're gonna do it all the way. No cherrypicking.

As for the point about the UNSC...yeah. That fair-minded august body that was, as a group, totally doing its part to enforce *it's own rules* in Iraq prior to the invasion, yes? That group which everyone expected to shoulder collectively the burden *when*-as Democrats and Republicans agreed-military intervention was required? The UNSC that is so justly famed for thwarting tyrants and protecting the innocent? That UNSC?

I don't say these things to suggest America's invasion was legal by UN standards. I bring these things up to ask the question, "How many things are *legal* by those same standards? Half-assed,population-crushing ineffective sanctions were legal. Well known violations of those sanctions by businesses and even politicians among the UNSC was if not legal at least known.

Now, as for war crimes, yes in fact I think many Administration members are guilty of some. Mostly centered around their negligence that led to so many civilian deaths (not that I care about those at all, Destineer, as the good-point-making Blayne has said; and it is really frustrating that your comments on him are only 'he's making some good points'; how about I claim you don't care about Iraqi civilians at all, because you were happy to see them suffer under Saddam, would that be a 'good point'?)

But 'waging aggressive war'? Good grief!
---

Ohh, ohh, Blayne-hey, if Taiwan fired on a PRC plane in PRC airspace, would that count as provocation for military response? Just curious-it's not as though we don't know your answer already.

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Destineer
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My attitude these days is, if you're not in a mood to let a few disses drop and get on with arguing the substance of an issue, it's not a good day to be on Hatrack.

The charge of waging aggressive war was taken very seriously at Nuremburg. 'Aggressive' didn't mean bloody, it meant offensive. Starting a war was the crime.

These were standards that the US accepted and imposed on other nations back then (although to say we'd obeyed them ourselves in the past is a big stretch). If you think those standards don't apply to us now, we must've been wrong to impose them on the Germans back then, right?

The way "war crimes" are defined is indeed farcical, although I would identify the farce quite differently than you. It's a "war crime" to use a laser to blind the other guy's soldiers. What a joke. What a comparatively minor, harmless offense compared with actually starting an unnecessary war in the first place.

In a regular court, if you attack someone who you believe is a threat, on the basis of slim evidence, you don't get off on self-defense.

"But the evidence wasn't so slim," say the war's defenders. Poppycock. The evidence wasn't good enough to convince anyone else, except Spain and the ruling faction of the UK government. The fact that the evidence didn't convince our allies, at a time of unprecedented international support for the US, should be enough for a rational person (or nation) to start questioning whether the evidence was really very good at all. In fact it was very weak, and it's only through rationalizing, overly forgiving hindsight that anyone thinks otherwise.

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Samprimary
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quote:
You are the one that relied on fallacies as your opening statement, you are the one that relied on a false equivalence "well china did this or that" as a deflection tactic to avoid have to be accountable for your argument and avoid substantiating it.
Blayne, I'm going to be more direct. Shut up. Stop telling people like Rakeesh how they're obviously moving heaven or earth to not substantiate their argument, or explaining how someone obviously has no standing for their position and are just trying to avoid being "accountable" for it.

The first step towards pretty much anyone being able to take you seriously in debates (especially in your extremely rocky reputation for debating international issues) is to quit acting like this when you're usually always wrong and blustery and useless, otherwise people will just continue to know that you can't rationally be engaged on these matters. It's annoying and you're being ridiculous, stop it.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
You are the one that relied on fallacies as your opening statement, you are the one that relied on a false equivalence "well china did this or that" as a deflection tactic to avoid have to be accountable for your argument and avoid substantiating it.
Blayne, I'm going to be more direct. Shut up. Stop telling people like Rakeesh how they're obviously moving heaven or earth to not substantiate their argument, or explaining how someone obviously has no standing for their position and are just trying to avoid being "accountable" for it.

The first step towards pretty much anyone being able to take you seriously in debates (especially in your extremely rocky reputation for debating international issues) is to quit acting like this when you're usually always wrong and blustery and useless, otherwise people will just continue to know that you can't rationally be engaged on these matters. It's annoying and you're being ridiculous, stop it.

Make me internet tough guy.

He has yet to answer a single argument raised, he has used only deflection tactics, again who is he trying to ultimately convince? What kind of image is he trying to project? What kind of stake does he have? It can't be very much given his unwillingness to answer simple questions. Either he can substantiate or he can concede.

quote:

As for Germans after WWII, quite true. Why the Nuremberg trials are held so highly is curious to me, though, considering what happened to so many of the convicted defendants. I have to wonder, though, aggressive war like the Nazis? We're still in Iraq, after all, we took and held much of its territory and deported or enslaved or murdered their inhabitants, yes?

The Apartheid Fallacy, clearly if the United States doesn't exactly in some kind of glorified checkbox do every Nazi atrocity committed during the Second World War clearly then they aren't war crimes!

I am going to copy and paste Principle VI of the Nuremburg Principles:

quote:

Really, Destineer? That's all you have to say? 'He made some good points?' He didn't, say, tell some insulting lies about my own statements?

You gonna back any of that up? Didn't think so.

quote:

Principle VI states,

"The crimes hereinafter set out are punishable as crimes under international law:
(a) Crimes against peace:
(i) Planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression or a war in violation of international treaties, agreements or assurances;
(ii) Participation in a common plan or conspiracy for the accomplishment of any of the acts mentioned under (i).
(b) War crimes:
Violations of the laws or customs of war which include, but are not limited to, murder, ill-treatment or deportation of slave labor or for any other purpose of the civilian population of or in occupied territory; murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war or persons on the Seas, killing of hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages, or devastation not justified by military necessity.
(c) Crimes against humanity:
Murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation and other inhumane acts done against any civilian population, or persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds, when such acts are done or such persecutions are carried on in execution of or in connection with any crime against peace or any war crime."

Notice that these are somewhat broad legal categories to which undoubtedly the United States actions in Iraq, to which the actions of PMC's like Blackwater would be under the principle of command responsibility become the US's responsibility.

quote:

As for the point about the UNSC...yeah. That fair-minded august body that was, as a group, totally doing its part to enforce *it's own rules* in Iraq prior to the invasion, yes? That group which everyone expected to shoulder collectively the burden *when*-as Democrats and Republicans agreed-military intervention was required? The UNSC that is so justly famed for thwarting tyrants and protecting the innocent? That UNSC?

Right sarcastic cynicism is totally a valid substitute for valid argumentation, you continue to rationalize delegitimizing international norms and customs to support the unilateral actions of the United States; what the legislative body happened to agree upon are irrelevant here because we are dealing with state actors not domestic politics.

This is the same United Nations Security Council that was supportive in the invasion of Afghanistan, intervention in Libya, and the 1991 Gulf War. All situations where the case was significantly more clear cut, with significantly more valid legal basis and a far greater degree of multinational consensus.

The United States failed in its efforts to present a convincing legal case that iraq was in possession of WMD's or a threat to the peace because that evidence was ultimately not there. If it were there precedent seems to point out that the UNSC is more than willing to be supportive of the United States.

quote:

I don't say these things to suggest America's invasion was legal by UN standards. I bring these things up to ask the question, "How many things are *legal* by those same standards? Half-assed,population-crushing ineffective sanctions were legal. Well known violations of those sanctions by businesses and even politicians among the UNSC was if not legal at least known.

How does this validate the invasion of Iraq? That the process is flawed so it justifies a flawed invasion? What about all the other times it worked? Would unilateralism truly be the better alternative to even at worst systemic graft? The evidence doesn't say so.

quote:

Now, as for war crimes, yes in fact I think many Administration members are guilty of some. Mostly centered around their negligence that led to so many civilian deaths (not that I care about those at all, Destineer, as the good-point-making Blayne has said; and it is really frustrating that your comments on him are only 'he's making some good points'; how about I claim you don't care about Iraqi civilians at all, because you were happy to see them suffer under Saddam, would that be a 'good point'?)

You are making light of the utter atrocity the civilian Iraqi deaths and the destruction of their infrastructure ultimately will do in the long term and the near disintegration of a once proud nation and people. You are making light of it with the insistence that "it is only the implementation that is flawed" while ignoring that the reasons of national self interest that propelled the motivations for the war could never have allowed for a just invasion and reconstruction.

You would not be in the position of being "frustrated" if you answered by arguments instead of irrelevant false equivilence non-sequitors.

quote:

But 'waging aggressive war'? Good grief!

I think I am very much not the minority opinion especially among non-americans when it comes to this in our believe that under international law and custom the invasion of Iraq is a crime against peace under the Nuremburg Principles your pedantic nitpicking be damned.

quote:

Ohh, ohh, Blayne-hey, if Taiwan fired on a PRC plane in PRC airspace, would that count as provocation for military response? Just curious-it's not as though we don't know your answer already.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOCYcgOnWUM

Clearly you have not read my previous posts, which makes sense considering your stubborn refusal to substantiate or concede.

quote:

The way "war crimes" are defined is indeed farcical, although I would identify the farce quite differently than you. It's a "war crime" to use a laser to blind the other guy's soldiers. What a joke. What a comparatively minor, harmless offense compared with actually starting an unnecessary war in the first place.

It doesn't quite work that way, the Hague and Geneva Conventions don't explicitly outlaw laser dazzlers, it is only a war crime to act in an unhonorable fashion to an egregious and systemic degree and substantial evidence that laser dazzlers are inhumane. A much more clear cut case is anti personnel mines which for example the German Bouncing Betty's weren't lethal in many instances and could cause grievous and inhumane harm, but because of a lack of treaties and their defencive nature I do not believe the Germans were ever charged with war crimes over the use of bouncing betty's.

The Ottawa Treaty that currently forbids APM's isn't signed by the United States, China or Russia; signatories are obligated to destroy theirs stockpiles of anti personnel mines except for a few for training and research purposes. As a multinational treaty breaking the treaty could be considered a war crime, as for example the Germans breaking the london naval treaty and conducting unrestricted submarine warfare broke treaties they had previously signed, thus Karl Donitz was indited for war crimes on this basis but found not-guilty only because the Allies also broke the same treaty.

There is a I know it when I see it standard for conducting war in a just fashion, it isn't perfect but it isn't too hard to tell the difference if the effort is put into investigating it. Blackwater almost certainly engaged in war crimes under the Nuremburg Principles which by the principle of command responsibility makes it the responsibility of US Commanders on the field, US Supreme Command in Iraqi Theater and by the logical extension of the US itself and the Administration.

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Parkour
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I don't understand why any of you ever bother to respond to blayne bradley. He will never change and he will always act like this, and always be deluded about it. Give it up.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
I don't understand why any of you ever bother to respond to blayne bradley. He will never change and he will always act like this, and always be deluded about it. Give it up.

Coming from someone with absolutely no stake in the thread? Absolutely unastonishing.

Maybe if you had actually participating in the thread this would be worth the paper it isn't printed on but it is just kinda pathetic dog piling.

If you have something substantiative to discuss, discuss it and let the jury of the peers be the judge otherwise it is just an echo chamber in which the Crown has forsaken the field and the honorable opposition holds the center by default through forfeiture.

In short grow some thick skin people.

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Rakeesh
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Heh, wait, dogpiling Among the five people talking here, in this thread, one is partially supportive, one is you, and three are antagonistic. Dogpiling. Right!
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Parkour
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Parkour:
I don't understand why any of you ever bother to respond to blayne bradley. He will never change and he will always act like this, and always be deluded about it. Give it up.

If you have something substantiative to discuss, discuss it and let the jury of the peers be the judge
Ok, substantive discussion: you repeatedly prove that you are not worth taking seriously in these discussions and you flip out and do not help that case, and the way you are acting here reinforces that fact.

And you should quit but you won't because you lack the personal maturity. And that's sad and it would be better if it weren't so but by now I am just tired of watching you derail international discussions in a rude and frustrating way.

Ok "jury of peers", take a position,am I essentially right or essentially wrong. Vote now for me or blayne.

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kmbboots
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My vote. Blayne is rude and over the top but right. You are rude and have contributed nothing but egging Blayne on.
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Rakeesh
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quote:

One word posdts are so much easier from my phone. It wasn't all that tricky. I had originally mentioned investment. You said you didn't know what I meant by clarification. I clarified and then noted when Samprimary gave an example of people with an investment in going to war.

You mentioned the anti-war movement's naivety. You also talk about regretting the civilian deaths. Do you really think that the invasion could have been accomplished without those deaths and various other atrocities? What makes you think so?

Alright, if it was from your phone, then I reacted badly. Sorry about that.

Yes, I do think the invasion could've been accomplished without as many deaths as have followed, absolutely. Do you really disagree with that? Given that you (and I, to be clear) agree that the Bush Administration horrifically mismanaged the conduct of the war...how can you not think it could've been done better with respect to civilian death? That seems to be a given, implied in your point. Unless your point is that, somehow, any invasion at all was by definition going to absolutely be mismanaged as a question of fact-that it would have been impossible for the Bush Administration to have made better decisions.

As for naivete, yes, I stand by that, to the extent that the anti-war movement in general seems to oppose any military intervention, pre-emptive or otherwise, anywhere. It was opposed by many in the first Persian Gulf War, as well as being opposed by many-though thankfully this didn't amount to much politically-in the invasion of Afghanistan. It seems naive because the movement, so far as it can be grouped together, doesn't appear to favor any military response anywhere to things that have actually happened.

They may reluctantly admit that it is justified in past instances, or in hypotheticals, but when the time actually comes when some region-threatening leader somewhere is starting up an aggressive war, almost invariably from the anti-war movement comes outcries-not without justification-of past American mismanagement or even awful, criminal behavior that contributed, but very little on what to actually do now. So often the rhetoric goes that because we have just plain screwed up or even (not uncommonly) been villainous in our behavior, we must do nothing now, regardless of the future. It doesn't matter how awful things are in a given country, or how much worse sanctions are making them without leading to the ouster of the leader. It doesn't matter what will possibly happen if a given leader is just left in power for decades-the only thing that seems to matter is that America and the West are not without blame, and until we are blameless we aren't right in doing anything.

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Blayne Bradley
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Holy crap I have never seen such astonishing strawmaning outside of right wing crackpot forums.
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Rakeesh
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Holy crap, and I'm totally a rightwing crackpot! As for my last post, I certainly didn't take care to repeatedly use words like seems and take special note that I am well aware that such a wide group cannot really be pigeonholed all together.

Speaking of strawmen, though, Blayne, let's talk about how you noticed me saying more than once I don't care about civlian deaths, hmm? Or how the attacks made by Iraq on our military before the war were enough, in and of themselves, to warrant invasion? Or how I totally said that we're required to invade everywhere there are bad leaders, and didn't at all mention that I felt there were multiple reasons in this particular case that together were sufficient?

I could go on, but doubtless you'd get your usual hysterical self and insist with that self-pitying whine you do so well that I haven't actually made any arguments, that you're being dogpiled, etc. etc. I mean anyway it's practically guaranteed-I mentioned China, and then Samprimary spoke directly to you. So let's hear it! You're due, man, really let it flow, open the faucet all the way.

(And before you go about complaining of personal attacks, Blayne, bear in mind you've called me a liar, a fool, a lover of war criminals, and suggested I am apathetic to the deaths of hundreds of thousands-all of these you've done more than once. Just try and bear that in mind when you really start the whining in earnest, m'kay?)

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Samprimary
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quote:
(And before you go about complaining of personal attacks, Blayne, bear in mind you've called me a liar, a fool, a lover of war criminals, and suggested I am apathetic to the deaths of hundreds of thousands-all of these you've done more than once. Just try and bear that in mind when you really start the whining in earnest, m'kay?)
or jonesing out for the claim of being the victim of strawmen, or telling other people to 'grow thicker skin'
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Rakeesh
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Heh, I admit I missed the irony of that one entirely.

(Haven't forgotten you, Samprimary. HR ate two posts of mine to you and it kinda made me really frustrated to retype much of the same words again. Good old steady administration `round here.)

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
(And before you go about complaining of personal attacks, Blayne, bear in mind you've called me a liar, a fool, a lover of war criminals, and suggested I am apathetic to the deaths of hundreds of thousands-all of these you've done more than once. Just try and bear that in mind when you really start the whining in earnest, m'kay?)
or jonesing out for the claim of being the victim of strawmen, or telling other people to 'grow thicker skin'
Totally give him a free pass regardless of what he says or does so long as it lets you have a free chance at me.

quote:

As some people seem to be a little unclear as to what constitutes dogpiling, here is a quick and dirty guide to it. Dogpiling is, in general, the act of multiple posters simultaneously engaging a single opponent. While I admit that the line between dogpiling and having an open debate is blurry, there is one.

Generally, when you already see one or two people debating a single poster, please refrain from doing so as well unless you have a new argument to make. Even then, when a mod has put out a general warning against dogpiling, one should seriously consider whether another post is warranted.

The rules regarding dogpiling from SDN.net, essentially what new argument have you made hrrm? Or Parkour?

quote:

Holy crap, and I'm totally a rightwing crackpot! As for my last post, I certainly didn't take care to repeatedly use words like seems and take special note that I am well aware that such a wide group cannot really be pigeonholed all together.

Speaking of strawmen, though, Blayne, let's talk about how you noticed me saying more than once I don't care about civlian deaths, hmm? Or how the attacks made by Iraq on our military before the war were enough, in and of themselves, to warrant invasion? Or how I totally said that we're required to invade everywhere there are bad leaders, and didn't at all mention that I felt there were multiple reasons in this particular case that together were sufficient?

I could go on, but doubtless you'd get your usual hysterical self and insist with that self-pitying whine you do so well that I haven't actually made any arguments, that you're being dogpiled, etc. etc. I mean anyway it's practically guaranteed-I mentioned China, and then Samprimary spoke directly to you. So let's hear it! You're due, man, really let it flow, open the faucet all the way.

(And before you go about complaining of personal attacks, Blayne, bear in mind you've called me a liar, a fool, a lover of war criminals, and suggested I am apathetic to the deaths of hundreds of thousands-all of these you've done more than once. Just try and bear that in mind when you really start the whining in earnest, m'kay?)

Your lack of reading comprehension is entirely a problem of your own making. You *choose* to white knight the war criminal actions of the United States, you *choose* to consistently pull out false equivalence after false equivalence, you *choose* to also engage in the most blatant strawman arguments that I have quite literally only seen from right wing crackpots and you continue to make light of the issues by your condescending and dismissive attitude towards the very serious and substantiative arguments that the United States is guilty of war crimes which you dismissed and white knighted away with the patently ridiculous argument of insinuating the freaking Nuremburg Trials as somehow illegitimate or otherwise somehow not relevant to the United States, you *choose* to instead of responding with substantiative debate instead *choose* to play deflection tactics or to focus on delegitimizing the importance of international law, the international community, and the United Nations as not being in a position of authority over the actions of the United States, that the United States is above the law whenever the law is inconvenient to the United States. You also *choose* to misread or not read at all my posts after posts otherwise you would already know the answers to some of my questions and cease the irrelevant bitching over whether or not I said you said that the United States only claimed so or so casis beli, that isn't the goddamn point the goddamn point is that none of any of the reasons ever provided that are factual constitute enough of a threat or a breach to or of the Mandate of the United Nations to make a unilateral invasion of Iraq legitimate rendering the invasion not proportional to the threat or actions of Iraq.

I only specified being fired upon because you weren't specific, so I have an example of an Iraqi action that may warrant a response but otherwise doesn't warrant invasion as an example so cease your pedantic shrill whining and focus on the points of substance, substantiate or concede.

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Rakeesh
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Dude, seriously, how often are you going to say 'whiteknighted' as though it were actually a word? Or, heh, is this more tvtropes lingo?

Here's the way you're lying about what I've been saying, Blayne: I put forward several reasons why I felt the decision to invade, when taken as a group, was acceptable. When you responded to me, you spoke repeatedly as though I were saying that they were each, individually, much much more than enough to justify the invasion and further that if they weren't, individually, much much more than enough, it was unambiguously evil and awful.

Well, I mean that's just one of the ways you've lied repeatedly about what I said (though I guess on Hatrack we should just be prepared to take some shots, right Destineer?). You insisted I was saying that because there are problems with the UN and the Nuremburg Trials (and by the way, my problem wasn't that we didn't prosecute everyone, it was rather that once we'd prosecuted lots of people, more than a few were let off after only a few years; so much for the moral superiority of Nuremburg was what I was getting at), that we should be permitted to disregard them entirely.

I mean, I could go on here. False equivalence? Please. I tried talking about this directly with you early on, and I gave you multiple opportunities to either pay closer attention to what I was saying-I'm happy to be disagreed with-or stop lying about it, but you chose instead to get even more holier-than-thou. First you say I'm ignoring the way the Bush Administration conducted the war, even though from the very start I said I hated the stupid and wasteful ways they behaved. Then when I pointed out I said that, you said I was 'minimizing' it. I could point out why calling me a right-wing crackpot is stupid and dishonest, such as opposition to torture, much of the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, but I'm sure that wouldn't count somehow. Good grief, I specifically said I felt members of the Bush Administration-up to the top-were guilty of war crimes in their execution of the war.

I think the decision to invade was morally acceptable, therefore I'm a right-wing crackpot. Your reasoning is pretty transparent here, Blayne. I'm fine with being thought of that way-I have little doubt that many or even most in this thread, as they indirectly said earlier on (cannot believe anyone would be so blind as to...varieties of posts), but you have to show it. Or else I'm going to laugh at you for whining and being stupid.

Speaking of which: ha!

[ December 28, 2011, 12:53 PM: Message edited by: Rakeesh ]

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kmbboots
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Rakeesh, given the threat that Iraq actually was to us - how many US civilians they reasonably could have killed before we stopped them - how many Iraqi civilians were we justified in killing? Given the damage they could reasonably do to our infrastructure, how much damage were we justified in doing to theirs?

What makes you think that a full scale invasion ever would have been limited to that? You have said that it was so much worse than it needed to be (which also was no surprise to anyone paying attention) but how bad do you think it should have been given the real threat to us?

You don't have to be a right-wing crackpot - and, for the record, I don't think that you are - to have been and remain emotionally invested in believing our country to be just and right in our actions. Recognizing that we were the bad guys hurts those of us who love this country. Believing our leaders that feckless or greedy is terrifying and exhausting. I think, though, that it is our duty.

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Blayne Bradley
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If you don't know a word rather than be ignorant just google it.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=white%20knighting

quote:

Here's the way you're lying about what I've been saying, Blayne: I put forward several reasons why I felt the decision to invade, when taken as a group, was acceptable. When you responded to me, you spoke repeatedly as though I were saying that they were each, individually, much much more than enough to justify the invasion and further that if they weren't, individually, much much more than enough, it was unambiguously evil and awful.

Than you have an overly literal sense of tunnel vision, it should be very clear from context that even as a group they are insufficient because even as a group it is still not the proportional response (my key argument from originates all other arguments) because it didn't happen "all at once", and I had never said "individually" insufficient, I said "none of them", "combined" could be left unsaid because its patently obvious you are inferring to over two decades of supposed bad behavior and also include what are in all due respect are valid negotiating tactics by sovereign nations; there's an entire paradigm in international relations theory that says that UNCERTAINTY BRINGS STABILITY and as such Iraq by keeping other nations off balance and on their toes was actually committing the rational course of action to protect themselves from unlawful invasion.

I'll also point out that there is in fact a specific fallacy for what you've been attempting for at least three separate posts "Tu quoque" fallacy where you tried to claim my points are invalid because of supposed hypocrisy making it a red herring.

quote:

Well, I mean that's just one of the ways you've lied repeatedly about what I said (though I guess on Hatrack we should just be prepared to take some shots, right Destineer?). You insisted I was saying that because there are problems with the UN and the Nuremburg Trials (and by the way, my problem wasn't that we didn't prosecute everyone, it was rather that once we'd prosecuted lots of people, more than a few were let off after only a few years; so much for the moral superiority of Nuremburg was what I was getting at), that we should be permitted to disregard them entirely.

The hell does this even mean? You *want* nothing better than a show trial? Did you *want* Stalin's suggestion of having 10,000 German officers shot without due process? Dude, it was a trial, it wasn't entirely fair and quite a few examples of victors justice (the Yamashita trial to gain precedent for command responsibility for instance) but what you say here is barely understandable and what can be understood is patently ridiculous. Essentially that the Nuremburg trials should *not* at all be used as a standard in which to judge US actions because there were *some* flaws with the process? Puhlease.


HEY GUYS! We should *totally* not convict a rapist because in the past some dudes were let off on a technicality and some other dudes were found guilty when later DNA evidence exonerated them! The SYSTEM IS FLAWED SO IT SHOULDNT BE USED!

Oh, there's a term for it: "Poisoning the well" knock it off.

quote:

I mean, I could go on here. False equivalence? Please. I tried talking about this directly with you early on, and I gave you multiple opportunities to either pay closer attention to what I was saying-I'm happy to be disagreed with-or stop lying about it, but you chose instead to get even more holier-than-thou. First you say I'm ignoring the way the Bush Administration conducted the war, even though from the very start I said I hated the stupid and wasteful ways they behaved. Then when I pointed out I said that, you said I was 'minimizing' it. I could point out why calling me a right-wing crackpot is stupid and dishonest, such as opposition to torture, much of the Patriot Act, extraordinary rendition, but I'm sure that wouldn't count somehow. Good grief, I specifically said I felt members of the Bush Administration-up to the top-were guilty of war crimes in their execution of the war.

Dude you gave none, I said one thing, you said another thing, then you threw a hissy fit because of *tone* and because I supposedly lacked *nuance* (hey look, golden means fallacy that there's a "middle ground" that I have to abide by because of your say-so) when I said the reasonable argument that the United States for its conduct in iraq committed war crimes, you broke off from the argument right then and there because you didn't like what you were hearing, grow up.

Secondly what are you with the continued strawmaning? I say something and you construe it in the most uncharitable way possible? Again grow up, I wasn't making a guilt by association argument, I was arguing that you were making a strawman, a form of argumentation I've seen right wing crackpots use the exact same way, throw in "Unamerican/american hating/blah blah" and it would fit right in so you shouldn't be relying on strawmen for your arguments.

IE: The key problem and my problem is that it is a massive strawman that you can't even prove! That I often see it from right wing crackpots is emphasis that you should tread carefully, a warning shot if you will.

And by false equivalence I damn well mean "well they do it too/they aren't moral either/they are a part of the problem" blah blah "so we should be able to do it" and otherwise not set an example.

Your modus operandi should NOT be to quote "nation's do not survive by setting an example for others but by making example of others".

Which has pretty much been your MO throughout this "conversation" is to just deflect blame or responsibility, "they wouldn't do it so we had to" and ignore whether or not you actually had to, which is me and Destineer's complaint, the war was not necessary.

Also my point at least, and I think to an extant Destineer's is that it's pointless hypotheticalizing to simply chalk the whole war's disastrous outcome to being "bad implementation" it's virtually an insult to the people who've died because it ignores that the culpability goes beyond the Bush Administration's negligence but to the very fact that they were even willing to go to war in the first place making it a crime against peace.

quote:

I think the decision to invade was morally acceptable, therefore I'm a right-wing crackpot. Your reasoning is pretty transparent here, Blayne. I'm fine with being thought of that way-I have little doubt that many or even most in this thread, as they indirectly said earlier on (cannot believe anyone would be so blind as to...varieties of posts), but you have to show it. Or else I'm going to laugh at you for whining and being stupid.

Again with the strawmaning, you are again misconstruing my posts, as I never said that.


I am not accusing you of being a right wing crackpot, I am accusing you of my country right or wrong jingoism.

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TomDavidson
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Gah. My brain. My brain is bleeding.
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Rakeesh
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Now I'm a jingoist? Good grief, that's such an expansive club now! I didn't realize it included people like me who object fundamentally to quite a lot of 'security' policies and feel we've screwed up badly, past or present, with respect to the rest of the world.

Heh, this is fun. I'm piling up awfulness as we go, and I had no idea! Now I'm a jingoist as well as not caring about hundreds of thousands of deaths. Good grief, Blayne, you are just being stupid as hell here. How on Earth can you seriously suggest I'm saying 'my country right or wrong' given what I've repeatedly said here in this thread, recently? I know you've seen it.

quote:

HEY GUYS! We should *totally* not convict a rapist because in the past some dudes were let off on a technicality and some other dudes were found guilty when later DNA evidence exonerated them! The SYSTEM IS FLAWED SO IT SHOULDNT BE USED!

Hee. You'll kindly point to where I said it shouldn't be used, rather than pointing out that the Nuremburg Trials just weren't as sacrosanct as you appear to be suggesting-as well as the UN. Hell, I even said specifically I think we should have gotten consensus. But I don't think they're valid or useful or something. Man! How do I hold all these contradictory positions without my head just exploding, anyway? Maybe it's a diet rich in protein, for strong cranial bones.

------

kmbboots,

quote:
Rakeesh, given the threat that Iraq actually was to us - how many US civilians they reasonably could have killed before we stopped them - how many Iraqi civilians were we justified in killing? Given the damage they could reasonably do to our infrastructure, how much damage were we justified in doing to theirs?
I've said repeatedly that 'direct threat to the USA' was not the only basis for invasion, please bear that in mind. Now, my answer to your questions are, "I don't know." I really can't put a number on it, a precise number-the best I can come up with is that the morality of things would be based on a comparison between the best, most rational estimate of deaths that would have resulted had he been left in power-and, by the way, this doesn't just include deaths by sanctions-compared to those that the invasion helped to cause. As those two numbers come more and more near to balance, much less deficit in the wrong direction, the war becomes incrementally more unjust.

quote:

What makes you think that a full scale invasion ever would have been limited to that? You have said that it was so much worse than it needed to be (which also was no surprise to anyone paying attention) but how bad do you think it should have been given the real threat to us?

The threat to us was never the sole consideration, and for someone concerned with civilian deaths that seems to me a peculiar stance to take. And I'll note that you've dodged my point, which was to say that since you agreed the war was so badly bungled, doesn't that mean by definition it could have been done better? That its mismanagement wasn't a foregone conclusion?

But let's also bear something in mind: had your counsel on dealings with Iraq been heeded, just how much 'not a threat' would Saddam have been? This is a serious question, if you're going to assert your accuracy and moral superiority on the subject. Sanctions, actual assertive ongoing inspections, enforced no-flight zones, targeted air strikes when necessary, etc. Perhaps I'm wrong, but I'm having a really hard time imagining you supporting that sort of thing.

quote:

You don't have to be a right-wing crackpot - and, for the record, I don't think that you are - to have been and remain emotionally invested in believing our country to be just and right in our actions. Recognizing that we were the bad guys hurts those of us who love this country. Believing our leaders that feckless or greedy is terrifying and exhausting. I think, though, that it is our duty.

Thanks for that. It would be more relevant if I didn't, y'know, frequently and openly acknowledge how terribly we've been wrong in so many things, though. I suppose it is possible that I've got some emotional whiteknighting (and I looked it up before mocking you in the regular dictionary, not the urban one, Blayne) apologist impulse on this matter, but not all sorts of other matters. Or it could be that emotional investment isn't now and wasn't then an iumportant part of my reasoning.
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kmbboots
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Of course the war was badly bungled. Could it have been done better? Maybe. But people who knew enough to do it better probably would have known enough not to do it.

I talk about the threat aspect because I am not sure what else could justify a full scale invasion. I was against the sanctions - those generally just make a despot more powerful within the country - but supported ongoing inspections (forever, if necessary). I think that the air strikes in Libya (for example) while causing some civilian deaths, have probably saved more. I could have seen something like that in Iraq. I had no serious problem with the no-fly zone.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I talk about the threat aspect because I am not sure what else could justify a full scale invasion. I was against the sanctions - those generally just make a despot more powerful within the country - but supported ongoing inspections (forever, if necessary). I think that the air strikes in Libya (for example) while causing some civilian deaths, have probably saved more. I could have seen something like that in Iraq. I had no serious problem with the no-fly zone.
How then would you propose to keep Saddam's military machine weakened so he wasn't actually a threat to his neighbors? Or would we just be bound to periodically smashing his military over and over again, until he (as he obviously would have done) decentralized his armaments?

As for inspections, would you have supported inspections that included the inspectors being permitted to go anywhere in the country, interview anyone they wanted, alone, all of that without advanced warning? Because that is not even close to the kinds of inspections that we actually had. Oh, and inspections where Saddam didn't have a say in who did the inspecting.

As for the no-fly zone, you say you had no serious problem with it. That means you had some problem with it? How much and why? I admit that the idea of someone objecting to the no-fly zones, given the reasons they were enacted, seems even stranger to me than I think my position seems to you.

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Lyrhawn
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We had a chance to go the Libya route when the Kurds rebelled in the nineties and we stood by and watched saddam slaughter them, after we told them to rebel. The no-fly was the least we could do after that. The war could have been handled much better, but it was never, ever going to be the easy transition to democracy that many assumed. There was no natural consensus candidate to replace saddam, and even now we have a fragile political alliance on the verge of falling apart. Even well-managed, it was always going to be a mess.
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Itsame
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I retract what I said earlier about this being a good thread.

Blayne, you seriously need to stop insulting people. Please. If you don't want people to insult you back, you need to stop doing it first. Maybe you're fine being insulted, but I know that you're not fine not being taken seriously. You won't be taken seriously until you act more mature and stop it. You may be making decent points--it doesn't matter. Presentation is just as important as substance. (It also might help if you stop making tv trope references such as "white knight", but that's a less important point).

Rakeesh, you need to act more mature as well. Do you really think the best way to respond to ad hominem attacks is to acknowledge them? If you just ignore them and deal with the substantive claims, then either he'll stop making them or everyone will see that he looks like an arse. Responding to them does nothing good and maybe some harm.

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I talk about the threat aspect because I am not sure what else could justify a full scale invasion. I was against the sanctions - those generally just make a despot more powerful within the country - but supported ongoing inspections (forever, if necessary). I think that the air strikes in Libya (for example) while causing some civilian deaths, have probably saved more. I could have seen something like that in Iraq. I had no serious problem with the no-fly zone.
How then would you propose to keep Saddam's military machine weakened so he wasn't actually a threat to his neighbors? Or would we just be bound to periodically smashing his military over and over again, until he (as he obviously would have done) decentralized his armaments?


Sanctions didn't really do as much to weaken Saddam as to weaken possible resistance to Saddam. Periodically smashing his military over and over again - should it have become a threat - would have been far preferable to what we ended up doing.
quote:

As for inspections, would you have supported inspections that included the inspectors being permitted to go anywhere in the country, interview anyone they wanted, alone, all of that without advanced warning? Because that is not even close to the kinds of inspections that we actually had. Oh, and inspections where Saddam didn't have a say in who did the inspecting.

I am not sure what you mean by this question. I supported inspections. I also supported paying attention to the inspectors.
quote:


As for the no-fly zone, you say you had no serious problem with it. That means you had some problem with it? How much and why? I admit that the idea of someone objecting to the no-fly zones, given the reasons they were enacted, seems even stranger to me than I think my position seems to you.

Beyond the scrutiny that any military requires, I didn't have a problem with maintaining no-fly zones. I hesitate to say "no problems" because you tend to glom onto absolutes.

[ December 28, 2011, 04:34 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
I talk about the threat aspect because I am not sure what else could justify a full scale invasion. I was against the sanctions - those generally just make a despot more powerful within the country - but supported ongoing inspections (forever, if necessary). I think that the air strikes in Libya (for example) while causing some civilian deaths, have probably saved more. I could have seen something like that in Iraq. I had no serious problem with the no-fly zone.
How then would you propose to keep Saddam's military machine weakened so he wasn't actually a threat to his neighbors? Or would we just be bound to periodically smashing his military over and over again, until he (as he obviously would have done) decentralized his armaments?

As for inspections, would you have supported inspections that included the inspectors being permitted to go anywhere in the country, interview anyone they wanted, alone, all of that without advanced warning? Because that is not even close to the kinds of inspections that we actually had. Oh, and inspections where Saddam didn't have a say in who did the inspecting.

As for the no-fly zone, you say you had no serious problem with it. That means you had some problem with it? How much and why? I admit that the idea of someone objecting to the no-fly zones, given the reasons they were enacted, seems even stranger to me than I think my position seems to you.

What military machine?
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vegimo
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
(It also might help if you stop making tv trope references such as "white knight", but that's a less important point).

What would seriously help (coming from this lurker) would be a reduction in the "bad argument" tropes. It sometimes seems like there is a laminated logical fallacy list being used as a primary reference. Ensuring that every response includes a pigeonholed categorization becomes very ineffective.
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Rakeesh
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Lyrhawn,

The one that Saddam would surely have attempted to at least strengthen if he were unhindered. As for the Kurds, that was the big reason I never had any problem with the no-fly zone either. We made a promise and broke it. Among the reasons was because it would've been wrong, somehow, to militarily intervene.

I also agree it was always going to be messy. I didn't mean to say 'no mess' when I said 'could've been much better'.

------

quote:
Sanctions didn't really do as much to weaken Saddam as to weaken possible resistance to Saddam. Periodically smashing his military over and over again - should it have become a threat - would have been far preferable to what we ended up doing.
And you would've supported, wholeheartedly, this repeated smashing and targeted air strikes? Really?

quote:
I am not sure what you mean by this question. I supported inspections. I also supported paying attention to the inspectors.
Well, few people seemed much concerned with paying attention to the inspectors during the very frequent violations and BS Saddam was pulling during the interval between the two wars. Suddenly, when an invasion was imminent, then people clamored to pay attention to the inspectors. As for what I meant by inspections, I meant the kind of inspections where Iraq had no say whatsoever in how they were done or who was doing them, and would not be permitted any continual hedging and lying about them.

quote:
Beyond the scrutiny that any military requires, I didn't have a problem with maintaining no-fly zones. I hesitate to say "no problems" because you tend to glom onto absolutes.
*rolleyes* Right. Well, when they're used in application to a real-world situation that is far from absolute, yeah, I do. Anyway, it sounded like you would've had a problem with no-fly zones. I'm glad to see at least that much involvement you would've been willing to, not just tolerate, but endorse.
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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by vegimo:
quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
(It also might help if you stop making tv trope references such as "white knight", but that's a less important point).

What would seriously help (coming from this lurker) would be a reduction in the "bad argument" tropes. It sometimes seems like there is a laminated logical fallacy list being used as a primary reference. Ensuring that every response includes a pigeonholed categorization becomes very ineffective.
If it can be pigeonholed, it can be dismissed.
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kmbboots
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It was a foolish promise to make to the Kurds. Unless we are going to back an independent Kurdistan and royally piss off the Turks, we have no business telling them to rebel or promising anything.

How does noting that repeated smashing of Saddam's military should it become a threat is better than an invasion costing hundreds of thousands of lives equal "wholeheartedly support"? Do you really think that those are the same? But, yes. If Saddam's military (such as it was) were to have become an actual threat, I would have agreed that targeted air strikes were necessary.

Sure. Saddam was a pain in the ass to the inspectors. So what?

"No problem with" is not "endorse". Are you deliberately taking my statements much farther than they should be read?

When you say that the invasion could have been much better, how would you have done it? How many casualties would you have expected if we had done it your way?

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:
I retract what I said earlier about this being a good thread.

Blayne, you seriously need to stop insulting people. Please. If you don't want people to insult you back, you need to stop doing it first. Maybe you're fine being insulted, but I know that you're not fine not being taken seriously. You won't be taken seriously until you act more mature and stop it. You may be making decent points--it doesn't matter. Presentation is just as important as substance. (It also might help if you stop making tv trope references such as "white knight", but that's a less important point).

Rakeesh, you need to act more mature as well. Do you really think the best way to respond to ad hominem attacks is to acknowledge them? If you just ignore them and deal with the substantive claims, then either he'll stop making them or everyone will see that he looks like an arse. Responding to them does nothing good and maybe some harm.

Christ dude, white knighting isn't a tv tropes reference anymore than Mary Sue is. Something can be a trope and not a direct reference to a popculture reference site in the same way mentioning a parallelepiped isn't a direct reference to wikipedia because it happens to have an article on it.

Also I am being abrasive, not the same thing as being insulting.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

Hee. You'll kindly point to where I said it shouldn't be used, rather than pointing out that the Nuremburg Trials just weren't as sacrosanct as you appear to be suggesting-as well as the UN. Hell, I even said specifically I think we should have gotten consensus. But I don't think they're valid or useful or something. Man! How do I hold all these contradictory positions without my head just exploding, anyway? Maybe it's a diet rich in protein, for strong cranial bones.

Yeah I'm with kmboots here, you keep glomping onto generalized absolutes as if they have any kind of meaning or relevance to the topic at hand. I certainly am not holding it "sacrosanct" I don't even hold the law of the land sacrosanct, but at the end of the day the law is the law and the law is very clear on what constitutes war crimes, we have very clear precedent, and very clear process for it and a court system to handle it. That something has flaws is no reason to out of hand dismiss it.

quote:

Now I'm a jingoist? Good grief, that's such an expansive club now! I didn't realize it included people like me who object fundamentally to quite a lot of 'security' policies and feel we've screwed up badly, past or present, with respect to the rest of the world.

You support the unilateral invasion of Iraq on faulty, slim or otherwise fabricated evidence jingoism somewhat fits, the "no, our country didn't commit war crimes" you've been insisting on is dubious and jingoistic.

That there are some policies you claim to disagree with doesn't change that you support the use of military force regardless of the opposition if you feel the necessity outweighs the international communities protests.

quote:

Heh, this is fun. I'm piling up awfulness as we go, and I had no idea! Now I'm a jingoist as well as not caring about hundreds of thousands of deaths. Good grief, Blayne, you are just being stupid as hell here. How on Earth can you seriously suggest I'm saying 'my country right or wrong' given what I've repeatedly said here in this thread, recently? I know you've seen it.

So you say, but you don't seem to agree that atrocities are inherent to war, even a just one. How many German POW's did we shoot? What about the millions we ended up deporting? The Morgenthau Plan? Firebombings of Japan and Dresden, even that it is a just war doesn't change that atrocities can and very likely will be committed.

quote:

How then would you propose to keep Saddam's military machine weakened so he wasn't actually a threat to his neighbors? Or would we just be bound to periodically smashing his military over and over again, until he (as he obviously would have done) decentralized his armaments?

Deterrence and containment, we strengthened Saudi Arabia and Iran as need be to contain Saddam. We could have let regional organizations handle it while providing support.

quote:

As for inspections, would you have supported inspections that included the inspectors being permitted to go anywhere in the country, interview anyone they wanted, alone, all of that without advanced warning? Because that is not even close to the kinds of inspections that we actually had. Oh, and inspections where Saddam didn't have a say in who did the inspecting.

The proportional response to non compliance has a lot of wiggle room, Clinton was willing to fire a cruise missile up Saddams ass if need be. "Battleready" by former CnC Tony Zioni has info on this.

quote:

As for the no-fly zone, you say you had no serious problem with it. That means you had some problem with it? How much and why? I admit that the idea of someone objecting to the no-fly zones, given the reasons they were enacted, seems even stranger to me than I think my position seems to you.

Almost any option was preferable to invasion.

quote:

And you would've supported, wholeheartedly, this repeated smashing and targeted air strikes? Really?

If he kept being a threat to his neighbours in an obvious way that the UN agreed and had consensus was a threat to the peace sure and it likely would be cheaper in the long run.

quote:

Well, few people seemed much concerned with paying attention to the inspectors during the very frequent violations and BS Saddam was pulling during the interval between the two wars. Suddenly, when an invasion was imminent, then people clamored to pay attention to the inspectors. As for what I meant by inspections, I meant the kind of inspections where Iraq had no say whatsoever in how they were done or who was doing them, and would not be permitted any continual hedging and lying about them.

I do not believe this is even remotely the UN standard for any country.

quote:

*rolleyes* Right. Well, when they're used in application to a real-world situation that is far from absolute, yeah, I do. Anyway, it sounded like you would've had a problem with no-fly zones. I'm glad to see at least that much involvement you would've been willing to, not just tolerate, but endorse.

The problem is that the process leading up to invasion was fraught with deception, propaganda, misdirection, lies, ignoring the Security Council and the UN, ignoring the inspectors and didn't satisfy any of the requirements to satisfy the very high standards we should have before willing to commit to an invasion and reconstruction of a foreign country.

I have little doubt of any reasonable persons willingness to support the war, up to and including invasion, if the requirements and the standards for invasion had been met in an honest and direct fashion without the lies and misconceptions.

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Mucus
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quote:
Originally posted by Destineer:
quote:
Heh, I saw your post before the edit and was ready to jump. But even with the edit, allow me to point out that you're saying Iraq cannot be said to have started the war, because even though they were illegally shooting at us daily, they weren't killing enough of us?
Well, they weren't actually killing any of us.
Quick note.

Just remembered something, the no-fly zone wasn't actually authorized by the UN. The no-fly zones were in fact begun by the US, Britain, and France without UN authorization and confrontations in the "no-fly" zones probably wouldn't have violated any UN resolutions. i.e. Iraq wasn't in fact illegally shooting at the planes

quote:
The reason the Bush Administration won't take the latest firefight to the Security Council is that most of the Council doesn't share Washington's interpretation of the resolution as it applies to the "no-fly" zone. UN Secretary General Kofi Annan has made clear that the international body does not view "no-fly" zone confrontations as a violation of the resolution. "Let me say that I don't think the Council will say that this is in contravention of the resolution that was recently passed," Annan told reporters Tuesday during a visit to Kosovo.
quote:
The problem is, the flyers aren't enforcing a Council resolution. The U.S., Britain and France began in 1991 denying Iraq the right to fly in parts of its own airspace as a way of implementing UN resolutions urging protection for the Kurds in northern Iraq and the Shiites in the south from the wrath of Saddam. But the "no-fly" zone was never specifically mandated by the UN Security Council, and was rejected from the outset by Iraq as a violation of its sovereignty. Iraq's objections were backed by Russia and China, and in 1996 France withdrew its participation.
http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,391985,00.html#ixzz1hsZLpb00

Iraq couldn't really be considered to have started the war, at least not by shooting planes flying over Iraq, just like we wouldn't normally consider the US to have "started" a war if it shot down a North Korean plane flying without authorization above the US.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
Totally give him a free pass regardless of what he says or does so long as it lets you have a free chance at me.

Weren't you just accusing other people of trying to deflect valid criticism? Why do you follow up those sorts of accusations with a classic, 100%, full-on perfect example of deflection?

You are not helping your position. You're just doing more of what people are telling you to stop doing, with good reason.

quote:
Also I am being abrasive, not the same thing as being insulting.
Calling people pedantic, dishonest, absurd, whiners, an 'intellectual and moral coward,' accusing a standpoint of being inhuman morally and ethically bankrupt, a 'willful exercise in blatant ignorance and denial,' saying stuff like this:

quote:
If you want to keep fingers in your ear and keep screaming "NYAH NO NO I CANT HEAR YOU" go right ahead but ultimately it is your outrageous and catastrophic opinions you are trying to defend here, and if you don't bother defend them what sort of message are you trying to get across?
.. and your response to this perfectly valid criticism is to say that you're not being insulting, you're just being abrasive? Do you know why that's not even remotely a defense of your behavior?

Is it any defense of your interpretation of my behavior if I say the same thing?

No.

Also, let's go back and reiterate:

quote:
You also *choose* to misread or not read at all my posts
Remember what I said originally? Stop making pseudoproofs 'showing' or 'proving' things about substance or lack of substance on the part of others. You're rarely ever right about them.

You're not right here. Not about his motive, his intent, his reasoning, or the substance of his position. You're just dragging this thread down into your typical poor behavior and unjustified, overly-righteous tone.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
It was a foolish promise to make to the Kurds. Unless we are going to back an independent Kurdistan and royally piss off the Turks, we have no business telling them to rebel or promising anything.
I agree actually, at least insofar as we were never going to keep that promise-in spite of the Kurds being, what is is, second or even first oppressed, dispossessed, often brutalized minority in the Middle East, ahead even of Palestinians?

But once the promise was made, we had an obligation to at least make some effort to keeping it. But anyway, that seems to be a change of the subject a bit. I was asking the question related to support for the no-fly zones.

quote:
\How does noting that repeated smashing of Saddam's military should it become a threat is better than an invasion costing hundreds of thousands of lives equal "wholeheartedly support"? Do you really think that those are the same? But, yes. If Saddam's military (such as it was) were to have become an actual threat, I would have agreed that targeted air strikes were necessary.
Because it's great to be anti-war, but the time for that is well before, for example, Saddam is in the process of attempting to wipe out the Kurds. Once things like that start happening, morally speaking, the anti-war position becomes much less moral in my opinion. That's why I'm asking what you would have supported, when. One of the reasons, anyway.

quote:
Sure. Saddam was a pain in the ass to the inspectors. So what?

"No problem with" is not "endorse". Are you deliberately taking my statements much farther than they should be read?

So what? Really? You remember what those inspections were for, yes? Why they were implemented? He was not allowed to do that, and yet he did, for years, with hardly a comment from much of the world.

As for endorse, I wasn't saying you said you'd endorse-I was asking if you would. Again, an effort to discover what you would have supported actually doing-'don't invade!' is not a plan of action-and to what extent.

quote:

When you say that the invasion could have been much better, how would you have done it? How many casualties would you have expected if we had done it your way?

Put broadly, I would have done it with a primary goal that we were actually committed to of serious nation building. That is, in fact, what I felt would be at least attempted prior to the invasion, hoping and believing that the less-than-necessary talk about it beforehand by politicians and the press was to appeal to both the anti-war movement and the 'eff the Middle East' right. As for how many casualties, I really don't know. I'm not in a position to make a real estimate of that, I think you know. I would be very surprised if it were the same or more deaths than has occurred, though, which seems to be a key of your position here.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Blah blah words blah blah words blah blah blah

You are still not contributing to this thread, if you have a problem take it up with a moderator.

Otherwise, make me.

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Dan_Frank
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Very mature, Blayne.
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Blayne Bradley
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quote:

Because it's great to be anti-war, but the time for that is well before, for example, Saddam is in the process of attempting to wipe out the Kurds. Once things like that start happening, morally speaking, the anti-war position becomes much less moral in my opinion. That's why I'm asking what you would have supported, when. One of the reasons, anyway.

This is again a strawman, who opposed utilizing military force to stop Saddam from gassing the Kurds? Why are the movements for one war the same for the other? Are there reasons automatically the same or hold the same weight?

Also I do not believe it fair, since there was a catch-22 placed on them, supposing there was an anti war movement that is what you suggest, they must have very likely opposed making promises you can't keep, that the US went and did so anyways and unsurprisingly was unable to hold onto it doesn't invalidate their opposite or i think honestly for that matter invalidates their continued opposition, they are just sticking to their original principles as opposition.

On the other hand, we don't really know what the supposed anti war movement actually opposed or supported in regards to the Kurds or what sort of options they may have supported on humanitarian grounds.

But I do not believe that is it fair to say they become less moral because of circumstances beyond their political control.

quote:

So what? Really? You remember what those inspections were for, yes? Why they were implemented? He was not allowed to do that, and yet he did, for years, with hardly a comment from much of the world.

As for endorse, I wasn't saying you said you'd endorse-I was asking if you would. Again, an effort to discover what you would have supported actually doing-'don't invade!' is not a plan of action-and to what extent.

Saying not invading is a constraint, it should have been up to a competent and intelligent administration to come up with a policy to maintain peace in the middle east without resorting to invasion. Cruise missile and air strikes are one of many options the United States had to enforce the right of way for inspectors to make sure Iraq's WMD program was inoperable.

Like what happened during the Clinton years, Saddam said no, you threatened with with cruise missiles and he blinked first.

You trying to switch the burden of proof onto us, we do not need to be the ones to come up with a viable strategy, it is not our jobs or our profession, we only need to show that the invasion was unnecessary, immoral, and illegal. Which we have amply done so, "can you do any better arguments" are a waste of time.

quote:

Put broadly, I would have done it with a primary goal that we were actually committed to of serious nation building. That is, in fact, what I felt would be at least attempted prior to the invasion, hoping and believing that the less-than-necessary talk about it beforehand by politicians and the press was to appeal to both the anti-war movement and the 'eff the Middle East' right. As for how many casualties, I really don't know. I'm not in a position to make a real estimate of that, I think you know. I would be very surprised if it were the same or more deaths than has occurred, though, which seems to be a key of your position here.

Again a huge problem with this that it is contingent on the invasion being legal and moral and otherwise not a warcrime. Any invasion that couldn't pass muster, that cannot convincingly persuade the world of the inherent threat of Iraq was never going to succeed in nation building because the interests in going in where not for the best interests of the Iraqi people. An administration that would have based its policy on facts and what was legal to international law and custom would not have went in.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Blah blah words blah blah words blah blah blah

You are still not contributing to this thread, if you have a problem take it up with a moderator.

Otherwise, make me.

You're not so impervious to behaving maturely that you demand to be forced into it, are you? You just want to broadcast that you eminently refuse to act like an adult unless forced?

Because, if so, you're not offering a counterargument excusing your behavior. Just a deflection and a concession of your immaturity. Thanks for that surrender, by the way, but it doesn't help anything.

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Rakeesh
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So we're back to this? The idea that the world wasn't convinced Saddam was a threat? Heh.

'The world' couldn't be concvinced (with good reason, as it turns out) that Saddam was an imminent threat of possessing WMD, it's true. In no small part at all to Saddam himself. But by no means did the world think there wasn't an inherent threat in Iraq under Saddam. In fact, the world largely agreed he was a threat that was going to demand dealing with sooner rather than later. But hey, if all we had to do was convince the UNSC that it was necessary for it then to be moral. Well!

Doing almost nothing in Rwanda was moral then, wasn't it? I mean just for the most famous example. Hee. But no, seriously, let's go on about the white knights in the UNSC, shall we Blayne? God, your view of international relations is just so weird when you get all hysterical and angry like this.

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Blayne Bradley
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
quote:
Originally posted by Blayne Bradley:
quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Blah blah words blah blah words blah blah blah

You are still not contributing to this thread, if you have a problem take it up with a moderator.

Otherwise, make me.

You're not so impervious to behaving maturely that you demand to be forced into it, are you? You just want to broadcast that you eminently refuse to act like an adult unless forced?

Because, if so, you're not offering a counterargument excusing your behavior. Just a deflection and a concession of your immaturity. Thanks for that surrender, by the way, but it doesn't help anything.

Do you ever get tired of talking? You're the one who said "shut up" it's not even your thread nor have you participated in it, drive by posting a newspaper article or similar and otherwise not sticking around is not contributing.

If you have a problem discuss it with a moderator.
quote:

So we're back to this? The idea that the world wasn't convinced Saddam was a threat? Heh.

We never left.

quote:

'The world' couldn't be convinced (with good reason, as it turns out)

Shouldn't this mean that the decision to go in was immoral?

quote:

. But by no means did the world think there wasn't an inherent threat in Iraq under Saddam. In fact, the world largely agreed he was a threat that was going to demand dealing with sooner rather than later.

You are going to have to substantiate this, why Saddam? Why not Mugabe? Or Kim Jongil? Or any of the other dozen tinpot banana republic dictators wandering around?

In fact looking at it from an organizational and legal point of view I cannot possibly think that it is even remotely possible for the "world" or even the Security Council to have thought so. One of the founding principles of the United Nations is respect for sovereignty and one of the principles nations agree to when they ratify the United Nations charter is the non-interference of the UN in domestic sovereignty.

There is very little evidence to suspect that Iraq was to be "dealt with" in some permament fashion, at best plans for continued containment and deterrence.

quote:

But hey, if all we had to do was convince the UNSC that it was necessary for it then to be moral. Well!

It's more than a matter of being moral, but also a question of being a part of the mandate of the UNSC which typically only deals with security and procedural concerns. They would need to be convinced that is was necessary to act to maintain the peace and stability.

quote:

Doing almost nothing in Rwanda was moral then, wasn't it? I mean just for the most famous example. Hee. But no, seriously, let's go on about the white knights in the UNSC, shall we Blayne? God, your view of international relations is just so weird when you get all hysterical and angry like this.

So defending an organization from unjustified baseless and unsubstantiated cherry picking is white knighting is it? Please look it up once again, you seem to have mistaken the definition.

But again I'll throw my counter analogy back at you, clearly because the justice system has made mistakes in the past, no further criminals should be charged through it and instead we should allow for vigilantism, honor killings and an eye for an eye to return as common practice because FLAWS.

You are repeating the same argument over and over, that there was one failed effort arguably by the United Nations isn't proof of a systemic inability of the United Nations to do its job.

You seem to be insistent on refusing to substantially discuss the issues, please substantiate or concede.

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Lyrhawn
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Rakeesh -

quote:
Put broadly, I would have done it with a primary goal that we were actually committed to of serious nation building. That is, in fact, what I felt would be at least attempted prior to the invasion
Honest question: What gave you that impression?

Remember Bush during the campaigns said flat out that he didn't think America should be involved with nation building, and Rumsfeld said in the run-up to the war that the war could pay for itself and that we'd be in in a matter of weeks, months at most. Nation building implies a couple of things: That the nation is broke and needs building, and that it's a long drawn out process. The Bush team was never planning on that sort of drawn out process, they just wanted to lop the head off the snake, install a pro-American political figure, and get a functioning democracy to support that figure from the thankful crowds waving American flags. Nothing about the pre-war expectations that came from the White House suggested to me that they were in for the long haul. That's not at all how it was sold.

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Rakeesh
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Well initially I just took it as a given, really, going hand in hand not just with actual sane regime change, but dovetailing with the idea that we would actually do things long-term in nations where terrorists would be fostered. Thematically it seemed to fit. I frankly just believed they were campaigning when they said that it would only be a few weeks. When they kept talking like that as the months began to stack up, and almost at once after the invasion when it became clear they really didn't have much in the way of planning ready for things that were realistically predictable, then I was deeply surprised and worried that maybe that nonsense wasn't just pandering to the economy-focused American politicial scene.
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kmbboots
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What made you think that Iraqis wanted us to rebuild their nation in our image? Or that we had a right to do it?
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