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Author Topic: Paris on the front lines
Pete at Home
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Hamas controls Gaza. The PLO controls the West Bank.
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Pete at Home
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Yes, they have weaponized their homophobia. Remember that young mother they charged with adultery and let her do a suicide mall bomb rather than face humiliation and public execution? The rhetoric about forbidden pleasures in paradise suggests they are targeting folks that would otherwise be under sentence of death. A la dirty dozen
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JeSuisse
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That's interesting. I haven't looked at it from that perspective, and I can see how that might work for some of those who can't or won't move. Then again, if *I* was homosexual in ISIS territory, I'd join all the others who flee to Europe, where it's okay, instead of volunteering to blow myself up...

Also, how does that work for those who "weaponzie" forbidden pleasures? I mean, if they are the religious zealots they appear to be, then how can they say it's gonna be okay in paradise, when they believe it clearly isn't? How do they legitimize their own behaviour to themselves? Isn't such behaviour further proof that these people really aren't motivated mainly by heart-felt religious beliefs? What you're basically saying is that they're cold-heartedly manipulating people's religious beliefs to further their own agendas while exempting themselves from having to follow the rules laid down by their religion.

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AI Wessex
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In war people always act against their principles, else why would "good" people (aka soldiers) on either side kill their counterparts on the other side? ISIS is waging a war against the entire world to establish an Islamic caliphate. Sacrificing the lives and ultimate salvation of some of their members is a form of collateral damage that advances the larger cause. Creating chaos and fear among the infidel is both a recruiting tool and an aspect of the slow dismantling of the civilizations they have to destroy to achieve their final goal.

There's no question but that this will be a very slow process for them, but they are willing to move at a seemingly glacial speed with the belief that they are making progress. In a sense they've been at it for 1500 years already, so a couple of centuries more is acceptable.

I see only two prospects to defeat this kind of extremism. The first is to deny them their "soldiers" by reinforcing a steadying hand of moderation, acceptance and tolerance within Muslim societies. The other is to chop off the heads of those who lead, recruit or fight for their cause. Either of those would be a long term solution, and neither can succeed without the other.

As to how to "chop off their heads", the countries that house and protect ISIS have to take on that responsibility themselves. We can only support and advise them.

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Fenring
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Al, why should it be assumed that "good" people have it as their principle never to kill? Maybe you're thinking of wars of aggression? In a defensive or protective war against a foreign aggressor I think very few "good" people will be abridging their principles in such a conflict, which isn't the same thing as saying that they may become scarred as a result of killing others.
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AI Wessex
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Can you name a side in any war during your lifetime where the people who fought and killed for them did not consider themselves "good"?
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Fenring
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Propaganda is one thing, and an objective sense of good is another. Of course one side will always try to make themselves feel good about what they're doing, but only an absolute relativist would argue that in each case this is equally valid.
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Pete at Home
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LS, not cold-heartedly, because the religion has been constructed to require such conduct. And because they really would gladly die for what they call Islam.

What they cannot abide is mockery, because it strikes at the weakness of their "faith". Laughter shamed their ludicrous world view to their foundations.

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AI Wessex
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quote:
...why should it be assumed that "good" people have it as their principle never to kill?
If everyone really was good, we wouldn't be asking that question. That's why I put the word in quotes. Humans fight wars with each other to expand or protect territory, resources or survival. We like to think that our hunter-gatherer ancestors were dwellers in their own Edens, but they were just as bellicose as our civilized societies are.

McNamara said:
quote:
I don't fault Truman for dropping the nuclear bomb. The U.S.—Japanese War was one of the most brutal wars in all of human history ? kamikaze pilots, suicide, unbelievable. What one can criticize is that the human race prior to that time ? and today ? has not really grappled with what are, I'll call it, "the rules of war." Was there a rule then that said you shouldn't bomb, shouldn't kill, shouldn't burn to death 100,000 civilians in one night?

LeMay said, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?

But, hey, we're the good guys!

A war of aggression can be seen as a defensive strategy if it heads off an existential threat as much as a war fought against aggressors. All sides in any conflict engage in propaganda to define the conflict to justify their actions. None of this seems controversial to me; not sure why it does to you.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by AI Wessex:
In war people always act against their principles, else why would "good" people (aka soldiers) on either side kill their counterparts on the other side? ISIS is waging a war against the entire world to establish an Islamic caliphate. Sacrificing the lives and ultimate salvation of some of their members is a form of collateral damage that advances the larger cause. Creating chaos and fear among the infidel is both a recruiting tool and an aspect of the slow dismantling of the civilizations they have to destroy to achieve their final goal.

There's no question but that this will be a very slow process for them, but they are willing to move at a seemingly glacial speed with the belief that they are making progress. In a sense they've been at it for 1500 years already, so a couple of centuries more is acceptable.

I see only two prospects to defeat this kind of extremism. The first is to deny them their "soldiers" by reinforcing a steadying hand of moderation, acceptance and tolerance within Muslim societies. The other is to chop off the heads of those who lead, recruit or fight for their cause. Either of those would be a long term solution, and neither can succeed without the other.

As to how to "chop off their heads", the countries that house and protect ISIS have to take on that responsibility themselves. We can only support and advise them.

Iceland, Granada, Ireland ... Maybe Swizerland and possiblyEngland won't be a part of a Caliphate 100 years from now. Orwell fans can call it Eurasia, although it will extend into much of Africa.

With the Americas subjugated by a loose inter fighting confederacy of cartel families, the PRC will take up EastAsia, and ironically may become one of the better places to live.

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Fenring
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Al, you either believe in the concept of a "just war" or you don't. I don't know that such a doctrine is entirely internally consistent, but I'm not sure why you write off the possibility of this view among 'good' people. Maybe you think they're fooling themselves and that in the real world there's no law except kill before you're killed. But if you believe this then you eliminate any concept of morality and the story becomes about playing to win and making yourself feel maximally good about it. Is this your position?
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Pete at Home
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I prefer the term justifiable was, as opposed to a war of aggression, as identified by Chief Justice Jackson in the Nuremberg Tribunal.
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Pete at Home
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The Catholic concept of a Just War is uncomfortably close to what Mohammed describes as a "Holy War" which is not only allowed but morally required.

I think that one should try to distinguish morality from practicality. At least in a defense maneuver. I think we should not morally condemn the Poles' cavalry charge against Nazi tanks. Otoh, I find Picket's charge morally reprehensible as well as foolish.

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NobleHunter
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quote:
the Poles' cavalry charge against Nazi tanks.
I expect you'll be pleased to know that's a myth. I don't feel like looking it up right now but I think the Poles actually used mounted infantry which was effective in harrassing the armour. The "charging tanks" line was just petty revenge.
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AI Wessex
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I'm not disagreeing entirely with anybody here. I especially like Pete's formulation of the justifiable war as a pragmatic solution rather than a just war as a moral one. Let the McNamara quote sink in before coming back at me, this part especially:
quote:
LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?
Winners always justify their cause as both necessary and moral. Losers don't usually get the chance to offer the same defense. Clemenceau said that war is a series of catastrophes that results in a victory. Except when the result is a defeat.
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NobleHunter
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From a utilitarian point of view, an atrocity that leads to victory may be redeemed by the consequences of victory.
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AI Wessex
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Can you think of a way to look at ISIS' atrocities in that light?
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D.W.
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If you start from either a Caliphate being the ideal (or at least significantly improved over your current situation) I think it's pretty easy to see it in that light.

That doesn't even get into the rewards in the afterlife for death in the pursuit of creating it. Writing off mortal existence as a crap roll of the dice and placing all your chips on what comes next is very seductive for rationalizing things.

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Pete at Home
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I do think that ISIS exemplifies some core problems in the Koran itself in ways that have no analogy in the worst Crusaders relationship to the Bible. However, these textual core differences do not I'm account for most of ISIS' atrocities, which are simply part of the totalitarian mindset. (See again Vonnegut, mother Night, search for "totalitarian mind" and "cuckoo clock in hell" on Google and the key passage should pop up)

Imo out human tendency to gather and form communities is largely affected by primate pack genes. This explains the phenomenon we call Stockholm Syndrome, and also the tendency of abuse victims to defend our abusers. Jesus might be alluding to the Bette side of this year when he asks how we could love a master we have not served. ... Does my line of theory interest anyone? Don't want to spend time developing this otherwise.

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Pete at Home
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To sum up, LeSuisse, I think that hypocrisy and systematic betraying of charter ideals is not particularly Muslim, nor limited to ISIS nor even to religious organizations. Even political correct atheistic flower children, when organized, can engage in the same sort of blood curdling hypocrisy. Have you heard of the Symbionese Liberation Army? Bunch of white liberals and a token black dude they literally recruited for purposes of diversity ... actually quoted and reinterpreted THE GENEVA CONVENTION on treatment of prisoners of war to Patty Hearst when they explained that her POW work under Geneva terms was to sexually service the servicemen. And they were sensitive enough to have a female explain this to her before the serial rapes began.

Anyway, I think this sort of crap is encoded into our genes and that there is no cure. The only way we stay safe and sane is separation of powers, pluralism, transparency, and avoidance of structures where individuals within a group cannot go outside a group for remedy of injustices. This is why I oppose having marriages with religious arbitration clauses, and allowing communities to bind residents to internal arbitration, etc. The whole point of living in a country is to secure individual rights.

So 'au fond" (je said pas comment on dit ca en anglais) the hypocrisy and hellish clockwork of the totalitarian mind is a human problem, but it seems to run in plagues through different communities during different times in history.

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Fenring
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Pete, if it's built into our DNA to do this crap, doesn't that make it all the more relevant to construct prescriptive documents that go against this tendency? If so, it is entirely relevant to point out literature that actively enforces the human bias towards atrocity rather than curbs it.
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D.W.
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So you would rewrite our DNA by creating clear rules that people will only follow when secure and content with their lot in life?

Security, resources, comforts all sooth the beast lying just under our skins. We spend an awful lot of time trying to find ways to trick the beast into staying dormant when deprived of security, resources and comfort. We lie to ourselves constantly that WE are not like these others even if we found ourselves in their situation.

You can pay attention to what our DNA is telling us instead of trying to "fix the impulses". Instead we focus on the outsiders as different from us and incompatible with our lifestyle.

The more desparate your situation the more (I think but haven't researched...) people cling to religion; and the more they are willing to take actions others with security, resources and comfort would never consider.

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NobleHunter
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quote:
So you would rewrite our DNA
Go-go gadget trans-humanism.
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D.W.
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I stand corrected NH. I'm all for protecting the trans-humanists until they can save the rest of the world from their self destructive foolishness. [Wink]

You know, when they're not wasting time surgically inserting LED's into their hands for giggles.

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Fenring
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quote:
Originally posted by D.W.:
So you would rewrite our DNA by creating clear rules that people will only follow when secure and content with their lot in life?

Um, what have civilization and behavior guidelines got to do with the conditions that make following them difficult or impossible? You can make any code of conduct and then create harsh conditions that will make it break down. Does it follow from this that there should be no codes of conduct? Rather, I think it follows from this that there are two elements needed for civilization: good conditions, and a good code. I, personally, think that good conditions should be a higher immediate priority, but that shouldn't disqualify us from also addressing what might be a problematic code.
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D.W.
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Civilization and behavior guidelines always serve a goal.

If in power, the guidelines vilify those taking actions out of desperation or weakness as impolite, uncivilized, barbarous or monstrous as you go up the scale.

If at a power disadvantage, the guidelines vilify the oppressor and extols sacrifice, heroism against overwhelming odds and an "end justifies the means" mentality.

The situation dictates the guidelines, NOT the other way around. What you are talking about is propaganda. That's different.

And to a lesser extent, the rule of law

[ November 23, 2015, 04:08 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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Fenring
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Ok, D.W., let's make this more specific and take a particular document that was meant to address codes of conduct in war: the Geneva Convention. How do you categorize this document in terms of whether its authors were at a power disadvantage or a power advantage, and what the document meant for people at all walks of life?

On the face of it I have the sense that the code of the GC was meant to make life more humane for everyone, no matter who they were, and to prevent the worst atrocities in the name of victory. We now know that virtually no major power has seen fit to obey this code. Do we blame the code, or the conditions? You could argue that it's human nature to torture people for information, or that it's human nature to hold enemy combatants without due process, and so what's the point of the GC? But I would argue that the fault lies in the environment (i.e. conditions) whereby the ignoring of the document goes unopposed. And I don't mean Americans screaming at someone else for ignoring it, I mean for instance Americans screaming at America for ignoring it. So in this case we could arguably assess the problem as being the conditions, and not the code. But what about other cases where the code may be partially (but not entirely) at fault as well?

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D.W.
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What is a code which is followed piecemeal or abandoned when expedient if not propaganda? For that matter the GC shares traits with some religious teachings.

What this document did was to point out that it is in our human nature to do awful things to each other in times of war. Much like religion teaching us humanity does awful things to each other. Then it implores us to strive to do better to BE better.

As long as things don't get TOO desperate we can convince ourselves we ARE better. It also has an added benefit of establishing a status quo. If things are in general decent shape this works out well. Those using those desperate measures which "no good guy would use" can be scorned by all the signatories. They may even, fearing a smear on their own "good guy" status, come to the aid of those sieged by a "bad guy".

I don't think we see enough Americans screaming at America for ignoring it. The line between desperation and fear shorted the fail-safes.

Any treaty or agreement or faith system that dictates behavior exists to exert peer pressure and entangle personal honor into behavioral control. Or fear of loosing divine favor...

I'll add that being in power does not assume aggressiveness. Code systems can be finely tuned towards retaining power as well.

[ November 23, 2015, 04:41 PM: Message edited by: D.W. ]

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JeSuisse
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quote:
The only way we stay safe and sane is separation of powers, pluralism, transparency, and avoidance of structures where individuals within a group cannot go outside a group for remedy of injustices.
Amen to that. :-)
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JeSuisse
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quote:
Iceland, Granada, Ireland ... Maybe Switzerland and possibly England won't be a part of a Caliphate 100 years from now.
Seriously? Your vision for the future is terribly depressing.

I'm betting most other countries won't be part of a Caliphate, even if this self-styled caliphate (which currently wants to kill a large percentage of Muslims instead of uniting them) survives longer than a few years (which I doubt as long as it doesn't turn itself into anything sane). What makes you think it's such a huge long-term threat? What makes you think it'll stay afloat economically, make peace with the Shia, not collapse by it's own internal conflicts, not be beaten by one of the surounding nations, not be twarthed by action of western nations when it tries to capture more oil fields, not be opposed by at least the US and possibly several European nations when it tries to destroy Israel (in fact: not be destroyed by Israel, who most likely has thermonuclear capability and will use that if the threat is great enough), not overextend itself like expansionist states did in the past, if it actually manages to gain control of the whole region, etc etc?

[ November 23, 2015, 07:09 PM: Message edited by: JeSuisse ]

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Pete at Home
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"Iceland, Granada, Ireland ... Maybe Switzerland and possibly England won't be a part of a Caliphate 100 years from now.
Seriously? Your vision for the future is terribly depressing"

Cheer me up. Tell me how things could go differently if America elects another Pres who follows the course we have followed since Reagan of sucking up to Islamists and winking at Mexican kleptocracy.

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Pete at Home
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Will rspond to rest later
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Pete at Home
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"even if this self-styled caliphate (which currently wants to kill a large percentage of Muslims instead of uniting them) "

Well, show me where Muslims in Muslim countries have protested against DAESH as enthusiastically, as, say, against some stupid blasphemy? Evidently they don't se ISIS as any great threat.


"survives longer than a few years (which I doubt as long as it doesn't turn itself into anything sane)."

Say it turns itself as "sane" as Saudi Arabia. Feel happy now, living in the Eurasian Grand Validate?


"What makes you think it's such a huge long-term threat?"

Bread and circuses. It's duplicated the forks of terrorism that made Rome endure. See above.


" What makes you think it'll stay afloat economically,"

It very well may implode when it reaches its maximum border size and stop growing, but it's economy is fueled by continual war.


"make peace with the Shia"

Say it doesn't. Iran remains a thorn in its side, using terrorism a bit less vile. So what? Europe is still history.


" not collapse by it's own internal conflicts,"

Eventually it does. But the gradual conquest and rape of Europe will divert islamists' hatred of each other for a time, until they run out of fresh new foreign women to rape.
.

" not be beaten by one of the surounding nations"

Which. Russia might hold them at bay by threatening to nuke mecca. Will they stick their necks out for France, Italy? J'en doute.

" when it tries to destroy Israel (in fact: not be destroyed by Israel, who most likely has thermonuclear capability and will use that if the threat is great enough)"

OK, say they don't destroy Israel.

" not overextend itself like expansionist states did in the past"

They will, eventually.

" if it actually manages to gain control of the whole region, etc etc?"

Oh, it won't last forever unless they adapt Sharia economics.

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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
quote:
Originally posted by Rafi:
quote:
President Barack Obama said that ISIS was 'contained' just a day before the terrorist group claimed responsibility for a horrific attack in Paris that killed 128 people on Friday.

In an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos that aired on Friday's broadcast of Good Morning America, Obama declared that he didn't believe ISIS (also known as ISIL) was gaining strength.

'What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them,' Obama said in the interview.

From the JV comments to just before the Paris attacks, this frigging guy has been disconnected from the reality of the threat. I'd like to think nobody is possibly this stupid but it's getting pretty hard to make the case otherwise.
How much new territory are you suggesting they took in this attack?

Or are you just a bit confused on context here?

Reality check:
quote:
States has "not contained" the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the nation's top military officer said Tuesday, contradicting President Obama's remarks last month about the terror group.

"We have not contained" ISIS, Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told lawmakers at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Want to tell me again about being "confused"?
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Pyrtolin
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Was he using "contained" to mean the same thing, in context, that Obama was? Was he just referring to territorial control, like Obama, or was he perhaps talking about overall ability to conduct operations?

Words draw meaning from context, so unless you can show that the context was the same in both cases, just happening to use the same word doesn't mean they mean the same thing.

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Pete at Home
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It all depends what your meaning of "is" is.

IsIs must have had its name inspired by Bill Clinton's infamous line.

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Pete at Home
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If Barry mean territoriality contained that's even dumber, as it ignores boko Haram's becoming an ISIS franchise. And the Lydia group. Barry's drawn a line around one mark on a chicken pot victim and says contained as other eruptions appear across the globe.

[ December 02, 2015, 09:22 AM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Pete at Home:
If Barry mean territoriality contained that's even dumber, as it ignores boko Haram's becoming an ISIS franchise. And the Lydia group. Barry's drawn a line around one mark on a chicken pot victim and says contained as other eruptions appear across the globe.

Is he ignoring those? Or was he talking about one specific thing in a specific context while you concern troll him for not always talking about every possible thing in every possible context?
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Rafi
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
Was he using "contained" to mean the same thing, in context, that Obama was? Was he just referring to territorial control, like Obama, or was he perhaps talking about overall ability to conduct operations?

Words draw meaning from context, so unless you can show that the context was the same in both cases, just happening to use the same word doesn't mean they mean the same thing.

Dude, it means the same thing. Dance and spin but in the end it means exactly the same thing. Check the video of testimony, it's obvious to anyone with a brain cell.

Obama's contained story was just a lie or he's so poorly informed he didn't know what he was talking about. I suspect both.

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AI Wessex
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You should look up "contained" in a dictionary*. It doesn't mean a hermetic seal; it means that they don't have the resources to expand their territory. YARTP**

* synonyms: restrain, curb, rein in, suppress, repress, stifle, subdue, quell, swallow, bottle up, hold in, keep in check control, master

** Yet Another Republican Talking Point.

[ December 02, 2015, 06:12 PM: Message edited by: AI Wessex ]

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