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Author Topic: "U.S.-Iran tensions may trigger war"
kelcimer
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quote:
DaveS:
You're unwilling to ask for those things because you've already made up your mind that we'll go to war, no matter what the answers are. I am one of the few on Ornery, perhaps, but the many in this country who have not made up my mind that war should or will happen.

I am not sure that we will go to a full war with Iran. I am not sure how best to proceed, either. I am aware if we are to accomplish over all objective in the ever-ill-named "War on Terror" that Iran has to go as a regional player because Totalitarian Islam needs to loose and loose big across the region. I am also aware that Iran has been doing what it can to subvert our goals in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the "Middle East Peace Process". I understand that they are already at war with us whether we want them to be or not. I have also paid a fair amount of thought towards the timing and nature of any possoble action against Iran over the past 4 years.

All this is true.

I understand that there's been more sabre rattling lately, but I am not convinced we are on "the road to war" just yet. I believe it's kinda lame that a better comprehensive airtight case is not ready. Sometimes I really wish that our leaders were as machiavelian as thier detractors accuse them of being. I'd really love that level of competence. At this point all Bush has said is "They're causing trouble in Iraq and I'm gonna do something about it." I'm waiting for when he outlines what that something is.

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Pete at Home
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Red, by your definition Bush could carpet nuke Iran and then we'd all say, isn't it neat that we got through that without a war?

[ February 14, 2007, 09:50 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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Jesse
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DaveS?

What happened last time? We attacked Iraq for violating UN resolutions without the backing of the UN. The case is being laid out right now, before the deadline.

General

What we need to avoid buying into is the argument being advanced that Iran has somehow spoiled what otherwise would have been a lovely little outing in Iraq. I'm seeing that happen very rapidly lately, the finger pointing excuses to excuse unrealistic expectations that were not fulfilled.

Iran is not the reason that Iraq is a mess.

Iran is trying to gain advantage from that mess, and to make sure that groups friendly to them gain the most power, and to provide enough aid to say when it is all over "We helped liberate you, don't you trust us now?".

Iran is also in the middle of a proxy war with Saudi Arabia, which has been providing aid to the Sunni insurgents, and Al Queda and it's affiliates, one of which blew up a bus full of Revolutionary Guards today in south eastern Iran.

For two years, Shia'a in Iraq endured repeated massive suicide attacks which we failed to stop. The vast majority of them did very, very little to fight us after the initial occupation phase. They gave us a chance to straighten out the situation, we dropped the F'n ball, and they proceeded to attempt to protect themselves and achieve revenge by the rules of their region and culture.*

Where BUT Iran would they turn for assistance?


*Since, for some reason, I still have to make disclaimers about this kind of stuff, I do *not* condone torturing people with power drills and blowing their brains out just because they're Sunni. However, some behaviors aren't hard to predict.

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DaveS
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quote:
My broad definition is another known usage.
Which is what? If it's too broad, then it's a meaningless term, like "war on terror". Red's post was pretty good on this practical point, and I thought my post clarified it further. Every definition of "war" that I know of involves direct military confrontation, but that hasn't happened by Iran against the US, and the last time we did anything to Iran was (I think) the Vincennes shooting down an Iranian civilian airliner in 1988. So, pending your broad definition of the term, we're not actively engaged in a war with Iran.

I'm not a lawyer like you, so hopefully you can clarify some questions for me. Wasn't Prize about "Emergency Powers" and domestic insurrection? Didn't Lincoln request and act on Congressional resolutions rather than strictly on his own initiative? Didn't the SC basically rule that you can't declare war against a member state of the union, so the blockade couldn't be called an act of war? All of that was domestic. Would you assert Prize in order to bomb or invade another sovereign nation without Congressional authorization? Has Prize ever been applied to a foreign conflict, other than as pertains to blockade or capture of a vessel, or at all? Is the US blockading Iran or capturing Iranian vessels, or has Iran done either of those things to the US? If not, isn't it merely a technical point to claim that it applies to Iran today? What is your point? Isn't this why I wanted to avoid tossing around legal definitions?

When Bush declared the invasion of Iraq in march 2003, he never used the term "war" to describe what the US was doing. In May 2003 he declared the end of major combat operations, not "war". I can't find any instance where Bush or one of his spokesmen has referred to military action against either Iran or Iraq as "war". If they did, I'd appreciate it if someone would point it out to me. If Bush has the authority to wage war, why doesn't he call a spade a spade, if not because it would lead to a legal issue?

I like utterly pitiful, simple, narrow definitions of things like "war", not for convenience, but because using the term broadly or loosely can mean anything or nothing, and nobody should be shouting war when there isn't one.

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DaveS
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quote:
The case is being laid out right now, before the deadline.
Yes. The previous unanimous UN resolution against Iran was a very hopeful sign that a non-military solution may be found by a coordinated global response. It was far less than the US wanted, but BushCo does get credit for making it happen. I desperately want the UN to kick the diplomatic and economic effort into high gear, while they meet and consider new resolutions. While all of that is going on, recognition of the possibility of war requires the UN to consider that option, but I think not debate it in public.
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Jesse
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I don't know if you read me, Dave.

This administration has expressed the belief that another nation violating UN resolutions is grounds for the US to attack without UN approval.

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DaveS
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quote:
Sometimes I really wish that our leaders were as machiavelian as thier detractors accuse them of being. I'd really love that level of competence. At this point all Bush has said is "They're causing trouble in Iraq and I'm gonna do something about it." I'm waiting for when he outlines what that something is.
I totally agree with this!
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DaveS
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Jesse, you're right that I didn't get that from your post. I haven't heard that rhetoric with respect to Iran, though that certainly was their position in late 2002 regarding Iraq. Reference?
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Jesse
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Dave, the precedent is established.

I don't expect we'll hear the rhetoric untill after they're in violation.

We'll see if I'm wrong, it won't be a long wait.

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Pete at Home
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"War on terror" is vague because of the "on terror" part, not because of the war part.

You are misinformed; I'm not a lawyer, Dave, I'm still in law school. I do however know how to read a case beyond its Wikipedia description, and I suggest that you make the effort if you wish to understand what you're talking about. Look particularly at what the case says about the president's duties in war, and on the legal definition of war.

For one thing, Prize makes clear just how irrelevant your argument is about the president using the word "war." The Supreme Court says that War is war regardless of how the president and Congress dick around with things for political purposes. According to the Supreme Court, it's OK for Lincoln to eat his cake and have it too in terms of pretending that the south is in mere insurrection for political purposes, while exercising the full powers of war.

Prize has never been overruled, and to my knowledge, no case has ever distinguished Prize from a situation like this one. Generally no one takes these arguments to court since they are obviously losing arguments.

As for parsing it more for you, no; I'm not doing that for you since you've already pulled that on me above on this thread. You raise legal issues, and then when I answer with legal information, you accuse me of "talking like a lawyer" and ignoring practical aspects of the war. [Mad] Screw that; I'm not falling for that trick again.

[ February 14, 2007, 11:33 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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kenmeer livermaile
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"...by your definition Bush could carpet nuke Iran and then we'd all say, isn't it neat that we got through that without a war?"

Patton would've called that a Perfect War, I believe.

"This administration has expressed the belief that another nation violating UN resolutions is grounds for the US to attack without UN approval."

Ingeniously twisted.

+++

Doesn't matter that Prize has held up for two centuries. A fella like Bush is smart to avoid the word 'war'. When one has woven a tangled web, one walks as ambiguously as possible.

[ February 15, 2007, 03:08 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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DaveS
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It's 5AM here, the house is quiet and I can't sleep because of a particularly nasty software problem I am wrestling with at work. The fact that I'd rather sit here and write about our little disagreement is an indicator of how unpleasant that other problem must be [Smile] .

Pete, I admit that I did go to Wikipedia, and then I went and read the actual arguments and the decision, and a couple of other commentaries, and then I responded to you. From what I read,the context was that a "war" was happening because of the attack against the US (Ft. Sumter). The two problems Lincoln had in responding with a blockade were that the attack was made by a domestic entity and there had been no declaration of war against the US. The actual definition of what constitutes war was not really the question.

The real issue was whether Lincoln could respond with military means (blockade and capture in this case) without getting a formal declaration of war. What to do? The court ruled that you can't declare war against yourself, and that the US had a right to defend itself from attack. They effectively finessed the need to have a declaration of war by giving precedence to the right to defend US soil. Fast forwarding, the part of the ruling that is most relevant to our discussion is:
quote:
If a war be made by invasion of a foreign nation, the President is not only authorized but bound to resist force by force. He does not initiate the war, but is bound to accept the challenge without waiting for any special legislative authority. And whether the hostile party be a foreign invader or States organized in rebellion, it is nonetheless a war although the declaration of it be "unilateral."
That refers to a foreign invasion with or without a prior declaration of war by the other country, and says that the President may respond to the invasion militarily without waiting for a Congressional declaration of war. It's a big stretch to use that as a precedent to invade another country that has not invaded us. It would help me to understand why you think the Prize Case ruling is critical to our discussion if you could cite some instance where it has actually been invoked by a US President to justify military action against another country. The only reference to it that I could find is where some Senators sued Bush I to prevent him using it to justify putting large numbers of US soldiers in Saudi Arabia to use to invade Iraq. That suit was dropped when Congress formally authorized him to go in.

I specifically don't see it regarding the US vs. Iran, which has not attacked the US directly or indirectly (if you exclude the Embassy takeover), and we have not attacked them (if you exclude the Vincennes incident, for which I don't think the US has ever formally apologized).

So, I still don't get what constitutes the "legal war" and what "broad definition" you are using to call it that. The reason I originally wanted to get past legal definitions was to talk about whether we should go to war and, if so, how to go about it. You keep insisting that because we are already at war, I'm skewing the discussion by trying to talk about about starting it. Like I said, I think Red did a good job of disambiguating the terminology, and now you're hung up on whether his definition of war is satisfying. Another distraction.

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DaveS
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Back to talking about planning, the NY Times has an article today that discusses prewar planning estimates. The GWU National Security Archive posted some slides they acquired from 2002 through FOIA. It was crucial for the decision to go to war to be based on reliable and optimistic predictions of how things would go. The prediction for early 2007 was:
quote:
A broadly representative Iraqi government would be in place. The Iraqi Army would be working to keep the peace. And the United States would have as few as 5,000 troops in the country.

and to progress to that point through the following:
quote:

Another assumption spelled out in the PowerPoint presentation was that “co-opted” Iraqi Army units would heed the American appeals to stay in their garrisons and later help United States to secure the country.

Based on this and other hopeful suppositions, the command’s planners projected what the American occupation of Iraq might look like. After the main fighting was over, there was to be a two- to three-month “stabilization” phase, then an 18- to 24-month “recovery” phase.

That was to be followed by a 12- to 18-month “transition” phase. At the end of this stage — 32 to 45 months after the invasion began — it was projected that the United States would have only 5,000 troops in Iraq.

This suggests that the key decision that led to the plan going wrong was disbanding the Iraqi Army, a decision that Bremer apparently made after consultations with Walter Slocombe, Feith and Wolfowitz, and was approved by Rumsfeld and Rice before being presented to Bush. I don't think Powell was in the decision chain, even though the above plan expected that the State Department would have primary responsibility for the rebuilding phase.

[ February 15, 2007, 07:00 AM: Message edited by: DaveS ]

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Redskullvw
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Hey Jesse

YOU MIGHT WANT TO GO BACK AND READ THIS ****ING THREAD ASSHOLE. I AM THE FIRST PERSON TO PROPOSE A SOLUTION THAT DOESN"T REQUIRE ANY MILITARY HARDWARE

SOME OF YOU NEED TO RE_TAKE READING COMPREHENSION.

AND OFFENSE HAS BEEN TAKEN.

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Redskullvw
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Maybe Im too angry to read it clearly, but I think I have just been told to shut up because I only offer a solution of "glass-em-till-they-glow" and I dont belong in a serious discussion, but I could become part of the discussion if I came up with a civili plan.

So far I am the only person who has propossed a solution that doesn't require war or pre-emptive military action.

Am I missing something her? or has Adam and Jesse just totally ruined my day by acident?

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potemkyn
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Red,

If you look back to I think page 4, I outlined several things that the US could have pursued and things they still can pursue. You aren't the first and you aren't the only person.

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Redskullvw
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Agreed potemkyn. However am I right in how I read Jesse's comment? Or am I overreacting?
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DonaldD
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Overreacting. Even if he misunderstood/misrepresented your position.
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Redskullvw
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Ok so I guess I should take solace in the fact that Jesse considers me to be a "... psychopathic monster." is a simple misunderstanding or misrepresentation.

Gee it is just great to see how it has become just ducky on Ornery to pigeon hole people so completely.

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kenmeer livermaile
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Who's to say he's overreacting? I mean, we can. 's a mostly free forum. But perhaps our assessment of Reds reactions are themselves overreactions.

In such matters, a principle fulcrum of judgement of mine is the extent to which the alleged overreactor acknowledges the subjectivity of their reaction.

"AND OFFENSE HAS BEEN TAKEN."

This indicates to me that Reds accepts responsibility for his own emotions and expression thereof. Personaly, in discussions of matters involving such dire matters as nuclear arms and nations percieved as rogue members of axial terror, overreaction seems, to me, a sign of sanity and prudence.

I love it when Reds pops his relief valve. It usually presages the arrival of deeply reflective analysis on his part, written in admirable 'neutralese' that nonetheless doesn't pull its punches.

Besides, I ****ing love *s*e*i*k*.

[ February 15, 2007, 10:14 AM: Message edited by: kenmeer livermaile ]

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DaveS
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Overreacting. I've also offered ideas, btw, to which you have responded civilly (enough). I'm struggling to follow your suggestion to stay on topic, and now you are too. Not a very merry bunch, are we.
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Redskullvw
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Dave

I'm just sick and tired of being called a genocidal or psychopathic monster when I am neither. I am a realist, and i do try and look at overall problems, sane goals, consequences of actions and realistic options. I also have a tendency to point out what has happened in the past, and how past options resulted in past outcomes and how they may apply to our current situation.

That I draw conclusions and prefer to indicate why something may turn out as it did in the past leaving us with few and bad options, has apparently turned me into a very evil person.

You want to avoid a global nuclear jihadi Islamic world? Then you have to do something hard in order to stop it. If you choose not to do something `then you may find yourself in a very bad situation where a nuke on an ICBM is your only option. The fact that we seem not to be willing to do anything that might be hard to do now, has lead me to conclude that ultimately the only option we will leave ourselves on the table is a massive military engagement or a nuclear war. So if you want good, but hard options NOW is the time to try them. If you want to delay, ignore, or withdraw then you will come to a point where the only option you have is bad.

I see Americans as too unwilling to seek viable, sane, and lasting solutions to the problems in the Middle East, and address Islam's main problems with the rest of the world. And I have been doing it since late 2000 without ever seeing much grasp of consequences for failing to do so. Which lead me to a conclusion even before 9-11 that we are boxing ourselves into a corner where nuclear weapons are our last and worst option, simply because we have not even tried to solve Islam's problems by another means. The basic argument has been that since we will not solve Islam's problems now, later our only option will be the lazy solution that is easy and would solve the problems of Islam ,namely nuke them until they are glass. I get tired of pointing out the failings of the Islamic governments, economics, politics, and education systems. It is as if no one was or is willing to come up with viable solutions or even pragmatic measures. All anyone seems to think is that if we leave Islam alone, Islam will leave us alone.

We tried that. It got us 9-11. And still the general solutions postulated by people has been to leave Islam alone and it will leave us alone. I think that is a horrible idea, because it condems the people of the Middle East to authoritarian regimes backed by radical Islamic religious leaders. It creates a perfect environment where the suffering of the common man under radical Islam leads to common people willing to commit attrocities against the United States and its allies. It could be changed, and it could be solved without all out war. It could be solved with education. It could be solved with efforts to promote true political discourse and freedoms in the region. It could be solved by simply acknowledging that the common people of the Middle East really do deserve better and could be helped by the non-Islamic world.

But almost none of you even acknowledge that fact. Meaning that in the end, what you all collectively support is a solution where you suffer no discomfort of effort in the short term while you blissfully ignore the suffering of the common man in the Middle East. You take the ostrich approach to problem solving. When I point out that your inaction will ultimately lead to a point where you are having to play and possibly use nukes because time was frittered away due to inactivity, I become a monster for pointing out the obvious.

If we continue on our current path, eventually we will have to do something, and it will be based on the threat of use or actual use of a nuclear weapon.

That is not only an immoral path, but it is also a damnation of our laziness. You want to see nukes be used again? Then by all means drop what we are doing in Iraq. Skip town on Afghanistan. Let Iran complete its military buildup and weaponize its nuclaer programs. Ignore Syria's incursions into Lebanon. Ignore Hammas and Hizballah as it attacks Israel.Ignore the Wahabi Saudis. Ignore the simple fact that Egypt essentialy turns our cash into guns. Solve no problem by peaceful means and dialogue. It is easy to do because that is what we have been doing, and apparently is what most of you want to keep doing.

Until of course you get the wake-up call from some radical terrorist group or government in the middile east that tells us that our time being creditcard addicts and Playstation junkies is over and we must submit to their authority. And then suddenly all of you will go "What can we do?' And the only answer left will be to nuke them until they are glass.

Maybe I have been too nice and skipped over your culpability too many times, when I point out that the ultimate solution is to be lazy and nuke them. It makes it easy for you to declare me a monster, to advocate such horror, but the true fact is that most of you are placing us on that path. I get lazy with presenting the roadmap to you collectively. I simply skip the details of pointing out what the failings of your actions will lead to. I just say "use a nuke" without also adding " because all of you are too unwilling to do things now that would prevent the need for a nuke".

I guess that makes me a genocidal psychopathic monster.

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Everard
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"All anyone seems to think is that if we leave Islam alone, Islam will leave us alone.

We tried that. It got us 9-11"

Major flaw in your reasoning here, Red.

We did NOT leave islam alone. We did anything but. 9/11 was a result of interference, not non-interference.

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DonaldD
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Red, the way I read Jesse’s statement was that he was excluding you from the set of “psychopathic monsters” that he described. Granted, his sentence structure was convoluted (and it’s always possible that I misread, but what Jesse wrote was
quote:
Anyone who isn't trying to game their way out of this one … is a psychopathic monster.

No offense intended, Redskull. I know you're trying exactly that.

Since by his description only thos who are not “trying to game their way out of this one” could be described as psychopathic monsters and since he accepts that you are “trying exactly that” (I read this to mean ‘trying to game’) then he wasn’t calling you a psychopathic monster.

Of course, I could be wrong.

Aside from that, nothing he said seems all-caps swear-word worthy…

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DaveS
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Red, why are you pushing back on me? I strongly disagree with your view on this issue, but I haven't disparaged you. You are (apparently) angry with me (and others) because of the short-sightedness and shallowness of my comprehension of the situation and the weakness of my proposals to deal with it. OK, be annoyed, but I appreciate that despite your towering rejection of my perspective, at least you stay on point as much or more than I do.

I have repeatedly pointed out that You're Wrong, which is My Right, but I have never personalized my intense disagreement with you on this topic or called you any names. I didn't pay attention to your little "nuke digression" because it seemed to be the product of frustration, more than anything else. But, if you think I have insulted you, show me where and I'll apologize.

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Redskullvw
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Dave you haven't insulted me. Sorry but I still don't know what jesse meant. I could be a monster that is being reasonable or I am just a monster. Not angry just frustred with the tendancy of people to dismiss me out of hand because it has been agreed that you can call me a genocidal maniac and then ignore what I say.

As it stands I cant tell what jesse meant, but it can be interpreted as meaning, I am a monster playing nice on this thread so I am conditionally allowed to participate. Or I am a monster and can't play on this thread because I have pointed out that most of us are ultimately choosing a nuclear option whether we willingly admit it or not. Either way I am still a monster.

I think I should be offended. And as I pointed out above, I have allowed such dismissal and trivializing of my arguments to go on long enough. I'm not going to call for turning them into glass anymore. Instead I'm going to refer to it as "Y'alls Lazy Solution" so that you all remember that the path leading up to turning them into glass is littered with you all essentially doing nothing, and I am just pointing out the obvious consequences of your choices. I tend to not be a very patient person, so if I see an unavoidable result, I call the game on runs and skip the formalities.
I assume that is how I became the token monster.

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DonaldD
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Well, I suppose those who disagree with most of your basic assumptions could as easily come up with an insulting method of, not encapsulating your argument, but rather disregarding it.

Then these threads would boil down to 2 simple posts, to whit "Y'alls Lazy Solution - I win!" and "Red's dumb solution - we win!"

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EDanaII
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@ DaveS:
quote:
I have no idea what you mean by "we don't need to do anything more than just be prepared." Sounds like your plan is put bullets in the gun and fire when told to. Dwight apparently would disagree, and he was successful at what he did.
Have you ever boxed, Dave? My father taught me to box. He taught me, and my neighbor. He'd get the gloves and then he'd let us fight it out in the front yard. My neighbor and I, however, had two different strategies. He'd try to keep himself from being hit, while I tried to land blows. Guess who got in the most blows? It wasn't the guy who never swung...

I'm talking about protecting yourself like a boxer. Keep your hands up, close to your body, protect your face but be prepared to swing when you see an opportunity. If you never swing, then no amount of opportunities will ever help you. But whatever you do, protecting yourself means opening yourself up to the opportunity to get hurt.

We have aircraft carriers in the region not, necessarily, because we want to strike the first blow, but to strike quickly when we see an opportunity. Preparedness means exactly that. Protect your face with your hands, keep 'em up and ready to strike, and look for the first chance to knock your enemy on his ass.

Given Ahmydumbjihad's irresponsible statements about us and Israel, that, itself, means we need to keep our hands up and protect our face, it means we need find an opening. In this context, such an opening would be proof of Iran's intentions. We find that, then, "boom!," color a few reactors gone. If that means that Iran retaliates, so be it, at least they won't be able to retaliate (we hope) with nukes.

That's how you fight a battle. When the enemy strikes, negate the weapon causing the most damage. Then negate the weapon next likely to cause the most damage. Then the next, and so on, down the list. What comes after is not the issue, in a fight, we are worrying mostly about current costs, not future ones.


@ Redskullvw:
quote:
Ok so I guess I should take solace in the fact that Jesse considers me to be a "... psychopathic monster." is a simple misunderstanding or misrepresentation.
He pulled a similar stunt on my in a different thread, suggesting, more or less, that I was interested in mostly sending soldiers to their graves. To say this, he had to ignore the broader context I was arguing about. That being the whole "ounce of prevention" argument.

Take heart, Redskull. If that's all Jesse can do, then more's the pity for him engaging in such childish tactics.


@ Everard:
quote:
We did NOT leave islam alone. We did anything but. 9/11 was a result of interference, not non-interference.
Yea, right. How DARE we invade Kuwait and liberate them from their savior, Saddam Hussein. [Roll Eyes]

Would you mind naming one thing we've done, Ev, that rises to the justification of 9/11? Just ONE thing. That's all I ask.

Ed.

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Redskullvw
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Donald

Of course it would be "Y'alls Lazy Solution- we lose!" and "Red's dumb solution-we lose!" because they are in fact the same argument. There is a third option "Red's very hard and possibly very expensive long term solution-we survive and possibly live!"

Of course my point is that this third option is the one everyone seems to gloss over.

Jesse

Sorry in advance.

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DaveS
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quote:
Have you ever boxed, Dave? My father taught me to box. He taught me, and my neighbor. He'd get the gloves and then he'd let us fight it out in the front yard. My neighbor and I, however, had two different strategies. He'd try to keep himself from being hit, while I tried to land blows. Guess who got in the most blows? It wasn't the guy who never swung...
I'm guessing your neighbor is now a pacifist or a concert violinist. Despite my sometimes snippy tone, I do enjoy metaphoring with you [Smile] . This one is better than some others. Hopefully the guy who didn't get in a lot of blows wasn't waiting to get in just one massive blow that knocks your head off. If Iran fights us the way that the Iraqis have fought each other with suicide attacks and self-martyrdom, we'll be able to kill 10,000 of them and then one of them will kill 10,000 of us. Then, when we go back to our corner after round 1, the manager leans in and says, "ok kid, looks like this is gonna go the full 15 rounds, so we're gonna need a strategy...you got one?"
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Pete at Home
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"read the actual arguments and the decision, and a couple of other commentaries, and then I responded to you."

Which as I said, isn't worth crap, when you don't look at the legal reasoning, which in most cases, including this one, is where the rules are, and what gets cited in future cases.

Don't get me wrong -- some wikipedia analyses are written by people with a legal education and therefore include the legal holding, rather than just looking at the arguments and the result. But the legal reasoning and the generalized holding is what gets cited as precedent, not the specific outcome.

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Colin JM0397
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I have to agree with Everard here - a rare occurrence.

Red, I too feel I look at all the information and try to make pragmatic, realistic assumptions and suggestions.

I used to be a chest-thumping USA! USA! chanting type who thought our country does no wrong. Then I started reading things and closing my mouth and listening. Things many people won't or can't look at because it flies in the face of the "USA is good and does not wrong" attitude many seem to have. I'm not saying you do, just that I no longer do.

I often think of the bumper sticker on my brothers car "I love my country, it's the government I'm afraid of".

Don't mistake my occasional defense of the Islamic or our "enemies" as support for them, I merely feel they sometimes have valid points of contention with us.

Pre 9/11, the musings of OBL were not for global jihad and the downfall of western civilization, he was pissed about our involvement in Saudi Arabia and our troops in SA. Threat of global jihad creates a powerful fear in westerners and powerful fear is a powerful tool for our governments to use for whatever they choose to use it for.

From our cold war legacy, our country has quite a sordid history and habit of supporting those who support us first, and democratic institutions secondly. We’ve even been known to replace democratically elected governments with “friendly” totalitarian ones, as was the case in Iran. If those who support us are dictators and human rights abusers, so be it, we seem to be okay with that. While the US media would never point things like that out, this is common knowledge in many areas of the world where they have no vested interest in hiding those unpleasant facts. We also have a long history of using our dollars to bully around the oil market - ie many Arab and Islamic countries. And our support of Israel, right or wrong, is a constant thorn in Islam's side.

Add all these up and we most certainly have not ever tried to "leave Islam alone". I don't know if leaving them alone would even work at this point, but continual bullying by economic and military force, by bribery and control through programs like the IMF, have won us no friends in that part of the world. Its bought us some “allies” like the Saudis, but how much of an ally are they really?

The bleeding hearts seem to exaggerate our misdeeds, while the flag wavers seem to never see it.

For me the truth is somewhere in the middle. While we tend to bend over backwards for our allies and supporters, we do not tend to "play fair" with our adversaries. I am a realist and I accept this as the way things are done on occasion, yet I also understand that our actions to keep us on top also build a fair amount of resentment and hatred towards us. I also think we’d be better served by our government if we butted out of some areas of the world.

When I look at Iran in this light, I don't see a fundamentalist country bent on destroying western civilization. I see a small, weak country trying to use anything and everything at its disposal to level the playing field and be taken seriously by a much stronger opponent. A stronger opponent who isn’t opposed to using trickery and sneaking in some sucker punches when we can get away with it.

They know by going off the dollar and using Euros for their oil sales - among other things - it's only a matter of time before we do something about it to bring them back into the fold. There's plenty more going on here than "fundamentalist Islamic government" fanning the flames of western hatred, and "Islamic state wants nukes" – so much more going on.

The latest open source CIA and MI-6 estimates have them at 5-10 years out to having a functioning bomb - if those estimates are to be believed.

I realize you know all this and you’re just saying we might as well go ahead and nuke them now and get it over with… Yet some of us are making the simple point that perhaps we should try actually leaving them alone – financially and militarily – really let them be and then see what happens.

The main problem – beyond all the Islamic country with nukes hubbub – and they won’t even be the first on that list anyway, is we have most definitely painted ourselves into a corner with our dollar diplomacy vis-à-vis the OPEC markets, as well as the Neocon ideals that we must use all means necessary to keep ourselves as king of the superpower hill.

I don’t have all the answers, but I don’t think a nuke exchange or even attack in the US is likely as coming directly from Iran in the next 5-10 years even if they develop a viable program.

I'm all for backing off a bit and seeing what happens, along with a solid warning that we won't hesitate to level their country if they do actually threaten us. Perhaps Iran just wants to be taken seriously and not constantly looking over their shoulder waiting for our next move to manage or manipulate them to our benefit.

Maybe... but I certainly could be wrong.

[ February 15, 2007, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: jm0397 ]

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Pete at Home
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Everard's argument seems hypocritical since he argues for the US to stay involved with Israel, and I think that we all know that this is one of the main "provocations" that Islamonecrophiles are responding to.
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Colin JM0397
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Yea, that's a tough one to crack.

But I'd wager if we back off the dollars for oil mandate (which could collapse the dollar - oops!), pulled the plug on supporting dissident groups in "enemy" countries, and maybe even admitted to and apologized for some of our past dirty little deeds in that part of the world, the calls for "jihad against the west" would probably fall by the wayside.

Hell, without the US as the scapegoat, some of these places might actually have internal revolutions when their people see how much their own government is screwing them.

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Pete at Home
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"But I'd wager if we back off the dollars for oil mandate (which could collapse the dollar - oops!), pulled the plug on supporting dissident groups in "enemy" countries, and maybe even admitted to and apologized for some of our past dirty little deeds in that part of the world, the calls for "jihad against the west" would probably fall by the wayside."

Absolutely. Folks that strap their children to bombs are reasonable people, after all. And we all saw how previous concessions, like Spain pulling out of Iraq, or Israel pulling out of Giza, resulted in terrorists renouncing terror and pledging peace.

[ February 15, 2007, 03:43 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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DonaldD
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Everard's only 'argument' on this thread was a refutation of Red's claim - that "[leaving] Islam alone ... got us 911"

How is this hypocritical? Do we need to hold the proper political view before pointing out a straightforward factual error?

Pointing out that the US didn't leave Islam alone has nothing to do with his support of Israel. It doesn't even mean he disagrees with Red's overall position - although I assume he does. But since that one post was the extent of his input on this thread...

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Colin JM0397
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Pete, don't be silly. You want to make a point then make a point; don't muddy the waters by equating the Palestinians with the Iranians.
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Hannibal
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yes, the palestinians dont have nukes yet
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Pete at Home
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"Hell, without the US as the scapegoat, some of these places might actually have internal revolutions when their people see how much their own government is screwing them."

Wow. All we have to do is die, and our enemies will start fighting each other. Hard to resist.

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Pete at Home
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quote:
Originally posted by jm0397:
Pete, don't be silly. You want to make a point then make a point; don't muddy the waters by equating the Palestinians with the Iranians.

Islam equates them. Those distinctions are null in Islam. Not just under Osama's sick version of Islam. I'm talking the actual Koran stuff that most Muslims believe in.

Iranian people are much more reasonable, but we're talking about the Iranian government here. Pulling out of Lebanon did not appease them.

[ February 15, 2007, 04:13 PM: Message edited by: Pete at Home ]

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