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Iraq: Right, Wrong and Why

 
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brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Sun Nov 12, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: Iraq: Right, Wrong and Why Reply with quote

... [Covered in a different thread.]


It seems to me that, first, these were not the reasons given to go
to war with Iraq. Secondly, there are a host of assumptions that
underly your 2 short paragraphs: 1) instability is a valid rationale to
attack a foreign country, 2) the US is the policeman of the world,
3) the growth in the wealth and population of a foreign country is
a valid rationale to attack it, given other factors, 4) by "overspilling
it's borders" the region will "press towards" western civilization,
5) there is some confusion about whether it is the region or the
religion that is at issue, 6) you don't say what the "worst" is that
you fear, nuclear attack? 7) pre-emptive war is justified, and that
we have the knowledge of what it is that need to be pre-empted,
Cool that by pre-empting we can make the situation better and not
worse, 9) since it is a "police action", our laws apply to foreign
nations, 10) since our role is "policing" we should never leave Iraq,
11) finally, the strongest argument I think you make, that the
brutal, power-mad people of the region/religion/society are dangerous
to western civilization/US interests.

By no means do I consider these assumptions defacto right or wrong.
Some are stronger and others are weaker or more contentious.
Perhaps you can put your posting under its own header and we can
debate them more closely.


... [Covered in a different thread.]


-Brian


Last edited by brian-hansen on Tue Nov 14, 2006 6:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 13, 2006 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You outline my 11 assumptions for the war with Iraq. I accept this outline and moreover I support it. I think the logic of it is very, very valid and I am willing to defend that logic in this thread.

Quote:
It seems to me that, first, these were not the reasons given to go
to war with Iraq. Secondly, there are a host of assumptions that
underly your 2 short paragraphs:

1) instability is a valid rationale to
attack a foreign country,

2) the US is the policeman of the world,

3) the growth in the wealth and population of a foreign country is
a valid rationale to attack it, given other factors,

4) by "overspilling it's borders" the region will "press towards" western civilization,

5) there is some confusion about whether it is the region or the
religion that is at issue,

6) you don't say what the "worst" is that
you fear, nuclear attack?

7) pre-emptive war is justified, and that we have the knowledge of what it is that need to be pre-empted,

8 ) Cool that by pre-empting we can make the situation better and not
worse,

9) since it is a "police action", our laws apply to foreign
nations,

10) since our role is "policing" we should never leave Iraq,

11) finally, the strongest argument I think you make, that the
brutal, power-mad people of the region/religion/society are dangerous
to western civilization/US interests.
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brian-hansen
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Mar 2006
Posts: 712
Location: Oregon

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, maybe now I'm ready to follow up on this.

First, I think it brave of you to accept my characterization of your assumptions. Second, I find most of them range from clearly false, to highly problematical.

jabailo wrote:
You outline my 11 assumptions for the war with Iraq. I accept this outline and moreover I support it. I think the logic of it is very, very valid and I am willing to defend that logic in this thread.

Quote:
It seems to me that, first, these were not the reasons given to go
to war with Iraq. Secondly, there are a host of assumptions that
underly your 2 short paragraphs:

1) instability is a valid rationale to
attack a foreign country,

Clearly false. Instability is a good motive to do *something*, but not to go to war.
Quote:

2) the US is the policeman of the world,

Problematical. I clearly recall many Reps, including Bush, saying the the US should not be the policeman of the world.
Quote:

3) the growth in the wealth and population of a foreign country is
a valid rationale to attack it, given other factors,

Clearly false, although there is that little bit about other factors.
Quote:

4) by "overspilling it's borders" the region will "press towards" western civilization,

Problematical. While Europe and other less dynamic countries could well have problems with immigration like this, the US is a nation of immigrants, and for every wave of immigration there has been a screaming that those foreigners should not be welcome. As it turns out, immigration has made this country great, and it will most likely be the engine that keeps our society humming, and fund our retirement bubble.
Quote:

5) there is some confusion about whether it is the region or the
religion that is at issue,

This one is especially unclear. You seem to go back and forth on this issue. But I find it central to many misunderstandings about our current "war"/"occupation". Iraq was not a Muslim country prior to our attack. Iranis are not Arabs.
Quote:

6) you don't say what the "worst" is that
you fear, nuclear attack?

I agree that this would be bad. Let's focus on it then. Let's inspect/test cargo coming into this country.
Quote:

7) pre-emptive war is justified, and that we have the knowledge of what it is that need to be pre-empted,

The failure of the WMD argument proves that we don't have the knowledge to take the extreme measure of pre-emption. Pre-emption costs us allies that we need to counteract terrorism. Countries that would otherwise be friendly and cooperative cannot collaborate with the US for fear of the disapproval of their populace. Meanwhile, there's pre-emption and there's pre-emption. Cheney is quoted as saying that 1% is the threshhold. I don't believe that this can be the measure of such an extreme action.
Quote:

8 ) Cool that by pre-empting we can make the situation better and not
worse,

I don't know why I put the word "cool" here... still, Iraq is the evidence that this assumption is clearly false.
Quote:

9) since it is a "police action", our laws apply to foreign
nations,

Clearly false.
Quote:

10) since our role is "policing" we should never leave Iraq,

Insane.
Quote:

11) finally, the strongest argument I think you make, that the
brutal, power-mad people of the region/religion/society are dangerous
to western civilization/US interests.

This one requires a whole spectrum of shades of gray. Which people? How dangerous? Which interests (the 3%?)? And if so, what to do about it? In my view, war should be the last choice, not the first.
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jabailo



Joined: 20 Mar 2006
Posts: 1273
Location: Kent (East Hill), WA

PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2007 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1) instability is a valid rationale to
attack a foreign country,

Quote:
Clearly false. Instability is a good motive to do *something*, but not to go to war.



The world is highly interconnected, and the range of deadliness of our most effective offensive weapons cannot be contained. Moreover these weapons become more available every day. Basically the whole world is part of the Domino Effect where a single hot spot could not only spread, but cause widespread planetary damage.

Going to war to stop that is a necessity.

Quote:
2) the US is the policeman of the world,

Quote:
Problematical. I clearly recall many Reps, including Bush, saying the the US should not be the policeman of the world.


What is said and what has to be done are two different things. A landmark in the Bush administration has been the use of unilateral force, eschewing the United Nations. I believe that was a good decision for many reasons. For one, there are very, very few countries in the world that even approach the level of human rights and freedoms held by Americans. The state of human affairs and rights and equality in 3 of the biggest population blocks -- China (1.8 Billion), India (1 Billion) and the Mid-East (600 million) -- is appalling. Even in Africa, where harm is caused by physical conditions and warfare, a human being can at least have dignity as a poor person...not so in these other areas where tolerance of race, religion, belief, politics and so on is at a minimum.

Quote:
3) the growth in the wealth and population of a foreign country is
a valid rationale to attack it, given other factors,

Quote:
Clearly false, although there is that little bit about other factors.


Coupled with (1) and (2) yes...a nation that is antagonistic to the American way of life, that shows signs of growth including economic growth, population growth and military growth provides incentive to nullify its growth.

Quote:
by "overspilling it's borders" the region will "press towards" western civilization,

Quote:
Problematical. While Europe and other less dynamic countries could well have problems with immigration like this, the US is a nation of immigrants, and for every wave of immigration there has been a screaming that those foreigners should not be welcome. As it turns out, immigration has made this country great, and it will most likely be the engine that keeps our society humming, and fund our retirement bubble.


Well, I'm not talking physical borders, but cultural borders. Mexicans are very welcome here in my opinion because we have sympathy. And the USA would definitely be Geezerville without them.

I'm referring to immigrants bringing in belief systems antithetical to the American system of tolerance and justice.

Quote:
5) there is some confusion about whether it is the region or the
religion that is at issue,

Quote:
But I find it central to many misunderstandings about our current "war"/"occupation". Iraq was not a Muslim country prior to our attack. Iranis are not Arabs.


Recent disclosures about Osama bin Laden's connections traced back to Iraqi Al Qaeda contacts dispute that statement.

[...]

Quote:
7) pre-emptive war is justified, and that we have the knowledge of what it is that need to be pre-empted,

Quote:
The failure of the WMD argument proves that we don't have the knowledge to take the extreme measure of pre-emption. Pre-emption costs us allies that we need to counteract terrorism. Countries that would otherwise be friendly and cooperative cannot collaborate with the US for fear of the disapproval of their populace. Meanwhile, there's pre-emption and there's pre-emption. Cheney is quoted as saying that 1% is the threshhold. I don't believe that this can be the measure of such an extreme action.


No, the WMD argument was for those who couldn't make the leap and accept the logic of points 1-5, which argue for pre-emptive war based on conditions other than WMD. The country and its population become the WMD (as witnessed by the World Trade Center, accomplished by 40 people and some box cutters).

Quote:
8 ) Cool that by pre-empting we can make the situation better and not
worse,

Quote:
I don't know why I put the word "cool" here... still, Iraq is the evidence that this assumption is clearly false.


The Iraq situation has been entirely contained. Look at where the fighting is...it used to be in the whole countryside -- now it's contained to some areas within Baghdad -- and it's not warfare, it's car bombs....no different from Lebanon. The situation is under control.

Quote:
9) since it is a "police action", our laws apply to foreign
nations,

Quote:
Clearly false.


True, false, one has to take sides here. The world's populations are impinging on each other. There is no more time for live and let live. This is the time for assertion and saying, "yes, tolerance, freedom, privilege of the individual need to be extended to all before we can truly be friends with these other countries".

Quote:
10) since our role is "policing" we should never leave Iraq,

Quote:
Insane.


Should the guards leave the prison before the inmates have served their sentences?

Quote:
11) finally, the strongest argument I think you make, that the
brutal, power-mad people of the region/religion/society are dangerous
to western civilization/US interests.

Quote:
This one requires a whole spectrum of shades of gray. Which people? How dangerous? Which interests (the 3%?)? And if so, what to do about it? In my view, war should be the last choice, not the first.


I agree. But it should be a choice that in some instances can, and will, have to be made.
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Researching your dissertation? Serious collector? Just looking for something neat?
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