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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting read

The Daou Report
by Peter Daou


THE STRAW MEN OF IRAQ: Ten Pro-War Fallacies

Friday's hastily staged congressional vote on withdrawal from Iraq may have been designed to embarrass John Murtha, but the raucous session offered valuable insight into the various rationales for war and the tactics used to attack Democrats who oppose Bush's Iraq policy. A parade of House Republicans went after the Dems and laid out a surprisingly weak case for the invasion and continued occupation of Iraq. Here, in my view, are ten of the leading pro-war fallacies...

1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

The typical framing is: "Democrats got the same intelligence and reached the same conclusion, so blaming Bush for misleading America is purely political." The argument is also presented in 'gotcha' form by people like Sean Hannity, who use a lengthy blind quote about the threat posed by Saddam that turns out to be from Bill Clinton, John Kerry or some other Democrat. The conclusion is that if Bush was lying, they must have been lying too.

There is a false assumption underlying this argument, namely that Dems received the same intel as Bush (they didn't), but setting that aside, here are two reasons why this is a straw man:

a) The issue is not whether people believed Saddam had WMD (many did), or whether there was any evidence that he had WMD (there was), it's the fact that Bush and his administration made an absolute, unconditional case with the evidence at hand, brooking no dissent and dismissing doubters inside and outside the government as cowardly or treasonous. That's what "manipulating the intelligence" and "misleading the public" refers to, the knowing exaggeration of the case for war (whether by cherry-picking intel or using defunct intel or by speaking about ambiguous intel in alarming absolutes). As I wrote in this post: "There we were, more than a decade after the first gulf war, two years after 9/11, and Saddam hadn’t attacked us, he hadn’t threatened to attack us. And then suddenly, he was the biggest threat to America. A threat that required a massive invasion. A bigger threat than Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Bin Laden. A HUGE, IMMEDIATE threat. It simply defied belief."

b) In addition to the fear-mongering described above, the contention that Bush 'misled' the public is not simply about Saddam's WMD, but about the way the administration stormed ahead with their plans and invaded Iraq in the way they did, at the time they did, with the Pollyannaish visions they fed the world, all the while demonizing dissent and smearing their critics.

In both (a) and (b), the crux of the issue is proportionality. Whether or not Bill Clinton or France or the U.N. believed Saddam was a threat, the administration's apocalyptic words and drastic actions (preemptively invading a sovereign nation) were decidedly out of proportion to the level and immediacy of the threat. THAT is the issue.

2. AFTER 9/11, WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THREAT TO MATERIALIZE BEFORE TAKING ACTION

This is often used as a counterpoint to the notion that Bush overhyped the rationale for war. It's a vacuous argument whose logic implies we should invade a half-dozen African countries as well as North Korea, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Every day that goes by that Bush allows these threats to "materialize," he is failing in his duties to protect the American public and should be impeached. And if the pushback is that North Korea and others are being dealt with diplomatically, isn't that exactly the approach this argument purports to refute?

Furthermore, the war's opponents never claimed they'd prefer to "wait" for threats to materialize. This is another straw man. Nobody wants to wait for threats to materialize; they just want to deal with them differently.

3. DEMOCRATS "VOTED FOR" AND THUS "SUPPORTED" THE WAR

The Iraq War Resolution (IWR) debate has been flogged to death, so there's no need to fully resurrect it here. Suffice it to say that:

a) Many elected Democrats did NOT vote in favor of the resolution. Not to mention the millions of rank and filers who marched down the streets of our cities and were largely ignored by the press and brushed off by Bush. So to say, generically, that Democrats "supported the war" or to imply that there was tepid resistance to it, is false.

b) No matter how many people contest this point, a vote to give Bush authority WAS NOT a vote "for war." Bush also had the authority NOT to invade. Since Republicans are so fond of quoting John Kerry in support of the case for WMD, here are his words on the floor of the Senate the day of the Iraq War Resolution vote.

"In giving the President this authority, I expect him to fulfill the commitments he has made to the American people in recent days--to work with the United Nations Security Council to adopt a new resolution setting out tough and immediate inspection requirements, and to act with our allies at our side if we have to disarm Saddam Hussein by force. If he fails to do so, I will be among the first to speak out.

"If we do wind up going to war with Iraq, it is imperative that we do so with others in the international community, unless there is a showing of a grave, imminent--and I emphasize "imminent''--threat to this country which requires the President to respond in a way that protects our immediate national security needs.

"Prime Minister Tony Blair has recognized a similar need to distinguish how we approach this. He has said that he believes we should move in concert with allies, and he has promised his own party that he will not do so otherwise. The administration may not be in the habit of building coalitions, but that is what they need to do. And it is what can be done. If we go it alone without reason, we risk inflaming an entire region, breeding a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots, and we will be less secure, not more secure, at the end of the day, even with Saddam Hussein disarmed.

"Let there be no doubt or confusion about where we stand on this. I will support a multilateral effort to disarm him by force, if we ever exhaust those other options, as the President has promised, but I will not support a unilateral U.S. war against Iraq unless that threat is imminent and the multilateral effort has not proven possible under any circumstances."

Not exactly an endorsement of Bush's approach or a vote "for war." And a good retort to those who argue that Democrats are "rewriting history."

4. TALK OF WITHDRAWAL "SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE" AND "EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY"

To borrow Samuel Johnson's immortal words, this argument, like (false) patriotism, is the "last refuge of scoundrels." Implying that opposing views are treasonous is the surest way to stifle dissent.

And it's a cheap way to avoid confronting hard questions. Such as: Does anyone seriously believe that Bush's course of action in Iraq has intimidated or deterred the enemy? Doesn't the fact that the insurgency is as strong as ever "embolden" the enemy?

The sobering truth is that there are dozens of recent events and actions that 'embolden the enemy' far more than advocating a disciplined, phased redeployment. Torture of detainees, the use of white phosphorus as an offensive weapon, the curtailing of civil liberties at home, the shameful abandonment of American citizens in the aftermath of Katrina, the cynical outing of CIA agents, the smearing of war critics as traitors, these are far more encouraging to America's enemies. If we are truly engaged in a clash of civilizations, an epic battle against "Islamofascism," then our enemies are far more interested in the destruction of those things that are quintessentially American and that give us the moral high ground (freedom of speech, adherence to international law, upholding ethical norms and standards, respect for human rights, etc.) than strategic redeployment in Iraq.

5. A WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ WOULD HAVE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES

If I learned anything from living in Beirut, it's that predicting the outcome of sectarian divisions in the Middle East is a fool's game. The shifting alliances, the internal pressures, the regional influences, make it next to impossible to say whether or not the removal of American forces would further destabilize Iraq.

It's also grimly amusing that we're expected to believe the prognostications of the very people who told us we'd be greeted as liberators.

For every foreign policy expert who says that Iraq will be worse off without U.S. troops, there's another who will tell you the exact opposite is true. In the absence of any sound predictive capabilities, the endgame should be based on the opening: i.e. the sooner you end something that started out wrong and has had terrible consequences, the better.

For those who counter with the Pottery Barn rule (we broke it we should fix it), the question is: What's the statute of limitations on that rule? What if we can't fix what's broken in Iraq? Is there a point at which we acknowledge we can't fix it and stop trying? Is our attempt to 'fix' Iraq breaking it even further? Also, are there other things we've broken that we're obliged to fix before we try to fix Iraq? Is there a reason our limited resources should go to fixing Iraq and not saving poor, sick, and hungry children in America?

6. WITHDRAWING FROM IRAQ IS TANTAMOUNT TO "CUTTING & RUNNING"

Any talk of withdrawal, redeployment or a change in course is characterized as "cutting and running." This word-play is so disingenuous that it hardly merits a rebuttal, but the best response to the notion that a war hero like John Kerry or John Murtha wants to "cut and run" is Murtha's response to Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

A phased withdrawal is just that, a phased withdrawal. And a timetable is just that, a timetable. Using politically-charged buzzwords won't change the fact that the present course of action is untenable. It is the height of folly to continue on a tragic and deadly path just to save face. And as we pointed out in #3, enough has been done to "embolden the enemy" that leaving Iraq will have little effect in that regard.

For those who think continuing with the current policy in Iraq is a mark of courage and changing direction the mark of cowardice, they should bear in mind that courage tempered by wisdom is noble, courage in defiance of wisdom is foolhardy.

7. WE'RE FIGHTING THEM 'THERE' SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM HERE

No matter how many times reality intrudes on this fantasy, it's still one of the favored arguments by the war's supporters. And it was repeated more than once in the House debate.

This is yet another straw man: we all agree that it's better to fight our enemies somewhere other than on the streets of America. The problem with the "fight them there" approach is that:

a) Iraq wasn't "there" until AFTER the invasion. (In spite of the mental contortions of Bush apologists who insist there was a substantive Saddam-Qaeda connection.)

b) Our policy in Iraq is creating more of "them."

c) "There" is where "them" (Bin Laden and his cohorts) are. And it ain't Iraq.

A corollary to this argument is that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror" and we can't defeat the terrorists if we don't fight them there. That's like walking into someone's house, breaking an expensive vase, and claiming you have to move in because your job is to clean up broken vases and as long as vases are being broken, you have to be there to clean up the mess. Arguments don't get more circular than this...

And if remaining in Iraq is really about Bush's resolve to defend America against our enemies by keeping them away from the mainland, let's not forget what Katrina's aftermath tells us about how well this administration is preparing for domestic threats. Imagine the holes in domestic security that could be plugged with the toil and treasure being spent in Iraq.

8. DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ, THEY'RE JUST ATTACKING BUSH TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS

Democrats deserve legitimate criticism for their approach to Iraq, but when the Republican Party controls all branches of government, attacking Dems for conflicting positions and a confused message shouldn't be a catch-all excuse for Republican mistakes and lies.

Saying Democrats are muddled on Iraq is a favorite media distraction. But the response is simple: if Bush's policy is to "stay the course," the Democratic policy - whether we accept Murtha's approach or Feingold's or Kerry's - is to "change the course." Simple enough. Changing positions in light of new evidence and new circumstances is the sign of a mature and rational mind. Stubbornly clinging to a failed course of action is not.

It's fascinating how Democrats are always the ones held to account for their Iraq vote, but not Republicans. The question constantly put to Dems, "you voted for it, now you're against it," has a straightforward answer, as phrased by a Democratic senator: "we authorized Bush to put the bullet in the gun, not to shoot us in the foot." We've been shot in the foot by the administration's Iraq policy. Democrats are rightfully reacting to that. The real question - to Republicans - is this: "You voted for this war based on Saddam's threat to America. The threat never materialized. Was your decision wrong? And does your lockstep allegiance to Bush's failed policy make you personally responsible for further deaths beyond the 2000+ American troops who have already given their lives?"

9. HISTORY WILL VINDICATE BUSH

The infinite time horizon is an easy cop out for supporters of the Iraq war. I wrote this in August: "The problem with the Bush apologists' reasoning is that using an infinite time horizon - which they are so fond of - virtually any action, no matter how egregious, can be shown to lead to some positive results. It’s the bastardization of utilitarianism; asserting a causal relationship between a pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign nation and all future good developments in Iraq and the Middle East may swell the hawks' breasts with pride, but it's a dubious and dangerous way to conduct foreign policy. Which is precisely why we need to adhere so strictly to the rule of law, to basic moral precepts, and to established principles of international relations, something that this administration has failed to do, and that the administration's supporters can dance around but can't justify."

10. ISN'T IT A GOOD THING THAT SADDAM IS GONE?

This is the ultimate fall-back for supporters of this disastrous war. Somber references to mass graves, Saddam gassing his people, liberating the Iraqis from a dictator, spreading freedom, etc., are second only to flag-waving and bumper-sticker "support" for the troops when it comes to feel-good justifications for the fiasco in Iraq.

To human rights activists, this faux-bleeding heart conservatism rings hollow. Considering the unremitting suffering and killing and violence and abuse of innocents that takes place on this planet, it is intellectually dishonest to resort to a retroactive humanitarian rationalization for a war that was ostensibly defensive in nature. Especially when we callously ignore the plight of so many others who suffer in silence.

If the trump card question is "don’t you think it's good that Saddam is gone?" then one rhetorical question can be met with another:

Isn't it terrible that we've done nothing to stop the slaughter in Darfur?
Isn't it terrible that Iraq is still a killing field and now a terrorist breeding ground?
Isn't it terrible that a nuclear armed Kim Jong Il is still in power?
Isn't it terrible that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq could have saved millions of starving children instead of killing tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis?

And so on...

===========

POSTSCRIPT: Washington is suddenly convulsed by a debate that should have taken place three years ago, and the sleeping giant known as the American public is finally awakening to the deceptions that led to war. Emotion, instinct, and other proclivities may be the driving force behind support or opposition for war, but reason and logic are the means by which we try to prove the correctness of our views. No matter how heartfelt, the arguments in favor of the Iraq war are almost always specious and riddled with fallacious reasoning. On a matter so grave, that should be unacceptable to the American people. Judging from the polls, it is.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 11:10 AM
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Yeah, I did not thoroughly read the whole thing. I sort of agreed with 6, disagreed with 3, 4 and 7. The rest...I really was either neutral, or do not know enough to agree/disagree with.

Again though it is a person jumping on other people, for basically jumping on other people. It boils down to a bunch of babble that does no one good. No new ideas or perspective. (Not that I have any either.)

Take care,

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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 11:39 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ceyko
Again though it is a person jumping on other people, for basically jumping on other people. It boils down to a bunch of babble that does no one good. No new ideas or perspective. (Not that I have any either.)

Take care,
That is the substance of politics! If there was a clear right and wrong we wouldn't need a party system in this country.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 11:42 AM
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and once the american public awakens to all of this ( assuming that they do) things ought to get real interesting.

Bottom line, people in the middle east will throw rocks at tanks, & continue to fight, simply because they believe that their way of worship is better than someone else's

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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 11:46 AM
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That's it...JITB, 15 minutes.

My '03 Sold.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 01:00 PM
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The dems are poll followers, they are no leaders. If the polls changed and went back to full support for the Bush's plans, they would say they support the President 100%. They have no rudder and are drifting on the currents of change.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 02:53 PM
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Interesting… I would describe it as sophomoric and trite but not interesting. Editorials by members of the Kerry-Edwards campaign could hardly be expected to be anything more. If you’re trying to stir the pot you (and Mr. Daou) are going to have to do better than this.
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 03:05 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blownragtop
Interesting… I would describe it as sophomoric and trite but not interesting. Editorials by members of the Kerry-Edwards campaign could hardly be expected to be anything more. If you’re trying to stir the pot you (and Mr. Daou) are going to have to do better than this.
Who is trying to stir the fucking pot? I posted an article. Me thinks you are going to have to do better than this.

Oh wait a minute, blownragtop thinks its sophomoric, thus it must be.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blownragtop
Interesting… I would describe it as sophomoric and trite but not interesting. Editorials by members of the Kerry-Edwards campaign could hardly be expected to be anything more. If you’re trying to stir the pot you (and Mr. Daou) are going to have to do better than this.
It's funny that instead of attempting to discuss the article, you would rather insult the poster/author. Sophomoric? heh...
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-22-2005, 10:52 PM
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Holy fuck...whatever happened to paraphrasing?

07 TBSS mods inc
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 09:31 AM
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How is this 'surprisingly weak' presentation of meatless talking points that can be and have been batted around fruitlessly (for how many years now?) to be perceived as anything more than sophomoric? The whole damned thing is nothing more than "What Ifs" and "Bush is bad". Can you show me anything to prove out any of this hyperbole? Let's start with that 'master list' of 'who received what' and what exactly was contained in the dissemination of information. I mean seriously...


Could the real underlying fear be that 'they' don't want our soldiers efforts and spilt blood to result in something that can't be spun to the 'their' benefit?
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Fox466
How is this 'surprisingly weak' presentation of meatless talking points that can be and have been batted around fruitlessly (for how many years now?) to be perceived as anything more than sophomoric? The whole damned thing is nothing more than "What Ifs" and "Bush is bad". Can you show me anything to prove out any of this hyperbole? Let's start with that 'master list' of 'who received what' and what exactly was contained in the dissemination of information. I mean seriously...


Could the real underlying fear be that 'they' don't want our soldiers efforts and spilt blood to result in something that can't be spun to the 'their' benefit?
Name some specfic points you would like to discuss and I'll provide backup for you.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 10:07 AM
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Name some specfic points you would like to discuss and I'll provide backup for you.
Ok

1. Where is the intelligence? I, for one, would like to see the 'master list' of who received what, who did not, and the sum of what exactly was contained in that dissemination. This whole section would seem to be nothing more than pure hyperbole. He said - she said at it's best.

2. After adopting the 'not waiting for the threat to materialize' philosophy, how many attacks have occurred here, in America?

3. Where does "I voted for it before I voted against it" come into play here? The ambiguity displayed by both sides is staggering. In reading those points I find myself questioning how much difficulty the marchers had tying their shoes that morning and why those who would have the UN to run our country should be heard to begin with? Hell, the very statement that 'our actions will result in the breeding of a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots" is laughable in and of itself. That would seem to have been the status quo for hundreds of years in that region.

4. The very usage of Samuel Johnsons words shows the weakness of this stance. And I find it a sobering statement that the authors 'evidence' of our failures is nothing more than left wing media talking points.

5. If we throw in enough 4 and 5 syllable words maybe people will not realize that no one but no one has any real clue on what would happen here? Why not stand behind the efforts of our soldiers, let those children reap the benefits of our childrens blood and toil in hopes of showing that democracy can take hold in a lawless land? We overcame slavery etc., didn't we? Why can't that people overcome ignorance, as evidenced by this fanatical approach to life? After all, we are balls deep at this point, aren't we? I know that there's no way I would pull out if I were that invested...

6. He calls John Kerry a war hero (Fraud) while completely failing to mention John McCain (War Hero) kinda says all that needs to be said on this one.

7. Damn, we're back at number 2 now, aren't we?

I'm not at all that well versed in these topics and these questions and muses seem obvious even to me.
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 10:41 AM
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I got to the part where it starts talking about Hurricane Katrina. At that point I realized it was going to be the same old nonsensical hindsight bullshit.

I especially love the part about the insurgency being "as strong as ever". Like the author has any basis whatsoever to make that claim.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 10:50 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fox466
Ok

1. Where is the intelligence? I, for one, would like to see the 'master list' of who received what, who did not, and the sum of what exactly was contained in that dissemination. This whole section would seem to be nothing more than pure hyperbole. He said - she said at it's best.

2. After adopting the 'not waiting for the threat to materialize' philosophy, how many attacks have occurred here, in America?

3. Where does "I voted for it before I voted against it" come into play here? The ambiguity displayed by both sides is staggering. In reading those points I find myself questioning how much difficulty the marchers had tying their shoes that morning and why those who would have the UN to run our country should be heard to begin with? Hell, the very statement that 'our actions will result in the breeding of a new generation of terrorists, a new cadre of anti-American zealots" is laughable in and of itself. That would seem to have been the status quo for hundreds of years in that region.

4. The very usage of Samuel Johnsons words shows the weakness of this stance. And I find it a sobering statement that the authors 'evidence' of our failures is nothing more than left wing media talking points.

5. If we throw in enough 4 and 5 syllable words maybe people will not realize that no one but no one has any real clue on what would happen here? Why not stand behind the efforts of our soldiers, let those children reap the benefits of our childrens blood and toil in hopes of showing that democracy can take hold in a lawless land? We overcame slavery etc., didn't we? Why can't that people overcome ignorance, as evidenced by this fanatical approach to life? After all, we are balls deep at this point, aren't we? I know that there's no way I would pull out if I were that invested...

6. He calls John Kerry a war hero (Fraud) while completely failing to mention John McCain (War Hero) kinda says all that needs to be said on this one.

7. Damn, we're back at number 2 now, aren't we?

I'm not at all that well versed in these topics and these questions and muses seem obvious even to me.
1. The intelligence question is really a non-issue in this article. The author states in the article that many people believed there were WMD. The author's premise is that Bush was making an absolute case for invasion and basing it on WMD. When the intelligence started to be questioned it the administration met it with a "you are either with us or against us" mentality.

2. Now, that is hyberbole and of no consequence to the articles points. Sort of like the joke of airport security now. There was a shoe bomber, so now, we must all take off our shoes prior to boarding. What happens when the next bomber straps some C4 on his dick? Just because there hasn't been an attack on American soil in 4 years means squat and doesn't prove the policy has worked. What was the time frame between the two WTC attacks?

3. People change their minds all the time as more facts and intelligence comes about. Sort of like when I play poker. If I have pocket aces I'm betting my ass off pre-flop. If the flop comes 8-9-10 all suited and I don't have one of the suits I'm re-evaluating how strong the strongest starting hand in hold-em is. If the turn is a J and of the same suit, I'm pretty much drawing dead if I get bet into. If I continued to bet into set of community cards, I've got about a 10% chance I'm going to win (a good hold-em player strongly bluffs about 10% of his non-winning hands)

If I'm 100% sure of something, given the information at the time and some new intelligence comes about and now my confidence factor is 50% I must re-evaluate my situation. Sometimes I must also change my mind.

4. Yea, Samuel Johnson's words suck. Anyone that quotes him also sucks.

5. Again, has nothing to do with the content. If you require a dictionary, there is a good one available at www.dictionary.com

6. Hey, the dude was a strategist for the Kerry camp. He probably still thinks that Kerry may have a chance in hell in 2008. Him keeping with Kerry being a war hero is akin to Bush still believing Iraq had WMD that could threaten the USA.

7. Time to finish up the two fried turkeys. Have a happy one with the family, Fox.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-24-2005, 11:47 AM
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Lol. Good stuff. Time to tear into the turkey here as well.

Get with ya later on my rebuttal to your rebuttal...


Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well. Turkey.
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-28-2005, 07:31 PM
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In the spirit of the season – let me join in this holiday love fest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Daou
1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

…the administration's apocalyptic words and drastic actions (preemptively invading a sovereign nation) were decidedly out of proportion to the level and immediacy of the threat. THAT is the issue.
Sounds like he is pining for the days of Jimmy Carter – where equivocation and vacillation reigned supreme. (And doesn’t that really underscore his support for Kerry.) Caveats and hand wringing aren’t very presidential – unless you’re a Democrat.

Really, what is the issue here?
Quote:
2. AFTER 9/11, WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THREAT TO MATERIALIZE BEFORE TAKING ACTION

It's a vacuous argument whose logic implies we should invade a half-dozen African countries as well as North Korea, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. … And if the pushback is that North Korea and others are being dealt with diplomatically, isn't that exactly the approach this argument purports to refute?
When North Korea or Africa is home to the vast majority of the world economy’s life blood then we might have to take military action. When terrorists from North Korea or Africa commit acts of terrorism on our soil then we might have to take action.

Failing to recognize the strategic importance of the Middle East is beyond ‘vacuous’. Failing to recognize the strategic importance of Iraq – which shares a border with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia - is merely beyond the comprehension of half-witted internet spares like Mr. Daou.
Quote:
Furthermore, the war's opponents never claimed they'd prefer to "wait" for threats to materialize. … Nobody wants to wait for threats to materialize; they just want to deal with them differently.
And that is…? Perhaps a stern multilateral talking to? A continuation of the sanctions and no-fly-zone into perpetuity? But the Dims do have a plan… read on.
Quote:
3. DEMOCRATS "VOTED FOR" AND THUS "SUPPORTED" THE WAR

Many elected Democrats did NOT vote in favor of the resolution. A vote to give Bush authority WAS NOT a vote "for war." Bush also had the authority NOT to invade.
The lawyerly wordplay aside, why is this a significant point?
Quote:
4. TALK OF WITHDRAWAL "SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE" AND "EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY"

If we are truly engaged in a clash of civilizations, an epic battle against "Islamofascism," then our enemies are far more interested in the destruction of those things that are quintessentially American and that give us the moral high ground (freedom of speech, adherence to international law, upholding ethical norms and standards, respect for human rights, etc.) than strategic redeployment in Iraq.
IF… I suppose we’ve made some progress – 4 years after the 9/11 attacks the neoliberals are at least considering the possibility that this MIGHT be a ‘clash of civilizations’. And he’s removed his multicultural blinders long enough to acknowledge that we have the moral high ground. Now answer this - if this is a clash of civilizations and we have the moral high ground then why would we leave Iraq to the Islamofacists?
Quote:
5. A WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ WOULD HAVE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES

What if we can't fix what's broken in Iraq? Is there a point at which we acknowledge we can't fix it and stop trying? Is our attempt to 'fix' Iraq breaking it even further? Also, are there other things we've broken that we're obliged to fix before we try to fix Iraq? Is there a reason our limited resources should go to fixing Iraq and not saving poor, sick, and hungry children in America?
Since America’s emergence on the world stage there have always been detractors who wish to stilt American influence. Why should we fight the scourge of ______ (insert: fascism, communism, terrorism,… etc.) when we should use those resources to ________ (insert liberal do-goodism)? Have they ever been right? Has isolationism ever been a sound policy?

Isolationism to interventionism is a swinging pendulum – with containment somewhere in between. Which of these three policies is most advisable in the dawning age of nuclear terrorism?
Quote:
6. WITHDRAWING FROM IRAQ IS TANTAMOUNT TO "CUTTING & RUNNING"

…the present course of action is untenable. It is the height of folly to continue on a tragic and deadly path just to save face. And enough has been done to "embolden the enemy" that leaving Iraq will have little effect in that regard.
Folly is to arbitrarily create a timetable for withdrawal that is independent of Iraq’s stability in the name of political expediency. And nothing could ‘embolden’ the enemy more than the confirmation of their belief that fat and lazy superpowers do not have the stomach for a protracted fight – ala the USSR in Afghanistan.

Why is the present course ‘untenable’? Because Cindy Sheehan said so?
Quote:
7. WE'RE FIGHTING THEM 'THERE' SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM HERE

a) Iraq wasn't "there" until AFTER the invasion. (In spite of the mental contortions of Bush apologists who insist there was a substantive Saddam-Qaeda connection.)
So he’s admitting that Iraq is ‘there’ now.
Quote:
b) Our policy in Iraq is creating more of "them."
And he’s basing this on…convenient supposition? Isn’t it possible that the mindless killing of innocents in Iraq (and elsewhere) is turning favor away from the militants - that the demonstrations in Jordan are emblematic of an awakening conscious in the Islamic masses? Isn’t it possible that our continued struggle towards the democratization of Iraq will demonstrably reveal that this war isn’t about stealing oil or destroying Islam?
Quote:
c) "There" is where "them" (Bin Laden and his cohorts) are. And it ain't Iraq.
But he just said that Iraq was ‘there’. Mr. Daou seems a little confused here. President Bush made it abundantly clear that ‘there’ is wherever the terrorists or their supporters are. Bin Laden is probably dead (Allah be praised); Al-Zarqawi and his cohorts ARE in Iraq.
Quote:
A corollary to this argument is that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror" and we can't defeat the terrorists if we don't fight them there. That's like walking into someone's house, breaking an expensive vase, and claiming you have to move in because your job is to clean up broken vases and as long as vases are being broken, you have to be there to clean up the mess. Arguments don't get more circular than this...
What?...This must have sounded better when the voices in his imagined it than it appears in print. If he’s making a living as a writer – somebody’s getting fucked.

But I understand his point – poorly worded as it is. And I think the CREATION of a war front – far removed from Suburbia USA - is a genius move.
Quote:
8. DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ, THEY'RE JUST ATTACKING BUSH TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS

Democrats deserve legitimate criticism for their approach to Iraq, but when the Republican Party controls all branches of government, attacking Dems for conflicting positions and a confused message shouldn't be a catch-all excuse for Republican mistakes and lies.

If Bush's policy is to "stay the course," the Democratic policy is to "change the course."
How is the action in Iraq a failure? It’s only becomes a failure when we ‘fail’ to complete the task. Even Mr. Daou admits that the Democrats have “conflicting positions and a confused message”. Their ‘plan’ is to simply ‘change the course’. Great plan… Very similar to Sir Robin’s plan for dealing with the Killer Rabbit.
“Run away!”

Quote:
9. HISTORY WILL VINDICATE BUSH
Perhaps Mr. Daou shouldn’t mention history – since he seems to have such a flimsy grasp of it. The demise of communism did not occur overnight. The Cold War was a decades long struggle of containment, brinksmanship and diplomacy – the unifying thread being our resolute certainty in an eventual triumph. One can only imagine how Mr. Daou and his neoliberal ilk would have condemned that fight, considering the enormous investment and loss of life that it required.
Quote:
10. ISN'T IT A GOOD THING THAT SADDAM IS GONE?

Isn't it terrible that we've done nothing to stop the slaughter in Darfur?
Isn't it terrible that Iraq is still a killing field and now a terrorist breeding ground?
Isn't it terrible that a nuclear armed Kim Jong Il is still in power?
Isn't it terrible that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq could have saved millions of starving children instead of killing tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis?
I wrote this over two years ago:

When justification for the war is made on humanitarian grounds a singularly disingenuous argument is typically presented. It says: “Why Iraq - why not North Korea or Liberia?” If a neighborhood is on fire do you rationalize that because you can extinguish but one that you should do nothing? American military strength IS finite and must be used in a judicious manner.

The war in Iraq is readily justifiable because of the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil supply, the centralized position of Iraq in relation to known state sponsors of terrorism, the introduction of democracy to the region, the creation of new permanent Iraqi bases of operation for the American military ( reducing or eliminating our need to operate from Saudi soil), the elimination of the former Iraqi regime and the requisite need for indefinite containment (via sanctions and military operations).

The substantial humanitarian benefit is just an added bonus.

Happy Holidays
blownragtop is offline  
post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 11-28-2005, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blownragtop
In the spirit of the season – let me join in this holiday love fest.


Sounds like he is pining for the days of Jimmy Carter – where equivocation and vacillation reigned supreme. (And doesn’t that really underscore his support for Kerry.) Caveats and hand wringing aren’t very presidential – unless you’re a Democrat.

Really, what is the issue here?

When North Korea or Africa is home to the vast majority of the world economy’s life blood then we might have to take military action. When terrorists from North Korea or Africa commit acts of terrorism on our soil then we might have to take action.

Failing to recognize the strategic importance of the Middle East is beyond ‘vacuous’. Failing to recognize the strategic importance of Iraq – which shares a border with Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia - is merely beyond the comprehension of half-witted internet spares like Mr. Daou.

And that is…? Perhaps a stern multilateral talking to? A continuation of the sanctions and no-fly-zone into perpetuity? But the Dims do have a plan… read on.

The lawyerly wordplay aside, why is this a significant point?

IF… I suppose we’ve made some progress – 4 years after the 9/11 attacks the neoliberals are at least considering the possibility that this MIGHT be a ‘clash of civilizations’. And he’s removed his multicultural blinders long enough to acknowledge that we have the moral high ground. Now answer this - if this is a clash of civilizations and we have the moral high ground then why would we leave Iraq to the Islamofacists?


Since America’s emergence on the world stage there have always been detractors who wish to stilt American influence. Why should we fight the scourge of ______ (insert: fascism, communism, terrorism,… etc.) when we should use those resources to ________ (insert liberal do-goodism)? Have they ever been right? Has isolationism ever been a sound policy?

Isolationism to interventionism is a swinging pendulum – with containment somewhere in between. Which of these three policies is most advisable in the dawning age of nuclear terrorism?


Folly is to arbitrarily create a timetable for withdrawal that is independent of Iraq’s stability in the name of political expediency. And nothing could ‘embolden’ the enemy more than the confirmation of their belief that fat and lazy superpowers do not have the stomach for a protracted fight – ala the USSR in Afghanistan.

Why is the present course ‘untenable’? Because Cindy Sheehan said so?


So he’s admitting that Iraq is ‘there’ now.


And he’s basing this on…convenient supposition? Isn’t it possible that the mindless killing of innocents in Iraq (and elsewhere) is turning favor away from the militants - that the demonstrations in Jordan are emblematic of an awakening conscious in the Islamic masses? Isn’t it possible that our continued struggle towards the democratization of Iraq will demonstrably reveal that this war isn’t about stealing oil or destroying Islam?


But he just said that Iraq was ‘there’. Mr. Daou seems a little confused here. President Bush made it abundantly clear that ‘there’ is wherever the terrorists or their supporters are. Bin Laden is probably dead (Allah be praised); Al-Zarqawi and his cohorts ARE in Iraq.


What?...This must have sounded better when the voices in his imagined it than it appears in print. If he’s making a living as a writer – somebody’s getting fucked.

But I understand his point – poorly worded as it is. And I think the CREATION of a war front – far removed from Suburbia USA - is a genius move.


How is the action in Iraq a failure? It’s only becomes a failure when we ‘fail’ to complete the task. Even Mr. Daou admits that the Democrats have “conflicting positions and a confused message”. Their ‘plan’ is to simply ‘change the course’. Great plan… Very similar to Sir Robin’s plan for dealing with the Killer Rabbit.
“Run away!”



Perhaps Mr. Daou shouldn’t mention history – since he seems to have such a flimsy grasp of it. The demise of communism did not occur overnight. The Cold War was a decades long struggle of containment, brinksmanship and diplomacy – the unifying thread being our resolute certainty in an eventual triumph. One can only imagine how Mr. Daou and his neoliberal ilk would have condemned that fight, considering the enormous investment and loss of life that it required.


I wrote this over two years ago:

When justification for the war is made on humanitarian grounds a singularly disingenuous argument is typically presented. It says: “Why Iraq - why not North Korea or Liberia?” If a neighborhood is on fire do you rationalize that because you can extinguish but one that you should do nothing? American military strength IS finite and must be used in a judicious manner.

The war in Iraq is readily justifiable because of the strategic importance of the Middle East and its oil supply, the centralized position of Iraq in relation to known state sponsors of terrorism, the introduction of democracy to the region, the creation of new permanent Iraqi bases of operation for the American military ( reducing or eliminating our need to operate from Saudi soil), the elimination of the former Iraqi regime and the requisite need for indefinite containment (via sanctions and military operations).

The substantial humanitarian benefit is just an added bonus.

Happy Holidays
Sorry, I missed those Iraqi based terrorist attacks on the US. Could you give me dates and events?

1. No WMD.
2. No attacks on the US
3. A leader, who when he was gassing the Kurds, enjoyed the support of the US, hell we supplied some of the chemicals.
4. Hell, initially, Sadam enjoyed the US turning our backs when he initially wanted to invade Kuwait.
5. The "them" have been coming to the honeypot called Iraq. The "them" have been hiding out in other places than Iraq. "Them" being those that planned the airplane suicide attacks at the WTC towers.

Humantarian benefit? The biological weapons Sadam used in the 80s came from... you guessed it... the good ol' USA. We helped the fucktard do what he is on trial for now! Almost like co-conspirators.
01WhiteCobra is offline  
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