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PostPosted: Wed Dec 04, 2002 10:40 pm 
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Humanitarian:

http://www.fco.gov.uk/Files/kfile/hrdossier.pdf

Excuse the cliche, but clear and present danger:

http://www.number-10.gov.uk/files/pdf/iraqdossier.pdf

Add to that ineffective, unconfrontational weapons inspectors, and the head of the Iraqi nuclear program telling us exactly how the Iraqis completely hid their progress from the first set of inspectors, and vala.

War is the only realistic solution to this problem.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 2:10 am 
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We've known about Saddam's human rights abuses for decades. We ignored them and supported his unjust regime when Iraq and Iran were at war. We now only consider war because we stand to gain from his downfall.

The country can go to war, for all I care, just don't expect to get any support from me.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 2:42 am 
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An incomplete list of countries with histories of human rights abuses:

Angola, Burundi, the Central Africa Republic or whatever it's calling itself now, Chad, the Congo Republic, Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Uganda, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guyana, Jamaica, Paraguay, Peru, the USA (though thankfully not that much in the last decade or so), Venezuela, Singapore, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, China, North Korea, East Timor, India, Malaysia, Bosnia or whatever it's now called, Yugoslavia or whatever it's now called, Croatia, Russia, Albania, Georgia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Kazkistan, and Uzbekistan.

Source: Amnesty International. Commentary by yours truly. Incidents involving the death penalty or anti-terrorism issues have been omitted in the interest of staving off a flame war (yuk, yuk, yuk).

That's a pretty long list. One wonders why Iraq, particularly, was singled out.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 11:41 am 
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I think you fail to see the point. Even if we're singling it out, or if (as you've implied) we have some alterior motives for attacking Iraq besides the two documents I've provided, and information gleaned from the former head of Iraq's nuclear program, it doesn't change the fact that no one will miss this guy and a democratic regime put in charge there is a good thing.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 12:53 pm 
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Death comes to us all. It's simply a matter of how, when, and why. I'm not particulary frightened of Saddam. Or Osama, ar his terrorist buddies. Sure, they could attack us. I could also easily trip down the stairs and break my neck. There are hundreds of things that could kill us at any moment of any day, and we can't do anything about it. Saddam may be a threat, but messing with other nations is why we have to deal with the threat of terrorism in the first place. Attacking Iraq will only put us in more danger. Removing Saddam <b>will</b> make our lives temporarily safer. But it certainly won't improve our national security on a long term basis.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 4:39 pm 
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Links bad. Just as the average person is too stupid to understand an idea that incorporates words of more than three syllables in direct juxtoposition, so the average person is too lazy to click on a link and then click back to the forum.

Especially if they have a 56.6K modem.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 8:30 pm 
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Bah, I say Bush senior should have taken out Saddam the first time around and done the job right.

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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 9:50 pm 
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I think what people like Killer Commie tend to miss is not whether or not Saddam Hussien deserves to be removed, but whether or not he should be. Let's ignore moral considerations for a second and consider a few practical problems:

1. Saddam Hussien is a dangerous madman. If he has nukes, we cannot rely on deterrence to stop him from using them. Therefore, the only solution is...to push him into a corner with an invasion? I don't quite see the logic here...if he's willing to use WoMD at the slightest provocation, why are we provoking him?

2. Let's think about the precedent we'd be setting here. "We invaded him because he was going to be a threat to our people and his own." What happens when China says the same thing about Taiwan? We say "well, preemptive strikes are bad except when we're the ones preempting"? "No, you're not qualified to judge whether or not a country is a threat"? The EU hates us for warmongers already, let's not give them an even more legitimate reason to. If the USA invades Iraq on the grounds that it's a threat, we're saying that it's all right for any country to say "we feel threatened by Nation X" and then invade them. If the USA's interest really is to provide peace and stability, especially in places like the Middle East, that ain't the way to do it.

The usual $.03...now that I think about it, that's somewhat redundant. Any given post on this board is more likely to be someone's $.03 than not.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2002 10:16 pm 
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I think war is a foregone conclusion. Bush has already stated that Iraq's compliance has been "not encouraging." Even if no weapons are found, war is still likely. Check ot Rumsfeld's thoughts:
<a href=http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/11/15/rumsfeld.iraq/index.html>
"What it would prove would be that the inspection process had been successfully defeated by the Iraqis," the secretary said. "There's no question but that the Iraqi regime is clever, they've spent a lot of time hiding things, dispersing things, tunneling underground."
</a>

Seems fairly uncomprimising. I think certain people in Washington want a war at all costs.

EDIT: Getting stupid HTML to work.
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2002 5:44 pm 
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Quote:
On 2002-12-05 10:41, Kills Commies wrote:
I think you fail to see the point. Even if we're singling it out, or if (as you've implied) we have some alterior motives for attacking Iraq besides the two documents I've provided, and information gleaned from the former head of Iraq's nuclear program, it doesn't change the fact that no one will miss this guy and a democratic regime put in charge there is a good thing.


Oh, I understand that the guy's an egregious asshole, and I for one wouldn't mind a regime change. I am, however, kind of sick of the United States government pretending it has purely altruistic motives for the upcoming invasion. Wasn't trying to imply anything else.

P-M

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2002 11:40 pm 
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Eh...must...muster...effort...

...bah.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 2:21 am 
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Saddam Hussien is a dangerous madman. If he has nukes, we cannot rely on deterrence to stop him from using them. Therefore, the only solution is...to push him into a corner with an invasion? I don't quite see the logic here...if he's willing to use WoMD at the slightest provocation, why are we provoking him?


Well, treespeaker, we know he wants to do anything he can to harm us, and the longer we wait the more damage he might do. You could say it is only a matter of sooner or later. He may use WMD if we back him into a corner, but I believe that as horrible as it would be, it is better for it to happen in Iraq than somewhere else, like <i>here</i>.

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Let's think about the precedent we'd be setting here. "We invaded him because he was going to be a threat to our people and his own." What happens when China says the same thing about Taiwan? We say "well, preemptive strikes are bad except when we're the ones preempting"? "No, you're not qualified to judge whether or not a country is a threat"? The EU hates us for warmongers already, let's not give them an even more legitimate reason to. If the USA invades Iraq on the grounds that it's a threat, we're saying that it's all right for any country to say "we feel threatened by Nation X" and then invade them. If the USA's interest really is to provide peace and stability, especially in places like the Middle East, that ain't the way to do it.


When you try to make comparisons between the USA and China, you are ignoring an important distinction. China is evil.

I know the USA isn't perfect, but we aren't a dictatorship. China is, and so is Iraq. Dictatorships are the most evil thing in the world, they were the cause of the deaths of tens of millions of people in the 20th century and they continue to murder to this day. Dictatorships have no right to exist, and they have no grounds to claim the right to be free from invasion. Evil is indefensible. Free nations, on the other hand, do have a right to defend themselves, and they can preemptively strike a dictatorship if it poses any threat to their security.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 12:02 pm 
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On 2002-12-07 01:21, The Goldstandard wrote:

When you try to make comparisons between the USA and China, you are ignoring an important distinction. China is evil.


China is <b>evil</b>? Let us examine this for a moment, ignoring the fact that 'evil' can refer to anything if you want it to. What is China? It's a country. And like most countries that I know of, it has a government. That government is made up of people. People are in charge over there. No reasonably intelligent person would imply that a whole country is evil, because by doing so you imply that everything in and of that country is evil, and that's just silly. Think about it. "China is evil all right, from their evil government to their evil people right down to their evil rice and their evil mountains." You can use 'evil' as a blanket statement like that, but it just makes you look foolish. So when you say that China is evil, I think you really mean that the people in charge are evil.


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I know the USA isn't perfect, but we aren't a dictatorship. China is, and so is Iraq. Dictatorships are the most evil thing in the world, they were the cause of the deaths of tens of millions of people in the 20th century and they continue to murder to this day. Dictatorships have no right to exist, and they have no grounds to claim the right to be free from invasion. Evil is indefensible. Free nations, on the other hand, do have a right to defend themselves, and they can preemptively strike a dictatorship if it poses any threat to their security.


There's that 'evil' bit again. Evil is an arbitrary concept, and therefore doesn't stand up to logical analysis very well. I won't pursue that line of thought here, because it really needs its own debate thread.

That aside, dictatorships are not necessarily a bad form of government. It really depends on your criteria for judging governments. If you want efficiency, dictatorship is the way to go. A single person can make decisions far quicker than any senate in the world. If civil rights and liberties are your main concern, you need to look at something else. As for 'free' countries, I challenge you to name a single one. Any one in the world. Name it and I can use your own argument to prove that no country in the world is truly free. That's because freedom is an arbitrary concept, just like evil. In the US, We may be relatively more free than Iraq, but it's still only a matter of perspective.

Your claim that free nations can defend themselves preemtively against dictatorships is preposterous. Your whole argument is shakey, at best. Dictatorships are bad because they kill people? What do you call capital punishment? The US kills people just like dictatorships have done. Iraq is bad because Saddam kills his own people? So do we. We have known for decades that Saddam killed his own people. We supported him while he was doing it. <b>We gave him the weapons and technology that he used to do it with.</b> We have no moral high ground to stand upon, contrary to what you may have been told. 'Free' countries have always done the same things dictatorships have done.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:07 pm 
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Bother tychoseven for getting there first...

Like he said, we're saying here that what would be a bad action for one government is a good one for another, because the latter doesn't do as much bad stuff to their people.

So, let's take this argument and apply it to a one-on-one personal situation. It's okay for a nice, loving father to whale the stuffing out of his kid for throwing a brick at some other kid, but if a dad who kept his kid locked in his room when he wasn't at school did it it'd be cruelty.

I don't know that I'd agree with this sort of philosophy. It strikes me that what we're trying to say here is that some governments have more rights than others. But the governments that give their citizens the most equal rights and treatments are the ones who get to make the call? I don't get it. Either we're for equality, in which case Saddam Hussien, China, whoever the hell else, can do whatever they like to their people, or we get to tell them what to do, in which case we're no longer for equality, so we've lost our justification for telling them what to do!

To bring this back down to a practical level: if the U.S. preemptivly invades Iraq, then other governments will probably do so too, and use our action as justification for theirs. The U.S. then gets to choose whether to let them do it (bad) or claim that we get the right to make that sort of call and they don't, because we're for freedom and equality (also bad).


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 4:20 pm 
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Just a quick point for both of you, since I'm trying to get a game to work...

Who is "we"? I certainly didn't give Hussein these weapons. Nor did Bush. So its a crime now to correct the mistakes of your predecessors?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 5:20 pm 
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On 2002-12-07 15:20, Kills Commies wrote:
Just a quick point for both of you, since I'm trying to get a game to work...

Who is "we"? I certainly didn't give Hussein these weapons. Nor did Bush. So its a crime now to correct the mistakes of your predecessors?


Point taken. It would be the same as if someone said that I should be punished because my ancestors stole land from the American Indians. I use it as an example of the double standard in the international community. People think that it's dangerous for Saddam to have these weapons. It is, but it's dangerous for anybody to have them. And if Saddam should be criticized for having them, so should every country that has such weapons.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 6:18 pm 
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Dictators can only be held accountable for their actions by other countries, however, while democratic countries always can just boot out an overly aggressive leader next time.

In a democracy, the politician needs to fear the people, so he has to account to his actions to a general public- as long as that public is not overtly warlike, this should work out in the end.

Thus I feel that dictators, having no one inside their own regime to hold them accountable for their actions or potential actions, must be held accountable by other countries whos interests are threatened by those dictators.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 7:15 pm 
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Fine, if I have not made myself clear I will clarify. In these debates, when I refer to China and dictatorships being evil, I am refering to their governments. I guess I should have been a little more precise in that regard. I guess not all people consider Chinas government to be evil after all. I mean, how can one judge a government that, like I said, imprisons, tortures, and executes people just for disagreeing with them to be evil compared to us? Like you said, we imprison people for robbing banks and raping little girls, and execute murderors and traitors too. So obviously we are just as bad as they are.

Which is simply not true of course. We do kill people, but they deserved it. A murderer is worse than an animal, because animals kill on impulse, and murderers kill by choice. The murderer deserves to die as a matter of justice, and killing a murderer is not evil. The same goes for imprisoning people for robbery and rape. They harmed others, so we lock them up to punish them. What do the Chinese punish their people for? Thinking for themselves, disagreeing with the government, or simply because they were in the way. Chinas government is evil, because evil is not an arbitrary term. You rob a bank? You're evil. You enslave millions? You're evil. You kill someone who did not deserve it? (Someone who isn't a murderer or a traitor.) You're evil. You kill a murderer? You're NOT evil. You throw a robber and a rapist in jail? You're NOT evil.

As for dictatorships being "effective," the only thing they are effective at is coercing their victims to do their bidding. That is what dictatorships do well. The ends never justify the means, because evil (or bad, or destructive, whatever the hell you wish to call it.) means lead to evil ends. Just look at the "Great Leap Forward" or "Cultural Revolution" of Chinas past. The result? Millions of innocent people get stepped on and suffer terribly.

And as for what I said about the USA, did I NOT admit that we weren't perfect? Sure, we supported Saddam in the past. But KC put it perfectly:

<i>Who is "we"? I certainly didn't give Hussein these weapons. Nor did Bush. So its a crime now to correct the mistakes of your predecessors?</i>

The mistakes we made in the past were minor blemishes on the record of the USA. China and other dictatorships, however, commit atrocities as a matter of policy, and if the people get tired of it and want out, too bad, if they try to overthrow their government they get run over by tanks.

The USA is FAR different. Here, I can think what I want to think, do what I want to do (as long as I do not harm others), buy what I want to buy, say what I want to say, choose whatever career I wish to choose, marry who I want to marry, have as many or as few kids as I want, and associate with whomever I want to. Sure, some dictatorships may allow one or two of the above, but even these small amounts of freedom aren't considered inalienable by the dictator, they just allow them to do it by permission. We are allowed to do the above by right, and that is why our government is a mostly good one. The blemishes are minor compared to the whole. If you continue to believe, after all I have said, that the USA is no better than China, why don't you put your money where your mouth is and move there, if China and the US are really not that different then it shouldn't be too much of a problem for you. Right?


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 7:35 pm 
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Yes, of course, the US only ever executes "evil" people.

In his time that Bush was Governer of Texas, several people were executed with small amont of evidence. For instance, Gary Graham, who was convicted on the testimony of one man, who claimed to have seen the crime from 30 feet away, through the windsheild of his car, in the dark. No evidence linked graham to the crime, just this one testimony. Not to mention that Graham was a juvenile when this occured, and according to Amnesty Iternational, the US is the only nation known to be carrying out executions of Juvenile offenders.

When Clinton was the Governer of Arkansas and running for president, he signed off on the execution of Ricky Ray Rector, who was so severly retarded, that when he was interupted from his last meal by the guards to take him to his execution, he said it was okay, because he'd finish it when he got back.

Dubya, did, however gat one man off the death penalty, of the nearly 140 that came to him to review. This one man, Henry Lee Lucas, has confessed to the killings of over 600 people, while this number is surely inflated, he killed a huge amount. With his partner, Ottis Toole, their victims were often tortured, sexually abused both before and after death,mutilated, dismembered, cannibalized etc. They often forced Toole's neice and nephew to watch. They were just 10 and 11 when this was started. Lucas even killed his own mother and violated her corpse. This man was truly worthy of a pardon.

No, the United States only ever executes Evil people.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 07, 2002 7:59 pm 
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Stop taking my words out of context. HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES TO I HAVE TO SAY THAT WE AREN'T PERFECT, THAT WE HAVE MADE MISTAKES?! Like, for example, that we have killed innocent people in the past? The difference is that in our case they were mistakes, errors, etc. In China, murdering the innocent is the POLICY. You take my statements such as: "We kill evil people" out of the context of my previous statement that "We have made mistakes." I am seriously getting tired of this, as any statement can be taken out of context and be bent to say anything you want. I have never said that the US is infallible and only executes evil people. If you had payed a little more attection to the following lines:
Quote:
I know the USA isn't perfect...

...did I NOT admit that we weren't perfect?

The mistakes we made in the past were minor blemishes on the record of the USA.

The blemishes are minor compared to the whole.


The last two lines have stated that on the balance, the US government as a WHOLE is far better than China. The government did bad things, but it also did many good things, enough so that it redeems itself. What have the governments of China, or Iraq, done to redeem themselves?


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