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Dicke Bertha

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Cheetah772 said:
And how brave of you to decry the American invasion and more than willing to let thousands of American lives, both civilians and soldiers perish just so you can have your little world order full of dictatorships with WMDs going about with little or no consequences.

Yeah, you would rather to have America stopped than to allow her to act out in her own self-defense against Saddam's Iraq. I guess you would rather have 100,000 Americans to lose their lives before the Europe or the rest of world allow America to defend herself.

Yes sir, you're very brave, now, aren't you?

Dan
Get specific. Quote me. Quit playing virgin and make nonsense. Your words mean something, don't they, so get SPECIFIC.

My world of dictatorships? WMDs? You a Martian or what? What me, burn-mark in the head, termination? I am not brave or chicken, I just ask justice and fair play.

Yes, rather 100k American SOLDIERS die a SOLDIER's death than civilians doing the same. Rule of law also means rule of war LAWS. American lives are per se not worth more than others, unless you redefine standards. But you do. Per se. It's sad. You are not a tolerant conservative, you are an apologetist. It brands YOU Dan.

I personally don't like Pakistan for example. It has WMD. The US has WMD. What makes the US so f-g morally superior to Pakistan to be allowed to possess them? Only your perception of morality, gained through a position of strength, peace through superior warpower. Deterrrance. The ONLY nation EVER to use WMD (real MWD) waws the US. Against civilians. You ** hipocryte, you are a slave under your own parols, no better than a Taliban or a Soviet Comissaar. Grow up. Disarm the US first. Or noone. RULE BY LAW OR RULE BY FORCE, DECIDE WHICH IS IT. Skip the moral pekoral.
 

Cheetah772

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Dicke Bertha said:
Get specific. Quote me. Quit playing virgin and make nonsense. Your words mean something, don't they, so get SPECIFIC.

My world of dictatorships? WMDs? You a Martian or what? What me, burn-mark in the head, termination? I am not brave or chicken, I just ask justice and fair play.

Yes, rather 100k American SOLDIERS die a SOLDIER's death than civilians doing the same. Rule of law also means rule of war LAWS. American lives are per se not worth more than others, unless you redefine standards. But you do. Per se. It's sad. You are not a tolerant conservative, you are an apologetist. It brands YOU Dan.

I personally don't like Pakistan for example. It has WMD. The US has WMD. What makes the US so f-g morally superior to Pakistan to be allowed to possess them? Only your perception of morality, gained through a position of strength, peace through superior warpower. Deterrrance. The ONLY nation EVER to use WMD (real MWD) waws the US. Against civilians. You ** hipocryte, you are a slave under your own parols, no better than a Taliban or a Soviet Comissaar. Grow up. Disarm the US first. Or noone. RULE BY LAW OR RULE BY FORCE, DECIDE WHICH IS IT. Skip the moral pekoral.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever you say.

Now, quote me, did I say USA was morally superior to anybody? No way.

America has guts to defend herself from the external evils. Now, Europe is more than willing to appease anybody with terrorist ties and dictatorships. And you dare to claim to hold the high moral ground? Oh, shut up.

No, you are a hypocrite for allowing civilians to suffer under brutal dictatorships and letting them build WMDs with absolutely no consequences to speak of. You are a hypocrite for decrying whatever America is doing in her interests, but you want America to use her armed forces for the world's greater goodness without taking into America's strategic interests. No, you are one big hypocrite.

At least I don't pretend I am morally superior and bowing before the United Nations, bathing in the sea of hypocrisy. I am going to do everything in my power to protect America from the enemies of this world. Let us defend ourselves and look out for our interests, and you do the same thing.

The war is a dirty business. It is not to be used as a court of law. It is not about settling the differences in a court of law. It is about killing each other.

The reason we use atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagaski was because Japanese Army was willing to use both civilians and military defending to the very last man. We saw the horrible carnage brought upon both Americans and Japanese at Okwainia and Iowa Jima. On Okwainia, more than 110,000 Japanese civilians and soldiers died while only 12,000 Americans died. Think of how much destruction Japan would suffer had atomic bombs not dropped on.

Whatever you like it or not, the atomic bombs did SAVE both Japanese and American lives by millions. Harry Turman did see himself as a mass murderer for the rest of his life.

You want to debate the morals of going to war, be my guest, you're not going to like it a bit. Trust me. All wars, no matter how justified, are always going to remain dirty! Get over with it, Dick Bertha.

Dan
 

JAMiAM

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Cheetah772 said:
If Switzerland were to be a superpower, I doubt she is going to be very benevolent. No one with that much power could ever stay benevolent.

That is my point.
Bolding added for emphasis...including the US, I presume? A tacit acknowledgement that unopposed power corrupts, Dan? There is hope for you yet... ;)
 
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Cheetah772 said:
If Switzerland were to be a superpower, I doubt she is going to be very benevolent. No one with that much power could ever stay benevolent.
If you're saying that power corrupts, what does this mean for the position the USA holds?
 

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JAMiAM said:
Bolding added for emphasis...including the US, I presume? A tacit acknowledgement that unopposed power corrupts, Dan? There is hope for you yet... ;)
All powers through the human history had been corrupted, and USA is certainly no different from any world power or an empire of the past.

I have never claimed that the USA is morally superior to everybody and that everything it had done is righteous.

I only merely pointed out that I believe what USA is doing in Iraq is the right thing to do. And if some people and I do believe this, then what USA was doing wasn't necessarily corruptible.

Of course, from your point of view, what USA did was corruptible.

Dan
 

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MikeJ said:
You talk about mixed signals a lot. Can you define what you mean by that? What constitutes a mixed signal?
It can be difficult to define the policies of some of our allies. For example: in 1999 the United States, along with several allies decided to launch OPERATION: ALLIED FORCE to stop Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign in Kosovo. A year later, tens of thousands of people lined the streets of London to greet President Clinton.

In 2003, the United States, along with several allies launched OPERATION: IRAQI FREEDOM, which in part had the objective of stopping Saddam Hussein’s reign of terror. Several months later, President Bush arrives in London and is greeted by tens of thousands of protesters.

I’m certain people will point out the differences between the two operations. It wasn’t NATO’s stated mission to depose Milosevic. However, in reality, the US and her allies were discussing a ground invasion, which ultimately would have led to regime change.

Another counter-argument would be to use Bush’s reason for not using military action against to bring down North Korea or Iran. Different situations require different strategies, while this is true; it still leaves room for considerable debate.

The honest answer of course is stopping Slobodan Milosevic was in the best interest of the wider majority. I agree with this. The world was better off without him, and I’m glad we did something to knock that smirk off his face (referring to interview he gave to the BBC or CNN). Yet, again, there is room for discussion. Iraq is located in strategically vital region. Isn’t it in everyone’s best interest to get rid of Saddam and hopefully establish a better government?

Another example of mixed signals is the policy the EU used in late 2003. Bush informed a number of our allies he would take the case to the UN, and everyone basically said they would not support it. However, if the US kept the Iran issue out of the General Assembly, they would work with us.

Yet, time and again, the media blast the US for not cooperating with the UN. I don’t blame the EU members completely. Given Bush’s track record, I would also be reluctant to commit my country to an UN Resolution which could later be used to justify military action. However, the American people only see a bunch of hypocrites condemning the US for the very policies they encourage.

In all fairness, I should point out America is also guilty of sending mixed signals. Part of the reason why countries appear to apply contradicting policies is because they are trying to address confusing American foreign policies. When in front of cameras, Bush speaks of wider co-operation on a number of issues. However, behind closed doors he wants Iraq to be “America’s Success.”

A deeper problem is how the US and many in Western Europe see democracy itself. As I pointed out in another threat, West Europe resembles the America of about the late 1940’s through 1950’s, ideal wise. A series of successes has created extreme idealism in what can be achieved and how. People seem to believe we can work together peacefully to encourage the group of democracy and freedom. This is best described as liberal internationalism, partly because it hold’s what Richard Gardner once called ”the intellectual and political tradition that believes in the necessity of leadership by liberal democracies in the construction of a peaceful world order.”

After Vietnam, the American people began to realize that the expansion of democracy was anything, but peaceful. Congressional Hearings and several scandals revealed the true detail of how democracy was constructed. While America still holds that the goals of promoting democracy should first be pursued peacefully, it now recognized that this is not always the case.

The only chance Iraq, Iran, Congo, and elsewhere have at freedom is by the will to use force to remove obstacles. While I realize some here believe the Iraqi people are not free, we should not mitigate the reality that if it weren’t for invasion, Iraq had no real chance at deliverance.

Like America in the 1950’s, people don’t know, or want to know just how peace is being established. Bush for all his faults, uncovered the truth by invading Iraq. I think people have a problem with that. America’s overall perception about world peace is closer to reality than that being offered by other world leaders. We’re not going be able to talk our way through all this crap. The only time man is reasonable is when he has no other choice. The world order will be filled with bodies and blood.

As Martin pointed out, we Americans might also be living in a past. Bush seems to believe the US is so powerful we can do what we want when we want. He and many neo-conservatives fear “not being superpowers.” Bush is so determined to fight for everything; he is setting a course to leave us with nothing. For all our power, the US can be rendered obsolete real quit. The fastest way to create enemies from friends is to keep him from progressing. I often find myself thinking why Bush is so determined to alienate America when all he has is give people an opportunity. No one really wants America’s job. I wish he would analyze it that way.

Dicke Bertha said:
Deltapooh your're a sensible guy. I have been drinking tonight but what the mighty hell is this. How the heck am I a benefictor of American goodity, I have no wish fot a Saddamite president. Finally all you damnos yanks get off it it is not with us or against us; many true friends of America are really really scared and lost now about the ways of the US. Get that. The US simply is not hte provider of good anymore as it might have been seen o decade ago. Read Jamiams post, with the review, right on spot. Europe is a US allied, if you will let us be, as differnet as we are (we Europeans)
The US didn’t get arrogant overnight. That came about when people all over time and again said “let America work it out” or “we’ll wait and see what the US does.” In Bush’s mind, he doesn’t have to listen to a bunch of countries that have already proven their inability to dominate global events.

The international community must be more willing to seize the initiative. That doesn’t mean they go out and engage the US. However, it does mean expanding the global projection platforms to ensure recognition. Physical support will ensure the US has no other choice, but to acknowledge your importance in global affairs. It won’t come from how many troops you commit or the amount you spend toward US led efforts either. People need to rethink and focus on making an impact that is both within their capacity, and as well as productive.

I’m not sure how to go about this. Although as an American I would pray it doesn’t require directly engaging my country.

I’ve made clear time and again that I support internationalism. And I’m not afraid to admit the US isn’t demonstrating supreme leadership. However, I am trying to offer some insight into what I see as fundamental problems and offer solutions.
 

Menschenfresser

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Cheetah772 said:
All powers through the human history had been corrupted, and USA is certainly no different from any world power or an empire of the past.

I have never claimed that the USA is morally superior to everybody and that everything it had done is righteous.

I only merely pointed out that I believe what USA is doing in Iraq is the right thing to do. And if some people and I do believe this, then what USA was doing wasn't necessarily corruptible.

Of course, from your point of view, what USA did was corruptible.

Dan
Note the two bold portions of this quote.

So the "right thing to do" was decided by whom? The rest of the world? No. It was decided by a) Bush & friends and b) possibly a select few allies who gave their consent by participation, but these allies would never have taken on Iraq had it not been for the bravado of Bush. So it was the US who decided or decreed that Iraq was the "right thing to do".

Connecting this decision to moral superiority is easy. All one has to do is look at Bush and the way in which these people speak. I'm sorry, but you cannot call someone evil (axis of evil) without exposing your own belief in moral superiority, even if it is just to say that you can recognize evil when you see it. Had Bush only talked of threats and defense, that would be one thing...but he did not.

Perhaps you do not think the US is morally superior, and for that we all mark one in the plus column for your sanity. But you support a man who thinks the US is by its history and position morally superior or has the duty to act that way.

And even more so since the lack of WMD, Bush has been restating that Saddam was a threat, first off, to his neighbors and citizens...not the US. The moral superiority is compounded by the fact that we did this war for a third party who surely didn't ask us to do it. If that isn't a case of "papa knows best", I don't know what is.
 

Cheetah772

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Menschenfresser said:
Note the two bold portions of this quote.

So the "right thing to do" was decided by whom? The rest of the world? No. It was decided by a) Bush & friends and b) possibly a select few allies who gave their consent by participation, but these allies would never have taken on Iraq had it not been for the bravado of Bush. So it was the US who decided or decreed that Iraq was the "right thing to do".
No. I think what America did was the best course of action, in that, she did the "right" thing. It is just the same thing as taking out a gun and killing a burglar who has broken into your house. It is not just the "right" thing, but the best course of action in my opinion. Or calling the police, both courses of action are good, each with different consequences.

It is just a matter of something Bush had to decide concerning America's national security. It is not something to be shared by the world. After all, I don't expect France to share her concerns about French security with America.

Connecting this decision to moral superiority is easy. All one has to do is look at Bush and the way in which these people speak. I'm sorry, but you cannot call someone evil (axis of evil) without exposing your own belief in moral superiority, even if it is just to say that you can recognize evil when you see it. Had Bush only talked of threats and defense, that would be one thing...but he did not.
Bush is not an evil person, he is the duly elected president of America. He did not order hundreds of anti-protestors to be arrested and tortured to death. He did not commit any war crime. He did not gas his own people. He did not deliberately starved his people so it would garner attention from the world as a bargaining chip.

In this, Bush is certainly a better if not downright decent person than the leaders of the axis of evil.

Bush is merely pointing out how brutal and dangerous these dictatorships were by exposing their tendency to threaten America and their own evilness. This is no way connected to the moral superiority, this is merely a fact that all of us should be keenly aware of.

Perhaps you do not think the US is morally superior, and for that we all mark one in the plus column for your sanity. But you support a man who thinks the US is by its history and position morally superior or has the duty to act that way.
I have always been a sane person. What Bush did, I still support him. Bush felt this was the best course of action in protecting America's interests alone. Yes, Bush had a duty to attend, his job was to ensure America would remain safe and secure. I don't see how this is connected to moral superiority.

Had Bush said, "America is the best country in the world, and we are going to force our own American ideals on every country in this world...." You would be correct in that Bush assumed moral superiority over the rest of world. That is not what Bush had done. If it were so, then Bush would already giving orders to invade North Korea and Iran.

And even more so since the lack of WMD, Bush has been restating that Saddam was a threat, first off, to his neighbors and citizens...not the US. The moral superiority is compounded by the fact that we did this war for a third party who surely didn't ask us to do it. If that isn't a case of "papa knows best", I don't know what is.
I still think Iraq has some hidden WMDs, and Bush is correct in that Saddam would always remain a grave threat to Middle East and the rest of world. No matter what we were going to do with him short of invading could promise to contain or end his regime effectively.

Bush believed this was the best course of action available to America and he had to take it. In his mind, there isn't another alternative.

It's just the same thing with a burglar in your house, you do not negotiate with him. You just kill him with your gun or call the police.

In this case of Iraq, Bush could not risk Iraq striking back or selling her WMDs to certain enemies who would gladly use them on us. It was either them or us. We chose our best course of action by striking first. This is not about moral superiority, but the matter of preserving America's security and interests.

Dan
 

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Deltapooh said:
It can be difficult to define the policies of some of our allies. For example: in 1999 the United States, along with several allies decided to launch OPERATION: ALLIED FORCE to stop Slobodan Milosevic’s campaign in Kosovo. A year later, tens of thousands of people lined the streets of London to greet President Clinton.
If we assume that the objective of both campaigns was humanitarian in nature (we all know that's BS), sure, I suppose that could be a mixed signal. As someone who often talks about the self-interests of nations, you should know this.

Iraq is located in strategically vital region. Isn’t it in everyone’s best interest to get rid of Saddam and hopefully establish a better government?
The simple answer is that if it was in everyone's best interest, then everybody would have supported it. This is an assumption you make about Iraq that drives a lot of your subsequent conclusions, but I think the assumption is flawed.

Another example of mixed signals is the policy the EU used in late 2003. Bush informed a number of our allies he would take the case to the UN, and everyone basically said they would not support it. However, if the US kept the Iran issue out of the General Assembly, they would work with us.
I don't see what's so contradictory about wanting to put things to a vote. You seem to be defining things from the point of view of going along with American policy. The decision not to vote on Iraq in the UNSC was to the USAs benefit. No opposing nation told Bush they didn't think he should put the matter before the UNSC. They simply said that if he did, they would vote no. Going ahead with the vote anyways would have been a PR disaster for the Bush administration, so there never was a vote.

In all fairness, I should point out America is also guilty of sending mixed signals.
I don't know, the signal has been pretty clear to me. If you take the rhetoric that politicians churn out for mass consumption seriously, then it's all one big mixed signal. They all talk of integrity, honesty, morality and we all know that's a bunch of crap. It's about money, power and getting re-elected. But if you judge them on actions, you'll see that Bush has been fairly predictable. Just look to the choice that benefits either the US politically/economically/militarily or Bush's re-election campaign and you can figure out where he stands. This could be true for any given politician, but in few is it as obvious as with Bush. External factors or consequences don't faze him at all, whereas many other politicians do the "right thing" (which translates into being aware of such external factors and consequences).

A series of successes has created extreme idealism in what can be achieved and how.
Or a series of disasters have created extreme realism in what an attitude like that of Bush can lead to. Nobody understands this better than Europeans. Sadly, I think N. Americans will only understand this after we've had our cities razed and millions killed in a useless war. If Murphy's Laws are correct, it's going to happen eventually.

The only chance Iraq, Iran, Congo, and elsewhere have at freedom is by the will to use force to remove obstacles.
Not the only chance, but yes force is likely. The most important question of course is where that force comes from.

America’s overall perception about world peace is closer to reality than that being offered by other world leaders.
Right, world peace by becoming vassal states of America. Let me be the first to say no thank you. I'd rather take the harder path, one that can actually lay a stable foundation for a unified world. One nation coercing others will not achieve that. It will only undermine it.

The only time man is reasonable is when he has no other choice.
You've got this completely backwards. Man is reasonable (and by reasonable I mean willing to compromise) precisely because he has choice, or at least, the perception of it. People want to be in control of their own lives, countries or whatever (pick any arbitrary grouping you want). Whether the choice is rooted in reality of perception, they must believe it exists. What is happening now with Bush vs the world is a great example of it. Right now, the US is the undisupated economic/military power in this world, by a large, margin. It is obvious there is nothing we can do to stop the US from carrying out whatever agenda it wants. By your reasoning, we should be licking Bush bootie. Instead he faces increasing resistance. Compare that to Clinton's term in office. Clinton was loved by those outside the US because he made other nations feel like they were important (when they weren't). He made them feel like they had a say in what would happen to them (even if they didn't).

The knee-jerk reaction to having only one choice is to reject that choice out of principle. This is human nature. Even if the only choice is coneded, it is done so grudgingly and will be undermined at the first possible opportunity (take for example, the Treaty of Versaille).
 

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MikeJ said:
The simple answer is that if it was in everyone's best interest, then everybody would have supported it. This is an assumption you make about Iraq that drives a lot of your subsequent conclusions, but I think the assumption is flawed.
Outside of Saddam, in whose best interest was it for him to remain in power?

We can argue the motives, the ways, and means of removing him from power, but I don't think too many nations will stand before the world and say they are sorry to see him gone. :TRUCE:
 
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Brevet said:
We can argue the motives, the ways, and means of removing him from power, but I don't think too many nations will stand before the world and say they are sorry to see him gone. :TRUCE:
It's that old unanswerable debate: Do the ends justify the means? :D
 

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Brevet said:
We can argue the motives, the ways, and means of removing him from power, but I don't think too many nations will stand before the world and say they are sorry to see him gone. :TRUCE:
This goes well beyond Saddam. Saddam is not unique. He isn't special. He's just another two-bit dictator that we helped put into power. There were many like him in the past and there will be many more in the future.

This is about the power struggles and precedents that are forming as a result of the invasion of Iraq. And in that respect, it's in very few nations' self-interest to have the US so flagrantly violate international law to invade Iraq.

I think it's a mistake to start speaking such that Saddam and Iraq (or war with Iraq even) become interchangable terms. That's precisely what the Bush administration wants... as each justification for war crumbles in turn (WMD, terrorism, etc) the only position they can take that isn't a total joke is the brutality of Saddam.
 

Dicke Bertha

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MikeJ said:
This goes well beyond Saddam. Saddam is not unique. He isn't special. He's just another two-bit dictator that we helped put into power. There were many like him in the past and there will be many more in the future.
There will indeed be many like Saddam in the future.

Martin Schenkel said:
It's that old unanswerable debate: Do the ends justify the means?
In the short run yes, for the victorious. In the long run there will be chaos for everyone. I don't think it's unanswerable. The law in any civilized country won't allow it principally for any reason.

Someday not too distant, it is not inconceivable that nations like India or China will surpass the US on the international stage; empires or superpower monopolists come and go. Europe will not likely ever again be more than a second rate power, whether the united states of Europe emerges or not (I prey not). Would it be acceptable for westeners, Americans and Europeans, to have China or India pursuing what's in their best interest, regardless of what we feel, indeed blatantly ignoring anything ressembling some world order of international law, in the name of their national interest or simply beacuse their way to them is morally superior? If this is so, I will not say hypocrisy any more, but go dig my bombshelter.

I truly believe it is in the US' best interest to establish some working world forum, UN or something to replace it. The initiative must lie with the US, it is the strongest power around. Otherwise it will be a long, expensive, bloody, and increasingly lonely road for the US towards second place anyway. I am certainly not saying that Europe is blameless regarding Iraq or terrorist threats; just remember it is not one body, and cannot act unified and quickly like the US, regardless of whether actions would be correct or incorrect.

The US and Europe are possibly at diverging roads here, for good (for a long time anyway) perhaps. I think it should be significant enough to make our respective leaders stop and reconsider where they are leading.

I don't really know what should be done apart from what I have scetched above, and I do approve a country taking preempive action when forced to. I do not think Iraq was such an instance. The negative effects for the US and for the world far outweigh any gains. Hopefully, the situation today should be awkward enough for everyone to get our politicians think and act like grown people. That's what we put them there to do I hope.
 
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