How to Defend America?


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Brant-

During the times I've been active on O'ists forums, I've seen a lot of sucker-punches thrown at you, so I assume that you know what they look like...and realize my frustration and determination.

Edited by Jody Gomez
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Brant-

I'll also say to you, and to Ellen, that though I have at times disagreed with her, I've always enjoyed and respected Ellen's arguments. This is why I expect more from her.

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Get real. Iraq was conquered for Exxon. The ploy failed. Presto, $100 oil.

W.

Care to cite any evidence for that claim?

Wolf is wrong. However, when one delves beneath the superficial skein, you find the Bush people historically involved with oil and their good buddies the Saudis and one begins to understand the Iraqi War a little better. Never mind that the Saudis have more to do with Islamo-fascist terrorism than any other people, government and group, going back at least decades to an extremist assault on Mecca in 1979. The Saudis beat the extremists by agreeing to propagate the extremists' thought enacted in deed world-wide by adherents. Most of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis. I thought at the time it was a brilliant setup, but now I don't.

--Brant

I know that the Bush people have been involved in oil, but that means nothing regarding the war.

I've heard a lot of talk about the Saudis, and I'll admit that I'm not in the know about that. I'm going to do some research on it though, as I do believe you and others have a valid point.

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Argument: a reason given in proof or rebuttal(at least according to Merriam-Webster)

I think that saying that my statement was a "string of vapid assertions" was given in proof or rebuttal. Ergo...

I admit, you may be right.

--Brant

I do not think he's right. Re-read the whole sequence if you think he is. Bob K. quoted Jody and stated that when Jody says it, "it sounds reasonable." I objected to Bob K.'s implied presumption in speaking for other persons besides himself as to what the quoted statements sounded like. I was presenting an evaluation -- my own -- no argument; period.

And, notice that Jody says in his post #23:

And yes, my comment that you quoted was an argument...it was one of those ergo kind of things.

The comment -- addressed to Martin Radwin -- was "you are an amazing piece of shit [if you use scare quotes for my, Jody's, use of 'filth']." Sure doesn't look to me as if Jody understands what is and what is not an argument.

Enough said by me on this one.

Ellen

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I know that the Bush people have been involved in oil, but that means nothing regarding the war.

Jody,

Why does that "mean nothing" with respect to the war? I am curious about this and why people say it.

My own take is that this issue is complex, not simple, and that oil (and Bush's background in oil) is a part of it. Just as much as Islamism is a part of it.

To illustrate what I mean, I can easily imagine Ronald Reagan going into Afghanistan like Bush did if 9/11 had happened on his watch. But I cannot imagine anything like what unfolded with Iraq under Bush happening with Reagan. And I have no doubt that Reagan would have resolved whatever needed to be resolved with Saddam in a decisive manner.

(Maybe this wasn't the best time to make this comment... :) )

Michael

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Ellen,

Okay, I've heard enough rambling by you as to what does and does not constitute an argument. Let's avoid countless posts arguing semantics. Define argument.

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Jody, you've gotten a little too hot under the collar at times, especially on this thread. In regard to Iraq, we might as well be dispassionate as policy inertia is now excluding almost everyone, including all on this list. The basic trick in using massive force in foreign policy is not to use it but for all and sundry to know it's there to be used. That's why the Cold War, bad as it was, didn't degenerate into a general nuclear exchange, although it was a close thing thanks to President Kennedy and the other guy relative to all the preceding and following things.

--Brant

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Ellen, some victories are not worth winning and I'm glad this is ending.

--Brant

Brant-

So you think the victory is hers for the taking? Very well. Let her fight for it.

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Ellen, some victories are not worth winning and I'm glad this is ending.

--Brant

Brant-

So you think the victory is hers for the taking? Very well. Let her fight for it.

No Jody. I think she's been in an argument with you from the get go, but I'm glad she's not going any further with this. And I sincerely wish you'd cut it out also. It's true I consider her my friend, so I addressed her instead of you. That's all. I'm sick and tired of good people cutting each other up on Internet forums.

--Brant

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Oh, absolutely! We obviously had only two choices, either bomb the shit out of Iraq, invade and occupy their country, kill several hundred thousand of them, destroy their cities, their homes, and their infrastructure, or to sit in our bunkers here in the US, trembling with terror, waiting for Iraq to launch an invasion against us. What other alternatives could their possibly have been?

By god, you're right! We could have had a 15th U.N. resolution. That would have certainly prevented the nonexistent "several hundred thousand" deaths. Well, Sadam was doing pretty well at raking in deaths and mass killings...but I see that you're blaming the U.S. Which certainly the U.N. could have prevented!

I am not blaming the "U.S.". I am blaming the U.S. government. The United States as a nation of 300,000,000 people may never justifiably be equated with the U.S. government. Why am I blaming the U.S. government? Because the Iraq war was a war of choice against a nation that had not attacked and was no threat to the United States. Since the war was not fought in self-defense, the U.S. government had absolutely no legitimate right to attack Iraq, and is therefore responsible for all of the devastation that has resulted from its attack.

Could you please cite your sources for that "several hundred thousand of 'them'"?

This figure is a guess on my part, since the exact figure can never be known. As it says on the top of the Iraq Body Count web site, quoting Tommy Franks, "We don't do body counts". The most recent figures from Iraq Body Count estimate roughly 78,000 - 85,000 deaths, but these are deaths confirmed from multiple sources and only include non-combatant deaths. As such, they represent an absolute lower bound to the number of deaths. Other estimates are much higher. For a complete reference to estimates of the death and devastation caused by the war, a good link is:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of...Iraq_since_2003

Since the U.S. government has repeatedly argued (and millions of Americans believe) that the 9/11 attacks, which killed not quite 3000 people, "changed everything", justifying a massively statist reorganization of American society, abridgement of constitutional liberties, and the increasing implementation of police state measures, perhaps it is reasonable to assume that, even if the absolute minimum Iraq Body Count figure of about 80,000 is correct, in a country with less than 1/10th the population of the United States, the U.S. attack on Iraq certainly "changed everything" for them. The millions of refugees created by the war is not in dispute. But, of course, all this is the fault of the now deceased Saddam Hussein, a former ally of the United States.

Martin

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No Jody. I think she's been in an argument with you from the get go, but I'm glad she's not going any further with this.

Well, Brant, with that one you managed to provoke me into saying something further. I haven't been in any argument with Jody "from the get go." Jody wasn't the addressee of my post which started this interlude. Bob Kolker was. I was objecting to his presumption. Please get clear why I said anything at all. I hadn't even read most of the other posts on this thread. I always read Bob K.'s posts because he says a certain amount about scientific issues which I find of interest. On the other hand he can irritate me with his blanket pronouncements. It was Bob K. who was the target of my remarks, not Jody. Near as I can tell, what Jody is upset about is my description of the particular remarks to which Bob K. was responding. I'm sorry if Jody's feathers have been as badly ruffled as it seems they have been. Maybe if I'd said "empty" instead of "vapid," he wouldn't have been as miffed. I debated between "vapid" and "empty." Whatever. I'm not going to argue with Jody about Islamists, national defense, etc. To repeat -- and then, I hope, I won't feel called on to re-re-re-repeat: it was Bob K.'s post to which I was objecting.

Ellen

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Ellen,

Fer Keriiiisst sake! I don't mind you and Jody going at it, but if you say something bad about someone, he is going to be miffed. You don't have to be speaking to him. You can even be trashing someone else at the same time. None of that makes any difference. If you say something bad about someone, he is going to be miffed.

This ain't rocket science. And nobody reading all this is a fool. What on earth are you arguing?

Michael

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How nice of you to describe the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by the US invasion and occupation, along with the roughly four million refugees, as "filth". Does that include the Iraqi infants and children too, or just the adults? This definitely requires clarification. But I guess we just had to do it because, after all, if we hadn't, Iraq was all poised to invade our shores and forcibly convert us all into Bathists.

Again, please cite your sources for that "hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by the US invasion and occupation..."

Just the adults.

Was Iraq poised to invade our shores? No. Was it a nation, or a few pieces of Islamic filth, backed by states that sponsor terrorism that attacked us on 9/11?

Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Neither did Iran, the next nation that the Bush administration is looking for an excuse to attack. But never mind that. Those Muslims are all the same. Just a bunch of Islamo-fascists.

After 9/11 Leonard Peiloff was on O'Reilly and was asked a very similar question that you intimated(though O'Reilly had more integrity and admittance than you do), and Peikoff asked, "Will it be our innocent women and children, or theirs?" Of course, the person that believes in the efficacy of that 15th U.N. resolution and 15th final, mother-of-all chances has ipso facto stated which women and children he will sacrifice.

So, if the U.S. government hadn't attacked Iraq, Iraq would have attacked us, killing tens or hundreds of thousands of Americans? Iraq was all poised to kill our innocent women and children? Or is Leonard Peikoff just full of shit?

Martin

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Ellen,

Fer Keriiiisst sake! I don't mind you and Jody going at it, but if you say something bad about someone, he is going to be miffed. You don't have to be speaking to him. You can even be trashing someone else at the same time. If you say something bad about someone, he is going to be miffed.

This ain't rocket science. And nobody reading all this is a fool. What on earth are you arguing?

Michael

I didn't say anything bad about Jody. I haven't said one boo about Jody personally. Doesn't seem "rocket science" to me to understand the difference.

Ellen

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Ellen,

Come on. Have some minimum respect for the intelligence of the reader. Here is your comment above.

... I must object to the presumption as to how Jody's comments might sound to others. To me, far from sounding "reasonable," they just sound like a string of vapid assertions.

The insinuation is that Jody is an idiot. At the very least, he does not make "reasonable" comments in his posts. Instead they "just sound like a string of vapid assertions."

Like I said, this ain't rocket science.

I sometimes feel like I am going back to kindergarten with these things.

Trash each other if you will, but don't play the reader for a fool. You can do better than that.

Michael

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How nice of you to describe the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed by the US invasion and occupation, along with the roughly four million refugees, as "filth"

I must continue to address this, as it just astonishes me. I referred to fighting filth. We are fighting(over there, rather than here) al-Qaeda operatives.

Like hell we are. Al Qaeda had no significant presence in Iraq until the US attacked, invaded, and occupied the place. Only a tiny fraction of the people killed, wounded, and left homeless by the US attack had anything to do with Al Qaeda. Almost none of the Iraqi insurgency fighting the US occupation has anything to do with Al Qaeda. But, as you've so eloquently argued, they're all the same, just a bunch of islamo-fascists.

If you use scare quotes in describing my estimation of al-Qaeda as filth, then quite frankly, you are an amazing piece of shit.

You wrote, "Tell me, are you glad that our military is fighting this filth in Iraq, or would you rather sit around and wait for the enemy to come to us?"

Nowhere in this sentence did you specify that the "filth" to which you were referring was Al Qaeda. And since, as I pointed out above, most of the people the US has been fighting in Iraq are not Al Qaeda, and almost none of the people killed in the war are Al Qaeda, the implication is clearly that the Iraqi people themselves, including the thousands of non-combatants, are "filth".

Anyone reading these posts can decide for themselves which of us is "an amazing piece of shit".

Martin

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Ellen,

Come on. Have some minimum respect for the intelligence of the reader. Here is your comment above.

... I must object to the presumption as to how Jody's comments might sound to others. To me, far from sounding "reasonable," they just sound like a string of vapid assertions.

The insinuation is that Jody is an idiot. At the very least, he does not make "reasonable" comments in his posts. Instead they "just sound like a string of vapid assertions."

Michael,

No, the insinuation isn't "that Jody is an idiot." There was no reference to "his posts," plural. There was ONE PARTICULAR POST quoted, the one Bob K. had quoted, the one quoted in full in the post of mine which you linked. Re-read that particular post yourself if you want the details. (I skip the rest of your remarks, which again used techniques to which I object in your own methods.)

Ellen

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Ellen,

The only reason I object to you hairsplitting so badly while denying the obvious exists is that it is embarrassing to see this out of a person of your intelligence.

When I remember your criticisms of Peikoff or Valliant, for example, for rationalizing something (for whatever reason), I am starting to get great pause. You are doing what you objected to in them.

Michael

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... I must object to the presumption as to how Jody's comments might sound to others. To me, far from sounding "reasonable," they just sound like a string of vapid assertions.

Ellen, when I said "get go" I was referring to the post above, not anything preceding. Sorry for implying otherwise.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Ellen, some victories are not worth winning and I'm glad this is ending.

--Brant

Brant-

So you think the victory is hers for the taking? Very well. Let her fight for it.

No Jody. I think she's been in an argument with you from the get go, but I'm glad she's not going any further with this. And I sincerely wish you'd cut it out also. It's true I consider her my friend, so I addressed her instead of you. That's all. I'm sick and tired of good people cutting each other up on Internet forums.

--Brant

Brant-

I respect you and your opinion. I also respect Ellen. I got a little hot under the collar because of such. I wish she had respected me and my sincerity. Thanks for calming me down.

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No Jody. I think she's been in an argument with you from the get go, but I'm glad she's not going any further with this.

Well, Brant, with that one you managed to provoke me into saying something further. I haven't been in any argument with Jody "from the get go." Jody wasn't the addressee of my post which started this interlude. Bob Kolker was. I was objecting to his presumption. Please get clear why I said anything at all. I hadn't even read most of the other posts on this thread. I always read Bob K.'s posts because he says a certain amount about scientific issues which I find of interest. On the other hand he can irritate me with his blanket pronouncements. It was Bob K. who was the target of my remarks, not Jody. Near as I can tell, what Jody is upset about is my description of the particular remarks to which Bob K. was responding. I'm sorry if Jody's feathers have been as badly ruffled as it seems they have been. Maybe if I'd said "empty" instead of "vapid," he wouldn't have been as miffed. I debated between "vapid" and "empty." Whatever. I'm not going to argue with Jody about Islamists, national defense, etc. To repeat -- and then, I hope, I won't feel called on to re-re-re-repeat: it was Bob K.'s post to which I was objecting.

Ellen

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Ellen,

The first post I responded to tonight was Brant's, but I see this has went much further, and I have yet to read them all. Honestly, I was offended by your comments. I'm willing to discuss it intellectually with you, and to respect your opionion, but you tossed out the empty pejoratives against me. I respected you, so it just kind of cut me a bit. A lot of people here know that I don't mince words, but I will listen...and if I listen and hear something of value, I'll admit it. The best example of this is Rich, who is someone I attacked dedicatedly on SoloHq, but someone that I now admit I was mostly ;) wrong about. He now holds my deepest respect. Quite simply Ellen, I was taken aback by you, because I've always respected you...even when I disagreed. When I have disagreed with you, I have never assumed ignorance or maliciousness on your part, which is what you intimated about me...at least in my opinion.

Edited by Jody Gomez
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Get real. Iraq was conquered for Exxon. The ploy failed. Presto, $100 oil.

W.

Care to cite any evidence for that claim?

Wolf is wrong...

--Brant

I'm an exploration insider. Cheney's 2000 secret energy commission concluded that 25% of future US oil imports had to come from Iraq because of declining production in the North Sea, Kuwait, etc. In 2003, I saw a map of Iraq's fields and known reserves at a major oil company's office in Houston. There was a team assigned to develop it as soon as Bremer had it sewed up. I said Exxon because I didn't want to name the company in question, but it was one of the top five, and certainly Exxon had similar maps and plans. You shouldn't be so eager to dismiss the facts. Had nothing to do with Saddam or democracy or WMD or terrorism.

W.

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Quoting Martin-

I am not blaming the "U.S.". I am blaming the U.S. government. The United States as a nation of 300,000,000 people may never justifiably be equated with the U.S. government. Why am I blaming the U.S. government? Because the Iraq war was a war of choice against a nation that had not attacked and was no threat to the United States. Since the war was not fought in self-defense, the U.S. government had absolutely no legitimate right to attack Iraq, and is therefore responsible for all of the devastation that has resulted from its attack.

Look at the cease fire agreement from the 1st Gulf War...look at the numerous U.N. resolutions. The U.S. had every right to keep its promises.

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Quoting Martin:

The most recent figures from Iraq Body Count estimate roughly 78,000 - 85,000 deaths, but these are deaths confirmed from multiple sources and only include non-combatant deaths.

So what kind of dishonest ass does it take to inflate "the most recent figures" of 78,000-85,000 and inflate them to "several hundred thousand?"

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