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Offlineatomikfunksoldier
T'was born oftrue in the yearof the cock!

Registered: 04/08/03
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1782727 - 08/06/03 02:56 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

good post cornholio, 5 shrooms


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1782996 - 08/06/03 05:06 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Cornholio writes

I assume this is because Americans think so much differently than the rest of the free world.

If this is so, all the more reason not to submit to the will of a "World Government".

You will note that at the time the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were being enacted, Americans thought differently than the rest of the world, too. If they had "gone with the flow" of the times, the "Free World" would still be run by monarchs and despots with a sprinkling of Communists. Thinking differently than the majority is not necessarily equivalent to thinking incorrectly.

We think it's ok to invade other countries at will.

Tone down the rhetoric. You do your case no good by using hyperbole. The US does not invade countries willy-nilly.

A question I have asked here many times to those opposed to regime change in Iraq through military action --

"Do you think it is okay to undertake such action if the UN approves it? If so, why do you oppose it when only a handful of UN members approve?"

Either it was a good thing to invade or it wasn't. The number of people who THOUGHT it was a good thing is irrelevant to the essential "goodness" (or "badness") of the action itself. If it was a dastardly thing to depose Hussein through military action, it was a dastardly thing whether a dozen countries approved or whether a hundred and fifty countries approved.

We think it's ok try war criminals from countries that we don't like, while at the same time protecting our own war criminals and those of our allies from prosecution.

Which war criminals might those be?

It's pretty easy to see why we don't want to be a part of a world Government that believes in fairness for all.

If such a hypothetrical World Government bore any relation to the United Nations, "fairness" wouldn't enter into the equation. When flyspecks in the South Pacific and countries headed by totalitarian regimes have votes which count as much as the vote of Canada or Italy or the United States, you're gonna get some pretty weird resolutions. Oh, wait -- such is already the case.

It's pretty easy to see why other countries don't like us as much as they used to.

Gee willikers, Archie! Are we all still in junior high? "But... but... if we do this, they won't LIKE us anymore!" *sniffle*

Choosing a course of action based on whether or not it will make you popular is idiocy, especially when we are talking of matters more weighty than what brand of pants to wear to school on Tuesdays. See --

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/ts20030803.shtml

Besides, American politicians (the president in particular) are obligated by the Constitution to act in the interest of Americans, not in the interests of someone in Burundi. If a decision they make happens to be one that pisses of the people of Burundi, that's unfortunate, but so be it. Note that be pointing this out I am not claiming the decisions made by American politicians are always necessarily in the best interest even of Americans, only that such interest must always be considered first.

pinky


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
Posts: 845
Loc: Austin, TX
Last seen: 19 years, 2 months
Re: Howard Dean [Re: Phred]
    #1783289 - 08/06/03 06:45 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
You will note that at the time the Declaration of Independence, The Constitution, and the Bill of Rights were being enacted, Americans thought differently than the rest of the world, too. If they had "gone with the flow" of the times, the "Free World" would still be run by monarchs and despots with a sprinkling of Communists. Thinking differently than the majority is not necessarily equivalent to thinking incorrectly.


I strongly agree with that!  :thumbup:  Thinking different is a very good thing.  But Bush is after a "pax America"; a "new world order" with "American internationalism", where everyone is basically supposed to behave the way the US wants; "you're either with us or against us".  It's that type of thinking that now makes us different from everyone else!  :oogle:
Quote:

The US does not invade countries willy-nilly.


Conservatives would agree with you.
Quote:

Either it was a good thing to invade or it wasn't. The number of people who THOUGHT it was a good thing is irrelevant to the essential "goodness" (or "badness") of the action itself.


That's a deep philosophical statement.  Who gets to decide "goodness" and "badness"?  Seems like numbers are the fairest way to resolve such a dispute.
Quote:

Which war criminals might those be?


Henry Kissinger and Ariel Sharon to name just a few of the many.
Quote:

If such a hypothetrical World Government bore any relation to the United Nations, "fairness" wouldn't enter into the equation. When flyspecks in the South Pacific and countries headed by totalitarian regimes have votes which count as much as the vote of Canada or Italy or the United States, you're gonna get some pretty weird resolutions.


So only American allies should be given a say in international affairs?  Actually, I agree with you to an extent; if tiny countries have the same vote as the US or Canada, then something could probably be improved.  Population should factor into power, kind of like the House of Representatives.
Quote:

Choosing a course of action based on whether or not it will make you popular is idiocy


If being liked by the rest of the world is idiocy, then we'll just have to disagree.
Quote:

Besides, American politicians (the president in particular) are obligated by the Constitution to act in the interest of Americans, not in the interests of someone in Burundi. If a decision they make happens to be one that pisses of the people of Burundi, that's unfortunate, but so be it. Note that be pointing this out I am not claiming the decisions made by American politicians are always necessarily in the best interest even of Americans, only that such interest must always be considered first.


I hear you.  I just think the people of Burundi deserve some consideration when decisions are made.  :tongue:           


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1783378 - 08/06/03 07:12 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Cornholio writes:

That's a deep philosophical statement. Who gets to decide "goodness" and "badness"? Seems like numbers are the fairest way to resolve such a dispute.

Sigh.

Sometimes you surprise me. A lot of what you say indicates thoughtfulness, but other times it seems you just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Did you not just agree that "Thinking different is a very good thing"?

Clearly the will of the majority is not always the fairest way to resolve a dispute. Deep philosophical issues such as "goodness" and "badness" cannot be decided by opinion polls. At one time, entire societies thought it was "good" to sacrifice babies to the rain gods. Many many societies throughout history accepted slavery as a matter of course. At least one country (Sudan) still does. Female "circumcision" is still the norm in many African countries. I could go on, but you get the point.

The number of adherents of a particular point of view does not affect its validity.

Henry Kissinger and Ariel Sharon to name just a few of the many.

Ariel Sharon is an American? Stop the presses!

So only American allies should be given a say in international affairs?

I could have added any number of countries to that list. The thing is, most non-totalitarian countries I could name could be classed as "US allies" anyway, just as they could be classed as "Canadian allies".

If being liked by the rest of the world is idiocy, then we'll just have to disagree.

I didn't say being liked by the rest of the world is idiocy. Re-read my words. If a certain decision is popular with "the rest of the world", fine. But to make such decisions with popularity as the overriding criterium is idiocy, as the link I provided illustrates.

I just think the people of Burundi deserve some consideration when decisions are made.

What US policy decision has ever negatively affected the people of Burundi?

pinky


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Offlined33p
Welcome to Violence

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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Phred]
    #1783450 - 08/06/03 07:32 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
Cornholio writes:
Female "circumcision" is still the norm in many African countries.




what is this you speak of?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
Chill the FuckOut!
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Phred]
    #1783467 - 08/06/03 07:39 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

At one time, entire societies thought it was "good" to sacrifice babies to the rain gods.



I'd like to see you prove that it's not.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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Offlined33p
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: silversoul7]
    #1783599 - 08/06/03 08:22 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

and the holocaust was a good thing to. Stop asking stupid questions just to try and one up someone elses meaningful post. Specially when the question you pose is technically impossible to answer


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Phred]
    #1783607 - 08/06/03 08:24 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
A lot of what you say indicates thoughtfulness, but other times it seems you just blurt out the first thing that comes to mind.


You're probably right; I may occasionally be a bit hasty, disappointed, or tired when I post, and I apoligize for that.  :wink:

Quote:

Clearly the will of the majority is not always the fairest way to resolve a dispute. Deep philosophical issues such as "goodness" and "badness" cannot be decided by opinion polls. At one time, entire societies thought it was "good" to sacrifice babies to the rain gods. Many many societies throughout history accepted slavery as a matter of course. At least one country (Sudan) still does. Female "circumcision" is still the norm in many African countries. I could go on, but you get the point. The number of adherents of a particular point of view does not affect its validity.


I get the point, but I still don't know how you determine what's right or not.  While most people believe female circumcision is wrong, some believe male circumcision is wrong.  Who decides?  Do we just ask the all-knowing pinksharkmark?  I think it's something for debate in the Sprituality and Philosophy thread.
Quote:

Ariel Sharon is an American? Stop the presses!


Please reread my post.  I said "We think it's ok try war criminals from countries that we don't like, while at the same time protecting our own war criminals and those of our allies from prosecution."
Quote:

I didn't say being liked by the rest of the world is idiocy. Re-read my words. If a certain decision is popular with "the rest of the world", fine. But to make such decisions with popularity as the overriding criterium is idiocy, as the link I provided illustrates.


I understand what you meant.  My point is that making a decision to be popular is NOT idiocy.  Making friends is probably a very smart thing to do.
Quote:

What US policy decision has ever negatively affected the people of Burundi?


lol, I've never even heard of Burundi.  My point was that we should consider how our decisions effect other countries.  Of course, that's probably a "liberal" attitude.   


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: d33p]
    #1783619 - 08/06/03 08:27 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

d33p said:
Stop asking stupid questions just to try and one up someone elses meaningful post. Specially when the question you pose is technically impossible to answer


Dude, that's exactly the point!!! How do you decide what is right or not when the question is impossible to answer??? That's why I suggested popular opinion as an option. Pinksharkmark thinks there's a better way, and we're trying to understand just what that way is.


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Edited by Cornholio (08/06/03 08:31 AM)


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Offlined33p
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1783641 - 08/06/03 08:33 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

No one said popular opinion cant be an option they just said its not always the best. The fact is nothing is a good option so i dont see why you would agree this to death. There is no anwser people just need to accept that.


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OfflineCornholio
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: d33p]
    #1783663 - 08/06/03 08:38 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

I agree!  :wink: 


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1784284 - 08/06/03 02:50 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Cornholio writes:

I get the point, but I still don't know how you determine what's right or not. While most people believe female circumcision is wrong, some believe male circumcision is wrong. Who decides?

Ah. One of my favorite questions -- who decides?

Some arguments over "goodness" or "badness" may never be settled decisively one way or the other -- i.e. abortion. On the other hand, a thorough philosophical examination of an issue such as slavery will show its true nature. Even if a majority were to vote to reinstitute slavery, it wouldn't alter the essential "badness" of the practice.

Please reread my post. I said "We think it's ok try war criminals from countries that we don't like, while at the same time protecting our own war criminals and those of our allies from prosecution."

And specifically how does the US "protect" the war criminals of their allies from prosecution? America has no veto power over the courts of Belgium or Jordan or wherever. If Belgium is bound and determined to prosecute Sharon, they are free to do so.

My point was that we should consider how our decisions effect other countries.

Of course. It would be nice if every tough decision could be made leaving everyone (including the Osama bin Ladens of the world) happy. However, weighing the opinion of another country (or a fanatical stateless terrorist) as just one of a multitude of (often conflicitng) factors is not the same as making that opinion the determining factor, as the link I provided demonstrates so clearly.

pinky


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Phred]
    #1784335 - 08/06/03 04:18 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
Some arguments over "goodness" or "badness" may never be settled decisively one way or the other -- i.e. abortion. On the other hand, a thorough philosophical examination of an issue such as slavery will show its true nature. Even if a majority were to vote to reinstitute slavery, it wouldn't alter the essential "badness" of the practice.


We were specifically debating the invasion of Iraq when you said "Deep philosophical issues such as "goodness" and "badness" cannot be decided by opinion polls", clearly implying the essential "goodness' or "badness" of the invasion could be determined.
Quote:

And specifically how does the US "protect" the war criminals of their allies from prosecution? America has no veto power over the courts of Belgium or Jordan or wherever. If Belgium is bound and determined to prosecute Sharon, they are free to do so.


The US sent many people to trial in the Hague for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. But we won't send Sharon to trial for his war crimes. Belgium isn't powerful enough to get him to a trial without US support. Regardless, one country probably shouldn't have the power to try people for war crimes. To avoid this problem, the international community has established an International Criminal Court (ICC). Ninety countries, including almost all the world's major democracies have ratified the treaty. However, the United States refuses to participate, effectively making the ICC worthless. We won't sign it of course, because if we did, we'd get nailed for all kinds of war crimes.
Quote:

Of course. It would be nice if every tough decision could be made leaving everyone (including the Osama bin Ladens of the world) happy. However, weighing the opinion of another country (or a fanatical stateless terrorist) as just one of a multitude of (often conflicitng) factors is not the same as making that opinion the determining factor, as the link I provided demonstrates so clearly.
pinky


I agree you should weigh the opinions of other countries into the decision and not make it the only factor. But we blatantly admit that we don't care what other countries have to say, and the link doesn't discuss this type of balancing anyways. It mainly talks about a conspiracy theory in which "schools try to put distance between students and their parents."


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1784406 - 08/06/03 05:19 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Cornholio writes:

We were specifically debating the invasion of Iraq when you said "Deep philosophical issues such as "goodness" and "badness" cannot be decided by opinion polls", clearly implying the essential "goodness' or "badness" of the invasion could be determined.

You must have missed this statement of mine --

Quote:

Either it was a good thing to invade or it wasn't. The number of people who THOUGHT it was a good thing is irrelevant to the essential "goodness" (or "badness") of the action itself. If it was a dastardly thing to depose Hussein through military action, it was a dastardly thing whether a dozen countries approved or whether a hundred and fifty countries approved.



To expand on that point, the invasion was either "good" or "bad". If it was "good", it remains "good" regardless of the number of countries who opposed it. If it was "bad", it remains bad regardless of how many countries approved it.

My point was that there were many posters here who held the view that it was okay to invade Iraq AS LONG AS ENOUGH COUNTRIES APPROVED, but these same posters insisted it was blasphemy to invade Iraq if just a few approved. What is the only difference between the two scenarios? Popularity.

These people were making moral judgments based not on the specifics of the case (weighing inevitable civilian deaths caused by military action against the potential of eventual reduction of civilian deaths caused by Hussein's actions, for example), but by whether or not enough OTHER people thought it was okay. Nothing about the act of invading has changed in any way. Some civilians are still gonna die in the battles regardless of HOW many countries approve. The number of countries approving changes that fact not a whit.

The folks who were willing to change their stance based on WHAT OTHERS THINK were abdicating their own moral judgment --

"I am strongly against this war! It is an outrage!" Three days later, the UN (hypothetically) holds a vote on the issue, and 95% of the member nations approve of the war. "Oh, okay then. Fine by me. Rock on."

The US sent many people to trial in the Hague for war crimes committed in the former Yugoslavia. But we won't send Sharon to trial for his war crimes.

Am I the only one here who can see the difference? The people the US sent to the Hague were captured during the course of a war. The US forces had physical custody of those folks. Are you saying the US has Ariel Sharon in custody?

Belgium isn't powerful enough to get him to a trial without US support.

Belgium is as free to try to apprehend Sharon as any other country. How does the inaction of the US in assisting in his apprehension prevent anyone else from attempting to apprehend him?

I agree you should weigh the opinions of other countries into the decision and not make it the only factor. But we blatantly admit that we don't care what other countries have to say...

Why lie about it? If in a given situation, the American administration says "On this point, your opinion is of less importance to us than our own considered judgment," are they not telling the truth? Should they make up some bogus reason to soothe the conscience of the leaders of other countries? Of course not, especially when such leaders wouldn't buy the bogus explanation anyway.

...and the link doesn't discuss this type of balancing anyways. It mainly talks about a conspiracy theory in which "schools try to put distance between students and their parents."

Are you familiar with the term "analogy"?

The basic principle I am attacking here is the idea that somehow popularity determines the validity of a given premise. It doesn't, whether the popularity is applied to decisions made by regents of a university or decisions made by presidents of nations.

As an example, you and I both agree that laws punishing folks for ingesting certain substances are "bad". Yet the majority of people in the US believe they are "good". If, at some time in the next ten years, the majority change their minds, does that mean that the laws were "good" before, but now they are "bad"? Not at all. The laws were always bad -- all that the change in opinion signifies is that at that moment in time, more people acknowledge the "badness" of the laws than did previously.

pinky


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Phred]
    #1785287 - 08/06/03 11:15 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Thanks for the lengthy post basically saying you believe the number of adherents of a particular point of view does not affect its validity. I'll address this in the very last statement of this post below.
Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
Are you saying the US has Ariel Sharon in custody? Belgium is as free to try to apprehend Sharon as any other country. How does the inaction of the US in assisting in his apprehension prevent anyone else from attempting to apprehend him?


I'm saying we have the power to take Sharon into custody, Belgium doesn't. But we don't care that Sharon has committed war crimes, since he's our ally, and we've committed a few ourselves. Yet we'll continue to demand that others don't commit war crimes, and we'll enforce that demand against countries that we don't like. Can you say "hypocritical"?
Quote:

Are you familiar with the term "analogy"?


Summary of article: The author gives three examples of people who made decisions because they felt those decisions would be popular. The author believes this was wrong (then he talks about a conspiracy theory which doesn't clearly tie back to the first part of the post.) Are you suggesting that because one author feels popularity is not a good way to make decisions, that he has somehow proven it is not the right way to make decisions? See my next argument, before answering this, because it's related:
Quote:

The basic principle I am attacking here is the idea that somehow popularity determines the validity of a given premise. It doesn't, whether the popularity is applied to decisions made by regents of a university or decisions made by presidents of nations.

As an example, you and I both agree that laws punishing folks for ingesting certain substances are "bad". Yet the majority of people in the US believe they are "good". If, at some time in the next ten years, the majority change their minds, does that mean that the laws were "good" before, but now they are "bad"? Not at all. The laws were always bad -- all that the change in opinion signifies is that at that moment in time, more people acknowledge the "badness" of the laws than did previously.


Ok, in principle I'll agree with you. Popularity is irrelevant, and decisions should be make solely on their "goodness" or "badness". Now, how do we decide "goodness" or "badness"? If not popularity, then what better solution do you have????? I agree that in principle, you should do what's "right", not what's popular. But how do you determine what's right???

If you can answer that question, was the invasion of Iraq right or wrong? If you can't answer the question, what better way is there to determine it's rightness or wrongness than popularity? I think it's very relevant what others think, but I also think that tends to be a liberal quality, which may explain why so many liberals think that UN approval is relevant.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1785479 - 08/07/03 12:10 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

The problem with UN approval is it was never going to happen. As long as France had veto power, they would never have allowed an attack. They had to many lucrative deals with Saddam to want to see him go away. I find it funny how countries like France always are the first ones to complain about human rights violations, yet they had no problem with leaving Saddam in power. I guess it is only worth correcting a problem like that if it does not hurt their pocketbooks. That way they can sacrifice nothing, and still look like the good guy.

Another item I wanted to bring up while we are on the subject of the UN, is the way Bill Clinton handled them. When he wanted to go to war he never even asked for the UNs permission. He instead got with NATO to do it. I think the administration made a mistake by going to the UN to begin with.


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OfflineCornholio
A liberal guy(on hiatus)

Registered: 01/13/03
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Loc: Austin, TX
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: shakta]
    #1785721 - 08/07/03 01:11 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

France had gone out of their way to ensure their opposition to the war wasn't interpreted as support for Saddam. They believed a peaceful means of resolving the situation in Iraq might still have been achieved, and they would have supported a war once other peaceful means had failed. Bush was eager for a war and didn't want to try other peaceful means.

Once the US invaded Iraq, France was quick to show their support. I think they got a bad rap from the media because that sold more papers.


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Offlineshakta
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1785793 - 08/07/03 01:33 AM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Quote:

Cornholio said:
France had gone out of their way to ensure their opposition to the war wasn't interpreted as support for Saddam. They believed a peaceful means of resolving the situation in Iraq might still have been achieved, and they would have supported a war once other peaceful means had failed. Bush was eager for a war and didn't want to try other peaceful means.

Once the US invaded Iraq, France was quick to show their support. I think they got a bad rap from the media because that sold more papers.




I disagree on the bad rap part. I think the rap they got was earned. Anyway, I think 12 years of peaceful attempts was enough.


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OfflinePhred
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Re: Howard Dean [Re: Cornholio]
    #1788341 - 08/07/03 09:18 PM (19 years, 6 months ago)

Cornholio writes:

I'm saying we have the power to take Sharon into custody, Belgium doesn't.

Presuming the US should take Sharon into custody, please explain to us how this should be done. Invite him to the White House on some pretext and then have the Secret Service handcuff him and trot him off to jail? Could Belgium not do the same thing?

But we don't care that Sharon has committed war crimes, since he's our ally, and we've committed a few ourselves.

If Belgium believes he has committed war crimes, let Belgium arrest him.

This whole thing got started because you claimed the US protects its own war criminals and those of its allies. I don't recall seeing Sharon travelling with a Secret Service posse everywhere he goes.

Summary of article: The author gives three examples of people who made decisions because they felt those decisions would be popular. The author believes this was wrong (then he talks about a conspiracy theory which doesn't clearly tie back to the first part of the post.) Are you suggesting that because one author feels popularity is not a good way to make decisions, that he has somehow proven it is not the right way to make decisions?

It's not the right way to make decisions of policy, no. It can and should be a factor to consider, yes. The determining factor? Nope.

Popularity is irrelevant, and decisions should be make solely on their "goodness" or "badness". Now, how do we decide "goodness" or "badness"? If not popularity, then what better solution do you have????? I agree that in principle, you should do what's "right", not what's popular. But how do you determine what's right???

By referring to observable facts and the laws of nature.

Those who believe the only way moral questions can be resolved is through an opinion poll are those who believe there is no such thing as an objective moral code that is valid for all individuals in all societies. Those people are mistaken -- there is such a thing as an objective moral code.

However, you are right in suggesting this would better be handled in the Spirituality and Philosophy forum. If you want to open a thread there on the issue, I'll gladly contribute.

If you can answer that question, was the invasion of Iraq right or wrong?

It was morally acceptable. The United States and its allies had the right to overthrow Hussein's regime. They did not however have the obligation to do so.

Knowing what I knew at the time the invasion was still in the planning stages, if I were the one faced with deciding whether or not to give the go ahead, I believe I probably would have nixed it. Of course, I wasn't privy to all the facts that SecDef and SecState and POTUS were.

But the reason for my decision wouldn't have been that other countries disapproved, the reason for my decision would have been the same one George Washington gave -- it's a good idea to stay out of foreign entanglements and foreign wars. American tax dollars should be spent on Americans, not on downtrodden citizens of other countries. When it comes to military action, I have always been an isolationist.

If you can't answer the question, what better way is there to determine it's rightness or wrongness than popularity?

By your own judgment validated against objective morality. Is that not how you came to the decision that drugs should be legal?

I think it's very relevant what others think but I also think that tends to be a liberal quality, which may explain why so many liberals think that UN approval is relevant.

In some situations, it is the least relevant of all factors. In other situations, it may have a higher relevance. My point (and the point of the author of the article in the link) is that there are waaaayyyy too many important decisions made by people in positions of power which are made using popularity as the most important factor.

That is wrong whether you are a Liberal or a Conservative.

pinky


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