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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Two Monsters
    #3067094 - 08/30/04 12:04 AM (13 years, 28 days ago)

TWO MONSTERS
August 10, 2004

by Joe Sobran


President Bush is criticizing John Kerry, and for once he has a good point. Kerry has said he?d have voted for war on Iraq even if he?d known no weapons of mass destruction would be found. This is an even more radical position than Bush has taken: it claims the right of preemptive attack against a country that poses no threat to the United States.

Bush at least held that such a threat existed. Many of us didn?t believe that, but supposing it was true, it was a plausible reason for war. Kerry now asserts a more arbitrary right to make war ? only days after telling the Democratic convention, in a great applause line, that the United States must never make war because it wants to, but only because it has to. Now we are left to wonder why he thinks we had to make war on a country that couldn?t attack us.

So, less than three months before the election, we still don?t know where Kerry stands on the most urgent issue before us. All the Democrats? convention really told us is that several of his fellow Vietnam vets and one hamster owe him their lives.

We don?t really know where Bush stands either. Does he think he already has Congress?s authority to make war on Iran, another member of his ?axis of evil,? if he should deem this necessary to his ?war on terror?? Probably so; but even if not, he can be confident that in any case the Republican Congress wouldn?t oppose him, let alone impeach him, if he enlarged the war. But would he dare to do it?

In laying the groundwork for the Iraq war, Bush stipulated impossible conditions for Iraq to prove it was no threat to the United States. He made it clear that there would be war even if arms inspectors, given complete access, should find nothing. The mere absence of evidence of a threat would be interpreted as proof that Saddam Hussein had somehow hidden his arsenal. It was ?Heads we win, tails you lose.? Now Kerry is saying, in effect, ?You didn?t even have to flip the coin.?

In reckoning the costs of war, both candidates look at only one side of the ledger: the possible costs to the United States in blood and treasure. The costs to the ?enemy? ? in innocent lives, for example ? don?t count. Both candidates should be forced to say clearly, before the election, whether they favor war on Iran. Of course, given the political risks of saying yes, both can be expected to say no. But at least they should have to say it for the record.

The American public now accepts these amoral calculations. An unjustified war is mass murder, but few politicians think of it that way. Most care only whether it will be popular by the time of the next election. Bush says he never lets the polls influence his decisions, which, if true, would make him unique among politicians; and of course it isn?t true. It?s ludicrously false. Both parties do their own polling, which they have refined to a science. Every public statement the candidates make reflects what their pollsters are telling them.

There are some politicians who are guided not by the polls, but by their consciences and unalterable principles. They are called ?third-party candidates.? The media ignore them and it goes without saying that they will lose. They merit attention only when they get enough support to affect the outcome of the two-party struggle, as Ralph Nader did in 2000 and may do again this year.

It?s one of the amusing features of our system that a really principled candidate always causes outrage when he threatens to make a real difference through sheer democratic appeal. This system has no room for principle. That?s why Bush and Kerry are the two big parties? anointed candidates.

A forthcoming movie pits two great film monsters against each other: Alien vs. Predator, I believe it?s called, in the great screen tradition of King Kong vs. Godzilla. The ear-splitting trailer promises apocalyptic excitement, but as I watched it the other day I couldn?t help feeling that, as the old saying goes, I don?t have a dog in this fight.

That?s also pretty much the way I feel about the Bush-Kerry race, especially as Fay Wray has passed on without endorsing either candidate.


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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OfflineRonoS
DSYSB since '01
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 16,243
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Last seen: 16 days, 2 hours
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Evolving]
    #3067450 - 08/30/04 01:35 AM (13 years, 28 days ago)

Ahhhh....the wonders of a two party system. I am personally grateful that I don't live in a nation where I have to make a choice between Bush or Kerry. I truly feel bad for Americans lately...


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 2 years, 8 months
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Rono]
    #3068015 - 08/30/04 06:42 AM (13 years, 28 days ago)

Yeah... in Canada for the last -- what, decade and a half or so -- the choice was between Jean Chretien and Jean Chretien.

pinky


--------------------


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 23,480
Loc: Caribbean
Last seen: 8 months, 14 days
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Evolving]
    #3068265 - 08/30/04 09:44 AM (13 years, 28 days ago)

> Bush at least held that such a threat existed.

So it is ok to lie about WMDs to attack a country, but not ok to tell the truth and attack a country... interesting logic.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: Two Monsters [Re: Evolving]
    #3068309 - 08/30/04 10:09 AM (13 years, 28 days ago)

Quote:

Bush at least held that such a threat existed.




As did John Kerry, Bill Clinton, the heads of virtually every intelligence service on the planet, etc. etc.

pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 4,770
Loc: London UK
Last seen: 2 months, 9 days
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Phred]
    #3068421 - 08/30/04 11:16 AM (13 years, 27 days ago)

Quote:

As did John Kerry, Bill Clinton, the heads of virtually every intelligence service on the planet, etc. etc.





Thats what they said but how many of them actually believed it I wonder?


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Always Smi2le


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
Male

Registered: 10/19/00
Posts: 12,949
Loc: Dominican Republic
Last seen: 2 years, 8 months
Re: Two Monsters [Re: GazzBut]
    #3068494 - 08/30/04 11:46 AM (13 years, 27 days ago)

In Kerry's case it is becoming increasingly apparent he is capable of believing two diametrically opposed things simultaneously, so your guess is as good as mine when it comes to deciding the worth of any of his statements.

pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 4,770
Loc: London UK
Last seen: 2 months, 9 days
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Phred]
    #3068532 - 08/30/04 12:03 PM (13 years, 27 days ago)

And it has been clear for sometime that Bush is incapable of holding two ideas in his head at once.

The whole spectacle of watching supposedly intelligent people champion their chosen idiot is both amusing and sickening.


--------------------
Always Smi2le


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 23,480
Loc: Caribbean
Last seen: 8 months, 14 days
Re: Two Monsters [Re: GazzBut]
    #3068573 - 08/30/04 12:14 PM (13 years, 27 days ago)

> In Kerry's case it is becoming increasingly apparent he is capable of believing two diametrically opposed things simultaneously

and

> it has been clear for sometime that Bush is incapable of holding two ideas in his head at once

*laugh* Sounds like the next four years are going to be entertaining no matter who ends up winning.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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OfflineGazzBut
Refraction

Registered: 10/15/02
Posts: 4,770
Loc: London UK
Last seen: 2 months, 9 days
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Seuss]
    #3068624 - 08/30/04 12:31 PM (13 years, 27 days ago)

entertaining in the sense of a really black comedy??!


--------------------
Always Smi2le


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OfflineSeussA
Error: divide byzero

Folding@home Statistics
Registered: 04/27/01
Posts: 23,480
Loc: Caribbean
Last seen: 8 months, 14 days
Re: Two Monsters [Re: GazzBut]
    #3068820 - 08/30/04 01:24 PM (13 years, 27 days ago)

> entertaining in the sense of a really black comedy??!

Pretty much.


--------------------
Just another spore in the wind.


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OfflineRonoS
DSYSB since '01
Male User Gallery

Registered: 01/26/01
Posts: 16,243
Loc: Calgary, Alberta
Last seen: 16 days, 2 hours
Re: Two Monsters [Re: Phred]
    #3068869 - 08/30/04 01:36 PM (13 years, 27 days ago)

Quote:

pinksharkmark said:
Yeah... in Canada for the last -- what, decade and a half or so -- the choice was between Jean Chretien and Jean Chretien.

pinky




As much as I hated Chretien, I would still vote for him in a heartbeat rather than Bush or Kerry.
And come on Pinky..you know you as well as I do that just because Chretien happened to be in office for the last bazillion years does not mean that there wasn't other parties to choose from...I was a strong supporter of the Reform party until they amalgamated with the Tories.


--------------------
"Life has never been weird enough for my liking"


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