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June 20, 2005

Was War "Worth It"?

From all accounts, the American people are tired of war. From the safety of their comfy Barcoloungers and gas-guzzling SUVs they have determined that the cost of war - a cost they themselves have not had to bear - is too high. This conclusion is not surprising when one considers their appalling ignorance, both of history and contemporaneous events, on war-related matters. Rather than take the time to learn, the ADD nation finds it far easier to focus its attention on unsupported charges contained in a single paragraph from an unverifiable foreign memo.

Robert Kagan examines, in depth, the question of whether the Iraq war was "worth it". Rightly, he concludes that the real issue was never WMDs. Rather, it was the question of whether Saddam could be contained or not. This argument was also made quite clearly in President Bush's 2003 State of the Union address:

To assess whether the Iraq war was worth it requires seriously posing the question: What would have happened if the Bush administration had not gone to war in March 2003? That is a missing but essential piece of the current very legitimate debate. We all know what has gone wrong since the Iraq war began, but it is not as if, in the absence of a war, everything would have gone right. Those who want to have this debate cannot simply point to the terrible toll in casualties. They have to address the question of what the alternative to war really would have meant.
There is not much dispute about what kind of leader Saddam Hussein was. Former secretary of state Madeleine Albright once compared him to Hitler, and the comparison was apt in a couple of ways. Hussein, as we will soon relearn in excruciating detail, had contempt for human life and no qualms about killing thousands of his own citizens and many thousands more of his neighbors' citizens, about torturing women and children and about using any type of weapon he could buy or manufacture to burn, poison, infect and incinerate political opponents and even entire populations, so long as they were too weak to fight back. This alone placed him in a special class of historical figures, a not irrelevant factor in determining whether his removal, even at the present cost, was worth it.

Kagan argues that Saddam was not just a homicidal maniac responsible for at least 400,000 Iraqi bodies lying in mass graves (with new graves still being discovered, a circumstance that gives rise to doubts we have fully searched all of Iraq for WMDs). Hussein also had a long history of attacking his neighbors. Kagan quotes several statements by Clinton-era NSC advisor Sandy Berger that containment was "not sustainable in the long run":

A more intriguing question is whether a decision not to go to war in 2003 would have produced lasting peace or would only have delayed war until a later date -- as in the 1930s. There is a strong argument to be made that Hussein would have pushed toward confrontation and war at some point, no matter what we did. His Hitler-like megalomania does not seem to be in question. He patiently, brutally pushed his way to power in Iraq, then set about brutally and impatiently making himself the dominant figure in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf, using war and the threat of war as his principal tools. In the early 1980s he invaded Iran and fought it to a bloody standstill for the better part of a decade. No sooner had that war ended than he invaded Kuwait. He fancied himself the new Saladin, much as Napoleon and Hitler had fancied themselves the new Caesar.

Finally he looks at the future WMD threat - a threat President Bush said we could not afford to ignore until it was imminent:

...another fact not in dispute is that Hussein remained keenly interested in and committed to acquiring weapons of mass destruction, that he maintained secretive weapons programs throughout the 1990s and indeed right up until the day of the invasion, and that he was only waiting for the international community to lose interest or stamina so that he could resume his programs unfettered. This is the well-documented, unrefuted -- and unnoticed -- conclusion of both David Kay and Charles Duelfer. Whether Hussein would have eventually succeeded in acquiring these weapons would have depended on other nations' will and ability to stop him.

It is worth noting that these three factors are precisely those which finally persuaded me that war was inevitable. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have either forgotten or never knew the facts. Furthermore, their impressions of our progress are willfully distorted on a daily basis by a mainstream media intent on presenting only the bad news of today and rewriting history to suit their anti-war agenda.

Inability to remember why we went to war coupled with an inaccurate picture of our current situation, render any meaningful cost/benefit analysis virtually impossible for the average American. As Chester notes, it's time for a pep talk. Americans must be reminded of the case for war. And the administration must counter destructive and easily disprovable criticisms like the 'imminent threat' meme and the Downing Street memo with facts.

It is said that the Tree of Liberty must be nourished from time to time with the blood of patriots. Likewise, the minds of a complacent and ill-informed public must be provided with facts to counteract the anti-war spin.

This is not propaganda, as the media will undoubtedly assert.

It is simply common sense.

Posted by Cassandra at June 20, 2005 08:00 AM

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Comments

As to the question of whether or not "it was worth it?"... the ends NEVER justify the means!

1. If you say it was to spread Democracy, than why have we not invaded China?

2. If you say it was to liberate those being tortured & suppressed by an oppressive regime, than why did we not go to Rwanda or any other third world country currently run by DICKtators?

3. If you say it was to round up WMD's, than why have we not invaded Iran or North Korea? And why did we think Iraq had them in the first place... oh yea, we sold them!

The real REASON that was given was WMDS, the talk of Democracy and other "noble reasons" came after and should be known as they are, EXCUSES, which in the real world... don't fly!

At any rate, if you subscribe to any of the excuses above, then you are what CHRIST (GW's faith) says is the worst of all people, a HYPOCRITE!

Just open your minds and question this: why do we have a trade embargo on Cuba? In case you are not knowledgeable, it is because Cuba is Communist... now ask yourself, why did we INCREASE trade with COMMUNIST China?

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 06:49 PM

Jim, in the first place if you check the facts, France, China, and Russia (the three nations who didn't want the UN to help us, if you'll recall) were the three largest arms sellers to Iraq.

http://www.command-post.org/archives/002978.html


We were so far down the list it isn't funny - only 1% of total arms sales.

Also: who profited from keeping Saddam in power:

http://www.heritage.org/Research/MiddleEast/wm217.cfm


1. China is not threatening us. China hasn't violated 12 years of UN sanctions, banned weapons inspectors, nor invaded both her neighbors in the past 10 years.

2. Rwanda is not threatening us either, nor paying bounties to and training and harboring terrorists like the man who planned the 1st WTC bombing in '93. Oh... you didn't know he fled to Iraq on an Iraqi passport??? Hmmm.

3. See 1 and 2. Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

Do *you* always do everything for one reason and one only? Of course not. When you're weighing your options, you look at ALL the reasons and the more there are in favor, the more likely it is you will act.

Sorry about the comment registration - my spam script isn't working and I haven't had time to fix it :)

Cheers.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 07:02 PM

In a nutshell the whole arguement boils down to if we can't stop every thug, if we can't spread democracy to everyone, if we can't do it all...then we should do nothing.

It is a fallacious choice of false dichotomy. We can't catch every criminal. Does that mean we shouldn't have police. No. You do what you can when you can, doing the most you can. We can disagree about what particular activities do that best. But all or nothing are not the only options.

Posted by: Masked Menace© [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 07:56 PM

You are correct Masked Menace. However, do you lie, cheat and deceive to do it? Or is there a certain sense of fair play that we must obey in order to avoid becoming the bad guy ourselves.

My distaste is not in the overall justice that Sadaam is going to receive, it is in the manner it has been enacted.

Read on...

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 08:24 PM

Cassandra... as you can see I signed up :o)

1."We were so far down the list it isn't funny."
...But WE WERE ON the list!

2."...invaded both her neighbors in the past 10 years."
When in the last TEN years did Iraq invade somebody? Your history is as fuzzy as your logic. It has been a decade and a half since Kuwait.

3."...China hasn't violated 12 years of UN sanctions..."
No? Were have you been then? Read on:
U.N. Commission to examine China's human rights violations
http://www.democracy.org.hk/EN/mar1999/mainlnd_25.htm AND
China for its human rights violations throughout 2003 (10,000 cases of the death penalty that result in immediate execution IN ONE YEAR... hmmm)
http://www.asianews.it/view.php?l=en&art=505

and have you forgotten Tiananmen Square in '89?

4."Rwanda...harboring terrorists like the man..." (Osama)
Once again you’re flawed...
Army for the Liberation of Rwanda; The FAR was the army of the Rwandan Hutu regime that carried out the genocide of 500,000 or more Tutsis and regime opponents in 1994 (11 years ago)
http://www.terrorism.net/group38.html

5."3. See 1 and 2. Lather. Rinse. Repeat."
I assume your odd comment is because you can't explain why we haven't invaded Iran or N.Korea based on the logic we used to invade Iraq?!

6."Do *you* always do everything for one reason and one only?"
Of course not! But does that mean you FIX evidence to support your theory? NO! Do you stand before the ENTIRE world and show FAKE photographs and claim, "Here, you see 15 munitions bunkers in yellow and red outlines. The four that are in red squares represent active chemical munitions bunkers."

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell Addresses the U.N. Security Council
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/02/20030205-1.html
TRANSCRIPT AND VIDEO

Note he said ACTIVE... yet sadly as history now proved... not even a bunker, let alone anything to do with chemicals.

7. Just for the record, I am glad we went. I served 6 years in the US Infantry and I support the troops. What I do not like however, is being DECEIVED by LIES... and I certainly do NOT like EXCUSES! I also am a strong Christian as GW claims, and I know that no matter how you slice it... there is NO GODLY or RIGHTEOUS aspect to this campaign.

Think of it this way... your buy a car because the salesman says it has great gas mileage. You drive for awhile and come to find out it gets horrible gas mileage. You take it back to the salesman and he blows you off and says, so I lied, at least it has clean air emissions and a neat sunroof. Magnify that by the X factor of innocent body counts and you can only begin to grasp the true levity of this war!

8. Your failed attempt at derogatory humor such as "Lather. Rinse. Repeat” was not appreciated. Try not to argue (debate) your position without lowering yourself to pre-pubescent "Take that" and "Gotcha" type comments... it only makes you seem incompetent.

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 08:27 PM

Jim, I've only got a minute and then I'm going to bed.

1. 1%. Not impressive.

2. You got me - I was in a hurry to finish before I went out and wasn't careful. What I *should* have said was that he invaded two nations in a ten-year period. But you are correct and what I said was wrong.

3. I can't comment because I'm not familiar with the details. But this strikes me - did Powell *KNOW AT THE TIME*? Or are you judging him based on hindsight? Two inquiries said the White House did not manipulate the intel. What are you basing your charges on?

You keep talking "lies" yet you have no evidence that anyone lied. Being incorrect (and finding out later that you were) and lying are two entirely different things.

8. That was neither derogatory nor aimed at you, and I'm sorry if you took it that way. I was just getting tired of saying "see 1, 2..." - more making fun of me for repeating myself than anything else. So there's really no need to be insulting. I wasn't.

And FWIW, you don't have to tell me about "the levity of this war". I've lived with it. There were plenty of innocent deaths under Saddam too if we're talking Iraqis. And military people, by and large, accept it even if we don't always like it. I'm sure you know that.

If you talk to active duty people, the vast majority do *not* agree with you.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 20, 2005 11:22 PM

"8. That was neither derogatory nor aimed at you"
Apologie accepted!

"You keep talking "lies" yet you have no evidence that anyone lied. Being incorrect (and finding out later that you were) and lying are two entirely different things."

So if the EVIDENCE used to JUSTIFY war was WRONG as you imply (since they are not lies, yet we KNOW they turned out to be false), then logic says we were WRONG to start a war.

Examine your logic:
1. You know the facts were incorrect yet produced them anyway = Deceit & Lie

2. You did not know facts were wrong and presented them = Evidence used to support going to war was wrong = No reason to go to war. At least no "immediate" threat as was claimed!

“We have also discovered through intelligence
that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."

State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003 FALSE


"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people
now in custody reveal that
Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaida."

State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003 FALSE

*yawn* Thanks for making my point clearer!

Posted by: Jim [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2005 07:25 AM

1. There is no evidence of this.

2. The case for war was made on 3 points. You continue to ignore that. Only one was the threat posed by Saddam and of that, only part, albeit a major part was WMDs. Another major component was his destabilization of the region and support for terrorists.

The Senate Select Intelligence Committee report concluded the intel provided to Congress was reasonable based on what the White House was provided. I have documented this extensively elsewhere. Regarding terrorism:

"Evidence from intelligence sources, secret communications and statements by people
now in custody reveal that
Saddam Hussein aids and protects terrorists, including members of Al Qaida."... FALSE

YOU ARE WRONG - 9/11 Commission testimony flatly contradicts you:

Ramzi Yousef, involved in the 1993 WTC attack, fled to Iraq on an Iraqi passport and was granted safe haven there.

Iraq under Saddam was a major state sponsor of international terrorism:

Baghdad actively sponsored terrorist groups, providing safe haven, training, arms, and logistical support, requiring in exchange that the groups carry out operations ordered by Baghdad for Saddam's objectives.

Beginning in the early 1970s, Saddam provided safe haven, training, arms, and other forms of assistance to Palestinian and Arab extremists. Baghdad hosted the Abu Nidal Organization (ANO), the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), and the Hawari faction of the PLO. In addition, Baghdad created the Arab Liberation Front (ALF) as its personal surrogate in the wars against Israel. Although the ALF conducted no terrorist operations, Saddam used it in the 1970s and resurrected it again in the current Palestinian intifada as a means to recruit Palestinians and, in 2001, to win praise for offering $25,000 to the family of each Palestinian "martyred" in an Israeli attack.

From ABC News:

During the 1990s, Zarqawi trained under bin Laden in Afghanistan. After the fall of the Taliban, he fled to northwestern Iraq and worked with poisons for use in potential attacks, officials say.

During the summer of 2002, he underwent nasal surgery at a Baghdad hospital, officials say.
They mistakenly originally thought, however, that Zarqawi had his leg amputated due to an injury.

In late 2002, officials say, Zarqawi began establishing sleeper cells in Baghdad and acquiring weapons from Iraqi intelligence officials.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2005 08:11 AM

1. You know the facts were incorrect yet produced them anyway = Deceit & Lie - Jim

You have yet to produce any evidence that anyone knew the facts were incorrect before the war started.

Those of us who use them afterwords are making the point that you can only make decisions based on the knowledge that you have at the time. That some of those facts turn out to be wrong does not automatically invalidate the entire effort.

There are 2 types of errors: False positive and false negative.

1) If we do nothing and are wrong American civilians die in a catastrophic attack. Historically, the 3000 civilians and ~1500 service members is a small death toll, yet we are still feeling the economic effects 4 years later. Another attack, even a small one in lives, will wreak large consequences economically.

Good: We don't lose 1500 soldiers or the money spent.
Bad: We lose lots of civilians and harm millions of others when the economy takes a hit, which will probably be much more than the cost of the war.

2) If we attack and are wrong: We lose service members, and some Iraqi civilians are killed (which, btw, would have happened anyway and probably in much larger numbers over the rest of Saddams and his sons lives). But we also gain a democracy smack dab in the middle of the Middle East, which might lead to further democratization of the region (as is starting to happen in Lebanon and other places if we have the political will to finish what we started). Given that through history democracies don't attack each other we gain, at the very least, a non-agressive nation, and at best an ally. That doesn't even include the positives for the Iraqi civilians themselves.

Bad: We lose 1500 soldiers and the money spent.
Good: American civilian deaths are minimized as the fighting is not on US soil. Iraqi civilian deaths are minimized over the long run. We gain a nation which is at least non-agressive and possibly a strong ally in a very hostile region perhaps starting revolutions for democracy that do not require US military involvement.

I'm sorry, I'll take my chances on attacking. Even if we're completely wrong (which we weren't), lots of good things happen for lots of people.


2. You did not know facts were wrong and presented them = Evidence used to support going to war was wrong = No reason to go to war. At least no "immediate" threat as was claimed! Emphasis mine.

Wrong, part of the evidence was wrong, not the whole of it. Some evidence used to support war was wrong does not mean no reason to go. Some evidence being wrong does not preclude some being right.

Second, No immediate threat was ever claimed. Bush's SOTU said that we can not allow Iraq to become an immediate threat. Iraq can't become an immediate threat if they already are one.


Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike? If this threat is permitted to fully and suddenly emerge, all actions, all words, and all recriminations would come too late. Trusting in the sanity and restraint of Saddam Hussein is not a strategy, and it is not an option.

Posted by: Masked Menace© [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 21, 2005 10:32 AM

You lost me now. Some of what you questioned was answered already. Perhaps you don't read the posts thouroughly?

"...allow Iraq to become an immediate threat..."
Sorry, re-read the Powell transcripts, your mistaken.

Either way...

Show me the FACTUAL EVIDENCE that Iraq had WMD or any FACTUAL connection with 9/11. You can't, because NONE exists. It is not even up for debate as the Republicans conceded it already.

You have already forgotten my earlier posting. I am glad Iraq has been liberated. I believe it should have been done the first time, when we had justification. However, this time around we did not. My issue is that GW can't claim to be so moral when his actions are not.

Since you seem to be impassioned on this topic (which is actually good, since nobody in my household seems to care) I would be very interested to know your opinion on one detail of this operation...

... shortly after Bush declared that the "War is over", we were approached TWICE by the UN. The UN offered to come in and handle the "rebuilding" of Iraq. Why did we not take them up on their offer? Was it because we wanted the spoils of war (9 BILLION no bid contract to Halliburton) or some other reason?

Knowing what we know now:
1. We CANNOT leave Iraq. To do so would make all what was accomplished a waste of time.
2. We're getting slaughtered by small rebel forces.
Why do we not GO BACK to the UN and ask them to step in and "rebuild"?

The spoils have already been devoured and whatever there would be to gain monetarily now is miniscule to the expenditures financially and physically... I think there would be no shame in turning Iraq over to the UN. Your thoughts?

If you want to keep this public, I am cool with it, if you prefer emails... it's good too.

I appreciate your responses, even if I don't like them! :o)

Posted by: jim at June 21, 2005 03:23 PM

""...allow Iraq to become an immediate threat..."
Sorry, re-read the Powell transcripts, your mistaken."

Your going to have to point me closer to the paragraph where you claim Powell contridicted this. A quick scan didn't find it, (I'm at work and don't have the time.)

In any case, even if you're right, you have the POTUS saying something different than the SecState, but I'm wrong because the SecState is the higher authority on such matters?

"Show me the FACTUAL EVIDENCE that Iraq had WMD... "

You (should) know as well as I do that no intelligence info is ever 100% guaranteed. It is not an exact science, never has been, never will be. Expecting otherwise makes no sense. UN records detail that not all of Saddam's WMD were accounted for. Maybe they had been destroyed, maybe that have been moved or hidden. Given what you knew in 2002 about the type of guy Saddam was, which seemed more likely, Saddam destroyed them all but misplaced the records proving it, or that Saddam is lieing? This isn't factual proof, it's only a guess, but it is an educated guess. Given my two errors offered earlier, I stand by my decision.

"...or any FACTUAL connection with 9/11. "

I never claimed there was any, and personally don't care either way. The task isn't retribution for past ills, but the prevention of future ones.

"...shortly after Bush declared that the "War is over", we were approached TWICE by the UN. The UN offered to come in and handle the "rebuilding" of Iraq. Why did we not take them up on their offer? Was it because we wanted the spoils of war (9 BILLION no bid contract to Halliburton) or some other reason?"

The story of the little red hen comes to mind. And quit on the Halliburton meme. No one minded the same no bid contract when Clinton was POTUS. There are only a few companies that can quickly do the type of work needed. A bidding process to take place afterword would take too long to be effective. When this type of work must be done, it must be done now. This setup has been in existance for a long time. It ain't something new to Bush43.

Additionally, the UN was present for a short time, and after the first suicide (or maybe it was a car) bomber they ran away with their tales between their legs. Yeah, these are the guys who can stay the course and do the hard work. As a military man, is that the type of guy you want covering your six?

The UN talks a good game, but when the chips are down (like the Sudan, Milosivic, et al) they're to busy talking about helping to get off their *** and do something. We're otherwise engaged right now, but what's France, Germany, and Russia's excuse?

The future of Iraq will determine a large part of our future security, given the abysmal record of the UN on protecting Human Rights (Really, Libya *chairing* the committee) coddling dictators (We will be forced to send you a really nasty letter :-) ), I certainly don't trust them running the show. It's not so much about shame for me. I just don't think they can do the job right.

"You have already forgotten my earlier posting. I am glad Iraq has been liberated. I believe it should have been done the first time, when we had justification. However, this time around we did not. My issue is that GW can't claim to be so moral when his actions are not."

I also would have preferred to do it the first time. But I also understand why we didn't (I don't agree, but I understand). At the time, our stated goal was only to push Saddam back, not to depose him. When that was accomplished we had no political standing to go any further. The coalition agreed to liberate Kuwait, nothing more.

If you think there is no moral standing now, there would have been any even bigger public outcry at our actions then. Can you imagine the cries from the "No War for Oil" crowd if we had invaded Iraq after publically saying we were only going to push Saddam out of Kuwait? How much worse would the screams of "Bush Lied" have been? How many would claim that we would have been mislead and deceived into war? I can more easily make the claim that deposing Saddam the first time was morally wrong than I can this one.

When someone tells me he has gun and wants to kill my wife and then points something at her, sorry, but I'm shooting his sorry ***. If it turns out he didn't have a gun after all, I'm not going to lose any sleep over my decision. It was the morally right thing to do. You may call me immoral over that and say that I had no reason to shoot, but frankly I don't care.

It's better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 21, 2005 04:30 PM

Also keep in mind, prior to the invasion, Republicans, Democrats, UN deligates, the French, the Germans, the Russians, most everyone accepted that Iraq had WMDs. I can pull quotes if you like.

But when Bush 43 accepts what was widely accepted at the time (the dispute was not on possession so much as it was on what to do about it) somehow he should have known better?

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 21, 2005 04:53 PM

I fail to see how anything you've said counters me... or even that is has some weight.

Posted by: jim at June 21, 2005 06:16 PM

You seem to suggest that the UN would be a good entity for rebuilding Iraq.

I have stated that I don't think they are due to their inability to act in a proper manner in other areas leads me to conclude they will not act in a proper area in this one.

If you don't see that as a counter, I can't help you.

As for it having weight, that is a matter of opinion and as such cannot be objectively judged. Some people like Pepsi because it's sweet, some people dislike Pepsi because it's sweet. Neither one is right or wrong.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 21, 2005 06:50 PM

The UN has been an abysmal failure at every single thing they have managed, but jim somehow thinks a miracle would occur if they were to take over Iraq.

Wunderbar. The same corrupt fools who allowed Iraqis to starve under Oil For Food and allow their forces to rape little girls in the Congo with complete impugnity is somehow going to "get it together" and overcome their cowardice and corruption (remember, they fled Iraq at the first sign of trouble...what if we'd done that?).

Sorry, I'm not buying it.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... at June 21, 2005 08:21 PM

The courageous record of the UN:

Fleeing Afghanistan:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/3586002.stm

Fleeing Baghdad:

http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/08/21/sprj.nilaw.pullout/

Wusses.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... at June 21, 2005 08:25 PM

Jim the reason you fail to see it is that you have a mindset and want to debate it. That is all well and good, but I happen to agree with the political will to finish what we started.

Senator Kerry, Pres. Clinton, Madeline Albright and other liberal Democrats assessed the intel on Saddam
and made the case to go to war. Clinton chose containment which just didn't work.

I can pull quotes if you like.

The problem is that we have gone to war, we need to finish what we started and if the reasons weren't good enough in 2003, then why would Clinton make the comments he did not only about Saddam Hussein, but Osama bin Laden and then LET HIM GO when he had a chance to get him?

THAT is being derelict. OBL bombed the WTC in 1993 nine months after Clinton took office. Clinton KNEW but LET HIM GO.

OBL had eight years to plan his attack and do it right.

Pres. Bush analyzed the data, talked with his advisors, reviewed the history of flyovers, containment, etc and it wasn't working. The decision to go to war was not made lightly, and in view of the attacks on the WTC, and given Iraq's past history as a terrorist haven, made the decision he did on the data he had.

Oh, and one other thing: SCUDS WERE USED on our troops and fired at Kuwait City in March and April of 2003. Those aren't weapons capable of inflicting either nuclear, biological or chemical havoc?

Thank goodness for Patriot missiles.

CNN documented their use, NPR did as well.

Posted by: Cricket at June 21, 2005 08:51 PM

Also if you don't see how protecting your wife against someone who tells you he has the ability and the will to kill her and then acts in a manner consistant with carrying it out can be morally defensable even if wrong doesn't counter your claim that being wrong automaticaly makes it immoral or that your claim of immorality can be just as easily used against you for your desire to depose Saddam in Gulf War 1 doesn't counter you then I can't help you.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 21, 2005 09:05 PM

"Also if you don't see how protecting your wife against someone who tells you he has the ability and the will to kill her and then acts in a manner consistant with carrying it out can be morally defensable even if wrong doesn't counter your claim that being wrong automaticaly makes it immoral or that your claim of immorality can be just as easily used against you for your desire to depose Saddam in Gulf War 1 doesn't counter you then I can't help you."

That IS the LONGEST run-on sentence I have ever seen! Try reading that aloud without taking a breath.

Somehow I get the feeling that nobody here has understood what it is I have been saying. Most likely your all here just to argue and debate. You're simply blind to the truth...

John 14:17 ...17 that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.

In case your wondering how to see the truth, read the previous verses:

John 14:15-16 ...15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. 16 "I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever;

Anybody that believes that Saddam was acting in a "manner consistant" while he was under the microscope of no-fly zones and sanctions is not seeing the truth. He was contained amd so was his threat.

And yes, if you are to keep God's commandments, then no, you can't shoot an unarmed guy who threatens to kill your family... sorry, it's just not allowed in the Bible.

"Iraq's past history as a terrorist haven, made the decision he did on the data he had."

You know, if you accept that as a valid reason for war, then you are a hypocrite if you don't believe we should've invaded many other countries.

"...containment which just didn't work."
No? Show me that it did not work! Wasn't our invasion PREEMPTIVE?!

61% of Americans think the UN should lead rebuilding and setting up the post-war government in Iraq. http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm
Odd, but if the majority of people elected Bush, than why now does the majority want our of Iraq... if they support the one the elected?

Posted by: Jim at June 22, 2005 04:51 PM

Odd, but if the majority of people elected Bush, than why now does the majority want our of Iraq... if they support the one the elected?

Huh???

Bush has never made any secret of his plans for Iraq. And he got elected anyway, unless of course now you're implying election fraud. The American people have always been fickle - their support on any given issue waxes and wanes, especially given the way a poll question is worded and the state of current events.

Study after study has shown that the public is particularly ill-informed on the issues. If you ask them questions about the news, they can't tell you what the heck is going on. The President has more information at his command than the public does at any rate.

Leaders don't govern by polls. If they did, government would be directionless and inconstant, like a weathervane. The suggestion is silly and I'm surprised you even bring it up Jim. It does you no credit.

Face it. We're never going to agree.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 22, 2005 05:25 PM

That IS the LONGEST run-on sentence I have ever seen! Try reading that aloud without taking a breath.

Sorry, I'm a statistician not an english major.

And yes, if you are to keep God's commandments, then no, you can't shoot an unarmed guy who threatens to kill your family... sorry, it's just not allowed in the Bible.

Allowing the murder of an innocent isn't exactly allowed in the bible either. If he feigns an attempt, you bet your *** he'll be dead. Christianity isn't near as pacifist as you believe.

Anybody that believes that Saddam was acting in a "manner consistant" while he was under the microscope of no-fly zones and sanctions is not seeing the truth. He was contained amd so was his threat

No? Show me that it (containment) did not work!

But somehow, while contained, he managed to attempt the assasination of a former US President. Somehow, while contained, Saddam was seeking nuclear material as confirmed in the Butler report. Yep, containment was working all right.

You know, if you accept that as a valid reason for war, then you are a hypocrite if you don't believe we should've invaded many other countries.

Personally, I have no philisophical problems with it. I have logistical problems, but not philisophical ones. "He would would win knows when to fight, and when not to fight." Sometimes you fight the small battles and whittle away the enemy instead of rush in and attack the heart.

61% of Americans think the UN should lead rebuilding and setting up the post-war government in Iraq. http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm
but if the majority of people elected Bush, than why now does the majority want our of Iraq... if they support the one the elected?

Odd that a search of the page turns up nothing for "UN", "United Nations", or even "Nations".
The only time 61% showed up negatively is in the question "Do you approve or disapprove of the way George W. Bush is handling the situation with Iraq?" and that was from May of 2004. Interesting that the question didn't specify why they disliked Bush's handling. Was he too aggressive or not aggressibe enough? So the question is of marginal utility.

As to how it relates to an election: just because I dislike how Bush is running it doesn't mean I like Kerry's or the UN's solution. It's a false delimma.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 22, 2005 05:46 PM

Interestingly enough, regarding containment there was an article that I will be writing about tomorrow that talks about how the UN knew all along about numerous violations of UN resolutions on the part of Saddam, but due to internal strife and corruption, they did NOTHING ABOUT IT.

This is the SAME organization that bolluxed up Oil for Food, leading to the starvation and deaths of literally THOUSANDS of Iraqis. And Jim wants to put them in charge of rebuilding Iraq.

Pick up a newspaper Jim, or do some research on the UN's record. It's not impressive. They did a crappy job over in Sri Lanka with the Tsunami too.

And by the way, the reason my husband joined the Marine Corps was to defend people who can't defend themselves. I've watched him for years. He's always been well able to defend himself, but he was never aggressive, even when he was very young. That's one of the things I love about him.

I have never known a gentler, nor a kinder man. Nor one who is more resolute when it comes to doing the right thing. I would not still be married to him, were that not the case.

The Marines are doing good things over there. You should do some reading over at Marine Corps Moms. The UN can't provide that kind of leadership. I'm proud of what we're doing over there and I won't bad-mouth it. I know the people in charge over there, and they're good people. People you can trust. Every day I see names in the paper that we've been stationed with over the years - that we've gone to parties with, and even people I have given baby showers for.

It's weird. But I get madder than hell when I hear people like you talking about bringing the UN in. They'll just botch it up. We're getting the job done. You don't have the first clue what we're doing because the MSM never reports any good news - just bad.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 22, 2005 05:59 PM

"Christianity isn't near as pacifist as you believe"
What makes you think that? Did I say such? I simply quoted Scripture! Do not be so bold as to put words in my mouth!

"Allowing the murder of an innocent isn't exactly allowed in the bible either."
Once again, did I say such, or even remotely imply it?!

"Saddam was seeking ..."
I am seeking the winning numbers to the lottery... and I would gather I am just about as far away from them as Sadaam and his WMDs.

"He would would win knows when to fight, and when not to fight."
Would would? That sentence is so messed up I cannot gleen any quote from it.

"Odd that a search of the page turns up nothing for "UN", "United Nations", or even "Nations"."
I was dumb enough to only provide the link to the poll and not the original article. I'll see if I can find it. Sorry

"..all along about numerous violations of UN resolutions..."
I'll let this be said by another:"It should also be noted that Morocco, Israel and Turkey have failed to live up to demands of the UN Security Council for more than twice as long as did Iraq. Several other countries -- including Croatia, Indonesia, Sudan, Armenia, India, Pakistan and others -- continue to be in defiance of the UN Security Council from more recent resolutions. Despite these transgressions, however, the Bush Administration does not appear ready to invade these countries. Indeed, most of these countries receive military and economic aid from the U.S. government, raising serious questions as to whether the Bush Administration has ever really been concerned about the implementation of resolutions passed by the UN Security Council after all."
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0908-09.htm

"...and they're good people..."
We agree on that... I served six years in the Infantry (3/297th INF A company Det-7). I believe in the Warrior, but not this War... at least not as it was SOLD.

And this is probably what is chapping my hide the most:

1."But I get madder than hell when I hear people like you talking about bringing the UN in."
2."but jim somehow thinks a miracle would occur if they were to take over Iraq."
Why must you put words in my mouth??? RE-read what I have written:

Knowing what we know now:
1. We CANNOT leave Iraq. To do so would make all what was accomplished a waste of time.
2. We're getting slaughtered by small rebel forces. Why do we not GO BACK to the UN and ask them to step in and "rebuild"?
Neither of these statements, NOR any others I have made have said I WANT THE UN. I have asked about this because I am unsure of what would be right with this question. Damn if you here don't comprehend writings! I have never expressed either for or against the UN taking over... I have only asked WHAT YOU THINK in an attempt to HELP ME make up my own mind.

Also: "Just for the record, I am glad we went"
Did you guys miss that one too? This is the second time I have had to remind you of what I said, the first being:
"You have already forgotten my earlier posting. I am glad Iraq has been liberated. I believe it should have been done the first time, when we had justification. However, this time around we did not. My issue is that GW can't claim to be so moral when his actions are not."

Would it be easier for you all if I just wrote out the score???

1Going to war: Jim: Yes / You: Yes / agree: Yes
2We stay in Iraq: Jim: Undecided / You: Yes / agree: Undecided
3Believe Bush is NOT morally sound in his EXCUSES: Jim: Yes / You: No / agree: No
4Believe Bush is a Hypocrite: Jim: Yes / You: No / agree: No

You people really should learn to read comprehensively and thouroughly! How can you expect to help someone make an informed decision when you attack them as if they made the wrong one!

AND STOP PUTTING WORDS IN MY MOUTH!

Posted by: JIm at June 22, 2005 10:12 PM

And, of course, Bush asked us not to sacrifice, he asked us to "go shopping".

Posted by: Old Testament Liberal at June 23, 2005 03:07 AM

Morocco, Israel and Turkey haven't invaded their neighbors, nor started a war. We've been over this and you persist in ignoring facts. The UN passes all sorts of resolutions, some more serious than others.

Resolutions like cease-fires and allowing weapons inspectors in are more serious. I'm not arguing this one any more - the facts speak for themselves. Also, not one of those nations after 9/11 applauded the attackers and called for more attacks. Not one of the leaders of those nations threatened to kill our President. You have an appalling tendency to ignore things you don't want to consider.

And the thrust of my argument is that it is ludicrous to even *consider* bringing the UN considering their history, AS I'VE ALREADY STATED AND YOU'VE ALREADY IGNORED. And yes, it makes me angry to hear people talking about it as though it were a serious option. It's not, and if they took the time to research it themselves they'd see that. Name one single operation the UN has successfully handled like this! ONE!

1. THEY'RE INCOMPETENT AND CORRUPT. This is an organization that can't even condemn terrorism for God's sake. That doesn't recognize genocide. That wouldn't intervene in Bosnia, or the Sudan, or Darfur.

2. THEY'VE ALREADY RUN AWAY TWICE, BOTH IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN, AT THE FIRST SIGN OF TROUBLE: They promised all sorts of help with the Iraqi elections and then reneged.

And Jim, if you want to have a discussion, stop being insulting. It's not helpful. You have either missed or glossed over several points made to you, too. That's normal when reading lengthy replies.

Courtesy goes a long way when you are trying to discuss something with someone with whom you disagree.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 23, 2005 04:19 AM

And OTL, good thing we did go shopping :)

Otherwise we'd still have to listen to Krugman's ranting about how the economy was going to hell in a handbasket and it was all the Shrub's fault and people were starving on the streets of NYC.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 23, 2005 04:22 AM

I am tired of people who think others do not deserve the RESPECT of being aloud to form their own opinions... that would be you.

And as for the UN, Nambia was a HUGE success:
http://www.un.int/india/india_and_the_un_pkeeping.html
UN operation in Namibia is considered one of the success stories of the United Nations. Lt. Gen. Prem Chand of India was the Force Commander. Indian military observers in Namibia were responsible for the smooth withdrawal of foreign troops, elections and subsequent handing over of the authority to the government.

"THEY'RE INCOMPETENT AND CORRUPT." (UN)
And were not? I believe this is where my topic has always laid... The US is no Angel of mercy who is doing noble deeds by invading Iraq. I would much rather see the truth spoke as to why we are there... to over throw a Dictator. I support that, as would support over throwing MANY Dictators. What I do not support is an Administration who has to lie to us about their intentions, its WRONG!

You should also notice that when UN Peacekeepers are present in a country, those countries tend to behave themselves. It is not until the REMOVAL of the UN from the soils does fighting break out. And don't be so high and mighty to think it was the US alone in the Gulf War... it was a UN war! In my opinion, a vast majority of the UN's ineffectiveness comes directly from the political wranglings the US and OTHER countries do.

I do not intend to be insulting, but the attitude given by the responders is both rude, insensitive and downright disrespectful!

Posted by: Jim at June 23, 2005 07:22 AM

"Allowing the murder of an innocent isn't exactly allowed in the bible either."
Once again, did I say such, or even remotely imply it?!

Yes, you did. By saying that a Type I error is always immoral you have implied that the Type II error is preferable. You would prefer the wrongful death of an passive innocent, than the wrongful death of a active hostile. I simply will not tell my in-laws that her attacker deserved the benefit of the doubt over their daughter and my wife.

If you can, I pity your wife.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 10:20 AM

"He who would win knows when to fight, and when not to fight."

Come on, one word should not be enough to make Sun Tsu unrecognizable.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 10:25 AM

"Yes, you did. By saying that a Type I error is always immoral you have implied that the Type II error is preferable."
Idiot, BOTH are immoral! Did you not notice that BOTH are ERRORS. I think NEITHER is preferable. Try getting it RIGHT (without ERROR). No implication was made.

Why settle for accepting either Type 1 or Type 2 errors? Settle for doing it right!

"You would prefer the wrongful death of an passive innocent,..."
You have this horrible habit of putting words in my mouth. I PREFER NEITHER.
"Sorry, I'm a statistician not an english major."
Anybody who has taken Freshman English in High School learned about run-ons as well as the proper use of a/an.

Such flawed logic and conclusions from you makes me believe it IS in your best interest to keep wearing the "mask" to hide your shame!

Does this bring back a memory for you Bobby (masked menace):

"Oh, geez, Bobby's found this site?

He's like "Dear Leader" banging on his high chair for attention.

Glad he's a Canuck.


Posted by Sandy P on August 20, 2004 12:39 AM

Posted by: Jim at June 23, 2005 02:48 PM

"Oh, geez, Bobby's found this site?

He's like "Dear Leader" banging on his high chair for attention.

Glad he's a Canuck.


Posted by Sandy P on August 20, 2004 12:39 AM

Nope, not me. Only been to Canada once, for 3 days. I'm not the only Bobby Kidd on the Internet. Anyone with a middle school education should know better than to make a mistake like that.

Idiot, BOTH are immoral! Did you not notice that BOTH are ERRORS. I think NEITHER is preferable. Try getting it RIGHT (without ERROR). No implication was made.

Why settle for accepting either Type 1 or Type 2 errors? Settle for doing it right!

So I guess you consider yourself immoral for attacking me with a comment about someone you mistakenly believe was me.

Why not settle for doing it right? Because perfection is not an option. Helk, even in a rant on "settling on doing it right" you didn't do it right with the mistaken identity. There has only been one person to always get it right and we nailed Him to a cross 2 millenia ago.

There is no point in talking about the correct action as everyone already agrees they are the best outcomes. However, since errors will occur they are where we can argue about which type to minimize. You can't minimize both at the same time. This is remedial statistics.

Courts of law make mistakes. Which is preferable, letting the guilty go, or putting the innocent in jail. We don't have to worry about sending the guilty to jail or the innocent free because that is the desired outcome. Given the potential of gov't abuse, we have decided that the type two error is preferrable in this case. Therefor, we require evidence beyond reasonable doubt.

Anybody who has taken Freshman English in High School learned about run-ons as well as the proper use of a/an.

Such flawed logic and conclusions from you makes me believe it IS in your best interest to keep wearing the "mask" to hide your shame!

OOOOOOOh, a typo and poor proof reading in an informal chat is such a shame. I'm crying over it. And that a typo shows a lack of logic, I don't know how the scars will ever heal. I shudder to think what would happen if you checked everything for correct spelling.

Everyone knows that the statements
1) All Boy Scouts are male
2) Jhn is a Boy Scout
3) Therefor, John is male
is a false statement since John is misspelled in statement 2.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 04:58 PM

Oooops, I guess I showed my lack of logic with the mistakes I made in the HTML tags.

I shall spend my evening hiding under the kitchen sink with Liberal Larry and we can take turns stabing ourselves in the thigh with the Guilting Fork of Reparations.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 05:03 PM

1"Why not settle for doing it right? Because perfection is not an option"
You are right, but NOT getting it right shouldn't be the PREFERED option should it???

2"Which is preferable, letting the guilty go, or putting the innocent in jail."
NEITHER IS PREFERABLE. Damn, get that straight! Something that is "accepted" DOES NOT mean it has to be prefered. And YES!, you should strive to get it right and put the guilty in jail and let the innocent go free... THAT IS WHAT IS PREFERED!

3"So I guess you consider yourself immoral for attacking me..."
I hardly consider this an attack! Get real.

4I am just upset that you have seemed to taken the liberty to put words in my mouth... which is based in truth and by the way, is not an EXCUSE, it is a REASON.

5"There is no point in talking about the correct action as everyone already agrees they are the best outcomes"
Then what the heck are you doing talking to me? Since, that after all, is WHAT I WAS TALKING ABOUT! That, and I don't believe GW should be aloud to claim the moral high ground in consideration of anything connected to this war. You have never yet quite comprehended what I have said here have you?

6"And that a typo shows a lack of logic,..."
point 5 proven. Your typo is not what shows your lack of logic, it is the way you think that of the two possible outcomes (right or wrong), you believe that the wrong (error) is the prefered way... at least one of the types of wrong outcomes that is.

Look, you don't have to perfect to be right, but you certainly CANNOT be RIGHT is your WRONG.

7And you STILL seem to think I am not happy we are in Iraq. How can you think that in light of all I have said. See 5

8"So I guess you consider yourself immoral for attacking me with a comment about someone you mistakenly believe was me."
There is a big difference between mistaken identity and a premeptive killing of someone who threatens you, as you offered. Is it immoral to mistake your identity... no, it is an HONEST mistake... and NOT ALL mistakes are Immoral. I do feel stupid that I accepted Bob+Masked Menace=You. Perhaps though, Bob+Masters Degree in Statistics+gmail=You?

8Wrong you?
http://home.midsouth.rr.com/memphiskidds/work/work.htm
If not, let me say thos Molasses Cookies look delicious...

Posted by: Jim at June 23, 2005 05:57 PM

Look, you don't have to perfect to be right, but you certainly CANNOT be RIGHT is your WRONG.

There, now you see my typos!

Look, you don't have to be perfect to be right, but you certainly CANNOT be RIGHT if you're WRONG.

Posted by: Jim at June 23, 2005 06:01 PM

For something to be preferred doesn't mean that something else can't be preferred over it.

I prefer Mountain Dew over Pepsi. But that doesn't mean I don't prefer Coke over Mountain Dew. Is that so difficult.

Sometimes we can't get what we want, therefor we make decisions on what is preferable between what is left. We can not always make the right decision in the court of law, it is impossible. Insisting on the impossible isn't rational. Therefor, we must weigh the consequences of each type of error. It's a bloody simple concept.

I have never claimed that getting it right isn't the best option. But there is always the risk of being wrong whenever you make a decision using empirical data. Therefor we must understand and accept the consequence of being wrong by making each decision. I would love for the jury to be right, but if they make a mistake, which will happen eventually, I would prefer to err on the side of aquitting the guilty. Sometimes, we bloody well don't get what we want.

I would prefer not to be in a situation where I have to choose between my wife and a mugger who appears to want to kill her. But if it happens, nobody is going to bloody well care what I would have preferred. It ain't an option.

If faced with it, I would love to be right that the mugger I shot really would have killed my wife, but if I am wrong I prefer to protect her from someone who was acting agressively. I believe both these decisions are moral. I believe you judge the morality of a decision upon the knowledge available at the time. If the facts turn out otherwise, it is unfortunate, but it is not immoral.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 06:47 PM

Look, you don't have to be perfect to be right, but you certainly CANNOT be RIGHT if you're WRONG.

I'm not saying it's right. Only that it is possible to be justified in being wrong.

You say you were a soldier. If while searching a building where a known combatant is hiding, someone jumps through the door yelling obscenities and points a what appears to be a gun at a squad mate, what do you do?

Shoot him now, or wait until after he has squeezed off a couple rounds into your buddy?

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 07:17 PM

"Shoot him now, or wait until after he has squeezed off a couple rounds into your buddy?"
If it is a CONFIRMED hot zone, then it's EXPECTED to be bloody. BUT, if it is not EXPECTED to be hot, then NO, the Rules of Engagement FORBID you to open fire. Is it understandable that someone in that situation to open fire and not be disciplined enough to follow the roe... yes... but it is not right now is it. You said it yourself:"I'm not saying it's right. Only that it is possible to be justified in being wrong."

If you're right, then you by default are going to be justified! If you're wrong... well, then it's all luck that things unfold in a positive manner giving you justification. I certainly do not believe that we should be making a decision "hoping" that we get "justified".

I DO NOT believe that any of the evidence we had AT THE TIME was true. I BELIEVE it was made up to SELL the war to the public. And just for the record AGAIN, I would have bought it without the deceit, with only the merit of removing a Dictator.

You seem to be hung up on proving that one of the Types of errors is justified and acceptable. But you just don't seem to understand that because they are not acceptable... the have been called ERROR. Right is Right and a Wrong CAN NEVER BE RIGHT... if it could, it wouldn't be called "WRONG".

You see things from the Risk Management side. In your world your are FORCED to deal with the WRONG outcomes. Just remember though, God does no ACCEPT either of the two types of WRONG outcomes, does he?!

"I would prefer not to be in a situation where I have to choose between my wife and a mugger who appears to want to kill her."
This is where I see a flaw in our Govt. While I agree with you here... I also believe we should NOT put ourselves in such situations.

Posted by: Jim at June 23, 2005 10:17 PM

If it is a CONFIRMED hot zone, then it's EXPECTED to be bloody. BUT, if it is not EXPECTED to be hot, then NO, the Rules of Engagement FORBID you to open fire.

Guess what, you made an error. After inspecting the dead body, it turned out to be a flashlight. You killed someone who was no threat to you or your squad mate. You immoral b*st*rd. ;-)

In your world your are FORCED to deal with the WRONG outcomes.

In the real world we are all forced to deal with wrong outcomes.

Just remember though, God does no(t) ACCEPT either of the two types of WRONG outcomes, does he?!

I believe that God judges a mans heart moreso than the outcome. The man who rescues someone in a car wreck in fear that it would explode would still be a "good neighbor" in God's eyes regardless if the rescue caused paralysis or the car didn't explode.

The outcome is irrelevent, the helping heart of a brother is what matters.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 23, 2005 10:55 PM

"...The man who rescues someone in a car wreck in fear that it would explode would still be a "good neighbor" in God's eyes regardless if the rescue caused paralysis or the car didn't explode."
Apples and Oranges don't you think?! Both outcomes involve SAVING life... not trying to TAKE a life as in the other scenarios you have provided. BIG Difference!

"...believe that God judges a mans heart moreso than the outcome."
My point exactly. Bush didn't have the right heart when he set this ship to sail.

"In the real world we are all forced to deal with wrong outcomes."
BUT, they are not acceptable... let alone preferred!

"...Guess what, you made an error."
YES, you DID ERRE huh? Besides, their is a HUGE difference between the front lines and close quarter combat THAN any other scenario you've used.

You know, it seems like you are just trying to convince me that it is acceptable to have negative outcomes... Type 1 or Type 2. You keep coming up with scenarios where someone must risk making the wrong choice, yet comes out justified. Remember though that even if you are JUSTIFIED... even if it was the BEST you could do... it is NOT RIGHT... and while it may be UNDERTANDABLE... it is NOT ACCEPTABLE!

To God, WRONG is a SIN. Does he UNDERSTAND our sinful acts, OF COURSE, but he NEVER ACCEPTS IT! God would rather INNOCENTS DIE than for you to knowingly make the WRONG decision. He straight up tells us that THAT is exactly what is to be expected, and he also says it is a sign we are on the right track, by our suffering and persecution!

And in case your foundation in Scripture is still forming, then just remember what Gradmothers would say, "Two wrongs don't make it right." :o)

Posted by: Jim at June 24, 2005 07:22 AM

Besides, their is a HUGE difference between the front lines and close quarter combat THAN any other scenario you've used.

But WRONG is WRONG and can never be RIGHT. Don't go making excuses now.

God would rather INNOCENTS DIE than for you to knowingly make the WRONG decision.

Emphasis mine.

Knowingly is the operative word here. In all of my scenarios, you don't knowingly make the wrong decision.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 24, 2005 09:36 AM

Apples and Oranges don't you think?!
Both involved harm to someone due to your wrongful actions.

You say the intent was to save a life, I say that killing the mugger or combatant was to save the life of the other person.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 24, 2005 09:39 AM

"You say the intent was to save a life, I say that killing the mugger or combatant was to save the life of the other person."
Um, the car accident scenario had NO killing involved. That is how it was different.

"But WRONG is WRONG and can never be RIGHT. Don't go making excuses now."
Um, I think I SAID the first part of that.

"Besides, their is a HUGE difference between the front lines and close quarter combat THAN any other scenario you've used."
This is where it is UNDERSTANDABLE... but NOT ACCEPTABLE or PREFERRED. and, WAR is wrong by Jesus's standards...

Is this all you have to bring to this argument!?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. Just like you can lead a man to reason, but you can't make him think.

Enoughs enough for me... it is tiring trying to get you to see the truth. Perhaps this is where I should step off and pray that God takes over for you. Good Luck!

Posted by: Jim at June 24, 2005 06:39 PM

Um, I think I SAID the first part of that.

Exactly my point. You were defending an action that you had previously condemned as immoral.

Um, the car accident scenario had NO killing involved
But harm was done. Whether it is broken leg, paralysis, or death, you caused harm to another in error. A wrong outcome occurred, and by your own arguements, God doesn't accept wrong outcomes.

This is where it is UNDERSTANDABLE... but NOT ACCEPTABLE or PREFERRED. and, WAR is wrong by Jesus's standards...
Let's say on a scale of outcomes, 0 being best and 5 being worst.

Correct action = 0 , best
Type I error = 3 , bad
Type II error = 5 , catastrophic;

Assuming 10% probability of error then the decision to act has an average outcome of 0.3 where inaction has an average outcome of 0.5. The best course is then action, because inaction leads to a worse result. Jesus will not condemn the person who tries to do the best possible action.

Secondly, I don't know where you get that war is wrong by Jesus' standards. Before Jesus' baptism, the Roman soldiers asked what they must do to be saved. John's reply was that they demonstrate their faith by not abusing their power, not by not going to war.

Not to mention the whole Battle of Armegeddon war that Jesus is supposed to lead.

And I agree, at this point the discussion is futile. Prayer is really the only thing left to do.

Posted by: Masked Menace© at June 27, 2005 04:52 PM

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