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The War That's Here

Iraq War Bush

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#41 Talkie Toaster

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 09:46 PM

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I find it very hard to swallow many people actually buy the bull that Bush is spewing about the motivation behind all of this.

The world is filled with madmen.  The United States doesn't go after all of them.  They only interfere when it benefits (in the eyes of the government) THEM.  They aren't doing this to help the people of Iraq, they are doing it to gain an advantage in who controls oil in that area of the world and to try and increase political power there.

But it will help the Iraq people, it is a valid point.

Do you think the better choice is to leave Saddam in power?
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#42 Kevin Street

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 09:50 PM

I'm going to reply to CJ AEGIS here, because his post seems to sum up the pro-war viewpoints, imo.

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Me:
What right does the United States have to force the leader of another country to resign?

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CJ AEGIS:
...The right the US has is the fact that the UN has utterly failed to do anything to force Saddam to disarm. Many of them in fact would be rather selling him technologies for WMDs at a healthy profit; who knows may still be.

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Me:
And the United States has failed to make the case that Iraq has suddenly become a serious threat. The weapons inspectors haven't found a smoking gun.

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CJ AEGIS:
This is a guy who has killed more Muslims than anyone out there now. He has used chemical weapons against his own people and invaded Kuwait. Every time he gets strong enough he takes advantage of it to take one more aggressive step.

But that's my point - unprovoked aggression is wrong. It was wrong when Saddam invaded Kuwait, and it's wrong now. Yes, Saddam may still have some weapons of mass destruction, like poison gas and anthrax, and yes the United States will probably do its best to help rebuild and reorganize Iraq, but (and I find myself falling back on aphorisms more and more these days because people seem to have forgotten their basic lessons) the ends do not justify the means. The United States may feel that it is going into this war for all the right reasons, but it (or rather "they" - the Bush Administration, that is) do not seem to realize that the war is wrong in and of itself. This is what the rest of the world is reacting to.

The new "Bush Doctrine" of preemptive war is dangerous for the world, because it will create massive instability - and it's dangerous for the United States, because it is isolating your nation at a time when it badly needs foreign investment and cooperation.

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Me:
Iraq is a corrupt, evil place, yes - but so is North Korea.

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CJ AEGIS:
You know North Korea is an evil place but we have a slight problem there. We have a maniac with nuclear tipped ICBMs and they are aimed at our West Coast so we can’t do much. You know one really has to ask how North Korea ended up with those weapons since they were being contained and monitored by the very “successful” weapons inspectors. North Korea is the legacy of success for Weapons Inspections against a regime that doesn’t want to disarm. Now that legacy has nuclear weapons aimed at us looking for a reason.

Yes, Kim Jong Il is looking for something. Most likely he is looking for US acknowledgement of North Korea as a nuclear state. (And more oil shipments.) The generals and analysts in Pyongyang probably feel that US military power will be at maximum extension in the coming war, so this is the right time for them to do all the things they've been prevented from doing in the past, because the US will be too busy in Iraq to stop them.

And here's the other major argument against another Gulf War: North Korea is everything that President Bush has said about Iraq, and more. So how will an invasion of Iraq make the US and the world even a particle safer than before?

North Korea is just one of a great many dangerous nations and rogue states. You can't fight them all. There has to be a solution to these problems that doesn't involve more wars, but we'll never find that solution if the US and the world wasts time and energy on one tiny part of the problem (Iraq).

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Me:
Damn it, I don't want to see the United States fall under the weight of its own stupidity! Can't they see what happens when countries begin to build empires?

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CJ AEGIS:
I don’t hear anything about empire building but from peace protestors typically. It makes a great tactic to scare people away and try to influence hearts and minds by using a “dirty word”. Rather I hear of liberating Iraq and then occupying and rebuilding until we have a stable place for a new democratic government. Though since the US occupied Germany and Japan after World War II we all ready no how that builds empires.

The US is going to invade another sovereign nation, depose it's government, and install an American protectorate in its place. That is the very definition of empire building.

And yes, the USA has done it before in Germany and Japan. Those were excercises in colonialism too (and necessary ones at the time), but because the leadership of the United States had extraordinary good sense and vision then, your country used its power to heal rather than harm, and you gave the conquered nations independence when they could stand on their own. With those actions, the US showed itself to be a major power like no other - a reluctant conqueror, a giant nation with no desire for empire. And you changed the world for the better.

But that good sense and vision is not apparent today. When Bush talks about "setting a course toward safety," it sounds very much like he wants to pacify the world through aggressive means - hurt everyone else before they can hurt the US - and when your Under Secretary of State says that the US will "deal with" Iran, Syria and North Korea after defeating Iraq, it sounds just like old fashioned imperialism. Manifest Destiny and all that foolishness.

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Me:
No one can take on the world alone.

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CJ AEGIS:
I suspect our Allies would take offense to that. Spain, Britain, Italy, Portugal, Australia, and most of the former Soviet Bloc stand with the United States.

Oh come on now, do you really think the majority of the people in those countries want to fight Iraq? With the possible exception of Australia, the vast majority of the nations that have expressed "support" for an invasion have only done so for diplomatic reasons. They have received direct material benefits for going along with America on this, or they don't wish to offend a (militarily and economically) powerful country like the United States. Many of the leaders of those countries are already facing a wave of discontent from their populations, and a number of leaders (like Blair) have probably committed political suicide by going along with this. They are in no way a coalition of the willing.
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#43 Bad Wolf

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:01 PM

Talkie Toaster, on Mar 18 2003, 06:43 PM, said:

But it will help the Iraq people, it is a valid point.

Do you think the better choice is to leave Saddam in power?
I'm sorry but "it will help" them is a flimsy excuse.  Where was the US during the years of Taliban oppression preceeding 9-11.  Playing hands off that's what.   It's a clear case of cherry picking and it hasn't a thing to do with human rights or wanting to help.  It's about power.

And I somehow doubt VERY seriously that the Iraquis who will die in this conflict will thank the US.  Nor will their families.

Again, these are my views and I'm aware that others disagree.  My statements, strong as they may get, are in opposition to the *opinion*, not an attack on the holder of the opinion.

:)
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#44 Talkie Toaster

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:21 PM

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I'm sorry but "it will help" them is a flimsy excuse.  Where was the US during the years of Taliban oppression preceeding 9-11.  Playing hands off that's what.

The US had been involved in numerous peace keeping and humanitarian operations in the years proceding 9-11.  

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It's a clear case of cherry picking and it hasn't a thing to do with human rights or wanting to help.  It's about power.

Welcome to the world of realpolitik.

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And I somehow doubt VERY seriously that the Iraquis who will die in this conflict will thank the US.  Nor will their families.

When the Allies invade Iraq some civilians might die. If Saddam is left in power, there is a certainty that people will die.

Again, do you think the better choice is to leave Saddam in power?

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Again, these are my views and I'm aware that others disagree.  My statements, strong as they may get, are in opposition to the *opinion*, not an attack on the holder of the opinion.

:)

Don't worry, I for one have thick skin.  :D
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#45 Ilphi

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:25 PM

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Talkie Toaster:
The US had been involved in numerous peace keeping and humanitarian operations in the years proceding 9-11.

And, lets face it, if the US President announced one day without 9-11 that he wanted to free the people of Afghanistain, then Iraq, well.... the motives would seem a lot more suspicious! It's perfectly true that 9-11 was one real big wake up call.

#46 Blondie

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:46 PM

Una Salus Lillius, on Mar 18 2003, 01:58 PM, said:

Talkie Toaster, on Mar 18 2003, 06:43 PM, said:



But it will help the Iraq people, it is a valid point.

Do you think the better choice is to leave Saddam in power?
I'm sorry but "it will help" them is a flimsy excuse.  Where was the US during the years of Taliban oppression preceeding 9-11.  Playing hands off that's what.   It's a clear case of cherry picking and it hasn't a thing to do with human rights or wanting to help.  It's about power.

And I somehow doubt VERY seriously that the Iraquis who will die in this conflict will thank the US.  Nor will their families.

Again, these are my views and I'm aware that others disagree.  My statements, strong as they may get, are in opposition to the *opinion*, not an attack on the holder of the opinion.

:)
A smaller analogy...

If my hip hurts, but I decide to walk the six blocks to my college today, then I decide to drive tomorrow, would my driving the next day be simply a show since I know I could walk it?  Or have I learned a lesson?

Now is that what's going on here?  Dunno, but your statement isn't necessarily valid.

Edited by TrancesHuggyPillow, 18 March 2003 - 11:46 PM.

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#47 GiGi

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Posted 18 March 2003 - 11:59 PM

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The important thing is not to give in to despair and think things will never change.

They WILL change when WE change. We start in the mirror and work our way out. smile.gif

In the short term, as a wise wizard said, "Do not be so eager to deal out death and judgement. Even the very wise cannot see all ends."

I brought this quote by Ro over from the other thread.  I think it is the best thing I have seen written about this whole mess.

thanks Ro

#48 Rhea

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:00 AM

Talkie Toaster, on Mar 18 2003, 12:18 PM, said:

The US had been involved in numerous peace keeping and humanitarian operations in the years proceding 9-11. 
I have two questions about these peacekeeping operations:

1) What were they?

2) Was the US involved by ourselves? If not, were we not operating in conjunction with the UN? (or if somebody's going to bring up Serbia again, NATO)?
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#49 Bad Wolf

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:02 AM

I was *going* to ask you to run that by me again but I think I get it.

You're saying something like "the US excercised caution before and look where it got them, and they've learned the lesson."

That has some appeal on an emotional level but I don't think it washes as an excuse for ordering someone to leave his country on pain of war and then marching on claiming to be waving the flag of humanitarian freedom fighter.

If I misinterpreted the analogy I'm sure you'll let me know...

:)
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#50 Blondie

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:10 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Mar 18 2003, 02:59 PM, said:

I was *going* to ask you to run that by me again but I think I get it.

You're saying something like "the US excercised caution before and look where it got them, and they've learned the lesson."

That has some appeal on an emotional level but I don't think it washes as an excuse for ordering someone to leave his country on pain of war and then marching on claiming to be waving the flag of humanitarian freedom fighter.

If I misinterpreted the analogy I'm sure you'll let me know...

:)
Sorta.  Lemmee explain: if the U.S. has not been active in "overthrowing" oppressive regimes in the past, but suddenly decides to get into the game...if for no other reason than to alleviate danger...should the US stay out of it simply because of its past record?

And how you get "emotional appeal" out of that beats me.
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#51 Bad Wolf

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:16 AM

I wasn't saying that *you* were trying to appeal to me emotionall, I was saying that the idea of righting past wrongs has an emotional appeal.

To answer your question:

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if the U.S. has not been active in "overthrowing" oppressive regimes in the past, but suddenly decides to get into the game...if for no other reason than to alleviate danger...should the US stay out of it simply because of its past record?

No.  But where the basis for the agression amounts to a bunch of Texas style bullying that the rest of the world isn't going along with, when it is hypocritically acclaimed as being motivated by anything *other* than power, and when the alleged "threat" is not only something that the US helped create, not only something that has been in place for 20 years, and compares to other "threats", it stinks.

Again, my view.
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#52 Blondie

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:29 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Mar 18 2003, 03:13 PM, said:

No.  But where the basis for the agression amounts to a bunch of Texas style bullying that the rest of the world isn't going along with, when it is hypocritically acclaimed as being motivated by anything *other* than power, and when the alleged "threat" is not only something that the US helped create, not only something that has been in place for 20 years, and compares to other "threats", it stinks.

Again, my view.
Awww...didn't we go through the concept of hypocrisy early this morning?  I don't call it hypocritical when the real reasons, pick one...I don't care,  would completely bumfuzzle the Average citizen?
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#53 Dev F

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:34 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Mar 18 2003, 03:13 PM, said:

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if the U.S. has not been active in "overthrowing" oppressive regimes in the past, but suddenly decides to get into the game...if for no other reason than to alleviate danger...should the US stay out of it simply because of its past record?

No.  But where the basis for the agression amounts to a bunch of Texas style bullying that the rest of the world isn't going along with, when it is hypocritically acclaimed as being motivated by anything *other* than power, and when the alleged "threat" is not only something that the US helped create, not only something that has been in place for 20 years, and compares to other "threats", it stinks.
It seems to me, however, that there is a marked difference between allowing self-interest to motivate an action that is fundamentally evil -- like, say, invading a peace-loving neighbor -- and alllowing it to inspire an action that is fundamentally good -- like freeing a people from a cruel oppressor.

Think, for example, of a businessman who gives a large gift to charity, but only because he wants to deflect attention from a recent scandal. You may despise the businessman for his cynical attempt to manipulate the public, but you wouldn't protest that the contribution was horrible and ought not have been made, would you? The doer may be wrong, but the deed is still right.

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#54 Bad Wolf

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:39 AM

The problem devf (and we will undoubtedly never agree on this), is that I find the characterizing of an action that is so obviously NOT motivated by anything other than power as "freeing a people from a cruel oppressor" to be something I just can't stomach.  In this case intent is just as important as any potential collateral good that may come of it.  And I absolutely believe that Bush's intent has ZERO to do with human rights.  

And like I said above, I doubt that the Iraqui population who dies or loses family in the process of this "freedom crusade" of Bush's will feel all that liberated.
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#55 Shaun

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:43 AM

I am appalled and disgusted by the actions of the current US administration. Their utterly inept handling of international diplomacy and the administration's complete divorce from reality has led to a world that has become even more deeply divided and dangerous than it was several months ago.

A situation that is likely to become worse, even as US and UK troops cross the border from Kuwait into Iraq, as bombers commence their attacks from their bases and  submarines and ships dispatch their missiles, as 'coalition' forces engage in a pre-emptive strike against another sovereign nation without a legal mandate. Al Qaeda and other organisations of its kind could have no better a rallying call than the folly of these acts. I believe rather than seeing a 'flowering of democracy' as the Bush administration terms it, It will only serve to further drive a wedge between the Western and Islamic worlds and further radicalize the Islamic world.

UN resolutions 678, 687 and 1441 while pertaining to so called 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' do not explicity set out a framework for engaging in military conflict with Iraq, although there is certainly a degree of murkiness here due to a lack of clarity in the language used, however those resolutions certainly do not in any way, shape or form permit the removal of Saddam Hussein (however repugnant he is  - and on this I concur, he is not fit leader for any nation) from power, that is clearly an illegal act and the US and those nations providing support to the US for this conflict are in open violation of the articles of the UN charter. By their actions they are setting an incredibly dangerous precedent.

There is no telling exactly how the Iraqi people will react, there will certainly be many who will welcome the removal of Saddam Hussein from power but there have also been reports from people who have spent time in Iraq with the ordinary populace who have said  that while many Iraqi people hate Hussein, they hate the US even more because  they blame the US for the years of sanctions and the terrible depredations those sanctions have caused, and will be quite willing to take up arms against the advancing coalition forces. For those Iraqis who do welcome the arrival of coalition forces -  when the civilian casualties begin to mount as they surely will, given the massive display of firepower planned by the US, 'Shock and Awe' or 'Dark Skies' as it has been termed by the Bush administration, will those Iraqis be quite so welcoming.

I also fear for the future after Iraq, there's  a feeling that once Iraq is pacified the US with its sword still bloody will turn that sword upon those other nations that it has found to not to be to its liking. Where next? Iran? Syria? Korea?  Will the US set the world aflame to impose its view of how the world should be.

And speaking from the heart I implore Bush and his administration to reconsider their actions, to back away from the brink and  to return to the UN to find a peaceful resolution to this situation.
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#56 Kosh

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 12:44 AM

TrancesHuggyPillow, on Mar 18 2003, 11:49 AM, said:

Una Salus Lillius, on Mar 18 2003, 03:31 AM, said:

While it's true that liberals in this country need to get a collective spine (I'm talking about political leadership), I don't give Bush credit for this.  You could see the spinelessness back in the day of the Anita Hill hearings involving Clarence Thomas (I watched the WHOLE thing).  The Republicans went after Ms. Hill skillfully and ruthlessly without coming across as bullies.

When Mr. Thomas' turn came, the Democrats backed off from his indignation within MINUTES of the beginning of their examination.  This is not Bush's doing but the product of the Democrat party not realizing that they need their own distinct identity to really compete today.



Yeah just like what happened the last time with Iraq right?  Oh wait.  Bush Sr. LOST that re election didn't he. 
Ok, not that I'm a conspiracy nut or anything, but here's food for thought.  When's the last time we had a damned good school shooting?  I mean one where a kid comes in and blasts 5-10 stuents and a teacher or two?  Remember those?  They used to happen all the time...during the Clinton Administration.   Hmmm.

I certainly won't disagree with you about Liberal leadership needing to grow a spine.  That's for certain.  However, Bush is the kind of guy who says "This is how it is, like it or shove it."  They backed down.

In regards to Bush, Sr., he lost reelection because people weren't nuts about his domestic policies...something they could see and experience as opposed to his foreign policy.  Wow, sounds like Bush, Jr...
We haven't had any school shootings because people are paying attention now, and when the signs show up, it's being nipped before it happens. It almost happened about a week ago, but the kids were caught. If you are trying to say that it was Clintons fault that they happened, or that Bush gets the credit for stopping them, I think you have gone over the edge.
Who is president at the time has nothing to do with school shootings.

What the democrats need is a decent candidate. They haven't had a good one since JFK. Johnson was a good man, and so was Carter, but they were not good presidents. The republicans aren't doing much better, with Nixon,  Ford, Regan and the Bush boys. I flipped a coin last election, and got Gore. Looking at the Democrats who are running right now, none of them will beat 43, unless the war goes very badly. Right this minute, I can't think of a Democrat that could beat 43, but there has to be someone.
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#57 Drew

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 01:02 AM

Shaun, on Mar 18 2003, 03:40 PM, said:

UN resolutions 678, 687 and 1441 while pertaining to so called 'Weapons of Mass Destruction' do not explicity set out a framework for engaging in military conflict with Iraq, although there is certainly a degree of murkiness here due to a lack of clarity in the language used, however those resolutions certainly do not in any way, shape or form permit the removal of Saddam Hussein (however repugnant he is  - and on this I concur, he is not fit leader for any nation) from power, that is clearly an illegal act and the US and those nations providing support to the US for this conflict are in open violation of the articles of the UN charter.
Curse these run-on sentences.

Here's Resolution 687 for your perusal.

Here's #678 which in turn refers to #660

And here's a nifty timeline of post Gulf-war Iraq, but sadly only up through 1998. It does, however, demonstrate the continued pattern of Iraq's deception and defiance, and puts to lie the notion that confronting Iraq was something Bush just thought up on a whim. Most seem to have forgotten the number of times we've conducted military action against Iraq during Clinton's two terms in office.

Edited by Drew, 19 March 2003 - 01:04 AM.

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#58 Dev F

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 01:06 AM

Una Salus Lillius, on Mar 18 2003, 03:36 PM, said:

The problem devf (and we will undoubtedly never agree on this), is that I find the characterizing of an action that is so obviously NOT motivated by anything other than power as "freeing a people from a cruel oppressor" to be something I just can't stomach.
But that would be the end result, regardless of what Bush's intentions may be. I think you're right that we're not going to agree on this, but to me, again, that's like saying, "I can't stomach saying that this donation will help needy orphans, because the donor didn't really want to help them." His intentions don't change the good the money can do.

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And like I said above, I doubt that the Iraqui population who dies or loses family in the process of this "freedom crusade" of Bush's will feel all that liberated.

But, see, that would be equally true if Bush's intentions were undeniably pure and noble. People will always die in war, and that is a tragedy, but if it's a reason not to proceed in this case, then it's a reason never to go to war, for any reason at all.

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#59 Bad Wolf

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 01:10 AM

Dev F, on Mar 18 2003, 10:03 PM, said:

But, see, that would be equally true if Bush's intentions were undeniably pure and noble. People will always die in war, and that is a tragedy, but if it's a reason not to proceed in this case, then it's a reason never to go to war, for any reason at all.

--
Dev F
Yeah but the money for the orphans isn't going to get thousands of people killed.  Nor is it remotely the same as ordering someone to abdicate their leadership of a country on pain of war and hyporcritically contending that you're doing it out of concern for humanity.
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#60 Blondie

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Posted 19 March 2003 - 01:11 AM

Kosh, on Mar 18 2003, 03:41 PM, said:

We haven't had any school shootings because people are paying attention now, and when the signs show up, it's being nipped before it happens. It almost happened about a week ago, but the kids were caught. If you are trying to say that it was Clintons fault that they happened, or that Bush gets the credit for stopping them, I think you have gone over the edge.
Who is president at the time has nothing to do with school shootings.
Oh, I wasn't trying to "say" anything...just making an observation.
You said it, I didn't...:)

Edited by TrancesHuggyPillow, 19 March 2003 - 01:11 AM.

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