Debate and Discussion

Politics and You
Calbeck at 12:04AM, April 24, 2008
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posts: 63
joined: 11-30-2007
bobhhh
First of all, we are in Afghanistan because we botched things up after our proxy war on the soviets there. We weren't farsighted enough to spend a fraction of what we spent on the war to feed, rebuild and educate the survivors, leaving them to suffer and be indoctrinated by al qaeda.

You're absolutely right, except of course they were indoctrinated by the Taliban, which is not Al Qaeda. Bin Laden did not obtain power in Afghanistan and held no authority beyond that wielded by his personal charisma.

If you don't think America has imperialist policies, youre just blind.

Ah yes, the “if you don't agree with me you're uninformed” argument. If you want to claim imperialism, back it up.

The only reason to be in Iraq is to establish a base in an oil rich middle eastern country.

So the only reason to be in Germany, obviously, was to establish a base in a coal rich European country. Let's ignore treaty obligations (like the cease-fire the UN made us a signatory to), let's also ignore the fact that if we wanted Iraq's oil we could just have made an oil deal part of lifting the sanctions (as France did, with its deal to develop 25% of untapped Iraqi reserves). Not to mention that just before the invasion, Hussein openly offered to allow US companies to develop Iraqi oil.

That's about as imperialist as it gets, deposing the leader and then mucking around in the sovereignty of a foreign nation that showed no agression towards us and was no threat to our security.

Gee. Sounds like what we did to Germany. Which had ZERO chance of invading the US (they couldn't even manage to invade Britain). They did of course attack US shipping, but then again we were massively supporting Britain with war material and even warships on loan at the time.

Repealing Roe V. Wade is not change it's backsliding.

First, it can't be ‘repealed’, it's a Supreme Court decision. Second, I'm a conservative and I defend RvW on Constitutional grounds relating to the 9th and 10th Amendments. I might add the Supreme Court also “backslid” when it retracted the Dred Scot decision…do you have a problem with that?

Defense of Marriage

Is not an amendment I, or even most conservatives, support. Which is why it's bombing even in conservative circles. There's just no argument to be made that the states shouldn't be the ones to independently decide the issue.

Adding religious tracts into public education curricula isn't change

Also not something supported by mainstream conservatism. Would you like another straw man to go with that cornfield?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
Calbeck at 12:34AM, April 24, 2008
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posts: 63
joined: 11-30-2007
bobhhh
Calbeck
So let's simply never have a cease-fire again.

I'm sorry , I'm not sure what this in response to. Nor do i know what ceasefire you are referring to.

The invasion of Iraq was put on hold due to a cease-fire, whose terms were set by UN Resolution 687 in 1991. Meeting the terms of this cease-fire were mandatory in order for an actual peace resolution to go forward. As per standard international law, breaking any term of a cease-fire is justification for renewal of hostilities by any of the opposing signatories.

The simple fact is the Gulf War did not end in 1991. Both sides merely reduced levels of hostility until the final breakdown of the cease-fire in 2003. Iraq never met over two-thirds of the cease-fire terms, including the most simple non-WMD-related ones like returning Kuwaiti war prisoners. In fact, about the only thing Iraq actually DID was evacuate Kuwait, pillaging and looting all the way.

You, however, have claimed that the justification for the invasion was “bullshit”, so I thought I'd mention why it's not.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM
bobhhh at 1:12AM, April 24, 2008
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posts: 893
joined: 5-12-2007
Don't bother comparing Germany to Iraq. Japan attacked us, we then rightly declared war on the axis powers. When Bin Laden attacked us i had no problem with invading Afghanistan to ferret him out. Of course that job had to be set aside to trump up a case for commiting to a nearly unilateral invasion of Iraq.

Also the reason we stayed in Germany afterwards was because there was a real bilateral threat with another superpower.

As far as the ceasefire, I get it now. But my problem is getting involved in the first gulfwar in the first place. It was regional struggle with two countries who were both our allies. We didnt't belong over there, and the vilification of Hussein was just a useful conceit to justify our entry into the conflict.

He was a ruthless dictator, but so are the Saudis, and you won't see us marching into their country any time soon. Hussein fought a proxy war for us against a percieved threat of Iranian expansion, he was on the CIA payroll and as such was never a threat to us until we doublecrossed him on the Kuwait matter.

I am glad to hear you represent a silent minority of reasonable conservatives, unfortunately the neocons who have hijacked your movement ARE for rolling back Roe V. Wade, and floating things like defense of marriage, Anti flag burning amendments, prayer in schools, unreasonable deregulation of gun ownership, etc.

It certainly ain't the liberals. You can smugly deny these things, but I didn't make up the neocon agenda, and it's disingenuous at best to imply that these things are mere straw men in my argument. It's not my imagination when creationism gets forced into public schools and sex education gets forced out or drowned out with abstinence only nonsense. The minute Bush got into office he started handing out federal money to religious organizations under the guise of charity and social programs and began cutting funding to places he didn't appreciate, like Planned Parenthood.

I could go on, but at this point it would seem futile, because i am not interested in a back and forth with you, I have stated my case pretty clearly, I invite others to chime in.
My name is Bob and I approved this signature.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:30AM
Calbeck at 4:27AM, April 24, 2008
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posts: 63
joined: 11-30-2007
bobhhh
Don't bother comparing Germany to Iraq. Japan attacked us, we then rightly declared war on the axis powers.

We justified the war on Germany because they formally declared war on the US, not because they happened to be allied with Japan.

Nor was Germany ever in a position to assist Japan militarily; their main contribution to the Japanese war effort was to distract critical industries with promises of jet and tank power that Japan never was able to effectively develop. The fact is that FDR had been agitating for years for the US to invade Germany on behalf of our ally, Britain.

We invaded Iraq in 1991 — an attack you have claimed was an illegal imposition on the territory of a nation with no capacity to attack the US — because they invaded our ally, Kuwait. The war with Germany did not end with the liberation of France and the Low Countries; neither did the war with Iraq end with the liberation of Kuwait.

The sole difference is we gave Iraq, and not Germany, over a decade to abide by a cease-fire agreement after which we would leave them alone. Iraq, after a decade, refused to abide by that agreement. So we ended the war by toppling of the Hussein regime. That was the “Mission”, and it was thoroughly “Accomplished” in record time with a record low number of deaths on both sides. The post-war insurgency does not change that fact.

When Bin Laden attacked us i had no problem with invading Afghanistan to ferret him out. Of course that job had to be set aside to trump up a case for commiting to a nearly unilateral invasion of Iraq.

1) There was less legal reason to invade Afghanistan. We had never given the Taliban recognition as a legitimate government and had no extradition treaty with them. They were within their legal rights to refuse to hand over bin Laden.

2) The first major UN-sanctioned war, in Korea in 1950, had a total of 16 member nations. The current Coalition has 23 members. Then, as now, and also as with the 1991 invasion, the US provided the vast bulk of actual combat capability. So,evidently, the Korean War was even more of a “nearly unilateral” invasion.

Also the reason we stayed in Germany afterwards was because there was a real bilateral threat with another superpower.

That was one reason. There was also an ongoing insurgency that did not die out until the 1950s, as well as a need to stabilize the country during reconstruction and post-war de-Nazification.

But my problem is getting involved in the first gulfwar in the first place. It was regional struggle with two countries who were both our allies.

1) After the use of gas on the Kurds, the US broke relations with Iraq. That was in September 1988.

2) Iraq was an ally of necessity, with the alternative being an Iranian superstate bordering on Saudi Arabia. You might also recall the Soviets were our allies from 1941 - 1945, which then turned immediately into the Cold War.

3) It wasn't a “regional struggle”, it was the literal sacking of Kuwait, with nothing behind it but an Iraqi desire to absorb a valuable and militarily-weak neighbor. They even came right out and claimed Kuwait as an existing “19th Province”.

the vilification of Hussein was just a useful conceit

The vilification of Hussein was made possible by the fact that, by all accounts and available evidence, he was an absolutely vile man.

He was a ruthless dictator, but so are the Saudis

Wow, comparing the Pit Bull to the Chihuahua, much? You'll get no sympathy for the Saudis from me. You'll also find no comparison between gassing 30,000 Kurds and any given thing you'd like to lay at the feet of the House of Saud. I also haven't heard much about the sons of Saud feeding dissidents to their wild-animal menageries, though I may have missed that tidbit. Shall we get to rattling off the laundry list of things that made the US Army's illegal and unconscionable acts at Abu Gharib look like fratboy pranks by direct comparison?

Hussein fought a proxy war for us against a percieved threat of Iranian expansion

Said “perceived threat” actually having been on the outskirts of Baghdad not once, but several times. In fact, it's likely that if Hussein had NOT used gas on the Iranians, they would have overrun his troops. Of course, that's largely because the man fancied himself a modern-day general and micromanaged his forces (which HAD been winning) to repeated defeats.

he was on the CIA payroll

Calling myth on that one. Hussein was in fact out of the Ba'ath Party and considered a wanted man during the coup that brought the Ba'athists to power.

The CIA was also the bit player in that little scheme; Iraq's king had illegally seized all the assets of British Petroleum, and it was the Brits who launched and carried out the coup. The CIA was involved as support for our British ally.

It was not until well after the coup was over that he returned to Iraq, was arrested, did time, got free, was re-accepted into the party, and clawed his way up the ranks. All without CIA influence or assistance.

and as such was never a threat to us until we doublecrossed him on the Kuwait matter.

Ah yes, the other myth of the US “greenlighting” the invasion, the evidence for which consists entirely of an Iraqi question as to whether or not the US would involve itself with an ongoing dispute over oil drilling, a query which contained no hint of any actual invasion over the matter, and the “misinterpreted” US response that we did not concern ourselves with that issue.

unfortunately the neocons who have hijacked your movement

You say they have, I say they haven't. For that matter, “neocon” is little more than a cobbled term that has no intrinsic meaning. I've yet to hear a definition that doesn't amount to “people who support things we're generally angry about at the moment”. Its membership also seems to change; McCain was a neocon, then he wasn't because he was running against Bush in 2000, and now that he's the Repub choice for President and concerned with securing Iraq before leaving it, I hear he's become one again.

ARE for rolling back Roe V. Wade, and floating things like defense of marriage, Anti flag burning amendments, prayer in schools, unreasonable deregulation of gun ownership, etc.

Congratulations: you've just defined the Religious Right. Then again that last bit, including the largely subjective view of what is and is not “unreasonable” may extend that single issue to the conservative mainstream.

I didn't make up the neocon agenda

I'm largely of the opinion that someone did, actually. I don't much cotton to modern-day versions of “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”, regardless of who they're aimed at.

and it's disingenuous at best to imply that these things are mere straw men in my argument.

Imply, nothing. You're sitting there presenting the extreme wing of a given movement as claim to representing the whole. Limbaugh makes the same sort of sweeping generalizations about liberalism in reverse. It's all tripe; most people are centrist.

It's not my imagination when creationism gets forced into public schools and sex education gets forced out or drowned out with abstinence only nonsense.

No, it's not. But it is imagination not to realize that those people aren't getting much of anywhere. One school in the boonies teaching ID, and both the public and the courts are out in force. Bush's Marriage Defense thing was down in flames from Day One. Flag-burning amendments have been proposed, and similarly shot down, since the '60s.

The minute Bush got into office he started handing out federal money to religious organizations under the guise of charity and social programs and began cutting funding to places he didn't appreciate, like Planned Parenthood.

Did I not mention that I've never considered Bush presidential?
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:35AM

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