Last time on the merry go round, then I get back to more important things…
The reason that I said that the way I did is because I already know you are prejudiced to the idea that there is absolutely no way any positive thing can come from the current situation. I am not going to argue they have had elections because you are going to come back with they were rigged for our benefit.
Actually, I'd come back with the recent report that the entire Sunni representation in this government has quit, which tilts the balance closer to a civil war. We don't need to debate the government as it was we could deal with it as it is.
I am not going to say that Saddam is out of power because you are going to say things are worse than when he was.
No, I'm not. Some things are (electricity, water, etc.) some things aren't (though I'm hard pressed to say it isn't.
I am not going to say that now people can choose to do what they want with their lives without the government threatening to execute them because you will say well the terrorists are worse.
No I won't. The “terrorists” are the least of their problems. Their problems right now are roaming bands of territorial gangs that are “protecting” their regions by eradicating Iraqi citizens that are guilty of: Being Sunni, Being Shiite, Being Batthist or helping the Americans. We can call these people terrorists if it makes us feel better, but if they are they aren't Al Queda. Al Queda's presence is not as significant right now as internal conflict. If we were honest with eachother, we'd call it a civil war, but I know some dislike the term.
So the point, my friend, is that it is fruitless for us to debate whether the outcome in Iraq can be positive because you and I have wildly different views on what is positive.
Actually you and I have wildly differing views on what is actually happening. In the last paragraph you asserted that the Iraqi government wasn't falling apart, that terrorists are causing the trouble, and that innocent people aren't being killed every day over there. 500 people were blown up just yesterday for gosh sakes.
I understand that you have your personal poltical convictions and disregard all evidence that doesn't fit it - or that you just aren't very knowledgeable in these things. That's perfectly valid and your choice. But I actually WOULD prefer to debate what you think the successes are or what I think the failures are because in the end we might both end up learning something.
It is an impossibility if you want to pull out of the country yesterday.
Yes. I've already said there is nothing that I personally would call a victory unless I needed to lie to help our intractable leaders save face.
But, if we had pulled out yesterday there would have been a few more Americans alive and very little difference regarding the situation in Iraq. Though I admit that could be wrong as I've heard that if we leave it could get worse, it could get better, or there would be no change and I don't know which way is true except that we wouldn't need so many funerals over here.
And that's probably a very bad attitude on my part. For every soldier we've had die over there, there are thousands of Iraqis dying. I wish that the war hadn't started as all of the experts have been proven correct and all the pundits pushing for the war have been wrong at every turn.
So I want to cut our losses of blood and treasure, and that's the only thing that can save America right now. Maybe I should be more worldly and want to sacrifice our country to slow the bleeding of another but I just don't.
That is what I wanted to know. Thanks.
Great. Now answer my three questions. The public has a right to know. :)
Okay Ronson, see my question is not phrased dripping with sarcasm, however you just have to get smart and condescending with me. That is where it breaks down. I respect your worldview though I do not agree with it. You do not appear to share that with me. I talk with people who make it their job to study politics and war and can't get enough of Marx and in my experience, the most conducive way to communicate and exchange ideas is to not belittle those you are having dialogue with.
Your question was horrible. I don't understand the point of it. Yeah, I have illustrated the similarity of your question to other stupid questions we can “debate” about. Sorry, but I do think you've gotten a small glimpse of how it came across otherwise you wouldn't have your nose out of joint about it.
I was, however, not belittling you. I was belittling your question. As a polisci major, I expect more from you when you phrase a question. You also aren't very up to date in current events, which I thought that polisci majors would be soaking up like the air around them.
Ronson, do you live in the United States?
Do you work and raise your family in the United States?
Yes. Though I have no kids. My wife and I are, however, a very tight little family.
Considering that is the case, are you completely neutral to events that affect the United States?
No, I am not. I dearly love the documents this country was born with … The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. A better basis for a government there is not.
Do you care if a Republican is in the White House?
Care how? I care about whoever is in that seat in the Oval Office. They can guide policy that can reshape this country - either closer to it's Constitutional origins or further away from them. They have the ability to create laws that may restrict my privacy or my freedom. Yeah, I care. Otherwise there'd be no point in talking about these things.
Do you care about anything at all to do with the United States?
Everything, up to and including its security, it's economy and it's standing in the world.
As an American citizen, do you give two farts about the state of the country in any manner whatsoever?
Yes I do, and I do believe that the current president - who, I'm sorry, is a republican - has done more harm to this country than any president before him with the possible exception of Jefferson Davis.
I think he has failed to defend his country, choosing instead to waste time, lives and resources in Iraq. I think he has failed to maintain a stable economy, giving out tax breaks to the wealthy. I think he has failed diplomatically, and ruined the United States' reputation for defending freedom and liberty. And I think he has altered irrevocably the laws of our nation that allowed for privacy and liberty.
Now, you're kneejerk reaction is that I only believe all that because he's a republican. But there are a great many republicans that agree with me against this guy. I will not try to convince you I'm nonpartisan, although I could probably join you in bashing Democrats for a while as well…though we'd disagree on the reasons they are failing this country.
I am not suggesting that Iraq is a success, nor am I suggesting that Iraq is a disaster. As a matter of fact, I have not made my mind up on it.
Fine. But what is the course of action that makes the most sense if you are straddling the fence on whether it is working or not? Continue to pump money and soldiers until you make up your mind, or start thinking practically and demand a solution? This may not be a withdrawal solution, but this “surge” was nothing of the sort, and we have been essentially standing still for two years there.
As even more of a matter of fact, I do not equate “victory” with “success.”
Well, that's awfully convenient. Because you could easily label the current situation as a success for big oil, for weapons manufacturers and for the many contractors we're overpaying. Yeah, I know it's an old argument. But that doesn't make it less true.
I am trying to determine what you qualify as success by determining what you would prefer in the case of Iraq being an ally or not. This is not a black and white issue. And I have never said that anyone who doesn't agree with what happens in Iraq = America Hater.
Actually, I am getting the distinct vibe from you that anyone who doesn't agree with you on Iraq doesn't care about the United States. But you are clever enough not to spell it out, so I will retract my assertion.
You will not paint me that way, I am not your personal Dr. Strangelove Fantasy come to life.
That was a good movie though, wasn't it? ;)
Apparently you don't understand because you don't know what I see and what I don't see in the situation.
In the two days we've discussed it, I know:
1. You don't think Iraq is in a civil war.
2. You think the destruction is solely the acts of terrorists (I admit that the definition of a terrorist is pretty slippery, and this could be broadly interpreted to be correct)
3. You don't think a discussion of the possibilities for the future of Iraq is as important as pondering if everyone would agree that Iraq would be better without all the killing and exploding and stuff.
4. You believe the Iraq war was the right thing to do at the time.
I think those are safe things to say, as I can certainly cull them from your statements. Except for the last one, honestly. That's a guess.
The world is a little bigger than that, my friend.
Yeah, that's my point. I think you are under the mistaken impression that I want the US to fail as a nation. Fortunately, I do not think the same of you, though I do think a lot of the things you defend are destroying this country. These discussions do help me straighten out any fuzzy details in my thinking and have often gotten me to change my mind. I hope they do the same for you.
I suppose that being a traitor would require the leaking of state secrets
(Libby, Rove, Armitage, Novak and Boehner exempted, of course).
I'm not the one tossing the traitor label around in this particular conversation.
Yes, that's what I said. You aren't calling them traitors. You are certainly insinuating they're un-American. But as I said, I withdraw the assertion as it is not corroborated directly with your words.
You can certainly denigrate my statements and tell me what I think, though. You have mad skills there!
I do feel bad about this. I'm not here to denigrate or tell you what you think. I can only speak to what I've learned of the conservative movement as a whole, and I do think you fit nicely within that movement if you don't mind me saying. There are naturally places where you aren't towing the party line, but there are so many where you are that I think I'm on pretty safe ground using your words to debate against conservatism…or what passes for conservatism today.
I like you though, Vindibudd. Lots of passion. And I enjoy your comic as well.
Last word to you, then we can lock this thread, I think.