Once again it's the Appeal to Ignorance fallacy: "we didn't find WMD or WMD research evidence given 90% inspection compliance, but we know they didn't have anything like that hidden away very carefully." This fallacy gets repeated quite a bit...
Last edited by Zefelius; 11-02-2011 at 02:35 AM.
And it frustrates me that our international law might be completely impotent in the face of genocide or whatever.
On this score, however, I don't mind being a hypocrite. It's an old argument to say that countries like America are ridiculously arrogant and hypocritical to punish others for desiring the very weapons we possess. But if I lived in a nice country like Germany or New Zealand I would much rather have WMDs in the hands of the Americans than, say, the North Koreans, Hussein's previous regime, Iran, or even Greenland.
I hear the greek PM is saying the bail out should go to a referendum.
Possibly being about him being tired of other politicians playing the anti bailout game whilst secretly hoping the bailout proceeds and trying to call their bluff.
Or maybe he wants to just not be the bad guy anymore.
Or maybe he had a few shorts on some shares that he wanted to unwind
and even if taking out a tyrant was worth it, then it should be about time for the US to invade every second sub-saharan african country, north korea, perhaps china, other eastern and southern asian states, belarus, perhaps russia, iran, and saudi arabia.
The drawbacks as Showtek stated are absolutly huge!!! Iraq was one or the country that had the most stability, economy, health care system, education system (where women were allowed). Yes, it was a tyran taht executed lots of ennemy and declared war on Koweit, but he never did suffered his people has much as the invasion will have in the long term by far. I tihnk it will take years and maybe decades before the country reach a stabikity close to what it was.
to be fair, hussein was a terrible tyrant who used chemical weapons against his own people during the iraq-iran war. people still births and handicaps because of it. and i'm not sure if iraq was actually comparably well off before the american invasion either. iraq had been a miserable tyranny under hussein.Iraq was one or the country that had the most stability, economy, health care system, education system (where women were allowed). Yes, it was a tyran taht executed lots of ennemy and declared war on Koweit, but he never did suffered his people has much as the invasion will have in the long term by far.
We have to compare his regime to the rest of the region. Like I said he executed or butchered his ennemies (political opponent). He was a tyran, but there is/was lots of tyran in the region and all of them has done atrocity or have been brutal towards there population. Does it excuses the action of Saddam no, but it's worth it to put it in context to be able to compare what would be the results of the invasion. Probably a new tyran or other problems has we see with Karza´ in Afghanistan.
For your average Joe who kept his head down regarding politics or anything like that, saddam iraq was probably an ok place to live.. suddenly became a terrible place for the duration of the war and now a generally unsafe place post war.
thrasher, according to this article a military intervention in iran by the west led by the US generally isn't considered unlikely. now it even seems that the possibility of such a war is an obvious one. i haven't seen it being presented as such before. and this comes from a respected centre-left journal, the guardian.
of course, i don't have to speak about israel.
In the end it seems worth it to give it a shot, even considering the casualities, because in the long run there's more opportunity for progress than if we didn't fight back against dictators whenever possible. In some cases, of course, we don't have the means for overthrowing them---and in those cases I think we have to patiently bide our time and use other modes of pressure, as with economics and diplomacy.
2) They may hate us, but my consequentialism is probably different from yours. I don't solely measure the rightness of an action by its contingent consequences, but instead by many other factors as well---including what may be hoped for. If for example you jump in a river to save a drowning baby, but unfortunately both you and the baby drown, I would still label your action as a good one---despite the fact that you failed to achieve what you desired. If more people made similar heroic attempts when necessary, society would be better for it overall. You may not agree that this example is analogous to what we're debating, but that doesn't matter at this point as long as you understand the point I'm trying to make with the example.
3) Like you I don't believe Hussein was a great threat to the U.S. That's why I've never used that argument.
and 4) This one I've answered above: we can only intervene when possible. If it is possible, then perhaps we should. If not, then it's not worth it.
and even if that was the case, why don't we let people decide for themselves whether they want to live under a dictatorship or not? that's what the west did. i doubt that genuine freedom can be achieved when others decide that it has to happen.
but you're right that this isn't an issue of which i am epistemologically unsure. on most pragmatic, moral, and social grounds i don't see the reasons for supporting the war. accordingly, i haven't found your argumentation in favor of it as convincing as usual. i'm actually still not completely sure why you support it. or have you only supported it before the invasion based on the information available?
seriously, the US invaded iraq in order to rid its people of a dictator? i think if it had actually wanted that we had seen better outcomes. the idea that an aggressor and starter of war can act selflessly seem ridiculous to me.2) They may hate us, but my consequentialism is probably different from yours. I don't solely measure the rightness of an action by its contingent consequences, but instead by many other factors as well---including what may be hoped for. If for example you jump in a river to save a drowning baby, but unfortunately both you and the baby drown, I would still label your action as a good one---despite the fact that you failed to achieve what you desired. If more people made similar heroic attempts when necessary, society would be better for it overall. You may not agree that this example is analogous to what we're debating, but that doesn't matter at this point as long as you understand the point I'm trying to make with the example.
and don't give me that stuff about the ad hominem circumstantial fallacy here. the propagandists of the war lying about their motivations makes it very likely that the whole action was not justified.
again, i can only assume that you're making a claim about altruism here. is it no problem for you that the war was extremely expensive and heavily contributed to the american debt?and 4) This one I've answered above: we can only intervene when possible. If it is possible, then perhaps we should. If not, then it's not worth it.
and when is intervention possible and when isn't it? for example, if a country run by a tyrant is a partner of the US in terms of important resources like oil is it then impossible? why don't you invade saudi arabia? they don't stand a chance. what about north korea? nations like russia and china would be more complicated and possibly result in huge losses but who can really keep up with the US militarily? and you said that losses are okay as long as they result in the disposal of dictators.
OMG thats a complete non starter - US invading the islamic holyland??? that would be a whole world of crazy... US would not be forgiven for millenia. It would be like nuking jerusalem...why don't you invade saudi arabia? they don't stand a chance. .
- please DONT invade saudi arabia... probably best not to nuke jerusalem either just in case it was in your plans ...
As for the "intentions" of the US, I think it's very hard to impute a set of intentions to any large society or nation. It's difficult enough understanding my own motivations let alone a country with more than 300 million citizens. Even if you were only thinking of the US government, or perhaps the most influential people supporting those in government, I'm not sure all of their intentions can be easily reduced to one or two abstract principles (such as democracy, freedom, etc.) or even empirical interests (oil, power, etc.). The best I can do is say why I'm in favor of 'x', and hope that others in positions of power bring about 'x' more so than not.
And as for letting others decide for themselves, I suppose there's some truth in that. As you know I'm not exactly a humanitarian since I think most people live rather dull, stupid, superficial lives even when given the opportunity to embrace more freedom. If people don't want the freedom to speak their minds, to develop their own ideas and values without fear of oppression, to decide for themselves what is right or wrong---if, that is to say, they prefer to live more like animals than humans, then perhaps you are right and we should leave them to their sad, pathetic, gloomy lives.
As for the first part, Iraq attacked one of our allies. So we defended our ally. Bush Sr. should have finished the job in the early 90s. What a mistake. So, Iraq showed a propensity to attack our allies, and thus they could not be trusted as a normal sovereign power. If they wanted to avert war they had to abide by the ceasefire conditions. They did not, and so we attacked again. Did Bush Jr. have other motives? I don't even really care too much---and that's mostly speculation anyway. What I want is that we prevent dangers to our interests from growing strong, and whenever we can diminish those dangers I think that we should. If the people of that country are too stupid to fight with us for their freedom, then they don't deserve the hopeful byproducts of the war to which I alluded above.
War with Iran would be just a disaster. There's absolutely no reason for it. Even if Iran gets nukes, are you going to say they'll launch on us? Come on, it wouldn't even be mutually assured destruction. It would be a little bit bad for us vs. them being completely wiped off the face of the Earth. But if being crazy and having nukes is cause for war, then you'll want war with Pakistan. Oh and don't tell Herman Cain, but China has nukes so enjoy that war.
Compare the US approach in Iraq vs. Libya. Could it be any plainer there's a right way and a wrong way to handle global situations? War is the wrong way a lot of the time. It was the right way in the 1940s but it's been wrong ever since.
Instead George H.W. Bush took the opportunity to create a new boogey man in the middle east while establishing a permanent military presence in the mid east. Did you know that bin Laden's primary complaint with the US was that we had bases in Saudi Arabia? Sure, he was another terrible, terrible person and wrong and evil in just about every way, but like a truly fiendish evildoer, he used a kernel of reasonableness.
Bottom line: we reap what we sow. If people in the region don't like us, they have cause to. How many hundreds of thousands of people died to make us feel manly after 9/11 and to make sure Saddam Hussein didn't have a few odd WMDs lying around? The world will never know, but we do know that a lot of innocent people were killed by us and they didn't need to be.
no, it's not. the US doesn't have a problem with garrisoning its military all over the place which is already considered a huge offense in the muslim world and causes a lot of hatred. it was one of the primary motivation of osama bin laden and his suicide killers. that doesn't concern US officials. neither does oppressing killing hundreds of thousands of muslims in other countries which, understandably, has caused most hatred yet and still does.OMG thats a complete non starter - US invading the islamic holyland??? that would be a whole world of crazy... US would not be forgiven for millenia. It would be like nuking jerusalem...
first the US arms iran which is led by a crazy dictator until it has the fourth or fifth biggest military in the world. this is done in order to defend it against soviet oil interests and ensure own oil interests. when the iranian people carry out a very bloody uprising until that dictator, pahlavi, finally flees khomeini takes over power but is disliked by the US. so the US now decides to arm iraq led by hussein instead and orders him to go to war with iran in the iraq-iran war and promise him to be able to keep his oil resources in northern iraq if he does. after the war, the US says screw you and hussein decides to invade kuwait for oil which is also led by a dictator. the US disliked that and starts the gulf war.
more or less. i'll have to read up more of it. but this is already enough for me to conclude that the US doesn't really care about protecting allies, bringing freedom and democracy to other countries, or overthrowing dictators. it only does when it suits its interests.
Even that aside - what sort of principle are you trying to push for here? That the US should spport allies no matter what they do and no mater what the strategic environment? That it should overthrow dictators at any cost or that it should install democarcy at any cost? I think you clearly disagree with all of those yourself.
What you have however shown is that efforts to achieve aims can eaisily turn out to be things you have to undo at a later stage as situation changes.
So - to give a hypothetical..
infrastrcture used to prevent starvation in ethiopia - could easily be infrastructre you end up destroying by suplying weapons to sudan when ethiopia decides to invade them. And then end up rebuilding afterwards to stop more starvation, or maybe to protect then from... sudan!
That might be fine for the US I suppose US has coal and oil shale.. itll be real bad for europe I guess