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Iraq: another Vietnam?

Max Habibi
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I'd like to suggest that everyone on this thread tone it down, stick to to the facts, and argue like you would with a good, if misguided, buddy @ your favorite sports bar.
The word for this year is nice. I don't care if you're right and the other guy is a yellow bellied rat fink: all I care about is your tone.
In other news, I got a Saint Bernard Pup tonight
M


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Paul Stevens
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Joined: May 17, 2001
Posts: 2823
Originally posted by Max Habibi:

In other news, I got a Saint Bernard Pup tonight
M

A small one right.
Max Habibi
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An amazing one
[ April 17, 2004: Message edited by: Max Habibi ]
Warren Dew
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    1
So how much safer is the world from terrorism? Not. Hunh. Darn. How much safer is the Middle East, now that Hussien is out? 'Bout the same? Hm. Dang.
Hm, missed that the first time around.
Actually, I think it's clear that the world is significantly safer from terrorism as a result of the invasion of Iraq, though not in a way that justifies that invasion. Since the U.S. occupied Iraq, Libya has revealed and started dismantling an ongoing nuclear program, and Iran has allowed U.N. inspectors in - inspectors who found, in addition to the declared centrifuges suitable for making nuclear reactor fuel, undeclared centrifuges only useful for making weapons grade nuclear material. They threw the inspectors out immediately after the latter were discovered - I guess they too assumed that the U.N. inspectors were incompetent - so they're probably continuing their weapons program, but at least we know about it now. I doubt very much that either of these things would have happened except for the governments in question witnessing what happened to Saddam Hussein's government, and I think it's not at all unlikely that once the weapons were completed, they would have ended up being used (in the case of Iran, still a distinct possibility).
Again, I'm not saying this justifies the war, except for people who are very much in the "ends justify the means" camp. I just think it's an interesting fact.
Of course, the Republicans aren't emphasizing this out because it could be taken as evidence that they went after the wrong targets, and the Democrats aren't because it could be taken as evidence that the war did some good. I guess that's how thing work in an election year.
[ April 18, 2004: Message edited by: Warren Dew ]
Axel Janssen
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Gaddafi switched towards more cooperative attitude long before Bush came into office:
http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/981126/1998112616.html
Jeroen Wenting
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Joined: Oct 12, 2000
Posts: 5093
Originally posted by Jason Menard:

It is clear that the Democrats will say or do anything to attain the White House in 2004, no matter who or what they have to trample over to make it happen. These people are sickening.

Just as they have always done, up to and including trying to pervert not only the election system but the high court in the 2001 elections which ended in victory for president Bush.
Kerry is portrayed as a war hero from Vietnam when in fact he wasn't.
He got himself his 3 Purple Hearts through highplaced friends as quickly as possible so he could leave the country after failing to evade the draft, then went on to villify the troops still over there inside the US and actively support the VietCong politically by undermining the public opinion agains the US troops.
Hardly a patriot, had he operated thusly during WW2 or Korea he'd likely have been arrested for treason and spent a long (or short, if sentenced to firing squad) time in prison for it.


42
Axel Janssen
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I think the USA should let the arabs be arabs for a while and stop shaking them.
You can't change a region were nobody likes you.
Heck. I have collegue who left Iran because he didn't like mullah regime.
He is everything else but brain washed fanatic, but he hates US attack against Iraq.
Same as in Vietnam. It did not work.
Max Habibi
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Just as they have always done, up to and including trying to pervert not only the election system but the high court in the 2001 elections which ended in victory for president Bush.
Jeron,
Pretty please, tone it down.
M
Michael Ernest
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

PS: You claim I make comments about the left.
ME: What I claim is that virtually all you do. The only other thing yuo do that I notice is to dismiss what I write as "another typical post."
PS: You seem to make snippy comments about the right everywhere.
ME: All the time. I take potshots at the right all the time. There is no "seems" about it. But that's the difference. I know what I say about the right is clearly aimed at ridiculing what I consider to be the right's most extreme, indefensible positions. I like to mock blatant ignorance.
PS: In fact your snippy little comment started mine. My comments seem to follow one of your comments about the right. But you are right I am the only one who does that.
ME: I never said that. You do it; that's all I'm pointing to. I have the notion in my head that you're quite conscious that you do it; what's more, I think you do it to start arguments. But I never said you were the only one that does it.
PS: You claim the right created the environment in the 90's. I guess you didn't follow politics in the 80's. I won't say the 70's because Nixon deserved what he got.
ME: That'd be an uninformed guess. I minored in political science at my undergraduate college. If you want to make a point about the Reagan Adminisration and such notable luminaries as Edwin Meese, James Watt, or Michael Deaver, then make it. But it won't be made solely on the implication that I wasn't paying attention. You'll have to do better than that.
PS: There have been weapons programs found in Iraq. (But the link isn't to the New York Times so I won't provide it.)
ME: Meaning what? We learned after some massive military assault that Iraq really, really wanted some devastating weapons? And they had a "program"? I don't think even NewsMax would be stupid enough to call that justification for a war.
PS; The only thing not found is the actual weapons.
ME: Which is what I would call concrete evidence. Which to me would justify large-scale military action. This cowboy bullshit of shooting first and questioning the pieces later may play in Texas, but on the world stage, no matter how powerful you are, you need something more.
PS: Do they exist? They could be buried. They could have been transferred. They may not exist. We know they did and it was Iraqs responsibility to proove they where destroyed. They didn't or couldn't.
ME: Good point. So does their refusal to say such weapons did not exist justify a war? Think about this: do you invade another country solely on the premise that they refuse to answer your questions in a straightforward way? If so, which precedent do you point to?
PS: Did you know that Iraqi scientist are being assassinated? Why would that be? Maybe someone doesn't want them to talk.
ME: Not good enough to justify a war.
PS: MAP provided the link you are trashing. I had never been to the site before and do not even know who the person is. I actually got it from an opinion piece that did analyze the quotes. Unlike you I feel the quotes are in context.
ME: You did not offer that context at the time, at which point one can only assume you felt the quotes were self-explanatory.
[ April 19, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]

Make visible what, without you, might perhaps never have been seen.
- Robert Bresson
Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Jason Menard:

Absolutely. I thought this was common knowledge. A "military victory" is a battlefield victory through force of arms. We never lost on the battlefield, or not significantly so anyway. In nearly all instances of military engagement, our forces prevailed and met their objectives. That's all the military can do, no more or less. The only reason Vietnam is considered a loss is because we did not meet our political objectives, due in part to some of our upstanding patriotic citizens back home. I can see why they would like to pin the blame on the military though. It was a political loss, and the military was victorious in nearly every engagement. Nothing more needs to be said on that subject as far as I'm concerned.

I would really like to adhere to Max's admonition that we speak nicely, but I only have one thing to say to this point, and that is that the speaker has lost touch with facts commonly accepted by the rest of the world. Not the left, not tree-hugging Americans, not Communist sympathizers. The world.
There is something that does need to be said, Jason, and it is that the point of view you support is one of the most irresponsible ones I have seen in this forum. We've both read hate-filled stuff in this forum, ignorant stuff, and contrary stuff. But however often I think the opinions you support might be wrongheaded, strange, or dogmatic, this one idea strikes me as so indefensible it calls into question why you say anything that you do. I know some people pretty far on the right not willing to stand behind what you have said about our military in Vietnam, and with that confirmation I can only say I will gladly contest you anywhere and anytime on this point of view. You've lost touch with the facts.
Jason Menard
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

I would really like to adhere to Max's admonition that we speak nicely, but I only have one thing to say to this point, and that is that the speaker has lost touch with facts commonly accepted by the rest of the world. Not the left, not tree-hugging Americans, not Communist sympathizers. The world.
There is something that does need to be said, Jason, and it is that the point of view you support is one of the most irresponsible ones I have seen in this forum. We've both read hate-filled stuff in this forum, ignorant stuff, and contrary stuff. But however often I think the opinions you support might be wrongheaded, strange, or dogmatic, this one idea strikes me as so indefensible it calls into question why you say anything that you do. I know some people pretty far on the right not willing to stand behind what you have said about our military in Vietnam, and with that confirmation I can only say I will gladly contest you anywhere and anytime on this point of view. You've lost touch with the facts.

I was prepared to explain my comments a bit further because it is clear that you just didn't "get it", but apparently rational debate isn't something I should expect so there really isn't much point.
[ April 19, 2004: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
Max Habibi
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Guys,
This debate, IMO, is doing more harm than good. I'm loathe to close a topic in which people I respect so much are involved, but I really hate to see this continue.
I think it's probably too much to ask that you all shake hands and go to separate corners, so I'd like to request that you self moderate, and extract me from the awkward position of deleting content and/or closing the thread.
Michael, IMO, you seem like the more heated party in this particular vein of this particular exchange.
Thus, I'd like to suggest that you both please look over your own last few posts, and delete anything you wrote that, given a little cool off, you feel is less than nice.
Thanks,
M
Michael Ernest
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
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Max: Delete anything you feel detracts from the forum. I'm fine with that.
I can't do it myself. I wrote what I wrote because I felt I couldn't comply with your request without imploding.
Jason: You're speaking in a mode I am better off tuning out, so that's what I'll do. You are so far off in another world I can't understand you. If it's agreeable to you not to engage each other, that will work for me.
Everyone else: for some reason it is important to me to state this here and not in private. My apologies to those I have made uncomfortable. This is the last of it.
Max Habibi
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Posts: 4118
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Max: Delete anything you feel detracts from the forum. I'm fine with that.

Michael, I appreciate the fact that you'r willing to drop it: and I won't be deleting anything. Part of making a request is that people are free to decline.

Everyone else: for some reason it is important to me to state this here and not in private. My apologies to those I have made uncomfortable. This is the last of it.
That's ok. Send over the Java groupies, and we'll call it even
M
Jason Menard
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Joined: Nov 09, 2000
Posts: 6450
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
Jason: You're speaking in a mode I am better off tuning out, so that's what I'll do. You are so far off in another world I can't understand you. If it's agreeable to you not to engage each other, that will work for me.

I'm the one off in another world? I really don't know what all your issues are, but I had pretty much disengaged since at least your last attack on me some time ago.
Sorry Max, but I'm done. I respect what you're trying to do and will not do anything to fan any flames.
Stevie Kaligis
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Joined: Feb 04, 2001
Posts: 400
Originally posted by Max Habibi:
Guys,
This debate, IMO, is doing more harm than good. I'm loathe to close a topic in which people I respect so much are involved, but I really hate to see this continue.
I think it's probably too much to ask that you all shake hands and go to separate corners, so I'd like to request that you self moderate, and extract me from the awkward position of deleting content and/or closing the thread.
Michael, IMO, you seem like the more heated party in this particular vein of this particular exchange.
Thus, I'd like to suggest that you both please look over your own last few posts, and delete anything you wrote that, given a little cool off, you feel is less than nice.
Thanks,
M

I don't understand ? i found NO harm on this debate, they are all make their point (good and bad), and i'm sure, knowing their credibility on this site, they will not gone to far ! in the end maybe we could learn something !
Michael Ernest
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Sounds good to me.
So Howard John Dean (hee, oops) was on C-SPAN last night stumping for his new book, "Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush", saying some pretty damning things about the current administration and how it operates.
Dean didn't get into specifics during the conference -- or if he did I missed -- but he did say he examined in detail the hows and whys of the US getting into Iraq. His take on the whole WMD issue, as least as he thumbnailed, seems to suggest that in fact WMDs were a handy premise.
He also hinted about some kinds of Vietnam-Iraq parallels, although they were more bent of course to his experience in the Nixon Administration as lead counsel. I'm curious to read how Dean ties those together. Has anyone here read it yet?
[ April 19, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
his experience in the Nixon Administration as lead counsel.

Wait: Dean was part of the Nixon Administration? Scottie, beam me up!
M
Max Habibi
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Originally posted by Stevie Kaligis:

I don't understand ? i found NO harm on this debate, they are all make their point (good and bad), and i'm sure, knowing their credibility on this site, they will not gone to far ! in the end maybe we could learn something !

It's just a general tone we're trying to discourage, and it's a change. Jason and Michael are both well respected here(and rightly so), but the discussion is taking on a less than positive context. Besides, if the bartender and the sheriff spat, who's gonna get your beer?
M
Warren Dew
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Joined: Mar 04, 2004
Posts: 1332
    
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Originally posted by Michael Ernest:

I would really like to adhere to Max's admonition that we speak nicely, but I only have one thing to say to this point, and that is that the speaker has lost touch with facts commonly accepted by the rest of the world. Not the left, not tree-hugging Americans, not Communist sympathizers. The world.
There is something that does need to be said, Jason, and it is that the point of view you support is one of the most irresponsible ones I have seen in this forum. We've both read hate-filled stuff in this forum, ignorant stuff, and contrary stuff. But however often I think the opinions you support might be wrongheaded, strange, or dogmatic, this one idea strikes me as so indefensible it calls into question why you say anything that you do. I know some people pretty far on the right not willing to stand behind what you have said about our military in Vietnam, and with that confirmation I can only say I will gladly contest you anywhere and anytime on this point of view. You've lost touch with the facts.

May I suggest the following rewording that might be more palatable to Max and others:

I would really like to adhere to Max's admonition that we speak nicely, so I only have one thing to say to this point, and that is that this position has lost touch with facts commonly accepted by the rest of the world. Not the left, not tree-hugging Americans, not Communist sympathizers. The world.
I find the point of view you support to be one of the most irresponsible ones I have seen in this forum. We've both read hate-filled stuff in this forum, ignorant stuff, and contrary stuff. This one strikes me as so indefensible it calls into question why its proponents say anything that they do. I know some people pretty far on the right not willing to stand behind what you have said about our military in Vietnam, and with that confirmation I can only say I will gladly contest you anywhere and anytime on this point of view. It's out of touch with the facts.

I personally am also interested in the specifics of your disagreement with the point of view you quote. I wasn't actually aware that there was any significant part of the world that felt that Vietnam was a military failure - the positions I've commonly encountered differ primarily in whether the political failure was in holding the military back or in using the military in the first place, but agree that the failure was political - so I'm very interested in finding out more about your point of view.
Michael Ernest
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Joined: Oct 25, 2000
Posts: 7292

Originally posted by Max Habibi:

Wait: Dean was part of the Nixon Administration? Scottie, beam me up!
M


Wrong Dean. I corrected the typo.
Sadanand Murthy
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Joined: Nov 26, 2003
Posts: 382
Originally posted by Michael Ernest:
So Howard Dean was on C-SPAN last night stumping for his new book, "Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush", saying some pretty damning things about the current administration and how it operates.
Reply posted by Max Habibi:
Wait: Dean was part of the Nixon Administration? Scottie, beam me up!
M

The book is by John Dean, not Howard Dean. And yes he does say all these things in his book. He was also on Hannity & Colmes on Fox and Sean Hannity was very upset that Dean wrote this book knowing fully well that it would hurt Bush's chances of re-election. There was a time when I used to respectfully listen to Hannity's views. Not any more. He is as much an idealogue as any in the other camp.


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Michael Ernest
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Originally posted by Warren Dew:
I wasn't actually aware that there was any significant part of the world that felt that Vietnam was a military failure - the positions I've commonly encountered differ primarily in whether the political failure was in holding the military back or in using the military in the first place, but agree that the failure was political - so I'm very interested in finding out more about your point of view.

Somewhere in this topic I took a rhetorical curveball in the ribs and it felt personal.
Initially, the automatic gainsaying of my point, to wit: There is no comparison, struck me as arbitary posturing. Whatever. But the statement Vietnam was a military victory and a political defeat struck me on several levels, chief among them being: Uh, isn't this my point? That's how Iraq is looking to me. Unlike Jason, Jeroen, or Paul, who seem to me stuck on making every topic a discussion on how the left is ruining everything, I have no need to tie this back to a blanket statement about how the Right is doing that. A defeat in war is a defeat for the entire country, not just a party. It embarrasses us on the world stage to have our prestige handed back to us in the form of charred bodies and supply lines sniped at will. We'd all do well to win just wars, and with our allies in
Is it then being argued that the invasion on Iraq is a political victory? Two days of watching Hussein get his teeth checked aside, what has there been to cheer about? Was there a victory parade in Manhattan that I missed? Are our soldiers home? Are we standing tall over a heap of captured WMDs? Have we put a big dent in terrorism? Where's the big W here?
Tangent: the other point that came to mind was the one that got me going. Anyone who has every heard of My Lai would not, I think, be so quick to applaud US military effectiveness in Vietnam. This is not about one incident that was blown out of proportion, as Nixon later tried to suggest. Frustrated, uneducated, and undisciplined American soldiers routinely got out of hand in their treatment of Vietnamese civilians. The massacre at My Lai 4 was both an army operation and an army coverup, initially backed by politicians at home eager to avoid embarrassment.
Now: if anyone wants to talk about giving the enemy reason to fight no matter what, let's talk about making sure the people we are supposed to be fighting with have material reason to hate our guts. And good luck pinning that on a politician. Nowhere, as I see it, for the "good military bad politicians" argument to run and hide.
But no, we're not saying the war in Iraq is a political victory; it's just not a loss, unless of course :
While a military defeat will never happen in Iraq, politics back home can always run the risk of contributing to a political defeat. This is what can happen when people galvanize behind the Ted Kennedies of our country. They fail to realize that their actions are directly contributing to prolonging the war, comforting the enemy, and increasing the chances of a political defeat.
Now we have it. There are parallels to Vietnam, but to agree with that upfront sounds like agreement, and we can't have that because to anyone whose position is intentionally polarized on the right, it looks bad. Better to invoke "politics back home," where the insinuation is loud and clear: "the Ted Kennedies of our country" keep us from winning wars. I infer, by extension, that we are to feel the same about John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson.
So, while the point I made has no material basis ("There is no comparison"), if we're talking about how liberal Democrats snatch defeat from victory for the US ev-ery sin-gle time, the parallels are spot on!
Then we get this later on: It is clear that the Democrats will say or do anything to attain the White House in 2004, no matter who or what they have to trample over to make it happen. These people are sickening.
At which point I don't even know who on the Love-It-Or-Leave-It-Right is even talking anymore. Who was that, Paul Stevens? Jeroen Wenting? Jason Menard, what? Is it just about the bleating now? Left bad, Right good, Left Bad, Right Good? The confederacy of polemics is just tired.
[ April 19, 2004: Message edited by: Michael Ernest ]
Max Habibi
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Unlike Jason, Jeroen, or Paul, who seem to me stuck on making every topic a discussion on how the left is ruining everything
This is a pretty clear indication tempers are getting raw. I'm shutting this thread down: apologies to all who were enjoying it.
M
 
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