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Situation in Iraq not as bad as being made out

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Praxus
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I'm just afraid we will not take advantage of this like in Vietnam. Which is looking to be the case with this "temporary peace" crap they had today.

I read that the Iraqi army assigned to take charge in Falluja is heded by one of Saddam's former generals.

:)

It's distubing to know that Bush still believes in appeasement.

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I suggest politicians stop pulling the military's chain and let them do whatever they think is necessary to achieve the given objective.

In America, the President is the commander-in-chief. That means politicians inevitably get involved.

What's far more important is that the commander-in-chief lead by moral principle.

If you read the many commentaries in Capitalism Magazine you will get the impression that the war is going awry, not, as Praxus noted, "Not as bad as being made out."

When America fights a war, it should be for the purpose of defeating the enemy to the point of vanquish OR unconditional surrender. Clearly, I'm not seeing that happen in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

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I never suggested it was going good, but it isn't as bad, militarily as the media is making it out to be. For example there is no "need" for a draft as some on the left and the right are suggesting. We aren't winning because we refuse to fight, not because our military is any sense "losing" or because we don't have enough soldiers or resources. I even said this in my statement by saying we probley will not take advantage of the enemy trying to take us more head on.

I absolutely agree with you, Auto.

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If you read the many commentaries in Capitalism Magazine you will get the impression that the war is going awry, not, as Praxus noted, "Not as bad as being made out."

How many war correspondents does Capitalism Magazine have in Iraq?

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The comparison between Vietnam and Iraq, I feel is not accurate. You must not forget, we never declare war in Vietnam, it was a police action. War was declared in Iraq. This is an important distinction, and the reason we got our hat handed to us, in Vietnam. Politician prevents the military from doing their job. The entire Vietnam War was run from the White House. You will notice that when we first Declared war on Iraq, the military was running the show. We went in, kicked there ASS, then the White House took by control with their cease fire crap. Now we are back in the police keeping mode. In so much as the fact, that the White House is back to running the show, that is the only similarity I see to Vietnam and Iraq.

I can only imagine the frustration our military leaders must be feeling right now.

While I do not agree with our reason for this war. Once the decision has been made, the White House needs to shut the hell up, get out the way, and let our military leaders and soldiers do their job.

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Here is an analogy to make my point.

Let say you are a professional Boxer, associate him with the military.

You have a manger, associate him the President and the White House.

You have a trainer, associate him with the CIA, and Intelligence community.

Now as a boxer, you do not choose where and when you fight, your manger takes care of that problem. prior to the fight, the trainer takes care of all the research needed on your upcoming opponent, and during an actual fight, gives some advise and new information you might not otherwise notice about your opponent. During the actual fight you're on your own, and you fight.

Imagine a fight were the manager said, now while you're in there you are only allowed to defend yourself. I well tell you from the corner, when you can hit back, I'll tell you when to jab, when do an upper cut, when to goto the body,..etc...

Let me know when that fight happens, I will go to the bank and empty out my account, because I want to put a BIG bet on your opponent.

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So, the situation in Iraq is not as bad as being made out?

I don't agree, based upon current events.

Bush was dead wrong in declaring the major combat operation over when Americans occupied Baghdad. That technical mistake ranks right up there with our past failure to take out Saddam Hussein back in 1991.

Bush was dead wrong because:

1. Nowhere did he ever get an indication that either the enemy was vanquished or there was an unconditional surrender by the Baath-led Iraqi army.

2. At the time, he didn't even capture Saddam Hussein or even his murderous sons

As a result of Bush's major mistake, our soldiers are prime targets for every assassin, terrorist, sniper, and suicide bomber that surfaces on a daily basis. Worse yet, the contractors who are trying to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure are prime targets for heinous acts committed against them since the government cannot assure their safety. Any corporation engaged in the reconstruction of Iraq is in very serious peril thanks to this consequence of our not winning this war.

Those who argue that the people in Iraq are now free? I counter with the fact that there is no government in place to properly protect their rights as individuals. So, instead of living under the aegis of a totalitarian monster, they are living under the aegis of anarchy. Why is it they should feel any more secure?

The situation in Iraq is as bad as it's made out to be, if not worse.

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Also, I take issue with anyone here who tries to put forth the argument that Bush is resolved in defending America.

The Bush administration simply doesn't know how to defend America.

When America is attacked by terrorists who are sponsored by rogue nations like Afghanistan and Iran, you move swiftly and decisively to destroy the enemy or force it into unconditional surrender. Like Truman did in Japan.

Bush hasn't done this.

Bush should be toast in November. I'll just turn my back while this uber-clown gets the boot from office he deserves.

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The situation is more complex than you guys make it out to be. And I find your constant argument about who is a "real Objectivist" or what would Ayn Rand say to be very annoying. What's more important, your opinion of what the Objectivist dogma says or what's TRUE? And I don't think any of you should be presuming to know what Ayn Rand would have said. If she were alive, she might say some surprising things that would have you rethink your positions.

You are talking about killing millions of Iranians because of the presence of hundreds or maybe thousands of dangerous people there. So, if there's one criminal living in your neighborhood, are the police justified in firebombing the entire block?

So, who started this present conflict? Some terrorists, mostly from Saudi Arabia, whose organization was based in large part in Afghanistan. Did Iran declare war on the United States? No. This is what makes this a particularly difficult situation. Who is "the enemy?" Is it every single country in the Middle East, with the exception of Israel? If so, is it really in our best interest to nuke all of these countries? And then, what about other countries that have terrorist cells? Should we take out France, Spain, Indonesia, the Phillippines while we're at it? What about the United States? The terrorists who attacked us were based here. We were "harboring" terrorists. Shall we nuke ourselves? I suppose if you want to get rid of all the terrorists on earth, we could just destroy all life on the planet. Is that the kind of victory you want?

I don't think killing millions of people in Iran is right, and I also don't think it will solve our problem. Do you think Osama bin Laden is going to say, "OK, OK, I can't take all this suffering of innocents any more. Al Qaeda surrenders!" Not gonna happen.

I don't have the answer, but I think the general direction we should go in is to "quarantine" nations that harbor terrorists, and send ALL suspicious foreign nationals back to their countries of origin. I also favor the Israeli approach of assassinating terrorist leaders. I am not sure how we can fight the problem at its origin, which is, in my view, the Madrassas. One thing that may help is exposure to American culture.

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The situation is more complex than you guys make it out to be.  And I find your constant argument about who is a "real Objectivist" or what would Ayn Rand say to be very annoying.  What's more important, your opinion of what the Objectivist dogma says or what's TRUE?  And I don't think any of you should be presuming to know what Ayn Rand would have said.  If she were alive, she might say some surprising things that would have you rethink your positions.

How complex do you make it out to be?

Why are you annoyed by people arguing about their various views on Objectivism? Are you trying to learn about Objectivism? Or, did you just come here to "take a dump on the front lawn"?

Please explain how the "Objectivist dogma" is at odds with "what's TRUE".

What do you think Ayn Rand would say, and what do you base it on? Or, more precisely, how do you think the Objectivist philosophy would guide one in these matters? Why do you think we would be surprised? Are you familiar with what Ayn Rand wrote about the Cambodian incident invovling a merchant marine ship called the Mayaquez?

VES

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How complex do I make it out to be? I think a situation in which the enemy is a nebulous organization and not a government, and in which the enemy has no goal other than to kill innocent people, and cannot be disuaded by casualties, is composed of religious fanatics that can't be reasoned with, and is dispersed across the globe ... is a difficult situation!

Why am I annoyed? I had been looking for a website with a forum where Objectivists could get together and discuss things, I thought maybe I had found it, but it leaves a distinctly unpleasant taste in my mouth when people who, by virtue of their common interests and views, ought to get along and be able to have civil discussions, spend 90% of their time dissing each other.

Objectivist dogma is not necessarily at odds with the truth, but if they were at odds, I would give more importance to the truth.

I don't know what Ayn Rand would say, and my point is, neither do you. She was a genius with a remarkable way of seeing straight through to the essentials of any issue. I just wish she were still alive; I'd love to know what she'd say.

I think I've read just about every word she wrote, but no, I'm not familiar with what Ayn Rand wrote about the Cambodian incident invovling a merchant marine ship called the Mayaquez. Enlighten me.

It is not my intention to take a dump on the lawn. I'd love to find some like-minded people to have an interesting discussion with, but if I cannot find it here, I will move on.

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How complex do I make it out to be?

Do you think that a government who lends support to these enemies should not be considered an enemy as well? Do you think a government who still hadn't yet been held accountable for it's actions 12 years ago, and who was building up to commit more of the same acts should be ignored? Do you think a nation can just ignore agreements it made 12 years ago (which is why we pulled out then) with impunity? In considering the "complexity" of Iraq, you may not be considering all of the relevant issues yourself.

Why am I annoyed?
Hmm, my observations are different. I have found this place to be quite civil, regardless of disagreement. Can you link to a representative amount of posts that demonstrates that 90% of the time people are dissing each other? That would be a very long post indeed.

Objectivist dogma is not necessarily at odds with the truth, but if they were at odds, I would give more importance to the truth.

In making your original statement, you are strongly implying that there is a disconnect. Now you are saying that you don't really know that there is a disconnect. Which is it? Objectivism DOES seek what's true by examining reality.

I don't know what Ayn Rand would say, and my point is, neither do you.
Well, you can't make a legitimate assertion without knowing something. If you don't know what Ayn Rand would say, how can you demonstrate that what others are saying is wrong? This invalidates the point you were trying to make, that just because you don't know, then no one else could know.

...Mayaquez. Enlighten me.

http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/lib...97/Robinson.htm

http://www.specialoperations.com/Operations/mayaguez.html

There are two links that will describe the basic incident, and many more can be found on the web. To reference Ms. Rand's thoughts on this incident I point you to The Voice of Reason, The Lessons of Vietnam, starting on pg. 144.

Compared to many of the terrorist acts that our nebulous enemy has committed, with the support of various governments, not the least of which Iraq, the taking of this ship was relatively minor. President Fords response was "swift and violent" and sent an UNEQUIVOCAL message to other nations in that region (if not the whole world) that we would NOT tolerate hostile acts against us. In the book I referenced, Ms. Rand lauded President Ford for "the proper and highly moral action". Even with this happening on the tail end of Vietnam, the majority of the public supported this action. Ms. Rand also states, "...when a foreign country initiates the use of armed force against us, it is our moral obligation to answer by force-as promptly and unequivocally as is necessary to make it clear that the matter is nonnegotiable."

I would argue that the newer tactic of supplying money, training, and housing for the "nebulous" terrorist forces that attack us, would easily constitute an initiation of the use of armed force against us. Though they may not necessarily be tethered by nationality, they are by purpose. I believe the above incident is parallel enough to suggest that Ms. Rand would also support our activities today. In fact, the only disagreement I believe she would have is that we are not being unequivocal enough.

I'd love to find some like-minded people to have an interesting discussion with, but if I cannot find it here, I will move on.

Everybody here is not an automaton that thinks the same way. If you find a place like that, tell me where it is so I can avoid it.

VES

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If you don't know what Ayn Rand would say, how can you demonstrate that what others are saying is wrong?
I think we can figure out the truth without first figuring out what Ayn Rand would say!

There are two links that will describe the basic incident, and many more can be found on the web.  To reference Ms. Rand's thoughts on this incident I point you to The Voice of Reason, The Lessons of Vietnam, starting on pg. 144.

Thanks for the links; found the article in The Ayn Rand Letter. Notice that she did NOT advocate nuking Cambodia, and that she also said we should not have gotten involved in Vietnam to begin with.

I would argue that the newer tactic of supplying money, training, and housing for the "nebulous" terrorist forces that attack us, would easily constitute an initiation of the use of armed force against us.
If the US would stop supplying money, training, and housing for them, that would be a big improvement!

Everybody here is not an automaton that thinks the same way.  If you find a place like that, tell me where it is so I can avoid it.

That's not what I'm after. Just out of curiosity, what motivates you to participate in this forum?

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I had been looking for a website with a forum where Objectivists could get together and discuss things, I thought maybe I had found it, but it leaves a distinctly unpleasant taste in my mouth when people who, by virtue of their common interests and views, ought to get along and be able to have civil discussions, spend 90% of their time dissing each other.

I don't think the "diss percent" is all that high here, but there are definitely heated disagreements. That's because Objectivists are independent thinkers who really CARE about ideas.

This forum is moderated to avoid flaming and ad hominems and, if you think someone is out of line, press the "report" button above the posting and tell the moderators what the problem is.

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I think we can figure out the truth without first figuring out what Ayn Rand would say!

Then why are you bothering with Objectivism? Objectivism is about what Ayn Rand thought and said. She did identify this philosophy. Determing how things would or should be viewed with Objectivism as a guide is a learning process for many which includes sometimes asserting or speculating what Ayn Rand's thoughts might have been on the matter. Is it necessary? No. Can it be productive? Yes. Is anyone here forced to participate that doesn't choose to do so? No.

Notice that she did NOT advocate nuking Cambodia, and that she also said we should not have gotten involved in Vietnam to begin with.
Has someone on here said that Ayn Rand would say nuke Iraq? If so, did you dispute that claim with a reasoned argument as opposed to vague general statements about knowing or not knowing what she would say when you don't know yourself? I read what she said about Vietnam. Your point is? Are you buying into the popular notion that Iraq is "just another Vietnam"?

If the US would stop supplying money, training, and housing for them, that would be a big improvement!

Which terrorists or terrorist group(s) is the US currently supporting in this fashion? If you can name any, is that any reason NOT to address problems with other terrorists? If one or more administrations in the past failed to take a proper course of action, does that preclude a newer administration from doing so?

As to why I'm here...

http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...owtopic=675&hl=

There are plenty of folks on here who debate about issues, and how those issues should be viewed through Objectivism. The thing that I have found unique about this place is the number of issues that actually reach some resolution as opposed to other places I have been where the issue drags on, or the participants still walk away with no better understanding of what the other person said. The majority of conversations here are based on reason, logic, and reality. I appreciate that after having been to a number of forums where that is very scarce. I'm rather disgusted by emotional arguments, arguments from skewed perspectives from people with a collectivist mentality who believe 'perception is reality'. I leave them to their ignorance rather than walk in the door and insult them just because I don't like what I see.

VES

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RationalCop -

I must agree with Laure's sentiment (though not with all of her particular statements). Objectivism is a tool for identifying the truth, and while it is, in my estimate, a true philosophy, it is not The Truth. There are a lot of other truths left to identify, and that should be our focus, not speculation about "what Ayn Rand would say."

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AshRyan,

I think the first paragraph in my last response is not in contradiction with what you are saying. I haven't said that her word is the truth and should be sought out in all or even most cases. I said that at times it can be informative to speculate on how she would have viewed things. That is only because you can look at things she has addressed in the past that are analogous to situations in the present.

For some folks, like me, who have less than a complete knowledge of Objectivism, and a less than complete knowledge of all things said by Ayn Rand, we try to make corelations between the two. Can that be misused? Of course. Can it still be informative? I think so, in so far as developing a better understanding of the philosophy, and it's practical implementation. It is quite a paradigmatic shift in thinking to go from an altruistic Christian, to a "homeless" agnostic, and finally to a thinking, truth-seeking objectivist. For those who aren't there yet, it can help to have examples.

Trust me when I say, I have no use or need to elevate any person to the level of a diety, or as "the truth".

At any rate, I understand what you are saying. Thanks for your input.

VES

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