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Pre-emptive War: e.g. Should we nuke Tehran?

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I have given examples before of honest men like Rearden or John Galt creating private defense agancies that are superior to government ones, but i did not get logical responses for why they should be stopped.

Some of the members here don't like references to fictional characters. I find it strange, but that's been my experience.

One very fundamental fact of Objectivism is that it puts forth the understanding that the government holds a monopoly on retaliatory force.

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Are you asking for an exhaustive list, or a general characterization? I assume you know what "threat" means; then threatening the US is making a threat against the US (in part or in whole). For exampl

I'm aware of most of those imaginary claims you consider "knowledge of the situation". I just happen to know they're not real, so I don't consider them when passing judgement on Iran.

If this was true it would be an easy matter to overthrow oppressive states. This won't work because you have reversed cause and effect. Philosophy is what drives history. It is the funda

Some of the members here don't like references to fictional characters. I find it strange, but that's been my experience.

One very fundamental fact of Objectivism is that it puts forth the understanding that the government holds a monopoly on retaliatory force.

I haven't seen that so far, but it would be strange. Atlas Shrugged was Ayn Rand's magnum opus, and her characters were the ideals of her philosophy. What better examples can we use? I would imagine that nearly every objectivist likes Rearden and Galt.

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1. It is faster and cheaper than conventionally carpet-bombing the city.

2. It's pretty hard to miss with a nuke.

3. Millions of people whose central purpose in life is to kill us: well, tables get turned.

4. The single most dangerous external threat to the West gets turned into a crater.

5. It's the right thing to do.

Or were we supposed to argue the other way around?

Why do we need to destroy Tehran? It's not the people who want to destroy the West, it's their regime! No, if our security was ever threatened we should not attack Iran- we should attack the government. The government isn't even popular; the government doesn’t even represent the views of everyday Persians. The thing we must all remember is that Persia of old was a tolerant society. Persians today are still a tolerant people; however it's their theocratic rulers who give Iran its intolerant connotation. If we are to intervene in Iran we must do so in a swift, silent, and effective way; and we are to only intervene if our security is directly challenged. (ie nukes)

Edited by Cicero
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I happen to find the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings unnecessary.

The question was whether the bombings were moral. Since you think they were unnecessary I guess I have your answer. So I guess the sacrifice of hundreds of thousands of GI's is more appealing and in fact necessary, according to you.

The most convincing historical evidences that I've read have pointed out that Japan was going to surrender before the bombs were even dropped.

This can't make any logical sense to you can it? The Japanese didn't surrender after Hiroshima.

Obviously it worked, but I still think if we were more sensible and rational in our actions, we could have arrived at a better solution than testing out our death bombs on them.

Whatever it might be, it would entail the deaths of many more Americans.

People are responsible for their own governments, regardless of whether the people agree with that government.

This is good to hear, but you'll have to tell me how you reconcile it with the following in the context of nations at war:

Ayn Rand understood that individual rights must be recognized even if an individual's government fails to do so.

And this:

I am arguing against ruthless and unnecessary cruelty brought upon people who are not, as individuals, acting aggressively against anybody [emphasis added]

Remember, the people are responsible.

Nowhere in either of the Ayn Rand quotes you guys brought up did it specify her thoughts on the methods which we used to fight these battles.

That is because she left military tactics and strategy to the military sciences. The philosophic principle is that the government must do whatever is necessary to stop the aggression. Meaning you keep going until the aggression ceases.

I think you are wrong with respect to the Empire of Japan. Remember: they attacked us, we chased them across the Pacific destroying their Navy and Air Force; still they didn't stop. We fought them island to island with devastating losses on both sides in battles where they fought to nearly the last man; still they didn't stop. We firebombed their cities, killing many more civilians than did the atomic bombs; still they didn't surrender. We warned them that we had a new devastating weapon; still they fought-on. We dropped one nuke and still they didn't surrender. We dropped another and finally they relented and notice that as soon as they did we ceased our retaliation. Seems pretty rational to me.

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I am trying to demonstrate that these ideas are not contradictory to Objectivism, thus not violating any rules. They are consistent with the methodology of Objectivism, but not all of its conclusions. Is Objectivism an approach to finding truth, or is it a list of pre-formed conclusions that Ayn Rand came up with? Is it primarily a philosophy or a list of rules? Most importantly, is Objectivism open to the idea of future innovation in its conclusions?

Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand, including all parts of it--from the axioms to the conclusions. You may think of it as a trademark for a product. If you think you can improve on the product, you may do so, but you'll have to find a different trademark for it. And, of course, the companies that market the original product will probably be asking you not to use their websites to advertise your competing product.

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I am trying to demonstrate that these ideas are not contradictory to Objectivism

Ayn Rand and other Objectivists have written several essays ("The Nature of Government" The Virtue of Selfishness, "Anarchism is Evil" OPAR Leonard Peikoff, "Anarchism versus Objectivism" Harry Biswanger, "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty" Peter Schwarz) explicitly explaining why these ideas are contradictory to Objectivism (again, which is the philosophy of Ayn Rand.) So unless you can demonstrate that Ayn Rand isn't Ayn Rand, then you should come up with another word for your Molyneux's ideas about anarchism and war.

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Objectivism is the philosophy of Ayn Rand, including all parts of it--from the axioms to the conclusions. You may think of it as a trademark for a product. If you think you can improve on the product, you may do so, but you'll have to find a different trademark for it. And, of course, the companies that market the original product will probably be asking you not to use their websites to advertise your competing product.

I just did some research on Leonard Peikoff. Here's what I found on Wikipedia:

"Peikoff promotes the notion of Objectivism as a "closed system" that consists solely of the philosophical principles Rand herself had articulated, and he considers any disagreement with its fundamental principles as a departure from Objectivism."

This is very different from requirement with every conclusion ever associated with Objectivism. If something is both logical and can be empirically verified, and if it does nt disagree with the fundamental principles of Objectivism, then it is true by Objectivist standards. Why else would Rand have appointed Leonard Peikoff as an intellectual heir, if not to come up with new conclusions based on applying objectivist principles? This immediately screams to me that Objectivism is about Ayn Rand's methodology, not her conclsuions, in the same way that the scientific method is a methodology, not a series of conclusions. Obviously, Rand didn't want her philosophy to be destroyed from within, but all that means is that the metholdology must remain unchanged.

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I know this tactic. When one person talks about morality, you switch to documenting facts. It is a non-sequitur. I think it is immoral, regardless of whether it has always existed. Please be careful about switching the debate like that, as it can get people really angry.

Oh No, not really angry, I was just going for angry. I know your tactic, it is called evade, avoid, deflect, and your accusation is not only dishonest but inaccurate, let's review what was said. I started out by saying:

Fist fights are fought by individuals, wars are fought by nations and the need to fight a war has existed in the past and does exist now. I suppose you are one of those who thinks that the nuking of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, saving innumerable American lives, was immoral. [emphasis added]

You split those two sentences apart and replied to the first that:

That's just an argument from convention. Surely we shouldn't cling to a 10,000 year old institution just for the sake of tradition?

And I replied that:

Actually it isn't an argument at all, it is a statement of fact, do you disagree that it is true?

And now you come back and accuse me of switching the argument and not talking about morality, this is flat out false: notice the word I have emphasized in my original quote above. Are you having trouble with your reading comprehension? Maybe I should type slower just for you.

In addition, we as Objectivists, do not consider the illustration of fact as some sort of distraction from a logical argument, in fact we consider it essential. So I ask you again do you disagree with the facts I have presented, namely: fist fights are fought by individuals, wars are fought by nations and the need to fight a war has existed in the past and does exist now.

Your accusations of fallaciousness are completely unfounded and actually it is you whose argument does not follow, to wit: "I think it is immoral, regardless of whether it has always existed." To say that war is immoral is to say that crime or slavery is immoral, it misses the essential moral prescription about what to do about it. The moral imperative is that you should and must defend yourself. When your rights are under attack, you should defend yourself and in the context of a nation attacking you, it is the obligation of your government to stop that attack as quickly as possible.

The contraversial part is that people's definition of 'war' involves turning the self into a collective concept encompassing everyone in a nation, and that any murders of innocent people are being whitewashed as 'part of the enemy collective'.

It isn't controversial at all, in fact our nation was founded on the principle that we are endowed with certain unalienable rights and that: "to secure these Rights Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, [...]"

Its called: "Politics", and is the science of how people should act in society.

I guess you consider every bomber pilot and many GI's from WWII to be murderers. What a terribly unjust way to treat those who have risked their lives while protecting your freedom. They defend you and you spit in their face, disgusting.

I am saying that it is immoral for people to kill innocent civillians, even in war time.

Oh, hold on, let me get out my special neutron bombs with the judgement trigger so that the bombs are able to discriminate the guilty from the innocent and kill only the guilty. Oh, how stupid of me, there is no such weapon. And your prescription is that so long as no such weapon exists, I must sacrifice myself to the depredations of the Mullahs in Iran.

LOL a couple of people have pulled out the "Pacifist" label without cause. The only time it is moral to use violence is in self defense, and solely against the people who are aggressing against you or your property. This is non-aggression, not pacifism.

Pacifist or not, your position is an absurd evasion. You refuse to acknowledge the aggressive nature of criminal regimes such as Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and the Islamic Republic of Iran and you evade the necessity of defending our Nation from such regimes. What do you think the world would look like today if we hadn't defeated Germany and Japan in WWII?

So if you live in America in your own home, and your government turns fascist-imperialist without your consent, then other nations are justified in killing you?

If America then becomes aggressive and attacks another free nation? Yes those other nations may do whatever is necessary to stop my aggressive nation. The alternative is: either I stop my own nation from becoming aggressive by exercising my rights or they may defend themselves by that same right.

Is this a universal principle?

I don't know about "universal" but certainly it is a valid moral principle right now, here on earth.

Was John Galt responsible for the actions of the American leaders in Atlas Shrugged, just because he had stayed in America?

He was responsible to accept the consequences of the actions of his government, just as all of us must accept the consequences of the actions of our government, which is why we should take interest in politics.

Think of what a brilliant man John Galt was and what he could have achieved if a proper government had existed. Instead he had to go into hiding, fear for his life and work as a laborer.

How do you know? You countered my comment with an ad-hominem and some assertions.

How do I know what? That Japan hadn't surrendered before we dropped an A-bomb?: history. That unconditional surrender was not a new condition?: the statements of the President of the United States. That the Empire of Japan was an illegitimate government?: first by direct perception of history and second by a logical process of induction of the facts of reality enhanced by deduction culminating in a morality of reason and life, which informs a proper politics. That stripping it of its veil was essential to its defeat?: again, history and logic.

There was no ad-hominem, just fact. Assertions is how this whole thing works, if you agree with my assertions, then we can move on. If you don't, then you should say so and make some counter-assertions of your own.

I am not an anarchist, i support private property. Instead, I am in favour of privatising all governemnt functions and seeing the benefits of free market competition in the services of arbitration, contracts, security and military contractors.

If you mean private law and ultimately private law enforcement, then you are an anarchist. Search for this topic on the forum it is covered extensively.

It's this whole "Whatever is necessary" idea that i find so nebulous and bloodthirsty.

Well, if you are not for "whatever is necessary", then you are for not doing what is necessary, which means that any criminal nation may overrun you whenever they wish.

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Mark, there was some package dealing, context dropping and appeal to tradition. Look back in your posts, there was another post before the exchange you quoted, which may help you see the context.

If you wish to understand why someone would reject your version of history, check out the Mises institute website, which is the basis for the economics of Objectivism. They have shown that the commonly accepted versions of most historical events, especially WWII, are based on popular propaganda, government press releases or liberal academic talking points at the time of the event. Truth is not the primary criteria of what goes into a history textbook. By re-examing the events of the past and reading what people said outside of the popular media, revisionist history gives better answers. For example, popular history tells us that:

- the Civil War was fought to end slavery

- the Industrial revolution was a step backwards for the workers until the unions improved working conditions

- anti-trust laws were created to stop the big business

- people did not have access to education until the governemnt stepped in

- welfare was created to help the poor

- the Federal Reserve was created to end recessions and stabilise the economy

- the great depression was caused by capitalism

- Roosevelt saved the economy

- WWII ended the great depression

- McCarthy was paranoid about the communists in America

These versions of history, and many more, have been demonstrated to be false by revisionist history.

Are you open to the idea that this may also apply to your knowledge of WWII, or do you just 'know'? I suggest you explore the revisionist history of WWII. For instance, you might be surpirsed by the motives for Japan's Pearl Harbour attack, and who knew about it beforehand. Or the history of American's colonisation of Hawaii, and why there was a military base there in the first place. Or the influence that America's involvement in WWI had on bringing WWII into existence. There's a lot more to the issue than what you have presented.

Edited by Sergio
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Sergio, while you may not think the hypothetical is analogous to bombing Iran, others on this board do. Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to understand that what we advocate isn't bloodlust. Besides, if you truly think us warmongers who lack any sense of empathy, I can't imagine why you would even waste your time talking to us.

I don't agree with your evaluation of the US government. While it isn't perfect, it does generally exist to protect our rights. The ways in which it violates our rights are irrelevant where Iran is concerned; the drug war, taxation by force, etc., have nothing to do with Iranian material support for death cultists.

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Sergio, while you may not think the hypothetical is analogous to bombing Iran, others on this board do.

Sure, but shouldn't they prove it? It is a bit more complicated than that, too.

Armed with this knowledge, you should be able to understand that what we advocate isn't bloodlust.

To me, he idea of taking a life, even in self defense, would overwhelm me with negative emotions. The idea of killing millions of people is worse. And when we come to killing innocent people, that would go against every fibre of my being. I fail to see how killing millions can be legitimized by cloaking them in the label of 'enemy nation', but more importantly, I know that no sensitive, emapthetic person could ever advocate such things, especially not with the intensity I have seen here. This is what I mean when i said bloodthirsty, and it requires a repressed or nonexistant empathy. There was a time when wars did not involve the gneeral population, but only the soldiers who fought them. Now, we live in an era of total war, which is not something that people who pride themselves on rationality and valuing life should ever advocate.

Besides, if you truly think us warmongers who lack any sense of empathy, I can't imagine why you would even waste your time talking to us.

To demonstrate to others that this sort of thing doesn't go unchallenged. One should never turn down an opportunity to pass judgement.

I don't agree with your evaluation of the US government. While it isn't perfect, it does generally exist to protect our rights. The ways in which it violates our rights are irrelevant where Iran is concerned; the drug war, taxation by force, etc., have nothing to do with Iranian material support for death cultists.

How so? people have used America's relative level of freedom compared with Iran to excuse any behaviour. The fact that one nation may be more free than another does not justify killing the very people who are being oppressed in the less free nation. That is a non-sequitur: one does not follow from the other. If 1000 Iranians proclaimed themselves as a new nation with more freedom than America, could that new nation justify attacks against America using the same logic? Or does this principle only apply for America? An Iranian president with a fetish for irony may allow such a nation to be formed for precisely this purpose.

People are throwing around principles here like crazy. Do these principles apply universally to all people, in all times and in all places, or are they just making up subjective preferences, like "I like ice Cream"? Either it is universal principle, or it is a preference. Just because allowing civilian casualties would make wars easier to conduct doesn't make it the right thing to do.

Right, i think I'm done with this. I have provided enough explanations and resources to make my case, like the history of WWII, or Hans Herman Hoppe's ideas on Total War. People who are genuinely curious and interested will explore this information, while others will not. I am satisfied with leaving it at that.

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Sergio:

What a joke, this is your reasoned response? Do you have any of your own thoughts you wish to contribute? I doubt it. Instead you continue to evade, avoid and deflect. You cite not one fact to back-up anything you say. You are intellectually dishonest and probably a troll.

Mark, there was some package dealing, context dropping and appeal to tradition. Look back in your posts, there was another post before the exchange you quoted, which may help you see the context.

If you wish to back-up any of your accusations, feel free. Quote me dropping context or package dealing -- you can't, which is why you haven't. As for appeal to tradition, I have already said that you should do nothing for the sake of tradition. You have no way to argue against my position so you make something up, like "appeal to tradition", it is nonsense and exposes you as a fraud.

If you wish to understand why someone would reject your version of history, check out the [...]

If you wish to question the truth of any of the facts I cited, feel free, but don't make of list of facts I haven't asserted, most of which I don't believe, and expect your evasion to be an answer.

Everything I cited is in fact the truth and you have said nothing to counter it except vague evasive allusions; pathetic.

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Mark, there was some package dealing, context dropping and appeal to tradition. Look back in your posts, there was another post before the exchange you quoted, which may help you see the context.

If you wish to understand why someone would reject your version of history, check out the Mises institute website, which is the basis for the economics of Objectivism. They have shown that the commonly accepted versions of most historical events, especially WWII, are based on popular propaganda, government press releases or liberal academic talking points at the time of the event. Truth is not the primary criteria of what goes into a history textbook. By re-examing the events of the past and reading what people said outside of the popular media, revisionist history gives better answers. For example, popular history tells us that:

- the Civil War was fought to end slavery

- the Industrial revolution was a step backwards for the workers until the unions improved working conditions

- anti-trust laws were created to stop the big business

- people did not have access to education until the governemnt stepped in

- welfare was created to help the poor

- the Federal Reserve was created to end recessions and stabilise the economy

- the great depression was caused by capitalism

- Roosevelt saved the economy

- WWII ended the great depression

- McCarthy was paranoid about the communists in America

These versions of history, and many more, have been demonstrated to be false by revisionist history.

Are you open to the idea that this may also apply to your knowledge of WWII, or do you just 'know'? I suggest you explore the revisionist history of WWII. For instance, you might be surpirsed by the motives for Japan's Pearl Harbour attack, and who knew about it beforehand. Or the history of American's colonisation of Hawaii, and why there was a military base there in the first place. Or the influence that America's involvement in WWI had on bringing WWII into existence. There's a lot more to the issue than what you have presented.

This response is so weak and evasive it's embarrassing. Marc K and others have been very specific in their attempts to engage you. You, on the other hand, answer with a bunch of unfocused libertarian garbage. I agree with Marc. Pathetic.

Edited by gags
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There is a disgustingly irrational response that collectivists come up with in reaction to calculated viciousness.

To illustrate : There was a woman I was friendly with here in Johannesburg - well educated and intelligent. Shortly after 9/11, I met her, and after the 'how terribles', she said this: "Oh well. The Americans must have done something to deserve it. Look at what the C.I.A. did in......."

I came close to slapping her. She heard some serious words from me, instead.

This has always stood out for me as one of those times I looked into the abyss that exists in other people.

Now this ex-friend is nothing rare in her immorality. We have seen and heard it applied, for instance, to the Holocaust- 'Well of course it was horrible, but...' ( they had it coming, there weren't really so many killed, - ad nauseam.)

What I think I am getting at is that there can never be a 'but'. Something is what it is.

In this thread if Sergio had stayed with his original argument questioning punishment, or the necessity or otherwise of retributive war, at least it could have been thought-provoking. As it was,he tried to go a bridge too far, and backed himself into a corner when he was faced with some tough debate.

I would have liked to pursue the idea of 'war as punishment' much further. Yet I stand by my first thought that we only, and always, deal with others according to our morals, not theirs'. The quid pro quo, tit for tat, chain of punishment - 'they deserve it' - is what I criticize.

That terrific line in the movie "Unforgiven", comes to mind. The ageing gun for hire [Clint Eastwood] says this to his young and eager sidekick : "It's a hell of a thing to kill a man; you take away everything he has, and everything he's ever going to have". Objectivists will spot the 'potentiality' premise inherent in those words. Some people do change and do grow, and killing must be a last resort.

The defence of the good, and of the self, is of course, such a time.

When we do hit, we hit hard, coolly, soberly, and finally.

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I fail to see how killing millions can be legitimized by cloaking them in the label of 'enemy nation'
If you still choose to present my argument this way, I have to assume you haven't given me an honest hearing. Good riddance.

That terrific line in the movie "Unforgiven", comes to mind. The ageing gun for hire [Clint Eastwood] says this to his young and eager sidekick : "It's a hell of a thing to kill a man; you take away everything he has, and everything he's ever going to have". Objectivists will spot the 'potentiality' premise inherent in those words. Some people do change and do grow, and killing must be a last resort.

The defence of the good, and of the self, is of course, such a time.

When we do hit, we hit hard, coolly, soberly, and finally.

Amen.

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There is a disgustingly irrational response that collectivists come up with in reaction to calculated viciousness.

To illustrate : There was a woman I was friendly with here in Johannesburg - well educated and intelligent. Shortly after 9/11, I met her, and after the 'how terribles', she said this: "Oh well. The Americans must have done something to deserve it. Look at what the C.I.A. did in......."

I came close to slapping her. She heard some serious words from me, instead.

Are you suggesting there's no rational evidence to show that 9/11 could have been a calculated retaliation against what the attackers considered long-term aggression against "their people"? (Remember, they're collectivists).

I must say that if this is the case, I disagree. We pursued a foreign policy that was irrationally based on occupation, rather than retaliatory defense, and a group of extremists responded with an even more irrational attack against us, taking this policy as an insult against them individually. It is not to be suggested that we "brought on" the attacks, but rather that we should have anticipated blow-back for engaging in such ballsy policies, and perhaps been more wise with our decisions. After all, if we could reason with irrational, religious people, there wouldn't be any irrational, religious people. If we'd just taken them out quickly and swiftly, instead of meddling in their affairs and slowly giving them fewer and fewer reasons to be fair with us, we surely would not have had anybody attempting to fly buildings into airplanes to begin with.

Of course, then there's the obvious issue of governmental coercion being a detriment to our national security interests. It still amazes me only slightly that the terrorists were able to outsmart the so-called greatest country on earth.

Edited by Andrew Grathwohl
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Are you suggesting there's no rational evidence to show that 9/11 could have been a calculated retaliation against what the attackers considered long-term aggression against "their people"? (Remember, they're collectivists).

The terrorists can come up with literally hundreds of reasons why we deserve to die: We are Crusaders, we're Jews, we're godless, we're imperialists, we wear blue jeans, we allow porn on the internet, we have homosexuals in our society, our women show both their ankles and their belly buttons, etc..... I think what whYNOT was suggesting is that he finds it offensive and morally repugnant when people here, who really ought to know better, agree with the terrorists that "we got what we had coming to us."

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The terrorists can come up with literally hundreds of reasons why we deserve to die: We are Crusaders, we're Jews, we're godless, we're imperialists, we wear blue jeans, we allow porn on the internet, we have homosexuals in our society, our women show both their ankles and their belly buttons, etc..... I think what whYNOT was suggesting is that he finds it offensive and morally repugnant when people here, who really ought to know better, agree with the terrorists that "we got what we had coming to us."

I see. Well, for the record, I don't think "we got what we had coming to us" but I do think 9/11 is a good demonstration of the consequences of following an altruistic foreign policy.

The terrorists can come up with any reason they want, but there are logical, rational reasons behind the attacks, and foolish, nonsensical reasons. Surely, we can distinguish them? Clearly the primary motivation for them, as irrational as they are, was not that we wear jeans, are godless, or allow porn online.

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Yes, you got it Gags. In my quite disjointed post there were two things I was struggling to put across.

One is that particular type of irrational evil I keep coming up against that refuses to see something for what it is. I am beginning to believe that the refusal to stare massive and terrible injustice in the face, has a psychological aspect to it - some sort of self-defence mechanism.[' A person did this to another person; but I am a person too, a possible victim, or a possible perpetrator, so where does this leave me?'] It is the fault finding rationalisation of those who lack any rational judgement.

This is the most charitable I can be about these types, because evasion alone is not what drives them. There is also some twisted part in them that revels in observing the good, the great, being weakened, even humbled. This puts them beyond salvation by Reason.

Two, is the argument I got very familiar with during the Israeli-Gaza conflict. It is the 'case' against 'disproportionate response'. Or how much force to use, and when; and anyway "they were only reacting to what you did to them, you know". And THE most irrational is the one never said aloud, but just inferred: " you are much more powerful AND moral so you should be gentle."[!!]

In a chain of retribution that goes back forever, one (a self-respecting Nation,or a life-affirming individual) has to come to a point of refusing to acknowledge that chain any longer.

Sort of, the buck stops here ,and now. You get one warning; heed it, or pay.

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I see. Well, for the record, I don't think "we got what we had coming to us" but I do think 9/11 is a good demonstration of the consequences of following an altruistic foreign policy.

The terrorists can come up with any reason they want, but there are logical, rational reasons behind the attacks, and foolish, nonsensical reasons. Surely, we can distinguish them? Clearly the primary motivation for them, as irrational as they are, was not that we wear jeans, are godless, or allow porn online.

What are the "logical, rational reasons behind the attacks"? Because I don’t think we can isolate anything from the nonsense coming out of Al Qaeda. We're dealing with a group of religious extremists who see America as "The Great Satan". If we were fundamentalist Muslims, I hardly think that Al Qaeda would have objected to our stationing US soldiers in Saudi Arabia or whatever other crap excuse they use to rationalize the attacks. You need to understand that there is no validity to the Marxist claim that our imperialist foreign policy is the source of radical Muslim hatred for America. These people hate Jews, Christians and Atheists and they particularly despise anyone who supports Israel.

Edited by gags
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Andrew, you are attempting to explain the irrational, with rationality.

These are people who do not require a "WHY". Give it up.

Indeed, if I were an American and taxpayer, I would be going crazy about my government's foreign policy. It has been misdirected and reactive. It has also been - and I've been trying to convince friends for years - ALTRUISTIC.

Give those poor people the delights of democracy, and they will be ever so grateful.

Proves the adage, A good deed never goes unpunished.

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What are the "logical, rational reasons behind the attacks"? Because I don’t think we can isolate anything from the nonsense coming out of Al Qaeda. We're dealing with a group of religious extremists who see America as "The Great Satan". If we were fundamentalist Muslims, I hardly think that Al Qaeda would have objected to our stationing US soldiers in Saudi Arabia or whatever other crap excuse they use to rationalize the attacks. You need to understand that there is no validity to the Marxist claim that our imperialist foreign policy is the source of radical Muslim hatred for America. These people hate Jews, Christians and Atheists and they particularly despise anyone who supports Israel.

If the people who committed 9/11 were driven only by the fact that we weren't fundamentalist Muslims, then I must pose a significant hole in your logic. Why us, after all? There are easier targets. Why not Luxembourg? Why not Bermuda? Why not Brazil?

Would you be upset at all if Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK established military bases on American soil? I highly doubt any member of Al Qaeda would give us a pass if we were fundamentalist Muslims. However, that hypothetical is absurd to begin with, because no group of fundamentalist Muslim savages could ever progress to the point of our foreign policy.

Who says that our foreign policy's effects on radical Islam is a Marxist idea? That's a very peculiar and compelling statement, which surely requires some evidence? I don't see anything Marxist about that - Marxists were the first modern imperialists! How do you explain Nazi Germany? How about Soviet Russia's ridiculous attempt to overthrow Afghanistan? What about present-day China and their dispute with Tibet? You used the term "Marxist" with the precise intent of passing off intellectual dishonesty.

Andrew, you are attempting to explain the irrational, with rationality.

These are people who do not require a "WHY". Give it up.

Indeed, if I were an American and taxpayer, I would be going crazy about my government's foreign policy. It has been misdirected and reactive. It has also been - and I've been trying to convince friends for years - ALTRUISTIC.

Give those poor people the delights of democracy, and they will be ever so grateful.

Proves the adage, A good deed never goes unpunished.

I already made it quite clear that terrorists act irrationally, but my point was that we acted pretty irrationally as well. The United State's foreign policy of altruism was an enormous detriment to the citizens of the US, and it also did nothing to help keep us safe from terrorist attacks. As we can see from history, our altruistic foreign policy has caused a lot of Americans to die needlessly, a lot of money stolen from Americans needlessly, and, rational or not, was cited as a reason for 9/11. I hardly see how maintaining military bases, and a militaristic empire, and providing troop subsidies to so many countries, could be seen as anything but horribly altruistic and wasteful. The domestic reasons behind such a foreign policy alone should be enough of a reason to never engage in such actions again.

An enormous irony is that we tried to give them "democracy" - a system which we don't even use in this country!

Remember, this is the guy who called Iran the "peaceful, successful free government of Iran."

Why yes, a wonderfully deceptive misquote from KenndallJ. Anybody who actually reads that post would know immediately that I was not speaking of the present-day Iran, or even an Iran of 50 years ago. You know, Iran did used to be a free, peaceful nation.

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Would you be upset at all if Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK established military bases on American soil?

Not if the American government invited them for legitimate defense purposes.

BTW neihter various European countries, not South Korea, nor Japan object to Americna bases in their soil. When the Philippines did object, they simply did not renew the lease for the Clark and Subic Bay bases and the Americans left. No Filipinos flew aircraft into buildings in protest.

I hardly see how maintaining military bases, and a militaristic empire, and providing troop subsidies to so many countries, could be seen as anything but horribly altruistic and wasteful.

Oh, well, there was that whole need to contain the USSR from 1945 until 1990 or so, plus the continuing containment of North Korea. Continuing to keep the bases in Europe may or may not be a good idea. It depends on the terms on which the forces stationed there can operate. In a pinch, they may turn out to be useful against Iran. IN the future Russia may need to be contained again (or still, besides there are a lot of American allies in Europe)

An enormous irony is that we tried to give them "democracy" - a system which we don't even use in this country!

Check your premises. America may not be a de jure democracy, but it acts like one.

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Yes, you got it Gags. In my quite disjointed post there were two things I was struggling to put across.

One is that particular type of irrational evil I keep coming up against that refuses to see something for what it is. I am beginning to believe that the refusal to stare massive and terrible injustice in the face, has a psychological aspect to it - some sort of self-defence mechanism.[' A person did this to another person; but I am a person too, a possible victim, or a possible perpetrator, so where does this leave me?'] It is the fault finding rationalisation of those who lack any rational judgement.

This is the most charitable I can be about these types, because evasion alone is not what drives them. There is also some twisted part in them that revels in observing the good, the great, being weakened, even humbled. This puts them beyond salvation by Reason.

Rand detailed this mindset exhaustively. The worst thing you can do is 'charitably' attribute it to innocent naivety or neurosis; you will end up with a knife in your back.

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