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

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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?
As I said, they particularly despise us because we support Israel. They also hate our entire culture of freedom and what they believe is permissiveness. They don’t attack Bermuda because Bermuda doesn’t support Israel and I don’t recall seeing any worldwide releases of Bermudan movies or hearing any Bermudan rap music lately. The fact that we have soldiers stationed in the Middle East is because we have vital interests in that region. We have a real self-interest in ensuring that oil flows freely from countries like Saudi Arabia and we have a self interest in supporting Israel.

Would you be upset at all if Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK established military bases on American soil?
I absolutely would not be upset if we requested their presence in response to a legitimate outside threat, as was the case with Saudi Arabia and our troops.

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.
Are you actually saying that our foreign policy is worse than that of the “Muslim savages”? I'm afraind you have a serious problem with your judgment.

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?
Marxists have been claiming that the US has an imperialist foreign policy for years. If you’ve never heard that claim, I’d have to assume you’ve been living in a hole for most of your adult life. I can’t see how citing the aggression of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia or China somehow demonstrates that Marxists don’t claim American foreign policy is imperialistic.

You used the term "Marxist" with the precise intent of passing off intellectual dishonesty.
I’ve done nothing more than come to this thread in order to participate in a sincere discussion regarding what I see as an important moral question. Your claim that I’m somehow being intellectually dishonest makes you look foolish.

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.
Our foreign policy has not been primarily altruistic. Certainly there have been altruistic aspects, with the Bush administration’s Iraq occupation being the most prominent recent example. However, this nation has real interests overseas that we have defended with a great deal of blood and treasure. To look at the long history of American foreign policy and claim that it is primarily altruistic is a severe misreading of that history.

An enormous irony is that we tried to give them "democracy" - a system which we don't even use in this country!
Why is that so ironic? We used to be a constitutionally limited republic and we’ve progressively moved closer to a democracy, which is a bad thing IMO.
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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

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.

No actually it goes back to the very issue which you have yet to address. Remember that vid I linked you to. Iran being a peaceful government who rightly tired over "imperial control of their oil." If of course it was their oil, then they might have such a right. If not, then maybe they weren't the peaceful successful government you claim. then they would be the nationalist government who flagrantly violates property rights at whim under the guise of calling it their oil. If you're going to bring up history and suggest what it is that Rand would or would not have advocated, at least have the decency to not be directly contradicted by her own words.

Keep trying Andrew, this libertarian bull gets old.

Edited by KendallJ
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No actually it goes back to the very issue which you have yet to address. Remember that vid I linked you to. Iran being a peaceful government who rightly tired over "imperial control of their oil." If of course it was their oil, then they might have such a right. If not, then maybe they weren't the peaceful successful government you claim. then they would be the nationalist government who flagrantly violates property rights at whim under the guise of calling it their oil. If you're going to bring up history and suggest what it is that Rand would or would not have advocated, at least have the decency to not be directly contradicted by her own words.

Keep trying Andrew, this libertarian bull gets old.

I already responded to that. Britain did not uphold their ends of the contract. They were the aggressors.

I am not concerned with what Rand would have advocated. I am concerned with what is right. Objectivism is a philosophy, not a set of conclusions.

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The fact that we have soldiers stationed in the Middle East is because we have vital interests in that region. We have a real self-interest in ensuring that oil flows freely from countries like Saudi Arabia and we have a self interest in supporting Israel.

Would this not be best done through contracts?

I absolutely would not be upset if we requested their presence in response to a legitimate outside threat, as was the case with Saudi Arabia and our troops.

That's vastly oversimplifying the conflict.

Are you actually saying that our foreign policy is worse than that of the “Muslim savages”? I'm afraind you have a serious problem with your judgment.

What? Absolutely not, all I meant to say was that a nation of savages could never build such a sophisticated and great military as the US has.

Marxists have been claiming that the US has an imperialist foreign policy for years. If you’ve never heard that claim, I’d have to assume you’ve been living in a hole for most of your adult life. I can’t see how citing the aggression of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia or China somehow demonstrates that Marxists don’t claim American foreign policy is imperialistic.

Look, Marxism is not the only ideology that makes the claim that the US runs a military empire. And it's incredibly unfair and dishonest to label it that way when you flat-out know that I am not a Marxist. The reason for citing those examples was to demonstrate how Marxists are historically imperialist - Marxism is quite in favor of imperialism.

Our foreign policy has not been primarily altruistic. Certainly there have been altruistic aspects, with the Bush administration’s Iraq occupation being the most prominent recent example. However, this nation has real interests overseas that we have defended with a great deal of blood and treasure. To look at the long history of American foreign policy and claim that it is primarily altruistic is a severe misreading of that history.

Why is that so ironic? We used to be a constitutionally limited republic and we’ve progressively moved closer to a democracy, which is a bad thing IMO.

WWI was an incredibly altruistic war. Vietnam was simply idiotic. Yes, the Iraq war is the most prominent contemporary example. However, I'd say that troop and building subsidies to over 130 nations, including the handouts we give to nearly every impoverished nation on the earth, is a pretty good indication that we run a PRIMARILY altruistic foreign policy.

I think we're moving closer to fascism than democracy. I'm seeing a lot more corporate-governmental collusion and involvement than I'm seeing tyranny of the majority.

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I already responded to that. Britain did not uphold their ends of the contract. They were the aggressors.

I am not concerned with what Rand would have advocated. I am concerned with what is right. Objectivism is a philosophy, not a set of conclusions.

That's odd. You started this thread by questioning who would rightly advocate the foreign policy such as ARI's, that it was not properly Objective, as in consistent with Objecivism. When pointed to evidence that Rand herself would have advocated it, you simply shrug her off as obviously not being consistent with Objectivism. You remember that post don't you?

Please, fellow Objectivists, tell me how any of you can support the neo-conservative foreign policy endorsed by the Ayn Rand Institute?

...

I cannot see how any Objectivist could promote a foreign policy of nation building, military interventionism, and first-strike assaults. Please, somebody, for the love of science and logic, show me Objectivist literature endorsing this evil and horrifically inhuman practice!

I'm not sure how exactly one separates the philosohpical principles from the conclusions they lead to, especially with a philosophy that advocates reality identification, and the idea that the facts of reality lead to moral conclusions. TO suggest that one separates the two would be in complete violation of the very integrated nature of Objectivism. One can certainly debate whether or not reality has been appropriately identified, but if it has, the philosophy and the conclusions are inseparable.

And of course, you seem to be concerned with what Rand advocated when it conveniently fits your perspective. As in this case (which of course was an erroneous interpretation itself).

What?

4:01 into this video, Ayn Rand unequivocally shows how you're wrong.

As to the claim about the British, let's support that shall we? Could you provide an unbiased reference to the history? My quick pull of Wiki gave this note:

After World War II, AIOC and the Iranian government initially resisted nationalist pressure to revise AIOC's concession terms still further in Iran's favour. But in March 1951, the pro-western Prime Minister Ali Razmara was assassinated.[3] The Majlis of Iran (parliament) elected a nationalist, Mohammed Mossadeq, as prime minister. In April, the Majlis nationalized the oil industry by unanimous vote.[4]

Most of the middle east history is filled with this sort of "change of terms." What sort of successful democracies assassinate their leaders in order to bring their candidate into power. "Thanks for building us that refinery but you forgot to build us a school" strikes me a bit as a trumped up excuse to nationalize, as most nationalizations require. Nor would nationalization be the sort of remedy under any sort of objective law. An objectively based legal system would not allow for "you didn't live up to a specifid term of your contract, therefore we can do anything we damn well please" sort of mentality. You really think this is anything but a complete power grab by the Iranian govt? Come off it Andrew. You're an apologist for what was NOT a successful rights respecting democracy, and you're using the same thin veneer of an excuse that they did to justify your whole basis for argument. Rand was right. It wasn't their oil.

Successful, rights respecting countries have laws, and they have courts, and you and I both know that the objective proper redress for contract breach is either a remedy or damages in proportion to the damage incurred. Once the extraction infrastructure was built nationalization was far and away more than would ever have been awarded in any lawsuit over a school or wages. But then that might be why there was never a trial in Iranian court. And of course, that was Rand's point. The oil in the ground has no value. It is only the product of men's mind, i.e. the knowledge and technology to extract it that has value, and that is what the Iranians confiscated. The proper response to nationalization then would simply have been to destroy the wells and refineries and the plans for building such, and let them figure out how to extract it themselves.

I'm just stunned that someone can sit here and suggest that nationalization is a proper objective response to these concerns. Unlike many things which are only alluded to in her novels, Rand illustrates pretty well that natiolization is the tool of thugs. She does that in a book called Atlas Shrugged. Maybe you've read it.

But I'm sure you're going to provide us a well-integrated whole of an explanation, and not a 'they didn't live up to their end of the deal," and how nationalization would then have been proper, objective redress to those concerns.

Edited by KendallJ
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Would this not be best done through contracts?
No, because contracts don’t work when you are dealing with hostile foreign powers that are fielding armies to attack us and our allies. Defending this country is the province of government, not contractual relationships.

That's vastly oversimplifying the conflict.
You originally asked whether I would be upset if Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the UK established military bases on American soil. I answered that I would not, if a real threat existed and their assistance was needed. How is that in any way different from the situation that currently confronts some of our allies where we have troops stationed?

What? Absolutely not, all I meant to say was that a nation of savages could never build such a sophisticated and great military as the US has.
Ok, I’ll accept that. However, you referred to “our foreign policy”, not our military.

Look, Marxism is not the only ideology that makes the claim that the US runs a military empire. And it's incredibly unfair and dishonest to label it that way when you flat-out know that I am not a Marxist. The reason for citing those examples was to demonstrate how Marxists are historically imperialist - Marxism is quite in favor of imperialism.
Andrew, I didn’t call you a Marxist because I haven’t seen any evidence that you’re a Marxist. Nevertheless, my original statement stands regarding the Marxist origins of the claim that US foreign policy is Imperialistic.

WWI was an incredibly altruistic war. Vietnam was simply idiotic. Yes, the Iraq war is the most prominent contemporary example. However, I'd say that troop and building subsidies to over 130 nations, including the handouts we give to nearly every impoverished nation on the earth, is a pretty good indication that we run a PRIMARILY altruistic foreign policy.
Yes, WWI was in some ways an altruistic war, however that doesn’t make 230+ years of US foreign policy primarily altruistic.

I think we're moving closer to fascism than democracy. I'm seeing a lot more corporate-governmental collusion and involvement than I'm seeing tyranny of the majority.
I don’t disagree that recent trends here are negative. Democracy can be used as a convenient tool by those who are attempting to deny individual rights. After all, the German people democratically elected Hitler and the Palestinians elected Hamas. Clearly the US policy of promoting democracy without regard to individual rights is a mistake.
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"Democracy can be used as a convenient tool by those who are attempting to deny individual rights".

"Clearly the US policy of promoting democracy without regard to individual rights is a mistake."

gags, This should be engraved in stone. The first statement is the story of Africa.

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  • 6 months later...

So, I'm curious where everyone is at these days re 9/11.

After the reveal of lying re AGW - the sheer extent of it and the behavior of world leaders when confronted with it, I find I'm even less inclined than ever to believe official government stories, official MSM stories or indeed anything that seeks to obliterate inconvenient facts rather than address them.

So now I'm looking into the whole 9/11 thing anew, especially as there seems no end to the wars in sight and following stricter controls on individuals' freedoms being put in place after the Christmas Day attack. I'm thinking that alot of the stuff that is used as justification for further erosion to individuals' rights in the name of national security is concocted. The real goal is eroding individuals' rights & freedoms. Any means to achieve that end is being used. It's a bait & switch, or a magic act. You're distracted with some terrible event here, so that you are more amenable to temporary intrusions & inconveniences.

Except you'll find that "temporary" becomes "permanent."

I'm reading about 9/11 Truths (from ny911truth.org), first of all "Top 40 Reasons to Doubt the Official Story of Sept. 11, 2001" and then onto "The Official 9/11 Cover-Up Guide." I wonder if there is any discussion of these theories in this thread or if there's another thread... anyway, I'll be interested to hear from whomever wants to weigh in.

Edited to add links. :)

Edited by AllMenAreIslands
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I'm reading about 9/11 Truths (from ny911truth.org), first of all "Top 40 Reasons to Doubt the Official Story of Sept. 11, 2001" and then onto "The Official 9/11 Cover-Up Guide." I wonder if there is any discussion of these theories in this thread or if there's another thread... anyway, I'll be interested to hear from whomever wants to weigh in.

I find it funny that anybody could take the 9/11 truth movement seriously. Their entire premise is based on the belief that the government somehow was in cahoots with, or was directly involved in, the flying of airplanes into one of the country's most important landmarks, in the middle of its most important city, right in the middle of rush hour ... and the only people who could figure out this grand scheme were a bunch of braindead college students with iMacs. Considering all the immense failures of the Bush administration, and their inability to perform even simple acts of policy with any amount of rational thought, I find little credibility in the claim that they could be so successful at pulling off such an enormous feat with such precision.

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I find it funny that anybody could take the 9/11 truth movement seriously. Their entire premise is based on the belief that the government somehow was in cahoots with, or was directly involved in, the flying of airplanes into one of the country's most important landmarks, in the middle of its most important city, right in the middle of rush hour ... and the only people who could figure out this grand scheme were a bunch of braindead college students with iMacs. Considering all the immense failures of the Bush administration, and their inability to perform even simple acts of policy with any amount of rational thought, I find little credibility in the claim that they could be so successful at pulling off such an enormous feat with such precision.

I agree completely. And I would add that a conspiracy this large would be virtually impossible to keep secret in a government that can't keep much of anything from the public. Before I give even the slightest bit of credence to the 9/11 Truth crowd, I want to hear an explanation of how it is even remotely possible to hide the federal government's supposed involvement in this attack (which would have required the participation of dozens of people).

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Yeah, and more importantly I have never heard anyone who spouts this theory (and there are a lot of people who say to me that 9/11 was an "inside job") they can never explain why the government would do this. When I ask why they either ignore the question or say something about Bush being in cahoots with Bin Laden's family or something. Lol

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The troofers would argue that it hasn't remained hidden, because they have exposed it...just that most people remain willfully blind. To answer EC's question, they would also argue that it was done to give the government an excuse to get involved in the Middle East again.

I know these things because, I am sorry to say, my best friend from college (who was also the best man at my wedding) believes that the US government orchestrated the collapse of the twin towers. Don't talk to him much, these days...

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they can never explain why the government would do this. When I ask why they either ignore the question or say something about Bush being in cahoots with Bin Laden's family or something. Lol

They also never explain what we should do about it. There is conspicuously little to no talk of revolution, civil disobediance, or any form of seeking justice for the 9/11 conspiracy.

Trooferism is not about logic, truth or justice. It's about validating one's alienation from society, i.e. "I'm one of the few who know the truth and the rest of you are sleeping sheep."

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I say we owe it to the victims of 9/11. We should have done it five years ago!

Five reason, go ahead. :o

Brandon

Why do we need five?

This argument should suffice:

Using nuclear weapons is only a deterrent to those countries who believe their interests lie in the real world. In a nation of 'martyrs' it would actually encourage retaliation rather than discourage it. Our enemy has an identity and refusing to accept that it has one not only compromises victory, but makes it impossible.

Edited by TuringAI
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Using nuclear weapons is only a deterrent to those countries who believe their interests lie in the real world. In a nation of 'martyrs' it would actually encourage retaliation rather than discourage it.

This argument is flawed. Using nuclear weapons is not a deterrent; it is a use of force to eliminate an enemy. The purpose in doing so would be to wipe the enemy from existence. Dead 'martyrs' aren't very effective if nobody is left to carry on their work.

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  • 1 month later...
Using nuclear weapons is only a deterrent to those countries who believe their interests lie in the real world. In a nation of 'martyrs' it would actually encourage retaliation rather than discourage it. Our enemy has an identity and refusing to accept that it has one not only compromises victory, but makes it impossible.

Threatening to use, yes. The Soviets wanted to prevail on Earth, however wrong they were. Islamists want to win in death. That's why they'll have to be used, not just waved around.

Edited by L-C
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  • 4 weeks later...
I don't see why that is necessary. why not just target a couple of nukes on Mecca? issue a warning that if there is any further terrorist attack against the west or its interests, the kaaba et al will be obliterated by a nuke dipped in pork fat.

Because, if we nuke Mecca, it's inevitable that later on someone else will nuke Washington D.C. and most of the world will support the retaliation, including much of the U.S.A. itself. It may not be right that we have to consider our 'international standing', but considering that warfare creates a short term emergency, our main purpose is to stay alive, and our international standing helps that. Why should we destroy such an asset?

Without that part of ethics which comes with living in a social context, how can you refute this argument? After all, the only exceptions to the social context rule are emergencies. An emergency cannot have a long term solution, because such a situation as the rule rather than an exception is a contradiction.

Not only that but it would psyche them out more to treat them with disdain, since being seen as a major threat to the U.S. as opposed to a minor one is part of what encourages them to attack. How can we do this if we nuke them, elevating them in the eyes of other enemies to the status of major world powers?

All in all it's a bad idea. Only if there's a war that, even IF we fought it properly we would be under attack on multiple occasions, with an opponent that has the capacity to sustain such attacks, is a nuke or another weapon of mass destruction even justified. And the WMDs we use need to be specifically tailored to the situation, including the location of the enemy and things which give them the ability to commit warfare.

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If we just dropped bombs on every known terrorist we'd be a step ahead of where we are now. No need for nukes. Our conventional bombing capacity is pretty extensive, and underutilized. Nukes themselves are among the most wasteful and unnecessary weapons. In this era the only thing a nuke could do that bombing couldn't is kill all insurgents by killing everybody. Even so, there are conventional bombs that could do that just fine.

Other than MAD strategic nukes, the only use for nukes would be tactically in very odd situations: like North Korea's entrenched artillery aimed at Seoul. That artillery could be bombed out easily during a war, with the exception that it would take longer than the artillery needed to destroy Seoul. Hence the nukes.

But DMZ/trenches etc lost their effectiveness as soon as strategic bombers were invented. So a tactical nuke would work in a 'blitz' against a fortified line. Otherwise, nukes are too destructive, and have too many lingering consequences to be worth using.

You are describing a terror tactic. Remember Mecca can be nuked 1 time, and that no one would believe that we'd do that until after it's nuked. Also, you presume that lunatics fighting for God are fighting for Mecca - they aren't. But once Mecca's gone, you'll have millions of new lunatics fighting for both.

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Because, if we nuke Mecca, it's inevitable that later on someone else will nuke Washington

D.C.

Both New York City and Washington will be either nuked or attacked with dirty bombs eventually. It is just a matter of time. No matter what we do or do not, it will happen.

and most of the world will support the retaliation, including much of the U.S.A. itself. It may not be right that we have to consider our 'international standing', but considering that warfare creates a short term emergency, our main purpose is to stay alive, and our international standing helps that. Why should we destroy such an asset?

Using "conventional" bombs like the MOAB can cause extensive collateral damages. Using very localized bombs (like JDAM) assumes that the location of the bad guys is known precisely. This is not a justified assumption. The bad guys like random movement so their locations cannot be readily predicted. The surest way of getting the bad guys is to know their location within five square miles and do area bombing. This has one advantage: it kills enough collaterals to thin the ranks of future bad guys. It also has a disadvantage: it gets enough survivors angry enough to join the ranks of the bad guys. It cuts both ways.

You can count on the bad guys surrounding themselves with women and children. The death of women and children has propaganda value. Since there is no way to avoid collateral damage one should simply disregard it as an operational factor. We have no vested interested in the health of overseas Muslims (bad ones and not so bad ones). If they all dropped dead tomorrow we would be all the better for it.

If we go by our past experience, wiping out entire cities is a very effective way of putting an end to wars. We did it to the Japanese. Within two weeks these fanatics and kamikazes tossed in the towel.

Bob Kolker

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