Monday, January 09, 2006

WMDs once again

I thought this comment by Paul Snively, which appeared on the recent thread about lying and WMDs, was well-put, and worth highlighting:

Brief logic lesson:

You cannot prove the negation of an existential quantifier in first-order logic given the open-world assumption. The reason is simple: it only takes one counterexample, probably taken from the portion of the open world not considered in the clause at hand, to refute the proof.

Now, Iraq is big, but it's not an open world. In principle, you could prove that there are no WMDs in Iraq at any given point in time. In practice, however, all you can do is talk in probabilities until everyone's satisfied that the probabilities are sufficiently low as not to matter. The only way this works is with a great deal of effort on the part of the government in question. We know what this looks like, primarily thanks to the voluntary disarmament and documenteation efforts of the South African government. The problem with Iraq in the time leading up to the war was that it looked like exactly the opposite: obfuscation, challenge, and rejection right up until the day of the invasion. With Iraq's history of gassing its own people, invading its neighbors, and daily firings on planes patrolling the no-fly zones from Desert Storm, the prudent thing to do was to believe that Iraq had something to hide. And this is only considering the WMDs, while American policy from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration has held some half a dozen other factors to be critical to supporting the policy of regime change. Unfortunately, precisely because the Bush administration believed (correctly, as the criticism reinforces) that the international community would only be impressed by the WMD argument, that was the argument that they presented to the UN (as compared to the Clinton administration, which didn't approach the UN). So now we have the damned if you do, damned if you don't problem: Bush loses because there aren't stockpiles of WMDs in Iraq, and the fact that he went to the UN at all doesn't count. But if he hadn't gone to the UN, the screams about unilateralism and the "rush to war" that took 11 months would be even louder.


29 Comments:

At 2:14 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It all goes back to the UN. If Bush wanted to defend America, going to the UN to aid the British, was the wrong thing to do looking back and it was the wrong thing to do at the time. Bush should have known that. All space-time ramifications to the current lack of WMDs, outcry, and incorrect focus on WMDs were all because of going to the UN. Bush probably didn't want to step on his allies and advisors, when he should have. Trusting in the UN was one of the few times that Bush violated his oath to protect the Constitution and the people against foreign and domestic enemies. Of which the UN is one of.

It is a mistake he should admit and rectify. But he doesn't do that, and that is why most Americans don't trust him as much as they did just after 9/11. I can never trust a buddy of the UN, and neither can most Jacksonians.

 
At 2:38 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous telesonic said...

Not sure I'd call Bush a friend of the UN, either. He sicced Bolton on 'em, didn't he?

 
At 2:47 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

telesonic: That was Tough Love.

 
At 3:27 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

Neo; precisely. "As the twig is bent, so groweth the tree".

The tree of the UN is so gnarled and twisted from its original purpose that it will take a Bolton to see if it is worth pruning and shaping or if it needs to be reduced to firewood.

We've got a couple of old oaks on the home place that an aborist is evaluating this spring. I love the old things but if I have to choose between having one drop on a building, expensive pruning and cabling or firewood, I won't have any problem making the decision.

 
At 3:51 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The UN is in New York. Bush gives Kofi mister I want to "steal from the poor to give to me" and "I pay my Peacekeepers with rape, pillage, and looting" a free place to live, on American tax money.

We don't show our allies the Japanese, the Iraqis, the Afghanistanis, the Polish, or the Australians such favor. They don't got UN seats next to us, yet we expect them to risk their people to bolster American prestige? What kind of idiocy that is, is unknown to me.

Siccing Bolton on Kofi Annan with plenipotentiary rights of trial, judge, and executioner along with revoking of diplomatic immunity, might mean Bush is forever in enmity to the UN. But keeping the status quo, as with Saddam and Iran, is to be a friend and a foresworn one at that.

The world sees America and judges us according to who our friends are and who our enemies are. If they see Osama "Mister I have food to feed your starving child" Bin Laden, and if they then see America as an enemy of Bin Laden, then America is their enemy as well.

When they see, experience, and feel the abuse and the utter degradatin and extermination of the human spirit that is SOP to the UN, and witness the location of the UNited Nations headquarters in America, what would any sane human being think of the United States of America and our prestige? They would spit upon it, and justly so.

For only the just have unjust enemies, and only the unjust may live in the land of the unjust without sanction, warrant, and execution. (Iran, Syria, North Korea)

Bolton speaks the tough talk of erasing from the face of America, the institution of the United Nations. But he has not the power to execute the UN bureacrats, and his boss has neither the will nor the desire.

It is infuriating, but I suppose Bush has more important things to do than to raise the prestige of the United States across the world.

And that is why we don't have Presidents for life. And it is only a glimmer and a sight unfelt of the experiences of Iraqis under Saddam and the UN protectorates.

Using Neo's refereal to Tough Love, if America loved the just, the innocent, and our loyal allies, just to what extent are we willing to tolerate the fiendish betrayal of a stranger, of those that we love?

What was it Jefferson said? Oh yes, he said something to the effect that he declared perpetual enmity to tyrannies across the globe. While he is not my favorite among our ancestors, he was the most eloquent.

Imagine an upstart nation declaring hostility against the ruling supremes of this world, for theirs is the way of tyranny and cruelty. Now imagine the power we have today, the power we fear to use, and for which there is no better time and no better place to use it. There comes a time when you have to use them or lose them, and there will never come a time where America has as much of an opportunity to reshape the world as we do today, in the early 21st century. Soon China and India will become competitors, and we will have to trust in their wisdom and their frugality concerning power, to uplift this world. Soon Iran will have nuclear weapons and use fear to triumph where liberty fears to tread.

For a nation that has relied upon itself for survival and the Enlightenment for our wisdom and guidance, we are currently a nation shackled to the will of others, and tyranic others at that.

It would be a fit rendering for a Shakespearean tragedy, except not even Shakespear had the fortitude to describe the utter loss and triumph of such a many as it exists here and now.

I feel gratitude that I know not a slightest glimmer of the true suffering of the world, of the six billion in perpetual slavery. For such knowledge breeds hate never ending, and such is the tragedy and the triumph of all slave races in rebellion, that only one nation ever lifted itself above such hatred and revenge, to getting ahead.

It truely is an open-world, and amidst the assumption is the heart rending truth. It only takes one failure, one stumble, to collapse the path of best results. And thus is born this fact, that Bush going to the UN matters far more than many realize.

He will not be the one to correct that mistake, instead like his Father, he shall leave it to future generations. As WWII to ours, and so on.

 
At 4:15 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

ymarsakar: Hear, hear.

That was real Boots and Saddles oratory. Just when we think a time and place is gone and forgotten, "...perpetual enmity to tyrannies across the globe" reminds us of our duty. A duty we have to a world that is a lot smaller now than it was in Jefferson's time.

 
At 6:05 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There is also the golden oldie.

"And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

"'He either fears his fate too much,
Or his desert is small,
Who fears to put it to the touch,
And win or lose it all.'

Such is the philosophy of the warrior and of the military. And being immersed in such an intellectual realm, produces curious thinking and even curiouser characters.

Those who have gone before, fought for us here today. We owe them a debt that is hard to repay.

"- Francis Lewis, New York delegate saw his home plundered and his estates in what is now Harlem, completely destroyed by British soldiers. Mrs. Lewis was captured and treated with great brutality. Though she was later exchanged for two British prisoners though the efforts of Congress she died from the effects of her abuse."

"- Robert Morris, merchant prince of Philadelphia, delegate and signer, met Washington's appeals and pleas for money year after year. He made and raised arms and provisions which made it possible for Washington to cross the Delaware at Trenton. In the process he lost 150 ships at sea, bleeding his own fortune and credit almost dry."

"Of those 56 who signed the Declaration of Independence, nine died of wounds or hardships during the war. Five were captured and imprisoned, in each case with brutal treatment. Several lost wives, sons or entire families. One lost his 13 children. Two wives were brutally treated. All were at one time or another the victims of manhunts and driven from their homes.

Twelve signers had their homes completely burned.

Seventeen lost everything they owned. Yet not one defected or went back on his pledged word. Their honor, and the nation they sacrificed so much to create is still intact.

The 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence proved by their every deed that they made no idle boast when they composed the most magnificent curtain line in history. "And for the support of this Declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

Take such misery, put yourselves in their shoes, and multiply the pain and the anguish by 6 billion human souls. You will either go mad or you will destroy yourself with hate.

I do not believe the fake liberals when they say that America is responsible for every soul on this planet, we are not that powerful.

But I also believe that Americans have a duty to not just liberate ourselves, but whoever our power may touch. We are not saints to protect everyone, but we are not trash either that would allow evil to exist because of fear.

At least, we who are not indebted to the tune of trillions in the popular culture of decadence, stupidity, and gratuity.

 
At 8:34 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To provide a backdrop contrast, here are the quotes the opposition to America holds true.

The quotes I favor would probably scare the detractors of America. This is equitable, since their own quotes are very scary at that.

Compromise between reasoning beings educated by the Enlightenment and forged in a cauldron of war as a band of brothers is one thing. But the discord between allies of the enemies of the United States in the form of our loyal opposition and the protectors and statesmen of the US, is something else again.

There is a classic difference. In the past, people knew where their loyalties were and did not lie about them nor forswear them. In this day of age, we don't know whether some terroist that lives in America, using his citizenship to acquire knowledge and lap dances, is going to end up blowing us up in the end. Nor do we know where the MSM will turn traitor and feed our vital secrets to the enemy for personal gain.

In this day and age, deception is the norm, not honoring an oath.

Therefore even if the Democrats had good faith, I could not trust them with the fate of the nation. And the Democrats cannot trust the Republicans because they assume everyone else is as bad as they are.

Quotes

The first quote could amost be channeling Neo and Vietnam here.

 
At 8:39 PM, January 09, 2006, Anonymous Richard Aubrey said...

Decades ago, I recall being interested in the occasional story of people who had risked all to escape communism or other tyranny and come to the US.
The Hungarian Revolution figured in a lot of them, and today I know a few folks who got out then.

This is nice, I thought, but we can't take them all.
Better fix up their places so they don't have to come here.

After the Gulf War, I wrote a sort of novel about the US doing the world policeman thing, with military stuff here, a bit of peaceful subversion there, some refugee protection, a bit of ill-starred romance, the whole thing.
A friend of mine, who's a published novelist, suggested I send it to his agent.
She was a nice lady, but objected to the US being the good guy. Look at what the CIA has been doing, and so forth. So that won't see the light of day.

So, here we are.

Oh well, somebody no doubt turned down Tom Clancy once, too.

The practical issue is that not only do we want to fix things so we don't have so many people wanting to come here for a good life, we don't want them coming here to end ours, either. The means is the same.

Back in 1973, I wrote a short about an unnamed president declaring nationwide martial law. Several months later, Nixon resigned. I figure nobody wanted to buy it because they were scared to run it.

Maybe this stuff about "ripped from tomorrow's headlines" ought to be taken less literally.

 
At 10:08 PM, January 09, 2006, Blogger Motor 1560 said...

I admit it, as I get older, I get a lot less tolerant of treason masquerading as a legitimate political point of view. During the 60's it was still possible to pass the whole thing off as simply delusion. But, not now.

I have actually, within the last year, listened to people discuss the fact that the US "must fall" and that it is reasonable to do anything to make this happen.

I much prefer the time I can spend in the environment of "Yes Sir, no Sir, three bags full, Sir."

 
At 1:35 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Judith said...

I seem to recall that there is a particular process of verifying one has decommissioned a WMD program and destroyed all WMDs. I think S Africa and one of the Stans engaged in this.

Saddam repeatedly refused. So it's not so much his recalcitrant behavior in general as his refusal to go through this process.

 
At 1:40 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Judith said...

Here's what we did with Libya, for example.

 
At 6:44 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

I liked the part about gassing his own people. That occurred in the 1980's, when Bush I was president and when Saddam was our friend, wasn't it? I remember the famous photo of Rumsfeld shaking Saddam's hand. Amazing, isn't it? It's OK to gas your own people when you are our friend, but don't try it when you are not; we will use that as an excuse to invade you!

 
At 7:01 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

(as compared to the Clinton administration, which didn't approach the UN).

Clinton did work with the U.N.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/middle_east/july-dec98/clinton_12-16.html

The United States has patiently worked to preserve UNSCOM as Iraq has sought to avoid its obligation to cooperate with the inspectors. On occasion, we've had to threaten military force, and Saddam has backed down.

Faced with Saddam's latest act of defiance in late October, we built intensive diplomatic pressure on Iraq backed by overwhelming military force in the region. The U.N. Security Council voted 15 to zero to condemn Saddam's actions and to demand that he immediately come into compliance.

Eight Arab nations -- Egypt, yria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Oman -- warned that Iraq alone would bear responsibility for the consequences of defying the U.N.


http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/9803/11/clinton.annan.meet/


WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Clinton on Wednesday praised the efforts of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan in getting U.N. weapons inspections back on track, and said both leaders are committed to the success of the program.

 
At 7:07 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR:Therefore even if the Democrats had good faith, I could not trust them with the fate of the nation.

Fredo was warned by Tenet, Berger and Clinton that Al-Queda was the #1 threat to the U.S. Fredo concentrates on Iraq instead.

RESULT: 9-11

 
At 7:11 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR: incorrect focus on WMDs were all because of going to the UN.

According to Wolfowitz, you are mistaken:

Wolfowitz: No, I think it happens to be correct. The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason, but -- hold on one second --

(Pause)

Kellems: Sam there may be some value in clarity on the point that it may take years to get post-Saddam Iraq right. It can be easily misconstrued, especially when it comes to --

Wolfowitz: -- there have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. Sorry, hold on again.

http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030509-depsecdef0223.html

 
At 10:49 AM, January 10, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

Going to the U.N. might have been a mistake, but we'll never know for the simple reason that we can't possibly test/compare the actual outcomes of each option.

As I recall Bush had to be nearly dragged to the U.N., and I too was disappointed that he went, given the delay incurred in the initiation of the war and the nature of the U.N.. Among other things, perhaps the WMD argument itself was effectively defeated by the delay - the argument claiming it would be a "slam-dunk" that we would find them.

[When I heard the MSM learnedly intoning and moaning for one reason only for going into Iraq, I kept wondering "Can't these morons hold more than one thing in their minds at the same time?" QED!]

At the same time, some good things did happen from Bush's forray into the enemy territory of the U.N., the main one being that, imo, the U.N. delivered a final coup de grace to itself.

As to not having the U.N. on American soil, I propose instead that we have them right where we want them - "keep your enemies closer" might apply. We probably should not give this particular form of enemy an opportunity or excuse to reform somewhere else without us having the controls upon it we now have. And the option to roll them into the Ocean still exists for use at a later time. I would be greatly gratified were this to occur, regardless of not really knowing what would then come from it.

 
At 2:40 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

To steve and peden.

Right, Steve J, the same Berger that was on the take of the Saudis and allowed them to fly back to Saudistan after 9/11. Sure, sure.

For a number #1 threat, Tenet was sure worried about taking out the Saudis along with Osama, which is why he told the assassins not to take the #1 out, Clinton probably got a slice out of that too.

The #1 threat is the Saudis, and because Tenet and the State Department and the Clinton Administration was in their pocket to the tilt, they didn't want any "problems" created by killing some Saudis collaborating with Osama.

According to Wolfowitz, anything he says is believed by the Democrats. Or maybe it is more accurate to say, that anything Wolfowitz says that can be used as propaganda by Democrats shall be said, and anything that is inconsistent with the Big Lie will not be used or believed in by the Democrats.

By everyone old Wolfie meant that UN institution which Bush wants to buddy up to, after he cleans it out he believes.

You don't need to test the outcomes to perform simple logical conclusion analysis Peden. For one thing, Bush would have focused on the human rights instead of the WMDs because only the UN focused on WMDs as part of their resolutions, not the human rights. So it follows that without the UN, if Bush has said F U to the rest of the world dictators, that the only thing our Coalition would have all agreed upon was either human rights violations, national security, and etc. The Coalition did not go in because of the UN, they don't even have security seats on the council. They went in because of American power and prestige. Which Bush pretty much dragged through the UN infested corridors, but still.

It is true that you can't compare outcomes after you reach the 2nd tier of a causality chain. Meaning, you can't know how Al-Qaeda, Saddam, and etc would have acted given Bush's alternative actions. But along the first tier of causality, where things are still action-reaction instead of action-reaction-action-reaction, things can still be predicted with some accuracy.

Iraq still would have suffered the chaotic period, because the Bush administration was not prepared to go into a country and set up an Emperial government station, regardless of UN or no UN. However, Saddam would not have been given time to spread his money around, create an insurgency, and initiative "Black Hawk Down" programs that have killed hundreds of Americans and wounded thousands. Casualties would still occur, because casualties are second and third tier causality wise. But the initial insurgency would have been blunted quite hard, and many innocent lives would have been saved. Others might have died in their place, yet if Bush knew what we knew now, and if he was truly honest, then he must admit that going to the UN helped our enemies and not our Soldiers and Allies.

And the Democrats would still be attacking the President, but not on WMDs just as they don't attack him any longer on Afghanistan.

Bush only went to the UN because Blair told him that he couldn't get reelected or something without providing his constituents some kind of "international law". By going to the UN, you put the State Secretary in front of the world talking about aluminum rods. I'm pretty sure the rest of the world felt really in awe of American competency and prestige after our own media blew that one away along with no WMDs.

The less prestige Bush has, the weaker AMerica is, and the more motivated the terroists become.

Most people's actions aren't based upon knowledge, but upon educated guesses. Which are good enough for a lot of policy decisions. Using hindsight, it is even better with some honesty.

Keeping your enemies closer so that your own traitors in the State Department and the CIA can give them all the information a dictator's representative would ever want, is not helping American soldiers or citizens. There is a difference between theory and application. The theory of keeping enemies and spies close, is one thing. But to apply it, you have to consider the reality on the ground. And the reality here, is not a reality in which you can apply that theory in a useful manner. If we had a competent CIA, a competent, loyal, and patriotic State Department then yes, keep our diplomatic enemies close. But now? Nothing but a wish and a dream, and a dangerous one at that.

The only good thing that resulted from going to the UN was that it gave Saddam a chance to burn up the documents linking him to the UN. Since he didn't focus on that, that was a good thing after giving him that much time. The UN would have been doomed the minute we got those documents on Oil for Food. Going to the UN and getting yourself close to them, so that they can sabotage your plans and convey your intentions to Saddam, is allowing the enemy to keep you close to them while they stab you in the back. Again, there is theory and then there is application. One derives from the other, but only through facts on the ground.

If the government does not have the will to kick out the UN and are having troubles cutting off their funding, any belief that in the future that these same bureacrats will roll them into the sea is pretty wishful thinking. Any motivation on the American public would only occur after even more disastrous attacks by the UN on American citizens and rights, and by that time it is like closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped.

In the mean time, dictators will continue to tell their people that they are fools for trusting in the UN and peacekeepers, that their lot will be forever slavery to those in power. And if the slaves dare to say that the US might be their hope, they will be confronted with the hope destroying knowledge that the US is on the Elite Security Council of the UN.

Anyway you look at it, US citizen, US national security, US prestige, US military, US diplomacy, international public relations, and liberty among slaves. We lose so long as the UN is here. Because it is not we who are keeping the UN close to us, it is the dictators in the UN that keeps us close to them while they steal everything from national secrets to creating traitors among the highest levels of the State Department.

And for some reason I tend to think that the spies of the dictators are a lot more efficient than our spies in the CIA.

 
At 9:43 PM, January 10, 2006, Anonymous Paul Snively said...

I have to apologize for a lack of clarity in my original comment. It is true that Clinton approached the UN Security Council regarding Iraq, and since my comment was in the context of a discussion on Iraq, it's natural to assume that that is what I was referring to. I was, in fact, referring to Clinton's failure to approach the UN Security Council before authorizing cruise missle attacks on Afghanistan and Sudan. See, for example, this article on the World Socialist Web Site, regarding the attacks and their political consequences.

 
At 9:59 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR - Right, Steve J, the same Berger that was on the take of the Saudis and allowed them to fly back to Saudistan after 9/11. Sure, sure.

Berger was not a member of the Bush Administration.

 
At 10:02 PM, January 10, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR - According to Wolfowitz, anything he says is believed by the Democrats.

So, not only is Tommy Franks a liar but so is Paul Wolfowitz.

 
At 1:57 AM, January 11, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

ymarsakar: thanks, but I'm going to hold to my original proposition that you cannot use hindsight as foresight regarding a situation as complicated as this in which, by definition, you could not yet have had the hindsight - actually embodied in your statement that:

"...yet if Bush knew what we knew now, and if he was truly honest, then he must admit that going to the UN helped our enemies and not our Soldiers and Allies."

My contention is that you can't expect that you would have been able to line-item-alter history in a situation with so many variables and maybe even then get only the results you desire, expecting the others to have played out the same.

But if a sufficiently similar situation arises again, maybe what you have empirically learned from the previous one will come to bear positively on what you then want to happen and decide to do.

And I do want to reiterate that I would have been happy at the time with Bush not going to the U.N., and would have probably made the same argument about ex post facto analysis/blame that I have already made if the results had been similarly un/successful in a net way.

And you can certainly do anything you want, and I will strongly consider what you say.

Irrelevant to the above, I must note that the U.K. is a permanent member of the Security Council, and res.1441 does refer to human rights concerns, though not nearly as strongly as it does to WMD's and surrender agreement violations regarding inspections.

 
At 10:29 AM, January 11, 2006, Blogger Papa Ray said...

All this talk about the UN is good as long as its bad.

But thats not where the problem is.

The problem is: Where are all of the biological and chemical weapons that Saddam had?

"UNSCOM reported numerous discrepancies, particularly with regard to biological weapons, between what Iraq claimed it had and evidence discovered by weapons inspectors. For four years, Baghdad denied the very existence of its biological weapons program. When Iraq finally did acknowledge having such a program, UNSCOM officials judged its declarations so insufficient—an assessment shared by independent experts—that the UN team claimed it could not even form a baseline by which to measure its progress in revealing and abolishing Iraq’s germ warfare program. More headway was made in the chemical weapons and missile areas, but by 1998 UNSCOM contended that key issues remained unresolved. For example, Iraq had failed to account for thousands of chemical warheads that it claimed, without any proof, to have used, lost, or unilaterally destroyed."

Buried under the sands of western Iraq, shipped out (assisted by unknown parties), destroyed (but not observed by spy in the sky assets). What was in all the empty bunkers that our invading troops found? What was in all those trucks observed by the sky spies going north toward Syria?

Who cares anymore? Well, I would like them found, before they are used against us or other peoples of the world.

Syria, just in the last month or so agreed to store and protect Iran's nukes and other sensitive materials. This agreement in addition to the mutual protection type treaty that they signed earlier.

Sooner than later, we are going to have to deal with Syria, Iran, Pakistain and Saudi Arabia. They are our enemies and every one knows it.

Do they have Saddam's chemical weapons? Do they have WMDs already? Don't forget that they have the money to buy whatever they want.

So, I'm glad that our troops still are issued gas masks and are trained in how to use them. But the civilian populations don't have that protection (except in Israel).

I wonder if my military surplus store has any good gas masks?

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

 
At 10:39 AM, January 11, 2006, Blogger Papa Ray said...

Oh, forgot this, ymarsakar said:

"Keeping your enemies closer so that your own traitors in the State Department and the CIA can give them all the information a dictator's representative would ever want, is not helping American soldiers or citizens. There is a difference between theory and application. The theory of keeping enemies and spies close, is one thing. But to apply it, you have to consider the reality on the ground. And the reality here, is not a reality in which you can apply that theory in a useful manner. If we had a competent CIA, a competent, loyal, and patriotic State Department then yes, keep our diplomatic enemies close. But now? Nothing but a wish and a dream, and a dangerous one at that."

I hope we learned something from this. A more true, more important statement for future policy, will be hard to come up with.

I hope it's not forgotten.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

 
At 9:58 PM, January 11, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

Papa Ray, ymarsaker also said:

"If the government does not have the will to kick out the UN and are having troubles cutting off their funding, any belief that in the future that these same bureacrats will roll them into the sea is pretty wishful thinking. Any motivation on the American public would only occur after even more disastrous attacks by the UN on American citizens and rights, and by that time it is like closing the barn door after the horse has already escaped."

I assume ymaraskar is saying that we do not have the will to kick out the U.N. as proven by history - at least until something else occurs, at which time it will be too late.

So we are necessarliy stuck with the U.N. - according to ymar - for the forseeable future. Thus, I conclude we must make the best of keeping them closer.

I don't argee with his argument, but it might be true. In either case I again must stick with my original argument, and note that it is not bureaucrats which do the kicking. Thus I still think it is a card which can be played, short of a cataclysm occasioning it.

 
At 10:18 PM, January 11, 2006, Blogger J. Peden said...

Papa Ray:I should have included the fact that I despise the U.N., so that you don't get the wrong idea. I believe that the concept of an Ideal World Government is nearly self-contradictory - more of a Heaven on Earth delusion - and practically unobtainable, as the U.N. is serving to prove.

 
At 12:32 AM, January 12, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I don't agree with that pragmatic position, for the precise reason that it is just giving up. Acceding the battlefield to the enemy, on the basis that we are too weak to defeat them. If every army thought that way, they would never win.

If everyone thought that way about the Cold War, we'd either be in a nuclear holocaust, a Soviet-American CoDominium, or a Soviet World Wide Empire. But since we didn't, we fought back , our will created reality. In a sense.

Berger was not a member of the Bush Administration.

I think you mean Berger didn't authorize the flights, it was Richard Clark. What the hell, you didn't even take the bait? God, why do I waste my time on traps and ambushes for if the enemy doesn't even have the sense to take advantage of those weaknesses.

So, not only is Tommy Franks a liar but so is Paul Wolfowitz.

That's right, which means you're a liar too. It's not like you care, you already think Wolfowitz is a liar, so what the heck. Stop trying to convince yourself that the military isn't evil to you.

My contention is that you can't expect that you would have been able to line-item-alter history in a situation with so many variables and maybe even then get only the results you desire, expecting the others to have played out the same.

I've outlined the first and second tier causality events. You hold to an argument that doesn't adhere to logic.

While you state that you can't go back and understand the causes, but history proves that we can go back and judge what caused what. So going by common sense, after we know what caused what, if we change the reagents, then we get a different product. Your stated insistence on your position, does not nullify that logic.

I'm not talking about getting the event I desire. But not getting the event I don't desire. You do notice the difference. It is the difference between proving a positive and proving a negative.

If Bush is dumb enough to say, "Yes, I do believe I would have gone to the UN knowing what I know today", that is really not a good indication of Bush's judgement.

The popular belief that you can't change the past is popular belief. People still want to do so however, but they don't know how. That's because it requires a bit of computer programming and debugging.

Most people think they are using hindsight to judge the past, but they're just being ignint.

If a sufficiently similar situation occured again (triple S), then you can't really be sure whether it is similar or whether you learned correctly from the past or not. Again, too many variables that are unknown. While my scenarios are full of known variables, and with the unknown variables not being sufficiently close to the event to change the outcome of the event.

The thing is, ex-post facto the UN can never be successful. Because you can never change the underlying variables enough to make it successful.

That's why you can predict what can happen in the past. Human nature is predictable and constant. With those constants and predictable behaviors, lie the vast bulk of your equational constants. From which, you may, using systems of equation and matrixes, change the variables and produce a number close to what you desire. But the whole point must be that you focus on what you don't want to happen, not what you want to happen.

You don't want the number 3, well, how many ways can you change the variables that won't in the end make 3? Take the list, plug in some numbers, and boom some you like, some you don't like.

Again, Bush would not have sent the Secretary of State in front of world with "WMD" aluminum rods without the Un Resolution being tied with our invasion.

It's just human nature. Most of the equations solve themselves here.

You may still believe it is not possible to predict human nature using knowledge we have of the past, but that isn't an argument for why certain scenarios I've outlined are flawed. It is simply evidence that you don't think it is theoretically possible.

 
At 4:57 PM, January 13, 2006, Blogger saintknowitall said...

A previous commentor made this statement:

".. part about gassing his own people. That occurred in the 1980's, when Bush I was president and when Saddam was our friend, wasn't it? .....Amazing, isn't it? It's OK to gas your own people when you are our friend, but don't try it when you are not; we will use that as an excuse to invade you!"

Using your logic, then is was OK to invade so you must be a supporter of Bush II. Right? No wait, I don't think you are. So we should continue to not act when Saddam is our enemy. Is that what you are saying?

Bottom line, your logic is extremely disjointed. The fact that we didn't invade before doesn't mean we shouldn't now. Get it? Probably not.

 
At 6:21 AM, March 31, 2006, Anonymous Your Horse said...

Keep up the good work, you are providing a great resource! Regards,
Your Horse

 

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