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Study: False statements preceded war

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    Gnome-InterruptusGnome-Interruptus Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The smoking is not a good analogy, it's more akin to not letting known felons have firearms. there's nothing wrong with that or keeping nukes out of the hand of people likely to use them.

    I also disagree about the use of nuclear weapons, if it comes down to living under Chinese communist rule or nuking them, I choose nuclear war every time. It should be a last ditch weapon only to be used to stop the gravest threats to our country. I would have preferred that the nukes in WWII had been dropped on groups of the Japanese navy, but it's not like we had sure fire delivery methods like we do today and they went with the option with the best chance of success.

    I think you are fucking insane. The whole point of having nukes is to NOT use them. As soon as you start using them, every other country will band together to stop you.

    Gnome-Interruptus on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    And all those who supported the war doing this "we were all duped, it's not our fault, let's not talk about it" act are pretty pathetic. More than enough of us could tell Bush was lying constantly, even people normally inclined to believe or support that kind of nonsense, so there really isn't an excuse.

    Here's your internet cookie.

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    You are so wonderful.

    ElJeffe on
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    Sword_of_LightSword_of_Light Registered User regular
    edited January 2008

    We need nukes because there will always be a risk of a rogue state gaining the technology and weighing the risks of bombing us or our allies (or just innocent victims), and that rogue leader must consider whether he'll get his country demolished like-for-like.

    I don't like the idea of a nuclear deterrant, but I can't think of a more effective option. I think Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrible crimes, by the way. I don't think it should be a deterrant for chemical or biological weapons, either. I don't think depleted uranium shells should be used. I mean... jesus christ.

    See, I think thats what SOCOM is for - you send a bunch of these guys in, and the atom plant is a buring pile of rubble and the only civilians to die are the physicists building the Bomb. Because, atomics hit the target site, and the civilians downwind who have no say in what happens in their country, and the country next to the rogue state, and next thing you know there are traces of radioactive materials in cows milk in Wisconsin.

    We live in a closed system - we cant use these things.

    And the thing about nuclear deterent, well, that works if both sides are sane. When Khrushchev took over from Stalin, he apparently didnt sleep for three nights until he realized the hydrogen bomb could never, ever be used, then he slept just fine.
    Is Kim Jong-Il sane enough to care? Does he loose sleep over the millions of North Koreans who are starving to death, or is he, as Western media would have us believe, nuts? The North Koreans shouldnt have the Bomb, no doubt about it, but if we nuke them for having it, is it a deterent, or will it simply reinforce the notion that to be a Power in the 21st century, you have to have the Bomb?

    Sword_of_Light on
    "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. "
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    No, it isn't. The argument that Mike D of the Beastie Boys' dad makes in "Fight for Your Right to Party" is correct: Mike shouldn't smoke; presumably he's too young and it's not good for him regardless.

    The United States is committed to not using nuclear weapons; sure, our policy allows for it under very specific and dire circumstances, but I am pretty sure that's not going to ever happen in my lifetime, due to the literal and figurative fallout. The difference is that we can't trust Mike D to smoke safely or in moderation, and we can't trust a petty dictator not to nuke his neighbors.

    Do I think that the United States should go policing the world for this reason? No, that's what the United Nations is for. Where we went off-track was taking the policing of WMDs on ourselves. Once we get into Team America: World Police territory is when we lose our credibility.

    An attitude of "we're responsible enough to have and use nukes, but no one else is" is fairly hypocritical. Also, considering it's on a scale which could wipe out the human race, it's even worse. Russia and the US having not wiped us out is a miracle, less about design and responsibility on the part of nations and more about luck and individuals who would be pushing the buttons not wanting a nuclear war. It perhaps would make more sense if the US had nukes in the kind of numbers as the UK or France - enough to say "don't mess with us" without saying "we'll wipe everyone out if you mess with us"

    And like SoL said, saying "the way we'd use nukes is okay, the way they'd use nukes is wrong" is idiocy - it's mass death on a large scale either way. Why is say, Iran, less responsible than the US? How many wars has Iran started lately? Ever? How about the US? Exactly. The myth that every crazy dictator that has a nuke will immediately drop it on the nearest city or at the start of a war doesn't really withstand logic - they'd have to deal with consequences.

    Also, the US was recently talking about bunker-busting nukes, Rumsfeld was quite enthusiastic about the idea.

    BernardBernoulli on
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    shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Nukes are a defensive weapon. Their the greatest deterant to war between nations we have.

    shryke on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Also, the US was recently talking about bunker-busting nukes, Rumsfeld was quite enthusiastic about the idea.

    And? Nukes are scary because they can devastate massive areas, kill millions of people, and render regions uninhabitable for years. Not because they happen to use nuclear power. If a weapon could be created that effectively had zero fallout and only destroyed a tiny area, there's no reason to not use it, unless you're an ignorant pansy.

    Also, I assume that by "recently" you mean, like, "4 or 5 years ago", right?

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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Snip

    Well, I was right about Iraq before the war, unlike yourself. With everyone who supported the war saying how faultless they were, it's irritating. No one's taking responsibility for it, not the lunatics who started the war, and not the cheerleaders who were saying how the war was totally necessary and would be totally fine.

    BernardBernoulli on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Snip

    Well, I was right about Iraq before the war, unlike yourself. With everyone who supported the war saying how faultless they were, it's irritating. No one's taking responsibility for it, not the lunatics who started the war, and not the cheerleaders who were saying how the war was totally necessary and would be totally fine.

    You must have mistaken my cookie offer for sarcasm. It wasn't.

    I truly, desperately, wish to be as awesome and all-knowing as you. Could you send me a lock of hair, perhaps? I could clone you and bask in your grace.

    ElJeffe on
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    And? Nukes are scary because they can devastate massive areas, kill millions of people, and render regions uninhabitable for years. Not because they happen to use nuclear power. If a weapon could be created that effectively had zero fallout and only destroyed a tiny area, there's no reason to not use it, unless you're an ignorant pansy.

    Also, I assume that by "recently" you mean, like, "4 or 5 years ago", right?

    The political idea of using nukes for anything is somewhat concerning. Regularly using nukes could easily lead to other nations justifying their use in less okay ways. Or political leaders in the US start saying "well, we already use nukes to take out bunkers, that military base is kind of the same thing, let's blow that up".

    4 or 5 years is quite recent, really

    BernardBernoulli on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    The political idea of using nukes for anything is somewhat concerning. Regularly using nukes could easily lead to other nations justifying their use in less okay ways. Or political leaders in the US start saying "well, we already use nukes to take out bunkers, that military base is kind of the same thing, let's blow that up".

    If some guy really wants to use a nuke, he'll either manufacture a reason, or decide he doesn't need one. The idea that nations are going to try to start using nukes when they otherwise wouldn't just because they saw the US do it first is pretty silly. The world doesn't operate on peer pressure.

    Also, bunker-busters are not a gateway drug.

    ElJeffe on
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    ApostateApostate Prince SpaceRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The argument that says countries with nuclear weapons have no right to tell others they can't have them is extremely childish and naive.

    Well, it is clearly hypocrisy

    No, it isn't. The argument that Mike D of the Beastie Boys' dad makes in "Fight for Your Right to Party" is correct: Mike shouldn't smoke; presumably he's too young and it's not good for him regardless.

    The United States is committed to not using nuclear weapons; sure, our policy allows for it under very specific and dire circumstances, but I am pretty sure that's not going to ever happen in my lifetime, due to the literal and figurative fallout. The difference is that we can't trust Mike D to smoke safely or in moderation, and we can't trust a petty dictator not to nuke his neighbors.

    Do I think that the United States should go policing the world for this reason? No, that's what the United Nations is for. Where we went off-track was taking the policing of WMDs on ourselves. Once we get into Team America: World Police territory is when we lose our credibility.


    But should our policy allow it? When we conducted the air war against Yugoslavia, we hit the Chinese embassy with a cruise missile, and there was a huge uproar - because this is the age of the smart bomb. Well, the nuke is the ultimate dumb bomb - it does not care if theres a hospital or school or cultural monument in the way, everything goes boom. It does not respect peace treaties - leukiemia rates in Hiroshima are four times the Japanese national average.
    There is not, cannot, be any target that is wholy military in nature - the radioactivity will always go out of bounds. I think the use of nuclear weapons should be classified as a crime against humanity.
    No exceptions.

    That said, yes, I do think its hypocritical - because there is no such thing as 'smoking safely' - dad shouldnt be smoking, because its killing him, and the secondary smoke is raising the risks of cancer in his kid. I tell my doctor when he asks if I smoke "I was a secondary smoker for 18 years". My risk of cancer is much higher now thanks to my father's addiction. Thanks dad.There is no difference in our possession of WMDs - any of the alphabet soup CBRN - and Saddam's. Its wrong for us to use nerve gas on our enemies, just as its wrong for Saddam to use it on his enemies - internal or otherwise. And when we say 'the rules apply to you, not us' we loose credibility.

    Although that was a terrible analogy, take solace in the fact that second hand smoke is actually statistcally insignificant in raising cancer rates (or doing anything other than making you smell bad for that matter).

    While it may make give you warm fuzzies to talk nuclear disarmament, the reality is that since the introduction of nuclear weapons, worldwide deaths due to warfare (which were on the rise) dropped like a rock. Much of the reason the Cold War never heated up, aside from a few proxy wars, was because of nuclear weapons. Neither side was willing to risk that catastrophe (i.e. MAD). So they held a bunch of summits until one side fell apart internally. Do you think Germany would have invaded France or Russia in WW2 if both sides had nukes?

    As far as proliferation, I have no issue with letting free countries from developing them if they feel the need. But I'm certainly not going to let some despotic regime have one so it can bully it's neighbor's and the world.

    Apostate on
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    Sword_of_LightSword_of_Light Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    The political idea of using nukes for anything is somewhat concerning. Regularly using nukes could easily lead to other nations justifying their use in less okay ways. Or political leaders in the US start saying "well, we already use nukes to take out bunkers, that military base is kind of the same thing, let's blow that up".

    If some guy really wants to use a nuke, he'll either manufacture a reason, or decide he doesn't need one. The idea that nations are going to try to start using nukes when they otherwise wouldn't just because they saw the US do it first is pretty silly. The world doesn't operate on peer pressure.

    Also, bunker-busters are not a gateway drug.

    I gotta go with ElJeffe in this one - Hitler and the other fascist powers didnt need incentive to build the biggest X - the worlds biggest artillery peice, the worlds biggest battleship, etc.
    Guys like Hitler are...well, goddamnit, they're munchkins....they all want the +14 vorporal tachyon flameburst holy/unholy adamatite four-bladed sword of World Eating.
    I mean, honestly, what the hell use was the Maus? What the hell good is a 100 ton tank that cant fucking move? Great, Adolf, the worlds deadliest fucking paper weight.
    For someone like Kim Jong-Il, its a macho thing, a prestige thing - I've got the Bomb, byatches.
    He doesnt need permission, he doesnt need justification, he's a dictator.


    "Oh, look the clown is here.
    I am not a clown! I am a dictator!
    Should we call you 'Richard' or 'Mr. Tator'?
    Get off me, this is the uniform of a great man!
    Does he know you're wearing it?"
    -Animaniacs

    Sword_of_Light on
    "I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure. "
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    BernardBernoulliBernardBernoulli Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    You must have mistaken my cookie offer for sarcasm. It wasn't.

    I truly, desperately, wish to be as awesome and all-knowing as you. Could you send me a lock of hair, perhaps? I could clone you and bask in your grace.

    It's not about me, it's about you absolving yourself of guilt by saying you couldn't possibly know Bush was lying, and he was misled by all those incompetent intelligence people.
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    If some guy really wants to use a nuke, he'll either manufacture a reason, or decide he doesn't need one. The idea that nations are going to try to start using nukes when they otherwise wouldn't just because they saw the US do it first is pretty silly. The world doesn't operate on peer pressure.

    Also, bunker-busters are not a gateway drug.

    No, international law rests partly on precedent. If the US nukes places, and turns around to Russia saying "please don't nuke this or that," it would be much harder to get support. And politicians are hardly the wisest people around. We've had people actually advocate all-out nuclear war before, they crop up again and they could use a "we've used plenty of nukes already without problems" argument. Of course, all those geniuses who spent months saying how great invading Iraq was going to be would oppose such idiocy, so I'm really worrying about nothing

    BernardBernoulli on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    You must have mistaken my cookie offer for sarcasm. It wasn't.

    I truly, desperately, wish to be as awesome and all-knowing as you. Could you send me a lock of hair, perhaps? I could clone you and bask in your grace.

    It's not about me, it's about you absolving yourself of guilt by saying you couldn't possibly know Bush was lying, and he was misled by all those incompetent intelligence people.

    I don't need to absolve myself of guilt, because I don't feel guilty. I've freely acknowledged that I was wrong on the facts many times. When you bother to opine about politics, being wrong is going to happen. I just don't feel the need to give people who disagreed at the time a big fucking blowjob every time the subject comes up.

    You, on the other hand, are a different story. I would very much like to give you a blowjob, because you are wonderful.
    No, international law rests partly on precedent.

    No, international law rests entirely on what nations think they can get away with. Precedent means fuck-all. Sure, it's used as a rhetorical device all the time, and it may constrain some of the nice, friendly western nations who give two shits about something like "international law" (and even then, I would emphasize the "may"). But the nice, friendly western nations aren't the ones we're really concerned about when we talk about shit like random nukings, now are they?

    ElJeffe on
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    CabezoneCabezone Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Cabezone wrote: »
    The smoking is not a good analogy, it's more akin to not letting known felons have firearms. there's nothing wrong with that or keeping nukes out of the hand of people likely to use them.

    I also disagree about the use of nuclear weapons, if it comes down to living under Chinese communist rule or nuking them, I choose nuclear war every time. It should be a last ditch weapon only to be used to stop the gravest threats to our country. I would have preferred that the nukes in WWII had been dropped on groups of the Japanese navy, but it's not like we had sure fire delivery methods like we do today and they went with the option with the best chance of success.

    I think you are fucking insane. The whole point of having nukes is to NOT use them. As soon as you start using them, every other country will band together to stop you.


    You have to be willing to use them or they're worthless. You can't just have a bunch lying around and not be willing to use them, then they're not a deterrent. I didn't say just start tossing them inot any country that pisses us off, but we need to be willing to use them if another country tried to take us over and was about to win the war.

    Cabezone on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    You must have mistaken my cookie offer for sarcasm. It wasn't.

    I truly, desperately, wish to be as awesome and all-knowing as you. Could you send me a lock of hair, perhaps? I could clone you and bask in your grace.

    It's not about me, it's about you absolving yourself of guilt by saying you couldn't possibly know Bush was lying, and he was misled by all those incompetent intelligence people.

    I don't need to absolve myself of guilt, because I don't feel guilty. I've freely acknowledged that I was wrong on the facts many times. When you bother to opine about politics, being wrong is going to happen. I just don't feel the need to give people who disagreed at the time a big fucking blowjob every time the subject comes up.

    You, on the other hand, are a different story. I would very much like to give you a blowjob, because you are wonderful.
    No, international law rests partly on precedent.

    No, international law rests entirely on what nations think they can get away with. Precedent means fuck-all. Sure, it's used as a rhetorical device all the time, and it may constrain some of the nice, friendly western nations who give two shits about something like "international law" (and even then, I would emphasize the "may"). But the nice, friendly western nations aren't the ones we're really concerned about when we talk about shit like random nukings, now are they?

    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Scalfin on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Okay, but I'm not talking about the al Qaeda link.

    ElJeffe on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Okay, but I'm not talking about the al Qaeda link.

    What about the yellow cake?

    Scalfin on
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    s7apsters7apster Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    There is a book called "State of Denial" about bush's presidency, and about his administration's lies. Now, I am not saying I support this claim, but it is an interesting point. The author says that because Bush chose his close friends to be his closest advisors, (Rumsfeld, Condie), they were more interested in preserving their friendhsip than with telling the truth. They 'cherry-picked' evidence, gave the President what he wanted to hear. He never really heard very much of the intelligence contradicting WMD in Iraq.

    I am not really trying to defend Bush, I just think that is an interesting perspective.

    s7apster on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Okay, but I'm not talking about the al Qaeda link.

    What about the yellow cake?

    There were many situations where our intelligence was saying one thing, and foreign intelligence was saying something different. Our intelligence had just allowed a plane to crash into a very tall building. I can forgive someone for maybe not granting them a blank check made out to Bob's House of Benefit of the Doubt.

    ElJeffe on
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    ScalfinScalfin __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Okay, but I'm not talking about the al Qaeda link.

    What about the yellow cake?

    There were many situations where our intelligence was saying one thing, and foreign intelligence was saying something different. Our intelligence had just allowed a plane to crash into a very tall building. I can forgive someone for maybe not granting them a blank check made out to Bob's House of Benefit of the Doubt.

    Wasn't there a memo warning him about that, which he ignored?

    Scalfin on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    There were many situations where our intelligence was saying one thing, and foreign intelligence was saying something different. Our intelligence had just allowed a plane to crash into a very tall building. I can forgive someone for maybe not granting them a blank check made out to Bob's House of Benefit of the Doubt.

    Wasn't there a memo warning him about that, which he ignored?

    Minnesota FBI agents even caught one of the prospective hijackers at flight training school months before the event. Idiot wanted to know how to fly a plane, but not land it. Paid with cash. The whole deal.

    Dracomicron on
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    zakkielzakkiel Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, the US was recently talking about bunker-busting nukes, Rumsfeld was quite enthusiastic about the idea.

    And? Nukes are scary because they can devastate massive areas, kill millions of people, and render regions uninhabitable for years. Not because they happen to use nuclear power. If a weapon could be created that effectively had zero fallout and only destroyed a tiny area, there's no reason to not use it, unless you're an ignorant pansy.

    You really have no idea why small nukes are incredibly destabilizing?

    zakkiel on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    zakkiel wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Also, the US was recently talking about bunker-busting nukes, Rumsfeld was quite enthusiastic about the idea.

    And? Nukes are scary because they can devastate massive areas, kill millions of people, and render regions uninhabitable for years. Not because they happen to use nuclear power. If a weapon could be created that effectively had zero fallout and only destroyed a tiny area, there's no reason to not use it, unless you're an ignorant pansy.

    You really have no idea why small nukes are incredibly destabilizing?

    Small nukes still have fallout.

    Jeffe seems to be talking about stuff like fuel-air explosives that annihilate a large area with no significant after effects (aside from, you know, murdering folks).

    Dracomicron on
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    No-QuarterNo-Quarter Nothing To Fear But Fear ItselfRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    No, international law rests partly on precedent.

    No, international law rests entirely on what nations think they can get away with. Precedent means fuck-all. Sure, it's used as a rhetorical device all the time, and it may constrain some of the nice, friendly western nations who give two shits about something like "international law" (and even then, I would emphasize the "may"). But the nice, friendly western nations aren't the ones we're really concerned about when we talk about shit like random nukings, now are they?

    You mean like how other countries can now use the precedent of the United States naming foreign fighters "illegal enemy combatants" via kangaroo courts, against our own United States military personnel, thus subjecting them to torture and thus supposedly excluding them from the Geneva Convention?

    Or how about other countries using the precedent of the United States' doctrine of pre-emptive warfare against the United States, sans culpability?

    So frankly, the USA doing fucked up shit and getting away with it, sets the precedent for other countries to do the same and wave off any petitions from authority with the simple citation of "If it's OK for the US, it's OK for us."

    So precedents DO in fact matter. We have, in fact, set quite a few precedents during the last 8 years, and each and every fucked up one lessens our chance for real justice when such abhorrent tactics are used against us, or if we try to open diplomatic relations with other countries.

    I don't know where you live but outside the USA the rest of the world has a pretty shitty view of us.
    In Ireland over the summer I remember hearing conversations about news reports of US soldiers being captured and tortured. Do you want to know what those conversations usually entailed?- "Fuck em, they do it too."

    No-Quarter on
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    ZythonZython Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    MattDante wrote: »
    I know some of you probably don't care one way or another, but you should recognize that this study was funded by George Soros. While it does not mean that the data may not be correct, I would ask that those who constantly say that studies on global warming done by oil companies are garbage need to take the same approach to this as well.

    For the last time, no one knows or cares who George Soros is. On that note...

    Zython on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    But the nice, friendly western nations aren't the ones we're really concerned about when we talk about shit like random nukings, now are they?

    No it's America we're concerned about.



    ba-dum, pssh!

    I'm here all week.

    Gorak on
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    Safety StickSafety Stick Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Okay, but I'm not talking about the al Qaeda link.

    What about the yellow cake?

    The yellow cake was a lie.

    Safety Stick on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    No, international law rests partly on precedent.
    No, international law rests entirely on what nations think they can get away with. Precedent means fuck-all. Sure, it's used as a rhetorical device all the time, and it may constrain some of the nice, friendly western nations who give two shits about something like "international law" (and even then, I would emphasize the "may"). But the nice, friendly western nations aren't the ones we're really concerned about when we talk about shit like random nukings, now are they?
    Precedent generally provides a baseline for "what nations think they can get away with," though. It's pretty much the basis for all organized systems of law or custom.

    Irond Will on
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    Not SarastroNot Sarastro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited January 2008
    Study: Pope is Catholic.

    Study: Bear shits in wood.

    Etc.

    Not Sarastro on
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    ApostateApostate Prince SpaceRegistered User regular
    edited January 2008
    No-Quarter wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    No, international law rests partly on precedent.

    No, international law rests entirely on what nations think they can get away with. Precedent means fuck-all. Sure, it's used as a rhetorical device all the time, and it may constrain some of the nice, friendly western nations who give two shits about something like "international law" (and even then, I would emphasize the "may"). But the nice, friendly western nations aren't the ones we're really concerned about when we talk about shit like random nukings, now are they?

    You mean like how other countries can now use the precedent of the United States naming foreign fighters "illegal enemy combatants" via kangaroo courts, against our own United States military personnel, thus subjecting them to torture and thus supposedly excluding them from the Geneva Convention?

    Or how about other countries using the precedent of the United States' doctrine of pre-emptive warfare against the United States, sans culpability?

    So frankly, the USA doing fucked up shit and getting away with it, sets the precedent for other countries to do the same and wave off any petitions from authority with the simple citation of "If it's OK for the US, it's OK for us."

    So precedents DO in fact matter. We have, in fact, set quite a few precedents during the last 8 years, and each and every fucked up one lessens our chance for real justice when such abhorrent tactics are used against us, or if we try to open diplomatic relations with other countries.

    I don't know where you live but outside the USA the rest of the world has a pretty shitty view of us.
    In Ireland over the summer I remember hearing conversations about news reports of US soldiers being captured and tortured. Do you want to know what those conversations usually entailed?- "Fuck em, they do it too."

    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    Apostate on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Apostate wrote: »
    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    Some of us hold our country to a higher standard than "better than Saddam Hussein and maybe the British Empire"

    Irond Will on
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    s7apsters7apster Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Apostate wrote: »
    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    Some of us hold our country to a higher standard than "better than Saddam Hussein and maybe the British Empire"

    Exactly. Why should our morals be dictated by people in the past? Think about what you say.

    s7apster on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Apostate wrote: »
    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    The problem isn't so much what America is doing. The problem is that America claims that it's own actions are justified and necessary whilst simultaneously castigating other nations for doing the same thing.

    It's the doctrine of American exceptionalism whereby American interests are presumed to supercede international law that pisses people off the most.

    Gorak on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    Gorak wrote: »
    Apostate wrote: »
    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    The problem isn't so much what America is doing. The problem is that America claims that it's own actions are justified and necessary whilst simultaneously castigating other nations for doing the same thing.

    It's the doctrine of American exceptionalism whereby American interests are presumed to supercede international law that pisses people off the most.

    Yeah, most Americans I know aren't too hot on that, either.

    Yes, the United States has been acting like a dictatorship overseas the last few years. No, we're not happy about it. No, it also doesn't give other folks the right to act like dictators.

    Dracomicron on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Apostate wrote: »
    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    Some of us hold our country to a higher standard than "better than Saddam Hussein and maybe the British Empire"

    This is a fair point, but it doesn't really address the tangent to which you're responding. The argument was, basically, "Who cares if there are perfectly legitimate uses for small-scale nukes, it will set a horrible precedent and other nations will start nuking each other all over the place." My point, and history will back this up, is that nations do whatever they think they can get away with, and then try to justify it after the fact. They don't care about the law, they care about tangible ramifications. Being in violation of some UN resolution doesn't mean shit to them, unless that violation carries with it a palpable threat of some sort. And in that case, they could give a shit about the threat.

    ElJeffe on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Scalfin wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Scalfin wrote: »
    You do realize that there is now quite a bit of evidence that the intelligence community was finding that Bush's claims were false, especially concerning the Al Quaeda link, but were ignored and censored?

    Okay, but I'm not talking about the al Qaeda link.

    What about the yellow cake?

    There were many situations where our intelligence was saying one thing, and foreign intelligence was saying something different. Our intelligence had just allowed a plane to crash into a very tall building. I can forgive someone for maybe not granting them a blank check made out to Bob's House of Benefit of the Doubt.

    Wasn't there a memo warning him about that, which he ignored?

    It said something to the effect of, "Terrorists don't like us, and maybe they'll try to do something mean at some point. Maybe with, like, planes? Or maybe bombs? Fuck, we don't know." It wasn't sufficiently different from all the other memos about all the other potential threats to really stand apart from the ambient din.

    ElJeffe on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Not actually a mod. Roaming the streets, waving his gun around.Moderator, ClubPA Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    Jeffe seems to be talking about stuff like fuel-air explosives that annihilate a large area with no significant after effects (aside from, you know, murdering folks).

    No, I was talking about bunker-buster nukes. At the time, there was reason to believe that we could create such nukes that would tunnel far enough beneath the ground before exploding so as to result in little if any appreciable fallout. If done in an isolated area, the lasting effects would be pretty minimal. Given that, it seems like it might be a useful option, given that it created enough heat and pressure to neutralize biological chemical weapons better than existing weaponry like, say, FAEs.

    As far as I know, the tests performed weren't nearly as problem free as originally supposed, and so the technology isn't quite as appealing. But my point wasn't that the technology that existed was great. My point was that saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be great to have some nukes that were really effective at dealing with WMDs and had none of the problems of large-scale nukes?" is fairly reasonable. ie, nukes aren't scary by virtue of involving nuclear energy.

    ElJeffe on
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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator Mod Emeritus
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Irond Will wrote: »
    Apostate wrote: »
    Exactly, because nobody ever did any of that before America got involved in Iraq. The world was a perfectly just place, everyone abided by all UN laws, no one every got out of line, and everbody gave reach arounds.

    Some of you need to step back and get some historical perspective.

    Some of us hold our country to a higher standard than "better than Saddam Hussein and maybe the British Empire"

    This is a fair point, but it doesn't really address the tangent to which you're responding. The argument was, basically, "Who cares if there are perfectly legitimate uses for small-scale nukes, it will set a horrible precedent and other nations will start nuking each other all over the place." My point, and history will back this up, is that nations do whatever they think they can get away with, and then try to justify it after the fact. They don't care about the law, they care about tangible ramifications. Being in violation of some UN resolution doesn't mean shit to them, unless that violation carries with it a palpable threat of some sort. And in that case, they could give a shit about the threat.

    This trivializes the fact that the "ramifications" you're talking about are generally much longer-term and less overt than "a palpable threat". It also kind of raises the question, though, of why no nation has used a nuclear weapon since Nagasaki. Nations holding nukes have been in wars many times, but no one has ever used them - even little ones. The nonmilitary disincentives are just too significant.

    Soft power is something that, I think, some strains of conservatism and especially Bush have been willfully ignorant of. It may be that American liberals bend over too far in trying to be international nice-guys and such, but one really need only look at the difference between world attitudes to the US under Clinton contra Bush to see that this really is a factor.

    Irond Will on
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    DracomicronDracomicron Registered User regular
    edited January 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    Jeffe seems to be talking about stuff like fuel-air explosives that annihilate a large area with no significant after effects (aside from, you know, murdering folks).

    No, I was talking about bunker-buster nukes. At the time, there was reason to believe that we could create such nukes that would tunnel far enough beneath the ground before exploding so as to result in little if any appreciable fallout. If done in an isolated area, the lasting effects would be pretty minimal. Given that, it seems like it might be a useful option, given that it created enough heat and pressure to neutralize biological chemical weapons better than existing weaponry like, say, FAEs.

    As far as I know, the tests performed weren't nearly as problem free as originally supposed, and so the technology isn't quite as appealing. But my point wasn't that the technology that existed was great. My point was that saying, "Hey, wouldn't it be great to have some nukes that were really effective at dealing with WMDs and had none of the problems of large-scale nukes?" is fairly reasonable. ie, nukes aren't scary by virtue of involving nuclear energy.

    I understand. Kinda like if we had a technology that scrubbed radiation, nuclear use wouldn't be as stigmatized.

    Dracomicron on
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