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Post 60

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 3:53pmSanction this postReply
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I hear, though I didn't hear it here, that you can tell someone's "crazy" when he writes "here" instead of "hear"! Hahahaha!

Linz :-)



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Post 61

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 3:58pmSanction this postReply
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Logan, Linz,

Linz: Then, when I got home, I found a Saddamite on this site claiming that accidental deletion of a post because of a software glitch is the same as deliberate suppression!!?? Verily, my view of Saddamites became even dimmer.

Anyway, time for me to retire from this thread.

 
Saddamite? Two of my sons fought in Desert Storm, and my wife and I spent many enjoyable afternoons at the range shooting Saddam; the targets my wife picked out for those outings. I suppose, even though I do not support the Pope, because I oppose invading the Vatican, that makes me a Papist. Oh, well, hit'n'run is a safe style.

Logan: ... To suggest that politicians have 'the right, but not the duty' to force taxpayers to fund military action in any or all 'slave pens' around the world, regardless of whether they pose any threat to the citizens, is to disavow the basic principles of limited government.

Linz: ... It's simply to acknowledge the reality of the context in which we currently live - that no government *anywhere* is based wholly on the principles *we* believe in. ... Western governments routinely violate the rights of their citizens via compulsory taxation. We all know that. But to suggest that that disqualifies them from waging war against *quintessential* despots ...
 
I do not know what Linz's argument is directed at, but it certainly doesn't answer the point Logan made. A limited government does not have the right or obligation to initiate force, to start a war, or to invade another country if that country is not a real threat against the citizens of the country it is the government of. To excuse any government of violating that principle on the basis that it violates other principles as well, such as violating the rights of its citizens, is absurd.

I know Linz has quit, so the question is rhetorical; but is Linz really saying if a country does not violate its citizen's rights and really is based in the "principles we believe in," that country may rightly invade other countries to remove their oppressive rulers, even when they are no threat to that country?

That may be his position and the position of others, I just do not know. If anyone does hold that view, I would appreciate knowing if they think it can be squared with the Objectivist view of a limited government as Logan described it; and if so, how?

Regi




Post 62

Saturday, March 20, 2004 - 5:17pmSanction this postReply
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Mr. Firehammer,

I think you ought to read an apt article by Dustin Hawkins, posted on SOLO sometime earlier. It can also be accessed at http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/rights_of_intervention.html. This is an Objectivist argument as to how a country can legitimately be claimed to have the right though not the obligation to intervene where liberty is threatened.

I am
G. Stolyarov II

(Edited by G. Stolyarov II on 3/20, 5:22pm)




Post 63

Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 3:46amSanction this postReply
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I note that my estimable colleague Mr Rowlands has corrected his use of "here" rather than "hear," which could cause some confusion *here*. *Here* is what he originally said:

"Oh, I don't know about that.  Everyone knows Lindsay is crazy.  He's just not crazy in that particular way.  But start talking about Opera (I here that's a talk-show host), and then watch out!"

I *fear* that if I don't make this *clear*, folk *here* will not understand my post about "hear/here" & won't be able to say, as they ought, "Hear! Hear!" here.

Hehehehehehehere! :-)

Crazy Linz







Post 64

Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 2:51pmSanction this postReply
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Riiiiiiight......

Lay off the vino, Linz.  : P




Post 65

Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 8:23pmSanction this postReply
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Loinz: “Then, when I got home, I found a Saddamite on this site claiming that accidental deletion of a post because of a software glitch is the same as deliberate suppression!!?? Verily, my view of Saddamites became even dimmer.”

A few days ago I posted twice to another thread on this forum. The posts did not appear. The moderator is either incompetent or lacks a full commitment to free speech. Neither verdict inspires confidence in the Solo vision.

Brendan




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Post 66

Sunday, March 21, 2004 - 9:14pmSanction this postReply
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Brendan,

This is unjust, and plain snarky. I'm getting sick of people saying things like this in the manner you have chosen to. It's like you approach Solo as if it owes you something, or does not live up to your demands of a high standard.

1) If you took time to get acquainted with Lindsay's record (of 10 years plus) he is a consistent *champion* of free speech - from all quarters. He *believes* in it & *practices* it in the TFR & in running Solo. He has as much desire to censor as Chris Sciabarra has to host a fundraising luncheon for neo-conservatives.

2) Ditto with Joe & Jeff in running Solo. They have no fear over contrary ideas. I'd think they'd tire of petty demands & insults.

3) You are posting on the lastest version of Solo HQ, packed with user-friendly personalised features, and the result of hours of effort. I'm really sorry there are technical glitches. No, actually I'm not. I'm being sarcastic.

Could we please up the level of courtesy, and manners, in progressing a pro-life philosophy? Or at least grant some benefit of the doubt. And if we're going to play the bastard, play it to something that matters?





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Post 67

Monday, March 22, 2004 - 3:34amSanction this postReply
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Ok, I'm just catching up with this board after going to London for a SOLO UK meeting.

Firstly, regarding some of the allegations being thrown around at Linz, Joe and Jeff, I must completely endorse Chris' post 55 and Sam's post 66. Whatever my disagreements with Linz over Iraq and particularly over his use of the term "Saddamite" (more on which below), he is certainly no ARI drone; and I do not believe for one moment that either he, Joe or Jeff would deliberately censor posts to this forum in the manner that has been implied.

To clarify my point in post 54 concerning Rand's "Wreckage Of The Consensus" article, it seems clear to me that in that article Rand fully recognises the folly of US foreign policy up to that time (it was written during the Vietnam War) and implies the exact opposite of the ARI's stance as the best (most Objectivist?) solution.

It is unfortunate that Linz will apparently not be responding to this thread, as I wanted to point out that Rand in the Wreckage article argues that the US ought never to have invaded Vietnam. I wanted to know whether Linz would on that basis consider her a succour of communism?

MH




Post 68

Monday, March 22, 2004 - 3:39amSanction this postReply
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Having followed the above discussion with interest I must conclude that Linz et al. has lost the plot on this one.

Let us deconstrut the evidence and his responses in light of the the raw facts.

1) War on terror is a figure of speach. Terror is a state of mind. I think they mean Terrorism which is a tactic and would still be a figure of speach. 
2) There was a war on Iraq, started by the US. There was also an undeclared war on Afghanistan.
3) The war on Iraq was nothing but a hugely destructive, immensely expensive diversion from genuine efforts to allay the threat posed by the Islamist maniacs.
4) Iraq was not linked to Al Quida
5) Iraq had no weapons of MD
6) There is not a fixed number of terrorists. There is rather than a vast reservoir of actual and potential recruits that is only augmented and revitalized by actions such as the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
7) Linz insistence on equating U.S. policy with good, freedom, and life and all alternative policies with evil, slavery, and death represents a childish bifurcation not worthy of his intellect or ours.
8) In Iraq, the U.S. government bears clear responsibility for killing and injuring thousands of noncombatants in the past year. Terrorism ++.
9) The US brought about deaths & suffering by enforcement of the economic sanctions used to cripple that country for more than a decade.
10) Some nations would simply prefer, as did the Spanish people to avoid the blowback of U.S. interventions around the world. This is a valid choice and if based on appeasment, it is based on not appeasing the US.
11) There is no evidence that the 'Terrorists' would be attacking the 'free' west if it were not for the wests (read US') foreign policy esp on Israel and the Middle east. Osama bin Laden, who in a famous October 2001 videotape objects to U.S. support for Israel in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, to the presence of U.S. forces in Saudi Arabia, and to U.S. economic sanctions and other hostile actions against Iraq – that is, to various U.S. policies. "Millions of innocent children are being killed in Iraq and in Palestine and we don't hear a word from the infidels. We don't hear a raised voice," says bin Laden. In my ears, this statement sounds like an objection to U.S. policies.
12) In Linz' mind, however, every deviation from adherence to his promulgated national-security policy of U.S. world domination and preventive warfare represents a dangerous form of appeasement. He says that any sign of weakness or retreat simply validates terrorist violence, and invites more violence for all nations. The only way he sees to protect 'our' people is by early, united, and decisive action – that is, by global military intervention by the United States, with all other nations serving as its lackeys.
13)  Iraq is not 'liberated'. How can it be with their country occupied by a lethal foreign army whose soldiers roam freely, breaking into homes and mosques at will, maintaining checkpoints that often become the venues of unjustified killings, carrying out police activities by employing such means as aerial bombardment. Violent military occupation and the complete absence of the rule of law totally invalidate any claim that either Iraq or Afghanistan is now a free society.
14) Iraq is rife with resentment and hostility, and the people are eager for U.S. forces to get out. Many now hate and distrust the US. This feeling is spreading.
15) Linz et al never talk about the innocent casualties of this war. They are colateral damage for the greater good. Osama himself used the very same argument to support 9/11. They are all statists.

Conclusion: Objectivism has a major problem. It believes in the nation state and a monopoly of governmental force. We are witnessing the results. Basically Linz et al are cowards. They support this evil war but send others to their deaths with other peoples money. They see 200 spanish deaths as terrible but never mention the 20,000+ Iraqi deaths at the hands of the US military.
Call me a Saddamite if you must Linz. I call you a coward and an accomplice to murder.




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Post 69

Monday, March 22, 2004 - 10:39amSanction this postReply
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Oh for f***'s sake!!!!!

No 6 that post is bordering on the ridiculous!! The closing paragraph *is* ridiculous. You almost make me want to agree with Linz!




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Post 70

Monday, March 22, 2004 - 5:33pmSanction this postReply
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I think I should probably clarify my last post above now that I've calmed down. In all honesty I more or less agree with about half of number 6's list of points. The trouble is that the other half are either greatly exaggerated or simply wrong, most notably those referring to the views of Linz and others who are for the war. What really angered me is the concluding paragraph, which is pure ad hominem. Whatever my disagreements with them I don't for one minute think that Linz et al are posting in anything other than good faith, and they are sure as hell not cowards or murderers!.

I also don't think the insults being thrown around (by both sides) are advancing this debate at all, but it is perhaps inevitable when passions run high, as they are bound to do with a topic of this sort.




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Post 71

Monday, March 22, 2004 - 6:44pmSanction this postReply
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Entirely correct, Matthew.  It's possible, and I'd say more productive, to propose your ideas and positions without even mentioning the names of anyone opposing your stance, excepting perhaps an introductory "(name), you state that..." and so on.  By personalizing a debate, you distract from the highest potential of coming across as objectively addressing the issues, not to mention verbally (so to speak) nulling the non-initiation of force axiom.  If they haven't said anything insulting or misleading about you or your's personally, stick to the issues or keep your trap shut.  I believe I've mentioned this to No.6 before, and as he/she seems to have forgotten or ignored my advice I've lost all respect and tolerance for him/her.  That kind of thing really gets my goat.  If apologies aren't forthcoming--not that I wait with baited breath for them--you won't see the pseudonym "No.6" appearing in any further of my posts.  Fin.



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Post 72

Monday, March 22, 2004 - 6:43pmSanction this postReply
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Warning bells always go off in my head when that pc word "deconstruct" prefaces a discussion. No. 6's venomous outpouring was no exception.

He (?) trots out the 20,000 Iraqi deaths as if he cares about these people. Why, in 2002 alone 20,000 innocent Iraqis were probably executed or arrested  on Saddam's orders, but I doubt that No. 6 spared *those* people much thought.  But if numbers are the issue here, No. 6, then what is more cruel? An *entire* population subjected to enslavement - and therefore *a living death*, or the casualties sustained in freeing those people? Let's not forget either that a fair number of those 20,000 died trying to *maintain* Saddam's regime.

No. 6 talks about the "innocent casualties of war." What about the innocent casualties of a despotic regime? No. 6 offers the latter group nothing but indifference. *That* is the true evil here. 




Post 73

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 5:02amSanction this postReply
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Mr. Stolyarov,

I think you ought to read an apt article by Dustin Hawkins, posted on SOLO sometime earlier.  

I read the original, thank you.

This is an Objectivist argument as to how a country can legitimately be claimed to have the right though not the obligation to intervene where liberty is threatened.

The article makes no such argument, it only confuses individual rights with the rights of government. While an individual has the right to come to the aid of other individuals whose persons or property are threatened, a government has no such right with regard to other countries.

Objectivism recognizes only one form of government as legitimate, a constitutionally limited republic. Such a government has no rights at all except those specifically delegated to it by the governed.

The governed might grant their government the right to interfere in the affairs of other nations, when it is determined the people of those nations are being oppressed, but some method of objectively determining which oppressed people deserve such interference would need to be made specific. There is no shortage of oppressive cruel tyrants in the world.

For example, the article concludes with the following paragraph:

A reasonable question follows: which is worse? A brutal tyrant who murders, tortures, rapes, and gasses both his own citizens and neighboring countries, or those men who, while maintaining the means to stop him, sit on the sidelines and allow it to happen.

I know many Iraqi citizens are delighted Saddam has been deposed, but the fact is, until he was, there were over 24.5 million Iraqi citizens, most of whom were sitting, "on the sidelines," doing nothing about their own, "brutal tyrant," and many actually supported him. It is for the sake of those sideline-sitters the US government chose to impoverish its own citizens and send its gullible young men to die. When did the citizens of the United States grant their government the right to do that? Did I miss the referendum?

If a government is going to be granted the right to interfere militarily in the affairs of other countries, it would seem reasonable to do it where the people of those countries were actively seeking to free themselves. On that basis, it would have made more sense to invade Cuba. Of course, we know, "the freedom of the Iraqi people," is not the motive for invading Iraq at all, but a lot of people, including Objectivists, have swallowed that big lie hook, line, and sinker.

Regi





Post 74

Tuesday, March 23, 2004 - 3:10pmSanction this postReply
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Sam: “Brendan, This is unjust, and plain snarky. I'm getting sick of people saying things like this in the manner you have chosen to. It's like you approach Solo as if it owes you something, or does not live up to your demands of a high standard.”

Brendan: “I agree my comment was snarky, and maybe inappropriate. I don’t approach SOLO as if it owes me anything, since I’m just a visitor here. I actually think it’s a pretty good-looking site, with a level of debate and participation that compares well with others on the net.

But my comment was not unjust. Lindsay uses the term Saddamite – with its obvious connotations – to damn anyone who not only opposes the invasion of Iraq, but is also skeptical of the motives of the Bush administration.

For the record, during the months leading up to the war I wavered in my position on the justification for an invasion. Over that time, Bush and Blair advanced various pro-war arguments. First, there was a supposed all-Quaeda link, then WMD, then a threat to peace in the region, and so on. But each of these began to look increasingly doubtful, until we had: “Oh yes, and we’re going to free the Iraqi people.” Forgive my cynicism.

The real reasons for the war are plain and simple: Bush and co want to pacify the region, to make it more amenable to US interests.

Brendan




Post 75

Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 3:03amSanction this postReply
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Brendan,

Thanks for acknowledging your tone & coming to the party. By unjust, I was referring to your tone. Enough said.

Lindsay's use of "Saddamite" is an accurate label of the reality of opposing the Iraq war. I doubt he thinks that any out there feel/felt empathy for Saddam, or his regime. But in opposing the invasion the reality is that you end up supporting Saddam & the continuance of his regime - like it or not.

I think your cynicism has justification. Bush & Blair did not sell a consistent line. But that does not mean the cause was not right.

As for the real reasons, I'm not sure what you mean by "US interests."

One thing I see going on is the revival of an attitude that swift & decisive action against tyranical regimes is far better than bureaucratic committees going sensitively down the path of appeasement of the bad guy, and to his benefit.






Post 76

Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 6:32amSanction this postReply
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Sam,

"Lindsay's use of "Saddamite" is an accurate label of the reality of opposing the Iraq war."
 
The opponents of the invasion are not a monolithic block. I will not presume to speak for all Objectivists opposed to the invasion but my own argument (and I think it fair to say Chris Sciabarra's) boils down to our thinking that, considering the full context, the invasion may in the long run have very serious negative repercussions for the US, and constitute a continuation of the unprincipled foreign policy of the past 50 years that got the US into this mess to begin with. On that basis, I was opposed to Saddam being taken out at that time and in that way, not to taking him out as such. This is why I consider the term "Saddamite" to be wholly unjustified, as unjustified in fact as the quite disgraceful ad hominems recently levelled at Linz and other defenders of the invasion - and which I spoke out against on this forum.

MH




Post 77

Thursday, March 25, 2004 - 4:23pmSanction this postReply
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Sam,

Opposition to the Iraqi invasion doesn’t necessarily translate into support for Saddam. One may actively support him or oppose him. One may actively undermine him in other ways, or merely contain him as before. The Saddamite slur is a form of intellectual bullying that attempts to bludgeon one’s opponent into acquiescence.

I’m not disputing that the cause was right, if the “cause” was the freeing of the Iraqi people from Saddam. But that was tacked on just before the invasion as a PR sop, after Bush and Blair had spent months on alarmist talk of WMDs, threats to peace and the like.

By US interests I mean geo-political and economic interests. The US is number one super-power, and if it wishes to remain so, as I assume it does, it needs to reduce any threats to that power. One perceived threat is the Islamic Middle East, so it needs to be “pacified”, by ensuring complaint regimes and the like. It is in US interests to have friendly and influential states in the region, so in that sense a successful invasion of Iraq would be the US interest.

The US also has economic investments around the globe. These need to be protected. In the case of my country, New Zealand, we are a law-abiding democracy, so American investors have few worries. But other parts of the world are unstable or actively hostile to the US, so a military presence and/or compliant regime is needed.

It’s difficult to pick one’s way morally through these entanglements, but one thing I do know: Iraq 2003 was not Germany 1939.

Brendan




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Post 78

Saturday, March 27, 2004 - 2:33pmSanction this postReply
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Just wanted to bring this interesting article to your attention---since it discusses the issue of nation-states and criminal organizations in an age of terrorism and war:

Why Nobody Saw 9/11 Coming
By PETER R. NEUMAN
The administration's failure to foresee the attacks stemmed
from an outdated defense paradigm that saw enemy states as
the only security threat.
 
Cheers,
Chris




Post 79

Wednesday, March 31, 2004 - 11:40amSanction this postReply
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Daniel Pipes has been saying the same thing for 20 years. In his recent New York Sun article (you read the Sun, don't you?) he writes:

"While Mr. bin Laden personally symbolizes militant Islam and his continued ability to elude coalition force inspires his Islamist followers, his capture or execution would have a mainly psychological impact by demoralizing those followers. His elimination would certainly be a blow to his movement, but one it could readily recover from. "His capture won't end terrorism's danger," Robert Andrews rightly noted in a recent USA Today article.

Ending terrorism requires more than targeting terrorists, their leaders, or their organizations. It requires recognizing and defeating the body of ideas known as militant Islam or Islamism. The war cannot be won until politicians and others focus on this ideology rather than on terrorism, which is merely its manifestation."


http://www.danielpipes.org/article/1624

However, the Conservatives have a hard time understanding that a religion can be the ideological driving force of an imperialistic and militaristic movement (i.e. God can be trusted they say). And the Left believes this movement is just the result of economic or institutional forces (i.e. ideas are just a superstructure they say) – and it’s basically our fault.

This is clearly a job for an intellectual movement - one not based on God or material reductionism. Say, hmmmmm, ... Objectivism? Why not? What other philosophy can take on dogma and relativism? What other philosophy can intellectually kick the sh*t out of Islam, Communism, Corporativism, all at once?




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