Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
programming forums Java Mobile Certification Databases Caching Books Engineering Micro Controllers OS Languages Paradigms IDEs Build Tools Frameworks Application Servers Open Source This Site Careers Other all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
Marshals:
  • Campbell Ritchie
  • Paul Clapham
  • Ron McLeod
  • Liutauras Vilda
  • Bear Bibeault
Sheriffs:
  • Jeanne Boyarsky
  • Tim Cooke
  • Devaka Cooray
Saloon Keepers:
  • Tim Moores
  • Tim Holloway
  • Piet Souris
  • salvin francis
  • Stephan van Hulst
Bartenders:
  • Frits Walraven
  • Carey Brown
  • Jj Roberts

no war

 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
The way I look at it, it all comes to the question "Would you kill an innocent child to save the world?" For as long that I can remember myself, my anwser has always been a digital "yes". It just makes perfect sense, dosn't it, -- if it is the end of the world, the innocent child dies anyway, right?
But here is another perspective, which also makes sense. If it is OK to kill one child to save the world, how about killing 2 children? Still OK? What about 100 children? All of a sudden, it seems like the devil himself is playing with you by asking these questions, -- it is as though you are negotiating a contract with him. And then, something pure and clear occurs to you, -- if the world comes to the point when it becomes neccessary to kill an innocent child to save the world, that world is not worth of existance. It becomes the world that sold its soul to devil. Now, to set the record straight, I am actually an atheist and I don't believe in devil or God. However, the line of reasoning that I used above still stands: if we live by moral laws that make it OK to kill one half of the population to save the other half, it's not hard to see how everything will end up.
There is another theory on the morality of murder, proposed by Robert Piersig, the author of "Lila: An inquiry Into Morals". Ask yourself a question, "Is it moral for a human to kill a bug?". The answer is "yes", based on the argument that a human is at a higher stage of progress and evolution than a bug. "Is it moral for a human to kill a cow?", -- yes, based on the same argument. How about this one: "Is it moral for a society to kill a person? (capital punishment)". The answer is "no". According to Piersig theory, the human thought is at the highest level of evolution and is above the society on the evolution ladder. Now, the way I apply this argument to the question "Should the US goverment kill Saddam and a few hundred Iraqi children to prevent the possible death of the thousands of Americans?" is this: the Saddams' evil thoughts are on the same level of evolution as the democratic thoughts of American people, and the American government is an entity below the Saddams thoughts on the evolution ladder.
Does it make me a Saddam's sympathizer? Hell, no! But I am trying really hard to remain a free thinker under the pressure of propaganda from all sides. Sometimes I wish I were from another world, free of the ideology, demagogy, and the earthly standards that have been firmly implanted in me. Maybe then I could see all the answers.
Eugene.
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
author
Posts: 9000
19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Thomas -
I thought the idea was to have a discussion...
saying that Chomsky is an imbecile doesn't really further the goal of discussion, it's not a lot of fun (at least for me) to reduce these discussions to name calling. I'm interested in hearing other opinions, I am, in fact, capable of changing my mind when I get new data, isn't that point?
So no, you are right, phasing out subsidies won't solve all of the world's problems but it is a start, and it is a long term approach.
If we do attack Iraq, there's no doubt we'll win the short term military engagement, but at what cost, and to what end? Let's also say that we oust Saddam... how do we change the mindset that allowed him to get there in the first place? How many new Saddam-esque replacements will this war spawn?
What's our plan once we win? All the current administration has said about post-invasion strategy is very vague arm-waving. I think if a bunch of people are going to die, we ought to know what the hell the plan is!
The world has become too complex, and too intertwined to think that we can unilaterally man-handle a situation and that it won't have side effects. I haven't heard anyone in this administration acknowledge the probable side effects of their proposals, and how they plan to handle those side effects.
Do they really think they can make a war in one of the most unstable and volatile regions of the world and avoid repercussions? Wow - that's an amazing orientation!
 
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
If we do attack Iraq, there's no doubt we'll win the short term military engagement, but at what cost, and to what end? Let's also say that we oust Saddam... how do we change the mindset that allowed him to get there in the first place?

We seemed to have managed OK with Germany and Japan since 1945. Do you have an alternative to ousting Sadaam?
And we have had a bunch of discussions here about Chomsky. He is an imbecile. There is not a thing he has said in the last 20 years that isn't pure garbage. Every one of his statements has a logical fallacy in it. The example is the quote you gave which fails to take into account that most terrorists are not "persons who had their land taken away". What land was taken from Al Quadda? What land was taken from the Red Army Faction or the Baader-Meinhof Gang? How about FARC or ELN? How about the Red Brigades? Chomsky is great for throwing out meaningless slogans that sound important. I am sure he is very impressed with himself.
 
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Before there was a United States, most of the colonists didn't want independence, they just wanted their taxes lowered. It was when they realized that they had no voice in the government, no one who would listen to their complaints that independece started being talked about. Just because the students weren't talking about over-throwing the government and establishing democracy doesn't mean they wouldn't eventually have ended up there.


And they would eventually build a Western-type democratic state were Law and Human Rights are in great respect. Something like Russia.
 
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Eugene,
The problem with what you are saying (as I understand it) is that it seems to assume that by not attacking Iraq, fewer innocent people may die than if we do.
Hussein is directly responsible for the deaths of around 2 million people. On the other hand, Iraqi deaths in the Gulf War may have been as low as around 1500 military and 100 civillians (although Iraq claims 100,000 were killed, most experts believe this is an extreme exaggeration).
Keeping in mind that the precision capabilities of US forces are far better now than in 1991, there is every reason to believe that civillian casualties resulting from US military action will be very low. On the other hand, it is a certainty that removing Saddam from power will prevent countless more deaths at his hands. Therefore it is far more humane to remove Hussein than it would be to leave him in power.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Bert Bates:

2) - Noam Chomsky says:


Aha! More Chomskyites here...

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Thomas -
I thought the idea was to have a discussion...


But this is a discussion!
-----------------
Hey this is meaningless drivel. We THRIVE on such excitement. Peace is BORING.
Rahul Rathore
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Bert Bates:
Do they really think they can make a war in one of the most unstable and volatile regions of the world and avoid repercussions? Wow - that's an amazing orientation!


I don't think anyone is claiming there won't be repercussions. When repercussions are mentioned, the first thing that most people seem to bring up is more terrorist attacks. I'm not sure that is what you are referring to, but IMHO, that is the worst possible excuse for not taking action.
Terrorism is a fact of life and there will always be some reason they will want to destroy us. Any excuse will do. If it's not attacking Iraq, it will be something else. To even let this factor into the decision making is preposterous in my opinion, because that only leads to appeasement.
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Jason Menard ]
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator


On the other hand, it is a certainty that removing Saddam from power will prevent countless more deaths at his hands. Therefore it is far more humane to remove Hussein than it would be to leave him in power.


My point is exactly the opposite. I believe that it is immoral to kill 100 people (or even 1 innocent child) to save 1,000,000 people. The basis for this argument is as I outlined in my original post: if the world comes to the point when it becomes neccessary to kill a child to save the world, then this world doesn't deserve to exist, because it would have to trade its soul for something else it considers more valuable (such as oil, nation prosperity, or geo-political interests). I am not sure everyone understands where this analogy comes from, so I'll mention it here: in Goethe's "Faust", Faust bargains with the devil and eventually sells his soul to the devil in exchange for power and knowledge.
I wanted to make it a bit more subtle in my original post, but I guess clarity goes first, so I will be direct: the devil is asking us to start a war and to kill a few hundred Iraqi children. In exchange, he promises us cheap oil, security for 200 million americans, and the export of our beautiful culture and democracy to Middle East. The devil will even go as far as personally locating Saddam, Osama, and the JFK assasin and dispatching Mr. Death to their caves. After some deliberations on our side and some concessions from the devil (he now asks us to kill only one Iraqi child instead of a hundred), the deal is sealed. Have I made myself clear enough?
Eugene.
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

My point is exactly the opposite. I believe that it is immoral to kill 100 people (or even 1 innocent child) to save 1,000,000 people.


I agree that it is immoral, but it is practical. And I agree that this world isn't perfect, but it is the only one we have.
--------------
"I am trying really hard to remain a free thinker under the pressure of propaganda from all sides"
Eugene Kononov
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
We seemed to have managed OK with Germany and Japan since 1945. Do you have an alternative to ousting Sadaam?


After reading this bunch of (could I say 'furious'?) posts of yours, I've come to the conclusion that this WW2 thing happens to be your major basic argument. Please don't forget that the Canadians, Polish, and yes, even the Russians participated in ending WW2 in Europe; the USA cannot claim to be the sole liberator here. And don't forget that NATO saw the light in 1948, while the Waschaw Pact was only born in 1954 as an answer to NATO, so please don't play this 'defendor/aggressor game' the wrong way around.
And yes, there may be other ways to get rid of Saddam Houssein; go ask the American CIA or the Israelian Mossad about how to cleanly get rid of individuals like we're discussing here.
Don't get me wrong, I think Saddam Houssein is a dangerous idiot but all those people living in Iraq don't deserve the results of another megalomaniacal idiot who wants to 'finish' what his daddy had instigated; neither deserve the American people to be identified with this imperialistic idiot.
And please don't drag in WW2 all the time as an argument or an excuse for present behaviour of the USA, because otherwise I could put my cards on the table claiming that New York would never have existed without the cooperation of the Dutch folks in those old days ...
And, last but not least, IMHO Noam Chomsky is a very bright and very intelligent scientist and a pure globalist; the noun 'nationalism' cannot be found in his (huge) dictionary.
kind regards
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Jos Horsmeier ]
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Three Chomskyites already!

Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:
I am not sure everyone understands where this analogy comes from, so I'll metion it here: in Goethe's "Faust", Faust bargains with the devil and eventually sells his soul to the devil in exchange for power and knowledge.


I was thinking about Dostoevsky.
--------------
"I am trying really hard to remain a free thinker under the pressure of propaganda from all sides"
Eugene Kononov
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
"I don't want harmony. From love for humanity I don't want it. I would rather be left with the unavenged suffering. I would rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unsatisfied indignation, even if I were wrong. Besides, too high a price is asked for harmony; it's beyond our means to pay so much to enter on it. And so I hasten to give back my entrance ticket, and if I am an honest man I am bound to give it back as soon as possible. And that I am doing. It's not God that I don't accept, Alyosha, only I most respectfully return him the ticket."
"That's rebellion," murmered Alyosha, looking down.
"Rebellion? I am sorry you call it that," said Ivan earnestly. "One can hardly live in rebellion, and I want to live. Tell me yourself, I challenge your answer. Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men happy in the end, giving them peace and rest at last, but that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature -- that baby beating its breast with its fist, for instance -- and to found that edifice on its unavenged tears, would you consent to be the architect on those conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth."
"No, I wouldn't consent," said Alyosha softly.
The Brothers Karamazov. Part II. Book V: Pro and Contra. Chapter 4: Rebellion
http://www.classicreader.com/read.php/sid.1/bookid.276/sec.35/
--------------
"I am trying really hard to remain a free thinker under the pressure of propaganda from all sides"
Eugene Kononov
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator


Mapraputa Is wrote:

I agree that [killing an innocent child to save the world] is immoral, but it is practical. And I agree that this world isn't perfect, but it is the only one we have.


Yeah, that's the essense of it, isn't it, -- a delicate balance between the morality and practicality. But again, this balancing act is bargaining with the devil. And yes, you got it, Dostoyevkiy is the one who started all this "Would you kill an innocent child?" and "The beauty will save the world" mess.
Oh, and Mapraputa, I will have to charge you if you continue to use my quotes in your singnatures.
Eugene.
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Eugene, your idea is a noble sentiment that can be reduced to a suicide pact. Should the world have stood by and let the nazis conquer the world for fearing of hurting a German child? That way leads to death for everyone.
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator


Thomas Paul wrote:

Eugene, your idea is a noble sentiment that can be reduced to a suicide pact. Should the world have stood by and let the nazis conquer the world for fearing of hurting a German child? That way leads to death for everyone.


You got me here, sheriff. I don't have a good defense here except to say that death for everyone might have been a better choice. Maybe when the first innocent German child died, that was the end of beauty and the world, and the start of something else (something like the Matrix?). Or, maybe it happened when Adam tried the forbidden fruit. The question is, do you want to live in a lost paradise?
A great German philosopher said: "The first best thing a person can do is not to be born. The second best thing to do is to commit suicide." The only thing that keeps me going is Java Ranch.
Eugene.
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jos Horsmeier:
And yes, there may be other ways to get rid of Saddam Houssein; go ask the American CIA or the Israelian Mossad about how to cleanly get rid of individuals like we're discussing here.


Don't be absurd. The problem is deeper than one man. On the off chance some assassain were to manage to kill the right Saddam out of all the doubles he uses, one of his sons would merely step in and continue. Removing one or two people does not force a new government.

Don't get me wrong, I think Saddam Houssein is a dangerous idiot


And what was Hitler? An ill-tempered stooge?

but all those people living in Iraq don't deserve the results of another megalomaniacal idiot who wants to 'finish' what his daddy had instigated; neither deserve the American people to be identified with this imperialistic idiot.


Idiot? Oh yes, European leaders and their policies are just so enlightened. Bosnia was a master stroke of European policy. Pot this is kettle, kettle, I'd like you to meet pot. :roll:
As far as what the people of Iraq deserve, I don't think you should be speaking for them any more than you should be speaking for us. Have you ever asked the Iraqis what they want? The US has, having held talks with Iraqi representatives from the North and South of the country. These are the Iraqis who are being murdered and oppressed by Hussein. Here's what the Iraqi opposition has to say on the subject.

And please don't drag in WW2 all the time as an argument or an excuse for present behaviour of the USA


Yeah, WW2 is just so damn inconvenient. But we don't need an "excuse" for our present behavior. If anything it is France, Belgium, and Germany who need excuses for theirs.

And, last but not least, IMHO Noam Chomsky is a very bright and very intelligent scientist and a pure globalist; the noun 'nationalism' cannot be found in his (huge) dictionary.


Yes, many who don't care for the US really like Chomsky. IMHO though, he is just another clown, and the word "rational" doesn't exist in his dictionary.
 
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator


Originally posted by Jos Horsmeier:

Please don't forget that the Canadians, Polish, and yes, even the Russians participated in ending WW2 in Europe


Get real, man. The Poles did not play a significant role in the liberation of Europe.
link


Originally posted by Jos Horsmeier:

And yes, there may be other ways to get rid of Saddam Houssein; go ask the American CIA or the Israelian Mossad about how to cleanly get rid of individuals like we're discussing here.


Until just recently, it has been against American law, (and I ~believe~ Israeli law too), to asassinate the head of other states, but I am glad that at least you agree with George W. on one thing. George W. got a bill passed that gives more leeway to the CIA.
Give the US, Mossad and Saddam some credit. Saddam is an expert at being on the run. If we could have found him, we would have killed him when he threatened George Bush senior. It was the legal opportunity we had. We failed.
Having Mossad do our work would cause more trouble then it is worth. We are asking Israel to refrain from retaliation, as they did in the Gulf War, even if they are attacked. (Not exactly a war-monger's choice move, right?)
Were you one of the many European that was so "there for us" after 9/11, but is now turning their back on us???
BTW, Why doesn't the UN pressure Saddam to step down?? Why do they indirectly support him??
As for bringing up WWII, too bad. Europe dropped the ball in WWI, WWII, and then again in Bosnia. But we thank you, because those World Wars made the USA. We can't rely on Europe... Get over it.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Thomas Paul:
Eugene, your idea is a noble sentiment that can be reduced to a suicide pact. Should the world have stood by and let the nazis conquer the world for fearing of hurting a German child? That way leads to death for everyone.


Thomas Paul, you might want to check Fallacies of Distraction. In particular False Dilemma.
False Dilemma:
A limited number of options (usually two) is given when actually other choices are available. A false dilemma is an illegitimate use of the "or" operator. Putting issues or opinions into "black or white" terms is a common instance of this fallacy.
Examples:
i.Either you're for me or against me.
ii.America: Love it or leave it!
iii.Either support Meech Lake, or Quebec will separate!
iv.Every person is either wholly good or wholly evil.
Convincing Others: Identify the options given, and show (with an example) that there is an additional option.
Eugene, why do you want to charge me for using your quotes? I was going to charge you for advertising company and promoting your quotes. But Ok, just one last time...
------------------
"Yeah, that's the essense of it, isn't it, -- a delicate balance between the morality and practicality."
Eugene Kononov
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
As far as what the people of Iraq deserve, I don't think you should be speaking for them any more than you should be speaking for us. Have you ever asked the Iraqis what they want?


The New York Times has a story today: When the Enemy Is a Liberator
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Eugene - NO ADVERTISING!!!
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

In particular False Dilemma.[/QB]


I may be dense, but I'm not seeing how this applies to what Thomas stated. I think you are wrong here.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
My point was that for the world to "stood by and let the nazis conquer the world for fearing of hurting a German child" wasn't the only possible choice. As well, war on Iraq isn't the only alternative to doing nothing.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by John Dunn:
Hey Eugene - NO ADVERTISING!!!



Get real, man. The Poles did not play a significant role in the liberation of Europe.
link

You might want to check The History of Poland:
"The Polish Underground or AK (Armia Krajowa or Home Army) was the largest in Europe with 400,000 men."
"The Polish Army, Navy and Air Force reorganised abroad and continued to fight the Germans. In fact they have the distinction of being the only nation to fight on every front in the War. In 1940 they fought in France, in the Norwegian campaign they earned a reputation for bravery at Narvik, and in Africa the Carpathian Brigade fought at Tobruk."
Etc...
 
Jason Menard
Sheriff
Posts: 6450
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
My point was that for the world to "stood by and let the nazis conquer the world for fearing of hurting a German child"


But that's what Eugene's policy was basically advocating. He stated that it was wrong to save a million if even one innocent were to die. In order to prevent the possibility of one innocent dying, then it follows that no actions which would involve violence, or even confrontation, could be advocated.
 
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Map, neither of those quotes seem to appear on the page you cite. Want to try again?
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
You mean "The History of Poland"?
I just checked and both quotes are there.
What do you see?
The first paragraph:
"Invasion:
On September 1st., 1939, 1.8 million German troops invaded Poland on three fronts; East Prussia in the north, Germany in the west and Slovakia in the south. They had 2600 tanks against the Polish 180, and over 2000 aircraft against the Polish 420. Their "Blitzkrieg" tactics, coupled with their bombing of defenceless towns and refugees, had never been seen before and, at first, caught the Poles off-guard. By September 14th. Warsaw was surrounded. At this stage the poles reacted, holding off the Germans at Kutno and regrouping behind the Wisla (Vistula) and Bzura rivers. Although Britain and France declared war on September 3rd. the Poles received no help - yet it had been agreed that the Poles should fight a defensive campaign for only 2 weeks during which time the Allies could get their forces together and attack from the west."
Maybe they show different page to Americans.
 
Jim Yingst
Wanderer
Posts: 18671
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry, my mistake. I swapped your link with Tom's link. And then was thinking "this doesn't support Map's contention at all" while reading Tom's link. :roll: Oops. Carry on then...
 
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Posts: 13974
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Mapraputa Is:
My point was that for the world to "stood by and let the nazis conquer the world for fearing of hurting a German child" wasn't the only possible choice. As well, war on Iraq isn't the only alternative to doing nothing.



So what other choices were available to Stalin in June of 1941? Enquiring minds want to know.
 
Mapraputa Is
Leverager of our synergies
Posts: 10065
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jason Menard:
But that's what Eugene's policy was basically advocating. He stated that it was wrong to save a million if even one innocent were to die. In order to prevent the possibility of one innocent dying, then it follows that no actions which would involve violence, or even confrontation, could be advocated.


What is interesting, that Dostoevsky actually wrote The Brothers Karamazov to investigate psychological roots of terrorism. Its main character, Alyosha, a Christian monk and a very peaceful person "... It is said that Alyosha was to have become involved with revolutionists and to have committed a political crime, - it will be recalled that during Dostoevsky's last years the terrorists were increasingly active and, indeed, his own death antedated by one month the assassination of the czar.
http://collaboratory.blogspot.com/2002_12_08_collaboratory_archive.html
"Alyosha is a truly inspiring character, representing the perfect, selfless christian (Dostojevski wanted to write a sequel to 'Karamazov' in which Alyosha would become a revolutionary, but he died before he got the chance to write it)"
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0553212168/002-6063424-7093622?vi=customer-reviews
Here is another quote from The Brothers Karamazov:
"One picture, only one more, because it's so curious, so characteristic, and I have only just read it in some collection of Russian antiquities. I've forgotten the name. I must look it up. It was in the darkest days of serfdom at the beginning of the century, and long live the Liberator of the People! There was in those days a general of aristocratic connections, the owner of great estates, one of those men -- somewhat exceptional, I believe, even then -- who, retiring from the service into a life of leisure, are convinced that they've earned absolute power over the lives of their subjects. There were such men then. So our general, settled on his property of two thousand souls, lives in pomp, and domineers over his poor neighbours as though they were dependents and buffoons. He has kennels of hundreds of hounds and nearly a hundred dog-boys -- all mounted, and in uniform. One day a serf-boy, a little child of eight, threw a stone in play and hurt the paw of the general's favourite hound. 'Why is my favourite dog lame?' He is told that the boy threw a stone that hurt the dog's paw. 'So you did it.' The general looked the child up and down. 'Take him.' He was taken -- taken from his mother and kept shut up all night. Early that morning the general comes out on horseback, with the hounds, his dependents, dog-boys, and huntsmen, all mounted around him in full hunting parade. The servants are summoned for their edification, and in front of them all stands the mother of the child. The child is brought from the lock-up. It's a gloomy, cold, foggy, autumn day, a capital day for hunting. The general orders the child to be undressed; the child is stripped naked. He shivers, numb with terror, not daring to cry.... 'Make him run,' commands the general. 'Run! run!' shout the dog-boys. The boy runs.... 'At him!' yells the general, and he sets the whole pack of hounds on the child. The hounds catch him, and tear him to pieces before his mother's eyes!... I believe the general was afterwards declared incapable of administering his estates. Well -- what did he deserve? To be shot? To be shot for the satisfaction of our moral feelings? Speak, Alyosha!
"To be shot," murmured Alyosha, lifting his eyes to Ivan with a pale, twisted smile.
"Bravo!" cried Ivan delighted. "If even you say so... You're a pretty monk! So there is a little devil sitting in your heart, Alyosha Karamazov!"
"What I said was absurd, but-"
"That's just the point, that 'but'!" cried Ivan. "Let me tell you, novice, that the absurd is only too necessary on earth. The world stands on absurdities, and perhaps nothing would have come to pass in it without them. We know what we know!"
"What do you know?"
"I understand nothing," Ivan went on, as though in delirium. "I don't want to understand anything now. I want to stick to the fact. I made up my mind long ago not to understand. If I try to understand anything, I shall be false to the fact, and I have determined to stick to the fact."
[ February 16, 2003: Message edited by: Mapraputa Is ]
 
John Dunn
slicker
Posts: 1108
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator


Originally posted by Jos Horsmeier:
Please don't forget that the Canadians, Polish, and yes, even the Russians participated in ending WW2 in Europe
Originally posted by John Dunn:
Get real, man. The Poles did not play a significant role in the liberation of Europe.


Thanks for that Polish History info. On that point you are real Wow, Polish ~military~ played a much bigger role than I originally thought - I didn't realize they were in the Mediterranean. I knew about the Polish Underground, as I've read about many of the European countries' underground groups. I've always thought of the liberators as the French, British, US, and Russia - not solely the U.S. as Jos pointed out. (I'd say few Americans really feel that we were the 'only' liberators. So, you still need to get real... )
I didn't realize these facts either:
The Western allied lost far less soldiers than the Soviets, who lost 7.5 MILLION!!.
It's almost hard to believe...
(The United States: 292,000 Great Britain: 397,762 Canada: 45,000 France: 210,600)
Poland lost the highest percentage of her [B]citizens, who fell in the struggle or were murdered as a result of the occupiers' policy of terror--a total of 6.5 million people, including almost all the Jewish Poles.[/B] (Poor S.O.B.'s in the Polish military, were abandoned in the beginning of the war and betrayed at the end.)
 
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2166
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Eugene Kononov:

My point is exactly the opposite. I believe that it is immoral to kill 100 people (or even 1 innocent child) to save 1,000,000 people


Disagree. If you put such high standards on a very complex, ethically imperfect world, you will easily end up as a simplifying fundamentalist (path of Alyosha Karamasov)
I am no pacifist. My understanding of non-pacifism is that the executive power of a state or some group fighting for a just case, under some extreme circumstances, has the right to kill(if its war-time).
In the activities of allied forces, underground groups during WW2 kids have been killed. But that's no reason to take no action against Hitler.
I am no Dostoevsky expert, but for me an important topic of his books is about showing idealists getting fundamentalists who has lost contact with general humanistic principles.
Its a different thing if a person kills, because his fixed idea or if Iraqui kids are killed in bombing, because America wants to prevent Sadam using weapons of mass destruction.
There is some point in this line of argumentation of the Bush administration.
The pressure showed some good results, but war now makes not much sense.
In the other american line of arguments to bomb Iraq to democracy, because it has worked in Germany and Japon, I fear they are simplifying a lot.
Democratization in Japon and Germany worked, because of the horror of the population about what they, their neighbours, their brothers, sisters or fathers have done during nazi- or teno(?)-regime.
To put it very cynical, democratization would have a much greater chance after Iraquis have thrown the bomb. Nobody wants that!!!
As long as there is no deep break with the popular believe that they are victims of american agression inside Iraq, it won't work.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Axel Janssen ]
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Does any body of the people who are with that crazy war live in the Middle East? Can they feel how much we, Middle East people, suffered from wars?
We have had two wars here in the Gulf during the last 20 years, and most people here don't want a third war even with the existing threats Saddam has twaord us, his neighbors.
We beleive that American Army (and their allies) were able to remove Saddam and his regieme during the second Gulf war, but for unknown reasons they didn't, rather they let him attack the revolts during the 1991 unrest in the south (cities of Karbala and Najaf).
A question: why they kept him 12 years with all threats he had? Why didn't they remove him while he was in their hands?
So Please NO WAR
 
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Abbas Alafoo:
We beleive that American Army (and their allies) were able to remove Saddam and his regieme during the second Gulf war, but for unknown reasons they didn't,[/b]


At that time our stated goal was to liberate Kuwait from Saddam Hussein, and ONLY that. Not to take over Kuwait. Not to take over Iraq. We were walking on eggshells trying to prove to the world that we would NOT just go in and attack Iraq because we could. We were trying to show that we would restrain ourselves. That we would abide by our own stated goals.
Lot of good that did :roll: .
That is what comes from trying to keep the rest of the UN placated. As a result thousands of people including children died. And the real threat of thousands more dying is there.
Personally, under the circumstances I am amazed at the restraint that Bush has shown in holding off. Obviously advice from the UN is not always the best.
It is always a hard choice to decide on war. The only time that it seems warranted is if you TRUELY believe that it will save lives over all.
That is the catch - if "No War" costs thousands of lives, will you STILL want "No War"?
 
Abbas Alafoo
Greenhorn
Posts: 24
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
If NO WAR is costing thousands of lives, then a WAR will certanly cost hundreds of thousands of lives...
 
Greenhorn
Posts: 14
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Have a look at this:
http://www.idleworm.com/nws/2002/11/iraq2.shtml
Regards,
Jens
 
Anonymous
Ranch Hand
Posts: 18944
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Jos Horsmeier:
And yes, there may be other ways to get rid of Saddam Houssein; go ask the American CIA or the Israelian Mossad about how to cleanly get rid of individuals like we're discussing here.
Originally posted by Jason Menard:Don't be absurd. The problem is deeper than one man. On the off chance some assassain were to manage to kill the right Saddam out of all the doubles he uses, one of his sons would merely step in and continue. Removing one or two people does not force a new government.


For a famous counter example I'd like to refer to late Tito, president of former Yugoslavia. This man was loved by all the folks from Hercegovina, Servia, Montenegro and all the other former small kingdoms, constituing former Yugoslavia. He turned that mess into one coherent land for quite some decades. After his death (almost) everyone knows what happened to that country.
Compare this to Saddam Hussein who happens to be hated to the bone by most (if not all) Iraqi people.
BTW, Yugoslavia was a UN and NATO affair, please don't claim that the USA did the 'job' again ...
And, ironically enough, Saddam happens to kill his own next of kin too ...
kind regards
[edit: removed some quoting problems ...]
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Jos Horsmeier ]
 
John Smith
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2937
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
All right, if the Faust argument sounds too metaphorical and abstract, I'd like to put everything in mathematical terms:
Lemma 1: Morals exist as long as people exist.
Theorem: It is immoral and inhumane to kill an innocent child to save 100 million people.
Proof: The proof by contradiction and induction. Suppose the opposite is true: it is moral to kill an innocent child to save 100 mil people (Proposition 1). Let's call killing a child a transformation T. Let N be the number of innocent children killed, and let M be the number of people saved. Then when N=1, it is absolutely moral, if it results in M=100,000,000. That is, the trasformation
T(N): M->(M - N) is moral at N=1, as it resulted from M original people into (M-N) people saved. At N=1, (M-N) is 99,999,999 (we killed one child, remember?)
Next, we establish the validity of induction. If transformation T(1) is moral, then transformation T(2) is also moral because T(2) is really two moral transormations T(1) done in sequence. It follows that T(N+1) is moral as long as T(N) is moral.
Applying the induction principle, we get:
T(1): M->(M - 1)
T(2): M->(M - 2)
...
T(K): M->(M - K)
Now, let K=M. Then transformation
T(K): M->(M - K) reduces to T(M): M->(M - M), or T(M): M->0
That is, we killed M innocent children to save 0 people. In other words, we killed everybody, so there is no one left to save. But this contradicts Lemma 1: it is impossible for transormation T(M): M->0 to be moral if it results into no morals. Therefore, the Proposition 1 is false and the opposite is true. QED
Eugene.
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Eugene Kononov ]
 
Cindy Glass
"The Hood"
Posts: 8521
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator

Originally posted by Abbas Alafoo:
If NO WAR is costing thousands of lives, then a WAR will certanly cost hundreds of thousands of lives...


No, the point is if NO WAR costs thousands of lives MORE than "War" will you still want "No War"?
[ February 17, 2003: Message edited by: Cindy Glass ]
 
Axel Janssen
Ranch Hand
Posts: 2166
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
Cindy,
I did not find a link.
The motives for the NATO not to take Bagdad in 1991 was - according to what I have heard - NOT to comply with UN resolutions, but to leave Iraq intact as a counterbalance against Iran.
Also they feared the country would implode like Former_Yugoslavia, once Saddam is away.
We know now that this was a strategical mistake in the medium run.
Kurds in the north and sheites in the south received pamphlets where NATO urged them to stand up against the dictator. There was an uprising, but no help from NATO troops.
Sometimes. Well Americans.
First Rule: We Make No Mistakes.
Second Rule: If we make mistakes its not us, but UNO or our so called "allies" with big quotes.
 
High Plains Drifter
Posts: 7289
Netbeans IDE VI Editor
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Report post to moderator
During my eligibility for selective service, I remember thinking all this stuff out. In my time it was all about the Ayatollah, later about the Falklands, Grenada, Libya, crap like that. And I remember telling myself I couldn't see picking up a rifle to go off like my uncle did to Vietnam, and killing in the name of some other country's political interests. Speaking of Vietnam, there's that France thing again.
What I could feel right about doing was defending my own country and what it stood for, even if Reagan was president and even if Haig was just a leeetle too close to the Oval Office.
Frankly, I can't see what we're defending against here, at least not yet. Al Qaeda? That's a Saudi-based mission and anyone with a set of eyes can see that. North Korea? That threat is like mad-cow disease -- once we're bored with it, the media stops telling us they're there. bin Laden? The good money says he dead, so enough already.
Has anyone else gotten the idea that this administration needs a Cold War very badly? How did we manage to generate so much global hostility so quickly? How did we manage to get from 9/11 to everyone's idea of the bully?
Tellin' ya man, we got us a bad deal in the White House. We can't get justice in the world community so we'll go to war. Very nice. You and I are wondering about jobs and health benefits, and GWB wants to talk duct tape and plastic sheeting.
Have you had enough yet?
 
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic