• This is a political forum that is non-biased/non-partisan and treats every person's position on topics equally. This debate forum is not aligned to any political party. In today's politics, many ideas are split between and even within all the political parties. Often we find ourselves agreeing on one platform but some topics break our mold. We are here to discuss them in a civil political debate. If this is your first visit to our political forums, be sure to check out the RULES. Registering for debate politics is necessary before posting. Register today to participate - it's free!
  • Welcome to our archives. No new posts are allowed here.

10 Pro-War Fallacies Debunked

argexpat

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
460
Reaction score
8
Location
I was there, now I'm here
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Excerpted from Salon.com:

1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

There is a false assumption underlying this argument, namely that Dems received the same intel as Bush (they didn't), but setting that aside, here are two reasons why this is a straw man:

The issue is not whether people believed Saddam had WMD (many did), or whether there was any evidence that he had WMD (there was), it's the fact that Bush and his administration made an absolute, unconditional case with the evidence at hand, brooking no dissent and dismissing doubters inside and outside the government as cowardly or treasonous. That's what "manipulating the intelligence" and "misleading the public" refers to, the knowing exaggeration of the case for war (whether by cherry-picking intel or using defunct intel or by speaking about ambiguous intel in alarming absolutes).

The issue is proportionality. Whether or not Bill Clinton or France or the U.N. believed Saddam was a threat, the administration's apocalyptic words and drastic actions (preemptively invading a sovereign nation) were decidedly out of proportion to the level and immediacy of the threat. THAT is the issue.

2. AFTER 9/11, WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THREAT TO MATERIALIZE BEFORE TAKING ACTION

This is…a vacuous argument whose logic implies we should invade a half-dozen African countries as well as North Korea, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Every day that goes by that Bush allows these threats to "materialize," he is failing in his duties to protect the American public…. And if the pushback is that North Korea and others are being dealt with diplomatically, isn't that exactly the approach this argument purports to refute?

Furthermore, the war's opponents never claimed they'd prefer to "wait" for threats to materialize. This is another straw man. Nobody wants to wait for threats to materialize; they just want to deal with them differently.

3. DEMOCRATS "VOTED FOR" AND THUS "SUPPORTED" THE WAR

Many elected Democrats did NOT vote in favor of the resolution. Not to mention the millions of rank and filers who marched down the streets of our cities and were largely ignored by the press and brushed off by Bush. So to say, generically, that Democrats "supported the war" or to imply that there was tepid resistance to it, is false.

b) No matter how many people contest this point, a vote to give Bush authority WAS NOT a vote "for war." Bush also had the authority NOT to invade.

4. TALK OF WITHDRAWAL "SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE" AND "EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY"


Implying that opposing views are treasonous is the surest way to stifle dissent. And it's a cheap way to avoid confronting hard questions. Such as: Does anyone seriously believe that Bush's course of action in Iraq has intimidated or deterred the enemy? Doesn't the fact that the insurgency is as strong as ever "embolden" the enemy? The sobering truth is that there are dozens of recent events and actions that 'embolden the enemy' far more than advocating a disciplined, phased redeployment. Torture of detainees, the use of white phosphorus as an offensive weapon, the curtailing of civil liberties at home, the shameful abandonment of American citizens in the aftermath of Katrina, the cynical outing of CIA agents, the smearing of war critics as traitors, these are far more encouraging to America's enemies.

5. A WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ WOULD HAVE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES

Predicting the outcome of sectarian divisions in the Middle East is a fool's game. The shifting alliances, the internal pressures, the regional influences, make it next to impossible to say whether or not the removal of American forces would further destabilize Iraq. It's also grimly amusing that we're expected to believe the prognostications of the very people who told us we'd be greeted as liberators.

For every foreign policy expert who says that Iraq will be worse off without U.S. troops, there's another who will tell you the exact opposite is true. In the absence of any sound predictive capabilities, the endgame should be based on the opening: i.e. the sooner you end something that started out wrong and has had terrible consequences, the better.

6. WITHDRAWING FROM IRAQ IS TANTAMOUNT TO "CUTTING & RUNNING"

Any talk of withdrawal, redeployment or a change in course is characterized as "cutting and running." The best response to the notion that a war hero like John Kerry or John Murtha wants to "cut and run" is Murtha's response to Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

A phased withdrawal is just that, a phased withdrawal. And a timetable is just that, a timetable. Using politically-charged buzzwords won't change the fact that the present course of action is untenable. For those who think continuing with the current policy in Iraq is a mark of courage and changing direction the mark of cowardice, they should bear in mind that courage tempered by wisdom is noble, courage in defiance of wisdom is foolhardy.

7. WE'RE FIGHTING THEM 'THERE' SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM HERE

This is yet another straw man: we all agree that it's better to fight our enemies somewhere other than on the streets of America. The problem with the "fight them there" approach is that:

a) Iraq wasn't "there" until AFTER the invasion. (In spite of the mental contortions of Bush apologists who insist there was a substantive Saddam-Qaeda connection.)

b) Our policy in Iraq is creating more of "them."

c) "There" is where "them" (Bin Laden and his cohorts) are. And it ain't Iraq.

A corollary to this argument is that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror" and we can't defeat the terrorists if we don't fight them there. That's like walking into someone's house, breaking an expensive vase, and claiming you have to move in because your job is to clean up broken vases and as long as vases are being broken, you have to be there to clean up the mess. Arguments don't get more circular than this...

8. DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ, THEY'RE JUST ATTACKING BUSH TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS

Democrats deserve legitimate criticism for their approach to Iraq, but when the Republican Party controls all branches of government, attacking Dems for conflicting positions and a confused message shouldn't be a catch-all excuse for Republican mistakes and lies.

Saying Democrats are muddled on Iraq is a favorite media distraction. But the response is simple: if Bush's policy is to "stay the course," the Democratic policy - whether we accept Murtha's approach or Feingold's or Kerry's - is to "change the course." Simple enough. Changing positions in light of new evidence and new circumstances is the sign of a mature and rational mind. Stubbornly clinging to a failed course of action is not.

9. HISTORY WILL VINDICATE BUSH

The infinite time horizon is an easy cop out for supporters of the Iraq war. The problem with the Bush apologists' reasoning is that using an infinite time horizon virtually any action, no matter how egregious, can be shown to lead to some positive results. Asserting a causal relationship between a pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign nation and all future good developments in Iraq and the Middle East is a dubious and dangerous way to conduct foreign policy. Which is precisely why we need to adhere so strictly to the rule of law, to basic moral precepts, and to established principles of international relations, something that this administration has failed to do, and that the administration's supporters can dance around but can't justify.

10. ISN'T IT A GOOD THING THAT SADDAM IS GONE?

This is the ultimate fall-back for supporters of this disastrous war. Considering the unremitting suffering and killing and violence and abuse of innocents that takes place on this planet, it is intellectually dishonest to resort to a retroactive humanitarian rationalization for a war that was ostensibly defensive in nature. Especially when we callously ignore the plight of so many others who suffer in silence.

If the trump card question is "don’t you think it's good that Saddam is gone?" then one rhetorical question can be met with another:
Isn't it terrible that we've done nothing to stop the slaughter in Darfur?
Isn't it terrible that Iraq is still a killing field and now a terrorist breeding ground?
Isn't it terrible that a nuclear armed Kim Jong Il is still in power?
Isn't it terrible that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq could have saved millions of starving children instead of killing tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis?

And so on...
 

aquapub

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
7,317
Reaction score
344
Location
America (A.K.A., a red state)
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
"1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

There is a false assumption underlying this argument, namely that Dems received the same intel as Bush (they didn't), but setting that aside, here are two reasons why this is a straw man: "-argexpat


WRONG.

Apparently you haven't read the latest non-partisan report to come out about this. It clarifies that there in fact is NO difference between the intel Congress and the president had at the time.

Besides, if there were any such evidence that Bush had indicating (with any credibility) that Saddam's KNOWN and STILL UNACCOUNTED FOR WMD somehow never existed (despite us watching him gas the Kurds with a small portion of them on prime time news), liberals (i.e., the media) would be pointing it out and screaming relentlessly about it.

These conclusions of yours have one thing in common: They all require unreasonable assumptions to beleive.

Stop trying to peddle this bull if you want to maintain any of your credibility.
 

Iriemon

Banned
DP Veteran
Joined
Aug 10, 2005
Messages
19,405
Reaction score
2,187
Location
Miami
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
aquapub said:
Apparently you haven't read the latest non-partisan report to come out about this. It clarifies that there in fact is NO difference between the intel Congress and the president had at the time.

It is amazing to me that 535 members of Congress have access to the exact same sensitive intel that the POTUS does. I don't even think they should. Some things are too sensitive for that broad of distribution.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
306
Location
Geelong, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Brilliant.

Sums up exactly how I feel about the war in Iraq.

Just watch as the neo-cons splurt out there usual quasi-marxist drivel about changing the middle east through military intervention and making it more democratic.

The neo-cons never got it.

They don't understand that the middle east never had the religious reformations that profoundly changed Europe, which allowed the democracies of the West to eventually develop. They don't understand that democracy cannot simply be cut and pasted around the world.

They don't understand that if you give a society that has no real history of secularism, or pluralistic thought, that when you give the people the vote, the country turns into a theocracy, not a democracy.

But I wouldn't expect anything less than that from neo-conservatives, because just like the internationalist marxists before them, they see military intervention as the only method of 'changing' the world.
 

argexpat

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
460
Reaction score
8
Location
I was there, now I'm here
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
aquapub said:
"1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

There is a false assumption underlying this argument, namely that Dems received the same intel as Bush (they didn't), but setting that aside, here are two reasons why this is a straw man: "-argexpat


WRONG.

Apparently you haven't read the latest non-partisan report to come out about this. It clarifies that there in fact is NO difference between the intel Congress and the president had at the time..

From Slate Magazine:

"This is the crucial point: these Democrats did not have "access to the same intelligence." The White House did send Congress a classified National Intelligence Estimate, at nearly 100 pages long, as well as a much shorter executive summary. It could have been (and no doubt was) predicted that very few lawmakers would take the time to read the whole document. The executive summary painted the findings in overly stark terms. And even the NIE did not cite the many dissenting views within the intelligence community. The most thorough legislators, for instance, were not aware until much later of the Energy Department's doubts that Iraq's aluminum tubes were designed for atomic centrifuges—or of the dissent about "mobile biological weapons labs" from the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research.

"Intelligence estimates are unwieldy documents, often studded with dissenting footnotes. Legislators and analysts with limited security clearances have often thought they had "access to intelligence," but unless they could see the footnotes, they didn't.

"So, yes, nearly everyone thought Saddam was building WMDs, just as everyone back in the late '50s thought Nikita Khrushchev was building hundreds of ICBMs. In Saddam's case, many of us outsiders (I include myself among them) figured he'd had biological and chemical weapons before; producing such weapons isn't rocket science; U.N. inspectors had been booted out of Iraq a few years earlier; why wouldn't he have them now?

"...what the Democrats in Congress didn't know either—was that many insiders did have reasons to conclude otherwise. There is also now much reason to believe that top officials—especially Vice President Dick Cheney and the undersecretaries surrounding Donald Rumsfeld in the Pentagon—worked hard to keep those conclusions trapped inside."

____________

Inother words, Congress saw the intel that the White House gave them, which was cherry picked and exagerated Iraq's supposed "imminent threat."


aquapub said:
Stop trying to peddle this bull if you want to maintain any of your credibility.

Tell that to your president.
 

argexpat

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
460
Reaction score
8
Location
I was there, now I'm here
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Iriemon said:
It is amazing to me that 535 members of Congress have access to the exact same sensitive intel that the POTUS does. I don't even think they should. Some things are too sensitive for that broad of distribution.

They didn't.
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Aussie,

You might say the same about the oh, the Japanese, or how about the South Koreans? And, hey, the Chinese are not doing too badly in their shift to a market based economy, are they? Though Asian, these are all examples of very old cultures that have made the transition to representative forms of government (or in the case of the Chines, adopted market based reforms). So tell us again, why can't the Iraqi's do the same?
 
T

The Real McCoy

Just another cleverly but deceptively worded partisan rant. I don't currently have the time to tear that apart line-by-line but I will tomorrow unless someone beats me to the punch which I expect to be the case.
 
Last edited:

Crispy

Active member
Joined
Jul 5, 2005
Messages
332
Reaction score
26
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM ...
The issue is proportionality. Whether or not Bill Clinton or France or the U.N. believed Saddam was a threat, the administration's apocalyptic words and drastic actions (preemptively invading a sovereign nation) were decidedly out of proportion to the level and immediacy of the threat. THAT is the issue.
After 9/11, considering the lack of urgency that the US and International community placed on Islamic extremism, was it not reasonable to assess Sadaam as an immediate threat? Had we not been ignoring and underestimating the international terrorism problem for decades such that Sadaam's capacity to aquire and disseminate WMD should indeed be addressed immediately? And, the administration did express its intention to act unilaterally and pre-emptively before getting congressional approval to go to Iraq. The Proportionality is relative to "your" perception of Iraq's threat under the circumstances. My personal opinion (agree or not) was and still is that military action against Iraq was long overdue (even before Bush made the case)

2. AFTER 9/11, WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THREAT TO MATERIALIZE BEFORE TAKING ACTION
This is…a vacuous argument whose logic implies we should invade a half-dozen African countries as well as North Korea, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Every day that goes by that Bush allows these threats to "materialize," he is failing in his duties to protect the American public…. And if the pushback is that North Korea and others are being dealt with diplomatically, isn't that exactly the approach this argument purports to refute?

Furthermore, the war's opponents never claimed they'd prefer to "wait" for threats to materialize. This is another straw man. Nobody wants to wait for threats to materialize; they just want to deal with them differently.

Your argument is nonsense here in that no one in government or otherwise would reasonable expected our government (including congress and the administration) to declare war on every nation that you mention here. As you state the war's opponents never claimed they'd prefer to "wait" for threats to materialize, but, previous administrations and countries let the threat materialize in all of the countries you mentioned without acting against those countries. This was a proclamation that the United states is adopting a pre-emptive, uni-lateral policy towards countries that fall into this category. No, we're not going to allow international politics and an attack on our nation to occur to justify our actions anymore is the message.

3. DEMOCRATS "VOTED FOR" AND THUS "SUPPORTED" THE WAR
The democrats "did" vote to authorize the use of force. All of the US congress especially the Vietnam veterans know that authorizing the use of force can and will probably lead to war. Authorizing LBJ to put ground forces in Vietnam led to the escalation of the Vietnam conflict into the Vietnam war. If any congressman had reservations, especially Vietnam Vets, they should not have voted in favor of the US of military force lest you assume that our congress is naive enough to assume granting military authority isn't going to lead to the use of that authority especially in light of the case being made at the time. This was indeed a vote for war.

4. TALK OF WITHDRAWAL "SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE" AND "EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY"
This was a key part of North Vietnam's strategy to defeat the US and it was a strategy that despite the US military victories in vietnam, did embolden the NVA and the Vietcong and weakened the US's position in the conflict. This is not a ploy, this is a fact not only evident in Vietnam but acknowleged by Terrorist organizations themselves today. Trying to Spin this any other way is completely ignoring our enemy's strength, exposing our weaknesses and jeapordizing our service men and women.

5. A WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ WOULD HAVE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES
Leaving Vietnam when we did had "catastrophic" consequences in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia and destabilized the region going onto to this day and it doesn't take a forieng policy expert to demonstrate this. I'll grant you there's no sound predictive capabilities to estimate what a withdrawal will lead to now or later in Iraq but there is no justification for leaving until basic stabilizing milestones are met which have been enumerated over and over again, independent Iraq security, stable coherent goverment and stable infrastructure that can sustain the countries social and economic growth. These are identifiable and quantifiable objectives and this is why we are there.

6. WITHDRAWING FROM IRAQ IS TANTAMOUNT TO "CUTTING & RUNNING"
In light of "why" we would be withdrawing now, yes, it would be "cutting and running." Leaving Iraq because popular support dwindled and because politics in the US is playing a more important role than the actual objectives is Tantamount to "Cutting and Running." Withdrawning because the job is done and we honored our committment to help the country is not cutting and running.

7. WE'RE FIGHTING THEM 'THERE' SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM HERE
a) Iraq wasn't "there" until AFTER the invasion. (In spite of the mental contortions of Bush apologists who insist there was a substantive Saddam-Qaeda connection.)


b) Our policy in Iraq is creating more of "them."

c) "There" is where "them" (Bin Laden and his cohorts) are. And it ain't Iraq.

A corollary to this argument is that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror" and we can't defeat the terrorists if we don't fight them there. That's like walking into someone's house, breaking an expensive vase, and claiming you have to move in because your job is to clean up broken vases and as long as vases are being broken, you have to be there to clean up the mess. Arguments don't get more circular than this...

I think this argument expresses a fundamental lack of understanding the majority of our country has about Islamic Extremism. Do you believe that the Muslim population of Iraq was immune to Islamic Extremist ideology? Was Sadaam not funding Palestinian Martyrs and propagating the advantage of adopting such tactics? Is not the majority Shiite population kin to Iran's majority muslim population? Do you think Islamic Extremism acknowleges soveriegn borders of any Nation? Its the conditions in any given nation that lend to the propagation of Islamic Extremism and its a fact that democracy creates the conditions under which such extremist views tend not to flourish. As such, the goal of bringing democracy to countries in the middle east in order to create such conditions (be it by the forceful removal of a repressive regime or other means) is in fact fighting them where they're coming from instead of fighting them here. It is not here where they're ideology flourishes.
Our policy in Iraq is attracting them there and when democracy is established in Iraq it will be one less Despotic regime under which such idealogies are likely to flourish. The idea isn't to kill them all there but to remove the conditions in which the ideology is likely spread.

8. DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ, THEY'RE JUST ATTACKING BUSH TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS
Demanding a time table when the administration and the Military in Iraq disagree and won't provide such a timetable is a political maneuver and not a plan. If certain democrats acknowlege that a timetable has thusfar not been practical and pushed for strategic objective decisions instead, perhaps they wouldn't be so accused.

I'd like to hit ya on the last two ones but i'm just too tired.
 

TimmyBoy

Banned
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Messages
1,466
Reaction score
0
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
Australianlibertarian said:
Brilliant.

Sums up exactly how I feel about the war in Iraq.

Just watch as the neo-cons splurt out there usual quasi-marxist drivel about changing the middle east through military intervention and making it more democratic.

The neo-cons never got it.

They don't understand that the middle east never had the religious reformations that profoundly changed Europe, which allowed the democracies of the West to eventually develop. They don't understand that democracy cannot simply be cut and pasted around the world.

They don't understand that if you give a society that has no real history of secularism, or pluralistic thought, that when you give the people the vote, the country turns into a theocracy, not a democracy.

But I wouldn't expect anything less than that from neo-conservatives, because just like the internationalist marxists before them, they see military intervention as the only method of 'changing' the world.

Wait, so you are saying that the people in the Middle East who are Muslim do not want democracy and are incapable of practicing democracy?
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
306
Location
Geelong, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
Yes that is correct.

Because Islam and democracy are not compatible.

This explains why Turkey has a very secularist constitution, why the securalist military has intervined and overthrown several Turkish Governments that had any Islamic leanings. Because Attaturk understood exactly just how incompatible democracy and Islam are. That is way Trukey's constituion is so secular, because it is the only why to prevent Islamic theocratic dictatorship.

Islam is not just a religion, but a whole way of life. Only secular islamic nations will become democratic in the manner that we see in the West. Islamic nations that inshrine Islam as part of the constitution, will not become the bastions of democracy.

You can even try to bring up Pakistan, but again, it has only been a democracy for brief periods of time, and is now a dictatorship, because of the exact threat of Islamic extremism.

Democracy can only come to Muslim people, once the population understands and appreciates the seperation of government from religion. If the people see that government should become an extension of Islam, you will see nothing more than theocracies.

Sure you may get democracy in the middle east, but it is not going to be a pluralistic, secular, minority protecting governments that we take for granted in the West.

And that is why nation building is doomed in the middle east.

Maybe if more Neo-cons had history lessons relating to the European reformation, and Muslim history in the middle east, then you guys might understand the cultural changes that need to take place before pluralistic, secular, minority protecting democracies can develop in the middle east.
 

argexpat

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
460
Reaction score
8
Location
I was there, now I'm here
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
The Real McCoy said:
Just another cleverly but deceptively worded partisan rant. I don't currently have the time to tear that apart line-by-line but I will tomorrow unless someone beats me to the punch which I expect to be the case.

All bark and no bite. If you've got an argument to make, make it, and spare us the empty threats.
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
expat,

Democracy can only come to Muslim people, once the population understands and appreciates the seperation of government from religion. If the people see that government should become an extension of Islam, you will see nothing more than theocracies.

Totally agree. Any democracy in a predominately Muslim country will require the acceptance of the separation of govt and religion. That doesn't mean that it can't happen.

Sure you may get democracy in the middle east, but it is not going to be a pluralistic, secular, minority protecting governments that we take for granted in the West.

An imperfect democracy will be better than no democracy at all, IMO.


And that is why nation building is doomed [emphasis added] in the middle east.

Maybe if more Neo-cons had history lessons relating to the European reformation, and Muslim history in the middle east, then you guys might understand the cultural changes that need to take place before pluralistic, secular, minority protecting democracies can develop [emphasis added] in the middle east.

Care to reconcile this apparent contradiction? First you say that "nation building is doomed". Then you say that given certain changes, "democracies can develop in the middle east".
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
argexpat said:
It's also where you stopped thinking.
Explain please. You obviously don't know much abour Salon.com
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
argexpat said:
Excerpted from Salon.com:

1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

There is a false assumption underlying this argument, namely that Dems received the same intel as Bush (they didn't), but setting that aside, here are two reasons why this is a straw man:

The issue is not whether people believed Saddam had WMD (many did), or whether there was any evidence that he had WMD (there was), it's the fact that Bush and his administration made an absolute, unconditional case with the evidence at hand, brooking no dissent and dismissing doubters inside and outside the government as cowardly or treasonous. That's what "manipulating the intelligence" and "misleading the public" refers to, the knowing exaggeration of the case for war (whether by cherry-picking intel or using defunct intel or by speaking about ambiguous intel in alarming absolutes).

The issue is proportionality. Whether or not Bill Clinton or France or the U.N. believed Saddam was a threat, the administration's apocalyptic words and drastic actions (preemptively invading a sovereign nation) were decidedly out of proportion to the level and immediacy of the threat. THAT is the issue.

2. AFTER 9/11, WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THREAT TO MATERIALIZE BEFORE TAKING ACTION

This is…a vacuous argument whose logic implies we should invade a half-dozen African countries as well as North Korea, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Every day that goes by that Bush allows these threats to "materialize," he is failing in his duties to protect the American public…. And if the pushback is that North Korea and others are being dealt with diplomatically, isn't that exactly the approach this argument purports to refute?

Furthermore, the war's opponents never claimed they'd prefer to "wait" for threats to materialize. This is another straw man. Nobody wants to wait for threats to materialize; they just want to deal with them differently.

3. DEMOCRATS "VOTED FOR" AND THUS "SUPPORTED" THE WAR

Many elected Democrats did NOT vote in favor of the resolution. Not to mention the millions of rank and filers who marched down the streets of our cities and were largely ignored by the press and brushed off by Bush. So to say, generically, that Democrats "supported the war" or to imply that there was tepid resistance to it, is false.

b) No matter how many people contest this point, a vote to give Bush authority WAS NOT a vote "for war." Bush also had the authority NOT to invade.

4. TALK OF WITHDRAWAL "SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE" AND "EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY"


Implying that opposing views are treasonous is the surest way to stifle dissent. And it's a cheap way to avoid confronting hard questions. Such as: Does anyone seriously believe that Bush's course of action in Iraq has intimidated or deterred the enemy? Doesn't the fact that the insurgency is as strong as ever "embolden" the enemy? The sobering truth is that there are dozens of recent events and actions that 'embolden the enemy' far more than advocating a disciplined, phased redeployment. Torture of detainees, the use of white phosphorus as an offensive weapon, the curtailing of civil liberties at home, the shameful abandonment of American citizens in the aftermath of Katrina, the cynical outing of CIA agents, the smearing of war critics as traitors, these are far more encouraging to America's enemies.

5. A WITHDRAWAL FROM IRAQ WOULD HAVE CATASTROPHIC CONSEQUENCES

Predicting the outcome of sectarian divisions in the Middle East is a fool's game. The shifting alliances, the internal pressures, the regional influences, make it next to impossible to say whether or not the removal of American forces would further destabilize Iraq. It's also grimly amusing that we're expected to believe the prognostications of the very people who told us we'd be greeted as liberators.

For every foreign policy expert who says that Iraq will be worse off without U.S. troops, there's another who will tell you the exact opposite is true. In the absence of any sound predictive capabilities, the endgame should be based on the opening: i.e. the sooner you end something that started out wrong and has had terrible consequences, the better.

6. WITHDRAWING FROM IRAQ IS TANTAMOUNT TO "CUTTING & RUNNING"

Any talk of withdrawal, redeployment or a change in course is characterized as "cutting and running." The best response to the notion that a war hero like John Kerry or John Murtha wants to "cut and run" is Murtha's response to Cheney: "I like guys who've never been there that criticize us who've been there. I like that. I like guys who got five deferments and never been there and send people to war, and then don't like to hear suggestions about what needs to be done."

A phased withdrawal is just that, a phased withdrawal. And a timetable is just that, a timetable. Using politically-charged buzzwords won't change the fact that the present course of action is untenable. For those who think continuing with the current policy in Iraq is a mark of courage and changing direction the mark of cowardice, they should bear in mind that courage tempered by wisdom is noble, courage in defiance of wisdom is foolhardy.

7. WE'RE FIGHTING THEM 'THERE' SO WE DON'T HAVE TO FIGHT THEM HERE

This is yet another straw man: we all agree that it's better to fight our enemies somewhere other than on the streets of America. The problem with the "fight them there" approach is that:

a) Iraq wasn't "there" until AFTER the invasion. (In spite of the mental contortions of Bush apologists who insist there was a substantive Saddam-Qaeda connection.)

b) Our policy in Iraq is creating more of "them."

c) "There" is where "them" (Bin Laden and his cohorts) are. And it ain't Iraq.

A corollary to this argument is that Iraq is the "central front in the war on terror" and we can't defeat the terrorists if we don't fight them there. That's like walking into someone's house, breaking an expensive vase, and claiming you have to move in because your job is to clean up broken vases and as long as vases are being broken, you have to be there to clean up the mess. Arguments don't get more circular than this...

8. DEMOCRATS DON'T HAVE A PLAN FOR IRAQ, THEY'RE JUST ATTACKING BUSH TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS

Democrats deserve legitimate criticism for their approach to Iraq, but when the Republican Party controls all branches of government, attacking Dems for conflicting positions and a confused message shouldn't be a catch-all excuse for Republican mistakes and lies.

Saying Democrats are muddled on Iraq is a favorite media distraction. But the response is simple: if Bush's policy is to "stay the course," the Democratic policy - whether we accept Murtha's approach or Feingold's or Kerry's - is to "change the course." Simple enough. Changing positions in light of new evidence and new circumstances is the sign of a mature and rational mind. Stubbornly clinging to a failed course of action is not.

9. HISTORY WILL VINDICATE BUSH

The infinite time horizon is an easy cop out for supporters of the Iraq war. The problem with the Bush apologists' reasoning is that using an infinite time horizon virtually any action, no matter how egregious, can be shown to lead to some positive results. Asserting a causal relationship between a pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign nation and all future good developments in Iraq and the Middle East is a dubious and dangerous way to conduct foreign policy. Which is precisely why we need to adhere so strictly to the rule of law, to basic moral precepts, and to established principles of international relations, something that this administration has failed to do, and that the administration's supporters can dance around but can't justify.

10. ISN'T IT A GOOD THING THAT SADDAM IS GONE?

This is the ultimate fall-back for supporters of this disastrous war. Considering the unremitting suffering and killing and violence and abuse of innocents that takes place on this planet, it is intellectually dishonest to resort to a retroactive humanitarian rationalization for a war that was ostensibly defensive in nature. Especially when we callously ignore the plight of so many others who suffer in silence.

If the trump card question is "don’t you think it's good that Saddam is gone?" then one rhetorical question can be met with another:
Isn't it terrible that we've done nothing to stop the slaughter in Darfur?
Isn't it terrible that Iraq is still a killing field and now a terrorist breeding ground?
Isn't it terrible that a nuclear armed Kim Jong Il is still in power?
Isn't it terrible that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent in Iraq could have saved millions of starving children instead of killing tens of thousands of Americans and Iraqis?

And so on...

Wow, argexpat, thank you for posting this. It is fantastic!

I may have to cut and paste this and bring this with me when I go see family at Christmas (my siblings are all republicans, as are my cousins) so I can be ready to respond to how everyone believed that there WMDs, how everyone saw the exact same intelligence as the pres, how disagreeing with this war is hurting our troops (yeah right), etc.

:2bow:
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
aps said:
I may have to cut and paste this and bring this with me when I go see family at Christmas (my siblings are all republicans, as are my cousins) so I can be ready to respond .....

Why do you need the talking points? Can't you think for yourself?
 

aps

Passionate
DP Veteran
Joined
Sep 25, 2005
Messages
15,675
Reaction score
2,979
Gender
Female
Political Leaning
Liberal
KCConservative said:
Why do you need the talking points? Can't you think for yourself?

No I cannot. I am a mumbo dumbo, and I have no original thoughts of my own. What I will do is carry these talking points around with me. When any of my siblings or cousins brings up one of the 10 talking points, I will pull out the piece of paper and then just read from it without any inflection in my voice. It will make me look unbelievably brilliant, which, of course, is just a facade. ;)

Seriously, KC, I have provided similar answers, but these are more thorough.
 

oldreliable67

DP Veteran
Joined
Oct 3, 2005
Messages
4,641
Reaction score
1,102
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
aps,

You might want to be a little careful about using that 10 point checklist with your family. Please notice that it entirely opinion, there are no demonstrable facts. For example, fallacy number one he posits is:

1. VIRTUALLY EVERYONE WHO SAW THE INTELLIGENCE BELIEVED SADDAM HAD WMD, THEREFORE BUSH IS BEING UNFAIRLY SINGLED OUT FOR CRITICISM

Then, in regard to fallacy number one, he says,

were decidedly out of proportion [emphasis added] to the level and immediacy of the threat. THAT [emphasis added] is the issue

In other words, the author makes an assertion but then states the 'the issue' is something entirely different from the fallacy; to wit, he says that the 'proportionality' of the level and immediacy of the threat were the issue, not whether or not the assertions made by the administration were true - he admits that they were, at least to some degree. His supporting arguments doesn't relate to the proposition stated as a fallacy at all. So who is guilty of straw man tactics?

The entire list is similar: long on self-serving rhetoric and assertion, all intended to get the juices flowing. But it is awfully short on documentation of these assertions and opinions.

So, use it if you will, but have some demonstrable facts ready to back up them assertions! :cool:
 

argexpat

Active member
Joined
Nov 17, 2004
Messages
460
Reaction score
8
Location
I was there, now I'm here
Gender
Undisclosed
Political Leaning
Undisclosed
KCConservative said:
Explain please. You obviously don't know much abour Salon.com

Again with the empty rhetoric. Do you, or do you not have an argument to make? Either put up or shut up.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
argexpat said:
Again with the empty rhetoric. Do you, or do you not have an argument to make? Either put up or shut up.
Yes, I do. I guess you missed it. Tell us what you know about Salon?
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2005
Messages
2,669
Reaction score
0
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
argexpat said:
Again with the empty rhetoric. Do you, or do you not have an argument to make? Either put up or shut up.

You made a personal attack with regard to my "thinking." I'm just asking for some clarity. Can you explain what you meant and why you choose to debate in this manner?
 

aquapub

DP Veteran
Joined
Apr 16, 2005
Messages
7,317
Reaction score
344
Location
America (A.K.A., a red state)
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Conservative
10 Nauseatingly Lame Anti-War Distortions ACTUALLY Debunked

"1) There is a false assumption underlying this argument, namely that Dems received the same intel as Bush (they didn't), but setting that aside, here are two reasons why this is a straw man...

Bush and his administration made an absolute, unconditional case with the evidence at hand, brooking no dissent and dismissing doubters inside and outside the government as cowardly or treasonous. That's what "manipulating the intelligence" and "misleading the public" refers to." -argexpat


-It is not an assumption. It has been proved now that there was no "significant difference between the intelligence shared with members of Congress and the administration."

-When people denied the obvious about Saddam leading up to the war, they were advocating returning to the same spineless liberal approach (Clinton's 8 years of no response to Al Queda attacks, appeasing North Korea, etc.) that made 9/11 possible. Insinuating that they were visionless cowards was not manipulating the evidence-that doesn't even make sense. Calling them visionless cowards was just simply speaking the truth.

-The invasion of Iraq was NOT disproportionate to the urgency of the threat. Saddam had been sponsoring suicide bombers for years, openly. He was also starting wars with our allies and hurling scuds at a nuclear power-Israel whenever he felt like it. This is not rocket science, he was clearly an eminent threat.



"2. AFTER 9/11, WE CAN'T WAIT FOR THE THREAT TO MATERIALIZE BEFORE TAKING ACTION

This is…a vacuous argument whose logic implies we should invade a half-dozen African countries as well as North Korea, China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Every day that goes by that Bush allows these threats to "materialize," he is failing in his duties to protect the American public…. And if the pushback is that North Korea and others are being dealt with diplomatically, isn't that exactly the approach this argument purports to refute?"-argexpat


-No, it is an argument that we should invade governments with whom we have tried EVERY OTHER CONCEIVABLE COURSE OF ACTION with, and who poses a threat to our national security (like Iraq, and NOT LIKE Saudi Arabia, Iran, etc.). The basis for this war is legitimate, whether liberals can grasp it or not.

-Dealing with North Korea isn't confessing that diplomacy is better. It is claiming that diplomacy is better with NUCLEAR POWERS. Again, duh! :roll:



"3. DEMOCRATS "VOTED FOR" AND THUS "SUPPORTED" THE WAR

Many elected Democrats did NOT vote in favor of the resolution. Not to mention the millions of rank and filers who marched down the streets of our cities and were largely ignored by the press and brushed off by Bush. So to say, generically, that Democrats "supported the war" or to imply that there was tepid resistance to it, is false.

b) No matter how many people contest this point, a vote to give Bush authority WAS NOT a vote "for war." Bush also had the authority NOT to invade. " -argexpat


-This steaming load might sell if the same Democrats who voted for the war hadn't accompanied their votes with scathing speeches against Saddam. They cannot escape their own words. Clearly, they DID support the war-until it became remotely difficult. This is one of the core problems with Democrats. They stand for nothing but what is easy.

"4. TALK OF WITHDRAWAL "SENDS THE WRONG MESSAGE" AND "EMBOLDENS THE ENEMY" -argexpat

-When NOT covert CIA agents lie about the president, he needs to be able to reveal how dishonest their "evidence" is. One cannot do that without discussing how this NOT covert agent abused her power as an agent.

-Pick up a history book sometime. From Vietnam to the crusades, to Bin Laden in Somalia, it is one of the most common realities in warfare: when you begin to see division in your enemy's ranks, you stay the course because it indicates that they are about to give up. If there remains ANY doubt about this truth, watch the Bin Laden interviews where he talks about what an eye-opener it was when Democrats started putting pressure on Clinton to retreat from Al Queda in Somalia....It DOES make a difference....A HUGE ONE! The fact that Democrats don't get that demonstrates why they shouldn't be in office.




I don't feel like the rest of this garbage even needs discussing. The initial points here are so ridiculous and irrational that I think even most Democrats could see through this big pile of poo.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2005
Messages
1,011
Reaction score
306
Location
Geelong, Australia
Gender
Male
Political Leaning
Libertarian
oldreliable67 said:
expat,



Totally agree. Any democracy in a predominately Muslim country will require the acceptance of the separation of govt and religion. That doesn't mean that it can't happen.



An imperfect democracy will be better than no democracy at all, IMO.




Care to reconcile this apparent contradiction? First you say that "nation building is doomed". Then you say that given certain changes, "democracies can develop in the middle east".


Which part is contradictory? If you read my post correctly, i state that CULTURAL CHANGES need to happen, before secular, pluralistic, minority defending democracies can develop.

What that passage is saying there; is that democracy is DEPENDENT on other factors. There is nothing contradictory about that statement.

Interesting how cultural changes on my post, morphed into 'certain changes' in your post. Please do not incorrectly quote me.
:confused:
 
Top Bottom