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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I found it rather offensive. I also loved how he defined a "just war" as one where you "really believe" the made-up facts against Iraq (and then goes on a rant about violating sanctions, yet these were UN sanctions and the UN did not authorise this war). Presumably made up facts about Iran will also be justification for an invasion.

    Yeah that makes a whole lot of sense now - GWB really believed all those "facts", so it MUST be Just.
    • I also loved how he defined a "just war" as one where you "really believe" the made-up facts against Iraq

      You love how I did something that I didn't do?

      Try listening again. What I said was that you can define it either way. If going into Iraq is to stop Hussein from doing something terrible, that is Just, according to the Just War Theory. This is a given. And I said the war is NOT a Just War if you think the motives were otherwise, such as for oil.

      and then goes on a rant about violating sanctions, yet th
      • Try listening again. What I said was that you can define it either way. If going into Iraq is to stop Hussein from doing something terrible, that is Just, according to the Just War Theory. This is a given. And I said the war is NOT a Just War if you think the motives were otherwise, such as for oil.

        You're very careful to not say whether or not you think it is or isn't a Just war. If you believe that it wasn't Just based on your reasoning then please feel free to respond to this comment indicating so. Otherw
        • You're very careful to not say whether or not you think it is or isn't a Just war.

          Correct. The reason is simple: because I am not entirely sure, and even to the extent I think it is, I wouldn't try to convince anyone else.

          Just because I am opinionated doesn't mean I have come to a conclusion about everything, or that I would attempt to convince others of all my opinions.

          If you believe that it wasn't Just based on your reasoning then please feel free to respond to this comment indicating so.

          There is no "fac
          • by Matts (1087) on 2006.09.26 21:38 (#50454) Journal
            You can't even comment on your misrepresentation about what I actually said? Oh, come on ...

            I don't believe I did that, so what can I say? I'm sorry you think so, but that's one of those back-handed apologies that isn't worth much. Regarding your lack of criticism of the Bush administration - perhaps I've been reading the wrong blog and if so I can apologise for my lack of knowledge on that. Certainly I can't recall any such criticisms on use.perl though maybe my memory is faulty.

            Your reasoning for believing the war may be Just sadly isn't one being pushed to the world by the US administration, and as such it is rather a weak defense of the administration (in that I wish to attack the administration, not *you* by any stretch). This possible future war with the Middle East seems all too far fetched for my liking though - where is the basis for this hypothesis?
            • I don't believe I did that, so what can I say?

              So you still think I defined a "just war" as one where you "really believe" the made-up facts against Iraq. Except, I didn't. I said that that reasoning could be one justification for saying the war was Just. But I added quickly that there was no obligation to believe those things, and that if you didn't, well, then probably, to you it wasn't Just. I did not define what a Just War was, I simply gave one way in which you could reasonably call the war Just, an
              • ... To that I merely say, I think the costs are too high to take that chance. Maybe I'm wrong. I dunno.

                The other common criticism of my view is that it didn't work: it just made things worse. To that I say two things: a. we do not know things are actually worse, especially for the long run; b. just because I favored going in doesn't mean I favor how the whole enterprise has been handled.


                Right now the only thing we do know is that a) things are actually worse and b) the costs have been enormous.

                When does it
                • Right now the only thing we do know is that a) things are actually worse and b) the costs have been enormous.

                  We do know b. As to a. ... worse than what? Worse than they would have been otherwise? We do not know that. It's perfectly reasonable to suppose, for example, that terrorism would be even worse had we not gone in.

                  For example, after the USS Cole attack, when the U.S. did not respond, that actually encouraged terrorists; if we backed down to Hussein, would that have encouraged terrorists too? Obvi
                  • worse than what? Worse than they would have been otherwise? We do not know that. It's perfectly reasonable to suppose, for example, that terrorism would be even worse had we not gone in.

                    Had we not gone into Afghanistan, sure, that's a reasonable supposition (not one I subscribe to, but it is reasonable). Cost: $88bn

                    I do not think it is reasonable to suppose that terrorism would be worse had the US not gone into Iraq. There is no connection there. Cost: $318bn

                    (source: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL331 [fas.org]
                    • I do not think it is reasonable to suppose that terrorism would be worse had the US not gone into Iraq. There is no connection there.

                      I'm sorry, that's just wrong. We know the terrorists were watching our reaction to Iraq, whether we would stand up, or back down, to the implicit threat of Hussein's refusal to cooperate with UN resolutions. We know that when we back down -- whether politically or militarily -- that it emboldens the terrorists.

                      (For what it's worth, the Duelfer Report also makes clear that Hu
                    • The UN inspection process was continuing and working. ... So the inspection process was *clearly* working as otherwise the US troops would have found WMDs in places Saddam didn't allow the inspectors to look.

                      You define "working" as "Iraq was prevented from developing or continuing to possess WMD." (And take "no WMD could be found even by those who had a very vested interest in finding them -- the US military" as proof that Iraq was indeed prevented.)

                      I define "working" as "Saddam Hussein complied with

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • We know the terrorists were watching our reaction to Iraq, whether we would stand up, or back down, to the implicit threat of Hussein's refusal to cooperate with UN resolutions.

                      We know this how? Did I miss a memo?

                      Clearly the terrorists were running scared after Iraq was attacked - that really showed them who not to mess with. </sarcasm>

                      This is just false. It was continuing, and not working. Hussein had already irrevocably violated Resolution 1441, with no hopes of ever coming into compliance with it.
                    • We know this how?

                      From statements they've made, both about Iraq specifically and about other incidents.

                      There was a process, and nobody expected it to be entirely smooth against a country like Iraq and a dictator like Saddam.

                      Then they should have written 1441 differently.

                      Following 1441, which Saddam cooperated with, the process was working again.

                      No. He irrevocably failed to comply with 1441. This is a simple fact. He was never, at any point, cooperating with 1441, so as to be in compliance with its require
                    • We know this how?

                      From statements they've made, both about Iraq specifically and about other incidents.

                      Got a cite? (I clearly missed this)

                      There was a process, and nobody expected it to be entirely smooth against a country like Iraq and a dictator like Saddam.

                      Then they should have written 1441 differently.

                      On the contrary - I think the wording was entirely necessary to get action, as was the threat of an attack from the US. I just don't think it was necessary to carry it out.

                      I don't really see how you can

                    • Got a cite? (I clearly missed this)

                      Yes, but no time to look it up now. Just quickly:

                      On the contrary - I think the wording was entirely necessary to get action, as was the threat of an attack from the US. I just don't think it was necessary to carry it out.

                      Whether or not we should have acted is beside any point I am making here. The point I am making here is that Hussein was, irrevocably, in material breach of 1441.

                      I don't really see how you can argue that Saddam's lack of full cooperation with a UN resolu
                    • You define "working" as "Iraq was prevented from developing or continuing to possess WMD." (And take "no WMD could be found even by those who had a very vested interest in finding them -- the US military" as proof that Iraq was indeed prevented.)

                      Was more required to make the world safe? And fwiw it wasn't just WMDs, he also dismantled his medium range missiles.

                      I define "working" as "Saddam Hussein complied with all terms." He didn't, so I say it didn't work.

                      You forgot to say "within the timelines specified"
                    • Was more required to make the world safe?

                      There's a very thin shade of difference in definitions here, so parse this answer closely: no, more was not required to make the world safe, but more was required in order to determine that the world was, in fact, safe.

                      You forgot to say "within the timelines specified". He was complying with the terms on a slightly slower timeline, yet while progress was being made the US decided an attack was the better option.

                      I may be misremembering, or I may have even sw

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • I may be misremembering, or I may have even swallowed some propaganda from a vast right wing conspiracy war machine or something, but my memory tells me that Hussein had made clear his contempt for the process and his intent to comply only as much as necessary to placate people, not to actually comply with the terms.

                      Perhaps you swallowed the propaganda. More likely is that US reporting on world affairs is notoriously shoddy. Here's an abridged timeline for you:

                      November 8, 2002: The UN Council votes unanimou
                    • Okay, here's what I thought happened: it was insisted to Iraq (by the UN, the US, and/or the inspectors) that immediate access be granted to certain sites. Iraq said, "No, wait, hang on a minute, uh, we don't want to do that right now." It was a situation that, if I remembered, could have been completely cleared up if Iraq had just said, "Come on in. Today." And they didn't.

                      And I see things in there like, "harassment of weapons inspectors," and I have to ask, "Isn't it clear that this is not cooperati

                      --
                      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
                    • I agree, they were not fully cooperating, however the inspectors were (I imagine) dealing with some very deep seated hatred against the inspections from those who ran the sites Blix was trying to gain access to, so I'm sure he didn't expect it be a completely open door policy.

                      Regardless, the inspections and disarmament were moving forwards, even if not entirely within the bounds of the UN resolution (though it should be noted the UN wished to amend the resolution with new deadlines, but it was made clear to
                    • Was more required to make the world safe? And fwiw it wasn't just WMDs, he also dismantled his medium range missiles.

                      Before I forget ... there is no proper distinction, insofar as the UN resolutions are concerned, between the medium range missiles and "WMD." They were all proscribed in Resolution 687.

                      You forgot to say "within the timelines specified".

                      No. If I tell you to run around the block in one minute, and you fail, I don't say you succeeded if you show up in 1:30. You failed.

                      He was complying with th
                    • Regardless, the inspections and disarmament were moving forwards

                      In a way that could never possibly bring them into compliance with 1441.

                      even if not entirely within the bounds of the UN resolution

                      Completely OUTSIDE the bounds of 1441.

                      though it should be noted the UN wished to amend the resolution with new deadlines

                      Yes, and thankfully that was impossible. Amending the resolution would be exactly equivalent to saying that 1441 had no meaning whatsoever, because the "immediately" provision of 1441 was the whol
                    • Remember Hans Blix saying the threat of US force in early 2003 helped force Iraq's hand? How much would Iraq have complied in the intervening 12 years if the UN had lived up to ITS threats against Iraq?

                      This I agree with entirely, and said so in a previous reply to you. The UN was weak, but I still think that the world was safe enough from Saddam's harm because of the process (and the threat of war) that war wasn't necessary in the end. That's the point we'll have to agree to disagree on.
                    • I still think that the world was safe enough from Saddam's harm because of the process (and the threat of war) that war wasn't necessary in the end.

                      Fine, but what you're missing is that the process *was explicitly stated* to work so that without *full and immediate cooperation,* we would not be able to *know* that the world (or region) was safe from Hussein. You might think we were safe enough, but the process had already irrevocably failed to prove that. There was no way to trust the outcome of the proce
                    • Fine, but what you're missing is that the process *was explicitly stated* to work so that without *full and immediate cooperation,* we would not be able to *know* that the world (or region) was safe from Hussein. You might think we were safe enough, but the process had already irrevocably failed to prove that. There was no way to trust the outcome of the process once Hussein failed to live up to its requirements.

                      I mostly agree with you, but I still don't think war was the right action as a result. There wer
                • Without getting involved too much in the can of worms, and without offering an opinion either way, I seem to recall seeing figures on terrorist attacks (and yes, that has definition issues) that said while the total number of terrorist acts was up greatly since before the war, the number of attacks once you factor out those happening in Iraq were notably down on beforehand.

                  So at least for now I guess one could argue it's making those of us outside of Iraq somewhat safer.

                  And of course, my country hasn't had
                  • There are definitely too many issues with the concept of "terrorist attacks". For example does the recent alleged plan to attack airplanes in the UK constitute an attack?

                    The problem with the cost aspect is it has the potential to throw the entire world into another depression, because the US is relying solely on debt to fund this war, and debt can only go so far - what is the plan to repay that debt? I don't believe there is one.

                    So despite Australia getting off lightly on the current cost of the war, there
                  • So at least for now I guess one could argue it's making those of us outside of Iraq somewhat safer.

                    One could argue that, but one can't know that. You can know you are potentially safer from those terrorists in Iraq, but that doesn't mean terrorist activity outside of Iraq hasn't increased.
              • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

                I found much more reasoned and dispassionate and interesting discussion on my Slashdot journal.

                Man, that's pathetic. Who runs this place, anyway?

                :P

                --
                J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers