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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
          • 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 believin
            • 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
                • by pudge (1) on 2006.09.26 23:21 (#50457) Homepage Journal
                  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? Obviously, the terrorists and Hussein are not the same thing, but neither were the terrorists the same thing as the Somalian warlords, and that too emboldened the terrorists. And remember, of course, we didn't invade Iraq before 9/11.

                  But perhaps you mean that things are worse than they were before we invaded Iraq. That's probably true (although I don't think we can know it for certain), but I think it's not very relevant, because I don't think it's reasonable to say things would be better today had we not gone in, and because I still think in the long run we will likely be better off, even if not better off in the short run.

                  Again, the cost question is without question, though it's again worth asking (as I did before the war) what the potential costs are if we didn't act.

                  When does it become time to say they screwed up? And not just in a small way, but in an enormous and almost incalculable way.

                  If you actually believe it, then go ahead and say it. I still think the war's the right thing to do, as do many people who know a lot more about the war firsthand than you or I do. Of course, many people who know a lot more than we do also think it's a terrible thing to do. The point I am making is that reasonable and intelligent people can disagree, and the only thing that really offends me in this whole discussion is the notion (on both sides, but far more in the last year or so on the anti-war side) that if you disagree, you're stupid/evil/ignorant/etc.

                  Regarding the "Just War" issue - you have now stated it was a Just War but for entirely different reasons than given in your podcast, so I'm utterly confused about why you would even state such reasons.

                  I am utterly confused why you would be confused. :-)

                  You could have just said "If you believe Saddam is ugly then it was Just", which would have had as much weight as your podcast point.

                  No, because no one holds to such a view, that I know of.

                  Many people, reasonably, hold (or held) to the two views I offered. Many Democrats voted for military action because they believed that Hussein had WMD and was prepared to use them, because that is what the U.S., UK, and many other intelligence agencies believed. So they supported the war, and thought it was Just. Even though I disagree with them -- because I didn't accept the evidence for WMD -- I won't claim their support of the war was Unjust, because it was a reasonable conclusion based on their beliefs at the time.

                  I gave that reason because it is a pervasively held one. The context was not me trying to say why the Iraq War is Just, but to give an example reason why, from a Christian perspective, the war may, arguably, be considered Just.

                  There has to be more reasoning for a Just war than just believing it was the right thing to do

                  Sure. But it was more complicated [wikipedia.org] than I wanted to get into in a short podcast. Basically, Augustine identified three elements, and this fits under the most commonly cited, "defending against an external attack."

                  What muddles the issue, of course, is the issue of preemption. Some have said [americanvalues.org], with good reason, that "within the framework of just war theory, pre-emption can be morally justified only in rare circumstances -- when the attack is likely to be imminent, the threat is grave, and preventive means other than war are unavailable." And of course, the reported threat of WMD fit the second of those criteria quite clearly, and the first to some degree (though specific evidence was scant, one could still easily believe Iraq might use their weapons imminently); and the third is pretty subjective and could be argued either way.

                  I suppose I should emphasize here that I am talking about belief, as I said in the podcast. Belief and proof are different things. I wholeheartedly agree with those that claim that the war was not proved to be Just based on the WMD question, at any point. But that doesn't mean someone cannot honestly and intelligently come to the conclusion that the war was Just based on the WMD question, according to the information available at the time.

                  and far more evidence for a possible "future war with the middle east" for killing tens of thousands of civilians.

                  Sure. Obviously, my view doesn't fit the "imminent" criteria, but frankly, I don't find imminence to be of significant importance if the other two criteria are met (if it is a grave threat that cannot be avoided in any other way, why does it matter if the threat is imminent? and more to the point, what if the threat must be confronted now, because if you wait until it is imminent, it is too late?)

                  And again, this is why I don't try to convince anyone: I believe it, but I can't prove it. Can't even come close. Even though I supported the war because I believe what I do, I am not so sure if I were in charge of things, I'd have pushed for war on that basis, because as the actual people in charge, you need to answer to the people ... and I can't convince anyone of this.

                  (For the record, I did argue a lot prewar about the legal aspects of what was going on with the UN and Resolution 1441 and so on ... I did and do maintain the war was legally justified. But that does not in any way make the war Just. And I don't want to have that argument now ... but in case you looked around and saw all my arguments about the international legal and political process from 2003, I didn't want you to wrongly think I was being disingenuous. At the time, I did distinguish too, noting that even though it was legally justified, that doesn't mean it's the right thing to do.)

                  You can't just stomp all over other countries because you think they might do bad things in the future - the results are (a), above.

                  Again, you can't know things are worse now than they otherwise would have been.
                  • 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