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The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.
--Cornelius Tacitus (c. 116 A.D.)

Wednesday, August 14, 2002
re war to end war: (See: Pax Romana) (See also: Germany and Japan) Members of the UN. Rational world actors. They have 2 of the top 5 economies in the world. No war in the last 57 years. It can be done. There was a movement back in the twenties to outlaw war. (See:
Kellogg-Briand Pact) There is no such thing as a war to end all wars, (unless you kill every human, and even then other primates wage war.) There is no way to eliminate war from human civilization. To believe otherwise is idealistic, to try to engage the world based on that belief is suicidal. We should avoid war when possible and recognize when it is impossible. (Don’t even bring Vietnam into it. Afghanistan was supposed to be another Vietnam, remember.)

re oil in Afghanistan: Afghanistan is not “the only country that could help us get oil from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean.” None of the oil companies want to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. That plan was floated in the mid-nineties and has been pretty well abandoned except by anti-war conspiracy geeks, (and a few chest-thumping jingoists.) It's too politically unstable even pre-Taliban. There are several theoretically possible pipeline plans to deliver oil or gas to the Indian Ocean and less than half would go through Afghanistan. The one I believe you're referring to (a reference would be helpful,) the Unocal pipeline, is not an oil pipeline but a gas pipeline and has several significant problems, not least of which: "It's also highly unlikely that India would buy gas from a pipeline that runs through its archenemy Pakistan -- which in addition to collecting transit fees could cut the flow at any time."-Ken Silverstein. That in addition to the fact that Unocal has publicly abandoned the plan.

re the US causing instability in the middle east: Yeah ‘cause the middle east is historically a very stable place. You could make the point that it’s not in our best interests to be involved there, but you’ve not yet made that point. You could even make the point that our involvement is morally wrong. You can’t just claim a causal relationship and not support it. Propose a strategy to disentangle ourselves from the middle east without causing more harm. Do you think cutting off billions of dollars in aid is going to contribute to stability?

re not trusting blogs and getting all your info from major media outlets: Blogs deal in opinion not news. They rely on those same news sites that you do, then they analyze. They are beholden to no one, unlike the media who are limited by time and space in the diversity of opinions they can present and limited in their reluctance to offend certain people. I read and watch the news. By reading many blogs you can find a diversity of opinion well argued and linking to references. It takes a lot of work to find and analyze supporting and opposing arguments. Just because they're not in the paper or on the TV doesn't mean that they're not good and valid arguments. It just means that you have to decide for yourself, as you should with what's in the paper and on TV anyway. You know that half of newspaper stories contain at least one error right?

There is a profound difference between questioning authority and reflexively opposing everything authority says and does. You have to analyze and decide regardless of who says it or who agrees with you.

No Dan, “refusing to speak out against leadership, especially when they're spending your money on something you don't believe in” is not laziness it’s cowardice.

It's intellectually lazy to spout the anti-war leftist line about dead babies and oil without checking references and being solid on the facts. You trumpeted the opinion of a man widely known for inaccurate and hyperbolic writing based on flagrantly false numbers. The numbers Rall spouted are widely discredited, and even if you missed the debunking, the sheer scope of what he claims should have set off your bullshit detector. That it didn't betrays a willingness to uncritically accept arguments that you happen to agree with. (See: previous post regarding hundreds of innocent people killed in Jenin) That one should have set off your bullshit detector too.

I’m not in the “kill-em-all camp.” I’m in the kill-exactly-as-many-as-is-necessary-to-achieve-the-goal-of- eliminating-the-threat –and-no-more camp. I believe that militant Islam is a threat to the US. (See MEMRI.org) I believe that Saudi Arabia is the fountainhead of militant Islam. (See Arab News.com) I believe that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the US. (See numerous UN findings/ history of Iraq)

posted by Rachel 8/14/2002
. . .
Way back in April Dan attacked something I posted here. He said:
"It is noteworthy that[,] since their military operation began a week ago, Israel has had the longest contiguous interval without a suicide bombing since the Intifada began. For all the international threats and scowls aimed in Israel's direction, that is a major benefit from the point of view of Israeli voters."
I don't know what of that is your writing, and what you're quoting (or from whom: a link or some quotation marks would be useful), but understand this: Israel has, by any report, killed hundreds to secure this week-long reprieve from the suicide bombings.  So by indiscriminately killing hundreds of innocent people
[emphasis mine], they've prevented the indiscriminate killing of hundreds of innocent people.
But maybe you were making a different argument.

I now direct you to the UN report on the matter. They found that 52 Palestinians were killed. (That's what Israel reported at the time.) Of those 52, at least half were combatants.

posted by Rachel 8/14/2002
. . .
Coolest ever. A blind man drives a car after modern technology gives him vision. I'm reminded of the quote. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." By Arthur C. Clarke. Over two thousand years ago it was proof of Jesus' divinity. Now it's just science.

posted by Rachel 8/14/2002
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