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Carpal Tunnel
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Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Gerger, I assume there is some point here?
What, pray tell, would it be?

Ezerkial, if you had something between your ears besides hubris my point would be obvious.


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Originally Posted By: Greger
Originally Posted By: Ezekiel
Gerger, I assume there is some point here?
What, pray tell, would it be?

Ezerkial, if you had something between your ears besides hubris my point would be obvious.


ROTFMOL

You deny facts and I'm the one with hubris?

Your sense of humor never ceases to amaze!


"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky



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Quote:
Yes the US is guilty of many crimes.


My point exactly! Thank you!

Why you assume that I don't think the U.S. has done good things is beyond me. wink


"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky



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What I find frustrating is the attempt to artificially create "equivalencies." It is true that drone strikes kill innocent civilians, but it is not true that the United States is engaged in a pattern of wonton destruction as alleged. Nor do anecdotal accounts of tragic events demonstrate anything. AND failing to account for the actions of the counterparty (Taliban/Al Quaeda) is what creates a false narrative. Obviously if someone kills someone is self-defense it is homicide, but legally it is referred to as "justifiable homicide." To ignore the "justification" is to ignore reality in favor of a position.

When I said that no evidence had been presented, I meant exactly that. The allegation is that the United States is engaged in wholesale violation of international law; which has not been proven by any stretch of imagiation. Individual acts which result in unintended (even if foreseeable) consequences does not a pattern of violations demonstrate. Individual acts of homicidal rampages does not demonstrate a policy to commit them. Allegations of rape, torture and murder have been made without support, or any evidence - except certitude - that it is the "policy" of the United States. That is what I am objecting to.

When I engage in a discussion, I like to marshal facts, laws, etc. in support, rather than try to respond to barefaced allegations. The analysis provided at the outset of the discussion is seriously flawed - even if there are kernels of validity contained therein. Rather, the author starts with a premise and ignores any countervailing facts or policies that might undermine his assertions. I found it facile and logically wanting.

If we are to engage in real discussion about war crimes, we have to start with the legal standards. That is not how this discussion has proceeded. Do I think war crimes have been committed? Undoubtedly. Do I think that U.S. policy has been wrong? Frequently. But, I have never been one to ascribe to Either/Or, With me/against me, black/white dichotomous assertions, which usually kill discussions and obviate any rational discussion. To make the assertion that U.S. policy is, in the main, war criminality, is simply not a serious way of engaging the topic. What proceeded from there has been largely hyperbole, fallacious dichotomies, and unreasoned (and unsupported) allegation. That is not the kind of discussion that interests me. There is subtlety and nuance to be had, and agreement to be reached, but not when it is attempted by relying upon positional sophism.

Unfortunately, I will be away from the keyboard for the rest of the day, so I will be unable to engage further until tomorrow.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
What I find frustrating is the attempt to artificially create "equivalencies." It is true that drone strikes kill innocent civilians, but it is not true that the United States is engaged in a pattern of wonton destruction as alleged. Nor do anecdotal accounts of tragic events demonstrate anything. AND failing to account for the actions of the counterparty (Taliban/Al Quaeda) is what creates a false narrative. Obviously if someone kills someone is self-defense it is homicide, but legally it is referred to as "justifiable homicide." To ignore the "justification" is to ignore reality in favor of a position.

When I said that no evidence had been presented, I meant exactly that. The allegation is that the United States is engaged in wholesale violation of international law; which has not been proven by any stretch of imagiation. Individual acts which result in unintended (even if foreseeable) consequences does not a pattern of violations demonstrate. Individual acts of homicidal rampages does not demonstrate a policy to commit them. Allegations of rape, torture and murder have been made without support, or any evidence - except certitude - that it is the "policy" of the United States. That is what I am objecting to.

When I engage in a discussion, I like to marshal facts, laws, etc. in support, rather than try to respond to barefaced allegations. The analysis provided at the outset of the discussion is seriously flawed - even if there are kernels of validity contained therein. Rather, the author starts with a premise and ignores any countervailing facts or policies that might undermine his assertions. I found it facile and logically wanting.

If we are to engage in real discussion about war crimes, we have to start with the legal standards. That is not how this discussion has proceeded. Do I think war crimes have been committed? Undoubtedly. Do I think that U.S. policy has been wrong? Frequently. But, I have never been one to ascribe to Either/Or, With me/against me, black/white dichotomous assertions, which usually kill discussions and obviate any rational discussion. To make the assertion that U.S. policy is, in the main, war criminality, is simply not a serious way of engaging the topic. What proceeded from there has been largely hyperbole, fallacious dichotomies, and unreasoned (and unsupported) allegation. That is not the kind of discussion that interests me. There is subtlety and nuance to be had, and agreement to be reached, but not when it is attempted by relying upon positional sophism.

Unfortunately, I will be away from the keyboard for the rest of the day, so I will be unable to engage further until tomorrow.


All the FACTS in my post are documented. Please look at the links here.
Positional sophism is your stock in trade, dear fellow, by allowing your inability to admit that U.S. has committed war crimes that boggle the mind to cloud your objective judgement. These and many other crimes were committed by the many governments of this country and none of this is undocumented.

You are trying to make an argument without fact. And you deny the obvious. It is ludicrous to think that the killing of civilians, the rape of innocent women, the napalming of entire villages are not war crimes.
This idea of policy is absurd and illogical. The fact that torture occurred during the Bush administration is undisputed. That was policy.

The facts belie your argument. It is also clear that you are operating with a jaundiced view, because you think I am "indiscriminately" attacking the U.S., which I am not. If anything, I would like see that things like this never happen anywhere. But they do. And to deny or justify them will never make them change.
If the Jewish people have done anything, since the end of WWII, it has been to NEVER allow the world to forget or rationalize what happened to them. They were not the only victims. Many countries lost millions of people too. And they, IMHO, should do what the Jews have done.
As should we.

Last edited by Ezekiel; 12/15/12 10:20 PM.

"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky



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It appears that the target has moved so far from the original topic that I can no longer recognize it. This discussion started with an argument that current operations in Afghanistan warrant war crime trials, but instead we are now relitigating WWII, the Spanish American War? Sorry, but that doesn't appear, to me, to offer any support for the original argument. I have never denied that war crimes have been committed at various times in history, including during current hostilities.... go ahead, look for contradictory assertions, I'll wait....

Back? Okay, then...

I have asserted that the "war crime" argument has been, and continues to be, ideologically based, and not based upon current authorized operations or legal analysis of the actual applicable international law - but a knee-jerk reaction to the abhorrence of war. As I have said, I appreciate the sentiment, but it does not an argument make. Have tragic deaths occurred? Again, I acknowledge that they have. But not every civilian death is a war crime. I appreciate the argument that all wars are "criminal" in that innocent lives will inevitably be lost, but that is not the basis for the original thesis, nor the standard of international law. I have iterated and reiterated that isolated war crimes have occurred, and will inevitably occur in any hostile environment, but also that these are not the policy of the United States (at least since the Bush administration left office). The argument that started this discussion was about the present, not the past, and certainly not antique history (which is, quite literally, a change of subject).

What I have objected to, and continue to object to, is the indiscriminate application of labels that that are intended to be offensive. "War crimes" and "war criminals" have actual, defined meanings in international law. If one wants to debate them, one needs to look to the laws to inform that debate. I still have not seen that done here, and I do not intend to spend any more time waiting for or cajoling an adequate response. I have already spent too much time attempting just that. Another time perhaps.


A well reasoned argument is like a diamond: impervious to corruption and crystal clear - and infinitely rarer.

Here, as elsewhere, people are outraged at what feels like a rigged game -- an economy that won't respond, a democracy that won't listen, and a financial sector that holds all the cards. - Robert Reich
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Quote:
I have never denied that war crimes have been committed at various times in history, including during current hostilities....

Then what are you saying? That we do commit war crimes but maybe there is another way to classify them?
Quote:
I have asserted that the "war crime" argument has been, and continues to be, ideologically based...

You have asserted but not demonstrated. All that has been done is to list those things that constitute war crimes, and the reason history was brought up is to demonstrate that these crimes have indeed occurred over time. They should not be ascribed to any single action or any specific government.

Quote:
...but also that these are not the policy of the United States (at least since the Bush administration left office)

The policy, as defined by what is presented to the public, is never the same as what actually occurs (and not by accident) so I fail to see why this is even an issue.
If what you mean is that the U.S. government does not openly favor activities that would be considered criminal I suspect that is true of every criminal organization - the Mafiosi don't tout themselves as criminals but rather as family men.

As I have said before - actions such as those listed are war crimes and all that has been proven is the government's reluctance to acknowledge that that is indeed what they are.
Finding a way to justify them, whether with the benefit of hindsight, or in the light of current action, is to hide one's head in the sand. And if we, any of us, desire to change things, ignoring them is not the correct path.


"The liberals can understand everything but people who don't understand them."
Lenny Bruce

"The cleverest of all, in my opinion, is the man who calls himself a fool at least once a month."
Dostoevsky



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Facts mentioned by Ezekiel on another thread :

Suharto was one of the most brutal dictators in history. He ruled for 32 years and continued his savage atrocities under the support of 7 US presidents: Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush Sr., Clinton.

President Lyndon Johnson authorised a CIA-organized coup that brought Suharto to power in 1965, and the CIA then supervised while Suharto exterminated three million Indonesian communist party members.

They hacked the alleged subversives to death with machetes. Entire populations of towns and villages were herded to central locations and massacred. Children would be asked to identify communists who would then be executed on the spot.

In addition to the half million people who were killed outright after the coup, another 750,000 were arrested and tortured. Ultimately, one million people died in one of the most savage mass slaughters of modern political history. The US continues to this day to train and arm the Indonesian military with the latest high-tech equipment. The US has also recently opened a new "black" "Peace Medicine" installation in Indonesia that is almost certainly a torture laboratory.

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More enlightenment from Ezekiel :

With the support of US President Eisenhower, Allen Dulles used the CIA to topple the elected government of Dr. Mohammad Mossadeq and install the Shah. With Dulles' encouragement, he forced all people to join his party or go to jail. Thousands were imprisoned or murdered. His agents raided a religious school and hurled hundreds of students to their deaths from the roof.

His secret police agency, SAVAK, was created in 1957 and managed by the CIA at all levels of daily operation, including the choice and organization of personnel, selection and operation of equipment, and the running of agents. Torture methods included:

electric shock
whipping
beating
inserting broken glass and pouring boiling water into the rectum
tying weights to the testicles
the extraction of teeth and nails.

In 2000, U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright stated: "In 1953 the United States played a significant role in orchestrating the overthrow of Iran's popular Prime Minister, Mohammed Massadegh. The Eisenhower Administration believed its actions were justified for strategic reasons; but the coup was clearly a setback for Iran's political development. And it is easy to see now why many Iranians continue to resent this intervention by America in their internal affairs."

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Also mentioned by Ezekiel :

Starting in 1950, the US CIA funded several decades of academic research into the relative usefulness of drugs, electroshock, violence, and other coercive techniques to discover a new method of psychological torture - perhaps the most significant revolution in this cruel science during the past four centuries. Instead of a simple physical brutality, these units practiced a distinctive form of psychological torture with wider implications for the military and its society.

The CIA's thousand-page torture manual, distributed to military regimes in Latin America for over 20 years, taught psychological tactics to break down what the Agency called a victim's capacity to resist. Through persistent manipulation of time, the interrogator can break a victim's will, driving the victim, in the CIA's words, deeper and deeper into himself, until he is no longer able to control his responses in an adult fashion.

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