Tuesday, March 21, 2006

There Is No Debate

For eleven years I coached high school debate. I took the job to get my position in the history department. I knew nothing about it. It was a long slow learning process, but I feel I reached some small level of mastery before I passed the “torch” to a colleague who was also desperate for a job. Oration and Value Debate, (called Lincoln Douglas) were my favorites. At first I was excited about Policy, (called CX debate); it seemed to be what “debate” should be. It wasn’t. I soon learned that skills in thinking, speaking, research, and reason, were completely superfluous to CX debate.

For those of you who are uninitiated let me explain. Policy debate teams are made up of two speakers, called first and second. Two teams meet to present and debate a policy. Each year the National Forensic League comes up with a topic to be debated in all high schools all year long. I read a lot of books about CX debate, attended seminars and State Training conferences; I talked to some excellent teachers, Kim Birmingham, at Bountiful High, Dave Smith from Hill Crest, and Dennis Hadley from Weber High were among many who were helpful and supportive. I learned that the basic format required each team to prepare a Plan or policy to solve the problem presented in the “resolution” (known as the Affirmative Case), and then Negative briefs and arguments to counter all possible plans that other schools or teams might present, (know as the Negative Case). The Affirmative case was to revolve around such things as Needs and Harms, Workability and Solvency, and such mundane items as funding, and implementation. The Negative case was to attack the above positions and present disadvantages that might outweigh the advantages, there were also legitimate challenges of topicality to prevent the Affirmative from creating far-out plans that had nothing really to do with the resolution and therefore would not be legitimate. In spite of all the possibilities for teaching learning skills, research mastery, and reasoning and speaking skills, I soon found that CX debate was a fraudulent game that revolved around tricks and a bizarre speaking style called spew that had nothing to do with speech or debate. Here is how a typical “round” would go.

The first Affirmative speaker delivers the plan. He drops all the proper words and established topicality; but the truth is it mattered little what he says, neither his opponents, his partner, nor the judges are at all interested in the plan. Once the 8 minute “Plan” speech was presented one of the Negative team stands to ask questions. Most are pointless and redundant, but there was always one killer question, which no matter what answer the unfortunate Affirmative Speaker gives sets off an avalanche of events that become the entire performance. The question is so crafted that it would elicit a yes or no answer, and which ever answer the hapless One Aff. Speaker spoke the entire plan would be forgotten and the rest of the round would be totally devoted to that question and its answer. Let me give an example:

Let’s say the topic is on Global Warming (It doesn’t really matter, the arguments against the Plan has been crafted years ago, most likely at Baylor University, and are generic to be affective in all cases)

Neg. CX question: Will your Plan improve the U. S. economy?

Aff answer: Yes or No – it doesn’t matter, but the second he says it the First Negative Speaker begins frantically digging through his brief boxes pulling pre-written arguments, and piling up an avalanche of attacks, goal – to put out so many that the Second Aff speaker can not possibly answer all of them in his eight minutes.

If the Aff. Speaker says yes, the Neg. response is to read a card by some professor or erstwhile expert to say that an improved U. S, economy will lead to trade war. A shouted tag line is then followed by a “card” claiming that trade war leads to real war then a final card which has an expert claiming that all war’s eventually lead to nuclear war. Then, with a straight face the impassioned negative speaker explains to the judge that such a disadvantage (world destroying atomic war) will outweigh any advantage the Affirmative can present.

If the Aff. Speaker says no, the negative response is to read an “expert” card that “proves” that without substantial improvement the U. S. economy is headed for a recession. Card 2 – recession leads to depression. Card 3 – depression leads to war. Card 4 – all war leads to nuclear war = mutual mass destruction.

I have judged this debate hundreds of times, even after the end of the Cold War unplugged the “nuclear clock”. I always dropped (gave a losing ballot) this ridiculous DA, unless the Aff accepted it and spent the rest of the debate arguing nuclear war. Sometimes I was a member of a three judge panel, in which case I often squired. That means the silly war D.A. actually picked up the two other ballots. I found that college debaters acting as judges always picked up this case. I have come to understand that it was the only one they understood.

President Bush is dealing with a generation of such “debate” trained opponents. They could care less what “plan” the President puts forth, what actions steps he takes, or on what issue he acts. They always have two briefs prepared. Examples:

Let’s say the president takes a stand against terror and brings U. S. military might to bear against terrorists and all who support, shelter, or sucker them. Then the Democrats read the card that has some “expert” claim that America is a bully, invading “innocent” countries, and terrorizing women and children in their homes. Had the president failed to invade Afghanistan the Democrats had their briefs ready. They would have accused him of inaction and cowardice while blaming every Taliban-directed murder, every woman buried alive for wearing fingernail polish, on the President.

Let’s say the President takes the route of diplomacy and international cooperation to stem the development of WMD in Iraq. Then the democrats pull the brief that calls Bush a coward and points to the ever rising threat of developing nuclear weapons. (By the way, they are using this brief right now concerning Iran.) And they blame the rape rooms and the mass murders of the tyrant on Presidential inaction. Let’s say that instead of waiting for Saddam to develop an a-bomb and hand it over to al-Qaeda, Bush sends in an army and frees Iraq from Saddam and puts the mass murdering monster in prison. Then the cards used, read – unjust war without a purpose, lies and miss-calculations, not enough troops. (They have already used the card that he was sending too many.)

Let’s say that the President authorizes NSA wiretapping of known al-Qaeda operatives to prevent a repeat of 9/11, then the card reads – the President is spying on innocent Americans, on his way to becoming a dictator with monarchical power to assassinate any American at will. Let’s say that the President decides not to listen in on known al-Qaeda operatives so he can protect the “civil rights” of American’s who might be plotting with them. Instead he relegates the surveillance to time consuming judicial review process. Then the Democrats read the “just like 9/11” card.

It doesn’t even matter if the cards that are spewed by the Democrat politicos are true or that they are understood by the spectators. It is only the shouted taglines noted by the nightly news shows that matter. Nothing of any value can ever be generated by this “debate game”, but it does weaken the ability of any who try to truly act against the real harms that face the world. The Democrats are not interested in finding solutions to the problems that face the world or our nation. They are not even interested in what is best for America. All they want is a win at the game they mastered in high school, desperate for a ballot from the biased and misguided judges who have been trained in gamesmanship but can’t be expected to put forth the effort necessary to reason or to recognize the truth.

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

And here I had fleetingly hoped you were having a crisis of conscience and given up the lunatic infatuation for George W. Bush.

While you were busy blogging about the health of grass on Utah campuses and how you are hopelessly ill equiped to teach art more than five hundred Iraqi's have been murdered. At least 25 of those, eight of them children - three from a family who were in their pajamas in their beds, by occupying U.S. soldiers. Bush's former choice for Prime Minister has acknowldged the civil war in Iraq. The U.S., in a move that clearly signals it is impossible for progress in Iraq without the cooperation of Iran (and thus that Iran WILL be allowed to keep its nuclear program since action against it means non-cooperation in Iraq) has begged for negotiations on Iraq with Iran. North Korea has publicly stated that it now has developed the technology to nuke the U.S. and has no intention of returning to the six-nation talks. The former General in charge of training troops in Iraq until 2004 has called the Defense Secratary Rumsfeld INCOMPETENT and called for his resignation. Osama bin-Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri, and al-Zarqawi are still alive, free to plot, plan and attack - Zarqawi IS NOW openly supported by an Arab country.

In short, America is not safer today. Our security has been bled away by President in over his head. But you love that Liesis. You make it abundantly clear in each one of these weakly apologies for president Bush's failure.

You say, "The Democrats are not interested in finding solutions to the problems that face the world or our nation. They are not even interested in what is best for America." Get real!!! The Democrats are not interested in more failed policies by a failure of a President that make the U.S. a more dangerous place to live!

Instead of your fantasy, non-existent scenarios of how the choices America faces look imagine this one: Let's say America had a COMPETENT President. Let's say we had a President with a COMPETENT staff, with a clear and winning strategy in the war on terror that has the full confidence of the U.S. military, the U.S. people and the international community. Let's say America still had all of the support around the world that it did on 9/12, 2001 and that we had captured or killed those actually responsible for the terrible attacks the day before.

Here is an argument for you: Bush let our enemies get nuclear weapons and the biggest terrorist masterminds in history run free while he incompetently pursued a fundamentally flawed and unnecessary strategy in Iraq. Bush has stripped U.S. security in the face of terrorist threats by draining U.S. resources to fight his bungled and voluntary war (the debt has bloated to 9 TRILLION - a 58% increase in six years!!). Thousands of U.S. citizens have been killed by terrorists since 9/12, hundreds of thousands of more are now at risk and the U.S. has somehow become one of the most distrusted countries on Earth! The new standard isn't whether something leads to nuclear war but whether something leads to a situation as bad as the one that Incompetent-in-Chief-Bush has created! I think enough people WILL vote on that very issue this Fall.


Lastly, "[D]esperate for a ballot from the biased and misguided judges who have been trained in gamesmanship but can’t be expected to put forth the effort necessary to reason or to recognize the truth." Who are you rambling about here? This is sour grapes because Americans have seen behind the curtain and recognize the harm this bellowing bufoon of a President and his cronies are doing to the country. Reason and recognition have led public opinion to where it is now. Fear and demagoguery is what let this bloody liar and other bastion "intellectuals" of the neo-con right lead us astray! I hope even more soon recognize that it is not rain that has been running down our backs for the last five and a half years!

Anonymous said...

There is no debate: Bush has hurt America badly more than he has helped it. Without some kind of admission that he is failing, without some change in policies, the damage will keep being inflicted. Things will only get worse until we change our ways; change course on Bush's incompetent handling of this war now.

Lysis said...

When I posted above, I was a bit concerned that those who have not actually attended a high school “CX” round (I want to go on the record here that NOT all policy debaters indulge in this silliness.) would be able to believe that such Shenanigans actually occur; BUT Anonymous has come to the rescue. Here Anonymous, the Picasso of palaver, has provided a perfect demonstration model of the “spew debate style” I hoped to describe. I have often wished I could capture one of these rants in order to anatomize and disperse it. Thanks again Anonymous; it is as if you had offered up a scribble by one of the “pint sized Picassos” for our critical review. “Did a car hit it, or maybe a train?

Anonymous; don’t try to delete your post to save your caboose. I have a hard copy of your “masterpiece”.

Anonymous said...

Let me fill it in with a couple another brush stroke or two for you: Bush has also authored the most confused and insecure policies on nuclear non-proliferation of all time. He has attempted to give nuclear material and support to India while at the same time claiming to deny it to North Korea, Iran and Pakistan. (So much for rewarding our "good partners" - Pakistan - in the war on terror. How can you believe anything they say!?) Bush has left the U.S. with no credibility on the issue of non-proliferation! Fortunately, congress, another group of Americans starting realize how completely reckless and incompetent this President is, will have to review Bush's nuclear give away two weeks ago and is likely to fight against it. There is hope that at least this complete blunder will be headed off before it is made and America's security and international prestige is dragged down even further.

Anonymous said...

Also, your threats of "anotizing" my words are hollow and imbecilic. It is the kind of debating tactic I would expect from a high school bully that cannot think of any worth while offering. Grow up. Your threat is not a refutation. The U.S.A. is in more danger since the invasion of Iraq and that is completely George Bush's fault, no debate about it.

Dan Simpson said...

If you are really trying to put India, North Korea, Iran, and Pakistan on the same level, you are severely misguided.

India is a huge country entering the nuclear age (economically and industrially). The deal is for Nuclear energy technology.

We are talking about a country of 1 billion. They are the up and coming consumer of fossil fuel in the world.

Without other energy sources India's entering competition for these fuels would devestate the world economy. Demand would skyrocket.

India is stable, Pakistan, Iran, and N. Korea are not.

Your problem with this deal has nothing to do with the deal itself, but that Bush had anything to do with it. Had he refused India, you would be just as vocal saying how stupid and destructive that deal was.

Anonymous said...

You will certainly never be accused of being a mind reader DannyBoy2, among many other things having to do with great mental accomplishments.

The problems with the India-U.S. nuclear deal are many. Of course, you have to be familiar with history and the current world policy towards nuclear ascendancy to understand them.

Unfortunately, that is a difficult chore since team Bush has shared few of the details of the deal with the public. Another secret arraingment too important to tell the American people whose safety could be affected about. One of the U.S. officials familiar with the deal has said India agreed to classify 14 of its reactors as civilian, which would open them to international inspection; eight were deemed military reactors, which exempts them from any kind of international inspection what so ever. In return for this limited transparency India will be receive the very latest in nuclear technology and research that can be used in its weapons installations.

The deal undermines the international nuclear regime of the NPT. This accord would end India’s long isolation as a nuclear maverick that defied world appeals and developed nuclear weapons. Being a signator is significant since member nations agree not to trade their nuclear technologies and to rid themselves of them in the future. A worthy goal if only a principle. As long as India is allowed to maintain a growing nuclear weapons industry and remain outside of the NPT framework these obligations of not dealing in nuclear materials do not pertain to it. A fact that Pakistan took advantage of when A.Q. Khan began shipping their nuclear reasearch around the globe to U.S. enemies. This deal may allow rogue nations to trade in and develop nuclear weapons built on U.S. technology!

The deal also undermines current U.S. law that bans civilian nuclear cooperation with countries that have not submitted to full nuclear inspections. Full inspections is a tool that can prevent rogue nations from developing a nuclear weapons program. Ironically, one of the greatest success stories of nuclear inspections working was in Saddam Hussein's Iraq.

India is being rewarded for going nuclear while flouting international demands and this sets a bad precedent at a time when non-proliferation is a paramount U.S. foreign policy goal. It also damages U.S. relations with proven allies and has the potential to further destabilize the Asian region.

That fact has complicated other relationships. Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer said Friday that Australia will not sell uranium to India until it signs the NPT treaty. Australia will also lobby other governments to do the same. Downer said Australia would not alter its longstanding policy blocking the sale of uranium, as it could result in other countries that have not signed the treaty making bids for Australian uranium and further eroding Australian security. Won't it be lovely if Australia finds itself facing the threat of enriched U.S. uranium targeting its largest cities well within the reach of mid-range nuclear missiles based throughout Asia?

The deal will likely do nothing to stop the arms race between Pakistan and India. It is also likely to spawn a nuclear arms race between India and China who fought their last hot war in the mid 1970's which India lost badly and has said is a reason it is must develop nuclear weapons, to deter further Chinese incursion.

The problems with the India-U.S. nuclear deal are many, even without Bush's involvement. The fact that Bush authored the deal is enough reason though to demand a closer inspection of all of the details of the deal. The President's mishandling of U.S. security means he gets no breaks in this area and Congress MUST excercise the full authority of its oversight to prevent further Bush security blunders. As it appears now the deal is confused to say the least. Only a full accounting of the deal will be able to clear up the perception of insecurity the plan seems to drip with now.

Anonymous said...

As for India's demand for energy "ruining the world economy" (an entirely upside down view of how economies based on supply and demand are SUPPOSED to work) I am forced to reiterate that this is literally the price we are forced to pay for a total lack of national policy leadership on initiatives over the last six years to develop meaningful alternative energy resources. Instead, we have been blessed with a right wing government that has rewarded a developed world "addiction to oil" with tax breaks, preferential legal treatment, unprecented access to the White House and the handing over of pen and White House letterhead to write the Bush national energy plan behind closed doors with DICK cheney. If you voted for it there is no use crying about it now. Let's just be smarter next time.

Anonymous said...

Another anonymous person here.

This is part of why I quit CX debate, and it's why I find it hard to have meaningful political discussions in any forum. As soon as people find they have a disagreement on the issues, they stop talking about them. Everything becomes ad hominem and "cards". The focus is scoring points rather than discussing ideas. The most prolific "anonymous" here is a good example of what I'm talking about, responding to posts with whatever subject he thinks will score points. Well, whoever the judges are here, may I attack his topicality and point out that you can flow across every point of Lysis's that he dropped.

Reach Upward said...

The cries of incompetence might carry some bite if the doves hurling that epithet had any demonstrable competence themselves. Where is this "competent" hawkish messiah supposed to come from -- the ranks of the military haters?

Beef Jerky said...

Let's back up and look at the war issue in a broader perspective. Anonymous, your argument apparently is that Bush has done a terrible job in protecting our country. If this is the case, what would you have done as president? Better yet, what would Algore or John Kerry have done? It seems to me that if anything the initial attack that started the War on Terrorism (namely, 9/11) was only made possible through a lack of national security due to the honorable William Jefferson Clinton's detainment in "other" matters during his stewardship of our country. Like Kerry in the 2004 election, you do a beautiful job of trying to pick apart your oposition at all costs, but I'm not seeing how the alternatives to the Bush doctrine would have returned the world to its Garden of Eden state. Go ahead and belittle me as you have every other person who opposes your comments (a tactic typical of liberals) - but I doubt you can sufficiently answer my questions.

Anonymous said...

Not have invaded Iraq! Duh. If anyone other than George Bush, DICK cheney, Donald Rumsfeld or Paul Wolfowitz had been President the United States would have never invaded Iraq.

If Al Gore had been President in 2001 Osama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri would most likely be dead or in captivity right now. The resources necessary to establish a strong state in Afghanistan would have been there instead of spilling into the sands of the Iraqi desert.

Much has been written about this and confirmed by former military and political commanders in the Bush administration. "Jawbreaker" details how Rumsfeld's military planning in Afghanistan allowed bin-Laden to escape even as they could hear bin-Laden on the radio apologizing to his men for getting them caught! "Cobra II" documents how Rumsfeld and Cheney beat the military into submission rejecting their plans for massive troop invasions of Iraq in favor, originally, of a 30,000 man force to be withdrawn by the end of 2003! It also provides evidence from former military that evidence of a rising insurgency was ignored by the Administration. "My Year In Iraq" by L. Paul Bremer - the civilian commander of Iraq after the invasion - details the lengthy requests for more U.S. troops that were made to and rejected by Rumsfeld. "The Price of Loyalty" from former Treasury Secretary O'Neill talks about cabinet meetings in January of 2001 in which the topic was how to invade Iraq - that was nine months before 9/11! Bob Woodward wrote about early planning for invasion of Iraq before 9/11. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and his staff have said Bush pondered military intervention against Saddam Hussein before 9/11. Multiple sources, some very high up in the Aministration, have said the White House was misleading the U.S. public about Iraqi intelligence to garner support for invasion. Former CIA Director James Woolsey has said in his conversations with cabinet members before 9/11 they often discussed taking Saddam out. Just this last Sunday the commanding general for Iraqi troop training until the end of 2004 wrote that Rumsfeld was "incompetent strategically" in Iraq and that "he must step down." Bush continues to claim that he has full confidence in Rumsfeld and his strategy in Iraq. The military does not. The American people do not.

What would be different if Al Gore had been President? The U.S. would have invaded Afghanistan, it would not have invaded Iraq, and Iraq would still not have WMD's and would still not be a threat to national security. If he or Kerry were magically President now Rumsfeld would be fired and a strategy that maintains the faith of the military at least would be in place. That may be redeployment, bolstering of forces, a time line for withdrawal, or something other but it WOULD NOT be the same failing and incompetent policies that Nincampoop In Chief Bush has full stubborn faith and confidence in even as the country falls apart around the troops there.

Anonymous said...

Beef

If anyone other than George Bush were President there would be debate about how to best proceed in Iraq.

We also would not be facing the largest spending deficit year after year after year in U.S. history either. (Remember the "lock box" for the surplus. It was funny then. It makes you cry to think of what has happened to the largest surplus in history now - it became 4 TRILLION dollars of debt!)

By the way, "Jawbreaker" was written by the CIA Commander that led the hunt for Osama and listened to his apology on the radio before the final capture of Tora Bora was outsourced to the Taliban. He was livid that his request for more troops was denied. They were being mobilized for another "more important invasion" though. They would have been available if the future invasion of Iraq was not on the table.

Beef Jerky said...

So what your saying is that there was absolutely no reason to invade Iraq? If your selfish comfort-zone mindset did not changed when the truth about Sadam was uncovered, I doubt it ever will. Try watching the movie "Hotel Rawanda" sometime and then tell me if U.S. intervention in foreign affairs is unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

If you really believe that the democrotization of Iraq and human rights interest was the reason for invasion then you must have been asleep in the year runnup to the war. If you think things are better since invasion with electricity and oil production below pre-invasion numbers, 1,000 dead in the last three weeks (ABC News last night), upwards of 40,000 dead in total and more maimed, (even the war crimes tribunal against Saddam only supposes he murdered 150,000 in his forty years of rule - in three years Bush is already well on track to far exceed that notorious record) the Pentagon admitting that death squads are operating in the government, then you are still asleep!

Comfort your small mind set. Keep getting lost in the fantasy of movies where the good guys always wear white and America never loses. Leave politics to those of us with a grip on reality Jerky.

Beef Jerky said...

Herman Melville would be interested to know that the great monomaniac of the 21st century has just been discovered. All hail to the Great Anonymous God of Politics, from whom all correctness flows! It's too bad the whaling business is no longer in service.

Lysis said...

Anonymous:

Sorry it took me so long to take advantage of the “Spew” debate demo you provided; I’m sure we will all benefit from the lesson it will teach now. Let me go card by card.

Card 1 – 500 murdered Iraqis: false statement, no reason to believe, no evidence to support!

Card 2 – Allawi’s statement about civil war: miss-representation of a quote. No reason to believe, no evidence to support! (Allawi asked. “What do you call the death of 50+ a day if not civil war?” The answer - you call it terrorist murder.)

Card 3 – No progress in war in Iraq: False statement. No reason to believe, no evidence to support! (Consider - End of Saddam, Saddam in prison, no development of WMD by Iraq, democracy in Iraq, end of rape rooms, end of torture chambers, end of mass graves, murders out of Fallujah . . .)

Card 4 – Iran to be allowed to develop nuclear weapons: Not true, no reason to believe, nor evidence to support. (They have no nukes and are facing plenty of threats from all over the world, including China and Russia if they go forward. Bush has said no nukes for Iran. Iran ought to learn a lesson from the Taliban and Saddam. When Bush says it – it happens.)

Card 5 – Korea can nuke US – Lies by both Korea and Anonymous; no reason to believe, no evidence to support!

Card 6 - Unnamed General disrespects Rumsfeld: inconsequential attack, cherry picked; no reason to believe, no evidence to support. (I’ll take Tommy Franks opinion over whoever’s any day.)

Card 7 – Democrats are interested in finding solutions: False statement; no reason to believe, no evidence to support. (There is not one solution offered by Dems busy pulling cards to trash Bush.)

Card 8 – Bush made America a more dangerous place to live. False statement, no reason to believe, no evidence to support! (NO attacks since 9/11 is proof of that!)

Card 9 – Let’s say America had a competent President and White house staff. Irrelevant, (it already does!!)

Card 10 – North Korean nukes Bush’s fault: False information; no reason to believe, no evidence to support! (It was Clinton that let North Korea build nukes, with the help of Jimmy Carter.)

Card 11 – American lacks world support: Irrelevant. (The world will take care of itself, and no thought of America. This has nothing to do with Bush. Under Clinton the world thought America was a joke, ripe for attack. Ask the Mayor of Tal Afar his opinion of America!!!)

Card 12 – Bush hurt America: unsupported assertion, no reason to believe, no evidence to support. (I say Bush helped America with just as much authority, this is not argument, it’s name calling.)

Card 13 Things will get worse: Just a guess; no reason to believe, no evidence to support. (Is this an argument or a prophesy? You’re a false prophet Anonymous.)

These are the phony “cards” that a spew debater uses in place of evidence or reason. Such arguments cannot be judged by merit, only by prejudice.

Dannyboy dealt with the silly “India is a nuclear threat argument”. Thanks Dannyboy!

Beef Jerky;

Great to hear for you again. Let me give one example by way of demonstration on how foolish the “Card Spewer’s attacking you is.

He (Anonymous) says: “If Al Gore had been President in 2001 Osama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri would most likely be dead or in captivity right now. The resources necessary to establish a strong state in Afghanistan would have been there instead of spilling into the sands of the Iraqi desert.”

I say: “if Al Gore had been President in 2001 Osama bin-Laden would be Caliph of the world and Saddam would be Governor General of America, and the so called Ayatollah Mullah Lysis would be Leader of the most beautiful speck of wilderness in North America. (Oh my goodness, that came true without Al Gore!!)”

Anonymous might say that I have no way to prove that Al Gore would have turned the world over to bin Laden, and that I am just saying this because I hate Al. Point made! (That’s called a reason to believe and evidence to support one’s argument; a novel idea to spew debaters. Take a lesson Anonymous!)

The mind size and mind set on display here in Anonymous’. Had I time or care to do so, I could take apart the Spew of “Jaw Breaker”, “Cobra II”, and “My Year in Iraq”. I would point out that Paul Bremer went out of his way to point out the quality of Bush’s leadership in the Iraqi situation. As for FORMER Treasury Secretary O’Neill; his poison pen complaints do not square with the opinions of Colin Powel or any of the other FORMER or present Cabinet Secretaries of the Bush Administration. Once again the Spew master finds support in other spewers, nothing in reason or empirical evidence.

Anonymous, all you “cards” are hearsay statements by angry agenda driven people. Once more the blind leads the blind.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I haven't seen arguing like that since my little brother put his fingers in his ears and insisted the Easter Bunny was real.

I write to provide the name of retired Army Gen. Paul D. Eaton who was in charge of training the Iraqi military until 2004 and who on Sunday wrote about this administration's incompetence in conducting the war. He wrote that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld must step down. I agree with him. I also believe the only "evil" "agenda driven" motivation is the legions who are speaking out about White House incompetence now is to see America prosecuting its national interests more safely, justly and efficiently. I do not think it is a personal vendetta between these professionals and George Bush.

You may continue your childish tantrum now Liesis. I have said everything I wanted to the adult readers.

Strategos said...

I should point out before I write that I have no well-formed opinion on the current situation in Iraq, so this post is not an argument, just some observations about the argumentation (which is the real topic of the post) and some questions about assertions made. Also because I am unsure of what I think, this post may be quite long and ask for a lot of feedback, if you are uninterested you don’t have to read it.

Observations:

1. Many argue whether or not we should have gone to war with Iraq, This argument seems silly to me for these reasons; first the decision to go to war with Iraq was originally supported by nearly everyone across party lines. Secondly we’ve already gone to war, so saying we shouldn’t have can have no practical result except to discredit Bush (a pointless aim because he’s already been elected.)

2. I am also puzzled about the “Is America Safer or Not” argument.
The argument is strange because it compares our current situation to a hypothetical situation that might have come to pass if things had been handled differently. It’s hard enough to predict the future it’s harder still to predict alternate futures based on hypothetical pasts. Arguing whether or not we are safer does nothing to make us safer now.

3. A more realistic argument (but still with no impractical application) is whether or not we are safer now than we were before 911.
For the sake of argument let’s line up the assertions.

Safer
A. There has not been an attack on U.S. soil since 911
-This is a strong argument because it’s factual and lack of attacks is the definition of safety.
-This argument does not take into account that Americans are being killed elsewhere or that Iraqi casualties are continuing at a high rate.

B. Saddam Hussein is no longer in power
- This means that Iraq (or at least its government) is not directly hostile to the U.S. We are safer in that regard.

C. America has gained the respect of the world and threats made by the U.S. now carry more weight. i.e., we have scared people we wanted to scare.
-This argument is weaker and involves a lot of conjecture; some countries have been intimidated into giving up weapons programs, ect. but there are many which have not.

(Not safer)
A. Americans are still dieing in Iraq
-This is a provable fact, and a good indicator of our success or failure in Iraq would be a casualty count. This argument is weak in that Americans dieing in Iraq is not an indicator of how safe we are here, also stating that people are dying does not mean we shouldn’t be fighting, (that is a completely different question.) This also forces us to postulate as to how safe we would be if they were not fighting.
B. We are now over extended and unable to stand up or pose any real threat to Iran or North Korea.
-This seems to me to be a valid argument, if it is true than the question is, “was Iraq worth it?” was Iraq a greater danger to use before it was liberated than Iran is now. (I would sincerely be interested in any of your thoughts on this)
C. America has alienated itself from the rest of the world.
-There is truth in this statement, but I think it has been over applied. If we are to use argument to prove that America is less safe there are a few gaps we have to fill. First it must be determined that we have created enemies of friends; secondly that those enemies pose a threat to us, and lastly that those new enemies are more dangerous than the enemies we have created. If these three criterion are met I think we must conclude that America is less safe than it was before we invaded Iraq.

Let’s see, Anonymous mentions Asian countries, could you provide us with some examples, (that’s a request not a challenge) He mentions china directly. If china were a threat it would be a great indeed but China and the U.S. are so connected economically and diplomatically, that I think it would be hard for a direct hostile confrontation to arise. Similarly I don’t think we are in danger of direct conflict between the U.S. and any industrialized country in Europe or any country in South America, or Africa a war with Australia is ridiculous.

-Iran and North Korea are certainly threats the question is whether or not they are more of a threat now than before, they already hated us, why are they more of a threat now than they once were? (The fact that they have nuclear programs does not apply to this analysis because they could have developed nuclear weapons whether or not we invaded Iraq.)

D. This war is destroying the economy and has caused the death of too many Americans and Iraqis.
-These assertions are debatable themselves, but even if they are true the question is not “what is the price,” but “is it a worthy cause.” If the cause is worthy than it’s worth the strain on the economy (we’re so rich we’re killing ourselves anyway) and even worth the lives of those who were killed. (They seemed to believe in the cause they were dying for.)

Questions:
1. What specific action could have been taken after 911 that would have led to a better result? (I realize that this question has been asked before but it is usually answered with statistics on war casualties and economic failure, or unsupported assertions like “Gore would have done it better.”) I’m being sincere her I want a direct answer.
2. If power was turned over to someone else today, what practical changes could they make to Bush’s policy to better the current situation? (I am not interested in hearing what Bush is doing wrong unless you have an idea of how to do it better.
3. Iraq is no longer a threat, the terrorists are in hiding, if we are in danger now more than ever, who specifically is this new threat?

4. Bush has explained his reasons for going to war, they seem noble, if he is insincere and had ulterior motives, what are they? What does he have to gain personally by staying in Iraq now?

Anonymous said...

Strategos,

The assumptions that guide your thinking are flawed. Some information, given point by point, will help you in forming your opinion on this subject that we should be talking about every single day as Americans.

1. It is not "silly" to question whether we should have invaded Iraq since (i) support was far from wide "across party lines" to invade Iraq. 120 Democratic house members, of 433 members in total, correctly voted against Bush's 2003 Iraqi invasion; (ii) shining the light on Bush's failed promises for the war will accelrate the necessary change in strategy.

2. It is not an "alternate future" to say America is not safer today because of Bush's failures in Iraq, it is today's reality. A study conducted of online al-Qaeda recruiting in 2004-05 by none other than the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point concluded that the U.S.'s involvement in Iraq has steadilly increased al-Qaeda recruitment! That is but one of an endless list of ways U.S. involvement in Iraq has depleated our resources, emboldened our enemies, and left us less capable of dealing with terrorist attacks today.

3. The damaging effects of Bush's mishandling of the Iraq war on U.S. security are real and measurable. Assuming his mishandling of the war has made us safer is dangerous and will lead to further degradation of U.S. security. Consider:

Safer
A. "There has not been an attack on U.S. soil since 9/11" is a meaningless statement. More Americans have been wounded by terrorists since 9/11 than were on that terrible day. There is no count of how many thousands of U.S. civilians have been wounded or killed. Thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians have been killed, tortured, and maimed. Does that sound like the terrorists are not meeting their goals to you?? Since the only attacks before 9/11 on U.S. soil were the first WTC bombing why was the 9/11 attack allowed to follow? It was not because we had not invaded Iraq yet! Terrorist attacks in the U.S. can be prevented without a draining and elective invasion of Iraq - which was not sponsoring terrorism against the U.S. - and it could be done at a much more cost effective way in blood and treasure!

B. We are overextended by the drawn conflict in Iraq and unable to strategically counter the influence of terrorist states in Iran and North Korea through military means or otherwise. Do Iran and North Korea pose a greater threat to the U.S. now than Iraq did prior to the 2003 invasion? Yes! Iran and North Korea HAVE active nuclear weapons programs and chemical weapons programs. North Korea has the warheads and a delivery system that can reach the U.S. West coast! Iran has and does actively sponsor terrorist groups like Hezbollah - which has killed hundreds of U.S. soldiers in terrorist attacks - and Hamas. North Korea is at war with the U.S. and the U.N.!!

C. America has been alienated by its unilateral actions in Iraq and we are paying dearly. The alienation of our traditional allies and the rest of the international community is not measured in aggressiveness of nations but in precious lost cooperation in intelligence and funding. The Iraq war is costing 43 million dollars per day and the U.S. is paying nearly all of that by itself. In the total the war is likely to top 1 TRILLION dollars. Compare that to the costs of the first Gulf War to liberate Kuwait that had broad international support. Japan and other nations paid huge amounts of money to the U.S. led effort even among nations that did not contribute forces, debts were forgiven, oil was traded below value to support involvement. U.S. envoy James Baker tried desperately in 2003 to get Iraq debt cancelled but met with cool response from almost every nation he visited. No one is contributing to the effort and because of ill-conceived tax cuts, the middle class U.S. tax payer is left holding the bag for the multi millionaires in the White House who arranged this safari.

By alienating America we lose political capital that could be used to move the six-nation talks on North Korea forward, that could be used to pressure Security Council action on Iran for example. All of this work is made more difficult and uncertain by our unilateral course in Iraq.

I mentioned China before to hilight what many see will be a result of Bush's India-U.S. plan and that is a nuclear arms race between India and China. The proliferation of these weapons that can indiscriminately wipe out an hundred thousand people at one time does nothing to add to the security of life in this world. Pushing against the long standing policies of Australia risks losing full cooperation of a valuable partner in that area of the world where their intelligence networks are likely more developed and where their influence is likely greater. Losing friends and not being able to influence people is a terrible way to conduct foreign policy.

D. I do believe that liberating Iraq was a worthy cause but not one to be carried out in such a bumbling and incompetent way. It is not a cause that can be pursued in the failing course that the Bush administration is pursuing now. It is bankrupting the U.S. morally, financially, in international relations, and most importantly in the youth of our great nation. A change is necessary.

Questions:

I believe that questions one and two are identical to the ones that Jerky asked previously and that I answered in detail in the posts above.

1. If Gore or anyone else had been President the U.S. would not have invaded Iraq. Osama bin-Laden and his louitenants would be dead or captured. We would not be spending billions to haphazardly chase them around, Iraq would not now be openly supporting terrorism.

2. If anyone other than Bush were made President now Rumsfeld would be fired. There would be a debate about how to best proceed to our objectives in Iraq - stable government, the end of al-Qaeda in Iraq - and their would be a change in the current failing strategies of the Bush White House that have no meaningful end.

3. Iraq, as an open supporter of terrorism, is more of a threat to the region and to U.S. personell today than it ever was before Bush's 2003 invasion. To say the terrorists are in hiding to ignore the fact that they mobilize daily to make coordinated attacks inside Iraq and elsewhere. On Tuesday, over one-hundred cut phone lines and led an assault on an Iraqi jail, on Wednesday a similar event occured. This morning over fifty are already reported killed in three seperate incidents.

This also critically misses that Afghanistan is descending into turmoil again. It is slipped into a narco-state, the largest in the World, while the U.S. has been occupying the country!! The Taliban in Afghanistan are again gaining strength and violence is increasing as it began to in Iraq in the Spring of 2004! The U.S. has not dedicated, nor does it currently have the defense resources to deal with these threats effectively. This is because of Rumsfeld's and the White House's mismanagement of our defense and our draining war in Iraq.

4. Your last question is the best and the one most open for debate. Many are puzzled by it. Helen Thomas, reporter for the Christian Science Monitor, asked Bush in his Tuesday press conference "Every reason you have given for invading Iraq has turned out to be false. Members of your cabinet have said you were planning it right from the very beginning of your Presidency. None of the reasons you have said have turned out true. What was the REAL reason that you wanted to invade? Why did you really decide to invade the country?" Bush had ulterior motives that he has never been honest about. History will debate what the real reasons for invasion were. I do not think it will be kind to the Neo-Cons in the White House that pushed for it long before their swearing in Januanry 2001.

Anonymous said...

Forgive me, I see that I meshed your "Safer" and "Not Safer" lists together. The "Not Safer" list picks up at "B." in my last post. Your "Safer" considerations pick up here:

B. "This means that Iraq (or at least its government) is not directly hostile to the U.S. We are safer in that regard" except that you ignore the Iraqi government resolution that there is a right of resistance to U.S. occupation that insurgents enjoy. This was made a meeting in Egypt in 2005 to appease Sunni factions of government who support insurgent actions against the U.S. Also, it is intellectually dishonest since Iraq maintains broad support for insurgent actions targetting U.S. soldiers. Iraq is still hostile to the U.S. and our invasion has not changed this fact.

C. America lost the moral high ground when it decided circumvent the Security Council and unilaterally pursue action against Iraq the international community did support. Respect for the U.S. has declined so drastically that we have gone from headlines in Paris proclaiming on 9/12 that "We Are All Americans" to being barely above Iran in global polls of national trustworthiness. Also, Iran and others can see the terrible struggle that the U.S. is having in Iraq. They are not dumb. They know this means that our ability to mount any meaningful military curtailment to their controversial behavior has nearly evaporated not grown stronger. Our enemies are emboldened by Bush's stubborn, rock headed and failing policies in Iraq, not deterred by them.

Safer
A. People are dying in Iraq in with no end in sight! This kind of unremitted carnage in the face of real U.S. effort does not add to U.S. national security. Also, it threatens to further degrade security by creating a mess in Iraq that cannot be policed or stabilized, united insurgents and terrorists against occupiers, draining resources that could be used better elsewhere and even by discouraging military enlistment.

Those additional considerations should be evaluated as you ponder the worth while effects of a failing war by an incompetent President in Iraq.

Lysis said...

Anonymous,

Since Debate is the topic of this post, it is appropriate to discuss your debate style. You make accusations and call names, but that does not change the fact that you “spewed” thirteen cards that had neither reason nor evidence to support them – and that were all just plain lies. You give us the name of the disgruntled General whose words you clip for your attack on Rumsfeld, that does not change the facts that Rumsfeld’s “Defense Department” took down the Taliban in less than a month and liberated Afghanistan when the same terrain and tactics used unsuccessfully against the U.S. military had brought the Soviet Union to its knees. Your reading a card – totally un-referenced let alone supported by any evidence or reason, does not change the fact that Afghanistan was delivered from the murderous hands of the Taliban and the Taliban is no longer murdering women for wanting to go to school, blowing up woks of Buddhist sacred art, or giving aid and comfort to al Qaeda. You can spew what ever you wish, but before Rumsfeld’s military acted, bin Laden planed and executed attack after attack on U.S. facilities throughout the world, and finally murdered 3,000 plus American in a matter of Minuets on 9/11 and sent the same Democrat Congress men who now spew venom against President Bush scurrying for cover and put America, now once again so confident in its safety that they can put up the flags and disrespect the military cowering and abandoning travel and commerce for months. Now Osama is probably dead, and is buried underground if alive.

Your spew some unsubstantiated “card” about U.S. failure in Iraq, while forgetting that in four weeks Saddam was sent running to his spider hole and then to prison and probably the gallows. You discount the three democratic elections held in Iraq, and ignore the fact that the vast majority or the Iraqi people are now U.S. allies in the War on Terror, shedding their blood in defense of the very Democrats who now call them losers and root for the terrorist efforts to gin up a Civil war.

You call me childish and yet it is your spew that, while destitute of reason or evidence is filled with the following childish name calling and emotional nastiness:

1. While you (Lysis) are busy bogging about the health of grass. . .

2. . . . you (Lysis) are hopelessly ill equipped to teach art . . )

3. . . . America is not safer today. . . But you love that Liesis.

4. Instead of your fantasy, non-existent scenarios . . .

5. What are you (Lysis) rambling about here? This is sour grapes

6. Fear and demagoguery is what let this bloody liar (President Bush) and other bastion “intellectuals” of the neo-con right lead us astray!

7. Your threats of “anotizing” my words are hollow and imbecilic. It is the king of debating tactic I would expect from a high school bully that cannot think of any worth while offering. Grow up.

8. You will certainly never be accused of being a mind reader DannyBoy2, among many other things having to do with great mental accomplishments..

9. Not have invaded Iraq! Duh.

10. . . . NOT the same falling and incompetent policies that Nincampoop In Chief Bush has full stubborn faith and confidence in . . .

11. (To Beef Jerky) . . . you are still asleep! Comfort your small mind set, Keep getting lost in the fantasy of movies . . .

12. (To Lysis) Wow, I haven’t seen arguing like hat since my little brother put his finger in his ears and insisted the Easter Bunny was real. ( I point out that this was your only refutation of the thirteen examples of spew I presented.)

13. You may continue your childish tantrum now Lisis. I have said everything I wanted to the adult readers.

Anonymous – these are exec tally the examples of C.X. debate style I hoped to demonstrate to readers here in the Agora this week. Thank you for providing them. Unfortunately you have not provided any reason or evidence for us to believe any of your positions on President Bush, Sec. Rumsfeld, or the War on Terror.

Strategos, I am very impressed with your post. You understate your understanding of the War, but what is more important you provide one of the essential elements that Anonymous’s spew neglects – REASON. I am sorry I cannot comment now, but will careful study your post and enjoy the truth it lead us too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for reposting my words Liesis. They should be read aloud and often. I would like to point out that you missed a few though, including one of my favorites:

Our enemies around the world are emboldened by Bush's stubborn, rock headed and failing policies in Iraq. They are not deterred by them.

And neither are you deterred by the administrations blatant incompetency in your rosey delussions of Bush's everlasting glory. For example, "Osam bin-Laden is already dead!!!???" Come on Liesis, tell the truth. You are blogging from Pluto aren't you.



I wanted to correct myself. Helen Thomas has for the last four years reported for King Features Syndicate, most recently the Hearst Corporation. Her exact was "Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war?" Bush, like Liesis, insisted that "everything you have heard is simply not true." Someone is telling the truth and someone is lying though. There are many different people telling the same story about Bush wanting to invade Iraq before 9/11. There is just one Bush (and one Liesis) saying that everyone is telling lies. We have already seen that much of what the President has said has been false. He does not have a very strong record when it comes to telling the truth, especially when it comes to U.S. national security.

Reach Upward said...

Thanks for the humor. I laughed so hard I had tears coming out of the corners of my eyes when I read that Al Gore and/or John Kerry would have handled Afghanistan better than Bush. They would have attacked?! They would have neatly cleaned everything up?! Puhleeze! And citing Helen Thomas (queen of the Bush-hating leftist press) as a paragon of morality is simply the icing on the cake. The late night TV hosts get cheap laughs from their audiences with stuff like this.

Silver Lining said...

That isn't quite all of the question/comment Helen Thomas issued. As an old CX debater, I will note that clipping a card or quote that included the jist of an idea but not its entirety is an easy way to take it ever so slightly out of context and make it look a little different than it is.

Anonymous said...

For complete context then: Here is a transcript of the question put to President from the White House website: "For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 21, 2006

Press Conference of the President
James S. Brady Briefing Room






President's Remarks
view




10:01 A.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. Yesterday I delivered a -- the second in a series of speeches on the situation in Iraq. I spoke about the violence that the Iraqi people had faced since last month's bombing of the Golden Mosque in Samarra. I also said that for every act of violence there is encouraging progress in Iraq that's hard to capture on the evening news.

Yesterday I spoke about an important example of the gains we and the Iraqis have made, and that is in the northern city of Tal Afar. The city was once under al Qaeda control, and thanks to coalition and Iraqi forces, the terrorists have now been driven out of that city. Iraqi security forces are maintaining law and order. We see the outlines of a free and secure Iraq that we and the Iraqi people have been fighting for. As we mark the third anniversary of the launch of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the success we're seeing in Tal Afar gives me confidence in the future of Iraq.

Terrorists haven't given up; they're tough-minded, they like to kill. There's going to be more tough fighting ahead. No question that sectarian violence must be confronted by the Iraqi government and a better-trained police force. Yet we're making progress. And that's important for the American people to understand.

We're making progress because of -- we've got a strategy for victory, and we're making progress because the men and women of the United States military are showing magnificent courage and they're making important sacrifices that have brought Iraq to an historic moment -- the opportunity to build a democracy that reflects its country's diversity, that serves its people, and is an active partner in the fight against the terrorists.

Now Iraq's leaders must take advantage of the opportunity. I was encouraged by the announcement Sunday the Iraqi leaders -- that the Iraqi leaders made -- are making progress toward a council that gives each of the country's main political factions a voice in making security and economic policies. It's an indicator that Iraq's leaders understand the importance of a government of national unity. Our Ambassador to Iraq, Zal Khalilzad, is very much involved in the process and will encourage the Iraqi leaders to put aside their differences, reach out across sectarian lines and form a unity government.

Here at home, I'm also encouraged by the strength of our economy. Last year our economy grew at a healthy 3.5 percent. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the economy has added nearly 5 million new jobs -- that's more than Japan and the 25 nations of the European Union combined. The national unemployment rate is 4.8 percent -- that's lower than the average rate of the 1970s, the 1980s and the 1990s. Productivity is strong. Inflation is contained. Household net worth is at an all-time high. Real after-tax income is up more than 8 percent per person since the beginning of 2001. The growing economy is a result of the hard work of the American people and good policies here in Washington.

I believe America prospers when people are allowed to keep more of what they earn so they can make their own decisions about how to spend, save and invest. So I'm going to continue to work with Congress to make the tax relief permanent, continue to work with Congress to restrain federal spending, continue to work with Congress to achieve the goal of cutting the deficit in half by 2009.

We cannot take our growing economy for granted, and so I look forward to working with the Congress to make sure we invest in basic research, and promote math and science education. I'm going to work with Congress to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I know it came as a surprise to some of you that I would stand up in front of the Congress and say, we got a problem, we're addicted to oil. But it is a problem. And I look forward to working with both Republicans and Democrats to advance an agenda that will make us less dependent on foreign oil; an agenda that includes hybrid cars and advanced ethanol fuels and hydrogen cells. I'm going to look forward to working with Congress to make sure health care is affordable and available.

We're going to work with Congress to make sure we meet our commitments to our fellow citizens who are affected by Katrina. I appreciate the step that the House of Representatives took last week on passing a supplemental appropriations bill that funds Gulf Coast reconstruction and, of course, supports our men and women in uniform. I look forward to working with the Senate to get that supplemental bill passed and to my desk.

Now I'll be glad to take any questions you have, starting with AP person. (Laughter.)

Q Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: That would be you, Terry.

Q Iraq's Interim Prime Minister said Sunday that violence is killing an average of 50 to 60 people a day, and that, "if this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is." Do you agree with Mr. Allawi that Iraq has fallen into civil war?

THE PRESIDENT: I do not. There are other voices coming out of Iraq, by the way, other than Mr. Allawi -- who I know, by the way, and like, he's a good fellow. President Talabani has spoken. General Casey, the other day, was quite eloquent on the subject. Zal Khalilzad, who I talk to quite frequently. Listen, we all recognize that there is violence, that there's sectarian violence. But the way I look at the situation is that the Iraqis took a look and decided not to go to civil war.

A couple of indicators are that the army didn't bust up into sectarian divisions. The army stayed united. And as General Casey pointed out, they did, arguably, a good job in helping to make sure the country stayed united.

Secondly, I was pleased to see religious leaders stand up. Ayatollah Sistani, for example, was very clear in his denunciation of violence and the need for the country to remain united. The political leaders who represent different factions of the Iraqi society have committed themselves to moving forward on a unity government.

No question that the enemy has tried to spread sectarian violence. They use violence as a tool to do that. They're willing to kill innocent people. The reports of bound Sunnis that were executed are horrific. And it's obviously something we're going to have to deal. And more importantly, the Iraqis are going to have to deal with it.

But I see progress. I've heard people say, oh, he's just kind of optimistic for the sake of optimism. Well, look, I believe we're going to succeed. And I understand how tough it is -- don't get me wrong -- I mean, you make it abundantly clear how tough it is. I hear it from our troops; I read the reports every night. But I believe -- I believe the Iraqis -- this is a moment where the Iraqis had a chance to fall apart, and they didn't. And that's a positive development.

Steve.

Q Thank you. You describe Iran as a threat, yet, you're close to opening talks with them about Iraq. What would be the objective in these talks if they are not negotiations? And is there a risk of getting drawn into the nuclear issue?

THE PRESIDENT: Thanks for asking that question. A couple of months ago, I gave Zal, our Ambassador in Iraq, permission to explain to the Iraqi -- Iranians what we didn't like about their involvement in Iraq. I thought it was important for them to hear firsthand, other than through press accounts. He asked whether or not it made sense for him to be able to talk to a representative in Baghdad; I said, absolutely. You make it clear to them that attempts to spread sectarian violence, or to maybe move parts that could be used for IEDs is unacceptable to the United States.

It is very important for the Iranians to understand that any relationship between Iraq and Iran will be negotiated between those two countries. Iraq is a sovereign government. They have a foreign policy. And when they get their unity government stepped up, they will be in charge of negotiating with the Iranians their foreign policy arrangement. And so this is a way for us to make it clear to them that -- about what's right or wrong in their activities inside of Iraq.

Secondly, our negotiations with Iran on the nuclear weapons will be led by the EU-3. And that's important because the Iranians must hear there's a unified voice about -- that says that they shall not have a capacity to make a nuclear weapon and/or the knowledge as to how to make a nuclear weapon, for the sake of security of the world.

It's important for our citizens to understand that we have got to deal with this issue diplomatically now. And the reason why is because if the Iranians were to have a nuclear weapon they could blackmail the world. If the Iranians were to have a nuclear weapon they could proliferate. This is a country that's walking away from international accords; they're not heading toward the international accords, they're not welcoming the international inspections -- or safeguards -- safeguard measures that they had agreed to.

And so our policy for the Iranians, in terms of the nuclear program, is to continue to work with the EU-3, as well as Russia and China. Later on this week, there's going to be a P-5 -- that's a diplomatic sloganeering for the permanent members of the Security Council -- plus Germany, and working together to make sure that the message remains unified and concerted.

If you're a non-transparent society, you've got a negotiating advantage over six parties, because all you have to do is kind of try to find a -- the weakest link in the negotiating team. And so our job is to make sure that this international will remains strong and united, so that we can solve this issue diplomatically.

Helen. After that brilliant performance at the Grid Iron, I am -- (laughter.)

Q You're going to be sorry. (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Well, then, let me take it back. (Laughter.)

Q I'd like to ask you, Mr. President, your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis, wounds of Americans and Iraqis for a lifetime. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is, why did you really want to go to war? From the moment you stepped into the White House, from your Cabinet -- your Cabinet officers, intelligence people, and so forth -- what was your real reason? You have said it wasn't oil -- quest for oil, it hasn't been Israel, or anything else. What was it?

THE PRESIDENT: I think your premise -- in all due respect to your question and to you as a lifelong journalist -- is that -- I didn't want war. To assume I wanted war is just flat wrong, Helen, in all due respect --

Q Everything --

THE PRESIDENT: Hold on for a second, please.

Q -- everything I've heard --

THE PRESIDENT: Excuse me, excuse me. No President wants war. Everything you may have heard is that, but it's just simply not true. My attitude about the defense of this country changed on September the 11th. We -- when we got attacked, I vowed then and there to use every asset at my disposal to protect the American people. Our foreign policy changed on that day, Helen. You know, we used to think we were secure because of oceans and previous diplomacy. But we realized on September the 11th, 2001, that killers could destroy innocent life. And I'm never going to forget it. And I'm never going to forget the vow I made to the American people that we will do everything in our power to protect our people.

Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

Q They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

Q I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans.

I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences --

Q -- go to war --

THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.

Q Thank you, sir. (laughter.)

Q Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT: You're welcome. (Laughter.) I didn't really regret it. I kind of semi-regretted it. (Laughter.)

Q -- have a debate.

THE PRESIDENT: That's right. Anyway, . . ." (onto another question).



Everyone notice his bait and switch there? Here are the terrorists in Afghanistand and . . . . presto! - we're in Iraq, a country that did nothing to the U.S. How is that for one out of the Republican play book Rumpole!? Always trying to keep the public confused about Iraq and 9/11 - something Liesis has bought hook, line and stinker that he is. No connection ever existed. Why are you people not outraged that we had the wool pulled over our eyes and are still being lied to by this incompetent President and his cronies about the situation in Iraq!? Get mad. Let's fix it before things reach the point of no return Mr. President! You have made the security of the entire region now!

Anonymous said...

(Sorry, last sentence should read: You have made it AN ISSUE of security for that entire region now!)

Anonymous said...

I just realised that I actually posted the entire press conference until the end of the exchange between Thomas and Bush. I did not mean to make such a MOAB post and would retract it and reduce it if I could.

Lysis said...

Silver Lining:

You are proof that there are excellent debaters who did, maybe even do, CX Debate. I have listened to the Bush/Thomas exchange, and as you have said; anyone who heard it all clearly gives the ballot to Bush. Again the carefully crafted question went flat because it was based on an untruth. Her question: “Your decision to invade Iraq has caused the deaths of thousands of Americans and Iraqis. Every reason given, publicly at least, has turned out not to be true. My question is: Why did you really want to go to war?" is riddled with lies. First, Americans have been killed by Saddamites and terrorists. I’m sure Helen scolded Roosevelt for sending troops to Berlin. That did not make their sacrifice any less necessary, nor does her implication make Bush’s actions to liberate Iraq any less just. Secondly, the reasons for invading, 15 of them listed in Bush’s speech of the weeks leading up to invasion, have all been proven true. Saddam will never develop the weapons of mass destruction he dreamed of and was preparing to develop, Saddam’s connections and support of al Qaeda (recently verified in transcripts of Saddam’s own recorded conversations) have been severed; a Democracy has been established in the midst of the Middle East to provide inspiration to the Islamic world and to lead the peoples of Iraq away from terrorism. These are the facts of the situation on the ground – empirical evidence of Bush’s policy success. All Anonymous offers us is a card by “expert” Helen Thomas. Bush has answer Thomas questions repeatedly in speech after speech, some of them posted on this very web log. But neither Thomas nor Anonymous is interested in reason or evidence, only on asking trick questions and spewing unsupported assertions.

Reach Upward;

Thank you for your astute evaluation of Anonymous arguments, I’m sure you got his sources (late night comedy shows) correct. Helpful; as he never supplies documentation.

Anonymous:

At first I was surprised that you would take pride in your petty and pointless words, but then I realized that they were the best arguments you had to offer. I remember, as a coach, sometimes finding two person CX squads in otherwise empty rooms practicing their spewing. They would gasp and bob as they read words they neither pronounced nor understood. At the end of the rant the team mate to the “reader” would click the stop watch, proclaim the time in which the “spew” had been delivered, and both partners would congratulate themselves with grunts of “waytugo”. Carefully crafting their cans of crap, like Picasso pounding his chest above his scribbles.


I was pleased to hear that some hostages held by terrorists in Iraq were rescued today by military action in Iraq. It will be the loyal and continued success of our military that will save us all from being held hostage to terror. It is Osama who is already buried, dead or alive. Let the spewers spew, in the end the truth will out. There is not debate!

Strategos: I found you self debating style most instructive – both on the topic of President Bush and on the topic of debate. Let me comment on some of your excellent points. I would appreciate your reasoned responses.

On: 1. which “failed promises for the war are you referring to? All I remember Bush promising was a long hard struggle in which he would do everything in his power to protect America. I see great success here. Show me where I’m wrong.

2. Of course America is safer today than on 9/11, or anytime during the Clinton Administration. The fact that we are safe is best illustrated by the spewing attacks against the President, and their support for the terrorists exhibited by Democrats. Anonymous “statistic” that al Qaeda recruitment is up, first does not equal greater danger to America, and secondly dose not approach the 50 million newly liberated Iraqis and Afghans that Bush’s foresight and courage have created.

3. Your “debate on safer/not safer comes to an obvious conclusion. The forces of liberty are winning in Iraq and Afghanistan. Terrorism is kept in far off lands, and the homeland is secure. The arguments against these facts are simply frightened dreams of what might be if!!!

4. I promise you that Bush has not expanded his reasons for going to war. All the reasons he now asserts were presented long before the Liberation of Iraq began. It is the spew debaters hoping for points without reason or evidence that try and put all the eggs in the WMD basket. More evidence of Saddam’s WMD programs and plans are coming out – soon this canard will be lost to the CX crowd as well. They lost the “no connection to al Qaeda” card last week!

Anonymous’ answers to your questions are all speculative. As they of necessity must be. They are all based on worse-case-scenarios and hopes of American failure that will some how rocket Democrats into power in the 06 and 08 elections. For comment on Anonymous claims regarding Helen Thomas – see above.

Anonymous said...

I'm so tired of people denying that Iraq is part of the war on terror. True, the connection is not the same as in Afghanistan, where the Taliban continued to harbor Al Qaeda after a US ultimatum. But I thought we all understood that after 9/11 America was going to war against terrorism everywhere, not just against Al Qaeda. And Saddam Hussein was a terrorist, a direct supporter of terrorism. Does anyone actually dispute this?

For far too long the international community has sat back clicking its tongue over terrorism, especially in the Middle East. Policymakers and ordinary people have ignored the real problem and claimed moral equivalency between Palestinian suicide bombers and the Israeli military. Unwilling to choose sides, we have allowed the evildoers to do their evil.

9/11 was a big wake-up call. Suddenly Americans cared about terrorism because our homeland had been targeted. We went to war on terrorism. The support for this idea was nearly unanimous. Who would have thought that conservatives and liberals alike would lose this righteous zeal after just 4 1/2 years of domestic safety?

Yes, mistakes have been made in the war on terrorism, but this cause is just. It's far easier to go back to the isolationism of the past, but what's easy is not what's right. If we choose to be no better than Europe, we will share their fate--and deservedly so.

Anonymous said...

I am utterly bewildered by your cryptic statement Anon that "if we choose to be no better than Europe, we will share their fate--and deservedly so." Are you suggesting that the people who died on the trains in Madrid and London deserved it? I hope you are no so thoughtless.

You are right to point out the difference between Saddam's ties to terrorism and the Taliban's in Afghanistan. One directly threatened the U.S. and even attacked the U.S. before 2003 and the other did not. The idea to fight terrorism is a unanimous goal since 9/11, this however does not equal free range to invade countries that never attacked the U.S. and that is why half of the Democrats in the house voted against Iraqi invasion. Your caution between what is easy and what is right must be heeded. It is easy to conflate the war on terror with the war in Iraq but it is not right. It is exactly what Bush has done though to justify his corrupt actions there. Iraq is in a civil war, it has been for months. It appears dangerously close now to the point of no return. If it passes that point, and if we are only fighting the war on terror there, and we are committted to combatting terrorism, and if you truly believe the insurgency in Iraq threatens the U.S. homeland, then we will have to stay and fight. Which side will we fight on? Which terrorists, if that is what you believe all attackers there are, we will side with? The situation is ridiculous because it is ridiculous to believe that all fighting there are terrorists. Not even the Iraqis believe it, which is why they formally recognized a right of resistance to U.S. occupation.

The goal to fight terrorism is just. The goal of forcefully destabilizing a government that is not to our liking, or of forcing our will undemocratically onto the governed of another country is as corrupt now as it was when Bush launched this unnecessary war. Mistakes have been made. Let us not mistake what is wrong now with with what was is right. We should change strategy in Iraq so that it adequately responds to the reality there. This current administration has shown itself incapable and unwilling to do what must be done.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anonymous-Dopus that believes Europe deserves to be the targets of terrorists for their 'mysterious' actions,

Both Spain and Britain were in Iraq when they were bombed by Al-Queda! How is that for isolation for you! Are you trying to say the U.S. deserves to be bombed because it is in Iraq!? Think! - before type whatever comes off the top of your head next time.

By the way, Spain, which withdrew after the March 11 bombings that killed over 300 has not been attacked since leaving Iraq. Are we supposed to believe that is proof that a policy of non Iraq invasion keeps that country secure? It makes as much sense as the dopes on this blog that say invading Iraq has kept the U.S. secure. Hey, newsflash! The people that attacked the U.S. on September 11 did not come from Iraq! Neither did the people that attacked that London and Madrid!

Apollo said...

Dear Friends, and Dear Enemies-

Good day to you all! I am in a particularly good mood as I, according to my best friend Ares, have a new girlfriend. But now to matters concerning you.

I had the great privlidge of hearing this blog read by Lysis himself and I am in complete agreeance with it. All the liberals want is a finger and with it, a republican to point it at. I ask you; who would the democrats be standing behind now if there had been a democrat President at the attack of 9-11? Who could have done the job that Bush did and who among you left-wing wackos could have taken the heat for a decision the other party didn't like? Quit using old arguements and get original! Get your act together and then get behind the war effort. You can either shape up, or ship out. Either way you'll have a place. You are welcome in the states for was it not a wise man who said "The greatest gift is a noble friend, the 2nd greatest is a noble enemy"? Or you can go away. I'm sure France would welcome your pacifist ideas.

Apollo

Ares said...

Hello my dear friends, it is indeed good to be back here at the agora. My life of late has been a busy one and it has been some time since I have had the time to return to the place of discussion. I have had some experience with debate, not policy debate, but debate non the less. Lysis, undoubtedly, you are aware that much of debate is the same way. It seems to me, although I have not, regrettably been able to follow the threads, however, it seems to me that Lysis has once again just about hit the nail on the head.

Now, one more application to this is perhaps the inablility to reason with such people that are brought up like that. Another group of people is the terrorists that we fight against daily. They will not listen to any amount of negotiations. The same goes for the nations that harbor them.

Unfortunately, I am out of time for now. I shall return however.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

Wow! Amidst all the spew you call me out! You post “How is that for one out of the Republican play book Rumpole!? Always trying to keep the public confused about Iraq and 9/11”. . .

You are right, Anonymy! The President’s words are right out of the Republican playbook! Play #1 (I teach this to all my little Republicans, it is most effective), stick to the truth, it will outlive the lies, and it is far more effective than any marketing plan could conceive of being. Explain to me where the bait and switch is –

“I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences -
Q -- go to war --
THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.”

The question was directly and truthfully answered. Unfortunately, you continue through the spew to go back to the favorite play out of the Democrats Playbook, “Call the truth a lie, and promote lies as truth”. You give ample evidence of this tactic on this topic. I don’t have time to cover every instance in my CX allotted 8 minutes, so I’ll chose my favorite as a specific example.

You post “If Al Gore had been President in 2001 Osama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri would most likely be dead or in captivity right now.” Are you willing to promote this lie as truth? Al Gore was part of the presidential tandem (not Clinton and Clinton, rather Clinton and Gore) that would not accept bin-Laden when offered! Bin-Laden is free because of Clinton-Gore. Can you really say that “if Gore was president Bin-Laden would be dead or captivity right now” again and do it with a straight face?

There you go. I even responded without using up the full eight minutes I was allotted!

Anonymous said...

Apeollo,

Let me make sure I have your argument straight, "Shut-up or ship out." How very American of you. I can see that you have been taking Liesis' civics lessons. And to think, in just a couple of years you will even be able to vote and buy a hand-gun. What shining intellects they raise in NCLB star school of the year, LHS. But seriously, no. I will continue to speak out against what I see as a failing policy that endangers U.S. security and an incompetent President. You may seek to be more accepting in your communication with others, now that you have a live girlfriend and all.

Thank you for informing us Ares that you are uninformed on this debate. Such candor is appreciated and helps to evaluate your statement that "it seems Liesis has nearly hit it on the head." Though what he has hit you may be at a loss to explain. Don't worry though, I won't expect you to pass a test on it at the end of this class. Forming intelligent opinions is covered in the next grade.

Liesis, please, continue to follow my instructions and read my words aloud and often and now add to others. I am sure, despite the recent performance from the cheerleading squad, that there is in fact an Athena among crowd who will accept the wisdom in this debate.

Rumpole, I am sorry to have called you out. I mean, it was not worth waiting for it at all. Since you missed the bate and switch I will print it again:

"Part of that meant to make sure that we didn't allow people to provide safe haven to an enemy. And that's why I went into Iraq -- hold on for a second --

Q They didn't do anything to you, or to our country.

THE PRESIDENT: Look -- excuse me for a second, please. Excuse me for a second. They did. The Taliban provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where al Qaeda trained --

Q I'm talking about Iraq --

THE PRESIDENT: Helen, excuse me. That's where -- Afghanistan provided safe haven for al Qaeda. That's where they trained. That's where they plotted. That's where they planned the attacks that killed thousands of innocent Americans."


The TRUTH is Iraq WAS NOT harboring Al-Qaeda, WAS NOT responsible at all for 9/11, which is what Bush was trying to insinuate. Play #1, as you say. Aghanistan, go get Al-Qaeda, Osama bin-Laden in Tora Bora, and . . . . presto! Now in Iraq! The political hand is quicker than the eye. A cheap sleight of hand to garner support for an unneccesary war. And you fell for it. The sad thing is you are still falling for it. The TRAGIC thing is so many innocents in Iraq and young Americans still fighting there, are falling over dead because ot it. It is morally wrong to support such a corrupt man who shows no remorse for his decisions that have wrongly led to the slaughter of thousands upon thousands.

Lysis said...

To the new Anonymous, who spoke truth to power, you are right, The War on Terror has many fronts, one is Afghanistan, one is Iraq, and one is the Home Land. Thank goodness we are fighting this terrible war in Iraq, where people are being freed and where we can thus “kill two birds with on precious stone”. The other Anonymous who attacks you on you comment on Europe, is intentionally misinterpreting your comment. Cowardice engenders attacks from bullies. Do the cowards deserve to be attacked? – Of course not. No one deserves to be attacked by terrorists – however has your statement, taken in context, reveals, submitting to terror invites attack. This is why American wisely chose a second Bush Administration rather than opting for as weak waffler whose record of retreat would have invited attack.

Anonymous, who we all know is Flaccid: Britain stood firm in their resolve against Terror, Spain has America and Britain to protect them.

To the “Gods of Prophesy and War” welcome back to the Agora. I find frightening that so many are taken in by this same old tired spew. I am reminded of those college aged judges who always gave their ballot to the carded arguments that lead, without reason or evidence, to the end of the world. I remember one time recommending to my team that they run a brief called the “don’t ruin our coach” brief. Card one - Our coach needs this win to keep his job; card two – if he loses his job he could tip the balance of the U.S. economy, card three – a U .S. economic recession . . . You can guess the rest. All we would have needed was a few college student debaters as Judges.

Rumpole:

Flaccid was a bit distraught at posting all of the Bush press conference. I can see why, it proves how wonderful and right George Bush is. I found it most instructive. I hope all will read it, they will see as you have stated that President Bush speaks the truth with consistent courage. In the midst of all the spew and cry, it is most comforting to see that Bush Senior is not the only one training “little Republicans” to tell the truth and stay the course.

Anonymous said...

You are more alike with the Europeans you despise than you realize Lysis, right or wrong. Concerning the Madrid bombings of March 11, I think you will find that both you and the Spanish agree that they have the U.S. in Iraq to thank for it.

Concerning Bush's MESS-opotamia press conference printed above with his innaccurate opening statements. "I find frightening that so many are taken in by this same old tired spew." Sing it! (Thankfully, not as many are taken in it by as before. Utah citizens class 16 years old and up exempted.)

Lysis said...

Anonymous;

What a silly card to read; so typical! - You blame the U.S. liberation of Iraq for the terrorist bombing in Madrid. Did it ever occur to you that the terrorists who did the killing of innocent people are to blame? Of course not; that would require you to think reasonably, you’er too busy practicing your spew.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I’m sorry it wasn’t worth the wait. I must say that your posts are always worth waiting for. They provide me so much pleasure! Their comedy value is better than David Letterman!

Let me post again for you the President’s clear and concise answer on Iraq. As the Republican-at-the-peak-of-his-knowledge-curve is learning, repetition can be a positive educational tool!

“I also saw a threat in Iraq. I was hoping to solve this problem diplomatically. That's why I went to the Security Council; that's why it was important to pass 1441, which was unanimously passed. And the world said, disarm, disclose, or face serious consequences -
Q -- go to war --
THE PRESIDENT: -- and therefore, we worked with the world, we worked to make sure that Saddam Hussein heard the message of the world. And when he chose to deny inspectors, when he chose not to disclose, then I had the difficult decision to make to remove him. And we did, and the world is safer for it.”

There is #1 for you. Read it again. Chew it slowly and thoroughly. It would be unwise to swallow it whole, for then you will be in the same predicament as most Democrats, choking on the truth as history places you again on the losing side of the debate.

What? You have no response to the Gore example of calling the truth a lie and promoting the lie as truth? With a C.X. judge you may use your “logic” to hide under the brush created by your spew. But here at the Agora the wind and flood of truth will expose those words underneath the tumbleweeds for the lies that they are.

Lysis,

You mean to suggest that individuals are responsible for their own actions? You mean to suggest that all the trouble in the world is not related to President Bush? Wow! What a novel concept! As you have aptly demonstrated, it is not very difficult to cut through all the spew!

Anonymous said...

I have said repeatedly and correctly that Al Gore woud have invaded Afghanistan after September 11. France was ready to invade Afghanistan after September 11! - Germany was ready to get over their guilt complex to invade!! Within 6 hours of 9/11, NATO's collective defense "Article 5" was invoked for the first time in history. However, on Oct. 5, George Bush informed NATO HQ in Brussels, in another example of Neo-Con hubris, it was not enacting its treaty obligations for the Afghan invasion, acceting instead five AWAC planes to patrol U.S. airspace that were already U.S. directed. The U.S. informed NATO that "Article 5" was unneccessary and unwanted, freezing out our allies in the Afghan invasion. It is only now, four and a half years later, a resurgent Taliban, the world's largest narco state, and the escape of Osam, Ayman, and Omar, and the establishment of another AS REPRESSIVE TYRANNY, that we are handing off bulk control to NATO partners that were willing to invade in massive numbers and stabilize the country FROM THE BEGINNING!!!!!!! We never took the resources with us that we needed because of flawed Defense Department policies under Rumsfeld and an INCOMPETENT PRESIDENT! These are not mistakes that Al Gore, or anyone else other than Prince W. Bush would have made. Great ZEUS!! You people are thick! Not everything bad that happens in the world is George Bush's fault. But everything that he was supposed to have done competently and bungled is.

You know, you have to get out of your insulated sources of selective history. Not every t.v. in the hotel room can be turned to FoxNews: Sean Hannity, The Fucter - or in Rumpole's case - the esteemed historian David Lettermen.

Bush's handling of Iraq and the war on terror generally has been incompetent - and that is a kind review. Don't just take my word for it. Even his own government bodies have given him failing grades from the continuing reports of the 9/11 Commision to the Office of Management and Budget to retired cabinet members, reitired military, his own party now and finally, the American people. Anyone, virtually anyone, especially Al Gore could have prosecuted this war with greater efficacy. Dwell on it. I am more interested in seeing the war turned around and fought justly for the next two years until someone else can take over the mess this corrupt man has made of it. Bush needs to admit the mistakes that have killed thousands unjustly, wasted BILLIONS of dollars, made the U.S. more vulnerable, alienated us from the interantional community and - you too Republican freaks will both love this part - HOLD SOMEONE RESPONSIBLE.

Resign Rumsfeld, resign.

Anonymous said...

Okay, so Flaccid completely dropped my point that Saddam was a terrorist. You can flow that across. Instead he tries to hide behind the statement that Iraq didn't attack the US. So what? The war is against terrorism, not just against those who directly attack America. 9/11 marked the end of such egocentric isolationism.

Remember the wisdom of Stan Lee: "With great power comes great responsibility". The purpose of our unprecedented freedom and wealth is not so we can gaze at our navel and let the world go to hell. If the USA shirks its responsibility and ignores the innocent victims of terrorism, we don't deserve to survive as a civilization. This is what I meant about Europe. On the whole they seem already committed to their own destruction. Pray God that this same blindness loses the debate here.

Aside from what he's done to his own countrymen and his Kuwaiti neighbors, the world must never forget that Saddam Hussein put a price on the head of Israeli civilians. It was right to stop him. Helping Iraq build a future without this monster requires a lot of sacrifices, and it's worth it.

Lysis said...

Rumpole:

Any sane and thoughtful person, listening to a “Spew style” debate of a pair of high schoolers is forced to laughter, at first perhaps out of embarrassment, or from thinking the kids are intentionally acting silly, but eventually, just out of scorn for the entire process. The sad thing is that the kids doing the spewing take them selves seriously. They practice the spew and can not see how silly they are.

It is the same with our Anonymy; they can not see the silliness of their spew so they continue at it. I have often taken misguided spewers to task on my “Ballot Comments”. Pointed out that their speech was unintelligible - and I can’t give credit to arguments I can’t hear, that they did not provide either evidence or reason to support their claims. I gave them my best.

Anonymous:

I will try the same with your spew above. Point by point:

Card #1 – You cannot say Al Gore would have invaded Afghanistan after 9/11. All evidence points to another reaction. Al Gore has indicated that terrorism is a law enforcement not a military issue; Al Gore supported Clinton (A Rumpole has pointed out) in refusing to take bin Laden after he had murdered Americans in Africa and with the attack on the USS Cole. Clinton said, and his side kick has never denied that the attack on 9/11 were Americas fault. You have no evidence that Al Gore would have acted at all had he been President, reason says he would have done nothing. You card is useless!

Card #2 – France and Germany would not invade Bosnia to stop the murder of 250,000 Europeans. They sat on their collective tails and watched the slaughter until the U.S. and NATO finally acted. But NATO’s actions were driven by Britain and the U.S., the same countries that led the Liberation of Iraq. You have no evidence that any could or would have acted successfully in Afghanistan.

Card #3 – Resurgent Taliban – where do you get that. Last I heard, the Afghan Army along with U.S. and NATO forces were capturing Taliban terrorists and Mullah Omar was in hiding. You are just making up evidence to try and scare the Judges.

Card #4 - Afghanistan = the worlds largest narco state. First of all this is irrelevant to the success of the liberation, and secondly Afghanistan has long been the world leading producer of opium. I suppose you would reinstate the Taliban and start burring poppy farmers and women alive. The war on Terror will require the end of illegal drug related profits. The U.S., NATO, and a friendly Afghan government are fighting this battle. They can only do it now because of Bush’s actions.

Card #5 The escape of Osama, Ayman, and Omar is only temporary. They are hiding in caves and hunted. They are defeated in battle and driven from power. They are reduced to the level of common thugs, no longer masters of a nation. You have no, NO, evidence that a Gore administration would have been even this successful, all reason says Al Gore would have shot off a few cruse missiles and left the Taliban and al Qaeda in possession of Afghanistan. At best Gore would have gone hat in hand, to the E.U. who would have handled Afghanistan with all the alacrity with which they have delta with Iraq and Iran. In other words taking bribes and tucking their tails.

Card #6 – Afghanistan’s present government is a REPRESSIVE TYRANNY. When the present “Christian” on trial for abandoning Islam is spared rather than murdered, as were thousands by the Taliban, you can eat this card along with a big dish of crow.

Card #7 – We are handing things over to NATO. That is true – because they are now easy enough for NATO and Europe to handle them. The US had to do the heavy lifting, as always. All reason and evidence points to the fact that the UE cannot even deal with student rioters and train bombing terrorists; America, lead by Bush and Rumsfeld have Liberated 25,000,000 Afghans and brokered international support for Afghan support.

I’ll remind you that Gore’s advisors were warning of American defeat in Afghanistan. When the war was won before they could retract their silly spew cards from “News Week” they started deceiving, their only card left. Rumsfeld’s polices in Afghanistan brought freedom to a nation not pacified since Alexander the Great, and did it in three weeks. Great ZEUS would be proud!

You attacks on Bush’s success in Iraq are equally disingenuous. You complaints about the “mission accomplished” are right out of Baghdad Bob’s press book. Al Gore would never have gone to war in Iraq, and by today Saddam would have his nukes and no one would be even thinking about Iran or North Korea. I can say with every bit as much authority as you can support you position, that Al Gore would have spent the billions on tribute to his al Qaeda masters, and stood by helpless while millions, not thousands were slaughtered in the name of Osama’s Caliphate.

The money spent removing the Taliban and Saddam has been well invested, the precious bloods sacrificed, has brought freedom to millions and real hope to a world on its knelt to terror by four and a half years ago. I do hold Bush and Rumsfeld responsible. It is you Anonymous who ought to resign.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous that celebrates the "destruction" of Europe,

It was pointed out to you, by several here, what you acknowledged in your own posts: the dangers of equating the type of terrorism that Taliban fed and exported with the terrorist head of state Saddam. If you need reminders of that easy mistake just turn on your t.v. There is a civil war in Iraq with more than 30,000 dead, the result of a simple President who made an easy mistake.

Because you quote comic books as your source of wisdom you can be forgiven for not reading that nuance. There were no pictures with the words to illustrate the point.

It's probably too much to ask between popping your Bazooka bubble gum and sipping the cherry flavored Slurpy you poured while next to the comic rack, but try to go back and concentrate on the points that the U.S. never had the moral high ground in this battle. The fact that George Bush wheels and deals with other dictators like those in Kyrgistan and Turkmenistan, to name a few, is typical of his duplicity. Your defending such reprehensible behavior while is typical of your gullibility. But hey, don't be too down about it. The new Spider-Man poster looks great!

I am forced to laugh in embarassment for the grown man-boy Liesis who continues speaking out of sheer instinct and ignorance. I can only recomend turning off Faux News and reading the NATO reports from meetings 9/11 - to 11-30, 2001. Your celebrated hero's unilateral invasion of Iraq was the sequal to his unilateral undermining of NATO when he turned down the proffered help to go it alone. Now, with all humility, we are desperately begging for that help and outpouring of support again.

It is as if you are trapped in a black hole there in Utah completely oblivious to the happenings in reality. Or, as though you are the teacher of some special hybrid class created under NCLB that combines creative writing with history. At least that is something that you would highly qualify in Liesis, Creative Hystry. Your stories are full of twists and turns even reappearing characters - you first wrote in this string that Osama was dead only to resurrect him again in your last post. And in your stories the cowboy always rides to the rescue. He was too late to save the 78 reported dead just since yesterday. They, like most of us who are paying attention, had probably already given up hope for a happy ending.

You will be forced to change your story another time soon Liesis. Even Utah is not that isolated a place that it will escape the overwhelming truth that Bush has lost this fight. When history is written by those with actual qualifications it will show that Bush lost it out of sheer incompetence with a few stars in their eyes lovers like you cheering him on as the flames rose higher.

Anonymous said...

My goodness! So much ad hominem. But elitist condescension is not argument. I guess we just have a basic difference of values here. Flaccid believes we should live for our own sake, and I believe in making sacrifices to protect the powerless. It certainly has been dangerous to call a spade a spade and depose the monstrous terrorist Saddam. I'm glad you finally conceded that he was a terrorist.
I guess this means you're simply opposed to the war on terrorism?

Okay, so Stan Lee is beneath you. How about Benjamin Franklin?
"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

9/11 demonstrated just how temporary our safety had been. How quickly we forget. And what of our brothers and sisters worldwide who haven't had even that temporary safety, let alone the liberty that is their birthright?

Looking out for number one is all well and good, but doing what's right is more important. With great power comes great responsibility. Call me more names if you must. The truth doesn't need your approval.

Why would I celebrate the destruction of Europe? I wish they could see that doing the right thing is also in their own best interest. It would be wonderful if they would fight for their own survival. I just don't see it happening.

Lysis said...

To continue our explanation of high school C.X. debate: After spewing their cards, the Negative team is required to offer some rebuttal speeches. Since they have neither challenged the Affirmative Plan nor present either REASON or EVIDENCE in support of their claims of “Mutually Assured Nuclear Destruction” all they can do is “reread” their discredited cards and screeching invectives at their opponents to burn up time and cover the fact that they have offered nothing constructive.

Once more Anonymous provides a perfect example of such a Negative Rebuttal.
If you have attended this round for a good laugh, this is a prime time to get a chuckle.
The first howler Anonymous offers is a red haring card that there is a Civil War in Iraq. This is truly the greatest disappointment for the Bush Haters since Katrina failed to kill 25,000 black people. The truth is that, despite the best efforts of terrorists, and the proclamations of Democratic Presidential candidates and has-been generals, Iraq is not at Civil War. The 30,000 victims of terror Anonymous sites are no more evidence of Civil War in Iraq than the 3,000 American’s killed on 9/11 are proof that the U.S. descended into Civil War following the Gore defeat in 2000.

Anonymous next launches on an “ad homonym” attack on someone (our new Anonymous) who had the audacity to point out the flaws in his flaccid position. References to comic books, Bazooka bubble gum and Slurpy drinks are the best arguments Anonymous can offer in rebuttal to the evidence and reason that has devastated his position.

His attack on Bush relations with Turkmenistan and other allies in the war on terror has no efficacy as to the effectiveness of Bush’s efforts to bring freedom to millions and safety to our nations. This demonstrates irrelevant name calling as a last ditch attempt at swaying a judge. It might work for the brain washed college crowd, no effect here.

Anonymous next attacks me (Lysis) rather than my arguments. I am unimpressed by his insults on me personally – (man-boy) (Faux News). Anonymous calls the liberation of Iraq a unilateral invasion. I would point out that 35 nations supported and many continue to support the liberation of Iraq. These allies include Japan, Britain, South Korea and most of the newly liberated former Communist Block. They at least are grateful for past ‘American sacrifices, and still remember the horrors of tyranny. I am afraid that much of “old Europe” were more interested in Saddam’s bribes than in world peace or the spread for freedom and the end of mass murder and genocidal abuse of minorities and women.

Anonymous’ final completely irrelevant and inaccurate attacks on Utah, slurs on NCLB, and negative comments about my history classes, show he can only “drop” the flood of reason and evidence marshaled against his spew and resort to name calling.

His last ditch attack on Bush is wishful thinking and revels entirely his motivation in proclaiming the defeat of Iraq and America in the war on terror. He has created for us an imagined “future history” which shows the dark hole of his dreams. How laughable; that while failing to produce a single shred of evidence to support his claim that Bush has failed in the present, he must “spew” a card created “whole cloth” in his imagined hopes in order to counter truth.

Mean while our “Anonymous who speaks truth to power” demonstrates how one should rebut the misdirection of the spewers. Thank you for your call to right action. I hope the future will listen to such calls to courageous and just struggle and not follow the road to defeat and destruction of Flaccid’s nightmare futurity.

Anonymous said...

Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert- avoided the draft, did not serve.

Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (ditch army?) - avoided the draft, did not serve.

House Majority Leader Tom Delay - avoided the draft, did not serve.

House Majority Whip Roy Blunt - did not serve.

Majority Whip Mitch McConnell - did not serve.

Rick Santorum, third ranking Republican in the Senate - did not serve.

Former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott - avoided the draft, did not serve.

GW Bush - decided that a six-year Nat'l Guard commitment really meant four years - went AWOL Still says he's "been to war." Huh?

VP Cheney - several deferments, the last by marriage because he "had other priorities than military service"

Former Att'y Gen. John Ashcroft - did not serve; received seven deferments to teach business classes.

Jeb Bush - Did not serve.

Karl Rove - Avoided the draft, did not serve.

Colin Powell - one of the "nearly" SANE voices on Iraq (or at least used to be). Watch him duck and cover and run away now!!!!

Lysis - draw your own conclusions.

Democrats

Representative Jack Murtha - distinguished 37 year career in the U.S. Marine Corps, bronze Star and two Purple hearts, retired from the Marine Corps Reserve as a colonel in 1990.

Representative Richard Gehardt, former House Minority Leader - Missouri Air National Guard, 1965-71 (six year obligation)

Representative David Bonior - Staff Sgt. United States Air Force

Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle - first Lt. US Air Force

Former Vice President Al Gore - enlisted August 1969; sent to Viet Nam 1971.

Former Senator Bob Kerrey U. S. Navy - Medal of Honor

Senator John Kerry, Lt. US Navy 1966-70 Silver Star, Bronze Star with Combat and three purple heart awards. (Lysis would rather believe partisan lies about Kerry than believe the US Navy itself - I wonder why?!!!!)

The American people were once asked about a picture of Richard Nixon -- Would you by a used car from this man?

I ask a similar question here -- would you choose to fight a war lead by a long list of sycophants and draft dodgers or fight terrorism with REAL LEADERS seasoned with REAL PATRIOTISM and MILITARY SERVICE. That would change failure into SUCCESS!!!!

Do Not confuse REAL Hawks with Vultures and pusilanimous "wannabe" "Milo Minderbinder" cowards, who lie about war because they've never been!!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm sincerely grateful for the previous military service of these cherry-picked Democrat examples (socialists who ironically helped us defeat Communism), but as the saying goes, what have you done for me lately? Who fights the terrorists today?

It's sad (and possibly dangerous) that these people don't seem to recognize that the terrorists are their enemies just as much as Bush's. Just because the leader of the fight is your political enemy doesn't mean you should oppose the fight. Saying "I, for one, welcome our new terrorist overlords" won't save you.

"Stand with anybody that stands right, stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong." --Abraham Lincoln

Reach Upward said...

There are so many myths being spewed here. I encourage agorites to read Frederick W. Kagan's excellent essay on the myths of the current war. Kagan, a military and war scholar, does a fine job of dispelling these myths.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is a MORON.

Long live GENIUS Anonymous!

Reach, if you want to read a great book about the current President may I recomend Republican warrior Bruce Bartlett's "Imposter." That should satisfactorily address all true conservative and democrats opinions on the subject G.W.B.

Rumpole said...

Lysis and Anonymy (mostly Anonymy),

It appears that one of the advantages of spew is the ability to avoid accountability for one’s words. That ability seems to be enhanced by having new and different judges when competing at different tournaments. A different judge hasn’t “heard it all before”.

No such advantage can be gained in either instance at the Agora. Certainly there are new participants joining in the debate here continually; however, there are also many “regulars” who have posted on an ongoing basis. These “regulars” seem to hold one another accountable for their spew. They also have long memories when it comes to the debate.

Can I offer an example? Anonymy, you have suggested on many occasions that there was no was no international support for President Bush’s actions. Now you post “Your celebrated hero's unilateral invasion of Iraq was the sequal to his unilateral undermining of NATO when he turned down the proffered help to go it alone. Now, with all humility, we are desperately begging for that help and outpouring of support again.”

Which is it, Anonymy? Was there an “outpouring of support” for the President’s actions, or was there no international support for our “celebrated hero's unilateral invasion?”

Could you also again clarify your accusation of “bait and switch?” You post “If Al Gore had been President in 2001 Osama bin-Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri would most likely be dead or in captivity right now.”

I asked you directly if you could say the same thing “again and do it with a straight face.” Apparently you can’t. You respond with “I have said repeatedly and correctly said that Al Gore would have invaded Afghanistan after September 11.” This, as Lysis has articulately pointed out, is not close to Gore’s actions, both past and present.

But that is beside the point. I didn’t ask you about invasion! I asked you to repeat, that with Gore at the helm, Osama would be dead or in captivity. I asked if you could do so with a straight face! Way to duck the question! Bait and switch at its best! I’ve got to hand it to you, Anonymy, you’ve got the moves down!

By the way, did you see CNN’s report that the Muslim turned Christian should be released in a couple of days? It’s got to be accurate, its one of your favorite sources! Don’t you find it ironic that those on your side of the debate will feel disappointment that this courageous individual will live? What is that choking sound that I hear? Please, chew a little slower!

Lysis said...

Reach; Thanks for the great information exposing the MYTHS about Iraq. I have taken the liberty of posting the “Tag Lines” to these myths below. I encourage all to read their debunking provided in the full article. I also note that these six MYTHS are the core of the Negative Spew against President’s Bush.

From the web page of the “American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research”

Myth 1: The Bush administration intends to keep substantial U.S. forces in Iraq for a long time and must be pressured to bring them home quickly.

Myth 2: The presence of U.S. forces in Iraq is the major source of the conflict there. Peace will return to Iraq as Americans leave.

Myth 3: The war in Iraq is a distraction from the war on terrorism.

Myth 4: The wisdom of invading Iraq in 2003 should be an important part of the discussion about what to do in Iraq today.

Myth 5: Most Iraqis ?want us out,? and we have lost the battle for ?hearts and minds.? Therefore, we cannot succeed.[12]

Myth 6: Setting a timetable for withdrawal will ?incentivize? the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country.

Anonymous, Who Speaks Truth to Power: Thank you for the great quotes. It is interesting to hear the most quoted spew line in the Democrat Play Book for this week – “Gross Incompetence”. Seems obvious where Flaccid is getting his briefs filled. You are right on when you point out that Flaccid has “cherry picked” the military carriers of the Democrats he has referenced. I would point out that there are plenty of Democrats whose military record is non existent. I would start the list with Former President Bill Clinton, who spent the War in London and Moscow. Your point that service now is what should be assessed is most excellent.

I also would ask Flaccid to consider who is fighting the evil doers now, and who is giving them aid and comfort. I note that today it came out that Saddam decided to ignore the UN demands because his assessment of American courage was based on his observation of American retreat in Somalia. Thanks Bill Clinton! Of course Osama said the same thing years ago.

Rumpole;

You referenced “bait and switch”. In debate jargon it’s called “drooping an argument”. You point out Flaccid’s dropping your refutation of his claim that Al Gore would have captured bin Laden. It is only one example of the endless dropped arguments in this spewer’s rants. In fact Anonymous (Flaccid’s) pointless listing of past military records is an example of his inability to answer any of the evidence and reason presented in support of President Bush and the success of the war in Iraq.

As V.P. Cheney pointed out today, the Democrats are running from the war as Clinton ran from Somalia, and as Flaccid has run from the arguments posted in this debate.

I would further note the dismal failure of the “anti-war” protests of the past weekend. 200 protesters in New York, 1000 total in L.A. and fifty in Salt Lake. Where is the ground swell of frustration with the war that Flaccid is hoping for? Seems to me that most Americans are supporting the war and the President and are encouraged by the continued successes in the War on Terror.