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Many of you criticized me for being wrong on some of the facts with respect to the Bush record, and rightly so. I've gone back to check the facts, and I made some mistakes. I'm embarrassed by the mistakes of course, and now that I have a better understanding of the facts, the Bush record doesn't seem as bad as I thought. I still haven't been convinced that he should be re-elected, but I'm not as opposed to him as I was a week ago.

In thinking about it, I realized that what upset me most about George Bush was the sense that I get sometimes that he's not as sincere in his faith as other Christians I know. It's upsetting because I know people who are TRULY committed to Christian principles, and their faith guides every aspect of their lives - from the jobs they take, to the neighborhood they live in, to where they shop, and what they do with their free time. To pin the label of Christian on yourself without challenging yourself to live up to the high standards of morality, honesty and integrity, would be wrong. You do a disservice to those who are truly committed. I'm not nearly so consistent as these people are, but then I don't present myself as a Christian.

It's also irresponsible to vote for a Presidential candidate based solely on a "feeling" - especially when you've access to so much information, and well developed opinions. I've got a few weeks before the election, and I'd like to use the time to make an informed decision. Will you help me?

In order to encourage a dialog, I'm going to pick just one point-of-concern that I have, and lay out the facts as I've come to understand them. I'll also present my opinion on the issue, based on those facts. I'm also including some information about the sources I used to garner the facts. My hope is that those of you out there who support Bush will care enough to respond, and give me some more to think about. Specifically, I'd like for you to:

A. Point out and errors/mistakes in the facts that I present

B. Offer any additional facts that you think are relevant

C. Take all of the facts as you understand them, and present your opinion based on those facts

It's a bit much I know, but this election is especially important, so I'm hoping that some of you will care enough about the outcome to make a serious effort. I understand that it may take a day or so to gather facts, and get your thoughts down on paper - and that's okay. I only ask that if you plan on responding, but need time to frame an adequate response, just chime in with a quick comment saying as much. I'd hate to feel l ike I was left "hanging". If I get a response on this one issue, I'll do the same thing with more issues.

I've chosen the Yellowcake Uranium and Niger Story as my first issue.

Sources:

an article "WHO LIED TO WHOM? " by Seymour M. Hersh in New Yorker (march 2003)
an article "Evolving Untruths - A Timeline: How Did False Evidence Make It to the President?" it's a timeline presented by ABC. it can be found on ABC.com
an article "Senate Intelligence Committee report: What Joseph Wilson didn't’t tell the public about his search for the ‘truth’ on reports Saddam’s Iraq wanted to buy uranium yellowcake from Niger, Africa" http://frankwarner.typepad.com/ (July 14, 2004)

Facts:

Rumors about Iraq purchasing/attempting to purchase uranium surfaced some time before January 2002.

In Feb 2002, Ambassador Joe Wilson is sent to investigate. He concludes that the claim is "bogus and unrealistic". He reports his finding to the CIA in March 2002.

In Sep 2002, the British publish a dossier that includes the Niger/uranium story - even though the CIA tried

to persuade the British to not use the story, because it wasn't credible.

In Oct 2002 the CIA publishes an intelligence dossier that intentionally omits the Niger story.

in the weeks leading up to the 2003 State of the Union address, several Bush administration officials make statements that imply that Iraq was trying to purchase uranium. This is even after the Joe Wilson found the claims to be less than credible, and the CIA decided to remove them from its published intel report.

During the State of the Union address, the President presents the yellowcake story, and sites the British as the source. He does not mention the CIA-sponsored investigation taken up by Joe Wilson. He does not mention that the CIA stripped language about the Niger/Iraq uranium story from its own intel report.

Since the State of the Union speech, the story has been discredited further.

The questions for me are as follows:

Did the president have a good-faith basis on which to make the assertions?
Did the President have an obligation to present the entire truth as he knew it?
Did the President actually know that the CIA didn't think the story was credible?

I'm not so sure that Bush intended to mislead us, but my "gut" tells me he knew more than he let on about. I'm open to persuasion; PLEASE comment.


------
Robert

(Whatever you think about the writing, whatever you do, PLEASE take the time to comment. I'm looking for constructive critism; blocks upon which I can build. THANKS!!! rajengineer)



Comments

The following comments are for "I was Wrong about the Facts, and I'm open to Persuasion"
by rajengineer

Good questions
There is not a single person here that can answer your questions except by opinion, because we are not privy to the information and the judgements of the administration. It is unfortunate that the people that can answer your questions are in the administration that has been called into question in the first place.
So here's my opinion.
Here's what I tell all my liberal peers, calling them out into the open, either you believe Bush is a liar or you don't. If he lied so that we could go to war for oil, or for haliburton, or for any other conceit, that makes him an evil man. So again I'd ask, do you believe Bush is an evil man or not? The Kerry campain is hedging their bets on you buying this muck about conspiracies and lies.
But there's a better explaination that any sane person with an IQ of 60 can understand (which leaves out several liberals I've talked to.) Bush came into the office not as a nation builder; he's now a nation builder. Is this a flip-flop, like Kerry would say (totally on the defensive) or is this his true character. Neither. It's because when we were hit on 9/11 he rounded up his administration and looked at the root of the problem. He changed his role to fit the threat. Instead of sending scuds he looked at the big picture. Here's the thing, the big picture is bigger than he can tell us. How do I know this? For one, because he hasn't mentioned Israel, but that's a whole other topic.

your question was:
Did the president have a good-faith basis on which to make the assertions?
Iraq is a pre-emptive strike. That means whether or not there were WMD or a immediate threat, the looming threat posed a significant enough risk that both Bush, Blair and Austrailian Prime minister (just today re-elected by slim margin) risked thier career over it. Now if you dissagree with pre-emptive, as many do, that's an argument one can make. But waiting while Sadam acquired money from his oil-for-food fraud with France, Russia and Germany (funny, didn't they vote against the war too...?) was asking for trouble. A side note, Kerry said in the debate that Bush neglected the threats of a nuclear Iran and N. Korea (after complaining about going into Iraq.) The reason is obvious: Bush hopes to pressure these countries, whereas Iraq had already scoffed at the 'pressure' of 17 or so UN resolutions.

Did the President have an obligation to present the entire truth as he knew it?
In my opinion, no way. National security and all that. If he thought for certain there were no WMD's then he'd be the first at the time to know it, because even Kerry thought as much. I don't know the sources you have here, but based on the other political sources of the time, like Kerry, Clinton, British intelligence, ect..., the consensus was a WMD program was still underway at the time in Iraq (and I personally think they are hidden in Seria, and I think Bush knows this, and I think he'd be stupid to tell us at this time)

Did the President actually know that the CIA didn't think the story was credible?
It's possible, it's also possible he didn't. It doesn't matter in the end, because it's like the case for global warming. "Well, Mr. President, we have circumstantial evidence that the earth might get warmer through greehouse emissions. Now we're not certain what levels are needed to effect a climate change, we don't know what the climate change will be, if any. But, we can cut our greenhouse emisions by strangling our energy output, reducing our economic growth, and raising the price of cars by a few thousand." Ok, this never happened, and a good thing (I don't believe in GW myself). But let's say water around the globe rose a few feet one year. That might sink New Orleans, amoung other things. I think it might be a wake up call for action...kinda like, oh maybe...9/11? Think about it, "Well, Mr. President, there is circumstantial evidence there might be WMD in Iraq. We don't know how much, we don't know what extent. But we could go in there and find out if we spent money on a war, sent our troops in to get shot, and try to build a democracy in an arabic region." Clinton knew this, and didn't act because the cost was too high for a threat that wasn't apparent. But because of 9/11 and the asymetric threat of terror, Bush decided the cost was worth it. You can disagree with that, but don't assume he's manipulating facts to rush into a war for no reason. That's just calling him an evil man.


On the side: I think it's discusting that so much negative attention has been put on this noble effort in Iraq. Libs whine about causalties, and they are saddening, but did you know that 40,000 americans die of the flu each year. Kinda makes Iraq look silly, doesn't it. Why aren't we mad at the shortage of vacine this year. Maybe cause we can't bash bush on that one....

Lastly, I read you're a republican and my jaw dropped. You want fiscal conservative, yet you'll vote for Kerry. Are you NUTS?!! Bush at least has a plan to privatize Social Security and provide Health Care through the capitalistic system as opposed to a socialist system. Look at the issues....you won't vote for Kerry in the end.

ok, I'm tired and done.
Truth

( Posted by: Malthis [Member] On: October 10, 2004 )

the facts
Thanks Claire... :-)

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 10, 2004 )

Reply to Malthis
I don't think Bush went to war with Iraq JUST for oil, or for Haliburton or WMD. I think that he saw how Osama and company were able to find refuge in a country like Afganistan, and he realized that if Saddam was allowed to stay in power, he could've/would've offered safe-haven to Osama. In doing this, he would've INSTANTLY raised his status among many of his middle-eastern neighbors, and many Muslims around the world. I GET the threat.

I also understand that there has to be a LEGAL JUSTIFICATION for going to war, and while Saddam's wishy-washy, on-again/off-again attitude towards the UN was criminally stupid - it didn't rise to the level of an imminent threat. Even President Bush acknowledges this; he now calls it a "gathering threat". If there is no imminent threat, then a country has to have UN approval to go to war with another country. It's the law that WE (as a nation) agreed to.

The UN resolutions regarding Iraq didn't explicitly threaten Saddam with war, but it was implied. Several nations took this implied threat as a legal authorization for war. The UN Secretary General and most of the UN body did not. So the question is this - Does a country (or a coalition of countries) have the right to inforce UN resolutions in a way that the UN body itself doesn't agree with? If the answer is "no", then we were wrong. If we were wrong then what we did was criminal.

If the answer is "yes" then look out - because there are a host of UN resolutions that go back to the late 40's and 50's concerning the Palestine-Israel conflict, and we've created a precident that allows for an Arab/Muslim coalition to gather itself and attack Israel to force it to comply with the resolutions. I don't think that it'll happen any time soon; it'll probably be something for my grandkids to worry about; kinda like how short-sighted politicians (on the left and the right) made decisions to support tyrants and dictators over democratically-elected governments, because the democratically-elected governments espoused policies that were not in (short-term/mid-term) US interests.

Now the oil issue and the Haliburton issue - they're ancillary concerns for me. The administration should've had a more effective strategy in place to deal with the questions. To not have planned for such an obvious response was just bad politics.

The economy sucks. Bush's tax cuts are nothing more than the same trickle-down economics that Reagan offered us. Bush Sr. called them "voodoo" economics, remember? He was right. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the Democrats chiding Bush Sr. for breaking the "no new taxes, read my lips" pledge was disingenuous. His modest increase in taxes was enough to start to pay down the debt, and it minimized the effects of that recession. It was a very centrist ecomonic policy. It was so good, the Democrats kept it when they came to power. That's a good conservative economic policy. The recession is not Bush's fault; but he is responsible for how he manages/mismanages it.

There are also some provisions in the Patriot Act that concern me. I've heard the arguments that the abuses are overstated, and I'm sure they are. Still, I'm concerned about the one or two abusive uses that WEREN'T overstated. That, plus the whole Gitmo thing, and US citizens being held as enemy combatants because we CAN'T make the case in civilian courts - it scares me.

The idea of free-speech zones bothers me too. I'm not talking about the loyalty pledges that folks sign at rallies etc... I'm talking about areas that are designated for protesters of Bush policies - and then telling people with unfavorable signs etc... that they can't line up with Bush supporters. The whole country is a FREE SPEECH ZONE.

Now, my list of complaints/gripes about Clinton were LEGION. I've got a long list of "questions" about Kerry too. But still...

The one thing I know about Kerry to be true is this - the people of Mass. KEEP voting him in, so he must be serving THEM in a way that THEY find pleasing. I want the same from a President, and I didn't get it from Bush.

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 10, 2004 )

United Nitwits
Great one about enforcing former UN resolutions would have created an Arab block to destroy Israel. That was awesome, and makes the case for my next point.

I'm proud that Bush follows a long tradition of using the UN, but not relying on it. History is that if America had not broken with the international opinion and the UN on the issue of an Israeli state it is likely there would never have been an Israeli state. This is a fact everyone who is reading. It wasn't until America stepped up and acknowledged Israels right to exist that the international community backed off. This is one of the main reasons America is linked with Israel today by the Islamic fundamentalists.
On that, yes the arabs have been a block, the 6 day war of 1967 is an example. But to enforce UN resolutions you need to have the UN authority. The arabs were independent of the UN, but I never hear anyone calling them criminals (I suspect we don't want to offend them, especially since they were trounced) Yet because we are a superpower we are scrutinized for our arguably humane actions.

The UN is not a world government, and new movements like the world court, which the administration opposed and does not recognize, do not serve our interests. There is no law in America that says we need permission. That's a Kerry platform, and relatively new in American politics. In the UN's eyes we were criminal, because the UN did not approve our action as an entire body. Does that mean we are criminal? By whose standards, cause I certainly don't trust the UN's. IF anything the post-cold war's UN has tried to marginalize our authority in the world, pandering to minor groups like Arafat in some sort of minority rights mentality.

Here it is, J.F.K, may peace be upon him(jk), had his bay of pigs. That didn't require a resolution, and there wasn't a outright danger. You could almost say it was a 'gathering threat' And it failed, unfortunately. Only a little while latter we had the most dangerous moment in American/world history (and that's not an opinion.) The Cuban missle crisis. It made this whole WMD look pretty silly, when you've soviet nukes at your doorstep. And it could have been averted had the bay of pigs worked. Many critisized J.F.K. for the BoP, but I think he and Bush had something in common here. At least they tried.

In closing, if you do think our actions make us international criminals then I do highly recommend Kerry, because that is his stance. also Bush is a Regan conservative, so that's what you should expect from his fiscal policy. So based on those two things, perhaps you might vote Kerry after all. I wouldn't. It's a dangerous gamble.

Other issue to adress later, perhaps.
Truth

( Posted by: malthis [Member] On: October 10, 2004 )

Malthis...
I appreciate your taking the time to respond, but you still haven't answered my questions. What I’d like to hear from a die-hard Bush supporter are defensible arguments about these questions, and I haven’t gotten that yet.

I didn't say that the UN was the world government. It’s basically a all-volunteer club of nations, set up to resolve conflicts between nations, BEFORE they come to war. Now, I'm no FAN of the UN (you’ll pick up on that later), but the fact is, we are members; we've signed all of the treaties etc... and we're subject to the same rules as all other members. If you don't like the rules, them cancel your membership. Leave the club.

I'm a bit of a history buff, and I read more that I write - so I did some reading.

The rules concerning the use of force, declaring war, and conduct during war are clearly spelled out in UN articles 33, 2131 and 2141 (there's also the Kellogg-Briand pact from 1928 or 1929 - it preceded the UN, and it's largely forgotten, but still...) When I read the articles, it looks to me like we’re wrong.

With that, I’ll restate my question:

Now, there's no question that we did use the UN resolutions as PART of the justification for war (not the entire justification, but part). Our position was/is that if the UN is to be effective, it has to follow up threats with credible action. That's the Bush position. In light of the fact that the UN body itself didn’t agree with the war, could we enforce UN resolutions in a way that the UN body did not agree with?

First, I’d like a “yes” or “no” answer to the question.

If your answer is “yes”, and you have an argument about how this was special situation that wouldn’t set a precedent for other countries/coalitions to follow, I’d love to hear it. If you think that it would set a precedent, but no other countries would dare to use it as a precedent, becuase we'd CRUSH 'em, then say so.

If your answer is “no”, we didn't have the legal right - but you think that there are special circumstances that excuses our actions, spell it out. For instance, maybe you think that our behavior is “technically” criminal but morally justified; if so, make the case.

I’m open-minded, but I can’t get a friend from the right to either say why it wasn’t criminal, or if it was criminal, why it shouldn’t matter. I don’t know about you, but I can’t TAKE a position that I can’t defend.

Here are few comments about some of the other issues you raised.

You’re right; the US doesn’t have a long history of relying on the UN to resolve conflicts for US. There was the Cuban Missile Crisis, (and I’m sure that there have been small issues) but that’s the only conflict that really comes to mind.

Israel was created as an act of the UN. As an interesting side note, many of the western countries that supported the creation of Israel did it for selfish, racist reasons. It was immediately after WWII, and they didn't want an influx of displaced Jews rushing their borders. Go back and read some of the transcripts from the UN floor etc… It’s tragic and disturbing.

If you want to talk about the true origins of the middle-east conflict, we can. We can go back to how the Europeans divided up the old Ottoman Empire and installed the tyrannical kings in Syria, Iran, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. We can go back further than that, to the Treaty of Balfour, if you like.
My basic take on it is this:

You've got one group of people who have a history of suffering thru discrimination and oppression, who took a "once in a lifetime" chance to get a nation of their own. Who can blame them? Then there's another group of people who lived a decidedly un-western, nomadic lifestyle, but were promised that in return for helping defeat the Germans in WWII, they'd be allowed to establish a state of their own. They were both promised the same land. One house, promised to two families. It's a problem created largely by the UN and WWII Allies. I can present you with raw facts/timeline etc… if you like.

Lastly, I understand that you may have a hard time understanding why I'm a Republican, so I'll tell you. The Bush platform before 9/11 was a dream for me. A plan to deal with Affirmation Action as a comprehensive problem requiring a comprehensive solution; a solution that would lead to a truly level playing field, and eliminate the need for Afirmative Action. Better schools, and vouchers that give parents choices. His ideas in immigration reform were pretty progressive too. A guest-worker program and a fast-track toward legalization. His plan to rework the nation's power grid was awesome. I exploring in Alaska for oil, and developing alternative fuel sources - I was for that too.

I was pleased, and proud when our boy showed up that Democratic retreat in early 2000. Reaching across the aisle to get "it" done. Cool.

9/11 changed a lot. It changed the country. It changed the world. It changed Bush; he's not the same man I voted for.

I don't owe him loyalty; he owes it to me. I don't represent the party. The party should represent ME.

Real Answers to real Questions, please.

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 10, 2004 )

a Bush for all seasons
Good information in your last comment. To answer your specific question:

--In light of the fact that the UN body itself didn’t agree with the war, could we enforce UN resolutions in a way that the UN body did not agree with?

I'd say 'no.' The fact that we acted on our own does not mean we acted for reasons other than the resolutions, but it means we can't represent them. It becomes Our issue.

--(if) we didn't have the legal right - but you think that there are special circumstances that excuses our actions, (then) spell it out

I do not believe it is criminal because we do not need the UN to make it legal. There is no 'legal;' if there were the UN would be a world governing authority of some kind, which it isn't. Now perhaps I should read the UN material you mentioned, and perhaps I would be enlightened, but my current view is we didn't need the UN to invade cuba, we won't need it to defend Taiwan should it be attacked by China, and the list goes on and on about what we can do without the UN. Because we don't need their authority. Nowhere is this more evident than NATO. But this is post-cold war, and it seems NATO is being downplayed for a more 'coalition' force, mandated by the UN (like the first Gulf war.) This is a good thing...but it is not the required thing. That is my stance on the issue.

On your last point, I feel the same way about the switch from Bush's initial platform to his subsequent diversions and concessions, though perhaps not as strongly as you. But he is not a different man, he is a man in the midst of compromise with a divided senate and in the midst of an unexpected duty to protect our country. You must vote him in again, so that his second term can be one of focusing on those issues that got left behind. There isn't anyone else to represent you on the ballot, so stop whining (no offense.) The worst thing you can do is throw out the baby with the bathwater.

I've enjoyed these discussions and hope they've been of help to you, as they've been to me in forcing me to write out my beliefs. This will be my last response on this post as I am spending way too much time on it. ;-) Take care.

Truth.

P.S. to Claire, thank you for your wonderful complement.

( Posted by: malthis [Member] On: October 11, 2004 )

re: I was Wrong
Hi there,

It takes great character to admit when your wrong and even more so, to set out to correct it. In fact, I wish our current president would do half as much. As to your story,I disagree with you in regards to Bush's lack of religious sincerity. In fact, my problem is that he is so religious it clouds his judgement...instead of looking for facts, he listens to a higher voice. Personaly, I'd rather have a president who looks at facts---which is basically what you said about choosing a candidate.

Also, I liked the data you added about the Nigerian stuff. Sometimes its helpful to see it in timeline form.

In response to Malthis, I don't know where you get your information, but it sounds like you read Republican talking points. First, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. It was not a terrorist haven until after our invasion. The Oil-for-Food scandal is a smoke screen designed to descredit the UN, because they were right about the Iraq invasion and Bush was wrong. Also, many Americans were taking part in the Oil-for-Food scandal as well as some Texas republicans...though fox news often leaves that out...so we are just as guilty as the French and Germans---we are as tainted by it as anyone else.

As for the greenhouse effects, we have more than circumstantial evidence...in fact, virtually everyone in the world EXCEPT US republicans and their oil producing supporters believe in greenhouse gases and how they are destroying our environment---In Science, things move from theory to law when everyone agrees...we're just waiting on the republicans. Of course, they have way too much invested in oil to ever accept greenhouse effect.

Claire, I don't know why you think that Kerry can't change foreign policy, but he obviously can. Bush changed it for the worse, why can't Kerry change it for the better? I assume he'll start by not insulting foreign countries and leaders and do something every other president except this one has done---HE'LL talk to them. Not a novel concept, but one any competent president should employ.

In response to the Patriot act, the most scary and Nazi-ist part, is that a gov't agent,with court approval, can label you a terrorist and take you away with out ever allowing you to see a lawyer or a judge...EVER! And yes that has happened.

One last thing, Republicans haven't been fiscally conservative in 30 years...Not Reagan, Not Bush Sr. or JR. Infact the last fiscally conservative president we had was Clinton...remember he paid down the debt and balanced the budget and put the extra social security money we pay aside to save the program...Bush gave it back to "wealthy" people in the form of tax cuts...virtually dooming the program.

Bye,

Pythagoras

( Posted by: Pythagoras [Member] On: October 11, 2004 )

malthis again...
I know what you mean when you say it takes too mnuch; heck, it was awfully good of you to spend as much time on it as you did.

You offer a different point-of-view, and you give me some things to think about...

No Matter who wins this election, Im looking forward to the McCain/Powell ticket in 2008...

Thanks again, and it was good to "meet" you.... :-)

RAJ

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 11, 2004 )

reply to Pythagoras
Pythagoras,

Thank you for your comment. I hadn't cared too much about greenhouse gases myself, but I'm gonna go back and look at some facts. I'm off to work now, and running late at that; so I'll revisit your comments in a while, and reply further.

One thing when Claire says Kerry can't change foreign policy, I get the impression that she means no matter who the President is, we 're locked in this war on terror, and the overall policy will be the same. I think there's room on the margins for change, but the core of any policy we be largely the same as Bush's. Kerry could have a more nuanced execution, and maybe better planning, but the overall policy will stay the same.

I kinda believe that too, which is why I say that I'm not voting FOR Kerry so much as I'm thinking about voting AGAINST Bush...

Thanks, and I lookforward to reading your reply...

RAJ


( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 11, 2004 )

foreign policy
I don't believe we're locked into anything in our War on Terror. First, you can't fight terror because terrorism is a tactic not a place, a person or a country. It makes a great sound bite, but as a plan, its stupid---and unwinable...its like bottling time, it can't happen.

So what can we do. First, we can take up a foreign policy approach that is humble---as Bush promised the first time he ran for office. We can treat people of the world with kindness and dare I say, respect. The kindling for terrorism is hate...make less people hate you...you have less terrorism.

Next, we can go to Africa and stablize it. Spread some water, food and medicine...sure there's not much oil there, but if you want people around the world to respect you, you can show a little empathy. (Its kind of hard for other countries to believe we want to spread freedom when the first and only thing we safe guard in Iraq is the oil ministry and its pipelines.)

Next, we need to start re-building bridges with countries of Europe, you know--our allies. After all, what's good for us is good for them. And, its much harder to fight a group then it is to fight one entity no matter how powerful it is.

After that, we place our "pre-emptive" tactics on hold. If you threaten the world with unadulterated violence, they will respond by stockpiling nuclear weapons (see Iraq and N. Korea)...and we need to re-build the UN's credibility. Remember, we created the UN so our soldiers wouldn't have to die, but this president is too niave to understand that.

Lastly, we go after TERRORIST groups...its sounds simple, but this dope created more terrorists by invading Iraq and allowing al Queda to spread like a cancer. At the time of 9-11, al Queda had a few thousand operatives...now it has something close to 20,000...depending on who's doing the estimating.

I believe if you apply these measures the world will be safer and so will we. But you need a foreign policy approach based on reason...not sound bites.

We are not locked into to anything.

Pythagoras

( Posted by: Pythagoras [Member] On: October 11, 2004 )

I agree...
Dude,

If I wasn't already married... lol

I agree with you totally. I couldn't have said it better myself.

Robert

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: October 11, 2004 )

Its all in the interpretation
How easy it is for everyone to all have the same facts yet come to different conclusions. As I see it you just concluded. This happens all the time in life and in our legal system. I've seen any precedent for a "100% certainty standard."

Sometimes we conclude based upon patterns, sometimes based upon what we consider the likelihood to be, sometimes we concluded based on the opinions and character of others, sometimes we conclude based on lack of any other reasonable explanation, and sometimes we conclude (some might say know) based on first-hand experience.

I do not find this remark unfair:

"When you make definite declarative statements about “what you know”, and then use “what you know” to invade another country, you HAVE to be right. If you were wrong, then admit it. CHRISTIANS admit mistakes."

There are certain issues of responsibility, accountability, and competence should compel any leader to distinguish between belief and knowledge. Legal standards demand as much. Leadership suggests that this should be done freely.

I am saying that any leader would submit themself to a more stringent standard than that implied by the letter of the law, going one step further, by internalizing the spirit of the law in an effort to maintain trust. That's what leaders do.

Top jobs are always where the buck stops. What are we to think of management that had been provided with all sorts of information casting doubt upon claims they were promulgating? I'm being really careful here...that information was somewhere, they might not have read it. If they did not then my question is why not. That is a management issue.

Certainly we can make nice with Bush if we cannot prove he knew he was the superior of those around him who did know.

This bothers me and if the very best job was not done to cross reference and collate information from a source deemed unreliable, what does that imply?

Ethos, logos, and pathos aside with circumstantial evidence people believe what they want to believe.

Another legal standard is preponderance of evidence. Multiple sources of unrelated, independent bad intelligence are just a little too much for coincidence to some:

- Aluminum artillery tubes misdiagnosed as nuclear related;
- Forgeries alleging Iraqi attempts to obtain uranium in Africa;
- Tall tales from a drunken defector about mobile biological weapons laboratories;
- Bogus warnings that Iraqi forces could fire WMD-tipped missiles within 45 minutes of an order to do so;
- Dodgy dossiers fabricated in London; and
A U.S. National Intelligence Estimate thrown in for good measure.

Personally I find the simplistic "We were fooled just like you were" excuse highly suspicious, surpassing the legal standard of reasonable doubt, and do not believe that your conclusions were unreasonable.

You are free to conclude as you choose, as well you should be. Any DA would have agreed with your conclusion. Others are free to conclude otherwise.

There is no requirement for you to have witness something personally to have concluded as you had.

Even if I had concluded differently I am unable to rationally ignore the competence issues that leap out at me. I feel no more compelled to suspend belief that I would to avoid a concerted effort to understand all possible evidence and evaluate sources of that evidence.

Even legality does not pretend to be more than process and belief. That is why I find terse statements that of "You are wrong" as telling.

You just concluded based on the evidence as you saw it. So did millions if not billions worldwide. There is nothing wrong or unusual about that.



( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 8, 2006 )

your premise was...
a violation of your Christian morality. I hear you loud and clear. Aristotle defined three rhetorical styles with ethos, or the character of the speaker being one.

I have formed my opinion (which I am entitled to) of character from a wide variety of independently verifiable documented incidents.

Before I am accused of piling on, gleeful criticism, or grasping at straws, or just being vindictive I'll say that I take no joy in this, it does not mean that I have more sympathy for a murderer than the murdered, and I not believe that criminals should not be punished. Aside from that feel free to draw your own conclusions.

My point in presenting this is that there are many accounts of which to draw conclusions of our Presidents character. That seems relevant because you had raised the same issues of character with respect to Christian tenets yourself.

In early August 1999, then Presidential candidate Governor George W. Bush mocked Karla Tucker's plea for clemency during an interview with Talk Magazine. Bush mentioned that he had watched Larry King's interview with Karla Tucker from Texas Death Row.

"I didn't meet with Larry King either when he came down for it," Bush told the magazine. "I watched his interview with (Tucker), though. He asked her real difficult questions, like, `What would you say to Governor Bush?' "

The Talk reporter asked how she answered.
" `Please,' Bush whimpers, his lips pursed in mock desperation, `don't kill me,' " according to the magazine.
Here's the relevant clip of the interview from the September 1999 issue of Talk Magazine.

GOP Presidental Primary Opponent Gary Bauer critisized Bush for these comments.
"I think it is nothing short of unbelievable that the governor of a major state running for president thought it was acceptable to mock a woman he decided to put to death," Bauer said of Bush.

( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 8, 2006 )

reply to ppat comment
ppat-

This is such an OLD posting; I thought it was DEAD and BURIED... lol

Thank You for resurrecting it; I wish you were around in Oct 04, when I was making my case... :-)

There were two really good things that came out of the initial exchange:

The first, is that I'd been operating under the assumption that the site (lit.org) probably had a lot of liberal, nonreligious, leftwing thinkers - with fairly elitist attitudes. I figured that I - a self-proclaimed Republican with my centrist views - would be a "lone voice on the right". In this exchange, I was proven wrong. It made me admit to myself that I'd bought into a few stereotypes and I'd developed a sense of expectation based on the stereotypes. I felt silly behind it.

The second good thing to come out of it dealt directly with the opinion piece. With all the controversy/comments I got, I was forced to go back and REALLY check facts. I had to be sure that the facts could support my opinion.

I still feel now, as I felt then re: the war. Reading YOUR comments just bolstered my confidence in my opinion.

THANKS!! :-)

( Posted by: rajengineer [Member] On: May 8, 2006 )

welcome...
...you are. The ideas are timeless. Downing street memos support your conclusions 100%. Like I say I take no joy in any of this but the denial of those in face of overwhelming evidence is why I write. They are my raw materials and offer no shortage of examples. The "strict father" model offers 60% of the total explanation. People are doing what they think they are supposed to do to be a "good person", except think for themselves.

There is so much humor and human frailty manifest in the eagerness to relinquish the smell test for BS. After I get all my current ideas on paper I would like to focus more on humor. There is so much to be found.

With humor, "right people" are the most fun. I do software and there is no shortage of examples there. I know someone who HAS TO BE RIGHT. When he is wrong it tears him up. He twists, turns, bobs, and weaves in his efforts to turn being wrong into being right. It is indeed a sight to behold not too far off from the 360-degree head rotation in the Exorcist.

You are not in the minority in your concerns abouut the presidency. The idea that one sect owns the cross has really intimidated those who are not quite religious but who like to be respectful and avoid treading on other's icons. People are slowly coming to realize that Christian != Christian in all cases...there are flavors involved. I think "what would Jesus have done" is a legitimate question and the answers vary widely among Christians. Other questions like "Who would Jesus bomb" and "Who would Jesus torture" are equally legitimate but really piss some people off. I wonder why?

These are other reasons why I write.

( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 8, 2006 )

P.S.
From the responses you had gotten you ran into a few "right people" who, IMHO (that's In My Humble Opinion) are in denial. Wait, I take that back...given their need for an almost impossibly high standard far exceeding the legal one, it is clear to most that they have some structural resistance to being moved by the facts in this particular case. Just seeing their interpretation of the facts was very interesting. There is good writing material here.

( Posted by: ppatt [Member] On: May 8, 2006 )





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