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Thread: Trying Taliban for Warcrimes

  1. #1 Trying Taliban for Warcrimes 
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    During and leading up to the initial invasion of Iraq, there was concern that the enemy might resort to the use of biological agents, so a big propaganda campaign was initiated, dropping fliers and such to inform enemy officers that if they used those weapons and their side didn't win, they would be tried as war criminals in the aftermath. Clearly it worked, and the enemy didn't try any of that on us (though I'm somewhat unclear as to whether it turned out they even had that capability or not.)

    Would a similar tactic work against Taliban leadership in the matter of intimidating civilians? If we made it clear to them that harming a civilian for any reason other than those that we consider valid (such as self defense or accidental collateral damage) would be considered a war crime after the war is over, do you think it would influence their behavior in this area?

    What if we gave the local villagers digital cameras (with a broadcast feature in areas where we think we could intercept the signal), so they could document it when Taliban agents hurt them?


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    Use of biological and chemical or nuclear is not considered a war crime--it's what you do with them that counts. There have been several proposals to make all of them but the US has largely blocked the effort because we've always clung to the idea of having the right to strike with nukes.

    I think we sometimes assume the Taliban's primary means to get cooperation is to intimidate the locals--my guess it it's actually somewhat rare tactic. And yes we should use every tool to sort out who's part of the insurgency and who isn't and as you correctly point out local sources are the best sources as long as their verified. In the very beginning of the war tribal leaders used our gullibility to punish other rival tribes--we've learned a lot since then.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox

    I think we sometimes assume the Taliban's primary means to get cooperation is to intimidate the locals--my guess it it's actually somewhat rare tactic.
    You think maybe the locals overplay the "they'd kill us if we cooperated" card with US soldiers sometimes? Like maybe they just plain don't want to cooperate and the supposed threat of death is just an excuse so we won't press the issue?

    I only know what I learn from documentaries and such (and occasionally friends who've been over there.... but most of my friends went to Iraq, not Afghanistan). In this documentary by National Geographic "Inside the Green Beret" they talk multiple times about how the people are putting their lives in peril by talking to soldiers. But that was a few years ago, so maybe it's like you say: the military has learned better? Maybe it was a ruse, and those peoples' lives really weren't in quite as much jeopardy as they let on.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=grTexmR7o7s (link for part one)

    I think it just bugs me that the American public doesn't consider that the Taliban should be just as accountable not to cause civilian deaths as our own forces, or maybe even more accountable since those are supposed to be their own civilians.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Use of biological and chemical or nuclear is not considered a war crime--it's what you do with them that counts.
    Absolutely. One can commit war crimes with shoe laces -- more easily if one is on the side that loses. And one can save lives with nuclear weapons -- which is what the U.S. did in WWII. It helps the case if one wins.
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  6. #5  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    Use of biological and chemical or nuclear is not considered a war crime--it's what you do with them that counts.
    Absolutely. One can commit war crimes with shoe laces -- more easily if one is on the side that loses. And one can save lives with nuclear weapons -- which is what the U.S. did in WWII. It helps the case if one wins.
    That's the point, then. No matter whether we win or lose we can still be vindictive. If we have the name and face of a person who is known to have committed something we consider a war crime, we should make it clear that they will be prosecuted even after the war is over, regardless of the outcome, for the rest of their lives.

    That way they understand there is no true end to the war for them. Even if we fully withdraw our troops, any time after that we could still send special forces to his house to arrest and/or kill him. In other words: he's on the losing side of the war even if he wins. (And we should similarly make it clear that those who don't commit war crimes will be forgiven for any wrongdoing after hostilities have ceased.)
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    About the last thing they care about it being convicted in some Westernized court. Their people are near starvation, the great Satin is in their house and most have been willing to die before surrender to assert their views. History is also in their side--by a long shot.
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    Yeah. I guess they know we can't back up our threats. Even with a photograph of the guilty party, what are the odds we're ever going to find that guy? It's the same problem as always, right? 30 million people in Afghanistan and we're looking for a few terrorists. Good luck for us.

    What effect would it have if we put a bounty on the guy? You think people over there are greedy enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    About the last thing they care about it being convicted in some Westernized court. Their people are near starvation, the great Satin is in their house and most have been willing to die before surrender to assert their views. History is also in their side--by a long shot.
    Reminds me of the siege of Masada. Do think Afghans are that fanatical?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masada#...t_of_the_siege
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    I think this concept if falling prey to what I call the "fallacy of the unobtainable perfect result." Who says the result has to be perfect in order to be useful?

    If we have a guy on camera, or otherwise hold strong evidence they've committed a war crime against Afghan civilians, and we put Wanted posters all over the place detailing his crimes (and the evidence), and saying that we want him in custody, that's a PR victory. Afghans seeing that sing are forced to accept that we don't just want him because we're evil Americans and he has dared to oppose us.

    So..... maybe we never catch him. All the better for us. The terrorists look bad for harboring him. They look like they're showing approval for his war crimes.
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    What the OP proposes is rule by fear against the Taliban. By telling them "If you kill civilians we will try you for war crimes" you are simply trying to control them through fear of punishment. I do not believe such a thing can work, not only as the Taliban do not fear punishment in the first place, but also because even if such a thing did work you would simply be repressing their true feelings. If they are able and willing to kill civilians yet did not do so out of fear of punishment then they are still just as dangerous, if not more so, because their willingness to attack is kept 'bottled up'.
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    If they are able and willing to kill civilians yet did not do so out of fear of punishment then they are still just as dangerous, if not more so, because their willingness to attack is kept 'bottled up'.
    Who gives a damn what motivates them to cease killing civilians so long as they do cease ?

    This is the most ridiculous statement that I have seen in a long time. What's next, concern for the self-esteem of the Taliban ?

    Having said that I do prefer that they stop for physical reasons -- like body temperature assuming room temperature.
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    You have a lot of anger towards them. That makes your opinions very biased. This is not about concern for the Taliban, this is about rule of law. Law works by fear of punishment, if they stop through that fear it will only make them more dangerous. A culture full of criminals who don't act and keep it in the shadows is far more liable to explode into further acts of terrorism than a culture full of criminals who act out their desires. Educating them is key, teaching them why it is wrong not forcing them to stop through ideals such as fear and coercion. Is not using fear lowering yourself to their level?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    You have a lot of anger towards them. That makes your opinions very biased. This is not about concern for the Taliban, this is about rule of law. Law works by fear of punishment, if they stop through that fear it will only make them more dangerous. A culture full of criminals who don't act and keep it in the shadows is far more liable to explode into further acts of terrorism than a culture full of criminals who act out their desires. Educating them is key, teaching them why it is wrong not forcing them to stop through ideals such as fear and coercion. Is not using fear lowering yourself to their level?
    I don't give a damn about the welfare of terrorists. The objective is to eliminate them as a threat. If fear works, fine. If death works, that's OK too. The welfare of Afghanis is one thing. The welfare of the Taliban is quite another.

    Teach the Taliban how to hold their brfeath -- forever. They are NOT criminals. They are THE ENEMY.
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    Aren't you an enemy to them? Don't they say the same in their forums of discussion? Perhaps they speak of western war crimes and attacks on civilians as well. Remember there are two sides to every story, and while I don't argue that the Taliban are good, I do argue that it is wrong to buy into the 'Attack, Kill, Destroy!' crowd.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Aren't you an enemy to them? Don't they say the same in their forums of discussion? Perhaps they speak of western war crimes and attacks on civilians as well. Remember there are two sides to every story, and while I don't argue that the Taliban are good, I do argue that it is wrong to buy into the 'Attack, Kill, Destroy!' crowd.
    Anyone would agree that the Taliban see me as an enemy. That is the point. So, attack, kill, destroy -- works for me. Why else would we send troops rather than social workers ?

    I don't give a damn about "their side of the story". This is war, not a debate.

    Hitler had a "side of the story too." I don't care3 about it either. It died with him. "Died" is the operative word.
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    US Gansters want control of the Opium and dont care if the local population fights them back anymore than Nazis gave a pause when invading a country. They can kill with drones and teams of assassins(which they call special forces) both local people and other gansters that might want a piece of the Opium and pipeline pie. Since the kingpins of globalized crime would not get too many goons to go halfway around the world to kill and get killed for opium and pipeline profits(for the kingpins) they have to invent reasons for going to afghanistan and if those reasons turn out to be proven bullshit it doesnt matter they switch to another reason and none are the wiser. I remember Rummy's farfetched giant Ben Laden DrEvil underground fortress he showed on tv while keeping a straight face, he should get an oscar, although it doesnt top the sheer drama of the girl that bullshited a story about babies thrown out of incubators.

    War is a Racket based on Lies. :?

    "Would a similar tactic work against Taliban leadership in the matter of intimidating civilians?"
    No because this is guerilla warfare on their home turf and the invading NATO occupation force are from halfway around the world(hence the North Atlantic part of NATO), plus the afghans have seen other empires before and have chewed them, you have football they have kick-the-invaders-in-the-balls, its their sport.
    So I doubt they give a crap about a kangaroo trial. If China triggered mini-nukes from lead paint plastic toys and carpet bombed the US, placed Mafia Don Soprano as president, rained depleted uranium and dropped bombs every week on civilians (saying oops), do you think US militias and insurgents whose family members were killed by the Chinese would give up and send gift baskets to occupation collaborators because they might get a war tribunal? I dont think so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by icewendigo
    US Gansters want control of the Opium and dont care if the local population fights them back anymore than Nazis gave a pause when invading a country. They can kill with drones and teams of assassins(which they call special forces) both local people and other gansters that might want a piece of the Opium and pipeline pie. Since the kingpins of globalized crime would not get too many goons to go halfway around the world to kill and get killed for opium and pipeline profits(for the kingpins) they have to invent reasons for going to afghanistan and if those reasons turn out to be proven bullshit it doesnt matter they switch to another reason and none are the wiser. I remember Rummy's fafetched giant Ben Laden DrEvil underground fortress he showed on tv while keeping a straight face, he should get an oscar, although it doesnt top the sheer drama of the girl that bullshited a story about babies thrown out of incubators.

    War is a Racket based on Lies.
    rubbish
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    And the Afghani war thread runs it's natural course. As always the bad guy apologist cries foul while avoiding specifics. Next, the one reasoned voice explains that you cannot reason with bad guys, consequently he is painted as a bigot. Then the conspiracy theorist derails the conversation with a boxcar full of crazy.

    OP, Afghan insurgents don't care if you call them war criminals. If threat of death doesn't dissuade them, why would they fear this?
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    To win a war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people, the Americans have been unable to do this (otherwise the war would have ended upon defeat of Saddam's forces). The fact their people fight back, albeit in some unethical ways, means this war can never be won. I would even go so far as to say that the US Army may be defeated and retreat from Iraq (most likely calling it returning Iraqi sovereignty to avoid the embarrassment!) because there is no way they can defeat an endless terrorist regime. Soldiers are limited in number, whereas the Taliban can recruit as many as they need for their guerilla warfare. History has shown that guerilla warfare can topple even the largest of forces.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    To win a war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people, the Americans have been unable to do this (otherwise the war would have ended upon defeat of Saddam's forces). The fact their people fight back, albeit in some unethical ways, means this war can never be won. I would even go so far as to say that the US Army may be defeated and retreat from Iraq (most likely calling it returning Iraqi sovereignty to avoid the embarrassment!) because there is no way they can defeat an endless terrorist regime. Soldiers are limited in number, whereas the Taliban can recruit as many as they need for their guerilla warfare. History has shown that guerilla warfare can topple even the largest of forces.
    Way to conflate too completely different wars and make yourself look like you haven't got a clue.
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    We defeated the terrorist regime we went to war against Iraq many years ago. The insurgency was made up of only a very small number of the old government and it's supporters who haven't been active for more than three years.
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    Well that is quite offensive. I have studied the Iraqi conflict for quite some time. I call a conflict that is ongoing a war because the fighting has not stopped. You are arguing over the semantics of what to call it (war or battle) and avoiding the point at hand.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    To win a war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people, .
    No, you don't.

    That is one strategy, and it has a desirable outcome.

    But the major objective of a war with terrorists is to eliminate the threat. Another way to eliminate the threat from vermin is to eliminate the vermin.
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    You can't eliminate the threat without the support of the people who live there. If you do not have their support then they will fight you and defeat you. It is one thing fighting an army, it is another to fight every single person in the country.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    You can't eliminate the threat without the support of the people who live there. If you do not have their support then they will fight you and defeat you. It is one thing fighting an army, it is another to fight every single person in the country.
    Not every single person in either Iraq or Afghanistan is fighting with or supporting the terrorists.

    If they were, the solution would be easy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Well that is quite offensive. I have studied the Iraqi conflict for quite some time. I call a conflict that is ongoing a war because the fighting has not stopped. You are arguing over the semantics of what to call it (war or battle) and avoiding the point at hand.

    I would even go so far as to say that the US Army may be defeated and retreat from Iraq (most likely calling it returning Iraqi sovereignty to avoid the embarrassment!) because there is no way they can defeat an endless terrorist regime.
    If you are studying the conflict than you'd know over the past two years deaths from vehicle accidents in Iraq have exceeded deaths from indirect and direct fire. There were fewer deaths to combat in Iraq during the month of December than there were at the Safeway store in Arizona. To suggest we are defeated is extremely ignorant. Furthermore you mention the "endless terrorist regime." Who are you talking about? Even during the height of the insurgency there wasn't a unified or endless "terrorist regime," there were dozens often fighting themselves more than US or their allies forces.

    Than you go on....
    Soldiers are limited in number, whereas the Taliban can recruit as many as they need for their guerilla warfare.
    There are no Taliban in Iraq. As best we can tell, there never have been Taliban in Iraq. Perhaps you just forgot to use another paragraph, and made yourself look foolish, but it sure looks like a complete thought as written.

    From your writings it appears you haven't studied Iraq in the least.

    And at DrRocket says, winning hearts and minds is just part of a strategy to win--you still got to kill the bad guys or convince them to lay down arms. We use it because it helps sap the strength of the insurgents and lays the foundation for lasting relationship between the US and the government we are supporting.
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    Do you include all allied forces in your calculation of deaths or only American soldiers? Do you include all branches of the military, just the army, navy, and air force, or just the army? I do not understand your statistic on Safeway, how many deaths were there in these stores?

    Suggesting defeat is logical as the enemy cannot be defeated using the current tactics that are employed. By endless I speak of their ability to find new recruits in the areas they operate in. Why do you say there has never been a unified regime? What would you call the Quetta Shura or operations in Kandahar?

    I'm sorry if I did not create a separate paragraph for my comments, I did not realize you would be upset by that so much. It disturbs my philosophical mind greatly that you feel the only way to win is to either kill your enemy or to convince them to give up. Why would you wish for lasting relationships between the US and the government you support? The Iraqi people did not wish for the government that you have forced upon them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Do you include all allied forces in your calculation of deaths or only American soldiers? Do you include all branches of the military, just the army, navy, and air force, or just the army? I do not understand your statistic on Safeway, how many deaths were there in these stores?
    US lost one soldier to combat in December and it has been in the single digits most months last year--that's all services combined. Last Saturday there were at least six killed in Safeway stores. Your statement that the US is leaving Iraq out of defeat was ridiculous.

    Suggesting defeat is logical as the enemy cannot be defeated using the current tactics that are employed. By endless I speak of their ability to find new recruits in the areas they operate in. Why do you say there has never been a unified regime? What would you call the Quetta Shura or operations in Kandahar?
    I call that an attempt to change the subject or some continued confusion about Iraq, about which I was clearly discussing, and Afghanistan.

    I'm sorry if I did not create a separate paragraph for my comments, I did not realize you would be upset by that so much.
    I'm not upset in the least--simply pointing out you looked foolish putting the two together.

    It disturbs my philosophical mind greatly that you feel the only way to win is to either kill your enemy or to convince them to give up.
    Hmmm. I point out other ways that are part of how to win and you try to turn it into what appears to be a false dichotomy. Winning hearts and minds isn't a complete strategy-inevitably there's folks that need to surrender or die which requires a military/police side of operations.

    Why would you wish for lasting relationships between the US and the government you support?
    Think about it....and don't ask silly questions.

    The Iraqi people did not wish for the government that you have forced upon them.
    Than the 60% or so shouldn't have voted for it-- twice, despite risk to family and themselves.
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    I include all coalition forces, not just the USA. In total there were 711 coalition deaths, the highest since 2001, last year alone. In addition, explosives injured over 3,000 American soldiers in 2010.

    I was not trying to change the subject at all, you said there had never been a unified regime which I corrected. I did not realize you meant confined to within a specific boundary.

    Please do not make comments such as “ridiculous” or calling people “foolish”, it is an ad hominem, unscientific, and not welcome in civilized debate. Instead of saying “It is a silly question” which is a fallacy, address the issue itself. I'm used to debating with other professors who would never use such terms.

    As for your last comment. Do you honestly believe that just because the majority vote for something it makes it morally correct, the right thing, or even logical? It is none of the above. Opinion does not equal fact, especially from an untrained majority. Voting is not even part of the Arabic culture, it is a western ideology.
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    I've been very clear that I'm discussing Iraq, in response your your comment
    "I would even go so far as to say that the US Army may be defeated and retreat from Iraq (most likely calling it returning Iraqi sovereignty to avoid the embarrassment!) because there is no way they can defeat an endless terrorist regime. US would leave there in defeat."
    (emphasis added)

    You keep using stuff from Afghanistan.



    --
    As for your last comment. Do you honestly believe that just because the majority vote for something it makes it morally correct, the right thing, or even logical? It is none of the above. Opinion does not equal fact, especially from an untrained majority. Voting is not even part of the Arabic culture, it is a western ideology.
    If most of the nation comes out and votes for something, than yes it's a reasonable assumption that most of them want it--that is logical. Whether its "morally correct", or "the right thing" is a completely different question.

    And as an Iraqi General reminded me last year during one of our many conversations (I was one of his advisors), his grandfather had voted. Iraq has had at least 12 elections going back to 1925, so it's hardly a new concept or completely alien concept. The first ten times, attempts at representative government were manipulated or usurped--often with violence. Only history will tell if it sticks this time.
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    Thank you for not using an angry tone in your post. I'll make sure I'm clear about what country I am posting about.

    “If most of the nation comes out and votes for something, than yes it's a reasonable assumption that most of them want it--that is logical. Whether its "morally correct", or "the right thing" is a completely different question.”

    That's a good point. If the question is “Do the Iraqi people want the republic?” And your answer was “They voted for it” is that not a fallacious argument? If the point itself is whether they want a republic or not, and as voting for things is inherently part of the republican system, it would not be scientifically accurate to use a vote to determine their wants. It would be like saying “Do the Iraqi people want a meritocracy?” and answering by saying “Well they did the training to become ministers”. Just because they voted, or studied to enter government, does not mean they like the government. It simply means they are using what is available to them in order to make a difference. Many of them do not understand governments having lived under Saddam for so long. It is even logical to assume many of them will ask for whatever they are told to ask for by the Americans or friends as they do not know what is best.

    But to my original point; if someone is to grant governments based on what the people want rather than what is best for them than is that not tyranny itself?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    But to my original point; if someone is to grant governments based on what the people want rather than what is best for them than is that not tyranny itself?
    Iraq was a terrorist state. The people of Iraq tolerated that by tolerating Sadam.

    Iraq is no longer a terrorist state It is no longer a threat as a state, but is a threat because it harbors terrorists and is a potential base for their operations. That cannot be permitted.

    Until the Iraqi people shoulder their responsibility to be responsible members of the international community, which most certainly includes not being a threat, their desires are not important.

    A decision to be ruled by a despot who is likely to foment terrorism is not acceptable. You might ask, "Acceptable to whom ?'. Acceptable to the people with the means to insist otherwise and the incentive and will to do so. Don't like it ? Too damn bad.

    The act of deciding thst what the people want is not what they need is the embodiment of tyranny. But if they can't handle the responsibility of freedom so as not to be a threat, then tyranny is necessary. They will be held accountale for their decisions and actions whether they like it or not -- such is the nature of war.

    I don't give a damn whether Iraq is a republic, a colony or a parking lot, so long as it is not a threat. I suspect that Iraqis would choose republic from that list. They ought to be grateful as hell for the choice.
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    There is never an excuse for tyranny, Dr. Rocket, much shameful to think so.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    There is never an excuse for tyranny, Dr. Rocket, much shameful to think so.
    Absurd.

    Sure there is. You threaten me, so I use whatever force is necessary to stop you. That is justified tyranny.
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    I'm a professor, I'm sorry but I am not interested in talking to someone who does not put benevolence and righteousness first.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    I'm a professor, I'm sorry but I am not interested in talking to someone who does not put benevolence and righteousness first.
    I don't really care what you are. You clearly can't handle the truth. Rightenousness includes self-defense. Benevolence comes after survival.

    Professor of what ? Where ?

    Don't you think the "Dr." title is a presumptive for a "Professor" with an Msc Educational Studies ?

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    I have no interest in talking to someone who has your tone. Saying I can't handle the truth is not a professional attitude and not something I am used to. My doctorate is in philosophy and I work as professor of Asian history in South America. If you want to talk to me about my personal life then do so over PM, I'm not going to start an argument on a forum thread. Thank you.

    That's not me. My name is Asriel with an S and I'm a man.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    . Saying I can't handle the truth is not a professional attitude and not something I am used to. My doctorate is in philosophy ....
    I think I see the problem.


    "There is no position so ridiculous that it has not been held by some philosopher. " – Cicero
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    I think I see the problem.

    "There is no position so ridiculous that it has not been held by some philosopher. " – Cicero
    Ha. I like this guy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    What the OP proposes is rule by fear against the Taliban. By telling them "If you kill civilians we will try you for war crimes" you are simply trying to control them through fear of punishment. I do not believe such a thing can work, not only as the Taliban do not fear punishment in the first place, but also because even if such a thing did work you would simply be repressing their true feelings. If they are able and willing to kill civilians yet did not do so out of fear of punishment then they are still just as dangerous, if not more so, because their willingness to attack is kept 'bottled up'.


    You need to not fool yourself that you can change peoples' hearts. A lot of battered women in the USA die because they think they can change their husbands, so they don't press charges and don't have him arrested for hitting them. (And in a lot of cases, the abuse gets worse until he kills her.)

    If the Taliban is forced against their will to stop targeting and killing civilians who defy them, then they can't collect tribute as easily, and they'll quickly run out of money. No money means no power. And, who cares what they want if they don't have any money or power to do it with?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    To win a war you have to win the hearts and minds of the people, the Americans have been unable to do this (otherwise the war would have ended upon defeat of Saddam's forces). The fact their people fight back, albeit in some unethical ways, means this war can never be won. I would even go so far as to say that the US Army may be defeated and retreat from Iraq (most likely calling it returning Iraqi sovereignty to avoid the embarrassment!) because there is no way they can defeat an endless terrorist regime. Soldiers are limited in number, whereas the Taliban can recruit as many as they need for their guerilla warfare. History has shown that guerilla warfare can topple even the largest of forces.
    Hence the reason for the war crime accusations and trials. The fact the Taliban is committing these crimes against their own people should serve as a weakness we can exploit. As I mentioned earlier, if we put up wanted posters for a guy who attacked a fellow Afghan , saying we want him in custody, we'll get a lot further toward making him unpopular than if we accused him of hurting an American.

    I don't want us to win the Taliban's hearts or minds. I want us to win everyone else's.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    I don't want us to win the Taliban's hearts or minds. I want us to win everyone else's.
    Their hearts would be OK. In a box.
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    A lot of what I say is lost in translation, as there is no true English word. When I say change the hearts and minds I do not mean in a direct sense. If the USA were to show themselves to be a good nation, with no crime and no corruption, with a society of honor; then all the peoples of the world would flock to it and wish to be like it. But the USA is not free from crime or corruption, and it is not a society based on honor but rather law; therefore the people do not flock to it. Until the USA can change itself, then by attacking other nations it is only using force to obtain goals; it does not set an example and therefore does not change the heart of those it attacks.

    If the terrorists are forced into a corner with no money they will attack much more dangerously and viciously than before, like a wild beast trapped. I know it sounds strange to say, but you have to care what they think and how they feel. They have a reason for their conflict, they are not a group of psychopaths though it seems that way. To know your enemy you must become your enemy is the saying, but the Americans have not done this.

    You are absolutely right that attacks on their own people should be used against them. But as the Americans are in their country they believe they have the right to kill them. As the terrorists are carrying out their attacks then it is logical to assume they believe it is the right thing to do. With that in mind, they must also believe that they have the right to kill Americans. If a foreign government attacked the USA and their soldiers were on your streets then you may feel you have the right to attack them. Yet if you did so they would call you a terrorist and arrest you. That is how the terrorists feel, many of them don't see themselves as terrorists but freedom fighters. Even if they are wrong and even if they do kill civilians, they still see themselves as right. Unless you can teach them that they are wrong their attacks will never cease.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    A lot of what I say is lost in translation, as there is no true English word. When I say change the hearts and minds I do not mean in a direct sense. If the USA were to show themselves to be a good nation, with no crime and no corruption, with a society of honor; then all the peoples of the world would flock to it and wish to be like it. But the USA is not free from crime or corruption, and it is not a society based on honor but rather law; therefore the people do not flock to it. Until the USA can change itself, then by attacking other nations it is only using force to obtain goals; it does not set an example and therefore does not change the heart of those it attacks.
    I don't think any society will ever emerge which matches that description. Perhaps the USA's version is the best thing humanity is capable of. Everyone wants something perfect, but people can't ever be perfect. Our flaws are what make us human. Take those away and we'd be robots.


    If the terrorists are forced into a corner with no money they will attack much more dangerously and viciously than before, like a wild beast trapped. I know it sounds strange to say, but you have to care what they think and how they feel. They have a reason for their conflict, they are not a group of psychopaths though it seems that way. To know your enemy you must become your enemy is the saying, but the Americans have not done this.

    Whenever someone tells me that I have to care what they think or how they feel (or they'll hurt me), I want to simply kill them now and be done with it. The American ideal is based on the notion that you are free to ignore anyone you want any time you want, and they just have to live with it. Freedom is not being able to impose your will on others, and others not being able to impose their will on you. (Which is why terrorists calling themselves "freedom fighters" is such a joke. Clearly they are not against imposing their will on others.)

    But, like all ethics, there is a single exception: self defense. Just as it is morally acceptable to kill in defense of one's own life, it is also morally acceptable to impose one's will on another in defense of one's own freedom.
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    The USA's version is not at all the best humanity is capable of, in fact far from it as they do not even try to set an example. But your point about flaws is good, to take them away makes us all rather un-human. The notion that you are free to ignore people, or that they are free to ignore you, is called arrogance. It is not a good thing, and teaches people to ignore someone they don't agree with even though they may be more intelligent than they are in that field.

    Self defence is not always an exception, there are one cases where death is preferable to life, such as dying if the only other option is to do something dishonorable. It is not at all morally acceptable to impose your will onto others in defence of your freedom. Freedom itself is morally wrong, as true freedom includes the freedom to kill or steal without reason. When you start making exceptions to true freedom then you no longer have freedom, but your own system of morals. And therefore you can't kill in defence of that as each culture will have their own version of what freedom is. Can you prove that your version of freedom is correct and someone else's is wrong?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Can you prove that your version of freedom is correct and someone else's is wrong?
    This is an absurd question.

    Neither "correct" nor "wrong" have any meaning in this context.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    If the USA were to show themselves to be a good nation, with no crime and no corruption, with a society of honor; then all the peoples of the world would flock to it and wish to be like it.
    No nation has ever gotten rid of crime. By nearly every measure the corruption in the US is extremely low. And millions do flock to America every year, either to get an education or to become citizens. Representative democracy is also flourishing around the world.

    Does the US have problems? Absolutely. But it continues to strive towards a balance between individual rights, the rights of others, and needs of the greater nation.


    If the terrorists are forced into a corner with no money they will attack much more dangerously and viciously than before, like a wild beast trapped.
    They will be ineffective and easier to find capture or kill.

    I know it sounds strange to say, but you have to care what they think and how they feel. They have a reason for their conflict, they are not a group of psychopaths though it seems that way. To know your enemy you must become your enemy is the saying, but the Americans have not done this.
    I agree there is often root cause of their grievances and those are important to understand. On the other hand, even that understanding does not mean you accept their threats. If they continue to violence rather than come to the negotiating table they'll remain a focus of our military arm. Likewise with the population; a good share of effective counterinsurgency is forcing the population to choose between cooperating with the government we support, or siding with the enemy and also becoming a focus of our military arm. Likewise all grievances aren't acceptable--the US lost 600,000 to rid the nation of slavery for example. Genocide of the type Saddam engaged in also wasn’t' acceptable. There are many examples.

    Unless you can teach them that they are wrong their attacks will never cease.
    Captured and people don't engage in further terrorism.
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    That's not what I meant at all. People immigrate to the USA to escape from circumstance or for a chance for themselves, not because it is a good place to be. Compare your immigrant rates of people from Canada with people from Mexico and you will see what I mean.

    Corruption in the USA is very high, you are talking about a flat comparison, I speak only of the statistics themselves. If a serial killer's defence is “I can name a hundred people who have more victims than I do” would this mean he is not a serial killer? That is my perspective on corruption, it may be low compared to 100 other nations, but that doesn't make it low.

    Try not to focus so much on balancing rights and needs, and look at the deeper structure of government itself. Ask yourself what rights really are, why you have them, and what they bring you. Instead of saying “I am protecting freedom of speech” ask yourself “Why am I protecting freedom of speech?” and then study the exclusions to freedom of speech, such as the commonly quoted study of 'Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater'. Just saying you are striving towards a balance between individual rights, the rights of others, and government needs does not offer a true perspective on liberty.

    They (terrorists) will not be ineffective, you can't kill the terrorist belief structure by force alone. You can capture them or kill the individuals, but more will continue to rise and new terrorist groups will be formed until their own circumstances change. Even if every terrorist in the middle east died today, tomorrow you will find new terrorist groups being formed tomorrow because the circumstance of the country has not changed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    That's not what I meant at all. People immigrate to the USA to escape from circumstance or for a chance for themselves, not because it is a good place to be. Compare your immigrant rates of people from Canada with people from Mexico and you will see what I mean.
    Ridiculous.

    Of course there is more incentive to emigrate from places with particularly onerousv conditions, and that is why there are more Mexican than Canadian imigrants.

    You base your argument, fallaciously, on some vague notion of a "good place to be". Define that term in a useful and objective way.

    This is the most absurd argument that I have ever encountered.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Corruption in the USA is very high, you are talking about a flat comparison, I speak only of the statistics themselves. If a serial killer's defence is “I can name a hundred people who have more victims than I do” would this mean he is not a serial killer? That is my perspective on corruption, it may be low compared to 100 other nations, but that doesn't make it low.
    Again ridiculous.

    If corruption in the U.S. is low relative to other nations, which it is, then it is low in any practical sense. That does not mean that we should not try to reduce it. It does mean that your argum,ent is silly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Try not to focus so much on balancing rights and needs, and look at the deeper structure of government itself. Ask yourself what rights really are, why you have them, and what they bring you. Instead of saying “I am protecting freedom of speech” ask yourself “Why am I protecting freedom of speech?” and then study the exclusions to freedom of speech, such as the commonly quoted study of 'Shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater'. Just saying you are striving towards a balance between individual rights, the rights of others, and government needs does not offer a true perspective on liberty.
    rubbish

    Their is a natural hierarchy to freedoms. Right to life is at the top. When speech, such as shouting "fire" in a crowded theater threatens life, it quite obviously is not a valid freedom.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    They (terrorists) will not be ineffective, you can't kill the terrorist belief structure by force alone. You can capture them or kill the individuals, but more will continue to rise and new terrorist groups will be formed until their own circumstances change. Even if every terrorist in the middle east died today, tomorrow you will find new terrorist groups being formed tomorrow because the circumstance of the country has not changed.
    Terrorists are not acting on behalf of any state. They may be supported by terrorists staes, but their motivation is ideological hatred.

    A dead terrorist is an ineffective terrorist.

    If every terrorist in the middle east died todat, terrorism would stop permanently. Where do you think terrorists come from ? -- they are created by other terrorists.
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    I'll ask that you kindly stop replying to my posts. I have no interest in talking to you at all, all you do is constantly use terms such as “Rubbish” or “Stupid” without presenting any case evidence. I'm fed up of your continual personal attacks on here and over PM. I'd like to engage in a logical, well structured debate. Not an argument as you seem so intent on dragging the conversation towards. I shall not be replying to any of your statements unless you agree to type them out in a way that does not represent stubbornness and fallacy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    I'll ask that you kindly stop replying to my posts. I have no interest in talking to you at all, all you do is constantly use terms such as “Rubbish” or “Stupid” without presenting any case evidence. I'm fed up of your continual personal attacks on here and over PM. I'd like to engage in a logical, well structured debate. Not an argument as you seem so intent on dragging the conversation towards. I shall not be replying to any of your statements unless you agree to type them out in a way that does not represent stubbornness and fallacy.
    YOU sent the PMs. I would appreciate it if you would stop.

    If you don't want your arguments criticized, then don't post silly arguments.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Corruption in the USA is very high, you are talking about a flat comparison, I speak only of the statistics themselves. If a serial killer's defense is “I can name a hundred people who have more victims than I do” would this mean he is not a serial killer? That is my perspective on corruption, it may be low compared to 100 other nations, but that doesn't make it low.
    What does an off handed comment by a serial killer have anything to do with corruption? Nothing.
    What statistics? Most of what I've seen put the US in the top 10-15% of nations. I've lived a corrupt nation, Iraq with the Iraqis, they can't buy a car, land, get a TV repairs, get a job without bribing someone. I once sat in a meeting hosted by an Iraqi Brigade commander to discuss who had family and tribal connection to an appeal board who would soon review the conviction and death sentence of a soldier for beating a man to death. That is what corruption looks like.
    In all my 47 years in the US I've never been asked for nor felt compelled to bribe anyone to get business done regardless of my family, religion or political affiliation. Corruption is pretty minimal in day to day living. The laws prevent corruption and for the most part are enforced. Are there incidents of corruption—certainly—but they are the exception, not part of the general culture of the nation.
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    My comment was not at all offhanded. It was a philosophical comparison, and is done frequently in philosophical debate to give a wider perspective of the issue at hand. I'm sorry if you are not used to this. My point is if the top 10-15% of nations have high corruption rates, then that score itself is nothing to be proud of. Compared to some places the USA is rife with corruption, just because you do not suffer the openness of other problems does not mean you are not affected. Secret corruption, such as bribery, is often much worse than beating a man to death. It might not seem like it at first, but remember that bribery itself can lead to many more deaths than a single act of barbarianism.

    As I have said before, the moment you have to enforce a law it means you have failed in preventing corruption. Enforcing a law is an act that happens once the corruption has already been done to stop it progressing further, it does not counter the fact that the act of corruption itself was already commited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    My comment was not at all offhanded. It was a philosophical comparison, and is done frequently in philosophical debate
    As in "how many angels can dance on the head of a pin" or "does a horse exist".

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    My point is if the top 10-15% of nations have high corruption rates, then that score itself is nothing to be proud of.
    High compared to what ?

    This is meaningless drivel.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    Compared to some places the USA is rife with corruption,
    Compared to where ? Nirvana ?

    More unspecific drivel

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    just because you do not suffer the openness of other problems does not mean you are not affected. Secret corruption, such as bribery, is often much worse than beating a man to death. It might not seem like it at first, but remember that bribery itself can lead to many more deaths than a single act of barbarianism.
    Did you even read the post of Lynn Fox ? There is no comparison between the ubiquitous bribery required to do everydat transactions in the middle east and the, by comparison, rare bribery in the U.S.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    As I have said before, the moment you have to enforce a law it means you have failed in preventing corruption. Enforcing a law is an act that happens once the corruption has already been done to stop it progressing further, it does not counter the fact that the act of corruption itself was already commited.
    You set new records for absurdity.

    Do you think that by not enforcing --or what is more common in truly corrupt nations, selectively enforcing -- laws one takes a moral high ground ?

    The sign of a forthright society is the uniform enforcement of just laws.

    Your position is ridiculous. It would apply only in Utopia, and only the delusional imagine that they reside in Utopia.
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    My comment was not at all offhanded. It was a philosophical comparison, and is done frequently in philosophical debate to give a wider perspective of the issue at hand. I'm sorry if you are not used to this.
    Your statement that the US is highly corrupt is, much like your statement about US defeat in Iraq, an absurdity that doesn't stand up under scrutiny. Highly implies a comparison to something, that "something" is other nations and by every objective analysis I could find the US level of corruption is among the lowest in the world.

    I certainly don't mind the wider perspective, but that's different than making bold statements that assert something and having no more basis put forward than an ill informed opinion. At some point discussions around that wider perspective without specifics becomes akin to mental masturbation: mental masterbation might feel intellectually satisfying but doesn't acomplish anything.

    As I have said before, the moment you have to enforce a law it means you have failed in preventing corruption. Enforcing a law is an act that happens once the corruption has already been done to stop it progressing further, it does not counter the fact that the act of corruption itself was already commited.
    The fact that there's both a laws on the books and a repeated and demonstrated willingness to enforce that law even against our most influential (e.g. Tom DeLay, former speaker of the house) goes quite far to prevent further corruption. There's no realistic expection that it will be 100% effective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lynx_Fox
    ....to mental masturbation: mental masterbation might feel intellectually satisfying but doesn't acomplish anything.
    Sounds like a description of "philosophical debate".

    Me thinks I sense the fundamental problem, again.
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    I will no longer be posting in this thread as it has by this point been derailed by flaming. I welcome anyone to message me and I'll happily continue this debate in a way that does not include personal attacks or insults. In academic circles this sort of attitude towards philosophy and political science would be most unwelcome. I'm too old to be getting myself involved in flame wars. Thank you for your time and understanding.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    I will no longer be posting in this thread as it has by this point been derailed by flaming.
    If you'll re-read, it was originally derailed when you began to discuss the Iraq war in a thread about the Taliban and Afghani conflict. Your confusion was repeatedly pointed out, you missed the hints and annoyed others. Confusing the two very different conflicts really irritates those of us who have participated in this discussion so many times and frankly, it's an indicator of ignorance.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    That's not what I meant at all. People immigrate to the USA to escape from circumstance or for a chance for themselves, not because it is a good place to be. Compare your immigrant rates of people from Canada with people from Mexico and you will see what I mean.
    Canada's culture is nearly identical to our own. Why would they immigrate for cultural reasons? The same is true of Germany, England, Australia, and to a lesser degree true of Japan. (I'm basing Japan's similarity on the fact that their movies are widely viewed by American audiences, and the popularity of Japanese mythology in American art.)

    It's just this very interesting coincidence that the countries with cultures like ours tend to also be wealthy. Don't you think?


    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    The USA's version is not at all the best humanity is capable of, in fact far from it as they do not even try to set an example. But your point about flaws is good, to take them away makes us all rather un-human. The notion that you are free to ignore people, or that they are free to ignore you, is called arrogance.
    And yet this is exactly the way Americans treat one another and it works. At least within our own borders. It only seems like arrogance if you are one of those who thinks they're better than everyone else.

    The notion that nobody is better than me, and I'm not better than anyone else is the only true form of humility.




    They (terrorists) will not be ineffective, you can't kill the terrorist belief structure by force alone. You can capture them or kill the individuals, but more will continue to rise and new terrorist groups will be formed until their own circumstances change. Even if every terrorist in the middle east died today, tomorrow you will find new terrorist groups being formed tomorrow because the circumstance of the country has not changed.
    That's because they don't realize that they are causing their own suffering. They'll never realize it until they've destroyed us, and their circumstances are still bad.

    I call their reality a "solipsist" reality. They believe that Islam is the one single greatest perfect system. No matter what happens to them within their own borders, it must be the fault of something other than Islam. It is impossible to convince them that they are wrong because it is impossible to confront them with any information that disagrees with their outlook.

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/solipsist

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solipsism

    There is nothing you can do for a solipsist. They enjoy the false reality that they have created for themselves so much that they would rather die than find out they are wrong. And... if they do die before they find out that they are wrong, then the dream becomes permanent for them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Asriel Liu
    In academic circles this sort of attitude towards philosophy and political science would be most unwelcome. .
    Does Steven Weinberg count as an academic in your opinion ?

    http://depts.washington.edu/ssnet/Weinberg_SSN_1_14.pdf
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    I understand the tendency to discount philosophy as an academic discipline, but right now differences of philosophy (especially moral philosophy) are among the dominant problems we face in trying to relate to the "hearts and minds" of the people. They philosophize differently than we do, and even if we disagree with their ideas and conclusions we will need to understand their philosophical process if we hope to find common ground to build on.

    Talking to a philosophy professor at my college, he pointed out to me that Pakistan is starting to become one of the centers of the discipline. A lot of "good" philosophy (by the standards of the academic community) has been coming out of there. That indicates to me that philosophy is important to people over there. Very important. If we Americans learn to engage in that type of discussion, it might even be an inroad.

    So, let us try and not make Dr. Liu feel like he's being ejected from the conversation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I understand the tendency to want to discount philosophy as an academic discipline, but right now differences of philosophy (especially moral philosophy) are one of the dominant problems we face in trying to relate to the "hearts and minds" of the people. They philosophize differently than we do, and even if we disagree with their ideas and conclusions it would benefit us to at least try and understand their philosophical process so we can find common ground to build on.

    Talking to a philosophy professor at my college, he pointed out to me that Pakistan is starting to become one of the centers of the discipline. A lot of "good" philosophy (by the standards of that community) has been coming out of there. That indicates to me that philosophy is important to them. Very important. If we Americans learn to engage in that type of discussion, it might even be an inroad.

    So, let us try and not make Dr. Liu feel like he's being ejected from the conversation.
    I think understanding the philosophy of the area would be helpful. I doubt that academic philosophers would be of much help in doing that.

    Liu ejected himself.
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    Well, once Pakistani philosophy gets converted into Academic-speak, and then American philosophers hear it, you might need them to translate it back into every day language. And then, if you want to talk back, you'll need them to Academic-ize it for the Pakistani philosophers.....

    My point is, philosophers have a unique way of communicating with each other. I like to hang out in the philosophy department at my school sometimes, because they're so easy going. Once they get going in a discussion, they really exchange ideas very well with each other... but it doesn't sound like a proper discussion.

    I think if two groups of philosophers sat down and talked with each other at length, both would come back with a real understanding of the others' culture. Or, at least its values. The use of philosophic discussion enables them to bypass each others egos and just hear each other. The formalization removes all the cultural noise from the discussion. They can say what they mean without offending each other.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Well, once Pakistani philosophy gets converted into Academic-speak, and then American philosophers hear it, you might need them to translate it back into every day language. And then, if you want to talk back, you'll need them to Academic-ize it for the Pakistani philosophers.....

    My point is, philosophers have a unique way of communicating with each other. I like to hang out in the philosophy department at my school sometimes, because they're so easy going. Once they get going in a discussion, they really exchange ideas very well with each other... but it doesn't sound like a proper discussion.

    I think if two groups of philosophers sat down and talked with each other at length, both would come back with a real understanding of the others' culture. Or, at least its values. The use of philosophic discussion enables them to bypass each others egos and just hear each other. The formalization removes all the cultural noise from the discussion. They can say what they mean without offending each other.
    If you put all of the philosophers in the world end to end they would not reach .................................................. ...........a conclusion.
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    True, they wouldn't. They're no good on their own. They have to work together with other people in order to be useful. Most any victory worth having requires some kind of a team effort, doesn't it?
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    This comprises my main objection to how the war is being fought. I think the military is drawing on too narrow a range of expertise and it needs to broaden its horizons.

    What is a million times more important than actually winning in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is figuring out how to win in places like Afghanistan and/or Iraq. If we lose, but learn how, then the next ten of these wars will be shining successes. If we win, but don't learn how, we'll be bankrupt by the time the third round begins.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    What is a million times more important than actually winning in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is figuring out how to win in places like Afghanistan and/or Iraq. If we lose, but learn how, then the next ten of these wars will be shining successes. If we win, but don't learn how, we'll be bankrupt by the time the third round begins.
    No two wars are the same. A true adage is that generals usually fight the previous war.

    Winning in Afghanistan and Iraq is important, but we need the right definition of "winning".

    Winning shiould mean eliminating the threat, permanently. One way to do that is to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into responsible democracies. That requires cooperation of the population. It is not the only way.
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  66. #65  
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    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax

    What is a million times more important than actually winning in Afghanistan and/or Iraq is figuring out how to win in places like Afghanistan and/or Iraq. If we lose, but learn how, then the next ten of these wars will be shining successes. If we win, but don't learn how, we'll be bankrupt by the time the third round begins.
    No two wars are the same. A true adage is that generals usually fight the previous war.

    Winning in Afghanistan and Iraq is important, but we need the right definition of "winning".
    You're certainly right that we need a good definition of "winning". Winning means we re-establish MAD so that it no longer has the potential to fail due to the actions of an isolated individual or the actions of any group smaller than a nation. As long as nation states exist that cannot be held accountable for their citizens' choices, we face the possibility of having a bomb go off and having nobody to retaliate against.

    Honestly I think "winning" should never be defined any more broadly than that. Accomplishing other objectives might be nice, but it's not imperative.



    Winning shiould mean eliminating the threat, permanently. One way to do that is to turn Iraq and Afghanistan into responsible democracies. That requires cooperation of the population. It is not the only way.
    So, first and foremost, we need to get good at securing that cooperation. Again a good place to put philosophers to use. Nobody is better at making convincing arguments than they are. Often those arguments lead to conclusions that are patently false, but they're still very convincing. Philosophical debate is a tool just like how a gun is a tool. Only the one using it can guarantee that it will always be pointed in the right direction.

    That makes it very different from science. Science is always pointed in the direction of truth, whereas philosophy can be used (and often is used) to deliberately spread lies. (And you can bet the enemy is making full use of it already.)
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    I think it's silly that people say you can't reason with crazy people. If that particular crazy person happens to be an academic philosopher, then of course you can reason with them. The field of philosophy has certain ground rules that are totally universal, and allow a free exchange of ideas across social barriers.

    If we can convince their academic philosophers that we are right about something, then they can (and will endeavor to) convince their non-academic peers. The trouble is..... we have to actually be right according to philosophic standards of morality, and selling a "just war" is a very difficult sale in that community.

    Still, the pen is mightier than the sword. Use them both together, and then you've got all the weapons. Why concede one to the enemy?
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    I think it's silly that people say you can't reason with crazy people. If that particular crazy person happens to be an academic philosopher, then of course you can reason with them.
    Reason with a philosopher ? Are you kidding ?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The field of philosophy has certain ground rules that are totally universal, and allow a free exchange of ideas across social barriers.
    But that "freee exchange of ideas almost never results in agreement or any conclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    If we can convince their academic philosophers that we are right about something, then they can (and will endeavor to) convince their non-academic peers.
    And if frogs had wings they wouldn't bump their ass.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The trouble is..... we have to actually be right according to philosophic standards of morality,
    The trouble is that this scenario would require a philosopher, more unlikely yet several philosophers, to stop talking and reach a conclusion.


    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Still, the pen is mightier than the sword. Use them both together, and then you've got all the weapons. Why concede one to the enemy?
    Bringing a pen to a sword fight is not a good idea. [/b]
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    The reason there is no idea so absurd that some philosopher somewhere hasn't entertained it, is because a willingness to entertain absurd ideas is the only way to communicate with foreign cultures.

    You start by entertaining them, then you hold them up to some universal standard of logic, and then you either reject them in a way everyone can agree on, or you come to understand that the idea wasn't actually absurd after all. It just looked that way on the surface.

    ...Or the third and most likely option... you aren't able to conclude anything and you just agree to disagree. Even that is valuable, though. Maybe they were adamantly opposed to your perspective before. Now they are undecided.


    Quote Originally Posted by DrRocket

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The field of philosophy has certain ground rules that are totally universal, and allow a free exchange of ideas across social barriers.
    But that "freee exchange of ideas almost never results in agreement or any conclusion.
    Yes, but indecision is way better than radical determination.

    Secularism reigns when religious people admit that they can't be entirely sure that anyone else is wrong. It's not about convincing them that they themselves are wrong.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    The trouble is..... we have to actually be right according to philosophic standards of morality,
    The trouble is that this scenario would require a philosopher, more unlikely yet several philosophers, to stop talking and reach a conclusion.
    Conclusions cause wars. Fundamentalists are the opposite of philosophers, because they not only draw a conclusion, but become so committed to it that they are willing to kill over it. Indecision brings peace (at least if it is bilateral indecision.... which philosophers usually achieve).

    Would you rather fight fire with fire, or fight fire with water?

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Still, the pen is mightier than the sword. Use them both together, and then you've got all the weapons. Why concede one to the enemy?
    Bringing a pen to a sword fight is not a good idea. [/b]
    Unless you're a lawyer and you're threatening to sue them. Then I'd want to be the guy with the pen any day of the week.

    Pens mobilize armies. Swords arm a single soldier.
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