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Old 11-07-2006, 02:55 AM   #41
Samuel Dravis
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Rather amusing. The main problem with your argument is the notion that he DEFINITELY will pose no further harm. Last I checked, crystal balls don't actually see into the future. The only guarantee a dangerous criminal seizes to be a threat is execution. That also goes to your point about the road to less destruction. Won't know for sure till we cross that rubicon what the damage will be, nor can we know the other since the die has been cast.
So what makes you think that he will get out or cause harm? Last I checked, crystal balls don't actually see into the future. However, there's a lot of people that have been in prison for a very long time, and they don't just escape every day. If appropriate precautions are taken then I don't see the need for a 'guarantee' of the kind you propose. Similarly, many murderers are being sentenced to life without parole instead of Death Row in the last decade because of this reasoning. Yeah, they're scum, but they can be controlled and many recognize that. What made Saddam different from the sociopaths that are in jail for life? I'd say power. Well, he's stripped of his power, and there's no reason jails would not be able to hold him.

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Not convinced of what, I wonder? That the DoD doesn't have the spare change or that the money couldn't be better used elsewhere?
Not convinced that the DoD doesn't have the spare change.

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Also, never addressed the issue of deterence other than to say that the criminal in question couldn't become a recidivist.
Obviously not. However, keeping him in jail with reasonable security will not raise the risk of that very much, not enough to justify his execution.

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Your sarcasm (as if it weren't obvious) is misplaced b/c I have not said I support a liberal use of capital punishment.
I think it's an unreasonable worry that he will escape if he were to be imprisoned. Do you have any particular reason to believe he will suddenly grow wings? Sure, some of the Iraqis sympathize with him. However, I don't think it would matter if the inprisonment was done correctly. If Iraq is not up to the job, they could foist him off on the UN or something.

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As to your opening shot.......well, you're merely putting words in my mouth. I was only saying that I very glad I'm not you either.
Your statement was ambiguous then.

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I'm not sure anyone should try to rise to your bait about providing any explanation as your mind appears to be closed on this matter. Might as well try to convince an athiest of God's existence or a fundamentalist that the theory of evolution is actually fact.
I'd be willing to listen; that's why I asked. So far, none of you have provided such an explanation. I doubt you will have one that I will find acceptable though, so it had better be good.


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Old 11-07-2006, 08:58 AM   #42
Mace MacLeod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Doesn't work like that, Mace. Saddam- like all men- deserves justice. Justice may involve the death penalty, but justice has to be even-handed, otherwise it's arbitrary vengeance.

Therefore, because none of the other war-criminals are being tried at the moment, what's happened to Saddam isn't justice, it's the victory of a group of evil barbarians over one other evil barbarian. Therefore it's not a moral occurrance, but a pathetically savage one. And nothing to be celebrated, rather to be mourned.
Well, maybe it is just vengeance, but that's for the Iraqis to decide. This is their version of justice and as far as I'm concerned, they're welcome to it in Saddam's case. Sure Bush, Blair and everyone else are war criminals for their conquest of Iraq and also culpable for arming and supporting Saddam during the Iran/Iraq war which left millions dead (and not to mention for God-only-knows how many black ops CIA actions we'll never hear about) but like I said, our war criminals are never going to be tried or convicted for anything. The only way that would ever happen is if some other countries did what the US did in Iraq. The American people will never allow a President, no matter how inept or unpopular, to be tried as a war criminal. Why do you think the US doesn't support the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague? Because they're petrified one of their own might end up there. But the Iraqis themselves do undoubtably have a bonafide, civilian-slaughtering, warmongering War Criminal on their hands, and they themselves have tried, convicted and sentenced him. Whatever the case may be for inprisonment over execution, as long as he's alive, he's a figurehead. I think the country needs to be rid of him so it can finally put his influence permanently in the past and move on.

I'm not celebrating the Iraqi court's decision, but Saddam Hussein isn't going to be mourned in my house. As I also said before, there are a lot more people more deserving of our sympathy than him.


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Old 11-07-2006, 10:18 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Spider--Your logic seems to be that until all other offending parties in the Iraqi war are put to death, then SH can't be justifiably executed.
I thought I made it quite clear "what I was saying". I said that if you believe that Saddam should be executed, but our leaders should NOT... then you're a hypocrite. Which is true.

It's an important thing for those of you who are celebrating the show-trial and execution of this middle-eastern dictator to remember.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Perhaps I'm guilty of intuitng your position. You appear to believe that killing Sadam is immoral. Since capital punishment is killing, it's not unrerasonable for someone to conclude that you believe that capital punishment is itself immoral. You just seemed to be "touching" on that "axiomatically", apparently. So, if I've read between the lines incorrectly, then perhaps I'm supposed to come to the conclusion that killing Sadam IS morally acceptable, so long as you kill/execute more than just Sadam.
You don't have to "intuit" anything, Tot. I've stated my position about three times already. No need to read between the lines, no need to take a wild guess. I said that if you believe that Saddam should be executed, but our leaders should NOT... then you're a hypocrite. And it doesn't take a genius to see it.

I never said that "killing Saddam is immoral". And even if I HAD stated that killing Saddam was immoral, anyone who believes that someone who calls one killing immoral must be against ALL killing... is being rather silly. That's a hell of an assumption to make, in fact.

In point of fact, in my first post in this thread I stated: "I personally believe that when a man seeks to kill another creature for purely immoral reasons, he forfeits his own right to life. So you could say in a way I'm in favour of the death penalty. But I'm also in favour of only handing the death penalty fairly and evenly. If you sentence a man to death for a crime you yourself are guilty of, you are merely a hypocrite." which I think made my position on justifiable killing quite clear. If you didn't bother to read it, it's hardly my fault.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As far as the Nuremberg deal, I'm quite well aware of the moral ramifications of such a defense. It didn't work for the Nazis. I'm just trying to ascertain how long your hitlist is before SH could be executed.
"Hitlist"... I don't think you quite understand the situation. A middle-eastern dictator was captured during an illegal invasion of a sovereign nation. He was then tried in a court with no authority under international law, and with a mandate largely from the Shia sect that has always been the enemy of Saddam, but has been given overriding authority by the US. The evidence his lawyers could submit was ludicrously curtailed by the court. A great deal of the evidence against him was submitted in a way that would have been unacceptable in any western court of law. He has now been sentenced to death by this court.

Let's not forget that if Iraq had NOT been invaded and Saddam was still in power... the Iraqi people would be better off. Six hundred thousand Iraqi civilians would not be dead. Iraqis would still have a financial infrastructure, education, water and power, effective security forces... the list is endless. We have completely ruined that country. However bad Saddam was for Iraq... we were worse.

Does Saddam deserve to die? Well as a brutal dictator if ANYONE deserves death, he does. But is this sham and mockery of justice something to be celebrated? No. So is Saddam's sentence something to be celebrated? Not unless you'd celebrate the death-sentences of our own leaders.

-

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Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod:

But the Iraqis themselves do undoubtably have a bonafide, civilian-slaughtering, warmongering War Criminal on their hands, and they themselves have tried, convicted and sentenced him. Whatever the case may be for inprisonment over execution, as long as he's alive, he's a figurehead. I think the country needs to be rid of him so it can finally put his influence permanently in the past and move on.

I'm not celebrating the Iraqi court's decision, but Saddam Hussein isn't going to be mourned in my house. As I also said before, there are a lot more people more deserving of our sympathy than him.
Well it's good that you're not celebrating the decision. But a lot of people are. In fact, the US government is currently trying to use Saddam's sentence to regain public support for the invasion of Iraq, with some success. And since not only the invasion but the subsequent trial were illegal under international law, the whole situation is reprihensible.

It is important to remind those who are easily swayed that Hussein is being executed for crimes which their own leaders are undeniably guilty of. And whether those leaders will ever see justice or not, isn't relevant to the fact that all the sheeple are running around cheering the death of the loser in an immoral conflict, and calling it justice.

So yes, this sentence is something to be mourned, because it not only highlights our own leaders' evils, it also highlights the ignorance of the public.


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Old 11-07-2006, 01:14 PM   #44
Dagobahn Eagle
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Point of order: When American cluster bombs go off in residential areas and waste thousands of civilians, it's not "collateral damage" or whatever the military buzzword is for "Oops!". Cluster bombs are designed, built, manufactured and deployed to do exactly that.
Add to the list the depleted uranium rounds you mentioned and White Phosphorous, and you get a picture very unfitting a democratic nation.

In a perfect world, of course, there wouldn't be war-crimes as there'd be an organ capable of punishing all offenders, not just the "bad guys".

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Old 11-07-2006, 01:19 PM   #45
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@spider-ok, bastila, take a valium. I'm quite correct, after going over your posts, in coming to the conclusion that you believe SH's execution is moral ONLY IF a whole host of others are executed along with him. You seem exasperated that I've not addressed the other half of your equation. However, it was your own wording that resulted in your misinterpretation of my aside. Since I'm not passing sentence on SH, nor executing him, I'm not being hypocritical (nor did I accuse you of making such a direct statement). Neither, however, do I "celebrate" (what exactly do you mean here anyway?) his upcoming execution. I just accept it as a fact, knowing that it was inevitable that the Iraqi's would have gone there anyway. Like Mace, I won't be shedding any crocodile tears over his demise. Frankly, for me to be hypocritical, I'd have to embrace your interpretation of events and still say, nah....

BTW, I wasn't aware that the Iraqi government required a sign off by the UN to try it's own people w/in it's own borders. And, given that there are more shia (and kurds combined) than sunis, the result would have effectively been the same in a "legitimate" govt. setting. Perhaps we should ask the current government to petition under international law for the handing over of all (what, maybe 155,000+ people) who can be connected to the operation in Iraq and they can all be hanged with SH. I'm sure that with the impramateur of "international law", you'd feel quite comfortable that the right thing was finally being done.

Also, you are twisting words with your statement "......anyone who believes that someone who calls one killing immoral must be against ALL killing... is being rather silly. That's a hell of an assumption to make, in fact.
" I never stipulated you were against ALL killing b/c you seemed to oppose SH's execution. You came to that silly conclusion all by yourself. Note the key word is ALL and thus goes beyond the concept of executions. I'm well aware that you believe that not all killing is in fact murder. I did, afterall, read your "treatises" about empathy in another thread (my own, I believe).

@SD-you were making the assumption of gladness. I was no more ambiguous than you were presumptuous. The difference between us is that you don't seem to support the DP under any circumstances and I'm willing to consider it a viable alternative. Furthermore, your assumptions about the security of SH prison arrangements would only hold if he were actually jailed outside Iraq. More than a few people wouldn't mind trying to get him out, if only to blacken the new govenment's eyes. If they're not afraid to attack the US military, they'd be that much less fearful to attack Iraqi forces.
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:05 PM   #46
Mace MacLeod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dagobahn Eagle
Add to the list the depleted uranium rounds you mentioned and White Phosphorous, and you get a picture very unfitting a democratic nation.

In a perfect world, of course, there wouldn't be war-crimes as there'd be an organ capable of punishing all offenders, not just the "bad guys".
There is just such an organ: The War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, as I mentioned. Like I also mentioned, the US doesn't support it due to the above and various other shenanigans which under international law would quite rightfully see ol' Dubya and the rest of his pedigree chums front and center.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
Well it's good that you're not celebrating the decision. But a lot of people are. In fact, the US government is currently trying to use Saddam's sentence to regain public support for the invasion of Iraq, with some success. And since not only the invasion but the subsequent trial were illegal under international law, the whole situation is reprihensible.

It is important to remind those who are easily swayed that Hussein is being executed for crimes which their own leaders are undeniably guilty of. And whether those leaders will ever see justice or not, isn't relevant to the fact that all the sheeple are running around cheering the death of the loser in an immoral conflict, and calling it justice.
Hey, I hear that. But these are the same people who still think that Saddam was somehow responsible for 9/11, despite the complete and total lack of any connection between him and al-Qaeda. Yet another moment where I'm glad to not be American.

The main point of what I've been trying to say is that whether his trial was illegal, immoral, cruel, barbaric, unjust by our standards or not, Saddam is anything but a clueless dupe or martyr. Whatever crimes leaders in the US, UK, or other countries have committed, Saddam did loads of nasty stuff all on his own volition. Dealt with in isolation from anyone else anywhere else, Saddam Hussein waged war on Iran, Kuwait and his own countrymen, resulting in millions of deaths all told. I'm willing to mourn a lot of people, but not him.


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Old 11-07-2006, 02:20 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

@spider-ok, bastila, take a valium. I'm quite correct, after going over your posts, in coming to the conclusion that you believe SH's execution is moral ONLY IF a whole host of others are executed along with him.
Wrong.

Okay, I'm going to type the sentence I've been typing all along once more, and this time I'm going to dissect it and explain it in such utterly simple terms that nobody can even intentionally misunderstand it.

If you think Saddam should be executed, but DON'T think that our leaders should be executed, you're a goldarned hypocrite.

This means that if you think that Saddam should be executed; that the execution of Saddam for his crimes is justified, but you do NOT think that Georgie porgie, Tony Blair, Wolfowitz etcetera etcetera should also be executed for their crimes, then you are guilty of hypocrisy. Because the crimes of our leaders are great indeed. Possibly greater than the crimes of Saddam. And so, if you believe a certain punishment should be meted out to Saddam but you do not believe the same punishment (or worse) should be meted out to our own leaders, you are a hypocrite.

This statement has nothing to do with whether the act of executing Saddam in itself is moral. That's a different question. And obviously so.

Now, nobody ever really had an excuse for misunderstanding my original statement, and they have even less excuse for misunderstanding this portion of this post.

In addition, I'm not sure what calling me "bastila" is supposed to signify. But it's probably juvenile in nature, and thus an irrelevance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

BTW, I wasn't aware that the Iraqi government required a sign off by the UN to try it's own people w/in it's own borders. And, given that there are more shia (and kurds combined) than sunis, the result would have effectively been the same in a "legitimate" govt. setting.
The question of whether the current "Iraqi government" is legitimate is a different issue to whether the government should conform to the standards of international law. Which of course it should. Unless you think it's okay to violate international law whenever you see fit... by say... invading a sovereign nation perhaps?

The court wasn't and isn't legal. The invasion that resulted in the court's existence wasn't legal. So how can the sentence passed by the court be "justice"? It's just a show-trial. A lynch-mob. Whether the man deserves a horrible death or not, the process is morally bankrupt and therefore the result... WHATEVER it might be, cannot be untainted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Perhaps we should ask the current government to petition under international law for the handing over of all (what, maybe 155,000+ people) who can be connected to the operation in Iraq and they can all be hanged with SH. I'm sure that with the impramateur of "international law", you'd feel quite comfortable that the right thing was finally being done.
Curiously enough, my original statement is also the perfect answer to this paragraph.

If YOU believe that Saddam should be hanged for his war crimes but also believe that the architects of the conflict from our own shores should not be hanged under the same principle, then you're a hypocrite. I don't know about you, but I don't want to be a hypocrite. I try not to be a hypocrite.

If you're trying to ask "whom do you believe should be killed along with Saddam?" I must point out that I've never said that I want anyone to die at all. (Which, before you make one of your sweeping assumptions, does NOT mean that I disagree with capital punishment.) I've merely pointed out... shall we say... morally repugnant double standards in a certain trend in public opinion.

As for the international law angle, it would seem to be a basic moral standard that we apply any laws we have universally. Without the imprimatur of those international institutions that interpret and apply international law, our leaders are merely thuggish warlords.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Also, you are twisting words with your statement "......anyone who believes that someone who calls one killing immoral must be against ALL killing... is being rather silly. That's a hell of an assumption to make, in fact.
" I never stipulated you were against ALL killing b/c you seemed to oppose SH's execution. You came to that silly conclusion all by yourself. Note the key word is ALL and thus goes beyond the concept of executions. I'm well aware that you believe that not all killing is in fact murder. I did, afterall, read your "treatises" about empathy in another thread (my own, I believe).
You missed the point, Tot.

Your statement:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You appear to believe that killing Sadam is immoral. Since capital punishment is killing, it's not unrerasonable for someone to conclude that you believe that capital punishment is itself immoral. You just seemed to be "touching" on that "axiomatically", apparently.
You stated that YOU believed that I consider killing Saddam to be immoral. (Wrong.)

You then stated that you "reasonably" concluded that because I consider killing Saddam to be immoral, that I believe that "capital punishment in itself is immoral." (Unreasonable conclusion)

So you concluded that I was against all executions, because you believed (erroneously) that I was against one execution. Therefore my analogy was perfectly apt. Your assumptions have been massive and far-reaching in this thread, I have to say.

And finally an important rebuttal to an assertion you made in the first paragraph of your last post:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Neither, however, do I "celebrate" (what exactly do you mean here anyway?) his upcoming execution.
Patently false. Let me quote you some quotes, from your own fair keyboard:

"Good riddance to bad rubbish. Now to see how long it will take them to carry out the sentence....."

"Frankly, yeah, I'd have no problem pulling the switch, saying "fire" or whatever was necessary to eliminate the likes of a SH or OBL or etc..."

To celebrate is to publically praise, to applaud, to laud widely, to glorify. It is not necessarily "having a party in your flat with a few friends". Your statements seem quite celebratory concerning Saddam's sentence. And believe you me, your views are fairly moderate in the scheme of things.

If I am incorrect and you do NOT approve of Saddam's sentence, well, you've been misleading us.

If you heard that Wolfowitz or... Rumsfeld was about to be hanged, would you say "Good riddance to bad rubbish"? Would you say "I'd have no problem pulling the switch"? If not, you're a hypocrite.


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Old 11-07-2006, 05:33 PM   #48
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First off, I ignored your hypothesis b/c I believe it to be irrelevant. The morality of executing Sadam (or the fairness for that matter) is not tied to whether we hold anyone else responsible for other acts not related to the charges for which he's been indicted. Hypocrisy is beside the point. As I stated, IF I bought into your interpretation of events and disagreed with your conclusions, THEN I'd be guilty of at the very least inconsistency and then perhaps the hypocrisy you so cling to. So, just so you didn't miss it, I understood your setup in the beginning, but disrearded it as irrelevant. In your arrogant rush to condescension, you obviously missed this fact. It seems to me, and it appears to be bourne out in your followup posts, that you merely wish to engage in ad hominem assault via the label hypocrite. Also, the reference to bastila was regarding how easily she got riled when challenged, which has apparently proven an apt (not immature) description of your response. You seem to possibly be exhibiting trollish behavior towards those you don't agree with in these threads.

Second, your contention that the war was illegal, doesn't pass muster. There was never anything other than a ceasefire declared at the end of Desert Storm. So, no peace, no new "illegal" war. It also goes to the whole point of international law you so cherish. If the UN cannot or will not enforce it's edicts, them no one is ultimatley bound by it's decisions. As mordibund as that other outfit, the League of Nations. However, perhaps you merely mean that the US should have formally declared war on Saddam, though I'm sure you'd contend that'd be illicit as well. International law is like the bastard stepchild no one wants to recognize till it benefits them. A country's internal affairs are seperate from international law. Many or most countries have their own legal systems, which predate said law. Your contention that the government is little more than a puppet does not invalidate it's right to try and execute Saddam, just b/c you don't happen to agree with how it came into existence. I believe there was voting in Iraq, BY Iraqis, for their provisional government. The trial and sentencing of SH for his actions is neither immoral nor illegal. Also, international law is not permanently binding on any nation. It's a mechanism that lacks any real teeth, except when it suits other's purposes. It's about as binding as the line "till death do us part" is to a serial monogamist.

It's apparent that both of us have misrepresented or misunderstood each other. While you don't outright say "killing SH is blatantly immoral b/c taking his life is wrong", you instead assert through your arguments that the manner in which he's being executed is basically "not moral" b/c 1) it doesn't satisfy your view of fair jurisprudence and 2) b/c people like Rummy and Co. don't go to the gallows with him.

You also, in an attempt to put yourself in the better light, omit my acknowledgrement that you don't in fact believe all killing is immoral. While I'll endeavor to edit a bit more rigourously in the future, you should strive to be less disingenuous. For instance, you try to brush aside my "belief" as being wrong, but then say elsewhere that if anyone deserved death, it was Saddam. Given your definition of immorality in other posts, are you actually saying that Saddam was/is moral? His acts seem to fit your requirements for execution. So, you are also guilty of "celebrating", though even less strenuously than you accuse me of, Saddam's sentence. I'll allow for the fact that we don't actually know one another to account for such misinterpretations. Seems were both a little too casual in our wording. You also took the comment about pulling the switch or yelling fire out of context. As I said to SD, b/c I'm not opposed to the death penalty in principle, I'd perform those actions if necessary. Good riddance to bad rubbish is basically just a dismissal, not a "celebration" as you're trying to twist it. Let's see how long it takes to carry it out is only an observation about the system in place. You're freighting those words with your own meanings, thus mischaracterizing my speech to bolster your argument, such as it were.

Less you wish to parse again, just admit that you think the execution of SH is immoral b/c you believe that the "taint of an immoral opeation" makes it so. I believe your words are to the effect that the sentence is little more than arbitrary vengeance, which we all know means immoral in your book. Everyone knows your views on hypocrisy by now (even those like me who got it in the beginning, but frankly didn't agree or care).

Let's just take off the gloves and agree to disagree.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:06 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

First off, I ignored your hypothesis b/c I believe it to be irrelevant. The morality of executing Sadam (or the fairness for that matter) is not tied to whether we hold anyone else responsible for other acts not related to the charges for which he's been indicted. Hypocrisy is beside the point.
And once again, I've never stated that the execution of Saddam is immoral. Your inability to comprehend this fact is rather astonishing.

My original statement stands: If you believe Saddam should be executed for his crimes, but our leaders should not be executed for theirs, then you are guilty of hypocrisy.

You've said nothing to indicate that you even understand this concept, much less said anything that addresses it directly. For a start, "hypothesis" is not the right word to describe my statement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As I stated, IF I bought into your interpretation of events and disagreed with your conclusions, THEN I'd be guilty of at the very least inconsistency and then perhaps the hypocrisy you so cling to. So, just so you didn't miss it, I understood your setup in the beginning, but disrearded it as irrelevant.
What do you mean "bought into my interpretation of events". Is my interpretation of events up for debate? I should have thought that it was obvious that Saddam's orders caused the deaths of many innocent people, and also that the orders of our own leaders caused the deaths of many innocent people. And that neither Saddam nor our leaders acted within the bounds of international law.

Are you even trying to debate these totally uncontestable facts? That would be silly. So since my assessment that Saddam is merely guilty of immoral and illegal deeds that our own leaders have also committed is pretty much common knowledge, my question stands. Do you support execution of our leaders as well as execution of Saddam? If not, your stance is hypocritical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

In your arrogant rush to condescension, you obviously missed this fact. It seems to me, and it appears to be bourne out in your followup posts, that you merely wish to engage in ad hominem assault via the label hypocrite. Also, the reference to bastila was regarding how easily she got riled when challenged, which has apparently proven an apt (not immature) description of your response. You seem to possibly be exhibiting trollish behavior towards those you don't agree with in these threads
I find your emotive language to be totally unnecessary. I haven't called anyone a hypocrite, merely pointed out that if someone were to hold a certain set of immoral beliefs, they would indeed be a hypocrite. You haven't made clear whether you hold these beliefs yet, however. No, the only person attempting to engage in personal attacks is you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Second, your contention that the war was illegal, doesn't pass muster. There was never anything other than a ceasefire declared at the end of Desert Storm. So, no peace, no new "illegal" war.
This is the standard pro-war stock argument that is always squeakily wheeled out whenever anyone notes that the invasion was illegal. It may surprise you however to find that you'll get no argument from me that the US aggression that began in 1991 never really stopped. Even after the ceasefire the US continued to smash the Iraqi people with economic sanctions that made Saddam Hussein even more powerful internally than he was before Desert Storm. Not to mention Clinton's bombing campaigns.

But the fact that the US always intended to go back into Iraq in force doesn't alter the fact that the current invasion of Iraq was in violation of international law. Even those involved in our own governance at a high level who are pro-war have admitted as much, when they've forgotten to toe the party line:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story...089158,00.html

The UN charter makes clear that without specific UN approval, no nation can use force against another nation unless in self defence. The oft-referred to resolution 1441 required a further UN resolution to actually justify going to war, and that was made clear at the time the resolution was made by prominent figures at the UN, as well as the US's own ambassador to the UN.

Now with that in mind, even if we were to accept your assertion that they are not technically two separate wars, but one war with an extended break in the middle, (Despite all of Bush the Elder's declarations of victory following the end of the conflict in '91) then we must face the conclusion that RESUMING the conflict in the manner that the US did, was illegal. But that's more a question of cosmetic terminology. Makes no effective difference. Whether you recognise it as a new conflict (as I do) or call it a resumption of hostilities (as you do), the 2003 invasion was and is illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

If the UN cannot or will not enforce it's edicts, them no one is ultimatley bound by it's decisions. As mordibund as that other outfit, the League of Nations.
Well that's a morally bankrupt stance, Tot. It's like saying "If the policeman can't or won't chase you, you aren't bound by law not to steal." Utterly amoral. It shocks me that you would believe such a thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

International law is like the bastard stepchild no one wants to recognize till it benefits them. A country's internal affairs are seperate from international law. Many or most countries have their own legal systems, which predate said law. Your contention that the government is little more than a puppet does not invalidate it's right to try and execute Saddam, just b/c you don't happen to agree with how it came into existence. I believe there was voting in Iraq, BY Iraqis, for their provisional government. The trial and sentencing of SH for his actions is neither immoral nor illegal. Also, international law is not permanently binding on any nation. It's a mechanism that lacks any real teeth, except when it suits other's purposes. It's about as binding as the line "till death do us part" is to a serial monogamist.
WHAT? Our governments' excuse for invading Iraq was that Saddam was in violation of international law. But now you're suggesting that it's "legal" and "moral" for a court which is illegal under international law to TRY the man? I'm sorry, but that's so hypocritical that it borders on madness.

Furthermore there was voting, undoubtedly. But for a list of candidates who were vetted by the US. How can it be a democratic Iraqi election if the US decides who runs and who does not? The answer is, it cannot. Therefore the government is tainted at best, a puppet at worst.

And once again you trundle out the fallacy that if international law is not enforced, it ceases to be law. Does our law against theft cease to be law if the thief gets away with his theft? Of course not. And furthermore, international law is necessary if we are to behave morally as nations. Law has to be universally applied, or it is not moral.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

It's apparent that both of us have misrepresented or misunderstood each other.
Sigh. Nooo Tot, I have not misunderstood you at all. And I have not misrepresented my own position one jot, nor yours. Show me where I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

While you don't outright say "killing SH is blatantly immoral b/c taking his life is wrong", you instead assert through your arguments that the manner in which he's being executed is basically "not moral" b/c 1) it doesn't satisfy your view of fair jurisprudence and 2) b/c people like Rummy and Co. don't go to the gallows with him.
Both completely, completely wrong. I have never said anything of the sort. I have said that:

if you think Saddam deserves death for his crimes, but believe that our own leaders don't deserve death for their crimes, you're a hypocrite.

Not a statement that refers to the act of Saddam's execution, nor the manner in which he's being executed, nor the necessity of other people following him to the gallows.

I have on the other hand pointed out that the manner in which he's been SENTENCED is immoral as it is contrary to international law, the very law that he is charged with breaking in the first place. But that too is obvious.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You also, in an attempt to put yourself in the better light, omit my acknowledgrement that you don't in fact believe all killing is immoral. While I'll endeavor to edit a bit more rigourously in the future, you should strive to be less disingenuous.
This is just flagrant nonsense. You stated that I hold certain beliefs. I proved that you were in the wrong in that matter. End of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

For instance, you try to brush aside my "belief" as being wrong, but then say elsewhere that if anyone deserved death, it was Saddam. Given your definition of immorality in other posts, are you actually saying that Saddam was/is moral?
Total non-sequitur. Anyone who manages to delude themselves into getting the impression from my posts that I believe Saddam to be in any way a moral man, needs their eyes checked.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

His acts seem to fit your requirements for execution. So, you are also guilty of "celebrating", though even less strenuously than you accuse me of, Saddam's sentence.
Nope. You've made it clear that you approve of this sentence, and I have made it VERY VERY clear that I believe the sentence to be tainted legally and morally, dispensed by an illegal and morally dubious court of law, appointed by an undemocratic puppet government, in a nation which was illegally and immorally invaded.

So where you get the idea that I am in any way sharing your elation at Saddam's sentence... I really can't fathom. You're wrong again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

allow for the fact that we don't actually know one another to account for such misinterpretations. Seems were both a little too casual in our wording. You also took the comment about pulling the switch or yelling fire out of context. As I said to SD, b/c I'm not opposed to the death penalty in principle, I'd perform those actions if necessary. Good riddance to bad rubbish is basically just a dismissal, not a "celebration" as you're trying to twist it.
Good riddance to bad rubbish (Saddam) = To be rid of bad rubbish (Saddam) is good.

I didn't take this out of context, its meaning is obvious and self-contained. If anyone is too casual in their wording, it is you and only you.

"Frankly, yeah, I'd have no problem pulling the switch, saying "fire" or whatever was necessary to eliminate the likes of a SH or OBL or etc..." Means that not only do you approve of the sentence, you'd carry it out yourself. That isn't taken out of context. It's not "twisted" by me.

If you now realise that you didn't mean those things you typed and then posted in this thread, then please, retract them. Recant. Correct yourself. Feel free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Less you wish to parse again, just admit that you think the execution of SH is immoral b/c you believe that the "taint of an immoral opeation" makes it so. I believe your words are to the effect that the sentence is little more than arbitrary vengeance, which we all know means immoral in your book. Everyone knows your views on hypocrisy by now (even those like me who got it in the beginning, but frankly didn't agree or care).
And once again I must correct you. I do not think the act of executing Saddam would in itself be immoral. I've made that clear many many times. How many times must I make it clear?

The sentencing of the court on the other hand, is immoral. And if anyone were to be in favour of this sentence without also being in favour of the same sentence for our own leaders, they too would be immoral. Because they'd be hypocrites.

If a murderer is mugged on his way home and stabbed to death by his mugger, the killing is both immoral and illegal. Why? Because even if the murderer deserved to die, the manner of his death violated the very laws and moral principles under which which he would have been charged and sentenced.

An illegal court that sentences someone to death could accurately- if colloquially- called a lynch mob. And even if they only hang actual murderers, their actions and sentences are still illegal and immoral, because without the mandate of law, they themselves are murderers. The parallel is fairly exact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Let's just take off the gloves and agree to disagree.
"Agree to disagree"... You know Tot, nobody's making you debate. This is after all a debating forum. To request that someone just stop arguing with you, rather defeats the point of coming on to the debating forum in the first place.

Somewhat confusing.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod:

Hey, I hear that. But these are the same people who still think that Saddam was somehow responsible for 9/11, despite the complete and total lack of any connection between him and al-Qaeda. Yet another moment where I'm glad to not be American.

The main point of what I've been trying to say is that whether his trial was illegal, immoral, cruel, barbaric, unjust by our standards or not, Saddam is anything but a clueless dupe or martyr. Whatever crimes leaders in the US, UK, or other countries have committed, Saddam did loads of nasty stuff all on his own volition. Dealt with in isolation from anyone else anywhere else, Saddam Hussein waged war on Iran, Kuwait and his own countrymen, resulting in millions of deaths all told. I'm willing to mourn a lot of people, but not him.
Oh I agree with everything you say in these two paragraphs, but I must say that the way the sentence was arrived at does deserve a little mourning period. Saddam? He's undoubtedly a mass-murderer. But a lynch mob's a lynch mob. And regardless of who they lynch, the presence of a lynch mob is enough to warrant some active disapproval.

(edit) also worth remembering that our nations share responsibility for the deaths caused by Saddam in war, because we armed and funded him.


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Old 11-07-2006, 11:45 PM   #50
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Well Saddam had such an ego he probably thought he was well hung, now he's going to prove it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TK-8252
Sentencing him to death? Typical.

What we should do: put him back in charge of Iraq, and let him clean up the mess. Now THAT would be punishment.
Oh that's just mean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
The Death Penalty is barbaric, and death by hanging even more so.
I agree with the notion of how wrong hanging is, but in Saddam's case he earnt it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StaffSaberist
@ the above.

Capital punishment is indeed distasteful, but we're not exactly in charge, here. We Americans made a big stink over the "using the Iraqis to put Saddam on trial" as a publicity stunt. we have to accept the full ramifications of that. They're free to arse-rape him if they sentence him that way (though we certianly would throw a fit if they did).
Yeah we would, he'd enjoy it.

Seriously if we would've put him to death or imprison him and the Iraqis intend to put him to death then I seriously doubt some human shield can complain about it being wrong. You can bring George Bush up on the same charges and might very well get a conviction, Bush is, currently, the far lesser of the two evils. Just the same I'd be very careful of voting Republican.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
If people have problems with the Death Penalty morally, just remember that in Iraq and many other places around the world, it's considered perfectly reasonable and justifiable traditional punishment, especially for someone convicted of the crimes Saddam just got nailed for. Especially in Muslim countires.
:snip: Couldn't have put that tirade better if I tried.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
To you, Totenkopf, and to all those who agree with you that Saddam should be executed for his crime... I ask a simple question.

If it is right for Saddam Hussein to be executed for ordering the death of other people, is it right for our leaders to be executed along with him?
If they set out to kill innocent people and take over the country for themselves, yes.

Lost the quote of concern about him being turned into a myter, but to address the issue, the Sunnis would use it as an excuse for bloodshed no question but Saddam won't make himself out to be one, he's not the type.
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Old 11-08-2006, 01:04 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
@SD-you were making the assumption of gladness. I was no more ambiguous than you were presumptuous.
I concede that.

Quote:
The difference between us is that you don't seem to support the DP under any circumstances and I'm willing to consider it a viable alternative.
Not exactly. If you were to prove that Saddam would have an actual chance at escape and would be able to do significant harm after said escape, then I might consider it as an alternative. That would simply be protecting the innocent. However... things being as they are, I just don't see how you justify it.

Quote:
Furthermore, your assumptions about the security of SH prison arrangements would only hold if he were actually jailed outside Iraq. More than a few people wouldn't mind trying to get him out, if only to blacken the new govenment's eyes. If they're not afraid to attack the US military, they'd be that much less fearful to attack Iraqi forces.
Then why not send him to the UN prisons or something like I said? They held Slobodan Milosevic quite well, and I daresay people had reason to hate him as much as they do Saddam. I'm sure it wouldn't have been much a problem to ask.



Spider- I'm curious as to how your empathetic morality applies to Saddam's case here. Could you explain that a bit?


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Old 11-08-2006, 09:19 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samuel Dravis:

Spider- I'm curious as to how your empathetic morality applies to Saddam's case here. Could you explain that a bit?
An interesting question. Let me outline what I consider to be the moral position:

Killing is not generally considered to be moral, but there are notable exceptions. For instance, in defence of one's own life, it is morally acceptable to kill. As a general principle therefore, when someone chooses to make an attempt on the life of another, they are effectively forfeiting their own moral right to life.

As a secondary principle, morality is very much about accepting responsibility for one's actions, and holding others accountable for their actions. There must be a penalty for one's immoral actions.

Possibly the greatest (morally and legally speaking) crimes it is possible to commit are war crimes. They devastate the greatest number of people, often have a great effect on local ecosystems and are always committed with some petty monetary gain in mind. Therefore they are some of the most utterly immoral crimes one can commit.

It is therefore arguable that the most severe legal punishment available should be meted out to those who commit war crimes.

Now I personally believe that in principle, imprisonment is much more moral than the death penalty, in that AFTER a crime has been committed, one cannot kill the murderer "in self defence". However, if the death penalty is a penalty that is handed out under the law, universally for the same crimes, it is more moral than a death penalty which is handed out arbitrarily, as it has been in this case.

Furthermore, though from my point of view the death penalty when compared to peaceful imprisonment is comparatively immoral, if I were Saddam Hussein, I could have no moral argument against the death penalty, as I had visited death upon others thousands of times over. And practically speaking, if imprisoned, he should be imprisoned for life, away from all aspects of life outside his prison. In effect, not very different from death.

An additional concern is the practical cost of imprisonment. I don't think it would be moral to bill the Iraqi people for the upkeep of the man who oppressed them, and that would of course be the inevitable result. (as the US alliance never foots any bills it doesn't have to.)

So whether people like Saddam should be killed or imprisoned is a complex moral question. So complex, in fact, that I find that I cannot give a definitive answer.

As I've said before in this thread, I'm not sure that the act of executing Saddam would be entirely immoral. But what's certain is that the manner in which he was captured, in which he was brought to trial, in which he has now been sentenced, is totally immoral.

-

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

If they set out to kill innocent people and take over the country for themselves, yes.
I don't think it's in any doubt that by going to war for spurious reasons, our governments did indeed "set out to kill innocent people". And since they had no altruistic reason for invading Iraq (obviously no WMDs, and look at all the wonderful things that have happened to the Iraqis now that bad old Saddam is gone) it must be concluded that our governments went into Iraq in order to install a more sympathetic puppet regime in place of Saddam. So yes, they also went in to the country "for themselves".

So by your reasoning and mine, the crimes of our governments are comparable to the crimes of Saddam.


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Old 11-08-2006, 10:24 AM   #53
Mace MacLeod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Well Saddam had such an ego he probably thought he was well hung, now he's going to prove it.
*insert comic snare drum double-tap and cymbal crash here* Ouuuuuch......
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Second, your contention that the war was illegal, doesn't pass muster. There was never anything other than a ceasefire declared at the end of Desert Storm. So, no peace, no new "illegal" war. It also goes to the whole point of international law you so cherish. If the UN cannot or will not enforce it's edicts, them no one is ultimatley bound by it's decisions. As mordibund as that other outfit, the League of Nations. However, perhaps you merely mean that the US should have formally declared war on Saddam, though I'm sure you'd contend that'd be illicit as well. International law is like the bastard stepchild no one wants to recognize till it benefits them.
Uh...well, that's a total load. Just because the US decided to ignore international law with the UK hopping faithfully along behind in puppy-dog supplication doesn't make international law any less valid, or the war any less illegal. With its repeated efforts to block the formation of a UN rapid reaction force with real teeth, it's the US itself which has deliberately prevented the UN from being strong enough to actually to actually deter countries from breaking International Law, as it might not agree with the US' self-appointed role of World Police That Gets To Break Whatever Laws It Wants To. The US had no international mandate to invade Iraq, no evidence that Iraq had any ability or intention to attack the US or its allies, and now three years later, no sign of any Weapons of Mass (or even Moderate) Destruction, no collusion with Osama or al-Qaeda over 9/11, none of that at all. Just because the US likes to pick and choose what laws it follows at a whim doesn't make those laws any less binding.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Also, international law is not permanently binding on any nation. It's a mechanism that lacks any real teeth, except when it suits other's purposes. It's about as binding as the line "till death do us part" is to a serial monogamist.
See above.


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Old 11-08-2006, 11:38 AM   #54
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Spider, I knew you couldn't resist picking a scab, so to speak. You are basically disingenuous or lying to yourself (which I guess is your right). You typed the following: "I personally believe that when a man seeks to kill another creature for purely immoral reasons, he forfeits his own right to life. So you could say in a way I'm in favour of the death penalty". Yet you then proceed to rail against the EXECUTION of Saddam Hussein. I never said (verbatim or conclusively--"I never stipulated you were against ALL killing b/c you seemed to oppose SH's execution") that you didn't think Saddam had lost his lease on life, but a death sentence is a process. You've made it quite clear that you think that that has been tainted and thus "not moral". Thus, it's FAIR to conclude that you think his execution is either immoral or at best amoral. And since you go to such great legths belaboring the whole hypocrisy deal, it's not unfair to conclude that you think the execution is immoral (or amoral, again) b/c your nemesis in the US (and elsewhere) aren't being hanged with him.

One thing is certain, though, and that is that you don't read too well. I made it VERY clear that I got your premise about hypocrisy and DISMISSED it as irrelevant, stating so at least once already. Not my fault that bothers you.
You're missives drip with condescension and perhaps even incredulity. I doubt you aren't aware of this. But I do think you're frustrated that I don't answer it b/c it's apparent you want to use the label hypocrite. However, as I already stated, my view of the events would have to match yours for me to be guilty of hypocrisy.

As to international law, there are several probems with your contention about the morality of laws. If every nation has a law that YOU think is immoral, but it's still universally applied, then it's apparently moral b/c you claim for a law to be moral it has to be applied across the board. "international law is necessary if we are to behave morally as nations. Law has to be universally applied, or it is not moral." No doubt you blow a vessel here and claim I'm taking you out of context. For instance, if all the countries of the world decided to deport ('cause we all know that killing would violate your concept of morality as spelled out throughout these threads) people of a certain type(be they athiests, Jews, Catholics, etc..) to another land yet unsettled, that would be morally ok b/c all NATIONS were doing it. If you have a problem with such an interpretation, you should perhaps tighten up your definition. It wouldn't be unfair to conclude from your statement (your protestations, if any, aside) that arguably amoral or immoral national laws could become moral if all nations applied them.

The reason I dismiss the UN as just another mordibund entity is that it doesn't take but one SC veto to sidline it's actions. Had the rep from the USSR not been "missing" in 1950, you'd probably contend that the US "invasion" of Korea would've been illegal and immoral b/c the UN hadn't signed off on it. And more people died there in 3 years than in Iraq. The UN is just the face behind which the major political powers do their business. It has no ability to enforce anything. If your government/qwuasi-governmental body lacks the power to enforce the laws it proclaims, why should anyone feel bound by any law they don't personally disagree with? In the world of politics, that means nations can revert to bilateral or multilateral agreements to conduct their business in an acceptable fashion. Just because a law isn't (yet?) international in scope doesn't make it inherently immoral.


"Does Saddam deserve to die? Well as a brutal dictator if ANYONE deserves death, he does." That's about resounding an approval as good riddance to bad rubbish. Celebration in the context you're actually using it is not devoid of emotional content. On 9/11, I overheard someone say "I'm surprised it took them that long to think of that". That could be twisted in a manner of ways. Not having any aural cues, I could view that as simply as an acknowledgement that nobody'd thought of that before. I could also take it as a somewhat contemptuous approval of someone's action, with the implication that someone finally figured it out and did it, and about bloody time. So, does that comment celebrate anything? That's merely, like yours, a SUBJECTIVE call.

This disagreement between us reminds me of the admonition that if two people don't agree on a set of first principles, there's no use arguing further b/c your basically talking past one another, not to one another. I, at least. realized that we're not going to agree and offered an out. You obviously were too proud to accept it. It's a debating forum, yes, but it's not just our forum. If you feel that you must drag this out, then pm me instead. Otherwise, I guess you must view this forum as a form of performance art and you insecurely need an audience for whom to perform.

@SD-well, I suppose you should petition the government in Iraq and point that out. B/c I agree that that would probably be the only way you might get around the security problem (ie removing him from Iraq). Only other possible problem you might run into is if terrorists et al decided to try and use SH as some kind of bargaining chip whereby they'd threaten certain actions lest he be released. Little to be gained when the person in question is 6 feet under.

Last edited by Totenkopf; 11-08-2006 at 11:54 AM.
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Old 11-08-2006, 12:29 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
One thing is certain, though, and that is that you don't read too well. I made it VERY clear that I got your premise about hypocrisy and DISMISSED it as irrelevant, stating so at least once already. Not my fault that bothers you.
Yet you never gave any adequate reason WHY you can dismiss it without simply being guilty of ignoring something you are unable to refute. Why is it that Saddam deserves death for his orders that resulted in the deaths of innocents but OUR leaders orders that resulted in the deaths of innocents are A-okay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
As to international law, there are several probems with your contention about the morality of laws.
Actually, there aren't several problems, if you're willing to use a little logic when you read his position. It seems that you're nitpicking for the sake of nitpicking, but it seems clear that any law which is immoral, should not become a law in the first place. And if it is universally applied it is STILL immoral. MORAL laws, however MUST be applied universally, or you are not being moral. It has nothing to do with what individuals THINK is moral or not, but rather what actually is or is not moral. You stance that immoral laws would be moral if applied universally is erroneous, and an obvious misinterpretation of the point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
If your government/quasi-governmental body lacks the power to enforce the laws it proclaims, why should anyone feel bound by any law they don't personally disagree with?
Because that is how rational and cooperative nations should act? Because it is what is the morally correct thing to do? If the United States were unable to punish you for rape and murder does that mean you should not feel bound to abide by the laws that say you cannot do those things? I should think not. If you believe that invading a sovereign nation is acceptable despite the lack of UN backing, then you must believe that it is acceptable for other nations to invade the US if they feel they are justified, despite what other people think.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Only other possible problem you might run into is if terrorists et al decided to try and use SH as some kind of bargaining chip whereby they'd threaten certain actions lest he be released.
And there is no chance they would threaten certain actions unless he is released BEFORE he is executed? And threaten something even WORSE if the execution goes through? Thanks, but I've had enough of terrorist threat scare tactics from my government in the last 5 years. I don't let that impact my decision making.



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Old 11-08-2006, 12:45 PM   #56
Spider AL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Spider, I knew you couldn't resist picking a scab, so to speak. You are basically disingenuous or lying to yourself (which I guess is your right). You typed the following: "I personally believe that when a man seeks to kill another creature for purely immoral reasons, he forfeits his own right to life. So you could say in a way I'm in favour of the death penalty". Yet you then proceed to rail against the EXECUTION of Saddam Hussein.
Wrong once again. And quite a glaring error too. If I'm "railing" against anything, it's the sentencing of Saddam by this immoral and illegal court. I've made it quite clear that I don't necessarily consider the act of killing Saddam- by itself- to be immoral. And perhaps if I say it enough, you'll get it into your head.

So once again, no contradiction, no disingenuousness.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I never said (verbatim or conclusively--"I never stipulated you were against ALL killing b/c you seemed to oppose SH's execution") that you didn't think Saddam had lost his lease on life, but a death sentence is a process.
You said that I must be against all capital punishment because you thought I was against this instance of capital punishment. (Wrongly.)

And I showed that you were wrong. End of story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You've made it quite clear that you think that that has been tainted and thus "not moral". Thus, it's FAIR to conclude that you think his execution is either immoral or at best amoral.
Once again you miss an important (and obvious) distinction. I realise that the sentence of the court, the court, and the government that appointed the court are all morally tainted. But that doesn't mean I believe that- in principle- the death penalty for those guilty of war crimes is an immoral penalty. As I've stated many times.

If Saddam were tried by a court conforming to international laws and sentenced under those laws, for example, I would not consider the sentence to be immoral. But this court does not conform to international law, and its sentence is as immoral as the sentence of any lynch-mob, whether the victim morally deserves to die or not.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

And since you go to such great legths belaboring the whole hypocrisy deal, it's not unfair to conclude that you think the execution is immoral (or amoral, again) b/c your nemesis in the US (and elsewhere) aren't being hanged with him.
Incorrect, it's just one of your illogical sweeping assumptions again. And furthermore, "nemesis in the US"? Those of our leaders who are guilty of war crimes are hardly my nemeses. They've never done anything unpleasant to me personally. The fact that I calmly recognise their amorality doesn't mean I'm their rabid foeman. But if YOU don't recognise their amorality, that does rather make you wilfully ignorant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

One thing is certain, though, and that is that you don't read too well.
Juvenile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I made it VERY clear that I got your premise about hypocrisy and DISMISSED it as irrelevant, stating so at least once already. Not my fault that bothers you.
Oh, but I did notice that you failed to respond to my statement/query regarding the hypocrisy of not approving of the same punishment for our leaders as you approve of for Saddam. But I'm not going to stop saying it just because you consistently run away from it. Answer the question. Would you laud the hangings of Tony Blair, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz as you do the hanging of Saddam? If the answer is no, you're a hypocrite.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You're missives drip with condescension and perhaps even incredulity.
Disagreeing with your frankly dubious arguments does not make me condescending. And the only thing I'm incredulous about is your ability to blind yourself to the obvious. You think the invasion of Iraq was legal, for instance. Actually I'm not sure you meant to use the word "incredulous". Is that really what you meant?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

But I do think you're frustrated that I don't answer it b/c it's apparent you want to use the label hypocrite. However, as I already stated, my view of the events would have to match yours for me to be guilty of hypocrisy.
Whether or not you're a hypocrite has nothing to do with your "view of the events". It has everything to do with you being guilty of double-standards. Are you guilty of double standards? Well to help us find out, answer the question: Are you in favour of hanging our leaders in the same way that you are in favour of hanging Saddam?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

As to international law, there are several probems with your contention about the morality of laws. If every nation has a law that YOU think is immoral, but it's still universally applied, then it's apparently moral b/c you claim for a law to be moral it has to be applied across the board. "international law is necessary if we are to behave morally as nations. Law has to be universally applied, or it is not moral."
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. Wrong. I don't know what's wrong with your reasoning powers, but something is wrong.

I have never said that if a law was universally applied "that makes it moral". I have stated that a law can ONLY be moral if it's universally applied. But of course, it may still be an immoral law. Let me make the position clear:

If there was a law stating that nobody could keep slaves, that would be most moral.
(A moral law, universally applied.)
If there was a law stating that people of every race could keep slaves of every race, that would be immoral.
(Universally applied, but still immoral.)
If there was a law stating that white people could keep slaves of every other race, that would be LEAST moral.
(An immoral law, unevenly applied.)

I've never said anything different. Once again, show me where I have.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

The UN is just the face behind which the major political powers do their business. It has no ability to enforce anything. If your government/qwuasi-governmental body lacks the power to enforce the laws it proclaims, why should anyone feel bound by any law they don't personally disagree with?
For the same reason that a thief must abide by the laws stating that he can't steal, even though he disagrees with it.

And once again, you rattle out the totally fallacious argument that if the UN can't enforce its laws, those laws are not binding. What utter rot, morally bankrupt and completely nonsensical.

You steal an old lady's purse. The policeman who chases you can't catch you for whatever reason. Therefore by your immoral reasoning, the law stating that you shouldn't mug old ladies "isn't binding", because the law was not enforced in your case. Laughable point of view.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

In the world of politics, that means nations can revert to bilateral or multilateral agreements to conduct their business in an acceptable fashion. Just because a law isn't (yet?) international in scope doesn't make it inherently immoral.
Actually it does. Because unless a law is applied universally, i.e: We apply the same legal standards to ourselves as we do to others, that law cannot be moral, and is therefore unacceptable to any moral man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

"Does Saddam deserve to die? Well as a brutal dictator if ANYONE deserves death, he does." That's about resounding an approval as good riddance to bad rubbish.
Nooope. Stating that "if you consider the death penalty to be valid, Saddam would qualify to receive it as a most extreme criminal" doesn't compare to saying "It's good that we're rid of Saddam."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

On 9/11, I overheard someone say "I'm surprised it took them that long to think of that". That could be twisted in a manner of ways. Not having any aural cues, I could view that as simply as an acknowledgement that nobody'd thought of that before. I could also take it as a somewhat contemptuous approval of someone's action, with the implication that someone finally figured it out and did it, and about bloody time.
You couldn't possibly think that unless you were a rabid uber-patriot who was out looking for some "commies" to beat up. The statement you describe is quite simple and self-contained. It is quite literally "I am surprised that terrorist groups have not thought of using passenger jets as projectiles before now". Can't be twisted any other way without significal effort and bendy-logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

So, does that comment celebrate anything? That's merely, like yours, a SUBJECTIVE call.
Nothing subjective about it. You stated that it was good that we were rid of Saddam, and that you would have no problem performing the execution yourself. Try and squeeze out of it as much as you wish, it's all there in the proverbial black and white.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I, at least. realized that we're not going to agree and offereded an out. You obviously were too proud to accept it. It's a debating forum, yes, but it's not just our forum. If you feel that you must drag this out, then pm me instead. Otherwise, I guess you must view this forum as a form of performance art and you insecurely need an audience for whom to perform.
If we were to conduct all our debates by PM, there would be little purpose to having the Senate at all. Isn't that right?

As for "offering an out", I don't particularly want an "out". I don't engage in debates to achieve "agreement". The real purpose of debate is to divine the truth, by applying logic to complex questions, and entertaining the logical critique of others, thus forging a truism in the fire of logical argument. My arguments are (in my opinion) currently the most well-founded in logic, and as such I feel no need to abandon them and high-tail it out of here.


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Old 11-08-2006, 01:08 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
The reason I dismiss the UN as just another mordibund entity is that it doesn't take but one SC veto to sidline it's actions. Had the rep from the USSR not been "missing" in 1950, you'd probably contend that the US "invasion" of Korea would've been illegal and immoral b/c the UN hadn't signed off on it. And more people died there in 3 years than in Iraq. The UN is just the face behind which the major political powers do their business. It has no ability to enforce anything. If your government/qwuasi-governmental body lacks the power to enforce the laws it proclaims, why should anyone feel bound by any law they don't personally disagree with? In the world of politics, that means nations can revert to bilateral or multilateral agreements to conduct their business in an acceptable fashion. Just because a law isn't (yet?) international in scope doesn't make it inherently immoral.
Korean War? Actually started by North Korea invading the South, not by the US just deciding one day to blow things up. There's a very large distinction responding to an attack and initiating one.

As for the rest of that paragraph, then why even bother have anything like the UN at all? Let's just turn the whole world over to whoever's strong enough to take it then. Screw Iraq, Lebanon, Darfur, Tibet and anywhere else. What's the point of even having international law if nations just ignore it and that's okay? War, famine, genocide, hey, who cares?

Answer: beause we're not in the Dark Ages anymore, we're actually trying to build a world where places like Nazi Germany can't happen, and one single country can't just arbitrarily decide to start wars to make themselves feel tough or to distract their citizens from not being able to find someone who really did attack them first. This is what separates civilization from barbarity.


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Old 11-08-2006, 01:30 PM   #58
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I view sovereignty and international law the way I view personal freedom and national laws.

Totenkopf is a free citizen, yet has to follow his nation's laws. He doesn't have the right to steal, rape, or take the law into his own hands. Likewise, the USA is a sovereign and free State, yet it has to abide by International Law. It doesn't have the right to break International Law by, for example, using White Phosphorous or invading sovereign nations.

Same thing. Freedom and sovereignty does not equal immunity in the face of the Law.

Quote:
There is just such an organ: The War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, as I mentioned. Like I also mentioned, the US doesn't support it due to the above and various other shenanigans which under international law would quite rightfully see ol' Dubya and the rest of his pedigree chums front and center.
I know about the Hague court. My complaint is that, as you said, it's not capable of punishing every offender. It's like a pedophile watching child porn - he has very high chances of getting away with what he's doing, so he does it.


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Old 11-08-2006, 01:56 PM   #59
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Think, there's the rub, ET. If someone doesn't think that what you think is moral, are they then morally bound to accept your decisions and conclusions? If 2 competing moral codes differ, both appyling absolutes differently, who decides which code is right? Using the concept of empathy, one derives a sort of moral absolute code that may conflict with someone elses. Just because something is legal doesn't necessarily make it moral and vice versa. Who, then, is the arbiter of what's moral? My point is that that if 2 people don't agree on the morality of the law, is the law immoral or just the people themselves?

The idea that the impramateur of an ineffective, corrupt and arguably immoral body like the UN being necessary to morally legitimize anything is laughable and almost insane or silly in its own right. Besides, do you really believe that any country actually cares about UN approval, except maybe as a propoganda point, if they're going to attack another?

Killing saddam won't make him a martyr, he's pretty much assured that. It may get him added to a particular groups list of grievances, but that's really all. Face it, life is not SOOO sacred that someone can't forfeit their right to it. Mind you, I'm NOT saying life is of no value either. I just don't buy into the concept that capital punishment is immoral or wrong.
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Old 11-08-2006, 02:00 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
I don't think it's in any doubt that by going to war for spurious reasons, our governments did indeed "set out to kill innocent people". And since they had no altruistic reason for invading Iraq (obviously no WMDs, and look at all the wonderful things that have happened to the Iraqis now that bad old Saddam is gone) it must be concluded that our governments went into Iraq in order to install a more sympathetic puppet regime in place of Saddam. So yes, they also went in to the country "for themselves".
Did they bomb the cities knowing they would kill the people there? I know Baghdad was bombed, but the city was evacuated. Every soldier who set out to kill innocents and everyone who ordered them to up the chain of command deserves the same punishment as Saddam.

As for how bad things are for the Iraqis, no question times are tough there. I think however both pictures arn't accurately portrayed, in so far as seebees helping to rebuild and American soldiers helping out the Iraqis.
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Old 11-08-2006, 02:22 PM   #61
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Quote:
The idea that the impramateur of an ineffective, corrupt and arguably immoral body like the UN being necessary to morally legitimize anything is laughable and almost insane or silly in its own right.
So... If I, as a free citizen in the Detroit slums, say, regard the local police unit to be both corrupt and inefficient to the point of lunacy, is it OK for me to break into other peoples' houses? Does the law about breaking and entering become void just because the people who are supposed to enforce it are?

Quote:
Besides, do you really believe that any country actually cares about UN approval, except maybe as a propoganda point, if they're going to attack another?
Two wrongs don't make a right. If no one else in my Detroit slums care about the laws either, does that mean I can break them as much as I want, too? "Everyone else does it, so it's OK"?

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Old 11-08-2006, 03:16 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Think, there's the rub, ET. If someone doesn't think that what you think is moral, are they then morally bound to accept your decisions and conclusions?
I am actually not particularly clear what part of my post you are responding to here...I originally said
Quote:
Originally Posted by ET Warrior
It has nothing to do with what individuals THINK is moral or not, but rather what actually is or is not moral.



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Old 11-08-2006, 04:30 PM   #63
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Well, ET, we arrive at conclusions about what's moral or not through the thought process, no? If you think up a moral code that conflicts with a moral code thought up by another, then there is ultimately confusion as to which one is right. By what authority does either one assert the superiority of their code over the others?

----------------------------------------
Which is it, Spider? Amorality or immorality? Or are you using those terms interchangabley? You can rail on the your "nemesis" all you like, just be consistent when you describe them. I already know you don't mind killing (at least not terribly) people you think who've killed immorally, but what about those who have been amoral in their choices ("The fact that I calmly recognise their amorality..."). Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking that you believed immoral the actions taken by "our governemnt leaders" re Iraq.

Frankly, I stand by my assertion you don't read too well. You are quite accomplished at parsing and taking things out of context, though. Not to mention willful mischaracterization and perhaps flights of fancy. You obviously didn't notice a number of things. First, I rephrased the whole issue about you and the death penalty as a concept. I did not assert after that post that you were against the death penalty CONCEPTUALLY, merely against the execution of Saddam. I further pointed out that I recognized your opposition was based NOT on the idea of cp but the method at which his sentence was arrived. You intentionally confused my meaning, but nothing new there. You can scream wrong to the high heavens all you like, but you are morally opposed to the execution of SH b/c you don't like it b/c you think it's unfair and believe that immoral (or is that amoral, now) leaders should join him on the gallows (b/c it just ain't fair that he hang alone, why that'd be hypocritical). Your denying this has all the credibility of a wife beater professing about how he respects his spouse. So, once again in order for it to sink into your thick skull, I got your difference between the concept and it's current application in Iraq. Get over it already.

I've already dealt with your protestations about hypocrisy. Perhaps you should consult the dictionary if you don't understand what I typed. As you said, that's your problem. If you're half as smart as you believe, then you'll notice that incredulity was actually an apt choice. Frankly, your comments about "celebration" are drivel and self serving to boot. Little more than an obvious attempt to imply you're morally superior to others.

"And furthermore, international law is necessary if we are to behave morally as nations. Law has to be universally applied, or it is not moral." The first part of that statement is presumptuous. Second, it could be very fairly concluded that you were saying any law that wasn't applied universally (by all parties to all parties) could not in fact be a moral law. It would not be unfair to conclude that a law that applied in China, but not Japan, could be fairly construed as immoral because NOT ALL people were bound by it. Your initial lack of precision. Still, since you want to play semantic games, though I must say it's good that you addressed your oversight in a following post.
Furthermore, no amount of international law can make anything moral or immoral. If an action, like say Iraqi Freedom, is immoral, would it have become moral or acceptable if the UN had actually endorsed it? If you say yes to this, maybe you should clear clear of DEA agents. The impramateur of the UN or any of it's related bodies doesn't change water into wine (immoral into moral for those having a hard time here).

Your complaint about how the government was elected is really no better than saying German elections in post war Germany were unfiar b/c Nazis weren't allowed to run due to prohibitions by the Allies. So, maybe some of the Baathist party were excluded. So what. As to your claims about casualties, have you ever heard the expression....there are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. I'm curious as to the motivations of the people who actually arrived at the numbers they did in the absence of anything other, apparently, than anecdotal evidence. I mention this because in your litany of offenses you cite 650k as the number of dead. I'll need more proof beyond figures arrived at by a contested methodology. Also, don't try to fall back on the crutch that maybe that # is too high, but does it really matter, it was still a lot of people.

Ultimately, you're an internationalist at heart and I'm not. That explains our differences with regard to how we view the moral gravity of a UN/international sanction of any country's actions. Maybe, one day, if the human race becomes completely ethical, I'll reconsider my views.
----------------------
@Mace
Well, I guess there'd have been a problem in 1950 had the Russians actually vetoed the resolution. Afterall, the NKs didn't attack America or any other country that contributed to SK's defense.

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Old 11-09-2006, 02:43 AM   #64
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I say we kill him like he used to kill his people... you know, run them feet first through a meat shredder... or chop some limbs off and throw him onto a meat hook to bleed out....

Damn




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Old 11-09-2006, 01:34 PM   #65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
You can scream wrong to the high heavens all you like, but you are morally opposed to the execution of SH b/c you don't like it b/c you think it's unfair and believe that immoral (or is that amoral, now) leaders should join him on the gallows
Actually, even though I'm not Spider AL, I have been reading his posts, and that isn't at all what he has said. Not once. His contention is that the execution of SH is because it was ordered by an illegitimate court and an illegitimate government. Had he been tried and sentenced by a legitimate jury, then I believe AL would find less to be upset about.

This doesn't change the fact, however, that our own leaders are STILL guilty of the same crimes SH was convicted of, and it IS hypocrisy to think that SH is getting what he deserves if our own leaders don't also deserve the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Also, don't try to fall back on the crutch that maybe that # is too high, but does it really matter, it was still a lot of people.
I dont necessarily see what the problem WOULD be if he did fall back on that "crutch", since it WAS still a lot of people. In fact, http://www.iraqbodycount.net/ counts the number of reported civilian deaths in Iraq to be AT MINUMUM 46863 people. These are only corroborated reports of deaths of civilian non-combatants in Iraq. Is 47 thousand people an insignificant number?



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Old 11-09-2006, 01:52 PM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Well, ET, we arrive at conclusions about what's moral or not through the thought process, no? If you think up a moral code that conflicts with a moral code thought up by another, then there is ultimately confusion as to which one is right. By what authority does either one assert the superiority of their code over the others?
A moral judgement proves its ethical superiority over other judgements by virtue of the fact that it is arrived at more logically than the other judgements. In order to objectively test which of a set of possible judgements is the most moral, one must subject each judgement to careful scrutiny under the microscope of reason.

This was all deeply discussed in the recent thread on the thread on moral relativism. I suggest you read it to gain a deeper understanding of this issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Which is it, Spider? Amorality or immorality? Or are you using those terms interchangabley?
Once again I have the opportunity to educate. I am indeed blessed.

Immoral = Not moral. Violating moral principles.
Amoral = Devoid of morality.

Armed with this new knowledge, you can now wander back to whichever of my posts you misunderstood and confirm for yourself that I have used the above words in the proper way.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You can rail on the your "nemesis" all you like, just be consistent when you describe them. I already know you don't mind killing (at least not terribly) people you think who've killed immorally, but what about those who have been amoral in their choices ("The fact that I calmly recognise their amorality..."). Perhaps I was mistaken in thinking that you believed immoral the actions taken by "our governemnt leaders" re Iraq.
Blessed.

Those within our government who were responsible for our invasion of Iraq are indeed amoral people, because they are utterly without moral principles. Their actions are immoral because those actions violate moral principles.

I hope this makes it clear for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Frankly, I stand by my assertion you don't read too well.
Judging by the previous two quotes I have pasted in, perhaps you should be levelling that charge at yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You are quite accomplished at parsing and taking things out of context, though. Not to mention willful mischaracterization and perhaps flights of fancy.
Well I thank you for the compliment regarding my ability to parse text. However your three less complimentary charges: Taking things out of context, wilful mischaracterisation and "flights of fancy" would seem to me to be completely without basis in fact. Perhaps instead of merely making allegations, you could provide some examples of exactly where I have taken these "things" out of context, exactly where I have mischaracterised, and exactly where I have engaged in the rather floridly termed "flights of fancy".

These pieces of damning evidence would be greatly helpful to me in my... quest for self-improvement. And thus, I doubt you'll be enclined to provide them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You obviously didn't notice a number of things. First, I rephrased the whole issue about you and the death penalty as a concept. I did not assert after that post that you were against the death penalty CONCEPTUALLY, merely against the execution of Saddam.
And once again you are inaccurate. I am not against "the execution of Saddam". I have stated many times that in principle, I am not certain that executing a criminal of Saddam's calibre would be immoral.

Perhaps you're trying to say something different? The only thing I am against is the sentencing of Saddam by the illegal and immoral court, appointed by the puppet regime which currently passes for an "Iraqi Government". And I've made that clear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I further pointed out that I recognized your opposition was based NOT on the idea of cp but the method at which his sentence was arrived. You intentionally confused my meaning, but nothing new there.
I'm not confusing the meaning of the words you're typing. Perhaps, instead, you are confused while you're typing.

I am not opposed to Saddam being executed. You're mistaken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

You can scream wrong to the high heavens all you like, but you are morally opposed to the execution of SH
Nope!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

b/c you don't like it
On the contrary, I don't particularly dislike the idea of Saddam being executed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

b/c you think it's unfair
I think I've made it clear that I believe the execution of major war criminals to be fairly fair.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

and believe that immoral (or is that amoral, now) leaders should join him on the gallows (b/c it just ain't fair that he hang alone, why that'd be hypocritical).
I never typed anything about people "joining" other people "on the gallows". I said if YOU BELIEVE that Saddam should hang for his war crimes but do not believe that our leaders should face the same penalty for THEIR war crimes, you're a hypocrite. And since you've failed to answer this question many many times, I am starting to dimly guess that you're afraid of what the answer you give would say about you.

However, if you're trying to say that I, Spider AL, believe that war criminals should face one universally applied punishment for comparable war crimes under international law, no matter WHAT nation they come from, then absolutely I do believe that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Your denying this has all the credibility of a wife beater professing about how he respects his spouse. So, once again in order for it to sink into your thick skull, I got your difference between the concept and it's current application in Iraq. Get over it already.
Perhaps you've gone insane. Yes, that must be it. "Wife beater"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

I've already dealt with your protestations about hypocrisy. Perhaps you should consult the dictionary if you don't understand what I typed. As you said, that's your problem.
The question is: Do YOU understand the things you type? Your lack of clarity is not my problem.

And you've "dealt" with precious little in this thread Tot. You've ignored many questions, wheeled out the odd neo-con fallacy... Made many personal, insulting remarks... Can't really think of anything else you've done here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

If you're half as smart as you believe, then you'll notice that incredulity was actually an apt choice.
Incredulity:
1. the quality or state of being incredulous; inability or unwillingness to believe.
—Synonyms disbelief, skepticism, doubt.
2. The state or quality of being incredulous; disbelief.
3. doubt about the truth of something [syn: disbelief, skepticism, mental rejection]

Now are you SURE this is what you wanted to accuse me of? Not believing you? Being skeptical? Wierd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Frankly, your comments about "celebration" are drivel and self serving to boot. Little more than an obvious attempt to imply you're morally superior to others.
Well, the only reason I'd be morally superior to others was if they held some... Oh... I don't know... hypocritical stance on the punishment of war criminals?

And celebration of Saddam's sentence goes on. You can see it in the more recent posts in this thread, as well as your early ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

"And furthermore, international law is necessary if we are to behave morally as nations. Law has to be universally applied, or it is not moral." The first part of that statement is presumptuous. Second, it could be very fairly concluded that you were saying any law that wasn't applied universally (by all parties to all parties) could not in fact be a moral law. It would not be unfair to conclude that a law that applied in China, but not Japan, could be fairly construed as immoral because NOT ALL people were bound by it.
It is you that is attempting to correct one of your own oversights in this paragraph, Tot.

You said: "If every nation has a law that YOU think is immoral, but it's still universally applied, then it's apparently moral b/c you claim for a law to be moral it has to be applied across the board."

Which was clearly idiotic. You mistook the basic moral concept: "A law that is not applied universally CANNOT be moral" for the ludicrous "any law which is applied universally IS moral". You were clearly off-base, and I showed that this was so. Now you're trying to revise your position to match my own- morally correct- stance on the matter, that any law which is NOT universally applied, cannot by definition be moral. I marvel at your gall, but must point out the blatant fudge on your part.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Furthermore, no amount of international law can make anything moral or immoral. If an action, like say Iraqi Freedom, is immoral, would it have become moral or acceptable if the UN had actually endorsed it? If you say yes to this, maybe you should clear clear of DEA agents. The impramateur of the UN or any of it's related bodies doesn't change water into wine (immoral into moral for those having a hard time here).
Once again your reasoning process seems to be skipping a few crucial "lines of code". An action like our current invasion of Iraq (Iraqi freedom, hahahahahaaaaaa.) is immoral. If it was (by some freak occurance of bribery and/or intimidation) endorsed by the UN, it would still be immoral. But UNLESS it was endorsed by the UN, it COULD NEVER BE MORAL. Do you see the distinction? No? well don't worry. I won't give up on you Tot. We don't leave our people behind!!!!111

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Your complaint about how the government was elected is really no better than saying German elections in post war Germany were unfiar b/c Nazis weren't allowed to run due to prohibitions by the Allies. So, maybe some of the Baathist party were excluded. So what.
The difference is that the whole invasion of Germany was carried out specifically to depose the government of the time, WHATEVER the will of the German people was in the matter.

Whereas Bushie's handlers spun the Iraq invasion a different way. After they realised that the WMD falsehood wasn't going to stand up anymore, they said the invasion was to bring democracy to an oppressed people. (Illegal regime-change objective) If you want to bring democracy to a people, you must stand back and abide by their majority decision. The US didn't do that, it vetted the candidate list, and so the election and the result were by definition undemocratic. So our governments went to war under false pretences, twice over. So the invasion was and is immoral by any definition of the word. As well as illegal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

expression....there are 3 kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics. I'm curious as to the motivations of the people who actually arrived at the numbers they did in the absence of anything other, apparently, than anecdotal evidence. I mention this because in your litany of offenses you cite 650k as the number of dead. I'll need more proof beyond figures arrived at by a contested methodology. Also, don't try to fall back on the crutch that maybe that # is too high, but does it really matter, it was still a lot of people.
The British medical journal "The Lancet", one of the most respected such journals in the world, published the study, by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, a US uni.

The reason I consistently refer to THIS study, is because of two simple reasons:

1. It does not just seek to put a number on people directly shot in the head by our forces (the study suggests around 31% of the deaths projected), but also those whose life expectancy has been reduced by our invasion through secondary effects. Like loss of public safety, lack of clean water, etcetera. This makes it a more complete picture of our negative effect on the people of Iraq.
2. Because we are the aggressors in this matter, we in the western nations have a moral duty to accept as a working fact the HEAVIEST, MOST DAMNING estimate of our fatal effect on the people of the nation we have invaded, provided that the estimate is based on some hard facts, and scientific method. This study qualifies.

Sure, the methodology is disputed, but frankly all but the most conservative estimates have been disputed since the conflict began, and that's to be expected. Nobody wants to hear about the people we've killed. All over the news we have reports of American and British servicemen being killed. I don't want to hear about that. I want to hear about civilian deaths. Soldiers sign on the dotted line to die in the service of their (corrupt) governments. Civilians on the other hand, have no say whatsoever in whether their poverty-stricken enclave gets invaded by a bunch of ignorant, trigger-happy G.Is.

As for your "falling back on the crutch" that "maybe that number is too high", I worry that it's not high enough. And frankly, trying to cover that base in advance just smacks of you falling back on your own crutch, because you fear the response in question. You have nothing to fear on this score, because I have no interest in that response.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Totenkopf:

Ultimately, you're an internationalist at heart and I'm not. That explains our differences with regard to how we view the moral gravity of a UN/international sanction of any country's actions. Maybe, one day, if the human race becomes completely ethical, I'll reconsider my views.
Ultimately, this thread and your antics within it have exposed many differences between "Spider and Tot". Many glaring differences. But the most prominent difference is that I am a moralist. I try to apply more stringent standards to my nation than to my "enemies" abroad.

You on the other hand seem satisfied to apply a very lax, laissez-faire standard to US foreign policy, while simultaneously lauding the immoral sentencing of one of your nation's favourite bogeymen, Saddam "Now where did I put those WMDS" Hussein.

I've been asking you whether you were a hypocrite all the way through this thread. You don't have to answer. You really don't. Your opinions answer for you.

-

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Originally Posted by Elijah:

I say we kill him like he used to kill his people... you know, run them feet first through a meat shredder... or chop some limbs off and throw him onto a meat hook to bleed out....
But would you favour that punishment for our own leaders? If not...



-


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

Did they bomb the cities knowing they would kill the people there? I know Baghdad was bombed, but the city was evacuated. Every soldier who set out to kill innocents and everyone who ordered them to up the chain of command deserves the same punishment as Saddam.
Sorry Nancy, but I must point out that if a country decides to invade another country, THEY KNOW there will be civilian casualties. Despite all the US government propaganda concerning the wonderful accuracy of all their space-age toys like laser-guided smart bombs... The bombs go astray. Civilians will die. It's inevitable. There has never been an invasion of a nation in which civilians weren't caught in the middle.

Now, presuming that Bush's handlers aren't complete buffoons with the IQ of a steamed radish, they were aware of this simple fact before ordering the invasion. So YES, they did intentionally invade, KNOWING there would be a vast cost in Iraqi civilian lives. So I guess they deserve the same punishment as Saddam, whatever that punishment might be in the end.


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Old 11-09-2006, 03:05 PM   #67
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The diffirence however is intent. Did they intend to kill the people of Iraq to take it over, or simply to remove Saddam from power and give the country back to the Iraqis?

Just on that I had a thought about Iraq, or basically people who protest against something like defending the Evil Empire from the Nazis in World War Two. Why don't anti war protesters say anything about the savagery of Saddam's actions, from his torture of dissidents to the gassing of the Kurds and Shi'ites to the invasion of Kuwait? I think the answer is because they're not involved. However because our troops are deployed over there they kick up such a fuss, not because of anything to do with Iraq, but because we are involved and their interests whether they be personal, political, whatever are involved.
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Old 11-09-2006, 03:42 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

The diffirence however is intent. Did they intend to kill the people of Iraq to take it over, or simply to remove Saddam from power and give the country back to the Iraqis?
Well I think we've already established that our governments' motives cannot have been altruistic, Nancy. Read back over the thread and you'll see that it's been well discussed. So having established (by the words and behaviour of our governments) that we did not invade to "help" the Iraqi people, we are forced to accept that our governments' motives for going to war were merely to further their political and financial concerns in the region.

Reluctantly, mind you. I take no pleasure in the amorality of those who rule us. I would rather discover through the application of logic that our rulers are all moral people who care for others and are more concerned with peace and law and justice than lining the pockets of big business.

But it just ain't so.

So by definition, our invasion of Iraq was a war crime, and its architects deserve to be punished as war-criminals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

Why don't anti war protesters say anything about the savagery of Saddam's actions, from his torture of dissidents to the gassing of the Kurds and Shi'ites to the invasion of Kuwait? I think the answer is because they're not involved. However because our troops are deployed over there they kick up such a fuss, not because of anything to do with Iraq, but because we are involved and their interests whether they be personal, political, whatever are involved.
The answer to your question isn't the one you suggest. The true answer is "Anti war people DO say a LOT about Saddam's actions. But we often say MORE about the immoral actions of our own countries." Why? Because everyone knows Saddam's an evil dictator. Because it's plastered all over the news every five minutes. You don't need me to tell you that Saddam's a despot who is guilty of war crimes. You know that already.

You DO need to hear that our own leaders are just as guilty of war crimes. Possibly far greater war crimes. You DO need to be reminded that WE FUNDED SADDAM. Why do you need to hear this? Because nobody but "anti war protesters" will SAY IT. You won't hear these things in the mainstream media. You won't hear truly moral, reasoned arguments from anywhere else, but the lips of the more intelligent "anti war protesters".


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Old 11-09-2006, 03:56 PM   #69
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Does the government have death camps and gas chambers as well?
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Old 11-09-2006, 05:17 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

Does the government have death camps and gas chambers as well?
Saddam didn't have "gas chambers" Nancy, that's a neo-con myth that did the rounds some years ago, designed to make Saddam look more like Hitler. And what the neo-cons are now referring to as "death camps" were brutal, but were prison camps. Which is not to say that a great many prisoners weren't taken elsewhere and executed, but it's not quite on a par with say Belzec or Auschwitz. You see now why you need "anti war protesters" to give you the real scoop? Because what you read elsewhere, what you hear... it's not factual.

Let's not forget his real crimes though: He dropped gas bombs on Kurdish cities in 1988, and in addition to this his mass executions brought the Kurdish death toll to around 180,000.

Now, we helped to finance all these atrocities. We were funding the man because he was our ally against Iran. We were arming and supplying his regime. So as well as our OWN atrocities, we have partial responsibility for his atrocities too!

Now can you read these things and still honestly tell me that our governments are morally superior to Saddam's regime? That our invasion of Iraq was "moral"? Honestly?


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Old 11-10-2006, 01:08 AM   #71
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In no way do I want to lessen the crimes America is responsible for. However I have not one person who opposes war in Iraq talk about Saddam's crimes, not one. There isn't one who has said to me anything about the suffering the Iraqi people have gone through, or the Kurds or Shi'ites. No it's all 'BUSH IS HITLER AND IF YOU SUPPORT HIM IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM YOU WILL BE CAST OFF INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!!!' Don't forget that it's the same story for Afghanistan, using your logic that would mean America deserved September 11. The same for Iran and their wish to destroy Israel, because we supported them to fight the Soviets would Israeli blood be on our hands were they to be wiped out like Iran have said they wanted?
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Old 11-10-2006, 08:29 AM   #72
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^^^Uh, yeah, there are actually at least two people in this very thread who oppose the Iraqi War and talk quite plainly about Saddam's crimes; myself and AL, for starters.

The point is, if the US is doing the same things as Saddam, then Bush is no better than him. Remember, Abu Grahib was only a shocking scandal in the US. In Iraq or other muslim countries, people hardly raised an eyebrow. Why? Because they knew the US had been doing stuff like that all along. They were never under any illusions about the US being the "Good Guys".


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Old 11-10-2006, 09:05 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

In no way do I want to lessen the crimes America is responsible for. However I have not one person who opposes war in Iraq talk about Saddam's crimes, not one. There isn't one who has said to me anything about the suffering the Iraqi people have gone through, or the Kurds or Shi'ites.
As Mace just said, you've seen at least two such people in this thread alone. Please try to be factual.

And as I said earlier, it may be true that people like myself who oppose the invasion of Iraq and afghanistan speak more about the crimes of our own governments than about the crimes of foreign government. Not all the time to the exclusion of all else, but MORE. But this is because you already know all about how evil the foreigners are, because your media tells you so.

We're spending a lot of our breath saying things you DON'T hear. Like the facts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

it's all 'BUSH IS HITLER AND IF YOU SUPPORT HIM IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM YOU WILL BE CAST OFF INTO THE LAKE OF FIRE!!!'
That's just foolish. Don't be foolish. Try to use some logic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``:

Don't forget that it's the same story for Afghanistan, using your logic that would mean America deserved September 11.
Ah, you don't seem to understand "our logic". Our logic is that immoral acts (like the events of september the 11th) are not permissible in a civilised world, whether WE commit them, or whether Saddam "I know I left those WMDs around here somewhere" Hussein commits them. And besides, the perpetrators of September the 11th were in the main from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan.


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Old 11-10-2006, 10:37 AM   #74
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spider AL
And besides, the perpetrators of September the 11th were in the main from Saudi Arabia, not Afghanistan.
Funny how people always forget that. Almost makes you wonder why Saudi Arabia was never on the list of candidates for US-backed "Regime Change".


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Old 11-10-2006, 03:31 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
However I have not one person who opposes war in Iraq talk about Saddam's crimes, not one.
Do we really need to? I mean, that's sort of like me going off on a rant about how Adolf Hitler was guilty of crimes against humanity, or an in-depth discussion about how eating human babies is morally reprehensible. Everyone knows these things, why is it pertinent to discuss? The only reason I can see to discuss it is if somebody were to come in professing the good that SH has done, and how he wasn't actually guilty of the crimes he is accused of. Then one should step in and correct them.



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Old 11-10-2006, 04:14 PM   #76
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Does George W. Bush junior have gas chambers and death camps? I ask because by the way you talk you make him out to be more evil than Saddam could ever be. Has he done wrong? Unquestionably, however defending Saddam because 'well he's evil, he's expected to do those things' is sheer lunacy.

I pose a question to you now that the democrats have power in the senate. If they were able to pull troops from Iraq, what then? Do we just let the entire situation there collapse?
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Old 11-10-2006, 04:35 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Does George W. Bush junior have gas chambers and death camps? I ask because by the way you talk you make him out to be more evil than Saddam could ever be. Has he done wrong? Unquestionably, however defending Saddam because 'well he's evil, he's expected to do those things' is sheer lunacy.
It's more like, "well he's evil, everyone knows that already." He's not expected to do evil, but everyone knows he does. There's been absolutely no one defending Saddam in this thread AFAIK. This is not the case with Bush, however. Is Bush more evil than Saddam? No, I don't think so, but I personally expect the president not to act in the ways he has. With great power comes great responsibility and all that. The difference between Saddam and him is that he is responsible to us. Betraying the trust of people whom you're responsible for is a bad idea, and you're likely to make enemies if you do so. I'd guess he's figuring that out.


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Old 11-10-2006, 04:44 PM   #78
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Iraq was wrong, I think we all know that now. I think his greatest crime was going to war when people were making a lot of noise over not wanting it. And now that we're there we cannot just leave the Iraqi people to fend for themselves. We learnt that lesson in Somalia. In 2004 Bush was reelected despite the premise of Iraq, which showed that at the time people still trusted him enough to be their President.

As for 'Bush did this' and 'Bush lied about that' did any of this come from Fahrenhyte? Because there's a list of inaccuracies, quotes taken out of context and just plain lies, such as playing around with an opinion letter and news report to make it look like headline news saying Al Gore won.
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Old 11-10-2006, 06:13 PM   #79
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What context are you talking about, Nancy? Identify the following quote: "We cannot afford to wait for the proof which may come in the form of a mushroom cloud!" Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and co. deliberately misinformed the US public about the threat Iraq based in order to win public support for an invasion. This is the dictionary definition of lying. And don't even bother saying something about the US "bringing democracy" to Iraq. If the US really cared about democracy, it'd be blowing up half the planet right now.

Who's defending Saddam? Is anybody? They haven't posted here if they are. Some folks like Spider AL are questioning the ethics and standards of morality regarding his trial and sentence, but I haven't seen a single poster here defending Saddam himself. It's not that:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
'well he's evil, he's expected to do those things'
, it's more like "Well, he's evil and we all know that, but if we do things like he did, doesn't that make us evil too?" Yes, the US does have gas chambers. Quite a few in Texas got a very good workout when Dubya was governor. Yes, the US has concentration camps. Abu Grahib and Guatanamo Bay are two notable examples. The US has deported people to countries where they don't even pretend to observe the Geneva Convention regarding torture just on suspicion they're terrorists, as in the case of Mohammed Arar, who was mistakenly deported to Syria. Here's a helpful link: https://www.hsdl.org/hslog/?q=node/3166
Of course, the Canadian authorities share some of the blame in this case, but how many more have there been that we'll never hear about? If Saddam Hussein is evil for killing and torturing hundreds of thousands of people, what the hell does that make Bush if he does the same thing?


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Old 11-10-2006, 06:36 PM   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
What context are you talking about, Nancy?
The context of excusing Saddam's actions because he's evil but not Bush.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
Identify the following quote: "We cannot afford to wait for the proof which may come in the form of a mushroom cloud!" Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and co. deliberately misinformed the US public about the threat Iraq based in order to win public support for an invasion.
I never heard the actual quote. I know about weapons of mass destruction, which I think everyone knows by now is false. You have a link?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
If the US really cared about democracy, it'd be blowing up half the planet right now.
How do you figure that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
It's not that:, it's more like "Well, he's evil and we all know that, but if we do things like he did, doesn't that make us evil too?"
Luke Force Chokes a Gammorean, he must be a Sith.

Really, there's no question the invasion was wrong. What Saddam did was many times worse and yet people are saying 'oh he shouldn't be put to death, he shouldn't hang' even if they appear to have fantasies of Bush being in Saddam's shoes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
Yes, the US does have gas chambers. Quite a few in Texas got a very good workout when Dubya was governor. Yes, the US has concentration camps. Abu Grahib and Guatanamo Bay are two notable examples. The US has deported people to countries where they don't even pretend to observe the Geneva Convention regarding torture just on suspicion they're terrorists, as in the case of Mohammed Arar, who was mistakenly deported to Syria. Here's a helpful link: https://www.hsdl.org/hslog/?q=node/3166
The link you provided leads to Canada having someone deported to Syria where he was tortured, because of a **** up with terror suspect lists. That's pretty bad, but there's nothing on gas chambers or concentration\death camps. The torture that took place at Abu Gharib and the claims of torture at Guatanamo are inexcuseable, but these are POW camps, not what the Nazis subjected the Jews to. In fact with Guatanamo conditions according to a recent news article are quite good.

http://www.suntimes.com/news/steyn/7...teyn01.article

http://patterico.com/2006/10/02/5156...-introduction/

http://patterico.com/2006/10/03/5225...he-terrorists/

http://patterico.com/2006/10/04/5228...mental-health/

http://patterico.com/2006/10/05/5229...the-detainees/

http://patterico.com/2006/10/06/5230...-other-issues/

http://patterico.com/2006/10/05/5229...the-detainees/

Just the same however they're about five years too long in doing anything about the detainees there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mace MacLeod
If Saddam Hussein is evil for killing and torturing hundreds of thousands of people, what the hell does that make Bush if he does the same thing?
Evidence of this being Bush's doing and the innocence of people subjected to any punishment play a huge part. If Bush had been rounding up innocent Muslims to be killed or tortured then he sould be subject to the same trial Saddam was and if found guilty the same punishment.
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