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Tags joe biden , media bias charges , political gaffes

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Old 25th February 2015, 04:56 PM   #201
LorenzoValla
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Originally Posted by pantsorama View Post
Using drones is a deescalation of the war. Would you rather we commit a bunch of troops to the region? Or are you against that war in general? If so have the intellectual decency to say that.
That's a false choice - escalation or partial deescalation.

I would prefer to deescalate completely out of the region and let all the parties settle their own problems. Picking the tallest midget so far hasn't worked...
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Old 25th February 2015, 05:05 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post
Torture is without doubt a war crime. Both under US and internationl law. Killing your war enemies is not.



If the intended targets are civilians, it is definitely a war crime. Feel free to prove that the intended tragets of Obama drone strikes are civilians.
OK, let's get this straight. You believe that torturing people strongly suspected to be a terrorist is bad, but killing civilians who happen to be near strongly suspected terrorists is OK???

When the US was torturing terrorists, it had a legal defense and strong defenders. When the US is/was spying via the NSA on its own citizens illegally, it had a legal defense and its strong defenders. You get the picture - fill in the blanks - there were will always be strong defenders of whatever abject policy is in place that undermines some very basic human rights, thus a legal defense doesn't make it right.

What makes it right in your mind and the mind of so many on whatever the issue is, isn't the morality of the issue per se, but the political party of the perpetrators. Those opinions lack any credibility.
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Old 25th February 2015, 05:28 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post

All of Saddam's atrocities were pre Gulf War. I'm sure he still killed people when he wanted to, but I'm unaware of any evidence that that he was killing large numbers of people in the 2000s.
And do you know why that was?
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Old 25th February 2015, 05:37 PM   #204
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Originally Posted by WildCat View Post
He's an invader of a person's space. People who like their space know these kinds of people. They're touchy-feely and stand too close when speaking, even under normal conditions. It may be a built in feature with the VPOTUS, as he has been slapping backs and getting to know lots of people in his long career in Washington. However, there is definitely a line of standards held by the overwhelming majority of people (their personal body space) and he has been caught habitually violating those standards, some of which maxed out the Creep-o-Meter. If his behavior is a job related side-effect, one would assume that after hearing about this issue repeatedly and being embarrassed for the world to see, that he'd alter his style of being a politician. But he has not. He has doubled-down on it -- not only continuing the behavior but making jokes about the behavior. Doubling down on ideology is common for politicians, but doubling down on behavior in public that creeps the majority of people out and they KNOW that it creeps the majority of people out is not synonymous with politicians, not Western ones, that is.
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Old 25th February 2015, 05:56 PM   #205
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Originally Posted by LorenzoValla View Post
OK, let's get this straight. You believe that torturing people strongly suspected to be a terrorist is bad, but killing civilians who happen to be near strongly suspected terrorists is OK???

When the US was torturing terrorists, it had a legal defense and strong defenders. When the US is/was spying via the NSA on its own citizens illegally, it had a legal defense and its strong defenders. You get the picture - fill in the blanks - there were will always be strong defenders of whatever abject policy is in place that undermines some very basic human rights, thus a legal defense doesn't make it right.

What makes it right in your mind and the mind of so many on whatever the issue is, isn't the morality of the issue per se, but the political party of the perpetrators. Those opinions lack any credibility.

I believe one is a war crime and one isn't because that's the objective fact of how it is.

The legal defense of torture is completely bogus and was concocted to defend actions that were already decided upon. Torture is clearly, and unequivocally a war crime under US and international law.

International law does not make collateral damage a war crime. In fact, it acknowledges that fighting a war is impossible without collateral damage.

Cheney, by his own words is a war criminal. It is indisputable that Cheney has admitted to torture (though he doesn't call it that) and that torture is a war crime.

For the situations to be actually analogous, Obama would have to admit that he's ordered civilians to be targeted in drone strikes.

I believe what I do because that's what the facts say. The facts show that Cheney is a war criminal. Facts that show Obama to be one are non-existent. Saying that a Republican is a war criminal and a Democrat isn't, is not evidence of partisanship on my part because it is actually true. It is your opinion that isn't credible if you refuse to accept a reality that you don't like.
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Old 25th February 2015, 06:12 PM   #206
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Originally Posted by Noztradamus View Post
And do you know why that was?
Probably because he was afraid of consequences that he might face from the US/UNSC and because he wanted to have sanctions removed. Meaning the containment strategy started by Bush I and continued by Clinton was actually a successful one.
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Old 25th February 2015, 06:47 PM   #207
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Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post
I believe one is a war crime and one isn't because that's the objective fact of how it is.

The legal defense of torture is completely bogus and was concocted to defend actions that were already decided upon. Torture is clearly, and unequivocally a war crime under US and international law.

International law does not make collateral damage a war crime. In fact, it acknowledges that fighting a war is impossible without collateral damage.

Cheney, by his own words is a war criminal. It is indisputable that Cheney has admitted to torture (though he doesn't call it that) and that torture is a war crime.

For the situations to be actually analogous, Obama would have to admit that he's ordered civilians to be targeted in drone strikes.

I believe what I do because that's what the facts say. The facts show that Cheney is a war criminal. Facts that show Obama to be one are non-existent. Saying that a Republican is a war criminal and a Democrat isn't, is not evidence of partisanship on my part because it is actually true. It is your opinion that isn't credible if you refuse to accept a reality that you don't like.
You're simply appealing to authority, and that's not an argument based on what's truly right or wrong. Authority has been wrong often throughout history and lots of people have done what is 'legal' even though it wasn't right.

That's why it's hypocritical to justify the killing of innocent civilians while condemning the torture of known terrorists - someone says thems the rules so it must be right. Sigh.
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Old 25th February 2015, 07:54 PM   #208
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Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post
Probably because he was afraid of consequences that he might face from the US/UNSC and because he wanted to have sanctions removed. Meaning the containment strategy started by Bush I and continued by Clinton was actually a successful one.
Successful collateral damage is a GOOD thing?

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Old 25th February 2015, 07:59 PM   #209
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This thread has wandered further than Joe Biden's mitts on a lady!


Too soon?
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Old 25th February 2015, 09:38 PM   #210
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Originally Posted by LorenzoValla View Post
You're simply appealing to authority, and that's not an argument based on what's truly right or wrong. Authority has been wrong often throughout history and lots of people have done what is 'legal' even though it wasn't right.

That's why it's hypocritical to justify the killing of innocent civilians while condemning the torture of known terrorists - someone says thems the rules so it must be right. Sigh.
I never made an argument about what was "truly right or wrong" (which is subjective) just about what was legal.

As for Obama drone strikes, the existence of collateral damage by itself does not make it wrong. That's a position that only a pacifist can take because of the unavailability of it in a war. I lack the information to say make a judgment beyond saying that collateral damage via Obama drones strikes, is, at best, sad but necessary.

As for torture, it is much more clear. Torture doesn't work (and in fact can be counterproductive because of its tendency to cause false confessions). And thus there is no moral argument for why it is acceptable. Furthermore the people most willing to do it are sadists who go overboard even within the context of an illegal practice.

I do have the information to say that Iraq War was definitely wrong. They decided to invade Iraq and then got the CIA to find them intel that could be used as justification. There was never any evidence that Saddam posed a serious threat because he didn't. But that didn't stop Cheney/Bush from selling it to the world that way. The lies that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda and that he was developing nuclear weapons were particularly outrageous but they had their intended effect - most people believed it to be true. Few thought the President would lie like that. Hell, even Hans Blix thought there were wmds before he began inspections. Inspections for which there was unprecedented cooperation from Saddam and which turned up no evidence of wmds. But they invaded anyway, causing the unnecessary deaths of many people.

Cheney really is a villain. It may be a hard pill to swallow that one of the worst monsters alive today was the Vice President of the United States but it is true. I don't think so because he's a Republican, but rather because that's what the facts indicate. I judge Obama differently because the facts demand it, not because he's a Democrat.

Last edited by Tony Stark; 25th February 2015 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 26th February 2015, 01:34 AM   #211
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I never thought of the parallels between LBJ and Biden before, but yes. Both have had the public persona of tone deaf buffoons (LBJ perhaps relying more on intimidation than Biden); nevertheless by all accounts highly competent, efficient and intelligent politicians. I think it's a tactic utilized for the purpose of disarming, unsettling or distracting political opponents.
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Old 26th February 2015, 04:16 AM   #212
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Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post
I never made an argument about what was "truly right or wrong" (which is subjective) just about what was legal.]
There have been very troubling questions raised about the legality of drone attacks in countries with which we are not at war.

Quote:
Alston's report does more than raise these questions -- it argues that the way targeted killings, especially drone attacks, are currently handled poses significant problems under international law.

...

The report doesn't flat-out state that what the United States is doing is illegal, but it raises tough questions that would lead some observers to make that conclusion.
As for the killing of al-Alwaki, an American citizen who had been eating in a restaurant (although he was killed trying to flee after hearing the drone) in Yemen, that was almost certainly illegal under US law. The drone killing of his 16-year old American son two weeks later, while he was sitting in a crowded cafe (9 other innocent civilians also died) was claimed to be a mistake, but who knows? Perhaps Cheney should have claimed that the waterboarding of KSM was really just an accidental spill.


Quote:
As for torture, it is much more clear. Torture doesn't work (and in fact can be counterproductive because of its tendency to cause false confessions). And thus there is no moral argument for why it is acceptable.
There is a whole thread on this [the CIA Torture Report thread] where I in fact made a cogent moral argument. Also, I showed that it's ridiculous to assume that torture doesn't work at least with some positive probability.

Quote:
Furthermore the people most willing to do it are sadists who go overboard even within the context of an illegal practice.
Are the people most willing to be soldiers homicidal maniacs? I think you assume too much.

Quote:
I do have the information to say that Iraq War was definitely wrong. They decided to invade Iraq and then got the CIA to find them intel that could be used as justification. There was never any evidence that Saddam posed a serious threat because he didn't. But that didn't stop Cheney/Bush from selling it to the world that way. The lies that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda and that he was developing nuclear weapons were particularly outrageous but they had their intended effect - most people believed it to be true. Few thought the President would lie like that. Hell, even Hans Blix thought there were wmds before he began inspections. Inspections for which there was unprecedented cooperation from Saddam and which turned up no evidence of wmds. But they invaded anyway, causing the unnecessary deaths of many people.
I know plenty about the Iraq War, both the lead up to it, the justifications for it, and the aftermath. My considered opinion is that it not only was justified, but it was a significant net positive for the world. I think in large part, the opposition to the war was driven by partisanship and hatred of George Bush. When the surge in 2007 started to work to stabilize the country and reduce sectarian violence, the disappointment from Democratic leaders in Congress was almost palpable.

Quote:
Cheney really is a villain. It may be a hard pill to swallow that one of the worst monsters alive today was the Vice President of the United States but it is true. I don't think so because he's a Republican, but rather because that's what the facts indicate. I judge Obama differently because the facts demand it, not because he's a Democrat.
I don't believe this at all.

Last edited by sunmaster14; 26th February 2015 at 04:19 AM. Reason: typos
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Old 26th February 2015, 04:21 AM   #213
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Originally Posted by Tony Stark View Post
I never made an argument about what was "truly right or wrong" (which is subjective) just about what was legal.
And that's the entire problem - justifying what we know to be wrong by its being 'legal'. The NSA had the 'legal' authority to break the law. The CIA had the 'legal' authority to break the law via torture. Obama has the 'legal' authority to use drones for assassinations abroad.
Quote:
As for Obama drone strikes, the existence of collateral damage by itself does not make it wrong. That's a position that only a pacifist can take because of the unavailability of it in a war. I lack the information to say make a judgment beyond saying that collateral damage via Obama drones strikes, is, at best, sad but necessary.

As for torture, it is much more clear. Torture doesn't work (and in fact can be counterproductive because of its tendency to cause false confessions). And thus there is no moral argument for why it is acceptable. Furthermore the people most willing to do it are sadists who go overboard even within the context of an illegal practice.

I do have the information to say that Iraq War was definitely wrong. They decided to invade Iraq and then got the CIA to find them intel that could be used as justification. There was never any evidence that Saddam posed a serious threat because he didn't.
Yet, you said earlier that the Iraqi containment strategy was working? If Saddam wasn't a threat, why would containment be necessary and how could it work to achieve anything???
Quote:
But that didn't stop Cheney/Bush from selling it to the world that way. The lies that Saddam had ties to al Qaeda and that he was developing nuclear weapons were particularly outrageous but they had their intended effect - most people believed it to be true. Few thought the President would lie like that. Hell, even Hans Blix thought there were wmds before he began inspections. Inspections for which there was unprecedented cooperation from Saddam and which turned up no evidence of wmds. But they invaded anyway, causing the unnecessary deaths of many people.

Cheney really is a villain. It may be a hard pill to swallow that one of the worst monsters alive today was the Vice President of the United States but it is true. I don't think so because he's a Republican, but rather because that's what the facts indicate. I judge Obama differently because the facts demand it, not because he's a Democrat.
Cheney might or might not be a villain, but the bigger problem is twofold: a) many, many others in gov't and their elected leaders also do many things that are terrible to innocent people; b) the condemnation of these folks often depends on politics.
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Old 26th February 2015, 04:28 AM   #214
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Quick question: Is the legality of drone attacks on-topic?

I know there was some concerns about off-topic discussions earlier.
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Old 26th February 2015, 04:35 AM   #215
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Quick question: Is the legality of drone attacks on-topic?

I know there was some concerns about off-topic discussions earlier.
No, I don't think it's on topic. I also don't think it's an intentional derail though. However, there's no question that the mods would send the discussion to AAH if somebody reported it.
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Old 26th February 2015, 04:42 AM   #216
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Originally Posted by TubbaBlubba View Post
I never thought of the parallels between LBJ and Biden before, but yes. Both have had the public persona of tone deaf buffoons (LBJ perhaps relying more on intimidation than Biden); nevertheless by all accounts highly competent, efficient and intelligent politicians. I think it's a tactic utilized for the purpose of disarming, unsettling or distracting political opponents.
There are parallels, but I don't believe Biden is either competent, efficient or intelligent. On the contrary, I have always thought him a bloviating buffoon, going back to the 1988 Presidential primaries and a few years later as he presided over the Supreme Court confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas. FYI, I was actually very much against the confirmation of Clarence Thomas back then. I thought him unqualified, and I believed Anita Hill's story about his sexual harassment of her (today, I still believe Anita Hill's story, but Clarence Thomas is far and away my favorite Supreme Court justice). Even though I was in favor of the Democrats' attacks on Thomas, or perhaps because of that, I found Biden to be insufferable. He was such a gasbag that I think he hurt the Democrats' cause immensely.
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Old 26th February 2015, 07:20 AM   #217
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Mr. Obama gets criticized because he's icy and reserved. Mr. Biden gets criticized because he's gregarious and chummy.

Damned if you don't, damned if you do.
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Old 26th February 2015, 07:46 AM   #218
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Originally Posted by Regnad Kcin View Post
Mr. Obama gets criticized because he's icy and reserved. Mr. Biden gets criticized because he's gregarious and chummy.

Damned if you don't, damned if you do.
Amen!

Also, I am sure that Obama would get plenty critized if he was not waging war against Al Queda and such.
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Old 26th February 2015, 10:09 AM   #219
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Originally Posted by Regnad Kcin View Post
Mr. Biden gets criticized because he's gregarious and chummy.
Mr. Biden gets criticized because he's bad at it.

I let some criminals go free one time, and my how the townsfolk did hate me! So I tried jailing some innocent men, and danged if the townsfolk didn't hate me even more! Seems like those townsfolk are just gonna hate me no matter what I do. I just can't catch a break, but at least I can die knowing it's the townsfolk in the wrong, not I.
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Old 26th February 2015, 02:39 PM   #220
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
Mr. Biden gets criticized because he's bad at it.

I let some criminals go free one time, and my how the townsfolk did hate me! So I tried jailing some innocent men, and danged if the townsfolk didn't hate me even more! Seems like those townsfolk are just gonna hate me no matter what I do. I just can't catch a break, but at least I can die knowing it's the townsfolk in the wrong, not I.
Because that's a great analogy for this topic
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Old 26th February 2015, 07:52 PM   #221
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Quick question: Is the legality of drone attacks on-topic?

I know there was some concerns about off-topic discussions earlier.
The original topic was about how the media has treated the episode with Biden. Examples of how the media has treated other political leaders was introduced, and how our interpretations of those leaders is shaped by the media. The arguments about who did what and why might have veered off topic, but I do believe that these are all closely related to why the media would report what they do and don't, etc.
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