Welcome to Inkbunny...
Allowed ratings
To view member-only content, create an account. ( Hide )
AlexReynard

The Other Side Of "Never Forget"

(An audio version of this journal is here.)



When someone leaves their valuables lying in the front seat of their car with the doors unlocked, we can all understand that it's partly their fault if someone robs them. While the robber, of course, is the person most responsible for the decision to commit the crime, the owner of the car shares blame for not securing his possessions.

I just got done watching the news coverage of the tenth anniversary of 9/11. My heart churned with sorrow for the thousands of people who lost parents, siblings, children and loved ones on that day. Seeing children mourning fathers who they never got a chance to know was painful in a way I can't describe.

But my heart also burned with anger to see George W. Bush addressing the crowd at Ground Zero, quoting Abraham Lincoln and saying that God would help us through our sadness.

For starters, there's the fact that this is the same God the terrorists worshiped. The one they believe sanctified their holy war. The God that originated in their region, and yet we somehow believe that he's on *our* side. So maybe we ought to stop pretending in him once and for all, hm?

But deeper than that, there is the fury that this man stood at the ruins of the Twin Towers, and the crowd did not tear him apart.

I hear a lot of people online talk about 9/11 conspiracies, and it's usually a bunch of insane sci-fi bullshit. Stuff about it being an inside job, committed using hidden explosives and robot planes. It invalidates itself from its sheer ridiculous overcomplexity. These people don't understand that they don't NEED to invent a conspiracy. The truth is so much simpler and so much worse.

The attacks could have been easily prevented, but weren't.

After 9/11, I began to see many, many news reports about how our government had every single piece of information they could have possibly needed to predict and prevent the attacks. But the various departments didn't share the information and put it together. And Bush ignored what warnings managed to reach him.

Whether through arrogance or stupidity, he left us defenseless. He left America's doors unlocked, and the terrorists came right in.

This is not a crazy conspiracy theory. It's what happened. Whatever else you choose to believe, it's inescapable that Bush's administration shares part of the blame for what happened ten years ago. How much blame is a matter of opinion. But it's not zero.

For reasons I can't fathom, we in America (and maybe it's like this everywhere else too) rarely cry for justice when a politician or a corporation commits an unspeakable crime. Maybe it's because sometimes the crimes are simply too big to believe. We can understand the concept of Clinton cheating on his wife. But an American president who allowed three thousand of his own citizens to die through criminal negligence? That seems insane. It's so much easier to turn away from the hard truth and just call him a hero instead because he made a nice speech the day after.

If it's not treason to neglect information that America's enemies are planning an imminent attack on civilians, to use the attacks as a justification to repeal our freedoms and desecrate our constitution, and then to go to war against a country who had nothing to do with the attacks (while ignoring one that certainly did, Saudi Arabia), and cause 4,000 more Americans and 100,000 Iraqis to join the ranks of the dead... To commit a war crime against innocents to avenge a war crime against innocents... If that's not treason, what is?

If there was any justice in the world, Bush, Cheney, and anyone else found responsible for allowing the attacks to occur would be put on trial. They would be found guilty. And they would be hanged.

We've already killed Osama bin Laden, and many other members of his barbaric, evil cult. And that's good. They deserve their deaths and worse. They are the ones who are MOST responsible for the attacks of 9/11.

But we haven't brought to justice the men who failed in their duty to protect us from men like him.

Which means we have failed in our duty as citizens.

Don't just remember the dead. Remember WHY they died. Remember that unreasoning, unbreakable faith made nineteen men believe that these attacks were the will of God, and a righteous, good thing to do. Remember that we knew all about these men and their plans beforehand, and that there is no possible justification for why their plans succeeded anyway.

Never forget the dead or their families. But also never forget that those planes didn't fall out of the sky by accident. There were REASONS why 9/11 happened. If we ignore them, we dishonor the dead and leave ourselves unguarded.

I feel like there's a fire inside me right now. Because I can't stand watching people all agree to tell themselves a pleasant lie. This is too important for that bullshit. I watched the news and did not see one person in any way indicate Bush's accountability for the tragedy that happened on the very ground under his feet. Not one family member of a victim. Not one protester. Maybe they were there and the news just didn't show them. If so, shame on them. But if no one said anything at all, then shame on all of us.

It might have been impolite to bring up such an ugly truth on this day. But if we honestly believe that politeness is more important than truth, then...

I don't know what more to say.



BTW, I read through Sunday's newspaper comics today. While most 9/11 tributes were exactly what you'd expect, Candorville had the balls to say, 'We screwed up after the attacks'. I was really impressed.
Viewed: 153 times
Added: 6 years, 11 months ago
 
Shuyo
6 years, 11 months ago
There's also the fact that the FBI knew that suspected extremists came into the country, but didn't bother telling the CIA because of agency rivalry.

(Or the CIA didn't tell the FBI. I kinda forget which.)
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
That hurts my damn brain. Agency rivalry. How? How can grown people be so childish? These aren't sports teams. They all ought to be working for what's best for the country.
Shuyo
6 years, 11 months ago
Kind of like how the Army hates the Navy who hates the Air Force and so on.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I've noticed too that in an action movie, whenever one kind of police force are working on a case, and another agency steps in, virtually always they are depicted like they will fuck everything up if they take over. So I know this attitude has been there a long time. I just don't get how people can be so small as to go along with it. This macho idiocy. 'Those people in that other agency are all morons and fags, and we're all ruff tuff hard workin' men.'

Still, even if Bush couldn't have made all the country's cops come together, he still fell aslep at the wheel with what they managed to give him. I mean, "Bin Ladin Determined To Strike In US "! For fuck's sake!!
KichigaiKitsune
6 years, 11 months ago
Though I don't have any facts about this matter, I can tell you it most likely would be the CIA snubbing the FBI here - the CIA aren't supposed to operate on the homeland; they would be the ones who discovered extremists entering the country, and it's their job to pass it on to the FBI.

Them not doing so (or deciding to screw about on American soil despite their mandate) is not unheard of.
HimaChita
6 years, 11 months ago
This and that whole WMD BS fiasco made me hugely surprised Bush never faced any sort of trial or get kicked out of his presidency.
Sarakha
6 years, 11 months ago
From what I understand of politics - and I admit, it isn't much - Republicans are the kind of people that get rich and think the rich should stay in power. As Bush is Republican, I am led to believe that his party was in power at the time, thus he was protected by a wall of politics and a bunch of cover-up. As stated above, it wasn't just him, though - it was a bunch of agency infighting when everybody should be on the same team. They fight each other, however - not friendly rivalry that can be dropped when the possible consequences are dire, but what amounts in politics to a knock-down, drag-out brawl - for money, power, and glory. For blind ambition.

Even worse, the terrorist attack didn't even open their eyes for longer than it took for the country to start on the road to recovery. It's back to the same old thing, the same bickering over who should have what and the division of classes. (Don't get me wrong, I love America, but I think I am more in love with the ideal, rather than the reality.) They may allow themselves to join together to prevent another major terrorist attack, but I'm not holding my breath.

I'm not sure what, exactly, it would take - short of a major coup and governmental overhaul - to actually make the government work to the general benefit of everybody. Whatever it is won't be done, though. We're talking about people who refuse - or have somehow made it "impossible" for them - to take a pay cut; the rest of the country could be impoverished to the point of hunting for food, but politicians will continue to raise taxes, raise their own pay, and raise their spending. A pay cut of ten, even five, percent from politicians - not teachers, not law enforcement, but politicians - could take care of some of our deficit.

While I'm thinking about the deficit... when the "wicked adulterer" Bill Clinton was in office, didn't America have a surplus? Food for thought.

...Thanks for listening.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
Excellent post, especially the last bit. Am I alone in not giving the tiniest shit what our elected officials do with their genitals? I would literally reelect someone who'd been caught fucking a sheep in the Oval Office if they'd done a good job running the country otherwise.
ScottyKat
6 years, 11 months ago
People tend to throw blame one way. and never want to take responsibility.
Bush should have been impeached for his gross stupidity.. Investigations should
have show the stupid government internal rivalry... Everyone wants to be the best
instead of working together.... Which brings out the worst.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
<nod> And I accept that I'm to blame too. While the Tea Party is out waving their retarded signs, where am I? Online bitching about it. I wish I had more spine and more drive. As it is, I'm depressed by all this bullshit going on around me to the point of inaction.

The more I've watched Bush's presidency, America's reaction to it and the rise of the Tea Party, the more I understand how Nazism took over in Germany. I am not saying that lightly. I am completely serious. Fascism shows up wrapped in so much patriotism you could choke on it.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
Fascism:  “a governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.), emphasizing an aggressive nationalism . . .”

Do explain how private citizens have the power to suppress dissent and control all affairs of the nation.  Wouldn't it stand to reason that government, which holds a legal monopoly on the use of force, is more deserving of such a title?  And isn't it our current president and his administration that's pushing the idea that government control is the answer to everything?
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>Do explain how private citizens have the power to suppress dissent and control all affairs of the nation.

The owners of the most powerful media-owning corporations in America are private citizens, aren't they? If you can dictate what is shown on the news, you can dictate how many people think about the world.

>Wouldn't it stand to reason that government, which holds a legal monopoly on the use of force, is more deserving of such a title?

Yes. I'm not arguing that. I'm saying that, for a variety of reasons, the rise of the Tea Party parallels the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Particularly the intense nationalism and the attitude of 'we're the only true citizens and everyone else is the problem'. If they became the party in power, that could lead to fascism, is my point.

>And isn't it our current president and his administration that's pushing the idea that government control is the answer to everything?

Was FDR a fascist for proposing the New Deal? Government control is not the only indicator of fascism.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
"The owners of the most powerful media-owning corporations in America are private citizens, aren't they? If you can dictate what is shown on the news, you can dictate how many people think about the world."

But they have no power to stop people from challenging them, from thinking for themselves, from proving them wrong.  Sorry, but until they gain the power to legally initiate force against others, it's not fascism.

"Yes. I'm not arguing that. I'm saying that, for a variety of reasons, the rise of the Tea Party parallels the rise of National Socialism in Germany. Particularly the intense nationalism and the attitude of 'we're the only true citizens and everyone else is the problem'. If they became the party in power, that could lead to fascism, is my point."

The Tea Party is arguing for limited government, which is the exact opposite of what fascism is.  Also, as a military history enthusiast, I've read great lengths about the rise of Nazi Germany and there is very little comparison between them and the Tea Party.  The Tea Party doesn't have anything like the SA, they don't engage in violence (though I've seen them be the victims of violence several times), they don't take any violent or illegal action against those who oppose them (though their opponents have gone to great lengths to make them out to be villains), and they're not doing anything more than those who protested against Bush did (though I don't see many signs calling for Obama's assassination).

"Was FDR a fascist for proposing the New Deal? Government control is not the only indicator of fascism."

Not so much a fascist as overstepping his Constitutional authority.  And my point is that since private civilians have no power to suppress dissent or control others (both of which require the use of force, which only the government can legally use), the Tea Party is not the new fascism.
polkakitty
6 years, 11 months ago
" BigD wrote:
Also, as a military history enthusiast, I've read great lengths about the rise of Nazi Germany and there is very little comparison between them and the Tea Party.  The Tea Party doesn't have anything like the SA, they don't engage in violence (though I've seen them be the victims of violence several times)


Right, like the time when a protester knocked several Rand Paul supporters to the pavement and started stomping on their heads.

....oh, wait.  That's not what happened.

Or the time when some California Highway Patrol officers shot a teabagger, and announced that it was the beginning of their "revolution."

....oh, wait.  That's not what happened.

Or the time when a nine-year-old girl from Arizona broke into a teabagger's house and murdered her and her father.

....oh, wait.  That's not what happened.

Sad to say, there exists such a thing as objective reality.  There are things in the world that are true, and there are things that are not true.  It's not a matter of spin or perspective.  Julius Caesar did not assassinate a mob of senators, even if you think he was a narcissistic ass.  Sharon Tate did not take part in any conspiracy to murder Charles Manson, even if you think she was a melodramatic hack.  (For that matter, John Lennon did not take part in any conspiracy to murder Sharon Tate, even if you think he was a hypocrite for writing "Imagine".)  And regardless of your personal feelings about the Tea Party, it is not in any way inimical to fascism, nor is it somehow a victim of the "Second Amendment Solutions" that it advocates.

You claim to be "apolitical" and to be a "military history enthusiast." If you expect anyone to ever believe those claims, you need to quit watching Fox News and start reading up on some actual military history.  While your post makes it obvious that you are intimately familiar with the concept of the Big Lie, there is much more to the history of fascism than that.  Perhaps we should start with the fact that fascism always arrives wrapped in the flag, carrying the cross, and calling itself anti-fascism.
randomfox
6 years, 11 months ago
Being criminally stupid may not be treason, but I'm pretty sure outing a spy to our enemies and endangering her life and the lives of the people she cares for all because she was a democrat is. I think we're minimizing not just the magnitude, but the number of reasons Bush is a filthy stain that needs to be wiped from the face of the earth by just focusing on just one.

But then, you know what they say: "You voted for him. Even if you voted for the other guy, or didn't vote at all, the people in charge are completely blameless in everything they do unless it's cheating on their wife because that's just not American!"

ON THE OTHER HAND, as a history buff I feel the need to abstain from commenting on how those events or Bushes actions as president affected our culture. As my history teacher said "You want me to tell you how 9/11 affected the country? Ask me again in 50 years."
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>I think we're minimizing not just the magnitude, but the number of reasons Bush is a filthy stain that needs to be wiped from the face of the earth by just focusing on just one.

Oh, I know. I just didn't list everything. If nothing else, we citizens are supposed to fight against anyone who undermines our constitution. We kinda missed our chance.

>But then, you know what they say: "You voted for him. Even if you voted for the other guy, or didn't vote at all, the people in charge are completely blameless in everything they do unless it's cheating on their wife because that's just not American!"

The funny part is how Bush stole the first election, and there was some protesting, and then he stole the second one using rigged voting machines and there was plenty of evidence he did, and complete silence.

>ON THE OTHER HAND, as a history buff I feel the need to abstain from commenting on how those events or Bushes actions as president affected our culture. As my history teacher said "You want me to tell you how 9/11 affected the country? Ask me again in 50 years."

To heck with that. I have to live in this moment, so I'm gonna complain about 9/11's short-term effects all I can. ;)
Cougar1823
6 years, 11 months ago
The system now exists to protect itself and only itself, and not the people from whom it derives its power.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
It's what the rich and powerful have always tried to do; keep everything for themselves. The rest of us need to always keep that in mind and always force them to not go too far. Unfortunately, we're heading back to Robber Baron days, like before the Great Depression.
SenGrisane
6 years, 11 months ago
I didn't watch any of the this, but I could imagine a screening where they would filter out the protesters.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
Very possibly. The more I watch the teevee news, the more I see how they try to shape it into a Hollywood storyline, instead of just REPORTING on it. They try to force a narrative onto it. For 9/11, the story is that we were attacked by bad people and it's impossible to know why, but we rose from the ashes a stronger people. It became a story of hope and human endurance. Instead of a story about a country that did a lot of shitty things to the middle east, seeding the soil for al Qaida, who committed an undeniably evil but fully explainable act against us, and instead of using the worldwide support we had in the days after the attacks, we went to war against pretty much everyone who hadn't attacked us, including our own citizens. This wasn't 'we're the good guys and they're the bad guys'. It's more like we're the equivalent of a rich, snobbish ex-hippie who found out the hard way that you shouldn't piss off your neighbors if they happen to be heavily-armed ex-cons who already hate you anyway.
SenGrisane
6 years, 11 months ago
News have not simply reported news for a long time.

Pimples on the butt of celebrity are more important than scandals and the lives of innocent after all.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
<nod> I still have no idea at all why Kim Kardashian is famous.
SenGrisane
6 years, 11 months ago
I have heard the name from MTV somewhere, but had to google to get a face ^^
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I don't know what she looks like either. Reports indicate she has a fine ass. Apparently, that's enough to get you famous nowadays.
SenGrisane
6 years, 11 months ago
I am a fine ass as well :P
Not famous yet. Infamous maybe ^^
polkakitty
6 years, 11 months ago
" AlexReynard wrote:
I hear a lot of people online talk about 9/11 conspiracies, and it's usually a bunch of insane sci-fi bullshit. Stuff about it being an inside job, committed using hidden explosives and robot planes. It invalidates itself from its sheer ridiculous overcomplexity. These people don't understand that they don't NEED to invent a conspiracy. The truth is so much simpler and so much worse.

Oh my holy God that I don't believe in, this is just so true.  I've long thought of conspiracy theories as being a defense mechanism to avoid having to acknowledge all the horrors that exist in the real world.  In order to explain what I think conspiracy theories are trying to accomplish, it's useful to draw a distinction between what I take the liberty of calling Sauron-evil and Bush-evil.

As you surely know, the Big Bads in far too many fantasy novels turn out to be thinly-disguised expies of J. R. R. Tolkien's Sauron.  (They shouldn't be, because Sauron really isn't much of a character; about all we know about him is that he's evil because he just is.  The only reason he works in the Lord of the Rings is because he's presented more as a force of nature than an actual character, someone you never actually see, but his influence is felt everywhere, and the only really big mistake Peter Jackson made in the films was having Sauron appear in person in a flashback to Isildur's battle with him, where inevitably, instead of a malign cosmic force, he looks like nothing more than the end boss from the latest Diablo clone.  But that is a rant for another time.)  The thing is, even though such characters are said to be the most powerful and the most evil man in the world, there are pretty definite limits to how much suffering they'll ever inflict on anyone - exactly how far they'll go depends on the story, of course, but we never see anything remotely like the reality of war, the suffering that real people go through in places like Abu Ghraib.

There's a line that Sauron-evil doesn't go past, and I think that a large part of that line is not just the scope of the crime, but the aspect of personal betrayal.  Sauron-evil builds ridiculously elaborate and impractical deathtraps and says "No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die."  It's someone that knows he's evil, and is a bit of a ham about it, so he really can't, in any meaningful sense, betray anyone.  Bush-evil, after taking an oath to protect his compatriots against all enemies, foreign and domestic, ignores imminent threats from real enemies while he plans a war that he intends to prolong forever, a war that will not only get thousands of his own people killed in order to prop up his own lies about nuclear weapons, but convince an entire region of the world that all representative government means, all the entire idea of an alternative to theocracy means, is drone strikes randomly killing their family based on information that turns out to be utterly wrong.  The kind of information that we, as a culture, manage to top our usual abandonment of all self-awareness by calling "bad intelligence."  Bush-evil does more to legitimize terrorism and theocracy than a simple thug like Bin Laden could ever dream of, all because of some cloudy memories filtering through a drunken haze, memories of hearing that what he's doing is exactly what cowboys used to do.  It's the kind of person that would, in essence, skin thousands of the same supporters that elected him to make a pair of riding chaps, and then show up in their families' living rooms and expect adulation, like Harry Whittington apologizing to Dick Cheney for making him look bad by getting shot by him.
polkakitty
6 years, 11 months ago
Obviously, in conspiracy theories, there's the aspect of impossibly convoluted plans requiring flawless execution on the part of millions of conspirators - no allowance for any contingency plan if anyone blabs about the master plan on some "friends-locked" LJ community, or just plain cocks up what they were supposed to do (plus, of course, the inevitable question of, if the New World Order is just that perfect at covering up all evidence of their existence, then how did you find out about them) - but there's also a sort of innocence in their assumption that all the evil in the world comes from one monolithic secret society whose orders all world leaders obey flawlessly and unquestioningly, and the cartoon villains that they try to set up as being the masterminds behind the whole thing.  I mean, look at what ridiculous groups people decide secretly rule the world.  The Freemasons?  Really?  Woe betide us all, for the end of the world shall come neither with fire nor with ice, but with goofy old guys in funny period costumes talking about how unbearably clever they are.  Hell, the internet being what it is, I'm sure you could find plenty of chantards stupid enough to believe, in complete sincerity, that furries secretly rule the world.

And I really do think it's a defensive mechanism: by setting up the Freemasons as the most evil thing in the world, they imply that anything worse than the Freemasons must not really exist, and so they can deny all the real horrors in the world.  It's trying to replace Bush-evil with Sauron-evil.

And I think it's very similar to how people can take comfort in the idea of a God meting out final judgment.  Just as there would be indescribably horrifying consequences if the universe was actually ruled by an all-powerful God whose personality was such that he was willing to create a Hell to torture people in for all eternity simply for not worshiping him, even if the reason someone wasn't willing to worship him was because the only people they'd ever heard talking about Christianity were the Crusaders that murdered their parents right in front of them, the consequences that would follow if the villains of the real world were all unquestioningly loyal to one central command, and given all the superpowers that the conspiracy theorists attribute to them, would be horrific beyond imagination.  But really, conspiracy theorists aren't talking about the villains of the real world, because they can't allow themselves to conceive of the kind of evil that exists in the real world.

And because they can't imagine how anything worse could happen in the world they believe exists than a Saturday morning cartoon villain, Baron Rothschild von Illuminati, sending his two bumbling henchmen, Georgie Guile and Osama Odious, to spirit away the biggest ball of twine in Minnesota in their zeppelin, they find it comforting to believe that everything that happens is secretly part of a greater plan, that there's some omnipresent but unknowable Daddy figure that has already planned out everything.  It's a vision of a world with no hard decisions or ambiguity, a world where they'll never have to learn to reconcile having failed at a goal because they just didn't know as much as they thought they did, or see a dear friend turn pointlessly cruel and vindictive.  Whereas theists believe that someone good will take care of everything in the end, conspiracy theorists believe that someone bad will take care of everything in the end, but either way it's an excuse to block out the real world, and the actions they attribute to the ruler they believe in are those of a low-budget fantasy villain.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
Let me clarify. I don't think ALL conspiracies are bullshit. That goes beyond healthy skepticism to flat-out denial. What pisses me off is how the most ludicrous conspiracies always get the most attention. There are smaller, far more plausible theories which get ignored because they get lumped in with the crazier ones.

Like with 9/11; the most plausible conspiracy theory I've heard was that the owner of the WTC complex somehow learned about the attacks in advance, then took out a massive insurance policy on the towers, specifically including terrorism coverage. Afterwards, he demanded double payment from the insurance company, insisting that each plane crash counted as a specific attack. He made four billion dollars. To me, that sounds like motive enough for anyone to do anything to anybody. While this theory might be bullshit too, it seems like it'd be easy enough to investigate and prove one way or another. Yet all I fucking hear about are robot planes and "Inside job!!".

>Sauron really isn't much of a character...he's evil because he just is.

EXCELLENT point. I always take this to heart when I'm writing. I think about all the villains from old cartoons who were just evil because the show needed a bad guy. I remember hearing that "The best villains don't know they're villains." Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter is a perfect example, or anyone else who has a genuine motivation and thinks they're in the right.

>It's the kind of person that would...skin thousands of the same supporters that elected him to make a pair of riding chaps, and then show up in their families' living rooms and expect adulation

That is the best summation of this kind of thing I think I've ever seen. And it ties into what I was saying about villains not thinking they're villians. With some people, whatever they want to be true is true, no matter how much it conflicts with truth. If they believe "I am a good guy" then it follows that everything they do is good, no matter what it is. If they cause harm to innocents, then obviously there must have been some kind of justification for it. Or they just ignore it as unimportant.

>there's the aspect of impossibly convoluted plans requiring flawless execution on the part of millions of conspirators

This is why there are some conspiracy theories I'll give consideration to, and others I dismiss automatically. If huge movie studios can't prevent their films from leaking before their release dates, there's no reason to think the government could do any better.

The only way I could see a secret-keeping conspiracy like this working is if they used disinformation. Like, maybe the government keeps Area 51 around as kook-bait, while meanwhile they store all their really secret shit at Area 52. ;)

>that furries secretly rule the world.

That'd be kinda cool.

A while back, I typed in "international Jewish banking conspiracy" into Google and was stunned by the results. I was like, 'Awwww, I bet they still believe in Santa too'.

>by setting up the Freemasons as the most evil thing in the world, they imply that anything worse than the Freemasons must not really exist, and so they can deny all the real horrors in the world.

Excellent point. Reminds me of the phrase, "Better the devil you know than the devil you don't."

>Just as there would be indescribably horrifying consequences if the universe was actually ruled by an all-powerful God

As an aside; no matter how horrifying that would be, I still personally find it a more comforting idea than there being no God at all. At least if he exists, then there also exists a microscopic chance that he could be defied. Or fought. Or killed.

>It's a vision of a world with no hard decisions or ambiguity

<Nods> I made a decision years ago to be as honest as I could possibly be in all situations. Accepting reality can be very painful. But it's better to deal with the pain of an injection than the long, slow misery of a life destroying illness.
polkakitty
6 years, 11 months ago
" AlexReynard wrote:
the most plausible conspiracy theory I've heard was that the owner of the WTC complex somehow learned about the attacks in advance, then took out a massive insurance policy on the towers, specifically including terrorism coverage.

Yes, I've heard of that theory before, and I do actually find it plausible.  I'm not trying to discount all possibility of there ever being a conspiracy, what I'm talking about, I think, is best described as a personality type.  There's a certain type of person that just latches onto anything they hear that makes them feel heroic.  They don't care if there's any observable evidence for anything they say, just that it makes them feel like they're in on a secret, deeper truth about how the world really works, that it makes them better than all the lesser sheep.  They have a real need not just to romanticize themselves, but to romanticize their enemies, to believe they're fighting something supernaturally powerful and charismatic rather than the real villains of the world, that aren't glamorous, that aren't omniscient, that far from being unified under any timeless Illuminati, spend a hell of a lot of time trying to tear each other down out of pure spite.

And among real conspiracy nut circles, you see that attitude in the way that they argue.  They're not concerned with their arguments being logically comprehensible, just with volume.  They just collect and recite as many statements as possible that appear to support the assumptions they've already made about the world, whether those statements are true, false, irrelevant, or completely meaningless, and they take the attitude that if there's one question about your position that you're not sure about, or one assertion of theirs that you can't easily disprove, no matter how tangential to the actual point of the argument, then that must mean everything they've ever said is right and everything you've ever said is not just wrong, but proof of your complicity.

And I think the worst thing they do, is that some of the time, they come up with assertions of conspiracies that are close enough to something that could really happen that people start to automatically dismiss any possibility that it could have happened.  In a very real sense, they provide the disinformation so the government wouldn't have to.  (I don't think this is at all likely, but if someone actually came up with concrete evidence tomorrow that alien spaceships had just crashed at Area 52, most people wouldn't even listen.  They'd just roll their eyes and say "well, there go those Area 51 cranks again....")

Still, the question of "would this require too many conspirators to ever keep quiet" ought to be a very good metric to separate theories that should be seriously investigated from theories that are just laughable bullshit.

(Incidentally, the insurance example also proves Julian Assange wrong in his assertion that without secure private communications between conspirators, there can't ever be a conspiracy.  If anything, the best conspiracy is one that doesn't require any accomplices.  Nobody else that can fail at their assigned task, or decide that they should be the one in charge, or threaten to send the cops after you unless you give them a bigger share of the profits.)
" >that furries secretly rule the world.

That'd be kinda cool.

I'm not so sure.  See, if it turned out that furries *did* secretly rule the world, that would also imply that we're all such fuckups that we really can't do any better than how the world is run already....
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>Yes, I've heard of that theory before, and I do actually find it plausible.

Something else occurred to me. This theory might be true and not even be illegal. Let's say the owner of the WTC gets a heads-up from someone in the government that there's simply chatter about his property being involved in an attack. He may simply have been playing the odds by buying insurance. <shrug>

>I'm not trying to discount all possibility of there ever being a conspiracy, what I'm talking about, I think, is best described as a personality type. There's a certain type of person that just latches onto anything they hear that makes them feel heroic.

No disagreement there at all. I see the same traits in people who want to believe they're psychic, or have a personal relationship with Jesus, or who root strenuously for some sports team. Most of us are not special, but all of us want to be. However, the only way to truly stand out is to do something that makes you worthy of notice. A lot of people are too timid or lazy for that though, so they try to feel special by latching onto something that makes them feel more important than they are. Believing in conspiracies makes you part of a big secret. Believing in supernatural forces means you can attribute every odd little quirk in your life to something most people never see. Rooting for a team makes you feel part of it if they win. I find it kinda sad. That's one reason why I write stories. I can at least say, 'Here's one thing I did that no one else did.'

>then that must mean everything they've ever said is right and everything you've ever said is not just wrong, but proof of your complicity.

<strenuous nodding> It's fucking creepy how science has actually proven that most people, if shown evidence that contradicts their strongly held beliefs, will actually cling tighter to those beliefs.

>They'd just roll their eyes and say "well, there go those Area 51 cranks again...."

Bingo. Sadly, this also happens with things that are true. Like, 'Al Gore thinks he invented the internet! He's a loony! So global warming is equally loony!' Or 'PETA is always doing some crazy thing, so the very idea of animal rights must be crazy too'. :C

>Still, the question of "would this require too many conspirators to ever keep quiet" ought to be a very good metric

Very yes.

>Incidentally, the insurance example also proves Julian Assange wrong in his assertion that without secure private communications between conspirators, there can't ever be a conspiracy. If anything, the best conspiracy is one that doesn't require any accomplices.

Hmmm. I think he may still be correct, but only on a technicality. A true conspiracy requires more than one person, as 'to conspire' literally means 'to breathe together'. If it's one person doing it alone, it's just crime.

>See, if it turned out that furries *did* secretly rule the world, that would also imply that we're all such fuckups that we really can't do any better than how the world is run already...

Well, no one group would likely be any better at running the world than another. But if furries did, we'd probably get cool membership badges eventually. :3
Alfador
6 years, 11 months ago
" AlexReynard wrote:
Like, maybe the government keeps Area 51 around as kook-bait, while meanwhile they store all their really secret shit at Area 52.


Silly! Area 52 is a goblin base in the Netherstorm! http://www.wowpedia.org/Area_52

As for secrets, there was this super-duper top-secret Cold War bunker meant to house the entirety of Congress in the event of nuclear war. They built it under a newly-constructing wing of a resort hotel to disguise it--so any construction equipment could be explained as for the hotel and not anything secret. So who was the first person to discover the secret who wasn't supposed to? ...The manager of the hotel, who took a look at the accounting books and figured the discrepancies meant someone was embezzling.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Greenbrier
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Greek_Island

Also, it was never used for its intended purpose and cost approximately one hojillion dollars. :P
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
...I was not aware of that.

Though it is a good example of why conspiracies tend not to work in the real world. You get one random schmuck stumbling onto it, and then it's on Wikipedia. Ever heard of The Business Plot? Protip: when selecting a triggerman to assassinate the President, make sure he doesn't think you're reprehensible.
KevinSnowpaw
6 years, 11 months ago
Im of the mind our government might have known more then even this and simply remained silent for an excuse to move into the middle east. Who knows? Call me apathetic but im just sick of seeing it on every channel. Eventual 9/11 will be just like pearl harbor day and we can all go about our lives.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
That's one of the few conspiracy theories I've heard that I still consider plausible. Not likely though, but possible.

It really doesn't matter though. Whether they knew and didn't act, or didn't know at all, the result is the same. I think we'd rather believe in a conspiracy because, there are only two possibilities here: the government is evil, or the government is stupid. I think a stupid government is scarier, because a government evil enough to successfully pull off any kind of conspiracy is implied to have at least a little bit of competence. It's more frightening to think that the attacks succeeded simply because we have a bunch of people governing us who are just as weak, petty and short-sighted as humanity in general.

Ever heard of Hanlon's Razor? "Never attribute to malice what is adequately explained by stupidity".
KevinSnowpaw
6 years, 11 months ago
eloquent as always Alex, that quote in-particular. Politics is a dark and murky business I don't doubt some people high enough up to make a deference knew or might have suspected but did nothing...because the outcome as horrible as it was would mean we could move troops into Iraq.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>I don't doubt some people high enough up to make a deference knew or might have suspected but did nothing...because the outcome as horrible as it was would mean we could move troops into Iraq

This is why it pisses me off so much to see 9/11 Truthers called crazy. South Park did this. When Kyle said that a quarter of Americans odoubt the official story of 9/11, Stan said that meant a quarter of Americans are crazy. That's cheap. If a full quarter of a population is all feeling the same thing, you can't handwave that. They might be wrong, but there is a reason so many feel that way. Because with Bush's administration, is any evil thing implausible with them? Given their handling of Hurricane Katrina and the fact that 4000+ Americans have died because of their dishonest war, is it that much of a stretch to imagine they'd allow 3000 of us to die if they thought they could use that to their advantage? If someone displays a pattern of indifference to death and human suffering, there's nothing crazy about at least considering that they might have done more of the same. I'll call a lot of the Truthers wrong, but not insane.
KevinSnowpaw
6 years, 11 months ago
pretty much. Now im not saying I support some crazy theory that the government is lieing to us and plotted the entire thing in some dark room some place.

Im not going to rule out the IDEA that IGNOREING things that could have stoped 9/11 even to the point of knowingly allowing it to happen for political reasons isent something thats to terrible unlikely. Gov has lied to us before right? all the time in fact. how much they knew and ignored if any we might very well never know.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>Gov has lied to us before right? all the time in fact. how much they knew and ignored if any we might very well never know.

Exactly. The idea that someone in the government might have put it together and just ignored it because it'd make a dandy war justification is completely plausible. As I lay out in this journal here.
ZephonTsol
6 years, 11 months ago
This is only peripherally relevant to this, but talking about holding someone accountable leads me to Dick Cheney's new book. I've picked them many times since it released last Tuesday. People are talking about it. He thinks it's a good book about how he valiantly fought the system and brought justice and honor and so on to the people of the country.

Nowhere in this book is it mentioned or even brought up that Dick Cheney shot a man in the face with a shotgun and not only wasn't punished for it, got off completely scot free. Whether by accident or not, he shot someone.

Dick Cheney SHOT someone. And wasn't punished. Wasn't even remotely punished.

It's on the NYTimes Bestseller list. Everytime I pick one up, I resist the urge to write on the inside cover "Thank you for buying the completely biased and just-as-false-as-Bush's book about a man who nearly killed someone else and wasn't tried by the very laws he says he upheld."

Argh.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I think the scarier thing there is that Cheney does seem to believe that he's a good guy fighting against evil. I'm certain Bush does. Those people are easily the most dangerous of any villain, since they start from the assumption that they are the good guys, which means that everything they do must therefore be good. And anyone who opposes them must therefore be an enemy who must be destroyed.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dick_Cheney_hunting_incid... (Dick Cheney Hunting Incident Investigation).

You know, facts are a wonderful thing.
ZephonTsol
6 years, 11 months ago
Thank you for the facts of it all. I'd forgotten about Wikipedia, honestly. Upon looking at them, I'm still standing by my statement. People support a man who shot someone else in the face, leaving him with over 200 birdshot pellet wounds in his upper body. The Secret Service tried to keep the police OUT of the matter. Written affadavits from the victim were never taken. Rules and policies seemed to not matter because it was Dick Cheney.

My question now, however, isn't why did he get away with it, but moreover how the hell did he hit this man when he was trying to aim downrange? See, to hit him, Cheney would be breaking gun safety guidelines. Namely, ALWAYS watch where your weapon is pointed and never point it at something you do not intend to destroy. The UCMJ has tried people and recruits in basic training for accidents like this.

I could go on, but I see your latest post. I read it and I hear that familiar tone of condescension. The tone of superior smugness that someone who thinks they are right uses. Most of the time, I hear it out of Bush-supporters, Clinton-haters, Obama-revilers.

And nearly always, I hear it from someone who has never known what it's like to be touched by the death from war or experience the loss of a loved one from it. People died for a pointless war. Even if we DID get Saddam out of power, we should be gone by now. But whatever, I know I'm shouting at a brick wall on this point. You won't listen to anything I say because the second I started responding to you and pushing against your 'unshakeable' belief, you just hold onto it tighter. Facts are nice, but only if they're YOUR facts, right?
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
"Thank you for the facts of it all. I'd forgotten about Wikipedia, honestly. Upon looking at them, I'm still standing by my statement. People support a man who shot someone else in the face, leaving him with over 200 birdshot pellet wounds in his upper body. The Secret Service tried to keep the police OUT of the matter. Written affadavits from the victim were never taken. Rules and policies seemed to not matter because it was Dick Cheney."

The man shot, as well as several witnesses, described it as an accident.  When the police got involved, they cleared Cheney of any wrongdoing.   Am I supposed to believe all of them were in on some conspiracy?

"My question now, however, isn't why did he get away with it, but moreover how the hell did he hit this man when he was trying to aim downrange? See, to hit him, Cheney would be breaking gun safety guidelines. Namely, ALWAYS watch where your weapon is pointed and never point it at something you do not intend to destroy. The UCMJ has tried people and recruits in basic training for accidents like this."

That's the UCMJ, which only applies to soldiers.  And it happened for the same reason people with crystal-clean driving records get into accidents; because accidents happen.  Frankly, it's hardly something to raise hell about and you probably wouldn't be if it was anyone else but Cheney.

"I could go on, but I see your latest post. I read it and I hear that familiar tone of condescension. The tone of superior smugness that someone who thinks they are right uses. Most of the time, I hear it out of Bush-supporters, Clinton-haters, Obama-revilers."

There's nothing wrong with confidence, my friend.  And has anyone ever told you that when you assume something, it makes an ass out of you and me?  I'm none of those three (in fact, I'm apolitical), but if that's how you cover up your inability to debate a topic, it doesn't pick my pocket or break my leg.

"And nearly always, I hear it from someone who has never known what it's like to be touched by the death from war or experience the loss of a loved one from it."

Is that right?  Again, you ASSume wrong.  I lost 343 brothers in 9-11, I currently have a firefighter friend who has served in both Afghanistan and Iraq numerous times, my father served in Vietnam, and my WWII vet grandfather died last year while I was at the Fire Academy.  You should learn to go by facts instead of making ASSumptions.

"People died for a pointless war."

Pointless, maybe.  Stupid, maybe.  Unnecessary, maybe.  My beef is with people who call it immoral or suggest Saddam was somehow innocent of any wrongdoing.  Such people are making a mockery of morality and giving a moral sanction to a man who didn't deserve it.

"Even if we DID get Saddam out of power, we should be gone by now."

Agreed, which is what I've been pushing for as well.

"But whatever, I know I'm shouting at a brick wall on this point. You won't listen to anything I say because the second I started responding to you and pushing against your 'unshakeable' belief, you just hold onto it tighter. Facts are nice, but only if they're YOUR facts, right?"

You're the one making assumptions, chum, not me.  And I've just shot down several of them.
ZephonTsol
6 years, 11 months ago
Y'know, I could go on. I could try. We could debate this for hours and you could throw them right back at me with that silly capitalization (which was frankly getting childish by the time your post was done) of ASSumption.

I know that the UCMJ applies only to soldiers. My point was that being held accountable is what matters in life. A man now has to live with a shotgun shell-full of buckshot in his body. But hey, no harm no foul, right? The UCMJ was based off of federal law and as such, it's arguable that someone who advocated war should be held accountable for nearly blowing one of his peers' head off.

But I won't. I know I'm not debate-savvy like Alex is. And I know what you are, but I won't say it. Wouldn't do any good anyhow. If you want to call this a victory, go right ahead. You won an argument about politics and defended a man who, in most given circumstances, would've had his license to carry a gun of any type taken away after the act. So go right ahead and strut. Call me whatever you like. Claim that I make assumptions and mock me.

But I *would* despise anyone who did that very same act that Cheney did. Anyone. Someone who has such little regard for their friends as to not be absolutely certain they know where their weapon is pointed at doesn't deserve respect. I don't view this as a conspiracy (which is frankly the wrong term for it and is used by media nowadays to openly mock opposing arguments). I view it as a sad fact.

And I view you as someone who, while having friends in military and in firefighting, has not served. I did. I lost friends too, you pompous jackass. I've seen what war DOES. You, on the other hand...well, that would be an ASSumption, right? Which you seem to have made about me as well. Seems we both got overzealous.

In any case, I'm done. I know a brick wall when I'm shouting at one and you have made it readily apparent that you are indeed not going to move.

Have fun strutting about with your victory. And the fact that you have a job. Because a hell of a lot of people don't. But hey, what should you care?

Gah, I'm just being mean-spirited now. Sorry for that. Continue on with your happy life, sir. Enjoy your job and your house and your healthcare. I'm done with this argument and I'm done with you.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
Little tip, friend; learn not to take it personally when someone disagrees with you.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
Just so there's no hard feelings, I think some clarification about our respective professions in life are in order.

No, I haven't served in the Armed Forces, and contrary to what you might think, I have great respect for those who do.  But if you really look at it, there's not that big a difference between what firefighters and soldiers do.  Both defend people's lives; one does it against an act of nature, the other against an act of another human being.  We both do what we do because we want to protect others and we both face great hardships doing it.  We work closely with others and often form great bonds of friendship, and sometimes we even face the same dangers (in fact, one of my instructors at the Academy served with a non-military firefighting unit over in Iraq, so firefighters have been involved in wars and conflict).

And not to put down what you do in the military, but understand this:  The human being you fight against has weaknesses, sometimes morals, sometimes honor.  You can negotiate with him, convince him not to fight or scare him into giving up.  He probably has a family he cares about and wants to get back to, and maybe he holds to the belief that women and children are not meant to be involved in battle and does his best to spare them.  He probably respects you as a worthy opponent and plays fair with you when you face him.

With something like fire, you don't get that.  Fire is merciless, it doesn't discriminate, and it holds nothing back.  You can't negotiate with it or scare it; you either beat it or it beats you.  It has no morals, no qualms; it kills men, women, and children all in the same horrible ways.  And I'm saying that as someone who's been on both sides of it, as the man who fought it and as a victim of it (thankfully, not physically).

Finally, you want to know why I decided against a career in the military?  Because I don't think our soldiers are given the respect they deserve and I think they're treated more as pawns by politicians than as our defenders.  Instead of being used to defend us, they're sent over to some distant land that no one has heard about so a politician can say he's humanitarian or has balls, while saddling them with idiotic rules of engagement that do nothing but force them to needlessly endanger their lives and make it clear that they're considered expendable.  If it were up to me, our soldiers would be on strike right now, denying their services to those who don't appreciate them so they can see what they're taking for granted; it's high time we were reminded of what our soldiers are.

I'm sorry if I gave the impression that I don't respect the military.  Whatever our differences of opinion, you have my respect for what you did and I'm sorry for whatever losses you suffered while doing it.
ZephonTsol
6 years, 11 months ago
Yeah, I know I take it personally. Sorry about that, it's kind of a button that gets pressed in me when I find myself disagreeing with something I feel strongly about.

And as it turns out, I agree with you. The military is overblown and needs to be trimmed back, refined, made something more than the bloated mass of meat that it is. And believe me, it is. Marine recruiters (back when I signed up) were taking in people with criminal histories, waving it away with a piece of paper and then giving those criminals actual real training with deadly assault weapons. One of the reasons right there I went Army.

But while I lost friends in the war, I was never in the desert. I did my part here, at home, playing music. Admittedly, I wasn't an all-star, but I did my job: enriching a harsh lifestyle with something positive. I played music for both presidents (Bush and Obama). I went to Korea and helped spread a message of peace. I played standing next to South Koreans, North Koreans, and the People's Republic of China Armed Bands.

I did what I could to cultivate peace. Some of the more...aggressive people in the military would call me a sissy or a non-hacker. They HAVE said that I was a coward for avoiding a war and wouldn't fight like a real man.

I view what happened to your brothers in NYC as an absolute tragedy. I view it as doing what was right, even in the face of unending horror and tension. THAT, sir, was true heroism and fortitude, not what the media bangs on about these days. I have a profound anger at our government for not being on the ball enough to stop it from happening because I have a profound respect for life itself. Much as I know how to fire a weapon and hit a target downrange at 300 yards, I don't want to. Because everyone, until they prove otherwise, deserves the chance to live.

Again, my beef with the former presidents stems from a lack of ALL politicians these days doing what is right instead of what is either liked or beneficial to THEM and no one else. In my opinion, neither side has it right. Obama does what he can, but his hands are tied by just about everyone jockeying for position. It's like this now, it was like this years ago when 9/11 happened. I *had* to salute President Bush. I didn't want to because in a way, I felt like I had been denied a real leader instead of a politician. I saw what the wars did. Saw the troops who came home at 2 am in the morning and played for their return ceremonies. I saw their eyes. And I know the tragedies that have happened with families being ripped apart by soldiers and marines who are unable to return to a normal way of life.

I know I can't just lay the blame on Bush for this...but I have no choice. The military operated that way. Blame went UP, not down. Commanders were just as responsible as their soldiers. And Bush was the commander-in-chief. And his VP...well, I've already blown my load on that one.

So yeah, forgive a nearly thirty-years-old veteran for his old grudges that die extremely hard. As much as I rage, I hate fighting. I apologize to you for letting myself get worked into a lather over something that's...just a stupid stupid thing.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
Sorry to poke in, but that was beautifully written, Zeph.
Alfador
6 years, 11 months ago
" BigD wrote:
I lost 343 brothers


O_O Wow, big family.
Humbug
6 years, 11 months ago
I think that the best punishment we could do for Bush and anyone else who knew but didn't do anything to prevent it would be to publicly admit that it was their fault.
That, for people like that, is worse than any firing squad. Or waterboarding.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I have this recurrent fantasy of setting up a huge Chinese-style show trial during halftime of the Superbowl some year. There's a giant gallows, and we line up the entire Bush administration on it. We put the nooses around their necks and read the charges. We allow each one ten seconds to plead their case. Then, after declaring them all guilty, the executioner pulls the lever.

At this point, the trapdoors open below their feet, the nooses come loose from the gallows, and they fall into an enormous trough of pigshit below and the whole crowd ROTFLes.
Humbug
6 years, 11 months ago
That sounds relatively badass. Let's do it.
chaosblackwing
6 years, 11 months ago
I would actually be willing to sit through a football game for something like that, which really takes some doing.
YukiAkuma
6 years, 11 months ago
Wait, ignore this.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
Okay. I shall ignore it profusely.
YukiAkuma
6 years, 11 months ago
I said something stupid, thought better of it, and didn't know how to delete it. :(
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I think only I can delete comments here. Although you could have edited it to something different. Like, "Pizza is cool."
Relee
6 years, 11 months ago
I dunno man, to say things like the people should rise up and do something about it, you have to remember you didn't either. Well I guess you were younger then, but still. People boggle over why nobody stands up and does anything, but they're never the one to stand up and do something.

I mean, it's nice you're at least saying something, it just seems rather empty when you're unwilling to take action. You need to be the guy who rushes the stage, and tries to make a citizen's arrest, and gets thrown in the secret prison or whatever. But nobody wants to be that guy. That's how fear based rulership works. So long as the quality of life is high enough, people don't care about freedom and murder enough to do anything about it.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>I dunno man, to say things like the people should rise up and do something about it, you have to remember you didn't either.

Hey, that's why I said we failed as citizens. I'm aware that I did too. I voted against Bush both times, but I know that's not enough.

>So long as the quality of life is high enough, people don't care about freedom and murder enough to do anything about it.

It's not just quality of life though. I have other people who would be hurt if I threw my life away on a stunt like that. I'm not the person to rush the stage, I know that. I'm the person who writes. At least, if that's my role, I try to do it as fearlessly and honestly as I can.
Relee
6 years, 11 months ago
>>I dunno man, to say things like the people should rise up and do something about it, you have to remember you didn't either.

>Hey, that's why I said we failed as citizens. I'm aware that I did too. I voted against Bush both times, but I know that's not enough.


Would you do it now? Really what shocks me more than Americans not doing anything, that the world did so little against the U.S., and so many countries supported the war in Iraq. Apparently even Canada's over there now, though we were chastizing for the longest time.


>>So long as the quality of life is high enough, people don't care about freedom and murder enough to do anything about it.

>It's not just quality of life though. I have other people who would be hurt if I threw my life away on a stunt like that. I'm not the person to rush the stage, I know that. I'm the person who writes. At least, if that's my role, I try to do it as fearlessly and honestly as I can.


Everybody has people who would be hurt. That's part of the 'quality of life' I mentioned. Revolution only happens when things get so bad that people think it would be better to try than to let you loved ones continue to suffer under an unjust rule, even knowing you might be taking yourself from them, or getting them killed along with you.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
Where's your anger at Clinton, who knew about Osama and his Jihad against America, but never put in much of an effort to go after him?  Does he not share the blame for it as well?

Also, in light of the fact that the steps Bush took after 9-11 to prevent another were and still have been the subject of nonstop criticism, why should one believe he would have had an easier time doing anything before 9-11?   Would the accusation of racial profiling not have been made?  Would the accusation of discrimination against Muslims and Islam not have been made?  Would he have been considered a hero or simply accused of fear-mongering over a supposedly non-existent threat, much as he was after the fact?   It's rather amusing watching his critics attack what he did after 9-11, then turn around and attack him for supposedly doing nothing before 9-11; you can't have your cake and eat it too.

I'm also rather intrigued that you're expressing such anger at Bush (and admitting you weren't a fan of his), but little at the people who actually committed the acts.  Yes, Bush does deserve blame for not stopping it, but your calls that he committed treason suggest your anger is more out of just not liking him than out of anger over what you claim he did.  

Finally, in regards to your criticism of going after Iraq, do you believe Saddam had a right to be a tyrant to his people?  Regardless of his role in the attacks, he was certainly no innocent victim, nor was his country and he certainly had no claim to the right to be free from force.  Any nation that does not respect the right of its people to be free from force cannot logically and morally claim that right for itself.

AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>Where's your anger at Clinton, who knew about Osama and his Jihad against America, but never put in much of an effort to go after him?

I was under the impression that Clinton aggressively pursued Osama. If I'm wrong on that, show me.

>Also, in light of the fact that the steps Bush took after 9-11 to prevent another were and still have been the subject of nonstop criticism, why should one believe he would have had an easier time doing anything before 9-11?

All Bush needed to do to prevent the attacks was to act on the information we already had. I remember reading about how Richard Clarke tried for months to get the administration to sit down at a meeting regarding al Qaida and was brushed off time and time again, until he finally hectored them into agreeing to set a meeting date. October, 2001.

>Would the accusation of racial profiling not have been made?  Would the accusation of discrimination against Muslims and Islam not have been made?

No, they would not have been made. There's a world of difference between investigating a specific terrorist organization with imminent plans to attack us, and treating our own citizens with the same kind of suspicion.

>It's rather amusing watching his critics attack what he did after 9-11, then turn around and attack him for supposedly doing nothing before 9-11; you can't have your cake and eat it too.

Sure I can. Before 9/11 he ignored warnings, and after 9/11 he used the attacks to pass the Patriot Act and invade Iraq. What's the problem with me criticizing all of that?

>I'm also rather intrigued that you're expressing such anger at Bush, but little at the people who actually committed the acts.  ...your calls that he committed treason suggest your anger is more out of just not liking him than out of anger over what you claim he did.

<facepalm> Don't. Just don't. Do you have any idea how much it lowers you as a person to make that kind of argument? To suggest that my stated reasons for opposing Bush are bullshit and I just don't like him because I just don't like him!?

Is this not enough for you? "We've already killed Osama bin Laden, and many other members of his barbaric, evil cult. And that's good. They deserve their deaths and worse. They are the ones who are MOST responsible for the attacks of 9/11."

I put that in there specifically with people like you in mind. It is sad that I can't criticize one thing without someone making ASSmptions about me because I didn't hate something else enough.

>Finally, in regards to your criticism of going after Iraq, do you believe Saddam had a right to be a tyrant to his people?

This is really fucking simple:

If Bush had told us that we were going to war with Iraq because Saddam was an evil dictator, then that would have been fine.

Saddam was a prick, and I certainly didn't shed any tears for him when he died with a rope around his fat neck. But Bush didn't tell us that. At least not until his other bullshit reasons fell through. First his administration tried many, many times to make people think Saddam was involved with 9/11. A lie. Then he said Saddam was a direct threat to America with his WMDs. A lie. Then finally, he said we were doing this to liberate the Iraqi people. And by that point it was clear that he had wanted to go after Saddam from the very beginning. The only justification he needed was his personal desire. It was never about anything else for him. We would have gone to war with Iraq if the 9/11 attacks had never happened.

And by the way... what about Ghadaffi? What about Ahmadinejad? What about Kim Jong Il? What about any number of evil African dictators who live in palaces while their nation starves? Saddam was an evil dictator, absolutely. But why him? Why him, when there were just as many evil men across the globe whose countries we could have preemptively invaded instead? I have no problem with the argument that he was evil, but why was he apparently a greater priority than anyone else?
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
"All Bush needed to do to prevent the attacks was to act on the information we already had. I remember reading about how Richard Clarke tried for months to get the administration to sit down at a meeting regarding al Qaida and was brushed off time and time again, until he finally hectored them into agreeing to set a meeting date. October, 2001."

Source?

"No, they would not have been made. There's a world of difference between investigating a specific terrorist organization with imminent plans to attack us, and treating our own citizens with the same kind of suspicion."

It was because those methods specifically targeted the people we should've been watching that they were criticized.  While some people were raising cain about the measures targeting regular Americans, there was also criticism when we aimed them specifically at Arabs and Muslims and people from states that supported terrorism.  In fact, it can be said the reason they were turned away from such people and at the general population was because of those criticisms.  Numerous times, the people in charge went to great lengths to avoid accusations of racial profiling by specifically avoiding the people we should've been looking at.

"Sure I can. Before 9/11 he ignored warnings, and after 9/11 he used the attacks to pass the Patriot Act and invade Iraq. What's the problem with me criticizing all of that?"

You must be very selective in what you see and hear, because again, there was criticism when he tried to aim security measures at those who fit the profile.

"<facepalm> Don't. Just don't. Do you have any idea how much it lowers you as a person to make that kind of argument? To suggest that my stated reasons for opposing Bush are bullshit and I just don't like him because I just don't like him!?

Is this not enough for you? "We've already killed Osama bin Laden, and many other members of his barbaric, evil cult. And that's good. They deserve their deaths and worse. They are the ones who are MOST responsible for the attacks of 9/11."

I put that in there specifically with people like you in mind. It is sad that I can't criticize one thing without someone making ASSmptions about me because I didn't hate something else enough."

Considering some of the rather...wild accusations you've made and what you've demanded be done with him, yes, I think it gives one reason to doubt your objectivity.  I'm sorry, but logic dictates that I take what you say with a grain of salt when you show such vehement hostility towards the man you're criticizing.   As Hamlet said, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks."

"If Bush had told us that we were going to war with Iraq because Saddam was an evil dictator, then that would have been fine."

He did.  When he made the case for war, one of the reasons he cited was Saddam's human rights abuses.

BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
"Saddam was a prick, and I certainly didn't shed any tears for him when he died with a rope around his fat neck. But Bush didn't tell us that. At least not until his other bullshit reasons fell through. First his administration tried many, many times to make people think Saddam was involved with 9/11. A lie. Then he said Saddam was a direct threat to America with his WMDs. A lie. Then finally, he said we were doing this to liberate the Iraqi people. And by that point it was clear that he had wanted to go after Saddam from the very beginning. The only justification he needed was his personal desire. It was never about anything else for him. We would have gone to war with Iraq if the 9/11 attacks had never happened."

Saddam had given aid to terrorists who attacked the US before, so that alone made him an accessory to 9-11.  And Saddam had used WMDs in the past and he showed no evidence that he had gotten rid of them, so there was justifiable reason to believe he had them (also, considering Iran has suddenly revealed their own nuclear program, is it so hard to believe he gave them to Iran?).   Saddam was not a man who deserved the right of being considered innocent until proven guilty.

"And by the way... what about Ghadaffi?"

Would this be the same Ghadaffi who all but twisted his neck around getting out of the WMD business after he saw what we did to Iraq?  Well, that took away his ability to be a threat to us, so there was little reason to go after him at the moment.

"What about Ahmadinejad?"

One guy at a time.  Also, Iran is a bigger country than Iraq, so surely it made sense to go after the little guy first, no?

"What about Kim Jong Il?"

Again, one guy at a time.  And North Korea has China, South Korea and Japan breathing down its neck, whereas Iraq had mostly allies surrounding it.

 "What about any number of evil African dictators who live in palaces while their nation starves?"

I believe we already tried to help Africa and we got only trouble for our efforts.

You're missing the fact that had the wars been fought a little smarter (a beef I have with both Bush and Obama), we could've moved onto each one after we were finished with the last.  That's one reason why when we go to war, it has to be with overwhelming force to send the message that anyone who gets on our bad side doesn't have long to live.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
>I'm sorry, but logic dictates that I take what you say with a grain of salt when you show such vehement hostility towards the man you're criticizing.

And this is why this discussion is over.

This is the kind of thing that made me need to leave FA. You may have some valid points here. You may be more well-informed than me in certain areas. But the fact that you are not willing to take me at my word when I tell you my motivation shows me that this argument is not going to go anywhere.

That's twice you've called me a liar. Said that it's impossible for me to hate Bush as much as I do for the reasons I describe, and suggest that I simply have an emotional bias against him. I don't like being called a liar. I don't think there's anything I like less.

I have gotten into fights with people on FA where I have presented my side, and they simply said, "I don't believe that's true" to everything, as if that's enough. Few things frustrate me more than trying to talk to someone who outwardly sounds calm and reasonable, but will simply not concede a single point I make, regardless of what it is.

I will concede plenty of your facts. I just don't believe they add up to the conclusions you're coming to. I believe firmly in not having an opinion unless I can explain everything that leads me to it. I get the feeling, based on your arguments here and my experience having similar discussions, that at some of your beliefs is a core of 'this is true because I want it to be true', propped up by an outer column of facts. That's better than believing on blind faith alone, but it's still backwards. You're starting from the conclusion that the war was justified and working backwards to prove it was.

But that's not even the point. The point is that I have been here before, and it stressed me out while giving me nothing in return. I don't need to have this conversation. This is not me saying, 'I'm right about everything'. This is not me saying, 'I can't argue with you so I'm running away'. This is me saying, 'I have nothing to gain from going back and forth with you on this topic for another eight or ten posts, so I won't.'

I'm not going to block you, I'm just not going to reply anymore.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
Hmm, if you don't like people casting doubt on what you say, perhaps you should stay out of debating.  
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
When you won't even concede that the other person's telling the truth about their beliefs, that's not a debate.

Out.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2011/02/horrible-gay-b...

http://radioviceonline.com/tea-party-protestor-attacke...

Willing to hold the other side to the same standards?  Also, all you're showing me are three individual acts, none of which prove that the organization as a whole works that way; should I judge all blacks or all hispanics by the actions of one or a few?  

Finally, this Fox News BS is getting old.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I'm honestly not sure what this has to do with anything. But I can't view the second video, and in the first I'm certainly not seeing an 'attack'. I'm seeing a gay man being asked, in a calm voice, why he supports a party that considers him unworthy of the same marriage rights as straights. That's a legitimate question.
AlexReynard
6 years, 11 months ago
I just now realized this was meant to be a reply to Polkakitty. No wonder if perplexed me. Sorry about that.
polkakitty
6 years, 11 months ago
" BigD wrote:
Willing to hold the other side to the same standards?

Yes, as a matter of fact, I am.  For instance, I expect my side not to murder 9-year-old girls, and as you now know, no examples of it doing so can be found.

" should I judge all blacks or all hispanics by the actions of one or a few?

I'm sorry; your assumption that there is somehow any comparison between calling a political movement inherently murderous and calling all blacks inherently murderous is the same argument I've heard before from Scientologists comparing themselves to victims of the Holocaust.  You've made it quite clear that you have no intention of backing up how anything you say relates to consensus reality; therefore, I'm done talking to you.  Make all the replies to this post you like, but don't expect a response.  I'm busy playing the leaked internal build of Minecraft 1.8.
BigD
6 years, 11 months ago
Give reality my regards when it teaches you the hard way.
New Comment:
Move reply box to top
Log in or create an account to comment.