Friday, October 08, 2004

Saddam spelled backwards is "Maddas"

When you're relatively intelligent, opinionated, and practically live on the Internet (like me) you get into A LOT of pointless arguments. One thing I've learned the hard way is, no matter how much sense you make, it is almost impossible to change someone's point of view. For instance, I've been in a ton of conflagrations with neo-conservatives regarding the U.S.'s so-called "War on Terror" and let me just say the experience was like arguing with killer robots programmed by Rush Limbaugh. I can't remember one neo-con who was able to argue his/her point from a human perspective, s/he could only regurgitate very sketchy "statistics" (and we all know what they say about statistics) or party-line rhetoric. To save myself any future arguments and as a public service for those who actually possess common sense, I've decided to document a very abridged but accurate "Neo-Con vs. Common Sense" discussion regarding the War on Terror and Iraq:

Neo-Con: Iraq was connected to 9/11.

Rebuttal: Wrong. It's common knowledge that Iraq had no connection to 9/11. Sure, Saddam was happy about it but, last I checked, that wasn't a crime.

Neo-Con: Iraq had connections to Al Qaeda.

Rebuttal: Wrong again. Osama Bin Laden is a religious zealot, Saddam Hussein is a hedonistic atheist. Bin Laden depised Saddam as much as he did the U.S. and would have never lowered himself to dealing with a man who used Islam strictly for political reasons. If Bin Laden had only one bullet in his gun and had Dubya and Hussein standing in front of him, he would wish for a second bullet.

Neo-Con: We can win the War on Terrorism by wiping out the terrorists.

Rebuttal: How can you defeat an idea? The only way to cure a disease is to heal the source, not attack the symptoms. Believe it or not, the U.S. faces a greater terrorist threat now than it did pre-9/11. How many Americans, or other foreign nationals, were beheaded in acts of terror prior to 9/11?

Neo-Con: Terrorism is rooted in Islam.

Rebuttal: That's so wrong it's scary. For a very long time, the world's bloodiest terror organization was the Irish Republican Army, a Christian group. Neo-Nazi organizations, many of them affiliated with Christianity, also have very bloody histories. Terrorism is not affiliated with any one religion.

For a long period of history, the Islamic culture was one of the most progressive and peaceful cultures on the planet. The legacy of the Islamic culture is one of tremendous scholarship and inspiration; many of the greatest works in science and art would not have been possible without Islamic contribution. For a significant portion of history, Islam was the pinnacle of civilization while the European culture languished in an illiterate, unhygienic, plague-ridden Dark Age.

Neo-Con: Terrorism became a bigger threat after 9/11.

Rebuttal: Yes, but because of the U.S. response not the act itself. Terrorism was always a significant threat, the terrorists were just finally able to pull off a significant attack. Europe and Israel have always had to deal with terrorist bombings, assasinations, etc. 9/11 was just the first significant terrorist attack from a foreign source on U.S soil. People forget that, pre-9/11, the most significant terrorist act committed in this country was done by an American citizen affiliated with a Christian movement.

Neo-Con: If Saddam didn't have weapons of mass destruction, why didn't he just say so?

Rebuttal: Because Saddam faced significant threats internally, from revenge-seeking Kurds in northern Iraq and disgruntled Shi'ites in southern Iraq, and externally from Iran. If you knew the only thing between you and a beatdown from three of your worst enemies was the gun at your hip, would you tell anyone the gun was empty? I believe that Bush knew this and used it to his advantage; he knew Saddam had no WMDs and knew Saddam couldn't admit it for fear of attack from his other enemies. In other words, it was a bluff and BUSH KNEW it was a bluff and he decided to use it to his advantage. Why would Bush want to go to war with Iraq? That's a question I can't really answer.

Neo-Con: You are unpatriotic. You think we should just roll over and let them attack us.

Rebuttal: No, I think military force is appropriate for certain aspects of our situation but not the only answer. Hunting Bin Laden in Afghanistan was the right move but we shouldn't expect to always have easily identifiable targets. We are not just fighting people, we are fighting ideas and the only way to defeat an idea is with a better one. We shouldn't become terrorists in order to fight them.

***

How do I know my argument is correct? I can't say for certain but this article makes me think I'm not too off-base.

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