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View Full Version : Does opposing or supporting the war come down to whom one believes?


Gazelle
03-28-2003, 08:51 AM
I know this is the first thread I've started in Great Debates; I believe this is also my first post. Please feel free to admonish me -- gently, please -- if I commit a faux pas.

Many who are opposed to the war say Bush lies.
Many who support the war say Saddam lies.

I would bet that both of them have not been entirely forthcoming.

So does this all come down to whom one believes? Or whom one believes has more integrity?

Or is this all just semantics? Really, every "fact" we have is secondhand... Almost everything we "know" is based upon whom we believe, right?

Oh man I'm steeling myself for the backlash.

Gazelle
03-28-2003, 09:10 AM
I guess I didn't "know" that this was the first thread I started. There are three others:

A&E's Top 100 People of the Millenium(sic) (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=21778) from 10/12/99, Why Protest? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=28424) from 06/22/02, and Genius Animals? (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?s=&threadid=129982) from 08/09/02.

serenitynow
03-28-2003, 10:34 AM
I think that it is not simply a matter of what, or whom you believe, but how you see the world. There is no doubt in my mind that there is a plethora of misinforation and disinformation floating around. What we choose to believe certainly affects how we view the Iraqi situation and the justification, or the lack thereof, for the current military camplaign. Those facts that we choose to believe, however, may be a more accurate reflection of our philosophies than of the truth.

Some people think the world will be at peace if we oppose war. Some people think that it is the threat of war that maintains the peace. Regardless of how you view the facts, it seems to me your position with regard to peace and war and the price you are willing to pay to maintain peace is what will ultimately determine whether you support the war.

PatriotX
03-28-2003, 10:58 AM
I chose to believe the CIA, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Bush1 instead of GWB.

Richard Perle is treacherous. (http://forums.thecabin.net/cgi-bin/bb/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=9;t=000094)

TheFunkySpaceCowboy
03-28-2003, 11:39 AM
Well no, this doesn't come down to believing either Hussien or Bush. This conflict isn't occuring in a vacume where the only contenders are George and Saddam, there are many points of view between Bush's rhetoric and Hussien's rhetoric. Most of the antiwar types, myself included, are of the opinion that both of them have been extremely disingenuous throughout this entire crisis. So it's not that I believe Saddam and not Bush. Saddam is a dangerous dictator and poses a long term threat to mideast stability and to US interests in that region, he's not a good person and the Iraqi people have suffered under his rule, there is no doubt about that. However I don't believe that Saddam poses and immediate threat to the US nor that he's an al-Qeada supportor and when Bush tries to convince us of this he loses credibility.

Slight hijack here. What bugs me about Bush's arguments for war is that he mostly seems to be exploiting the populations ignorance of mideast politics and history in order to gain support. For example he's been accusing Saddam of having a connection to al-Qeada and a small role in the 9/11 attacks. This is highly, highly unlikely. Al-Qeada is an extremist islamic fundementalist group, their idealogy supports Taliban like theocracies where their skewed view of Islam is the unquestioned law of the land. By contrast the Baath party, which Saddam leads, is pretty much a secular fascist party. Saddam is an old-school, CIA sponsored secular dictator, not an Islamist. Now he may be a muslim, and he may rule a mostly muslim nation and he certianly exploits religion to gain support (by building temples, using his own blood to make ink for a special copy of the Koran in a new mosque, claiming to be related to various important prophets etc...) but he's still fundamentality secular. Why do you think he went to war with Iran after the Islamic revolution? Now when Bush comes along and tries to make all of these connections and acts like there is no difference between Persians and Arabs and Kurds or Shi'ites and Sunnis etc... he loses credibility for one of two reasons. The first being that he really doesn't understand that not everyone in the mideast is an arab, and that all muslims are exactly the same and that every leader in a muslim country that doesn't like us must be a terror sponsoring extremist - in which case he's an idiot and his opinions can't be trusted. The second being that he's using this ignorant rhetoric to ralley domestic support because he's hiding the true casus belli of this war - in which case he's lying and has ulterior motives and can't be trusted.

Not that Saddam is any more trustworthy - his record is pretty awful. He violently oppresess opposition by the thousands, with poision gas. He's started a number of wars in the region and is in general one mean motorscooter. He can't be trusted and is dangerous. But that doesn't mean that he poses and immediate threat to the US and doesn't neccesarily justify a war RIGHT NOW.

Having said all of that, I believe Bush has more integrity than Hussein, and is by far the better leader. But that still doesn't mean I support going to war right now. I suppose you could say that I choose to believe the UN instead of either Bush or Hussien.

regurgit8
03-28-2003, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by TheFunkySpaceCowboy

What bugs me about Bush's arguments for war is that he mostly seems to be exploiting the populations ignorance of mideast politics and history in order to gain support. For example he's been accusing Saddam of having a connection to al-Qeada and a small role in the 9/11 attacks. This is highly, highly unlikely.


That's it in a nutshell right there. I would go one step further and say, not only is it unlikely, it has pretty much been proven that there is no connection whatsoever.

Bush gives me the creeps much more than Saddam does. First of all, Saddam was not a direct threat to us (now, that we've stirred the hornet's nest, this has probably changed). Secondly, Saddam never tried to pass himself up as a "nice guy". He may be evil, but he makes no secret out of it. Bush, on the other hand, is a wolf in sheep's clothing. He tries to veil his actions in the cloak of religion and "good" as opposed to "evil". I don't trust Bush at all. He scares the shit out of me. He is leading the planet to its destruction and smiling all the way.

I am not a religious person, but Bush is as close to an impersonation of the devil as anyone I've seen has ever come.

GEORGE BUSH DOES *NOT* HAVE YOUR AND MY BEST INTEREST AT HEART. That's the bottom line.

Spiritus Mundi
03-28-2003, 01:33 PM
As others have said, no.

I am against this war, though I think that (apart from the extremely tenuous Al Queda connection) the administrations' representation of the Hussein government as treacherous, butherous, repressive, in violation of UN mandate, proceding with attempts to develop WMD, etc. are largely correct.

The reasons that I am against this war have far more to do with diplomatic gaffes, regional instability, and loss of international influence than with any sense that Saddam HUssein is not a dangerous man with an axe to grind. (Though I do feel that the administration overemphasizes the short-term threats of the current Iraqi regime.)

Kempis
03-28-2003, 09:08 PM
Anti hijack.

I don't like the false choice given in the OP, that we should trust one or the other. I think most reasonable people don't give a whit about what Saddam says, he'd say or do anything to stay in power.

George Bush didn't get voted into power by being psycho either, no matter what some people think of Republicans. I truly believe that he feels like he's doing the right thing no matter the political consequences. Tony Blair agrees with him, and he's not a Tory, but from the Labor party... the British left.

I think the valid opposition to Bush and Blair's views are those who think this war should not have been fought without the UN's direct approval.

-k

december
03-28-2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by TheFunkySpaceCowboy
For example [Bush has] been accusing Saddam of having a connection to al-Qeada and a small role in the 9/11 attacks. This is highly, highly unlikely... Bush has never said that Saddam played any role in the 9/11 attacks. He said there was a risk of cooperation in the future. He said that there has been some degree of cooperation more recently, in that some al-Qaeda people were using Iraq as a staging ground. BTW, a recent news report says that some al-Qaeda people have been fighting along with the Iraqis in Iraq, according to the British military. (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/28/1048653833092.html)

Duckster
03-28-2003, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by december
Bush has never said that Saddam played any role in the 9/11 attacks. He said there was a risk of cooperation in the future. He said that there has been some degree of cooperation more recently, in that some al-Qaeda people were using Iraq as a staging ground. BTW, a recent news report says that some al-Qaeda people have been fighting along with the Iraqis in Iraq, according to the British military. (http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/03/28/1048653833092.html) Take at look at http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/wotiraq/decisiongetsaddam.htm for information on how the Administration did its damndest beginning on September 11, 2001 to use the terrorist attacks as an excuse to topple Saddem, as well as find anything to tie Saddem to 9/11.

There may be no smoking gun between Saddem and 9/11 but the Bush Administration from day one sought to believe otherwise.

(I don't vouch for the above link, but it does use other verifiable sites to establish this pattern.)

Evil Captor
03-28-2003, 11:03 PM
This has got to be the biggest false dilemma argument I have come across in a long time. WTF? We can only believe Bush OR Saddam? Gimme a break!