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While We Wait: Writer's Block & Other Lame Excuses

Discussion in 'Never Ending Stories' started by Nylan, Dec 24, 2011.

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  1. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Chieftain

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    Explain to me how "We will stop what I have defined as the worst thing ever whenever it's politically expedient and popular to do so," is a morally defensible position, moralizer.

    Point out to me where I have opposed airdrops or airstrikes. Or, right, I haven't.

    I've said that you're full of crap for using the Yazidi as a convenient excuse to once again promote your America The Crusader narrative you have steadfastly refused to clarify the nature of. You don't care about them, just like you don't care about the dozens of other genocides that happen annually. They're a convenient platform for you while you cloak yourself in your little holier-than-thou spiel.

    You just picked, and you picked that genocide doesn't count if it hurts your bottom line. Drop the act.
     
  2. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Honestly, it's just a traditional narrative that I believe in. America is the defender of the free world. Nobody else can perform this role or demonstrates an ability to (except France, in a very limited sense). We need to have an active global military presence in order to keep anti-democratic forces from eventually dominating the world because of their natural recourse to brutality.

    Elements of this theme are restated from Kennedy to Bush. You decided to conflate this with something that I once said, which is that the US military is infused with a lot of (mostly Christian) religious culture and values. And the obvious fact that most of its personnel are Christian. You decided to believe that I was advocating some sort of explicitly religious military or imposition of Christianity as a policy. That's actually in contravention of what Christian religious doctrine is, so it's such a patently absurd assertion that I didn't think you were serious about accusing me of holding it. Since you are, I can sigh deeply and say that state religion and Christianity (a religion about love and tolerance) don't go together. Can we move on now? Cool.

    I don't think we should oppose genocide (as defined as ongoing mass killing) whenever it is popular or expedient. We should ALWAYS oppose genocide. You're defining it much more widely than I am, but basically, in the 21st century, industrial murder of civilians by the thousands is never permissible. There's a distinction to be made between genocide and "mere" mass killing, but for the sake of the argument we'll ignore it. That's what I define as genocide, and I'm pretty sure that it doesn't happen very often.

    Can you actually quote 24 genocides (that being 2 dozen, or dozens) that we failed to prevent in 2013? I'd be interested to see that list. If not, you'd have to admit that you're being a little hyperbolic.
     
  3. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Chieftain

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    I'm gonna take the liberty of doing these slightly out of order.

    There have never been Christian states or Christian military organizations before? News to me!

    Anyway, now, was that really so hard to do? Why have I had to browbeat you into doing it over the course of four days? Why has it taken you so long to articulate an actual rejection of a position when you were literally able to clarify it in all of about 7 minutes instead of throwing up deflections and insults? Also, here's a tip if you're actually sincere: maybe don't joke around about that kind of thing like you supposedly did when you first engaged in discussion of it. It's almost like people might get the wrong impression!

    A narrative with only marginal basis in fact, but I'll grant that it is a narrative that exists. How big of a security risk do you suppose that ISIS presents to the Middle East at large considering with the possible exception of Saudi Arabia literally everyone hates it and wants it dead? How about to Europe? And to America? Let me put it another way: how likely do you think it is that ISIS conquers the world, as opposed to Iran or perhaps, Tannu Tuva?

    Nobody cares what your definition is. You don't get to move goalposts relative to the United Nations.

    We can take North Korea in a fight for sure, even setting aside our 1900 or whatever active nuclear weapons. If we dedicated most (read: all, thanks GOP) of our attention to them, we could even do it fairly cleanly. They demonstrably engage in genocide—of Christians especially I might add—and have for 60 years. North Korea is demonstrably worse than ISIS or in fact any actor in the Middle East, full stop. We are in and have been in a position to take North Korea out at essentially any time since at least 1994 when Bill Clinton got within a month or so of declaring war on them, other than when we went and invaded Iraq for some damn fool reason.

    So why the focus on the Middle East if we've got this R2P for everybody whenever and wherever we can? Because we could and can in North Korea and they are legitimately the most reprehensible regime to have disgraced the planet since Nazi Germany in terms of malice. (PRC wins on bodycount.)

    Let's try 2012. I direct you to the quick reference table, wherein currently engaged in genocide are listed the DRC, Sudan, East Congo/Sudan/Uganda, Syria, Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, North Korea, Burma, and Ethiopia. That's 10. Throw in the "prep and potential" category and you've got 12 more, and as was determined, most of those qualify by the actual UN definition. That's 22. Pretty close to 24, isn't it? Now break up what are identified by whole countries into discrete campaigns and/or incidents. For example, the various ethnicities in Burma really should be treated individually. Gonna be a lot more than 22.

    Of course being the world's largest economy, we have a number of levers we can use beyond military might to punish countries pursuing genocide, even though many of them are failed or pariah states, and we scarcely employ those either.
     
  4. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    Likewise, Catholic thought on the matter of relations with the state most certainly does not preclude the faith being state religion. Dignitatis Humanae (VII document) notes its permissibility, and earlier documents are explicit about Catholicism as religion of the state being the preferred state of affairs and indeed the aforesaid document specifically hearkens back to these works when it notes that it "leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ".

    As to protestant thought on the matter I can't say (seeing as Protestantism is the dominant religious background of the US). Either way point is Thlayli is incorrect when he says Christianity is not compatible with being the religion of state.
     
  5. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    I'm gonna go ahead and quote that document you linked.

    "At this stage, a Genocide Emergency must be declared. If the political will of the great powers, regional alliances, or the U.N. Security Council can be mobilized, armed international intervention should be prepared, or heavy assistance provided to the victim group to prepare for its self-defense."

    That's for preparation, not even active extermination. And yeah, we should have taken out North Korea by now. It's tantamount to a crime that we haven't.
     
  6. Symphony D.

    Symphony D. Chieftain

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    Well, realistically, if one is in favor taking down targets, then there's going to need to be a priority list for doing so. I would argue ISIS and in fact large sections of the Middle East should be low on that list relative to other contenders. Advocating for the primary focus to be there doesn't make a lot of sense to me in that light.
     
  7. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Jehoshua, I...think we're interpreting Dignitatis Humanae in different ways.

    Yeah, I don't disagree with you there Symph. ISIS isn't the worst offender in the world, and yes, there's definitely been a degree of media hype in stressing their genocide over say, the genocide of Muslims in the CAR, for example. I'll also admit that I'm not really well-informed as to the degree of genocidal activities that ISIS is engaging in, and how they measure up against those being done by other pariah states. We were right to stop them from engaging in imminent genocide, though, as we did yesterday.

    I think we're both talking around the reality that American policy on this issue has been pretty incoherent, and when it is applied it's done in a haphazard way, because applying it in a very strictly consistent way would overstrain our resources. I recognize that the American military isn't a tool of infinite power to be thrown into every conceivable military conflict between humans.

    The question is, should we be more consistent with enforcing our so-called moral priorities, rather than slipping into a truly amoral realpolitik diplomatic stance? I think that if American exceptionalism as an idea is to be preserved, we have to at least have some kind of consistent separation from say, Russian interventionist doctrine, which is narrowly construed in a regional-interests sense without any sort of guiding ideology.
     
  8. Jehoshua

    Jehoshua Catholic

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    Rather you are misinterpreting the document considering it clearly states that instituting a state religion is permissible or misunderstanding what it means by religious freedom within the context of American political doctrine regarding church-state separation.

    -

    Spoiler :
    .

    As plain as day, noting again that the document explicitly states that it "leaves untouched traditional Catholic doctrine on the moral duty of men and societies toward the true religion and toward the one Church of Christ". Traditional teachings clearly explicated in Immortale Dei (Leo XIII) for example where it is written that.

    .

    You would do well to read the whole thing if you are interested in an understanding of the traditional teachings which Dignitatis Humanae explicitly maintains as "untouched".
     
  9. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

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    So, there's not a lot reliable coming out of KRG these days, but according to admittedly pro-PUK media the KDP peshmerga are on the brink of Iraqi Army style collapse, Barzani's incompetence finally having caught up to him a little: mass desertions, abandoned bases, KDP officials evacuating Erbil, PUK and PKK forces holding Erbil because Barzani begged them to, and PUK starting to make serious anti-Barzani noise. The sudden interest in ISIS as the WORST THING EVER has nothing to do with concerns over ISIS activities, and everything to do with trying desperately to stem the imminent and unexpected collapse of our favourite little kleptocratic client, and consequent loss of all that oil field investment.

    So much for KURDISTAN STRONK. Called it, I believe.

    Oh, and you've gotta love how we're now supporting and counting on the PKK. They're still blacklisted as a terrorist organization.
     
  10. Azale

    Azale Chieftain

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    socialism in the middle east please? no? Ok I'll go cry now :/

    What can we expect if the PKK manages to drive off ISIS? How does that effect Barzani's position?
     
  11. Grandkhan

    Grandkhan Telvanni Master Wizard

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  12. Crezth

    Crezth 話說天下大勢分久必合合久必分

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    Relevant to America the Crusader state:

    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Treaty_of_Tripoli

     
  13. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    Yes, it's not. The point that I have repeatedly tried to make is that deistic ideals that have their root in a Christian culture *are* part of our government, found in courtrooms, the Pledge of Allegiance, our coinage, and other official monikers of the government. The government acknowledges God to exist and the President (at least in the past century) has made ceremonial invocations of divine favor a staple of his public addresses.

    We aren't a Christian state, but by no means are we a fully agnostic one either.

    EDIT: This is why constitutional scholars often derive a distinction between an American-style republic which espouses freedom "of" religion, and a French-style republican laïcité that promotes the people's freedom FROM religion.
     
  14. Luckymoose

    Luckymoose The World is Mine

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    We're not a Christian nation, and to say we are would be a violation of tons of things our blessed Founding Fathers said.
     
  15. North King

    North King blech

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    Arguably, almost all of the religious things Thlayli mentions are contrary to the wishes of our beloved Founding Fathers.
     
  16. Perfectionist

    Perfectionist Angel of Verdun

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    George Washington is the only god, and anyone who thinks otherwise is a traitor to the Republic. We made a picture about it and everything.
     
  17. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    I find a quote from Washington's Farewell Address (admittedly written by Hamilton, but approved by him) to be instructive in this regard.

    "Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens. The mere Politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

    Again, I am not claiming that the government is Christian or is intended to be. However, the fundamental structure of the American government is supportive of theistic religion, however it may be construed. And I do believe that this was with the intent and the approval of the Founding Fathers. It was not to impose or enforce any particular religion, but to make a statement of belief in the approval of Divine Providence, while allowing for this divine favor to be granted without respect to any individual sect or creed.
     
  18. North King

    North King blech

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    Date when any religious overtones were added to the Pledge of Allegiance: 1954.
    Date when "in God we trust" was adopted as a motto: 1956.

    :hmm:
     
  19. Thlayli

    Thlayli Le Pétit Prince

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    I don't deny that they were later impositions. But your implication that they were not in keeping with the Founding Fathers' opinions on the role of religion in public life was what I was disputing.
     
  20. North King

    North King blech

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    I would prefer that Presidents were sworn in the way James Madison was -- on a book of law.
     
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