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luka
06-07-2016, 11:40 AM
It was all Craner's fault. He is going to war crimes tribunal. A vindictation for all the people (me) who opposed craner from the very begining.

rubberdingyrapids
06-07-2016, 11:46 AM
its a great time to be alive.

sadmanbarty
06-07-2016, 01:12 PM
For all the talk of faulty intelligence, the intelligence regarding post-Sadam Iraq was impressively accurate.

Mr. Tea
06-07-2016, 01:45 PM
Tony Blair Is An Absolute Cunt, Finds Chilcot Report (http://waterfordwhispersnews.com/2016/07/06/tony-blair-is-an-absolute-cunt-finds-chilcot-report/)

droid
06-07-2016, 09:07 PM
Laughable.


British intelligence agencies accepted false information even after a source told them of a supposed chemical weapon that was remarkably similar to one from the 1996 movie The Rock, my colleague Ewen MacAskill has learned from the report.

The incident is just one of a series of blunders described by the Chilcot report committed by Britain’s overseas spy agency, the Secret Intelligence Service in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

In the incident, the report describes a source providing details about spherical glass containers allegedly filled with chemical weapons at an establishment in Iraq.

MI6 at the time defended the authenticity of the source and the material, according to the Chilcot report. “However, it drew attention to the fact that the source’s description of the device and its spherical glass contents was remarkably similar to the fictional chemical weapon portrayed in the film The Rock,” the report says.

In the 1996 movie, Nicolas Cage, playing an FBI chemical warfare specialist, joins Sean Connery, playing a former British spy, to prevent chemical weapons being launched against San Francisco.

The similarity between the movie and the source’s alleged device had been noted when the MI6 report was first circulated on 11 and 23 September 2002, well before the Iraq invasion in March 2003.

But this and other bogus claims were not formally withdrawn by MI6 until 29 July 2003, four months after the invasion, Chilcot reports.

In a devastating finding, Chilcot said: “SIS did not inform No 10 or others that the source who had provided the reporting issued on 11 and 23 September 2002 about production of chemical and biological agent had been lying to SIS.”

Corpsey
06-07-2016, 10:19 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but is there any such inquiry going on stateside which would see Bush et al criticised in similar terms?

Leo
06-07-2016, 10:43 PM
Forgive my ignorance, but is there any such inquiry going on stateside which would see Bush et al criticised in similar terms?

no. we don't reflect on things.

plus, washington is too busy trying to crucify hillary.

droid
06-07-2016, 11:13 PM
'Mistakes were made'... 'regret the loss of life'... 'would do it again'...

Has somebody we all know been writing speeches for Blair?

trza
06-07-2016, 11:21 PM
If you had paid attention to the primary campaign in 2008 and 2016, and the rest of the general campaign this year, you would recognize that the be all end all arbiter of all judgment of the past twenty years of American politics was Hillary's decision to vote in favor of the Iraq war. Its literally the first thing some of the Sanders/Trump/Republican people bring up as some kind of proof of her judgment or anything related to the Iraq war. You would have no idea any other person had any kind of responsibility except for the Junior Senator from New York State.

Leo
06-07-2016, 11:55 PM
If you had paid attention to the primary campaign in 2008 and 2016, and the rest of the general campaign this year, you would recognize that the be all end all arbiter of all judgment of the past twenty years of American politics was Hillary's decision to vote in favor of the Iraq war. Its literally the first thing some of the Sanders/Trump/Republican people bring up as some kind of proof of her judgment or anything related to the Iraq war. You would have no idea any other person had any kind of responsibility except for the Junior Senator from New York State.

absolutely...but we haven't had any comparable, formal inquiry/report on the iraq war. but washington did spend three years and $7 million of taxpayer money on benghazi because of, you guessed it, hillary.

droid
07-07-2016, 10:28 AM
no. we don't reflect on things.

plus, washington is too busy trying to crucify hillary.

It must also be said, that this is unusually damning. The primary function of these types of inquiries is to vindicate the establishment - not to condemn them. Look at Hillsborough and Bloody Sunday.

luka
07-07-2016, 10:53 AM
THE WARREN COMMISSION!

droid
07-07-2016, 11:34 AM
The moral problem for the left is reconciling opposition to the death penalty with the historical treatment of war criminals. Obviously the senior offenders at Nuremeberg were all hanged, but the then you look at the likes of Kurt Franz... released after 28 years in prison and lived another 5 after committing the vilest of crimes.

If death is ever a suitable punishment, then aggression must be one of the few crimes where it might be justified.

vimothy
07-07-2016, 12:49 PM
The moral problem for the left is that it is impossible to have a system in which aggression is punished, whether by execution of those held responsible or some other means, without the aggression needed to secure it.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 01:09 PM
From Blair's press conference:

“Nowhere in this report do they say what they believe would have happened if we had taken the decision [not to invade].

We might have had the same situation in Iraq today as we have in Syria

In Syria today more than double the amount of people who died in Iraq died in Syria*”

* This is approximately correct when using the figures from body counts. Other methodologies produce higher fatality figures, but given that we are comparing Iraq and Syria it is important to use the same methodology. Also, per capita this disparity is even more severe.

This is the point I made when me and Droid were having our Iraq debate earlier in the year.

vimothy
07-07-2016, 01:11 PM
Related: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/07/strange-death-liberal-politics

droid
07-07-2016, 01:32 PM
The moral problem for the left is that it is impossible to have a system in which aggression is punished, whether by execution of those held responsible or some other means, without the aggression needed to secure it.

Eh, no. It is possible to have a system of international law without committing the specific and supreme crime of the launch of a war of aggression.

john eden
07-07-2016, 01:39 PM
The moral problem for the left is that it is impossible to have a system in which aggression is punished, whether by execution of those held responsible or some other means, without the aggression needed to secure it.

I'm not sure that justice and punishment have to be the same things.

Also I don't think that a moral opposition to the death penalty is necessarily a left wing position. A liberal one certainly. It should not be used on an industrial scale against the working class / black population as is the case in the USA. Best used sparingly, if at all.

droid
07-07-2016, 01:39 PM
From Blair's press conference:

“Nowhere in this report do they say what they believe would have happened if we had taken the decision [not to invade].

We might have had the same situation in Iraq today as we have in Syria[

In Syria today more than double the amount of people who died in Iraq died in Syria*”

* This is approximately correct when using the figures from body counts. Other methodologies produce higher fatality figures, but given that we are comparing Iraq and Syria it is important to use the same methodology. Also, per capita this disparity is even more severe.

This is the point I made when me and Droid were having our Iraq debate earlier in the year.

This assertion is morally and logically bankrupt.

First of all there's the 'might'.


Saddam might have choked on his food.

Saddam might have had an aneurysm

Saddam may have discovered mystical powers and ascended to the godhead.

Saddam and his cabinet may all have spontaneously combusted.

Saddam and his sons may have been hit by lightning on a trip to the seaside.

Secondly there is the moral problem with justifying a war based on what 'might have' happened. By that logic every conflict can be justified.


911 is morally justified as it hastened the decline of an American empire responsible for the deaths of millions.
WWII was justified as the USSR might have invaded and enslaved Europe.
Kurdish Genocide was justified as they may have sparked a much more murderous civil war in Iraq.


It is the worst kind of sophistry. A self serving, amoral and utterly ludicrous argument.

droid
07-07-2016, 01:41 PM
I'm not sure that justice and punishment have to be the same things.

Also I don't think that a moral opposition to the death penalty is necessarily a left wing position. A liberal one certainly. It should not be used on an industrial scale against the working class / black population as is the case in the USA. Best used sparingly, if at all.

And war crimes (a very specific one in this case) are one of the few cases where the chances of executing an innocent are slim to none (in comparison to criminal cases where it is inevitable).

john eden
07-07-2016, 01:43 PM
And war crimes (a very specific one in this case) are one of the few cases where the chances of executing an innocent are slim to none (in comparison to criminal cases where it is inevitable).

Hard to disagree with that.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 01:43 PM
Droid, your opposition to the war is based on what might have happened had we not invaded.

I think a Syria style situation is more likely than some of the "mights" you suggested.

vimothy
07-07-2016, 01:44 PM
Eh, no. It is possible to have a system of international law without committing the specific and supreme crime of the launch of a war of aggression.

Only under a definition of aggression that is plainly self-serving, which is one of the problems of the current system.

droid
07-07-2016, 01:45 PM
Droid, your opposition to the war is based on what might have happened had we not invaded.

I think a Syria style situation is more likely than some of the "mights" you suggested.

No, my opposition to war is based on the moral position that it is wrong to take human life without justification.

droid
07-07-2016, 01:46 PM
Only under a definition of aggression that is plainly self-serving, which is one of the problems of the current system.

?


The Crime of Aggression is the crime of planning, initiation or execution of an act of aggression by a person in a position to exercise control over the political or military action of a State where the character, gravity and scale of such an act of aggression constitutes a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations.[1] An act of aggression is the use of armed force by a State against the sovereignty, territorial integrity or political independence of another State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Charter of the United Nations.[1] Acts of aggression include invasion, military occupation, annexation by the use of force, bombardment, and military blockade of ports.[1]

droid
07-07-2016, 01:48 PM
Droid, your opposition to the war is based on what might have happened had we not invaded.

I think a Syria style situation is more likely than some of the "mights" you suggested.


What you are suggesting is a minority report system for states, run by murderers.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 01:52 PM
What you are suggesting is a minority report system for states, run by murderers.

I'm not using this argument to justify the decision to go to war (the Arab Spring was of course almost a decade away).

But in retrospect, there is a good argument the war saved lives.

My argument may have very little real world application.

vimothy
07-07-2016, 01:53 PM
And how will you prevent these crimes of aggression?

john eden
07-07-2016, 01:56 PM
And how will you prevent these crimes of aggression?

Communism and sexpol.

vimothy
07-07-2016, 01:56 PM
But in retrospect, there is a good argument the war saved lives.

Other things equal - but the desirability of those other things is also in question.

luka
07-07-2016, 01:58 PM
barty, you are getting trounced. quite embaressing. vimothy, i dunno, you only speak in gnomic non sequiturs so i dont know how to judge your performance.

i wonder where craner is hiding out.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 02:04 PM
barty, you are getting trounced. quite embaressing.

I haven't had the opportunity to get trounced yet, no one's addressed my point.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 02:04 PM
Other things equal - but the desirability of those other things is also in question.

Like what?

Mr. Tea
07-07-2016, 02:05 PM
And I want to know just what the rococo fuck a 'sexpol' is!

vimothy
07-07-2016, 02:07 PM
For example, the whole project of destabilising secular middle eastern dictatorships and replacing them with secular liberal-capitalist democracies.

john eden
07-07-2016, 02:09 PM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CmsA0isXgAA8vye.jpg:large

john eden
07-07-2016, 02:11 PM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CmtsotEW8AAfUH6.jpg:large

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 02:12 PM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CmtsotEW8AAfUH6.jpg:large

That's the argument you made for abstaining during the referendum

john eden
07-07-2016, 02:13 PM
That's the argument you made for abstaining during the referendum

No, that was saying that there was zero difference between bad things and bad things.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 02:16 PM
No, that was saying that there was zero difference between bad things and bad things.

A paper cut and being set on fire

john eden
07-07-2016, 02:19 PM
A paper cut and being set on fire

A kick in the head or a kick in the balls.

10,001 dead kittens or personally killing 10,000 kittens yourself.

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 02:20 PM
A kick in the head or a kick in the balls.

Balls, a kick to the head could result in far more severe consequences.

john eden
07-07-2016, 02:23 PM
Balls, a kick to the head could result in far more severe consequences.

And your position remains the same on kitten murder? :eek:

Mr. Tea
07-07-2016, 02:36 PM
A kick in the head or a kick in the balls.

10,001 dead kittens or personally killing 10,000 kittens yourself.

Crossing over with the prostitution thread:

http://files.explosm.net/comics/Rob/dealofthecentury.png

luka
07-07-2016, 03:15 PM
sexpol is w. reich... so ask danny l

droid
07-07-2016, 04:51 PM
Balls, a kick to the head could result in far more severe consequences.


Still waiting on a reply to this ;)


You are the leader of a small, secluded country. A fatal and extremely contagious disease infects a small segment the population. If you isolate & quarantine this group you can prevent the disease from spreading, depriving them of liberty but saving numerous lives in the process.

What do you do?

luka
07-07-2016, 05:17 PM
burn them innit, like foot and mouth

luka
07-07-2016, 05:19 PM
that was an easy one. next dilemma pls

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 05:34 PM
First of all there's the 'might'.

That argument applies equally to the idea that Iraq 'might' have been better off if we hadn’t invaded.

‘What might happen’ is implicit in everything in which multiple, mutually exclusive options are presented. In other words it’s ontologically impossible to see how varying, mutually exclusive options play out and base a decision on that. We use likelihoods to help us make decisions.

So your argument here is “logically bankrupt”.





Saddam might have choked on his food.

Saddam might have had an aneurysm




Sadam may well have died or become incapacitated, in which case we have to look at 1) how likely that was and 2) what effect that would have had on whether there was a Syrian-style conflict in Iraq (after all, Hafez pegged it).



[/LIST]

Saddam may have discovered mystical powers and ascended to the godhead.

Saddam and his cabinet may all have spontaneously combusted.

Saddam and his sons may have been hit by lightning on a trip to the seaside.
[/LIST]



Are you suggesting a Syrian-style conflict in Iraq was as unlikely as these things?

sadmanbarty
07-07-2016, 05:50 PM
Still waiting on a reply to this ;)

Sorry, thought that one was to John. I’d contain the disease.

I’m surprised this is so controversial; it’s worse if more bad things happen. I thought that was pretty elementary morality.

Just to put this to bed I think:

100,000 people being killed is worse that 99,999 people being killed.

88 children getting run over is worse than 87 children getting run over

1 million and 1 kittens being killed is worse that 1 million kittens being killed

Etc.

Morally you should make more good things happen and less bad things happen.

droid
07-07-2016, 11:17 PM
You are... (drum roll)

...Fidel Castro! You just introduced mandatory testing for HIV and imprisoned everyone who tested positive along with (depending on who you believe) a sizable portion of the homosexual population of Cuba.

Can we do another one?

You are the leader of a huge, primarily agrarian country on the cusp of modernisation. In order to feed a growing population and avoid widespread starvation you must rapidly introduce agricultural reforms - despite the fact that this might result in localised famine.

What do you do?

droid
07-07-2016, 11:40 PM
One point I havent addressed is the binary nature of Blair's argument and your thought experiment.

In the real world there are more than two choices. You walk out of the room containing 10,000 cats and force the person threatening to kill them to stop. You free all the cats. You implement legislation to ensure 20,001 cats can never be collected in one place again.

It was not a choice between war and nothing.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:12 AM
You are... (drum roll)

...Fidel Castro! You just introduced mandatory testing for HIV and imprisoned everyone who tested positive along with (depending on who you believe) a sizable portion of the homosexual population of Cuba.

That’s more than a little unfair. You didn't ask me about the Cuban case, you were giving me an abstract example which left out a myriad of variables. So of course I reject the comparison.

That being said, that was also hilarious. Hats off to you.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:14 AM
One point I havent addressed is the binary nature of Blair's argument and your thought experiment.

It was not a choice between war and nothing.

This is a much more valid argument, I’ll respond tomorrow (I don’t want to keep myself up with this stuff).

droid
08-07-2016, 09:51 AM
That’s more than a little unfair. You didn't ask me about the Cuban case, you were giving me an abstract example which left out a myriad of variables. So of course I reject the comparison.

That being said, that was also hilarious. Hats off to you.

I just cant believe you didnt see it coming.

The answer to the second one is that you are Mao and you've just killed approx 30 million people (except Mao had no idea it would happen).

The subtext is - moral utilitarianism is bunk.

Heres something interesting. Over the years Ive done every experiment here half a dozen times: http://www.philosophyexperiments.com/

When you repeatedly answer neutrally they penalise you and fuck with your score - pretty instructive.

baboon2004
08-07-2016, 10:20 AM
Just to put this to bed I think:

100,000 people being killed is worse that 99,999 people being killed.


What if that extra person is Blair in late 2002?

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 10:24 AM
I suspected that second one was the Great Leap Forward, which I know more about than the Cuban case. Your question was a complete mischaracterisation of what happened in China. Your questions leave out so many variables and are reduced to such simple moral decisions that they render the historical comparison meaningless. So I don't accept that they disprove utilitarianism.

droid
08-07-2016, 10:32 AM
I suspected that second one was the Great Leap Forward, which I know more about than the Cuban case. Your question was a complete mischaracterisation of what happened in China. Your questions leave out so many variables and are reduced to such simple moral decisions that they render the historical comparison meaningless. So I don't accept that they disprove utilitarianism.

Ok, so what you're saying is, that in the real world that there are so many variables that simple moral decisions just... don't exist? That, in reality, things are so complex that these comparisons simply dont work?

Thats what youre saying right?

Right?

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 10:36 AM
Ok, so what you're saying is, that in the real world that there are so many variables that simple moral decisions just... don't exist? That, in reality, things are so complex that these comparisons simply dont work?

Thats what youre saying right?

Right?

Yep.

These simple moral questions are useful for people to determine their principles, but you will rarely find simple moral decisions in the real world. You can apply the morals you've learned from these thought experiments to real world situations, though the choices in the real world are far more convoluted.

droid
08-07-2016, 10:51 AM
Which is essentially a complete contradiction of the moral utilitarian arguments you've made previously regarding Iraq and brexit?

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 11:04 AM
Which is essentially a complete contradiction of the moral utilitarian arguments you've made previously regarding Iraq and brexit?

No it isn't. As I said, you use these simple thought experiments to determine your principles and then you apply these principles to complex real world problems. There isn't a contradiction in that.

For example, I was trying to use these simple thought experiments to see if John thought there was a moral difference between some bad things happening or a lot of bad things happening. Once we determined that, then we could move on to how that applies to the complex issues of economics, sovereignty, democracy, etc. that were encompassed in the referendum.

No contradiction there.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 11:09 AM
I’ve been getting into a debate on dissensus pretty much every week this past month or so. I want to cool off for a bit, so hopefully we can get this one done today.

Here are my points, I’m not saying I totally believe all these things, but they are questions I have:


1) There can be a different moral judgment made for someone’s decision-making and what actually happens. For example someone could invent a chemical for domestic use. 150 years after they die, that chemical could become weaponised and kills many innocent people. So you could say 1) the inventor bears no moral responsibility for the deaths, but 2) it would have been better if the chemical was never invented. Similarly you could say 1) Blair should be condemned for not exhausting peaceful options (if the inquiry is to be believed) for the goals he wanted to achieve, but 2) knowing what we know now from the Arab Spring there is a distinct possibility that the Iraq war was for the best (of course, there is still the distinct possibility it was for the worse).

2) The Syrian situation is worse than the Iraq situation. When using the same methodology, the fatalities in the Syrian conflict are higher than in Iraq. Similarly there are more refugees in the Syrian situation than the Iraq conflict (I think?). Per capita these disparities are even greater.

3) Iraq may well have had a Syrian-style conflict during the Arab spring. This would likely result in more deaths than the Iraq war.


Again none of this is rationale for the decision making, as it is based on what we know now and not what they new at the time.

Mr. Tea
08-07-2016, 11:20 AM
Your question was a complete mischaracterisation of what happened in China.

Oh come on man, give poor li'l old Mao a break, eh? How could he possibly have known that ordering millions of peasants to leave their rice harvests rotting in the paddy fields and go and work in steel mills instead might result in a teensy bit of a famine?

droid
08-07-2016, 11:44 AM
Here are my points, I’m not saying I totally believe all these things, but they are questions I have:


1) There can be a different moral judgment made for someone’s decision-making and what actually happens. For example someone could invent a chemical for domestic use. 150 years after they die, that chemical could become weaponised and kills many innocent people. So you could say 1) the inventor bears no moral responsibility for the deaths, but 2) it would have been better if the chemical was never invented. Similarly you could say 1) Blair should be condemned for not exhausting peaceful options (if the inquiry is to be believed) for the goals he wanted to achieve, but 2) knowing what we know now from the Arab Spring there is a distinct possibility that the Iraq war was for the best (of course, there is still the distinct possibility it was for the worse).

2) The Syrian situation is worse than the Iraq situation. When using the same methodology, the fatalities in the Syrian conflict are higher than in Iraq. Similarly there are more refugees in the Syrian situation than the Iraq conflict (I think?). Per capita these disparities are even greater.

3) Iraq may well have had a Syrian-style conflict during the Arab spring. This would likely result in more deaths than the Iraq war.


Again none of this is rationale for the decision making, as it is based on what we know now and not what they new at the time.

Its retroactive moral justification and those are simply not credible claims. Anything could have happened. You cannot also disentangle the Arab spring from the destabilisation caused by Iraq. Without Iraq there may not have been any civil war. One thing we do know is that the actions that were taken resulted in a predictably huge loss of life and destabilisation - as wars almost always do

911 was an appalling act of terror and set in motion a chaotic sequence of terrible events, but given that the US has been responsible for tens of millions of deaths prior to this, and that 911 seems to have set the US on a downward spiral of military and financial overstretch and inevitable collapse, by your logic it was the right thing to do.

Are you familiar with chaos theory, Lorenz and the butterfly effect? Do you read alt-history? The fundamental premise, articulated by everyone from the odious Niall Ferguson to the sublime Kim Stanley Robinson, from military historian to sci-fi author is this: The further away you get from an event the more difficult it is to extrapolate likely outcomes.


Perhaps a sum over histories had bunched the probabilities. Is this likely? We don’t know. We are particles, moving in a wave. The wave breaks. No math can predict which bubbles will appear where. But there is a sum over histories. Chaotic systems fall into patterns, following the pull of strange attractors. Linear chaotic figures look completely non-repetitive, but slice them into Poincaré sections and they reveal the simplest kinds of patterns. There is a tide, and we float in it; perhaps it is the flux of the cosmos itself; swim this way or that, the tide still carries us to the same destination. Perhaps.

The basic premise of Blair's argument is fatally flawed. It is morally, logically and practically bankrupt. You need to read this as soon as possible:

http://www.baen.com/Chapters/1597801844/1597801844___6.htm


I’ve been getting into a debate on dissensus pretty much every week this past month or so. I want to cool off for a bit, so hopefully we can get this one done today.

lol. Come back to me in ten years. ;)

droid
08-07-2016, 11:45 AM
No it isn't. As I said, you use these simple thought experiments to determine your principles and then you apply these principles to complex real world problems. There isn't a contradiction in that.

For example, I was trying to use these simple thought experiments to see if John thought there was a moral difference between some bad things happening or a lot of bad things happening. Once we determined that, then we could move on to how that applies to the complex issues of economics, sovereignty, democracy, etc. that were encompassed in the referendum.

No contradiction there.

Keep saying it, mantra-like - who knows?

Maybe you'll convince yourself.

john eden
08-07-2016, 11:47 AM
No it isn't. As I said, you use these simple thought experiments to determine your principles and then you apply these principles to complex real world problems. There isn't a contradiction in that.

For example, I was trying to use these simple thought experiments to see if John thought there was a moral difference between some bad things happening or a lot of bad things happening. Once we determined that, then we could move on to how that applies to the complex issues of economics, sovereignty, democracy, etc. that were encompassed in the referendum.

No contradiction there.

The problem with this is that you simply asserted that Remain was a case of some bad things happening and Brexit was a lot of bad things happening. We didn't agree that.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 11:49 AM
Keep saying it, mantra-like - who knows?

Maybe you'll convince yourself.

Is it wrong though?

droid
08-07-2016, 11:50 AM
Oh come on man, give poor li'l old Mao a break, eh? How could he possibly have known that ordering millions of peasants to leave their rice harvests rotting in the paddy fields and go and work in steel mills instead might result in a teensy bit of a famine?

No matter how you swing it this is not what happened. The famines of the great leap were the result of collectivisation, agricultural reforms and bad weather - not primarily because of a lack of workers or manpower, though that was a factor.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 11:51 AM
The problem with this is that you simply asserted that Remain was a case of some bad things happening and Brexit was a lot of bad things happening. We didn't agree that.

That's fine. The point I was making to droid is that it's false to claim there is a problem in using simple thought experiments to apply to complex, real world problems.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 11:57 AM
Droid with regards to your big post.

I'm not using this argument as retroactive justification for the decision to go to war (as the 1st point in my big post explained).

It seems to me we are both trying to avoid getting into a long, convoluted analysis of the likelihood of various counterfactuals (or at least I am). So maybe it's best to leave it for now, I'm sure we'll come back to it at some point in the future.

droid
08-07-2016, 11:58 AM
So essentially:

Bad things are worse than good things so we should try and make good things happen.

+

There is a problem with applying simple moral principles to Cuba or China because they are too complex, but its OK to apply them to Brexit and Iraq.

Can you see why i'm having trouble with this?

droid
08-07-2016, 12:00 PM
It seems to me we are both trying to avoid getting into a long, convoluted analysis of the likelihood of various counterfactuals (or at least I am). So maybe it's best to leave it for now, I'm sure we'll come back to it at some point in the future.

Im happy to let it lie, but the point Im trying to make is that it's your entire approach here that is flawed, not the specific argument.

You should read that Kim Stanley Robinson essay, he explains it better than I ever could.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:04 PM
There is a problem with applying simple moral principles to Cuba or China because they are too complex, but its OK to apply them to Brexit and Iraq.

Can you see why i'm having trouble with this?

There's nothing wrong with applying moral principles to a complex situation. The more complex a situation is, the harder it becomes to work out the best way to apply those principles. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try to apply these principles.

So you should apply moral principles to Cuba and China, all I was saying is that the way you posed the questions wasn't an accurate reflection of what actually happened in those countries.

droid
08-07-2016, 12:08 PM
My point is, it is extremely rare to find a case that is simple enough to make these elementary principles useful, and one mans inaccurate reflection is anothers gospel truth.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:14 PM
Im happy to let it lie, but the point Im trying to make is that it's your entire approach here that is flawed, not the specific argument.

You should read that Kim Stanley Robinson essay, he explains it better than I ever could.

I'll read it. Again, I'm not retroactively justifying Blair's decision.

I'll also say again, counterfactuals are inherent in everything in which a decision is, was or will be made. They are unavoidable if you want to make a judgement on pretty much anything that happened, is happening or will happen. To say you are against something is to say you are for something else and vice versa. Those "something else's" are counterfactuals. We can asses likelihoods to prioritise which counterfactuals we give most credence to.

Being against the Iraq war (as distinct from the decision to go to war) is based on the counterfactual of what would of happened had we not gone to war.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:18 PM
My point is, it is extremely rare to find a case that is simple enough to make these elementary principles useful, and one mans inaccurate reflection is anothers gospel truth.

In that case you're making an argument amoralism.

Let's use your principle that it is wrong to take a human life without justification. Due to the complexities of the real world, it is often difficult to determine what is justified. That doesn't mean that your principle should not be applied to complex situations, it just means that it is difficult to do so.

droid
08-07-2016, 12:22 PM
Being against the Iraq war (as distinct from the decision to go to war) is based on the counterfactual of what would of happened had we not gone to war.

No, its based on the moral position that it is wrong to go to war without justification - as it is the supreme crime, from which all the other evils of warfare spring.

And you claim not to be retroactively justifying iraq, but you are using precisely the same arguments as Blair, who is.

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:28 PM
And you claim not to be retroactively justifying iraq, but you are using precisely the same arguments as Blair, who is.

I'm not Tony Blair.

droid
08-07-2016, 12:28 PM
Are you sure?

sadmanbarty
08-07-2016, 12:29 PM
No, its based on the moral position that it is wrong to go to war without justification - as it is the supreme crime, from which all the other evils of warfare spring.

I separated the decision to go to war, with the war itself in my statement.

luka
08-07-2016, 05:18 PM
Barty is like the new model droid, the terminator two version. Move aside droid you've been replaced

Mr. Tea
08-07-2016, 05:27 PM
Not so fast! I want to see them fight to the death in the steelworks.

luka
08-07-2016, 05:29 PM
lool!

you
08-07-2016, 07:53 PM
has anyone mentioned Dr. Kelly (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Kelly_(weapons_expert))'s death (http://theunredacted.com/dr-david-kelly-many-dark-actors/) in the same post as the GEC Marconi murders (http://theunredacted.com/dead-scientists-the-marconi-murders/)?

luka
11-07-2016, 02:19 PM
i heavent heard from craner since a day or two before this report came out. im actually a bit worried. he hasnt been on facebook or on dissensus or even on his intagram account. no one has heard from him. actually a bit worried about him. hes held onto his support for the war so doggedly. in a way he staked his reputation on it. hes always used is real name online in a way the rest of us would never dream of doing. i hope hes ok and can finally admit to being wrong. i think we can all agree we would think no less of him were he to do that.

vimothy
12-07-2016, 10:08 PM
barty, you are getting trounced. quite embaressing. vimothy, i dunno, you only speak in gnomic non sequiturs so i dont know how to judge your performance.

If aggression between states is to be outlawed and punished (for example by hanging those responsible), then obviously there must an authority capable of issuing laws encompassing that, determining whether states are guilty of transgressing the law, and punishing those who do so. That authority cannot possibly exist on a purely consensual basis - which is why the international system has historically been (basically) anarchy and international law was described as "the vanishing point of jurisprudence".

droid
12-07-2016, 10:11 PM
If aggression between states is to be outlawed and punished (for example by hanging those responsible), then obviously there must an authority capable of issuing laws encompassing that, determining whether states are guilty of transgressing the law, and punishing those who do so. That authority cannot possibly exist on a purely consensual basis - which is why the international system has historically been (basically) anarchy and international law was described as "the vanishing point of jurisprudence".

Is it possible to police without breaking the law?

vimothy
12-07-2016, 10:25 PM
Sure - but not without (someone) making the law.

droid
12-07-2016, 10:52 PM
Coercion does not necessarily = aggression.

vimothy
12-07-2016, 11:00 PM
The first definition google offers for coercion is, "the action or practice of persuading someone to do something by using force or threats."

vimothy
12-07-2016, 11:02 PM
What's the distinction you're making here? States cannot be guaranteed to willingly give up their sovereignty, and there exists no entity other than states (or collections of states) for them to give it up to.

droid
12-07-2016, 11:14 PM
Even if we were to agree on that definition, surely you could accept that threats or the use of force do not necessarily equal the Nazi invasion of Poland?

vimothy
12-07-2016, 11:20 PM
Certainly (although I'm not sure that this resolves anything).

droid
12-07-2016, 11:22 PM
So the distinction Im making is that it is possible to establish and apply international law through a variety of methods; consensus, persuasion, coercion, threats, use of force, financial, economic and trading instruments, appeals to self interest... all sorts of means which fall short of actual wars of aggression.

droid
12-07-2016, 11:25 PM
And to go back to your original statement. It is possible to prevent aggression without being guilty of aggression - certainly in technical terms on the basis that military force used as an instrument of IL and approved by the UN, cannot, by definition be aggression - but also in practical and moral terms.

vimothy
12-07-2016, 11:41 PM
It certainly doesn't seem possible, if history is any guide. But assuming that it is, international law (in the modern sense) is still the product of the dominant superpower, and formalises international relations under its aegis. It is grounded in the very real threat of violence - which is to say, interstate war - without which it would never have come into being, and without which its continued existence would be impossible. (Which is not to knock Pax Americana, but merely to be honest about what it is and how it is maintained.)

droid
12-07-2016, 11:48 PM
On the contrary, the dominant superpower has prevented an effective multilateral system of IL from coming into being (as an explicit aim in fact) as much as it has guaranteed peace - and of course, Pax Americana is a Pax in Bello.

vimothy
13-07-2016, 12:02 AM
"Perpetual war for perpetual peace". However, the only "multilateral system" possible is the status quo ante, i.e. classical international law, i.e., anarchy amongst sovereign states - from which there is no basis to forbid states from pursuing their interests through war, since there is no one who has that authority over the others.

droid
13-07-2016, 09:57 AM
The collective has authority over the individual.

vimothy
13-07-2016, 10:08 AM
Where does this authority come from? How is it enforced?

droid
13-07-2016, 10:12 AM
We're going around in circles here. The Police have authority, and it is based on consent.

vimothy
13-07-2016, 10:15 AM
The police don't have any authority over states. (Their authority is not based on consent, either.)

droid
13-07-2016, 10:18 AM
Er... yes it is. In fact, its a fundamental principle of policing in the UK especially. How else does a police force of (normally) thousands of people police populations numbering in the millions?

luka
13-07-2016, 10:28 AM
Er... yes it is. In fact, its a fundamental principle of policing in the UK especially. How else does a police force of (normally) thousands of people police populations numbering in the millions?

Good question.

vimothy
13-07-2016, 10:48 AM
Er... yes it is. In fact, its a fundamental principle of policing in the UK especially. How else does a police force of (normally) thousands of people police populations numbering in the millions?

You cannot withdraw your consent from the police or from the government more generally.

vimothy
13-07-2016, 11:04 AM
Basically, you want to outlaw certain behaviour by states. Who can do this? It can only be other states. Then you want to provide a forum where states can accuse one another of breaking the rules. Again, only states can provide this. Then you want to somehow enforce its judgements, where again, the only possible actors are states (or collections of states).

Mr. Tea
13-07-2016, 11:46 AM
Basically, you want to outlaw certain behaviour by states. Who can do this? It can only be other states. Then you want to provide a forum where states can accuse one another of breaking the rules. Again, only states can provide this. Then you want to somehow enforce its judgements, where again, the only possible actors are states (or collections of states).

I suppose one answer is that supranational organizations such as the League Of Nations and later the UN (perhaps also NATO, the EU, whatever) have greater authority than a single state, or even a 'collection of states', in saying to an offending state "Stop behaving like that".

droid
13-07-2016, 11:54 AM
Labour NEC was a close one yesterday. Friedland has another hatchet job in the Guardian today fulminating at the failure to exclude Corbyn from the leadership ballot... seemingly without considering the obvious repercussions of such an anti-democratic course of action.

Still, I guess the Blairites got 125,000 new members kicked out of the leadership vote, and increased the support fee to £25, thereby keeping out all of those poor tory entryists who've been rigging things in favour of Corbyn.

baboon2004
13-07-2016, 01:13 PM
Is Freedland one of the worst journalists of all time? Exhibit 1:

"How can these MPs ignore the will of the party members? The answer is simple. The rebel MPs and their backers don’t consider hardcore Corbyn supporters to be Labour people at all. They believe they are no more Labour than the entryists of Militant a generation ago. They are the hard left, who have always lurked on the fringes of British politics but who have now taken up residence in the Labour home. They are squatters, who in the last year have taken to telling the longterm, rightful owners of the Labour building how things should be run – even having the nerve to tell people who have lived there for 50 years that they no longer belong in their own house."

Goes seamlessly from talking about the views of the rebel MPs to effectively asserting these views as fact, and then making crazy assertions which are the diametric opposite of the historical truth ("longterm, rightful owners of the Labour building"? Like, longterm since 1994?). Abysmal from any standpoint, and whatever you believe.

PS Apparently joining a union costs way less than that £25, and it's in black and white that a vote in the leadership eleciton is guaranteed to union members. No doubt this 'loophole' will be challenged

droid
13-07-2016, 01:52 PM
Gary Younge deviating from the Guardian editorial stance.


If Corbyn resigned tomorrow, the issues that he raised would still stand, and the Parliamentary Labour party would still have no coherent response to them. He did not create the dislocation between the PLP and the membership, he merely illustrates it. His critics say they want their party back. Their party may well say it wants Corbyn back. In the absence of any reckoning as to how that discrepancy came about and any idea what to do about it, his critics are going to destroy the party they claim they love to save it from a leader it prefers.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/jul/13/corbyn-critics-destroying-labour-party-members?CMP=share_btn_tw

john eden
13-07-2016, 02:06 PM
PS Apparently joining a union costs way less than that £25, and it's in black and white that a vote in the leadership eleciton is guaranteed to union members. No doubt this 'loophole' will be challenged

It's not as simple as that. It depends on the union. Not all are Labour affiliated.

Some of the ones that are will charge you more than £25 (Unison has a sliding scale of monthly fees for example).

You will also need to opt in to the political fund.

There is some suggestion that there is also a time delay for new joiners being able to vote in the leadership election.

But definitely join a union anyway. It will probably be of more use to you in the short to medium term than a vote in the Labour leadership.

Unite: http://www.unitetheunion.org/campaigning/unitepolitics/

john eden
13-07-2016, 02:10 PM
Also I think it's a bit dodgy joining a political organisation purely so you can vote in a leadership contest?

droid
13-07-2016, 02:46 PM
Even if you would vote for that leader and you think he is the best hope for the future of the country?

Isnt that what good leaders are supposed to do? Inspire people to support them and their party?

Mr. Tea
13-07-2016, 02:50 PM
Also I think it's a bit dodgy joining a political organisation purely so you can vote in a leadership contest?

Yes, I suppose some might be tempted to say "Well if you were that invested in it, why weren't you a member already?".

Having said that, a counter-argument could be that these days, many younger voters have deeply held political convictions but don't identify with any one particular established party, so it's only natural that those on the left would gravitate towards Labour with a real socialist in charge of the party for the first time in over two decades.

Edit: this chat should probably be continued in the Corbyn thread, if we want to keep this one just about Chilcot/Blair/Iraq.

john eden
13-07-2016, 04:13 PM
Even if you would vote for that leader and you think he is the best hope for the future of the country?

Isnt that what good leaders are supposed to do? Inspire people to support them and their party?

EDIT, sorry.

No, because we don't have a presidential system in this country. So people (as in the public) don't vote for leaders. They vote for parties. So probably the best thing would be if people joined a political party they believed in, or didn't.

Same as all this stuff about May not having a mandate. Nobody in the general election actually voted for David Cameron to be prime minister, so it shouldn't matter.

But it's not really a big deal for me, I guess.

droid
13-07-2016, 04:30 PM
They vote for parties. So probably the best thing would be if people joined a political party they believed in, or didn't.

Ah, but isnt the point that many of those who've joined could say they believe in a Labour party under Corbyn?

baboon2004
13-07-2016, 04:40 PM
Also I think it's a bit dodgy joining a political organisation purely so you can vote in a leadership contest?

I see your point, but disagree in the current configuration of things. I want there to be a mainstream alternative to what the Tories are proposing, and a mainstream party espousing a left-wing viewpoint. To me, that's the Labour party's raison d'etre, and a system without a major party giving a left wing viewpoint is broken imo. It's a question about the whole political system, not just about the LP, so I think it's fine to 'interfere' in this case. Especially cos I voted for Corbyn in September, and don't appreciate him being ousted under false pretences.

PS Thanks for the info, and agree that joining a union is v necessary anyways and sth I should've done a long time ago.

baboon2004
13-07-2016, 04:42 PM
Ah, but isnt the point that many of those who've joined could say they believe in a Labour party under Corbyn?

Well exactly. How is it possible to believe in the Labour Party per se any longer- that'd be mad given the different things it can mean in any given year or leadership configuration.

I don't think it's fair to state that the current system is so very different from a presidential one, when clearly all general elections these days are fought on the battleground of personality over policy (not something I like, but that'st the truth of it). People do vote for leaders, not parties, and that's especially true when it's v unclear what a given party 'stands for' (obviously the massive problem of the LP since the 1990s, which has now reached crisis point, with a split on the cards)

Sorry for derailment. Let's go back to Blair

droid
13-07-2016, 05:14 PM
I think what John is arguing for is blind loyalty to the party.. exactly what you'd expect from a Bolshevik.

john eden
14-07-2016, 11:06 AM
I think what John is arguing for is blind loyalty to the party.. exactly what you'd expect from a Bolshevik.

LOL. :D

I'm not even that bothered about joining political parties. My brief membership of one ended in acrimony because my branch wanted to do things differently to the rest.

I do know people who are members of the Greens who have now also joined the Labour Party and are going door knocking for them though. That is out of order.

And I like Corbyn, of course. And would like the Labour Party to be left wing again. But there are reasons why some organisations have a probationary membership or a time delay between signing up and getting a vote..

john eden
14-07-2016, 11:09 AM
Also I do take Baboon's point about people implicitly voting for leaders (and stuff like the presidential tv debates).

I think ultimately that my position is that there is a very slim chance that the Labour party can be reformed. And it's distressing to see so many good people investing their time and energy in that when we should be building up power outside of Westminster instead.

vimothy
14-07-2016, 11:12 AM
I suppose one answer is that supranational organizations such as the League Of Nations and later the UN (perhaps also NATO, the EU, whatever) have greater authority than a single state, or even a 'collection of states', in saying to an offending state "Stop behaving like that".

Right, that's the present approach. A group of states has banded together to impose a set of legal norms on the rest of the international order. Obviously this relies on the threat of violence as the ultimate sanction. (And notice that in no sense are these treaty organisations independent of the interests of their constituent states, which gives rise to the charges of hypocrisy often levelled at such institutions.)

droid
14-07-2016, 11:56 AM
Is Freedland one of the worst journalists of all time? Exhibit

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CnUanr4WIAELnqG.jpg

baboon2004
14-07-2016, 04:50 PM
nasty.

the 'all a game' idea seems true of many recent journalists to me. Career is more important then convictions, so resigning on principle is unthinkable. Reading more Freedland, it is v difficult to get to what he actually might believe about anything. Everything is always oppositional.

droid
14-07-2016, 09:32 PM
Ol' long John is wringing his hands,
At entryist corbynites' evil plans,
To drape the party 'neath their caul,
Uncle Joe would've put them against the wall.

droid
14-07-2016, 09:32 PM
Wouldnt normally x-post from twitter, but these need to be preserved for posterity.

john eden
14-07-2016, 09:52 PM
We should do an anthology.

droid
14-07-2016, 09:55 PM
I was just thinking that! Need more Martin though.

Mr. Tea
14-07-2016, 10:00 PM
I was just thinking that! Need more Martin though.

I think it's high time 'Ian Town' made a reappearance!

droid
21-07-2016, 04:05 PM
i heavent heard from craner since a day or two before this report came out. im actually a bit worried. he hasnt been on facebook or on dissensus or even on his intagram account. no one has heard from him. actually a bit worried about him. hes held onto his support for the war so doggedly. in a way he staked his reputation on it. hes always used is real name online in a way the rest of us would never dream of doing. i hope hes ok and can finally admit to being wrong. i think we can all agree we would think no less of him were he to do that.

Hes still alive anyway - he unfollowed me on twitter the other day.

luka
23-07-2016, 12:17 PM
He contacted me yesterday to say he's alive but admitted Chilcot was difficult for him and said his Internet personna had taken on a life of his own and he's having an identity crisis and needs to cut off from the Internet while he works out who he is and what his values are. He said to tell everyone there was too many boring remarc tunes in the jungle poll and he didn't vote for them and shouldn't be blamed.

droid
25-07-2016, 11:17 PM
I feel personally slighted by his unfollow. It was a casual discarding of an unprecedented thaw of relations. I did everything I could to prepare his psyche in the weeks leading up to Chilcot - even taking the risk of tainting my impeccable reputation with repeated ad hominem and incessant haranguing.