Tuesday, August 10, 2004

And back to Mecandes

> What you are doing is called "flaming."

I challenge you to find anything in my first post/comment that was personally insulting to you or Steve. The closest you'll find is my claim that Steve is liberal regarding foreign policy. I denigrated the U.N., to be sure, but flaming concerns individuals, not large organizations. I accept the charge of flame comments for my subsequent posts, however.

What also counts as flaming (aka "personal attacks") are your subsequent comments like, "I suppose any gentlemanly discourse (I'm being generous) is at an impasse." If you want to complain about flaming then look to yourself first because you instigated it.

On top of your flame initiation, twisting my statements ("I, as an American, don't really give a damn...") out of context was insulting to me, to everyone who might be reading these posts, and to the entire concept of debate. You were unable or too lazy to meet my ideas head on so you resorted to underhanded methods to come out "on top".

> I'm not going to sit here and pick apart your posts (particularly since my post wasn't even about Iraq, per se)

Fair enough, but there are three problems here. The first is that you didn't say this when I posted my first reply. Apparently you had to take my statements out of context and make snide comments about my incapacity for "gentlemanly discourse" first. The second is that the Iraqi war plays a major role in the subject you originally posted about, so it is fair game for commenting. Finally, these are blogs. Why post on a blog if you are unwilling to counter attacks on your ideas, especially on topics with strong opinions associated with them?

> my opinions about your government's actions are not a personal attack on you.

I didn't take your original opinions as such. I only took exception to your subsequent comments.

> Anyway, these are facts, not opinions... try not to take it so personally.

Facts generally don't bother me. Calling unsubstantiated statements "facts" does bother me. At least provide links backing up such statements as "your own government now says. . ." etcetera.

It's really rather depressing to move from what could have been a lively, thought-provoking debate of ideas to a flame session. If we are going to carry on, I'd rather do so with a minimum of snotty comments on both sides. If you are up for this, then let's begin again.

> your own government now says that if they "had known then what we

Which member or subset of the U.S. government said this? Without any sort of name or linked news article it's much too easy to attribute one person's statements to an entire organization.

>Even Bush admits that the intelligence failures that led to the war are a disgrace.

While the intelligence failures were indeed disgraceful, there are several who admit that deposing Hussein was a good move for everyone involved, minus Hussein's cronies and the French, Russians, and Germans.

> (But everyone is pointing the finger at everyone else.)

We agree on this point. There's a lot of blame to go around. Bush should have built our intelligence forces back up to previous levels, Clinton should not have cut down on our intelligence forces, the houses of congress shouldn't have passed so many laws limiting the power of the intelligence forces, the intelligence forces themselves should have kept a cleaner house, and the list goes on.


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