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For once, let's try a little logic
Hendersonville Times-News ^
| November 07. 2003
| John Fogle
Posted on 11/07/2003 7:39:18 AM PST by Gritty
Suppose you had a headache, and I offered you a capsule from a jar. The jar has 99 capsules containing aspirin, and one capsule with powdered sugar. So, if you swallow a capsule, your chance of an undesirable result is only 1 in 100. Are you willing to take the risk?
Now, keeping the same odds, would you take a pill from a jar with 99 aspirin capsules and 1 capsule containing a lethal dose of cyanide? Notice how the odds are the same, but the catastrophic nature of a bad selection causes a different response.
This is the nature of the justification for war in Iraq. Even if there is only one chance in a hundred that Saddam would and could equip a terrorist with a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon, to be delivered to a major U.S. city in a rental truck, the results are too catastrophic to gloss over.
Despite what the Bush haters scream, President Bush didn't say that the threat from Iraq was imminent. He said that we must act before the threat became imminent. Unfortunately, demagogues screech that since the words "threat" and "imminent" came in the same sentence, then the president meant that the threat was imminent.
And people actually believe that stuff. It's fun to imagine a voting mechanism where voters are asked a few logic questions on their ballots, and if a voter misses a question, the voting machine would simply disregard the entire ballot. I know that would be un-democratic, and I would never actually propose such a thing, but it is a great fantasy nevertheless.
The cost to our economy from 9/11 has been estimated to be $1 trillion, and a nuclear, chemical or biological attack could cost 100 times that much. You might want to remember this when our Sen. Edwards (D-Tort Lawyers) bellyaches about the $87 billion for rebuilding Iraq. If you happen to travel to Iowa or New Hampshire, where he spends his time nowadays, please express your displeasure politely.
The lack of critical thinking even extends to the comics pages. Garry Trudeau, the author of the Doonesbury strip, took time out from his regular task of sliming Schwarzenegger, and devoted his entire Sunday strip on Oct. 19 to the incorrect statement that "There is NO evidence of a link between Saddam Hussein and 9/11!" The truth is that there is inconclusive evidence ... no knowledgeable person has said that there is no evidence.
As an aside, you should view the Doonesbury strip that appears on this page as an anti-drug public service message. You may remember the ad that starts with an egg sub-titled "this is your brain," then a fried egg sub-titled "and this is your brain on drugs." Imagine the last frame as a Doonesbury strip sub-titled "and this symbolizes the drivel your brain can produce after it has been fried on drugs."
But, back to the evidence. Stephen Hayes, writing in The Weekly Standard (Oct. 20) and Deroy Murdock, writing in The National Review (Oct. 21) have published detailed analyses, including hard evidence, linking Saddam to 9/11, bin Laden and al-Qaida.
For example, Hayes reported that the official Babylon Daily Political Newspaper, published by Saddam Hussein's son, cited 600 prominent Iraqis in its Nov. 14, 2002 edition, including "Abid Al-Karim Muhamed Aswod, intelligence officer responsible for the coordination of activities with the Osama bin Laden group at the Iraqi embassy in Pakistan."
In January, 2000, an Iraqi agent, operating from the Iraqi embassy in Maylasia greeted two of the 9/11 hijackers at the Kuala Lumpur airport, and escorted them to a meeting with other 9/11 conspirators. The airport greeting is recorded on videotape. No one knows what was discussed in the four-day meeting, but my guess is that they didn't discuss the upcoming Super Bowl.
And, don't forget that the Czech government has not backed away from its claim that 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with an Iraqi agent in Prague in April 2001.
This is but a small sampling of the evidence presented by these two excellent writers. Read the articles for much more.
According to the Bush administration, this evidence does not conclusively prove the connection. But, the evidence certainly proves a one in a hundred chance, and the majority of Americans know it. I hope.
John Fogle, a Times-News community columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on the first Friday of the month.
TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs
posted on 11/07/2003 7:39:18 AM PST
posted on 11/07/2003 8:11:07 AM PST
by Congressman Billybob
(www.ArmorforCongress.com Visit. Join. Help. Please.)
Nice to see the explaination of probability and severity in such a simple way. Bush has explained that we western nations have done nothing for 60 years but allow these creeps to preach hatred of us in their places of worship. it is high time to take a different stand and we have.
What is the probability that they will change their ways if we do nothing? Zip. Zero chance. Thats why doing what we can is so much more satisfying.
posted on 11/07/2003 8:13:19 AM PST
(Sailing the highways of America, and loving it.)
I'd trade every self-esteem class in the public school system for one mandatory-pass class in formal logic.
posted on 11/07/2003 8:23:59 AM PST
(Tyrannosaurus Lex, unapologetic carnivore)
"This is the nature of the justification for war in Iraq."
So what's the justification for NOT attacking North Korea? I'd make the analogy that with North Korea, there are 90 aspirin and 10 nukes with the ability to hit cities on our West Coast. Forget any arguments of whether there are or aren't WMDs in North Korea....thanks to the appeasement policies of Clinton/Carter, there ARE 'nukular' WMDs there. North Korea is more of a threat and should've been attacked.
posted on 11/07/2003 8:25:11 AM PST
posted on 11/07/2003 8:27:07 AM PST
("Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." GWB 9/20/01)
So what's the justification for NOT attacking North Korea?
Hush. This is an exercise in logic, not reality. Thinking your way,
someone is sure to ask why the country most behind 9/11, Saudi
Arabia, isn't even on the enemy list. Can't have that.
posted on 11/07/2003 9:08:43 AM PST
"So what's the justification for NOT attacking North Korea?
Maybe they are a nuclear power. If we attack, millions would die. It could include tens of thousands of American soldiers. That would be one justification for not attacking them. It parallels the Bay of Pigs where Cuba was going to use nukes if we invaded. Our government didn't know they had them.
A second is that the same ends could be achieved through economic pressure. They're not Iraq and don't have oil to sell. So there's a chance economic pressure could produce the regime change with a smaller death toll. That's a second justification. It parallels the collapse of the Soviet Union.
posted on 11/07/2003 9:11:11 AM PST
"Hush. This is an exercise in logic, not reality. Thinking your way,
someone is sure to ask why the country most behind 9/11, Saudi
Arabia, isn't even on the enemy list. Can't have that. "
LOL! Good point. Ok, I won't say anything else.
posted on 11/07/2003 10:30:00 AM PST
Comment #11 Removed by Moderator
On the subject of trying a little logic:
Imagine that a rouge nation is suspected of developing WMDs. The IDEAL time to stage a preemptive strike would be the very same day that the WMD program has produced the first deployable weapon. That way, the physical evidence is there to quiet the Doubting Hillaries of the Left, and yet there would be no danger of a sudden attack on the USA or it's allies.
However, we don't live in an ideal world, we live in the REAL world. And in the real world, it would be almost impossible to know for sure the exact date that a potential enemy nation would make the transition from seeking WMDs to having WMDs. The CIA, NSA, NRO, DIA, etc. are good, but not that good. And it is very unlikely that a rouge state would tell us that they are in the act of proliferation. Indeed, given the recent historical record, you can be pretty sure that they will do everything in their power to keep us from finding out the exact status of their WMD program.
That means that the ideal solution is eliminated from consideration in the real world. Therefore, if a preemptive attack on exactly the right day can't happen, then the only other possibilites are: no attack at all, attack before the WMDs are operational, or attack after the WMDs are operational.
No attack at all means that a rouge state can possess WMDs, and potentially transfer tham to terrorists for use against the USA and it's allies. Given the huge amount of damage that even one WMD attack could cause, this alternative was found to be unacceptable by the Bush Administration.
Wait until after the WMDs are operational means that WMDs may be used against the US Armed Forces, which would result in enormous casualties. Given the huge amount of damage that even one WMD attack could cause, this alternative was also found to be unacceptable by the Bush Administration.
The only workable choice is the real world is to attack before the rouge state WMD program has produced an operational WMD. This prevents an attack on the USA and it's allies. It prevents an attack on the US Armed Forces. And it stops a rouge state from aquiring WMDs, and potentially passing that technology on to other nations. Attacking early is clearly the best strategy, and it will lead to the best outcome for the USA and it's allies.
However, preemption may also destroy the physical evidence that is needed to prove to Hillary & Co. that the attack was necessary. This is a political downside, not a strategic downside. It requires a President that is willing to subject himself to strident criticism from his political opponents in exchange for improving the security of the USA. Thank God that we have such a President now.
posted on 11/07/2003 5:47:26 PM PST
by the lone wolf
(Good Luck, and watch out for stobor.)
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