Friday, October 14, 2005

Baghdad Blackout

I just saw on the CNN that Iraqi insurgents have somehow managed to knock out power to most of Baghdad on the eve of the election. Apparently an electrical power was blown up in the north knocking out water and sewage pumps as well.

This may not be an inconvienence to Iraqi's use to such things but it may be quite demoralizing for Iraqi citizens. Besides, citizens should not have to worry about people blowing up their infrastructure every month or so and right before they go out and vote! Certainly raising more frustration about the dubious origins of this Constitution. That's not a functioning Democracy. Attacks like these undermine the legitamacy and credibility. I certainly will be frustrating to Iraqi citizens who want their lives back to some sense of normal. Something that has been gone since the start of this war.

If the Iraqi government can not even prevent the electricity from being knocked out then how do they EVER hope to defeat this insurgency?!!

---End of Transmission---

25 comments:

Zen Unbound said...

I would expect/hope that the Iraqis in Baghdad will properly blame the terrorists/insurgents for the blackout.

It is easier to bomb or cause mayhem than prevent bombings and mayhem.

I don't think that these terrorists are trying to frustrate voters or turn them agains the nascent government; I think they are trying to terrorize voters to deter them from voting.

Underground Logician said...

This should give the Iraqis good reason to vote!

Zen Unbound said...

I agree with that, UL.

Their nascent democracy is the only alternative to anarchy.

Underground Logician said...

James:

You have an enthymeme in your post. The hidden premise you want us to assume to be true for developing a democracy is that all constitutions that cause violence are bad, which the converse would also be true, all constitutions that cause peace are good. So here's your argument:

Major: All constitutions that cause violence are bad.

Minor: Iraq's constitution is causing violence.

Conclusion: Iraq's constitution is bad.(or as you insinuated, "there's a problem here")

This argument is valid, but is it true? For it to be true, you need true premises.

So the first one, all constitutions that cause violence are bad...this doesn't take into consideration that there are bad people who's agenda's would be thwarted by a good constitution. Say a constitution would put law and order in place so drug lords lose business. These drug lords are not be in favor of this constititution and create violence to dissuade the people from supporting it. Does'nt this mean the constitution is good and the drug lords are bad? Conversely, if a people didn't want any trouble from these drug lords draft a constitution that allows the government to turn a blind eye to the drug lord's activity, and the drug lord is in favor of it, then he refrains from violence and maintains peace. Doesn't this mean then that the constitution is bad and the drug lords are bad even though there is peace?

James, your rhetoric is inflammatory, but your logic in it is non-existant. You are guilty of the fallacy of false causes. The violence that has been erupting in Iraq is because terrorists can't afford to lose their grip on Iraq's territory. You mistakenly or, perhaps deliberately, place blame on the process, which points to Bush. You are raping the truth, my friend. You may enjoy how it feels, but you are also hurting others and yourself in the process of spreading these vicious falsehoods.

It is always easy and cheap to use rhetoric to achieve certain ends without logic. You will always have numbskulls who will pat you on the back because of it. On the other hand, if you pursue the truth at all costs in your rhetoric, these numbskulls will stab you in the back. I say damn what the numbskulls think and pursue the truth at all costs.

Think about it, James.

james said...

Well, it looks like there is little to no violence so far and that is a GREAT sign.

Underground Logician said...

Yes. Kuddos to the Iraqis for their bravery!

James said...

UL:

Gee, thanks for telling me my opinion and arguement. Why should I bother to even think for myself when you can just hand it too me.

The problem that I see with your arguement is that you see things as black and white. Extremes I think a more honest approach is to see foreign policy as shades of grey.

I think you are making some major assumptions in my opinons that I somehow want/like to see violence in Iraq. This is absurd and I take great offense that you would assume such a thing.

I do not for a minute believe that all Constitutions that cause violence are bad. That would be absurd. I am simply saying that having a Constitution does not mean that violence will end. I don't think that you can make the conclusion by this statement that I believe all Constitutions developed around violence are bad.

That's putting words in my mouth and you know it.

And raping the truth? What kind of claim is that?? Do you really have to use the word "raping?" Again, I take great offense here as I would never, EVER engage in the "raping" of anything.

Even if you're charge that I am using "cheap rhetoric is true, do you believe that you aren't doing the same?

I think that I try to pursue the truth in everything that I post.

Sometimes I achieve it and sometimes I probably do not but again, I do not accept your black and white stamp upon my logic.

I'd also appreciate if you wouldn't call my friends on here "numbskulls."

Now you think about that.

Underground Logician said...

As I had expected, you make insinuations about the democratic process in Iraq, and when I call you on it, you implode. Maybe you don't understand the methods you are so apt to use. Do you know what an enthymeme is? It's an arugment that has a hidden premise, and is very common to use when there is a need to abreviate an argument. However, it is also used rhetorically to "slide" a premise into the discussion without identifying it.

Just because the Iraqis suffer violence doesn't mean there is something hiddenly wrong within the process. The obvious thing is that Iranian, Syrian, Jordanian, and Saudi terrorists have flooded Iraq to upend the democratic process. Your inflammatory rhetoric ought to be nailed for what it is, senseless!

I am confident you have no INTENT to "rape" the truth, but you borrow rhetorical methods from others who do just that, thus you accomplish the same thing. In your efforts to use these methods, you bring reproach on yourself. If you want to blog with the big boys, you need to ground your silly arguments, or you'll be mad at anyone who challenges your declarations.

As to your statement that I think you want violence in Iraq, get off it! I made no such inference. You charge me with this "Red Herring" in order to justify your anger towards me. You posted the comments, live with it and learn.
I'm outta here.

james said...

UL:

As for saying that I am "imploding??"

When someone is putting words in my mouth I am going to defend myself. Besides, I think that I have more then shown that I am willing to compromise. This does not mean, however, that I will not defend myself when I feel personally attacked.

I GRANT YOU YOUR POINT THAT: "Just because the Iraqis suffer violence doesn't mean there is something hiddenly wrong within the process."

I DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH CLEARER I HAVE TO MAKE THIS!!! I have already stated my point and you are making an inference that is NOT THERE.

I do not think that the Iraqi's should stop with the Constitutional process but I am not so naive to think that because they have a Constitution that they will not continue to suffer violence.

I also stand by my opinion that the current Constitution risks further marginalization of the Sunni population. Which, will only increase the possiblity of violence. You can not hide from that point or gloss it over with your attacks and "Big Boy words."

We all can come up with "big words."

The following quote sums up my reasoning behind why I feel this way about the Constitution:

"Despite many impressive characteristics, it risks doing the unthinkable—exacerbating the bitterness of Iraq's Sunni Arabs and thereby increasing support for violence among the 20 percent of Iraq's population most responsible for the ongoing insurgency."

http://www.brookings.edu/views/op-ed/ohanlon/20050902.htm

As for being angry, anger is not a weakness but a sign of strength when being confronted by a bully and you sir are acting like a bully in my opinion. There is a difference between disagreeing with me and insulting me.

As for "blogging with the big boys??" Who the HELL do you think you are??? Apparently you think that you are superior to me and that is part of the current Republican downfall.

crimnos said...

Keep Trollin’, Trollin’, Trollin’…

Oh, UL, you are the light of my life.

First, would you care to point out where this enthymeme is? I mean, it’s convenient that you can claim it’s there and then not have to prove it because it’s hidden. Debating you on the premise of what you’re saying is ridiculous until you provide proof that this is what James was saying. Until then, I agree with James, I think you’re putting words in his mouth.

I think the misunderstanding you’re having is that James is not saying the Constitution is illegitimate because of the violence, but rather because of the drafting process that has left the Sunnis out in the cold. If you’re not misunderstanding, then you’re just being deliberately obtuse, because James never drew the conclusion you claimed.

As for the numbskulls bit, ad hominem, ad hominem, ad hominem. You’re not helping your position.

Underground Logician said...

Crimnos and James:

I agree with you. The term numbskulls crosses the line. I was wrong to put it in. I should have used the term "irrational and manipulative rhetoricians." I was wrong to assume you didn't know what you were doing. Apparently you do know what you're doing. Numbskulls don't have that mental capacity.

As to putting words in James mouth, I will not apologize. I can't be sorry for what I didn't do. Look at the premises that are implied, but not identified in the following...

James said: "Besides, citizens should not have to worry about people blowing up their infrastructure every month or so and right before they go out and vote!"

Should not have to worry? Why? Is there something in the process or in the constitution that needs to change? I agree, we ought not have this kind of threat to our infrastructure, but do we assume that the problem is only with the process, or in the finished product, Crimnos? Or, did I miss something? Did James refer to the need for the Iraqis to destroy the terrorist threat? James, help me here.

James said: "Certainly raising more frustration about the dubious origins of this Constitution."

Aha! I was right! It IS the constitution that's at fault! I don't need your help, James. Okay, so I am right. James, you are putting the cause of the violence on the "dubious origins," right? Now as to who's involved in these dubious origins, you don't say. Can you tell me, James, what you're presupposing here?

James said: "That's not a functioning Democracy. Attacks like these undermine the legitamacy and credibility."

So this violence is a sign that this thing we call a constitutional process is not a functioning democracy. Am I getting this straight? How so? As to the credibility, credibility of what? The constitutional process, right? Or are you suggesting the credibility of the Iraqis commitment to annihilate the enemy?

My previous comments are not out of line, men. My argument places the onus on the goodness or the badness of constitution directly, and on the United States indirectly. It is what you do too, James, only you don't actually "say" it in logical language. You sneak it in. Then when you're caught, you cry foul.

You just want to say what ever the hell you want and then find some shred of justification when your dubious methods are discovered.

I'm finished. You may talk amongst yourselves.

Anonymous said...

Iranian, Syrian, Jordanian, and Saudi terrorists have flooded Iraq to upend the democratic process.

You forgot to name the ameriKKKan terrorists trying to control force a "democratic" process.

Anonymous said...

nice blog!

james said...

UL:

This is starting to get silly. Debating with you is like trying to find a corner in a round room.

You spin so much that I need advil just to read your posts. You asked me a bunch of questions and then (I assume) leave the post.

How convenient for you. All the same I am going to address your questions:

UL said:

James said: "Besides, citizens should not have to worry about people blowing up their infrastructure every month or so and right before they go out and vote!"

UL said,

"Should not have to worry? Why? Is there something in the process or in the constitution that needs to change?"

James's response: " Yes, there is something that needs to change in the process. The Shia and Kurd domination needs to COMPROMISE with the Sunni and bring them more into the Constitution."

UL said:

"I agree, we ought not have this kind of threat to our infrastructure, but do we assume that the problem is only with the process, or in the finished product, Crimnos?"

(James's response: No, there is no black and white issue here. There are problems with the process AND violence).

UL said:

"Or, did I miss something? Did James refer to the need for the Iraqis to destroy the terrorist threat? James, help me here."

(James's response: I may not have directly refered to the need for the Iraqi's to destroy the terrorist threat but it is there.

In me saying that:

"That's not a functioning Democracy. Attacks like these undermine the legitamacy and credibility (James: by this I mean that the Iraqi military is incapable of fighting back on these attacks and not being able to keep the lights on is not exactly a "functioning Democracy." This undermines the legitamacy and the credibility of the government because as I said, If you can not even keep the lights on then how do you expect to have a chance in defeating the insurgency that is showing the weak state of the government and any Constitution put forward. If you are living in a civil war then a document saying you have Democracy is not going to be able to defend anyone. This is what I meant and I figured it was clear."

UL said, James said:

"certainly will be frustrating to Iraqi citizens who want their lives back to some sense of normal. Something that has been gone since the start of this war."

(James: Again, in this sentence I am implying a government who can not beat the insurgents by themselves and are thus a weak Democracy in name only).

"If the Iraqi government can not even prevent the electricity from being knocked out then how do they EVER hope to defeat this insurgency?!!" (James: O.k., here I am now talking about the process. Like I said before, Democracy and national security, and foreign policy, are complicated shades of grey, not black and white as I assume you see it."

"James said: "Certainly raising more frustration about the dubious origins of this Constitution."

UL said:

"Aha! I was right! It IS the constitution that's at fault! I don't need your help, James. Okay, so I am right (James: See there you go again with the black and white. Never compromisng on ANYTHING just stating that you are always right without understanding exactly what I am saying).

UL said:

"James, you are putting the cause of the violence on the "dubious origins," right?"

(James: No. I am saying that is PART of the problem in that the government is currently weak and have created a Constitution that is weak and heavily influenced by the Shia and Kurds leaving the Sunni marganalized which creates more violence as the Sunnit feel more and more left out. Again, you have to realize that the issues in Iraq are not black and white. There are many problems here that have come together to create a dangerous environment that is out of control."

UL said:

James said: "That's not a functioning Democracy. Attacks like these undermine the legitamacy and credibility."

UL said in response:

"So this violence is a sign that this thing we call a constitutional process is not a functioning democracy. (James: EXACTLY!!) Am I getting this straight? How so?

(James: "YES!! You can have a document but without a functioning police force and military you are NEVER going to be able to defend and/prop up a non-functioning Democracy. Defense of it's citizenry is one of the most important signs of a 'functioning Democracy.")

UL said:

"As to the credibility, credibility of what? The constitutional process, right?"

(James: credibility of the current government that created this Constitution which I refered to earlier as risking more violence by sidelinging the Sunni. They had a great chance, the Shia-Kurd coalition to really bring in the Sunni to give more legitimacy to the Constitution. As well, as greatly reduce the Sunni violence by bringing them into the proces of a united Iraq, rather then a fractured, federal system that gives oil and autononmy to the Kurdish north and the Shia south but which leaves the Sunni fairly high and dry).

UL said:

"Or are you suggesting the credibility of the Iraqis commitment to annihilate the enemy?" (James: Yes, this is part of the problem as well. The left hand and the right hand if you will. The Iraqi police force and military have yet to show that they can annihilate the enemy on their own. And without the Americans their fledgling Democracy would be over-run and destroyed. Thus my reasoning that the current Constitution has no teeth without Americans and we can not stay there forever).

UL said:

"My previous comments are not out of line, men. My argument places the onus on the goodness or the badness of constitution directly, and on the United States indirectly. It is what you do too, James, only you don't actually "say" it in logical language. You sneak it in. Then when you're caught, you cry foul."

(James: No, this not what I do. Here again you are putting words in my mouth and making HUGE assumptions. You are only seeing what you want. I don't see the situation in Iraq hinging on one, soul thing or the next. There are several issues in play here and they are interconnected. I believe I have made this opinion and statement clear in my posts. It is not all black and white to me as you say it is. I cry foul when you put words in my mouth and try to spin things to mean something that is not true nor there and you know it).

UL said:

"You just want to say what ever the hell you want and then find some shred of justification when your dubious methods are discovered."

(James: I do feel like I can say whatever the hell I want. It is my blog after all and NOT YOURS and as much as you would like to hijack it. Dubious is in the eye of the beholder as I think YOUR attempts at trying to spin my words and are dubious and disengenuous. I may be inflammatory at times but so are you sir, I assure you of that. You are not unbiased in your approach and opinons by any stretch of the imagination."

Underground Logician said...

You know what James? I want to thank you for clarifying your statements for me. I do understand you more, and I can see why you would get irked with me. Yes, I did assume things of you that were not true, such as putting the blame on the U.S. for the violence in Iraq. It's clear to me now that you aren't.

As to how we conduct ourselves here, I don't want to interfere with what you say on your blog. I like the same freedom to speak my mind. As you just saw, I took that freedom and made a total ass of my self! I guess I have the freedom to do that too!

*LOL!!*

James, my mistake was I didn't give you the benefit of the doubt. I will do better next time. I apologize, James.

james said...

UL:

Thank-you for your honesty and for the apology. I am happy that I was able to clarify my statements for you.

I definitely am not putting the blame on the U.S. for the violence. I do not think that we should pull out right now but I am also very worried how long we will have to stay in Iraq.

I think, however, that we owe it to the Iraqi's to stay until their police force and military are strong enough to defend themselves.

Don't worry to much about making an ass of yourself as we all do that from time to time. Lord knows I have done that many o' times.

Yes, freedom to speak our minds is the greatest of freedoms in my opinion and I want you to feel comfortable on my blog to express yourself. I enjoy a good debate and I may not always agree with you but I respect you and your opinions.

Again, thanks.

Underground Logician said...

You are a gracious blog host. Thank YOU!

james said...

UL:

Thank-you and you're more then welcome.

Jessica said...

wow...that was like a drama on tv. It took me forever to read, and by the time I got to the end, there was no room to comment because it was over.

crimnos said...

Oh man, I'm sorry I missed the rest of this. I don't really have much to add, as James handled it ably. I do have to say that I respect your point of view and intelligence, UL, and am glad to have someone to debate every now and then. I especially respect you for having the courage to understand what James was saying and not continue to try to spin it. Much respect to you for that, and to James for keeping his cool and intelligently explaining his position. This kind of thing gives me hope for our country!

Okay, guys, let's all go ride bikes now! :)

james said...

Beers all around!!

Zen Unbound said...

The voters in Iraq have done their thing; they are through the inky-fingers part and on to the vote-counting part.

An interesting article in Slate, Tribal Ignorance is well worth reading, guys.

Let us hope that things will get better, fast, now -- even as reasons pile up that it won't and news reports come in that the US is bombing villages in Iraq.

james said...

Thanks for the article Tom. I too hope things will improve more and more.

andi said...

ok i only got to read part of this exchange, but i have to say how impressed i am with both parties for managing to reach a peaceable consensus. if we can work through differences and clarify arguments without taking them to ad hominem extremes, sometimes we find that positions are not so different after all.

or we can just agree to disagree.

the world needs a LOT more people like you.

james said...

Andi:

Thanks! I believe that compromise is a lot easier then we make it. It really is the only way that we are ever going to come together as a people and a world.