Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Mel and Me

I had a nice discussion at the gym this morning with my friend and PVBlog reader Mel. He criticized my presentation of only one side of each issue and of viewing all things through a conservative filter. Mel thought that being a scientific type I would want to analyze all sides of each issue. I believe that I do the analysis, but my posts generally reflect my opinions, not Michael Moore’s. I think that is the rule on most blogs, but wonder if there are any that are strictly analysis…. “just the facts Mam.”

Anyway, one issue that divides Mel and me is the Iraq war. I thought I’d try the purely scientific approach. Let’s see how it goes.

Against the war I think of the following points:

1. Iraq was not a threat to the US; there were no WMDs.

2. The UN sanctions were working to keep Iraq largely disarmed.

3. The war has cost the US too much, in lives, injuries and money.

4. The war has created terrorists and we are less safe.

5. World opinion is against us.

For the war are the following counter-points:

1. The world thought that Iraq had WMDs (they may still be in Syria) and that Saddam would give them to terrorists. He was funding suicide bombers.

2. The oil-for-food program had been corrupted by Saddam and by our UN “allies” (France, Germany, Russia, China). Iraq was re-arming, the people were not receiving the food and medicine and the UN was on track to remove the sanctions.

3. It is the heavy cost of defending America.

4. We are fighting and killing the terrorists in Iraq rather than in Los Angeles. A free Iraq will be a model for political reform in the region, the only way to reduce the threat of worldwide terrorism.

5. The people of Iraq and Afghanistan (about 50 million) are free, thankful and optimistic; Britain, Australia, Poland and several smaller countries are with us; France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and other countries are beginning to see that radical Muslims are a problem.

That’s what comes to mind. My conclusion is that #4 on the pro war side trumps all the points on the con side. Others could form different opinions.

Ok Mel, is that “fair and balanced” enough?

I wonder if my other readers prefer that style?

19 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since we are there .. we need to see it through

mynewsbot.com

5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Bill,
I like your blog the way it is!.. very you, and GREAT reading.. let Mel write his blog anyway he (she?) likes.

Mel, shsmell!

Karen

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

RIGHT ON FOR ME!!!!!!!

Rose

7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Mel and I are on the same page. I would like to meet him. Bill you are "nuts"... that is not scientific it's "wishful thinking on your part. There is no valid reason to be in Iraq at all. Yes, you are biased or brainwashed by the likes of Praeger, Rush, et al. Tunnel vision I'd say. Let Mel respond to your blogs.

Your friend on the left.
VQ

7:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Bill, after considering the against & for columns I have to say that, imho, we are doing what we should be doing. Those who think that Saddam was not going to use wmd's against us and the world at large, are the dreamers. He did have wmd's, he used wmd's -- that's fact. Where they are now -- who knows?

Back around 1989 or so I was shopping at Del Amo mall at a store called "Shoe Lord." I stuck up a conversation with a man who worked there. He was Middle Eastern. I asked him how he like living here, etc. and he said to me (I'll NEVER forget this) "We're not here to just live, we're here to take over." He was as serious as a heart attack.

I am not a shrinking violet by any means, but I was shocked speechless at this comment and vaguely smiled and walked out of the store. I decided I would never buy anything there and eventually the store name changed. I don't know if the ownership changed but I haven't shopped there anyway.

This is true whether the left wants to believe it or not. Terrorists are not here to make nice. They are here to take over. That's their life plan, goal, destiny (as they see it) and driving force. Living in peace to them means everyone living as they dictate and the destruction of Israel.

By the way, I would not be speechless in the same situation today -- you better believe it!

Dori

8:23 PM  
Blogger Ralph said...

Bill,
Leave fair and balanced to Fox. If Mel doesn't like the war, let him state his reasons.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bill:

Either style is OK with me...I agree that your reasoning on the Iraq war is much stronger.

Tom R.

10:30 PM  
Blogger pappy said...

With you Bill, lets see how the U.N. approach will work with Iran. As much as Clinton sending Jimmy Carter to North Korea did.

1:25 AM  
Blogger SactoDan said...

Mel should read the LA and New York Times, then come back to the BLOGS for the other side. We are the counter balance to the nut jobs on the left, and in California, there are more of them than there are of us.

Keep on writing!

6:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallelujah!

After a year of repetitive partisan whining, all of a sudden you write something intelligent and balanced about an important issue. Mel's a heckuva guy. It's like he turned you into an adult and increased your IQ by 50 points overnight. I'm also not surprised the rightie fruitcakes want you to stay nice and unbalanced.

I think your listing is OK. On the negative side I would add:

The invasion of Iraq has increased the influence and confidence of the extremist Shiites in Iran (a real threat rather than an imagined one). We're going to have more trouble dealing with that than we would have if we weren't mired in Iraq.

I hope you're right about not fighting in Los Angeles. The invasion of Iraq didn't save Madrid or London however.

Stay sane.

Tex

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Karen. Keep on being you, dad.
~Carolynne

9:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that some " overly educated " boobs believe that they must " think above " the rest of us lowly masses. It continues to reaffirm my belief that we are not being opposed by "Liberals", as we are, truly, the more liberal minded. We are being opposed by elitists. Therefore, and henceforth, we should stop being nice to them and quit calling them " Liberals ", which they are not, and call what they are: narrow-minded, holier- than- thou elitists.

Jim

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Mel said...

Bill, (from Mel of "Mel and Me")

I really appreciate your attempt to be “fair and balanced”. Keep that up and I would love to continue to receive your blog. I respect your right to express your opinion, even it seems greatly one-sided. However, my personal intellect and my scientific/analytical background naturally rebels against filtering issues through any fixed ideology (either conservative or liberal). I have found that few complex issues are purely black or white, and we must examine all the shades of gray in-between before coming to any kind of conclusion (if a definitive conclusion is even possible). Anyway, here are my comments in response to your recent blog:

Concerning the Iraq War: (the issue we probably disagree on the most).

STARTING THIS WAR WAS PROBABLY ONE OF THE WORST BLUNDERS IN AMERICAN HISTORY, for the following reasons:

1. The intelligence stating that Saddam still had WMD, and especially nuclear capabilities, was shaky at best. Over the last decade or so, the CIA has missed the boat on many intelligence matters, why would we trust them on one this vital?
2. Based on the British papers (conversations with the Prime Minister long before the start of the war) and other statements from White House insiders, it is apparent that President Bush had made his mind up to invade Iraq a year or so before the event. He then exaggerated the unreliable intelligence to whip up American fears and patriotism, and finally used it to justify the rush to war.
3.There was little or no evidence of any meaningful connection between Saddam and al-Qaida, and, moreover, between Saddam and the 9/11 attack (has Cheney given up on this one yet?). Even though Bush probably did not believe it, the 9/11 rumor was allowed to fester and add the perceived justification for war.
4. There was no significant number of terrorists or terrorist camps in Iraq before the war. Apparently there are many there now. Yes, the war has probably created more worldwide terrorists than it has killed, and we are no safer from terrorism because of the war. The war has become the rallying cry to arouse Muslin extremism, and recruit more suicide bombers. Plus we have pissed-off many of our important allies.
5. The war has been very costly in terms of lives and money. In addition, to the many brave American soldiers killed and maimed, over 30,000 innocent Iraqi’s have died. Is this to be one of those surgeries where “the operation was a success but the patient died”. Also, I think of all the domestic improvements that could have been made with those billions spent on the war.
6. The real threat in the Middle East is Iran, not Iraq. Iran will probably soon have nuclear weapons capabilities, which will be a problem far graver than any threat that was posed by Saddam’s Iraq. Why didn’t we invade Iran? Actually, the Iraq war has significantly diminished our military and political capability to deal with the more serious threat of Iran.
7. The war in Afghanistan was the right thing to do, but our military forces there were reduced too soon so as to support the Iraq war.
8. According to many of the Generals and other insiders, the war in Iraq should have required many more troops to secure and occupy the country after the initial combat. The administration seemed to have little planning for this phase, and did a poor job of securing Saddam’s conventional weapons stockpiles (which he did have in abundance) immediately after the initial combat phase. That is, the mistake of going to war was compounded by the inept conduct of the occupation.
9. The vast majority of the insurgents in Iraq are not foreign terrorists, but Saddam loyalists and other Sunni extremists resisting the American occupation and trying to prevent the establishment of a freely elected government (in which they would not have a controlling interest). What we are seeing now is more of a religious and civil war, which could go on for many years, if we stayed there, or not. Unfortunately, right now our troops are in the middle of this mess.

Bill, I could continue on with this for any page or two but I think this is already too long. I will draft a response to the other non-Iraq issues you discussed in your blog, in a day or two.

Mel

3:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mel

Thanks for setting this out. I agree with every word. I also admire your patience and politeness (!)

Tex

7:17 PM  
Blogger Bill Lama said...

I agree,
Mel is polite.... but wrong.

11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Which of Mel's nine statements do you dispute?

Tex

2:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah Bill. Which of those statements do you disagress with?

2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi my reazon to post here isnt the subject, but i m trying to find a person, that person may be worked in the same place mentioned in a post of an anonnymous poster, that said : "Back around 1989 or so I was shopping at Del Amo mall at a store called "Shoe Lord." ", well...that person is my brother, hi has almost 50 years old,and his name is JUAN CARLOS VEGA MANCILLA, he is chilean, he worked in shoes here in Chile, and in usa too, i dont know if he is still working in that mall, in the store call "shoe lord", (he was, or is a seller in that place).
My name is Rodrigo, and my e mail is GIGIOBERTO@HOTMAIL.COM, I BEG for some news of that person.
If that person who post this mesagge lives near of that place, maybe he or she could visit that store and ask for that person and send me news (fone number, adress, e mail, or somebory who knows him, etc).
I m writing from Chile too, i find this web page in google looking for the words "shoe lord", because that is the last picture with him working, and he send us that picture.
Please i just beg for some information to comunicate us with him. information that can have the boss or manager.
Thank so much.

7:49 PM  
Blogger FABIOLA JARA MANCILLA said...

HI IM LOOKING FOR juan carlos vega mancilla, he is my brother and i wanna comunicate with him.!!!!

he is chilean, but he looks like a middle easter person, may be he was that person who said (kidding) that the middle easter persons came to usa to take over, because i knew he worked in that store in the same time (1989)LIKE THE POST SAID:
"Back around 1989 or so I was shopping at Del Amo mall at a store called "Shoe Lord." this is the post that i find in this blogspot.
i think im lucky, but i need your help, somebody who lives near that store now can ask for JUAN CARLOS VEGA MANCILLA, to day is his birthday (50 y o) his mother miss hi so much and we are trying to comunicate with him. WE DONT SEE HIM ALMOST 20 YEARS.

GIGIOBERTO@HOTMAIL.COM

THIS IS MY MAIL, I BEG WHO KNOWS THE "SHOE LORD" STORE IN THE MALL DEL AMMO IN TORRANCE CALIFORNIA, I THINK IS IN THE HOWTHORNE STREET. I FIND THIS ADREES IN THE YELOW PAGES.

9:42 PM  

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