“Peace Studies”?

How does one ‘study peace’ other through the honest and rigorous study of history? “Peace Studies” per se may be trendy in certain academic circles, but has not an irrational yearning for peace (in a time of peril) typically been a gateway to war? History appears to bear this out.

Can ‘peace’ be attained through diplomacy alone? Diplomacy that involves a nation weak in military strength (or the will to use it) is a rather unilateral process that involves appeasement. Appeasement should have been discredited by the failure of Chamberlain et al to achieve the desired “peace in our time.” The only rationale for appeasement is one of buying time to build up military strength sufficient to smash the enemy.

Some saw the ‘containment’ police towards the USSR during the Cold War as a form of appeasement. It was not. While containment did not immediately free the ‘captive nations’, that end was eventually reached. Yet some in the hard left in our country faulted the actions of Truman and most of his successors as being provocative. The Marshall Plan, intervention in Greece, and establishing NATO were seen as being beastly to the Soviets. Former Vice President Wallace even made an abortive Presidential run that forever tainted the word ‘progressive’.

High-ranking military personnel are typically given advanced training in foreign affairs and these men may be the ultimate peacemakers, the ones who must direct the heavy lifting when the diplomats fail.

Advocates of peace at any price have always stressed the smarmy and sentimental at the expense of the rational. How many remember the phrase ‘what if they gave a war and on one came’? Wars are seldom ‘given’, with engraved invitations with an RSVP request to allow an invitee to gracefully opt out. How does one not ‘come’ to a war when an armed enemy invades? Perhaps the ‘cute’ question indicates the irrationality of many pacifists.

Some see ‘conflict resolution’ as an integral part of ‘peace studies’. On a personal scale, marriage counselors can sometimes resolve conflicts but all to often the battle is encouraged by attorneys living on the clock. When one of the partners to a dispute is less than rational, what resolution is possible? The demand ‘your money or your life’ is not an invitation to negotiate but the threat that both are in jeopardy.

This may be a region where the cute and the trendy merge rather seamlessly and where emotion trumps logic. The simplistic is often the domain of the simple-minded, those driven by wishful thinking. Some may have a sinister agenda and others may have the best of intentions. The road of good intentions does not always have a desirable destination.

69 Comments

  1. but has not an irrational yearning for peace (in a time of peril) typically been a gateway to war?

    The US attacked Iraq; Iraq did not attack the US.

    Can ‘peace’ be attained through diplomacy alone?

    The US invaded Iraq; Iraq did not invade the US.

    The only rationale for appeasement is one of buying time to build up military strength sufficient to smash the enemy.

    The US currently spends about half the world’s military budget, and has more force than any other possible combination of opponents. It has a technological advantage over every other country, has more nuclear weapons than any other country, has 12 real aircraft carriers to the rest of the world’s six.

    Advocates of peace at any price have always stressed the smarmy and sentimental at the expense of the rational.

    According to the US intelligence community, invading Iraq has made the US less safe.

    How does one not ‘come’ to a war when an armed enemy invades?

    The US invaded Iraq; Iraq did not invade the US. The US has not been invaded since the British. The US has invaded many other countries since WWII.

    When one of the partners to a dispute is less than rational, what resolution is possible?

    No WMD were ever found in Iraq.

    The demand ‘your money or your life’ is not an invitation to negotiate but the threat that both are in jeopardy.

    Iraq has not attacked America or killed US civilians in the US. The US has attacked Iraq and killed tens of thousands directly and hundreds of thousands indirectly in Iraq.

    The simplistic is often the domain of the simple-minded, those driven by wishful thinking.

    Saddam is dead. Iraq is not stable. Saddam is dead. America is less safe. Saddam is dead. Terrorism is increasing.

    I will grant you one thing about your spiel, though – it does provide a perfect rationale for Iran to pursue the means to defend itself.

  2. According to the US intelligence community, invading Iraq has made the US less safe.

    Hmm, no terrorists attacks on US soil since 9/11? Britain and Spain certainly can’t make that claim!

  3. Our activities in Iraq should be seen as just one theater in a global conflict that must be waged. History provides us with a rationale for fighting the war but few guideposts as to specific details. Apathy and appeasement are the greatest mistakes that we can make.

    We are dealing with people who epitomize evil. Violence is perpetrated for its own. Our internal weaknesses include an enthusiasm for instant gratification and an ignorance of history.

    We have a once-great political party radicalized to an extent never contemplated by former VP Wallace. Their Republican opponents have seemingly lost their way (at the top) in a quest for generic victories while losing sight of defining issues.

    Victory is the goal.

  4. Apathy and appeasement are the greatest mistakes that we can make.

    You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this: never spend 378 billion dollars you don’t have to wage a war of aggression against a country that is no threat to you!

  5. The US currently spends about half the world’s military budget, and has more force than any other possible combination of opponents.

    The build-up began when the Soviets threatened the world with communism and the U.S. did the heavy-lifting of the free world. Now, the rest of the world expects the U.S. to do its heavy-lifting whether it is humanitarian aid, bombing campaigns, or full-fledged wars. We’ve seen how the rest of the world handles its affairs when we saw the European reaction in Kosovo.

    Bitch about spending on the military if you want. But I’d rather we spent the money on the military than whatever idiotic social programs Democrats would waste the money on otherwise.

  6. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia

    A meaningless cliche. Japan is part of Asia, we “got involved” in a war with them, and kicked their ass.

  7. The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia,

    Our lesson was in da’ jungle in southeast Asia you silly goose, not in the desert in southwest Asia. The Israelis have been kicking butt there for decades. Besides that war was not lost militarily. It could have been won fairly quickly if the will had been there with millions less dead. You are proof of Art’s premise and you can’t even see it.

    I know you want to paint Iraq as Armageddon as it is the only game in town, it does not mean I need to buy into it. It is a dirty, crapy little war when put into historical perspective, which is why people get away with advocating surrender. It is however strategically vital. It also involves very real people giving the ultimate measure. We pay them no respect if at this time we run away because the angst some people internalize won’t let us see it on to victory. People made a case for fighting a half-assed war fifty years ago in a mountainous part of Asia, and we still are paying the price for that in oh so many ways.

    If America had signed a separate peace and appeased Japan and Germany there is a good chance J and Pho would not be allowed on the internet.

    People are always trying to co-opt the discussion because they have the energy.

  8. Pho said…

    The US currently spends about half the world’s military budget, and has more force than any other possible combination of opponents. It has a technological advantage over every other country, has more nuclear weapons than any other country, has 12 real aircraft carriers to the rest of the world’s six.

    You are most welcome Pho, no problem. In fact just for you Pho…

    Jack Nicholson (Col. Jessup): Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Whose gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinburg? I have more responsibility here than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago, and you curse the marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know. That Santiago’s death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And that my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. I know deep down in places you dont talk about at parties, you don’t want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honor, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then question the manner in which I provide it. I prefer you said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand to post. Either way, I don’t give a damn what you think you are entitled to!

    I could not resist. I do hope it digs as your anti-Americanism gets old. Oh, there are not six real carriers outside of America. The French can’t even keep their’s at sea. All the rest would not be a match for one Nimitz group now that British are getting out of the business. We spend as much as we do now in part because we have been carrying most everyone’s water for sixty years.

  9. I will grant you one thing about your spiel, though – it does provide a perfect rationale for Iran to pursue the means to defend itself.

    They better hurry!

    We are not responsible for your emasculation. You did the snipping yourself.

  10. Hmm, no terrorists attacks on US soil since 9/11?

    Wrong.

    Our activities in Iraq should be seen as just one theater in a global conflict that must be waged.

    Against who?

    History provides us with a rationale for fighting the war

    Which is?

    We are dealing with people who epitomize evil.

    The US has killed more innocents than Al Qaeda. Come to think of it, it has probably tortured more people than Al Qaeda.

    Violence is perpetrated for its own.

    Where were those WMDs again?

    The build-up began when the Soviets threatened the world with communism and the U.S. did the heavy-lifting of the free world.

    The Soviet Union collapsed in 1990. It is now 2007.

    Now, the rest of the world expects the U.S. to do its heavy-lifting whether it is humanitarian aid, bombing campaigns, or full-fledged wars.

    The rest of the world is deliberately setting up multi-polar counters in response to US power. Cf the recent China/Russian moves. The world expects you to act like a reasonable part of the world community – your “heavy lifting” is merely an excuse for engaging in dangerous temper tantrums worthy of a toddler.

    “never get involved in a land war in Asia

    Japan is part of Asia, we “got involved” in a war with them, and kicked their ass. “

    You didn’t get involved in a land war with Japan.

    Jack Nicholson (Col. Jessup): Son, we live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns.

    And at the moment, those men are Arab jihadists and terrrorists. The US is the biggest global threat to peace, and the fact that it is getting tied down and embarrassed by Al Qaeda thugs and Iraqi insurgents isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one thing, the more American soldiers who die in Iraq, the less likely it is that Iranian civilians will be murdered by another US war.

    We are not responsible for your emasculation

    We are not responsible for your confusion between nuclear weapons held by your country and testicles. Given that your country is famous for being inhabited by the fat, dumb and ignorant, it would appear that the radiation has made your collective balls wither.

  11. Wrong.

    Hmm, one nut kills an abortion doctor. And you compare this with guys flying airplanes into buildings? Must be a pretty safe place if that’s all you’ve got.

    Against who?

    Islamic fascist terrorists.

    Which is?

    Fight the war on their turf, not at home.

    The US has killed more innocents than Al Qaeda. Come to think of it, it has probably tortured more people than Al Qaeda.

    There are always civilian casualties in war. And when your enemy chooses to hide in civilian areas, there will be more. Of course, if you really believe the U.S.=Al Qaeda, then your problems are way deeper than casualties or WMDs.

    Where were those WMDs again?

    Didn’t you watch the satellite pics of the trucks leaving Iraq? I guess that was more baby milk leaving the country.

    The Soviet Union collapsed in 1990. It is now 2007.

    Yes, your snide remark was about why we have so much larger a military presence than other countries and I told you where it came from. Now, we also have seen what happened to the so-called “peace dividend” when those peace-lovin’ Democrats started dismantling the military in the 1990s. Of course, we got attacked repeatedly and didn’t have the best equipment but, hey, letting our military rot really made the world like and respect us!

    The rest of the world is deliberately setting up multi-polar counters in response to US power.

    Actually, only countries which have traditionally been enemies with us. Which they probably should fear us.

  12. It can be argued that the US made a wrong turn in the war against Islamic fascism when we invaded Iraq, but that argument has little to do with Art’s original.

    “Peace Studies” are based on the rather quaint, extremely ego-centric (or perhaps ethno-centric) Western notion that everybody thinks just like we do.

    Well, if everybody thought just like we do, the Arab-Israeli problem would have been solved long ago, because all sides would have seen the great Western wisdom in simply recognizing the situation as it stood, and splitting the differences. It hasn’t been solved precisely because the Arabs don’t accept Western thinking, and are as yet unwilling to admit defeat and accept and recognize Israel in exchange for the land outside of Israel’s pre-1967 borders, perhaps slightly adjusted.

    Appeasement is precisely the right word, because the Munich agreement was such a blatant example of it. Neville Chamberlain made very democratic European assumptions about the sanctity of diplomatic agreements and tried to pigeonhole Adolf Hitler into a category he knew and understood. Mr Chamberlain was concerned with avoiding another bloody European war, and thought that Der Führer could simply be bought off.

    It turned out that Adolf Hitler was completely outside of Prime Minister Chamberlain’s ethno-centric paradigms, and he was not a man with whom he could “do business.”

    The Peace Studies people pretty much fall into the same intellectual trap. They simply know that their ways and ideas and belief in peaceful resolution of conflicts are so superior that everyone will come to see the simple logic of their positions; that some (such as Hamas) would still prefer military victory is simply beyond them.

  13. You fell victim to one of the classic blunders! The most famous is never get involved in a land war in Asia, but only slightly less well-known is this:… “never mess with a Cicilian when death is on the line” (or something like that)

  14. Abortion-related violence is most frequently committed by anti-abortion activists in the United States, against individuals and organizations that provide abortion.

    That’s rich. Actually, “abortion-related violence” is most frequently committed against defenseless little human beings who can’t fight back.

  15. And at the moment, those men are Arab jihadists and terrrorists. The US is the biggest global threat to peace, and the fact that it is getting tied down and embarrassed by Al Qaeda thugs and Iraqi insurgents isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For one thing, the more American soldiers who die in Iraq, the less likely it is that Iranian civilians will be murdered by another US war.

    Now that’s really, really rich. Yes, we are such a threat to world peas.

  16. Phoenician in a time of Romans said…

    the more American soldiers who die in Iraq, the less likely it is that Iranian civilians will be murdered by another US war.

  17. Pho, you get your flanks torn a bit and the pain that caused makes your true colors show. My comment was said in jest.

  18. Dana said…

    It can be argued that the US made a wrong turn in the war against Islamic fascism when we invaded Iraq, but that argument has little to do with Art’s original.

    I agree, I pointed out that the shrill always co-opt the discussion. Art knows this too and bets could have been taken on how quickly things would shift.

    I would like to hear the arguement from you that Iraq was a “wrong turn” if you have time.

  19. It is curious that a person would somehow show an affinity for the Phoenicians. They were a asty lot, and taught the Romans about the technique of crucifixion. They were also big on infant sacrifice. Nice bunch.

    Rome had some shorticomings but what did we inherit of value from the Phoenicians?

    Does anyone remember the cartoonist Kliban (the cat cartoon guy)and his work? THere was one that showed to armed men in ancient garb. The one with light hair was glaring at the dark haired man and sying: “Look, I’m a Scythian and don’t have to take any crap off a lousy Phoenician”.

  20. The US is the biggest global threat to peace

    What a load of Left Wing drivel. This rant resembles something you’d expect to hear from some snot-nosed 20 year old majoring in Marxism with a minor in International Resentment. Do us all a favor and please grow up …

  21. “The US is the biggest global threat to peace”

    What a load of Left Wing drivel.

    Thank you for helping to confirm the stereotype of Americans as fat, dumb and ignorant.

  22. Harry: Actually, “abortion-related violence” is most frequently committed against defenseless little human beings who can’t fight back.

    It’s very sweet of you to express such concern for the women who are attacked going into and out of health clinics, but I think it’s a little patronizing to refer to them as “defenseless little human beings”. Doctors, nurses, and other clinic staff are also attacked.

    (I guessed if anyone identified the Princess Bride quote, it would be you.)

  23. Babies are not the direct targets of abortion terrorism in the US, though, obviously, attacking mothers – as pro-lifer terrorists do – means babies will often suffer as indirect targets.

  24. Harry was talking about babies being the victims of abortion violence. After all, killing babies is about as violent against innocent life as it gets.

  25. What a load of Left Wing drivel.

    Thank you for helping to confirm the stereotype of Americans as fat, dumb and ignorant.

    I can’t speak for anyone else, but personally, I’m “fat, dumb and happy. To suggest that I’m both dumb and ignorant, well that would be … redundant, or superfluous, or something.

    I will point out that your assertion that “the US is the biggest global threat to peace” is not demonstrated by your citation. Now if you had opined that there is a global perception demonstrated by polling that the US is a threat to world peas, then perhaps you’d have a point.

    (I guessed if anyone identified the Princess Bride quote, it would be you.)

    Thank you. I’ll take that as a compliment. BTW, I’m of the opinion that not only is it wrong to “attack” people entering any kind of clinic, but that even from a pragmatic viewpoint, it’s counter productive in that it confirms what I believe are innaccurate stereotypes and it reduces the potential for dialogue.

  26. After all, killing babies is about as violent against innocent life as it gets.

    Abortion isn’t violence against innocent life: it’s terminating an unwanted pregnancy. If the fetus could survive outside the uterus, and was deliberately killed, that would be different. (Which is why, for all your bloviating, the decision-making process for the mother and her physician is different in the third trimester. Who makes the decision, however, does not change.)

    Violence against innocent life would be when a pro-lifer kills a doctor for performing abortions, or plants a bomb or otherwise attacks a clinic where abortions are performed.

    Harry: I’ll take that as a compliment.

    The Princess Bride is on my list of Favourite Movies Ever.

    BTW, I’m of the opinion that not only is it wrong to “attack” people entering any kind of clinic, but that even from a pragmatic viewpoint, it’s counter productive in that it confirms what I believe are innaccurate stereotypes and it reduces the potential for dialogue.

    I’m not quite sure how the actual presence of pro-lifers attacking patients and staff entering a clinic can be an inaccurate stereotype. Pro-life terrorism in the US is a real threat to health services. While obviously not all pro-lifers support terrorism, some do: while not all pro-lifers support verbal or physically violent harassment of patients and clinic staff, many do. And excuse it, because, they claim, these patients and clinic staff are “killing babies”.

  27. Violence against innocent life would be when a pro-lifer kills a doctor for performing abortions, or plants a bomb or otherwise attacks a clinic where abortions are performed.

    With all due respect, I think the “Kill ratio” is something like 10 million to 1 in favor of the abortionists.

    If an abortionist makes 5 kills in a day, does that make him an “ace”?

    If an abortionist makes a really fine kill, does he get both ears and the umbilical cord?

  28. Thank you for helping to confirm the stereotype of Americans as fat, dumb and ignorant.

    As I said, Left Wing drivel. Just grow up, please!

  29. Abortion isn’t violence against innocent life: it’s terminating an unwanted pregnancy.

    “Terminating” is just a more sterile word for killing, Jes. And, yes, abortion is violence against innocent life. You can’t get more innocent than those who aren’t given the chance to live.

  30. I wonder what sterile word the Germans used as they were “cleansing” Europe of the Jews.

    Oh, wait, I know! The gas chambers at Auschwitz had signs, to try and fool the victims to the end, that they were going for “disinfection.”

  31. And, yes, abortion is violence against innocent life.

    So is the use of antibiotics, Sharon.

  32. So is the use of antibiotics, Sharon Pho

    How is the use of a substance to destroy harmful flora comparable to the termination of innocent human life?

    This claim of the character who seems to have an affinity for ancient baby-killers may the ultimate admission of irrationality.

  33. How is the use of a substance to destroy harmful flora comparable to the termination of innocent human life?

    The original quote: “And, yes, abortion is violence against innocent life“.

    So you’re changing the goal-posts when the problem with your comment is pointed out.

    But consider a blood sample – this kills innocent human life. After all, are not red blood cells just as human as a fertilised egg?

  34. After all, are not red blood cells just as human as a fertilised egg?

    No. Not from the viewpoint of DNA content. A “fertilized egg” as you put it has at the very least the potential to become an entire human being, while, unless I’m mistaken, a red blood cell only has the potential to continue to “be” a red blood cell.

  35. The original quote: “And, yes, abortion is violence against innocent life“.

    So you’re changing the goal-posts when the problem with your comment is pointed out.

    And this is called “quibbling”, or if you prefer, picking fly poop out of pepper.

  36. “Terminating” is just a more sterile word for killing, Jes.

    Early abortions don’t kill the fetus, Sharon. In the first trimester, terminating a pregnancy means removal of the fetus from the uterus.

    As the fetus is, in your view, an independent human being with the right to survive on its own, a first-trimester termination can’t be described as killing: it is only being denied the use of a woman’s body against her will.

    Admittedly, it then dies. But as it doesn’t have a cerebral cortex at that stage of development, it never knew it was alive: there was never anything there to know that. But it probably qualified as a Republican voter, so I can understand your sympathy with it.

    Harry: A “fertilized egg” as you put it has at the very least the potential to become an entire human being, while, unless I’m mistaken, a red blood cell only has the potential to continue to “be” a red blood cell.

    Correct. It’s difficult to clone from a red blood cell. A skin cell, however, has the potential to become an entire human being, so I expect all the pro-lifers making this argument to wrap themselves up in latex, head to foot, to preserve those little potential human beings from being lost as they flake off during the day.

  37. Correct. It’s difficult to clone from a red blood cell. A skin cell, however, has the potential to become an entire human being, so I expect all the pro-lifers making this argument to wrap themselves up in latex, head to foot, to preserve those little potential human beings from being lost as they flake off during the day.

    Jes, I have some level of empathy for your “pro choice” argument in general and I believe I understand your passion for making it, though as you know, I strongly disagree. I was responding only to the scientifically incorrect statement that somehow a red blood cell was equivalent to a “fertilized egg”, in that both are somehow equivalent “life”, and therefore the “pro-life” argument “should” be that both should be protected.

    I was not arguing for cloning. That’s another topic guaranteed to elicit strong disagreement, likely along the same lines as the current discussion. As for your suggestion that “…a skin cell … has the potential to become an entire human being…” I’ll have to disagree “in kind”. The “fertilized egg” naturally develops into a human being within a willing mother while the skin cell’s “natural bent” is nothing like that.

    The correction I’m trying to make is simply that “fertilized eggs”, if allowed to do what they do naturally, generally become human persons at some point (assuming they aren’t miscarried or succumb to “death” by other natural causes), while red blood cells, skin cells or any other kind of cells, absent medical or technical intervention, stay those things as their natural course. Simply, a baby naturally results from a “fertilized egg” while babies don’t natural grow from blood or skin cells.

    Additionally, “mom’s” red blood cells and her skin cells only contain her DNA while the “fertilized egg” contains DNA contributed by both “mom” and “dad” which is unique to it/him/her. This is a major and fundamental difference.

    Please note that I’m not trying to get into an “ought to” discussion here, particularly regarding the juxtaposition of “mom’s” rights to “baby’s”. I’ve already concluded that we probably have “irreconcilable differences” on the “ought to”, so my point is solely about the difference between a “fertilized egg” and “mom’s” other cells of whatever type. I emphatically wasn’t trying to say anything more and don’t believe that most “pro-lifers” would support cloning if that were the point.

  38. Admittedly, it then dies.

    Admittedly, it is killed. This “passive tense” stuff is just sophistry. Abortion involves the ACTIVE killing of a human being. Note the word “Killing”. This isn’t a miscarriage due to natural and uncontrollable causes, but the ACTIVE decision of an abortionist to give the death sentence to an unborn baby. For money, of course.

    The abortionist is, at best, a paid executioner. He deals, and profits, in death. He’s like a 21st century version of the slave trader, who profited in human misery and suffering. And you’ll note I said “He”. Most abortionists are men. Well, humans of the male species, at any rate. That alone should tell you something. Most women are, by nature, too kind and sensitive to murder another woman’s baby. Only a (subhu)man with Mercedes payments to make could be so callous and cruel.

  39. But as it doesn’t have a cerebral cortex at that stage of development, it never knew it was alive: there was never anything there to know that. But it probably qualified as a Republican voter, so I can understand your sympathy with it.

    That’s one of the most cold blooded “arguments” in favor of abortion I have ever seen. The baby is killed instantly, it’s not “aware” of feeling any pain or death, so who cares, right?

    Well, imagine the following scenario. You’re fast asleep, and some psycho tiptoes into your room with a shotgun, blows your brains out, and kills you instantly. Ooops, I guess that won’t work. They’ve banned guns in England. OK, some psycho tiptoes into your room with an axe, imbeds it in your skull, and kills you instantly. You were never aware the psycho was there, you felt no pain, you just died instantly.

    Now, how is that any different from the abortion scenario you just suggested?

  40. No. Not from the viewpoint of DNA content. A “fertilized egg” as you put it has at the very least the potential to become an entire human being, while, unless I’m mistaken, a red blood cell only has the potential to continue to “be” a red blood cell.

    Incorrect. Firstly, a red blood cell has a full set of human DNA – if you are defining “humanness” by DNA, it is as human as a fertilised egg. Secondly, with cloning, it also has the potential to become an entire human being – and if you are defining “humanness” by that potential, by what means do you distinguish a fertilised egg from an ovum and sperm?

    You really need to provide first provide a definition in order to get a coherent argument.

    The “fertilized egg” naturally develops into a human being within a willing mother while the skin cell’s “natural bent” is nothing like that.

    No, it doesn’t. Less than half of fertilisations result in any pregnancy that the mother can notice. The majority are expelled.

    Additionally, “mom’s” red blood cells and her skin cells only contain her DNA while the “fertilized egg” contains DNA contributed by both “mom” and “dad” which is unique to it/him/her. This is a major and fundamental difference.

    Why?

    Now, think carefully – the word “twins” is likely to show up soon.

  41. Eric’s last two comments show how the pro-life movement turned to murder and terrorism. I don’t suppose Eric himself has ever murdered anyone: but his argument appears to be that shooting someone in their sleep is no different from having a first-trimester abortion. You don’t have to move very far from there to justify the murder of doctors who perform abortions, and given that Eric refers to doctors as “paid executioners”, I suspect he’s already there.

  42. J wrote:

    Early abortions don’t kill the fetus, Sharon. In the first trimester, terminating a pregnancy means removal of the fetus from the uterus.

    As the fetus is, in your view, an independent human being with the right to survive on its own, a first-trimester termination can’t be described as killing: it is only being denied the use of a woman’s body against her will.

    Admittedly, it then dies.

    I’m out in the middle of the lake, when a man whose boat has capsized climbs aboard, thanking me for his rescue. I decide that I do not wish to allow him to use my boat, and push him overboard. If he drowns, I haven’t killed him; I have simply denied him the use of my boat against my will. He is “an independent human being with the right to survive on (his) own,” and all that he has to do is swim to shore, right?

    Now, if he can’t make it for some reason (water is too cold, he can’t swim, whatever), and he drowns, do you believe that I am completely innocent of his death? If my action of pushing him overboard is discovered, do you think the district attorney is going to say, “Well, he has a right to control over his own boat,” and just let it go at that?

  43. I’m out in the middle of the lake, when a man whose boat has capsized climbs aboard, thanking me for his rescue. I decide that I do not wish to allow him to use my boat, and push him overboard. If he drowns, I haven’t killed him; I have simply denied him the use of my boat against my will. He is “an independent human being with the right to survive on (his) own,” and all that he has to do is swim to shore, right?

    That’s a BRILLIANT analogy, Dana.

  44. Pho, please re-read my posting then feel free to argue with what I actually said in the context I actually said it.

    For example, you argued the following:

    Incorrect. Firstly, a red blood cell has a full set of human DNA – if you are defining “humanness” by DNA, it is as human as a fertilised egg.

    Of course a red blood cell has a full set of DNA but that’s not the point, and I didn’t attempt to define “humanness” by DNA. I simply introduced DNA to differentiate between the two. A red blood cell is functionally different than a fertilized egg in that the DNA within a red blood cell is the DNA of the host (“mom”) alone, while the DNA in a fertilized egg is a combination of the DNA of the “mom” and the “dad” rendering it fundamentally different than the DNA of the host. A red blood cell has “mom’s” DNA. A fertilized egg has both “mom’s” and “dad’s”. Therefore, I assert that the red blood cell is “alive” differently than is a “fertilized egg.”

    You then introduced a cloning argument to assert that the “potential” for life is equivalent.

    Secondly, with cloning, it also has the potential to become an entire human being – and if you are defining “humanness” by that potential, by what means do you distinguish a fertilised egg from an ovum and sperm?

    I’m not defining “humanness” by that potential. I also specifically excluded cloning in my remarks. And I clearly accounted for the fact that some significant percentage of fertilized eggs don’t implant.

    The correction I’m trying to make is simply that “fertilized eggs”, if allowed to do what they do naturally, generally become human persons at some point (assuming they aren’t miscarried or succumb to “death” by other natural causes), while red blood cells, skin cells or any other kind of cells, absent medical or technical intervention, stay those things as their natural course. Simply, a baby naturally results from a “fertilized egg” while babies don’t natural grow from blood or skin cells.

    You then offered:

    Additionally, “mom’s” red blood cells and her skin cells only contain her DNA while the “fertilized egg” contains DNA contributed by both “mom” and “dad” which is unique to it/him/her. This is a major and fundamental difference.

    Why?

    Now, think carefully – the word “twins” is likely to show up soon.

    It seems to me that it ought to be obvious why “this is a major and fundamental difference.” Is it so difficult to glean my point. Perhaps I should have been more explicit. Of course twins end up with the same DNA but it is still unique to the twins, it remains distinguishable from “mom’s” DNA, and the DNA in her red blood cells. And absent cloning or other “supernatural” intervention, the destiny for the “fertilized egg” is fundamentally different than the destiny for a “red blood cell”.

    Again: a red blood cell is clearly distinguishable from a “fertilized egg”, its purpose, and its “life”.

  45. Dana; I’m out in the middle of the lake, when a man whose boat has capsized climbs aboard, thanking me for his rescue. I decide that I do not wish to allow him to use my boat, and push him overboard. If he drowns, I haven’t killed him; I have simply denied him the use of my boat against my will. He is “an independent human being with the right to survive on (his) own,” and all that he has to do is swim to shore, right?

    This is a fair analogy with organ donation, yes: but I thought you didn’t like that comparison? Someone in need of a new kidney or half a liver is indeed a “man whose boat has capsized”, and, in fact, while the law permits you to haul him aboard if you like, he is not allowed to take your resources against your will.

    Now, if he can’t make it for some reason (water is too cold, he can’t swim, whatever), and he drowns, do you believe that I am completely innocent of his death? If my action of pushing him overboard is discovered, do you think the district attorney is going to say, “Well, he has a right to control over his own boat,” and just let it go at that?

    What the law says about rescue is that if you decide to rescue someone, you are then legally responsible, you are not morally obligated to decide to rescue them.

    So, if you’re out in the lake and you see someone drowning, you are not in fact legally obligated to try to haul that drowning person aboard. You may well feel morally obligated, if you know you can, but the law permits you to decide that if you try, it will just mean your drowning too. If you had your child in the boat with you, and the boat was already too low in the water for safety, would you haul the drowning man aboard and feel you’d done the right thing as all three of you died trying to swim ashore?

    Any advice about rescue – from the instructions on oxygen masks on planes to guidance given to lifeguards or mountain rescue teams – always says: You should ensure your own personal safety first. There is no point in both attempted rescuer and victim being put at risk. A woman who is pregnant, by this analogy, has a right to decide for herself whether she will rescue the fetus by continuing the pregnancy, or decide that the risk is too great and she can’t do it.

    A pro-choicer would argue that the best solution is (a) to ensure that fewer people fall overboard and (b) to ensure that more people are on the lake in good boats with lifeguard training.

    A pro-lifer is someone who would stand on the shores of the lake yelling at a woman in a frail kayak with a child already weighing that kayak down, that she’s a murderer if she doesn’t drag the drowning victim aboard, swamping her kayak, and taking all three to the bottom.

    Of course the analogy isn’t perfect: a fetus prior to 15 weeks has no cerebral cortex, and will never be aware of anything.

  46. Eric’s last two comments show how the pro-life movement turned to murder and terrorism. I don’t suppose Eric himself has ever murdered anyone: but his argument appears to be that shooting someone in their sleep is no different from having a first-trimester abortion. You don’t have to move very far from there to justify the murder of doctors who perform abortions, and given that Eric refers to doctors as “paid executioners”, I suspect he’s already there.

    Nice dodge, pal. You always seem to go for the jugular right when you’re losing an argument. You’ve attacked Dana’s religious beliefs in the past and tried to smear him as a “Holocaust denyer”. Why do you do that? Are you so mentally deficient you think this is the only way you can “win”?

  47. I don’t suppose Eric himself has ever murdered anyone: but his argument appears to be that shooting someone in their sleep is no different from having a first-trimester abortion.

    Go read my earlier comments. My “scenario” was simply to demonstrate how cold hearted your pro-abortion arguments are. Anyone who makes statements like:

    Abortion isn’t violence against innocent life:

    And,

    But it probably qualified as a Republican voter, so I can understand your sympathy with it.

    Really just doesn’t give a damn. It’s not that you’re pro-abortion that’s so offensive, but that you’re so flippant about it. What do you tell women who just miscarried, oh “But it probably qualified as a Republican voter, so no big deal, right?”

    You may not like unborn babies, and you may think they don’t amount to anything, but it wouldn’t hurt to show at least a little human decency and compassion for them all the same.

  48. J wrote:

    What the law says about rescue is that if you decide to rescue someone, you are then legally responsible, you are not morally obligated to decide to rescue them.

    While I’d guess that you aren’t that familiar with American law, that isn’t the scenario I set up. I had a man already climb into the boat — perhaps like an unborn child has already “climbed into” the womb — and the boat owner actively pushing him out. That is far more consistent with what an abortion is than your ridiculous forced kidney transplant notion.

    The closest your transplant scenario would come would be to a barrier method of contraception, and even that is pretty strained.

    It’s really amazing the hoops through which the pro-abortionists must jump, and how they must contort reason. To you, abortion isn’t killing an unborn child; it is simply moving him to another location, and if he can’t survive in that other location, well, that’s his problem. I suppose that most of the Schutzstaffel guards didn’t really murder the Jews; they simply moved them into another room. There were really only a few who dropped the Zyklon B cannisters, right?

  49. Eric wrote:

    Nice dodge, pal. You always seem to go for the jugular right when you’re losing an argument. You’ve attacked Dana’s religious beliefs in the past and tried to smear him as a “Holocaust denyer”. Why do you do that? Are you so mentally deficient you think this is the only way you can “win”?

    She still didn’t win, Eric. Jesurgislac really believes the Lancet numbers, but few other people do. The responsible media don’t use the figures, because they are not supported by any other evidence.

  50. J wrote:

    But as it doesn’t have a cerebral cortex at that stage of development, it never knew it was alive: there was never anything there to know that. But it probably qualified as a Republican voter, so I can understand your sympathy with it.

    I’m indebted to ALa of Blonde Sagacity for that photo. It seems the young woman pictured at the left has claimed intelligence for her unborn child — the concept that her child supports abortion — but, oddly enough, she never actually asked her child, or if she did, he wasn’t in any position to answer.

    So, she arrogated to herself to answer for him. Certainly she is pro-”choice,” given that taking such a choice doesn’t threaten her life. Judging by her apparent age, her mother also had the same choice, and she is very fortunate that her mother chose the way she did.

    But her unborn child? It’s difficult to imagine that, could the child actually express himself at that point, he would actually be “pro-choice” — since, for him, that choice is between life and death.

    We are just so good at taking decisions for other people, saying things to the effect of “I’d rather be dead than [paralyzed, blind, have Downs Syndrome, just whatever the topic happens to be],” because it’s simply easy for us to say that when the consequences of such a statement are not going out and committing suicide. In most cases, it also does not include the consequence of having to go out and kill someone.

    In abortion, it really does.

    The young lady in the picture assumes that her unborn child has an intellect, because she assumes that he could support a political position of which he has never heard and is, as yet, certainly unable to grasp. She assumes a sentience — and she arrogates to herself a right to kill that sentient being.

  51. I had a man already climb into the boat — perhaps like an unborn child has already “climbed into” the womb — and the boat owner actively pushing him out.

    A fetus doesn’t “climb into” the womb, Dana. You need to study some biology. A woman becomes aware she’s pregnant: she needs then to make the decision whether to terminate or continue. It is that area of personal responsibility, analogous to rescue, that pro-lifers wish to get rid of.

    This disrespect for women is fundamental to pro-life principles: it has nothing to do with “saving babies” or preventing abortions, because pro-lifers never show any interest in doing anything to prevent abortions.

  52. Jesurgislac really believes the Lancet numbers, but few other people do. The responsible media don’t use the figures, because they are not supported by any other evidence.

    Nice try, Dana: thanks for giving another example of your Holocaust denier logic.

    What, ultimately, do the Lancet figures rest on?

    The personal testimony of the Iraqis who were surveyed.

    What, ultimately, does our knowledge of the people killed in the Holocaust come from?

    The personal testimony of people who were in the camps.

    If it mattered to you politically to deny the millions of Jews, gays, communists, union members, Catholics, gypsies, handicapped people, prostitutes, feminists, and others killed in the camps, you would do so using the same technique of lie, attack, ignore that you do in order to deny the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died because the US attacked Iraq.

    And you call yourself, ironically, “pro-life”…

  53. J wrote:

    A fetus doesn’t “climb into” the womb, Dana. You need to study some biology. A woman becomes aware she’s pregnant: she needs then to make the decision whether to terminate or continue. It is that area of personal responsibility, analogous to rescue, that pro-lifers wish to get rid of.

    Thanks for confirming my analogy, J: the woman becomes aware that the man has already climbed into the boat. He has already been rescued!

    You would have the owner of the boat push the man back into the water, where he might drown, and think that you were perfectly within your rights, and if he drowned, well it must suck to be him, but you certainly weren’t at fault.

  54. J wrote:

    If it mattered to you politically to deny the millions of Jews, gays, communists, union members, Catholics, gypsies, handicapped people, prostitutes, feminists, and others killed in the camps, you would do so using the same technique of lie, attack, ignore that you do in order to deny the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died because the US attacked Iraq.

    J, you really ought to stop lying about people.

    The Holocaust was real, with literally tons of evidence to support it. There are pictures, there are survivors, there are the ashes left from the crematoria, there is the testimony, there are the documents, all of the things necessary to prove that it happened. We might not know the precise number (the generally agreed figure is six million), but we know that we are reasonably close with the estimate.

    The Lancet figures have no supporting evidence. There are no graves to match the numbers purported (since crematoria aren’t used, we aren’t looking for ashes), there are no reports from other sourcs which come anywhere close to the numbers predicted by the Lancet study, and no one (of any real responsibility) any longer takes the study seriously.

    Yeah, there have been way too many people killed by the war, and even one is one too many. The UN provides estimates, every month, and those estimates are nowhere close to the Lancet figures.

    But there were people being murdered by the Ba’ath Party regime every day in Iraq, so the death toll was not zero before the invasion.

    Is it possible that the Lancet figures are reasonably correct? I suppose so — if, for some reason, no one has yet seen the piles and piles of corpses, and if, for some reason, the journalists, from all over the world, many of whom do not support American policy in any way, have never, not even once, seen a day in which the average number of war casualties required to support the Lancet numbers, had occurred.

    Why is that, J?

  55. J wrote:

    If it mattered to you politically to deny the millions of Jews, gays, communists, union members, Catholics, gypsies, handicapped people, prostitutes, feminists, and others killed in the camps, you would do so using the same technique of lie, attack, ignore that you do in order to deny the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis who have died because the US attacked Iraq.

    And you call yourself, ironically, “pro-life”…

    Let’s assume that I accepted the Lancet numbers for a moment as being reasonably accurate; you certaionly do. That would mean, assuming that the same death rate from the war that the Lancet study predicted continued, about 800,000 Iraqi deaths since the war began, 3¼ years ago.

    That would be a terrible, appalling loss, we’d both agree.

    But, what if, in that same period of time, some five million people were slaughtered in the United States? Would that not be even worse, be many times more horrible?

    Apparently it would not be so to you, for you have defended the practice with diligence and vigor.

  56. The Holocaust was real, with literally tons of evidence to support it. There are pictures, there are survivors, there are the ashes left from the crematoria, there is the testimony, there are the documents, all of the things necessary to prove that it happened. We might not know the precise number (the generally agreed figure is six million), but we know that we are reasonably close with the estimate.

    And the casualties of the Iraq war are real, with evidence to support them. You deny the evidence, just as Holocaust deniers do.

    But, what if, in that same period of time, some five million people were slaughtered in the United States? Would that not be even worse, be many times more horrible?

    If you think that way, Dana, why are you so rootedly indifferent to preventing abortions? If you genuinely feel, as you’re claiming here, that having an abortion is identical to killing a baby, why do you so consistently argue against means successfully used in other countries for preventing abortions?

  57. J wrote:

    And the casualties of the Iraq war are real, with evidence to support them. You deny the evidence, just as Holocaust deniers do.

    certainly there is evidence of casualties in teh Iraq war; what is lacking is evidence of the number of casualties tha Lancet study claims. For that, the evidence is mostly negative, with daily reports of civilian casualties never coming close, not even once, to the numbers which would be required, on average, every single day, to “achieve” the Lancet figures.

    If you think that way, Dana, why are you so rootedly indifferent to preventing abortions? If you genuinely feel, as you’re claiming here, that having an abortion is identical to killing a baby, why do you so consistently argue against means successfully used in other countries for preventing abortions?

    But that’s just it, J, I’m not indifferent to them; I just happen to think that lowering teh age of consent to twelve and pushing contraception on kids too young to be having sex in teh first place is wrong, very wrong. The right way to reduce abortions is to make all abortions (except those to save the life of the mother) completely illegal, with the penalty for performing an abortion life in prison without parole.

  58. But that’s just it, J, I’m not indifferent to them; I just happen to think that lowering teh age of consent to twelve and pushing contraception on kids too young to be having sex in teh first place is wrong, very wrong.

    So you’d rather that a kid aged 14 who’s having sex gets pregnant and has to have an abortion? The Netherlands route of making it legal for kids to have sex and therefore legal for clinics to provide kids with contraception and advice, has meant that the abortion rate for teenagers is one-ninth what it is in the US. You think that’s “wrong, very wrong”?

    Plainly, you’re not just indifferent to preventing abortions: you’re actively against preventing abortions.

    The right way to reduce abortions is to make all abortions (except those to save the life of the mother) completely illegal, with the penalty for performing an abortion life in prison without parole.

    No country which has attempted to reduce abortions by making abortion completely illegal has succeeded in doing so.

    The countries which have successfully reduced abortions have done so while keeping abortion legal and freely accessible in the first trimester.

    But you think preventing abortions is “wrong, very wrong”…

  59. Nice try, Dana: thanks for giving another example of your Holocaust denier logic.

    More vicious personal attacks from J. It’s no wonder you’re pro-death on abortion. You don’t give a damn about a single human being other than yourself. All your pro-abortion arguments are selfish. It’s like “It’s MY body, and I don’t WANNA have to fit into oversized clothes, so let’s just NUKE the little bastard so I can go back to wearing this year’s latest fashions.”

  60. and, in fact, while the law permits you to haul him aboard if you like, he is not allowed to take your resources against your will.

    Translation: In Dana’s scenario, you are allowed to kick the man out of your boat, and leave him to drown. That is your view of life and morality. Where did you study at? The Adolf Hitler School of Moral Philosophy … ??

  61. comment lost to spam queue

    Probably because you were busy saluting Hitler (the King of the Pro-Death industry), and pushed the wrong button.

  62. Harry pleaded…

    Pho, please re-read my posting then feel free to argue with what I actually said in the context I actually said it.

    Yeah right, that will happen.

    Happy Belated Anniversary Harry!

  63. Thank you! After 33 years I’m thinking my wonderful spouse has at the very least qualified for nomination to sainthood. :-)

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