Responding to Walter
So, we have a reader, Walter, who advocates going toe to toe with the Chinese over Taiwan. In response to a single comment by me, he posts a couple hundred words tackling me and his perception of what I advocate or believe.
Below the fold, I tackle his comments. I’m sure they won’t make much difference, but it’s worth a shot. Maybe Walter will at least learn a bit about how to conduct a debate.
A beautiful example of how to make an ad hominem attack.
If you are so scared to support what is right because a Communist country threatens you then just continue to live your life and not care.
You conflate fear, “what is right” and value with each other in ways that they should not be. I am not “scared”, as you imply. Rather, I asked a value question. As did others on this blog. You refuse to deal with that and jump to accusing us of fear. Nice ad hominem, but it doesn’t deal with the position we are taking.
Do you think that prevented democracy from winning?
In case you haven’t read much of what I write, I don’t really care if “democracy wins”. Democracy is a means, not an end. The end goal is liberty, not democracy. Okay, now that we have dealt with your irrelevancy, on to your main points.
That didn’t prevent the U.S. during the Cuban missle [sic] crisis now did it?
You do understand that the Cuban Missile Crisis was a direct threat against us by a country directly hostile to us? This is significantly different than the indirect threat posed by China. This is an apples to oranges comparison.
When another country like China threatens you with nuclear attack, the United States should stand up, not run away. I do not think Taiwan is worth Los Angeles, but I do think Taiwan is worth supporting and defending against China, regardless of its threats.
This is one of the worst bits of logic I’ve yet seen. You make three contradictory statements one after the other. Which is it? Is Taiwan not worth Los Angeles? Should we defend Taiwan, regardless of the threat? Finally, we are not threatened with nuclear attack directly by China. This is not the same as the Cold War, although you are certainly trying to turn it into such.
Adam I am amazed to think you have no compassion for people who do not have the same right to self-determination as you do.
Who says I have no compassion for people in China and Taiwan? Just because I’m not willing to risk the lives of millions of Americans does not mean I have no compassion for them. In fact, I suspect I have much more than you. Rather than picking a fight over Taiwan, I want us to continue to promote liberty in all of China. You appear to be a traditional Cold Warrior without a Cold War to fight.
Just the fact that China is willing to nuke us should concern Americans.
Who says it doesn’t? Another irrelevancy.
If China actually nuked us, China would be obliterated. Seriously.
So, you advocate killing hundreds of millions of people in Asia and North America? Aside from that, what does this have to do with the value of the decision to support Taiwan in a war with China? Other than making it clear that there is even less of a value proposition.
I hope that you’re not saying we should just hang back and let China invade Taiwan should they do so militarily. Is that what you’re saying? Watch a whole nation get invaded?
What about my conscience if I advocate killing hundreds of millions in nuclear attacks? In fact, I don’t advocate what you imply. I just don’t advocate going to war.
I hope you can live with that on your conscience considering that Taiwan will at LEAST try to FIGHT against China should that happen. If a small island can face a big dragon (China), why is the eagle( U.S.) so afraid?
Completely irrelevant. Whether Taiwan is de facto independent, or not, has little, or no, impact on the safety and security of the United States. I am not the world’s policeman, nor do I desire to be.
But I must tell everyone that no matter what you all think, I have studied this issue and I strongly believe that the truth is that Taiwan is definitely a nation.
Uhhhhh, so? What does that have to do with whether we should involve ourselves in a military confrontation with China? In fact, just the opposite. We should consider how we can prevent such a confrontation in the first place. That said, since neither Taiwan nor China consider Taiwan to be an independent nation, how do you have the arrogance to declare the folks living there to be wrong?
I do not understand why people have doubts when it comes to Taiwan, maybe it is because of Bush’s blunders in Iraq. Maybe it’s because people are just plain SCARED of China’s military size.
Or maybe it’s because the folks who live in Taiwan consider themselves a province of China? Of course, you continue your ad hominem attack, trying to bully us by declaring we are scared. But, let’s ask a question here. Do I fear a nuclear conflict, OR any other military conflict? Yes, I do. The cost in lives, liberty and property is immense. When not fighting would result in a higher cost of the same, then I advocate fighting. I have yet to have anyone make a good case for such a position vis a vis Taiwan. You certainly have not.
A completely different story. Taiwan is already a democracy. That’s very important.
Ummm, why? And why is “promoting democracy” in Iraq less important? This seems fairly inconsistent to me. Of course, I don’t believe in democracy in the sense you do, nor do I believe it is the end to be desired. Individual liberty is the end I desire.
Does anyone support being against the violence in Darfur and notice the role that China has played in supporting the regime government in Sudan?
Oh please. You imply that, because I don’t support military conflict, I am somehow not against the oppression of Tibet or the genocide in the Sudan. What I am really against is trying to turn China into our new USSR. I am against creating a new Cold War. I am against the institutionalization of confrontation. Do I believe that China is an oppressive country where individuals are routinely tortured, imprisoned unjustly and murdered? Yes. Do I believe that the occupation of Tibet and the threat to Taiwan are wrong? Yes. Do I believe Chinese involvement with the genocide in Darfur, selling of weapons technology to countries like Iran is wrong? Yes. Then again, I’d prefer my country wasn’t selling weapons technology to Saudi Arabia, but that continues as well. Am I willing to go to war with China over these things. Not when all you can show me is ad hominem attacks, a defense of democracy that is rather silly, considering I’m not a democrat (I don’t mean the modern political party), and a complete lack of true justification for military confrontation.
I urge those who ask me such questions about Taiwan’s right to self-determination to look at how blessed you are to be an American before you have doubts about such a cause.
Another irrelevancy. Unless you happen to believe we have some sort of mandate simply because we live in this country? Are you claiming we have some sort of Manifest Destiny? How is that any different from the Bush Doctrine? It makes me wonder how you can oppose the Iraq War?
To summarize what I’m saying in response to you, I’ll leave you with these thoughts. At least you could use some sort of solid logic. If the most you can offer is this continuous set of ad hominem attacks, contradictions and irrelevancies then you really aren’t going to convince me of much. The fact that you must resort to such tells me that the case for military confrontation is unsupportable.
On a side note, it is this sort of thing, I believe, that Washington was talking about when he told us to avoid entangling alliances. Not so much that we should not become involved when it was right for our country, but that we should not allow others to dictate our involvement.