Talk:Project for the New American Century/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 5

May I just mention, for the benefit of conspiracy theorists out there, that PNAC occupies 3 offices on the 5th floor of the 1150 17th Street building. Keep that in mind next times someone writes that they're responsible for 9/11, the war in Iraq, etc.


There is no mention of the PNAC's involvement in 9/11 in the main article. It should at least include the fact that most of the members of the PNAC mentioned they needed a 'pearl harbor type event' to fulfill their plan, and many Americans suspect them of being responsible for 9/11. If you have other evidence that is not encyclopedic about their involvement in 9/11, I have a wiki for that, check my page. Conwiki 02:41, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)


I changed the wording since I think its supporters would agree (and in fact be flattered) by the term right-wing think tank.


I have serious problems with this -

"The September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks were said in a PNAC report to provide the new Pearl Harbor, described as the opportunity of ages [3] in order to justify the Iraq attack plans and US global domination to the public."

Firstly, the ZMag article that is linked to doesn't actually say this. It says they'd found a document two years ago (the article was written on December 12, 2002) saying :

What was needed for America to dominate much of humanity and the world's resources, it said, was "some catastrophic and catalysing event - like a new Pearl Harbor".

Obviously, if this document was written two years before 2002, they can't have described 9/11 as this event. Secondly, ZMag is hardly the most reliable source of NPOV information on American foreign policy. I note that there is no reference to where this document they claim to have might be accessed, although I have e-mailed them requesting further information.

I believe I've seen this on the PNAC website itself. I don't know if they have remove it, though. If one can find it, one should replace the links to the zmag website.

I'm not confident enough around here yet to edit it myself, but if someone could let me know if I should that'd be cool. I must admit to not being entirely neutral on this subject myself, but I believe I have uncovered a factual inaccuracy here. Thanks - Noung 23:14 4 Jun 2003 (UTC)

well, as it is, it isn't NPOV, b/c it makes a conclusion based on information, rather than simply supplying that infomation. Feel free to try to make it NPOV, just don't go overboard. Be critical of your changes. MB 02:00 5 Jun 2003 (UTC)


I agree. I'd say simply deleting the references to PNAC would be better than leaving them as is... or at least some comment about there being much debate and partisan disagreement about the matter. Under those terms, I think mentioning the PNAC would be appropriate and informative. As written, it's at best partisan rhetoric... at worst it is simply inacurrate and has no place in an Encyclopedia. DO - June 11, 2003


If there is a plan for the war in Iraq, a better reference is needed. The NPAC Rebuilding document doesn't have a war plan. Is having two bases in the area a war plan? --SEWilco 08:44, 13 Aug 2003 (UTC)


I think the relationship between PNAC and other organizations needs to be a little more specific than being in the same building. SEWilco 15:37, 24 Aug 2003 (UTC)

Also in the same building:

  • Citizens for a Sound Economy Foundation
  • American Fiber Manufacturers Association
  • Stroock & Stroock & Lavan
  • New Citizenship Project
  • The Churchill Center

Jones lists JEB as a PNAC founder, that's signif if true. Kwantus


No, the "Pearl Harbour" statement from PNAC's report doesn't "prove" complicity. But ask yourself this - why was that statement in the report? Was the author just letting his mind wander? Daydreaming? Everything gets written for a reason, so what was the author trying to communicate with that statement? Personally, I think that statement is extremely suspect. ManWithoutAName.

Why was the statement in the report? Simple. The authors saw a threat that was not being taken a seriously as it should had been. They saw threats to the United States going largely unchecked and unchallenged, becoming more sophisticated and more entrenched with each passing year.
It did not take genius to see that without virtually any proactive steps being taken to counter this threat, it was only a matter of time until a worse case scenario took place right under our noses. TDC 15:48, Apr 22, 2004 (UTC)

Rebuilding [sic America's Defences [sic] is a derivative of an earlier Wolfowitz US-uber-alles document, Defense Planning Guidance, leaked to the New York Times in March 1992, causing a minor ruckus.[1][2]


PNAC probably named itself from Luce's 1941 essay "The American Century" advocating US participation in WWII. There are similar the-world-needs-American-values-imposed-on-it tones. Even without that, there's some agreement that Luce invented the term.[3]

Previous user said that George W. Bush is a member. Haven't been able to find anything explicitly stating this.. Anybody? Rhymeless 20:20, 26 May 2004 (UTC)

Bush, Iraq and PNAC

There are changes going on that would delete the mentioning of the strong links of the Bush government to the PNAC, would call into question the obvious support of the PNAC for the war in Iraq, and would downplay the criticism of the PNAC by singling out "leftist" and "isolationist" critics. Please suggest a solution to these problems. Get-back-world-respect 02:40, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

(a) I suppose this sentence is not enough for you - With the election of George W. Bush, many of PNAC's members were appointed to key positions within the new President's administration. Or the fact that an entire section of the article is about this very topic? No, it has to be included in sentences even where it makes absolutely no sense. (b) If RAD supports the war in Iraq, show me a quote. I looked through the entire report and verified there is no such advice. I suspect you have not.
On page 8 & 9 of RAD is this suggestive passage: "Moreover, the theater-war analysis done for the QDR assumed that Kim Jong Il and Saddam Hussein each could begin a war perhaps even while employing chemical, biological or even nuclear weapons and the United States would make no effort to unseat militarily either ruler. In both cases, past Pentagon wargames have given little or no consideration to the force requirements necessary not only to defeat an attack but to remove these regimes from power and conduct post-combat stability operations." --John Tinker 00:56, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)
(c) "Singles out", you mean saying "particularly"? Are you disputing this? In reality, this understates the case. VV[[]] 02:47, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
a) The strong links to the Bush government are a substantial part of the criticism. b) It is obvious by all PNAC member statements that its policies were supportive of the war. If you disagree with this common knowledge show a quote. c) "Particularly" is ridiculous when practically everyone who is not on the extreme right criticizes. What about "a large percentage of the US population and an estimated 95% of all foreigners who know what PNAC is"? Get-back-world-respect 02:57, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
(a) What was said made no sense; a criticism of policy goals can not be that they are being implemented. (b) That's not what the sentence you are pushing says. (c) Your breakdown of the political spectrum is ridiculous - the PNAC "extreme right"? I noted groups most vocal, which is useful information. Stop just reverting everything I work on. VV[[]] 03:01, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
a) A criticism of a thinktank can include that a particular non-elected group has too much influence on the government b) I am not pushing any sentence, but the version you want makes it seem as if the PNAC did not support the war c) Groups most vocal in the US are isolationist and extreme-left? Is that a joke? Foreigners are not vocal because you do not listen to them? So are you an isolationist? I do not revert any useful changes you make. Get-back-world-respect 03:06, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
(a) Then write that, instead of reinserting gibberish. (b) You are pushing by reverting; my edit is factual, something you seem to care nothing about. (c) They are good examples of political positions with most vocal anti-PNAC adherents. VV[[]] 03:14, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I did not write any of this, just oppose tendentious editing of it. If you think information is slightly inaccurate correcting rather than removing it would be helpful. Get-back-world-respect 03:19, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
You are pushing this version with your reverts. That is not productive. Stop stalking me; I am improving the article, you are trying to wreck it. VV[[]] 03:23, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I am improving the article, you are trying to wreck it. is about as productive as "You are either with us or without us". At least we are without edit wars for a while now. Get-back-world-respect 03:31, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Protection requested

This page was asked to be protected because of VeryVerily's ignorance of the three revert rule and his refusal to back his actions with valuable argumentation, not even in edit summaries. Get-back-world-respect 00:33, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I see, and you are a distant observer of this lonesome behavior of mine? VV 00:44, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I explained my edits when I made them, back before you reverted them for the twentieth time. VV 00:45, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

You do not explain your reverts, you even restart revert wars that had led to protection last time at Anti-American sentiment and you refused discussion in the meantime, that is why you already made it twice to Requests for comment. But go ahead, explain us why "critics are leftist isolationists" is neutral. Get-back-world-respect 01:01, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

By "restart[ing] revert wars", you mean reinstating my edits that you had erased so many times it led to protection? Really, protection is not an endorsement of a particular version, so the fact that your version was protected does not mean it "wins" and that I will not repair your damage when protection is off. (And again you portray yourself as having nothing to do with the revert war.) If you have specific grievances with the text, you should focus on them instead of going revert-crazy. I already tried to adapt to your concerns by making alterations, but it did not stop your flurry of reverts, so I hope you'll understand that I have little incentive to try anymore. VV 01:07, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Thank you for replying so convincingly to my question why "critics are leftist isolationists" is neutral. Get-back-world-respect 01:18, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
And thank you for answering my question as to whether you are "a distant observer of this lonesome behavior of mine". VV 01:34, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
As I already told you elsewhere, unlike you, I have a habit of explaining my edits, and I ask for protection rather than revert ad nauseam. Do you think it is clever to evade a question by asking a stupid one yourself? Get-back-world-respect 01:52, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
As characterizing critics as "leftist isolationists" is clearly not neutral I insist the page must be protected from known abusers who ignore the three revert rule, refuse to discuss and rather personally attack others. Wikipedia:Requests for comment/TDC Wikipedia:Requests for comment/VeryVerily2 Get-back-world-respect 02:39, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
You have made this, well, not entirely intelligent comment repeatedly, with no justification. Nowhere in the text is there mention of "leftist isolationists", nor any of the other variations on this you have invented. I can only guess, since you appear to be literate, at why you failed to notice the and between the two words. To add to this, critics were not characterized as leftist or isolationist, but rather the text stated that these groups were particularly prone to be opposed to the PNAC's agenda, and indeed I think it's a good sampling of the most vocal opposition. Again, I am mystified at why you would say it's "characterizing critics as 'leftist isolationists'", since you appear to be fluent in English. (I haven't bothered to respond to this point till now because your claim is so absurd.) VV 04:15, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
The version you support is an obvious attempt to downplay and ridicule criticism of the PNAC by linking it to "leftist isolationists". It is also completely americentrist as outside the US next to everyone is highly skeptical of a "New American Century". Get-back-world-respect 11:36, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Your very first sentence betrays your failure to assimilate any of the discussion. VV 03:40, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Defense Policy Guidance

For unknown reasons, two dubious users repeatedly removed the following paragraph:

Another issue pointed to in support of the critics' position stems back to March of 1992 when an internal Pentagon report entitled Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) was leaked to The New York Times. The authors of that document -- Pentagon national security consultants at the time -- both went on to be members of the PNAC and key figures in the present Bush Administration: Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby. When the document was leaked, there was a massive outcry, and it was soon denounced by Democratic Senator Joseph Biden as a blueprint for ";literally a Pax Americana". (see Barton Gellman, “Keeping the U.S. First; Pentagon Would Preclude a Rival Superpower,” The Washington Post, 11 March 1992, p. 1.)

Please discuss this here. Get-back-world-respect 03:04, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

Well, one dubious user, I don't know why that paragraph was removed, since it was done by TDC, not me. I was largely staying out of that fray. Since you were just reverting on sight, however, I included TDC's edits when I restored my own. But it's not hard to see the problem with that paragraph: it is tangential to the topic, relating to only two members of the PNAC and not its official positions or actions. If anywhere, it belongs on the pages of the individuals in question. VV 04:10, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)
So you just prove yourself you were "reverting on sight". I check others' edits before I act on them, plus I tend to summarize my edits such that others get an idea of what I do. As the document is clearly connected to PNAC ideas I think it is worht mentioning. You would not delete the origins of the ANC from that article either just because some things that led to the creation of the ANC of course happened before it was founded. Get-back-world-respect 11:42, 3 Aug 2004 (UTC)

POV/NPOV dispute

Let's compare, shall we...

version 1

"Critics of the PNAC dispute the premise that American world leadership is desirable for the world or even for America. Supporters of the PNAC argue that the project's advocated policies are not fundamentally different than what have been long been proposed by other conservative foreign policy analyists, and that the PNAC is the target of unfair conspiracy theories.

The PNAC's harshest critics argue that it represents a broad, borderline imperial agenda of global US military expansionism and dominance. Supporters reply that the PNAC's goals are not fundamentally different than what have been long been proposed by other conservative foreign policy analysts, and that the PNAC is the target of unfair conspiracy theories.

Much of the basis for its critics' arguments is derived from the text of Rebuilding America's Defenses. PNAC critics suggest that portions of the document call into question the true motives behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Supporters argue that there are no direct policy recommendations about Iraq in the document.

Another issue pointed to in support of the critics' position stems back to March of 1992 when an internal Pentagon report entitled Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) was leaked to The New York Times. The authors of that document -- Pentagon national security consultants at the time -- both went on to be members of the PNAC and key figures in the present Bush Administration: Paul Wolfowitz and I. Lewis Libby. When the document was leaked, there was a massive outcry, and it was soon denounced by Democratic Senator Joseph Biden as a blueprint for "literally a Pax Americana". (see Barton Gellman, “Keeping the U.S. First; Pentagon Would Preclude a Rival Superpower,” The Washington Post, 11 March 1992, p. 1.)"


version 2

"Many, particularly those on the left and isolationists, dispute the premise that American world leadership is desirable for the world or even for America. The PNAC's harshest critics argue that it represents a broad, borderline imperial agenda of global US military expansionism and dominance. Supporters reply that the PNAC's goals are not fundamentally different than what have been long been proposed by other conservative foreign policy analysts, and that the PNAC is the target of unfair conspiracy theories.

Much of the basis for its critics' arguments is derived from the text of Rebuilding America's Defenses. PNAC critics suggest that portions of the document call into question the true motives behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq; however, contrary to many reports, the document contained no policy recommendations about Iraq."

Comparison

Well, first thing to notice is that version 2 is much shorter - version one is four paragraphs, version two is two. What information is ommited in the second paragraph? Is it factual, relevant, interesting, and important? well the first paragraph of v.2 is a combination of the first two in v.1 no ommisions, fine. the information in the fourth paragraph of v.1, however, is missing from v.2. this is an ommision. Is it factual, relevant, interesting, & important? It's factual. It's certainly relevant because it directly involves the PNAC. A leaked pentagon report? Sounds pretty interesting to me. Anyone dispute this? Important... A leaked pentagon report, pretty important, something controversial written by PNAC. hmm.. let's add two more qualifications here, because it looks like our test was too easy. Significant? yes. indicative? yes. Well then. This ommision is P.O.V. But that's not the end of it! By ommiting it, it appears that criticism is based on only one document, which is definitely dimunitive of the criticism, but, this, ofcourse, is untrue.

Now, let's look at the differences in the shared content. v.2 adds "particularly those on the left and isolationists," "particularly" - an interesting choice of words. particularly does not mean some of them are. it is stronger than the word especially. literally, it means that the critics are those and only those who are in the given category. bad word choice. not neccessarily intentional. we'll let that slide. but why are we making such generalizations? Can they be backed up? I'm a critic of the PNAC and an internationalist. Many conservatives, republicans, and conservative republicans, including those in congress, are critics of the PNAC. They certainly aren't leftists. This is fairly unusual. usual the two parties are split quite discretely in their views. Criticism is much more bipartisian on this issue than most issues. It is more significant that this criticism is as bipartisan as it is than it being purportedly stronger on one side of the aisle. This part of the sentence is misleading in a clear direction. P.O.V.

Now, let's look at the last significant difference:

  • v.1 states: "Supporters argue that there are no direct policy recommendations about Iraq in the document."
  • v.2 states: "however, contrary to many reports, the document contained no policy recommendations about Iraq."

v.1 is clearly N.P.O.V. it's factual, interesting, important, significant, & indicative. Furthermore, it's straightforward, and adds balance.

v.2 is false; not factual: there are no reports that the document contains policy recommendations about iraq. P.O.V.

Conclusion

In conclusion, after examining all of the differences between the two versions, we have encountered,

  • in v.1: no P.O.V. edits We have encountered,
  • in v.2: 3 P.O.V. edits: an ommission of factual, relevant, interesting, important, significant, and indicative information; a demographically misleading addition; & a false statement.

So, which is more NPOV? Kevin Baas | talk 23:38, 2004 Aug 4 (UTC)

discussion about POV edit number 3

All one has to do is read the damn document to see that there are no policy recomendations with regaurd to Iraq. This is a pretty black and white issue. TDC 00:12, Aug 5, 2004 (UTC)

I agree that "the document contained (sic) no policy recommendations about Iraq". This is not disputed. What is disputed is whether "many", if indeed any report claims that there are "policy recommendations about Iraq" in the document, as alleged by the clause "contrary to many reports", which misleads the reader into thinking that the critics' criticism is that the document contains policy recommendations about iraq, which is a blatent politically motivated distortion that is simply not true. Kevin Baas | talk 00:56, 2004 Aug 5 (UTC)

The fact is that vast numbers of conspiracy theorists have claimed that RAD promotes invading Iraq, and quote the "new Pearl Harbor" line out of context to link this goal to 9/11. (I don't even know where "opportunity of ages" comes from.) Look at the (absurd) zmag articles which used to be listed. Next up, you don't seem to know what the word particularly means. Another thing you should do is separate the wording in the earlier paragraphs from the question of the appopriateness of the "Pentagon" paragraph, as these are separate issues. I have argued, and TDC might explain his reasoning, that this is not relevant to the PNAC. Its only link is that this document was written by two people now involved in the PNAC, not much of a connection. One should stick to PNAC's official positions, which can be easily explained and criticized on their own. Of course, I made this point already, as I did about the "particularly" part. Anyway, if you're trying to defend GBWR's revert war against me, you haven't: the versions you note were not the two in the fight. VV 04:29, 5 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I agree that "the document contained (sic) no policy recommendations about Iraq". This is not disputed. What is disputed is whether "many", if indeed any report claims that there are "policy recommendations about Iraq" in the document, as alleged by the clause "contrary to many reports", which misleads the reader into thinking that the critics' criticism is that the document contains policy recommendations about iraq, which is a blatent politically motivated distortion that is simply not true. Kevin Baas | talk 14:53, 2004 Aug 5 (UTC)
I would suggest you read the critics pieces again, because I have no idea how anyone could write what you just wrote. TDC 22:49, Aug 6, 2004 (UTC)
I agree that "portions of the document call into question the true motives behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq". I also agree that "the document contained (sic) no policy recommendations about Iraq". I can do this, because there is no contradiction here. However, I am not familiar with any reports that claim, explicitly or implicitly, that "the document contains policy recommendations about Iraq", and highly doubt that any exist. Please read carefully, as the distinction is subtle, but important. Kevin Baas | talk 00:59, 2004 Aug 7 (UTC)

Poll: which is more NPOV, version 1, or 2? (above)

Version 1

Version 2


I listed this page on RfC, for the poll. Kevin Baas | talk 19:53, 2004 Aug 7 (UTC)

Sorry, but a poll does not trump accurate entries. TDC 20:49, Aug 7, 2004 (UTC)

When we put together everyone's views on what is more "accurate", rather than just having you dictate to everyone what is the most "accurate", we come up with something which is statistically more likely to be "accurate", as we have greater information channel redundancy. Kevin Baas | talk 17:12, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

Seconded. Also, as I noted, (a) there are two separate issues at work here (well, more than two really), which your proposed poll lumps together, (b) the two versions are not the alternatives under dispute. Also, it bears repeating that GBWR's objection to the "particularly" claim is, to put it bluntly, illiterate. VV 21:04, 7 Aug 2004 (UTC)
When we put together everyone's views on what is more "accurate", rather than just having you dictate to everyone what is the most "accurate", we come up with something which is statistically more likely to be "accurate", as we have greater information channel redundancy. Kevin Baas | talk 17:12, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)
In point of fact, your grievance concerning literature lies with the [dictionary], and the facts, which have been pointed out by both me and GBWR.
Regarding "a poll does not trump accurate entries", your personal and not-so-humble opinion does not trump the combined knowledge and intelligence of all contributers, which statististically is bound to be more accurate. Indeed, I have specifically elaborated the inaccuracies in your entry. Regardless of how you react to this, your obstinacy will never trump reason and the facts.
If you cannot learn to cooperate with others, your time on Wikipedia will be short-lived. (and your time on this earth will be abject) That's not a threat, that's a common-sense logical consequence that you should well be aware of. Please review the policies and guidelines, and etiquette. Kevin Baas | talk 22:49, 2004 Aug 7 (UTC)
Please review Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Also, it goes without saying that your definition of particularly does not match GBWR's argument, and anyway that's not what I was referring to, which was GBWR's strawman mutation of "leftists and isolationists" to "leftist isolationists", which he doesn't stop doing despite (a) clear English and (b) me spelling it out for him. VV 02:49, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
In point of fact, your grievance concerning literature lies with the [dictionary], and the facts, which have been pointed out by both me and GBWR.
Regarding "a poll does not trump accurate entries", your personal and not-so-humble opinion does not trump the combined knowledge and intelligence of all contributers, which statististically is bound to be more accurate. Indeed, I have specifically elaborated the inaccuracies in your entry. Regardless of how you react to this, your obstinacy will never trump reason and the facts.
If you cannot learn to cooperate with others, your time on Wikipedia will be short-lived. (and your time on this earth will be abject) That's not a threat, that's a common-sense logical consequence that you should well be aware of. Please review the policies and guidelines, etiquette, and Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Kevin Baas | talk 22:49, 2004 Aug 7 (UTC)
I cooperate with non-assholes. I have a great deal of respect for those who have differing perspectives on subjects but who are honest enough to see through bullshit and collaborate on controversial articles. Threatening me by kicking me off of wikipedia is not going to get you very far. TDC 02:29, Aug 9, 2004 (UTC)
Please do not use profanity, nor implicit personal attacks. Many of us are certainly "honest enough to see through B.S.", and are not afraid to point it out matter-of-factly. None of us have been sarcastic or derogatory to you, nor treated you with less good faith and decency than we would have done on ourselves. We have all been civil and reasonable with you, and have given you the benefit of the doubt, though it may be difficult for you to see this right now. Many of your actions have been percieved by many contributors to be beyond the scope of reserve and beneath the level of receptivity that is neccesary, on the part of every user, for a multi-contributor forum such as this to function.
Let me reiterate that that was not a threat, but a notification of a natural consequence, which neither I, nor anyone else for that matter, have any control over. Kevin Baas | talk 05:57, 2004 Aug 9 (UTC)
It is probably obvious to you how your "actions" have been "perceived" by certain contributors, how much "receptivity" you have displayed, and how "civil and reasonable" you are seen as being. So why talk like this? VV 06:44, 9 Aug 2004 (UTC)
It is evident to me how my "actions" have been and are being "percieved" by the majority of contributors, and all the other stuff too. It is also evident to me how your "actions" have been and are being "percieved" by the majority of contributors, and all the other stuff. This is why I "talk like this". Kevin Baas | talk 17:12, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)


I see you have no interest in dialogue or civility. I guess the fight will continue. (It might have been classier to update the timestamp when you reduplicated your "response", but who am I to judge?) VV 22:05, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)
I reduplicated it because it addressed the points in your second argument as well as it did the first. It was also a hint that you might want to take into account my argument, before making arguments that are already refuted by it, so that the debate can progress. Kevin Baas | talk 17:12, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)
Your smugness impresses only yourself. VV 18:39, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
My intent was not to impress, nor to appear smug. Rather, I was trying to make progress with the discussion. Kevin Baas | talk 21:01, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

Unprotected

I am unprotecting this page, as well as a few others that this or a similar group of users are edit warring over. Please do not make me or any other admin reprotect these pages. I suggest one last time that, if you are having repeated conflicts, you should go to the mediation committee. Barring this, if there are further problems with this page, or other pages, I will carefully review the history of the pages, I will identify where these problems are stemming from, and I will bring users to the arbitration committee. This is unlikely to be found satisfying by anyone, so I strongly reccomend that someone take the first step and request mediation. Snowspinner 16:06, Aug 12, 2004 (UTC)

Intro

The term "right wing" is POV, and should not be included. After all if Moveon.org is a "progressive" organization, then a similar euphamism should be appied to PNAC. "Hegemony" is also a POV term used by PNAC's critics, it does not belong in the opening paragraph. TDC 00:19, Aug 15, 2004 (UTC)

"hegemony" is not, cannot be, pov, for it does not pass judgement. A lot of people think this is a good thing. People can thing that global leadership is a good think or a bad thing. That's fine. But in any case, the categorical, neutral, and historical word for it is hegemony. It is not pov. it is straightforward and factual. Read the article on hegemony. It is categorically accurate. it is the word used in political science and history; it is academic terminology, and it is perfectly appropriate here.
In the context of this article, hegemony is used as a prejorative and is most definately POV. I do not object to it bieng used in the article in a clearly defined POV manner, but not in the intro. TDC 02:55, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
"right wing" is not POV. they are republicans, and are, indeed, much more right-wing than your average republican. rihgt-wing is accurate, significant, representative, relevant, proportional, etc. Kevin Baas | talk 18:54, 2004 Aug 15 (UTC)
Right wing is POV because it is subjective. I do not believe that any of PNAC's members would describe either themselves or the organizations as "right wing". Conservative is much more appropriate.TDC 02:55, Aug 16, 2004 (UTC)
I would argue for "neo-conservative", as traditional conservatives have drasticly different political views than the members of PNAC and their reports. Kevin Baas | talk 16:51, 2004 Aug 16 (UTC)

Whoever disputes the intro, please objectively compare and contrast the articles on conservativism & neoconservatism, hegemony & PNAC, and interventionism & PNAC. Kevin Baas | talk 21:20, 2004 Aug 15 (UTC)

It seems as your poll results contradicts you. VV, you and myself were the only three who were involved in the poll, therefore it seems as is the current version is the one that was agreed upon. TDC 17:35, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)
That is not or accurate. Noone was involved in the poll at the time of your above statement. And if only three people were involved in it, it would not be valid. Also, if only the disputing parties voted, it would not be valid. But right now there are no votes. Kevin Baas | talk 17:41, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

Then why, exatly, did you bring it up? Fair warning, sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If we allow through concensus the PNAC to be labeled an ultra-right-wing organization, dont be suprised when the ideological classification of many other groups/organizations/people change accordingly as well. This is, needles to say, not a threat, but rather a signal that the collective wisdom has deemed it appropriate to place such labels on organizations when there is stark disagrement. TDC 17:56, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)

This should rightly be a new topic, but what should we title it? Well, I was thinking "how should we label the political orientation of PNAC?", but then I realized that this isn't discussed in the above paragraph. Perhaps that discussion thread belongs on the policy pages. Kevin Baas | talk 18:01, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)
"Why did I bring it up?" -What?!?! Who brought it up? If I recall correctly, if I can see what is written here on this talk page, I think you brought it up. do you recall at all saying "It seems as your poll results contradicts you. VV, you and myself were the only three who were involved in the poll, therefore it seems as is the current version is the one that was agreed upon. TDC 17:35, Sep 23, 2004 (UTC)"? I think I remember hearing it. Kevin Baas | talk 18:08, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

how should we label the political orientation of PNAC?

What criteria should we use to measure?

  • Their purported views and issue positions, compared against those of the respective classifications of political orientation.
  • The political orientation of their members.
  • Whatever placates criticism most effectively.
  • Other

By measure of this criteria, what political orientation are they?

  • more right-wing than the norm of right-wing, such that a lot of right-wing people consider them to be in a different class.
  • right-wing
  • centrist
  • left-wing
  • ultra-left wing
  • The terms "left-wing" and "right-wing" do not give information about political orientation, but are means of defamation/stigmatization, and are thus pov.
  • very conservative
  • conservative
  • only somewhat conservative
  • moderate
  • only somewhat liberal
  • liberal
  • very liberal


Is "right-wing" pov, or a socially accepted label for a political orientation?

I would say that "right-wing" is no more or less pov than "left-wing", and that they are both commonly used and socially accepted nomenclature with unambigiuos, objective, non-pejorative meanings. Kevin Baas | talk 20:57, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

All I know is whenever I try to call an organization so far out it would make Marx blush left-wing or liberal or far left, self-appointed defenders of NPOV jump all over me. The PNAC is not obviously very right-wing, anyway. VV 23:09, 23 Sep 2004 (UTC)
This is my rule: When a characterization refers to the political orientation of the subject of the article, when the article is a specific political organization, it is appropriate to state their political orientation using standard terminology. When it is a diverse population not affiliated with an organization, then it is not appropriate - it is prejudicing those people and oversimplifying a large and complex array of different views and opinion, different trains of reasoning, different experiences, etc. It invites partisian prejudice, which obstructs the communication of information. Perhaps this is their rule, as well? It may, in a similiar fashion, have something to do with the context.
If not; if these instances are all in the former context, than ya, you have a valid argument, in that we should be consistent.
(As I side note - and I don't mean to be flamebaiting here - I don't know of any organization more right-wing than the PNAC.) Kevin Baas | talk 00:48, 2004 Sep 24 (UTC)
Perhaps you don't know what "right wing" is. Right wing politicians are typically isolationist, not internationalist and interventionist, although they would probably object to the term "isolationist" as well. This is true of both the traditional conservative and the libertarian branches of the right, consider the statements of Pat Buchanan "A Republic Not and Empire" and Congressman Ron Paul, whose speeches against the Iraq war are available at his .gov web site. I haven't reviewed all the evidence, but the PNAC appears to socially liberal, fiscally conservative democrats who were also anti-communist and became disgruntled with the Democratic party. Moderates who are aggressive internationalists might be a better categorization. They have somehow gotten Bush into liberal nation building. Another concern with using "right wing" is that it has different meanings in Europe than in the US. In the US the right wingers also self-identify as "classical liberals", because they think modern liberals have gotten away from the individual liberty and constitutionally limited government of the founding liberals of the US government. Representing views on a single scale is an oversimplification, although a double scale encompassing right to left as anarchy to totalitarianism on an economic scale and a social scale seems to work well. However, even it does not capture the internationalism, imperialism characteristics. Perhaps a triple scale is needed. --Silverback 09:38, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Although, originally, right wing was isolationalist, since World War 2, things have changed drastically. Right-wing#Right_wings_groups_and_the_War_on_Terrorism Kevin Baas | talk 18:43, 2004 Oct 13 (UTC)
Sorry, that portion of the article is entirely POV. The neo-cons are not right wing or conservative. Futher down the article considers gay rights a right or left issue, which it isn't, just as in drug legalization where there are more for complete legalization on the "right", on gay marraige, there is plenty of support on the right, although on the right they are inclined towards getting government out of the marraige licensing business. Yes, some legitimate conservatives support the war on terror and were more internatinalist during the cold war, but for the most part even they would just as soon forget the rest of the world if it wasn't threatening them, they do not have the policeman, empire tendencies of the neocons, or perhaps they should be called neo-non-cons.--Silverback 19:12, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Re: "Sorry, that portion of the article is entirely POV.", I hope you understand my rationale for considering, in principle, an article to be more authoritative than the opinion of a single contributor. To me, right-wing is characterized, most generally, by a strong influence of dominance-submission and territorial socio-biological propensities. Thus, they are general more traditional, heriarchical, religous, etc. Whereas the "left" is more progressive, adaptive, secular, etc. In this view, the left, being more secular, would be more likely to be sensitive to and respectful of cultural differences, whereas the "right" would be more likely to desire to spread their particular culture as manifestly superior. So you see, in this view, the "right" fits the description of the desire for social and territorial dominance much better than the "left". Kevin Baas | talk 19:58, 2004 Oct 13 (UTC)
I tend to question all authority, whether individual or a committee. To me, left wing is characterized a tendency towards coercive totalitarianisms, devisive class warfare rhetoric, simplistic zero sum and linear reasoning and a tendency towards overly simplistic command and control solutions to problems, which are easier to implement if individual guns are controlled so that government guns can reign. They complain about government excesses, yet paradoxically propose government solutions to every problem and then complain when someone else gets to control that power. They like the single spectrum left-right dichotomy that puts totalitarianism at both ends of the spectrum, because it allows them to obfuscate more. "Right-wing" as proposed in this article, is not being used in any rigorous way, but as a mere perjorative, so that their ideas can be dismissed instead of addressed.--Silverback 20:27, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, you are certainly very opinionated. Kevin Baas | talk 23:07, 2004 Oct 13 (UTC)
And humble too!! Actually I wish I had phrased some of the above a little differently. Rather than just right-wing being used as a perjorative, its use here in reference to the PNAC is an attempt to create negative associations with innocent right-wing philosophies of freedom, tolerance and constitutionally limited government and divert the negative impact from the left-wing internationalist interventionist nation building philosophy that PNAC really is more akin to.--Silverback 23:29, 13 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I don't think our beliefs can be reconcilled. But FWIW, to be more specific, I have read numerous biographies of JFK, and I think that the policies and philosophy of the John F. Kennedy administration and the George W. Bush administration are diametrically opposed. Kevin Baas | talk 00:26, 2004 Oct 14 (UTC)

I'm not sure about our beliefs either, but I believe our assessments of the positions of various groups and politicians could be reconciled if we went to three or so scales without emotion laden terms like left and right. On a single scale, the terms left and right are so overloaded as to become meaningless. Despite their meaninglessness, they are emotionally laden terms, and even though an argument can be made that in terms of internationalism (the relevant scale here), they are to the left, you don't want them associated with the left at all. You must have some fondness or affection for the term. Similarly, I find the right refreshingly tolerant, honest and principled, and don't want it tarred with the PNAC either. --Silverback 02:38, 14 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I agree that emotion may skew one's perception of things. Perhaps instead of trying to draw an abstract philosophical connection, to avoid emotionly skewed analysis, it would be more empirical/pragmatic to draw connections among specific manifest instances: What are the political orientations of the members of the PNAC? Kevin Baas | talk 20:48, 2004 Oct 14 (UTC)
This should be workable as long as the political orientation is related to the purpose for which the PNAC exists. The stands of the contributers on social issues should not be relevant (two or three are known to support "liberalization" of drug laws). If all or nearly all of the contributers/members are republican, I'd have no objection to it being labeled a republican think tank. If some are from the pro-Israeli wing of the Democratic party, it might confuse the issue however. I'm not sure working in a Republican administration is definitive however, since administrations are often bi-partisan where the individual involved can support the issues he/she works with in good conscience. The problem with labeling something a "Republican think tank", is that the party may object since there is no official affiliation.--Silverback 02:14, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I would say, rather than requiring "the political orientation is related to the purpose for which the PNAC exists" - which is locking the door and, with the use of the word "purpose", throwing away the key, what we are concerned with is epistemological/sociological/psychological proximity. I.e. "What is the probability of A being both x and y?" (taking a Hume-ian, Bayesian, and info-theoretic perspective here.) If I'm not mistaken, all of the members in PNAC are Republicans. Kevin Baas | talk 16:30, 2004 Oct 15 (UTC)
Then I think Republican is defensible as a descriptive term perhaps as long as it is "a" Republican think tank, since there may be others taking different views. If George Soros, Ron Paul, Milton Friedman, William F. Buckley and Noam Chomsky came together in a drug legalization think tank, would that think tank be "both x and y"? I don't think it would necessarily be a socially liberal group, even social conservatives can believe in limited government, just as socially liberal pro-Israel democrats can agree with a lot of what the PNAC proposes, much like Senator Liebermann. I don't consider Kerry a true Israel believer, I suspect he aligns with the pro-palestinian democratic core, in his "heart" based on his liberal record. Personally I can't support aid to the Israeli government. I couldn't support a pro-conscription government here, so I can't justify aiding in the imposition of it on others overseas. "Right wing" is point of view here, but there should be many options for more informative descriptive terms. Hopefully reasonable people will find grounds for agreement, or at least informatively representing both positions. You have seemed reasonable to me.--Silverback 22:53, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thank you. You have seemed reasonable to me. I think we have found agreement. For the record, my preference for right-wing vs. left ring is also based on my association of Republicans with w/right-wing and Democrats w/left-wing. In that respect, right-wing/left-wing would be associated to PNAC by an extra level of indirection: political party, and thus have, along that chain, a lower correlation, thereby being less accurate. This brings me to "x and y" - here I meant to implicitly refer to probability, P(A&B), joint probability, not to be confused with P(A|B) (not neccessarily equal ot P(B|A)), conditional probability, and I think that addresses the drug legalization counter-example you brought up. Regarding Kerry and Isreal, I share your analysis, and regarding Isreal and aid, I share your opinion. Kevin Baas | talk 23:06, 2004 Oct 15 (UTC)

Accuracy and NPOV dispute

(This page has been listed on RfC)

Regarding this diff: [4]. (Also see the above poll, and discuss with your vote.) Kevin Baas | talk 17:41, 2004 Sep 23 (UTC)

Ouch, how do you vote on this? Is there an official page or mechanism? I prefer version 1 as more informative, but I have some POV and accuracy concerns. "on the left", seems fine, but "isolationist" seems perjorative and those taking that position would not label themselves as such. Pat Buchanan devotes a chapter in "A Republic not an Empire" to "The Isolationist Myth". "Traditional conservatives" might be a more acceptable descriptive term that the holders of these beliefs would accept. They tend to favor looking after US interests closer to home. Pat Buchanan may not be the spokesman they would choose, he is just a prolific writer, but I think they would agree with his 1823 Jefferson quote: "Our first and fundamental maxim should be never to entangle oursevels in the broils of Europe; our second, never to suffer Europe to intermeddle in cisatlantic affairs". Generalized beyond Europe of course. My other comment on version 1, is that some mention should be made of European opinion also, since concerns about the implications of the PNAC proposals are centrist for the most part there, and their concerns are an important feeding of the frenzy.--Silverback 23:20, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)

== VV, why did you revert? He had a valid point. == Kevin Baas | talk 20:13, 2004 Sep 25 (UTC)

Because all he did was revert my edit, which was a marked improvement. And no there is no debate as to what transformation meant in that context, as it is completely obvious to anyone who reads it. VV 20:20, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I am refering to his removal of " particularly those on the left and American isolationists, ", and his reasoning that "i don't think the american left are representative of, say, the german right who all would take that opinion. this is an international encyclopedia, right?". I think this is a good point. Do you not think so? Kevin Baas | talk 20:51, 2004 Sep 25 (UTC)
We have covered this ground before. The text makes it clear that there are many objectors, the particularly portion specifies who the most vocal are, which are clearly the left-wing. I don't doubt there are Bulgarian nationalists who feel the same, but it's mostly out of the left that the harshest words originate. As I explained to GBWR, particularly does not mean exclusively. VV 23:32, 25 Sep 2004 (UTC)
"Exclusively" is in fact one of the three meanings of the word, as evidenced by this dictionary reference. It may very well be that it is not the one that was intended by the author, but it is the one that a great many people are, evidently, interpretating it as when they read it. Regardless of the intent of the author, the important aspect of the text, in concerns the reader, is what is conveyed. It appears, by what you say, that the way it is currently worded, it is being frequently misread. Perhaps there is a different way to write it that is less open to misinterpretation. If so, I think that would resolve the dispute. (Though there's a risk that people will dispute the accuracy of this clarified interpretation.) Perhaps something like "Those on the Noth American left are particularly vocal."? (I don't think that people who are against overt military dominance are neccessarily against civil internationalism, though I find it plausible that people in america who are for military dominance are more often right-wing.) Kevin Baas | talk 00:11, 2004 Sep 26 (UTC)
I see nothing in that dictionary link to support this "interpretation" of this elementary English word. Again. VV 00:26, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
2: specifically or especially distinguished from others; "loves Bach, particularly his partitas"; "recommended one book in particular"; "trace major population movements for the Pueblo groups in particular" [syn: in particular]
and especially, 3: uniquely or characteristically; "these peculiarly cinematic elements"; "a peculiarly French phenomenon"; "everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him"- John Knowles
from Worldnet - Princton University, further down the page. Kevin Baas | talk 22:19, 2004 Sep 26 (UTC)
Especially does not mean exclusively. Particularly != peculiarly. This conversation is absurd, unless English is not your first language. VV 23:42, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)
"Uniquely or characteristicly" is quite suited to the point being made. "everyone has a moment in history which belongs particularly to him"- John Knowles I agree that this conversation is absurd, although English is my first language. Do you recognize that it is evident that pretty much everyone but you is interpreting this as the third, bordering on the second, and definitely not the first, meaning? No one approves of this appeal to prejudice, with the exception of, perhaps, the likewise opionated TDC. Kevin Baas | talk 19:07, 2004 Sep 27 (UTC)
We should just go back to edit warring. I have nothing more to say to you if you still insist that a simple English word means something it manifestly does not. Arm your phantom supporters. VV 04:21, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The way it's written at the moment implies that most of the opposition to the concept of US world domination comes from the US left, which seems a bit ridiculous to me. Wouldn't it be more accurate to say something like "everyone in the world except the US right thinks this is a bad idea"?

listen, guys, this encyclopaedia article is not the place to win or even fight the debates about these issues. our job is simply to state the fact that there is a debate and summarise the important positions. verily, it may seem obvious *to you* that the transformation referred to in that PNAC document strictly relates to information technology; i and many others draw a different conclusion, however, and the fact that we disagree on the interpretation means it's improper to take a certain editorial tone. you don't see me deleting your interpretations, do you? hence i'm reverting back to the neutral version and if we can't come to some sort of compromise my next step will be to ask for mediation. <ck>

Did you read it? It's simply not possible to have any other interpretation. VV 06:23, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

well...VV...surely the fact that I clearly do have another interpretation proves that it is in fact *possible* to draw a different meaning from the text than the one that you did. i really think my version is much more NPOV because it presents both sides: if you'd rather rephrase the "pro" side of the debate please do so, but I really think it's bad form to present the issue as resolved in favour of one side when that is clearly not the case.<ck>

What is your "interpretation" then? That the authors were writing in Maori, in which that sentence means, "We want to conquer the world"? VV 22:06, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

verily: you'll probably understand my position, because it's quite similar to yours on another issue. where you argue that the pearl harbor line is taken out of the context of a broader debate, i believe that the "information technologies" interpretation is taken out of the context of a discussion on, well, the section title speaks for itself ("creating tomorrow's dominant force").

now, i don't believe arguing to this level of detail is productive or necessary for an encyclopaedia entry; but the very fact you and I are discussing this is surely proof that your POV on this issue is not the only one, and therefore I believe it's inappropriate to present just one interpretation of the discussion. reverted to the NPOV version.

The fact that this discussion is taking place is not proof of anything. Anyone can waltz onto this wiki and claim an "interpretation" that the line "Judge not that ye be judged" is an expression of Jesus' love of Oreo cookies. What's more, you are reverting an entire rewrite, not just some "POV" phrasing. VV 23:41, 26 Sep 2004 (UTC)

verily, i don't really understand your point. are you saying that in fact i *don't* have the interpretation i claim to have? the version you keep trying to push is blatantly POV.<ck>

As this is just another of Veriverily's legendary edit wars, why do we not just jointly complain about him to make him see rules are there for him as well? I do not see this guy ever come to his senses, he is obsessed with wasting our time. Wikipedia:Requests_for_comment/VeryVerily2 Get-back-world-respect 13:13, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Interesting, this sounds like someone else I know. TDC 17:23, Sep 27, 2004 (UTC)

Alright, VV, let's put 2 and 2 (and 2) together here: 2 - You have conceded that the particular interpretation in question is not true, 2 - You shoud be well aware by now, as it has been repeated to you numerous times in numerous ways by numerous people, that a significant number of people are, in fact, interpreting the language in question that way, 2 - you want the language in question to remain as is. 2+2+2=6 - You want people to be falsely informed. Can you understand how this conclusion follows simply and directly from the facts, and how it is a completely reasonable conclusion to come to? Do you understand why we consider this disruptive; why we consider this to be antagonistic to the goals of wikipedia, which is the exact opposite: to truthfully inform people. This is the raison d'etre for the ongoing discussion, besides the fact that you are trying to use an appeal to prejudice to persuade people to your POV, against the fierce objections of numerous contributors, not to mention established wikipedia policy. Kevin Baas | talk 19:32, 2004 Sep 27 (UTC)

VV, I'm sure this is not intentional, but your version also comes across as a bit of a "strawman" to me - yours says:

"Conspiracy theorists argue this is suspiciously prescient of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with some going so far as to suggest complicity of the PNAC in the attacks. Many also incorrectly claim that this "new Pearl Harbor" is stated to be needed to justify war on Iraq..."

Your version basically says there are two types of people who criticise the Pearl Harbor thing - conspiracy theorists who think the PNAC did it, and people who haven't read the report. In fact the most heavyweight criticism I've encountered (in the mainstream UK media and other places) - and which I tried to distil in my version - is that the PNAC members who now run the USA cynically exploited the events to accelerate their programme of US world "leadership". This statement is seen by such critics to be a declaration of their intent. So if you're going to make another change I ask you to bear this in mind.<ck>

But the interpretation that that sentence is a declaration of intent to use the "new Pearl Harbor" as an excuse to begin aggressive foreign policy is simply wholly inconsistent with what the report actually says. This is not a point of obfuscation or ambiguity; no statement even close to this is ever made. The words have simply been ripped out of context, in a style reminiscent of Michael Moore. (Indeed, it is downright absurd that they would publish this devious plan of theirs in one of their public reports.) And, yes, there are several who have written directly or by insinuation that this line "proves" that the PNAC staged 9/11. VV 23:04, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Hi Verily. I think I explained my understanding that the "transformation" referred to is a broader one than the information technologies you understand it to refer to. I have to respectfully point out that I'm not alone in this interpretation, which has been proposed in mainstream media sources (for example the UK press). If I dig out a source or two, will you let this interpretation stand?

I agree that some conspiracy theorists believe Mohammed Attah et al were working for the PNAC, which is why I kept that information in my version.

Verily, I understand you disagree with my interpretation - maybe even think it's silly. That's your prerogative, but please will you stop deleting POVs simply because they're not the same as yours, particularly when they're being presented neutrally? CK 23:21, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You are not exactly creating a spirit of good will by reverting me constantly. VV 00:55, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Further comments follow. VV 04:15, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

VV, just re-read what you wrote and I think I now understand your objection. Obviously my version isn't expressing clearly what I mean to say and maybe we can work together to make it more explicit.

"...intent to use the "new Pearl Harbor" as an excuse to begin aggressive foreign policy..."

is not what I'm trying to say. The criticism is:

1). PNAC report says: we want to achieve US world leadership 2). and (arguably): achieving this will take a new Pearl Harbor 3). then 9/11 comes along - the "new pearl harbor" 4). PNAC - now in power - seize the chance to accelerate their plans to achieve US world leadership

Does that make sense? CK 23:27, 27 Sep 2004 (UTC)

(2) is indefensible from the primary source. (4) is a POV and is unconnected to the subject of RAD. Furthermore, there's nothing damning in any case. If someone were to argue that 9/11 were being cynically exploited, they can work directly from the facts, rather than try to build a much weaker (to put it mildly) case around the text of RAD, which is not relevant. VV 00:55, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

On the grounds that Verily is just reverting without even discussing the points any more I think we should request mediation. What does everyone else think?CK 00:01, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Mediation requesting is your decision and not anyone else's. I would probably decline however given the present state of the discussion here. VV 00:55, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

have requested mediation. VV, let's let a disinterested party decide what's useful, i think you and i have gotten too entrenched in our positions here. CK 01:59, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

It is worth adding that I have never reverted CK except to revert a revert of me. VV 04:03, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

verily, it seems to me that you started the reverts at 04:44 on the 25th of september. CK 12:32, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

You are wrong. Check the edit history. If you're too lazy to do that, here is the relevant diff [5]. That was an attempt to incorporate your text, for all the good it did. VV 22:53, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Verily, that link is to a change between two of your own versions. Anyway, if by incorporating my text you mean you included an unrelated line at the bottom while systematically deleting and belittling any ideas that might threaten your own position, then you've incorporated my text.

For an example of a good faith edit, however, maybe you should check out my edit of 01.56 on Sept 25 - a version that presents your POV, in your own words, as one half of a debate. CK 02:14, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Correct. The diff link witnesses that it was not a revert. I rewrote the section attempting to adapt some of your ideas, such as the twofold split in critics, as well as a bit of your text. But I made it a more appropriate size, though even in my version this ridiculous point dominates this section, and is unduly weighty in the article, especially for a fringe claim having no basis in serious studies (or even serious criticism) of the PNAC. VV 02:20, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A fringe claim made by The Guardian (daily circ. 400,000) among many others. CK 02:32, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I don't consider the Guardian particularly credible, either, but if you have a cite it might make a good xlink here. VV 02:36, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Your version doesn't incorporate "my" ideas at all - rather it sets up a strawman for your highly biased POV to attack. CK 02:33, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

That's what the Talk page is for, if you have objections still (which don't however sound very sincere or NPOV-oriented). But if you just revert me I guarantee you I will simply revert back. VV 02:36, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

":(2) is indefensible from the primary source. (4) is a POV and is unconnected to the subject of RAD. Furthermore, there's nothing damning in any case. If someone were to argue that 9/11 were being cynically exploited, they can work directly from the facts, rather than try to build a much weaker (to put it mildly) case around the text of RAD, which is not relevant. VV 00:55, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)"

(2) is only indefensible from the primary source in your opinion, which is worth no more than anyone elses, whatever you think. (4) is not unconnected to the controversy over the statement, it's the cause of the controversy. and FYI, just because you think it's a weak argument does not mean it *is* a weak argument. i'm really getting sick of this. CK 12:52, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

The text is written in plain English. It says various events could cause a faster upgrade of technology. A simple statement of cause and effect. Any informed observer would probably agree that this effect would indeed follow from that cause. VV 23:09, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
VeriVerily abuses wikipedia for his propaganda about leftist isolationists ever since I found out about the project, this being his umpteenth edit war. He is not interested in neutral articles - unless you define neutral as his view of things - or the wiki principle of how to find consensus. Just stop trying to reason with him, many others have failed already, page protections, requests for comments, attempts to persuade him to accept a mediation. I cannot see how he could be stopped without being kicked out of here. At least he does not insult others as TDC does. Get-back-world-respect 15:12, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Yada yada yada. I have many times challenged GBWR to cite any reference by me to "leftist isolationists", and both he and Kevin baas have always just changed the subject, because I have never said any such thing. VV 22:53, 28 Sep 2004 (UTC)

VV: my version contains both sides of the debate, yours contains only your own and your strawman. I have belatedly realised you have no respect for truth and POV. reverted and will continue to do so until someone puts a stop to your selfish antics. CK 01:45, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

yawn. Well that could be a while. I think the New Imperialism edit war went on for a year and a half. VV 01:52, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

well, i hope you find subverting an encyclopaedia a rewarding way to spend your next year and a half. CK 02:04, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Don't worry, I'll be doing other things all the while, besides subverting truth and neutrality. VV 02:07, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

WOW, clearly GBWR VV and TDC, you are all intelligent people, do something constructive

Article protected

I'm completely uninvolved in this matter, but I can tell an edit war when I look at one. Article's temporarily protected. Bryan 02:39, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Thank you! Now, let's see if we can't sort this out. The edit war is between two versions.

Version 1:

A section of the document that has proved particularly controversial can be found in Section V, "Creating Tomorrow's Dominant Force" (page 53):

"Further, the process of transformation...is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor."

Critics of the PNAC have suggested that the September 11, 2001 attacks were just such an event, which were then cynically exploited by the Bush administration to enable it to aggressively pursue the PNAC's agenda. (Some conspiracy theorists see this passage as evidence of complicity in the attacks.)

Supporters of the PNAC say the quote is taken out of the context of a discussion specifically about military use of information technologies, and the report is simply guessing that full transformation to new technologies is likely to be a slow process unless some "catalyzing" event causes the military to upgrade more quickly.

The quote is a source of much spirited - and frequently extremely partisan and ill-informed - debate, and readers may find it more enlightening to examine the document directly than to rely on third party interpretations.

Version 2:

A line frequently quoted out of context from Rebuilding America's Defenses famously refers to the possibility of a "catastrophic and catalyzing event — like a new Pearl Harbor" (page 51). Conspiracy theorists argue this is suspiciously prescient of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, with some going so far as to suggest complicity of the PNAC in the attacks. Many also incorrectly claim that this "new Pearl Harbor" is stated to be needed to justify war on Iraq. In fact, however, the quote is part of a discussion about military use of information technologies, where the report is simply guessing that full transformation to new technologies is likely to be a slow process unless some "catalyzing" event causes the military to upgrade more quickly. Despite the easy availability of the whole document, the quote provokes spirited - and often partisan and ill-informed - debate.

I would love to see some outside opinions on which of these versions is more suitable. CK 02:43, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Just looking at the two versions you quote here and knowing nothing about the actual source material myself, it looks like version 1 is much more NPOV than version 2. Version 2 goes out of its way to interpret everything from just one side of the issue, using 'incorrectly claim' and 'conspiracy theorists' and such when describing the other side's position. Version 1, on the other hand, presents Version 2's side just as well without using such judgemental language. Bryan 02:51, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Is there a way to state a claim is incorrect other than saying incorrectly claim? Imagine these paragraphs were about the belief that a Zionist cabal runs the world, and used an out-of-context quote by (whoever) to argue it. You can fill in the details of the analogy. VV 02:58, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You probably shouldn't be stating that the claim is incorrect at all, IMO. Just state that that's what the one group claims, and point out that the other group disagrees. This doesn't look as clear-cut as you are trying to make it out to be. Bryan 03:04, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It is clear-cut. There is no recommmendation to invade Iraq or to carry out any foreign policy action in all of RAD, let alone in the quoted text. VV 07:59, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The issue is not what the text says, but what the critics say. Bryan 00:24, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
We can state what the critics say, while also saying they are wrong. Again, I challenge you to cite a reference in this document. You can do a full-text search of it for the word Iraq. I did that a year ago to confirm there is nothing about an invasion anywhere in the text. VV 00:32, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
As I've mentioned above, I don't know anything about the subject matter this argument is about. What I've been focusing on is solely the language that's being used to present the two sides, not the actual merits of either side's argument. In this case, the version that you kept reverting away from does in fact say that supporters of the PNAC don't think the document argues for an invasion of Iraq. Bryan 01:09, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
IMO what you should do is point that out in the "supporters" section, so that the reader can see the evidence and decide who's correct and who isn't for themselves. However, that won't help much in this particular case because the version 1 "critics" section doesn't mention the word "Iraq" either - it only says that critics believe 9/11 was used to enable the Bush administration to pursue the "PNAC agenda". Bryan 07:45, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Critics can make this case, but nothing in RAD pertains to it. Again, there is no call for invading Iraq in the document. This is a simple fact that can be verified by reading it. VV 08:05, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Sectioning out. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 19:01, Oct 15, 2004 (UTC)

Okay, but since the "critics" section of version 1 isn't claiming RAD contains a call for invading Iraq I really don't see the point of this comment. What other problems do you have with version 1? Bryan 08:10, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(1) It omits this criticism. (2) Major problems: It says "supporters argue" and then states something which is simply a summary of what the section of RAD is about, and furthermore does not pertain to what the "critics" just said. Moreover, what the "critics" said makes no sense; what does it mean to be "just such an event"? Does that just mean that that's an example of the event which was part of the prediction? If so, so what? If 9/11 was cynically exploited, what does that have to do with RAD? This passage is just nonsensical. VV 08:30, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
(1) It omits the issue of Iraq in its entirety. It's not saying the thing you're arguing against in the first place. (2) What's wrong with supporters summarizing parts of RAD as their argument? Isn't that essentially what you're doing here with your repeated point that Iraq isn't mentioned within it? Anyway, the paragraph seems perfectly understandable to me, if you think it's nonsensical I suspect you're misunderstanding it. "Just such an event" comes right after the quote about "a new Pearl Harbor", that's clearly the sort of event being referred to. The quote also says that a new Pearl Harbor would be a catalyzing event that could speed up the process of transformation (ie, the "creating tomorrow's dominant force" that the document is talking about), so using 9/11 to speed up this transformation is therefore an "exploitation" of 9/11 in a manner that was suggested in the document as a way to implement the document's proposals faster (note: I'm not arguing this, I'm just trying to explain the section that you've said you don't understand). Is that clearer? Bryan 15:46, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm going to grit my teeth and AssumeGoodFaith that you are not being deliberately dense and are really just misreading me. Fercrissakes, nothing is wrong with supporters summarizing anything. I'll use an analogy; consider this text: "In 2001 Chirac said, 'I oppose invading Iraq'. His supporters argue that by this he meant that he opposed invading Iraq." Now, isn't that stupid?
What "criticism" is it to say that a following event meets the description of a prediction? Again, imagine this text: "In a particularly controversial section, Prof. Fooblatz writes on p.119, 'For instance, if Ankara had a female mayor there might be riots'. His critics argue that Gov. Jane Janeway (elected two years later) is just such a governor." What in blazes does that mean?
You are reading what isn't there. It does not say, "If we come to power, we will use the new Pearl Harbor to conquer the world", it says, "This would likely be a response to such an event". VV 23:09, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
And I say that you're the one who's reading what isn't there. At what point did I say anything about critics claiming PNAC was proposing to use the new Pearl Harbor to conquer [Iraq/the world]? Neither I nor the version you've been arguing against says that. I'll quote the relevant bit again:
"Further, the process of transformation...is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event - like a new Pearl Harbor." Critics of the PNAC have suggested that the September 11, 2001 attacks were just such an event, which were then cynically exploited by the Bush administration to enable it to aggressively pursue the PNAC's agenda.
The critics are saying here that the Bush administration is using Sept. 11 to agressively pursue the PNAC's "agenda", which in the quote immediately preceding it is said to be "the process of transformation." Now, does "the process of transformation" explicitly entail taking over [the world/Iraq]? That's not stated one way or the other in this part of the article, but it seems to me that if it doesn't then your argument is moot (the critics aren't saying what you say they're saying) and if it does then your argument is also moot (the critics are actually right). Not that it matters at this point, but I assume you'd argue the former - that "the process of transformation" doesn't explicitly call for the conquest of [Iraq/the world]. Sounds reasonable to me, and I think that version 1 is the most NPOV way of saying it (PS, this is now indented 13 colons. I probably won't bother adding more here if it's just the same argument repeated over again. Start a new section if you want). Bryan 01:21, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I've about had it with this conversation. You're not even reading what I wrote, except maybe the last few words which you (ironically?) rip out of context. What the critics say about using 9/11 is immaterial to the prediction made in RAD. VV 04:10, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

End of sectioning. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 19:01, Oct 15, 2004 (UTC)


If you believe the claim that RAD speaks of justifying war on Iraq is not "incorrect", then give me a page number. RAD is xlink'ed in the article. The quote is on page 51. War on Iraq is not. VV 03:00, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
To review for those just tuning in: This minor issue is already overly long in an article on the PNAC, where even the short version weighs down the "Criticisms" section; several paragraphs coverage of this would be ridiculous, especially in light of the serious criticism and analysis which exists out there. This quote is mostly used by fringe groups who hope nobody bothers to check the context; if the quote is to be included at all, which it wasn't for a while, the facts should be related plainly. The document is easily available, and claims that the PNAC is stating plans to use the "new Pearl Harbor" for their schemes may be refuted by reading it, indeed, by reading a page and a half of it. Claims that 9/11 were cynically exploited can be made elsewhere; there's nothing about the PNAC's simple observation about possible cause-and-effect in an offhand comment in this long document that would connect to such supposed exploitation. VV 02:55, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
It looks to me like this is a discussion of the meaning of a document that was produced by the PNAC, and as such it seems like it's likely on-topic for this page. The article doesn't look all that overly-long to me. Bryan 03:04, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
How much of the article Zionism would you want devoted to the theory that Zionists are secretly running the world? That theory has more going for it than these "discussions" about "meaning", because at least it can't be refuted by reading a handful of paragraphs. I agree discussion of RAD would not be out of place, but going off on these out-of-context lines sheds no light on the document whatsoever and belong in tabloids not an encyclopedia. VV 00:37, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Verily is - presumably deliberately - misrepresenting one side of the issue. The so-called "fringe" criticism (which has appeared in several mainstream media sources) does not claim that RAD specifically calls for invasion of Iraq (although even this is arguable, considering passages like "...while the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein..."). Rather, it says that RAD is a blueprint for achieving American world "leadership" as laid out by PNAC - the senior members of whom are now running America - and in it, they lament that the process of "transformation" will be long and difficult unless some Pearl Harbor-like event should occur. (The precise nature of said "transformation" is apparently a matter of some debate.)

It's my opinion that version 1 is an attempt at balance and summary - version 2 presents one side of the argument and a strawman version of the other, falsely representing the argument as closed in favour of the author's preferred side. This is at best extremely biased, and at worst deliberately misleading, and given Veryverily's stated willingness to conduct an edit war for a "year and a half" in defence of version 2 I believe arbitration is the only solution here. CK 10:11, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Ah, the other frequently quoted out-of-context line from RAD surfaces! Of course, this too is not a policy recommendation, but a statement abou present intentions, and in fact that quote specifically says it is not Iraq it is referring to. RAD is about upgrading the military; statements about how this might come about are on topic. You have provided no evidence this is a "lamentation". There is nothing to connect this statement to any policy choices made by the people supposedly "running America". VV 11:01, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

This ongoing discussion clearly illustrates the matter has not been resolved, and the article should reflect that.

To address VV's specific points:

  • I contend that the quote is in fact a policy recommendation (the PNAC are recommending that a substantial American force remains in the Gulf).
  • I don't understand what he means about the quote (which mentions Iraq and Saddam Hussein in the same sentence) not "specifically referring to Iraq".
  • RAD is about upgrading the military so it can preserve and enhance US world "leadership".
  • Lamentation = express regretfully, the reader can decide whether my usage of it *in talk* is justifiable, I would certainly not use it in the Wikipedia entry.
  • Rumsfeld, Cheney et al do not "supposedly" run America.
  • Whereas you see nothing to connect such statements to their subsequent policy choices, many others believe the connections are plain.

This encyclopaedia is not a place for you or I to push our own subjective interpretations of such on others. It seems that you've been here much longer than I - I shouldn't have to be lecturing you on the importance of NPOV to this project. CK 11:57, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)

I am obviously thoroughly familiar with NPOV policy, and have been enforcing it on Wikipedia's most controversial articles for more than a year, to many POV pushers' displeasure. It does not mean we have to include absurd viewpoints, such as that "Judge not that ye be judged" is in reference to Oreo cookies, or (to take a real example) theories in George W. Bush that he is a reptilian humanoid. Point 1: The quote is a statement of fact that military deployment in the Middle East is not solely related to Iraq. Point 2: It's referring to Iraq only to say it's not just because of Iraq that a presence has been necessary. Point 3: You are confusing the PNAC's overarching goals with the intent of this specific document. Point 4: You have no evidence of lamentation. Point 5: This is debatable; Cheney's degree of influence over Bush is a contended point. Point 6: There is simply no connection; if I were to have said in 1999 that "a terrorist attack would bring a strong reaction from the United States", is this "proof" that I want an attack to occur so that I can implement a certain set of policies, or a garden-variety prediction which uses simple common sense? The question answers itself. If you want to argue 9/11 is being exploited, do so, but relating it to a quote stating an obvious prediction is nonsense and says more about you than anyone else. VV 00:29, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Verily, you're simply arguing that your own interpretation of this document is the only valid one. It's a point of fact that many people have draw differing interpretations of it, however. You and I can argue in circles for eternity and one can never prove the other wrong, because it's a subjective point. This is why version 1 simply presents two sides of the argument and doesn't draw a conclusion, and why the biased and POV version 2 is inappropriate in this instance. CK 12:25, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
VeriVerily, even if you do not agree with the interpretations of what PNAC wrote you cannot deny that they are possible. You can write that PNAC denies ever having recommended to invade Iraq or that it denies influencing the government or that it denies to exist at all if you give us a source but you cannot write that your or PNAC's opinion is truth. Get-back-world-respect 14:42, 29 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I can state what is clearly the truth. You would flip if I put in this article that "some argue the PNAC exists, but others disagree", so obviously not all viewpoints are within the bounds of reason. VV 00:29, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
If you can find a significant group of people who argued that the PNAC didn't exist, then by all means they should be mentioned at some point in the article. It would still be wrong to describe either side in POV terms, however. Bryan 00:42, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Dispute resolution suggests conducting a survey at this point. Skimming over this extremely long talk: page and reviewing article history back to May it seems to me that VeryVerily is unlikely to back down if the consensus goes against him, but we should probably cross that T before diving straight into a request for arbitration. Who knows, it might even work. Bryan 00:21, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

A survey would be absurd. The PNAC is wildly unpopular on this forum, and very, very few people involved in these articles actually care about accuracy. VV 00:32, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I don't suppose you'd be willing to consider the possibility that what appears as "very few people caring about accuracy" to you might actually be "people care about accuracy but you're wrong about what 'accuracy' is in this particular case?" They'd both look very similar from your perspective. In any event, seeing as you've also declined mediation on this subject (Wikipedia:Requests_for_mediation/Archive_10#VeryVerily_and_CK), it looks like that leaves nothing from the dispute resolution list to try but arbitration (which I now see has already been requested). Bryan 00:42, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Indeed. CK proposing reasonable alternatives instead of reverting me constantly never occured to anyone. Anyway, I'm curious what your present role in this is. You stepped in as a neutral admin, but with loaded questions such as "I don't suppose you'd be willing..." coming from you, etc., I suspect your role has expanded somewhat. Again, if you are actually interested in this issue, I urge you to take the steps I recommend above to see what the text of RAD says in plain English. VV 00:58, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
What role am I supposed to have? I was neutral when I stepped in and protected this article, but I don't see any particular obligation against forming an opinion now that that's done - I'm speaking as just another editor now. I've developed an opinion now that I've skimmed this talk page, the article history, and discussed my concerns with you; my opinion is that you're pushing for a version that's highly POV and are willing to use edit warring to get your way. Bryan 01:09, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I said nothing about what role you're supposed to have, just asking what it is now. And you have told me. Personally, I think you are not fully informed on this subject. I also would like you to note that this is a periodic issue which resurfaces every months when someone else shows up to push this line. Look at the beginning comments on this page back from June 2003; it's on this same subject. But maybe your mind's made up. Oh well. VV 01:19, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Not only am I not fully informed, but as I've said repeatedly I'm not informed at all. I haven't read the document in question, I can only barely remember having heard that it existed before now. What I've been arguing about his wholely and solely the wording of those two versions of the paragraph that was being edit-warred over. One of them presents a group of facts in a highly POV manner, the other presents a group of very similar facts in an NPOV manner. Not knowing or caring whether those facts are true, I can still make the personal judgement that the NPOV version is better. Bryan 01:27, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I was being diplomatic, but yes read the relevant section of the document. There is no mention of invading Iraq, period. We don't have to include absurd POVs; for instance at Occupation of Denmark it is stated clearly that a widely believed claim about King Christian X wearing the Star of David is false - and that story's not even absurd. See also the "urban legend" at Walt Disney. VV 06:13, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

Re-indenting. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 23:03, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)

I think you're still not understanding my point. I'm not concerned with what's "really" true and what's not, I'm concerned with how the position of various groups of people are described. Using a term like "conspiracy theorist" to label all of the report's critics is inherently POV. Also, please read version 1 of the disputed paragraph again and note that it doesn't mention invading Iraq either. You're fighting a strawman. Bryan 07:25, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I'm fighting this statement - "You probably shouldn't be stating that the claim is incorrect at all, IMO." - made by you. You are not a strawman, right? VV 07:30, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
The strawman is your claim that critics of the report are saying it was intended as a justification for the war on Iraq. That's not what version 1 above actually says, so arguing against it is completely irrelevant.
If you wish to jump back to discussing how you should dispute the position held by PNAC critics now, I suggest we actually go back to the thread where I made that satement. I'll do that now and elabourate. Bryan 07:45, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You made various statement; I am conversing with you, not the "thread". The fact that you think it is a matter of NPOV whether RAD states that invading Iraq is the goal in having the "new Pearl Harbor" suggests to me you simply don't know anything about it. Speaking of which, if you can point out an instance of me labelling all critics of the report "conspiracy theorists", I will gladly concede the entire debate to you. I never have and your implicit claim that I have is false and sadly reminiscent of my conversations with GBWR. VV 08:05, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Great googaly-moogaly. As I've said over and over again, I really don't know anything about this document - you don't need to "suspect" it, I've explicitly stated it from the beginning. Furthermore, the only version of that paragraph which says anything about RAD proposing the invasion of Iraq is the version that you yourself was edit-warring to have included in the article. The version that CK was trying to put in didn't even mention the notion at all. As for the conspiracy theorist thing, version 2 starts off with "Conspiracy theorists argue..." at the very beginning of the criticism, setting the label in mind for the whole thing. Anyway, I'm not going to bother repeating this stuff again - you clearly are not paying attention. Bryan 15:46, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Well, I can't stop using diplomatic language; if I call you "wholly ignorant" I'll be accused of making personal attacks. But you are clearly looking at form rather than content, probably stemming from not knowing about the latter. The bit about Iraq is relevant to this conversation inasmuch as you insist that calling this claim incorrect is POV. I am paying apparently better attention than you; look at your own words: "Using a term like "conspiracy theorist" to label all of the report's critics is inherently POV." I did not call all the report's critics conspiracy theorists, only those that make this particular claim about it. If you want Wikipedia to be an encyclopedia rather than a tabloid, absurd conspiratorial theories will not be treated the same as sound and rational counterpoints. VV 23:09, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

End of re-indenting. [[User:Poccil|Peter O. (Talk)]] 23:03, Oct 18, 2004 (UTC)


To answer said question, yes, there are many contributors here who just don't care about accuracy but want to smear somebody. I know this from having worked on Wikipedia's most controversial articles for a long time. VV 00:58, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
You know what kind of words PNAC member Dick Cheney would use in a case like yours... Funny that you still think that you are the only guy who behaves well after your zillions of edit wars. If all your friends are so unpopular here may that be because they behave like you? Get-back-world-respect 01:12, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
I know you enjoy ad hominem, but I would hope you'd use this Talk page to discuss this article productively. VV 01:19, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)
Sure, when someone tells you the obvious, that your behaviour is unacceptable, that is ad hominem. Maybe try to think rather than type and fight edit wars? Get-back-world-respect 01:28, 30 Sep 2004 (UTC)

After reading through both versions twice, it seems to me to be an open-and-shut case: version one conforms relatively well to the NPOV policy, presenting both of the opposing points of view. Version two appears to contain some heavy-handed editorializing, and the writer seems overly concerned that without the proper guidance, the reader may not arrive at the correct conclusion, i.e., that one point of view is vastly superior to the other. And, I'm amazed at the amount of hairsplitting going on on this talk page over the relatively minor differences between the two versions (the debate that runs way over to the right hand margin is a comic touch). --Herschelkrustofsky 02:30, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Sigh. Not everything deserves balance. Some views are simply beyond the pale. The Elvis Presley article should not give equal weight to the POV that he is still alive, nor George W. Bush to the theory that he is a reptilian humanoid. If you look at form rather than content, version 1 looks more NPOV, but when you look at the content you'll see it's pushing an absurd view as equal to a straightforward reading of the facts. VV 02:39, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Logic and common sense

  • Logic and common sense:
    • "Frequently quoted out of context" is not neutral
    • "Conspiracy theorists" is not neutral
    • "incorrectly claim" is not neutral
    • "partisan and ill-informed debate" is not neutral
Wow, it's just so easy! Now, see actual conversation above. (P.s. The last line is in both versions!) VV 04:41, 1 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Survey

Over on the Request for Arbitration VeryVerily has agreed to a survey, so I'm going to set one up. For the moment please do not vote; right now I'm just presenting the first draft for comment and modification (see Wikipedia:Survey guidelines).

/Survey

Please comment and make suggestions; I went with a completely "bland" and detail-free question but if we can agree on a deeper issue to address that would be welcome. Bryan 01:37, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

More examples of NPOV'ing.

<heavysarcasm>Here are some more examples of NPOV work, along the lines of CK's paragraphs above!:

In 1870 Sen. Bob Fittleson said that an attack on American soil would provoke a strong counterattack. Fittleson's detractors argue that Pearl Harbor was just such an attack.
Prof. Fooblatz writes on p.119, "For instance, if Ankara had a female mayor there would be rioting". His critics suggest that Gov. Jane Janeway (elected two years later) is just such a governor, and that her election was cynically exploited by politicians to crush Kurdish revolts.
In 1999 the Florida Weather Service announced that a Category 3 hurricane could cause extensive damage to ship docks on Miami Beach. Critics of the FWS have suggested that Ivan was just such a hurricane.

And of course,

In 1960 President Kennedy said, "America will put a man on the moon". His supporters argue that by that he meant that America would put a man on the moon.
In a particularly controversial statement, de Gaulle said, "France should protect the franc from further devaluation". Supporters claim that he was merely saying that France should protect the franc from further devaluation.

Isn't this fun? Let's get to work making this encyclopedia NPOV!</heavysarcasm> VV 08:30, 2 Oct 2004 (UTC)

This has absolutely nothing to do with this survey, and unless someone objects I'm going to move it back out into the main talk: page. Bryan 00:04, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Are the following statements reasonable? (address each statement individually)

The following section was a proposed question for the survey that turned into a debate that more properly belongs here on the main talk. Bryan 02:15, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

  1. the sept-11 attacks can be thought of as a "New Pearl Harbor" in the sense described in the document
  2. the sept-11 attacks enable an administration to accelerate the "process of transformation" suggested by the document, if the administration acting at the time is so motivated, as the document so states.
  3. the "process of transformation" described in the document includes america becoming more militant and unilateral
  4. since the sept-11 attacks, the adminstration has become significantly more militant and unilateral.
  5. prominent members of the acting adminstration helped write the document
  6. what is written in the document reflects the beliefs of those who wrote it
  7. it is reasonable to think that the people in the acting administration are acting according to their beliefs

(2) is where the breakdown occurs. The document does not say such an event would enable an administration to accelerate anything; it merely states such acceleration would occur. Of course the wording is also subtly spun to imply something that isn't there. (3) is flat wrong. VV 00:48, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

(2) stating that such an acceleration would occur is actually stronger than saying that it is enabled, i.e. that it could occur, and in fact implies that it is enabled; that it could occur. I don't think the wording should be strenghtened, because it is more difficult to demonstrate that it would inevitably occur than that it could occur, and I don't think there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate that it would occur. (BTW, I'm surprised: I was expecting you to want weaker wording.)
(3) the document talks about drastically increasing military spending, and the use of the military action to effect change in other soveirgnities. That is the definition of militant. The documents also talks about decisions regarding the use of this force being made by america, irrespective of presence or lack of the consent and/or cooperation of other nations. This is the definition of unilateral.
In any case, this is not the medium to discuss this. we're going to vote, to see where people's opinions lie. you can express your opinion in your vote, like everyone else. If you want to suggest a serious question to be in the poll, then do so. That's what we're doing now, in accordance with the procedure stated in the document regarding surveys that was cited on the parent page. Kevin Baas | talk 01:56, 2004 Oct 5 (UTC)

Voting is stupid. And you're wrong, there's a difference between saying "thunder causes rain" and "thunder can be used to cause rain", as the latter implies the intervention of an agent. You're wholly distorting words re (3); the section is about use of technology in the military. VV 05:10, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Do you not consider people to be "agents"? (3) does not refer exclusively to sections titled "Creating Tomorrow's Dominant Force" which are, according to you, not about creating tomorrow's dominant force, but about "the use of technology in the military" or "military use of information technologies" (which somehow does not strengthen the military?), rather, (3) refers to the whole document. If you think that voting is stupid, then don't vote. I think tyrannies are "stupid", but that's just me. Kevin Baas | talk 17:18, 2004 Oct 5 (UTC)
Oh, and I missed something - thunder and rain: the difference is between "rain neccessarily follows thunder" and "when there is thunder, the chance of rain is higher.". Factors which may alter the probabilities of there being or not being rain may be thought of as "agents", but "agency" is just a mental tool for understanding things. Kevin Baas | talk 17:24, 2004 Oct 5 (UTC)
You are either being deliberately dense, lazy, or stupid. I will refrain from speculating. VV 22:57, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The paragraph should mention Iraq, but should not say that critics of PNAC believe the paper in question was proposing the invasion of Iraq.

This is another thread that developed in response to a proposed question on the survey Bryan 02:19, 8 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Verily's tiresome strawman pokes its ugly head up once more. VV is attempting to characterise the critics as either conspiracy theorists or those who have not read the report, ignoring the real critics. VV, please note that version 1 does not use such intellectually dishonest tactics: you don't see a qualifier like "supporters of the PNAC mistakenly argue that the phrase A New Pearl Harbor does not appear in any PNAC documents" in there, do you? CK 21:38, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)

It is you who are attacking a strawman. I never refer to "critics of the PNAC" in my version at all. That is one reason this selection of "questions" is so disingenuous. VV 21:46, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
In fact it is precisely in deference to the "real critics" of the PNAC that I chose certain wording. No legitimate critic of the PNAC would want to be associated with this flagrantly dishonest reading of RAD. VV 21:52, 3 Oct 2004 (UTC)
But Verily, didn't you once say "Speaking of which, if you can point out an instance of me labelling all critics of the report "conspiracy theorists", I will gladly concede the entire debate to you"? CK 09:27, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
But I did, an offer which notably I was not taken up on. Now, perhaps you can explain the logical connection of this comment to mine at the same time as the "just such an event" logic. VV 10:31, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, yeah, you said before that you weren't labelling all the critics as conspiracy theorists, but now you're saying something different, right? Also, if my version is clunky by all means let's improve it. What bit of the "just such an event" is unclear to you? CK 20:24, 4 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I am not saying anything different. VV 00:35, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
VV, someone has laid out "my" position in question 15 in a much more organised and eloquent way than in my version. Would you please take a look at it and tell us what you think? CK 00:40, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I looked at it when it was posted. The same lapses in logic. VV 00:45, 5 Oct 2004 (UTC)

That letter to Bill Clinton

There's a link to the infamous PNAC letter to Clinton at the bottom of the article. However, there's nothing in the article about it.

As the letter is so well known and is cited regularly by critics of the Bush administration as evidence that they had already decided to invade Iraq and oust Saddam well before 2001, surely a small paragraph on the letter should be included in this article? It's certainly a more credible theory than the "new Pearl Harbor" mudslinging.

How about this?

In 1998, members of the PNAC including Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz wrote to the incumbent president, Bill Clinton, urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power using US diplomatic, political and military power. The letter cited the threat Saddam would pose to the US and its Middle-East allies if he succeeded in obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction. The letter recommended that the United Nations be ignored if it conflicted with US interests; "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council." Many critics of the Bush administration see this letter as a "smoking gun", showing that a second Gulf War was a foregone conclusion and any international opposition would be ignored.

Kyz 10:18, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

The letter was written at the time that Saddam had recently broken the terms of the truce by kicking out UN inspectors. The 2000 report issued by the PNAC would seem more officially representative, and it makes it clear that it expected the constabulary operations such as that in Kosovo and the no-fly zone in Iraq to continue, and argued specificially against withdrawing from them. One of the main points was that the US should specifically plan, staff and train for these contabulary roles. Saddam's now past actions were now referred to euphemistically as his continuing to occasionally pull the US chain. If critics argue that the second Gulf War was a forgone conclusion, perhaps it should be noted that they only way they could reach that they could reasonably reach that conclusion was by assuming that Saddam would continue to be intransigent and that the UN would not be able to persuade him to reform. One basic fallacy of a lot of the criticism of the PNAC influence on the administration, is that the international problems and international figures being dealt with are assumed to be immutable forces of nature that should be understood rather than expected to be rational, while the US must be rational and understanding. Perhaps we live in a world, where it is safer to be viewed as a force of nature whose chain it is dangerous to pull, rather than as rational and understanding. Perhaps the rest of the world then, will have to make the effort to be rational and understanding in dealing with this force of nature. --Silverback 10:58, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Forgive my frankness, but I thought you were smarter than that. Kevin Baas | talk 15:52, 2004 Oct 24 (UTC)
Silverback, you may a good point about the timing. How about opening "In 1998, following marked Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, members of the PNAC..."?
Given that both the letter and the report are official, public publications of the PNAC, I'm not sure how one could judge either to be "more officially representative", especially as the criticism is about the letter's signatories who are now in power. Many believe (here's one example from today alone) that Saddam would continue to be a persistant "chain yanker", as you put it. As the Saddam Hussein page states, "Iraqi co-operation with UN weapons inspection teams was intermittent throughout the 1990s. It now appears more likely that Iraq was playing a game of bluff, hoping to convince the Western powers and the other Arab states that Iraq was still a power to be reckoned with, than that Iraq was hiding significant stockpiles of prohibited materials." Kyz 03:29, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
A "report" at a later date would be a more considered opinion than a "letter" written in response to an acute situation and in addition would be more current. Can we make clear what the critics meant? Did they mean that they thought the PNAC wanted to go to war no matter what Saddam did, i.e., that the PNAC advocated an unreasonable policy? Or, did they mean that they thought it unlikely that Saddam would change, and that PNAC influence on the administration would mean that it would not be as patient with sanctions as previous administrations, trying them over and over again, hoping for a different result? When the critics say that they thought international opposition would be ignored, did they mean that the US would not attempt to go back to the UN and solicit its support? If that was what they meant, then this paragraph should note that these critics were wrong, because the US did not ignore international opposition, but engaged in negotiation and dialogue for months. The US also did not ignore international support. What did the critics mean?--Silverback 06:13, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Silverback, the reason critics choose to note the letter at all is because it is (or appears to be) the earliest public statement from the PNAC backing a US military takeover of Iraq with open hostility to the UN if it conflicts with US interest. Older documents stating this position would be better. More recent documents, like the 2000 report, are worse from the critics' perspective. The rest of your comments appear to be unconstructive nitpicking. This is an article about the PNAC, not articles about its many critics. Those critics cover a wide range of positions, from those that believe the 2003 US-led occupation of Iraq was ultimately acceptable, to those that believe any occupation would be unacceptable, even if Saddam launched nukes and the UN Sec Council gave unanimous backing. Their common ground is that they reference this letter, which is why I believe it should be noted in the article. Furthermore, "ignored" does not mean "not consulted", it means "ignored", which is exactly what happened (no UNSC resolution was secured, but occupation began anyway). Nice strawman.
Since ignored is obviously POV and is not supported by the letter, it should only enter based on a critics quote, citing the letter, and explaining in detail what is meant by "ignore". On the face of it the letter's recommendations include diplomatic efforts and does not even suggest ignoring UN security council unanimity, just recommending that it not be "insisted" upon.--Silverback 08:34, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
If "ignore" doesn't fly with you, that's OK. How does this revision look to you?
In 1998, following marked Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, members of the PNAC including Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz wrote to the incumbent president, Bill Clinton, urging him to remove Saddam Hussein from power using US diplomatic, political and military power. The letter cited the threat Saddam would pose to the US and its Middle-East allies if he succeeded in obtaining Weapons of Mass Destruction. The letter also stated "American policy cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council." Many critics of the Bush administration see this letter as a "smoking gun", showing that a second Gulf War was a foregone conclusion. In 2003, the US led an invasion of Iraq, despite failing to obtain a UN Security Council resolution authorising the invasion.
I think "incumbant" is unnecessary. On the final phrase, I would prefer "failing to obtain a new UN security council resolution specifically authorizing the invasion." Remember the US did obtain the "serious consequences" resolution and tries to hang its hat on that as well as the earlier resolutions. I think you correctly state what the critics concluded, although, they might well be wrong, absent 9/11 or an increase in Saddam's provocations, other attempts at regime change, e.g., encouraging a coup or internal opposition, plugging the holes in sanctions, etc, would have been the likely course. Unfortunately, 9/11 occurred early in the Bush administration before theses policies could crystalize.--Silverback 10:28, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Thanks for the feedback. I'll make these changes if/when the article becomes unprotected. Unfortunately, we'll never be able to show that critics drew incorrect conclusions, as history is now set. Critics prior to March 2003 who said the US would ignore the outcome of UNSC negotiations and invade anyway (for example Rory Bremner), highlighting the PNAC letter, were correct in their prediction. Kyz 12:36, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
FYI, the Popular opposition to war on Iraq article says "the United States under Bush was seen as a 'bully' determined to force the international community to accept its demand for a war against Iraq, and if necessary ignore the international community in the United Nations". You should remove that POV. Kyz 09:39, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
I think it is also OK for you to attribute "ignore" to the critics in response to the letter, if that is what the critics thought, however, there needed to be enough detail about the letter so that the critics opinion did not serve as the only characterization of the letter. Once you have the note about the recommending diplomacy and the unanimity warning. The POV problem as I saw it, was the the critics characterization was being allowed to represent the letter, and not just their opinion. A link to the original can't be the only counterbalance. I will check the other page, but not prejudge it based on this excerpt. --Silverback 10:28, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
You are quite correct. Wikipedia should strive for clarity, and critics' opinion of the Bush administration and the PNAC itself should not become mingled with the fact of the letter's existence and its signatories' stated opinions. Kyz 12:36, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Guys, this has been protected for nearly a month now. When's it gonna be unprotected? I've wanted to make a tiny edit for weeks... Evercat 23:57, 24 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Well, we went through a survey on the matter that was being edit-warred over, and the results seemed to show pretty conclusively a consensus against VeryVerily's position. However, VeryVerily also said quite vociferously that he didn't accept the survey's results, so failing that we may be stuck waiting for Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration#User:VeryVerily to grind its way through to a conclusion. Anyone want me to take a shot at unprotecting the article and see if the edit war just flares back into life again? Bryan 03:49, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
It's safe to say that, at any rate, the survey questions had little to do with the matter at hand. Of course, that's how you wanted it. And I made no comment on the results, only on the skewed and irrelevant questions that were being asked. VeryVerily 04:49, 25 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Well, if what VV says is true, then we seem to have an ontological dilemna here: The disputed paragraph that there is an edit war over, the two possible versions of it, is not the "matter at hand", when it comes to the disputed paragraph that there is an edit war over. In all my years of philosophy, I have never encountered such an intractable dilemna.
VV says that the survey questions had little to do with the matter at hand. Perhaps VV would like to do his own survey? Maybe this time he would propose questions to be on the survey. Or maybe he'd prefer to refuse, after multiple solicitations, to propose questions to be on the survey, and then complain that the questions he wanted to be on the survey were not on the survey, again. Well, shame on us all for not working cooperatively and productively with VV, as VV loves to point out. Kevin Baas | talk 18:25, 2004 Oct 26 (UTC)
Have fun with your blustering about ontology, but I'm not interested. I could explain again the numerous problems with the fraudulent survey you forced over my objections, but it would be wholly redundant. No, I would not like to do my own survey, as I think surveys are not very helpful in cases such as this. But I explained that before too. VeryVerily 11:58, 29 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Should the page be unprotected?

So, shall I unprotect the page or what? The arbitration request has five arbitrators out of nine having cast votes on whether to accept it now, so there may soon be progress on that front. On the other hand, I dislike leaving a version protected that's so widely considered to be POV. Bryan 05:23, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

What "version" do you propose having? VeryVerily 10:49, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Forget the versions, there were flaws in both, despite the flaws in the survey, it bought time while the discussions progressed. The current version is extremely POV, just as in the Clinton letter, it shouldn't be the critics characterization that describes the document, there should be a more objective, documented summary. "accusations" should not be euphemized as "suggestions", etc. Unprotect the page.--Silverback 10:58, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
But this particular charge is not a serious "accusation" or "criticism". It is a tabloid smear based on deceptive quotation. If it's to be included at all, any formulation that doesn't make its status clear is going to be misleading. VeryVerily 16:23, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Even with my rather cursory websearches on this subject, I've found quite a bit of serious discussion of this issue out on the web. I think it deserves more respect than Bat Boy or crashed saucers at Roswell. But I'm not going to argue the point with you any more, I'm going to just try unprotecting the page for a bit and see what happens. If the edit war resumes I'll shut it down again. Bryan 17:20, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Obviously you should recuse yourself from any such action. VeryVerily 17:55, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
What such action, reverting the article? Sure, if you'll recuse yourself as well. :) Bryan 20:17, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Protecting it, obviously, which would be a gross abuse of admin powers. VeryVerily 22:13, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Please unprotect the article. If VeryVerily makes another unilateral reversion, as he certainly will, please restore the consensus agreed upon in this survey and freeze the article until VeryVerily has been banned. Shorne 19:04, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

I think it's quite proper to protect it again if the reverting starts up. I'd be reluctant to "choose" which version to protect it in, though, even with the IMO very clear consensus from the survey. Perhaps I could make a specific request to that end on the RfP page and see if someone else will do it. Bryan 20:17, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)
Choosing a preferred version is against policy. And not even by your perverse logic and your fraudulent survey can it be argued that there is "consensus" either way. If you're serious about ending this impasse, how about doing something productive like proposing ideas for changing it, and if it's to be serious not including trolls like Shorne in the process? VeryVerily 22:13, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

May all be a moot point anyway, looks like the arbitration case on this issue was just accepted by ArbCom. Bryan 23:45, 31 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Perhaps the impass is over and the ArbCom should be saved what may now be obsolete effort. I don't know how to initiate this however. --Silverback 17:03, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Quote from a commediane?

I question the quote from Bremner, a comedianne. Is he a universally regarded Will Rogers type? I'm not unalterably opposed to the use of his quote, but would like to know the justification, it might come in handy in justifying other things elsewhere.--Silverback 20:30, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I'm not sure what a "Will Rogers type" would entail. Bremner is a satirist, an impressionist and a political comedian. His work is respected for attention to detail and accurate research. For an overview, see this example. Compare Peter Cook and Mark Thomas[6]. If you watch the Bremner monologue (or read the transcript), you'll note that it is the spoken equivalent of a political broadsheet opinion piece, rather than a series of jokes. Kyz 01:39, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

"reservations" in the international community

Without elaboration or qualification, this is misleading because there was a lot of agreement in the international community. For instance, most would agree that Saddam still was not in compliance and had not been forthcoming, most would agree that inspections would not be going on at all if not for the expensive US troop buildup on the border. Yes, some thought given more time, inspections might make some more progress, some were willing to accept that the unaccounted for WMD might actually have been destroyed. This part should be at least qualified as "some in the international community" or better yet, more detail given. The link to the other wikipedia is more supportive of "some" than it is of painting the whole international community with one broad brush.--Silverback 21:14, 1 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Why "on the subject of Iraq" does not start the paragraph.

The context of the criticism is to iterate and address criticism of the PNAC. It is not to randomly discuss PNAC documents.

There is a paragraph which begins "Many critics also claim that the PNAC believed this "new Pearl Harbor" would justify war on Iraq, but there is no evidence in the report to back up this assertion; on the subject of Iraq, ...". It follows this logical train of thought. It continues to describe the use of Iraq in the document, in reference to the central premise of the paragraph that critics are incorrect to claim an association between the PNAC's "new Pearl Harbour" quote and the PNAC's justification for attacking Iraq.

If any of the material in that paragraph is irrelevant to that premise, delete it. If cut the first clause from the paragraph and paste it on to the end of the prior paragraph, it becomes an uncorroborated statement followed by a meaningless paragraph.

The tabloid garbage about the "new Pearl Harbor" line does not deserve two paragraphs. That subject should be closed quickly so real issues can be covered. The PNAC's views on Iraq, however, are very important and relevant, and (to borrow a phrase) transcend the issue of the misquotation. It is not totally out of place to put it in the "Controversy" section, as it is a contentious issue. Something of a reorganization might be called for, but only introducing the PNAC's views on Iraq in connection with this crackpot attack is not sensible. VeryVerily 04:52, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
If that's how you feel, then prune that section. Please put the PNAC's views in the "core views and beliefs" section, so they can be distinguished from what the PNAC's critics consider their views to be. If you want to expand on their views of Iraq, here are some sources to start with: [7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] Kyz 10:32, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Every time I try to prune that section, it starts an edit war. Right now it's about the minimum possible without eruption. So I'm more of a mind just to keep it focused. Like I say, putting their views on Iraq in the Controversy section is not wholly inappropriate, as it's a big part of their controversialness. Probably adding a bit about how these views are frowned upon by legitimate critics would make it yet more appropriate. VeryVerily 10:39, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

What are the PNAC critics points that should be captured?

I would like all the PNAC critics points to be clearly captured.

One point is that there is a lot of PNAC representation and presumably influence within the Bush administration. I think this is probably well documented in the article already.

Do the critics think that certain PNAC positions are explicit but not well known and need to be exposed? Which positions, do we have them all yet?

  • "the belief that America should seek to preserve and extend its position of global leadership by maintaining the preeminence of U.S. military forces"
  • desire for "a global security order that is uniquely friendly to American principles and prosperity."
  • desire for "geopolitcal preeminence"
  • desire for "unquestioned U.S. military preeminence"
  • desire "to match military means to geopolitical ends." (which can be used for only one purpose: to meet geopolitical ends by military means)
  • desire to "exert global political leadership" (a.k.a., and I know this sounds ridiculous, but the equivocation is very direct: global=world, political leadership=government, a.k.a. "geopolitical preeminence")
In sum, whether they are aware of it or not, PNAC seems to state, somewhat un-surreptitiously, that it desires, well, arbitrary, unlimited, and unchecked power. Kevin Baas | talk 20:58, 2004 Nov 2 (UTC)
It is the overstated extrapolations, unchecked by reality that are unjustified. There is no sign for instance, that the PNAC wants to escape the checks and balances of the US constitutional system. Futhermore, if the critics are correct and the PNAC has been in power within the Bush administration, they certainly have been limited by budgetary and manpower constraints and have not proposed increases that would make even taking on both Iran and N. Korea at the same time halfway contemplatable. US standoff targeting is indeed excellant, and the highly accurate bunker buster capability would make sure no foreign leader could feel comfortable being openly hostile and a legitimate threat to the US and having his location known. US military capability is stressed by even a couple of minor conflicts, although the Iraq conflict has freed up airpower that was tied down, and the PNAC to the extent they are in power, has shown no signs of significant further increases. Perhaps it takes less to assure US military preeminence than the critics fear.--Silverback 21:40, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
By unchecked, I do not mean unchecked by the constitution, but unchecked ("unquestioned", "geopolitical preeminence") by other nations. For example, not checked by the U.N. by a "global test", as Bush's campaign rhetoric called it. But in our nation founded on the theory of Rule of Law, because this is a "treaty entered into under the Authority of the United States", it is the "Supreme Law of the Land", and it is the president's sworn duty, as cheif executive (the executive branch executes the laws) to "take Care that the laws are carried out". So you see, this amounts to bypassing the checks in the Constitution, not to mention the theory of the American government.
It is not "how much" it takes to assure US military preeminence that the critics fear, its what the Rebuilding America's Defenses document calls a "Unipolar" world, esp. when that "one pole" is self-righteous. Kevin Baas | talk 22:26, 2004 Nov 2 (UTC)


Do the critics think that PNAC positions are different or more extreme than they have made explicit, and that a fair inference can be made from evidence that supports this? The evidence and lines of reasoning should be presented.

On the contrary, PNAC critics think that PNAC positions are no more or less extreme than they have made explicit. They believe that supporters think that PNAC positions are less extreme than they have made explicit. For example a supporter might say that "critics say that the document can be viewed as proposing or suggesting the desiribility of unquestioned u.s. military preeminence.", when, in fact, the document explicitly states this. Kevin Baas | talk 20:58, 2004 Nov 2 (UTC)

Do the critics that Bush decisions would be different without PNAC influence, i.e., that he is not getting enough different viewpoints?

I think that this is typical of the way things work in certain circles in the American government. For example, "Rebuilding America's Defenses" (which ironically primarily discusses not rebuilding, but taking to unprecedented levels, not defensive, but offensive military power (power for the purpose of "extention" and to be matched with "geopolitcal ends" - another point not included) states that "each paper took as its starting point a shared strategic point of view". Kevin Baas | talk 20:58, 2004 Nov 2 (UTC)

Do the critics suggest that Bush did not know that the PNAC members already had rather fixed ideas before he appointed them, i.e., they kept their "extreme" views secret?

Do the critics not believe that secrecy is involved at all, they just think there is a Secretary of State vs PNAC battle within the whitehouse and they want to make sure it is exposed, so that Secretary Powells viewpoint will get a fair hearing?

Hope this assists in developing a well presented framework.--Silverback 18:30, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)

U.S.-Iraq relations category?

I don't think this category belongs. This is simply an American thinktank which, among many other things, has promoted foreign policy views on Iraq; it is not a state apparatus. VeryVerily 09:03, 11 Dec 2004 (UTC)

People are ontologically prior to state apparati, and if you take a look at the list... Kevin Baas | talk 22:59, 2004 Dec 11 (UTC)
Spare me the gibberish. I suppose you'd list all the world's people in List of countries, since they're "ontologically prior"? VeryVerily 09:11, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Is there a page which describes the meaning of putting a category on a page? Would this category merely mean that those who are interested in U.S./Iraq relations might also be interested in this page, or does it have the effect of pidgeon holing this page as narrowly relating to that (which would be wrong)? BTW, I assume Kevin means "individuals have mass, while the state doesn't", a significant point, if not clearly relevant.--Silverback 08:45, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I don't understand this relevant/significant distinction's application here, but to answer your question, indeed adding the category does do the "pidgeonholding" you note. To refer to a category, one can use the "colon" syntax, Category:Sex, which is done in a handful of cases, though its utility here is dubious at least though not obviously wrong to the degree that KB's crusade is. VeryVerily 20:37, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Those are all interesting questions, Silverback. Let me address your last sentence first: Your assumption is incorrect, as I'm sure you knew before you expressed it. (and it is therefore not constructive) People are the sources of belief and action (not material; "mass"). It is from their beliefs and actions that apparti are formed, and not the reverse. It is also solely from their beliefs and actions that the operations of abstract social constructs such as "apparati" find their true origin; they are the "agents". This is what I mean by "ontologically prior". The mutual information between two manifestations such as "Project for the New American Century" and "U.S. - Iraqi relations", i.e. the "relevance", is directly proportional to the relative quantity of shared agents. Kevin Baas | talk 20:46, 2004 Dec 13 (UTC)
I've reviewed the standards for categories. I did not find their application clear here. Their use is not supposed to be controversial, and VV appears to think it is in this case. However, there is signficant discussion of Iraq on this page, and there are many PNAC persons in the administration that would have had some input on Iraq-US relations. However, the presumed focus on Iraq on this page, is itself controversial, and although the links to the administration are obvious and the opinions expressed by the PNAC indicate they don't believe in appeasement or idle threats, does this justify singling the PNAC out for this category, when a significant percentage of Americans thought similarly and presumably other think tanks did also. So, I looked at the list of pages in the category, the first think I noticed was the GHW was there but not W, but that just seemed an oversight. The second thing was that PNAC was the only think tank noted. Clinton and any think tanks that advised him were missing, as were articles on the military actions he ordered. So while including PNAC in the catagory may seem reasonable, the category itself may be biased, and seen as an attempt to revisit the over emphasis and daemonization of the PNAC on Iraq issue that has been a contentious issue on this page. After all of this, I still don't feel strongly about the issue, but perhaps a compromise might be to first bring more balance to the entries in the category and then adding it here would be more acceptable.--Silverback 00:28, 14 Dec 2004 (UTC)
It's unfortunate that your investigation wasn't more conclusive. It is often hard to see through the fog of war. Kevin Baas | talk 00:34, 2004 Dec 14 (UTC)

I added the category initially. I can't imagine why this is controversial. It seems to me that someone perusing the category US-Iraqi relations is quite likely to find this article of interest. Identifying such articles is the function of categories, it is not intended to "pigeon-hole" an article. The category does not indicate that PNAC is exclusively concerned with Iraq. Other categories may also be relevant. If for some reason you think this article would not be of particular interest to someone interested in US-Iraqi relations, I'd be interested to know why. Adding category back for now. Wolfman 04:01, 15 Dec 2004 (UTC)

The point is not whether the PNAC deals exclusively with Iraq; indeed, if you review the comments about, that argument was never made at all, so I don't see why you seek to rebut it. The point is a thinktank, even one with an opinion on the Iraq issue, is not a state organ and does not belong in a category on state-to-state relations. Otherwise we wind up stacking this article with The Weekly Standard, National Review, Paul Wolfowitz, Halliburton, etc. In fact, I don't even think the category is terribly useful at all. VeryVerily 05:17, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Why should it have to deal exclusively with Iraq to be included? PNAC is closely identified with the formulation of US policy towards Iraq. There is a large section on Iraq in the article. Your examples of the The Weekly Standard etc are silly, and in no way comparable to PNAC which had as one of its missions the re-orientation of US policy towards Iraq. Many if not most people seeking information about the background of US policy towards Iraq would find this article of interest.
Categories are not labels. They do not say "this aritcle is exclusively about X". Rather, the idea is that one can examine a category and find pertinent articles. Much like a directory search on Yahoo. Reverting. We can take this to mediation if you like VV, but I stand by the category otherwise. Wolfman 18:01, 16 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I am reverting, if for no reason other than that your comments re exclusively indicate that you completely ignored what I said, making dialogue impossible. VeryVerily 04:29, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Hmm, my bad on the reply. I did not ignore what you said. Rather, I misread it in haste and missed the negation. At any rate, if you think the category is not useful, by all means submit it to CFD. Since the category does exist, this seems to me clearly relevant to it. So, I'll be putting it back. The argument for that is simple:
PNAC is relevant to Iraq policy since one of its stated missions was to re-orient that policy. Moreover, since the members actually are policymakers, PNAC likely did in fact exert influence over that policy. Someone interested in Iraq policy perusing the relevant category would likely find this article of interest. Wolfman 02:53, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Okay, sorry if I was too harsh, it's just that even misreading can make it very hard to have a conversation. I am considering submitting a CfD request, but it would have to be convincing to rebut the prima facie assumption that this category is useful. At any rate, the category needs to be trimmed, which I shall do. Anyway, even with this last disconnect cleared up, I feel you are not heeding the arguments we are making. I don't see why The Weekly Standard wouldn't fit under your scenario: it loudly beat the drums for war, and enjoys wide circulation among government figures. To give another example, I wouldn't want Category:Cold War or (more to the point) a U.S.-Soviet relations category to be filled up with the Heritage Foundation and so on, because these are non-governmental groups of private citizens who favor certain goals. The intersection between the PNAC and the government pertains to the people in that intersection, not the organization itself. VeryVerily 19:47, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Well, yes it is the people who matter. The people in PNAC actually make policy, and those people formed PNAC with the intent of developing and promoting that policy. It seems a lot simpler to just have PNAC in the category than to have 30 or so PNAC members in the category. I don't see what harm it would do to have a think-tank or two listed in the Cold War category. If think tanks substantially affected the Cold War, why shouldn't they be included as interesting and relevant? I don't see any danger of Wikipedia categories being overrun with such inclusions. If it becomes a problem, we can handle it then.
As to the The Weekly Standard, if you think that article would be of particular interest to those interested in US policy towards Iraq, feel free to add the category there. However, as that article doesn't even mention Iraq, I don't really see why that would be helpful. Wolfman 21:05, 18 Dec 2004 (UTC)