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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:33 am 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
Eeeeeexcellent.


Is that a Monty Burns eeeexcellent? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 7:46 pm 
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DarKweaver wrote:
I am convinced that in the Watchmen world nuclear holocaust was simply a matter or time. Blake thought so, Veidt thought so, hell Nixon and his cronies thought so.


I have to disagree on the matter of Nixon. As my previous analysis noted, Nixon may have been under a lot of pressure, but he wasn't ready ot push the button. He was sitting. And waiting. If he was convinced (like some of his aides were) of war's inevitability, he wouldn't have the keys still locked in the football. He'd be pushing the button to minimize the effects on his own country. He's not yet convinced that's necessary.

BTW, Truman bombed the Japanese so they would surrender to him rather than Moscow. His decision wasn't totally based on military projections of casualties on an invasion of Japan. You have to remember that prior to Pearl Harbor, the Americans were rooting for the Nazis, who had designs on the USSR.

DarKweaver wrote:
If however it was shown that an alternative plan would have worked, then I would side against Adrian.


That would be engaging in conjecture. We have no way of knowing what Adrian may have been thinking, what possibilities he may have entertained and discarded. And just because we can't think of a better plan doens't mean a saner, more humane, and workable one can't exist.

DarKweaver wrote:
What would be the point of discussing it with Rorschach, or Dan, or Laurie?


Never mind them: Adrian, as smartest man in the world could have discretely consulted with scientists, philosophers, politicians, business figures, etc (without necessarily tiping his hand, mind you). Veidt had no problem hiring these people to carry out his plan and keep thme in the dark. His sociopathy, and in particular the paranoia attached to it would not allow anyone else in on the plan. His vanity (also part of the sociopathy complex) would also not allow outside participation. He not only needed to solve the Gordian knot in the most brutal way possible, but his massive ego required him to do it on his own. In the end, the world Adrian wants to save doesn't necessarily include human lives.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 9:33 pm 
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Darkweaver wrote:
...but my second degree was in Modern History...



Darkweaver wrote:
On the other hand Truman, an unelected man, had what he at the time felt was a stark decision, drop the bomb on Hiroshima, or try to invade Japan. Having looked at the history, I beleive that whilst the American high command were aware that Japan would surrender to the Russians without the bomb, Truman wasn't. His choice in his mind was simple, 1M+ American lives, plus all the Japanese casualties lost in an invasion, or drop the bomb on Hiroshima with the loss of 300,000 Japanese lives.


To be quite frank, Truman apologists are almost as unamusing as Hitler apologists.

Truman knew the attrocity he was committing. The simple truth is that the firebombing of Tokyo had already killed more than Hiroshima and Nagasaki combined. But it wasn't a single bomb. It was a campaign.

Japan was cut off... surrounded... done for... begging to surrender...

...to Russia.

And therein lies the problem for Truman.

Germany had already surrendered to Russia.

Truman wanted a Japanese surrender to position the U.S. for the redrawing of the Eurasian map and for the upcoming Cold War. And, to get it, he became one of the most heinous war criminals in the history of the world. And he deserved to hang for it.

Just as Hitler deserved to hang for his crimes.

Just as Milosevic and Hussein deserved to hang for theirs.

Just as William Jefferson Clinton deserves to hang for the unprovoked bombing of Serbia. Just as George W. Bush deserves to hang for the unprovoked invasion of Iraq.

The citizens of the world are not pawns and foreign lands are not spaces on a chessboard.

Justice does not carry an American flag.

But, as a student of history... you should know these things already.


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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 10:16 pm 
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They weren't "begging to surrender" to Russia. There were noncommittal proposals floating around, and that's about it.

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 Post subject: Dr. My eyes...
PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:51 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
They weren't "begging to surrender" to Russia. There were noncommittal proposals floating around, and that's about it.


How slippery of you. But words have meanings as well as slippery connotations, now don't they?

"Noncommittal proposals." Let's look at those words.

Noncommittal... Refusing commitment to a particular opinion or course of action; not revealing what one feels or thinks.

Proposal... the act of offering or suggesting something for acceptance, adoption, or performance.

A proposal, by its very nature, is noncommittal until such time as it is accepted, at which point it becomes an agreement.

So, yes, Japan attempting to negotiate a conditional surrender would technically fall under "noncommittal proposals." Words mean things. But these words do not rebut my statement. You might argue that "begging" is too strong a word, and I'll stipulate. Japan doesn't beg. But they were attempting to enter into negotiations for a conditional surrender through the Soviet Union. Truman did not want this to happen and stated that surrender needed to be unconditional, knowing full well that Japan would perish before accepting that.

There was a schism in Japan's Big Six between their Hawks and their Doves, but the fact remains that they had put out feelers, mostly through the Soviet Union, that they wanted an end of the war and wanted to negotiate possession of their home islands and the retention of their Emperor.

Truman was aware of this. The dropping of the atomic bombs were completely unnecessary in ending the war. But Truman had put off meeting with Churchill and Stalin because he wanted the bomb tested. He wanted that ace before the meeting. Why? Because after convincing the Soviet Union to enter the Pacific War, the atomic bomb changed everything. Truman no longer wanted Stalin's help because then he'd have to give him more concessions. He wanted to win the war without Stalin. After all, Stalin had already made out like a bandit in Eastern Europe.

After Hiroshima, Stalin realized the gambit and immediately declared war on Japan. Manchuria was his convenient entry point.

Truman told the American people that Hiroshima was a military target. There is no such thing as a "military target" in an atomic bombing and the vast majority of those killed were civillian men, women, and children.

The Truman parallel works in Watchmen on many levels. Truman was a mass murderer and war criminal who perpetrated his high crime through a well-constructed filter of lies... just like Veidt. And history, to the extent that his lies are accepted, judges his actions as mathematically acceptable.

And the irony of Walter making a hero of Truman and an enemy of Veidt.


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:41 pm 
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It seems to me the only argument the pro-Veidt camp uses to back up it's arguments is his dogged determination to save the world and his "the end justifies the means" attitude. At the root of this is the contentious issue as to whether nuclear war is unavoidable.

Historically, others have set out to save the world (or at least, their corner of it) from one horror or another and have certainly used less than tasteful means to achieve it. Here's a few examples...

Adolph Hitler was convinced that there was a Jewish conspiracy that led to Germany's downfall in WWI and continued to afflict that country. He based his Final Solution on the extermination of Jews, killing 6 million in the process. In restrospect, no one has any ever uncovered any convincing evidence that such a conspiracy ever existed.

During WWII, American and Canadian government interned Japanese immigrants and their families in work camps, based on the belief that there were operatives planted in the community spying on the allied war effort. There was little evidence to support this belief, but Japanese Americans and Canadians had their property confiscated (and never returned after the war was over).

Senator Joseph McCarthy, certain that American society was infiltrated by Communist operatives, began to aggressively investigate american citizens, particularly entertainers, educators, and union activists. His bullying and intimidation tactics later proved to be his undoing, but in the meantime the careers of many were ruined by is efforts.

Come to think of it, I can't come up with one historical example where "the ends justifies the means" didn't involve violence, brutality, or plain intimidation. If you are judged by the company that you keep, then Adrian has a list pretty nasty predecessors.

I suppose if your house is on fire and you have to choose between your spouse and your children, I can see deciding to let one die over the other. I can also imagine having to live with the decision would be unbearable.

As far as beliefs of nuclear war's inevitability? Well, my generation and the one before mine thought it was a certainty. The fact that we are here to have this discussion proves it was one thing we were all wrong about. In Watchmen's case, there is no conclusive evidence that the house was on fire.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 1:02 am 
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Neither Hitler nor McCarthy believed all the nonsense they told the public. If I recall correctly, Roosevelt put the Japanese into work camps because of overwhelming public pressure, rather than because of his own suspicions.

Re "noncommittal proposals": Well, Vynson, you say that they were "begging to surrender." I don't see "tentative feelers" as "begging" - that's more "weighing your options." Also, their government was divided between pro-surrender and anti-surrender (as you mention), and the harmless condition you mention - the maintenance of the emperor - came with the catch that he would have veto power over occupation reforms.

Re the atomic bomb being careless slaughter: we warned citizens. We dropped thousands and thousands of fliers over Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Their government told them not to leave the city.

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Last edited by The Veidt Method on Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:58 am 
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McCarthy and Hitler did beleive the bullshit they were spreading around. But these guys weren't evil so much as their intentions (which were bad enough), but for the methods they used to achieve them. They wrapped themselves in noble intentions while they committed various atrocities in the name of their beliefs.

Yes, there was public pressure to intern Japanese Americans, but the public pressure was due recurring news articles making claims about espionage. And it was Roosevelt, not Truman, who was president at the time. The point is, the public was convinced. The end result was the same. Thousands of citizens lost everything. The few were sacrificed for the supposed benefit of the many. On a false premise.

So, do you happen have any solid data to back up your own position? I'm tired of doing your homework for you ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:21 am 
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dandreiberg wrote:
Yes, there was public pressure to intern Japanese Americans, but the public pressure was due recurring news articles making claims about espionage.

New agencies run by... the public?

Quote:
And it was Roosevelt, not Truman, who was president at the time.

My bad, my mind was on the bomb.

Quote:
The point is, the public was convinced. The end result was the same. Thousands of citizens lost everything. The few were sacrificed for the supposed benefit of the many. On a false premise.

Except, the leaders in the situations you mention knew that they weren't right, really. Look at McCarthy, who openly lied - he couldn't have believed he was right, he just made shit up. Roosevelt caved into the public fearmongering.

Hitler spread lies and built on existing antisemitism in order to rise to power. Sure, he said stuff like "Hence today I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord," but he also said:

“Make the lie big, make it simple, keep saying it, and eventually they will believe it.”
“It is not truth that matters, but victory."
"Christianity is an invention of sick brains: one could imagine nothing more senseless, nor any more indecent way of turning the idea of the Godhead into a mockery..."
"The best thing is to let Christianity die a natural death... When understanding of the universe has become widespread... Christian doctrine will be convicted of absurdity..."

He used false adherence to religious and antisemitic ideals to achieve greater power.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Sun Feb 03, 2008 11:19 pm 
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The Veidt Method wrote:
New agencies run by... the public?


News agencies such as Hearst. They convinced the public of the "yellow menace".

The Veidt Method wrote:
Look at McCarthy, who openly lied -


Perhaps, but he believed that American society was infiltrated by communists. Everything he did, including the lies, was in aid of eradicating this perceived threat .

The Veidt Method wrote:
Hitler spread lies and built on existing antisemitism in order to rise to power.


Nonetheless, he based everything on his own personal hatred of Jews. That this resonated with the German population simply worked to his advantage.

Indeed: “It is not truth that matters, but victory."

That, my friend, is saying "the ends justify the means". Just like Adrian Veidt (who wasn't afraid to perpetuate the Big Lie himself), anything that would further his cause was fair play. There were no lines that couldn't be crossed, no morality that couldn't be bent in pursuit of this.

Hitler did not believe he was evil. Nor did Joseph McCarthy. Nor does Adrian Veidt. All did whatever needed to be done to see their personal utopia accomplished. No price was too high. No human cost was too prohibitive. No method was forbidden. Because the plan, the goal, the holy grail was sacrosanct. Nothing and no one was permitted to stand in its way.

That is the essence of their evil. Their utopias were based on a premise that at best arguable and at worst false. Achieving that goal was pursued brutally and without remorse.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:07 am 
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I am not an apologist for Truman or any one else for that matter Vynson. Whilst I agree with you that the American high command was fully conversant with the nuances of the Japanese situation, from what I have read for the most part Truman was not. He was presented with a stark choice from his commanders, and he chose. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Hitler is an entirely different debate, and to be honest his relevance to Adrian's actions escapes me. Hitler may have believed his anti-semitic rubbish, but he wasn't acting out of necessity in order to try to stop a nuclear holocaust. McCarthy was simply an ambitious senator that jumped on a bandwagon so he could rise to power. He saw that J.Edgar Hoover was vehemently anti-communist, and traded in on the tide of anti-communist feeling in the 50s to gain influence. He was an oppotunist of the highest order, but his situation isn't really relevant to Veidt's either.

I think that in Watchmen it is fairly obvious from the evidence presented that nuclear war was inevitable, either sooner or later. Once Jon left, it became sooner rather than later. Whilst I agree that Adrian accelerated Jon leaving, he did so, only when he had implemented his plan to save humanity. He did not precipitate Jon leaving, nor did he engineer it, he accelerated the process. From the Russian reaction, it was obvious they were just waiting for Jon to leave before flexing their mucles, and then its only a matter of time before the "birds fly".

As I stated before, it is unknowable if Adrian was right, because we don't have the relevant information. If we can determine that there was an alternative, Adrian was wrong, if there was no alternative, then he was right. We cannot know if there was an alternative so the point is moot.

We can now debate his motives and psychological motivations for doing so, but there is simply no way of knowing if he was right or not.

Sometimes hard decisions have to be taken, where the needs of the few are outweighted by the needs of the many, in fact this is what the democratic process is entirely built upon, the tyranny of the masses. If you cannot accept this, or cannot face the awful responsiblity of that then I can see how you might criticise Adrian's choices. If you accept that the decision had to be taken, and that someone had to take it the why argue about Adrian taking it? You could even argue that from one viewpoint, Adrian acted so that others who were less qualified, and less able, did not have to. He took the burden of the knowledge and "blame" for what to be done, so that other armchair quarterbacks could then carp from the sidelines, after the fact whilst not accepting the dreadful facts as they stand.

1) Nuclear war was inevitable
2) Somone had to do something to stop MAD (mutually assured destruction)
3) Adrian stepped up, did something and succeeded

Unless you can demonstrate that Veidt's decision was wrong (which I have already shown is impossible), how can your cirticise his choice based on the assumption that something else could be done? Moore didn't give us all the evidence we need, Adrian's actions are meant to be morally ambiguous, and it is impossible for us to know if his actions are correct. The correctness of his actions, informs the morality of those actions......

Either he was right, and therefore chose the lesser of two evils, and in doing so saved humanity, or he was wrong, and there was another way, and he sacrificed 3 Million people unnecessarily. Without knowing if he was right or wrong under these very specific circumstances, how can we judge the morality of what he does?

In general terms I am not arguing for the position of, "the ends justify the means", but in this very particular case, the ends and means are so inextricably linked that it impossible to seperate them.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:29 am 
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Exactly my point, Darkweaver.

Hitler and McCarthy used the same methods that Veidt did - to entirely different ends. They sought power rather than the benefit of society. The means do not justify a comparison between them and Veidt; a criminal can use a gun, but so can a policeman. Veidt used appalling methods to help society, Hitler and McCarthy used appalling methods to help themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:40 am 
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In the book Watchmen, Veidt is making a killing off of society. And he's not honest about his "methods".

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 4:45 am 
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Soupdragon wrote:
In the book Watchmen, Veidt is making a killing off of society. And he's not honest about his "methods".

Right, so what does he have to gain off of killing them...? He already has all the money he would ever need for anything, really. And yeah, like I said, he uses deceit and murder, but for a completely different goal.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:10 am 
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Like Gecko's überman he's planning for the results of his "altruistic" coup d'état.

His use of deceit and murder is disgusting. His goal is power and control.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:27 am 
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Soupdragon wrote:
His goal is power and control.

I fail to see any evidence of that. He has the same amount of advertising (a shit ton) going on after the squid as before it.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:31 am 
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There is no indication in the GN that Veidt wants power, and that informs his decision to go ahead with his plan. If he wanted political power, given his public image and philanthropy, he would easily get elected, and probably go far. He is after all the smartest man on the planet.

I think Adrian acted from altruistic motives, but I will concede that is my opinion. However there is no evidence to suggest that he acted for any other reason than to save humanity from itself. Of all the original people at the crimebusters meeting, he is the only one that seems to be fighting crime for purely selfless motives. He has no need for money or power, he already has those.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:47 am 
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I see it completely differently. He is after power. Not political power. It's way above that. His greed wouldn't come to fruition if there was a post apocalyptic world crisis. His luxury goods need a steady flow of normality to sell well.

That's how I see it.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:04 am 
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Soupdragon wrote:
I see it completely differently. He is after power. Not political power. It's way above that. His greed wouldn't come to fruition if there was a post apocalyptic world crisis. His luxury goods need a steady flow of normality to sell well.

That's how I see it.

You really think he's after money? He's living in an Antarctic palace filled with priceless relics. He bought an island, filled it with famous scientists and artists he had hired for a fake movie production, put them on his personal cruise ship, and then blew them up. He owned the 'best' brands of every product. Veidt didn't need money. He had more than enough to live a decadent life until the day he died.

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 Post subject: Re: Adrian Veidt
PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 6:13 am 
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He doesn't need the money. Neither did Gecko. Unlike Gecko, Veidt is a non-delegatory nightmare. He has no "right-hand man". No-one to share the obvious enormous wealth he has accumulated. Any monies he does eventually spend on others is used to squash them.

/shudders.

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