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Ask the Right Questions if You Want the Right Answers

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Should we send more troops to Afghanistan?

In previous wars, such as Viet Nam, we sent increase after increase in troops but the bottom line of winning the war never changed. The same problem is happening again in Afghanistan.

The question pre-supposes that more logical questions, such as "Why do we have troops there?" and "What is the strategy of winning in Afghanistan?" have already been answered. I haven't heard answers to these questions, probably because our leaders cannot project toughness by reasoning with the public.

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Consider other oft-asked questions:

"When did you stop beating your wife?"

Even the most unethical attorneys know that this type of question will be struck down by the judge in a court of law. The reason is obvious: it pre-supposes an answer that reflects negatively upon the one who has to answer it.

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In controversies over political, social and religious matters, we often ask questions that are inappropriate, put others on the defensive or that otherwise miss the point. As a result, we fail to understand each other's point of view and never find a way to stop the tension and divisiveness so prevalent in our society.

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"Do you believe in God?"

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Dean Hartwell's book, "Planes without Passengers: the Faked Hijackings of 9/11," reached the top of Amazon's charts for large print books on history. He has authored three others: "Facts Talk but the Guilty Walk:the 9/11 No Hijacker Theory and Its (more...)

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