Saturday, March 04, 2006

Why Saddam is in the docket

Michael Totten, posting from Kurdish Suleimaniya in Iraq, reminds us of a few things some may have forgotten.

30 Comments:

At 3:12 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

It's ironic isn't it? Saddam standing trial for atrocites he committed while our ally; when Donny Rumsfeld was shaking his hand! Moral relativism at its best!

 
At 3:27 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Since the link was broken (I just repaired it), I'm sure that aqualung's comment was occasioned by the fact that he wasn't able to read it. I'm sure that if he'd read it (or much of anthing else about the period in question), he'd realize why we backed Saddam vs. Iran (the photo to which he refers was taken in 1983, right in the middle of the war between those two countries), and why Saddam certainly was no ally of ours thereafter, when he committed many of his worst crimes.

But of course, it's all our fault.
And not Europe's at all--including the oil-for-food participants who remained Saddam's good, true friends long after our temporary and pragmatic alliance with him against Iran had ended, and long after the scope of his crimes and terror were well-known and well-documented.

 
At 5:32 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

Neo-neocon, lying again! From Salon ...
November 2004, by Barry Landow

"...Now, to return to the original question: Did the first Bush administration cynically choose to ignore Saddam's use of chemical weapons in March 1991, just as the Reagan administration did in the late 1980s? And has the current Bush administration brushed this history of complicity with real WMD under the rug, while using nonexistent WMD as a reason for war? The indisputable answer is yes..."

So, read the truth or read Neo-neocon. Up to you!

 
At 5:42 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger Megan said...

Oh for Pete sake. So we backed one country against another who we thought was the greater threat. You think it's never happened in our history before?

Hello! Think Stalin and WWII. It could very well be argued that he was more vicious than Hitler. His gov't certainly ended up murdering more people. But in order to win we had to ally with the devil (so to speak).

So, Saddam was evil and murdered hundreds of thousands of his people...that was AFTER we had backed Iraq in the Iraq/Iran war.

Our "support" such that it was is no reason to absolve Saddam's evil and guilt. Jeez.

 
At 5:47 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

Oh, love the reference to the oil-for-food program, a favorite shibboleth of wingnuts. Again, how many millions did US companies make on that program? How many millions did Halliburton make trading with Iran when it was on the list of terrorist nations? Any data on that, Neo? Neo? Where'd ya go?

 
At 5:56 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

Megan, who's talking about absolving Saddam? I'm not. I'm talking about hypocrisy. And moral relativism. That you don't recognize either doesn't surprise me...

 
At 6:03 PM, March 04, 2006, Anonymous Tommy V said...

I really don't know how anyone can read the linked journal and then so quickly think of us and these images affect our political scene.

Our greatest shame is not helping the uprising in '91 after we encouraged it, yet why is that never mentioned by those who talk about Rumsfeld shaking Hussein's hand, a rather symbolic crime, at worst.

If anything, one would think this would serve to remind us what real torture, real genocide, and real war crimes are. Yet some only think what political points can they get from these horrors?

 
At 6:54 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

I think a few, tiny, isolated cases of actual torture occurred by US soldiers, among the some 100+ persons who died in US custody.

Vs. 10 725 who died in one building under Saddam.
99% reduction in torture is not enough for the Bush-haters. Just as a commie victory in Vietnam, and some 600 000 murders as a result of anti-war policy, never made Cronkite or any anti-warrior say he was wrong to oppose the war.


The right must more fully engage in the Moral Superiority war, but too many Rep elected officials are more interested in more gov't cash for themselves and friends.

Unreal perfection is not an option.

 
At 7:05 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Tommy V: Yes, it's amazing that someone like aqualung reads Totten's post and thinks primarily of Rumsfeld. But remember, among the aqualungs of the world, the US is the Great Satan.
Case closed.

 
At 8:13 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

No Neo, not the US. But the neocons who have usurped this great country to feed their greed and meglomania; yes, they are the Satans. And at last count, a majority of America agrees with me. I take solace in knowing a lot of Republican politicians will be leaving office soon in order to spend more time in prison (great line borrowed from Josh Marshall). Why do neocons hate America and her laws?

Still haven't gotten back to me on the Halliburton question. I'm not holding my breath waiting for you to try to defend the indefensible. I guess I've really gotten under your skin, huh Neo...

 
At 8:37 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Aqualung, don't flatter yourself.

You come onto my blog and call me the Great Satan. You expect me to jump through hoops and answer a bunch of questions which have been asked and answered several thousands of times before by legions of people--not that you are interested in the answers. You are the classic definition of a troll, I'm afraid.

I would imagine you have something better to do with your time. I certainly do.

Here.

 
At 9:11 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

Wow, I have hit a nerve. And you are mistaken, I did not call you Satan, I was referring to Bush, et al. And again, no, these questions have not been answered, and you cannot answer them. Your anger and defensiveness proves that. You engage in the typical right-wing response, known as the non-response. You also confuse America with the people who inhabit the political offices of president, vice-president, secretary of defense, etc. Again, Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld first, America and the constitution be damned. Must be tough being a 34-percenter. I thought you might actually engage in intellectual honesty, at least once in a while. I guessed wrong. Oh, and you calling me a troll is an honor.

 
At 10:17 PM, March 04, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I must say, Aqualung is the most angry (or perhaps it's just hostile; the two usually go together, but by definition they're not the same) person I've seen in weeks.

That said...

Again, how many millions did US companies make on that program? How many millions did Halliburton make trading with Iran when it was on the list of terrorist nations?

I confess I don't know, although I'd be quite interested to hear the answer. You can tell me, right?

And you are mistaken, I did not call you Satan, I was referring to Bush, et al.

Neocons like Bush and those who empower him to do all these atrocious things and cheer him all the while are the Great Satan.
Socrates is one such neocon.
Therefore, Socrates is not the Great Satan.

Q.E.D.

You also confuse America with the people who inhabit the political offices of president, vice-president, secretary of defense, etc.

Actually, I'm betting Neo is defining America as "people who think like me." This is a well characterized psychological component of virtually everyone; it's called the 'false consensus' tendency (in the case when it is not a true consensus, which seems to be what you're arguing).

 
At 10:44 PM, March 04, 2006, Anonymous Thurl Ravenscroft said...

The "Great Satan", "Satan is Great", "God is Great", "Frosted Flakes are GREAT" exchange began when Neo used the "GS" word.

(Actually, I also used the GS word the other day, but I make no claims of originality, and am not charging for use of my intellectual property)

At any rate, Neo used the traditional "US is the GS" in summation of Aqualung, spitting up pieces of his broken lungs, hey ....

Whereupon an old man wandering lonely, taking time, the only way he (beat) knows, responded that the "neocons" (lc) who had taken over this country were the (lc) satans. Clearly, he had in mind Cheney, Bush, Rummy, that crowd.

However, Neo thought this was personal and rebuked you poor old sod.

Greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes then claimed that he was not talking about Neo (uc) but neos.

Then a Quantum mechanic arrived and presented a syllogism that I still don't understand.

I do think Aqualung, my friend,don't start away uneasy ... I don't really need a Usenet experience.

 
At 11:18 PM, March 04, 2006, Anonymous Tommy V said...

I am amazed by how many people have absolutely no interest in genuine discourse on these topics and exhibit an extremely efficient skill at igoring any information, new or otherwise, that does not support their politcal view of the world.

It seems to me that their thought and opinions on these matters are much more of a psychological need rather than an intellectual conclusion. They must attack those they disagree with personally, because it is personal to them. To give those people intellectual or even human legitimacy is to admit there is even a possibility that they may be right, and hence, themselves may be wrong. This is taken as a challenge to their identity and their worth and simply cannot be allowed.

Once you realize this, you realize that actually offering the evidence or reasons for your own conclusions is pretty fruitless. This will promptly be ignored and they will move the discussion to something they find more comfortable for their own self-image.

 
At 12:34 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Since the link was broken (I just repaired it), I'm sure that aqualung's comment was occasioned by the fact that he wasn't able to read it.

Very funny Neo.

Aqualung is always good for a laugh or two, if you don't take politics too seriously. I don't take politics anywhere near as serious as I take the art of war, though I used to be quite upset by the political Left. Now it doesn't matter so much.

So, read the truth or read Neo-neocon. Up to you!

The truth seems to me that aqualung is demanding that we invade a sovereign country to prevent them from using chemical weapons against the Kurds, and that he is somehow using this to make the rest of us guilty and incapable of defending ourselves.

Aqua, some of us are quite immune to guilt tactics, and if you don't quit, then I'm going to eviscerate your position.

You come onto my blog and call me the Great Satan.

That's a compliment though, it means you are the great seducer, with honeyed words and a grand and terrifying visage. Who wouldn't want to be known for those traits?

You expect me to jump through hoops and answer a bunch of questions which have been asked and answered several thousands of times before by legions of people--not that you are interested in the answers.

Well, sure, he's on the offense here. A great defense is a great offense. It helps to keep your enemy off balance and lets you take advantage of their weak spots.

Wow, I have hit a nerve.

Well, Neo has nerves to hit, I don't. Or at least, I tend to armor my weak spots up a bit so they are harder to both find and hit. That's why most people don't take me on for long, they get annoyed, they get frustrated, and they never accomplish anything in the end except giving me an exact psychological and personality profile, along with information about their mental faculties and debate reasoning.

I can be convinced by information, but not even information can overrule logic and reason. I tend to specifically single out the people who rely on distorting a person's logic and reason, because those people need to be looked at a bit closely.

Unlike Neo and other neocons or conservatives, I have no ethical qualms about using fire to fight fire. My philosophy has always been, if the other side uses hammers, I will just bring a bigger hammer. I'm a diplomat when all is said and done. I speak the language of my opponent. I don't expect my opponent to understand my language of reason and logic, so I try to find what language he speaks, learn it, and use it. A diplomat.

Your anger and defensiveness proves that.

I can make you angry if you spend enough time talking to me. It is easy for me.

Aqualung is the most angry (or perhaps it's just hostile; the two usually go together, but by definition they're not the same) person I've seen in weeks.

He did this when he first discovered this blog, and then he went away. Maybe he got tired of people being reasonable, or maybe he was trying to get a rise out of neo. He usually never posts 4 in one thread in a sequence, but now he has because neo responded. I tried to get him to respond a few times with comments and probes back way, but he didn't take the bait. Very wise of him to attack only those who can't defend themselves against his attacks. With all respect to Neo, she tries to be honest and faithful to reason and logic. I gave up on that ethical standard a long time ago. I'm very pragmatic in that sense. The very definition of a realpolitker.

You quit already, Aqua, or what?

Again, how many millions did US companies make on that program?

The reason why Saddam is a former ally is because it is illegal for US companies to deal with a former ally that has been sanctioned.

Do. You. Understand. The. Rule. of. Law?

 
At 1:04 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1:08 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

For those interested in how come Aqua got the x and y idea after reading Totten, just read the comments.

What is not mentioned here is that for years the crimes committed against the Kurds by the Iraqi government were carried out with the full knowledge and cooperation (and instruction) of the United States government and other 'Western' powers, which sold the Iraq government the weapons, nerve gas components, etc, used against the Kurds.

Saddam Hussein was created by the U.S., after all.
Posted by: Lawrence at March 3, 2006 08:32 AM


Another one.

Everyone should remember that Saddam was an ally of the USA during this time and the US government knew everything Saddam was doing.
Posted by: Andrew Kunian at March 3, 2006 08:38 AM



Thank you for bearing witness, Michael.

Without such witness the deniers have won. In fact, even with witnesses and photos and video, they still battle the truth ... vigilance against the liars may seem wearisome, but it's the necessary price.


Aqua is never going to retake America. He's trying to learn from the insurgency in how to battle free speech and liberty in the United States, but his side will never win. Too many people in the US have personal weapons and know how to use them, for Aqua's coup to ever succede.

His comments about whoever is in power is jealousy. He would love to have the power to exterminate the Kurds and to have buddies like Saddam.

Never doubt that for a moment.

 
At 1:34 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Ymarsakar: Fortunately, the only power aqua has is lung power.

By the way, I don't think aqua really thought I was angry--which I'm not, particularly, just tired of dealing with people who are not here to reason. I just wanted to make it clear why I wasn't engaging with him (that's why my 8:37 PM comment linked to that William Lloyd Garrison quote).

 
At 1:51 PM, March 05, 2006, Anonymous grackle said...

It's ironic isn't it? Saddam standing trial for atrocities he committed while our ally; when Donny Rumsfeld was shaking his hand! Moral relativism at its best!

This is one of the anti-warriors’ favorite themes, their cherished The-US-Is-Responsible-For-All-The-Bad-Things-That-Any-Despot-Has-Ever-Done Theme. They seem never to consider context. If one considers the shape of the Middle East during the eighties one is hard pressed to find any country there that was not ruled by an unsavory despot – most ruled there because at some point they took control by force of arms & perpetuated their power by ruthless means.

So the problem becomes one of choosing between evils. There were no nascent democracies in that era in that place with which to ally. Thankfully, that is changing, thanks to Bush & the Neocons.

So the US backed Saddam during his war with Iran because Iran was clearly an enemy of the US & Saddam had not yet tried to do harm to the US. The alternative was to back Iran, which had just held our embassy hostage, thus occasioning the bleats & howls of the MSM for many months, ruining the Presidency of the hapless Jimmy Carter. I don’t think so.

But for folks like aqualung history & context doesn’t exist. Any assessment by them of US foreign policy realities must always be fitted somewhere into the anti-warrior Template, which seems blissfully void of any sense of history or reality, except for the occasional non sequitur, such as Rummy shaking hands with Saddam.

 
At 2:42 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

grackle: I think the post I just posted is relevant to your comments.

 
At 2:53 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I forgot to click on the link.

But I never did forget telepathy, that's always useful.

If I had read the link, then I might have made some extra connections between my philosophy and the link.

Ultimate pragmatism is moral relativism, but not in the sense that the liberal utopians mean it or use it.

Ultimate pragmatism is a quantum mechanical phenomenon, based upon reality and physical science, not human manipulation.

 
At 3:08 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Aqualung: Could you make your position unambiguous, for those who want to respond to you? Given that A watched B commit some wrong and do nothing to stop it, would you prefer:
1. A never attempts to make B account for their wrong-doing, because that would be hypocritical
2. A makes B account for that wrong-doing at a later time

Remember, there is no third answer (i.e. A should have made B account for the wrong-doing at the time). The future can be changed, but the past is written in stone.

 
At 4:46 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

quantam: Your comment makes sense only to those who seek solutions. I'm afraid it would be considered irrelevant by those whose goal is merely to assign blame.

 
At 7:19 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well, Justin, to speak for Aqua, I think he believes in his heart of hearts that because the US created the problem, they get no praise for solving the problem.

In financial terms, this means we're even, not that he owes us any credit or gratitude.

So, because he doesn't owe you any credit, he feels he can tell you off.

People who owe me money, don't tend to talk back. Then again, I never loan out money because I don't think I'm a bank, so I wouldn't know.

Some people believe the past can be changed.

Ever read 1984, Justin?

You can change the past, if you change people's beliefs of the past. And you can do that through language revision and various other things. Easy, with enough money, power, and time.

 
At 9:00 PM, March 05, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Sorry Neo, not quite a troll.
Aqualung didn't have enough personal insults and obscenities. I actually think he's trying to be "reasonable"; perhaps he doesn't even recognize his own insults anymore.

"I'm talking about hypocrisy. And moral relativism. That you don't recognize either doesn't surprise me..."

Definitely insulting.

But he's tiresome when he asks silly Halliburton questions, which he's unwilling to answer himself; especially when he brings up Halliburton to avoid defending his precious UN, which he believes (but won't quite say in mixed company) is morally superior to the US.

And it's the moral superiority war he's fighting. And winning.

(Because the USA hasn't learned yet, from Vietnam.)

 
At 7:32 PM, March 06, 2006, Blogger aqualung said...

My God, I've hit lots of nerves! I always know when something I say bursts your neo-con bubbles. Lots and lots of comments but not a single rational response to anything I said. Not a single, rational response. I love watching neo-con heads explode!

 
At 8:21 PM, March 06, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

My God, I've hit lots of nerves! I always know when something I say bursts your neo-con bubbles. Lots and lots of comments but not a single rational response to anything I said. Not a single, rational response. I love watching neo-con heads explode!

Buddy, chum, old pal, you are the man! Only you have disproved every single argument made by Neo and those other wannabe intellectuals in exquisite detail that would make Socrates honored to know you.

All those idiots can do is throw insults, hate, and regurgitate things other people said, without even fully comprehending them. They’re only able to make transparent attempts to make you angry and drag you down to their level, while refusing to admit that they can't argue a single thing you've said, instead changing from regurgitated quote to regurgitated quote, in an attempt to bog you down responding to all their "arguments".

But you beat them at their own game! You responded to each, logically and methodically proving each one to be complete bullshit. You have truly shown this site for what it really is - a mockery of intellectuals and rational debaters everywhere.

 
At 9:02 PM, March 06, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Socrates honored to know you.

Well, Socrates committed suicide, perhaps Aqua truly will follow in his shoes if we all make a vote?

 
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