Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Anger: still in style

I almost didn't write Part II of "Why this war is so hated." The reason is that Part I, yesterday, was actually an attempt on my part to imagine some of the best and most reasonable arguments that could be mounted by those against the war. I was, as Dean Esmay points out, actually trying to be kind. And yet the comments section of that thread degenerated at some point (I didn't chart when, but I think it was some time in the wee hours of the morning) into the childish name-calling that is so common, counterproductive, and worthless.

I've noticed over and over that the tone of arguments on the left, on blogs and also in my personal experience out there in the world, often has this element of rage and name-calling. In fact, sometimes the rage is so ubiquitous that it just seems part of the package.

Of course, in the usual tiresome disclaimer, I must say that name-calling as political argument is not limited to those on the left. Of course not! But I also must say that it's my observation that it is far more prevalent there. And sometimes it also seems that such insults are the mainstay of argument on the left today, their meat and potatoes.

Alexandra of All Things Beautiful has been the recipient of a spate of name-calling recently, and writes about it here. If you're unfamiliar with Alexandra's blog, I want to mention that one of her trademarks is the creative use of art and photography to illustrate her points. The post in question is no exception; love that photo/painting (which is it?)!

Another point to ponder, in this case a historical one: on a certain day in the late 60s I was at a large university campus of the typical liberal sort. As I idly looked around me, I suddenly noticed that most everyone there was wearing some form of uniform. And I don't mean the uniform known as blue jeans; I mean variations on military garb. Army surplus-type olive-drab jackets, fatigues, camouflage, navy pea coats--it was almost as though we'd all enlisted, because there was hardly a person in the crowd who was not in uniform, except the few stray tangential professors.

It struck me as odd, and then it struck me as even odder. If one had polled the group, the aggregate antiwar sentiment would have been almost unanimous. In fact, the aggregate anti-military sentiment in general would have been enormous, as well. So, why the embrace of the garb of the hated ones?

I thought (and still think) it went well with the macho posturings of the rhetoric, the need to look tough and sound tough. I myself never felt that need, although in the interests of full disclosure I will report that I did have my own olive-drab jacket to match the others (in retrospect, not a flattering color for us olive-skinned Mediterranean-type brunettes). So some of it may simply have been the usual slave-to-fashion routine, with no greater meaning than that--especially prevalent, of course, among the young.

I also remember attending an SDS meeting at that same university. For my twenty years of life up till that point I'd been a liberal (and was to remain so for even more years than that), but I was flirting with Leftist thought at the time--trying it on for size, as it were. And what I saw there made it clear to me that it was not a good fit for me. The level of mindless rage was immediately apparent. The speeches seemed nothing but name-calling and obscenities, with a few prepositions and conjunctions and verbs thrown in to aid the flow. It was assumed that everyone was on the same page and no argument or reasoning was necessary. The type of language used reflected the jettisoning of the conventions of rational discourse on the part of speakers who fancied themselves revolutionaries.

Flash forward some forty years, and no doubt many of those speakers would be ashamed to see a videotape of that SDS meeting, if such a thing existed. But no doubt many of them would remain proud.

At the time, of course, those speakers thought they were on the cusp of something wonderful, trailblazers for the brave new world that they would create and that would eliminate war and inequality and rage--except, of course, for their own anger, on which they thrived. The fact that these things had been tried before and found rather difficult to implement, to say the least, was lost on most of them, since history wasn't their bag. Their anger had the energy of hope to it, a belief that they were going to change the world and that their vehemence was part and parcel of that positive and youthful energy.

Now, of course, the Left is considerably more tired, and more than a bit more disillusioned. And some of it is older, a self-righteous remnant of those very same contemporaries of mine who were at those SDS meetings so long ago. But the anger remains, perhaps even stronger than before.

73 Comments:

At 1:43 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

One of the reasons why I write in sprees and marathons, is because reading other people's comments that disagree or agree with me, actually throws me off my brainstorming cycle. It is quite a distraction.

As it is a distraction to you, neo, having to write the 2nd part post after having read some hundred comments in the first one.

 
At 2:02 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

Neo--I've toohave been puzzled by the college anti-war types all decked out in fatigues and military coats, jackets and other parts of military uniforms--showing contempt for the military, poverty, wishing for some testosterone to rub off? You would think that if they were so anti-war they wouldn't want to have anything to do with uniforms.

 
At 2:06 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

They're aren't uniforms. They're rags. That is, compared to real military discipline and uniforms worn by conscientious military personnel.

 
At 3:01 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

I thought I should maybe say something here because I'll admit to being right in the middle of one of the worst -- though actually kind of funny/sad -- bits of name-calling in the previous thread. I'll admit I have what I think of as an edgier or sharper tone in debate than Neo does -- others might well call it belligerent or worse, I'm sure -- but there it is. I too admire the more reflective style of Neo, but it's just not me, and in any case I think there's sometimes a value in sharpening rather than softening a debate -- it can clarify points of agreement and disagreement and in that way can move a debate forward. But it does risk degeneration into mere snark, taunt, and insult, too, and while that can sometimes, in small doses, be entertaining -- think of Christopher Hitchens, for example -- it's more usually fairly dreary. Rarely, but occasionally, it happens that such exchanges can actually pull quite disparate opinions into a search for common ground and a way forward -- as may have happened toward the end of that thread, for example (though for how long we'll just have to see).

Anyway, this is a kind of long-winded semi-apology for my own part in the dreariness of that thread. It was late and I was feeling provoked, and descended into insult when I should have just let the rage speak for itself. More to the point, though, I hope you won't let these kinds of threads inhibit you from posting on this sort of topic, Neo -- it's a hot button, obviously, but you bring a welcome coolness and clarity to it, ignoring the attempts at ridicule from the various made-up minds. Thanks for doing this and putting up with it all.

 
At 4:17 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

on a certain day in the late 60s I was at ..

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.......

 
At 4:33 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

i have to say neo that your comment is complete nonsense.

In no way do you attempt to sympathetically attempt to portray the anti-war view. What you gave was a slightly modified re-run of your own views

The name calling is evenly distributed, everybody pretends is the other lot. I think this is a blogging thing it just winds people up.

You have a few regulars on here worth talking to SB, Goesh, Stumbley etc. But many of the rest are bitter as any trotskyist on a moral crusade....and equally intolerant. One of them will eventually go mad in public with an automatic weapon.

Th disturbing thing is the way the debate is reflected across us politics. Americans, to an outsider, don't appear to like each other very much. I do wonder what would be the result of a democrat administration backtracking on the empire building.

 
At 4:46 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Steve J: on a certain day in the late 60s I was at ..

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzz.......


See, now this I would just terminate were it my blog (which it's not). Trolls are par for the course and can occasionally be entertaining, but this guy is just gaming the system -- he thinks it clever that he interject 2-line comments or some cut-and-paste job every 2nd or 3rd post as a means of completely jamming things up with stuff like the above. If he was made to gather up all his "moronic humor", as he puts it, into one post every hour or so, that would at least prevent his game of deliberate sabotage -- as it is, it takes longer to skip paste his garbage than it takes for him to litter it.

And by the way, his cut-and-paste jobs are all suspect to say the least -- in an earlier thread he tried to pass off something he know pretty well as a carefully cut selection as a full quote, making him an outright lier.

 
At 4:50 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'll admit I have what I think of as an edgier or sharper tone in debate than Neo does -- others might well call it belligerent or worse, I'm sure -- but there it is.

Not trying to be sexist but, women don't tend to have a more aggressive und shriller stance than men in written exchanges. I know I know, married men want to butt in, but it is cause how women sound and how women write, ain't the same thing. Men are actually more aggressive and loud in written exchanges than women in written exchanges. We lose out a bit when it's a shouting match and it gets personal of course, but that's called having diversity.

But anyways, I tend to think this is why men were the ones writing the love poems and letters to women, and not the other way around. I don't remember hearing any belligerent tone from Sally, but that could be because she wasn't talking to me. But I tend to think that might not matter given who else was talking to me.

Anyway, this is a kind of long-winded semi-apology for my own part in the dreariness of that thread. It was late and I was feeling provoked, and descended into insult when I should have just let the rage speak for itself.

This is my advice to you Sally. Don't get angry at people you don't intend to physically harm or kill. Yes, that does belligerent. Yes, it is effective. Why is it effective? Because you just stop, anger on, anger off. Controll, once you get control, everything else becomes easier.

If you ever realize you are losing control, then is the time to disengage and live to fight another day. The reason why I didn't say anything directly to sally earlier, is the same reason why men are more aggressive and belligerent in written exchanges. I can tell when men get pissed off, like SB, cause they start using certain forms of language and syntax. But women tend to be a bit more obscure when they are writing. And it always seemed to me, that you can never really tell when they are really angry. Quite a mystery.

It will help, sally, for you to construct a pseudo Maslow pyramid, except about the level of aggravation you will tolerate. At what point do you find yourself losing control, what specific things poke your buttons? Find this about yourself, and you will know Thyself and your Weaknesses. As Sun Tzu recommended.

Some people go off at level 1 aggravation, direct ad hominem insults directed at them. Some people go off at level 4 or 5, which requires quite a bit more provocation than normal.

What pisses off SB isn't the same thing that will piss me off, because we are different people.

Leave steve j alone, sally. I think we all know who steve j is and what he has done. Have some pity on the lad.

I just heard on Fox, ACLU has fully become the fascist organization, intimidating their own board to shut up about criticizing the ACLU. Hehehe, schadenfreude time. Party Time. Who wanna bet on how long before it takes the ACLU to hang someone for exercising their non-existent ACLU protected free speech rights?

 
At 4:56 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

SALLY -

The point of my two line comments it to point out your abysmal ignorance.

We have to start with the facts, not the wingnut delusions you share with far too many people.

 
At 6:05 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I have yet to decide whether this is neo's most dishonest essay yet.

Tough choice.

 
At 6:39 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Sally: Thanks for the apology.

I think that comments such as steve j's on this thread, and to a lesser extent neoneoconned "your comment is complete nonsense" (as well as his/her mocking name, like a schoolyard taunt), illustrate exactly and precisely what I'm trying to say here. In fact, they do it far better than my post does. So, although it's my blog, it's my decision to let their comments stand, at least for the time being. As I said before, they are extremely instructive.

 
At 6:41 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

I hadn't read confudeforeigner's insightful addition yet when I wrote my above comment, but I'll gladly add him/her to the list.

 
At 7:33 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I wish Spank was back. I had fun with Spank. We went crazy, I think. SB knows what I'm talking about.

 
At 7:38 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

To the non-neocons -- If fair treatment and substantive discussion (versus name-calling) are important you, I encourage you to embody those qualities in your posts.

If you're not treated that way in return, you have the high ground. However, your showing in this thread, as has been pointed out, only validates neo's post.

I've been on the leftist, progressive side most of my adult life, and my impression is much like neo's -- it was fine until after 9-11 when I came to disagree and then I found myself bitterly, personally, repeatedly attacked and in some cases shunned or driven out.

Nonetheless I do try to maintain a civil tone when in such discussions. I'm not always successful, but it is something I work at.

 
At 7:48 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Yes, I understand your point about the illustrative value of these comments, Neo. I'm not really talking about the taunts, though, which are merely childish at best (happy to see you cleaning up the sicker ones, though), but about Steve J's deliberate attempt to throw sand in the works, as it seemed, by breaking up one post into 20 or 30 2-liners as a means of keeping his inane blurts always in front. You can see this in the comments to the previous post, though I don't see him doing it lately -- perhaps out of fear that his game will be terminated if he persists.

In any case, and whatever you do, you run a fine blog.

Ymar, thanks for the free advice.

 
At 7:49 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK I'll admit to being undiplomatic in the above post and apologise for said tactlessness.

I'll also put my hand up and apologise to the reasonable posters for allowing myself to anger at what was a fairly consistent stream of mindless abuse and lowering myself to their level by responding in kind.

As 2 of the protagonists seem to have (after my departure last night) both concentrated the abuse to the point of calling me a terrorist, I decline to apologise to them.

Fin.

 
At 7:58 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Neo,

Alexandra's portrait is probably a solarized photo. Here's an exaggerated example of this: link.

Re: Wearing military fatigues. I don't know if I read as much into it as you do, Neo. I've always thought it's simply an attempt at ironic humor . Like Matthew Modine's Private Joker character in Full Metal Jacket wearing the peace symbol:


Pogue Colonel: You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?
(skip some dialogue)
Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.
Pogue Colonel: The what?
Private Joker: The duality of man. The Jungian thing, sir.


I may be overanalyzing it, though. I have to admit that. Some Army/Navy surplus stores sell stuff cheap, so there might be no real reason for it at all beyond cost. Then again, I wasn't around then (Sorry, Neo!), so I can't tell for certain.

Anger being in style? Yes, there seems to be a lot of that. Indignation appears to be the motivating factor behind so many people's political stance nowadays; it's no wonder our state of politics is so low today, many of us bear much of the blame for that. It's damn easy to be "against" something, but to stand for principles demands a greater discipline of thought. Hey, again, can't exclude myself; I see things happening like this, and I find it pretty damn easy to work up the indignation and think "that's something I could never get myself behind", but that's such negative thinking. So cynical. Cranky Insomniac actually talked about that a bit ago (link). I think I agree with him. Reagan's optimism is a far cry from the type of attack-bitch-moan politics we see today. It'd be refreshing to see a resurgence of that, but it may be a while before it happens. We're all taking ourselves so seriously nowadays, instead of taking the issues seriously and ourselves lightly. So much self importance. "Look at me, I have the right stances! I know the right things!" So reminiscent of that scene in Forest Gump, where the protester Wesley tries to apologize for hitting Jenny by blaming the Vietnam war for his disposition:

"Jenny? Things got a little out of hand. It's just this war and that, that lyin' son-of-a-bitch Johnson. I would never hurt you. You know that."

(Again with the movie references, E? Well, it's that kind of night; I just feel like doing it. PS, and a topic digression: Interesting analysis of Forest Gump here. Not sure I agree with it all -- oh, heck, I'll be blunt, it's a lot of claptrap -- but it's a fascinating read, nonetheless).

Anyhoo... taking ourselves so seriously. Wesley is so worked up about LBJ and the war, it somehow takes up such a central portion of his life and his meaning that abusing his girlfriend was a lesser crime, acceptible as a minor loss of control in the grand view of the protest. His is the sort of mentality I'm talking about. Reagan faced the Soviet Union and a serious surging of Communism in Central and South America, not to mention some of the first direct assaults of radical Islamicism and Middle Eastern based terrorism, yet his rhetoric stayed on course about ideals. He understood it was the issue, not the person, that was important:

"I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things, and they didn't spring full blown from my brow, they came from the heart of a great nation, from our experience, our wisdom, and our belief in the principles that have guided us for two centuries."

Problems with Iran, Libya, the Soviet Union, Lebanon, etc. etc. were each individually at minimum the equal challenge-wise of the problems Bush faces today, yet Reagan didn't drop his optimistic demeanor in dealing with his opponents. Well, rarely; I can't think of any examples where he did. My point is that he never seemed to give in to anger, something that we all too often do today. It's possible to be too positive -- that's one criticism leveled at Reagan by his opponents, and one many troops and leaders leveled at their own leadership in the Vietnam war (read David Hackworth's book About Face for examples of that) -- but it's equally possible, and IMHO as if not more dangerous to be overly negative. And if I can throw in my 2 cents here, we have a lot more of the over-negative in today's society than the over-positive. Ergo, the degeneration of the level of debate in this country, and in certain threads.

Okay... blabbed too long again. At any rate: Anger. Over-hyped as a benefit to political discussion. Ditto superiority complexes and condescension, but I've talked too long as it is and turned into a thread hog, so I'll shut up now.

 
At 8:10 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Meade said...

Speaking of SDS (and the Weathermen), I'll never forget reading the review of this book in the Sept. 11, 2001 NYTimes that morning just hours before the planes hit. The next day it hit me that at least one someone in the World Trade Towers the previous morning had to have been sipping his coffee and reading that very review when he would have looked up to see a jet in a space it didn't belong pointing directly at his window.

Bill Ayers and his ilk were psychotic terrorists in 1970. Thirty-six years later, he is apparently unchanged.

 
At 8:18 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Meade said...

Googling for that review in the NYTimes, I came across this. Well worth a look.

 
At 8:18 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

My initials are SDS. I seriously considered, while in college, setting up a table outside the Student Union with a jar labeled "Support SDS" just to see how much I could collect...

 
At 9:05 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Richard Aubrey said...

Unrestrained anger is...unrestrained. Am I qualified to say "cathartic"? Screaming at a football game which means exactly nothing, unless you're at a Division 1 university in which case it's a net loss to the educational experience. But it's cathartic.

It feels good to be unrestrained. As they used to say, "let it all hang out", to which the grownups answered, "we spent ten thousand years getting it tucked in and now...."

I am not speaking of simply howling in a group meeting. I am speaking of carrying unrestrained anger, enjoying it, and spreading it.

It needs to be remembered that until a hundred and fifty years ago, most of the world's work was done by people in the early teens to mid twenties. Older meant either dead or crippled and slow from illness and injuries not manageable by medicine.

The enormous capacity to function and accomplish is, in my view, stopped up like a bad--and I use this term advisably--colon in the currently extended adolescence.

Kids who grow up on farms seem to be a terrific demographic for teachers, so my teacher wife and her colleagues say.

A writer, following Marines around Mogadishu, marveled at the control and professionalism of a twenty-year old patrol leader. "In the civilian world, he wouldn't be allowed to use the copier without adult supervision."

These are kids who are half-ruined by knowing, in their heart of hearts, that they are useless. It's not supposed to be that way.

Anger and other unrestrained reactions are, IMO, the logical result.

That it's tied to political issues is mostly because that has a cachet of respectability and GROWNUPNESS.

 
At 9:17 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

SALLY :And by the way, his cut-and-paste jobs are all suspect to say the least -- in an earlier thread he tried to pass off something he know pretty well as a carefully cut selection as a full quote, making him an outright lier.

Sally,

You are correct about my previous post being a selection from the Duelfer Report's Key Findings but you are wrong about the facts of the matter. The conclusions DO show that there were no WMD nor the means to make them.

I simply forgot that there was more to the Findings.

 
At 9:51 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Steve J: I simply forgot that there was more to the Findings.

Alright, fair enough.

I think the conclusions do show that there was definite intension to reconstitute WMD programs (possibly excluding biological, but INcluding nuclear and including delivery systems), that these would start up again as soon as sanctions were lifted, and that the sanctions regime was on its last legs. To me, that made this vicious, agressive, and hostile regime amply dangerous.

 
At 10:35 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

CONFUD: I have yet to decide whether this is neo's most dishonest essay yet.

Tough choice.


I know what you mean. BTw, did anyone notice that N-NC has not made even ONE substantive reply to any of my comments?

I wonder why?

 
At 10:38 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Why? Because the fascistic ACLU would lock her up if she did do anything to exercise her freedom of conscience.

The ACLU"s a big problem in America for some reason we can't figure right now.

 
At 10:42 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger The probligo said...

You are right about Alexandra, her art and choice of art in particular.

GW Bush as Napoleon and Cheney as George III somehow seemed appropriate.

 
At 10:43 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR -

Thanx for adding your usual dash of psychotic nonsense to this thread.

 
At 11:26 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

I know what you mean. BTw, did anyone notice that N-NC has not made even ONE substantive reply to any of my comments?

Steve J -- neo rarely responds to my comments either, which I interpret as meaning that she has other things to do and/or she has nothing particularly burning to say in response to my posts.

Fine whichever way. Everyone has their own priorities. Other than courtesy, I don't think anyone is owed anything in these exchanges.

I'm not sure I've ever responded to you either, mostly because your posts often come across to me as obnoxious and without much substance. I get the impression to get involved in discussion with you would be unpleasant and a waste of my time.

If you particularly want responses from neo, myself or anyone else here, you might consider posting in a manner that welcomes response, as opposed to your current approach

 
At 11:39 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

JACK -

Ahhh, poor baby!

 
At 11:45 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Steve --

QED.

 
At 12:45 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

My initials are SDS. I seriously considered, while in college, setting up a table outside the Student Union with a jar labeled "Support SDS" just to see how much I could collect...

*sigh*

You know you're a biologist when you hear "SDS" and all you can think of is sodium dodecyl sulfate...

 
At 1:32 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

well neo you do seem a bit sensitive. Of course the name is a joke and name calling. It is a word play on the idea that the neo-con thing is a con. It is not neo, it is as old as the hills - it is called deference. You defer to the powerful in society and trust them to look after your interests. You trust Bush. I do not. I am very suspicious of him. I would have thought at the very least as a an american you would be wary of a dynasty of presidents. It is a genuinely held belief and one that I am prepared to argue for fun.

I was also a little shocked that you thought i would call you a "war whore" - but I suppose we are tiny shards of peopel on these things so it is kinda difficult to judgewhat peopel are like. LEt me assure you that I am perfectly prepared to call you a liar or whatever, but whore is out of my lexicon promise. And if anything i say ever gets to you remeber it is only the ideas not the person who is being attacked. Like many others I appreciate the chance for debate, even 'though I think most of what you write is 'complete nonsense'. :-)

As for the rest it is gratifying to see the influence of a number of pwopel in calming down even the more lunatic fringe on here to a level of apologies and sense....impressed - even with you know who.

TWo related topics that you might like to consider for a future post are

1. The effect of all this vicious arguing on teh american political system. Honestly I can see parts of it falling to bits such is the strength of divisions.

2. The approach that should be taken to secular and moderate muslim people's in places like Turkey where the constant chant of 'baby killers' etc. are not helpful to developing policy.


Just a thought

 
At 2:58 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Steve J. said...

I know what you mean. BTw, did anyone notice that N-NC has not made even ONE substantive reply to any of my comments?

I wonder why?

11:35 PM, May 24, 2006

Yeah, I wonder too. It is all too easy to point the poison pen if you aren't compelled to respond to the critics. Or even if you just choose not to. But who am I to spoil the love in?

I'd like to hear Neo's thoughts on the notion of the rule of law. I wonder if it mirrors GWB's.

 
At 6:06 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

When earnest liberals like you and Ann Althouse get attacked from the left flank, as we blogged awhile back:

As for leftists' trashing of a lovely human being like Ann because she writes something they disagree with, we suspect that has to do with the left's current plight of waking up to find themselves on the wrong side of history.

Mugged by reality?

 
At 8:37 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

I remember as a Leftist I was furious, and very audibly so, at Republican’s in Congress concerning Wacko. I saw them as instigators of the Oklahoma City bombing for their ranting and warnings of a popular backlash [concerning tactics]. In my mind at that time, they were in effect sending out a secret code to the Extreme Right for vengeance and revenge. And this it happened – it was an epiphanic glue that tightened my resolve to support the Left. At the same time I blamed the Davidians, after all "They left their child in those buildings to burn to death!!" and that the Clintonian besiegers were righteous to try and save them. I was ballistic. I’ve haven’t had any re-evaluative discussion on this as a contemporary Neocon.

 
At 9:02 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

People for some reason don't like being mugged by someone else's reality. Their reality, now they don't mind that.

Thanx for adding your usual dash of psychotic nonsense to this thread.

You don't want to see psychotic, steve. You really really don't.

You defer to the powerful in society and trust them to look after your interests.

Are we talking about america, we the people have the power and government is for the people? Or are we talking about people are cogs in the national welfare system of other nations?

And if anything i say ever gets to you remeber it is only the ideas not the person who is being attacked.

Here's a primer on ad hominems, just for those whom might need a reminder.

An ad hominem argument is when the accusser argues that they are right and everyone else is wrong, because of the content of people's characters rather than the skin color of their arguments.

Therefore calling or believing that people are wrong because you called them cowards for not willing to fight for their beliefs, is an ad hominem.

Democracy is all about infighting. and I tend to think that the more chaotic something gets, the more order you can see out of it. That doesn't apply to everything, like anarchy, but systemic organized chaos called democracy does indeed produce more order than any other system. Other than dictatorships and tyrannies, but those things are actually the reverse of democracy. Tyrannies create chaos because they are well ordered, they don't argue, they just do things that create chaos. Democracies create chaos everytime they argue, which is often, but then they tend to produce order out of all this.

It is some kind of paradox people without a quantum machine will never figure out.

You can re-evaluate the Branch Davidians by comparing how Reno and her FBI goons treated them compared to how Bush's FBI is treating a serial child molestor, with several enclave type bases, fanatic followers akin to jihadist cells that won't talk to police, and serial polygamy violations.

If Bush ain't burning Mr. "American Polygamist and Rapist" extradinaire, what exactly made the Branch Davidians so much worse that they required a take down that the FBI is not even doing now (cause they can't seem to get a warrant)?

The basic question of correlating reality to fantasy, is to find what is real today. and what is real today, is a child rapist and faccilator, polygamist, with an armed enclave in not just one state, but several. From that, springs much of everything else.

 
At 9:25 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

do you know how many times trotskyist idiots have accused me of being on the "wrong side of history". Utter rubbish. You make history it does not have an independent existence.

However are you willing to outline at what point you would be willing to admit the Irag invasion was a mistake?

 
At 9:39 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

When we have to nuke Iraq, that is when it is a mistake to invade. Cause it'd be a great waste to spend Marines and Soldiers like water and then have to nuke the place.

 
At 10:00 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Jeff at Protein Wisdom has summed up all the sad, tiny minds of the left and why they waste their time on comments threads of sites like Neo's. It's called,
Notice Me
and is self absorbed, displacement behavior.

It's somewhat different than the simple blowhard ism of other commenter's because it is fueled by the rage of those who have become "voluntarily" powerless by removing themselves from the canons of debate. It is so pathetic and laughable that they see themselves as "living in the belly of the beast" and throwing themselves into the "machinery of the fascist state" by posting snarky, trolling, disruptive comments on blogs. Some are enamoured by actually seeing their words, right there on the screen "talking truth to power. Others just keep hammering on their broken drum, "Failure In Iraq" for example.

I used to post links to Wikipedia's Logical Fallacies page, but now I don't bother since they don't understand the point and prefer their delusions and endocrine secretions over reasoning. Let them live in their wretched intellectual ghettos because broader gauge minds then theirs will write the history and they will never rise above the level of obscure foot notes.

 
At 10:44 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

After the Abu Ghraib story broke I was in an online poetry discussion in which one poet presented a poem calling all Americans who watched the tv news without vomiting, "sick motherf***ers." The other poets thought this was a wonderful, powerful poem.

I granted its power, but said it was out of proportion. Vilely insulting ordinary people who did not commit the crimes at AG or approve of them didn't seem right to me. The poet's justification went back to a recent documentary on the Weather Underground:

We felt that doing nothing in a period of repressive violence is itself a form of violence.

--Naomi Jaffe, The Weather Underground


Thus verbal abusiveness and even bombings are justified.

 
At 10:56 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ryan said...

Dear Confused,

Why doesn't Neo respond to the thoughtful comments of Steve "War Whore" J.? It sure is confusing!

Really, suppose someone walked in your house and started calling you a terrible names. Neo has responded with admirable restraint, but really, little Stevie War Whore does not deserve it.

Also, honestly, what is there to respond to? All he does is leave little turds around like "ZZZZzzzzz". That isn't argument, that's grade school. Color me extremely unimpressed.

 
At 11:03 AM, May 25, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

If you believe fervently enough in the ends, ANY means are justified. After all, anyone who gets hurt for standing in the way deserved it. All those folks in pizza parlors and wedding receptions are just "collateral damage."

 
At 12:09 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:19 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If I believe, really really believe, that I'm immortal then I can become immortal by putting a stake into my heart?

Come on, the ends don't justify the means because you can't make soemthing exist just cause you desire it. I would agree that people believe it is justified, but I really have to point out that it isn't justified because justifications require knowledge. Things that are based upon self-deception is not knowledge.

Certain things lead to certain goals. Not everything people do leads to one specific goal. The terroists and fake "freedom fighters" are getting no where blowing up people, because that is not how freedom is won. This applies to more than just one person or goal, of course.

The Left likes martin luther king junior and ghandi right?

So why don't they expect their allies and people they are sympathetic to, the Palestinian "tragedy" to adhere to the same principles?

What is this, the Revolution where intellectual ideology is pure and white but the actual ground work is violent and extreme?

Luther's ideas

That makes no sense, and is obviously a very bad way of succeding.

When you have a track record of liberty and success with Luther's non-violent methods, how can anyone justify Palestinian terror with anything? Why does Israel having bombs and missiles and fighters while the Palestinians do not, justify violence? Why does the straits of the Palestinians justify suicide bombing?

You might as well ask why it takes a purge to save the Revolution, it is seems a lot of revolutionaries like to use violence to solve their "social injustices".

It's not the philosophers Marx and others that stoke up this violence. Their ideas are just used by other violent extremists, to justify themselves. If Marx had NEVER existed, would anyone doubt that socialism and fanaticism would still be every bit as alive right now?

There's always some loony fanatical belief structure people can buy into. The less fanatical beliefs available, the more people crowd up into one ideology.

The Left aren't pacifists. Simply because the people who are their heroes and spiritual leaders, didn't advocate violence, yet the Left seems to favor quite a lot of violence when it serves their purposes. Yet, spiritual leaders are successful because they did not use violence... so why do the Left believe violence by Palestinians will solve anything?

What about the current "spiritual leaders"? Oh those obviously justify violence, to an extent. When people say their heroes are Martin Luther King JR and Ghandi, and then say that the Palestinians have nothing else to use agains Israel's superior technology than to blow themselves up against Israeli "civilians", these people are not consistent with the principles of their so called heroes.

Then they turn up and say America should not stoop to the level of the enemy. If Palestinians can stoop lower than the enemy, Israel, why is America exempted? If their heroes are MLKj, why are they excusing violence?

These questions really don't have answers. They really don't. A person can say that they oppose Iraq, and that they want a less violent method. Then they will turn around and say that Palestinian terror is excused by Israeli superiority. It is not consistent, therefore even if you try and figure out the arguments, you can't figure them out. The logic is like 5th dimensional math. Too many variables.

How do you argue against something that is infinitely shifting and changing forms? You can't, Sun Tzu advocated fluidity and formless changing ofattack and defense for a very good reaso.

If you are unpredictable in your beliefs, then no one can defeat you because no one will ever know what you truly believe or who you truly are.

I guess the above kind of person is the opposite of a true believer. True believers act in a consistent fashion, which is not very hard to figure out. So what's the opposite of a true believer? It is obviously not a skeptic, because even skeptics believe in something.

You ever see a person that didn't believe in anything, consistently?

 
At 1:49 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 12:03 PM, May 25, 2006, stumbley said...
If you believe fervently enough in the ends, ANY means are justified. After all, anyone who gets hurt for standing in the way deserved it. All those folks in pizza parlors and wedding receptions are just "collateral damage."


Stumbley, that applies to the neocons on this blog. It takes an even balanced view to appreciate that those victims are just as innocent as the victims of US warfaare or Israeli miltary oppression in occupied Palestine.
We've heard from your side that victims of US cluster bombs dropped in civilian areas are actually at fault.
I haven't heard any of the antiwar side blame Israeli civilians for being the victim of the appalling suicide bombings.
I wonder do you spare a thought for Palestinians killed by Israeli settlers? I don't recall much US hand wringing about Israeli suicide attacks.
BTW Hamas has a 10 year unilateral ceasefire in place you know and they have indicated that they are willing to discuss a 2 state solution. There are no good guys in this jus some less bad. Hamas was funded and encouraged by mossad with Israeli cabinet backing remember.

 
At 3:54 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Hamas has a 10 year unilateral ceasefire in place you know and they have indicated that they are willing to discuss a 2 state solution. There are no good guys in this jus some less bad. Hamas was funded and encouraged by mossad with Israeli cabinet backing remember.

Confude -- I'd like to see cites for these claims. I doubt very much that they stand up to objective scrutiny. The Palestinians have an absymal record of good faith negotiations with Israel.

The Palestinians Prime Minister said, "If Israel withdraws to the 1967 borders, peace will prevail and we will implement a cease-fire [hudna] for many years." He said his Hamas-led government was "prepared to maintain a long-term cease-fire with Israel."

Hudna is the Islamic strategy of truce until Muslims are strong enough to defeat their enemies. Hamas has made this offer before.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hudna

In the meantime the Hamas Covenant is still dedicated to the obliteration of Israel and restoration of Muslim control of all Palestine.

http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/mideast/hamas.htm

 
At 4:45 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Does anyone remember the last time the US dropped a cluster bomb in Iraq?

 
At 6:44 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Something weird is going on. I'm looking at the other blogs, and there seems to be a propaganda offensive by the Left, people are arguing Iraq, history, US, all the time these few months.

What are the Left planning? Is this a misdirection to cover something with Iran or something else?

Know Thy Enemy and you will Know Thy Self.

 
At 6:46 PM, May 25, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Here's some supporting evidence.

Reap em up

 
At 12:22 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

The Palestinians have an absymal record of good faith negotiations with Israel.



The same can be said of the Israelis. They have ignored every single UN resolution and the veto has been used by the US more than all other issues combined.

I'd be interested to hear your view of what the 1st intifada was about.

 
At 1:18 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Article 6: "The Islamic Resistance Movement is a distinguished Palestinian movement, whose allegiance is to Allah, and whose way of life is Islam. It strives to raise the banner of Allah over every inch of Palestine, for under the wing of Islam followers of all religions can coexist in security and safety where their lives, possessions and rights are concerned..."


Now, I'd be much more comfortable without any reference to any religion at all but that is not the way it will be.

 
At 3:42 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.mediamonitors.net/macmahon1.html

 
At 4:03 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.huss.ex.ac.uk/politics/research/readingroom/dumperChristiansInJerusalem.rtf

 
At 4:05 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

m/dumperChristiansInJerusalem.rtf

 
At 10:51 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I think there's a difference if people say that Palestine has not been honest and honorable in dealing with Israel, and Israel has not honored or trusted in the Un Resolutions.

What difference am I talking about? Simply that the Un Resolutions are different from the Palestinian negotiations towards Israel. Therefore if Palestine breaks their promises to Israel in a 1 to 1 scale, this is different than Israel ignoring the United Nations when it is many nations vs one _israel_.

There is also the fact that Israel did honor their pledges to Palestinians, such as Israeli courts ruling illegal the confiscation of Palestinian land if the wall was built on that land. They gave back 90+% of the territory they took in the Yom Kippur War, or maybe it was the war before that one.

As you can see, Israel gave away the entire Sinai peninsula as well as the West Bank and Gaza

I've never heard of a nation that won a war, and then shrunk to a small border than their enemies afterwards. But then again, Jews are unique. They are like Hobbits. No, seriously, they are like Hobbits.

 
At 10:53 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Confud, we can already see the link. Just highlight it and drag it right, and it shows up. So no need to repost the end segments.

< a href="">Text< /a>

put the url inside the quotes. Remove the space between < a and < /a

 
At 11:04 AM, May 26, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Confude -- Abiding by vetoed UN resolutions is a completely different matter from negotiating in good faith with an opponent. Please compare apples with apples.

As to your cites, please excerpt the appropriate sections and the points you are making. I am not reading long rambling articles and guessing.

When discussing matters of fact, it is preferable to go to news articles or reference materials bearing directly on the topic of concern. "The Christian churches of Jerusalem in the Post-Oslo Period" is not what we are discussing.

I'd say that the "1st Intifada" is about thirteen letters long. If you have a point to make, please do so, and support it in some sensible fashion, rather post lazy links and pose lazy questions.

Frankly I don't think you post in good faith.

 
At 10:45 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

After the Oslo accord Israel increased settlement of the west bank and Gaza and refused to return to the UN mandated borders. Likud won government with the express policy of killing off Oslo.

Arafat was a fool to accept Oslo in the first place and in the end it was his and Fatah's undoing. He ceded their lines in the sand for nothing concrete other than going back to the West Bank to do Israel's dirty work and be the propaganda whipping boy simultaneously. He was a pathetic stupid murderous fool whose delusional vanity ensured that Israel could drag the conflict on until Palestine no longer existed in any viable way.

Yfronts
Its a bit silly talking about giving land that isn't yours to give isn't it? And I think you will find that the Palestinians are being 'offered' roughly 18% of original mandate Palestine to exist within and it is the worst bit.

Some posters on here have stated that they've been offered a state "numerous times". That is simply false. They have never been offered a state, ever.

The Palestinian plight is a stain on the civilized world IMO, but I don't have the time or the energy or the unbridled optimism to change what are very very closed minds on here.

I would suggest you read some things from outside your sphere of us/israeli propaganda. I can't suggest anything to people who really think that the NY Times is a left wing paper coz it ain't, or the BBC has a pro Palestinian agenda coz it doesn't. So find it yourselves. Try Robert Fisk and a few others for some perspective.

 
At 11:12 PM, May 26, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Jack, you can lead a horse etc. The articles are a good indication of Likudist intentions in perspective with your (or possibly someone else's) assertions about ethnic cleansing.

I do post in good faith but I'm tired of the spiteful racism that bubbles to the surface from some posters here.

The 1st intifada was all about Israel breaking the Oslo accord which was in fact, a very bad deal for the Palestinians, but I was disturbed by a reference to the intifada by neo in one of her me me me essays which I thought was disgracefully dishonest and I thought it better to see whether you had the same dismissive view. I shouldn't have bothered.

Honestly, I don't think I can beat the conditioning within the US that Israel = good, Palestinian = worse than bad/evil. What is seen as left wing there seems very very right wing and gutless from where I sit.

You can sit over there and pontificate all you like but you all sound like you have no experience of the people that you are condemning, and you've never seen first hand how western hypocrisy is screwing the third world.

Poor farmers from Brazil to Indonesia know a damn sight more about US and European farm subsidies and all the BS that comes out of Washington about "free trade" than your average American. Poor people in the 3rd world whose farms have become unprofitable because of subsidies to inefficient US good ol' boys with their snouts in the trough don't see your tied aid as any sort of aid at all, and frankly niether do I. And, more than anything else, they don't want your dumbarse president making threats against them or the people that they consider they have a spiritual link with.

Unconditional US support for a murderous expansionist aggressive nuclear armed Israel while the murder of Palestinians goes on is a shining example of western hypocrisy and arrogance and injustice. How the hell you can ever beat that after Iraq I'll never know.

I'll ask some locals when I'm surfing in Sumatra what they think of GWBs "shining light of democracy coming to a war zone near you" doctrine. Should get a few laughs.

 
At 2:58 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"I'll ask some locals when I'm surfing in Sumatra what they think of GWBs "shining light of democracy coming to a war zone near you" doctrine. Should get a few laughs."

If they're the same ones that you got your 100,000 dead innocents in Iraq, and depleted uranium stories from, I'd not put too much faith in anything they tell you...

 
At 4:03 AM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Everything is like reversed when I read Confud's beliefs. Confud believes Arafat was too extreme... in favor if Israel. While we believe Arafat was too extreme in favor of terrorism.

Then there is that thing about US-Israeli propaganda. A lot of people have despaired of ever finding a solution to the brain washing the Palestinians give to young Palestinian children, using anti-Israeli propaganda techniques.

Again and again, we see this 180 polar shift.

 
At 2:44 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

douglas said...
"I'll ask some locals when I'm surfing in Sumatra what they think of GWBs "shining light of democracy coming to a war zone near you" doctrine. Should get a few laughs."

If they're the same ones that you got your 100,000 dead innocents in Iraq, and depleted uranium stories from, I'd not put too much faith in anything they tell you...

3:58 AM, May 27, 2006


No Douglas, these people are secular muslims who have experienced much hardship because of western trade policies and western support for the totally corrupt Suharto. They want nothing to do with Bin Laden or Jemaah Islamyah or GWB and his farcical expansionist policies. They would very much like to live in peace and raise their children to be have opportunities that they themselves never got. Much like any westerner really.

They don't want to kill you, why do you want to oppress and/or kill them?

 
At 2:53 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

i think douglas and the rest of them have a few problems working out that all muslims are not suicide bombers

 
At 3:11 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Just a heads up, but the last 2 comments don't show up on a cursory scan, for those who are wondering why this thread stopped.

 
At 3:41 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymarsakar said...
Everything is like reversed when I read Confud's beliefs. Confud believes Arafat was too extreme... in favor if Israel. While we believe Arafat was too extreme in favor of terrorism.

Then there is that thing about US-Israeli propaganda. A lot of people have despaired of ever finding a solution to the brain washing the Palestinians give to young Palestinian children, using anti-Israeli propaganda techniques.

Again and again, we see this 180 polar shift.

5:03 AM, May 27, 2006


Like everything Yfronts, it is way more complicated than good v evil. That, my friend, is the whole point.

 
At 4:23 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.asp?id=9349



This should be short enough for the average attention span around here.

 
At 4:30 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.iacenter.org/depleted/du_iraq.htm



"The long-term effects of DU on the environment are still not fully developed. This presents a potential risk with time. This situation imposes the need to further field and specialized studies and research."

 
At 4:32 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger AST said...

I am starting to think that the reason Bush is so hated is that the left knows that none of their leaders would have had anything like his resolve in defending this country. Where Clinton was undisciplined, Bush is disciplined. Where Clinton lied under oath, the left has had to manufacture a claim that Bush is a liar. Clinton was unfaithful to his wife and basically demonstrated the hypocrisy of feminist leaders.

There are real political differences between the left and right, but the almost frantic hatred of all things conservative by the left hasn't been seen since the anti-war Republicans during FDR's terms.

All I can think of to explain this idiocy is that the Democrats are sensing that their old reliable solutions don't work. They realize how fecklessly Clinton responded to terrorist attacks throughout his presidency. The war in Iraq is a reminder to them that they did nothing for 8 years while Saddam violated his obligations, fired on our patrols, murdered his own people and undermined sanctions. The U.N., John Kerry's preference to the coalition of the willing has been shown to be corrupt and dishonest, not to mention unwilling to do anything to protect the victims of genocide.

I think that the people who hate Bush so much know deep down that he's a real leader, while all they have to offer is Al Gore, John Kerry, and Clinton Redux.

 
At 4:40 PM, May 27, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

ast said

"Where Clinton lied under oath, the left has had to manufacture a claim that Bush is a liar. Clinton was unfaithful to his wife and basically demonstrated the hypocrisy of feminist leaders. "


So, getting a blow job from a fatty is a mortal sin but starting a war and using farcical easily disproven manufactured evidence is ok? What a good christian you must be.

Snigger.

 
At 12:20 AM, May 28, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Spank did a much better job with the "Snigger" than that.

 
At 12:45 AM, May 30, 2006, Blogger kcom said...

However are you willing to outline at what point you would be willing to admit the Irag invasion was a mistake?

How about when the conditions before the invasion change?

Because that's the only point in time that makes any difference. The facts were what they were. Only unserious people actually think a decision can be made retroactively. It's the difference between being a Monday morning quarterback and being a leader.

To answer your question more directly - let's say if Saddam had been removed by the U.N., if the sanctions had actually been effectively applied, if Saddam had been like Libya and truly opened his programs for the whole world to see, if France hadn't been playing games in trying to protect him, if he hadn't put 300,000 people into mass graves and used poison gas on women and children, if he hadn't been one of the most vile thugs the world has ever seen then maybe the conditions would exist to say that the Iraq invasion had been a mistake. Somehow, though, I don't think that in the year 2006 the conditions in 2003 are going to change retroactively.

 
At 5:29 AM, May 30, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"They don't want to kill you, why do you want to oppress and/or kill them?

At 3:53 PM, May 27, 2006, neoneoconned said...
i think douglas and the rest of them have a few problems working out that all muslims are not suicide bombers"


Better tell that to the Muslims who's kids I babysit now and then.
What are you talking about? QUOTE PLEASE, or stop misrepresenting.

 
At 5:34 AM, May 30, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

oh, and since you posted thoe links here too- here's the rebuttal:

www.citypaper.com
“We assumed that most of the deaths were going to be from typhoid” or other disease, Burnham says. Instead, more than half the reported deaths were from violence, particularly coalition air strikes."
just a few paragraphs after justifying the nuber this way:
"The study, which was carried out over four weeks by a team of seven medical researchers in Iraq, did not say that U.S. soldiers killed 100,000 noncombatants. It said that 100,000 excess deaths occurred since the start of the ground war. That counts the people shot or buried under rubble—and it also counts the people who died of malnutrition or starvation, who became sick and died from drinking polluted water, and people who died from all other causes directly and indirectly related to the war, including the skyrocketing crime rate."

"More than half" would be over 50,000- still wildly out of range of the UN report numbers... try again.

As for www.iacenter.org-

the best quote you could get from a report written by SADDAMS GOVT was this?:

"The long-term effects of DU on the environment are still not fully developed. This presents a potential risk with time. This situation imposes the need to further field and specialized studies and research."

Which by the way, is basically in the UN report as well. In plain english, it's a basic researchers caveat that they have had a limited time of study, and can't extrapolate (one way OR THE OTHER) about long term results. It's basically meaningless in the context of our debate here. It proves nothing.

Note the official Saddamist line used in the report here: "used by the western allies during their aggression on Iraq in 1991."

I love it when you try to bring me facts. More please.

 

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