Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Why this war is so hated

The war in Iraq is especially hated.

Of course, all wars are hated by most thoughtful people, since they involve bloodshed and suffering. And havoc.

It's not for nothing that Shakespeare wrote in Julius Caesar: "Cry havoc, and let loose the dogs of war." The word "havoc" has two meanings: widespread destruction, and disorder or chaos. Any war unleashes the possibility of either or both; they are part and parcel of the enterprise.

But I'm not talking primarily of that sort of generalized hatred of war, the type that's shared by both sides and applies to all wars. No, there seems to be something special about the war in Iraq and its aftermath, the reconstruction, which seems to have aroused a level of ire unprecedented in my lifetime (a lifetime that's included quite a few wars, including another exceptionally controversial one, Vietnam).

So I've been wondering about the origins of the extremity and intensity of the hatred. After all, it's not as though this is a war with especially high casualties on either side, at least as wars go; that first element of the definition of havoc--widespread destruction--has not occurred, not even in Iraq.

And it's not as though Saddam Hussein, whose regime was the original target of the war, is anybody's hero outside of Iraq--and even in Iraq his supporters were/are limited, although previously powerful and presently out for blood. So no, even most of those who hate this war find it difficult to get worked up into a lather of sympathy for Saddam, and they often remember to begin war critiques with the disclaimer: "Of course, Saddam was bad, but...".

Nor is there a draft. So in this country--and in all the other coalition members, as far as I know--no one's life is on the line who hasn't volunteered for that solemn responsibility. In Vietnam, in contrast, there's no question that the draft gave enormous fuel to the protest fire. Self-interest being what it is, and human beings being what they are, that's understandable.

So, what's going on here? I've come up with a numbers of theories. The first, of course, is the enormous enmity people feel for Bush personally (I've written on the subject here, and Dr. Sanity has written a great deal more extensively about it here.) This hatred--and "hatred" is almost not a strong enough word for it--predated the war, of course, so the war has not caused it. Hatred for Bush is no small part of the hatred of the war itself; the two work in a sort of synergy. But by itself it doesn't appear to account for the degree to which this war is hated.

Nor do I think hatred of this war stems mainly from the failure to find WMDs, although that likewise contributes. Once again, the hatred of this war predated that failure, so it can't be caused by it.

So, what's going on? I think there truly is something qualitatively different about this war that contributes greatly. Perhaps many things.

The war in Iraq was characterized with a certain audacity in its genesis. The reasons behind it, although they were explained, were complex and multiple. Some of them seemed merely "technical"--violations of UN resolutions and the ceasefire of the Gulf War, and failure to cooperate with inspectors, are unusual (perhaps unprecedented?) reasons to attack a nation. Even though the war was described as defensive--including defensive of the UN's authority, which somehow seems ironic--it is very hard for most people to see it as defensive. This is partly because the possibility of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a third-world nation that might give them to terrorists is a relatively new one, difficult to credit and to wrap the mind around (and the failure to find WMDs in Iraq feeds into this difficulty).

But it is especially hard for many to credit the "self-defense" or "defense of the neighbors of Iraq" argument for the war because the US is a strong and powerful nation, especially militarily, and Iraq, although strong for a third-world country (as compared to, for example, Haiti), was no match for it. So the notion of bullying comes into play in many people's minds as an almost kneejerk reaction to the disparity, without a focus on the fact that Saddam was actually the quintessential bully.

But Saddam's bullying--and "bullying" is way too weak a word for it; better to call it "tyrannical systematic mass murder and the installation of a totalitarian fear state"--was simply not on the radar screen of most people in the West. Out of sight, out of mind, for the most part. I'm not being especially critical of this; it's something we all do in order to go about our lives without the constant awareness of all the suffering on earth about which we can do nothing. But the consequence of this tuning out of the hardship of others it that it makes it easy for many people to forget that earlier carnage, and to argue their case as though the suffering just began, sprung full-blown from the head of Bush and only as a consequence of "his" war.

This war and its aftermath also have also been unusually long, at least by modern standards. No, the war's not even remotely up there with Vietnam in that regard. But compared to the Gulf War, for example, it's extremely long and complex. That's mostly because it involves a reconstruction, always a long and difficult project. In fact, if just the original invasion and battles with Saddam's official armies are considered, the war was remarkably, almost freakishly, short. But we are all correct to consider those skirmishes just the beginning; the real war is the reconstruction.

That fact, combined with modern-day impatience, leads to some of the rage. We've lost sight of how difficult such a thing is; we want immediate solutions and clean and simple endings. And of course those things would be wonderful. But they are unrealisitic. And many believe that the Bush administration expected those things as well; witness the focus on Ken Adelman's "cakewalk" remark (I discussed that remark and its meaning and context here).

But even though Bush actually made many prewar comments on how difficult the tasks of this war would be does not change the fact that the actual reconstruction has been more difficult than most people (including, I believe, most in the administration) expected. I discuss these issues here, and I urge you, if interested, to read what I've said, so I don't have to reinvent the wheel.

Underlying all of this, I believe, is the fact that in some ways this war is sui generis. The invasion of a smaller, weaker country by a larger, stronger one is a familiar sight in history, of course. But previously (absent a provoking attack on the stronger by the weaker) the reason for the attack tends to have been that the larger nation was up to no good. That is, that the invasion was motivated by an exploitative impulse to plunder.

Ancient history is full of such examples, and it's also much of the modern story of imperialism. So that's the template: exploitation. The fact that one of the motives for this war--although certainly not the sole factor--was the liberation of the Iraqi people is a statement greeted with derision by so many partly because it isn't something with which we've previously had a great deal of experience. Therefore it's something we have reason to be cynical about.

But it is nevertheless the truth, in my opinion--part of the reason this war was fought was said liberation. But in this case the critics are at least partly correct, in that the motive for wanting to liberate the Iraqi people has not been solely altruistic. There's something in it for us, of course.

That's one of the reasons the dread neocons were in favor of this war: the liberation of the Iraqi people was felt to have been in our own interests. As such, however, it would be a win-win situation: the people's liberation would also have been in their own interests, as well as ours. And some of the anger of war opponents stems from a difficulty in seeing that self-interest and altruistic impulses are not necessarily in conflict, but sometimes (as in this case, if all goes well) can go hand in hand.

That leaves us with another question: has all gone well? Of course, the jury is out on that so far. And the answer also depends on one's definition of "gone well," which, in turn, depends on what one is comparing Iraq's present state to--Switzerland? Or prewar Saddam's Iraq? Or, especially, to what would have happened had Saddam stayed in power?

The answer also depends on how patient one is. I think the Iraqi people have demonstrated more patience than many in the West have. Of course, the "insurgents" have quite a bit of patience, too. The patience of Iraqis on both sides is understandable, because they've been through a lot more than most Westerners have, and have a lot more to lose. But, paradoxically, whether or not the patience of the freedom- and peace-loving elements of the Iraqi people will be rewarded depends in part on our having patience. And we in the modern West are not known for our patience.

[I may opine some more on this tomorrow; I've got enough material for a Part II. We'll see).

255 Comments:

At 1:30 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

it is unpopular because it was an illegal action

it is unpopular because it is open ended - which country next? As, is often pointed out on here, it is a long war and not just against Iraq

It is unpopular because it was fought for oil and if anything beneficial emerges, that's fine but it is the oil that matters.

It is unpopular because so many people were opposed and yet it went ahead.

It is unpopular because there is a serious chance it isn't going to lead to anything in Iraq apart from more chaos and bloodeshed.

It is unpopular because once the new american century site was posted it didn't take a phd to see what was going to happen next and non neo-cons are very suspicious of the motives of all this?

.....enough?

 
At 1:35 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Randi said...

It is not even a war. It's a postwar anti-liberation insurgency. Dhimmi pissers of the wanker left don't want the yanks to liberate anything. They hold onto their idiotic class struggle dogmas and hatred of the "other", and scream at the top of their voices.

Your first commenter's a good example of these wankers. he's got nothing to offer personally, so he damns any constructive action done by his ideological enemies. He's a loser.

 
At 1:39 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

may well be randie, but I was explaining why it is unpopular...which it is

a postwar anti-liberation insurgency

you hope...

 
At 2:00 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:01 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The first, of course, is the enormous enmity people feel for Bush personally (I've written on the subject here, and Dr. Sanity has written a great deal more extensively about it here.)

That can easily be tested by waiting for Bush to get out of office and see what changes. I doubt anything really will.

It wouldn't be so bad if the opponents of the Iraq war were intellectually honest. Epistemologically speaking, intellectual honesty is just applying the same standards for belief for one thing compared to another. Those standards being dictated by number and quality. If there are more justifications that something is true than false, you should believe it is true. If you don't, you are intellectually dishonest. If there are more justifications to believe something is false than true, you must believe it is false. For those that want to sit on the fence, if there are equal justifications on both sides or if the justifications are inconclusive and incomplete, then you must withold your judgement.

THat's the problem you see. The opponents of this war say they are non-judgemental, arab israeli conflict for example (neutrality), but what actually occurs is that they believe the worst of both. This is not witholding judgement when the justifications are equal on both sides, which they claim is the reason why Israel is as bad or worse than the Palestines.

When people believe something is true because they recognize all the justifications in favor of it being true and none of the justifications for why it is false, then intellectual dishonest contributes to a lot of bad people doing bad things.

 
At 2:05 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

All rational people hate war; the alternative is? It's as if, for simplicity and instance, "Ali" has ransacked his neighbor’s house and has committed some pretty horrible things. The police come to get Ali. Ohhh poor Ali or ohhh poor ransacked neighbor? Okay okay okay, we'll give Ali a chance because the idiotic neighborhood wants to give Ali a second chance. The police drive by and poke around to make sure Ali's not up to no good. But nooo Ali likes to take pot-shots at the police doing their patrols. Ohhh poor Ali? 12 years of this behavior later. Okay damnit -- this is crazy -- we are going into get Ali. Experts from around the city and neighbors say that he has rigged his house up to explode with so many explosives it might take out half the damn neighborhood. The neighborhood, "Leave that boy alone! We know he's crazy!" Well, here we are dragging Ali out of the house and now he's in jail -- but now some of the neighbors and some of Ali children are causing a ruckus. Turns out they were in on the first crime all along. Conclusion: Let the police do what they need to do, [coalition of the willing] and stay out of the way. However, if you want to join the posse, then that’s a noble venture!

Peace!

 
At 2:19 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

The war is one of the major entry wounds into the whole tangled knot of half-truths, contradictions and denials that make up the world that many leftists live in; the area is inflamed, baby, and so, there is a tremendous amount of psychic energy, emotion and anger collected around the wound. (Does this qualify as cheap psychology, purple prose, both?)

 
At 2:32 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It qualifies as mystic energies which shall rend the earth asunder onto a new age.

 
At 2:53 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"The war is one of the major entry wounds into the whole tangled knot of half-truths, contradictions and denials that make up the world that many leftists live in"

Said much better than I could, but spot on. My definition of "leftist" is a person who sees the world emotionally, as opposed to rationally. Facts matter not; it is the perception which counts.

Witness "it is unpopular because it was an illegal action". In what way was the war "illegal"? Congress authorized the use of force; the UN resolutions promised "grave consequences" (does anyone doubt that force was what was conceived?). And please define for me what a "legal" war is. Most are initiated by surprise. The war in Iraq could hardly have been a surprise to anyone.

Plus, I hate to belabor what is seen as a "right-wing mantra," but doggone it, the MSM has distorted just about every aspect of this administration, from Iraq to Katrina. (see these links, for instance: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2006/05/katrina_what_the_media_missed.html and http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008415).

It follows that those who get their information from networks and the NY and LA Times have a view of the war inconsistent with reality. No wonder they hate it.

 
At 2:56 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yduzeverybodyhateme.

If only you would take your own advice regarding intellectual honesty. I had to try very hard not to laugh when typing the i word in connection with you.

A couple of random thoughts if you will re the essay.

People generally knew that the pretexts for the war were false when it was being whipped up. It was not a surprize that they were proved so after the fact. The brass statements from the hawkish elements of Bush's cabal that US troops would be welcomed by the Iraqi people bearing gifts and swathes of rose petals was so palpably inane and deluded that invasion opponents were largely aware that Bush had no post war plan.

The failure of the Afghanistan adventure is a testament to the inept bungling of these gangsters.

What you all want to label "the insurgency" is just an intellectual device to characterize a force that you can't grasp. The Iraqis (in general and spread widely throughout the populace) hate you and see you as occupiers of their country. They see you as invaders there to steal their oil wealth and you are giving them plenty of good hard evidence to support that proposition. They want you (and me) out, more than anything else.

I'm not going to list the reasons why they as a people will never trust you (while you continue to feed their hatred) but the Bush 1 "rise up" speech would be a good place for you all to start. The sanctions throughout the 90s denying them the basics of life and their health is another cause.

The speciousness of the "undermining the UN" argument is a hoax. Saddam did NOT evict the inspectors, he was right about the CIA spies and the Hans Blix's worst detractors and underminers were in Washington rather than Baghdad.

 
At 3:04 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

"The Iraqis (in general and spread widely throughout the populace) hate you and see you as occupiers of their country. They see you as invaders there to steal their oil wealth and you are giving them plenty of good hard evidence to support that proposition."

And this evidence is?....

On the other hand, there's this:

"From: Mayor of Tall ‘Afar, Ninewa, Iraq

In the Name of God the Compassionate and Merciful

To the Courageous Men and Women of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who have changed the city of Tall’ Afar from a ghost town, in which terrorists spread death and destruction, to a secure city flourishing with life.

To the lion-hearts who liberated our city from the grasp of terrorists
who were beheading men, women and children in the streets for many months.

To those who spread smiles on the faces of our children, and gave us restored hope, through their personal sacrifice and brave fighting, and gave new life to the city after hopelessness darkened our days, and stole our confidence in our ability to reestablish our city.

Our city was the main base of operations for Abu Mousab Al Zarqawi. The city was completely held hostage in the hands of his henchmen. Our schools, governmental services, businesses and offices were closed.

Our streets were silent, and no one dared to walk them. Our people were barricaded in their homes out of fear; death awaited them around every corner. Terrorists occupied and controlled the only hospital in the city.

Their savagery reached such a level that they stuffed the corpses of children with explosives and tossed them into the streets in order to kill grieving parents attempting to retrieve the bodies of their young.

This was the situation of our city until God prepared and delivered unto them the courageous soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment, who liberated this city, ridding it of Zarqawi’s followers after harsh fighting, killing many terrorists, and forcing the remaining butchers to flee the city like rats to the surrounding areas, where the bravery of other 3d ACR soldiers in Sinjar, Rabiah, Zumar and Avgani finally destroyed them.

I have met many soldiers of the 3d Armored Cavalry Regiment; they are not only courageous men and women, but avenging angels sent by The God Himself to fight the evil of terrorism.

The leaders of this Regiment; COL McMaster, COL Armstrong, LTC Hickey, LTC Gibson, and LTC Reilly embody courage, strength, vision and wisdom.

Officers and soldiers alike bristle with the confidence and character of knights in a bygone era. The mission they have accomplished, by means of a unique military operation, stands among the finest military feats to date in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and truly deserves to be studied in military science. This military operation was clean, with little collateral damage, despite the ferocity of the enemy. With the skill and precision of surgeons they dealt with the terrorist cancers in the city without causing unnecessary damage.

God bless this brave Regiment; God bless the families who dedicated these brave men and women.

From the bottom of our hearts we thank the families. They have given us something we will never forget.

To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land.

Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.

Finally, no matter how much I write or speak about this brave Regiment, I haven’t the words to describe the courage of its officers and soldiers. I pray to God to grant happiness and health to these legendary heroes and their brave families.

NAJIM ABDULLAH ABID
AL-JIBOURI
Mayor of Tall ‘Afar,
Ninewa, Iraq"

 
At 3:37 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

The two critics who believe they are shooting fish in a barrel need simple reminders.

Illegal war? The records of the US Congress are definitive otherwise. All in good order. I suspect you mean "the UN didn't approve" or "lots of my friends don't think so," both of which are quite different. And also answerable.

Open-ended? I doubt that Iceland and the Niue Islands are under consideration. So your point is?

Fought for oil? Afghanistan doesn't have oil. Another point on the axis of evil doesn't have oil - that would be NK. If we justed wanted oil, we would have taken the opposite tack, winking at Saddam and getting his oil for cheap. It would have been a bargain.

So many people opposed? Not at first, if you're a poll-believer. Or a Senate believer. I suspect you mean that all the cool kids were opposed.

Chaos and bloodshed? Some milbloggers are starting to claim that the war is won. I don't know as I'd go that far, but it's close. 15 of 17 provinces are peaceful. Hopefully, we won't be there as long as we've been in Germany.

The motives? You have special motive-reading rays? We in the psych biz could use that talent. You have it backwards. You disbelieved the declared motives though you had no evidence. This has colored your subsequent understanding.

Further down:
Pretenses were false? They are actually now proving out. The trickle has become a stream now that the captured documents are being translated.

When someone uses the word "cabal," they pretty much declare themselves to be using words in their emotive rather than logical senses. Esxpecially right after misusing "brass."

We were welcomed by Iraqis bearing gifts, especially at first, but still continuing as well. We have the film. The people still fighting us are not a huge percentage. Our PR problem there is general suspicion, not hatred. Our PR problem here is folks who can't abide for us to succeed.

What failure of the Afghan adventure? I expect there will be a violent unhappy minority and a majority fearful that they will be unprotected for a long time. Interesting definition of "failure." I might call it "how the world has always been outside of movies."*

Sanctions? I assume you have been following where the Oil-for-Food $ went? I don't get where the US culpability lies.

Hans Blix and the Inspections? (Great name for a band). See my comments about document translation, above.

These are the old arguments from 2002, brought out again in an attempt to claim "we told you so." Which would be fine if there were evidence to support that, instead of a mere recapitulation of the predictions.

*Fascinating that the left likes its movies ambiguous, but can't abide same in foreign-policy reality; conservatives like full-resolution movies, but recognize that reality isn't like that.

 
At 4:03 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

As we can see, people like confud (and nconned when he's off his meds) are really "insurgent"-manques. They sentimentalize people who are at best islamofascist fanatics, at worst psychotic killers; they romanticize thugs, idealize vagrant ideological mercenaries, and yearn for the purposefulness of suicide bombers, however deranged. These sorts of motivations aren't peculiar to this war, it's true, but they do help explain the predictable hostility of a perennial segment to this kind of war, regardless of its rational justifications.

 
At 4:09 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Kurt said...

Thanks for a great response to this post, AVI.

Dr. Sanity has a great post today about the buzzwords that substitute for thought in the lexicons among so much of the left (and the anti-Iraq war crowd). That provides a bit more insight into this phenomenon, I think, as it's too easy for the left to mock what appear to be contradictions in this war than to try to understand what is really at stake. (I am reminded of the 60s antiwar slogan that "fighting for peace is like *&%#ing for chastity.")

It's easy for war critics to say that this is a "war for oil," but when you point out that the oil was only important because the oil wealth made Saddam a much more dangerous madman than some two-bit dictator in a country without such lucrative resources would have been, and that now, in the post-Saddam Iraq, the oil profits are to be shared by all Iraqis, they will still only say, "see, that proves it was a war for oil."

Finally, there is that whole matter of perspective. This review of Melanie Phillips' most recent book provides some worthwhile perspective of Jimmy Carter's limited understanding of the Iran hostage crisis, one that also helps the limits of the anti-war crowd's interpretive matrix for this conflict:
In his ignorance and provincialism, Carter could not see any conflict in terms other than the black-white confrontation during the US South in the 1960s. Palestinians, Iranians, or other self-defined victims of Western imperialism are the blacks of Selma in the diminutive mind of the former president. But the civil-rights movement in the United States brooks no comparison to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It was a Christian-led movement appealing to the conscience of other Christians under the law of the land, and succeeded with minimal loss of life.

 
At 4:09 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

i really can't be doing with going through all this again but....just one thing. I will accept you have honestly held beliefs if you accept i do...otherwise what the hell is the point? well apart from a bit of trolling to wind up dangerous people like yrmdwnkr.

It is sad to watch the usa tearing itself apart over this war.
Whether you like it or not there is no consensus amongst the us population and the arguments, on both sides are virulent in the extreme. It is not that the other side is wrong it is that they are; weak, stupid, cowardly, psychologically disturbed, incapable of putting together a proper argument etbloodycetera.

It could be argued that the rise of the intenet and the ease with which political opponents can criticise each other has lead to an increasing polarisation of opinion.....There appears to be no middle ground on issues like this and the extremes are very contemptuous of those who don't agree. I read yrdwnkr and the little apple thief on here and despair.

If you want to know i supported invading Afghanisatan - The Taliban were supporting Al Q letting them hide out etc. I supported the first gulf war...well I am good old UN man.

I oppose the Iraqi adventure because it looks like america trying to police the world and that is not the role of a single country.

now you might not agree with it but it is a rational opinion to hold. As a non us citizen I don't care what you think of a troll like me....but as americans you are going to have to start to find some common ground between each other. If you don't one more dodgy election result could lead to some serious internal conflict....imagine yrmdwnkr's reaction if a bit of hanging chad kept the republians out and a democratic president started removing troops from some of the placces they are in now.

 
At 4:14 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh and thanks to the above posts for demonstrating the point i made about extreme arguments
buzzwords that substitute for thought in the lexicons among so much of the left saves you having to think of an argument if you can just dismiss what i say as buzzwords

 
At 4:16 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Well done, Asst Village Idiot! That's a keeper.

Speaking as an ex-progressive who marched against the Gulf War (1990) and probably would have gone beyond dislike and numbness to hatred of that war if the US hadn't disengaged so quickly, I would say that much of the hatred of the Iraq War does come from a deep distrust of US power and Republican administrations no matter what.

 
At 4:20 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Kurt said...

No, thank you neoneoconned for taking one phrase out of my longish response, and trying to use that to criticize my argument without bothering to consider or respond to the details or examples in my subsequent paragraphs.

 
At 4:24 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

nnc -- Your first post worked as an explanation of your hatred of the war, but not as statements of facts about the war. Those would have to be supported.

Of course we've all been through that complex discussion a bunch of times. IMO this is a case where informed Americans of good conscience can disagree.

There is much stridency on both sides, though it seems to me that the anti-war side is particularly demanding that theirs is the only possible position that could be supported by decent, intelligent citizens.

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

sorry but have you really got the time and energy to redo the whole "was the war for oil argument"? The point i made was about the destructive nature of the debate and polarisation of opinion - i quoted you as an example of saying that the other side does not held real opinions that are worth taking seriously.


Just a couple of quick things


1. Oil is central to US economy & Foreign Policy - Carter Doctrine etc.


2. If Iraq had not been threatening the whole mid east oil producing area this would not have happened


3. (and you won't like this) Bush is very close to th eoil business and their priorities are also his


but my real point is about the nature of the debate an dthe point that neo raises about why the war is so hated....and why the opposing sides (in the west) hate each other

 
At 4:28 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Peg C. said...

The war exposed the evil and uselessness of the U.N., one of the primary pets of the Left because it exists to disembowel the U.S.. Also, 9/11 itself and everything that has followed has ruinously exposed all the precious dogma and myths of the Left as utterly fake in this too-real world. The Leftist worldview (I, too, subscribed for decades) can only be reconciled during decades of "peace" such as the 90s; in the world of terrorism and nuclear weapons controlled by terrorists, the Leftist worldview is pathetically wrong and horrifyingly dangerous. In simple terms the Emperor has no clothes, the Leftist worldview has been repudiated, and for that we the repudiators, not the terrorists, must be endlessly punished.

 
At 4:36 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Common ground is always a good thing to seek, but may not always be possible -- and it's not necessary so long as we: a) can agree to disagree; b) commit to a basic degree of respect or at least civility (a point that trolling inherently violates); and c) agree to abide by the general rules for making common decisions, hanging chads and all.

I supported and continue to support the decision to invade Iraq, but, like Neo, most of the people I know didn't and don't. With some, sad to say, I can't have a discussion about the issue, but with many, including all of my closest friends, I'm able to have an ongoing, respectful, and (I hope mutually) helpful dialogue/debate. It's certainly possible, in other words, to disagree without resorting to insult and ridicule, and it would actually be useful all round. But it's not possible with people who leap in to comment on thoughtful posts with mere repetitious provocations and name-calling.

 
At 4:52 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

i agree with you and promise to stop calling you sappy in the light of reading your recent posts.

however

you try debating anything with yrmdwnkr then see how quickly it gets silly. Also the accusations of trolling are fallen back on - by all sides - in the process of debating. there is a lack of focus on the debate itself.

as a non american i do find it amazing how every debate is filtered through a pro/anti america prism - that is on 'leftie' sites as well as here. Many of the most important issues in the world are simply nothing to do with this.

 
At 4:53 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Branedy said...

"The Moral Law causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler, so that they will follow him regardless of their lives, undismayed by any danger."

SUN TZU ON THE ART OF WAR

Bush held no moral high ground. And we conducted the first preemptive strike on a foreign country in U.S. history. For no good reason!

Do you kill the horse because he saw the fox kill the hen? And then claim that the horse kicked the hen? And who would believe your reasons then?

 
At 5:05 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Branedy - much as i agree with you i think the love of sun tzu means you should be debating with yrmdwnkr - you may have a lot in common :-)

 
At 5:08 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Cappy said...

All actions to defend American lives and freedoms will always be unpopular with the unthinking, unreconstructed 1960's era leftists. They are a permanent fifth column in the United States.

 
At 5:13 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

****sigh******

a fifth column


what sort of spying for the islamofascists? preparing the way for sharia law in louisiana


NEO! I HAVE GOT BLOGGER FATIGUE!

 
At 5:22 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:27 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Let me explain the moral high ground to people.

When you're supporting fascistic dictators like Amanie in Iran or Saddam in Iraq or the Osama/Omar in Afghanistan, this means you will never believe Bush(who is against all these 3 regimes) will ever have the Moral Law.

The Moral Law applies to those who are ruled, those who follow, and those who are lead. It does not apply to the followers, initiates, or soldiers of the Enemy.

When the objectives of one person is to destroy Saddam and when the objective of another person is to destroy the person trying to destroy Saddam by trying to stop an illegal invasion. (which would be legal if only the UN had approved it, unfortunately they were kinda worried about their bribes not arriving afterwards) When you have these two people together, neither will recognize the Moral Law of the other, because the Moral Law requires that you have the same objectives. What is moral for the guy trying to liberate women and children is not the same thing as what is moral to the oppressors of said women and children.

Here's a few words on Sun Tzu's last section, Spies.

Sun Tzu said: Raising a host of a hundred thousand men and engaging them in war entails heavy loss on the people and a drain on the resources. The daily expenditure will amount to a thousand ounces of silver. There will be commotion at home and abr oad, and men will drop out exhausted.

If the troops don't drop in exhaustion, the people paying taxes back at the state will. Duh, come on.

"commotion at home"? What the heck is that? Could it be anti-war protests and sabotage? You tell me, you should know.

# When you engage in actual fighting, if victory is long in coming, then men's weapons will grow dull and their ardor will be damped. If you lay siege to a town, you will exhaust your strength.

# Again, if the campaign is protracted, the resources of the State will not be equal to the strain.

# Now, when your weapons are dulled, your ardor damped, your strength exhausted and your treasure spent, other chieftains will spring up to take advantage of your extremity. Then no man, however wise, will be able to avert the consequences that must ensue.

# Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.


"Other chieftans" indeed.

This is the def of moral law as used by Sun.

The consummate leader cultivates the moral law, and strictly adheres to method and discipline; thus it is in his power to control success. Bush means what he says, and says what he means. When he says he is a compassionate conservative, that's what he means, as people can see concerning immigration.

The MORAL LAW causes the people to be in complete accord with their ruler

Who exactly believes people who think Bush has no legitimacy think he is their ruler?

So... what? People in Britain feel the need to say Bush has no Moral Law because.... they think Bush is their ruler and is complaining? Come on.

I could write something to defend myself against conned, but I really don't want to get conned. So, instead of explaining why I don't defend myself against a person who believes the worst of his political opponents, I'll just provide this link as self-evidence.

Here is how I debate with honorable opponents, scroll down for more.

Here is something on spies.

(1) Spies cannot be usefully employed without a certain intuitive sagacity; (2) They cannot be properly managed without benevolence and straight forwardness; (3) Without subtle ingenuity of mind, one cannot make certain of the truth of their reports; (4) Be subtle! be subtle! and use your spies for every kind of warfare; (5) If a secret piece of news is divulged by a spy before the time is ripe, he must be put to death together with the man to whom the secret was told.

Whether the object be to crush an enemy, to storm a territory, or to kill an enemy general, it is always necessary to begin by finding out the names of the attendants, the aides-de-camp, and door-keepers and sentries of the general in command. Our spies m ust be commissioned to ascertain these.


I'll leave you, the reader, to decide who is what.

 
At 5:28 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

This deceit is so tired…

Bush held no moral high ground. And we conducted the first preemptive strike on a foreign country in U.S. history. For no good reason!

We were mandated by the UN to do so.

Adopted as Resolution 1441 at Security Council meeting 4644, 8 November 2002: Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;

 
At 5:32 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The UN argument is always a losing one, Nyo. If you give the UN one ounce of credence, people like conned will then try and justify their obstruction against Iraq as because there was no final UN Resolution to go to war.

Implication isn't enough, nyo, legally speaking. It has to be iron clad. If you are married, and you form a joint account, don't expect the law to recognize what you put into that joint account as not belonging to your spouse. If you want to form a joint account with the UN, it is not a good idea if you intend to divorce the UN and go your own way without the UN preventing you from using your money (military).

Acceding to the "Let's go to the UN and be legitimalized" argument was the worst blunder Bush made. The UN has no credence or justificiation, other than what you give it.

 
At 5:34 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Additionally, if you want to fight the War on Terror using legalistic, UN bribed lawyers, then I think you should reconsider, Nyo.

Lawyers are the main reason why the US Military Tribunal system is stalled and hasn't prosecuted ONE dude in GitMo.

 
At 5:34 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Spying for Islamofascist? Yes, Lynne Stewart.

 
At 6:04 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Branedy said...

Ymarsakar, You seem to be able to read SUN TZU but you seem not to understand how it applies to Iraq. Do you not see how the war has been conducted. Why can a 2000 year old book tell even the simpleton what will happen in a war. And you allow bush off the hook when bush claims that they were prepared? That they had a plan.

Now moral is it to subvert the truth about the real reasons to invade Iraq? And you can leave Afghanistan out of this, you don't hear anyone complaining about that war.

Does Torture make for a firm moral ground? How about kidnapping? Makes the U.S. real upstanding looking. Oh sure, being the good christian bush claims to be, surly he could spare the other cheek.

And don't give me the U.N. as the be all, end all of the problem. That's just lame.

You want to win in a war of beliefs? try and demonstrate those good qualities of your beliefs. Don't wallow in the mud with the bad guy.

 
At 6:10 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 6:14 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Fifth column? There certainly are Americans who are working clandestinely to undermine the US in this war.

For instance Jessie Macbeth, a socialist revolutionary who just this week was caught posing as a US Army Ranger on video testifying of American atrocities against Iraqis. I count Macbeth, his confederates, Pepperspray Productions, and peacefilms.org as fifth columnists.

To a lesser degree I would count those anti-war folks who rushed to believe Macbeth without any verification and argued on Macbeth's behalf until the case was absolutely hopeless, and then ... they blamed Karl Rove.

As far as I'm concerned any American who considers undermining Bush and the United States the number one priority over any other consideration today is a fifth-columnist.

 
At 6:28 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Why can a 2000 year old book tell even the simpleton what will happen in a war.

Why is a 2000 year old book still relevant and required reading in military colleges? Is Bush a product of the military industrial machine or is he a business MBA? Is Bush dumb or is he stupid? These are questions that produce different answers but also different interpretations.

And you allow bush off the hook when bush claims that they were prepared?

I didn't claim that Bush was prepared. Sun Tzu wouldn't claim that you can be "prepared" for war either, not in the sense that you mean it. Defense stratagems that are inflexible and set in stone, are easy to beat. However, it is quite obvious Bush has the Moral Law on his side, because those who follower Bush are very loyal to him. Bush has a problem with spies, because Bush don't like to lie or use deception, but that's his and America's loss.

That they had a plan.
Everyone has a plan. Saddam had a plan. Plans don't work out in war.

And you can leave Afghanistan out of this, you don't hear anyone complaining about that war.

That's cause we didn't go to the UN. (Notice that Nyo? Don't go to UN, everyone likes it, go to UN everyone hates you)

Now moral is it to subvert the truth about the real reasons to invade Iraq?


How moral is it? Well, it is moral to save women from Saddam's rape chambers. It is moral to prevent genocide in Iraq. It is moral to give people a chance and a hope at a better life. It is moral to give Iraq democracy in return for American security. What is so immoral about these objectives, goals, and projects?

Does Torture make for a firm moral ground?

Sun Tzu chopped people's heads off because they weren't disciplined. Sun Tzu would have supported any goal or action against the enemy and would never have refused a tactic because it wasn't "fair". You can make your statements about torture, but it's gonna be coming from your own opinions, not a 2,000 year old book.

And don't give me the U.N. as the be all, end all of the problem. That's just lame.

Well, that's simple, since the UN isn't the end of any problem, only the beginning of them.

Don't wallow in the mud with the bad guy.

Perhaps you'd like to explain how having a static and inflexible strategy of "don't use things the bad guys use" is consistent with the fluidity principles of Sun Tzu.


To a lesser degree I would count those anti-war folks who rushed to believe Macbeth without any verification and argued on Macbeth's behalf until the case was absolutely hopeless, and then ... they blamed Karl Rove.


Don't forget Sami Al arian and the ACLU who provided "free legal counsel" (means Soros funded). They kept saying he was innocent, that the FBI was doing a witch hunt.... Sure, that's why Sami pleaded guilty when the jury couldn't figure out what was going on.

 
At 6:42 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger darwin said...

My personal view is that the Iraq war is so unpopular mostly because people are displacing their anger and fear over 9/11. They want to have someone to blame for it, and Bush is that man. The war becomes "proof" of how the changes in the post 9/11 word are all a result of electing some machiavellian idiot-savant and his cult of handlers.

Some of this anger is reasonable.. Bush clearly did take advantage of the post 9/11 political environment to do Iraq. Perhaps it was unwise. But in my view the Iraq war is so hated because it acts as a proxy for the aftermath of 9/11. The nature of various 9/11 conspiracy theories is another such proxy.

Many of those who hate the Iraq war believe that if Bush hadn't started it, things would go back to how they were before 9/11. The only problem is that things never actually were the way most people thought they were before 9/11. Bush gets the blame for the falsification of head-in-the-sand triumphalism of the 90s, when he wasn't even President.

=darwin
(www.nuclearbeef.com)

 
At 7:00 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"I oppose the Iraqi adventure because it looks like america trying to police the world and that is not the role of a single country."
That's fine, but history is full of countries saying it's someone else's problem, until things get too hot, then they get forced into a conflict far worse than what they would've gotten into earlier... Or you think there is some other entity that should be world policeman? And why would they be a better choice than the United States?

"I will accept you have honestly held beliefs if you accept i do"

Done. So does Abu Musab al Zarqawi when he's sawing off heads (not that I'm comparing him to you). Now that that nonsequitur is out of the way, can we get to logical argument and facts. Thanks.

 
At 7:47 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

If America doesn't police the world, things like 9/11 starts happening. America doesn't have a choice between isolationism and police powers.

The police is effective because the police has a monopoly on force. When organized crime can field a bigger army than the police can, the police becomes ineffective. (Iraq) This is why other nations with nuclear weapons (Iran) can't be trusted until they demonstrate they are responsible world citizens.

Since the US doesn't get paid to do our police work (we pay the UN, the UN doesn't pay the US), the US doesn't do house calls cause our resources are limited.

To the Chinese, the idea of police powers is Tianamen Square. To the Russians, it is making citizens in Chechnya disappear and trying to assassinate the President of Ukraine. To the UN Peacekeepers, police powers is just another excuse to party in hotels and go out among the locals for "entertainment".

The US is lucky enough to be able to field the most powerful military in the history of the earth, not just in current times. Something Sun Tzu would have been quite surprised by, given the economic straits of his times. In a curious way, being big means you have more power, but it also means you have more enemies that want to take your place. More opponents and competitors, more traitors and betrayals.

The price of success, beats living in a hut and purged by North Vietnamese though, as the Boat People can attest to. Better to be on top, than to be at the bottom.

 
At 7:49 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I have to correct something, the Un does pay host nation peacekeepers. They are the real mercenaries, and why you tend to get a lot of African peacekeepers... they want the money among other things.

Russia wants in on the peacekeeping moola too. The US, not so much, given that we pay out more to the UN than we could ever take in given military expenses. I don't think the UN could have paid us any amount to equal Somalia.

 
At 8:02 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger rickl said...

I haven't read all the comments yet, so maybe someone else has already touched on this.

I think the main reason why this war is so hated is due to the conquest of the West's educational establishment by the Left. This was in its infancy in the 60's but by now a whole generation or more has been exposed to the Marxist propaganda of Noam Chomsky, Ward Churchill, and countless others of their ilk. America is the root of all evil. American history is an endless chronicle of bigotry and oppression. By the time kids graduate from college, they have been thoroughly conditioned to always assume the worst about American policy.

We really need to face up to this. We can't survive as a culture if this is allowed to continue. Though we defeated the Soviet Union, communism is alive and well in American academia. It is way past time to purge the America-hating leftists from our educational system.

 
At 8:21 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Rickl, I want to introduce you to FRONTPAGEMAG.COM.

 
At 8:32 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger rickl said...

As regards the reasons and justifications for invading Iraq: I've read a lot of history, but I don't fancy myself a military strategist. Nevertheless, it has always seemed a no-brainer to me that the main reason for going into Iraq is because it's a stategic location in the Middle East. Look at a map--it's smack dead center, and has a major port on the Persian Gulf. It's right between Iran and Syria.

Look at how we had to beg and wheedle various countries to use their territory and airspace in order to launch the invasion. Once we establish bases in Iraq, it will be that much easier to stage future operations throughout the Middle East.

I understood this well before the start of OIF, and nothing since has changed my mind. Other justifications like WMDs, deposing a dictator, and liberating the Iraqi people are strictly secondary, in my opinion.

(And lest anybody misunderstand me, I'm not opposed to the Iraq operation. Not at all. Just don't call it the "Iraq War". It's not the whole war, just a theater in a much larger war.)


Nyomythus:

I just saw your comment as I was previewing. I'm already familiar with fronpagemag.com. Thanks.

 
At 8:50 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger rickl said...

Doh! "stategic", "fronpagemag.com"

Guess I didn't preview hard enough. :)

 
At 10:02 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Stumbley. So, that is a total of ONE so far. Not very convincing.

AVI, there is a world outside the US. Very few (at least in the West) people viewed the case for war with anything other than sceptisism and contempt. Why? 1. The Saddam/ AQ connection is utterly ludicrous. The little traumatised cowards on here that can't discern jihadists from secular muslims are the exception rather than the rule. 2.The weapons inspectors were categorically telling us that they had no evidence and 3. The manipulation by Washington of the UN wepons inspections process was suspicious in itself. It became patently obvious that Bush was not interested. 4) The human cost for an already traumatized and beaten Iraqi population was greater than the benefit to them. 5) The oil connection. Too convenient by half.

Afghanistan. The mission there is a disaster, period. The Taliban are back in control of large swathes of the country. They have had a radio station going 24/7 for over a year now. 70% of the country is lawless and controlled by armed militias in the service of warlords. (Those same warlords are in the National Assembly and being paid huge sums of money by the US whilst operating their criminal enterprises and avoiding prosecution for war crimes. Poppy production has reached record levels. Nice work chaps.
Karzai (the oil man) was miraculously elected despite having fled the country in 1980 (respect and honour in battle is a big part of Pashtun culture) and never going back. He controls a small part of Kabul around the presidential palace with western only security contractors.
Afghanistan does not have oil (at least you got that right) but they do have the real estate required for the long mooted Turkmenistan-Pakistan oil pipeline. The US was very quick to recognise the Taliban in the 90s and their human rights violations or islamic fundamentalism didn't seem to play too badly for some odd reason. Strange huh?
But what would I know? I'm just a rabid lefty loony foreigner islamofascist apologist and 5th columnist.
What I do know is that when you fly into Kabul, it is a very freaking scary flight path in because they take evasive action to avoid being blown out of the sky by all those Afghanis flushed with the peace and beauty of freedom and democracy. I also know that other foreigners stay right away from Americans (and you are advised so when you get there) so as to limit your appeal as a target.
That, my friend is just in Kabul. Imagine what it is like in the back blocks. Kandahar is a total no go area as is pretty much all of rural Afghanistan
The unholy alliance between the US and the so called northern alliance is a digusting blasphemy that reveals the moral bankruptcy of your hawkish ruling cabal. (And I do use that word advisedly) (I'll stand by brass you uslinguafascist :-) as well, thanks).

Silly. Don't you ever stop whining?

 
At 10:13 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh I forgot, you did manage to kill Mulla Omar (along with 40 to 50 k civilians and catch Osama Bin La.......oh wait.

 
At 10:18 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger rich said...

The war in Iraq is unpopular because of the hatred of W and because in our subconscious mind we know it is a prelude.

Spengler, always a pesimist and cynic, but so consistently dead on, says it is 1939 in this book review of Londonistan by Melanie Phillips.

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Front_Page/HE23Aa01.html

 
At 10:19 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Peter said...

Well,there wasn't a peep out of the Left when, in 1998, regime change in Iraq became official US policy. Nor were there many complaints when our man Bill Clinton sent bombers and cruise missiles all over the world. Things were pretty quiet when Clinton invaded Haiti, without UN approval.
Seems to me that we are missing the main reason why this war is so hated, there is no Democrat running it.

 
At 10:21 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

And as for the flood of documents. Hahahahahahaha. None of these so called documents actually came from Iraq. It is worth noting that the US invasion force in Baghdad protected only 2 government ministry buildings, The Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Oil. They allowed the wholesale and organised looting of everything else despite specific requirements under the Geneva Conventions to prevent exactly that. But who cares about the Geneva Conventions eh? Uncle Sam isn't bound by laws, treaties or conventions. Ariel Sharon (GWB's 'great man of peace')told them so.

 
At 10:25 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

confused:

"Stumbley. So, that is a total of ONE so far. Not very convincing."

More convincing than your NONE.

 
At 10:39 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

My none?

So, noone is killing people over there now? Noone is exploding bombs? No suicide bombers? No death squads?

Noone is causing the so called green zone to be the most heavily fortified are on the planet right now?

Not a very good argument methinks.

 
At 10:42 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Confused: I'm just a rabid lefty loony foreigner islamofascist apologist and 5th columnist.

Finally he gets something right.

 
At 10:58 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger ada47 said...

Um, pardon me for bringing a little reality into this fantasy, but the war is so "hated" because people who loved it back in 2003 when they thought it was going to be easy are now mad that it isn't.

The "Left" has been pretty much against this war from the beginning, and pretty much ignored and ridiculed (often for good reason). Sure, a few scared and opportunistic Democrats were "for" the war when it helped them to be and "against" it when they thought that was the way to go, but by and large, liberals and leftists have never supported the war, and have never changed their tune. And, quite frankly, have never been listened to.

The loss of support reflects the loss of support among independents and conservatives. A quick war in a far-off place with little loss of life to overthrow a very bad guy sounds like a good idea, but we as a nation lack the will to stick with it.

Just for the record, I am a liberal who has been very conflicted about this war from the beginning, but I feel strongly that we must remain committed to the cause of a free and independent Iraq. We need to be realistic about what can be gained, and then come up with a reasonable strategy for achieving it. WMD's? Well, I'd bet a kidney that Saddam had them and moved them to Syria the week before the invasion. But that is sort of beside the point. The point is that this war was probably unnecessary, and has cost the US much in $$$, people, global good will and moral standing.

Personally, I'd rather be kicking some janjaweed ass in Darfur. But, thanks to Bush and thanks to the mess in Iraq, we lack the military resources, and there is no possible way we could get any democratic nation to join us in any military venture.

But I digress. The point I want to make is that it is rather preposterous to blame the Democrats and the Left (two differnt entities, btw) for "hatred" of the war, when the Left has been largely ignored, and the Democrats have been largely impotent.

Blame all the values voters who now question their commander in chief. Blame all the stateside jingos drivers who got a hard on when they slapped a "support our troops" sticker on their Hummers but now whine and complain that gas is so expensive. And blame the Administration for being so cynical as to never once asking us to participate in a meaningful way. If the average "American Idol"-watching couch potatos were allowed to feel that they had any personal stake in this war, maybe they would still support it.

Of course I believe that the outcome of this war is a matter of life or death FOR OUR COUNTRY, but most people just don't get that. And it is not the fault of some commie pinko 60's radical polisci professors, it's the fault of the evening news and The Bush spin machine. They guessed wrong, they framed it wrong, and now nobody believes a word they say.

 
At 11:30 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Pastorius said...

Lost in all the "Bush lied, people died" nonesense is the fact that Iraq signed a peace agreement with the UN after the Gulf War. Part of this agreement was that there would be a "no-fly zone" in Northern Iraq.

Iraq repeatedly ignored this agreement and shot at our jets patrolling the no-fly zone.

If that is not reason for war, I do not know what is.

 
At 11:51 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

And it's not as though Saddam Hussein, whose regime was the original target of the war

Stop lying, NEO-NEOCON.

THE PRESIDENT: Our mission is clear in Iraq. Should we have to go in, our mission is very clear: disarmament.
3/6/03
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030306-8.html

 
At 11:53 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR: It wouldn't be so bad if the opponents of the Iraq war were intellectually honest.

LMFAO!!!!

Don't ever lecture anyone about honesty, BushBot:

"We know for a fact there are weapons there." - Ari Fleischer, Jan. 9, 2003
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030109-8.html

 
At 11:56 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: No, there seems to be something special about the war in Iraq

It was special when the late Pope John Paul sent a personal emissary to Pres. Fredo urging him not to invade.

 
At 11:59 PM, May 23, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

ada47: And it is not the fault of some commie pinko 60's radical polisci professors, it's the fault of the evening news and The Bush spin machine. They guessed wrong, they framed it wrong, and now nobody believes a word they say.

You know, this notion that Bush & Co. "framed it wrong" has been kicked around so long that it's taken on the aura of Conventional Wisdom. But that ought to be a small hint that maybe it's not quite the truth, whole and nothing but. Consider this:

President Bush sketched an expansive vision last night of what he expects to accomplish by a war in Iraq. Instead of focusing on eliminating weapons of mass destruction, or reducing the threat of terror to the United States, Mr. Bush talked about establishing a 'free and peaceful Iraq' that would serve as a 'dramatic and inspiring example' to the entire Arab and Muslim world, provide a stabilizing influence in the Middle East and even help end the Arab-Israeli conflict.
editorial, New York Times, Feb. 27, 2003

That might still be a wrong "frame", it's true, and it might well yet turn out to have been a mistake, an overreach, but it's a bit different from what's become almost a mantra from the leftwing opponents of the war (no WMDs!!!), and it does provide a sense that there might actually have been a strategic concept underlying the whole thing.

And I think all those pinko 60's radical polisci professors remain part of the problem too (along with pinko, etc., english, sociology, anthropolgy, history, women's studies, gender studies, critical race studies, and radical gaia studies professors as well).

(I notice, just incidentally, that Stevie the Troll still can't put together two consecutive sentences on his own. RTFMAOL!!!!??)

 
At 12:01 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Without the media presence (I.E. Afghanistan) none of the car bombings would be happening because nobody would see that it was happening, therefore quid pro quo it would not exist. Even Confud is not saying car bombs are going off in Afghanistan, he is just saying the Taliban already controls it. OUt of sight out of mind. It is the struggle in Iraq, boosted by media propaganda and insurgent propaganda ministries, that are causing most of the dysfunction.

The point is that this war was probably unnecessary, and has cost the US much in $$$, people, global good will and moral standing.

WWII was necessary. You really don't want to fight a war when it is necessary, not unless you value your family's life and the future of your children.

The US pays out enough money to the world in useless aid that it can afford to waste a few billion on defense contracts and soldier training/equipment. When your GDP and PPP is #1 in the world, there's a lot of money to go around.

If the global good will is acquired from never doing anything unless the dictators in the UN authorize us to do it, then the global good will isn't so good now is it. If the good will of the globe requires us to look the other way while dictators oppress their people and bribe the Security Council, France Russia and China, then I think the global good will can take their good will and stick it up theirs.

The global good will is furthered by people recognizing that America is not a paper tiger, that we can actually do what we say we will do to protect our people. I really don't think images of Somalia and naked America Spec Ops dragged through the Mogadishu streets produced a lot of "good will" towards America. People really don't become kind to you when they realize you have less power and are less bigger than they thought. That is when they tend to mob you and steal your stuff in a back alley. The world isn't America, there are two venues of business. Fear of force and greed through money. That's about it. The good will neighbor bit don't exist. And that's what new and old liberals don't get it at the moment 9/11 occured.

The world is not a macro scaled up version of your city, suburb, or small town ada. This is a Mad Max world. People are not going to leave you alone until you show that you got enough ruthlessness and force to blow them away if they try and get your goods. As for the goody two shoed people in the world, you'd think that they'd actually appreciate having the power of the world's lone superpower on their side in the fight, as opposed to us supporting dictators in the UN keeping the minorities down and all that. Or do liberal minded people in Iraq not count because it was an unnecessary war that bleed off the non-existent goodwill towards America the dupe and punching bag; an America to be bled of funds for the PLO/Hamas's terror regime?

and the Democrats have been largely impotent.

Force isn't everything. A small guy can beat a big guy. Out in the global world, this happens all the time, through the various civil and guerrila warfares going on. The Democrats have minority rights, and their demographic support in the big cities and unions are unbroken. Just because they lost a few seats in the Senate don't mean jack because they still controll the same sub-commitees and committees that they controlled before. Which means, you have a bunch of newly elected Republican Senators with no seniority, and hence a weaker power, than the so called impotent Democrats.

If a master propagandist ran Bush's spin machine, everyone would be believing Bush. That's the difference. Democrats and the liberals, both the old and the fake, seem to interpret the lack of belief to be too much spin on Bush's side. Analysing it from the basis of military propaganda and spycraft, Bush's problem of credibility is not that he does not spin it enough. Bush's problem is that he was actually honest with the American people, in telling them what he expected. So when Iraq didn't turn out how he expected it, not only was he caught by surprise and demoralized but so was the rest of America. This is the common technique of lowballing I would recommend. Always, always, say you expect something to occur, when what you really expect is something much higher. Therefore, your estimates, will always be off, but the public will never know that because you have done a little bit of deception in your PR campaign.

There were a couple of instances in which deception would have worked well for Bush, but Bush didn't use it.

The most noticeable was after Baghdad fell and the media was firing up war morale. Bush should have gotten on national tv and told everyone that the media was wrong, that things are not as good as they portray it as. Bush should have told everyone to expect starvation, violence, gangs, foreign invasions. Just anything he can make up. This isn't about telling the truth. Bush honestly believed major combat operations was over and that the mission of the USS Lincoln was over. This isn't about the telling the truth, this is about deception in warfare and keeping up the morale of the homefront.

Another time Bush could have scored big in the propaganda war was when people were waiting for WMDs to be found. Bush should have said, that he didn't expect to find WMDs because Saddam either used them all up or moved to Syria. It don't really matter if Bush was talking about Saddam using chem weaps on our troops or moving them to Syria, the thing is that it couldn't be proven. Well, chem weaps on our troops could be proven, but by the time the investigation was over, 2 years would have gone by. Again, I remind people that this is not honesty, Bush actually believed WMDs would have been found. But that isn't what he should have said. Lying is always better, if what you are lying about is actually worse than what you think will happen. Bad news first, good news second. Besides, if Bush could campaign for Gulf War syndrome and tie it into Saddam using chem weaps on our troops, it would have been a lot more popular than the constant waiting around for "reports on WMDs". This is what honesty gets you.

You ever hear people say that honesty is the best policy? They obviously have not fought a war based upon terrorism and propaganda and morale problems. If Bush was just responsible for his own life and what not, then fine tell the truth Bush, face the consequences. But it isn't just Bush facing the consequences when he tells the truth, it is everyone else in America. And that isn't fair. Politicians should lie, because that is what they are for. Lawyers are to lawyer, doctors are to heal, soldiers are to protect, and politicians are to lie for the good of the people. Theoretically, if we don't like politician's lying for their own benefit, why should we like it better when politician's tell the truth for their own benefit while the rest of us suffers? Honesty may be the best policy on an self-individual basis, but not when that ruins everyone else's day.

last chance for Bush to engage in some propaganda and "spin" was when those dates for transfer of sovereignty came up. Bush should basically have started telling everyone, reporters included (exclusives leaks too to CNN) that the violence has delayed the transfer, the elections, etc and etc and etc. Basically, Bush knew violence wasn't going to delay the elections because the US was doing the job, but what he should have said was what everyone feared to be true and what the media and the Left wanted to true. How can Bush be said to be lying to the Left when the Left wanted to delay the elections? Bush is just doing what the Left wanted. It wouldn't be delayed of course, but well Bush can't do everything, now can he. The only reason why the American people felt giddy about the first elections was because the media told them to expect the worse. They got it wrong of course, but people also think Bush got it wrong. So why did people become giddy at the elections but not at Bush not finding WMD's? It is all about public perception, which is not real and not supposed to be. If you manipulate public perception to a level where they expect violence in Iraq, and they don't get it, their morale raises and they will believe you are doing a competent job. Same applies if you raise expectations. Even if you deliver on the goods, let's say Iraqi deadlines for elections or whatever, people are not going to give a damn and give you credit for it. People don't give you credit for doing what you said would occur. Familiarity breeds contempt, remember that? It is the unfamiliar, the surprise, that really raises people's morale and spirit. It is the unexpected care package full of goodies, that unexpected birthday party, that truly brings joy. If human beings were in full control of their mental and emotional faculties, we wouldn't need politicians. But since we don't, why don't you put the politicians to use?

The benefits of all this stuff is pretty basic and elementary. This ain't even the advanced stuff. When people expect bad things to occur in Iraq, such as the violence delaying elections for 9 months. And then 'suddenly' Bush announces elections are and have been held 9 months earlier. Wow, isn't that good?

When people prepare themselves for the worst, giving them bad news isn't going to shock and demoralize them. But if you tell them everything is going to be peachy, well... let's just say that they might die of a heart attack if you tell them the real bad news.

I mean, ya, you could be honest, and tell them the "truth", your truth, and hurt their feelings but why would you do that just to be rude? Why would Bush do the "truth" and waste lives? Disinformation to the enemy is a good thing, but it also means disinformation to your people as well. Bush can't guarantee success. If you can't guarantee success, don't tell people that success is guaranteed. That's pretty obvious here. Bush has obviously not worked in a marketing division.

Just to be clear. Darfur could be cleared out by 1 Marine Regiment, with full nuclear and JDAM air support. It can be done sooner, if you use a full MEU. Maybe some Navy subs too for interdiction, you might want to get like a shallow water boat for patrols. I don't think every Marine Expedionary Unit is in Iraq, you know. There's like, you know, at least one in South Korea and Japan, presumably. They can't all be mechanics and soft drink handlers you know. When people talk about there not being enough military resources, what they actually mean is that you can find as many people that thinks Iraq was unnecessary as thinks invading Darfur is unnecessary. So you run into the same problem, you. You're the problem. Political will is the problem. Bush went into Iraq cause the people supported it in the polls. Bush doesn't have the support to go into Darfur, we don't go into darfur. That's pretty simple, even for politics. Bush could do it, but without popular support, he can't do a long war. And you can't save Darfur without a long occupation and intimidation campaign against the gangs. And if we did go into Darfur, we would have as many people as ada here, saying it was unnecessary. So why, exactly is that a military problem? That's not a military problem, that is a democracy problem.

I wish people would go figure out what military resources are, before telling people the US is short on it.

to Past, Bush would have been smart up to "leak" a memo to the Media that the CIA had intel tha Iraq was holding Scott the pilot that had been shot down in Gulf War 1. Then Bush should have fabricated a few press conferences that gave false reports that one of our planes had gone down in Kurdistan due to Iraqi fire. Bush had all the power and the resources to stoke up righteous wage. It is nothing Roosevelt didn't do in WWII, and look how successful that war was. No, really, Roosevelt engineered WWII simply because Roosevelt knew that Germany and Japan would do something once he cut off the oil to japan and once he started shipping war materials to Britain. Either some American ship would be sunk carrying supplies or... something like witholding intelligence from Admiral Kimmel that Japanese ships had been sighted in his theater.

Oh ya, Darfur isn't necessary either, and neither is Iraq. It is weird to have one reason not to go into Iraq, and use the same reasoning why we should go into Darfur. Not consistent, but the human mind isn't consistent in the first place.

 
At 12:01 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

"Sally said...
As we can see, people like confud (and nconned when he's off his meds) are really "insurgent"-manques. They sentimentalize people who are at best islamofascist fanatics, at worst psychotic killers; they romanticize thugs, idealize vagrant ideological mercenaries, and yearn for the purposefulness of suicide bombers, however deranged"

So, now I'm an insurgent manque (sic)? You're a nasty little piece of work who does little but whine and complain that people have the temerity to disagree with your preposterous notion that killing a bunch of innocents will bring your security. You're a traumatized nut case with revenge as your primary motivation.

You cannot quote my supposed support for the jihadis or the islamists or any barborous leaders because it hasn't happened. I know a shedload more than you about these people and you can rest well assured that I DO NOT support any one of them.

I am far more at risk from the real terrorists than you probably ever will be and I don't want your nasty little gangsters in Washington, Kabhul, Tel Aviv and Islamabad acting in a fashion that a) kills more innocents and b} acts as a rallying call for the real nutcases to use as recruitment tools for killing me, my children or my children's children.

Your abhorent statement that civilians being killed by US bombs is their own fault reveals you as a vile little stain in the underwear of humanity. Disgusting, stupid, mean-spirited and nasty.

Now produce some argument instead whining, sneering and inventing nasty little labels for your opponents. Either that or just..... off.

 
At 12:04 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Lost in all the "Bush lied, people died" nonesense is the fact that Iraq signed a peace agreement with the UN after the Gulf War. Part of this agreement was that there would be a "no-fly zone" in Northern Iraq.

Ahem. Not true, there was no UN "no fly zone". Sorry, try again sometime soon.

 
At 12:11 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Confused (gibbering): You're a nasty little piece of work who does little but whine and complain....
You're a traumatized nut case with revenge as your primary motivation.


No, you are.

... reveals you as a vile little stain in the underwear of humanity. Disgusting, stupid, mean-spirited and nasty.
Now produce some argument instead whining, sneering and inventing nasty little labels for your opponents.


Kinda says it all, doesn't it -- the modern day left wing, in all its glory.

 
At 12:19 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

You Sally, employ the logic of the islamic terrorists (remember the There are no innocents' rule) but you don't even have the courage to fight beyond spitting out your bile from behind a keyboard. So you are as hate filled and murderous as them, just without the courage. Pond dweller.

Sally said "No, you are". Schoolyard stuff from a mean spirited little gutless hater.

 
At 12:30 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

confud: Sally said "No, you are". Schoolyard stuff from a mean spirited little gutless hater.

Hey, folks, he noticed!

Just one more step, confused, but it's a big one -- now you have to notice that stuff like "spirited little gutless hater" is also for schoolkids. Wait, maybe you are one! In which case, well done!

 
At 12:30 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: After all, it's not as though this is a war with especially high casualties on either side

Any casualties are "especially high" if the war is immoral and illegal, as this one is.

Is your ass in Ramadi?
.
.
.
.
.
Didn't think so.

 
At 12:33 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

sally this is the kind of stuff i said earlier should be avoided

At 11:42 PM, May 23, 2006, Sally said...
Confused: I'm just a rabid lefty loony foreigner islamofascist apologist and 5th columnist.

Finally he gets something right.


Plus all the above...This is why you get trolled on here, people get fed up with being treated like this

well I am just a troll but I am very impressed how much eah side of this debate hates each other. The Americans on here are going to have to sort it out because ountries so divided have a tendency to get into trouble.

well done to confude for arguing in the face of all the abuse and yrmdwnkr, trying limiting the amount of drivel I have to scroll down through.

 
At 12:34 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

In sally's defense, it is rather hard to fight when the person who has insulted your honor is not available for dueling and when dueling itself is illegal.

So, least it be construed as a dishonorable shame based upon cowardice, let's just say that dueling as a way of settling whether one is right or wrong, is not exactly in vogue.

The fly zone was NATO based. If it was a UN fly zone, Americans would be getting shot down, their accounts would be confiscated and drained by UN bureacrats, and the Kurds and Shia would have ceased to exist cause the UN would have ordered all planes to be grounded when Saddam told them to, before launching his helicopter equipped chem weapons for genocide war. The UN mandated the cease fire, because that was the deal with the devil Bush made in gulf war 1. But NATO was the one who setup the no fly zone because Saddam was purging the Kurds and the Shia with helicopters, which the Kurds and the Shia did not have. (hrm... people talk about Israeli lobbing missiles at weak but noble Palestinians, but I guess anyone else is just too much of a bother to think about if it doesn't benefit them)

They really should have written down what people should do in the Code Duello, about dudes that you can't duel. Maybe we just ignore them. Or maybe, we should talk about them, but never to them, sorta like that British ton cut. I don't know how the ton cuts, but they did quite well with the social barbs from what I heard.

Here's a miniature defense. A small one.

When someone calls you a coward that is afraid to meet on the field of honor to do battle all day and party all night, and that in addition to this that you support the murder of civilians because it was their fault they got bombed.... well, let's just say throwing insults around is not a good way to invite reasoned and rational discussion.

And I would conclude that it is the height of cowardice to incite violence behind a computer, who knows how many countries and miles away, safe in the knowledge that whatever you say or whomever you insult, the person insulted either can't or don't know how to get you in your home.

Who am I talking about? I don't know, you tell me who I'm talking about.

 
At 12:34 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: Nor is there a draft.

But there are stop-loss orders and the unprecedented use of the National Guard.

 
At 12:36 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger daddyx said...

Funny, I had discussed this issue with my aunt last Christmas.

Back during Desert Storm I was in 2nd ACR. A lot of us were somewhat upset by the fact that we weren't allowed to finish the job in '91, after we liberated Kuwait. Of course a lot of us were just as to get a couple of days worth of sleep after driving and fighting our way across the desert for over 100 hours straight.

When I ETS'd out of the Army, my aunt had asked me why we stopped with Kuwait, and why didn't we get Saddam.

I told her I had no clue, especially after explaining to her what we had seen in Kuwait City, and had talked to a few of the poor people who had escaped from Al-Basrah when the Republican Guard had begun the purges (plus the fact that the purges were a violation of the cease fire agreement).

When our jets were getting shot at by Saddams SAM sites, my aunt had asked the same question. I told her I had no clue, but that it was a violation of the peacefire, and we should have stomped Saddam right then.

When the big talk was on WMD's and the inspectors in Iraq in the nineties, my aunt had asked the same question of me.

And truthfully, I didn't know what to say for thirteen years except that Saddam had violated the ceasefire agreements, and we should have dealt with him.

So during the X-mas family get together, my aunt kicks into a tirade about why we shouldn't have gone into Iraq in the first place.

Her son (active duty Army), my Uncle (a Vietnam vet), my Grandfather (a WWII Army Air Corp vet), and I were sitting at the table drinking some X-mas libations.

To be honest we just kind of looked at each other and smiled.

When she got upset, my Grandfather looked over his shoulder and asked her why she was so willing to go then vs now.

She turned red, sputtered, and her actual verbatum response was, "Iraq is Bush's fault!"

I busted out laughing at her response, while my grandfather took another drink, my cousin just looked at me in a shocked manner, and my uncle just hung his head.

There was absolutely no logic needed for her beyond the conclusion that the war was Bush's fault.

Nor would ever she accept any response that didn't jive with the answer she wanted to hear.

So we went back to drinking the X-mas whiskey, and happily ignored her for a few hours.

 
At 12:37 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Plus all the above...This is why you get trolled on here, people get fed up with being treated like this

Then do what a gentleman does when he realizes he is unwanted. Leave, gracefully.

The Americans on here are going to have to sort it out because ountries so divided have a tendency to get into trouble.

Revolutions have a tendency to eat their own and combust and blow up millions in the process. Americans do things differently. We get stronger when we fight amongst ourselves. I think everyone at least has heard of the Civil War in America. We're actually passing this secret trick to Afghanistan and Iraq, but don't tell anyone I spilled the beans.

 
At 12:37 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

hmmm, nconned, this is why you get whacked: This is why you get trolled on here, people get fed up with being treated like this

"This"? You mean this: "The little traumatised cowards on here that can't discern jihadists from secular muslims are the exception rather than the rule."

If so, yeah, they do get fed up -- which is what led to my comment. If this is wthe sort of thing you want to cheer on, then I guess we're just back to ol' Whack-a-Troll game.

 
At 12:39 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

YMAR: The fly zone was NATO based.

No it wasn't. Jesus, YMAR, what color is the sky on your planet?


BBC diplomatic correspondent Barnaby Mason says the Western powers - led by President George Bush senior - argued that their action was consistent with Security Council Resolution 688 adopted on 5 April 1991.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/1175950.stm

 
At 12:42 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

any country unlucky enough to have a large group of people like you is in deep shit yrmdwankr.

and if you think you are passing the secrets of peace and good living to afgahnistan and iraq it just shows how far out of touch with reality you are

 
At 12:43 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: This hatred--and "hatred" is almost not a strong enough word for it--predated the war, of course, so the war has not caused it.

Let's see some poll numbers that back this up.

 
At 12:55 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

The BBC said it!!! It MUST be true!!!

The support or dislike of this war is clearly faith-based. The argument here is too much like that over religion. Facts mean nothing...belief is everything. It's useless to debate with a true believer, because anything that runs counter to the dogma can just be discounted as heresy.

And I know that Steve, neoconned, and confused will agree that I'm one of the poor misguided souls whose beliefs are totally wrong. It doesn't matter what any of us say. You can't reason with those who are unreasonable.

 
At 1:07 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Conversely little man, you are implying that if the BBC said it it probably isn't true. I don't get this ant BBC thing at all.

So, little man, is it not true? Let us see some facts from a publisher of your obviously high journalistic standard.

Still waiting Sally. Having trouble?

 
At 1:09 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

I keep wondering why such a hated war keeps getting so much funding from Congress with such little resitance from the People? I think some give entirely too much credence to Leftist hysteria and their faded, impotent ideology. They are treating a boil like it is cancer, aren't they? Stop being troll bait about it. Move on to the next item on the US agenda, Iran. We secured a strategic foothold in the ME in about 2 weeks time by slicing throuh the Iraqi military like it was butter, decimating it and securing air bases and combat bases. The rest is actually quite irrelevant as evidenced by Congressional willingness to keep the cash flowing and the defense industry fat and sassy. Pax Americana, baby! We have put a heavy, heavy boot print on Arab sand and we aren't leaving. You know Neo, it's alot like genuine top-shelf bourbon - you have to reach up and take it, grab it, possess it and drink it as-is, right out of the fu***** bottle to truly appreciate it and understand what it really is all about. That's what galls the Left, always has and always will: might makes right in most of our human affairs, time and again on page after page of our collective history. Window-dress it with notions of Democracy and capturing tyrants and salvaging people if you want, but to do so is to only dally and wrestle with the Left on a treadmill that one can never get off of. It is a far, far better thing to count one's Halliburton stocks than to read the words of most Leftist authors, and trolls, and bicker with them and pretend somehow it is meaningful and that they have more influence and power than they actually do. I really think as populations grow and resources diminish, there will come a time when many Leftisit notions will be deemed dangerous to the survival of the species. God forbid they should have to be harried and hounded and run to ground like wild boar and impaled, surely they will just lose their remaining bit of political power in the next 2 decades and fade away and it wont' have to come to that.......

 
At 1:13 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK Sally, I know you can't find any quotes to support your accusations against me because there aren't any. I'm sure there is a WMD joke in there but I can't be bothered.

I'll let you off this time if you answer me this.

Why the hell would you be going in there to give them freedom and democracy if they (being muslims) are all jihadists and guilty enough to kill anyway.

Is there a christianity conversion raygun or something that the pentagon has up it's sleeve? Or did someone accidentally swap the bible delivery systems with the (illegal) cluster bombs?

 
At 1:15 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Confud: Still waiting Sally. Having trouble?

Waiting for what, you cowardly, spineless little sac of quivering excrement -- oops, sorry, I mean confud? (Got caught up in the spirit of our exchanges, I'm afraid.)

 
At 1:21 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Confused: Why the hell would you be going in there to give them freedom and democracy if they (being muslims) are all jihadists and guilty enough to kill anyway.

Your question -- and I don't know any more delicate way to put this that would do it justice -- is stupid.

 
At 1:26 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


and if you think you are passing the secrets of peace and good living to afgahnistan and iraq it just shows how far out of touch with reality you are


Actually, I believed what I meant was that we were teaching them to kick people's ass so Leftists don't come in with their UN backed peacekeeper rapists and take over the joint like they've done in Sudan and the Congo.

Is that too hard to understand coming from a classical liberal war monger?

It's useless to debate with a true believer, because anything that runs counter to the dogma can just be discounted as heresy.

Quite right. Try convincing classical liberals like me to support dictatorships and oppression, and see how much time you'll waste. Try convincing an American patriot that his or her country is evil, see how many of your years you waste. True believers can't be convinced, they can only be destroyed physically or mentally. There are no other alternatives if you oppose their beliefs.


Why the hell would you be going in there to give them freedom and democracy if they (being muslims) are all jihadists and guilty enough to kill anyway.


For people that don't believe in nation-states, the following explanation will sound like trying to explain pink to a man born with color blindness. But anyways, Sally simply means that when one nation fights another, the citizens of each nation is responsible for winning for their side. We are not responsible for being merciful to our enemies and our enemies are not responsible for being merciful to us. Any agreements like the Geneva Conventions to civilize warfare only works if it is mutual, otherwise the side that doesn't agree will chop off POW's heads as a matter of course. What this means is simply that an Arab has a responsibility to his own people. Since we're fighting terroists, and Arabs won't get rid of their own terroists which ended up in America being attacked, we're going to make the Arabs fight terroists. And we're going to do that by offering the Arabs something that terroists will never accept and what the Arabs themselves have always complained about not getting from America. Support for true liberal reform, that is what the Arabs have complained about. American support of dictatorships, another thing they've complained about.

Strategically, the United States is forcing Iraqis and Afghanistanis to fight and die against terroists, so Americans do not based upon our power and distance. In return, the Iraqis and Afghanistanis get the patronage of the supreme hyperpower, both military protection and economic infusion of funds to their devastated economies. It's a fair deal, and one that Iraqi patriots would be fools to pass up.

 
At 1:29 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Goesh: might makes right in most of our human affairs, time and again on page after page of our collective history.

While I'm here, I'll just say that Goesh is wrong. It can certainly look like might makes right in the short term -- "history is written by the victors" sort of thing -- but might in itself is unsustainable in the long run. In the long run, which is really what history is about, it's more the reverse -- right makes might.

 
At 1:31 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger AST said...

When the Senate voted to authorize military action against Saddam, these arguments against it were heard only from kooks. There was general support, until Howard Dean started cashing in with his angry denunciations. Then, everybody on the left jumped onboard the Neo-quagmire Express.

The argument was easy to make. All you had to do was pull out your old rhetoric from the 1960s and 70s, dust it off, and gin up a little of that righteous indignation.

With the press as a sounding board, it had to wear down voters eventually. The problem was that the process took too long to do the Democrats much good.

What impresses me most these days is the absolute certainty on the left that there is no legitimate defense for this war. It's always "illegal," despite being authorized by the Senate. It's a horrendous waste of life, despite having amazingly low casualties in historic terms, and it's always an abject failure, regardless of the success of benchmark elections and the failure of the "insurgents" who are really nothing but the forces of a defeated dictator trying to recover power. That term, chosen by the media, is itself a lie. These people aren't insurgents. Look it up. They're a melange of holdouts, meddlers and opportunists trying to take advantage of the overthrow of Saddam to install themselves as the new Junta. They're boshevik wannabes, and they've lost. Their strategy of killing Iraqi civilians makes it clear that they're not interested in protecting anyone's rights.

The claims stated above by "neoneoconned" serve as examples of what I'm talking about. None of them are objectively true. Most don't even make sense. But they've been repeated so often that they now serve as some sort of pseudo-proof to those who cite them, despite having no real substance. They are mere assertions without evidence.

 
At 1:31 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

STUM: The BBC said it!!! It MUST be true!!!

More moron humor. If you are claiming that the BBC was wrong, PROVE IT!

 
At 1:31 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Sally, lighten up on NNC- he's been getting serious, and I appreciate that.

NNC-re:"Plus all the above...This is why you get trolled on here, people get fed up with being treated like this"
Perhaps we should dredge up the first few posts from you and confused, and well, you can see Steve j.'s polite entry into the fray in this thread... Glass houses and all that.

 
At 1:35 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Daddyx said

When I ETS'd out of the Army, my aunt had asked me why we stopped with Kuwait, and why didn't we get Saddam.


Well daddy I'm here to help you with that one. They stopped because the lovely chaps of the House of Saud and the Al Sabbahs (you know the good guys) stopped paying and refused to pay any more. And the Carlyle Group does like to see the readies up front. And who can blame them?

So, they (the coalition) kindly allowed the Republican Guards to bugger off back up to the Sunni regions and they firebombed and strafed all the irregulars and refugees on the road to Basra.

All this was jolly bad luck (apart from for the tens of thousands killed on the Basra road) for the Shiites and the Kurds who'd taken up arms against Saddam because the Republican Guards then set upon them.

I'm sure it is nothing to do with the Wahabbi distrust of the Shiites or anything like that.

Jolly bad luck indeed.

 
At 1:35 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Steve, you'll ahve to take this up with Confude- one of you is wrong, but at least you've got a link"Steve J. said...
YMAR: The fly zone was NATO based.

No it wasn't. Jesus, YMAR, what color is the sky on your planet?


BBC diplomatic correspondent Barnaby Mason says the Western powers - led by President George Bush senior - argued that their action was consistent with Security Council Resolution 688 adopted on 5 April 1991."


or is it:

confudeforeigner said...
Lost in all the "Bush lied, people died" nonesense is the fact that Iraq signed a peace agreement with the UN after the Gulf War. Part of this agreement was that there would be a "no-fly zone" in Northern Iraq.

Ahem. Not true, there was no UN "no fly zone". Sorry, try again sometime soon.


Gents, who's correct?

 
At 1:37 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: The reasons behind it, although they were explained, were complex and multiple.

They were multiple but they weren't complex.

http://www.defenselink.mil/transcripts/2003/tr20030509-depsecdef0223.html

"The truth is that for reasons that have a lot to do with the U.S. government bureaucracy we settled on the one issue that everyone could agree on which was weapons of mass destruction as the core reason. There have always been three fundamental concerns. One is weapons of mass destruction, the second is support for terrorism, the third is the criminal treatment of the Iraqi people. Actually I guess you could say there's a fourth overriding one which is the connection between the first two. The third one by itself, as I think I said earlier, is a reason to help the Iraqis but it's not a reason to put American kids' lives at risk, certainly not on the scale we did it. That second issue about links to terrorism is the one about which there's the most disagreement within the bureaucracy."

 
At 1:39 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Douglas, we both are.

George Bush argued that case but didn't win. The article actually explains that.

Next.

 
At 1:40 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

DOUG -

Both of us are correct. The No-Fly zone were not part of NATO AND there was no post-Gulf 1 UN agreement to them.

 
At 1:43 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

AST: These people aren't insurgents. Look it up. They're a melange of holdouts, meddlers and opportunists

Yeah and they happen to comprise 45% of all Iraqis.

http://radamisto.blogspot.com/2006/01/new-poll-of-iraqis.html

 
At 1:46 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

douglas: Sally, lighten up on NNC- he's been getting serious, and I appreciate that.

Douglas, it's a two-way street. If NNC wants to be serious, fine, I appreciate it too. But if he wants to troll, threaten to troll, or defend people who indulge in little fits of schoolboy insults, then, well ... you can lead a troll to reason but you can't make him think.

 
At 1:51 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: But it is especially hard for many to credit the "self-defense" or "defense of the neighbors of Iraq" argument

No shit!

"We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs",
TENET, 2/07/2001 http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/bian_feb_2001.htm

POWELL, 2/24/2001: "He has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors"

"The Iraqi regime militarily remains fairly weak. It doesn't have the capacity it had 10 or 12 years ago. It has been contained." Powell, 5/15/01

"He [Saddam] does not control the northern part of his country. We are able to keep arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." Rice, 7/29/01

MR. RUSSERT: Do we have evidence that he's harboring terrorists?
VICE PRES. CHENEY: There is--in the past, there have been some activities related to terrorism by Saddam Hussein. But at this stage, you know, the focus is over here on al-Qaida and the most recent events in New York. Saddam
Hussein's bottled up, at this point, but clearly, we continue to have a fairly tough policy where the Iraqis are concerned.
http://www.whitehouse.gov/vicepresident/news-speeches/speeches/vp20010916.html

 
At 2:01 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: That's mostly because it involves a reconstruction

The reconstruction has been a miserable failure. We have wasted at least $32 billion and Iraq is worse off now than before the war.

 
At 2:01 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

There you go with your hypocritical whining again, Silly.

I take 'terrorist manque' (sic) as an insult and I take particular exception to this......

They sentimentalize people who are at best islamofascist fanatics, at worst psychotic killers; they romanticize thugs, idealize vagrant ideological mercenaries, and yearn for the purposefulness of suicide bombers, however deranged.

It is at the very best, an outright lie. You know absolutely nothing about me or who I am or what I do, yet you accuse me of the most scurrilous garbage, despite the fact that I have been very careful to explain what I do not support. You disgust me and I have no respect at all for your murderous beliefs. You represent Osama's best ally and I loathe you for that.

 
At 2:10 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sally said...
Confused: Why the hell would you be going in there to give them freedom and democracy if they (being muslims) are all jihadists and guilty enough to kill anyway.

Your question -- and I don't know any more delicate way to put this that would do it justice -- is stupid.


I rest my case, M'Lud.

 
At 2:27 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Oh, confud, now I'm hurt.

You seem to think that the fact you've repeatedly gone out of your way to portray gangs of thugs, fascists, and psycho-killers who delight in slaughtering their own people as heroic freedom-fighters, while portraying an American administration as gangsters shouldn't be held against you. Well, sorry, but it is.

Further, it says something about you that's not very nice -- it says that you very likely are a frightened coward yourself, transmuting your unadmitted fear into a sycophantic admiration of those you think have the courage and will you so obviously lack; it says your romanticization of killers is as adolescent and twisted as punk-wannabes obsessing over Columbine; and it and your recent commentary here say that you really are an unbalanced and depraved example of a human being. In the end, you're just a sad illustration of a particlularly nasty mixture of obsessive/compulsive and obnoxious personality disorder.

Buh-bye, confud.

 
At 2:35 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I invite you yet again to quote me to prove this contention.

 
At 2:42 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

As I've already answered confud's "question", this is rather interesting proof that confud will fight the strawman (or woman in this case) rather than anything really substantial.

 
At 2:51 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_fly_zone#Northern_Iraq_1992-2003

US, UK, France does not a no fly zone unmake.

 
At 2:53 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

I invite you yet again to quote me to prove this contention.

Oh, for gods sake -- start here:
What you all want to label "the insurgency" is just an intellectual device to characterize a force that you can't grasp. The Iraqis (in general and spread widely throughout the populace [meaning the "insurgents"]) hate you and see you as occupiers of their country. They see you as invaders there to steal their oil wealth and you are giving them plenty of good hard evidence to support that proposition. They want you (and me) out, more than anything else.

(This comes just after referring to the "inept bungling" of the Washington "gangsters".)

And look up your own damn quotes for more.

 
At 3:05 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sally said...


You seem to think that the fact you've repeatedly gone out of your way to portray gangs of thugs, fascists, and psycho-killers who delight in slaughtering their own people as heroic freedom-fighters

To which I replied...

I invite you yet again to quote me to prove this contention.

Oh, for gods sake -- start here:
What you all want to label "the insurgency" is just an intellectual device to characterize a force that you can't grasp. The Iraqis (in general and spread widely throughout the populace [meaning the "insurgents"]) hate you and see you as occupiers of their country. They see you as invaders there to steal their oil wealth and you are giving them plenty of good hard evidence to support that proposition. They want you (and me) out, more than anything else.


Now. that, in no way is glorifying anything or anyone or any of the other spiteful rubbish that you've accused me of.

If you can't stand the heat etc

Pretty thin on fact and logic aren't you little guttersnipe. You're as dull as the ywannabeamachoman.

Do you watch World Championship Wrestling?

 
At 3:06 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: We've lost sight of how difficult such a thing is

On NBC's "Meet the Press," [March 16, 2003] Cheney said, "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A44801-2003Mar28?language=printer

 
At 3:10 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

"Fascism, which was not afraid to call itself reactionary... does not hesitate to call itself illiberal and anti-liberal."
_Benito Mussolini

 
At 3:12 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: That leaves us with another question: has all gone well? Of course, the jury is out on that so far.

Sorry, the jury's in: This has been a fuckup of colossal proportions, unprecedented in American history.

 
At 3:20 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

"guttersnipe"?! You know, your insults are getting a bit weak, there, confud. Maybe try this insult generator: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/insulter.html

 
At 3:23 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Steve J. said...
NEO-NEOCON: We've lost sight of how difficult such a thing is

On NBC's "Meet the Press," [March 16, 2003] Cheney said, "I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A44801-2003Mar28?language=printer

4:06 AM, May 24, 2006

This is one of my favourites. Cheney is no dunce, evil but no dunce (despite having shot his best friend because he thought he was a bird) and can't possibly have believed it. Could he?

They would have been aware that Saddam was telling Iraqis exactly who was denying them antibiotics, water treatment equipment, X-ray and MRI scanners, ballpoint pens and pencils etc etc etc and I'm pretty sure that they knew exactly who'd deposited all the depleted uranium there which was causing the highest rate of cancer in the world in Southern Iraq. I think the cruise missiles aimed at civilian areas and bomb shelters probably weren't hugely endearing as well.

And Clinton was impeached for hetting a blow job from a fatty. Huh.

 
At 3:29 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

CONFUD: Cheney is no dunce, evil but no dunce (despite having shot his best friend because he thought he was a bird) and can't possibly have believed it. Could he?

According to Colin Powell, Cheney lost his sanity over Iraq. so maybe he did believe it.

 
At 3:38 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Fascism


Extreme racial or cultural nationalism combined with economic> corporatism and authoritarian autocracy; masked during its rise to > state power by pseudo-radical populist appeals to overthrow a > conspiratorial elitist regime; spurred by a strong charismatic > leader whose reactionary ideas are said to organically express the > will of the masses who are urged to engage in a heroic collective > effort to attain a metaphysical goal against the machinations of a > scapegoated demonized adversary

 
At 3:39 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: That's one of the reasons the dread neocons were in favor of this war: the liberation of the Iraqi people was felt to have been in our own interests.

It's too bad they didn't know shit about Iraq:

We have no idea what kind of ethnic strife might appear in the future, although as I have noted, it has not been the history of Iraq's past.

PAUL WOLFOWITZ, FEBRUARY 27, 2003*

*At that time, Wolfowitz was the Deputy Secretary of Defense

http://tinyurl.com/exk73

 
At 3:41 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Fascism

> "An amalgam of disparate conceptions...more notable as a political > phenomenon on which diverse influences converge than > as a distinct idea; as political phenomenon, one of its most > remarkable features has been the ability to win massive popular > support for ideas that are expressly anti-egalitarian."

> "Fascism is characterized by the following features (not all of which need be present in any of its recognized instances):

nationalism; hostility to democracy, to egalitarianism, and to the values of the enlightenment; the cult of the leader, and admiration for his special qualities; a respect for collective organization, and a love of the symbols associated with it, such as uniforms, parades and army discipline."

"The ultimate doctrine contains little that is specific, beyond an appeal to energy, and action."

 
At 3:48 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but how is defining fascism a way to explain why Bush is a fascist? Or anyone else that is for Iraq and blowing up Iran, for that matter.

What is this, innuendo city? You should take some pity on steve j, given that he has trouble putting two complete sentences in one post, I think people should stop with the innuendo and implications, and just explain their beliefs with some attempt at honesty.

 
At 6:16 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

NEO-NEOCON: I may opine some more on this tomorrow


I'll alert the media.

 
At 6:20 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Alan Kellogg said...

Saddam Hussein was in repeated violation of the cease fire agreement reached in 1991.

Clinton and Gore planned an invasion of Iraq to take place during a Gore presidency.

Saddam lied, people died.

 
At 6:22 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

ALAN: Clinton and Gore planned an invasion of Iraq to take place during a Gore presidency.

Is this a Matt Drudge exclusive?

 
At 6:34 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

What you all want to label "the insurgency" is just an intellectual device to characterize a force that you can't grasp. The Iraqis (in general and spread widely throughout the populace [meaning the "insurgents"]) hate you and see you as occupiers of their country.

Most of the suicide bombers in Iraq are Saudi. Iran is also involved in the 'Iraqi' insurgency, as is Syria and other random mujahideen paramilitaries.

The general Iraqi population does not sympathize with the insurgents. Thousands have marched against terrorism.

It's interesting to note that when insurgents die, Iraqis don't bury them. They leave their bodies out for the dogs to eat. When they walk by them, they spit on them.

The Afghans did the same thing to the dead Taliban.

I don't think Americans are capable of comprehending the depth of the hatred that people in Afghanistan and Iraq (and in most of the Middle East) feel for your mujahideen/insurgent/'champions of the people'.

With your efforts to market the insurgency as a force fighting for 'the people' I think it's fair to say that you are making stuff up.

 
At 6:57 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger still realizing said...

I think neo has it backwards on the liberation issue. It is not that liberation is so foreign to Americans. Think of South Korea, France, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Poland, Czech-o-slovakia,
Italy, Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and others I've forgotten to mention.

It is that the Left is very angry at this record of liberation. For if America is good, they are bad. And they do not wish to feel bad. It is the success of democracy and especially free enterprise that enrages the left.

The role of oil in Iraq was the same as the role of oil in Iran. The oil pays for weapons. And it is the weapons and what they can do that is the issue. Even though Saddam had no WMD's, we know that if the sanctions were ended he would have re-created them using his finances and experts. And then he would have used them. The history of the Saddam regime permits no other conclusion. I dare the left to argue otherwise. Saddam loved to own and use WMD's, and spent a good fraction of his life in pursuit of weapons to use.

 
At 7:25 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

maryat: With your [confud's]efforts to market the insurgency as a force fighting for 'the people' I think it's fair to say that you are making stuff up.

And I think it's fair to say that he's an example of an "insurgent"-wannabe and supporter. True, some who spout this line are merely deluded, and true, too, that this particular specimen is as deluded as they come about most things, but on this I think it's pretty clear that he's simply on their side. It is sad to seem him assert that he's not, of course, as though that ought to convince anyone, when any terrorist-supporter in the West would deny it just as easily.

 
At 7:40 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Sally - True, some who spout this line are merely deluded, and true, too, that this particular specimen is as deluded as they come about most things, but on this I think it's pretty clear that he's simply on their side.

Not only is confud on their side, he's on a very specific side.

confud said: The unholy alliance between the US and the so called northern alliance is a digusting blasphemy that reveals the moral bankruptcy of your hawkish ruling cabal.

Unholy alliance? Blasphemy? That's not your average lefty-speak.

However, 'ruling cabal' certainly is. Somebody has been spending some time in the West.

 
At 7:41 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Incidentally, I've no idea where this comes from, and may well have been simply made up, but I was struck by how accurately it describes much of the contemporary left:

Extreme racial or cultural nationalism combined with economic> corporatism and authoritarian autocracy; masked during its rise to > state power by pseudo-radical populist appeals to overthrow a > conspiratorial elitist regime; spurred by a strong charismatic > leader whose reactionary ideas are said to organically express the > will of the masses who are urged to engage in a heroic collective > effort to attain a metaphysical goal against the machinations of a > scapegoated demonized adversary

We've yet to see much charisma coming from any figure on the left, of course, but if such were to arise this part in particular would serve as an ironicly inverted prediction of a left-wing power-grab:

... economic> corporatism and authoritarian autocracy; masked during its rise to > state power by pseudo-radical populist appeals to overthrow a > conspiratorial elitist regime;

Guess who the "demonized adversary" would be?

 
At 8:10 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Guess who the "demonized adversary" would be?

In his book "The Anatomy of Fascism", Robert Paxton notes that when a political group loses power and feels humiliated or victimized, they can begin to lose faith in the democratic process. They become more willing to abandon democratic ideals.

That's not to say the Leftists are leaning towards fascism, but it does explain why they see 'activism' and activist influence on the state, as being a source of power.

The American people are just an annoyance that keeps getting in their way. When they talk about 'the American people', for the most part, they're full of contempt and hate. Then they wonder why nobody votes for them.

Republicans at least show some respect towards ordinary Americans. And they win elections. Democrats still haven't figured out why this works.

And they call us stupid.

 
At 8:19 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Branedy said...

Just a point, using words like rabid lefty loony foreigner islamofascist apologist and 5th columnist.
and Right wing, Fascist, warhawk, warmonger are great excuses to disregard an opposing argument, almost a much as calling someone a sissy, or a creep.

But hardly meaningful. It doesn't help your argument, and makes you look the idiot with nothing else of value to say.


Disregard politics when investigating. Stick to motives and passions. Who profits when there is divisive arguments, a divided country. Who's minding the bank?

In the immortal words of deepthroat, "Follow the money"

Where has all the money gone? Who profits from this war? Who gains from the fear and anger?

 
At 8:40 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Well, just as another point, Branedy, "rabid lefty loony foreigner islamofascist apologist and 5th columnist" is what confud called himself. Surely he at least would be in a position to know.

Where has all the money gone? Who profits from this war? Who gains from the fear and anger?

Oh, let me guess, could it be ... the Capitalists!? Nah, too broad -- nobody's going to believe a conspiracy of all the capitalists. Well nobody other than Marxists, but they're just Humanities profs these days.

Could it be ... the Neo-cons!? Yeah, maybe, but how do you work in the profit angle?

Could it be ... Haliburton!? Dick Cheney? the Bushies?? Sure, but now you're too narrow -- if we're going to have a demonized adversary we might as well make it worth our while....

I know! It's the Jews, right??!! They're perfect! Besides, they want the oil.

 
At 8:43 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

Where has all the money gone? Who profits from this war? Who gains from the fear and anger?

Saudi Arabia

 
At 9:12 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Heres my take on things.

People hate this war for many of the reasons the author cites. However, the primary issue that has galvanised people is the utter disregard for our voice. The contempt with which the wider world has been treated.

Certainly internationally, thats what really burns people up.

Secondly the slaughter is so one horribly one sided, and so automated that to view american service men as heroes is simply out of the question.

They are merely button pushers dealing death from air conditioned comfort. That sickens a lot of people, especially when we hear that gasthly fascist phrase "american lives". As if they are somehow intrinsically worth more. Shudder.

Finally, this is the first war where civil society has been technologically empowered to express their outrage long and hard, as I am doing here. In absence of a proper legal system, Bush has been tried by public opinion, and found guilty.

Life without parole is the sentence I'd recommend.

 
At 9:34 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

Surely the whole known universe hates the war. This is cleary demonstrated by the ire of the three Democrats who opposed the Committee nomination of General Hayden, the next head spook of the CIA. 12-3 was the final tally and the war monger Bush, hated by all except his wife, Karl Rove, Halliburton and an odd assortment of right wing blogs, is going to have one of his boys as head spook. Ooooh! I tremble at the power of the Left - they even grumbled when more war funding was approved by Congress. Their cause and ideology was bolstered by bin laden recently, of all people, who informed us that only two of his men are in Guantanamo Bay. This of course proves to the Left that all 1.6 billion muslims on the planet are armed and now boarding ships to invade the US because of Iraq and Bush.

 
At 9:48 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

American wannabe: ... the primary issue that has galvanised people is the utter disregard for our voice. The contempt with which the wider world has been treated.

Actually, as we all know, the US went to UN repeatedly, courted countries around the world to join in the invasion, and ended up with support from a significant number. What this administration, in contrast to a hypothetical Kerry one, wasn't willing to accept was a veto by the likes of France over an issue it saw as vital.

Secondly the slaughter is so one horribly one sided, and so automated that to view american service men as heroes is simply out of the question.

It's important to note that the speaker here, a self-styled "world citizen", is Irish. Americans -- and indeed most decent people anywhere in the world -- are a little more concerned about the deaths of over 2000 men and women whatever their nationality. But this ... person says he'd feel better about the war if it could somehow be contrived to kill many more American men and women. In a fight between fascists and thugs on one side and democrats on the other, he'd like to see the dead bodies even on both.

... that gasthly fascist phrase "american lives". As if they are somehow intrinsically worth more. Shudder.

"fascist phrase" is a good one, no, even without the "gasthly" -- why not throw in the all-purpose "rascist" as well? In case it needs saying, "american lives" are indeed of more significance to Americans, as Irish lives are to the Irish, or the lives of anyone in any region to the people who live there. There is something ghastly indeed about the need to twist this basic and universal human quality into just another opportunity to use the word "fascist" -- the one to be shuddered at is our dear "world citizen".

So maybe life without parole is the sentence he and his ilk should get -- there's something to shudder at, bmc. (Of course, life without parole is what we all get anyway.)

 
At 9:54 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

My favorite phrase is: "They are merely button pushers dealing death from air conditioned comfort."

Gosh, I thought combat was scary! I never knew that Humvees had AC...Where can I join up?

These people are beyond belief.

 
At 10:04 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

ah well....i see lots of heat and precious little light.


The war is increasingly unpopular in the usa polling stuff link

so maybe the question should be "why is this war increasingly hated?"

as well as

"why do americans hate each other so much?" it really is an impressive level of venom

 
At 10:19 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

There is something ghastly indeed about the need to twist this basic and universal human quality into just another opportunity to use the word "fascist

This "basic human quality" as you quaintly put it is exactly the nub of the problem. I apologise for taxing you with this unaccustomed level of self-reflection, but you'll get the benefit in the end:-) Hang in there.

Now that you recognise this “quality” in yourself, you need to go a little deeper. Quantify it for me. How much is offsetting the risk of an American death worth in the currency of the lives of unknown foreigners?

Ten, a hundred, a million?

During the 2nd World War, it was common for German troops to kill local villagers in reprisal for resistance attacks.

How is “fighting them there so we don’t have to fight them here” any different in terms of outcomes for the villagers?

I get the vibe you’ve heard it all before:-) So why not take a further step into self-reflection and consider why that might be?

Do people consistently react to your views in this way because utter disregard for the “other” is nascent fascism? Cloaking it as patriotism hardly gets you anywhere at all, fascists are almost always patriots.

 
At 10:31 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger submandave said...

I'll return to neoneoconned's initial comment for a few clarifying points.

While there are many who use the "illegal" argument, I find it to have little real meaning. In order for the invasion of Iraq to be "illegal" one must assume there is a legal controling authority that has proscribed such action, and I believe the only reasonable assumption for such an authority would be the UN. Given that a strong argument can be made that the invasion was either explicitly or implicitly authorized by several of the standing UNSC resolutions on Iraq, the argument of "illegality" further assumes that this alone does not meet the standard. Again, I will assume that the one making the argument is proposing that in order for a war to be "legal" it must be expliticly declared such by either the UNSC or general body. Given that there is a preponderence of evidence that several UNSC members (including permanent members with veto power) were actively being courted and bribed by the Iraqi Ba'athist government I welcome anyone to explain how any action against Saddam could have ever possibly attained "legal" status. Or, in other words, if the "legality" of a war can hinge so easilly upon bribes, coersion, graft and competing national interests, then what meaning does "legal" really have?

Further to the discussion of "legality," one must recognize that something is not a law simply because you or I say it is, but rather because we together, as a society, agree to encode, respect and enforce it as such. I do not believe such universal agreement exists among the society of nations we call the UN, nor do I necessarilly think it should. Like many others, I believe there is something fundamentally wrong with a body that respects the national interests of tyrants, dictators and totalitarian states as much as the interests of liberal democracies. I think it is neither wise nor proper for countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan, India, Australia, Spain, Poland, Germany, France, etc. to be subject to the whims and wishes of the like of Saddam, Assad, Mugabe, etc. As such, I cannot see how or why we would choose to recognize or submit to "laws" created and administered by those who stand opposed or contrary to our national interests.

 
At 10:32 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

In a fight between fascists and thugs on one side and democrats on the other, he'd like to see the dead bodies even on both.

My preference is to see no dead bodies because I consider all innocent human lives equal. I do accept however, that this is something of a theoretical contstruct:-)

If someone where to walk into the house and attempt to kill me or my family, I would defend myself up to an including killing that individual.

In fact, if I heard from a guy who knew a guy that this fella was going to come to my house tomorrow and shoot me and my family I might even seek him out and preemptivley deal with him.

What I would not do, is detonate a bomb in the apartment house he lives in. Killing him, his family, his neighbours and the guy installing cable. Rendering anyone living within 100 metres either homeless, injured or both.

That is what the US is doing in Iraq, and plans for Iran. That is wrong.

 
At 10:38 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

So if a town newspaper gives the death of town citizens more prominence than the deaths of others, that too would be "nascent" fascism, would it?

 
At 10:45 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger submandave said...

Continuing the discussion, the invasion of Iraq is most certainly open-ended, because, despite the perspective put on the action by many, it is but one campaign in the larger GWOT (I dislike that name as much as anyone, agree it is a misnomer and should be deep-sixed, but I will use it out of clarity and commonality). We must be willing and able to project anywhere there are unopposed or supported global terrorist activities. So I take your point to be that people don't like the uncertainty involved. As for myself, I prefer the uncertainty of not knowing where we may need to project our power against the uncertainty of not knowing where they may choose to project their power. I think a failure to acknowledge that the enemy is capable of planning and acting not just in reaction to coalition efforts is just denial and a wish to return to the false assumption of safety the was prevalent pre-9/11.

I'l not belabor your "it was fought for oil" argument, as it has been shown to be weak on economic and logical grounds. Basically, it makes a neat concise slogan for those opposed to the action and always seems to boil down to "the evil BushCo© is just trying to help out his big-oil cronies," which only helps to support neo-neocon's earlier premise that BDS is a big contributor to the unpopularity.

 
At 10:45 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

I think it is neither wise nor proper for countries like the U.S., U.K., Japan, India, Australia, Spain, Poland, Germany, France, etc. to be subject to the whims and wishes of the like of Saddam, Assad, Mugabe, etc. As such, I cannot see how or why we would choose to recognize or submit to "laws" created and administered by those who stand opposed or contrary to our national interests.

While I'm sympathetic to your view, the problem is that it leaves too much play in the system.

Any group in any polity could take the view that laws they disagree with are unfair, unjust wrong etc. In fact that is generally the origin of terrorism. Some minority disagrees with the rules agreed on by everyone else and decides to do their own thing.

There is of course a qualitative difference between liberal democracies and totalitarian states, and it is galling to have such regimes involved in any decision making that effects us.

However, we should at a minimum be able to agree binding rules as regards something as basic (and dangerous) as the use of force among the liberal democracies?

 
At 10:49 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

on the one hand if you argue that the UN is irrelevant then yes legality does not matter

However Bush and Blair were keen to get UN support if they could, but prepared to go ahead if they could not.

You might agree with this. But, one of the reasons why many others are unhappy about this war is the illegality as it is indicative of a disregard for the rest of the world. Now you can argue that some of the members of the UN are unpleasant, but not all. This willingness to ignore everyone else is making the US a dangerous country implicitly threatening any country that opposes, or even simply disagrees with the way it is.

 
At 10:50 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

So if a town newspaper gives the death of town citizens more prominence than the deaths of others, that too would be "nascent" fascism, would it?

Of course not.

It's not reporting of deaths, but the causing of actual deaths to offset potential deaths that I object to.

That in a nutshell is what this enterprise is about. Although I hasten to add that this premise is entirely misguided.

Terrorism is like liquid mercury. Hitting it with a hammer just splashes the poison in all directions.

 
At 10:56 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

This sentence was poorly constructed. I meant :

However, we should at a minimum be able to agree rules, binding on the liberal democracies, as regards something as basic (and dangerous) as the use of force.

 
At 11:01 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

In fact, if I heard from a guy who knew a guy that this fella was going to come to my house tomorrow and shoot me and my family I might even seek him out and preemptivley deal with him.

Let's see if we can inject a little more realism into this scenario:

If you had good evidence that this guy was just one member of a large regional gang, and that gang had credible plans to blow up not just you and your family, but potentially anyone within your own neighborhood or region, what would a sensible person of average courage do (leaving you personally out of the equation)? Say, "oh, it can't really be true"? Say, "let's try to figure out what the gang wants and give it to them"?

No. A sensible and decent person would say that we have to stop this gang, in the most effective way. Such a person would no doubt say that we should do all we reasonably can to spare any innocent lives in the process, but would also recognize that that may not be fully possible, especially since this particular gang of vicious killers is cowardly enough to hide behind innocents in the hope that will shield them. Such a person will say that we cannot allow ourselves to be effectively paralyzed by our own decency so that the gang's very depravity allows them to continue their terror indefinitely.

That is what the US is doing in Iraq, and plans for Iran. That is right.

 
At 11:02 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

we should at a minimum be able to agree rules, binding on the liberal democracies, as regards something as basic (and dangerous) as the use of force.

We should do that when all liberal democracies are equivalently able to defend themselves.

No fair making deals as 'group', then expecting one member to:

1. do all the heavy lifting,
2. pay for everything
3. act only according to the orders and demands of the group

 
At 11:03 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger mikeca said...

Iraq was the first US war based on the new post 9/11 ‘preemptive war’ doctrine. Preemptive war has always been a recognized right when it was clear you were going to be attacked. For example, if a country is massing troops on the border for an invasion, it is recognized that you don’t have to wait for the troops to actually invade. The current US ‘preemptive war’ doctrine extends this and says the US is justified in invading a country based on intelligence about WMDs and/or support for terrorists. There are a large number of people that oppose the ‘preemptive war’ doctrine. Some believe it is morally wrong. Some do not believe that intelligence suggesting that a country may someday be a threat justifies an invasion, and they feel the invasion of Iraq illustrates that, since so much of the intelligence used to justify the war, turned out to be wrong.

Invading a country because they have WMDs is problematic. We have WMDs and we consider them defensive weapons. Many other countries have WMDs for defensive purposes. It is a very murky judgment that country X wants WMDs for offensive rather than defensive purposes.

The other thing to note is that the Iraq war was much more controversial from the beginning than most recent US wars. There were 133 votes against it in the House and 23 votes against it in the Senate. While this was not a close vote, it is far more votes against a war then most recent war authorization. The Gulf of Tonkin resolution, used as the basis of the Vietnam War, passed the house 416-0 and 88-2 in the Senate.

Given the opposition to the Iraq invasion before the war, given that much of the intelligence used as part of the justification for the war turned out to be wrong, and given how long the war has dragged on without clear signed of ending, why is anyone puzzeled by the opposition to it?

 
At 11:03 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

However, the primary issue that has galvanised people is the utter disregard for our voice. The contempt with which the wider world has been treated.

Sure, your voice is heard but that doesn't mean that you get your way.

Nor does it mean that you or the world are being treated with contempt if the US doesn't behave as you or they wish.

As the Philosopher Jagger said, "You can't always get what you want."

 
At 11:05 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

and where after Iran? And do you really think you can invade and occupy every country who pisses you off?


Because back in the real world you can't.


You can barely control the ones you have invaded.


You are looking to get your troops out the first chance it can be done in a vaguely plausible way.


you will show all the loyalty to pro US-Iraqi's that you showed to pro-US Vietnamese.....


and you will argue about it with each other


endlessly


blog 'til you drop


:-)

 
At 11:12 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

and where after Iran?

Syria.

After that, we can put some serious pressure on the Saudis, finally, and Pakistan and Egypt. The object, in all cases, is to stop the state support, active or passive, for terror, and that's a just, reasonable, and achievable goal.

 
At 11:29 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Sally, I accept everything in that "gang" post. Except ... alas ... the evidence.

There is no significant evidence that we were genuinely threatened. Three years later there still isn't.

In a speech before the World Affairs Council of Charlotte, NC, on April 7, 2006, President Bush stated that he "fully understood that the intelligence was wrong, and [he was] just as disappointed as everybody else" when U.S. troops failed to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.

There is evidence that we risk the occasional sucker punch from terrorists, it's true, but that brings you back to the dreadful equation I've outlined. How many of their dead innocents is too much to offset a potential dead innocent on our side?

A case can almost be made for pure altruisim, but the risks of attempting to liberate so many people from tyranny are enormous, and we have the evidence daily that this is the case.

The only long term answer to this is binding international law, binding on the individual.

Send in as many special ops swat teams as you like to arrest or even kill renegade heads of state. I'm all for that, as long as we have agreed ground rules.

It's cheaper in terms of lives and cash.

 
At 11:33 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

After that, we can put some serious pressure on the Saudis, finally, and Pakistan and Egypt. The object, in all cases, is to stop the state support, active or passive, for terror, and that's a just, reasonable, and achievable goal.

I've got no objection to any of that. All the nation states you've mentioned are deplorable humans rights abusers. However, two of them major allies. Pressure is fine, and some principled consistency beyond "what suits us at this moment" would be fine too. But no war without new structures to guarantee legitimacy.

 
At 11:42 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

What I would not do, is detonate a bomb in the apartment house he lives in. Killing him, his family, his neighbours and the guy installing cable. Rendering anyone living within 100 metres either homeless, injured or both.

Since that isn't what America does, it is an invalid argument to say that America should stop doing it. The logic is flawed in both the conclusion and the premises.

Some minority disagrees with the rules agreed on by everyone else and decides to do their own thing.

Ya, like those peeps in Britain that would prefer to defend their homes but the majority has decided criminals are the real victims and that home owners should not be armed with guns just in case the criminals get victimized twice. Rule by the majority is just another dictatorship of the many on the few.

This contempt of individual rights is problematic, in BMC's case.

However, we should at a minimum be able to agree binding rules as regards something as basic (and dangerous) as the use of force among the liberal democracies?

Who's going to enforce it, the United States? Who else has the police monopoly on military power that can enforce anything? BMC has already said he wants a multinational police force, not a police force made out of one nation. That would work worse than the early police battalions in Mosul.

This willingness to ignore everyone else is making the US a dangerous country implicitly threatening any country that opposes, or even simply disagrees with the way it is.

The Coalition of the Willing is a direct factual evidence that contradicts this statement. Anyone with even a modicum of understanding of logic would know this. You don't say the US is willing to ignore everyone else when the US actively sought out a Coalition of the Willing among little itty bitty countries like Poland.

and where after Iran? And do you really think you can invade and occupy every country who pisses you off?

Viruses and bacteria invades and conquers the same way. AIDs is pretty effective in conquering your immune system. America and our disease called "democracy" is even more effective since we're sentient viruses.

You can barely control the ones you have invaded.

That's what the doctor said about the cell being used by a virus as a virus manufacturing plant. We're manufacturing shock troops in Afghanistan and Iraq that we're going to use to kick anyone else over. It's not America's fault bush isn't a war monger.

You are looking to get your troops out the first chance it can be done in a vaguely plausible way.

So we can invade some other cell and use it as a virus manufacturing plant, what is so hard to understand about that?

 
At 11:44 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

No fair making deals as 'group', then expecting one member to:

1. do all the heavy lifting,
2. pay for everything


DONE!

3. act only according to the orders and demands of the group

This clause needs renegotiation .... :-)

If we are all democracies acting in concert, then some kind of population based majority mechanisim should be used for decision making.

 
At 11:45 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger submandave said...

Continuing, one should never make the mistake of conflating "popular" with "right." I write that hesitantly, with the full knowledge that some may be tempted to use it as evidence of "nascent facism," but I say it only to emphasize that it is obvious folly to debate the propriety of any action based upon its popularity. An action should be supported of brought down on its own merits without regard the fact that "everyboby is doing it."

I will count your argument of a "serious chance [of] more chaos and bloodeshed" as again being uncomfortable with uncertainty. I will assume this because you seem sufficiently intelligent to recognize that a failure to act against Iraq would also have carried the "serious chance [of] more chaos and bloodeshed." In fact, specifically avoiding such was a clearly expressed part of the decission to invade. The real disagreement is not so much which course of action would have avoided "chaos and bloodeshed" but rather which would eventually lead to less. I think there can be little doubt that in the long-term view of humanity, a free and democratic Iraq is the desired goal that will most certaily have the potential for minial chaos and bloodshed. I still remain convinced that the chance of failure does in itself argue against trying to reach that goal, but rather serves to emphasize the importance of remaining focused and applying all efforts possible to get there.

My point is that while I can certainly understand if you had principled opposition to the invasion before it happened I don't understand many people's steadfast opposition to trying to make it work now that the removal of Saddam is a fait accompli. Even if you feel that going in was the worst possible thing to do, how can you now say that abandoning the Iraqi people to the violence promised by Ba'athists intent upon regaining power, Islamists intent upon establishing power and Shi'ia intent upon retaining newly gained power is better? Unless you feel that widespread, wholesale sectarian warfare is unavoidable, it just sounds like sour grapes to me for someone to harp on against the invasion.

 
At 11:50 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Americans feel like the Europe are a bunch of parasitic freeloaders eating up our military umbrella protection and our foreign aid and economic packages, then daring to dictate to us what we should do with our treasure, blood, and manpower.

Europe feels like America is so powerful that we should be limited by a committe of Europe and the world, because.... Europe is old therefore their advice should be heeded?

It's about hard work and earning what you get. Europe doesn't want to earn the respect of america, to Europe, America is the slave doing all the heavy lifting.

To America, Europe is a parasitic and exploitation based economy that makes money off the suffering of weaker nations and peoples.

On this divide, BMC wants America to contribute 90% of NAto's military force and funding, but then give america 1/100th of a vote... Taxation witout proportional representation?

We fought a Revolutionary War on this and won, yet the world citizens want to put America back in the slave cage. It's terrible.

 
At 11:52 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

The Coalition of the Willing is a direct factual evidence that contradicts this statement.

Sorry bud, this is almost an outright lie. In fact the governments that "supported" Bush have been kicked out in every case where the chance has come up.

Blair, the one remaining contributing participant, is loathed in Britian and the Labour party are desperate to divest themselves of him.

Whats left? Five Japanese cooks, and motley collection of eastern european and middle asian sycophants? Between the lot of them they can barely scrape together five thousand troops.

Try and sell that piffle on free republic or some place where they ban alternate views:-) Someone might actually believe you.

 
At 11:54 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

bmcworldcitizen - But no war without new structures to guarantee legitimacy.

Says you and what army - the Irish army? Sorry, but the best of that lot left the auld sod in 1923.

 
At 11:55 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Ymarsakar said... NOTHING.

Really save the GOP talking points about old Europe for the genuine morons. I'm actually enjoying the real conversation ... for the moment.

Push off or contribute something real.

 
At 11:58 AM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Says you and what army - the Irish army? Sorry, but the best of that lot left the auld sod in 1923.

Oh you meany.

Says me and no army. Says liberal democrats with the best interests of their citizens at heart.

It's absurd to imagine that any totalitarian state could threaten the US, or the EU.

Even more so all liberal democracies banded together. It's not about anyone forcing anything on anyone else, it's about agreeing laws and abiding by them.

 
At 12:02 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

bmc: Sally, I accept everything in that "gang" post. Except ... alas ... the evidence.

There is no significant evidence that we were genuinely threatened. Three years later there still isn't.


Well, okay but this is getting somewhere at least. I'd point out that, particularly since 9/11, this has a just a little ring of that "Oh, it can't really be true" ostrich response, but I'd certainly agree that there needs to be credible evidence of an ongoing threat, and perhaps that's where we could concentrate further debate.

 
At 12:04 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger SB said...

I don't hate the war. But if I did, I would hate it because it's given miserable assholes like you all a reason to inflict your mean, joyless, uninspiring personalities on the rest of the world.

I read blogs trying to learn things from other people. So far, all I've learned is that despite some evident book-learning, none of you has cobbled up a useful idea about Iraq since 2003. Just the same old BS, over and over like some kind of sick mantra. It's the most pointless exercise I've ever witnessed - self-important little egos puffing and blowing at each other just because the world doesn't play fair and they need to punish someone for it.

Here's a tip, knuckleheads: All that you are is the result of what you have thought. Abusing each other will not make your lives better; abusing each other will only make you more miserable and pathetic than you already are.

I probably won't bother reading this nonsense anymore. Life's too damn short. If I decide to spend any of mine watching monkeys throw shit at each other, I can go to the zoo. I don't expect monkeys to be any better than monkeys.

 
At 12:07 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger submandave said...

In closing, I think your final argument says the most. Over the years many people have been taught to expect the worst of the U.S. and its government. How else can one explain the willingness to believe a captured terrorist over something like the "Q'ran flushing" report or a recognized mass murderer like Saddam over the statements of the U.S. government? The upopularity, I think, is rooted in the assumption that is the U.S. government is doing it then it must be bad. By why is this idea so prevalent?

One thing is a perceived corralary o fthe old "power corrupts" adage. If one accepts this then it must be assumed that as the world's most powerful nation, the U.S. must also be the most corrupt. I do not think, though, based upon the evidence this is a sound assumption, largely because in addition to being powerful our government is also amazingly transparant. For example, compare briefly the US government's response to the Abrhamoff scandals to the UN's response to the OFF scandal. Why is the scandal that involved one country's politicians and possible influence peddling much more openly discussed than the scandal that involved multiple nations, death, war, bloodshed and a dictator's attempts to use the UN to cirvumvent its own goals?

If you look back at all your arguments they all come back to distrust of the U.S. The U.S. needs to be reigned in by legal limitations to its application of force. The U.S. and its motives cannot be trusted concerning which countries it may feel it needs to confront. The U.S. is just trying to steal their oil. The U.S. is obviously wrong because so many of us are right. The cause of all "chaos and bloodeshed" in the region is solely U.S. action.

 
At 12:08 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

We have no idea what kind of ethnic strife might appear in the future, although as I have noted, it has not been the history of Iraq's past.

The above statement, quoted by Steve, needs the below quote(from the same source) to place it in context.

The slaughter in Iraq, and it is has been substantial, has unfortunately been the slaughter of people of all ethnic and religious groups by the regime. It is equal-opportunity terror.

To Steve: Everyone thought weapons were in Iraq, not just Bush. Why? Because the intelligence of several other countries came to the same conclusion. Because Saddam had already used WMD on the Kurds. Because Saddam refused to let the weapons inspectors inspect. Because Saddam, after being defeated in Gulf1, never provided documentation as agreed to in regards to the considerable arsenal of WMD he was indisputably known to have before the present war.

Steve, what do you suppose happened to the WMD arsenal from which Saddam gassed the Kurds? What happened to the manufacturing plants used to make the nerve agent used on the Kurds? What happened to the munitions used to deliver the gas? What happened to the technicians, scientists and their military supervisors that developed these weapons systems? Where did these people go? Where did the materials, buildings and documentation go? Until someone adequately answers these questions I’m going to have to suppose that Saddam hid them.

Of course there were other reasons to topple Saddam. The harboring of terrorists was one. His penchant for violence toward neighboring states was another. His defiance(for 13 years!) of the treaty terms following his defeat after invading Kuwait was still another. He may also have tried to assassinate Bush sr. He may also have been behind the postal/anthrax episode.

After 9/11 I started reading about US foreign policy. I came to the conclusion that a passive, inconsistent and apologetic US foreign policy in the years leading up to 9/11 had encouraged the terrorism. It was evident that certain Middle Eastern despots were using terrorists to conduct a war by proxy against the US with absolute impunity and that they must be dealt with or more was to follow.

The US has now toppled two belligerent regimes and gained strategic locations from which to wage further war, if necessary. No more arrogant murderer openly setting up housekeeping in Afghanistan. No more arrogant murderer in Iraq. No more need for permissions for fly-over from fair weather allies like Turkey.

Because of politics, here is where the US temporarily stops. I say temporarily because the fanatics in Iran will sooner or later give the US cause for action. Syria and Sudan will eventually have to be dealt with unless they mend their terrorist ways.

Consider this, Steve, Neoconned and others: I’m liberal and have always been liberal except for foreign policy post/9-11. I’m all for gay rights including gay marriage and gay adoptions. I’m for governmental social programs and consider Social Security the most successful and important social reform the US has ever seen and am very much against Bush’s plans for it. I’m pro-choice on abortion. I’m for universal health care. I’m liberal on almost every domestic issue. With 2 exceptions(Reagan’s 2nd term and Bush’s 2nd term) I have voted almost a straight Democratic ticket in every election.

But the first need is for survival. There is a religious war that has been waged against the West by fractious elements of Islam since at least 1979 and who are tacitly supported by most Muslims. Bush is not really my cup of tea for many reasons but at least he’ll fight. I will go back to voting for Democrats if and when the Democrats get their head out of the sand, foreign policy-wise.

 
At 12:11 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

bmc: Pressure is fine, and some principled consistency beyond "what suits us at this moment" would be fine too. But no war without new structures to guarantee legitimacy.

Entirely agree with the desireability of "principled consistency" (with due allowance for needed flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances), which in my view -- but not, I know, in yours -- is largely what the Bush administration has been providing, even as it makes, and tries to correct, mistakes. I would truly shudder to imagine what a hypothetical Kerry regime would have done in that regard.

Re: the "new structures to guarantee legitimacy", I'm afraid we're probably still far apart. The root of the difference, to my mind, would be the question of what makes for "legitimacy" in the first place, or where it comes from.

 
At 12:14 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Well, okay but this is getting somewhere at least. I'd point out that, particularly since 9/11, this has a just a little ring of that "Oh, it can't really be true" ostrich response, but I'd certainly agree that there needs to be credible evidence of an ongoing threat, and perhaps that's where we could concentrate further debate.

By golly, in spite of ourselves we seem to have stumble onto common ground.

I'm heading off now to cogigate for fear I'll ruin this fragile moment of agreement:-) It wouldn't be the first time.

G'night.

 
At 12:18 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

BMC doesn't even mention Poland or Eastern Europe cities. So much for the "world" in world citizen.

Why does BMC state that nations can't scrap up 5,000 troops and somehow tie this into the US ignoring everyone in the world? Again, bad logic.

BMC believes good interests will translate into pragmatic and workable real world solutions. Why do I find that I'm skeptical about that?

BMC is enjoying arguments because those arguments don't hit him on his integral identity matrix beliefs. The idea that America really thinks of Europe that way and that Europe returns the contempt, is not something a world police system likes to think about.

 
At 12:22 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

It's absurd to imagine that any totalitarian state could threaten the US, or the EU

But asymetric warfare does threaten the US and the EU. You can deny this all you want, but you can't deny that Islamist paramilitaries are living comfortably and without fear of arrest in most of Europe's main cities. When citizens, and even politicians are threatened by these paramilitaries, these nations can't defend their own people.

My main objection to the war in Iraq that the supporters of asymetric warfare, like Saudi Arabia, are benefitting the most. The fact that we're allied with the main supporters of terror proves that US does not know how to effectively fight terrorism.

However, we're doing a much better job than the EU ever did. So please don't mind if we're reluctant to be controlled or advised by the EU.

 
At 12:23 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger submandave said...

BMC: "In fact the governments that "supported" Bush have been kicked out in every case where the chance has come up."

Right, like Howard in Australia or Berlusconi in Italy or Blair in U.K or Koizumi in Japan. True, Kwaśniewski od Poland wasn't reelected, but then again after serving two five-year tems he was unable to run again (he was, however, succeeded by conservative Kaczyński). Of course, in Germany the staunch Iraq invasion opponent Schröder's SDP lost to vocal pro-American Merkel's CDU, and in Canada they recently swore in the first Conservative government since 1993 but I don't think that's what you were looking for.

Oh, I get it. The victory of the Socialists in Spain on the heels of the terrorist train bombings is what you were talking about. Of course, why let so may contrary facts obscure your one good example.

 
At 12:41 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

The appropriate parallel is with the American Civil War.. The recent progress of the American South engenders some hope for Iraq's (and the Middle East's) long-term prospects, though we all know how long that progress took and the ugly things that happened in the meantime.

As with the South around the time of the Civil War, so too now, methinks the International Elite doth protest too much the Iraq War. It threatens a bit too acutely to bring some very uncomfortable truths to light.

 
At 1:39 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Saudi Arabia actually doesn't support terror. Bin Laden's first goal was actually to overthrow the Western based Saudi Regime. Because the Saudi Regime relies upon Western technology and contract workers to maintain a "civilization", this puts them at odds with Bin laden. The compromise the Sauds worked out was to expell Al Qaeda out of Saudi Arabia, with the promise that they'll fund and ignore Al Qaeda so long as Al Qaeda kills anyone but Saudis.

This didn't work well after 9/11. We saw Al Qaeda incessantly attacking Saudi Arabia.

Read this strategy post about dead men telling tales in Saudi Arabia

 
At 2:05 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

credible evidence of an ongoing threat

Here’s my problem with this idea: The unstated criteria for “evidence” could only be that a city, perhaps with me and mine in it, being nuked. And then perhaps only if the culprit state that employed the terrorists would be foolish enough to claim credit, otherwise no retaliation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that no anti-war person would even think of retaliation under such a scenario unless there was courtroom-level proof of culpability. For me, 9/11 blew away any such need for high-level legal niceties. There will never be that level of proof. Foreign policy assumptions and actions simply cannot be dependent anymore on such an unrealistic and potentially deadly set of criteria. The “evidence” of a successful immense act of terror is simply too high of a price to pay.

 
At 2:22 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

The compromise the Sauds worked out was to expell Al Qaeda out of Saudi Arabia, with the promise that they'll fund and ignore Al Qaeda so long as Al Qaeda kills anyone but Saudis.

That's the arrangement most nations have with their armies. Kill other people but no coups at home, please.

The Saudi government is sending suicide bombers into Iraq to kill Americans. The KSA continued to support al Qaeda for years after 9/11, and the support only slightly slowed after 2003. 95% of educated (literate?) Sauds support al Qaeda. Only the government, the press and occasional supporters of the government believe that the KSA are allies. In poll after poll, the majority of Americans do not.

 
At 3:05 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Popped in to have a look before bed and had to respond to this steaming turd.

Right, like Howard in Australia or Berlusconi in Italy or Blair in U.K or Koizumi in Japan.

Well. I am pleased to burst the bubble of your alternative reality.

Berlusconi in Italy? Gone. Canada? The government that sanctioned Canadian involvement is gone. Germany? Merkel will not be sending troops to Iraq, and recently told Bush off for Guantanamo. That honeymoon is long since over. Spain? Gone.

Australia you get. Howard is a willing accomplice, and he was recently re-elected. Poland? Nope, the complexion of the coalition has completely changed since 2003, and what have they in Iraq, 500 troops?

Blair you don’t get. In the most recent election his historic majority was eroded dramatically, and he is now universally loathed. The only reason they squeaked in was because the conservatives are loathed even more, and UK elections are more focused on the local candidates than the US. Besides I mentioned him specifically you cheater!!

So lets see, regarding your comments : Italy, Canada and the UK are direct cheats on your part.
Germany, Poland are simply obfuscation and deception.

Australia I’ll give you.

Here’s a tip, if you must lie, and you’re a Bush supporter so it’s genetic, lie about stuff that can’t be searched on Google. Or that isn’t common knowledge! Like Berlusconi!!!ROTFL.

Not only is Berlusconi gone, but he has been replaced by easily the most outspoken critic of the war.
The incoming Italian prime minister, Romano Prodi, described the US-led invasion of Iraq as a "grave mistake" that had encouraged global terrorism.

"We consider the war and occupation in Iraq a grave error that hasn't solved - but has complicated - the problem of security," he said in his first address to the Senate since becoming prime minister.

"Terrorism has found a new base and new excuses for internal and external terrorist action."


Yeah you’re the foreign policy expert. Yuk, yuk, yuk:-

 
At 3:09 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

grackle said...
credible evidence of an ongoing threat

Here’s my problem with this idea: The unstated criteria for “evidence” could only be that a city, perhaps with me and mine in it, being nuked. And then perhaps only if the culprit state that employed the terrorists would be foolish enough to claim credit, otherwise no retaliation. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think that no anti-war person would even think of retaliation under such a scenario unless there was courtroom-level proof of culpability. For me, 9/11 blew away any such need for high-level legal niceties. There will never be that level of proof. Foreign policy assumptions and actions simply cannot be dependent anymore on such an unrealistic and potentially deadly set of criteria. The “evidence” of a successful immense act of terror is simply too high of a price to pay.


I'll assume that this is where Iran comes into your thinking. The actual hard evidence, based on inspections thus far and the knowledge of people with a far greater understanding of nuclear fission and uranium enrichment have stated categorically that there is no evidence that Iran has any ability to, or any programme designed to enrich uranium to weapons grade. We are talking an enormous difference in enrichment terms.

So, should we accept the 'feeling' of GWB et al or the actual real verifiable evidence that nobody thus far has argued against. Bush's judgement, or if you prefer , his intelligence aparatus, hasn't proved to be that reliable to date.

Do we nuke the civilians of the orient because we in the occident have a feeling that their political leaders may be up to no good in the future?

 
At 3:23 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Australia you get. Howard is a willing accomplice, and he was recently re-elected.

Sad but true. The unfortunate part is that the opposition has been incompetent and negligent and Howard's government has been lucky enough to have presided over the consistently strongest economy in the western world in the last decade.

His pro Bush stance is generally (but not universally)loathed though. As a population Australia has been very pro US due to recent history and largely prepared to side with them without too robust a scrutiny. That has changed dramatically since GWB though I feel. Opinion polls would suggest I'm right, and that the general populace knows Howard lied.

The majority of the public believes that the government's willingness to jump into the adventure in Iraq has made us less safe in general and directly contributed to the Bali outrages. Given the statements of the bombers themselves, that appears to be an undeniable truth that John Howard blithely....well...denies. Go figure.

 
At 3:35 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Dave said......Oh, I get it. The victory of the Socialists in Spain on the heels of the terrorist train bombings is what you were talking about. Of course, why let so may contrary facts obscure your one good example.

Actually Dave, Aznar was well on his way prior to the Madrid bombings. The anti-war sentiment in Spain was one of the strongest public movements I've ever witnessed. It was, in the months prior to the invasion, ubiquitous, unavoidable and pervasive. The attempts to tar the Spaniards with the 'coward' label are illinformed at best.

 
At 3:36 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoconputo said...

Let me see if I can give you a decent answer:

1. The Bush Administration and PNAC planned to invade Iraq way before 9/11. This is documented and you know it.

2. The fact that anyone against the war is labelled a "traitor" or "America hater" by the likes of the radical right (pretty much anyone who comments regularly here qualifies) only serves to strengthen feelings and rhetoric on the part of those who oppose the war.

3. The fact that maps of Iraq's oil fields were presented in Cheney's SECRET energy policy meeting. I wonder why?

4. The fact that the "right" continues to tout debunked talking points conflating Saddam with Al Qaeda, even with the paper thin "evidence" that has been gleaned from the translation of all the documents that were recovered.

5. That we had not contained Al Qaeda or captured our main targets in Afghanistan at the time Bush decided to go to war.

6. Abu Ghraib.

7. Right wing nutjobs who still insist that there were WMDs, and that they were flown to Syria in some mysterious gutted passenger planes RIGHT before the war.

8. That the administration and its supporters refuse to acknowledge (of did until very recently) that mistakes were made, and that adequate planning wasn't done for the occupation which was to follow the "war".

9. That the advice of several military experts was ignored prior to invading re: cost of the war and occupation, number of troops needed, equipment needeed, etc.

10. That Iraq now provides training grounds and recruiting for Islamic terrorists. They get to practice up on the US Military's most advanced weapons, develop new tactics, and feed off Arab resentment towards what is seen as an unjust war in order to step up recruitment worldwide. "They" being Al Qaeda and any other anti west Islamic terrorist groups.

11. That the world is actually now a MORE DANGEROUS place.

12. That we had much more important things to accomplish at home.

Plenty more where that came from.

 
At 3:47 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

bmc: So lets see, regarding your comments : Italy, Canada and the UK are direct cheats on your part.
Germany, Poland are simply obfuscation and deception.


Maybe you should have slept a little longer.

Italy is a loss for the "coalition of the willing", granted, and a mistake on that commenter's part. In Canada, however, while "The government that sanctioned Canadian involvement is gone", it's been replaced by a government significantly more fiendly to America, to Bush, and to contributing to the war on Islamist terror -- so by your standards, that would make this one either a lie or a cheat on your part (as opposed to a simpler mistake). You missed Koizume altogether, which is another lie, cheat or mistake; Poland's government, like Canada's, changed from a leftish one that initially sanctioned involvement but would have pulled all its troops out by now, to a center-rightish one that decided to keep some troops in -- another cheat/mistake on your part; and Germany's change in government also represented a relative move toward the Americans, regardless of subsequent ups and downs that happen under any circumstances. So I don't think you're faring well in this contest of the lies. RMTOL!!

 
At 4:03 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

GRACKLE - Steve, what do you suppose happened to the WMD arsenal from which Saddam gassed the Kurds?

They were destroyed. Read the Duelfer Report.

 
At 4:05 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Steve J. said...

GRACKLE - Bush is not really my cup of tea for many reasons but at least he’ll fight.

Here's the problem: Bush is fucking up the WOT.

GOT IT?

 
At 4:08 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Steve J. said...
GRACKLE - Steve, what do you suppose happened to the WMD arsenal from which Saddam gassed the Kurds?

They were destroyed. Read the Duelfer Report.

5:03 PM, May 24, 2006

He could also do some reading on the Iran - Iraq war too.

The notion that Saddam sent these weapons to Syria is as farcical as the Bin Laden - Saddam stuff.

 
At 4:28 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

nputo: Let me see if I can give you a decent answer:

Well, not so far I'm afraid.


1. The Bush Administration and PNAC planned to invade Iraq way before 9/11. This is documented and you know it.

So had the Clinton Admistration. Not sure about the TriLateral Commission or the Iluminati.

2. The fact that anyone against the war is labelled a "traitor" or "America hater" by the likes of the radical right (pretty much anyone who comments regularly here qualifies) only serves to strengthen feelings and rhetoric on the part of those who oppose the war.

This is so manifestly false that I think we can safely label it a lie.

3. The fact that maps of Iraq's oil fields were presented in Cheney's SECRET energy policy meeting. I wonder why?

Dunno, but so what? And I guess it wasn't all that SECRET, was it?

4. The fact that the "right" continues to tout debunked talking points conflating Saddam with Al Qaeda, even with the paper thin "evidence" that has been gleaned from the translation of all the documents that were recovered.

That the evidence was on paper doesn't make it "paper-thin". Furthermore, the evidence never pointed to the "conflation" of Saddam and al Qaeda but with their links.

5. That we had not contained Al Qaeda or captured our main targets in Afghanistan at the time Bush decided to go to war.

Often a war necessarily has multiple theaters -- it's only the particularly slow leftists that have difficulty with the idea of a nation being able to do two things at once.

6. Abu Ghraib.

A crime, exposed and punished by the American military.

7. Right wing nutjobs who still insist that there were WMDs, and that they were flown to Syria in some mysterious gutted passenger planes RIGHT before the war.

This wouldn't make the war generally hated -- it's only leftie moonbats who are so heavily invested in the idea that there were NO WMDs!!! that are now incensed at the idea there might have been WMDs.

8. That the administration and its supporters refuse to acknowledge (of did until very recently) that mistakes were made, and that adequate planning wasn't done for the occupation which was to follow the "war".

I think I recall such admissions at various points, and as you say they've clearly acknowleded it now. I wonder, by the way, if you could find a war anywhere anytime by anyone in which mistakes were not made?

9. That the advice of several military experts was ignored prior to invading re: cost of the war and occupation, number of troops needed, equipment needeed, etc.

But the advice of other military experts was followed -- afterwards, of course, advice is always 20-20.

10. That Iraq now provides training grounds and recruiting for Islamic terrorists. They get to practice up on the US Military's most advanced weapons, develop new tactics, and feed off Arab resentment towards what is seen as an unjust war in order to step up recruitment worldwide. "They" being Al Qaeda and any other anti west Islamic terrorist groups.

Well, by the same token, it provides a good testing ground for the US military, and a good bit of flypaper to attract and kill those unstable and unfortunate enough to be tempted into joining anti-West Islamist terrorist groups.

11. That the world is actually now a MORE DANGEROUS place.

A dubious assertion, but in any case that too could be said in the midst of any war, as most people understand -- sometimes you have to go through worse in order to get to better.

12. That we had much more important things to accomplish at home.

See point no. 5.

Have another try if you like.

 
At 4:58 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

There's nothing original being said here. So why bother?

Besides, steve j is funny and amusing. He's short, I know exactly what I'll get, and there are no bad surprises.

Even I don't know that kind of logic ties together these people's beliefs. And I've been reading their comments for awhile now.

 
At 5:25 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Here's a curly one.


http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

 
At 5:27 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoconputo said...

So had the Clinton Admistration. Not sure about the TriLateral Commission or the Iluminati.

Um, no. Sorry. The Clinton administration HAD advocated for regime change as a desireable goal in Iraq, but had not actually committed to go forward with making it happen. Big difference. And besides, you're back to the old "BUUUUT CLINTON...!!!" winger argument. And further, are you denying the overt existence of PNAC, and that several signatories to the call to oust Saddam are now or were members of Bush's cabinet? So was Clinton the victim of bad advice, intel too? hmmmmm....


This is so manifestly false that I think we can safely label it a lie.

I hope you're kidding:

Traitors
More Traitors
and too many bloggers to mention. Do you really deny this?

Dunno, but so what? And I guess it wasn't all that SECRET, was it?
No, thanks to something called "leaks" and the FOIA. So what? You figure it out, smarty pants.

That the evidence was on paper doesn't make it "paper-thin". Furthermore, the evidence never pointed to the "conflation" of Saddam and al Qaeda but with their links.

Nice pun. Seems like if the government had an airtight case in these documents, they'd have done the research themselves - but no. They release them to amateur translators and voila! Links (however tentative and nascent) between Saddam and Al Qaeda - assuming the translation was even correct. You're grasping at straws now, arent' you? And please provide the obligatory link to this document. I must see it.

Often a war necessarily has multiple theaters -- it's only the particularly slow leftists that have difficulty with the idea of a nation being able to do two things at once.

And often fools confuse one war with another "war". See point number one. Funny, but I seem to remember Afghanistan being punitive retribution, and Iraq being "preemptive". Count on a winger to embrace convenient memes sold by the Administration.


A crime, exposed and punished by the American military.
So wrong, in so many ways. A crime with oversight going WAY up the ladder, for which a couple of grunts take the fall. Were they not trained properly? Were they following orders? Either way, sounds a lot like piss poor leadership.

This wouldn't make the war generally hated -- it's only leftie moonbats who are so heavily invested in the idea that there were NO WMDs!!! that are now incensed at the idea there might have been WMDs.
Um, excuse me? Yes, there WERE WMDs a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far...through the right wing looking glass, drinking kool aid. Please provide some links to creditabe evidence supporting your contention that there were indeed WMDs, and that we've found/traced them. Newsmaxx and RW blogs don't count. Don't you think that had we found proof, the Administration would be trumpeting it far and wide? Oh wait, the MSLM - you know, the place where Rummy just admitted we were wrong. Thanks in advance.

But the advice of other military experts was followed -- afterwards, of course, advice is always 20-20.
Nice try. Too bad the advice I speak of was blatantly ignored for the simple reason that the information therein was deemed to be unpalatable to the American people, whose support was needed to prosecute this war - you know, things such as cost, number of troops, etc. that would have been required to REALLY secure the peace. But your kind likes to ignore inconvenient truths.
BTW - why don't you provide me with some links to back up your assertion that "other military experts" thought the plan we went with was satisfactory - as long as it includes even the faintest consideration of plans for the occupation/reconstruction.

Well, by the same token, it provides a good testing ground for the US military, and a good bit of flypaper to attract and kill those unstable and unfortunate enough to be tempted into joining anti-West Islamist terrorist groups.

From the immediate vicinity, maybe. But a strawman argument at best. You seem to be forgetting that fundamentalist Islam exists in many more places than Iraq's immediate neighbors. Where did Al Qaeda learn it's trade? Afghanistan - ever heard the term "Blowback"?

Finally, I guess now that we're there, we need to do what it takes to secure the peace and get out. But we won't, and you know it - and you can't blame the "moonbats" for jack - because the Dems haven't controlled anything in this country for a long time.

Care to try again?

 
At 5:29 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoconputo said...

Steve, what do you suppose happened to the WMD arsenal from which Saddam gassed the Kurds? What happened to the manufacturing plants used to make the nerve agent used on the Kurds? What happened to the munitions used to deliver the gas? What happened to the technicians, scientists and their military supervisors that developed these weapons systems? Where did these people go? Where did the materials, buildings and documentation go? Until someone adequately answers these questions I’m going to have to suppose that Saddam hid them.

Are you for real? He DESTROYED THEM after being ordered to do so by the U.N. and the United States. It's been documented. Do a Google search for God's sake.

 
At 6:02 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I need someone to invent a quantum universe spying machine. Please, we need it, desperately.

 
At 6:15 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger neoconputo said...

I need someone to invent a quantum universe spying machine. Please, we need it, desperately.

You must be making reference to String Theory, which is a separate subject from Quantum Computers. Or are you getting the two confused? To the best of my knowledge, Quantum Mechanics does not cover alternate universes, and the concepts of String Theory do not readily or theoretically apply themselves to "machines". But anyway...you'll get to that in your second semester of "Survey of Modern Physics".

Nah, we can just nuke anyone we even THINK might be:

1. Developing WMDs
2. In league with Islamofacists
3. Nationalizing their oil (!)
4. Insulting Israel (!)

I'm sure you have more.

 
At 6:43 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

I asked earlier: Steve, what do you suppose happened to the WMD arsenal from which Saddam gassed the Kurds?

Steve’s reply: They were destroyed. Read the Duelfer Report.

Neoconned chimes in: He could also do some reading on the Iran - Iraq war too. The notion that Saddam sent these weapons to Syria is as farcical as the Bin Laden - Saddam stuff.

One good thing these sometimes pointless debates provide is a fairly good knowledge of the different reports, speeches and articles pertaining to the issues. I read the Duelfer Report as soon as it was available on line. Since then I’ve read it 3 or 4 more times in the course of debates on-line. I think also that our hostess is very conversant with the Report. Perhaps Steve and Neoconned can provide some quotes from the Report; here’s one of my favorites:

“Saddam wanted to recreate Iraq’s WMD capability—which was essentially destroyed in 1991—after sanctions were removed and Iraq’s economy stabilized, but probably with a different mix of capabilities to that which previously existed. Saddam aspired to develop a nuclear capability—in an incremental fashion, irrespective of international pressure and the resulting economic risks—but he intended to focus on ballistic missile and tactical chemical warfare (CW) capabilities.”

Elsewhere in the report:

“Iraq built a new and larger liquid-rocket engine test stand capable, with some modification, of supporting engines or engine clusters larger than the single SA-2 engine used in the Al Samud II. Iraq built or refurbished solid-propellant facilities and equipment, including a large propellant mixer, an aging oven, and a casting pit that could support large diameter motors. Iraq’s investing in studies into new propellants and manufacturing technologies demonstrated its desire for more capable or effective delivery systems.”

And the clincher:

“Given Iraq’s investments in technology and infrastructure improvements, an effective procurement network, skilled scientists, and designs already on the books for longer range missiles, ISG assesses that Saddam clearly intended to reconstitute long-range delivery systems and that the systems potentially were for WMD.

Steve and Neoconned, I already consider myself somewhat informed and I am getting better informed as time passes.

 
At 7:06 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Confude says: I'll assume that this is where Iran comes into your thinking. The actual hard evidence, based on inspections thus far and the knowledge of people with a far greater understanding of nuclear fission and uranium enrichment have stated categorically that there is no evidence that Iran has any ability to, or any programme designed to enrich uranium to weapons grade. We are talking an enormous difference in enrichment terms.

So, should we accept the 'feeling' of GWB et al or the actual real verifiable evidence that nobody thus far has argued against. Bush's judgement, or if you prefer , his intelligence aparatus, hasn't proved to be that reliable to date.


How about accepting the “feeling” of the Iranians themselves? Confude, did you miss the big televised ceremony on the 9th of April this year in which the Iranians announced their success at uranium enrichment? Tsk, tsk, one really should take care to be more informed.

Do we nuke the civilians of the orient because we in the occident have a feeling that their political leaders may be up to no good in the future?

No nukes needed, conventional weaponry will do fine for now, thank you. Think ‘stealth,’ think ‘smart bombs’ and ‘bunker busters.’ And not civilians, but military and technical targets and especially political leaders that have sponsored terrorism.

 
At 7:32 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Grackle said...

How about accepting the “feeling” of the Iranians themselves? Confude, did you miss the big televised ceremony on the 9th of April this year in which the Iranians announced their success at uranium enrichment? Tsk, tsk, one really should take care to be more informed.


Very true, one should. The devil, as always, is in the detail though isn't it. Enriching a few milligrams to 5% enrichment (reactor grade) is a world away from enriching kilograms to 85% (weapons grade).

Iran's economy needs a consistent efficient electricity supply to grow. Why on earth would we try to stop them when, surely, our desire is to see the reemergence of the educated middle class as a force in their politics?

I thought we were trying to do away with the sneering type comments.

 
At 7:37 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

It's a two part logic chain. If the first part is true, then and only then does the second part about not paying attention apply. If you knew about the Iranian yellow cake party, then logically you cannot be said to be ignorant of it.

 
At 8:02 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I'll assume that this is where Iran comes into your thinking. The actual hard evidence, based on inspections thus far and the knowledge of people with a far greater understanding of nuclear fission and uranium enrichment have stated categorically that there is no evidence that Iran has any ability to, or any programme designed to enrich uranium to weapons grade. We are talking an enormous difference in enrichment terms.

It is indeed a large difference in enrichment capabilities. It's also true that their current capabilities (which you rounded up to 5% enrichment) are far short of being able to produce weapons-grade uranium at any practical pace. However, Iran (by its own claims) has plans to increase the number of centrifuges by more than two orders of magnitude, the number given being three and a half times what would be needed to practically produce nuclear weapons. Unless the US, or UN, or somebody else intervenes, Iran WILL have the ability to refine uranium to weapons grade within several years. The real question is whether they'll use it for a massive power plant (such as one seen in Russia), as they say, or for nuclear weapons.

Not so much an argument as an FYI.

 
At 8:08 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK I'll accept your word, but I am of the understanding that weapons grade plutonium enrichment is a different process entirely and would require pre-enriched material in large quantities to be diverted from the gaze of IAEA inspectors and couldn't be achieved under the current EU plan.

Nuclear physics or engineering is not my discipline though so I would be much more comfortable with the IAEA overseeing the whole thing than without. The Iranians need the energy.

 
At 8:14 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

I said earlier: Tsk, tsk, one really should take care to be more informed.

Very true, one should. The devil, as always, is in the detail though isn't it. Enriching a few milligrams to 5% enrichment (reactor grade) is a world away from enriching kilograms to 85% (weapons grade).

It’s just a matter of how quickly the Iranians can buy the centrifuges – a matter of money and an unknown amount of time.

Iran's economy needs a consistent efficient electricity supply to grow. Why on earth would we try to stop them when, surely, our desire is to see the reemergence of the educated middle class as a force in their politics?

Through the Russians Bush has offered the Iranians free reactor grade fuel necessary for generating power. The Iranians could have all the reactor grade uranium they want for free but so far the Iranians aren’t taking the offer. Bush talked about the deal during the recent press conference with the visiting Israeli PM.

I thought we were trying to do away with the sneering type comments.

Sorry about the “more informed” crack. I’d just been condescendingly told by others to read a report I almost know by heart and had my radar out for examples of the anti-war crowd being uninformed. I agree the rhetoric needs toning down and will try to keep my shots clean.

 
At 8:20 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Given the history and the antipathy between the US and Iran, I think you have to understand their desire to be self sufficient surely. I'm sure I don't have to explain the strategic risks for Iran in that plan.

It is interesting that GWB would be talking to the head of a rogue nuclear power about a non-nuclear signatory to the NPT and expecting us to believe that this is constructive.

 
At 8:23 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

I wonder... are there term limits in Iran? Maybe we can get Ahmadinejad and the other scary people in Iran voted out in the few years (likely in the 5 to 10 range) before Iran would have the ability for large-scale enrichment :P

 
At 8:30 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Yes, he is, after all, an elected president who replaced a moderate western leaning head of state who was defeated. The security situation from an Iranian perspective surely played a part in his election.

So, it seems to me that the sabre rattling, the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan and the (at the time rise) and rise of Sharon's stocks in Washington, pushed enough voters toward an extremist populist. What will more sabre rattling and possible military strikes do to wrestle hearts and minds from the jihadists?

 
At 8:41 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Dale St. Clair said...

Given the history and the antipathy between the US and Iran, I think you have to understand their desire to be self sufficient surely. I'm sure I don't have to explain the strategic risks for Iran in that plan.

Yes, I’m afraid you will have to explain. As part of the deal the EU guarantees the fuel, so the Iranians get it even if we Americans decide to back out of the deal at some time in the future. The EU has already offered to build Iran a nuclear reactor for free. That means Iran could have all the electricity they want almost for free. I wish someone would offer me such a deal. My electrical bill was $97 last month; I would be thrilled if I only had to pay 97 cents!

It is interesting that GWB would be talking to the head of a rogue nuclear power about a non-nuclear signatory to the NPT and expecting us to believe that this is constructive.

Bush has to ‘back-channel’ somehow, there hasn’t been a US embassy in Tehran since 1979 and the Russians seem to have the Iranians’ ear. Why isn’t it “constructive” to offer the Iranians what the Iranians profess to desire: uranium suitable for reactor fuel?

 
At 8:57 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger Justin Olbrantz (Quantam) said...

Yes, he is, after all, an elected president who replaced a moderate western leaning head of state who was defeated. The security situation from an Iranian perspective surely played a part in his election.

Sorry, I shoved two thoughts together in such a way that it was unclear that they were two separate possibilities. Is there a limit to how many times he (and the others) can be elected, as in the US? If not, perhaps we can get him voted out next election (not that I know when that is).

 
At 9:01 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Iran sees the US as a part of 'the west' and they are unlikely to be jumping at something that gives the west power over someting as strategically vital as their electricity supply.

Do you thinK the US or any sovereign state would accept anything similar? The US won't even allow the UN to pass a resolution condemning Israel for its nuclear weapons.

I was questioning the need for GWB to be discussing the issue with Israel, not Russia. It isn't a good look.

The thing is, that Iran is a sovereign state with a political process, however limited. It is in their interests to do business with the west constructively.

The European plan may well be attractive economically but is still strategically unattractive. It doesn't look much like they will get the option anyway at the moment because the US is threatening to veto it.

The Iranians aren't talking whilst under implied threat. GWB needs to think about this and it doesn't look good from where I sit. Taking advice from Tel Aviv is not the responsible option.

 
At 9:04 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sorry if that seems disjointed but it is all I have time for at the moment.

The point is, dialogue is what is needed. Sabre rattling will only harden the positions. Unless the object is war.

 
At 9:43 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

What will more sabre rattling and possible military strikes do to wrestle hearts and minds from the jihadists?

Gee, confudeforeigner, if sabre rattling and war produce more jihadists, do you think we could will those oh-so-valueable hearts and minds by spending lots of money on them?

If we give them lots of money, do you think we can convince the jihadis to stop being terrorists?

 
At 10:34 PM, May 24, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well geee Maryzazero,

maybe if we treated them fairly and abided by international law ourselves, that might help. This is becoming just one more episode of extreme western hypocrisy, which is after all, the rallying cry for the jihadis.

Put yourself in their position. Know your enemy. To do that you first have to identify him/her/it.

You won't be able to imprison 1.3 billion people so all you can do is limit the appeal. Being fair and avoiding hypocritical foreign beat ups would be a good place to start.

I see the antisneering campaign has lost its impetus. Oh well.

Are you honestly suggesting that killing more people will not recruit more willing terrorists?
Look at Iraq. Oh, I forgot, Iraq is a shining success and all the bad guys are Saudis. Yeah right.

 

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