Thursday, June 01, 2006

More on politics and friends

I want to spotlight this question that appeared in the comments section of my earlier thread on politics and friendship [some spelling corrections made here]:

...if this is the state of your personal relationships, is the blog a chance to say all those things you can't with them, a place to find ideological fellowship, or both or neither? Do [your friends] know about the blog? Just curious.

I began this blog mainly because I was spending so much time reading and commenting on other blogs that I figured I might as well start one of my own. At the time, I was writing quite a few emails to Andrew Sullivan, and a great many of them were being published on his blog (this was back when he was still featuring a couple of emails a day). It was fun to think that, because of the enormous volume of Sullivan's traffic, many people were probably reading my words.

But at the beginning, I never thought this blog would generate much traffic. I started out very slowly and tentatively here around the time of the build-up to the 2004 election, not ever thinking I'd be using it as much more than a dump for a few of the emails I'd sent to Andrew, or some of my longer comments on other blogs.

But I did have an idea; that's why I gave the blog the name I did. As I said, I really wasn't thinking that I'd ever have much traffic. But I was thinking that I wanted to make this a place to discuss the changes I'd undergone post-9/11, and to make it a place where people who'd had similar experiences would feel especially welcome. I knew I'd be discussing change in general, and it's interesting to me that so many of my posts have indeed continued to deal with that topic in one form or other.

And yes, since I began the blog in the intense period of the buildup to the 2004 Presidential election, it was at least partly an effort to channel the energy I had to speak about these things away from friends and family, most of whom had made it clear that they wanted to take such topics off the table. I was only too happy to oblige, because the experience with them had been so unproductive and unpleasant.

So the answer to the first question from the commenter is "both." Primarily, however, this blog has been a way to say things I just feel I need to say, and to make them available for others read them. In that I think I resemble most bloggers: we like to get our thoughts out there in written form.

As for the second question, whether my friends know about the blog, the answer is also "yes." I've given all those who are close to me--and many who are less close, but still friends--the URL. I've invited them to read it, with the caveat that they probably would disagree with my viewpoints. But of course, most of them already know that.

I've never sent them links to any political posts of mine, however, unless they've specifically requested that--and very few have. To send such things to them at this point would constitute a sort of mild harassment. Now politics only comes up if they choose to bring it up.

There are two family members who read my blog regularly. It is probably no coincidence that those are the two closest to me, and that they also happen to be the two who have come (at least partially, and to different degrees) over to the dark side along with me. There's one good friend who remains staunchly liberal who reads here regularly and thoughtfully. But most of you probably won't be surprised to learn that the rest of my friends virtually never come here, although I do send them links to some of my lighter, nonpolitical, pieces from time to time, if I think they'd enjoy that.

Of course, there are many possible explanations for my friends' general lack of interest in reading my blog. I was drawn to blogs the moment I first found them, back in 2002. Something about them just resonated with me--I liked the personal voice, the lively give and take, the sense of a Greek chorus (sometimes humorous) commenting on the news that had heretofore been intoned mostly by the likes of Cronkite and Rather.

But since the majority of people don't read blogs--left or right--most of my friends fall squarely into that category. Therefore the fact that they never read my blog isn't all that strange. But I still like to think that, if the tables were reversed, and I was the non-blog-reader and my friends the bloggers, I would have enough curiosity to go to their blogs and read from time to time.

But nothing I write here is a secret, not only in the sense that a blog is in the public domain, but also in the sense that I've given the information out to friends. What they do with it is their business.

I've found a lack of general interest on both sides in reading much of what the other side has to say. Since I'm the Tiresias of bloggers (metaphorically, that is!), I've spent quite a bit of time reading on both sides now. I think that's especially true of other "changers." And I still do quite a bit of reading of the NY Times and the Boston Globe, as well as my old favorite, the New Yorker, as well as a smattering of articles decidedly to the left of those publications.

But back when I was a liberal Democrat, I hardly ever recall reading periodicals on the right. One reason was that I thought I already was reading media that presented both sides fairly (the above MSM publications). I think that's a common perception still, among liberals.

There's also a perception that there's no need to read the other side because it's all garbage any way. And no doubt there are many on the right who feel that way about the other side, as well. But I think it's a bit harder for those on the right to avoid reading views from the liberal side, since it's so well represented in the MSM. And it always strikes me as strange that liberals, who pride themselves on openminded reflection and inclusion, as well as respect for different "truths," should so often be doctrinaire about shutting out the voices on the right from their own consciousness. If liberal stereotypes about the right are to believed, that's exactly the sort of behavior one would expect from the narrow-minded right, isn't it?

229 Comments:

At 1:26 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

I have read your blog regularly for some time, but only recently have commented. I've found that with most of the blogs I read regularly, the feature I most enjoy is the comments, as (as Glenn Reynolds has pointed out) there really is an "Army of Davids" in the general public who are not paid pundits, but nonetheless have experience, expertise, and knowledge in many areas—and as a result, can provide an extended and thoughtful viewpoint to what's being discussed in the blog post.

I've learned more from the give-and-take in a good blog's comment section than I ever would have from what passes for mass media today. And I've learned more about various areas of the world from the likes of Totten, Yon, Bay, and Arthur Chrenkoff (when he was still writing). I wish Stephen Den Beste was still blogging; his essays on scientific matters were always educational and thought-provoking.

In any event, I'm glad you've chosen to share your thoughts with the wider world. Your essays are a (mostly) daily pleasure.

 
At 2:10 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

I've found a lack of general interest on both sides in reading much of what the other side has to say. Since I'm the Tiresias of bloggers (metaphorically, that is!), I've spent quite a bit of time reading on both sides now.

I've noticed the same. I'd like to throw in my two cents that I think it's important to read both sides.

It's not just that the sides disagree, they are often not working from similar worldviews or even the same facts. So the disjunction is quite severe and IMO it leads to people assuming the worst about their opponents.

 
At 2:31 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Huan said...

I enjoy your postings more so than the comments. There really is too much ranting and not enough debating or discussion from the commenters.

 
At 3:05 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

And it always strikes me as strange that liberals, who pride themselves on openminded reflection and inclusion, as well as respect for different "truths," should so often be doctrinaire about shutting out the voices on the right from their own consciousness. If liberal stereotypes about the right are to believed, that's exactly the sort of behavior one would expect from the narrow-minded right, isn't it?

It was a self-realization for me, that I had actually been the opposite of my self-image. I will be thoughtful of the Left and Right until I die; not just where ideas are best illuminated, but where they are grounded in core democratic principles; peace and security in perspective to the situation at hand, American bill of rights -- list of freedoms, human liberation, etc,. Tyranny doesn’t play by the rule that “peace is precious”. War and peace together is the right soup for humanity – but who are the victors and who are the losers? I would hope that the victors [but not everyone agrees] are the ones that carry the torch of civilization in all its virtues and vices; it is the colossal progress of all our forefathers. If it should collapse, we would start again in a new pre-history, from the beginning and with no history to learn from, and thus repeat all of our vast and horrific miserys and rare miraculous triumphs. I hate doing the same thing twice; I suspect the soul of humanity thinks so too. Is this too Andy Rodneyish?

 
At 3:08 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger ExPreacherMan said...

Its OK Neo, don't beat yourself up.

Intelligent presentation of such potent and varied topics as Politics and Religion (I know) rarely have a meeting of the minds in the middle. Take your stand. Those who ride the Mild Monotonous Middle are the losers.

Be encouraged! Keep to the right -- the Middle is awfully squishy and the left is unstable!

We still love you.

ExP

 
At 3:27 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Sigmund, Carl and Alfred said...

Posts like this are why I love this blog.

Your posts are crisp, sharp, substantive- and they just float.

Superb.

 
At 3:41 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 4:05 PM, June 01, 2006, nyomythus said...
And it always strikes me as strange that liberals, who pride themselves on openminded reflection and inclusion, as well as respect for different "truths," should so often be doctrinaire about shutting out the voices on the right from their own consciousness. If liberal stereotypes about the right are to believed, that's exactly the sort of behavior one would expect from the narrow-minded right, isn't it?

It was a self-realization for me, that I had actually been the opposite of my self-image. I will be thoughtful of the Left and Right until I die; not just where ideas are best illuminated, but where they are grounded in core democratic principles; peace and security in perspective to the situation at hand, American bill of rights -- list of freedoms, human liberation, etc,. Tyranny doesn’t play by the rule that “peace is precious”. War and peace together is the right soup for humanity – but who are the victors and who are the losers? I would hope that the victors [but not everyone agrees] are the ones that carry the torch of civilization in all its virtues and vices; it is the colossal progress of all our forefathers. If it should collapse, we would start again in a new pre-history, from the beginning and with no history to learn from, and thus repeat all of our vast and horrific miserys and rare miraculous triumphs. I hate doing the same thing twice; I suspect the soul of humanity thinks so too. Is this too Andy Rodneyish?



Wow, it is only the 2nd day of June (where I am) and we have our first candidate for hypocrite of the month award. Always good to get in early nyo. Well done.

 
At 4:00 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Misrepresent my word as you wish, it’s your conscious that is missing dinner, not mine.

Here's a hint -- in my reply the top paragraph was in italic because those are neo-neocon's words. The bottom part, those are my words.

Don't worry about an apology, just stay on topic.

 
At 4:45 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

It wasn't my intention to mislead, I just quoted the whole post. So, sorry for that.

Perhaps, given your stated desire for truth, justice, democracy and all that for all the peoples of the world, you could have a closer look at the list of the despotic and barbarous regimes the US counts amongst its friends and their record of democratic implementation.

Not pretty reading I assure you.

 
At 5:14 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

nyomythus, remember the admonition to not feed the squirrels.
The pathetic creatures profile tells you everything you need to know about it. It tells you up front that it hates you.

 
At 5:33 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ooooh, I'd forgotten about that. It was from before Silly went off in a huff. Heehee, thanks for reminding me spyboy.

 
At 6:06 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Ryan said...

Confude:

So let me get this straight.

1. You've just spent the last several days whinging and blubbering about how you're not a troll, but everyone treats you as a troll, but you're not, blah blah blah snore.

2. Simultaneously you have written in your blogger profile something like "if you're reading this, I hate you". In other words, this is the profile you use when you go a-trolling.

3. Now when Senescent Wasp points this out, you immediately change your profile.

From this I conclude that, when you protest you're not a troll, you are being a filthy liar. Also, as soon as you're caught in it you try to destroy the evidence. What a coward you are, won't even stand by your own words!

 
At 6:16 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

'Ohhh, Precious, we hates it. We hates the Hobbitesses and their hairy feet. We hates the normals with their mental health and cheery good looks. Hates them we does."

 
At 6:44 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Wickedpinto said...

even your friends who know you might not want to read your blog for reasons other than politics. I have few people I count as friends, I have a lot of aquaintences, but those I actually count "friend" are rare. The reason is that I have next to no borders when it comes to my friends, and with many of my acquaintences, when it comes to honesty. I might know that what I say might offend, but I don't edit it, and I don't ask for acceptance or acknowledgement.

That kind of honesty makes people uncomfortable. However, on the net, when you are able to put yourself into the mindset of annonymity and the seperation of self from your daily life, the person who has the sort of self editing I myself lack (at least in most cases) are able to free themselves up, and share a sort of honest opinion that they are not commonly familiar with.

I think your friends, "close" (what I call "friends") and "some not so close" (what I call "acquantences" (did I screw up the spelling all three times?)) might not visit your blog, because they might not be comfortable with that sort of honesty.

Your average reader doesn't know who you are, so we can read it and appreciate that opinion. Your friends might think that by reading this, they are gonna be closer to who you are than they are comfortable with.

Sorry for the shrinky dinking of this, but, I think thats a point.

 
At 6:44 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I've tried reading Atrios and Koz, but they were just too depressing, vulgar, and abrasive.

It doesn't matter if a blog author agrees with me or not, it does matter to me if I like the blog author and his style.

I don't read blogs that I agree with on ideology, if I dislike the behavior of the author towards me or others. This includes Kos and Atrios, yes, but it also includes some Republican blogs as well.

I prefer reading military blogs, but the lawyers and Instapundit has some good links and new material once in awhile that stimulates the mind.

If you recall, Spank didn't differ on the principle facts in relation to me, thus the disagreement was solely concerned with the behavior and conduct of the writer. Being right isn't enough, you have to have a base line charisma to get your point across without insulting everyone and making them into enemies.

Loyalty in human affairs is not principally an ideological matter. I am not loyal to those I agree with, and disloyal to those I disagree with, automatically. Loyalty in human affairs go both ways, it has to do with respect, and not primarily with mutual agreement.

If there is no respect, if there is no honorable conduct, then it doesn't matter what could be benefited.

 
At 6:56 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

What a coward you are, won't even stand by your own words!

Well, it all has to do with one thing, Ryan. Do you expect honor from one's enemies?

 
At 11:04 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ryan, mysteriously said....

1. You've just spent the last several days whinging and blubbering about how you're not a troll, but everyone treats you as a troll, but you're not, blah blah blah snore.


Have I done that? I don't think so.

I was being a bit silly when I filled out the profile but so fecking what?

 
At 11:06 PM, June 01, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Senescent Wasp said...
'Ohhh, Precious, we hates it. We hates the Hobbitesses and their hairy feet. We hates the normals with their mental health and cheery good looks. Hates them we does."

7:16 PM, June 01, 2006


Excellent retort. I can see I'm dealing with a master baiter here.

 
At 1:21 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

neo: There's also a perception that there's no need to read the other side because it's all garbage any way. And no doubt there are many on the right who feel that way about the other side, as well.

As one of those on the right who's inclined to feel that way -- but also as one who, like you, is a kind of political Tiresias -- I'd say the problem is not so much that what "the other side" writes is "garbage", as that it's predictable, repetitive, and above all, in a nice historical irony, reactionary. In other words, in contemporary American politics at least, there's been a kind of "through the looking-glass" inversion of labels, whereby most of those who are currently called "liberal" are in fact very much illiberal, both in the content of their beliefs (statist, monoculturalist at home, isolationist abroad, etc.) and in the form by which they assert them (didactic, coercive, shrill, etc.); whereas at least a large segment of those currently called "conservative" are the ones pushing for a truly progressive politics that emphasizes the long-term emergence of the modern individual. That this sort of anomaly should be the case is an indication that there are some deep shifts occurring among the cultural and ideological plates.

 
At 2:43 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger anonymess said...

I took the troll-ble of saving confudeforeigner's original profile (relevant parts of which are presented below--bold print added for emphasis) before it underwent the rapid pangs of revisionism. Not only did cf in his/her youthful "silly" period, profess to "hate you," the reader, sight unseen, just for reading it, but among his/her listed interests was the very troll-like one of "baiting stupid neocons." This coming from the same person who recently accused Senescent wasp of being a "master baiter"--I'm sure pun intended. Very funny. I think the profiles speak for themselves about the lack of character of the person who could write the contemptible original and then when it's discussed openly immediately revise it and clean it up, with predictable excuse making, to suit their present needs or new image. Seems Kerry-esque. Just how many sides can one mouth have? How could anyone ever trust what this person has to say now and in the future?

confudeforeigner
•Location: Neophyteville

About Me
I probably hate you. if you are reading this.
If you were a wrestler, what would be your finishing move?
Wrestling is for morons, so, leaving.

Interests
• Surfing
• rugby
• cricket
• travelling
baiting stupid neocons.

 
At 2:50 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

I remember when I took English Lit 101, and I had a teacher who was a communist. He assigned the usual sort of reading materials you'd expect, and we had lots of debates in that class, and I regularly was the point man for the opposition... It was great, I thoroughly enjoyed it. After one paper we had written, we all got one-on-one critiques, and he didn't have much criticism of my paper- he gave it an A, and we talked a little about points of view, and he suggested I read some of the more prominent conservative commentators and authors of the time to refine my points- which struck me odd. I told him I was far more interested in reading and talking to the opposition, as I did in his class- it was far more challenging and instructive. It just seemed a foreign concept to him...

Now, a few years down the road, I don't have nearly the desire to read too much stuff from the left. It's become too enraged, too vulgar, and frankly too boring as it's the same-old same-old... Though I try to keep abreast of the latest, it's not much fun.

I long for the days of a lively, intelligent opposition.

 
At 2:50 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 2:51 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Sally, that was the best comment you've ever written.

 
At 2:58 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Neo. You write well and express a clear point of view that I imagine is quite common amongst your age group in the usa. I greatly appreciate the way you have left the comments open. I enjoy debating, sparring, trolling :-) and increasingly blogs are not using the comments as they can’t bear the fighting. And yes it is repetitive and the quality is often not very high. But the comments section is one of the big reasons why you get so many hits on the blog. Try turning it off and see how many people still read.


Obviously i agree with comments from confud and bmc and find their points interesting and fun at pricking the pompous right wing ideas on here - but it is easy to like what you agree with. You have some quality right wing contributors on here. S.B. Goesh, Stumbley as well as the more challenged knee jerk right-wingers such as sally and the little apple thief. People like yrmdwnkr are very unpleasant and advocating an ever increasing range of violent solutions to complex political problems. Your lack of condemnation of this leads me to think you tacitly agree and makes me wonder about you. Now you have your own secret agent comrade unpleasant wasp who is admonishing other people for debating….well the arrogance of it. Or is this something else you agree with? Are you frightened of debate?

The choice is up to you. If you don't want people disagreeing with you then have moderated comments and ditch the stuff you don't want. But if you do it the quality of this place will decline. The idea of endless "oh yes i agree" comments must appal any true supporter of free speech.

 
At 3:03 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Well try reading this douglas. I would be interested to see what you count as intelligent opposition.

 
At 3:40 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

At 3:43 AM, June 02, 2006, anonymess said...
I took the troll-ble of saving confudeforeigner's original profile blah blah blah.


How awfully clever of you, but so what? Would you be happier if I changed it back?

You neocons get upset about the oddest things.

Still waiting for Ryan to come back and explain his little hissy fit.

 
At 4:11 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ah yes the withering insect. He did ooooo-aaaa *black ops* or some such masculine thing you know.

I just wonder whether he did his training at Annaheim or Orlando.

 
At 4:18 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Anonymouse again

...with predictable excuse making


I haven't made any excuses, so I guess I won't be taking your "predictions" with much expectation of success.

Try again. Preferably with criticism that means something.

 
At 5:11 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger al fin said...

A good illustration of this is the way university faculties actively purge moderates and rightwing professors and tenure candidates. By generally limiting faculty opinions to the left and extreme left, there is no real ideological debate on campus. This often leaves students unable to formulate a reasoned or balanced personal viewpoint, due to skewed and limited exposure and debate.

 
At 5:45 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Paul-in-Sheffield said...

I came to your site by some unknown route that began with a news report on Iraq then Google, Wikipedia, mention of neo-cons [in the UK, where i live there's no such thing] and, by happenchance, to you.

I'm at a loss as to what you're for - you don't like "liberals" and find them boring and closed minded. So what? From where I sit, if you're writing under the "neocon" banner, you need to address the motivation behind the invasion of Iraq (not Al-qaeda, not WMD, so what was it?). Children are dying at the hands of your soldiers in service of a "neocon" policy - is this what you wanted?

 
At 5:56 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

honestly paul it will amaze you what this lot believe. You won't see anything like this in the UK because these are American super nationalists. You need to know a bit more about us politics to see how they were created.

Basically they are disillusioned democrats who, as they get old, yearn for the good old days (1950's?). Add to this a complete conviction that the american way is the only way and you get this lot. Most have an idea that because they have changed from being liberals (which in US politics means left wing - still somewhere around the centre of the conservative party in the uk) they have an authority on all sides of the debate.

oh and they can only understand anything in terms of it being pro/anti-american.

Very pro-war they see it as a legitimate role in advancing US interests and therefore the interests of the world.

Don't expect to be welcomed and don't put up with any crap.

Enjoy

 
At 6:04 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

oh and expect little sympathy for the victims of american military action...the basic line is they are all terrorists, or sympathisers so f**k 'em.

oh and if you disagree with them you are a terrorist sympathiser or a troll.

Some are much more coherent than others, arguing a realist approach that better the us than a bunch of mad terrorists running the world.. One or two are truly sectionable.

 
At 8:03 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

The point of my previous comment being that the occurrence of such a deep ideological cultural shift explains a lot of other features of our current social/political landscape as well, from political (and too often, unfortunately, personal) hostility from friends and relatives, to the otherwise puzzling herd-like bias of so much of what we've come to call the MSM. The problem for the left is that, as history has moved on, its politics have become hardened, calcified, even "petrified" to a large extent, and this is what makes so much of it conservative in the worst, reactionary sense -- it's become a brittle politics, unable to flex or change without breaking. Hence challenges to it -- whether from arguments or from reality -- are met with a kind of anxious bewilderment at best, reflexive anger and outrage at worst. Left-liberal politics in itself has taken on the role of being the ordinary and banal conservatism of the social elite, expressed in the dominant media outlets, as always, as simply the "conventional wisdom", and in social gatherings as the views of the bien pensant. As the conservatism of the elites, it's naturally contemptuous, as always, of deviation since it sees that as being merely socially inferior. Same as it ever was.

Worse occurs, however, the further one ventures into the truly fossilized regions of the further left -- with increasingly rare exceptions, it's as though this political landscape attracts, and is taken over by, not just lost but corrupted souls, driven only by a kind of distilled hate and rage, guilt and fear. Once, this region had an animating vision or ideal that helped save it from the otherwise corrosive effects of its radical hostility to things as they are -- but with the historic collapse of socialism in all its forms, that vision was lost in all but a kind of zombie or living dead form. Its former adherents have either re-thought and moved on, or, like fundamentalists of any sort, have retreated into a bubble of belief that becomes increasingly isolated from reality. And the corrupt lurk amid the ruins, hoping and working only for a last fatal blow, not just against a particular American administration, not just against a particular nation, and not even, amazingly, against a particular culture, but ultimately against that traitorous history and humanity itself.

 
At 8:10 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

A good illustration of this is the way university faculties actively purge moderates and rightwing professors and tenure candidates. By generally limiting faculty opinions to the left and extreme left, there is no real ideological debate on campus. This often leaves students unable to formulate a reasoned or balanced personal viewpoint, due to skewed and limited exposure and debate.

Exactly, I keep a low political profile at academia where, acting out and approval for, Leftist antics are assumed. Free amateur talent can be amusing to witness; grown men goose stepping around with two fingers under their nose grousing, “Hail Bushit!” I can’t help but laugh, I mean they are just little people like me with their own opinions. I usually end up diverting the conservation to “So what new freeware appz have you come across lately, anything good?” There are rumors that I’m a Republican and colleagues have teasingly asked me. “I’m not a Republican, I’m an Independent you idiot – I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life.” I was to lazy to vote in the 2004 election – pitiful I know. They probably think I’m some kind of misguided moderate that they can win over at some strategic point, so they leave me alone in regards to professional considerations. Also, I don’t put political stickers or posters up on my car or office. When students come to me for help and I want all of them to feel welcome – their political conscious is their own journey. I have also worked on lots of what could be called “leftwing” classroom projects – this is all good. I don’t try to take over the message; I point them to the resources that will re-enforce their message – though I will suggest adding comparative viewpoints when I can because “you can’t get good education if you are only hearing one side of the story.” -- Horowitz

Cliché but true.

 
At 8:49 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

From where I sit, if you're writing under the "neocon" banner, you need to address the motivation behind the invasion of Iraq (not Al-qaeda, not WMD, so what was it?). Children are dying at the hands of your soldiers in service of a "neocon" policy - is this what you wanted?

Paul -- neo and "neocon" commenters have covered much of this ground and then some over the past few years. You can try reading through the archives if you are interested. You may still not be satisfied--that's the way these things go.

As to "Children are dying at the hands of your soldiers" -- not intentionally. (We can discuss Haditha after the report, if that's what's on your mind.)

This is not true of the Baathists and al-Qaedists we are fighting. Hussein's minions tortured children in front of their parents and imprisoned children to blackmail the parents. The insurgents and al-Qaedists intentionally kill adults and children to cause terror.

If your concern is truly for Iraqi children, know that they are doing better now than before. I think there are good reasons to oppose the Iraq War, but concern for Iraqi children is not one of them.

 
At 8:51 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jason H. Bowden said...

neoneoconned--

With regard to the loss of human life, keep in mind the context. Saddam Hussein killed many of his own people. He started wars, one of which we ended up having to support because his enemy was worse. In the 1990s, a huge number were dying under the sanctions. My point is that Inaction can lead to loss of life, and neoconservatives see promoting democracy as the better option in the longterm.

While it is important not to label opponents as America-haters solely on the basis that people have different views, acknowledge that some people really do hate America. Noam Chomsky, who just met with Hezbollah to denounce the West, is an uncontroversial example.

confud--

The Cold War was worth winning.

 
At 9:16 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Zeno said...

Hi neo,

I've been reading your blog for quite some time but I never commented, I wanted to say that I love your blog, I am writing from South America and I passed through a similar "change" in my political views after 9/11 and other events. I also have not told any of my friends about it because they are all leftists and hate the USA. Here in Latin America unfortunately the marxist-leftist view predominates and we do not have anything similar to actual old-school liberalism - political power usually alternates between demagogues, populists and mere robbers. Anyway, just wanted to say that I love your posts, keep writing.

 
At 9:33 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Elmondohummus said...

Paul-in-Sheffield,

As someone will undoubtedly write before I manage to click "Publish": Go ahead and read some of Neo's archives. You'll have to sort through much stuff off that topic before coming to the posts that are relevant, but you'll see what she believes. Please keep in mind that if at some points Neo chooses not to discuss a specific topic -- such as "the motivations behind the invasion...", it's likely because it's been discussed in previous threads. You can look there for those answers.

But please, feel free to engage. All any of us ask is that any debate points be made with logic and reason, and not give in to anger or name calling. Please ignore the comment about not being welcomed or not putting up with crap; as I've said before, some confuse insult with argument, and name calling with reason, and therefore get labeled "troll". They full well know it's their behavior that's causing the labeling, not the stance. I broke with many here in a previous thread regarding anthropogenic climate change, and while the debate got pretty spirited at a point, no one labeled me troll for merely presenting another view. If you present an argument with facts and attempt an honest engagement, people will welcome you. They'll differ, and expect a good give and take from you, but you won't be made to feel unwelcome.

 
At 9:51 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Paul-in-Sheffield said...

So we invaded Iraq because Saddam is a bad man? I recall a lot of stuff about WMDs and Al-Qaeda at the time.

And if, in the ensuing chaos and sectarian , worse things are done than we are doing, does that make it alright? Does the on the other guys hands make yours cleaner? There is a long record, by the way, of British soldiers being appalled at the casual of their US counterparts in Iraq.

In the meantime, US companies - some very close to the administration - are doing very well, thank you, out of "rebuilding Iraq", though it appears there is little to show for it in Iraq.

Who knows how the mess in Iraq can be fixed? I think the withdrawal of the US/UK certainly can't make things worse.

Tell me again, why are we in Iraq?

 
At 10:04 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Paul .. let us welcome you into the puzzling world of the American hyper nationalist.

What makes understanding their language difficult is that much of its vocabulary is drawn from English words that have a somewhat different meaning. Three of the most common words in Neo-Con, for example, are the English words "loyalty", "morality", and "patriotism", yet none can be understood as having the same meaning they have in ordinary English.


(1) "Loyalty", in Neo-Con, means what we usually think of as "obedience". It means 100% agreement with authority at all times. It means never contradicting a boss or divulging facts which might contradict the boss's ideology or suggest that he is heading the ship of state toward an iceberg.

(2) "Morality" in English has to do with behaving in ways that contribute to the well-being of others. "Love thy neighbor" is the sum of Christian teaching, for example. In Neo-Con, on the other hand, "morality" is just as likely to embrace hating and killing your neighbors, particularly if they are gay, Arab, or physicians who perform abortions.

(3) "patriotism" means giving unconditional support to the nation's political leaders even if their policies are undermining the nation's future, plunging it into debt, polluting its land, water, and air, alienating its friends, and multiplying its enemies. In Neo-Con, those who died in the bunker with Hitler were more "patriotic" than the generals who tried to save Germany by getting rid of him; Poles who supported the communist leaders in Poland were more "patriotic" than members of Solidarity; Serbs who supported Slobodan Milosevich were more "patriotic" than those who wanted to see him tried for war crimes.

Logic and Reason are out the window here, by all means though, give it a whirl:-)

 
At 10:09 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Alex said...

Confudeforeigner,

Ouch.

You've really been caught in it this time -- admitting you're a troll then trying to cover up the evidence!

Then attacking everyone who tries to point out this blazingly obvious fact. Gawd, you're embarrassing.

 
At 10:10 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

I'd be happier if you could find more Leftist anti-Bush/ anti-Rep stuff that you think is reasonable and quotable.

And whether you agree with it or not, and why.

I've tried Kos/ Atrios/ David Corn, but too extreme (Cornuts in comments more so than David). Marc Cooper is often against both big-gov't parties, for different reasons.

I think the pro-individual rights, anti-Christian pendulum has swung too far by the "progressives", who now are "conservatively" fighting the backswing.

Abortion, in particular, poisons the moral argument about "protecting the weak from the strong", which most Leftists want to claim. Killing an innocent human fetus to enjoy sex without the bother of having and giving away an unwanted baby is not such a morally superior choice.

 
At 10:15 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

nyomythus, Good points about surviving in academia if you are not in lockstep agreement with the dominant political culture.

It became pretty clear to me where the academy was headed in the early 60's. Because of my academic emphasis and government service, I was lucky enough to have the option of affiliation with a "think tank" doing the kind of work I prefer, but sadly, without the daily contact with students.

Very little original work is being done in the academy anymore with some notable exceptions, such as David Hackett Fischer at Brandeis. Walter Russell Meade, for example is affiliated with the Council on Foreign Relations, just to give two examples.

Robert D. Kaplan took a far different approach to his work, coming from the tradition of the working journalist and was lucky enough to have Balkan Ghosts come out just as the former Yugoslavia was coming apart.

If you want to teach, are a moderate or a conservative and unwilling to buy into the dominant ethos, you're just out of luck unless you can fly under the radar of the commissars and their flying squads rooting out the last vestiges of the tsar and left deviationist thought.

 
At 10:31 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Alex said...

And neoneoconned,

I would say there is a clear distinction between someone who comes on this site to debate issues, and someone who comes on this site to make trouble. Confude, in his own words, likes to "bait stupid neocons". This confirms what I had begun to suspect, which is that he is not arguing in good faith to find answers, but is only arguing to try to get a rise out of people. And such people hurt this site, no matter what their politics are.

For people who are here to actually discuss the issues, and I count you among that number, I and most people here are happy to debate. (As for whether neo-neocon should censure some of the more vocal righties on this site, I say no unless they are intentionally stirring up trouble, which is what I would say of a far leftie who argued in good faith.)

Speaking of debate, and since this thread is already so far off topic, I actually wanted to address something you wrote on the Memorial Day thread a while back, which I didn't read until recently. You wrote:

I would argue that if youare going to fight a war it is a good idea to have very clear mission objectives. If only to be fair to the troops who have to do the job. One of my key objections to this war is it is so open ended.

I completely agree with you that one of the most terrible things about this war, by which I mean the general war against radical Islamic fundamentalists, is that it is so very open-ended. However, what can be done about it? How could it be less open-ended? The enemy hasn't arranged themselves into a nation, with a clear leader, as the Nazis did. They are distributed all over the world, interspersed with civilian populations, vowing to fight indefinitely. The open-endedness of this war wasn't a decision Bush made, it is an inherent characteristic of the current world situation.

I too hate the open-endedness of the war. Everyone does. But we didn't choose it to be this way; it is this way, whether we like it or not.

 
At 10:32 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Tom, this is Neo's blog. She writes on the topics she wishes to write on. She is under no obligation to be "fair and balanced" or to conform to a standard that will make you "happier".

I'm sure you will be able to find blogs more to your liking out there that will make you "happier". Neo is a one off in her ability to bring both rigor and focus to a topic and to engage her readership's interest. I sympathize with your problem of finding similar writers more in tune with your ideological tastes.

 
At 10:34 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

I hang around hoping to maybe see the apple moved...

 
At 10:37 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Goesh said...

I thought the trolls weren't going to be fed anymore?? Has something changed? I'm always beind the times it seems....

 
At 10:48 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Liberal-leftist opposition to the virtue of human liberty is both a self-gratifying and self-loathing enterprise; loathing is self-evident, gratifications are myriad as not to be pegged to any one failed scheme: getting "free stuff" under a wealth redistribution system, forgiving of debts in the chaos of revolution and economic upheaval, …why create a list? It goes on and on. Islamic domination, dhimmitude, and barbarism are going to turn those grins upside down, unless they wake up. Over the next twenty years, will diasporas of Europeans flood into the western hemisphere? A liberal democracy ushered in Hitler and the remnants of his victims fled to the Middle East. The crux of the opposition to human freedom is the method of using arms to do the freeing, which is the only way it has ever been done and ever will be done. So, ignore the screaming and yelling and press on. When has a non-democracy ever defended a democracy? When has a democracy ever defended a non-democracy? When has a democracy ever started a war with another democracy? When has a non-democracy ever started war with a democracy? Democracy is humanity's best chance for world peace – there is no Utopia for humanity, but it is a path we should strive for ... if you believe that all human being are worthy of Life, Liberty and a pursuit of Happiness.

 
At 11:05 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Paul -- There are many reasons we are in Iraq. See the Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq for a couple dozen of them. They still look good to me. If you have substantive disagreement with those, you could write up some of your objections.

However, so far you are ignoring rational, considerate responses to your posts and prefer to continue shouting rhetorical questions into our faces.

That's troll behavior in my book.

 
At 11:18 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Steven said...

Getting back to the original subject -- politics and friends -- my own experience is that the old adage about not discussing politics or religion in polite company is quite sound. I would never try to argue with my friends about their religious views. These are matters of faith, not reason. The same is basically true of political views. It's a shame that people sometimes let disagreements over politics ruin friendships (or prevent those friendships from even happening), in a way that they would never think of doing over differing religious views.

 
At 11:55 AM, June 02, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

well done paul. two comments and you are labelled a troll......that has got to be the new record. For your next task see how quickly you can get into trouble with neo, you are probably already in trouble with comrade wasp. He is the one who keeps telling people who they can and cannot talk to. Follow the links on the names as that can be fun. Some of the stuff at the other end is pretty funny. Some people have got themsleves into trouble being flippant with their profiles. I have no profile or anything which is cowardly and should be the subject of criticism more than putting daft stuff there but...well

cheers Alex i like to aim at rational debate but fall into poor behaviour when pushed...always willing to apologise. Someone - I think Douglas said he found the arguments he thoughht were wrong interesting andI am the same. What s the fun in spendingyour days agreeing with like minded people? And you sometimes do get a different view on things, a different colour to your thoughts - it is always interesting to toy with the possibility you are wrong.


As for the open ended argument this is a consequence of seeing the war on "terror" instead of a war against; The Taliban, A Q BinLaden, Saddam or other named people who we can then kill or capture and say "we won". As it is we are getting dragged further and further into a war against god alone knows who and making a bigger and bigger mess of it.

Depressing but true.

 
At 12:06 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

The post below begins with a quote by conned, but I assure everyone, veers into more interesting and sane subjects. Notably, why there is friction when people with different fundamental beliefs start arguing. Some insights given below. I'd like to say that what I say is more interesting than what conned is saying, but judge for yourself. Some replies to El Mundo and Alex at the end.

Conned And yes it is repetitive and the quality is often not very high. But the comments section is one of the big reasons why you get so many hits on the blog. Try turning it off and see how many people still read.

Pradon me while I inject some statistical interpretation of misinterpreted facts. People return to the blog for the comments and that is why Neo gets more hits. If people didn't have to return to read the comments, neo would probably have the same number of people reading but lower hits.

Same number of people, less traffic in other words, with the comments turned off. This is notably what I find wrong about the Left, specifically even the rational discourse shown in conned's recent link to KF monkey. It is not the facts that are different, although they are at times. It is not that the interpretation is different based upon the same facts, although some interpretations are different given the same facts. Rather, the primary thing I have find problematic is that their reasoning is completely flawed. Or if not completely, flawed in the basic superstructure and foundations. You could argue facts, interpretations, and whether something is consistent or inconsistent, but how do you argue whether someone's reasoning and logic is valid? Obviously they believe their thinking and capacity for reason would be valid, how else would they even validate or invalidate their beliefs if they had to stop using their thinking and reasoning abilities? The same reasoning they use to check their capacity for reason is the same use of reason that they are trying to verify as valid or invalid. This means it becomes a loop, a logic loop. How do you know whether your reasoning and logic is valid, if you can only check your reasoning and logic using your own reasoning and logic? Someone comes on the landscape, and tells you that your logic and reasoning is wrong, so what do you do? You use the same capacity for reason, that someone else accused of being flawed, to validate his or her arguments to the contrary. Catch 22, circular logic chain, and so forth.

For example, conned's logic that hits mean more people reading, is not statistically valid. But there is no point of agreement, no mutual interests. Conned is asked to disbelieve his own mind in relation to statistics.

KF for example, sets an amount of precepts that is logic and reasonable. I do not complain about that. I only note that his conclusions are not the conclusions I have derived. But his premises, that the civilians have a covenat with the military, is valid and one I also hold as part of my logical axioms, my a prioris. So why the different conclusions? Much as two people can derive two different interpretations of the same facts, two people with the same logical premises can derive wholly different logical conclusions depending upon the variations of the logic used.

I would have included in KF's list of covenat responsibilities,

The civilians must make sure not to demoralize the military and therefore make their mission harder, nor should the civilians betray the military by giving up while the military is fighting.

The civilians should not set the military on and a mission and then contribute to the propaganda of the enemy that they wanted the military to fight in the first place.

Supporting the troops does not mean fanatic obedience to the talking points of the administration, but it also does not mean people are free to sabotage the chain of command through leaks or the reputation and combat effectiveness of the military through unConstitutional sabotage.

KF supports his list of bad armor and bad support with the stories of "inadequate armor for troops" and "troops are not being fed". I guess you could argue the facts of the matter, but presumably someone who can write such a logical and reasonable post should have realized the possibility that his facts were wrong. But he hasn't so far, so what does that tell us? Is this just a simple case of ignorance, poisoning the logic and producing bad conclusions? Or is this a case of simple denial, of alternative theories and interpretations? Or is this even more complex, does he truly believe the troops have bad armor because he doesn't understand what appropriate armor is?

In the end, a true epistemological and metaphysical argument veers more and more towards the person's thinking and less and less towards the issue. I do not refer to ad hominem. I refer to understanding the opposition to an extent that you can thus communicate with them given a base set of values and variables. For Republicans, I can converse with them easily, without this stressful requirement to understand how they think simply because Republicans think alike given a set of shared values and logical axioms. Their reasoning and their logic proceedes on predictable and well worn paths, you might say, that I can easily follow. For the liberals, fake liberals, Democrats, and the Left I have to follow them through jungle terrain, harsh deserts, and marsh lands. This is more difficult than traveling on the road with fellow travelers. If my opponent becomes rude, obtuse, purposefully ambiguous, and vulgar then I see no need to committ extra resources to understanding him. Unless of course I sought to destroy him, then the extra effort would be justified regardless of my opponent's personality or politeness.

Don't expect to be welcomed and don't put up with any crap. -Conned

I asked Ryan this question before, but I will conclude with a question to the readers in the audience, so that they might ponder this for a certain length of time. Do you, the readers, believe there is honor amongst one's enemies?

El Mundo,

I broke with many here in a previous thread regarding anthropogenic climate change, and while the debate got pretty spirited at a point, no one labeled me troll for merely presenting another view.

Oh, but it is just a part, just a part, of the dastardly neo-con tradecraft at work. Once you go to sleep and let down your guards, we shall drop a thermonuclear device upon your head, and boy will you be surprised that no one had attacked you before ;)

Alex,

This confirms what I had begun to suspect, which is that he is not arguing in good faith to find answers, but is only arguing to try to get a rise out of people. And such people hurt this site, no matter what their politics are.

One reason why I said if I had a propaganda army made up of Spank and Conned, (now Confud) I could make the terroists cower in their holes waiting to be sent to Allah. The objective of psychological, guerrila, terroist, and propaganda operations are to hurt and destroy the willpower of the enemy. Through the means are endless.

However, what can be done about it? How could it be less open-ended?

As was refered to before, asymmetric or asymmetrical warfare is about using Sun Tzu's principles to win. The guerrila uses his strength against the occupation's weaknesses, and the occupation uses their strengths against the guerrila's weaknesses. The way you make an asymmetrical war into a symmetrical war is to fight fire with fire. That is the entire purpose of Special Operation Forces, they fight using small unit guerrila style warfare to combat other small unit guerrila style warfare enemies, in order to decrease the casualties conventional forces would take. I wrote before about how the Iraq war was designed as a conventional armor thrust into the heart of Baghdad, which is totally different from the design of the Afghanistan war, which was led by Spec Ops leading indigenous forces.

I will tell you that you won't be willing to make it less open-ended (which I refer to as symmetrical). Because if you want to line up the occupation with the terroists, you have to basically adopt terroist strategies. A mob war is symmetrical. A mob fighting against the police, is not symmetrical. Do you see the difference? A mob fighting against the police is an open-ended war because there are no agreed upon rules, both are fighting all out. A mob fighting another mob obeys certain rules, whether to avoid the police getting into it, or because there are other familes that will pick apart the pieces.

Why would rules make a war less palatable, you might wonder. It is simple. If you are using the same rules as the terroists, and this is basically what symmetrical warfare means when you apply it to tactics, then basically you're ignoring human shields, blowing people up, and doing whatever the terroists are doing, except with more firepower and brutality. The terroists try to intimidate people into not reporting them, if we obey their rules, we would have to intimidate the same people into obeying us. Sort of like an extortion racket, except we got the bigger muscles on the street.

You can't make it open-ended, because there is no way you can convice Army High Command, Bush, the American public, or the media that we should adopt terroist tactics even if it would end the war sooner and lessen the casualties. Other than say, 10 million American casualties, that is of course.

I thought the trolls weren't going to be fed anymore?? Has something changed? I'm always beind the times it seems.... - goesh

The previous four threads they have given up, because they were not fed. Here, some people still have a certain amount of curiosity it seems. That will end soon. Well, either they gave it up cause of starvation or they couldn't find a witty remark against my getting in the last word in those threads.

I ask people to consider how many gushing you are great comments is here, compared to the accussations that neo has a lot of gushing you are great comments

 
At 12:23 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

Good point Steven, although I find that religion can also be very divisive: When I first meet someone I always ask them about their religion; if they say that they are catholic, I whip out a copy of “The da Vinci Code” and smack them upside the head, just to show them what morons they are. Invariably, they resort to ineloquent, expletive-laden responses, proving my point, and refuse to hear me out. Their insults don't bother me because they are inferior, but their refusal to answer my accusations really irritates me. That’s religion for you.

 
At 12:30 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

kI would never try to argue with my friends about their religious views. These are matters of faith, not reason.

More and more, I see the arguments over politics as arguments over "religion", in that the extremes of each side seem to have their own articles of faith; the same cant; the same dogma. When the standard response to a reasoned support of the war is "No blood for oil", "all about Halliburton and cronyism", "no WMD's", it's more a matter of faith in a discredited dogma than a debate over facts, as Jack pointed out in his reference to the "Joint Resolution" at 12:05.

The contention that all who support the war are blind ideologues in thrall to Bush and Rove, and that we are all closet imperialists, bent on world domination, are likewise tenets of the "religion". I do not support every policy of this adminsitration; indeed, I find many of its adventures highly depressing. Nor do I desire a Global America. It's just that national security trumps all else for me at this time in the nation's history, and the opposition party offers nothing in response (in my opinion) to the challenges we face.

Many on the left do not believe that radical Islam is the kind of threat I believe it to be; that is a subject on which honorable people, with good reasons on both sides, can disagree. I see the events in Europe, particularly in France and the Scandinavian countries, as being harbingers of a clash that no one wants, but seems to be inevitable; there are those who are willing to believe it's temporary, not much of a problem, and that Muslim immigrants will eventually assimilate and "play nice". I don't. Again, these are opinions based on differing views of established facts. We'll have to agree to disagree.

As it is we are getting dragged further and further into a war against god alone knows who and making a bigger and bigger mess of it.

"We"? It's interesting to me how many foreigners who have no assets on the line in this particular conflict consider themselves threatened by it. I've repeatedly asked these commenters, "How is your life affected? What have you sacrificed? What has your country suffered?" to no avail. What is it you're all afraid of?

And the notion that if we'd just capture OBL that it would somehow all go away is laughable. Al Qaeda is a nebulous, loosely-organized network of like-minded terror groups, not an army. Will it be difficult to defeat? Will the task require years, possibly generations? Yes. President Bush has said as much in several speeches. The fact that some Americans, and the American armed forces are willing to shoulder that burden for as long as it takes, seems to bother a great many people who seem willing to believe that if we ignore the threat of radical Islam, it will all go away. They are willing to accept the low-level terror, the odd car bomb, airplane into a building, metro bomb, subway gas attack, etc., as long as they don't have to make any sacrifices to make it stop.

To return to the main topic of the thread: I've found that a few friends can be engaged in serious debate on subjects that we disagree on, but only a few that I can count as lifelong friends. Mostly, we agree to disagree, but on occasion, our arguments with each other have resulted in changed minds on both sides. As I've said before, I can be convinced by a persuasive argument backed by facts. Merely shouting talking points and calling me names is not going to sway me, and this is what I'm afraid too many on the left have resorted to.

We have friends, a couple whose political views are diametrically opposed, but whose marriage has survived in spite of it all. I've never understood how they do it—perhaps love does, truly, conquer all.

 
At 12:35 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Tom Grey said...

Paul in S..., if you want to know why Bush invaded, read his pre-invasion speeches, available at the official White House site. A nice summary is this AEI speech.

Bush's actual speech includes: " In Iraq, a dictator is building and hiding weapons that could enable him to dominate the Middle East and intimidate the civilized world -- and we will not allow it. (Applause.) This same tyrant has close ties to terrorist organizations, and could supply them with the terrible means to strike this country -- and America will not permit it. The danger posed by Saddam Hussein and his weapons cannot be ignored or wished away. The danger must be confronted. We hope that the Iraqi regime will meet the demands of the United Nations and disarm, fully and peacefully. If it does not, we are prepared to disarm Iraq by force. Either way, this danger will be removed. (Applause.)"

Let's go thru slowly:
Saddam's a dictator.

He's building weapons to allow him to dominate the ME. [not much found after invasion -- but Bush clearly believed this statement to be true.]

Has close ties to terrorists. Note terrorists, NOT "9/11 terrorists".

Saddam could supply terrorists with weapons to use against America. *** this is the clincher for me, that anti-war Leftists refuse to accept.*** I believe Saddam was a danger, both to America but especially to Israel. In fact, more of a danger than a drunk driver.

We will disarm Saddam by force, if he doesn't prove to the UN that he has disarmed. [Blix asked for more time for inspections, but did NOT say Saddam was fully cooperating, NOR did Blix say Saddam demonstrated that he had no WMDs.] If Saddam "surrenders" and does everything the UN wants, and proves there are no WMDs, then the US won't invade. Saddam failed that high standard of surrender/ cooperation.

That danger will be removed. Yep. Saddam's on trial now; why not compare Iraq with Darfur, being handled by the UN? I think Iraq makes the US process look pretty good, so far.

And why are still there? Look at what happened in Vietnam after the Dem Party voted to defund the S. Viet regime, our corrupt ally -- some 600 000 murdered by the commies. Most Americans don't want another such bloodbath.

I'm not sure you really wanted an answer.
Usually the Leftist method of disagreement is denial that the above IS an answer, rather than addressing the arguments. NYT H. Thomas asking "why are we really in Iraq?" is an example of such denial.
Laughable, pathetic.

 
At 1:14 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger anonymess said...

confudeforeigner said,
I haven't made any excuses, so I guess I won't be taking your "predictions" with much expectation of success.

Try again. Preferably with criticism that means something.


I apologize for not spelling it out for you. I didn't realize that you had amnesia, or at least selective amnesia, for things you write. In responding to Ryan, you said the following.

I was being a bit silly when I filled out the profile but so fecking what?

This "being a bit silly," is a frequently used classic excuse for many actions, considered wrong, improper, etc.--an excuse more commonly offered by children: "I was only kidding when I hurt you." "Don't take me seriously, okay?" "I was just having fun..." At least with children, you know that they will probably outgrow this and become less hurtful to their peers or at least learn to take responsibility for their misbehaviors. It is thus that I consider your "I was being a bit silly" remark a bonafide excuse from you. Couching something in silliness does not give one license to be stupid, cruel, hurtful, or any other negative behaviors people may have in their arsenal.

confudeforeigner also remarks:

How awfully clever of you, but so what? Would you be happier if I changed it back?


Since the original profile better expresses your true feelings about "you neocons," why not change it back? At least you'd be more honest with people and appear less shape-shifting. Your profile can say whatever you please, I'm not disagreeing with your right to say what you want in your profile, but don't think you're fooling anybody now by trying to hide or cover up your essential troll nature and mission.

confudeforeigner also said:
You neocons get upset about the oddest things.


I think people of all political persuasions get upset when other people come around and try to yank their chains for the fun of it. I think people get upset when they encounter other people whose character and trustworthiness is questionable. Apparently, to you this seems odd.

I notice that you've not offered any apology for your remark about "baiting stupid neocons." Instead, what you've done is try to defend yourself, offer an excuse of silliness, and attempt to minimize what you've done. I saved your profile because I judged your character (correctly) as being that of a person who lacked integrity and would predictably cover up when discovered.

 
At 1:27 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Most of my friends oppose the war. One of them has ceased to be a friend on that account.

My anti-war friends and I may occasionally discuss the war but we keep an eye on the temperature and break off if it gets too hot. Mostly we leave politics alone where we know that we disagree.

It does seem that there is often a personal dimension to political discussions--that some interpret disagreement with a position as an attack on them personally or as evidence that one's opponent is an enemy.

It's OK with me if people disagree about the Iraq War--it's a complicated issue and IMO there's room to disagree honorably. After 9-11 I initially stuck with my progressive positions but over time, I shifted in response to my own research and discussions with more conservative friends.

If the anti-war folks could present more persuasive arguments, I could return to that side, but so far I haven't been impressed with what I've heard and mostly I've been depressed by the abusiveness they often bring to the discussion.

 
At 1:45 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Andrew said...

I think it comes down to this:

It is painful to read something with which you strongly disagree. It is painful to admit you are wrong and change your mind on something. This goes in both directions.

You *used* to be a liberal Democrat. Wasn't it painful to change your mind on things?

My view of George Bush started very low, then went way up, and now has gone way back down. Each step has been hard.

Most people simply aren't up to the job.

 
At 1:46 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

stumbley, Politics and political beliefs have their own share of meta-physical; in the sense of beliefs not amenable to logical analysis. For example one's belief in the "nature of man" is one. We all have certain "fundamental truths the we hold to be self evident". If we believe that the "state of nature" is "nasty brutish and short" then this influences our views of law and governance. If we believe that, "property is theft" than no amount of argumentation is going to sway that belief. If we believe that the "elect" are revealed by their material success in this world or that society should be organized around equal outcomes and not equal opportunity that will also redound in our political philosophy.

An lack of awareness of one's own assumptions about the world and an unreasoning acceptance of a dogma can lead to the kind of doggish commitment that sends millions to execution grounds and the gulag.

Remember the little nazi's and stalinists are always among us because some people are just bug f__k crazy and/or so filled with unreasoning anger that they would seek self immolation if it means their perceived enemies will go down with them.

 
At 2:15 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

You *used* to be a liberal Democrat. Wasn't it painful to change your mind on things?

It was uncomfortable but I wouldn't call it painful. My approach has always been to test my beliefs, see what works, and change if need be.

What I did find painful and quite surprising was the abusivesness of the anti-war folks who I had thought were the good-hearted, open-minded people.

Which is not to say that red-staters are necessarily all sweet, rational discourse either, but it does seem to me that the Right has more of a commitment to reason than the Left.

 
At 2:48 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

A lack of awareness of one's own assumptions about the world and an unreasoning acceptance of a dogma can lead to the kind of doggish commitment that sends millions to execution grounds and the gulag.


I have three colleagues at work with whom I often discuss politics. With two of them, arguments invariably end with a half-hearted admission that perhaps their positions don't hold water. In a discussion with one about taxes (he maintained that the wealthy should be taxed more because it was their "fair share"), when confronted with the fact that the bulk of taxes are paid by less than 10% of taxpayers, his answer was, (this is paraphrased) "Well, all the guys I went to Harvard with are doing better than me," i.e., the whole thing boiled down to the fact that he was jealous that peers earned more than he did; taxing the "rich" was a way to punish them for their success at "his expense."

In a discussion with another regarding the dubious merits of the Clinton presidency, I was asked why I thought that WJC was such a poor president. I listed the many reasons I had. When I asked my colleague why he supported Slick Willie, he paused for a moment, lost for a solid reason, and finished with "Well, I really don't pay that much attention to politics, but I just think he's been a good president."

With my third colleague, our discussions often revolve around environmental issues such as global warming. While I don't agree with him on every aspect of his arguments, at least he has arguments based on fact, and while spirited, our discussions are never angry, but always result in education for the both of us, and many times, in changed opinions, based on reasonable debate.

It's too bad that all of our discussions here, and in the political arena, can't be of the same caliber.

 
At 3:17 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Alex and Anonymouse.

Get a life. Get some perspective. If making a few blithe and flippant remarks on a www profile is such a big deal to you, then war, politics and US hegemony are possibly a bit beyond you.
I've 'admitted' that it was silly, I said in an oblique way that I would change it, and I'll probably change it agaain at some stage. SO FECKING WHAT?

There are people on here with nothing on their profiles who advocate genocide, who deny the existence of entire peoples and one who's stated that civilian deaths from US or Israeli bombs are culpable in their own demise.

Spot the silliness of your 'outrage'? I've actually never denied being a troll in my recollection. I've been called far worse and have shed nary a tear.

Now, back to the central commentary position.......Richy?

 
At 4:47 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...


Which is not to say that red-staters are necessarily all sweet, rational discourse either, but it does seem to me that the Right has more of a commitment to reason than the Left.


That's hard for you to judge, because communities centered around fake liberal and Democrat values, like Bookworm's community, is ostensibly different from Southern Republican communities.

While you can get a synopsis of behavior on the internet, it is not complete.
If you just came out of a democrat community, then you would lack the experience of living and growing up around a Republican majority community.

Someone is going ballistically insane here. 2 guesses, as to who it is.

 
At 4:50 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

sally said that she considers herself a Tiresius (sic).


Oh dear. This is just getting sillier and sillier.

A prophet? I think not.

Blind? *cough*

Changing sex at will? *cough, snort, snigger*

I hate all those trite little internet acronyms but in this case ROFLMAO.

 
At 4:52 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Tiresias |tʌɪˌriːsɪəs| (also Teiresias) Greek Mythology a blind Theban prophet, so wise that even his ghost had its wits and was not a mere phantom. Legends account variously for his wisdom and blindness; some stories hold also that he spent seven years as a woman.

 
At 4:52 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Wy do they all start with a disclaimer of sorts...

"I came to your site by some unknown route that began with a news report on Iraq then Google, Wikipedia, mention of neo-cons [in the UK, where i live there's no such thing] and, by happenchance, to you."

Why the need to announce one's not being sent here?

 
At 5:19 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Well, doug, maybe this is such foreign terrain to them that it helps them fixate on their position through writing down how they came to this foreign and exotic place, called a neo-con blog.

 
At 6:15 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Sally said...

Paul-in-S: Tell me again, why are we in Iraq?

Though it's been said, many time, many ways, this is purely for the exercise:

- Because on Sep 11/01 we realized that we were in a war with Islamist fanatics, albeit an unfamiliar, "asymmetric" type of war, where "Islamist fanatics" refers to both theocratic and fascist varieties, and any mixture of those. Note that the war didn't begin on 9/11 -- it had been going on at least since the Iranian takeover of the American embassy in the 70's, and certainly included the first try at knocking down the WTF in the early 90's. Note also that the war is not simply with Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda, who no doubt were behind one particular attack, but who are just the latest names to surface out of the noxious stew of Islamist psychotic killers and packs.
- Because these Islamist packs and killers move easily among the various theocracies, tyrannies, and weak or failed states of the Middle East, virtually all of which provide active or passive support for them.
- Because after 9/11, the "stability" of the Middle East was recognized to be a malignant stability, that merely provided a breeding ground for the kind of butchers responsible for 9/11, a breeding ground that would produce more of the same the longer it was left undisturbed.
- Because of all the weak and/or vicious states in the region, Saddam's Iraq was easily the most hostile to America, with a clear interest in harming that country no matter who or what it had to work with as allies.
- Because this state clearly supported a number of terrorist organizations, having a variety of aims and targets, including an important US ally.
- Because this state had had WMDs, had a history of being quite willing to use them, and was strongly suspected by both a Democratic and Republican administration as having them still, notwithstanding negative results to that point of UN inspection teams.
- Because, whether or not it still had WMDs, it was evident that it had every intention of reconstituting WMD programs, including nuclear, as soon as the sanctions regime was lifted -- and the sanctions regime was clearly on its last legs and would end one way or another quite soon in any case.
- Because this regime was easily the most brutal of a bad lot, and yet securely in power -- deposing it would be a favor to everyone.
- Because this state occupied the geographic keystone of the entire problematic region, and therefore the effort to transform it into a democracy, while unquestionably risky, offered the best chance of a very significant return if it should succeed.

On the other hand, we are not in Iraq for the oil, which it would be, and is, far cheaper to acquire in other ways.

Finally, if it's important to you to assert that the Brits are better soldiers than the Yanks, go for it.

 
At 6:22 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Spot the silliness of your 'outrage'? I've actually never denied being a troll in my recollection. I've been called far worse and have shed nary a tear.

Please don't forget to give generously to your local United Way campaigns. It is possible to ensure that a portion of your donation goes to community mental health programs. Remember that today's exhibitionist troll could be tomorrow's actual exhibitionist trotting out his naughty bits in front of children.

 
At 7:53 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

Nicely done, Sally and Tom Grey!

Paul -- You now have three thoughtful responses to your questions. I don't imagine that they will change your mind to support the Iraq War, but they are answers and IMO they are sufficient to counter the notion that supporting the war is proof positive that one is either stupid, evil, power-mad, or all three.

As I've said, I think the Iraq War is complex issue on which informed people of good will may disagree.

 
At 9:17 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Sally and Tom -- yes thank you both. I was busy most of the day trying to get miserable Camtasia to work to way I want it too, turns out the computer, not the software, is causing the audio to lag -- off topic personal multimedia mumbo-jumbo, grumble grumble.

 
At 9:18 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

the oil, which it would be, and is, far cheaper to acquire in other ways.

Another a pearl of wisdom emerges from the torrent of right wing talking points.

It merely serves to illustrate the all encompassing incompetence of Bush and Co. They can't even get the one genuine goal right.

 
At 9:33 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Alex said...

Confude,

The issue isn't the profile. The issue is that you lied about the fact you were coming here to bait people, not to discuss the issues.

Also that you destroyed the evidence.

This is a big deal. Maybe not to you, but to anyone with integrity.

I am perfectly happy to debate with people who want to debate in good faith. But I don't debate with liars like you. How could I ever respect or believe anything else you said?

Be assured, this issue isn't about to go away.

 
At 9:38 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I just can't help but notice how Alan Colmes argue. He actually thinks that if his position is challenged, the immediate response should be to go on the attack and try and conduct an offensive against the enemy. As Colmes responded concerning Dean's photo op at New Orleans, when Colmes responded with the infamous mission accomplished piece of tripe.

We see this kind of "best defense is a good offense" strategy many times on the internet and here from Leftists. The ironic part is that they so contest treating anyone in this hostile manner, let's say the foreign enemies, the terroists. Don't attack them, they say. Leave them alone, they say. THeir behavior is a bit weird then if they treat their supposed allies as mortal enemies and their mortal enemies as supposed allies.

Another one of those 180 twilight zone issues.

 
At 9:50 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Alex said...

neoneoconned wrote:

As for the open ended argument this is a consequence of seeing the war on "terror" instead of a war against; The Taliban, A Q BinLaden, Saddam or other named people who we can then kill or capture and say "we won". As it is we are getting dragged further and further into a war against god alone knows who and making a bigger and bigger mess of it.

Depressing but true.


I'm not sure I agree. Imagine instead of calling it "the war on terror" (a name I've never liked, I might add) we called it "the war on the Taliban, al Qaeda, bin Laden, and Saddam". Would that make a difference? Sadly, I don't really think so. It would still be a fairly open-ended war. When we capture Saddam, Zarqawi pops up and starts terrorizing Iraq. Do we not fight against Zarqawi, simply because he wasn't part of the original mission objectives? No, we must fight against him because he is fighting against us, murdering Iraqi civilians, etc.

Sadly, no matter what you call it I do believe it's the same war. And that war is difficult and open-ended. But, I believe, it must still be fought because the alternative is even worse.

 
At 11:07 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger anonymess said...

self-admitted troll, confudeforeigner (who addressed me as Anonymouse when I prefer to be called anonymess--how very clever; perhaps I should call him confusedforeigner, but I won't because I refuse to stoop to his level) said I should get a life because I keep harping on the fact that he is an obvious (and now self-admitted) troll who lacks integrity and can't be trusted no matter what he has to say.

He states that his comments in his original profile, about "hating" neocon readers, and being interested in "baiting stupid neocons" were little more than joyful(?), disrespectful remarks (he called his remarks "blithe and flippant") that shouldn't be taken seriously, as he was in his "silly" phase. He tells me that there are more important issues to be discussed here besides his trollness and suspect integrity. I'm sure he's right, but how can I or anyone take seriously anything of substance he has to say given that he admits to being a troll who likes to play with neocons. Mr. confudeforeigner, if you're so proud of the fact you're a troll, then why did you delete those remarks on your profile that identified you as such? What then were you trying to cover up? You can't have it every which way.

Perhaps Mr. confudeforeigner who has tried unsuccessfully to defend himself by saying blah, blah, blah, blah, before switching tact to his current one in which it's okay to be a troll, could begin to make amends by apologizing to all neocons for making those off-putting remarks in his profile. After that happens, I, for one, can begin to get a life.

 
At 11:07 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Alex said...
Confude,

The issue isn't the profile. The issue is that you lied about the fact you were coming here to bait people, not to discuss the issues.

Also that you destroyed the evidence.

This is a big deal. Maybe not to you, but to anyone with integrity.

I am perfectly happy to debate with people who want to debate in good faith. But I don't debate with liars like you. How could I ever respect or believe anything else you said?

Be assured, this issue isn't about to go away.

10:33 PM, June 02, 2006


Oh boohoo Alex. Two (or more) things. It wasn't the first profile so........

I haven't tried to cover anything up. I don't care. Here's a clue, I typed it and I said on here that I was going to change it. Ta da!

Jeeeezus wept, it isn't like I was lying about WMD in Iraq, nonexistent terrorist links and greed for oil, is it?

I actually don't give a flying one, mate, whether you'll argue with me or not. The fact is, when I first came here I wasn't trolling but I was abused anyway.

Take it as you will.

 
At 11:08 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

KARL L. SCHOTTE
Berlin-Lankwitz,
Dürkheimerstrasse 14,
GERMANY.


August 7th, 1933.

Dear Ken:

Dont think that I am going to be taken to an insane asylum nor that the world is coming to an end. This is not so, and I must object very sincerely if the fact of my sitting down again after only several months write a letter to you gives you such impressions.

The reason for this outstanding event is much rather the hotheaded criticism about Hitler and his Government which you gave us in your recent letter to Ruth, and which indeed surprised me very much.

However, before giving you my point of view on the new turn that has taken place in Germany I should like to ask you to in the first place do me the favour of keeping your shirt on, otherwise it is you who is making "an ass of himself". One should never speak the language of a truckdriver, no matter how much one likes it.

Now, don't be mad, but calm down. You did not hurt Ruths or my feelings at all, but there are two reasons why I feel I should answer you. The first reason is that your remarks are very unfair to Hitler and his new Government, and the other is that I intend to do my share in preventing the your American generation to which you belong to be equally as ignorant as the generation of the whole world was which tumbled into the last war.

What makes you believe and in such a definite way state that we are unable to see the things as they are, since, as you write, we are hypnotized by Hitler.

It is not true, that you and all those of our friends who you claim take the same viewpoint as you are taking are basing your opinion upon reports and comments of American newspapers and perhaps upon interviews of American visitors who recently have been in Germany, and while you are willing to disregard certain exaggerations you readily accept the rest as the truth? Is it not possible that thus you are receiving but one side of the story?

apologists always sound the same, no matter what injustice they are defending

 
At 11:23 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Anonymouse heehee said....

Perhaps Mr. confudeforeigner who has tried unsuccessfully to defend himself by saying blah, blah, blah, blah, before switching tact to his current one in which it's okay to be a troll, could begin to make amends by apologizing to all neocons for making those off-putting remarks in his profile. After that happens, I, for one, can begin to get a life.

12:07 AM, June 03, 2006

If you read back a bit, Sally v.2.0, you'll find that I've been called far worse.

Get a sense of humour you puffed up numbskull and cultural imperialist.

 
At 11:43 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh, and BTW little Ms Prim I tried to register as "Confusedforeigner" but it was already taken.

Doh!!

 
At 11:47 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11:49 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

I note that bmc has retreated from making arguments based on facts or logic to the usual Bush=Hitler, neocons=Nazis analogies.

bmc -- Hint: saying something is so, doesn't make it so.

We are the people opposing fascism, not you, not your friends. That's a fact.

If you are intent on 1930s analogies, you and your friends are the people appeasing today's Hitlers and Mussolinis.

 
At 11:58 PM, June 02, 2006, Blogger Jack Trainor said...

bmc -- Again to remind you as an Irish person: Ireland sat out World War II.

When fascism had to be defeated, Ireland let Britain, the US and the allies do the heavy lifting, the fighting and the dying.

Seems to me you're doing it again. So please, no further analogies about Thirties fascism here. It doesn't work for you or your side in general.

 
At 12:25 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Far be it from me to answer for bmc Jack, but surely Eire's stance as neutral in WW2 was more principled than the US's stance now. Think of the butchers that you count as your allies.

After all you actively are supporting barborous regimes in the enemy's enemy approach. Eire just wouldn't support their (previous) oppressors.

You need to be a little careful as an American with your WW2 analogies too. Most of the Allies that defeated the Nazis didn't take the opportunity to profit from the fight against Germany for a couple of years before being forced into the war by direct attack.

Nobody in 'the opposition' on here is supporting islamists, fascists or any other nutters. You have a few though.

And just look at how your democratic allies are lampooned and insulted by your ultraright friends. Sickening stuff.

 
At 3:35 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Sl0re said...

“Far be it from me to answer for bmc Jack, but surely Eire's stance as neutral in WW2 was more principled than the US's stance now.”

“Most of the Allies that defeated the Nazis didn't take the opportunity to profit from the fight against Germany for a couple of years before being forced into the war by direct attack.”

Sooo, when they do something it is principled but the US tries to sit out the war (re: do the same thing) it is for profit… selfish, I’d have given you BTW…

But there is this issue:
“Think of the butchers that you count as your allies.”

You know your right. Of course, taking down Saddam was meant to be a move towards a foreign policy based less on supporting stability (code for ‘status quo’ …regardless of how bad). Thanks for all the support and encouragement... But anyway, how about a refresher on our butcher allies. I’m not being sarcastic (here at least), I know there are a few. I’d just like to know if I’m forgetting any. I can sift through them and then make up my own mind whether they were poor choices or necessary poor choices.

 
At 5:44 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 5:54 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

I note that bmc has retreated from making arguments based on facts or logic

Tried that. Alas it simply bounces off the hyper nationalist hide. I really did give it the good old school try.

I thought perhaps some glaring analogies might be appropriate, but I see that isn't working either:-(

I guess you people are simply irredeemable.

Maybe this girls testimony will cut through the miasma?

I await the shit flinging monkeys.

 
At 6:04 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

that won't count as it is from the MSM and the uk as well - well known cowards and lovers of terrorists.

Do not get disheartened with the way facts have no impact on this lot. Somebody has to chip away at the edifice of yankosupremacist nonsense.

 
At 6:12 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

if all you neo cons want to have a look at some well thought out opposition consider this article in today's Guardian.

But Iran can do the most harm in Iraq, where Iran's infiltration of Shia militias, especially the ruthless and well-equipped Mahdi army of Moqtada al-Sadr, gives it the ability to attack not just American interests, but American soldiers. Indeed, Iran's influence over its neighbour is such that any hope of salvaging a stable, viable government in Iraq would vanish with the first bomb to fall upon Tehran.>


It argues that attacking Iran will be difficult and extremely dangerous in its consequences.

It would be a source of great entertainment watching some of you posting your ideas on the comment section.

have fun

 
At 6:16 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

Sooo, when they do something it is principled but the US tries to sit out the war (re: do the same thing) it is for profit

Oh c'mon it's documented fact that the US entered the war only when the existential writing was on the wall. I personally think that was the right choice by the way.

I also agree with you about Ireland, and I have often said that our current neutrality is of dubious value. That said there were some extenuating circumstances, what with 800 years of oppression and all:-)

However, you didn't participate in the genocide against the native peoples of America, and I didn't sit out WWII. These events have no personal relevance for us.

American marines however are currently killing civilians in Iraq, it appears now both by accident and design. That is relevant.

As regards stuck in the 1930's! This is almost the exclusive province of your boys.

The repeated hysterical contention that the Islamofascists are going to rise to power and take over the world and must be stopped at all costs, that this is WWII all over again, is the delusion that feeds justification for the Iraq war. It is the wellspring from which an attack on Iran will be launched.

And it is a grand, sweeping and unsupportable delusion. Even China with it’s sterling growth will be hard pressed to catch up to the US and the EU by 2050. The Islamic world doesn’t have a farts chance in a hurricane. As an existential threat to us they are exactly no where.

The entire islamic world co-operating as one, and with fire in their hearts and bellys wouldn’t be able to launch a land invasion of the EU, let alone the US. The Swedish Army on their own could hold them off.

There is a small risk that these people will get a nuclear weapon. True. However short of killing every single muslim in the middle east, you are unlikely to eliminate this risk entirely. Plus with each innocent civilian death, the odds inch incrementally higher. Plus the most unstable military dictatorship in the region already has nuclear weapons making much of the bitching moot. So the entire enterprise is contradictory, inconsistent and basically hopeless.

Whats the lesson? Don't attack Iran I suppose, I've no idea what should be done with Iraq.

But as you so often say, "whats the use? Logic and reason is simply lost on these people"

 
At 6:32 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

BMC the problem is that so few of them are willing to concede the possibility that military action can actually make the situation worse. A culture of cowboy films and war gaming produces simplistic ideas about how wars operate.

The war always used as a moral benchmark for military behaviour is ww2. However moral it was to fight hitler - and it clearly was - much of the related morality was tempered with practicality.

The UK declared war to help Poland. And where did Poland end up in 1945? Best part of 50 years in a nasty dictatorship. Why? because in fighting hitler we needed Stalin - it was the Soviet Union who really defeated the Wermacht - and had to accomodate his demands at the end. In fighting Germany and Japan we allied ourselves with many shady groups and abandoned several allies to a grim fate.

It was not the simple good-evil duality that these neo cons live in. Life would be a great deal easier if that is how it was....but it isn't.

 
At 7:01 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger bmcworldcitizen said...

And where did Poland end up in 1945? Best part of 50 years in a nasty dictatorship.

An excellent point, which highlights the reality that the Cold War is a far more applicable historical example to the GWOT, notwithstanding attempts to hijack that as well.

Even though the threat of destruction was many times greater, for 55 years the east and west faced off until the west eventually won the argument. The same is true of the gradual conversions of Spain, Greece, Portugal and more recently Turkey to relatively stable democracies.

Note that all of this was accomplished (largely) without violence. In the main, we won the argument, not the war. We avoided the war.

The same can be accomplished in Iran, in fact everywhere now that people living in democratic nations are numerically more numerous, than those living under totalitarian regimes. Although we have suffered some terrible setbacks since 2003.

However these guys are too frightened, or too gung ho, or perhaps both, to take that route, because it entails some small element of personal and national risk.

This is anathema, because they, like a significant minority of Americans are subconsciously proto fascist, the master race/idea/political system in this case being American. Thus any number of worthless foreign lives can be sacrificed, to offset a single American death. This is the mindset of total war, but Americans seem to have internalised this logic even in peace time.

Worse still, the "other" (Iraq/Iran/Syria) in this case is much, much weaker than for example the Soviet Union was during the cold war. This has the counter intuitive effect of making the option of force more, rather than less attractive. That’s the badly frightened bully factor kicking in. Too attractive for a weak minded incompetent like Bush to resist:-(

 
At 9:28 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Alex said...

confude said:

it isn't like I was lying about WMD in Iraq, nonexistent terrorist links and greed for oil, is it?

So what you're saying is, you didn't lie about anything important, just that minor detail about your intentions. Minor lie, minor coverup.

But see, you didn't have anything important to lie about. You're not a policymaker, you're a commenter on website. And you lied about the most important topic available to you: who and what you are.

I repeat, now that we know you're a liar and a troll (self-proclaimed), why should we ever give you the time of day again?

 
At 9:57 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

first bomb to fall upon Tehran

Yea, all hell is going to break loose and very soon I suspect. I would suggest that European leaders take it serious, end negotiations, and stand up to Ahmadinejad with one united fist -- like brothers of Liberty should. Timing is everything… Just a bit of wisdom to bounce off the walls.

 
At 10:11 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

"...they, like a significant minority of Americans are subconsciously proto fascist, the master race/idea/political system in this case being American"

And, here, is the crux of most of the trolls assumptions. Back in the day, when significant skills in UNIX from the command line were necessary to access the "Internet", we used to see these same archetypes, usually from the British Isles, since English was their first language. Most of the "anti fascist" trolls (AFT) still fit the profile.

With the rise of the blogs and the migration away from newsgroups, since they are generally unusable these days, the "anti-fascist" left has found new opportunities to "sow confusion to the class enemy." A lot of it has to do with an unfocused anti-Americanism that dates back to WW II when Americans were, "Over paid, over sexed and over here". In the intervening years, as British power waned and rationing and austerity imposed by the war debts and the loss the colonies continued long after the war was over, this trend has intensified.

Of course, the rise of the neocons, to AFT's minds the worst turncoats, and their supposed influence on American foreign policy policy the mindless shrieking has turn into attempts to shut down debate and to close comments on sites that still allow them down. Since Google/Blogger still doesn't allow retro-moderation to keep noise to signal ratios in check and, given the inability to ban by IP, they have been successful in many cases in driving reasonable commenter's away from sites which they feel especially threatened by.

Now, it's Neo's turn since she represents everything they find anathema.

 
At 10:14 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

(who addressed me as Anonymouse when I prefer to be called anonymess--how very clever; perhaps I should call him confusedforeigner, but I won't because I refuse to stoop to his level)

That's actually what his name means, mess. Iwas the first one to engage him when he came onto this blog posturing as an open-minded confused foreigner that just wants to understand the opposition. When he didn't like my answers, he started throwing around attacks like racist and what not. WIth conned, the clever sidekick, goading him on.

Just to re-iterate neo's request, she wants people to stop engaging with trolls as they hijack a thread and people have to waste valuable time scrolling past tens if not hundreds, of just back and forth comments that concerns only the respected authors, and not anyone else. We've already seen Confud and Conned's behavior, ourselves, and there is no greater testament than their words, as proliferous as they are. Of course, neo has to recognize that even if nobody talks to Confud or Conned, they will either post multiple times to bait the audience or they will just start talking to each other, with clever implied insults to others, and otherwise acting like they own the house that they are crashing in.

Jeeeezus wept, it isn't like I was lying about WMD in Iraq, nonexistent terrorist links and greed for oil, is it?

Remember what I said about Alan Colmes style of attacking as a way to defend themselves? This comment from Confud is a good example of that.

I actually don't give a flying one, mate, whether you'll argue with me or not. The fact is, when I first came here I wasn't trolling but I was abused anyway.

Well, in the interest of historical accuracy and for anyone too curious, just go to my blog here and you will see a quote by quote summarization example of Conned's first foray into the land of the neo-cons on this very site.

Self Marketing

Oh, and BTW little Ms Prim I tried to register as "Confusedforeigner" but it was already taken.

Doh!!


That is actually not true, because in the initial foray thread that introduced Confud. He alternated between two names. Confused and Confud. So I predict and speculate that he registered, forgot, and then tried to register again except now it wasn't available.

Just so people know, the UK abandoned Poland long before the Soviets were invaded by Hitler. It was part of the mutual defense pacts that the UK did not honor, in the hopes of appeasing Hitler's expansionist policies.

 
At 10:34 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

The same can be accomplished in Iran

Not if Iran is going to pass on enriched Uranium to Islamist in Britain; gleefully detonate, that wouldn’t be good – gross miscalculation, but if one little person is personally willing to take that chance in argument – it’s their conscious. Thank god for the likes for Tony Blair. Whewwww. Just goes to shows how fragile civilization can be – it’s easy to destroy and very difficult to create and once it’s gone – goodbye dreams and no more frozen ice cream. Hey! But on the bright side the landlord can kiss your butt – no more rent to pay!! Wooohooo! And credit cards, won’t have to pay them either will we! :D It’s weird – my point.

 
At 10:38 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

They don't have a conscience, Nyo, so what do you mean it is on their conscience?

Living in a post-apocalyptic world is fun, if you have a Fallout 2 character at lvl 50 that is. Real life? Not so much, more like MadMax. Or Waterworld. Bad, very very bad.

 
At 10:39 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

great post Senescent Wasp

:)

 
At 10:40 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

I had Fallout 1 -- I used to host "Gamma World" back in the pen and paper days.

 
At 11:09 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

nyomythus, Let's keep the teminology straight, shall we? It was a comment. Only yammie posts posts to somebody eles's blog.

 
At 11:17 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

I'm lost :)

 
At 11:31 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Internal rivalries are more dangerous to spy and tradecraft organizations than external threats.

 
At 11:31 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Jen said...

BMC, I think you may be a closet neo-con and just not realize it yet, mainly because your concepts of what a neo-con is are so wrong. But in your post you make a lot of points which are actually central to the neo-con philosophy.

For instance, you liken the GWOT to the cold war, which I think is very apt. Then you state:

"Note that all of this was accomplished (largely) without violence. In the main, we won the argument, not the war. We avoided the war."

Yes! But there are two important parts of this statement that need further consideration. 1) we won. Please understand that to the neo-con, this is crucially important. We would prefer, if at all possible, to avoid war. (The trolls on this board often equate neo-con with warmonger, but this is just their strawman.) To the left, perhaps, it is the avoidance of war that is most important, even to the point of losing. Neo-cons do not accept losing, because it is worse than war.

Remember that for all those years that the west avoided war with the communist bloc and happily advanced their own societies and economies, those within the communist bloc were suffering.

Consider North Korea. We made a deal to end the Korean war and we have successfully avoided war since then and South Korea thrives today. But North Koreans have suffered 50 years of hell, starving to death by the millions, not counting all those killed by the government in more direct ways. At what point will the death toll in North Korea exceed any that might have come from a war? How long ago did we pass that number? What if, in killing some, we could save so many more? What is truly the most compassionate, caring course, the course most concerned with human rights?

Now, I understand the NK situation was far more complex than that, with the involvement of China, etc. I'm not second guessing any decisions made there, I just want to point out the fact so often neglected by the left: When dealing with vicious tyrants, we must win, even if it means war, because avoiding war in the long run can be even more costly of human life than war itself, if it leaves the tyrant in power.

The second point to consider is HOW did we win, while at the same time avoiding war? I think there are a couple of key elements that made winning without war possible. First, although we did not foment war, we made it clear that we were ready for it and willing to take that step if pushed to it. We did not back down, we made many significant military gestures and, to be honest, we fought a few actual wars through proxies. One of these, the Vietnam war, we lost, demoralising us and setting back the eventual victory over communism by many years. It wasn't until Reagan again showed a strong willingness to confront "the evil empire" that we regained the upper hand.

The second thing that I feel helped us win was the fact that during the cold war the west was largely united against the communists. We may have had our differences, but we mostly presented a united front, which made us much stronger.

This is not the case today. Modern tyrants who should rightly be considered enemies by the entire western world have been able to play us off against each other for their own gain.

Again, consider NK. They have been able to acquire nuclear weapons. (this is possibly the worst scenario I can imagine and it chills me to the bone.) Because we didn't want war with them, we didn't want their people to starve, we believed their empty promises and we couldn't get our act together to present a strong, united front against them.

The same thing is happening in Iran. Condi Rice's recent willingness to talk to Iran is about appeasing Europe and nothing more.

I agree with you that the chances are very, very good that Iran's Mullahcracy could collapse from within without any need for war. This is a consumation devoutly to be wished. But every step toward appeasement, every sop or reward given to the Mullahs, only strengthens and legitimizes their position, adding years to time they have to terrorize their own people.

So lets remember that the goal as regards Iran is not merely to avoid war, but to win and defeat the Mullahs. And the best way to do that without war is to provide a strong, confrontational, united opposition to them.

They really are evil("they" being the ruling tyrants.) Don't lose sight of that. It is not nationalistic, racist, jingoistic, etc. to say so, it is a realistic assessment of their actions and stated aims.

 
At 11:59 AM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Good summarization post, Jen.

I have to say, it is amazing how many Jacksonians are floating around after 9/11. I do have to wonder the actual percentage of Jacksonians in the neo-conservative movement.

I was watching a Discovery channel and they featured the nuclear submarine development history and cycle. Notably, the Russians and Americans were competing to build the better and faster and more stealthy attack sub. When the US first developed a ballistic missile submarine that could fire a solid state fuel missile from a submarine, this changed the strategic ratio so much that Russia had to respond by building and researching their own. This was a very hard strain on their military-industrial complex. Because the military-industrial complex, if it grows to a large enough percent of your GDP, is just as corrosive and debilitating as welfare. Putin himself admits that they spent too much on the military industrial structure and not enough on economic infrastructure, on one of his State of the Union speechs recently.

The devastation possible in a nuclear ballistic missile submarine is very scary. They could be anywhere in the seas, undetected, and able to fire a nuclear MIRV missile that can separate out into multiple differently targeted warheads. And they carried as many as 22 of these MIRV nuclear warheads. I think the number quoted on the show was somewhere in excess of 100 to 1000 times the number of Hiroshima bombs from one MIRV alone.

The billions spent on MIRV and nuclear submarine technology, was well spent if you asked a Jacksonian. If you asked BMC, however, he would say that it was a waste, that it was foolish to try and make weapons to destroy humanity when peace was a better alternative.

Again, we have this weird 180 degree Twilight Zone phenomenon. Same facts, peace is better, different interpretation of those facts.

 
At 12:13 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger eatyourbeans said...

S. Wasp: Yes. That's why the trolls are here. It's a backhanded compliment if you're in the mood to take it that way. Reading the comments lately is like spending a Sunday afternoon in Hyde Park at Speakers' Corner. Heckling is an old brit pastime, and they're much better at it than we dull, earnest Americans.

But it's a barren skill. When they want to get through to us, they don't know how. You may remember how during the 04 elections, their newspaper The Guardian tried to organize a letter-writing campaign, directed to the voters in one district in Ohio. It bombed, badly.

In a 'Father, forgive them...' spirit, maybe, the paper published some of the replies from Americans, and I've never been prouder of this country than when I read all the slurs, 4-letter words, and threats that the leftish milksops got in return for their smug lecturing.

Me? I'm here for the same reason most of us are. We may have to come by different routes and times, but I think we all have this realization in common: that it's either the USA or the dark ages.

Our job here is to draw mutual enouragement and inspiration to fight the good fight, so it will be the USA and not the dark ages.

 
At 12:34 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Hey Wasp, I'll take a guess and speculate that you find some or all of my words annoying because you find it hard to understand it because of its length.

Care to say anything to clarify?

 
At 12:52 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 12:59 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

"Far be it from me to answer for bmc Jack, but surely Eire's stance as neutral in WW2 was more principled than the US's stance now. Think of the butchers that you count as your allies."

As opposed to Stalin in WWII? I suppose that was a bad idea too?

"neoneoconned said...
BMC the problem is that so few of them are willing to concede the possibility that military action can actually make the situation worse. A culture of cowboy films and war gaming produces simplistic ideas about how wars operate.

The war always used as a moral benchmark for military behaviour is ww2. However moral it was to fight hitler - and it clearly was - much of the related morality was tempered with practicality.

The UK declared war to help Poland. And where did Poland end up in 1945? Best part of 50 years in a nasty dictatorship. Why? because in fighting hitler we needed Stalin - it was the Soviet Union who really defeated the Wermacht - and had to accomodate his demands at the end. In fighting Germany and Japan we allied ourselves with many shady groups and abandoned several allies to a grim fate.

It was not the simple good-evil duality that these neo cons live in. Life would be a great deal easier if that is how it was....but it isn't."


Actually an excellent retort to BMC and Confude, but you can't stop the back-slapping long enough to realize that.

As for Poland (and the rest of the Eastern Bloc) we could've prevented their imprisonment of 50 years, but that would've required more fighting and dying... and that wasn't going to happen, for any number of reasons... but you see fighting might've been a better choice in the long run...

It seems the simple duality belongs to you- US in- bad, US out-good. We see that often things are gray and you're left with choosing bad or worse- so which shall it be?
At least conned gets that much.

Jen- excellent.

Ymar- the problem is your refusal to edit your stream of consciousness.

 
At 1:31 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Yammie, you miss the point. Now, if you had asked if I found you occasionally tedious, over verbose and preeningly like a self indulgent auto didact, we might have had common ground. Douglas is right, it is the "stream of consciousness" writing that I used to have to read in far too many lower divison blue books.

Douglas, in order to see gray, you have to be able to perceive gray. For the binary minded, those with a gloss of education, a smattering of reading, a little bit better than the thousand word survival vocabulary, no foreign travel and little experience with the world black and white is their refuge and ambiguity is to be feared.

"Four legs, good. Two legs, bad.", is about as far as they can reasonably be expected to achieve. But, they can sure play the hell out of their one stringed banjos sometimes, can't they?

 
At 2:13 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger snowonpine said...

In my misspent adulthood I researched almost every conceivable subject and some inconceivable ones too. Seems to me I remember that during WWII the IRA had contacts with the Nazis and there was actually some Nazi planning for a landing in Ireland to coincide with an invasion of England (Operation Sealion).see /www.historyireland.com/
magazine/features/
13.3FeatA.html

There was also apparently a small contingent of German Nazi party members on the civil service payroll in Ireland. sss http://irelandsown.net/
nazi.html

 
At 2:40 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

sl0re said....


Sooo, when they do something it is principled but the US tries to sit out the war (re: do the same thing) it is for profit… selfish, I’d have given you BTW…


Actually I said that Eire's stance was more principled than your current stance. There is a difference. Eire had been under 800 years of British oppression, their country had been carved up and the British still occupied part of it.

Mitigating circumstances in any language methinks.

sl0re said....

But there is this issue:
“Think of the butchers that you count as your allies

I'm not going to list them sl0re but you could start with all the central asian states that are supposedly assisting in your war on terror (for money), Pakistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Turkey, Belarus etc etc etc The payments being made to the criminals and butchers of the so called Northern Alliance should sicken any right thinking person. The list is long.

India has just been given a huge aid package in breach of the NNPT as a reward for what exactly?. So now you have 3 illegally nuclear armed states receiving US taxpayer funding.

I won't mention your unconditional support and enormous US taxpayer funding of Israeli oppression of Palestinian muslims and christians because it seems to excite the kiddies here.

 
At 3:38 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Stumbley said.....

"We"? It's interesting to me how many foreigners who have no assets on the line in this particular conflict consider themselves threatened by it. I've repeatedly asked these commenters, "How is your life affected? What have you sacrificed? What has your country suffered?" to no avail. What is it you're all afraid of?



Another instructive comment to the new kids here. The sort of uscentric arrogance and ignorance of the world that makes the neocons so endearing.

Perhaps stumbley, those people you asked were so enraged by your arrogance and ignorance that they were unable to express a counter response. Alternatively, maybe your arrogance and ignorance precluded you from recognising a cogent response and dismissal of your question for its inherent inanity.

If you require explanation just ask, but first get an atlas and look up Bali, Madrid, London, Bandah Aceh, Jakarta.........maybe that is too many for you.

 
At 4:23 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Cappy said...

Confud said Actually I said that Eire's stance was more principled than your current stance. There is a difference. Eire had been under 800 years of British oppression, their country had been carved up and the British still occupied part of it.

Huh? Rugby? Cricket? Confud really is the foreigner here! What gives? What has this blog or the thread to do with the British? It appears Confud has outed him/her/itself. The last I heard Eire is doing beautifully. It doesn't seem to be suffering now. Perhaps Confud has a few old relatives from the 1950's or before in the USA when they could push around Jews when they could corner and outnumber 'em on the street, but otherwise shrank as the sissies they were.

 
At 4:29 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Cappy said...
Confud said Actually I said that Eire's stance was more principled than your current stance. There is a difference. Eire had been under 800 years of British oppression, their country had been carved up and the British still occupied part of it.

Huh? Rugby? Cricket? Confud really is the foreigner here! What gives? What has this blog or the thread to do with the British? It appears Confud has outed him/her/itself. The last I heard Eire is doing beautifully. It doesn't seem to be suffering now. Perhaps Confud has a few old relatives from the 1950's or before in the USA when they could push around Jews when they could corner and outnumber 'em on the street, but otherwise shrank as the sissies they were.

5:23 PM, June 03, 2006



Eh?

 
At 4:49 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Sl0re said...

"I'm not going to list them sl0re but you could start with all the central asian states that are supposedly assisting in your war on terror (for money), Pakistan, Egypt, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Turkey, Belarus etc etc etc The payments being made to the criminals and butchers of the so called Northern Alliance should sicken any right thinking person. The list is long."

Dammed if you do; dammed if you don't I guess. During the cold war the argument of moral relativity was often thrown around. The US was no better than the USSR because it supported some bad guys too. Heh, people were also 'simplistic' and or stupid for thinking the USSR was 'bad' (Reagan was an idiot because of the 'evil empire' mention.. for thinking he had incites into ‘the truth’)... Anyway, time has told IMO. After the cold war the US promptly threw a lot of its dictator allies under the bus. Whereas, I think victory to the USSR would be more Castro-esq dictators…

To a degree we have the same problem/s now. A need for allies. Sometimes the choice is only a best-worst solution. It’s not all the 'war on terror' either. Simple global security and stability require it (for which, you also benefit... whether or not you've thought about it or choose to agree). Still, here is where ideology comes to play. I don't agree or believe the world would become better, saner, safer, or more secure without the US's meddling. I think it would get much much worse. Some factions of the left (anti-globos, socialists, and others) don't agree... that’s fine. But its funny that now things are full circle and we Americans (or Bush and/or neocons) are often now labeled 'evil' and polemics written against our views tend to have 'truth' in their titles. :)

 
At 5:15 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well, the moral equivalency comments usually come from the neocons but at the same time they'd have us believe that they are actually bringing democracy to the world i some moral crusade. GWB has alluded to these perverted 'truths' more often than I care to remember.

The fundamental differences here are how we beat the terrorists, or indeed whether they can be beaten or further again, if they represent the threat that the neocons would have us believe.

The best you'll ever get is to marginalize the extremists and you won't get that by committing gross acts of war on civilians and providing further shining examples of western hypocrisy against muslims. Destabilization will bring misery, militancy and fanatacism. History is littered with examples of this.

Even your cold war analysis brings us to this point. Reagan didn't win the cold war. There were a myriad of factors but primarily Soviet Socialism defeated itself because it was unsustainable economically and doomed to fail. The economic misery that it brought was the greater impetus in its demise.

Reagan was lampooned at the time by the right for being weak with the Soviets, shaking hands with Gorbachev and signing the START treaties. How quickly we forget.

As an (related) aside :The utter failure of the hawks now to read the lessons that Soviet involvement in Afghanistan should have taught us is akin to being drunk at the 747s controls and unable to land.

The same goes for Brezhnev who failed to take the lessons from Britain's adventure there a century before.

History repeats and now the neocons are perverting history to suit.

 
At 5:37 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

such a lot of comments.....


ok a few responses.

1. We could not have fought and beat the soviet union in 1945.

2. Yrmdwnkr says

Just so people know, the UK abandoned Poland long before the Soviets were invaded by Hitler. It was part of the mutual defense pacts that the UK did not honor, in the hopes of appeasing Hitler's expansionist policies.

Neville Chamberlain said sep 3 1939

This morning the British Ambassador in Berlin handed the German Government a final note stating that, unless we heard from them by 11 o'clock that they were prepared at once to withdraw their troops from Poland, a state of war would exist between us. I have to tell you now that no such undertaking has been received, and that consequently this country is at war with Germany.



The UK had to wait as long as possible to fight WW2 because we were so woefully ill equipped in 1938. Try for peace and if that fails and there is no other option fight.

In the US at this time Roosevelt was doing his best to get the US in the war against Hitler, but many Americans were isolationist and it was only the attack on Pearl Harbour that achieved this.

3. The discussion about Ireland shows the nonsense of treating countries as individuals. Yes there were some contacts between nazis and the IRA. But, there were many Irish who fought fascism in Spain and later fought Hitler in the British Army - and many were killed.

4. I see comrade wasp is still telling people what do. You should have been in East Germany when I went in the 1980's. You would have fitted right in, the fact people disagree with you really annoys you. The point about democracy is people are allowed to think what they want.

5. Alex - I take the point

Do we not fight against Zarqawi, simply because he wasn't part of the original mission objectives? No, we must fight against him because he is fighting against us, murdering Iraqi civilians, etc.
But do you not recognise that this could be an endless process. Each event of the "war on terror" serves only to radicalise a further group leading to another US armed intervention. What is the end point of this. Or, what is the point when you recognise that the policy is not working. You may think the price in death and destruction is worth it. I do not

6. Oh and little apple thief

I would suggest that European leaders take it serious, end negotiations, and stand up to Ahmadinejad with one united fist -- like brothers of Liberty should. Timing is everything… Just a bit of wisdom to bounce off the walls

Even Bush recognises the ill advised nature of that move. You start a war with Iran and see what happens. A lot of dead people, a lot more terrorism and another country to occupy when we are not doing so well with the two we already have.

and ...surprisingly

Sl0re I agree with you !


the US needs to develop a range of allies to move the world in a more peaceful and stable direction. It will not achieve this through armed interventions and ignoring the existing systems of interanational co-operation such as the UN. This will simply provoke people.


.......and neoneoconned's final thought

You know folks it is hard to achieve things with violence. So many people and things get broken in the process. And although we would love to pretend we are in some computer game where all the characters are good or bad life is a little more complex. Sometimes blowing things up, while great fun, just makes a whole bunch of people mad at you.
Take care of yourselves and each other.

 
At 6:08 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Doug- the problem is your refusal to edit your stream of consciousness.

The problem is that people are too prejudiced to see the flaws inherent in their own matters. Such weaknesses does not engender a motivation for improvement, so much as the need to drag others down into the mire.

What I don't understand when Wasp says something, I will ask and have asked a few times recently, as befits all those who deny prejudice and seek truth. His refusal to answer questions for clarity and elaboration, is not a flaw contained within me for I do not demand that he change his ways for my benefit. One might as well side with the High School dropout in California that demands that his lack of knowledge about English warrants him special exclusionary status. Perhaps someone that doesn't know English should take some time to learn it rather than prejudging.

Such a position is always inflexible and arrogant at heart, to demand proof without offering any, to demand clarity without providing any, to demand meaning and truth without obeying anything that the truth has meant.

As others have presumed without trial nor evidence, they seek no clarifications and produce no benefit of the doubt, for they already have decided that I will not provide them. Thus is the flaw of prejudice and blindness in belief and certainty.

And it is only one reason why I don't read specific Republican and Democrat mainstream blogs, for that one reason alone. I could never abide prejudging, especially done in the shadows, away from the light of day and confrontation.

In the end, the real problem is that people won't engage in open debate, and I don't mean the Leftist version of open debate. They won't answer questions, they won't ask questions, and they won't explain their answers. They are quite reluctant to describe their views towards me, like sally, when they are very open with describing their views of conned and confud.

Everyone thinks as they write, and writes as they think. This is not some special trait you've singled out in me, doug.

It is quite interesting, and yes disappointing, to see people like Wasp prejudge me by calling me names or creating variations on my name, when I have neither personally attacked them nor complained in any way concerning their conduct. Their use of sarcasm and the use of sally's sarcasm is such a surprise, not because they are attacking me personally, but that it occurs at most inopportune times.

People perhaps misunderstand me when they think that what I mean by the "Left" I mean political liberals or political fake liberals. No, that is not what I mean. There are certain human flaws inherent in everybody, the Left simply has more than their fair share.

I cannot ascribe any malicious motivation to people who are sarcastic, rude, or plain hostile towards me. I after all, had neither engaged them in spirited debate nor had I accused them of being anything, good or bad. You can believe what you will, as doug believes what he wills. But as we see with trollish behavior, or whatever term you name it as I have not used the word troll to describe anyone in anywhere, there is a certain line that should not be crossed.

If Wasp does not want to debate on the merits of his beliefs, to bring them out in the limelight and Sally also does not seem inclined to do the same, then the lest I can ask is that they stop trying to stab me personally in the back for personal satisfaction. Keep the gut sucked in as they say. If you don't have anything polite to say, don't say it. If you want to tell me to grow up and change my focus on tactics to strategy (wasp's strategy) based upon a post I did concerning Future Weapons, don't do so because you personally dislike me. Or if you do, at least be honest with your intentions and not try to hide them as others do.

People, from my experience, don't like each other just because they agree on basic beliefs. I don't expect them to, of course. In that manner, I'd like to act with a bit more politeness and class than attacking people because I'm personally frustrated at my own problems. I'm not one of Wasp's lower division blue book authors. I'm not Spank's version of a war monger and fascist. I'm not Confud's and Conned's version of neo-con oppressors and illiberal robber barons.

I am an individual, and humanity has many people who seek to crush the individual into tools of power. Regardless of the politics. A true believer is a true believer, bar nothing. When I say that the Leftists, whether Democrats or Republicans, are human and have the same human flaws with neither being inherently superior than the other, I do not speak on a metaphorical spiritual level. I am speaking directly to actual reality.

When Spank, Wasp, Confud, Conned all blur into one, then you might want to ask yourself if there might be a common human flaw in existence. I know I do.
****
P.S.
The UK had mutual defense pacts and obligations to defend Poland before the Nazis invaded Poland cut it up to divide between them and the Soviets. That was the UK's failure. The UK may have been behind their militarization schedules, but so was Hitler. Nazi Germany were pushing the West and seeing how strong they were, but Hitler himself knew how risky it would be to start war so soon, he needed that time to gear up. The UK gave it to them. The question is not about wisdom, who did what right or wrong. However, I must clearly state that it be recognized that the UK did forgo their promises to aid Poland, regardless of the reasons provided. No other exclusionary circumstances can mitigate that, to any degree.

I did the first half without reading Wasp's reply. Just to see if my characterizations are on target, whether my beliefs could stand the test of reproductible reality.

 
At 6:12 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Hammer worn out nncd? :-(

 
At 6:19 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Yrmdwnkr go and learn some history,

However, I must clearly state that it be recognized that the UK did forgo their promises to aid Poland, regardless of the reasons provided. No other exclusionary circumstances can mitigate that, to any degree

the UK went to WAR because of Poland. Polish soldiers fought alongside the British in many campaigns and had a squadron in the battle of britain. You can argue that Czechoslovakia got a shitty deal, because they did. Poland never got out of trouble because of the power of Stalin. The UK should have supported the Republicans but .... Hitler had modern weapons in the condor Legion; Stukas, ME 109's etc. which the uk simply could not match.

 
At 6:20 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ymca said...

P.S.
The UK had mutual defense pacts and obligations to defend Poland before the Nazis invaded Poland cut it up to divide between them and the Soviets. That was the UK's failure. The UK may have been behind their militarization schedules, but so was Hitler. Nazi Germany were pushing the West and seeing how strong they were, but Hitler himself knew how risky it would be to start war so soon, he needed that time to gear up. The UK gave it to them. The question is not about wisdom, who did what right or wrong. However, I must clearly state that it be recognized that the UK did forgo their promises to aid Poland, regardless of the reasons provided. No other exclusionary circumstances can mitigate that, to any degree


Ymar, that is bs and dishonest bs at that.

The plain, simple fact is that Britain declared war on Germany as soon as they invaded Poland. It is that simple. As did Australia, New Zealand, Canada and quite a few others. The US did not.

Your original statement was a flat out straightforward lie.

 
At 6:24 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

Hammer worn out nncd? :-(

lol

i feel kindly disposed today.....well 'cept that comrade wasp - i am not good with bossy people. insubordination runs through my soul

 
At 6:28 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

On September 1st., 1939, 1.8 million German troops invaded Poland on three fronts; East Prussia in the north, Germany in the west and Slovakia in the south. They had 2600 tanks against the Polish 180, and over 2000 aircraft against the Polish 420. Their "Blitzkrieg" tactics, coupled with their bombing of defenceless towns and refugees, had never been seen before and, at first, caught the Poles off-guard. By September 14th. Warsaw was surrounded. At this stage the poles reacted, holding off the Germans at Kutno and regrouping behind the Wisla (Vistula) and Bzura rivers. Although Britain and France declared war on September 3rd. the Poles received no help - yet it had been agreed that the Poles should fight a defensive campaign for only 2 weeks during which time the Allies could get their forces together and attack from the west.

http://www.kasprzyk.demon.co.uk/www/WW2.html

Let me just state that logically, people declaring war need not be mutually inclusive with them actually helping anyone out in that war.

There is no dishonesty in saying that Britain did not fullfill their mutual defense pledges to Poland, as others have stated in order to belittle the United States' contributions. There is only disagreement, and in disagreement there need be no lies.

 
At 6:38 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

hey yrmdwnkr iseffectively deploying evidence.....

......

oh, hang on, is that from some Polish Nationalist with a bit of a grudge?

still i think you might have a point

read this then lets argue

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

 
At 6:39 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

sl0re said..

Some factions of the left (anti-globos, socialists, and others) don't agree... that’s fine. But its funny that now things are full circle and we Americans (or Bush and/or neocons) are often now labeled 'evil' and polemics written against our views tend to have 'truth' in their titles. :)


I sympathise and I don't subscribe to the radical left's methods. Have a look through here and see the bile and venom coming from your side though, including constructions and inventions of positions and worse.

This polarisation and mud slinging is what bmc has been trying to get through to you all but mostly he gets antileft slagging, troll accusations and neo's most dishonest essay of all in response.

When you look at Michellle Malkin, Bill O'Riley etc and the out and out hateful racism of the Glicks and Coulters of your side, doesn't it worry you that you are in real extremist territory?

Have a look at this.

http://securingamerica.com/printready/transcript_060530b.htm

Not only is he peddling hatred and attempting to subvert the truth, he is actually lying about history. He isn't misinformed he is straight out lying. And this guy is lapped up over there. People believe him.

And you wonder why we don't want you meddling with our security?

 
At 6:40 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Oh, and O'Riley and Malkin's latest is an anti San Francisco boycott. For gawd's sake.

 
At 6:47 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I'd be willing to have a stab at where Yfronts' family tree led. :-)

It is pretty sad that someone who can type such a huge volume of inanity has no loyalty to any people or any principle other than his own gene pool. All that pontification just to support his perceived friends at the expense of everyone else.

 
At 6:48 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

sorry it was the french who gave the 15 day promise....a satisfying result for all we can blame the french.

see here


still it would be interesting to know what the effect of an immediate invasion of Germany would have been. French and British forces were not really up to much at that stage of the war. Don't forget thus is 9 months before the battle of france which ended in total defeat.

I suspect that the soviet invasion of Poland made the whole deal look a great deal more difficult.

 
At 6:54 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

my god i agree with an american general
General Wesley Clark: Bill, I think- Here's my last word. I'm glad you've come around. Iraq was an unnecessary war. Here's the other point. It's, it's a failure, by the way the President defined the mission. The problem is how do we move gracefully from this position. What we've said is, we need to turn this over to the Iraqi government and-

Bill O'Reilly: Alright.

General Wesley Clark: -begin responsible redeployment, but we've got to protect the men and women in uniform and the integrity of our institutions.


what a day....a sane argument from yrmdwnkr and now this....

 
At 7:06 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

this general is a dude

CLARK: "There was a concerted effort during the fall of 2001, starting immediately after 9/11, to pin 9/11 and the terrorism problem on Saddam Hussein."

RUSSERT: "By who? Who did that?"

CLARK: "Well, it came from the White House, it came from people around the White House. It came from all over. I got a call on 9/11. I was on CNN, and I got a call at my home saying, 'You got to say this is connected. This is state-sponsored terrorism. This has to be connected to Saddam Hussein.' I said, 'But--I'm willing to say it, but what's your evidence?' And I never got any evidence."


ok then neo cons what is wrong with this guy?....

 
At 7:16 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Sl0re said...

“I sympathise and I don't subscribe to the radical left's methods. Have a look through here and see the bile and venom coming from your side though, including constructions and inventions of positions and worse.”

Thanks and ok, I see what your saying.

“When you look at Michellle Malkin, Bill O'Riley etc and the out and out hateful racism of the Glicks and Coulters of your side, doesn't it worry you that you are in real extremist territory?”

Those people have never spoken for me or most people I know (I don’t know who Glick is and O’Riley is not a conservative BTW… just a loud mouth populist who doesn’t toute a left wing line). I think it is remininicent of the issue of evangelicals (that case being a little different in that while there are many, only a few follow idiots like Robertson). You overestimate their influnce. I’ll check out your article though.

”And you wonder why we don't want you meddling with our security?”

Well, again, where would we be without it? The slog in Iraq shows what can happen when you destablise a vile dictator… Now imagine it on a much larger scale.. and since we are no longer interfering, don’t count on our navy to keep the sea lanes open… or for us to prop up international organisations that maintain trade rules… But you already said you don't follow that line so this is more to make the point in general than just to you...

 
At 7:32 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

I would like like to suggest thread disintegration into incoherence.

I would stay, but I have a basement full of Left Deviationists and Trots awaiting interrogation and the local Republican County Central Committee is having a potluck tomorrow and I need to prepare a side dish. Probably Wild Mushroom Risotto.

A life is a wonderful thing to have. May I suggest that some of you obtain one?

 
At 7:37 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

I would like like to suggest thread disintegration into incoherence.

I am sure you would sunshine but everybody is a little bored with being bossed about so why don't you get back to your life. Good god even yrmdwnkr thinks yrmd

 
At 7:40 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Sl0re said...

“Well, the moral equivalency comments usually come from the neocons”

Maybe a few, but the vast majority are still leftists of various stripes. The progressive leftists who talk about trying to spread liberalism as ‘cultural imperialism’ come to mind…

“Reagan didn't win the cold war. There were a myriad of factors but primarily Soviet Socialism defeated itself because it was unsustainable economically and doomed to fail.”

I didn’t say he did. But he did help tip them over.

“Reagan was lampooned at the time by the right for being weak with the Soviets, shaking hands with Gorbachev and signing the START treaties. How quickly we forget.”

Or, it didn’t happen in my experience / I didn’t see it from anyone I respected.

“The best you'll ever get is to marginalize the extremists and you won't get that by committing gross acts of war on civilians and providing further shining examples of western hypocrisy against muslims.”

These acts happen in any military conflict. To focus on them exclusively is either propaganda or bias depending on whether you’re the provider or believer of the line… I’m not claiming it is WWII, but this line of thinking would have meant leaving Europe occupied. Civilians were killed pushing the Nazis out of France for instance.

“the US needs to develop a range of allies to move the world in a more peaceful and stable direction. It will not achieve this through armed interventions and ignoring the existing systems of international co-operation such as the UN. This will simply provoke people.”

Of course. But we do have various problems with that solution. Conflicting national interests, ethnic alliances / tribalism and animosities, ideology (the international left is still around and to them the US can do no right), et cetera. The UN is effectively paralyzed on most issues due to these problems (not to mention, being a large organization / bureaucracy, it has developed it’s own interests). But overall it is a fair point. If we are going to claim to be spreading liberal democracy it would be good to follow our international agreements as well as possible (rule of law being a major component of liberalism). Also, not to provide ammunition to our enemies (not that they will not try to spin up violations none the less)… but being on stable ground always helps with the defense…

 
At 7:42 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Methinks you've had a few too many wild mushrooms of late, spykid.

 
At 8:08 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Probably not the time to bring trade into it. Suffice to say I am a free trade proponent and thus I am usually 100% opposed to the US trade position. The hypocrisy of GWB calling himself a free trader is sickening.

Iraq is a mire but we won't prosecute that again just yet. :-)

Sharon B. Glick is one of the neocon PNAC's biggest cheerleaders and is the source of much of their propaganda construct. She is one sick zionist racist scum.

O'Riley is one of the US's most popular pundits and his rubbish is indicative of the misrepresentation of facts by FOX News. I understand that FOX is the most watched news 'service' in the US. I don't know how you can say O'Riley isn't a conservative.

At the time of the Iraq invasion, surveys showed that nearly half of the US public believed Saddam was responsible for 11/9. Tell me there is no manipulation involved.

I wasn't referring to Haditha but the whole Iraq war in general. I'm led to believe that Haditha won't be an isolated case either.

BTW Germany INVADED France. No equivalence there.

Most of my comments on here have been pointing out the moral high ground isn't the US preserve. I don't see how you'll ever get it back after Iraq, Gitmo and all the others that will come out.

As you say, the rule of law is a fundamental element of liberal democracy. If the US and Israel can so blithely break it over and over again, how can your neocons have the gall to claim any moral high ground. The solutions to the world's ills have to be based on the principle of justice surely?

 
At 8:47 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Here's a critique of O'Riley's 'work'.

http://www.crooksandliars.com/2006/06/01.html#a8537

It is a shame that the media in the US doesn't go after the ruling cabal with the same vehemence and thirst for truth. If they'd had any guts, we wouldn't be in Iraq.

 
At 8:52 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

The START I treaty wasn't signed until July, 1991, by Yeltsin and Gorbachev. No one was upset that Gorbachev and Reagan shook hands over signing the START treaty because it didn't happen.
And yes the vast amount of political and economic pressure Reagan put on the Soviets hastened the end of the Soviet Union. Reagan followed the advice of Sovietologists who believed the USSR was at a tipping point. Their war in Afghanistan had drained an already weak economic structure. As well as Russian morale.

 
At 8:59 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Sorry, the mind was ahead of the fingers, obviously it was Bush and Yeltsin that signed the treaty.

 
At 9:06 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sorry if I've got it wrong but Reagan and Gorbachev did sign a nuclear arms reduction treaty. IIRC it was either signed in, or the final face to face negotiations were held in Reykjavik.

 
At 9:20 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Anyways, back to the subject, "politics and friends" or "how the lefties are mean to us".

Here's a noted neocon with an interesting take on Haditha.

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/005300.htm

When you have people like this on your side, isn't it understandable that your friends may be a bit feiry about your beliefs?

There are liberal democracies where you could be jailed for this sort of promotion of racial hatred and the more I see of the ultraright in the US, the more sympathetic I am to laws of that kind.

 
At 9:49 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Brad said...

conf,
You do not understand the concept of racism, and you use the epithet too lightly.

 
At 10:01 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Really Brad? Well perhaps you need to explain it so that I know where i'm going wrong.

 
At 10:39 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

confudeforeigner, May a thousand dreams of Michelle Malkin infest thy dreams. No sugar plum fairies for you.

Ymarsakar, you and I are in fundamental agreement on "What is to be Done", (No apologies to Comrade Lenin) It's just that reading your comments make me reach for the Red Pencil of Doom.

neoneoconned and bmc, ESAD.(That's internet talk for Eat Soup and Despair) No offense, guys, don't take it personally, I just think you're both oxygen thieves. I've scraped better trolls than you entities off my shoes. Although, it may have been dog...

 
At 10:49 PM, June 03, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Good onya Uberstormtrooper Wasp. Your a credit to the constitution. Back to the Disney Channel for you.

 
At 12:29 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

confudeforeigner:

As an Aussie, I wouldn't bandy about the "sick racist scum" epithet too much...how are those abos doing lateley, eh?

 
At 12:35 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Showing that people are teaching their children to kill is racist? Many cultures and societies have used children for that purpose. Hitler at the end was throwing children at the Red army. Khomeini used them against Iraq, I forget what they called them, but they had trained in the neighborhood of 40,000 children and young adults to overwhelm Iraqis by sheer numbers, going in without weapons.
Don't expand the definition of racism until its meaningless. "Nazi" and 'fascism" have been so abused. Find a book by Sydney Hook, he termed such usage "epithets of abuse", the only purpose is to stigmatize and silence. See Lenin's term "revisionist" or Hitler's "jewish science".
That some European countries seek to silence is truly sad. What country are you from again?

 
At 1:07 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Sl0re said...

“The hypocrisy of GWB calling himself a free trader is sickening.”

I agree he is not 100% (he is a politician… who needs to get elected via some pandering), but relative to others he is. Agricultural supports are largely a result of our congress BTW...

“I don't know how you can say O'Riley isn't a conservative.”

O’Riley in not a conservative…. Not buying the left wing narrative is not in itself enough to be a US conservative.

“At the time of the Iraq invasion, surveys showed that nearly half of the US public believed Saddam was responsible for 11/9. Tell me there is no manipulation involved.”

People, in many places, believe many things that are not facts. Probably, most often, without manipulation (because they want to believe it…). Conservatives watch Fox. They wanted to believe there was a connection.. People who don't like Blair and watch the BBC probably think Saddam did not try to buy Uranium from Niger… true or not (probably not).. Liberals who watch CNN believe many things are facts that are not and which may not be CNNs fault… what can you do? Anyway, I can’t prove the negative, it is up to you to present a stronger case there is a connection. Myself, I don’t buy it.

“BTW Germany INVADED France. No equivalence there.”

I don’t accept that. An unpopular dictatorship that rules through totalitarian means is a form of occupation via domestic elites. In my mind, both ‘governments’ were illegitimate and removing them cost civilian lives. It is a sound analogy.

“Most of my comments on here have been pointing out the moral high ground isn't the US preserve. I don't see how you'll ever get it back after Iraq, Gitmo and all the others that will come out.”

I didn't’t say you were referring to Haditha with my comment about propagandists and bias. Seeing Iraq as all negative and Gitmo as a large crime is a bias none the less. If Iraq does end well, I’m sure all the other negatives will come out.... Certain groups will spend their lives trying to prove themselves ‘right after all’ by finding them. Even if the overall outcome is a positive...

“If the US and Israel can so blithely break it over and over again, how can your neocons have the gall to claim any moral high ground. The solutions to the world's ills have to be based on the principle of justice surely?”

Ah, a few points… We are not to question the motives of those who critise the US for alleged law breaking. It’s a simple matter of fact and law true? So in return I ask you to do the same. What laws did the US actually break? IMO your on very weak ground here. You may disagree with a policy, but that does not make it illegal (my point here). Not that I don’t have problems with how we have handled everything. But having a problem with it does not make it illegal.

 
At 1:12 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Sl0re said...

Anyway, these links are being cut off. You may need to use tiny url or something

http://michellemalkin.com/archives/(

 
At 2:07 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

stumbley said...
confudeforeigner:

As an Aussie, I wouldn't bandy about the "sick racist scum" epithet too much...how are those abos doing lateley, eh?

1:29 AM, June 04, 2006


Stumbley, the plight of much of the Australian aboriginal population is desperate and a national disgrace.

Whether racism (past and/or present) is a contributing factor is open to debate but, given the actual problems, is probably a secondary at best cause.

We do have a redneck racist element here, just like you, but they have far less power than yours. Australia is the most urbanised population on earth don't forget.

The biggest problem facing Aboriginal Australians in my view revolve around alcohol, drug and substance abuse and the only solution most of us involved can see won't be easily sold to the international community. We will, if it ever comes to pass, be accused of paternalism, racism and worse by many that don't have a full grasp of the facts.

If you know the problems and have a solution that is both practical and palatable to the international community, we'd love to hear it. Truly.

GWB's guy in Canberra has been a setback to the Aboriginal cause in most people's view. And mine.

 
At 2:27 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said...

...something quite nauseating.

I'm sorry Ariel, but if you can attempt to justify showing photos of small Palestinian children dressing up (like kids dress up as superman) as relevent on a website complicit in justifying the murder of women children and non combatants IN IRAQ, then you and I are on different planets.

If you can't see this as racial stereotyping You are one farking sick puppy.

 
At 3:05 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

sl0re said....


Ah, a few points… We are not to question the motives of those who critise the US for alleged law breaking. It’s a simple matter of fact and law true? So in return I ask you to do the same. What laws did the US actually break? IMO your on very weak ground here. You may disagree with a policy, but that does not make it illegal (my point here). Not that I don’t have problems with how we have handled everything. But having a problem with it does not make it illegal.


I have no problem being questioned about my statements.

Having had a fair bit of experience of 'law', nothing is simple. However I will list a few examples of what I believe are clear breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

The use of phosphorous 'bombs' (particularly) on civilian targets. This IS a chemical weapon by any decent person's definition.

I won't go into du weapons as a chemical weapon.

The failure of the US to provide adequate security to the civilian population.

The failure of the US to provide security to the instruments of government vital for the governance of the country past the cessation of hostitlties.

The failure by the US to provide security for the safeguard of institutions and suchlike of cultural and historical significance i.e. arguably the most important museums on earth

The failure of the US to provide adequate medical care to both combatants and, more importantly, to civilian casualties.

The failure of the US to provide adequate infrastructure for the civilian population. i.e water, electricity supply, sewerage.

The failure of the US to provide casualty figures to the Red Cross.

Shutting down infrastructure to whole towns/cities in combat zones.

The storming of hospitals and the arrest of medical staff in 'operational zones'.

The shooting at ambulances.

Illegal imprisonment without trial, kidnappings and extrajudicial killings.

Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, rendering, want me to go on?

And I haven't started on the Israelis. You guys are chicken shit compared to them, sadly.

 
At 3:57 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger neoneoconned said...

now this is depressing, from that malkin woman.


KING 5: How do you feel about the villagers involved? Um, you know, do you have emotion as you think about them or not really?

Crossan: No. Because half of them were bad guys. You just never know, so. It really didn’t cross my mind.

KING 5: There are reports of, you know, little children being killed and women being killed.

Crossan: Little kids I can see being bad and even some of the women, but just over there, you just can’t tell who the bad guy was...



if half were bad guys what were the other half? Also the 'bad guy' language. I bet it is not that straightforward. The line between guilty fighters and innocent civilians is probably blurred as they are all from the same communities and families.


Sl0re. What you say about the media is true, but there is still an underlying reality we need to understand. The media are helpful and unhelpful at the same time. They are also a weeapon used and manipulated by all sides.

I would defend the BBC as it is subject to more criticsm and controlk of the nature of its output. I find it much too accepting of the world view of powerful groups but am heartened by the checks that exist on it. This is hardly true for Fox, which in the context of european media comes across as a very right wing barely serious news channel, as there is little checking on the balance of its output other than the demands of the market.

I see comrade wasp has become a pigeon fancier again :-)

 
At 5:18 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I see comrade wasp has become a pigeon fancier again :-)

Do chickenhawks fancy pigeons?

 
At 10:49 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

As to the question of what country, Confud was from, I originally suspected he was from an Anglo Saxon country. Whether that be Australia, Britain, or Canada. His mannerism and idioms directed me to believe British origin. He denied that he was European. But the Brits actually don't think they are part of the European continent either.

So the best bet is now Australia. Some other commentator here reminded me of New Zealand, which was too small for me to include in the initial list. But it is an alternative possibility to Australia.

Confud is most likely in Australia or New Zealand, or has spent a prodigous amount of time in either of those two countries. His use of British mannerism and "mate" strongly support the thesis that he lives in Australia. Because AUstralia was colonized by the Brits.
********
I say again, it is not about whether people agree or disagree with me on any "fundamentals" as Wasp terms. I don't treat people differently based upon whether they agree with me or not. I treat people based upon how they treat me.

Mutual respect, lack of contempt, a refusal to allow personal prejudices to be projected onto the other person as their problem and not your problem. These things are the important facets.

Nobody likes to be patronized, ridiculed, or made to seem inferior. Regardless of whether this is your blood family, your elder, or your closest friend. Regardless of whether you agree with them politically or philosophically.

What fool believes everything is all right so long as everyone agrees on a common fundamental belief? It is more likely that people don't agree, that the cracks and flaws are hidden by agreement. I don't like to be in an echo chamber
*************
Poland refused this in order to retain its independence [2] and was backed by a March 30 guarantee from Britain and France. The goal of British foreign policy between 1919 and 1939 had been to prevent another world war by a mixture of "carrot and stick", a strategy of appeasement. The "stick" in this case was the Polish-British Common Defense Pact, intended to discourage German aggression. At the same time, Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and his Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax hoped to offer Hitler a "carrot" in the form of another deal similar to the Munich Agreement, which would see the Free City of Danzig and the Polish Corridor returned to Germany in exchange for a promise to leave the rest of Poland alone.


ok then neo cons what is wrong with this guy?....


Every American knows General Clark, advisor to Clinton for Kosovo and a former NATo commander as well as a Democrat Presidential nominee.

 
At 11:38 AM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Jen said...

I find confud's posts generally meaningless hatemongering, but this last truly brings us to a new level of preposterousness. When asked what the U.S. did that was illegal, he responds with a lengthy list of our failures to provide security, medical care and general services to Iraq.

Since the U.S. is actively engaged in trying to provide or assist the government in providing all these things, I guess failure is defined as anything short of utopia.

If there is still criminal behavior, we have failed to provide security. If any wounds are untreated, our medical facilites have failed. If the electricity cuts out, our provision of services has failed.

Lets just leave aside for the moment any consideration of whether or not the U.S. is even legally obligated to, for instance, completely take over and replace the entire Iraqi medical establishment. Even if we assume that actually is our responsibility, if that is your definition of failure, confud, what on earth constitutes success?

My town is responsible to protect my security, and to that end establishes a police force, court system, jails, etc. And yet, I may be robbed. So, I guess if I am I should sue my town for illegally failing to provide security, huh confud?

In fact, by this measure, forget Iraq, the U.S. itself is a failed state. France is a failed state. Britain is a failed state. What isn't a failed state?

The U.N. of course is also a failure and therefore engaged in illegal activities. In fact, UN security forces have been found to rape civilians, therefore, I think we can safely say, by confud's criteria, that the UN itself is an illegal organization and should desist sending forces anywhere.

Also, the Red Cross/Crescent often sets up medical facilities in war-torn countries, I think it may even have a legal mandate to do so, yet often these services are inadequate. They fail too. Let's call them illegal.

Then there is the accusation that the U.S. has fired on ambulences. Of course, ambulences have been used by terrorists as car bombs, even blowing up hospitals with them. So if we fire at any we have acted illegally, and if we fail to stop their use as car bombs, we have also illegally failed to supply security.

Nice little pickle we're in, isn't it?

So confud, get us out of it. What should the U.S. do? Obviously we can't pull out of Iraq, because by your definition that would only be compounding all our failures. Should we send in more troops? Completely take over the country and control every aspect of every individual's life so as to prevent anything bad from ever happening?

 
At 1:08 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Senescent Wasp said...

Ymarsakar and Jen, while I wait for my flight and I still have wireless access, here's a reference to Wendt's article on contemporary COIN operations based on the Basilan experience. It's a non classified version of the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School's publication and doesn't have the references and bibliography of the original but it does have his notes. In particular the reference to Kaplan who has written on this elsewhere.

It takes a little while for work such as this to be shaken down into doctrine but if you read it carefully you can see that some of the lessons learned have been put into practice.

Also, notice how the model seamlessly integrates intelligence operations. This is somewhat newly discovered, "old doctrine".

Strategic counterinsurgency modeling

Wretchard at Belmont Club has a good post referencing this.

Kilo Six Actual Sends
"Always Out Front"

 
At 1:44 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Condeforeigner,
In the US we would call you a race-baiter. I was pointing out that the use of children was nothing new and that I know it in context of war. And the same thing went on in Vietnam when Aussies shot children. With regard to soldiers, in a war without uniforms, it is hard to tell who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. Would lead to a level of paranoia wouldn't it?
Nothing justifies purposely killing non-combatants. Nothing justifies using children as combatants either. Silly you for failing to understand all sides.
More pointedly, you need to quit the immediate insults and name-calling when you don't think things through enough and have no clue who I am, or understand what I am writing. Perhaps asking for clarification, rather than immediate name calling, would show more humanity on your part. Humanity begins on the personal level, and you have some major work to do. You seem to relish making enemies. That is a serious flaw.
Also you lack charity, which is necessary for human discourse. I assumed that you would understand the points above regarding the use of children in war, both that it is wrong, that it is done, and leaves the soldier in a moral predicament. Thus I didn't go fully into it.
I reserve judgement on Haditha until the dust clears, just as I did on Jenin, although I am sure you immediately acted as judge, jury, and executioner of the Israelis. In human conflict, both sides lie, the question is who is lying less at any one time. The bigot, the prejudiced, the hate-monger, doesn't care about the truth. Perhaps you should examine your own motives before throwing epithets.
You are right, we do live on other planets, your's is called "self-righteous". But then no one's perfect, except for you?
If the Marines did what they are accused of, they will be punished. And will deserve it.
At the same time, have you read the CNN reporter's shock regarding these Marines, whom she knew? Perhaps it will give you more perspective.

 
At 2:14 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Since the U.S. is actively engaged in trying to provide or assist the government in providing all these things, I guess failure is defined as anything short of utopia.

Jen, I only hope you know just exactly how precisely you nailed it! :)

 
At 2:40 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Jen said...

Wasp, thanks for the link! That was a very informative read. Clearly (as anyone not blinded by their agenda would expect,) people have been thinking pretty hard about the difficulties of defeating an insurgency without alienating the local population. I'm sure many of these ideas are regularly being put into effect.

Actually, one of the best things about this article is that it provides the first clearly articulated reason I have read for going into an occupation in Iraq with so few troops.

And thanks Nyo!

 
At 3:00 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel.......

"And the same thing went on in Vietnam when Aussies shot children."


Please explain.


I know our troops executed a few Americans but I've never heard any allegations of war crimes against Australian troops in Vietnam.

Our troops tend to stay away from US troops because it is safer and their rules of engagement are more strictly defined legally. We are bound by the Geneva Conventions unequivocally and are signatories to the War Crimes Convention. US troops do have a reputation of being undisciplined and gung ho.

I've seen no evidence that suggests that Iraqi children have been combatants. I will reaffirm that I believe the article is racist. The use of those pictures in that context should be condemned by any right thinking person. I'm sorry if you don't fall into that category.

 
At 3:04 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

"I guess failure is defined as anything short of utopia."
You nailed it. You see, it always gives them something to be self-righteous about. And they can never be wrong, because you can never do enough.
I am not saying this of anyone who has posted comments here, because, other than one poster's penchant for nastiness, insults and name-calling, there is not enough written to typify any of you. And one can argue, legitimately that we may not have done enough. The hallmark of the "never do enough" crowd is the moving baseline.

 
At 3:13 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Jen....


go here.

http://www.genevaconventions.org/

The level of killing in Iraq is clear irrefutable proof that basic security has broken down. The Conventions are perfectly clear that it is incumbent on the occupying power to ensure this basic provision along with adequate infrastructure services.

There is clear evidence that the medical system in Iraq is failing. The occupying power is legally bound to ensure this is not the case.

There is clear evidence that US troops are hindering the provision of medical services in operational areas i.e. arresting hospital staff and holding ambulances.

I assume when you talk about terrorists and ambulances that you are referring to the old Israeli chestnut. The UN and the Red Cross have invited the IDF on numerous occasions to provide evidence. To this day they have declined.

Either way it is a war crime to fire on a properly marked ambulance, period.

You invade, you are responsible. GWB's clique of chickenhawks failed dismally to plan for the occupation.

Join the dots.

 
At 3:16 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://www.military.com/NewsContent/0,13319,FL_plan_111804,00.html

 
At 3:26 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/ENGMDE140852003


The fact is that too little money is being spent and of the money, (largely) US private contractors are creaming off most.

Again, where is the planning, the oversight and the will?

 
At 3:41 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

http://newstandardnews.net/content/index.cfm/items/1208

 
At 4:36 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Vietcong employed child combatants. It would not be wrong to shoot a child pointing a gun at you in that circumstance. It would be haunting but not wrong. I do realize you will either twist this, or rise up in self-righteous anger. You were also incapable of understanding that I did not accuse Aussies of war crimes.
I will add lack of humility to another of your flaws, that you see no evidence of child combatants in Iraq means nothing more than that. The Shia in Iran had no compunction in using child combatants. It is quite possible that Iraqi insurgents may do the same.
As far as military goes, I spent four years beginning at the end of the Vietnam War.Your guys were described as no nonsense and brutal when dealing with the Vietcong. But military organizations always have something to say about the other. I take it with a grain of salt.
I am sure that Aussies are perfect at all times, strictly adhere to all treaties, and say their prayers at night. Were you the one that wrote about those redneck Aussies?
As far as a race-baiter, it still fits. I didn't see racism in it nor did I view by race, a race-baiter always does. I still defer to Sydney Hook.
By the way, up until 1972, my family could not migrate to your country. We weren't lily-white enough for "White Only" Australia. How can you bear your racist past? Even our Native Americans fare better than your Abos. Is it the guilt that makes you see race in everything?
You could have apologized for the name calling, but it is difficult for you isn't it? Better to stay the course, eh?

 
At 5:04 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Well Ariel, you are welcome to criticise Australia as a state as much as you like, but stick to the facts. I don't claim it as any sort of perfection. Never have. A nation is just an arbitary legal delineation anyway that encompasses all the differing peoples and viewpoints within it. I'm not going to get into racial or national stereotyping as you are.

It appears to be you who takes criticism of your country personally. And, as usual the more hard evidence you are given that you don't have the moral high ground that your ilk claim, the sooner the personal abuse starts.

You can shoot the messenger all you like, the message won't change.

Exactly what name calling should I be apologising for? Seems to me that you are sneeringly questioning my sanity and character for referring to the Geneva Conventions.

Seems clear that you have no substantive argument against that so....you will almost certainly dismiss me as a troll next and go off in a huff.

Thanks for playing.

BTW I'm well aware that Iran used young teenage boys in the war against Iraq/US/Saudi Arabia.
Iran ia another country, a different race and an entirely different set of circumstances.

Michelle Malkin is racially stereotyping for cheap propaganda purposes. Keep defending her if yu wish.

 
At 5:07 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Your guys were described as no nonsense and brutal when dealing with the Vietcong.


I have no doubt that the description is correct. One national trait is that we fight hard, play hard, work hard and don't put up with s... quietly.

 
At 6:13 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

confudeforeigner MIGHT have said:

"Stumbley, the plight of much of the Palestinian population is desperate and an Arab disgrace.

Whether Israeli racism (past and/or present) is a contributing factor is open to debate but, given the actual problems, is probably a secondary at best cause.

They do have a jihadist terrorist element here, with prett much all of the power. The Middle East is the most radicalized population on earth, don't forget.

The biggest problems facing Palestinians in my view revolve around corruption, poor government and intransigence and the only solution most of us involved can see won't be easily sold to the international community. We will, if it ever comes to pass, be accused of paternalism, racism and worse by many that don't have a full grasp of the facts.

If you know the problems and have a solution that is both practical and palatable to the international community, we'd love to hear it. Truly.

Hamas' guy in Ramallah has been a setback to the Palestinian cause in most people's view. And mine."

Does that work?

 
At 6:33 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

poor government and intransigence


They've never been allowed a 'government in any real sense.

Intransigence? What, not accepting a series of Bantustans and slums with no effective control of their own destinies, no chance of compensation or right of return to, the lands that were stolen from them, under constant Israeli military oppression and reliant on funding and infrastructure (even water) from their very oppressors who are financed and armed to the teeth by the world's only superpower unconditionally.

Geeeeeez, these people just don't know what's good for 'em. Do they Stumbley?

 
At 6:37 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

nope. You've finally got it right.

 
At 6:55 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

"You are one farking sick puppy." Simply because I didn't agree with your interpretation. You start the personal abuse and then blame others when they take offense. Read the posts in order. I have watched you over many posts, you have a tendency to start the personal attacks, then cry foul at the retaliation. Amazing.

Your charity had to do with how you read my post. I promise you, that had the situations been reversed I would have asked for clarification. I would not have name called. However you immediately questioned my character and sanity. See above. That is your self-righteousness in play

My first post regarding Malkin, whom I neither support nor attack, was simply that I viewed it differently. Knowing that children had been used by many different, unrelated groups in different times and different circumstances, I didn't see it as racist, I will never see it as racist, for the reasons I have given. And because I do my damnedest not to throw out the term racist lightly. I am sickened by its trivial usage. I am sickened by people who use it trivially. It is too nasty a term, too damaging, to use trivially. I threw race-baiter at you to see how you like it, because if you throw the term "racist" out trivially, you are a race-baiter.

I did not question your sanity at any time nor I did a question your character in conjunction with the Geneva Convention. Where do you get these things? How can you so misread what is written? Do you make scarecrows for a living? I questioned your character with regard to how you treat people. You lack charity. Period.

I questioned you portrayal of the Aussie military, and by extention Australians, of being so perfect. No country, no military, no people have a perfect record in anything. Which is why I put out the little bit regarding "White Only" Australia. Poke, poke.

Interestingly, you classify me as part of this "ilk" because I agree with somethings they write? Or because I am here writing too? Isn't that a bit presumptious? You too quickly label people when they disagree with you. I haven't labeled your beliefs, only your actions.

Regarding the moral high ground, there is none. I don't assume it, in any meaning of the word assume, except in private affairs and only very carefully. I do not use the term "racist", nor "fascist", nor "sexist", nor any of the other terms used to brand, dismiss, and villify. And I do not trust people who use them too quickly and too easily. I live in self-doubt, because it allows me to learn and change.

The "we don't take s*** quietly" is just macho bulls*** to justify being nasty and rude while you pat yourself on the back. Its called redneck here. Perhaps your "urban" is our "redneck"?

By the way, were you embarrassed when Jenin didn't turn out to be the massacre it was portrayed to be? Still don't know the link between the Khmer Rouge and the Indochinese Communist Party? Justing poking along.

As far as messenger goes, the problem with citations from any of us is that they are cherry-picked. Facts such as the START treaty date are irrefutable. Interpretations of facts are not and the conclusions are not, which is why historians can be at odds regarding any event.

As to my country, I owe allegiance to the Constitution. I took the oath. I just get a kick out of foreigners who are self-appointed "America" experts. I read the "Australian" everyday, but having been the direct recepient of a lying, deceitful journalist's bulls*** article, I take it all as inherently distorted to some degree.

Stop the insults, don't start them, and be more charitable when you interpret the writing of others. It's easier to have a dialog that way. No one is going to agree on everything. Or you can be a macho, obnoxious boor who blames everybody else for what he starts.

It is your choice. Good luck to you.

 
At 7:59 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger anonymess said...

The following is a collection of "best of" comments made by confudeforeigner over the past couple of days. The context matters little; the comments reflect arrogance and disrespect for people, regardless of the context. Confude, who once told me to "get a life," seems to live here and have an endless amount of time to spend trolling for victims...Conboy, maybe it's time to go outside, get some air and visit with some of your mates.


Wow, it is only the 2nd day of June (where I am) and we have our first candidate for hypocrite of the month award. Always good to get in early nyo. Well done.


It wasn't my intention to mislead, I just quoted the whole post. So, sorry for that.

Ooooh, I'd forgotten about that. It was from before Silly went off in a huff. Heehee, thanks for reminding me spyboy.

Excellent retort. I can see I'm dealing with a master baiter here.

Still waiting for Ryan to come back and explain his little hissy fit.

I was being a bit silly when I filled out the profile but so fecking what?

Ah yes the withering insect. He did ooooo-aaaa *black ops* or some such masculine thing you know.

I just wonder whether he did his training at Annaheim or Orlando.

I haven't made any excuses, so I guess I won't be taking your "predictions" with much expectation of success. Try again. Preferably with criticism that means something.

Get a life. Get some perspective. If making a few blithe and flippant remarks on a www profile is such a big deal to you, then war, politics and US hegemony are possibly a bit beyond you. I've 'admitted' that it was silly, I said in an oblique way that I would change it, and I'll probably change it agaain at some stage. SO FECKING WHAT?

Spot the silliness of your 'outrage'? I've actually never denied being a troll in my recollection. I've been called far worse and have shed nary a tear.

Oh dear. This is just getting sillier and sillier.
A prophet? I think not.
Blind? *cough*
Changing sex at will? *cough, snort, snigger*
I hate all those trite little internet acronyms but in this case ROFLMAO.

Oh boohoo Alex. Two (or more) things. It wasn't the first profile so........I haven't tried to cover anything up. I don't care. Here's a clue, I typed it [his original profile which said he was interested in "baiting stupid neocons," and which he deleted when it was discovered] and I said on here that I was going to change it. Ta da!

Jeeeezus wept, it isn't like I was lying about WMD in Iraq, nonexistent terrorist links and greed for oil, is it?

I actually don't give a flying one, mate, whether you'll argue with me or not. The fact is, when I first came here I wasn't trolling but I was abused anyway.

Anonymouse heehee
Get a sense of humour you puffed up numbskull and cultural imperialist.

Oh, and BTW little Ms Prim I tried to register as "Confusedforeigner" but it was already taken. Doh!!

I won't mention your unconditional support and enormous US taxpayer funding of Israeli oppression of Palestinian muslims and christians because it seems to excite the kiddies here.

Another instructive comment to the new kids here. The sort of uscentric arrogance and ignorance of the world that makes the neocons so endearing.

Perhaps stumbley, those people you asked were so enraged by your arrogance and ignorance that they were unable to express a counter response. Alternatively, maybe your arrogance and ignorance precluded you from recognising a cogent response and dismissal of your question for its inherent inanity.

If you require explanation just ask, but first get an atlas and look up Bali, Madrid, London, Bandah Aceh, Jakarta.........maybe that is too many for you.

Eh?

History repeats and now the neocons are perverting history to suit.

Ymar, that is bs and dishonest bs at that

Your original statement was a flat out straightforward lie.

I'd be willing to have a stab at where Yfronts' family tree led. :-)

Methinks you've had a few too many wild mushrooms of late, spykid.

Good onya Uberstormtrooper Wasp. Your a credit to the constitution. Back to the Disney Channel for you.

If you can't see this as racial stereotyping You are one farking sick puppy.

I see comrade wasp has become a pigeon fancier again :-)
Do chickenhawks fancy pigeons?

Seems clear that you have no substantive argument against that so....you will almost certainly dismiss me as a troll next and go off in a huff.

Thanks for playing.

 
At 8:07 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Anonymess,
Thank you. That was my point.

 
At 8:13 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sally v2.0 this is starting to look like an obsession!!

You know you've achieved something when you get your own personal stalker.

:-)

 
At 8:21 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Hey I missed that. Condeforeigner, what the hell would you know about the Constitution? I couldn't graduate elementary school without writing the first 10 Amendments nearly verbatim, and answering various questions. It actually takes a damn long time to understand all the nuances in interpretation. Which is why we argue about it all the time. "Living document", "original intent", etc.
In itself the document is simple, the interpretation is a problem.
Write us an essay, without googling, on the impact of the ICC on the structure of federalism, separation of functions of branches, and its possible abuses.
Just yanking your chain. Don't worry about it.
Like I said, good luck to you.

 
At 8:24 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said...
"You are one farking sick puppy." Simply because I didn't agree with your interpretation. You start the personal abuse and then blame others when they take offense. Read the posts in order. I have watched you over many posts, you have a tendency to start the personal attacks, then cry foul at the retaliation. Amazing.


Not crying foul at all. I'll give as good as I get and that isn't any macho nonsense at all.

I may have mixed you and Jen up and if so I'll apologize for that and that only.

I'll stand by the sick puppy statement. You are justifying tenuous racial stereotyping for questionable partisan advantage in attempting to mitigate a mass murder.

At least 52 people died in Jenin and war crimes were committed and documented by independent sources. Collective punishment is a violation of international law. Having your sponsor veto UN resolutions doesn't make it not a crime. What's your point?

The Kmer Rouge and the Vietnamese? They fought a war against each other. Still think they were linked?

 
At 8:24 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger stumbley said...

Gloves off.

Confud, you are a pathetic, contemptible waste of skin. 'Nuff said. I'm sure you'll love this one, but from now on, I will not respond to your comments, thereby saving everybody else on this blog the pain of reading your responses to mine.

 
At 8:31 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

anonymess said...
The following is a collection of "best of" comments made by confudeforeigner over the past couple of days.



Hey, there's some good stuff there. Maybe I missed my calling.



anonymess said

The context matters little;


Yep, I fully believe that it matters little to you.

 
At 8:34 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

stumbley said...
Gloves off.

Confud, you are a pathetic, contemptible waste of skin. 'Nuff said. I'm sure you'll love this one, but from now on, I will not respond to your comments, thereby saving everybody else on this blog the pain of reading your responses to mine.

9:24 PM, June 04, 2006


As much as I loathed Queen.....

.......and another one bites the dust.


Thanks for playing.

 
At 9:19 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Ariel said....

I read the "Australian" everyday, but having been the direct recepient of a lying, deceitful journalist's bulls*** article, I take it all as inherently distorted to some degree.


Good policy. As do I. Most of my working life I've been involved in things that required reading between the lines, so to speak. I've also been slagged by a lazy journalist. It was a profitable exercise in the end though for me.

The Australian is a Murdoch rag, so I wouldn't take too much notice anyway. It is interesting to compare it to the ultra rightist garbage that uncle deeppockets puts out in the USA though. He knows his market.

Personall I'd string the bas.... up. :-)

Having just reread the thread, I have mixed you and Jen up, so.......sorry.

 
At 9:59 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

The journalist wasn't lazy in my case. She, her photographer, and the newspaper purposely misrepresented in order to go after a government agency in the arena of public opinion. Through lies and distortions.

Have you noticed that you can't seem to post anything without saying something nasty about someone. Is this what your filled with? Man, I hope you don't do this around your children.

Like I said, its not your beliefs, its how you express yourself.

 
At 10:16 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

Confudeforeigner,
my apologies for not catching your "sorry" at the end of your post. It's accepted, although I'm not quite sure for what you were apologizing. Too tired, and too late, to go back through all the posts. Time to move on.

 
At 10:55 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

OK I don't mind admitting that I have taken an abrasive tone on here. I'm not whinging about abuse or the insults but from an early stage here I got utterly tired of the deliberate misrepresentation of positions that either I'd taken or had nothing to do with.

If I say as an example I am opposed to the invasion of Iraq, automatically the sillier posters on here take that as being a Saddam supporter and you have to go through the whole gamut of childish unproductive inanity to get past that to the point where you started from. By then the other side has dropped its bundle and huffed off in a sulk because they can't conceive any argument that isn't black v white, us v them etc.

I find that tiring. It's easier to scratch the surface at the start, sort out the lightweights and chaff from those of more substance.

It is a bit of perverse fun to take the pi.. out of the wasps, the nyos and the yfronts of this board though :-)

Further, if you know anything about Australians you'll know that we are a pretty straightforward people who enjoy a bit of hurly burly and having a few digs. It is an integral part of our humour. It often doesn't play well with you yanks but c'est la vie.

I'm certainly struggling to comprehend the neocon phenomenon. i've never had much time for extremism.

 
At 11:45 PM, June 04, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

And I come from farmers, who said their mind but also said it with respect. The old "don't say nothing if can't say nothing nice". You can't hear the other guy and he won't hear you if you are both throwing insults.

I realize how some of these people react
regarding the war. That was kind of Neo-neocon's point, and our left here are really nasty about this, and you will lose a friend if you disagree. So there is a sensitivity and an overreaction. Know too, that many of these people have been coming here for quite awhile, and so believe it to be their place. And would view you, rightly or wrongly, as the poorly mannered guest.

I do not use the term "troll" unless someone really works hard at it. I don't believe that you have done that. But you have been snarky, as they say.

No, digs do not play well with us. Self-deprecation does, recognizing the irony in life does, many other forms, but not that. Of course, nothing applies to all of us here, just as in Australia.

Regarding extremism, there's an old joke about the American Communist who was asked what he thought of left-wing extremists. Said he's never met any, all the extremists are on the right.

The old John Birchers here, who saw a communist in every pot, left me with only one thing of worth. The spectrum is anarchist on one end and totalitarian on the other. The rest of us fall in between. We can come to agreements and compromise, anarchists and totalitarians can't and won't. Read Hoffer's "True Believer".

Personally, I'm a classic liberal of the American type. Which is why I can like John F. Kennedy and R. Reagan at the same time.
If it were possible, I would love to believe that before my children die, there will be no more dictatorships, no more theocracies, no juntas, nor oligarchies. Just modern secular democracies that will bicker but never go to war. It'll never happen...

 
At 12:08 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

recognizing the irony in life does


Couldn't let this one go past. There is a standing joke about yanks and irony all over the english speaking world.

It isn't complimentary though. :-)

I'm damn angry about all this. I really am. And it makes me angry when I hear the chickenhawks belittling the impact on the rest of the world.

My kids will never get to visit half the places I've been because many of those places are just too dangerous and getting worse.

Instead of working on root causes we've thrown petrol on the fire of radical islam.

I believe history will show the Iraq adventure to be the greatest con of all time. I really do.

Anyways the little kiddies on here will have to find another hate figure soon enough. I'm off to a hotbed of islam shortly. Work to do.

BTW Aussies may take the p... out of you constantly, to get respect you have to give it back. Once you do, you'll find us quite nice really.

We are very antiauthoritarian though. Must be the Irish in us.

 
At 2:08 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

I'm sure about the irony and yanks, but see I've never considered myself a "yank", they are people from New England on the eastern seaboard.

I'm from the desert, and before my health failed, I would spend time in it no matter the temperature. Would drive back from sales calls for hours on end at 114 F, on seldom traveled roads with the windows down, no ac, in its stark beauty. "All our lives should be thus fair and distinct. All our lives seek a suitable background." The Aleutians gave me a similar feeling. But that is neither here nor there.

I believe this has been a long time brewing. Starting long before the Muslim Brotherhood and its offshoots, or the League of Nations mandate. It's easy to say "root causes" but hard to identify them and even harder to deal with them. Is it religious, economic, political structures? Colonialism? Cultural? All of that seems to be very "Eurocentric" interpretations. Do religious fanatics need a reason or a root cause as we would see it? Since whatever they believe is the unassailable, irrefutable truth, anything we do can give them a reason. Again I refer to Hoffer's "True Believer".

Since you work in the Islamic world, you'll develop a bias (that is meant in a neutral way) based on who you deal with and your experiences, and your prejudices going in. I've talked to others who have spent years in Islamic countries and found them horrible. muslim friends in college, Iranian Shia, and did find them prickly and medieval in their attitudes about women. They were secular, or at least they didn't follow the dietary laws regarding hops.

If you haven't seen it, watch Kurosawa's "Rashamon". The truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

And remember, this is Neo-neocon's home, the rest of us are just guests at her pleasure, and the rules of hospitality cut both ways.

God, I can be preachy. See, self-deprecation.

Good luck in your business trip.

 
At 2:11 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ariel said...

"I had muslim friends in college". Must have had the cursor in the wrong place while editing.

 
At 3:09 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

I've worked all over the world. These days I do short stints writing reports for various organizations. I don't talk religion with anyone because I can't abide it.

What strikes me most about muslim communities generally is that they are much the same in their aspirations as anyone else. If anything they value education for their kids more so than most western countries (outside of Northern Europe).

My impression is that they do feel threatened by what they see as a new world order under Bush and that radicalism will increase amongst the young whilst discrimination and injustice increases. Noone likes being bullied. And there has been a hardening since Iraq. I can feel a distinct chill toward westerners where there wasn't before.

Hard to know where to put the marker of history I agree. When the British and the French carved up the middle East after the Great War? Possibly.

The Israeli/Palestinian mess has always drawn anger and now Iraq is seen as another great western hypocrisy.

Thanks for the well wishes, I'm not off right away though. It's only half business too. Half is surfing.

 
At 4:13 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Ariel, you've got quite the touch. Confude made civil- I confess, I'd lost hope.

 
At 5:24 AM, June 05, 2006, Blogger douglas said...

Confude, This might be a particularly instructive point to discuss, because you have rather pointed opinions about the palestinian issue.
You said- "I assume when you talk about terrorists and ambulances that you are referring to the old Israeli chestnut. The UN and the Red Cross have invited the IDF on numerous occasions to provide evidence. To this day they have declined."

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs might beg to differ. But I won't bother with the link, as I'm certain you wouldn't trust an Israeli Gov't link. Fair enough.

Then there is this: "Reuters has provided video of healthy armed men entering ambulance with UN markings for transport. UNRWA initially denied that its ambulances carry militants but later reported that the driver was forced to comply with threats from armed men"

Video available here

Now I'm willing to grant that the UN or the UN ambulance driver were unaware of this/forced at gunpoint to do this, but that doesn't negate the fact that the terrorists hold no regard what so ever for the sanctity supposedly given ambulances,as is apparent in the video. They don't even hesitate, which lends credence to the idea that it's a regular occurance. Once they do violate that sanctity, it is GONE. Their actions hurt many people, but to blame Israel because they are forced to treat ambulances as any other vehicle is absurd, is it not?

Thie issue is akin to blaming the US for deaths of 'innocents' in Iraq when terrorists are killed, and others are killed with them. Who is to blame, the US for shooting at a house where a terrorist is shooting at them from, or the terrorist for deliberately fighting from a location where there are innocents? I blame the terrorist.
You?

 
At 12:51 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

Confud said...

My impression is that they do feel threatened by what they see as a new world order under Bush and that radicalism will increase amongst the young whilst discrimination and injustice increases. Noone likes being bullied. And there has been a hardening since Iraq. I can feel a distinct chill toward westerners where there wasn't before.

My impression is that the West is being envaded by a new world order under Islam and that radicalism will increase amongst their young whilst discrimination and injustice increase and the west appeases more and more. Noone likes being bullied. And there has been a hardening since 9/11. I can feel a distinct chill toward suicide bombers where there wasn't before.

 
At 2:28 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I'm certainly struggling to comprehend the neocon phenomenon. i've never had much time for extremism.

I'm warning people not to fall for it. I've encapsulated Confud's first foray into this blog, here, which is all that is necessary for me. No need have I for more evidence of people arguing in bad faith.

Confud's first foray onto this site, proof positive of bad intentions

Ariel My first post regarding Malkin, whom I neither support nor attack, was simply that I viewed it differently. ... I threw race-baiter at you to see how you like it, because if you throw the term "racist" out trivially, you are a race-baiter.

In propaganda wars, in wars of psychology in which the aim is to destroy the very self-identity of the enemy then anything is game, anything can be used. Confud obviously sees specific people here as enemies, and yet others treat him as a fellow traveler among the path of war. Backstabs happen for a reason, and that reason is perhaps not so conveniently known.

At 9:24 PM, June 04, 2006, stumbley said...

Gloves off.


Does that mean we are going nuclear? Come on, where's the nuclear MIRVs that were promised!!??

Have you noticed that you can't seem to post anything without saying something nasty about someone. Is this what your filled with? Man, I hope you don't do this around your children.

The psychological explanation is simple Ariel. People who aren't confident in their personal beliefs will try to make other people comfortable with their respective beliefs, in order to bring company to misery.

Everything Confud says about respect and other reasonable things are just stuff he deceives people with, including himself. The evidence, in the link, supports my conclusion. There is no need to go past that initial first hand behavior of Confud on this site. Since it was before the insults, before the arguments, before the tempers, and before the hurling of accussations. That was, until Confud started it of course.

I don't think Confud has inspected his own behavior with a microscope, so I don't expect him to deny or affirm the evidence of his own conduct. But that doesn't mean everyone will behave in the same way.

Confud's story is reasonable on its face. He came here with curiosity in mind, was attacked as a Leftist and supporter of terroists, and therefore lashed out in justified and righteous anger.

The other, true, story is that Confud came here saying he was curious and asking questions, but when he didn't like the answers and got to be insulting, I answered back in a calm manner that was neither hostile nor particularly argumentative. To which, Confud finally replied with contempt, patronizing behavior, and more insults. Psychologically speaking, extremism angers Confud and Confud will take out his anger on any extremists he sees, because he treats people who disagree with him differently than those who agree with him. Others, like me, treat people based upon how they behave towards others and towards me personally, not based upon what their ideology or beliefs are.

People like Ariel can get Confud to feel guilt, thereby forcing Confud to look inwards and examine his own behavior in order to correct it, but this is only temporary. So long as Ariel avoids the "extremist" positions or advocating those positions in front of Confud, and stays to the safe topics of her own personal behavior and what she expects from polite people, Confud is forced to remove his prejudiced view of extremists.

Passive-aggressive was always an interesting phenomenon, because it was so irrational.

I have no urge to attack people personally because their ideas were different from mine. People may recall steve, which I disagreed wholly concerning many matters of the Iraq War. Steve, (not steve j) however, always kept his calm and his discipline, and did not resort to childish name calling or showing of contempt. I was interested in understanding his position and the reasons for his behavior, thus the reason why I asked probing questions and was aggressive in challenging his positions because otherwise they seemingly did not make much sense to me.

Confud came here asking questions in seemingly good faith, I answered with respect and politeness representing my view of things, but this olive branch was knocked down and stomped in the mud by Confud when he didn't like the answers. Such is the behavior of mercurial and undisciplined beings. No more need be said.

 
At 4:21 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Actually Ymar your answer was arrogant, dismissive and off topic. Your blog at the time showed you up as a fantasist, with not much in the way of life experiences and advocating genocide.

Didn't you state that virtually the entire world's population was jealous of US money and power? An arrogant ignorant chauvanist fantasy.

Keep it up though, my wife is getting some good stuff out of your psychobabble. Her diagnosis thus far is that you are a psychotic episode waiting to happen, but more likely to harm yourself than others.

 
At 4:43 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Douglas,

the video of itself proves nothing. It could have come from anyone with an axe to grind.

If you care to cast your mind back to before the Iraq invasion, we were shown a video which according to 'US sources' ie probably Rove's White House Iraq Group 'proved beyond doubt' that Iraq was training terrorists in hostage taking on aircraft.

The only problem was, that it was Iraqi training video of antiterrorism troop training at their purpose built facility. (I can't remember the name of the place. Om something)

It is incumbent on the IDF to answer the UN and Red Cross's demand for evidence, not to play propaganda games via youtube. If they have evidence the Red Cross would like to see it. Unless you think the Red Cross is part of the great arab conspiracy.

Anyone whose ever had anything to do with the middle east knows that arabs and the Palestinians in particular are absolutely appalling at PR and enunciating their viewpoint to the west.

 
At 4:46 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Sorry, .....who's ever etc

 
At 4:58 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Nyo said...

My impression is that the West is being envaded by a new world order under Islam and that radicalism will increase amongst their young whilst discrimination and injustice increase and the west appeases more and more. Noone likes being bullied. And there has been a hardening since 9/11. I can feel a distinct chill toward suicide bombers where there wasn't before.

1:51 PM, June 05, 2006

The muslims are coming! The muslims are coming!

How terrifying for you. There there it'll be alright. GWB and Halliburton and Bechtel will save you. And you'll get a tax cut if you're rich enough, for your trouble.

 
At 7:13 PM, June 05, 2006, Blogger confusedforeigner said...

Attack on ambulance carrying civilians, 13 April 1996
On 13 Apri l 1996 at about 1.40 pm an IDF helicopter rocketed a vehicle carrying 13 civilians fleeing the village of al-Mansuri, killing two women and four young girls. The attack happened near the Fijian Battalion UN checkpoint 1-23 south of Tyre. The vehicle was a grey Volvo station wagon with a blue flooding light and a siren. A clear red crescent was painted on the hood, and the word ambulance was written in Arabic on the hood and on both sides of the car. Also written were the words al-waqf al-islami-fil-Mansuri, Islamic Endowment in al-Mansuri.

Video footage taken by reporters at the scene shows the vehicle approaching the checkpoint at a moderate speed, with its blue flashing light and siren on, and the car packed with women and children. Other vehicles crowded with civilians, including a pick-up truck and a tractor, were travelling in convoy with the Volvo. Eye-witnesses saw two IDF helicopters (most probably Apache attack helicopters) hovering low over the area of the checkpoint. As soon as the vehicle passed the checkpoint heading north, a missile fired by one of the helicopters (most probably a laser-guided Hellfire air-to-surface missile), hit the back of the car or exploded just behind it ripping through its back door. The vehicle then crashed into a house just off the road. According to Abbas Ali Jiha, the driver:

...the ambulance was hit in the back and swung off the street. I ran from the car carrying two of my children, Mahdi [who survived] and Mariam [who died], and told the journalists that there were dead and wounded in the car.

Inside the car two women, Muna Habib Shuwayh, 28, the wife of Abbas Jiha, and Nawkha Ahmad al-Uqla, 50 (a neighbour of Abbas Jiha) were killed. Also killed were four girls: Zeinab, 10, Hanan, 5, and Mariam, 2½ months, (all daughters of Abbas Jiha) and Hudu Fadi Khalid, 11 (Nawkha al-Uqlas grand-daughter). Five other children in the car Abbas Jiha and his cousin Ali Ammar survived.

UN soldiers and other eye-witnesses who were at the scene immediately after the car was hit said that there were no weapons or any other type of military equipment in the car, only clothes and some food supplies. The video footage of the dead and wounded in the car moments after the attack supports these statements. Amnesty International has no evidence to indicate that the driver or anyone else in the car had any connection with Hizbullah. Abbas Jiha, an agricultural worker who had emigrated to Germany but returned to al-Mansuri some 15 months before Operation Grapes of Wrath, told Amnesty International that he was not a member of Hizbullah and that he was not involved in any military activity. He maintained that after the beginning of the Israeli operation he volunteered to drive the vehicle for emergency purposes such as bringing medical and food supplies to al-Mansuri, which was under sporadic bombardment. On 13 April, the day of the attack, he decided to use the vehicle to evacuate his family from the village after hearing of the IDF warnings issued on SLA radio that al-Mansuri and other villages would be attacked.

The kashafat al-risalah al-islamiyya, the Islamic Scouts charity organisation, affiliated to Amal, runs a network of ambulances and medical services in southern Lebanon and assists privately-operated ambulances by providing medical supplies and training volunteer first aiders. The vehicle itself was owned by the village community. In normal times it was parked near the mayors house who also held the keys. When Operation Grapes of Wrath began, the Islamic Scouts operation centre in Tyre took control of the al-Mansuri ambulance by supplying it with one of their regular drivers and fuel and despatching it for various humanitarian purposes. On the day of the attack the vehicle had travelled twice between Tyre and al-Mansuri. In its last trip to al-Mansuri on 13 April, Abbas Jiha drove the car to the village to evacuate his family.

Abbas Jihas two surviving sons Mahdi and Ali carrying photos of their mother Muna and sister Zeinab who were killed in the attack on the ambulance on 13 April 1996. Under international law, medical transport vehicles marked with designated symbols (including the Red Cross and Red Crescent) are protected against attack unless they are used to commit, outside their humanitarian function, acts harmful to the enemy (Article 13, Protocol 1). The circumstances surrounding the attack and IDF statements clearly suggest that the IDF wanted to hit this particular vehicle -- it was not a mistake. IDF officials told Amnesty International delegates that at the time the vehicle was attacked it was being used by a Hizbullah terrorist, and that it was a rescue vehicle and not a properly marked ambulance. Public statements made by the IDF shortly after the attack refer to "a vehicle belonging to a Hizbullah terrorist", and continue: "If other individuals were hit during the attack, they had been used by the Hizbullah as a cover for the Hizbullah activities ... to the best of our knowledge the terrorist was hit."


The IDF has produced no evidence to show that the vehicle they hit, or any other similar vehicle for that matter, had at any time been used by Hizbullah for military purposes. Independent observers interviewed by Amnesty International did suggest that Hizbullah may have misused ambulances, but did not provide specific examples to corroborate such suspicions. In any case, this vehicle was certainly engaged in legitimate humanitarian activities at the time it was hit and was travelling in a convoy of civilian vehicles away from, and not into, the area that the IDF had warned civilians to evacuate. Moreover, the Israeli helicopter crew must, at the time of the attack, have seen the ambulance markings on the vehicle. In attacking the vehicle, the IDF showed a blatant disregard for civilian lives and violated international law.
--Amnesty International

And, the hellfire missile was proved to have been issued to US Marines and dissapeared from their inventory.

 

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