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May 29, 2006

On Memorial Day, Remember It All

Now, if these men have defeated the law and outrun native punishment, though they can outstrip men they have no wings to fly from God: war is His beadle, war is His vengeance; so that here men are punish'd for before-breach of the King's laws in now the King's quarrel.

Where they feared the death they have borne life away; and where they would be safe they perish. Then if they die unprovided, no more is the King guilty of their damnation than he was before guilty of those
impieties for the which they are now visited. Every subject's duty is the King's; but every subject's soul is his own.

Another year. Another Memorial Day. A few days ago sitting with a cool drink in my hand on a crowded plane as hot and irritated travelers streamed by, I wondered idly what I would be writing about today.

I did not want to write about Haditha.

And then suddenly, as we got closer landing at Reagan it came to me that Haditha was exactly what I wanted to write about. Like Seinfeld, a show I never liked much, Memorial Day has always seemed to be A Holiday About Nothing, more about grilling and the beach than remembering the fallen. My mind drifted back to this time last year:

I was reading a Letter to the Editor from Pat Tillman, Senior. He was angry. Very angry. He feels the Army has not been straight with him. This is not a story that will - that can - have a happy ending. It is one I have been watching with sadness for a very, very long time. The television was playing softly in the background and about that time, a public service announcement came on. A Memorial Day reminder.

In Memoriam.

It felt odd, a sort of numbing time warp, for strangely there were no pictures of fallen Marines or sailors or soldiers from Iraq or Afghanistan. Only ghostly white crosses standing at attention in rows, silent sentinels in a hazy cemetery. There were no mourners.

Evidently the dead of this war press too close for comfort. Their shades crowd our holiday cookout plans, our trips to the beach, our poolside preparations. Sorry - no tears allowed.

It never stops, does it? We never want to let the dead rest in peace. They can no longer speak to us, so we rush to fill the empty silence with our own words. We cram our fractious thoughts into the unwilling mouths of those who can no longer make demur; who have earned from us - at the least - the right to some measure of peace.

The more contentious among us tell us every misstep, every tragedy, every setback is a sign we should not be fighting; perhaps that America should never fight again. The reverent see war through a different lens. For some, it is reduced to parades and tales of gallantry on the bloody field, a tear in the eye and a solemn hand placed over the heart as the flag passes by. And those in both camps see in each day that passes signs of hope or omens of disaster, according to their lights. We see, I sometimes think, what we expect - or want - to see. I wonder how often we see things as they truly are?

This year the grim specter of Haditha looms in the background like a dark star; deadening our sense of purpose, causing us question the rightness of our cause. The early reports seem to have spawned more than the usual dole of hyperbole, outrage, and grandiose, arm-waving pronouncements meant to show the author has firm moral convictions, as though it required some unusual stiffening of the spine to condemn the slaughter of women and children. We of the half-vast punditocracy get our denunciations in early and often, just to show we are not monsters. Silence raises the suspicion of approval, of complicity.

Opinions lie thick on the ground like battlefield carrion. Some - a very few - remembering past incidents of this type will wait to reserve judgment.

One gentleman wants the accused, if found guilty, to hang by the necks until they are dead. He seems to think every Marine serving should be forced to watch as the accused pariahs twist and dance at the end of their ropes. He seems to take pleasure in the notion of some gruesome, mass act of expiation for a crime committed by a few. This is their punishment for volunteering to serve their nation, for not measuring up to a standard far higher than any he will ever be able to meet.

How dare they disappoint him?

But in the midst of all this unreality, from our television sets this Memorial Day we hear only the sound of distant trumpets. Iwo Jima. Gettysburg. Thermopylae and Salamis. On a day of remembrance, it is perhaps not surprising that we hark back to long ago battles rather than speaking of the war raging in our midst. Reviewing the hardships and horrors of the past, we are reminded that our forebears have survived far worse days than those we now face.

We are reminded, if we care to think of it, that the world we live in today is very much a product of those past conflicts. That the lives we enjoy today would be vastly different, had our ancestors not fought those long-ago battles. We look at the daily news, at the explosions, at the sometimes senseless slaughter, and we ask ourselves, "Why are we here? Is any of this worth it?" But I am often reminded of a question posed by a history professor when one of his students prodded him about ruthless American expansionism. He swept an arm out, as if to take in the entire serene Texas campus where people of all colors, religions, and even nationalities debated the shameful nature of American racism and aggression (many of them at government expense) and replied mildly, "Which of it would you like to give back?".

There is no such thing as a perfect war; one in which mistakes are not made (often disastrous ones), people - guilty and innocent alike - are not killed, lives are not destroyed. But history also shows us that war is a crucible, a creative kind of destruction; the means by which great civilizations develop and grow, by which they assert their ideals, even their right to continued existence. And the reasons why we fight continue to matter, as well as the way in which we conduct ourselves.

I am not sure what surprises, what shocks people so, about Haditha. That it happened at all, the way the New York Times and Time magazine say it did, though they cannot seem to agree on some fairly major details? Surely no one thought war was a clean business.

That it is possible for men to react from accumulated fear, or rage, or simply the soul-deadening effects of too much horror? That there are "bad apples" in even the best organization? That even a worthy cause can be tainted by an ugly incident?

None of these things should surprise us, even if the worst turns out to be true about that day in Haditha. And it may. We should not flinch from that.

But we should also realize that the very fact that we're dragging this out into the light is significant. It means we don't condone savagery. It means that even in an inhuman war, we are trying to stay human. And it is an opportunity for those of us willing to stop and think for a moment to recognize a great debt. We cannot begin to understand the pressures and horrors of war. That there are not twenty, thirty-five, or fifty Hadithas is, in many ways, rather amazing.

That there may be even one is horrifying beyond belief.

And the shadow of that evil, the horror of war, lies on the hearts of all those who fight on our behalf. We know, from listening to them talk about their experiences on days like today, that it never fully goes away. Like an old wound or a missing limb, it aches when the weather changes. But we also know that the vast majority of them go on to lead good, even happy lives. They smile at their grandchildren, they take walks on the beach at sunset. They make love at midnight. Or at dawn.

Like life, war is not all horror and contrary to the feverish pronouncements of self-important pundits, each setback is not a fresh presentiment of disaster. Amid the carnage of war, schools are built, small children chase dusty grunts begging for a soccer game, babies and old people are medevac'd to field hospitals and even to the United States. Lives are lost, but lives are saved too. There is laughter, sometimes, amid the chaos.

This is why balance, and history, are so important. When we remember those who have fought for us on Memorial Day, we should remember it all, so that we never blind ourselves to what we ask of these brave men and women, nor to the ugly nature of war. It is not something we should seek, but the reasons we fight will always matter, as will our response when we fail to live up to our ideals.

I have heard a lot of harsh rhetoric about Haditha. The truth is, we do not yet know what happened that day. We may never know the whole story. But just as we should not sweep it under the rug, so also we should not lash out in a fury of self-important outrage. We have an opportunity to demonstrate how a great nation metes out justice: calmly, deliberately, with great care and above all with compassion both for those who died that day and for those who continue to serve us under harder conditions than we who are sheltered in our safe suburban homes can begin to imagine. It is justice, not vengeance, that we should seek for all concerned.

And in the end, how we go about this task will be one (though by no means the only) test of this experiment we call democracy. Overwrought bloviation about how "democracy" brought death to Haditha does not change the fact that people were dying - horribly - in Iraq long before we got there and will undoubtedly continue to die long after we leave. It is not the tragedies, the isolated deaths, the miserable failures that define a civilization; that will define Iraq or that say who we are as Americans. It is the things we build; the things that survive our often bloody and hamfisted attempts to create something lasting in an impermanent world.

Context matters. It is the "why" that explains so many unanswered and deeply troubling questions. And it may well be fifty years into the future, or even one hundred, before some future Memorial Day celebration harks back to the Great War On Terror, celebrates its heroes, sheds tears of sorrow and pity for the shades of those who died there, and remembers the ideals we stood for then as a nation.

On this day, we owe it to those who serve us today in Iraq and Afghanistan to remember it all, the good and the bad, without flinching. We owe a debt of remembrance to the past, to all who have fought and died so that this often stumbling experiment in freedom we call America could continue. With all her faults, she can still be a city on a hill if those who support her do not lose faith in her ideals, however imperfectly realized they may seem at times.

On this day, we remember those who, when called, answered the summons and gave their utmost; surmounting fearsome obstacles along the way with courage and fortitude. They have given so very much for us. How can we do less for them?

Posted by Cassandra at May 29, 2006 07:42 AM

Comments

Is it 12:00 yet? I'm going to go start drinking and cut the grass then burn some dead animal. Flowers were placed in a daylight service this morning. Quietly. Without fanfare. We don't do the parade although it is a grand event. Daughter's graduation Thur, our anniversary Sat, TLB's birthday today. Life goes on I guess.

Well said Cass. Thank you.

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 29, 2006 09:40 AM

Well said, Cassandra ... well said.

Posted by: McQ at May 29, 2006 09:41 AM

JHD: you be sure to thank that fine young man of yours for us. And tell him that we remember, both what he has done for us, and the friends he has lost.

And give TLB our best on her birthday.

McQ: thank you for your service. That sounds (and no doubt is) pretty inadequate, but is nonetheless sincerely meant.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 09:49 AM

"Surely no one thought war was a clean business." Unfortunately some do, and they're the ones that started this and declared victory 3 years ago. Haditha was inevitable. It happens in every war, on every side. It happens when young men who are no longer fighting for their country but are fighting mostly for the survival of their buddies suffer one loss too many. That's why we should only fight wars we absolutely must. Our uniformed services and our nation are diminished which each such incident. If you had never heard of this event (keeping in mind there are likely others which have occurred that you haven't heard about), would that make you feel better? Would that make the war "cleaner"?

Posted by: jeff at May 29, 2006 10:48 AM

Gosh Jeff, what nation on the face of the earth has not been irretrievably "diminished" at this point???

After all, they've all had their problems. Maybe mankind should just give up trying to achieve anything because somewhere, somehow, someone might screw up and "diminish" us.

I have an interesting question for you: how come you only see the things that diminish us? Are you even willing to admit that there have been acts which ennoble us in this war?

Yeah. I didn't think so, though that's the argument I made: war is a mixed bag. But by your definition, the entire history of mankind has been one long descent into madness because bad things happen. We are all irretrievably "diminished" and morally compromised by every crappy thing that has ever happened.

Seems a rather unbalanced perspective.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 10:59 AM

I feel this blog is irretrievably diminished by Jeff commenting here.

Posted by: Yugo at May 29, 2006 11:29 AM

I don't understand the syntax of "Which of it would you like to give back?" Can you really say "Which of it"?

Hmmm. In case you mean "Which part of it?", I would say ALL of it. Treasure gained by despicable means (lies, murder, acts of unprovoked aggression) is not treasure, but poison on the hands of man and the soul of the world. Land gained by this means is nothing to be proud of. (I include any nation or government that does this, not just ours). At least not to this human. But I know some like to forget as much as possible that gets in the way of their comfortable little philosophies and lifestyles.

And that is the kind of thing I can't help but think of every Memorial Day. Please don't tell me to move, because I'm saving up as we speak.

Posted by: ms. oaxaca limón rockefeller at May 29, 2006 11:32 AM

Speaking for America, Ms. Rockerfeller, I can't tell you how sorry I am that we haven't lived up to your expectations. I hope you find a better life for yourself in a nation that has never gained land through aggression.

Enjoy your stay in Iceland. I think it's the only one that qualifies.

Oh, and don't read their native sagas while you're there. You'll find them most disturbing.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 12:10 PM

Found on InstaPundit:

JONAH GOLDBERG ON GOOGLE: "It's kind of sad. They change their homepage logo for all sorts of holidays and occasions. Just last week they paid tribute to Arthur Conan Doyle's birthday. But Memorial Day doesn't seem to rate anything at all."

I sent them an email about this. If you want to, here is their contact page.

Posted by: MathMom at May 29, 2006 12:20 PM

Jeff,
What kind of situation would we have to be in, in order for it to be a war "we absolutely must" fight?

And Ms. Whatever your name is,
That is one of the most confoundingly clueless comments I've seen in a long time.

You 2 both seem to think that just because you're against the war (read - Bush) then it MUST be wrong.

Well Memorial Day isn't about your feelings and it isn't an anti-war platform.

Memorial Day is simply THIS

Take a man and put him alone,
Put him twelve thousand miles from home.

Empty his heart of all but blood,
Make him live in sand, in mud.

This is the life I have to live,
This the soul to God I give.

You have your parties and drink your beer,
While young men are dying over here.

Plant your signs on the White House lawn;
"Lets get out of Iraq".

Use your signs and have your fun,
Then refuse to use a gun...

That was written by a Marine in Iraq and it's titled Who Cares If A Soldier Dies? and it's targeted specifically at people like you two.

People who are so pampered, so sheltered, so jaded and so blinded by their bias that they can't see beyond their narrow tunnel vision.

Memorial day has nothing to do with you, but it Honors those people who helped make your lives what it is.

It has nothing to do with politics, but it Honors those who've built and who protect our Democracy.

It Honors those same people who you've essentially spat on just so you can get on your soapbox.

You should be ashamed of yourselves.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 29, 2006 12:26 PM

I'm not even going to bother to say anything else.

Joat, you said it better than I ever could.

Thank you.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 12:34 PM

As a liberal who supported the war in Afghanistan but opposed the war in Iraq, I appreciate this editorial quite a bit, though I don't agree with all of his points.

One thing I'd like to make clear, not that anyone will necessarily listen, is that liberals have never been totally against war. I talked with a knowing person about what he thought a President Gore would have done in Afghanistan, and he assured me it would have been a true shock and awe, which a ground force at least the size of Desert Storm. This liberal Democrat, like the majority of America, would have liked to have seen that. And even in the case of Iraq, as much as I opposed it, being close to many military people, I wanted to see us defy Rummy and get the job done fast and thoroughly. None of this happened.

War is tragic and nasty and horrible and should be avoided as best as we can. We can go around and round about the justifications for this war that have since been discounted, but that's a waste of time, as is the nonsense of impeachment, unless we find something that is truly a smoking gun, which we likely won't.

What's left for us is to try and find a way to stop hating each other so damn much. I'm sick of being told I don't love my country because I'm against what we're doing in Iraq. It just isn't true. I was willing to support President Bush after 9/11, because there was no other option. But he betrayed my trust, and the trust of many others.

I can see the logic behind those who believe that Iraq was central to making a bigger point about the post-9/11 world. I disagree with them, but their position makes sense to me. I never told those people that they were anti-American, and I expected the same from them. Needless to say, my expectations were not met.

As we move ahead, we must all realize that America, aside from a sliver of less than one percent, loves and supports our brave military, and on this day, we remember them in our hearts and minds and give pause to consider their sacrifices, from the journalists to the generals to the privates to the cooks. All of them deserve our love and respect, but above that, they deserve our participation in government, for it is that government that sends them on their missions. America has cast its lot democratically to the supporters of this war in the past two elections. Now, the majority of Americans are seeing what many of us liberal Democrats saw in 2002. We saw a President and a Sec. of Defense who were not listening to those who knew best. Now that the primary reasons for war are debunked(WMD, Al Qaeda, etc.)America is looking for real leadership and real answers. I pray that my party steps up to fill the void, but I also pray that there arises a new wing of the GOP that is not only committed to truth, but is willing to accept a nation of dissenting views. We need more men and women like Hagel, Chafee, Collins, Snowe and Specter to provide balance in the GOP to the extremists who have been in power.

I ask all of you conservatives to end your hatred of people like me, and realize that you won't be getting hatred in return regardless of your choice. You are my countrymen, and I stand beside you supporting your freedom to disagree with me and even to hate me and call me an anti-American liberal pinko. But I continue to hope for something better, and I believe hope is what made this nation possible, and I believe hope is where our future, together, lies.

God Bless Our Troops and our Nation.

Posted by: Doug at May 29, 2006 12:55 PM

Doug:

I agree with almost all of what you say, with one exception: there is plenty of blather and bloviation on both sides of this issue. My two best friends, my brother, and his wife are liberals. I don't hate them.

And conservatives who support the war have been called every foul name in the book too, from babykillers to chickenhawks. Reasonable people on both sides see how destructive this all is.

Thank you for your sentiments. I don't agree with all of them, but hope on this day of remembrance one thing we can all agree on is that we are so very blessed to live in a country where we *are* free to disagree. And we are.

No one is being rounded up for speaking their mind. The worst they've had to suffer is opposing speech, and the Constitution doesn't protect any American from that. Nor should it :)

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 01:05 PM

You're argument is full of fallacy Doug but I sincerely believe you have a right to it. Too many of our finest have sacrificed their all to make sure you do. Intelligent discourse will not get you blasted as anti-American. Anti-war yes but we understand your argument no matter how full of holes. I'm only going to take just one of your points as an example. I have neither the time nor desire to take your entire premise apart on a day as glorious as this one.

"I talked with a knowing person about what he thought a President Gore would have done in Afghanistan, and he assured me it would have been a true shock and awe, which a ground force at least the size of Desert Storm"

What do you know of war? Of Afghanistan? If a President Gore would've sent in a ground force twice the size they would have been decapacitated in short order. Study terrain. Study history. Study logistics. Study climate. Study your enemy. The Soviet Union tried just those tactics Doug. They lost. The attack on the Taliban was one of the most strategically successful assaults in the history of warfare. Period. And the other difference between this and a President Gore is that we don't apologize for it nor see the need for approval from anybody on the face of this planet. It's all simple base humanity; we prefer to survive. Basic instinct and a fact of nature.

If you want to argue then you really need to be better informed. Your entire premise is based on some things that are incorrect. Every single point you made are fallacies. We don't hate you Doug. Now for the two that have come on here and tried to throw the Honor and Sacrifce of our Nation in our faces then yeah, our dislike of them is a almost physical thing. I don't expect you to understand that based on your lack of knowledge of the current sitrep but suffice it to say you will be treated as you treat others. We don't back down worth a damn. We did that once during Nam. It will not happen again. Learn the truth, pay attention to facts, listen to your opponent instead of spewing talking points while ignoring what is being said, argue your points succinctly, and you will never be an object of derision as the other two that have posted here. Plain and simple! We recognize your right to disagree if done without the insults to Honor, Duty, God, and Sacrifice.

To the other two; kiss my grits. Live in your chains and rail against the machine. Meanwhile these brave young men and women will continue to give you the very freedom you refuse to fight for. Thank you for your support! Delta is ready when you are!

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 29, 2006 01:30 PM

I'll respect any man who will fight for what he thinks his country ought to be, even though I disagree with him. I have no use for those who don't love her enough to fight for her. Doug's opposition is honorable; Ms. Rockerfeller's isn't.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 01:56 PM

Cassandra, I am only an occasional reader of your fine blog. I am grateful that today was one such occasion. Very, very well said.

And as an American who has never had to serve, my heartfelt thanks to those who are serving, have served or have loved ones in the service currently.

Posted by: Jaimo at May 29, 2006 02:01 PM

Wow. I am a first-timer. And maybe a last-timer. I am not sure what to say about all of this war glorification. This blog is so surreal. I am responding with a disadvantage. I don't live in America anymore so I am not exposed to daily doses of MSM propaganda. I live in Germany, a country of people who understand that pre-emptive war is always wrong and they will NEVER engage in such folly again. Their soldiers are used for peace keeping missions only.

I simply wanted to say that, by this point, with everything we know now, I can't understand why, especially on Memorial Day, every American isn't on the street calling for an immediate end to this illegal and ultimately unwinnable war. Truly astonishing. No American freedom is being protected by this war. I would argue that the opposite is true. As you read this, the message has aleady been data-mined by the NSA because it originates from outside the country.

Posted by: Michael Buchanan at May 29, 2006 02:45 PM

P.S. There is nothing wrong with not using a gun. It is noble and right. Many great leaders have won wars without ever lifting a hand in anger towards their enemies.

If you are couregeous only when you have a gun in your hand, I would say that you don't know what courage is.

Posted by: Michael at May 29, 2006 03:09 PM

"I live in Germany, a country of people who understand that pre-emptive war is always wrong and they will NEVER engage in such folly again."

We'll see how they feel about that a generation or so after there is no longer a massive American military presence there, making sure they don't.

The peace of Europe is bought with American blood. Enjoy it. You might say "thanks," some time today, if it's not too much trouble.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 03:13 PM

Yeah, there's that good ol' American arrogance Europeans love so much! Where would they be without Americans protecting them? please. This is what Memorial day is. A day to remember the one war that was worth fighting. The war to end all wars, remember?

The only ones who are not happy about the Americans leaving Germnay are the small business who will suffer in the short term. But don't you worry about Germany. I think they can manage without you, happily.

Posted by: Michael at May 29, 2006 03:18 PM

I'm sure they can. They managed their way into Paris just fine without us.

What I'm not so sure about is how Europe as a whole will do.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 03:21 PM

Just curious, how many more illegal wars and decades have to pass before Europe doesn't owe America a damn thing? 2,3, maybe 7?

Shouldn't you be thanking the french for bailing you out of the revolutionary war?

Posted by: Michael at May 29, 2006 03:26 PM

First of all, I don't accept that there have been any "illegal wars." The US Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, and they authorized all this. Nobody else gets a vote.

Second, they "owe" us something at least until we've gone. We kept Western Europe free throughout the Cold War, and provided the guarantee of stability and security during the difficult period of negotiation and unification in the 1980s and 1990s.

Since we're still there, not without invitation, I'd have to say the clock hasn't yet started on "how long?". Once they're independent, and defending themselves instead of relying on us -- you've heard this week's news that the US missile defense system will include defending Europe against Iranian nukes? Right. -- then they can start the clock.

I'm eager for them to do so, don't get me wrong. I'm ready to shake hands and bid them as merry a life as they can make. I just don't accept these claims that they're better than us because they haven't done something that they are physically prevented from doing. It's like suggesting that a bank robber is my moral better because he's not robbed a bank in years, while I continue to use force every day to keep him in prison.

Sure. We'll see how moral he is once he's cut loose. Good luck to him -- but I doubt any theory that says that any group of mankind has 'laid down war forever.' Not in this world.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 03:34 PM

terrible analogy, just terrible. oh, never mind.


you do realize that Germans today are no more responsible for WW2 atrocities than you are of keeping slaves? No, maybe you don't and therein lies the problem. I know a lost cause when I see one, this entire blog and its "fans."

good-bye

Posted by: Michael Buchanan at May 29, 2006 03:40 PM

I realize that they're not responsible for WWII. I just disagree that they're praiseworthy for not starting WWIII, given that there's been somebody there to stop them from it.

Not that I wish to carry on the conversation either. Good-bye, indeed. Don't hurry back from Germany.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 03:44 PM

thanks JHD,and tell the "Da Grunt"thanks for me too.I agree with that the two morons along with Mr.Buchanan are stuck on stupid and weenification.Mr.Buchanan read John Stuart Mill said about war and see if you measure up to what this great statesemen said about people such as yourself!Point out to me where being a pantywaist pacifist candyass ever got us out of war,it hasn't and never will,It is been tried many times before,biggest example of the failure of appeasement is Neville Chamberlain,remeber reading about him?This has always been a recipe for disaster;people with your warped thinking is what got us into the Second World War,and look at the lives it cost!Your worthless and toothless philospies should've been dumped into a garbage bin,since that is where such assinity belongs!You pampered,sheltered,yellow,and common sense challenged lefists with your world view have cost billions of people their lives all over the world for the last 40 to 50 years!Clinton had several chances to defeat this enemy but,the approval adddicted socialists stupidly treated terrorism as a criminal matter comparable to a drug bust,then we started getting other attacks and all he did was give a wimpy response,stern lectures don't profit you a damn thing if they aren't backed by action,and then of course the cut'n'run maneuver that Bin Laden always refers to in his speeches and then we ended up with what happened on 9-11.And to make matters worse,these losers are agents of another country go and willfully give aid and comfort to our enemies,that used to be called treason and sedition,you all in all your morally relativistic glory try and spin it and call it something is isn't such "Whistleblowing"or some such nonsense!You always wanna justify attacks on us because of this silly White guilt thing that you all have and you don't think like adults you think like silly teenagers,only they are so addicted to what their peers think.confident people don't have that problem.On this day when we remember "All gave some,and some gave all"that if it weren't for these people your sorry ass would be in shredder or a meat grinder right about now!So who is warmonger now?!Men like Dad and JHD don't cause wars weak people such as yourself do!and don't you ever forget it!

Posted by: Lisa Gilliam at May 29, 2006 03:57 PM

Uh Mike? I'm taking the "clueless" crown from Ms. whatsherfaces head and putting it on yours.

There is nothing wrong with not using a gun. It is noble and right. Many great leaders have won wars without ever lifting a hand in anger towards their enemies.

First, I don't know of any leader who ever won a war singlehandedly.
They usually have ARMIES do it for them.

Second,

you do realize that Germans today are no more responsible for WW2 atrocities than you are of keeping slaves?

Not even half true since many of the former Nazi regiem are still alive, yet I dont know of one single former slave owner who is alive and kicking today.
Do you know something no one else does?
Any 150ish year old slave owners?
No?
I didn't think so.


Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 29, 2006 04:16 PM

At the risk of sounding like a Pollyanna (a thing I am oft accused of) isn't it wonderful we're talking about all of this instead of fighting about it?

Or at least I hope that's what we're doing. It seems a little more respect for people who honestly disagree with you might encourage a more receptive audience for your words.

Throwing a Molotov cocktail through the door as you disagree doesn't exactly win hearts and minds. Honorable people can disagree here.

How about a little recognition of that fact?

Oh. And happy Memorial Day.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 04:17 PM

I'm not sure it's always wonderful to be talking instead of fighting. If a man comes over to your house on your mother's birthday and says "Your mother is a @#$#@," the proper response isn't to say, "Well, let's discuss that."

I'll be happy to disagree with honorable people as to what the proper response is in such a case. I'm willing to be negotiated down from my initial position that they ought to be beaten with a stick. Still, if we're going to pursue the middle ground, let's recognize that it's the ground between "beat them with a stick" and "discuss openly the possibility that your mother might be a @#$@#."

She's not, and there's no honorable position that holds that she might be.

Posted by: Grim at May 29, 2006 04:37 PM

Cassandra:

I am so glad you have returned and this post is an example of what we all were missing while you were gone.

Posted by: SShiell at May 29, 2006 05:13 PM

Grim, you know that wasn't aimed at you :) And I agree there are such things as fighting words. I have been tempted to take offense once or twice today, but this is not the time, nor the place.

Today is for remembering, so I guess I'm going to be a wimp for the rest of the day. Bear with me.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 05:56 PM

And thank you SS (comment before last).

Posted by: Cassandra at May 29, 2006 05:57 PM

The other day I was watching "Saving Private Ryan" on cable, shown as part of a Memorial Day marathon. I have seen this movie a couple of dozen times, so I know the plot very well.

I still found the landing at Omaha Beach scene riveting as always. I couldn't help thinking, though, that we could have never pulled off D-Day in modern times. If the MSM wouldn't have leaked the news to the Nazis weeks ahead of time so the troops would have been slaughtered by massed tanks at the waters' edge, then the Krauts would have certainly been tipped off by the massed leftie demonstrators (Cindy Sheehan, Ted Kennedy, Susan Sarandon, etc.) protesting outside the military bases in England.

Greenpeace boats would have tried to obstruct the landing craft in the English Channel. The French resistance would have collaborated with the Germans to attack our paradrops and protect the national sovereignty of Vichy France from the american imperialists attempt to impose hegemony upon La Patrie. Chirac would have given stirring radio broadcasts exhorting frenchmen to rise up against Les Amis and denouncing "Cowboy Bush".

The democrats would be having congressional hearings on "lack of planning", the "faulty intelligence" and how "Bush lied, soldiers died". There would be further hearings on how some american soldiers shot germans who were trying to surrender, thus calling into question the entire justice of our cause against the Nazis. There would be calls for the Director of Intelligence to be sacked after a group of Rangers assaulted Pointe du Hoc to take out coastal artillery bunkers which proved to be abandoned weeks earlier.

The casualties sustained in the first day at Omaha Beach dwarfed our total losses in Iraq, so you can bet the libs like Murtha and Kennedy would be calling for the immediate withdrawal of our forces from Europe. "It is hopeless!" would be the cry, and "We cannot possibly win against such a determined foe!"

The libs would say "screw the jews and the other oppressed peoples of Europe!" They would say we need to focus on welfare and other domestic issues rather than foreign military adventures. Plus, did Bush first gain the approval of the League of Nations before launching D-day? He did not, and thus is engaged in dangerous unilateralism! Yes, he had British support, but everyone knows Blair is just Bush's "poodle".

Anyway, it is only the opinion of France which matters in world affairs, and Chirac and Schroeder just LOVE one another. America should keep its nose out of european affairs. They are far more "sophisticated" and "nuanced" than we are.

The muslims would also all agree that the US is in the wrong, because the Holocaust was just a fabrication of the Zionist Conspiracy to gain world sympathy.

Impeachment proceedings would then be initiated against Bush, and ACLU lawyers would file suit demanding that D-day was an unconstitutional exercise of Executive Power. Justice Kennedy's opinion, relying upon foregn law such as the Third Reich's code of justice, would find Bush's actions unconstitutional and order the immediate cessation of hostilities with Germany pending the creation of a peace treaty. Bush's attempted "regime change" of Hitler's Germany was clearly unlawful.

Sometimes I depress myself.

Posted by: a former european at May 29, 2006 06:17 PM

Have another beer AFE. It's workin' for me! :-o

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 29, 2006 06:33 PM

P.S. There is nothing wrong with not using a gun. It is noble and right. Many great leaders have won wars without ever lifting a hand in anger towards their enemies.
Posted by: Michael at May 29, 2006 03:09 PM

You are indeed a truly learned historian, Michael, to know of so many great leaders who "have won wars without ever lifting a hand in anger towards their enemies." I presume you are referring to Dungeons and Dragons, because in the real world, war is a catacylsm that two to enjoin. Otherwise it's just surrender.

Posted by: spd rdr at May 29, 2006 06:53 PM

I live in Germany, a country of people who understand that pre-emptive war is always wrong and they will NEVER engage in such folly again.

As someone of German heritage, what preemptive was is it you refer to? Preemption of being overrun by Jews? The German state, having so lost its moral compass prior to WWII cast off war as an extesnion of diplomacy, not out of nobility, but of disgrace. America has never and will never suffer that fate.

We've also been forgiving enough to protect Germany and much of Europe while they've tried, mostly unsuccessfully, to come to terms with their decadent past.

Save Eastern Europe, left to its own device, Europe may well soon need to learn to stand alone, again. And at this point, it's just as likely to be over run by Islamofascism, as it is to meet that test.

No doubt noble young American men and women will one day be marching off to save our old and silly European allies once, again.

Posted by: Dan at May 29, 2006 07:19 PM

A question: did I not read enough blogs last Memorial Day, or are there more trolls around this year than last? (at Blackfive, Mudville, Argghhh, etc...)

Posted by: FbL at May 29, 2006 07:51 PM

Yes FbL, it is a concerted effort and seems to be fairly organized. Hawk banned them entirely. I guess if you could stomach going to Kos or DU you could probably find the answer as to who is orchestrating it.

Nice huh?

But even then you get guys like Doug that are honorable and truly are the loyal opposition. It would truly be nice to have a true national discussion but it ain't gonna' happen.

See what they did to deudderson? They got me last year at this time. I was able to save most of my stuff from backup discs but still lost a bunch. Nice group of folks!

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 29, 2006 09:02 PM

Well, I may not be as ill-informed as you accuse, my friend. For one thing, our military in 2001 (aka Clinton's military-remember Bush I thanking Reagan for giving him a great military to complete the Gulf War?), was not the same military as the Soviets of the 80's. I am specifically referring to Tora Bora. We needed to send Americans in there instead of farming the gig out to the warlords who sold us out and let Osama go free. Had Gore done that, I guarantee that you would have expressed dismay.

At any rate, thank you for your respectful reply. But your history is a little off on one point as well. The "success" of our strike against the Taliban is questionable. Had we eliminated them, captured or killed Mullah Omar and Bin Laden and Al-Zawahiri, you could have called it a real success. And had we succeeded, the Taliban would not be making a resurgance, as they have been of late. I will not presume to "know of war", and I assume that by making a statement like that, you do know of war. If that is true, I'll just say thank you for your service to our country and leave it at that.

To the person who claimed that the "libs" wanted to "screw the Jews" and let Hitler run free, you need to check your history. It was the isolationist conservative Republican who opposed the liberal Roosevelt in the late 30's-early 40's on entering another European war. Hate us liberals all you want, but at least hate us intelligently!

Posted by: Doug at May 29, 2006 09:26 PM

From a mythical land, remembered for a day like today...

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

Once again the same old arguments, the same old strife.

We all see through the glass, but darkly.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at May 29, 2006 09:58 PM

Aw man! You are going to make me think now Doug? Heh! You're about four hours too late! Well this ought to be real unintelligible (is that a word?).

First off, nope! I never served. Not a day in my life. No, I was just an old scum suckin' barnacle scrapin' Mariner skipper that floated around trying not to hit stuff and sampling the exoctic adult beverages of da werld. I am simply the dad of a three deployment Marine Grunt. No more - no less.

I will totally by-pass your Clinton left the military in fine shape statement. That is simply ludicrous and the budget cuts alone are proof of what was left of the military to pass on. Morale was probably the biggest hit but we'll let that pass. Clinton screwed the pooch and you know it as well as I do. Preemptive strike on your next assertion of Cheney and Rumsfeld cuts would be to simply point out the "type" of military they were aiming at. Almost a QRF military in whole.

So you're basing your premise on the Stan strike on Tora Bora eh? And yet one of y'all's biggest arguments is our invasion of Iraq was against a sovereign nation. Have you studied Tora Bora? Do you have a good geograhical fix of what it is you call a failure? Have you calculated the time between 9/11 and our take down of the Taliban. The scope of the SP OPs and logisitics involved? That is the difference in what you see and what I know. It was incredible the job done by those young guns. That's the cake and eating it too argument and you can't have it both ways.

Who sold whom out? What you are saying is that a country run and controlled by warlords cannot be allied to us to destroy an enemy and create freedom for their own? Where did Bin Laden head out of Tora Bora? Your speculation again would have involved us invading a second sovereign nation. Without the logistical capability I might add. War planners do not do suicide well and that is what you are proposing we should've done. Those young men destroyed the Taliban's ability to make war. Pure and simple. The biggest problem of your idea of a rejuvenated Taliban is based on economics more than anything. I guess we should pull the plug on the biggest cash crop they grow in the poppy as well? Replace it with what?

You want everything in the typical liberal ideology of having it all now. It takes years to nation build. We're four years into a war that will last decades. The biggest problem will be your side's lack of will to fight the type of war we need to guarantee our continued freedom. I give you Murtha as an example. Cut and run won't get it done. That is exactly what your side advocates. Your point of conservative Repubs doesn't hold water as well. The parties have actually flip flopped most of their ideologies in the past 20 years. The Dems have totally run out their conservative constituency by blowing off the Southern Dems and we have switched allegiance as a result. You remember us don't you? The social liberal fiscal conservatives that got our party overrun by every asshat on the far left? No thanks! BTW, I'm a registered Independent and not a Repub.

Yeah, it'd be nice to have a national debate but the Left is so filled with hate for this admin they are willing to sacrifice anything, including lives as evidenced by the plethora of aid and comfort given our enemies by the leadership, that it has become impossible. Virus attacks, Cope Pink demonstrations on our WIAs at Walter Reed, etc. don't make many friends. It damn sure doesn't make for open, honest debate that's for sure. Shame too because we have more common ground then many understand. There's enough crap coming from both sides of the aisle that would fill a small planet. You can debate the war without resorting to endangering our very way of life or putting our men and women in further harm's way. Look at this thread alone and see what the attitude is from those that refuse to fight for their country. Left it some of them have but I guess I respect that more than those that would prefer to destroy it from within.

Oh well, it's way too late in the day to play wordsmith. Read Bing West's short article in the NYT today. He makes the point rather well.

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 29, 2006 10:52 PM

It's telling how many tortured paragraphs must be conjured up to justify aggressive war.

It's a completely specious argument to simply declare: The US is powerful and economically comfortable for many humans like us, so we should make up positive stuff about organized deadly aggression and ignore atrocities commited in our name.

Why not simply ignore the 3000 that perished on Sept. 11, 2001 at the hands of a small band of bloodthirsty islamic radicals then? For every death perpetrated by a muslim extremist, there are probably many billion solemn peacful prayers offered in muslim mosques around the earth, right?

There's no perfect religion, country or cause is what you doofuses are now saying to feel good about the fact that some US Marines have recently killed babies, on purpose.

Posted by: jims at May 29, 2006 11:32 PM

It's telling how many tortured paragraphs must be conjured up to justify aggressive war.

It's a completely specious argument to simply declare: The US is powerful and economically comfortable for many humans like us, so we should make up positive stuff about organized deadly aggression and ignore atrocities commited in our name.

Why not simply ignore the 3000 that perished on Sept. 11, 2001 at the hands of a small band of bloodthirsty islamic radicals then? For every death perpetrated by a muslim extremist, there are probably many billion solemn peacful prayers offered in muslim mosques around the earth, right?

There's no perfect religion, country or cause is what you doofuses are now saying to feel good about the fact that some US Marines have recently killed babies, on purpose.

Posted by: jims at May 29, 2006 11:34 PM

Joatmoaf:
I just retired after 27 years in the Air Force. When I visit our national cemetery, I know many of the people buried there. Someday I will be buried there among those heroes. Ive earned the right to say that we should not fight wars of choice. What have you done to earn your citizenship, trooper?
jeff

Posted by: jeff at May 30, 2006 12:32 AM

- "Surely no one thought war was a clean business."


Are you kidding? Flowers, candies and cheers from liberated Iraqis, remember?


- "we're dragging this out into the light is significant. It means we don't condone savagery."


Are you kidding? Murtha was called a traitor for doing this.

Posted by: Sirkowski at May 30, 2006 05:56 AM

Jeff, Joat was in the Navy.

And Sirkowski, Murtha didn't drag anything out into the light. He has merely been bloviating about it.

He has played no role in investigating the incident whatsoever, and there has been publicity about it for months.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 30, 2006 06:12 AM

Oh, and while I'm at it, every time that quote is repeated to "prove" the administration claimed the war was going to be simple or over quickly (two things it demonstrably did NOT do) you have to intentionally ignore the many, many times (including the SOTU address) where the President specifically said the war was NOT going to be easy and would NOT be won quickly.

Dishonest arguments do not make your case well - if the only way you can "win" an argument is by ignoring everything that disproves your case, you're in trouble.

But then if you've already made up your mind, facts aren't relevant, are they?

Posted by: Cassandra at May 30, 2006 06:16 AM

reply to afe...posted 5/29 - 6:17
do you really think this is anything like d-day and ww2? seriously? no...i mean really believe that?

Posted by: jay k. at May 30, 2006 08:20 AM

Jeff, I was born here. Is that good enough?
Spent 4 years in the Navy also. I know that doesn't compare to 27 but I don't apologise for not staying longer.

I am now a DoD Navy Civil Service employee and even that may not be quantitatively good enough for some, but who really cares?

What differentiates my opinion from yours is that I have vast amounts of facts to rely on while you and yours seem to only rely on emotional or empathetic sympathy.

I don't want to psycho-analyse the terrorists.
I don't care why they attacked.
I don't care if they have Freudian thoughts about having sex with their mothers, or if evey pointy object they see causes them to think of a penis.

I don't care if they are poor and we aren't.
I don't care if their leaders help bring terrorism about through their repressive governments.

I don't care if OUR leaders did it.

I want this war won and I want the terrorists DEAD! Period.

I frankly don't care if you spent 27 or even 72 years in the Air Force. I'll tell you the same thing I told the other 2.

Memorial Day IS NOT about your politics and as a retired Veteran you, above all, should be ashamed of yourself for twisting a solemn Holiday that is dedicated to such an ideal.

I don't care what your opinion is. I see it every day when I watch the news.
Memorial Day is not about your stupid, idiotic Propaganda campaign OK?


"No amount of propaganda can sway an informed public to a lost cause." - Me, Joatmoaf

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 30, 2006 10:19 AM

Good for Joat and 4 years is plenty! Too many folks "know" how wars are fought based on a dozen viewings of Saving Private Ryan and the Green Berets. Here's the point which you all seem to miss. I did not say Hussein should still be in power. I did not say that we should let terrorists do what ever they want. I said this sort of thing happens in every war and that is why you should only fight wars you have to or at least, for the nation's sake, DO IT RIGHT! Troops are stretched and hammered, some of their own are killed and the unit loses it's identity as part of a larger mission. Then, for awhile, the unit goes nuts and the distinction between combatants and innocents is loss. You strike out at all the (Fill in the blank: Poles, Bolsheviks, Nazis, Rebels, Gooks, Sammies, Ragheads) who aren't really human to you anymore. This isn't psychobabble and has nothing to do with soldier's mommies. It has been studied and documented. It is predictable and the result is the same: No Gun Ri, My Lai, Haditha. A minority of troops involved: Yes! National policy: No! But you all made fun of the term "diminished". However you cut this, however you spin this, the standing of the US in the world community will be diminished. Maybe you don't care but I have a couple of sons who are going to have to work and live in the new America.
My biggest beef is that there has been no true accountability from the folks in charge for that which, for whatever good has been done, has cost the US billions of dollars, degraded our military readiness and ability to respond to true national threats, and cost thousands of killed and injured of America's finest because:
1) They chose to do it on their timetable, before they finished with the REAL terrorists in Afghanistan & Pakistan
2) They chose to do it their way with too few troops to hold and secure a country that big and ethnically complex
3) They chose to make significant political blunders from trying to establish a US figurehead to disbanding the Iraqi Army.
They made a lot of choices, and now we are where we are with few really good choices left for us to make in resolving this mess.

Posted by: jeff at May 30, 2006 10:52 AM

I lived in Germany too and they were thoroughly beaten in WWII. However, that doesn't mean they won't rise and defend the Fatherland again should they deem it necessary. Many German expats who live here as citizens and return on a regular basis to Germany have noticed the increasing irritation the natives have to their Muslim auslandern.

Just sayin'

Posted by: Cricket at May 30, 2006 11:05 AM

> The attack on the Taliban was one of the most
> strategically successful assaults
> in the history of warfare.

Not really. The Bush administration paid one lot of warlords to chase another lot into the hills. The Bush administration then stood down, instead of capturing Bin Laden. Bin Laden remains free to this day, and every six months sends out a tape to prove it.

The Afghan occupation is coming just as unravelled as the Iraqi mistake, and for the same reasons: gross ineptness - thinking you can solve a political problem at the end of a gun barrel.

Posted by: Peter at May 30, 2006 11:21 AM

So Jeff, you've convicted these young Marines and have already pronounced sentence. How quaint of you! Haditha in the same breath as My Lai. And you wonder why you piss us off? Go figure!

Therein lies the difference. We're willing to WAIT until the investigations have run their course. We are not LOOKING to find fault for political gain. If that's the world you are looking for your sons to grow up in then good luck. The Marines are looking for a few good men. They might even have what it takes!

Joatmoaf's whole point was simply that this entire discussion on the day it occurred is an afront in and of itself. And you should know better. You have a legit beef in your mind's eye? Think it could've waited a day or two? No, it's better to drag all that we hold holy in order to stand up on your soapbox. Frankly that just sucks! Condemnation of young Marines before they have even been charged will not win you any friends around here. It taints your talking points and reduces your credibilty to fight for your opinion. Get it? On Memorial Day at that.

You want to ignore every advance we make and tout the tired rhetoric of quagmire, mess, etc. So, according to you, cut and run is OK? You hold with Murtha's cowardice? Is there nothing that has been accomplished that you deem correct and justified? Oh wait a minute, if it was President Gore it would all be just fine and dandy. Enough already. The men and women serving over there are doing a bang up job and have made progress of historical proportions. Whether you will admit it or not.

I get a little tired of all the same tired rhetoric. If we are stretched so thin why are reenlistment retention rates so high? All branches have come close to, and some exceeded, their recruiting quotas on the active side. Reserves and NG have missed their marks but not by much. Their retention rates are solid as well. It just gets old Jeff. Really old.

Since you are so righteous and have all the answers please tell us mind numbed robots which war did not have mistakes? Name one! After 27 years I'd think you'd know how fluid war is. But that wouldn't serve the purpose of attacking the CiC now would it? What's your answer Jeff?

Funny you should bring up the stress of combat. Yeah, it's been "studied" and it is a real, living part of war. To condemn those that suffer from it, and that is what you did comparing them to No Gun Ri et al, is just simply rhetoric we won't put up with. Or better to answer for myself; I call bullsh*t! The mere fact that you, like Murtha, want to use something like that as a political tool makes you the tool. Prove me wrong! And don't piss up my rope telling me I don't understand either. I've spent a lot of time with young combat Marines dealing with 4 years of war. To a man they are devoted and good to go. Hell yeah it's tough. But then so are they and I'll take them over your comparison to My Lai any damn day of the week. Period! You see shortcomings and I see Honor, Duty, Sacrifice. Your hatred of this admin has colored your judgement for one so long in service. Damn shame!

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 30, 2006 11:34 AM

Okay, as to the wheareabouts of OBL: First of all OBL alive fuels the insurgency, pathetic as it is. Wearing down the enemy has been a tactic of the terrorist for a long time. Well, we can do the same. Keeping tabs on OBL is better than turning him into a martyr.

Posted by: Cricket at May 30, 2006 12:02 PM

"I want this war won and I want the terrorists DEAD! Period."

Joatmoaf,

Your sentiment is understandable but lamentable. It is imperitive that we understand the situation on the ground in Iraq. Military anlalysts have no way of knowing exactly how many actual foreign terrorists are among the enemy, but most put the figure at no more than 10%. What we are up against is a complex web of Iraqi factions, with a variety of agendas, on Iraqi soil. To think that we can stamp out terrorism by killing enough Iraqis is foolhardy. If we truly had wanted to take the piss out of Al Qaida, we would have sent the rangers in at Tora Bora.

Posted by: Randy at May 30, 2006 12:57 PM

Please site your source for this 10% figure Randy. Is that ten percent of the people planting IEDs and killing civilians? Or is it 10 percent of the population?

Posted by: Pile On® at May 30, 2006 01:06 PM

Randy,
The only thing that is lamentable your defeatist attitude.

Cut and Run.
Lose at All Cost.
Wrong War Wrong Time.

All of those are politically motivated and basically equate to "I Hate Bush".

And don't bother to deny it.
There are very few on your side that can cite valid, practical reason for being against the war.

When is the right war, or the right time?
Is Ann Coulter right? Do we have to be invaded by aliens from outer space for it to be a just war?
Is the only acceptable war one in which all of mankind can forget their differences as they join hands in fighting a common foe?

There's a word for that.
Fantasy.

What's lamentable is that people like you aren't against the war for any reason other than politics.

What's lamentable is that these same so called Doves were so rabidly FOR blowing up asprin factories or camels in the desert or sending troops to Bosnia and other questionable tactics.

Do you really, seriously think that BOSNIA was a worthy war for us?
Remind me. When did the Bosnians attack us?

I don't remember hearing about the Bosnian attack on American soil.
No, Bosnia was trouble for Italy, Greece, Phrance and Germany, but not for America.

Did you know that immediately after WWII, La Guardia was put in charge of implementing the occupation od Germany and the transition of it to a Democracy.
60 years ago he faced the exact same kinds of defeatist opposition that Bush is facing now.

It was no different than today, and they were no less rabid.
What footnotes in history did those Peace At Any Cost protesters leave?
None.
Other than me just mentioning them now.

After La Guardia gave his speach to the (almost) new UN their place in history or political dynamics ceased to exist.
His speach is almost an itemized duplicate of what we are going through now, and what we need to do to make it better.

It's not really a matter of what fight you pick, but rather how you pick your fight.

Look at Neville Chamberlain. He actually was a very good leader. He was inspired and progressive and he probably could have stayed in office except for one bad choice.

Now the world remembers him only as Hitlers appeaser. Despite his good deeds, his good nature and his good intentions, he is only remembered as a cowardly leader.

Choose your fights wisely.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 30, 2006 04:16 PM

Yes Iraq was the wrong war at the wrong time. I stand by that statement and will trumpet it from the hilltops. All those other quotes you attributed to those against the Iraq war are meaningless and don't apply. They are just inflammatory straw man arguments to make the feeble-minded feel good about yourselves.

The situation in Iraq bears no resemblence to Nazi Germany. Hitler had conquered most of Europe and had the largest military machine ever assembled when we entered that war. Saddam was broken with no power to influence events outside of his own country. That's a huge diffence and if you can't see it, well I'm sorry for you. There are just wars, this just ain't one of 'em. Despite Bush's so-called good nature (which is highly questionable to those who have taken the time to observe him), he will be remembered as a fool, who didn't understand his enemy and only aggravated the terrorist threat. When Clinton bombed the aspirin factory, at least he was going against the right enemy, the Al Qaida. That he was provided with possible bogus intel is unfortunate. Similarly, the war against the Taliban was totally justified in my view, although poorly executed.

Posted by: Randy at May 30, 2006 04:37 PM

Saddam was broken with no power to influence events outside of his own country

Randy, have you been getting into the herb again? I thought I warned about that... we Reichthuglicans take a dim view of that sort of thing.

As liberals are so fond of saying, we are all entitled to our own opinions, but we are not entitled to our own facts.

The fact is that after the cease-fire in the first Gulf War, Saddam was not contained. He managed an assassination attempt against a former US President, NOT IN IRAQ, but in Kuwait. He managed (I wonder how?) to communicated to the gentleman who planned the FIRST WTC attack (anyone see a pattern here?) that he was welcome to claim asylum IN IRAQ ON AN IRAQI PASSPORT. And then he supported him for the rest of his life. Gosh. Isn't that *special*?

He was funding numerous terrorist groups, a conclusion well documented in that ridiculous 9/11 Commission report. If terrorists need money to kill people and Hussein is providing it, he is, by definition, affecting events outside of Iraq now isn't he?

There is also quite a bit of evidence that Oil for Terror...errr...Food money was also going straight into the hands of terrorists.

But hey. If it makes you feel better to think Saddam was crocheting doilies, you just go right on believing that.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 30, 2006 05:30 PM

Well now, if there is one thing the innocent civilians in Iraq need it is doilies.

Bush had no plan to provide much needed doilies to Iraqis. Saddam did.

And of course Kerry did.

Posted by: The Left at May 30, 2006 05:35 PM

Oh I know the difference between Germany and Iraq.
There is no straw man in my argument except the one you imagine.
I never said that Iraq and Germany were the same. I said the aguments used by the anti-war crowds in BOTH wars were the same.

Get it right.

I also laid out the RESULTS of WWIIs anti-war protesters and IMPLIED that the same would become of todays protesters.

Get that part right too.

The only enemy Clinton was going after when he bombed the factory was the enemy of bad publicity.

This war has been going on for a lot longer than 9/11.

Some of us choose to recognise that very real fact. Some of us don't.
But if you're goiung to make an argument based on nothing more than a political or emotional ideology, at least have the decency to bring some actual ammunition to the fight.
Blanks don't hurt and that's all I've heard on this thread so far.
They're loud and annoying, but they don't hurt and they don't do any damage.

As I said previously, there are very few on your side of this position, that can give valid, practicle reasons for being against the war.

So far none of you qualify.
You hate Bush. You hate the war.

Big Deal.
Your side is always demanding that we justify our point of view without being partisan, biased or political, and we do it.
Yet when the same is asked of yours suddenly the defensive walls go up and it just becomes more of the same.

Now it's your turn to answer.
Put up or shut up.
No rhetoric.
No attempts to divert the subject.
VALID, PRACTICAL reasons.
Nothing else will satisfy.

Now you can slip back into the standard liberal tactic and claim that you don't have to answer anything and you would be right.

But you would also forfiet the right to demand anything of us.

Your call.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 30, 2006 05:36 PM

Well, I mean... duh... doesn't Kerry always have a Plan?

Good God, man. Work with me.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 30, 2006 05:48 PM

Dudes! All this war talk is harshing my buzz.

I think that if we just sat down with the Islamians, smoked a few bowls of wicked awesome buds, had a few brews and pineaple/pepperoni pizza, we would all just realize that we are all just brothers on this great spaceship Earth.

Wars aren't won by blood, they're won by buds.

PARTY HEARTY!!!

Posted by: Jeff Spicoli at May 30, 2006 07:34 PM

Righteously spoken, dud... I mean dude.

Heh.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... at May 30, 2006 07:36 PM

I want me a geyuine croshayed Iraqi doily.
Where can I get me one a them?

Posted by: Elma Mae at May 30, 2006 08:08 PM

Elma honey:

You kin take the girl outta tha country, but you sho' nuff can't take the country outta the girl, kin you?

What you want is a gen - u - wine Straw Man Doily.

Accept no substitutes.

Posted by: Bush Ate My Soul... at May 30, 2006 08:15 PM

Anyone seen my brain?

Dorothy? Toto? Is that you?

Posted by: Straw Man at May 30, 2006 10:54 PM

To all the liberal scum who intentionaly or unintentionally misconstrued my D-Day post:

My point was that cowardly scum like you always advocate doing nothing. You don't advocate any positive strategy to deal with world problems, but will knife anyone in the back who DOES try to take a stand against evil in the world.

The point of my prior post was to point out that had americans advocated your "do nothing", appeasement type position in the past, we never could have successfully prosecuted WWII to a successful conclusion. For that matter, we probably would never would have gotten rid of slavery. Isn't a military invasion of the South the type of unilateral military adventurism decried by your ilk? Everyone knew that Lincoln only invaded the South to seize the rich cotton fields they possessed.

I can see you all now, marching against the Civil War in D.C. -- Impeach Lincoln now! Lincoln lied, soldiers died! No blood for cotton! -- would read the banners.

My homeland is now free because Reagan and fellow conservatives were willing to take a stand against the Soviets in the Cold War. Cowardly liberals like you would have left my people as slaves to an evil, brutal totalitarian regime for all eternity. For all your lovely rhetoric, claims of compassion, and claims of caring about human rights, you are merely selfish cowards who care not a whit about the suffering of others.

You spout your liberal bullshit so that you can all pat each other on the back about how "enlightened" and "caring" you are. I cannot describe the degree of contempt and loathing I hold for your kind.

I am doing an injustice to Rudyard Kipling, but I can't remember the exact quote. I believe he said the liberals, pacifists, and other cowards are able to maintain their ridiculous positions because brave men are wiiling to shed their blood and give their lives to maintain the very freedom which those cowards use to denigrate them. I believe he wrote a poem "Tommy Atkins" along these same lines.

I am not eloquent like Kipling, but I am a great deal more vengeful and bloody-minded when it comes to liberal bastards who are willing to sell entire peoples down the river to eternal oppression rather than have the balls to make the hard choices and do the right thing.

I would love to send these disgusting liberals to a lovely Soviet-style country like North Korea, or our poor misunderstand islamofascist friends, so that they can experience their tender mercies firsthand. Kim Jong Il would love to see you protest in Pyongyang. This way he wouldn't have to hunt you down one by one, you would be conveniently gathered in one place for him to machine-gun down and bury you in a mass grave.

Only a fool or a liberal would welcome the arrival of barbarians at the gates of civilization, like the islamofascists or Soviets. Only the King of Fools would open the gates and let them in.

All hail your liberal Majesties!

Posted by: a former european at May 31, 2006 05:01 AM

AFE: Actually, you might be thinking of Orwell, who said that good people sleep peaceably in their beds only because there are rough men who stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

Posted by: Patrick Chester at May 31, 2006 07:04 AM

I think that, EVEN IF Haditha represents our worst expectations, that the men there DID go in and start shooting indiscriminately, that it is a single, solitary error (**highly** punishable, mind you) amongst thousands and thousands of non-errors.

When you have 100,000 people in one place, is it surprising that a few commit a crime, even a horrific one?

In no sense does that suggest this is not something to be STOMPED ON, and very, very hard! But it's -still- a lone incident.

Posted by: OhBloodyHell at May 31, 2006 10:04 AM

AFE:

On my way to work I walk past this car owned by an obvious liberal twit with a bumper sticker as follows:
============================
To the world:
. We tried
. -Half of America-
============================

I wrote a response which I put onto the windshield of his car:

----------------------------
To the Iraqi People:

Half of us in America apologize that it took so long for us to behave as good neighbors, to help free you from your oppression and slavery by a rapacious, two-bit thug and his butchering, torturing, sociopathic offspring. Half of us in America realize we probably should have done it much, much sooner.

The other half, unfortunately, thinks it should ignore such evils in the world and that you should still be suffering from such treatment. That half would readily turn you back over to said thug’s social clones in their efforts to return you to slavery and oppression. We apologize for the self-centeredness and utter lack of compassion shown by that half of America, and hope you will forgive them in their immaturity and foolishness.


. . . - The Half of America Who Cares.
------------------------------
Not pithy enough to make into a bumper sticker, but I think it carries the point, nonetheless...

Posted by: OhBloodyHell at May 31, 2006 10:21 AM

Well said, AFE. And it was Rudyard Kipling who wrote the poem. It was posted over at The Castle.

I think Orwell also said that people were safe because men stood ready to do violence on their behalf.

Liberty comes with a price. I never once heard a smidgen of complaint when William Jefferson Clinton sent our guys to the Balkans ten years ago. We didn't like Clinton or his reasons but we went and we did the job. It didn't take six days, six weeks, six months or six years. We were there for over ten years and will still be ready to
help out. And THAT is the price we paid to have a secure Europe...the Germans and the French now have to bear a greater measure of the responsibility of their own security now that we are a token force. And that is as it should be.

Europe was safe as long as we were there facing down the Soviet threat. They didn't have to do it...and now that Islamofascism threatens to take over, they are wringing their hands and trying to appease them and it won't work. If they want the US to save them from their folly, they will have to shut the hell up and realize that war ain't pretty if they want to have peace and freedom.

Posted by: Cricket at May 31, 2006 11:06 AM

Thanks for the correction everybody. Of course it was Orwell (sound of palm smacking own forehead). I started off thinking of Kipling's poem and got locked into thinking about Kipling.

Also sorry for the typos, but I was too steamed to preview.

Posted by: a former european at May 31, 2006 04:04 PM

JarHeadDad-

Well, you absolve Cheney's cuts because of his ideaology. Had a Republican followed Clinton to a T, you'd have supported him. You care more about idealogy than ideas, it seems. Oh well..

As for the Southern Democrats of old, I say good riddance. Once LBJ chose sides with Humphrey, Kefavuer and Gore Sr, and left Dick Russell and the rest of the segregationists behind(Trent Lott, Thurmond), yes we lost a lot of Democrats and it was better for the country. Sad to say that those people are now Republicans, and it does show up when your President gets a 2 percent approval rating from Black Americans. This mythical group of social liberal Southerners who were fiscally conservative is a hoot. Particularly in light of the current money wasting at the hands of a one-party rule.

Bottom line is, your side, "independent" registration nothwithstanding, is where most of the hate lies. All I want you to know is that in the near future, when you're back to directing your own hatred at the Oval Office and the Dem controlled Congress, people like me will still want to hear your voice, even as it gets relegated to a thing of the past like the Dick Russells and the like. You can go ahead and have the last word on this.

BTW, I'm a "new" Southern Democrat. The kind that opposes corporate welfare, abandonment of blacks in hurricanes, and preemptive wars based on bad intel. But when my side is in control, you still won't find hate coming from us towards you. We'd prefer to focus on Al Qaeda.

Posted by: Doug at May 31, 2006 04:15 PM

You know Doug, since your first comment here, you came in lobbing accusations of hatred. That's a pretty strong word, and it was deliberately chosen, because you have waved it about repeatedly.

I don't think anyone here has shown hatred toward you. In fact, despite the fact that you said some very insulting things in literally every single comment, most people have made a real effort to look past that and at least try to engage with you.

Let me suggest something. When you go to a site full of people on the other side of the political aisle, it really whacks them off when you start right out accusing the other side of hate. You might want to re-read your comments with a truly open mind and ask yourself this question: just how long would you have lasted on a lefty side if you'd bracketed your comment with this kind of attitude:

One thing I'd like to make clear, not that anyone will necessarily listen...

...I ask all of you liberals to end your hatred of people like me, and realize that you won't be getting hatred in return regardless of your choice. [wow... there's an open mind in action] You are my countrymen, and I stand beside you supporting your freedom to disagree with me and even to hate me and call me a fascist right-wing stormtrooper.

As someone who has never talked to you in my life before, I get the impression you came here with your mind already made up, looking for a reaction you'd already decided was going to take place regardless of what anyone actually said or did.

Posted by: Cassandra at May 31, 2006 04:25 PM

"abandonment of blacks in hurricanes"

Well, I tried to engage you in a civil debate but I guess with blatant ignorance and outright lying like this I'll pass. I will tell you this Doug, I spent 42 hours going into NO from Meridian before the gale had even passed. It's called rapid response there asswipe, we're on call for FEMA including having been involved in 13 other major storms, and what do we get for our efforts? You and your bullsh*t rhetoric and a few rounds fired at us. You sir just lost any respect I may have had for you. BTW, I didn't see your sorry ass out there beside me slinging chainsaws, fighting wind, water, snakes, dehydrated, covered in slime, and risking YOUR life just to help out what we thought were our neighbors. No, you're just another pantywaist sitting safely tucked away while others do the real work for you. How noble of you! Kiss my grits Doug. You are one sorry individual that turned out to be a big disappointment! You don't want to hear squat. All you want to do is try to show your puffed up importance GIVEN you by your betters! You damn sure haven't done anything to earn it.

End of discussion with another keyboard warrior! Is there anyone with any character and integrity remaining on the Left? Still looking!

Posted by: JarheadDad at May 31, 2006 09:25 PM

My God,

Reading through some of the posts on this page makes me feel like I'm taking some sort of bizarre tranquilizer, I agree with the guy above who says its surreal.

Cassandra's logic and sense of ethics is so, for want of a better word, mushy that its frightening. She goes off on this 'we don't hate you' thing when responding to liberals (an idiotic categorization but the only one that right wingers seem capable of applying to people who disagree with them). What you need to understand Cassandra is that many people, including myself, are genuinely furious about what George Bush's administration has done in the name of the American people.

Sending our troops into Iraq is an action that has caused between 30 - 150,000 deaths (the low number is the official estimate as of last year, by the way, that's 10 to 15 times the number that died on September 11th). It has diverted our special forces and CIA operatives from the work they need to do to infiltrate Al Qaida in the west. It has cost the best part of a trillion dollars. It is illegal according to international law and sets a precedant allowing any country to invade another country merely on the suspicion that they have weapons of mass destruction. It has lost the United States the support of its allies and sowed the seeds of a possible civilisational conflict with Muslim World and all you can offer is blather about how hateful liberals are.

Grow up. People are dead and dying. America's foreign policy is the product of bumbling fools who ignore the advice of the military, our diplomats and our allies, not to mention the lessons of history.

Have a cup of coffee and try to think clearly.

Hateful? We need more hate for your rosy-eyed bullshit view of things.

PS when the families of the women and children slaughtered in those houses in Haditha come after our troops are you gonna call them hateful?

Idiot.

Posted by: rocketScientist at May 31, 2006 09:58 PM

I agree, you are an idiot. Your candor re your nature is surprisingly refreshing. Thank you for your honesty.

Once again we hear the brave liberal battle cry of "Do Nothing!" Liberals propose no new ideas or solutions to problems, but simply engage in criticism or Monday morning quarterbacking of anyone who DOES try to lift a finger to do the right thing.

Thousands of our innocent citizens are murdered on 9/11. The proposed liberal solution? Do nothing, otherwise we might make them mad at us. This was the same response used to justify appeasement of the Soviets for decades.

Liberals have also tried to engage in the usual moral equivalency game, saying we are no better than the islamofascists. If liberals truly believe this, trying living with your Al-quaeda buddies. Similarly, although Castro is hailed as a hero to the proletariat by liberals, I somehow missed the mass migration of american liberals to Cuba. Don't you all want to live in the "worker's paradise"?

Liberals also seem to have no concept of time, or the idea of cause and effect. 9/11 is somehow justified by Abu Ghraib or Haditha, even though the latter occurred years after the fact. In fairness to liberals, though, it is always possible that the islamofascists are psychic, or maybe they just ran up a huge bill with Madame Cleo (da cahds, dey never lie!)

Shame on you, JarheadDad, for actually going out, rolling up your sleeves, and helping people! Don't you know the true liberal solution is to talk and talk about problems in order to "raise awareness" about issues? Once you have raised awareness about something, that is enough. You can then gather with other liberals at your coffeeshop poetry reading and pat each other on the back about how "enlightened" you all are.

You, on the other hand, actually went out and helped people in need. How gauche! You are a conservative barbarian! If you teach a man to fish, how will he then remain dependent on the Nanny State to continue giving him handouts of fish? This renders liberals irrelevant and therefore will not be tolerated, you poo-poo head!

Your moniker is also suspiciously military-sounding, therefore everything you say is already discredited. How can babykillers and torturers in the military possibly contribute anything useful to this debate? After all, when I think of steadfast courage, loyalty and selfless devotion to our nation, I immediately think of hippies, not Marines!

Once liberals gain power and oust the Bushhitler, their program of higher taxes, increased welfare, expansion of the Nanny State, banning of all industry and technology, and imposition of gay marriage will have Al-Qaeda on the run! Why have we wasted trillions of dollars removing a brutal dictator, a walking human rights violation, and freeing an oppressed people, when we could have spent that money on increased funding of abortions and saving more spotted owls? What is wrong with conservatives that they cannot see the obvious Truth of the liberal message?

Posted by: a former european at May 31, 2006 11:01 PM

Dear Surreal Rocket Scientist,

At least you grabbed some random numbers to thow out there.
That's more than the others can say. Nevertheless, random they are.

1st, Cassandra doesn't hate liberals, even I don't hate them.
I think their ideology is stupid beyond compare, but that's not hate.

Hate is when a person goes to a site they've never been to before and paints everyone of opposing views with the same, broad, stereotype brush.

Hate is when someone actively looks for a site with a topic that they can leave an inflamitory comment or 2 on.

Hate is when someone insults a person they've never gotten to know, simply because they are too lazy or stupid to do any of their own fact checking.

We already KNOW that Liberals are furious the Bush is President.
That's the problem.

It's not that you don't like Bush, we couldn't care less. It's that your hatred of Bush is the ONLY reason you people ever give for being against the war.

150,000? Cite your source please.
And in addition, I DON'T CARE.

That's something else your kind just don;t seem to get.
We don't care if you're mad.
You're Always mad anyway, so what's new about that?

You act like little spoiled children who threw a fit because your parents won't let you play in traffic.

Just like the others, you come in here with an argument that has no substance.

FYI Rocket Scientist Genius, the loss of finances from the attack on the WTC was $250 billion.
That's just the value of the property. The estimated accumilated cost will be more than a trillion.

I mean, since were only talking money here.

Don't come to start a fight without at least having some kind of strategy.
It make you look stupid.

I don't hate you. I just think you're an idiot.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 31, 2006 11:03 PM

Ah, AFE. If only I could type faster and better : )

Posted by: Joatmoaf at May 31, 2006 11:04 PM

Well, Joat, seeing as you've beat me to the punch many times in the past, I say turnabout is fair play!:)

And, actually, I DO hate some liberals. Not all by any means, since many are just ignorant. But, I despise the rabid america-hating left. Those that spit on our nation and its servicemen and women are worthy of no respect from me. Those that believe that America is always wrong and our enemies are always right should be scorned and despised, IMHO.

As an immigrant to this country, I feel blessed every day that I am able to enjoy its freedoms. I always get choked up when I hear the national anthem, and I weep unashamedly at military funerals, Veteran's Day, and Memorial day, when I think of the sacrifices made by our brave servicemen and women so that I can enjoy the fruits of liberty in this great land. Little snot-nosed liberal shits can sneer all they want at my reaction. I care nothing for their opinions of me, or my love of this country. Their mockery reveals the emptiness of their hearts, minds, and souls. Their bitterness and hatred, a la Michael Moore, is clearly shown for all to see. I would rather enjoy the company of one decent and honest man, than the praise of thousands of such bitter, empty wraiths inhabiting human flesh. They have forgotten how to create and build-up, and so they live for nothing but to tear down and destroy. How could I NOT hate and despise such poisonous destroyers?

Liberals looked upon the suffering and misery of those of us trapped behind the Iron Curtain, shrugged their shoulders and walked away. We were not worthy of their notice. Instead, they heaped praise upon our Soviet tormentors and gave them encouragement. How do they expect us then to feel about their actions? How would a Holocaust survivor feel about people who encouraged the Nazis to put more jews into ovens? How would freed black slaves feel about people who encouraged their overseers to keep them in bondage and whip them harder if the slaves got uppitty?

Liberals never look to the consequences of their own actions, and are thus astonished when someone holds them to account for their vile deeds. I have not forgotten the freedom given to me by this great nation. It is a gift I can never fully repay. By the same token, I will never forget the callous, arrogant indifference that the Left has shown to the suffering of my people. It is a black mark that can never be removed. Had they any shame or sense of decency remaining, liberals should take their own lives to eliminate that evil stain upon their souls. In this respect, I understand and admire Japanese samurai culture and the seppuku tradition.

So then, do I hate the rabid, america-hating Left? You bet I do, and with good reason.

Posted by: a former european at June 1, 2006 12:50 AM

'Abandoning blacks in hurricanes' is total c*ap.
The Bush administration repeatedly WARNED Mayor Nagin to evacuate NO 36 hours before Katrina made landfall. He chose to ignore the warnings. If anyone abandoned blacks in a hurricane, Nagin did that to HIS OWN people. Get your facts straight.

You came here with your narrow mind made up. You say you don't hate, but every word out of your mouth drips with contempt and disgust because of your so-called 'new Southern Democratic' beliefs.

Posted by: Cricket at June 1, 2006 02:23 AM

Rocket Scientist:

You are beginning to make me wonder whether there is some kind of reading comprehension virus going around this week.

The only reason I "went off" about hating liberals is because DOUG kept bringing that issue up. He raised it, not me. My comment was in response to what he had said earlier, and I merely quoted his words, changing "conservative" to "liberal" and "commie-loving Pinko" or whatever silly thing he claims conservatives call liberals (which, by the way, no one here had called him) to the "fascist stormtroopers".

Since my comment was meant for Doug and addressed to him, I rather thought he would pick up on that, being familiar with his own words. It didn't really occur to me that anyone else would feel the need to interject themselves into that exchange, but if they did, it might have made sense for them to go back and read Doug's comments before shooting their mouths off.

The only reason "liberals" or "hate" were brought up was in response to Doug's repeated jibes about conservatives hating liberals. That only makes your statement re: liberals being "an idiotic categorization but the only one that right wingers seem capable of applying to people who disagree with them" even funnier, since it wasn't me but Doug who first used the term, in the process of telling us that conservatives hate... gee whiz... he used the term "liberals" to describe himself.

Odd, isn't it, how you don't object one bit to Doug saying exactly the same thing, not once but several times? His logic isn't "mushy" when he says conservatives all hate liberals, but when I repeat exactly what he said to point out how bad that sounds, you attack my logic and sense of ethics?

It must be very interesting, living in that bubble.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 1, 2006 05:16 AM

At any rate, I am not interested in seeing my comments section degenerate into name-calling.

If we can stick to the subject at hand, great. Carry on.

But I don't wish to host yet another forum for "conservatives" and "liberals" to hurl ad hominems at each other. There is quite enough of that going on on the Internet already.

Doug was allowed to repeatedly insult the people here because he was trying to make a larger point, and because I generally bend the rules a bit when people who disagree with us visit. But there are limits, and I think we have reached mine.

Keep it reasonably civil or comment elsewhere. There are plenty of other sites around where you can throw bricks. This isn't one of them.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 1, 2006 05:22 AM

afe,
I know JHD was just trying to help in his own Bible Thumping Military Indoctrinated Way. I propose he be sent to a re education camp to learn the basics: Bush is Hitler. Bush is Living Proof that Darwin Was Right (although that might have some liberals who believe they are descended from fish or apes feeling uncomfortable that Chimpy MacHitler shares some of their DNA!), Rumsfeld is a Big Meany and Al Gore Is The Best Thing That Ever Happened To The Environment.

Heady Stuff.

Posted by: Cricket at June 1, 2006 05:31 AM

Cricket, my post referring to JarheadDad was totally tongue-in-cheek. I was mock-chastising him from the perspective of our liberal "guests". No normal person would find his actions worthy of criticism.

Cass, were you referring to any of my posts? Sorry if I got a little out of hand, but it really bugs me when the america-hating Left starts spouting off their usual rubbish. I have very little tolerance for america-bashing. I tried to explain why I felt so strongly about it, but maybe that got lost in the Sturm und Drang.

Posted by: a former european at June 1, 2006 06:20 AM

afe, to be honest I haven't even read all of the comments yet.

I just noticed this morning when I got my email that there were a lot of comments on this post. And reading through the first few, I noticed the tone was becoming very adversarial, starting with the lovely comment calling me an idiot (which I can deal with, but which is kind of off-topic).

I know you all know my general rules for debate here, but I don't expect others to know them. Also, I know people (including me at times) get wrought up when we get into this whole liberal/conservative thing, and I just don't want to go there.

I want people who disagree with us to feel free to comment here. I really wish more of them (most of them, in fact) could do so without being personally insulting, but the fact is that this doesn't usually happen up front and I've found if I ignore the opening salvo and respond calmly, they usually settle down and we can have a rational discussion.

This has happened literally every time Salon has linked to one of my posts. We've had some good discussions despite the few who can't seem to limit their comments to the topic. But when people are insulting, tempers get hot and the discussion degenerates. No one, on either side, is proof against this - it's just human nature.

I don't want to limit debate - I just want to try to stay on the high road if possible.


Posted by: Cassandra at June 1, 2006 06:30 AM

I hope no one is going to take my request for civility personally.

I just think it's hard enough discussing emotional subjects rationally as it is. If I think the discussion is veering off-course and getting too personal, I'm going to ask people to take a few seconds and re-think.

I really appreciate the fact that we've been able to have as many discussions as we have, for years now, without ugliness - it is a testament to all of you. I don't much like it when large sites link to me, because it makes it so much harder to have a reasoned discussion. But I guess I'm still enough of a Pollyanna to think we can do this, if we stick to a few simple rules.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 1, 2006 06:43 AM

Be glad you were only called an idiot. One of the oh-so-pithy liberal bombthrowers felt the need to send me a personal e-mail to let me know I am a "retard". I had a good laugh. I am always amused at the tendency of liberals to descend to name-calling, and its just water off a duck's back for me.

I did get steamed when it turned into america-bashing, though.

I understand your point. I still remember the stampede at Scrappleface when Rush Limbaugh mentioned it on the air. I'll have to see what Salon said about you. Just remember, don't forget us little people when you hit the big time!

Posted by: a former european at June 1, 2006 07:06 AM

afe,
I know it was tongue in cheek. How could I not recognize your sardonic way of putting things after all the times you have shown up in your incarnation as "Imam-man" ready to issue a fatwa against something?

Heh.

I was merely adding fuel to the liberal fire, since we all know that anyone who supports Bush and works hard Is Suspect. Of what, I don't know.

And I love you and JHD to pieces!

Posted by: Cricket at June 1, 2006 05:49 PM

Cricket! That's brilliant! I should have simply declared myself a jihadi! The liberals would have then fallen all over themselves to beg my forgiveness and offer to appease me. Muslims cannot be criticized, after all, and they would have had to try and "understand" my "rage".

That would have been so fun! Watching the liberals all grovel and kiss my heinie while I threatened to behead them for the glory of Allah and heaped derision on them as "eaters of camel dung" would have been priceless.

Sadly, I am not as clever as you and the opportunity is now lost.

Posted by: a former european at June 1, 2006 06:44 PM

JarHead-

You assume a lot, re: Katrina.

Unlike you, I have no interest in tooting my own horn. Think what you like. You heard the phone call with Bush and Brownie? Nuff said.

My main issue is that people like me spoke out against Clinton all the time. People on the right, unless you're talking about the racism issue currently disguised as immigration debate, always give Bush a pass based on blind loyalty.

If a Democrat was in office on 9/11, you people would have crucified him. If a Democrat was in office and Katrina went down the same way(unthinkable), same deal. If a Democrat had executed the Afghanistan action the same way, you get the idea.

I don't think Bush is the anti-Christ, I just disagree with his position on nearly everything. And I'm no more of an anti-American commie than all of you are fascists. I just think you all are dead wrong, and the facts are supporting my side with each passing day.

Posted by: Doug at June 1, 2006 08:54 PM

I don't think the facts support your total dislike of Bush's policies, since Bush is in Iraq as a contiuance of what the Clinton admin was going to do.

Next on the agenda: Tooting your own horn? Lessee, you are a new Southern Democrat who doesn't leave blacks during hurricanes. Now how could we have possibly known that about you?

Posted by: Cricket at June 1, 2006 10:52 PM

Just looked back here. Cassandra, did you read my post? The one you keep responding to?

There have been several comments above from you and others implying the point of my post related to whether or not you hate liberals when in fact the very point I was making that you should stop blathering about such nonissues and look at the substantive issues of this war, ie, the reasons it occurred and its consequence for America, the Iraqi people and the world in general.

Reread the darned post. No wonder your analysis of things is so skewed when you can't even parse simple logic. Here's what I actually wrote:


Cassandra's logic and sense of ethics is so, for want of a better word, mushy that its frightening. She goes off on this 'we don't hate you' thing when responding to liberals (an idiotic categorization but the only one that right wingers seem capable of applying to people who disagree with them). What you need to understand Cassandra is that many people, including myself, are genuinely furious about what George Bush's administration has done in the name of the American people.

Sending our troops into Iraq is an action that has caused between 30 - 150,000 deaths (the low number is the official estimate as of last year, by the way, that's 10 to 15 times the number that died on September 11th). It has diverted our special forces and CIA operatives from the work they need to do to infiltrate Al Qaida in the west. It has cost the best part of a trillion dollars. It is illegal according to international law and sets a precedant allowing any country to invade another country merely on the suspicion that they have weapons of mass destruction. It has lost the United States the support of its allies and sowed the seeds of a possible civilisational conflict with Muslim World and all you can offer is blather about how hateful liberals are.


If you wanna waffle on endlessly in forums like this why don't you speak to the topics that are actually important, ie whether the invasion was a reasonable or just thing for the US to do in 2003. After that you might move on to the ethical consequences of the occupation for the US.

I know you guys probably won't respond to these points because they require a concern with logic, truth and ethics, areas your post above demonstrate you have little interest in or knowledge of. If someone can offer a valid rationale for the war then I am one hundred percent ready to listen, but so far I haven't heard one.

Many, many of the posts above discuss iraq af it had something to do with September 11th. As a New York who used to work on the 96th floor of the WTC's south tower (worked with the Aon corporatoin) this bullshit is infuriating. DO NOT JUSTIFY BUSH'S MORONIC WAR as a consequence of that terrible day, you show disrespect and contempt for the dead of this city when you do so.

I don't invoke the memory of September 11 to bolster my arguments, they stand on their own, when you guys do that you just show how cheap and barren your justifications are. The idea that Saddam was known to be untrue well before the war stared, it didn't stop Cheney et al from misleading the America people, did it?

Anyone who knows anything about the middle east would know that the idea of Bin Laden's Wahhabist Shiite fundamentalists somehow teaming up with Saddam's staunchly secular Sunnis is outright absurd. You'd have to be on the kind of goofballs Rush Limbaugh used to enjoy to believe that, or just dirt ignorant.

Okay, forget about the supposed September 11 connection, how about this idea that Saddam had WMD and was a threat to us? Firstly, all the reports from the UN teams were telling us that they were finding nothing in Iraq and that practically without exception the Iraqis were giving them the access they needed. Then Bush ordered them to stop searching, he basically said its too late, we're gonna invade. What was the rationale behind that? There was no gun to our heads, but Bush had timetabled spring 2003 for war and that was that.

Even if Saddam actually had WMD who would he have been a threat to? To America? Saddam has NEVER attacked us in the past, he was a tyranical asshole but he only ever posed a threat to himself, the citizenry of Iraq, it would be a huge stretch to say that the exhaused morale-less Iraqi military even posed a threat to any of their direct neighbors.

To all intents and purposes he seemed perfectly happy being the crappy dictator of his own crappy little country, what could he possibly have gained from attacking America either directly or by proxy other than a US nucleur warhead winging its way to Baghdad? Saddam never displayed any particularly irrational behavior - even when he invaded Kuwait he had historical and ideoliogical reasons (though not valid ones) and hefelt he would be allowed to get away with it due to statements made in Baghdad by the US ambassador shortly before the invasion.

So why the hell invade did sent 150,000 of our troops into Iraq in Spring 2003? We've been going over this for 3 years and you right-wing chest-thumping uber-patriots can't seem to get your heads around this - there was no good reason.

You don't believe me? That was the opinion of our own diplomats, of nearly all our allies, of the weapons inspectors, and of most reasonable people the world over.

I read post after post above commenting about how the democrats and liberals stand for doing nothing. I don't count myself either a democrat or a liberal but think about what you're saying. Surely, if your concern is defeating international terrorism the focus of our attention should be Al Qaida and not Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The CIA has the great majority of its arabic speaking operative tied up in Iraq conducting counter insurgenty work. Do you really think that's the best use of those valuable individuals in these times?

Iraq has given Bin Laden the best recruitment drive he could have possibly wished for. From Indonesia to Liverpool Muslims are watching America carry out an unjustified and war and carry it out baddldy. Tactically, we have played right into Bin Laden's hands. He wants a clash of civilizations and if the neocons are allowed to dictate our policies much longer he will get it.

And by the way, ever notice that the majority of those neocons are self-admitted zionists. Who gains from the war i Iraq? Certainly not America. Israel on the other hand...

When you start a war you'd better make sure you've got a damn good reason since even with precision weapons untold numbers of civilians die and are maimed. We didn't have anything like a good reason with Iraq, and yes self defence IS a good reason, it just doesn't apply here. This war was the opposite of self-defence, it was an action which can only have placed America in MORE peril.

Since the war began we have report after report of abuses by our troops (a new tape surfaced today with evidence US troops killed 14, mainly women and children in the town of Hit in March, check the BBC's website). You may say these actions are the exceptions, perhaps they are, however it does seem that the military has a worrying lack of concern for the safety of the citizens of this country.

So people, stop with the stupid rhetoric, calling liberals names and questioning their motivations. By doing nothing but that all you show is that you can't speak to the complex issues such as ones I raised above. I don't regard myself as a 'liberal' since I think its a nonsense, meaningless term, I'm CERTAINLY not a democrat, so save your attacks on me. You don't know anything about me or my background.

Speak to the questions that are important - was this war justified? Is it being conducted as professionally as possible and are we showing enough respect for the people whose country we chose to invade? You might get somewhere if you put aside your partisan prejudices and base your conclusions on ethics, justice and basic old-fashioned decency.

Your gung-ho attitude might make you feel good when you bang your rants out at your keyboards but all you're doing is venting spleen about complex issues you demonstrate little understanding of in your posts.

We need more logic, ethical analysis and respect for the REALITY that is Iraq and less of the rhethorical fist-thumping.

Are you guys up to the challenge?

Posted by: rocketScientist at June 1, 2006 11:08 PM

Cassandra-

Thank you for your post. I see your point. It's tough to get involved in situations like this blog without a certain level of prejudice, and that's on me. Based on previous experience, I assume that I will automatically be hated for my viewpoints, and that even expressing a mild amount of tolerance for people like yourself will eventually lead to my being called a liberal pantywaist, as was said above.

At any rate, you're right. I shouldn't have assumed so much. But at the same time, reading the other posts doesn't do a lot to abate my preconceived notions.

What I hope to accomplish in coming to places such as this is to legitimately try and gain an understanding of how we, as countrymen, can find a way to reduce the acidic environment that has been brought about primarily by the divisions over our most recent two Presidents. The main reason why I am not supporting Senator Clinton for my party's nomination is not because I dislike her or doubt her abilities. It's just that on the outside chance she does get elected, I don't want another 4 or 8 years of this bitterness.

So in the event that my party regains Congress and/or the White House, I'd like to know what could be done to get us to stop hating each other so much. I'm sorry if I let my emotions get the better of me, but you have to imagine what it's like to love your country so much, to be a student of its history, and to have a passion about its future only to be called anti-American.

You conservatives love your country a lot, but you don't own the monopoly on patriotism.

Posted by: Doug at June 1, 2006 11:47 PM

Cricket-

I made no claims about leaving anyone behing during hurricanes. I simply stated that I thought that the President dropped the ball during that mess, and he shares 33 1/3 percent of the blame along with Nagin and Blanco, just to clarify. But to you, he gets a pass apparently.

As for the inane post someone made about retention rates in the armed forces, they need to check their facts as well. I personally know men who were flown out of Iraq to Germany where their families were told to meet them. They had finished a 12 month deployment, fulfilled their contract completely. Yet they were not allowed to even greet their loved ones, as that would have caused debriefing and paperwork. Per Rumsfeld's policies, they were re-routed back to Iraq, families left to weep(yeah, us libs care about that too much, blahblahblah) and they served another year with a cut in hazard pay.

Honestly. What would it take for you people to criticize this president on something other than immigration?

Posted by: Doug at June 1, 2006 11:54 PM

RocketScientist-

Leaving aside the question of whether or not the war was justified, I share your questions as well.

Had Bush come to the country and laid out a different set of reasons, I might have listened. In all likelihood, I can honestly say I would never have supported it at least until Afghanistan was sewn up completely.

The thing is, I do actually think that Bush's vision was bold and meritous on some level. I have my doubts about his motives, certainly with regards to the war profiteering that has taken place. But the idea that we need to forcibly begin a democracy in order to spread it to the Arab world, therby reducing terrorism and securing our oil interests...well, it's a hell of an idea in theory. I just questioned then, as I do now, if it's possible to invade a country pre-emptively and start a democracy in today's world. And Iraq...what a place to try it! A cobbled together country with sectarian hatred going back thousands of years...I dunno. But like a lot of things that come out of the conservative side, it's interesting to me in theory but rarely deals with reality. It's like with social programs. In a perfect America with no racism, I could buy into some of the right-wing ideas. Everyone doing for themselves, with no help from the federal government, it sounds great. But slavery is woven into our national fabric, and it still causes us problems, in my opinion. Leaving the care of the poor solely up to the whims of the public is a great idea, except that we already know it won't work. We've tried it.

Anyway, I guess what kills me is all the double-standards. There was never any talk of respecting the office of the President during the Balkan actions. That was genocide. And a lot of conservative right-wing radical religious types today are clamoring for US action in Darfur, as am I. I just think we need to go deal with genocide before a has-been dictator that really posed little threat to us, particularly when OBL is alive and well. Also, don't assume that because I'm a Democrat that I fell in line with Clinton all the time. I didn't vote for him in 96 because of my disagreements with him.

At any rate, I just don't always believe in Bush's true motives, and I certainly have a problem with his shoddy execution. If we had to go to Iraq, we could have done it so much better if not for the utter failure at the hands of Rummy and Co. That crap about listening to the leaders on the ground makes my blood boil. They'll listen to the generals unless they get dissention.

Posted by: Doug at June 2, 2006 12:08 AM

Well, Doug, my husband served in the ME for about a year and he wasn't re routed back to Iraq for another 12 months of duty. Bush gets a pass for the reasons that I mentioned earlier: Mayor Nagin and the governor of LA were WARNED REPEATEDLY about the hurricane and to get their people to safety, as early as 1 1/2 days before Katrina made landfall. That Nagin failed to do so shouldn't earn a pass from you, which you seem willing to give him.

There were buses that could have been used to get people to safety but instead got flooded. People like JHD who risked their lives did so because of Nagin's negligent incompetence. He failed his own people and you seem to ignore that. I don't always agree with Pres. Bush but I disagree with your take on his administration's lack of response to the Katrina disaster.

Posted by: Cricket at June 2, 2006 01:03 AM

rocket scientist, we hold these truths to be self evident: That you are ignorant of the facts.
Saddam was a threat and gave asylum to OBL.

I am tired, so here is a well thought out well reasoned response:

pftbhpfthbpfthbpfthbpfthbpfthbpfthbpfthbpfthbpfthb!

Posted by: Cricket at June 2, 2006 01:06 AM

You know...Kosovo was really to protect the Europeans. Genocide? There are two schools of thought on that one but this I will say: It may not have started out as genocide when Milosevic feared the rise of an Islamic state. Having said that, we did something that hadn't been done: Helped factions develop a working relationship...warring factions that had gone on for centuries...roughly the same thing as in Iraq.

It took over ten years to do so. The cracks in the state of Yugoslavia were appearing in the late 1980s and erupted in the 90s with the fall of the Soviet Union and the death of Cioucescu and other leaders in the Balkans.

Posted by: Cricket at June 2, 2006 01:16 AM

OK, Doug. I will assume you mean what you say in the above posts re openmindedness and attempt to engage your arguments.

First, don't presume that this site is full of Bush fans. It is not. The policies of this administration have been lambasted here more often than not.

Having said that, I think the one bright spot for Bush has been his foreign policy. I would rather see an aggressive, offensive posture against muslim terrorists, even if it might get a little too aggressive at times, than the converse.

As to the UN, I could care less whether we have their approval. It is a worthless, corrupt organization. Their shameful conduct in the Oil-for-food scandal was literally stealing food from the mouths of the iraqui people to line their own pockets. Are these the "leaders" we must look to? What about all the scandals where the UN Peacekeepers were raping underage girls in Africa and keeping them as sex slaves? The UN has no real authority, and they have forfeited whatever moral authority they might have once had.

The predecessor of the UN was the League of Nations. The League was just as impotent and useless as the modern-day UN. The League passed resolution after resolution, but enforced none of them. When Fascist Italy used poison gas against Ethiopian tribesmen, the League did nothing. When Ethiopian Emperor Hailie Selassie (the original "Ras Tafari") made an impassioned, personal plea for help to the delegates he was loudly praised but, again, nothing was actually done to help the Ethiopian people.

In short, the UN is totally ineffectual. Looking for guidance from those windbags is like asking Ted Kennedy to lecture at the local Temperance Union.

As to "world opinion", you have to define the term. Most liberals mean whatever France thinks we should do, and the term sometimes includes Germany and Russia. All of these nations have undergone their own scandals wherein it was discovered Saddam was bribing govt officials to take an anti-US stance with regard to Iraq. Even without the bribery, though, certain revanchist factions in each country have long been anti-american and without any connection to Iraq.

The French have been anti-american since at least DeGaulle took power after WWII. The French still have dreams of Napoleonic Military "Gloire", and thus hate anyone whose power is greater than their own. They hated Victorian England when they were on top. They hated the unified German Nation-state when they were Europe's powerhouse. Now they hate us since we became a superpower after WWII.

The Russians have been virulently anti-american throughout the Cold War, and on into today. This is particularly true for an ex-KGB hardliner like Putin.

Thus Iraq did not create this anti-americanism, it had been already in place long before. Iraq was just the latest excuse for these america-haters to denounce us further.

As to civilian casualties, this is sad but true. Every war has civilian casualties. This was minimized in olden times by the creation of formalized "rules of war". This is why soldiers in the 1700s wore brightly colored uniforms that seem laughable in today's camouflage world. The reason was so that soldiers could be distinguished from civilians, thereby preventing civilians from being mistakenly shot. This was taken so seriously that, even as late as the adoption of the Geneva Convention, soldiers out of uniform could be summarily hung. While formal "rules of war" is an interesting concept to protect civilians, it only works so long as both sides are willing to respect those rules.

Will the islamofascists respect such niceties to minimize civilian casualties? Of course not!
If you believe otherwise, please identify the terrorists' formal declaration of war which initiated proper hostilities under the rules of war. Also, please identify the terrorists' uniforms so we can distinguish soldier from civilian. It was common for the Viet Cong, for example, to arm women and children as combatants. Then when they were naturally killed in combat, the VC howled that the evil americans were slaughtering "innocent" women and children.

Please identify the terrorist signatories to the Geneva Convention. Please identify the proper care provided by the terrorists to their prisoners. Last time I checked, the Geneva Convention had no rules for beheading defenseless prisoners, whether military or civilian.

Contrast this with the terrorists deliberate targetting of civilians at schools, police stations, and mosques of their co-religionists. Who then should be blamed for civilian casualties?

In WWII, millions and millions of civilians died as a result of both sides targetting them. Germans bombed population centers during the "blitz" of London, and the Allies returned the favor during their strategic bombing campaign of Germany. The Allies deliberately created a firestorm in the heart of Hamburg, using incendiary bombs, in which tens of thousands of civilians were burned alive. Thus, if the US wanted, it could easily wipe out the civilian population of Iraq using only conventional munitions.

Instead, the US has done its best to minimize civilian casulties, even at the cost of increased risk to our own troops. In the Warsaw Uprising of WWII, the Nazis easily recaptured the city, with few troop losses, by simply having their tanks methodically level block after block of that city until resistance collapsed. The US has not done so. Meanwhile, the terrorsists are slaughtering every Iraqi civilian they can find. Can you truly not differentiate the right from the wrong under these circumstances?

No war has ever been perfectly conducted. It is an ugly and messy business. Holding our troops to standards of perfection will always give you reason to criticize them.

As to intelligence problems, there always have been, and always will be, massive intelligence failures. Remember Pearl Harbor? The warning signs for that were so clear in retrospect that many have suggested that Roosevelt MUST have known an attack was imminent but deliberately let it occur to bring us into the war.

With WMDs, nearly all the major foreign intelligence agencies agreed with the overall CIA assessment that Saddam was hiding WMDs. Blaming this intelligence failure on Bush alone is not fair at all.

It is late, and I am off to bed. I will finish my response tomorrow.

Posted by: a former european at June 2, 2006 04:01 AM

Having said that, I think the one bright spot for Bush has been his foreign policy. I would rather see an aggressive, offensive posture against muslim terrorists, even if it might get a little too aggressive at times, than the converse.

The person who wrote the above (A Former European) knows nothing about the middle east. There is NO evidence that Iraq has ever been involved in terrorism, unless you count Saddam's financial support of the families of deceased suicide bombers operating against Israel. Most in the arab world regard these operations as a legitimate liberation stuggle against Israeli occupation. I do not aggree with this view (mainly because these tactics do nothing but make the Israelis dig in) however, they do not constitute terrorist operations in the sense of a threat to America or the west in general.


Your statement is therefore not true. It has been repeatedly stressed by commentators of all shades that at the time of the invasion Saddam had not been linked to anti-American terrorist acts past, present or planned for the future. Since the invasion no evidence for such plans have been uncovered. Terrorism is generally a game played by the weak, Saddam was the dictator of his own country, what advantage would it be to him to get involved in behaviour that would only guarantee his destruction at American hands? It doesn't make sense, this is something the Right does continuously in America - underestimate the rationalism of its enemies.


By the way 'former european', what European country spawned you? I'm Irish and happily living in New York, the greatest city in the world. Its strange to find someone categorizing themselves as a former European. I don't know anyone from france, germany, britain, spain or ireland (all countries in which i have lived) who would post a name that alludes to their continent ahead of their nation of birth. Its odd, especially since you hold most of the major countries of Europe in obvious contempt. Are you perhaps a spoofer?


You make a lot of points in your post, I honestly don't have time to answer em all, but I will speak to this derision of the UN and its involvement in the oil for food scandal. The malfeasance here boiled down to a few corrupt individuals cashing in on their positions, in the grand scheme of things the dollar amounts were trivial (a million here, a million there). Why do you ignore the fact that many American corporations were also profiting illegally from oil-for-food in exactly the same way, as were the Australian government (America's ally in the Iraq war).


If you really care about "stealing food from the mouths of the starving Iraqis" then would you care to comment on the sanctions which Bush Sr initiated against Iraq in 1990 and which were maintained by Clinton (a man of whom I am not a fan). Those sanctions were utterly pointless and according to UNICEF caused the death of 500,000 Iraqi children. That's half a million kids dead for no reason reason whatsoever. Did you know about that, baby? That's a REAL scandal, one every American should know about but practically none do. I guess we don't like uncomfortable truths, right?


Iraq Sanctions

Critics of the sanctions say that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, disproportionately children, died as a result of them, [2] although certain skeptics claim the numbers to be less. [3] [4][5] UNICEF has put the number of child deaths to 500,000.[6] The reasons include lack of medical supplies, malnutrition, and especially disease owing to lack of clean water. Among other things, chlorine, needed for disinfecting water supplies, was banned as having a "dual use" in potential weapons manufacture.

And from a 60 minutes interview with Madeleine Albright filmed in 1996-

Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it.

--60 Minutes (5/12/96)



"We Think the Price Is Worth It"

I reccomend clicking the above link, the suffering caused by santions on Iraq (1 million dead, think about that for a moment) is cited by OBL as a key reason for attacking the USA. I am not trying to excuse Bin Laden but we'd be fools not to try to comprehend the motivations of our enemy, just labelling them as 'evil' is the sort of lazy nonsense this nation's media has let Bush get away with for too long.

I have heard people on the right bang on about how America is helping the Iraqis. Are we gonna sstand up and take credit for this, for the fact that the sanctions we rammed through the UN killed hhalf a million of their kids. You don't believe this to be true, speak to a journalist who has been to Iraq for any length of time, they'll tell you it is. And you wonder where the insurgents come from?

Posted by: rocketScientist at June 2, 2006 05:50 AM

The problem with dropping into a site you don't read regularly and then engaging in an ill-advised round of chest-thumping is that you risk making an utter ass of yourself.

I have criticized the sanctions over and over again and pointed out the exact same thing you have.... yet the answer of the Left is just this: Ooooh! The sanctions were working! We should have continued them indefinitely!

Yes. Economic war against old people and small children was the answer - anything, so long as it allows us to avoid facing the real problem. Got it. And OBL uses the sanctions as justification for attacking America? If he was so concerned for the fate of innocent Iraqis, why didn't Saddam's mass graves touch off his righteous anger?

Oh. It's selective anger. Just like the selective memory of the Left, which likes to bring up the sanctions, which most people on the Right thought were dumb and counterproductive; essentially a means of waging war on innocent civilians while propping up a ruthless dictator and lining his pockets (as well as those of France, Russia, and China) through Oil for Terror... errr.... Food.

Now if we could just get the UN into the game, maybe we'd have some of those great kiddie brothels like they have in Africa and Bosnia. After all, the UN has such a wonderful track record with managing international crises... there's... ummm... well, there really isn't a single one they've managed well, is there? And they already cut and run from Iraq just as soon as the going proved tough, didn't they? But the UN is definitely the answer.

Posted by: Cassandra at June 2, 2006 07:19 AM

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