From Jim Gilliam's blog archives
Finally, the Neocons have had it with Rummy
December 17, 2004 3:40 AM
Bill Kristol ripped into Rumsfeld this week: "All defense secretaries in wartime have, needless to say, made misjudgments. Some have stubbornly persisted in their misjudgments. But have any so breezily dodged responsibility and so glibly passed the buck? ... These soldiers deserve a better defense secretary than the one we have."
Finally, the Neocons have had it with Rummy
Next Entry: Let's talk about ... values. (12.21.2004)
Previous Entry: The Bushies "willfull negligence" (12.16.2004)
Read the 125 comments.
Tom from Madison:
We live in an interesting time. Bill Kristol made many of the same points that John Kerry made during the campaign.
I am heartened that finally there are people on the right who recognize the ineptitude and incompetence of this administration's Iraq policy. I'm left wondering what Bush will change and how he will spin it?
It looks like more troops will be in Iraq for a lot longer than Americans were led to believe in the campaign. We have a major policy and PR disaster unfolding with regard to extending tours of duty and calling up reservists and vets who have already served more than their share. Recruiting has to be a very tough sell given current circumstances.
Sat Dec 18 2004 5:28 PM
Tom from Madison:
Is it possible that some of the regular right-wing visitors to this site are paid for their services? Or do they simply stay away when there are no recognizeable talking points?
Mon Dec 20 2004 2:01 PM
Just wondering what the story is. Unlike the democrats with their small tent and habit of throwing free thinkers out on their ear, INTELLIGENT differances are both tolerated and encouraged in the Republican party.
As for Iraq, didn't most democrats vote for that policy too?
Mon Dec 20 2004 3:31 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
give me a sample of intelligent difference that is encouraged and tolerated in the Republican party. you've piqued my curiousity!
Mon Dec 20 2004 8:20 PM
Ahrnold was a key note speaker at the RNC this year, but he is hardly the standard bearer of conservatism - prochoice, indifferant (or pro) gay marriage, and promotes stem cell research. I didn't see any socially conservative speakers at the DNC this year - much less one given a prime time speaking position.
Tue Dec 21 2004 6:30 AM
Tom from Madison:
Talk about a 'big tent' is cheap.
The actions of the Republican party are anything but big tent. Republican power brokers are systematically pushing for fewer gay rights, making abortion illegal in all cases, and moving the Supreme Court to make all this happpen with or without legislation.
Moderate Republicans were exploited for their ability to attract votes. It's simple bait and switch. Now that the election is over they are inconsequential. The Republicans will have to make a choice between REALLY honoring the wishes of republican social liberals or placating the religious right. Personally I would welcome Arlen Specter, Olympia Snowe along with Jim Jeffords, et other blue state 'liberal' conservatives into the Democratic party.
There isn't much room in the Republican tent for Black voters either. 88% voted for Kerry. Republicans will have to reverse course on their systematic disenfranchisement / incarceration of Black voters. If they are serious about doing this in Dixie, they risk losing the 'solid South'.
Tue Dec 21 2004 7:21 AM
Actually there is plenty of room for Black voters. With the loony left's attack on Christian religion Blacks of faith are being pushed into the Republican's arms. As posted earlier, if you review exit polls - Blacks voted at polar opposites to the democrat party on social issues, but still held their nose and voted for democrat candidates. Bush had a 50% increase in Black voters this election - and in preelections polls was actually polling with a 100% increase. Four more years of diatribes towards Christians and the democrat party will have successfully fractured the solid Black voting block, about 50 years earlier then LBJ said they would.
Tue Dec 21 2004 12:28 PM
Tom from Madison:
The left is absolutely NOT attacking the Christian religion. This is a BOGUS claim made by extremists on the religious right and echoed by idiots like Bill O'Reilly.
Contrary to your claim, Blacks are not becoming Republicans in record numbers. They ARE being disenfranchised in record numbers. This has happened piece-meal by rednecks on the ground taking advantage of inconsistent voting machine practices and registration hijinx in Ohio, Florida, and elsewhere.
If you would like to understand how the left and religion [including Christianity] co-exist beautifully, listen to a Prairie Home Companion Saturdays at 5pm CST on NPR. Garrison Keeler is insightful, funny, poetic, religious, and left, but not loony. The show regularly features Gospel music in an ecumenical spirit.
The religious right should take a lesson about how to use religion: not to wage war, but to practice unity and promote peace!
Tue Dec 21 2004 1:42 PM
The left isn't attacking Christian religon?
Look at this very blog - Jim proposes going after the tax exemption status of churches. Columnist refer to christians as knuckle dragging Neanderthals who are too stupid to vote for the "right" candidate. The darling of the democrat party, the ACLU, threatens to sue anyone who puts a Christmas wreath on their door. To get a good taste of hate, read a couple of threads at the DU.
Tue Dec 21 2004 2:09 PM
Attacking Pat Roberson's ability to run a political action committee under the guise of a church is not an attack on Christianity! Jim & Tammy Fay Baker were pulling similar stuff in the 1980s. You must recall the theme park and the air conditioned dog house! Nailing them wasn't anti-Christian either.
The ACLU does not threaten to sue anybody who puts up a Christmas wreath.
As I said before, plenty of leftists embrace Christianity--they just don't promote religious EXCLUSIVITY. I mentioned Garrison Keillor. There is also Shelby Spong, the retired Bishop from New Jersey who was among the first to ordain women in the Episcopal church. How about Rabbi Michael Lerner, editor of Tikkun magazine? This group has a lot to offer compared to those who are selling faux Christianity as a religion that justifies violence.
Perhaps the religious left will come together to promote religious inclusion and mutual harmony. This would be a nice change of pace from the religious right's contant claim that they are being threatened.
Tue Dec 21 2004 2:26 PM
Tom from Madison:
The last post is mine.
Tue Dec 21 2004 2:27 PM
This is where the rubber meets the road folks. Poofy dreams of neocon nuttiness have run smack into the cold hard wall of reality. Kristol is like the passenger who was goading the drunk driver to keep the pedal to the medal and now finds himself staggering out of the wrecked vehicle and muttering to bystanders that the driver was really fucked up and had no business being behind the wheel. He is as useless as a weatherman who only reports precipitation which has already fallen. And he's the brightest beacon in the neocons' lightbulb factory.
Thu Dec 23 2004 6:18 AM
Tom from Madison:
I whole-heartedly agree. Kristol, Rummy and the neo-cons have a religiosity about their beliefs in privatization. The reality is people are being killed in dubious battle based on this misplaced faith in privatization. Progressives have a huge opportunity to seize NOW.
Privatization in the military has been: 1) a radical experiment, 2) ridiculously expensive, 3) an unmitigated disaster in terms of loss of civilian and military lives.
Neo-cons love to talk about how liberals wrecked the military. In fact it is the conservatives who put soldiers and civilians in harms way with: 1) inadequate plans; 2) inadequate personnel numbers; 3) inadequate supplies--like vehicle armor.
The viability of a volunteer military is now in question thanks to Bush's pre-emptive war notions and the practice of extending tours of duty beyond the terms of the original agreements. Why would we expect more from someone whose chance of ever fighting in a war himself was zero?
Thu Dec 23 2004 6:43 AM
Ever wonder who was president when all those UNARMOURED Hummers where built? The military excursion into Mogadishu 11 years ago with Rangers acting the part of the "modern light forces" should have told the defense department how NOT to equip forces. Instead the Hummers kept being built to old standards while the "peace dividend" was spent on midnight basketball.
Eight years of democrats and the military was AGAIN reduced to every liberal's dream. It takes years to train and equip the armed forces - just as it took years to tear them down.
Thu Dec 23 2004 7:00 AM
Sorry to say this, but you're wasting your breath arguing with these idiots. They're never at fault, and let's just be glad they don't run the country.
Thu Dec 23 2004 8:30 AM
Tom from Madison:
Unarmored Humvees are great for the right mission. Guess what ? This isn't it. Nobody [certainly not the Republicans] was arguing during the 1990s that the US military ought to be ramping up for an invasion of the Middle East.
The idiots are those who only thought of armoring the vehicles after they delivered them. Admit it, Rummy, Wolfowitz and the war planners went in knowing the soldiers were not protected! Once they knew, they first denied there was a problem, then responded MUCH too slowly in delivering armored vehicles.
The dead soldiers and civilians are 100% their fault!!! Rumsfeld deserves to be fired before he makes any more assinine decisions.
Thu Dec 23 2004 9:00 AM
Merry Christmas to everyone, or as those in the Blue States say, Happy December 25th.
Thu Dec 23 2004 11:32 AM
Tom from Madison:
Merry Christmas, seasons greetings, happy holidays, and God bless the peoples of every land!
It's all good!
Thu Dec 23 2004 12:34 PM
My past has taught me to appreciate what I have and what I'm afforded here stateside and/or in North America - down to the simplest and most mundane of things. Nothing I'm able to do, do I take for granted.
Hopefully, right/wrong politics aside, we can all at least agree to take a moment to think about those of the US military who are 'in theatre,' circumstances under which they were sent there aside.
It's a delicate argument we all engage in these days. Indeed though, I generally believe that all of our hearts are in the right place and that, ultimately, our mutual goals tend to be the same if you strip away all the theatrics and hyperbolic-speak. It's the "how do we get there" that always seems to bog us down in semantics and debate.
So, with that, and seeing that this thread looks to have gotten irreparably bogged down in holiday fervor, I'll pile on with my wishes of goodwill and safety for those that have proactive and idealistic goals this holiday season, no matter what capacity, function or purpose. Just as long as you're no nihilist. I'll give the anarchists a pass, because I think I know where they're coming from. Shit, this is even for evilconservative-triple 6, dhermesc, tomaig, and RWR (the "quack quad"). I know you guys want whats best for this country, and subsequently the world (I wonder about that part sometimes) - even if I did call you the scum of the earth.
It was meant with affection, yeah?
Thu Dec 23 2004 7:44 PM
The naive neocons estimated 285 armored humvees would be enough to secure Iraq. That estimate has been upgraded several times to the current one which is in excess of 8,000 armored humvees.
Bush's buck somehow always stops with Clinton. I'd like for once to see a Republican take responsibility for his own screwups instead of blaming it on the nearest Democrat.
Fri Dec 24 2004 1:49 AM
Hell, I'd be happy if these neocons which drop by here would admit a single serious mistake which Bush has made. What do you say, neocons? Can you pony up a single serious mistake which you believe Bush has made during his four years in office? Or are you just a bunch of trolls, repeating Rush Limbaugh talking points? Duh. Don't bother to answer. I already know.
I have freely in the past mentioned mistakes which I believe Clinton made. Now that I think about it, I've never heard the same from the die-hard Republicans who I have argued with. Why is that? It's because they're engaged in debating for the purpose of winning an ideological battle. They'll argue both sides of the story as well as the middle, depending upon what the current Republican talking points are. Truth is of no merit to them. Their only concern is winning the ideological war.
In other words, they're just like Communists. Independent thought only has the potential to get them "off message". Loyalty and ideology trumps truth. Cognitive dissonance is a necessary tool in their arsenal to combat doubt. Faith is more important than facts. This is ultimately why religion is so important to the Republican Party. The cognitive dissonance which allows Christians to gloss over the nightmarish parts of the Bible and Christian history also allows them to ignore the horrific abuses and gross negligence which have occurred during Bush's term in office.
Fri Dec 24 2004 2:10 AM
We won't answer you cause you're crazy. You're one of the few on the left willing to compare conservatism to communism, and if you don't realize the stupidity of that, and I don't think you do, then you'll never have a legitamite conversation about politics. Merry christmas, stop making wild accusations and you won't hate everyone so much.
Fri Dec 24 2004 8:13 AM
I rest my case.
Fri Dec 24 2004 10:12 AM
You compared Conservatism to Communism, and seem to stand by it. Resting your case is the smartest thing you can do at this point.
Fri Dec 24 2004 11:58 AM
Right Wing Robby:
If the left held other administrations in our history to the same standard they hold this one, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington would have been fired.
Remember all those posts about how the Bush Administration is full of yes men and how Bush was trying to control everything? Well, seems like that isnt the case, is it? So now they want to use desent as proof of failure. In other words, no matter what happens, they will complain and spin.
Its the same old attack Christians, hate everyone but liberals crap these people spew everyday. Its getting old and quite boring. The good news is they havent learned a thing.
Fri Dec 24 2004 1:10 PM
If you think "it's getting old and quite boring," then move along Sally.
What the hell do you think will happen when a doofus who calls himself Right WIng Robby starts posting on a progressive comment board. To suggest that you're nonplussed by this says alot about you.
Fri Dec 24 2004 1:43 PM
"Remember all those posts about how the Bush Administration is full of yes men and how Bush was trying to control everything?"
Let me explain. Cheney is whispering in Bush's ear. The Vice President is running the country. Bush is allowed the conceit that he is actually making "decisions", when he's really led by the nose, just like you and the other Republican ideologues. Ultimately, it just takes a few code words, and you folks start drooling, just like Pavlov's dogs. Right on cue.
Now, the members of Bush's cabinet have an obligation to provide honest and accurate assessments which will enable the President to run the domestic and foreign policy. Basically, anyone who had a vision independent of Cheney's has been drummed out. All that is left are sycophants like Rice, who think their job is just to go on the talk shows and give speeches which sell the President's policies. Rice has admitted that she is a mirror for President Bush. She's smart enough and ambitious enough to know that she can get ahead by reinforcing Cheney's policy preferences. Cheney is smart enough to not drive policy on all issues, but when it comes to something he regards as key, he is the last one to talk to the President, and this President (being extremely ignorant about policy matters) is extremely likely to side with the last person who talks to him about a policy issue.
So, Bush is surrounded by "yes" men, but Bush isn't driving policy. I hope I've cleared this up for you and the other neocons. I'm surprised that you don't know how your own party runs things. I'm glad that you could come to Jim's website and learn something from the other side.
The problem I have which you have alluded to, is that I strongly disagree with the neoconservative idea that the president has extra-constitutional powers during wartime, and that we are perpetually at war. Perpetual war is a tool of fascist states and deserves no place in a democracy such as ours. Extra-constitutional executive powers should cause any true conservative or libertarian to shudder deeply. Unfortunately, such people are in short supply.
Instead, we seem to have tons and tons of "superpatriots", who revere the Declaration of Independence but not the Constitution. Folks who "support the troops" by sending them to die for no purpose in a foreign land. These are people who ask not what they can do for their country, but what can their country do for them. They regard paying taxes as a grievous injustice. They like being Americans because it makes them feel strong and powerful to drop bombs on innocent people, especially when they can do so without lifting their well-larded butts off of the Lazy Boy recliner.
Fri Dec 24 2004 2:20 PM
Tom from Madison:
thanks for standing up for the truth!
You are exactly right about Bush. First he started a needless war--justified by "facts" which have now been disproven. Then he claims war-time authority to grab more power. The Constitution is being trampled on in the name of patriotism just as it was in the red-scare days of the 1950s.
The tactics used by neo-cons disclose the intellectual weakness of their arguments and their willingness to lie or cheat to win. Here are 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE NEO-CONS:
1) Exploit Fear - without fear hatred of "terrorists", homosexuals, secular humanists, ... people might take time to examine the facts. After doing so, it is clear we didn't need to invade Iraq ASAP. We might have waited until we armored more vehicles so more US forces weren't killed.
2) Change the subject - e.g. the alleged hi-jacking of Christmas mentioned earlier in this thread. Repeatedly changing the subject allows neo-cons to always stay on the offensive.
3) Use Ad hominem accusation [can also be useful to change the subject] - e.g. "Why do you hate America?"
4) Practice guilt by association - "just like the ACLU"
5) Tell broad-based lies about history - see the writings of Ann Coulter or race-related posts by dhermesc
6) Invoke the Über-patriot response - E.g. by associating ONLY themselves with the likes of Washington and Lincoln and excluding those who disagree from their fantasy Patriot mouseketeer club.
7) Avoid accountability. Neo-cons rely on short attention span. They really don't like being reminded of their f#ck-ups [of which there are plenty].
My New Years resolultion is to FIGHT THESE IDIOTS EVERY TIME I ENCOUNTER THESE TACTICS. Progressives need to use more moral and constitutional arguments against the neo-cons. The Neo-cons are living in a fantasy land where invonvenient facts aren't discussed. Truth and reason are on OUR side. The neo-cons know it. The increasing disaster in IRAQ is proof that they have no clue what their doing and need to be opposed every inch of the way.
Sat Dec 25 2004 6:17 AM
One question, answer it. How do you forget that everybody believed the same things about Iraq before the war but now only the president is accountable for it?
You've spouted off long enough on that kind of bullshit, I want you answering for some of it.
Sat Dec 25 2004 8:44 AM
Mike of the Great White North:
Tom, i think ill answer on your behalf.
EC666.. agian you spew the same tripe i've heard from countless others like RWR and so forth about this ambigous "everybody". Exactly which "everybody" are you talking about when discussing the beliefs of prewar Iraq? You are obviously not talking about world opinion, to which most nations disagreed with your view, hence the joke of a coalition. You obviously are not talking about intelligence agencies. Hell there was massive infighting bewtween the CIA and the pentagon over the distortions being funneled to the Prez. Thats why the OSP came into being. Your obviously forgetting all the different weapons inspectors from Ritter, Blix and even Kay who came down with the same verdict each and every time. And EVERY TIME you spew this crap i have to remind people like you that Ritter and Blix got it so right, when Ahmed Chalabi and the Iraqi National Congress, Rummy and the OSP and Supreme Ruler of the CIA Tenet and his 'Slam Dunk' all got it wrong. I will quote a brilliant man from the blog (myself of course) "all the people whom the media criticised and demonized were right, and the warmongers proved wrong, and even though they're eating crow they still presume they're dining on steak!"
If this "everybody" you claim simply revolves around the American political body (aka. Republicans n Democrats) then thats under your pervue. But do not include me... or my country, or the majority of the planet in your willful ignorance of the undeniable truth, that Iraq was bereft of any capabilities that the Bush administration painted it to have.
In fact, it's $#!7 like this that really pisses me off. I had to sit and watch this crap unfold on the 'liberal' media... watching Paula Zhan on CNN tear apart Ritter for drinking some of Saddams kool-aid. I had to watch Lou Dobbs get mad at guests who even suggested that the US might have alterior motives for the invasion considering the lack of evidence. I had to watch Powell destroy his credibilty at the UN showing cartoon graphics of mobile labs NOBODY ACTUALLY SAW! I had to see Breaking News alets warning about Iraq launching drones in 45 minutes??? Yeah, if they got past the no-fly zones, Spy satellites, going through European airspace untouched, and then beating the most advanced AEGIS radar system on a carrier battlegroup in the Atlantic. RIGHT! I had to watch this patriotism stroke off on every channel and network the American media provide (except for FOX, thank GOD) and each and everyone closed their eyes, and failed to ask the questions that would have prevented this travesty in the first place. I have angrily shouted out over and over that if a referendum were put to the American public on the eve of the war that stated 'Do you belive the USA should go to war solely on the basis of freeing Iraqis from Saddams rule' the answer would be a resounding NO. It was the false WMD that scared the crap out of the US public into believing war was neccessary. And so we come full circle.
I have constantly heard the feel good phrase 'fighting for freedom' when pertaining to US action in Iraq. Some people are so wrapped in the flag they just cant see that while US troops die overseas for a failed neocon theory, at home the REAL freedoms begin to erode. Not to the stalwart rightwing supporters. They dont care that a new poll suggests that a fair % of the population agrees that muslims should have certain rights curtailed ala Japanese interment camps. They dont care that freedom of speech simply means freedom to agree to whatever the prez just said, otherwise your a treasonous, liberal, terrorist supporter that should be shipped off to Guantanamo where your legal status becomes 'not-human'. They hold these beliefs because they believe they are 'safe' from the changes that target 'those other people'. But with any abuse of power, it only takes time before a gov't with these powers becomes tyranical. Orwells 1984 invokes so much passion for a reason... because it can and WILL happen when people transfer their power bit by bit to a gov't that serves itself.
Damn im mad. I shouldn't be feeling like this on my holidays, but im through listening to people just excuse away STUPIDITY, covering for Cheyney's Al-Qaida=Saddam lies, ommisions and spin. Rummy's plan for the war YEARS before it happened (PNAC) and failing to provide for those who would fight it. Wolfowitz and Feith's dual loyalties to Israel and idiotic belief of transforming the middle east into their theoritcal model when years of knowledge said it just can't be done that way, especially through the barrel of tank turret.
The smugness of all knowing and unilateralism and with us or against us rhetoric. I'm NOT with them, but im certainly NOT WITH YOU either. There is more to this than the B&W picture you paint. And if you try to force me to choose between their fanatical beliefs vs. your ideological zeolotry, i will choose neither and just be glad to wash my hands of this entire sorry affair.
Have a Happy F'n New Year!
Sun Dec 26 2004 12:00 AM
Ok. I'll make it clearer. I'm talking about the two people who matter in this case: John Kerry, the democratic candidate, and George Bush, the incumbent. Bush is on tape saying there were WMD in Iraq. Kerry is on tape saying there were WMD in Iraq. Most people who lean left voted for Kerry rather than Nader, or wrote in Dean. It would be harder to disprove any of these facts than to prove them.
If you're still on board, we're in agreement that the choices in the election were GWB and JFK (what a joke that their initials were the same). When it was proven that there was little to no WMD in Iraq everybody turned on Bush and called him a liar, John Kerry included. I believe this cost him the election. Now, when John Kerry was on tape saying that we needed to take action in Iraq, what does it say about him when he later says that the president misled us, after he did the same thing? That's the only point I'm trying to make. Why is Kerry suddenly right? Please help me, I'm struggling to get 1+1 here.
If you think that's semantics, goodbye.
Sun Dec 26 2004 1:53 AM
On a side note, thanks for making an argument without using a term such as communism or naziism. You're smart enough to not take this all out of context, and that's rare.
Sun Dec 26 2004 1:58 AM
Tom from Madison:
666, Since you asked:
Paul made the essential point. I'll repeat for emphasis and amplify.
Not "everybody" believed the same things about Iraq. I certainly never believed it myself. Kerry & most Dems gave Bush the benefit of the doubt and authorized the use of force if warranted. The facts never warranted it. Once the facts were out, intelligent people understood we had much better options to pursue than invasion.
WAR SHOULD ALWAYS BE A LAST RESORT. It was Bush's first option--despite what he said on the record. There are many facts to support this. Remember Paul O'Neill and Richard Clarke? They wrote entire books on the subject.
Bush's lack of judgment and willingness to deceive makes him a terrible leader and a bad president. This point is made in ABSOLUTE TERMS, not relative to Kerry, Clinton, Jimmy Carter or anyone else. Blood was shed needlessly when other alternatives were available.
I blame the President, because he IS THE PRESIDENT. He is responsible. Patriotic Americans SHOULD question their leaders and demand facts. This President has given us only alibis. Our country is supposed to uphold a higher standard. Bush is failing miserably in this regard. Torture in the name of freedom is morallay wrong, anti-Christian, and un-American.
I am heartened by national polls showing a majority of Americans now think this war is a mistake. Eventually citizens of both Red and Blue States will understand the facts and come to the right conclusions. They did in the case of Viet Nam. They will again with regard to Iraq.
Sun Dec 26 2004 8:11 AM
First, I only referred to "everybody" as the people who turned against Bush when it started becoming clear that there was no WMD in Iraq. Go ahead, read it again, I'll wait.
What you said, whether outright or not, is that most (not everybody, maybe not you, again that's not what I'm saying) are making their arguments against Bush based on hindsight, when Kerry is on tape saying two different things. That's bullshit, and it's the primary reason I'm glad he's not president.
I don't want to have troops in Iraq. I wish there was another way. But fixing the middle east is necessary, and jailing a dictator is a necessary part of that at some point. For the work we've already done the civilian cost and military cost has been very very low, and let's be thankful for that rather than get caught up with semantics. For once.
Sun Dec 26 2004 8:25 AM
Tom from Madison:
The issue is not who was against Bush. The issue is how much danger was the US and the world in & what should we have done about it--given that inspectors were in Iraq and most of the country was a no-fly zone.
I believed it was prudent to authorize the use of force. Had I known at the time that Bush had a pre-disposition toward invasion, I wouldn't have given him that authority--neither would a lot of Dems and some Repubs in Congress.
To put it simply Bush was trigger-happy because he had a score to settle with Iraq. He also had a lot of financial interests who were lined up to get big $ from the war. The actual decision to go in was highly suspect.
A different, but critical point is HOW Bush decided to go in. He brought with the military force a huge contingent of contractors, many of whom were awarded no bid contracts and sold the same line of wishful thinking the American People were sold. You remember, this war would be a quick, easy "decapitation" of Saddam's regime. There was no mention of an ensuing civil war and general factional chaos, lawlessness and disorder. BUSH PUT A LOT OF PEOPLE IN HARMS WAY NEEDLESSLY. A lot of them are dead now!
What actually occurred and is occurring in Iraq is so far from the fantasy that Bush, Rummy, Wolfowitz, and Cheney planned for, it is amazing to hear you or anyone else defend it.
The cost in lives and dollars is immense and escalating. Why aren't you asking the President for some reasonable explanations about what went wrong and what he intends to do about it? The country is waiting!
Sun Dec 26 2004 10:49 AM
Why was it such a bad thing to take down a dictator? Especially when taking down said dictator is a necessary piece of making the middle east viable.
Sun Dec 26 2004 11:36 AM
Mike of the Great White North:
I have no beef with you in regards to internal American politics. You are correct, Kerry did authorize the use of force bill and Dems, whether you like it or not, he too was asked that question "knowing what you know now, would you still have invaded Iraq"... he said yes. He just would have done it differently.
And this brings me full circle to my original point. The 2 party system in America doesn't work. I know Americans dont like hearing outsiders saying things about your politcal process and to just let 'Americans choose whats best for America". Granted, but when both parties pretty much act as one on foriegn policy matters, then it affects us all negatively. I hold both sides to account and anyone who has read my past posts know i dont hold any punches to either side simply because as an outsider, i claim no allegiance to either Rep. or Dem. because it would serve no purpose.
Having said that. The only reason I supported Americans voting for Kerry is based on the performance system. If a major fortune 500 company brought in a new CEO who in 4 years, wiped out years of triple digit profits to the brink of bankrupcy, took a brand name and sullied it to the point of a no-name product, laid off the marketing department while bringing in overpaid sales analysts and ran the company into the ground, SIMPLY ON PRINCIPLE i would fire the CEO and hire someone new, even if the new guy didn't no didly squat about running the company. It's based on past performance. And on Bushs record, there's no way he should have been elected again.
But on your point of everybody... yes Dems agreed wrongly and i cant excuse that. Having said that, I also cant really agree with your point about civilian and military cost. Granted they are low. I dont disagree with the numbers being low although how long they'll stay that way i dont know. The point is, for every single death after the first one was and is needless because this war was started on a lie, and that makes every death a waste, a tragedy and the blood of it all lies directly on the men who started it.
You ask why its such a bad thing to take down a dictator? Its not. But i keep pointing out, he wasn't the only dictator. By setting this precedent, you must now attempt to remove every dictator on the planet in order to balance the equation. If you dont, that exposes the lie. And peace in the middle east will not be brought through strength of arms EVER. It will begin only when the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is resolved equitably and honestly. Ive voiced my solutions to this problem time and again. That small regional conflict is the lynchpin to almost every problem in that region and more importantly, the greatest recruiting tool for terrorism. Cut off the head, the body will die. Resolve that conflict and terror may be subdued. But that road does not run through Bagdhad.
Sun Dec 26 2004 5:22 PM
Tom said: "Paul made the essential point."
Actually, Mike was the one who made the point about not everyone agreeing with the neocon prewar assessment.
Thanks, Tom and Mike. I really enjoyed what you wrote, even though it was wasted on the neocon trolls.
Sun Dec 26 2004 5:27 PM
You said, "The 2 party system in America doesn't work."
Without instant runoff voting, there is no alternative but the 2 major parties. Likewise, the 2 major parties will never permit instant runoff voting.
Anyway, the major problem is really the unwillingness of Americans to accept that their government is corrupt. I think this is what drives the media. Instinctively, they know that the public doesn't want to hear about scandals.
You said, "Dems agreed wrongly and i cant excuse that"
Neither can I, and I'm a Democrat. It was a betrayal by the Democratic leadership, although there were courageous voices. Zoe Lofgren and Loretta Sanchez are the names that jump to my mind.
There won't be any third party coming to the rescue. Political reform in the U.S. will have to come from within either of the 2 major parties. I'm willing to bet that it will come from within the Democratic Party, because I don't see any reformist movement brewing within the Republicans. They seem pretty smug and satisfied with their corrupt pseudo-religious leadership.
Sun Dec 26 2004 5:49 PM
Well written. I disagree with some of what you said, but I respect your opinion.
As far as Israel and Palestine go, I'll go out on a limb and say that has the best chance ever of succeeding with Arafat out of the way.
I still find myself at a loss as to how to respond to the same shit I keep hearing from you. Maybe if you decided to stop calling people names and listen we can chat about politics. I'll take a stab anyway: What does the right in the country need to drastically change? Last I checked the majority in this country voted Republican.
Sun Dec 26 2004 7:38 PM
"What does the right in the country need to drastically change?"
Nothing, if you like big government spending, enormous budget deficits as far as the eye can see (left for the next generation to pay off), manipulation of intelligence for political purposes, extensive use of propaganda against the American public, incompetent war planning, and skyrocketing oil prices. Not to mention America's public image abroad sinking to an historical low.
If you like tens of thousands of young Americans in wheelchairs and with artificial limbs, if you like being stuck in a decade-long war with no clear purpose and no exit strategy, then keep things just like they are. You'll get plenty more of the same from this bunch of bozos.
Mon Dec 27 2004 7:36 AM
Tom from Madison:
My point goes to the question of honesty, integrity, and doing what you say you will do if elected. I also question the practicality of trying to create an instant democratically, elected Iraqi ally government.
First a reminder: Bush didn't run for President in 2000 on a platform of regime change in Iraq or anywhere else. In fact he said he would never do it!
How about a cost / benefit analysis of regime change? What we have never gotten is an intelligent national discussion on the cost of replacing Saddam in the specific way Bush decided to do this. There are many costs:
1) U.S. Military - lost lives of soldiers, depleted reserves, compromised ability to defend the US from REAL threats and act elsewhere;
2) Lost innocent Iraqi lives - many of the people we said we were liberating are now dead. It is NOT noble to involuntarily sacrifice other innocent lives no matter how noble your cause is.
3) Lost Contractor lives - the war "plan" put many contractor employees in harms way. Many are dead or maimed, others will be due to the impossibility of keeping them safe.
4) Lost respect in the world - any hope of building future coalitions led by the US is undermined by Bush's "my way or the highway" attitude toward the rest of the world.
We should all remember that Saddam was our [US] guy in the 1980s when he was fighting Iran. Rumsfeld was Reagan's special envoy to him. Iraqis have every right to be suspicious that a US-led "liberation" would really have THEIR interests at heart. A broader international force would have much more crediblity, especially if lucrative contracts weren't already awarded to American companies before the invasion began.
What we have now is country where Saddam's secular rule may be supplanted by an Islamic fundamentalist movement. Bush has succeeded in starting a conflict that is part Jihad, part civil war. The violence and costs are escalating with no end in sight. The reality on the ground certainly doesn't match the rhetoric we keep hearing. This is not "Freedom on the March".
Mon Dec 27 2004 8:07 AM
Well, we certainly see things differently here...
First, Bush has said he's going to reduce government spending in his second term. Go ahead and move the goalposts since he's acknowledged it, but at least he knows things have gone a little too far.
I'm leaving budget deficits and war planning alone, we simply disagree completely about the war and I don't see much point in beating that horse anymore.
Oil prices are drastically down and still falling.
Perhaps you're exaggerating the toll on our soon to be veterans, and perhaps I'm underplaying it, but the fact is neither of us know right now, and historical perspective is almost useless in the situation we're in right now. This is another point that is difficult to argue with any conviction.
Do you agree that the left has to make major changes to have a chance in 2008? The proof is in the pudding, the Michael Moore left will never succeed. If Howard Dean winds up running the democratic party, I'll make my prediction for the next election right now.
Mon Dec 27 2004 8:16 AM
"First, Bush has said he's going to reduce government spending in his second term."
That was a good one. You really are a sucker, aren't you?
"Oil prices are drastically down and still falling."
Oil prices are slightly down but still high and likely to go higher.
"Perhaps you're exaggerating the toll on our soon to be veterans"
What the fuck are you talking about? This is why I call you a troll, because you are so dishonest in your arguments. U.S. military figures show battle casualties in excess of 10,000 so far. Casualties are soldiers who had to be removed from the battlefield, because their injuries were too excessive to allow them to continue fighting. This generally means they got shot or were blown up. This figure does not include thousands of "non-warfare" casualties, such as when a humvee flips over when attempting to avoid hostile fire, or those who contracted debilitating diseases or had heart attacks.
"Do you agree that the left has to make major changes to have a chance in 2008?"
The Democratic Party needs to be a viable alternative to the Republican Party. "Me too, but with less conviction" is not the way to win elections. Anyway, winning the election is not what I'm fighting for. I want to change policy. If a Democrat becomes president and has the same misguided and corrupt policies as the current dark lord who occupies the Oval Office, then it will be a pyhrric victory.
This is why I don't understand Republicans, because I see Bush enacting policies which are certifiably not conservative, and yet because he is operating under brand "Republican", he gets a pass. Just imagine if Clinton had been this corrupt and inept. Just imagine Clinton running a war where the politicians overruled the experienced military, didn't send enough troops, didn't supply them with enough armored humvees, kept predicting success just around the corner, etc. etc. etc. Just imagine the screaming from the Republicans under that scenario. Well, we're under that scenario, only it's a Republican who is behind this clusterfuck, and not a peep from the Republican cheerleaders.
I've come to the conclusion that Republicans don't know shit about politics. They just keep buying the same brand they've bought for years, because they have unfucking believable brand loyalty.
Mon Dec 27 2004 9:14 AM
Another reason for reforming the Republican Party, if you're religious, is that this administration tacitly endorsed the torture and sexual humiliations which occurred in Guantanano and Abu Ghraib. Also, tens of thousands of dead Iraqis, many of them innocent, should give any true Christian pause. Unfortunately, true Christians are fairly rare these days, as most Christians have been swept up in the giddy blood lust of the Iraq Crusade. Saving Muslims by killing them. Jesus would be so proud.
Mon Dec 27 2004 9:38 AM
Tom from Madison:
Paul is correct on many counts.
The Republicans are running out of people to blame. The legacy of death, deficits, isolation in the world, and corporate domination is a great set-up for the next strong Democrat.
The biggest mistake Democrats could make would be to copy the Republicans. I'd like to challenge Republicans to try to make America first again in important standard of living categories. Read the rankings by country in the World Almanac. Life expectancy, infant mortality, literacy, and incarceration rate are categories where we are WAY behind the rest of the industrialized world. I'd like to see improving performance in these made a national priority. I don't see Republicans offering solutions or even identifying the poor US performance as being a problem.
Mon Dec 27 2004 10:30 AM
Nice move. Taking half quotes to slant stuff in the way you want it to sound is the same goddamn shit you've been doing the whole time I've been reading this site. It's the same goddamn shit the press pulls all the time. And no, Rush Limbaugh didn't tell me to say that. I think for myself, and you can't come up with an argument of your own to back the irrational method that you think in. I'm done responding to anything you say, and I hope I'm not the only one here who sees through your shit everytime you open your mouth. Goodbye.
Mon Dec 27 2004 10:52 AM
"I think for myself, and you can't come up with an argument of your own to back the irrational method that you think in."
Same can be said for a lot of right-wingers, too.
Mon Dec 27 2004 12:06 PM
Mon Dec 27 2004 12:31 PM
Since you're apparently not making good on your promise to leave....
The reason I call you guys trolls is because your arguments strike me as being intellectually dishonest. I think it's fair to compare Republicans to Communists, because Republicans have the same rigid allegiance as Communists did to the party which blinds them to recognizing the party's failings. The comparison is very striking and real to me and not something I'm making up just to score points. Note: I'm only comparing Republicans to Communists one one specific level - the way in which loyalty to the party caused people to distort the truth in their own minds in order to make it fit established party doctrine. The following established Republican party doctrine is well-accepted by the party loyalists but is completely false:
1) Iraq was invaded primarily in order to topple an evil dictator and not due to the administration's warning about an imminent threat of attack by Saddam Hussein.
2) Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attack.
3) The occupation of Iraq is going swimmingly. Rebuilding is under way. The insurgency is under control.
4) There is a broad coalition involved in occupying Iraq.
5) The world respects the U.S. more under President Bush than it did under President Clinton.
6) America is safer, because we invaded Iraq. (This one we could argue about until the cows come home. How anyone could think turning Iraq into a worldwide training center for Islamic terrorists is a good thing is beyond me. Look what happened when the Soviets did the same thing to Afghanistan.)
Instead of an honest response indicating that you understood my argument, I get insulted for calling Republicans Communists. This boiling down of a coherent argument into mumbo jumbo is a standard operating tactic of Republicans, and it's why I've called you guys trolls. If you really want to have a serious and thoughtful discussion, I'm here for you. But, you must *must* respond to the points made and not put words into the other person's mouth. Otherwise, you are a troll, pure and simple.
Now, if you want to answer my argument, explain how your opinion differs in any substantial way from Republican orthodoxy. In other words, make a substantial criticism against the Bush administration. Surely there is somewhere you disagree with their policies?
Mon Dec 27 2004 4:28 PM
For some reason I still feel compelled to answer.
First, read my post again, I'm not going anywhere, there is some decent dialogue going on between myself, Mike, and even Tom a little.
Second, for the millionth time (you listening this time?), I'll explain myself. I'm a fiscal conservative, more liberal socially (young and aligned with the arts community, so I meet many walks of life. People are people, and some aren't worth a shit, I don't care if they're black, white or purple), and I choose to vote to what's more important. Since I've only been old enough to vote for two elections, I can't say much for 1996 or earlier. I believe strongly in the security of this country coming first, and 9/11 proved that we're not invincible. The biggest threat against us is coming from the middle east, not France, not Germany. Not even North Korea; not at the moment anyway.
The democratic politicians in this country have, especially recently, been more mercenaries for votes than committed to their beliefs. That's why a hack such as John Kerry manages to earn his party's nomination. I backed Bush in 2000; though was not sold on him at the time, I considered him a better option than Gore.
When 9-11 occurred, my entire belief structure strengthened, like I believe it did with much of this country. I became a solid backer of George Bush because he seemed committed to finally killing the cesspool in the middle east that led to 9/11, and I believe we're still on the right track. Hence he earned my vote in 2004. If the democrats had managed to come up with a candidate that was less disingenuous, I believe Bush was beatable, and an alternate candidate may have even earned my consideration.
So, if you're looking for the short version, I'm not a brainwashed crusty old republican; my beliefs just happen to better align with the republican party, as I believe is the case with much of America. I will not directly criticize an administration that I believe is doing a good job, especially when I believe where I differ shouldn't be in the hands of the government anyway.
Respond and discuss and I'm fine. Half quote me and talk bullshit (communism? come on, you're smarter than that) without explaining it and I am done talking to you.
Mon Dec 27 2004 5:17 PM
Back up for a moment 666:
People like George W. are the ones that made the "cesspool" in the middle east. Periphery nations that are impoverished are made and usually kept in that perpetual economic state, they don't just appear magically...and they don't just hate us for our freedom. They are subservient to the core/G20/OECD nations and generally always will be because of superior economic leverage. US power broakers have massaged both sides of the aisle into foreign policy that continues to cultivate hatred for us. I'm critical of each party on this one. It's called reaping what we've sown and no one should be surprised.
Foreign policy and crony favoritism - and yes, with some degree of scapegoating for immediate political gain, i.e. the majority of Africa - is what created such vitriol against the US. I'm all for "cleaning up the cesspool," but the military isn't the tool to use if our goal is to make us safer, faster. If anything, it will only exacerbate things as the perception of the US in these parts of the world continues to devolve, furthering recruitment for radical organizations.
That being said, I really hope things are stabilized in Iraq. For everybody with civilized goals involved, I really do. It's been said many times before, but somehow, someway, Iraq needs to be internationalized. If this means we can't contstruct an Iraqi economy structured to our maximal favor and profit, so be it. It's high time we stop pretending to be altruistic and start being altruistic. Looking down our noses at the world will, inevitably, get us nowhere. As much as the Bushies would like to believe our mammoth and girthy world profile, underwritten by an all-powerful military is self-sustaining, one only needs to see Bush quivering in his little cheerleading keds when the WTO authorizes sanctions against us. It'd be best if we ditched our vanity masked as patriotism quickly, because we need the rest of the world more than we think. Especially with continued economic interconnectedness and India and China industrializing at breakneck speeds.
I digress. Back to Iraq: The effort to gain the so-called "hearts and minds" of those in the middle east calls for a more constructive, less destructive and aggressive approach. Certainly more constructive than what is currently being used by the abrasive, myopic neoconservative minds at the helm (see Rumsfeld...the original subject of this thread).
Unfortunately, Bush won't be deliberating over reality or fact anytime soon...he's proven he values consistency much more than efficiency. Bush lost me after Iraq. I understood Afghanistan. Even for a spell, I could sympathize with the logic behind Iraq - until our premise was thoroughly and embarassingly debunked. That's when he completely lost me and my skepticism grew, as it continues to now. Any pragmatist can see that the approach taken wasn't the right decision with no immediate threat (see ANY thread on this site for a thorough discussion about Iraq as an immediate threat. Dead horse, indeed.).
And what is considerably infuriating to this pragmatist is to watch the administrations perpetual demonstration of hubris and obstination by not changing a single thing for fear of looking weak. Hey - the word is called "learning". Don't be afraid to try it out, Mr. President...you won't be teased by the other male cheerleaders for firing Rummy.
Mon Dec 27 2004 6:11 PM
Reading all these posts one would never know that the democrats voted over whelmingly to authorize the use of force in Iraq. Lest you forget part of the democrat presidential platform in 2004 was to stay the course in Iraq.
Tue Dec 28 2004 5:51 AM
Tom from Madison:
What the Democaratic Platform Really said about Iraq:
Winning the peace in Iraq. More than a year ago, President Bush stood on an aircraft carrier under a banner that proclaimed "mission accomplished." But today we know that the mission is not finished, hostilities have not ended, and our men and women in uniform fight almost alone with the target squarely on their backs. People of good will disagree about whether America should have gone to war in Iraq, but this much is clear: this Administration badly exaggerated its case, particularly with respect to weapons of mass destruction and the connection between Saddam's government and al Qaeda. This Administration did not build a true international coalition. This Administration disdained the United Nations weapons inspection process and rushed to war without exhausting diplomatic alternatives. Ignoring the advice of military leaders, this Administration did not send sufficient forces into Iraq to accomplish the mission. And this Administration went into Iraq without a plan to win the peace. Now this Administration has been forced to change course in order to correct this fundamental mistake. They are now taking up the suggestions that many Democrats have been making for over a year. And they must because having gone to war, we cannot afford to fail at peace. We cannot allow a failed state in Iraq that inevitably would become a haven for terrorists and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. And we must secure more help from an international community that shares a huge stake in helping Iraq become a responsible member of that community, not a breeding ground for terror and intolerance. As a first step, we must create a stable and secure environment in Iraq. To do this right, we must truly internationalize both politically and militarily: we cannot depend on a US-only presence. Other nations have a vital interest in the outcome, and we must bring them in to commit troops and resources. The Bush Administration has missed three great opportunities to do that. First, the President broke his promise to build a legitimate coalition in Iraq by exhausting diplomacy before resorting to the use of military force. Second, when the statue fell in Baghdad, Kofi Annan invited the United States to come to the table to discuss international support but we rejected his offer. Third, when the President addressed the United Nations last fall, he once again refused to acknowledge the difficulties we faced in Iraq and failed to elicit support from other nations. The President has not given our troops the clarity of mission, the equipment or the international support they need and deserve. We have a different approach based on a simple commitment: Troops come first. Our helicopter pilots have flown battlefield missions without the best antimissile systems. In a Democratic Administration, that will change. Too many of our nation's finest troops have died in attacks, because tens of thousands were deployed to Iraq without the best bulletproof vests, and there is a shortage of armored vehicles on the ground. In a Democratic Administration, that will change. Thousands of National Guardsmen and reservists have been forced to leave their families and jobs for more than a year with no end in sight because this Administration ignored the pressing need for a true coalition. In a Democratic Administration, that will change. To succeed, America must do the hard work of engaging the world's major political powers in this mission. We must build a coalition of countries, including the other permanent members ofthe UN Security Council, to share the political, economic, and military responsibilities of Iraq with the United States. To win over allies, we must share responsibility with those nations that answer our call, and treat them with respect. We must lead, but we must listen. The rewards of respect are enormous. We must convince NATO to take on a more significant role and contribute additional military forces. As other countries, including Muslim majority countries, contribute troops, the United States will be able to reduce its military presence in Iraq, and we intend to do this when appropriate so that the military support needed by a sovereign Iraqi government will no longer be seen as the direct continuation of an American military presence. Second, we need to create an international High Commissioner to serve as the senior international representative working with the Iraqi government. This Commissioner should be backed by a newly broadened security coalition and charged with overseeing elections, assisting with drafting a constitution, and coordinating reconstruction. The Commissioner should be highly regarded by the international community, have the credibility to talk to all the Iraqi people, and work directly with Iraq's interim government, the new U.S. Ambassador, and the international community. At the same time, U.S. and international policies must take into consideration the best interests of the Iraqi people. The Iraqi people desperately need financial and technical assistance that is not swallowed up by bureaucracy and no-bid contracts, but instead goes directly into grassroots organizations. They need to see the tangible benefits of reconstruction: jobs, infrastructure, and services. They should also receive the full benefits of their own oil production as quickly as possible, so as to rebuild their country and help themselves as individuals, while also reducing the costs of security and reconstruction on the American taxpayer and the cost of gasoline to American consumers. And they need to be able to communicate their concerns to international authorities without feeling they are being disrespected in their own country. America also needs a massive training effort to build Iraqi security forces that can actually provide security for the Iraqi people. It must be done in the field and on the job as well as in the classroom. Units cannot be put on the street without backup from international security forces. This is a task we must do in partnership with other nations, not just on our own. And this is a task in which we must succeed. If we fail to create viable Iraqi security forces military and police there is no successful exit for us and other nations. The challenges in Iraq are great, but the opportunity is also significant. Under John Kerry and John Edwards, we will meet those challenges, win the peace in Iraq, and help to create new hope and opportunity for the entire Middle East.
dhermesc: you're oversimplification misrepresents the Democrats' position.
Tue Dec 28 2004 7:21 AM
Rummy, Rummy, Rummy. I worry for thee.
Can somebody...ANYBODY in this administration form a complete, accurate sentence?
This is not the first time I've heard of this old buzzard misspeaking so terribly. He used to mix up OBL and Saddam all the time, right during the genesis of the criticism that the Administration was deliberatly blurring the line between the two and scaring us into thinking Saddam was a part of 9/11. This geezers clock is about out of ticks. Boot him for chrissakes.
Tue Dec 28 2004 8:26 AM
Simplified yes, but more accurate then the pamphlet you just typed up.
Tue Dec 28 2004 8:46 AM
Tom from Madison:
Karl Rove thrives on imprecision. It helps avoid accountability. What else can we expect from a President who chooses not to read about current events?
Tue Dec 28 2004 8:47 AM
If I were you I'd be concerned about making statements like "Rove thrives on imprecision" without backing them up. Mind backing up that statement with some facts?
Tue Dec 28 2004 8:59 AM
You said: "The biggest threat against us is coming from the middle east, not France, not Germany. Not even North Korea; not at the moment anyway."
Flat out wrong. Uncontrolled nuclear warheads are the biggest threat facing this country. How can you possibly compare losing 3,000 people to losing 3 million? The nukes are mostly in North Korea, Pakistan, and the former Soviet Union. This is where the biggest threat to the U.S. lies.
You said: "The democratic politicians in this country have, especially recently, been more mercenaries for votes than committed to their beliefs."
Hitler was committed to his beliefs. Commitment to core beliefs in an insufficient test for choosing a leader.
Face it, Iraq is chaotic and war-torn. It's a breeding ground for terrorists in the same way that Afghanistan was during the Soviet occupation. Terrorists are coming from miles around to get hands-on training on how to kill Americans.
There were more terrorists in Saudi Arabia than Iraq, prior to this invasion. Why didn't we invade Saudi Arabia?
I compare you guys to communists, because you have the same ability to disregard reality in favor of your ideology. Iraq is a breeding ground for terrorists. It wasn't, before this dumb invasion scheme. Remaking the Middle East with the force of arms was the stupidest of all stupid ideas. We'll be there for ten years and accomplish NOTHING other than killing millions of Iraqis and maiming a hundred thousand U.S. soldiers.
All so you can get your misguided revenge against people who WEREN'T INVOLVED IN THE 9/11 ATTACK. You should be ashamed of yourself for supporting this monstrous war.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:14 AM
You said: "I will not directly criticize an administration that I believe is doing a good job"
How is getting us mired in a decade-long war against an unthreatening nation a "good job"? I call it monumental stupidity.
Why didn't Bush invade Saudi Arabia? They torture people there. It's an evil monarchy. They are loaded to the gills with terrorists there. Most of the 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabia. What gives? Why aren't we talking about going into the true source of Islamic terrorism, where the wahhabi schools teach Muslims to hate Americans?
Oh right, the Bush family has some *serious* financial ties to the Saudi royal family. So, we invaded Iraq, a nation which was not involved in 9/11 and was not harboring terrorists. Pretty stupid, if you ask me.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:21 AM
What does this sentence tell you?
"Most Iraqi Muslims, Sunni or Shiite, dislike the Wahhabi branch of Islam prevalent in Saudi Arabia, and with which Bin Laden is associated."
It tells me we invaded the WRONG FUCKING COUNTRY.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:26 AM
Now we're Nazis? You make some decent points. Points I generally disagree with, but fair to consider nonetheless. You don't need to blow up everything you say almost everytime you open your mouth by comparing the majority of this country to one of the worst murderers ever. Don't you understand it ruins your credibility? Doesn't anyone else here that aligns themself with the left think that's going way too far? Is everybody that much into hyperbole? I just can't make that compute.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:29 AM
Where did I call you a Nazi?
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:34 AM
All right, Evil. I'm done talking with you. I got to this point with dhermesc. If you're going to continually take stuff out of context and ignore the merits of my arguments, then you are nothing but a troll. I've wasted enough time on you.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:38 AM
"Hitler was committed to his beliefs."
Namedropping is close enough.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:39 AM
"All right Evil, I'm done talking with you."
And here I am thinking we'd never agree on anything.
Tue Dec 28 2004 9:48 AM
Pakistan and Iran are not in the middle east? I guess I need one of those new liberal globes.
Nuclear proliferation is frightening enough, but the SALE OF THE NUCLEAR WEAPONS to oil rich terrorist bent on destroying western civilization should scare the shit out of any THINKING MAN.
I guess Paul isn't happy with one war, he wants to start several, fascist mentality if I ever saw one.
Tue Dec 28 2004 10:01 AM
Tom from Madison:
MEMO to dhermesc:
see the link:
the "pamphelet you just typed up" is part of the official Democratic 2004 Platform. It's from the Democratic Convention official website. Why are you trying to suggest otherwise?
This is another case of right-wingers deliberating seeking to mis-lead. APPARENTLY YOU GUYS DON'T BELIEVE YOU CAN WIN A FAIR FIGHT!
Tue Dec 28 2004 11:08 AM
I thought maybe you took the time to type, as opposed to cut and paste.I will more accurately summarize the democrat platform as in regards to Iraq:
We will do exactly what the Republicans are doing only smarter and with a French attitude.
Doesnt matter anyway, BECAUSE KERRY LOST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I thought maybe you took the time to type, as opposed to cut and paste.
Tue Dec 28 2004 11:18 AM
Tom from Madison:
If you want a fine example of imprecision and innaccuracies, read the 2002 State of the Union Address. The many & varied explanations about the WMDs emanating from the Bush Administration illustrate my point vividly.
With regard to Paul's arguments, they are very credible. That's why you keep attacking him instead of his positions. I know, you often treat me the same way. Mike has experienced it as well.
Behaving like Bill O'Reilly doesn't work unless you happen to be in control of the show!
Tue Dec 28 2004 11:19 AM
Tom from Madison:
You're not excused and you're wrong again!
Kerry was the first to say we need to internationalize the force in Iraq. Bush later took Kerry's position after the situation deteriorated. It does matter.
Democrats will keep reminding Republicans what they really voted for and that it is FAILING MISERABLY! Get used to it, we're not going away!!
Tue Dec 28 2004 11:23 AM
Though Paul does have great arguments, I don't think the "dumbasses" comment is very constructive. I mean, what kind of an impression do you think that makes on someone despite how credible their arguments are? I'm not supporting Evil's point of view, but he even admitted to Paul's points to be "fair." Yet the occassional name-calling prevents Evil from really taking his arguments seriously. And no, "he started it first" isn't a viable reason for insults. I guess I never thought it would be so difficult to have a perfectly decent debate w/out throwing mud, at least not directly at the other person.
Except for dhermesc though... his last response wasn't constructive at all.
Just my little quipp, now I'll let you guys go back to your argument.
Tue Dec 28 2004 11:55 AM
International force, if I recall correctly there are over 20 nations involved. Does it only count if we canvince the profiteers from the "Oil for Food/Palaces/Weapons/Bribes" program?
Tue Dec 28 2004 1:13 PM
Tom from Madison:
As of Dec 27, 2004, 90% [1327 of 1477]] of the official troop deaths in Iraq have been US forces.
source for above:
US troop build-up to 150,000 is now underway. The coalition lacks Arabic-speaking Muslims as in the case of the 1991 Gulf War. Aside from the British contingent, very few other countries have a significant presence in the region. There are small numbers of Australian and Polish troops there, but that's about it.
Tue Dec 28 2004 1:53 PM
Who else should be there?
Even if it where 30 nations the bulk of the forces would still be American and British. The first gulf war was a larger force, but look at what they actually acomplished. Most of the regional powers only sent token forces and even they where totally ineffective. Syrian tanks never even made it to Iraq and eventually where loaded up and hauled home. Saudi ground troops never fired a shot and their pilots where only given milk runs they couldn't screw up.
Leaving this up the UN was not an option, at first it was seen as been totally obstinate and anti American. Now it is known that UN leaders were lining their pockets from the oil for food pragram and had no desire for that gravy train to end.
Wed Dec 29 2004 6:37 AM
Tom from Madison:
Wake up! Haliburton and other winners of no-bid contracts are currently lining their own pockets with profits from this war. The Iraqi people know this and are resisting further economic domination by US interests.
The lack of Muslims and Arabs in the "coalition" fuels anti-American and anti-British sentiment. There is a long history of colonial exploitative rule in the region which the peoples of Iraq are justly trying to avoid again.
There are many ways a legitimate coalition could be built--with or without the UN. Fact is, Bush didn't want to take the time and didn't want to share the spoils of this war.
We are left with the sad situation of needing a broad international coalition to add legitimacy and man-power to the effort. Former US allies see nothing in it for them due to this Presidents my-way-or-the-highway attitude.
Wed Dec 29 2004 8:00 AM
If you read the the papers, (NY Times doesn't count) you would know Haliburton has indicated it is ready to pull out of Iraq and NOT renew its no bid contract (signed when Herr Klinton was president). The cost of doing business in Iraq is too much.
Presence of neighboring nation troops on Iraqi soil is no cause for joy in Iraq. They know the British and American's will GO HOME, Hell they are surprised they're still there now. The Iraqis also know that Saudi, Syrian and Jordadian troops might decide to stay and lay claim to Iraqi certain parts of Iraqi realestate - namely those all important oil fields. They know this because they tried the same thing in Iran and Kuwait.
"Former US allies see nothing in it for them due to this Presidents my-way-or-the-highway attitude"
Or could it be the loss of millions (billions?) they were getting through the Oil for Bribes program being run by the UN? With "allies" like that maybe the US should be more selective with the term.
Wed Dec 29 2004 9:37 AM
Someone needs to get there shit straight on this oil-for-food scandal. Getting tired of seeing it used ad nauseam as the generic UN bashing club...it only makes you look like an uninformed hypocrite. Read on:
"Trade with Syria, Jordan and Turkey was the biggest source of illicit funds for Saddam, more so than the much-maligned U.N. oil-for-food program, according to investigations of Saddam's finances.
Though considered smuggling, most of the trade took place with the knowledge - and sometimes the tacit consent - of the United States and other nations."
"When three-quarters of the money ... is something that we specifically acquiesced in, it just sort of highlights how wrong it is to put it at Kofi Annan's doorstep, said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich."
-KEN GUGGENHEIM, Associated Press Writer
Broken down: $13.7 billion of the $21.3 billion came from smuggling that we knew about, as it was occurring, but did nothing. The rest of it was indeed UN oil for food program corruption and the UN should be held accountable. But only accountable for the small fraction of the total malfeasance. The rest of the accountability will just dissappear into the ether, under-reported on and people ignorant of, as usual.
I'm certainly no UN sympathizer - I agree that it has tremendous faults. I've studied it's charter in detail and agree with many that it's fairly antiquated and merely a weather vain for the OECD. However, the UN has its moments and as an IO gets scapegoated far too many times for shit that, in effect, we haven't done anything about either.
Wed Dec 29 2004 11:23 AM
Tom from Madison:
someone as WELL-READ as yourself must remember who the CEO of Halliburton was in the late 1990s. It was good old DICK Cheney, (in)famous for setting up off-shore subsidiaries who did business with the axis of evil and state sponsors of terror!
The fact that Halliburton's deal is NOW turning sour doesn't change the fact that DICK and company made huge $ from the arrangement and still have their hands in the till.
They have already stolen millions from the US tax-payers and still trying to steal a LOT MORE.
Once again, you're trying to use oil-for-food to distract from the real issue. We need a REAL international, credible peace-keeping force to restore order before peace is possible. Talk of democracy before there is a cease-fire is simply propaganda.
Wed Dec 29 2004 11:26 AM
Only a liberal would consider BILLIONS of dollars as inconsequential.
As for Haliburton, why would they do the work if it wasn't profitable? Their no bid contract was made because only they could provide the services that the US defined in their contract. If somebody else could do it as well and cheaper why didn't the Clinton Adminstration sign them? Following your logic Haliburton making money under the Clinton Adm was good, but lossing money under the Bush Adm means that Cheney is giving them a sweet deal?
Talk about a distraction, you're the one that brought up Haliburton. What do you liberals have, a cheerleading tryout to see who can shout HALIBURTON the loudest?
What's in Iraq right now is a credible peace-keeping force. Adding the French, Germans and Russians (and the other oil for food theives)would only hurt its credibility. The same countries that helped steal food out the mouths of the Iraqi people are now going to insure peace and prosperity? Give me a fucking break.
Wed Dec 29 2004 12:08 PM
Tom from Madison:
Credible must be in the eyes of the Iraqi peoples--the ones who are supposed to benefit from this WAR. Those who would profit from their death and destruction are not credible peace-makers. They are war profiteers.
Those who would re-institute torture at Abu Graib are not credible.
Those who claim this exercise is promoting world peace are the least credible of all.
Wed Dec 29 2004 12:43 PM
"the UN should be held accountable" - me.
That's in quite a different universe from: "inconsequential" - you.
Reading comprehension, anyone?
Keep believing only what you want so badly to be true...it will continue to prove how shallow you are.
Wed Dec 29 2004 1:07 PM
Your concern for my lack of charactor depth touches me deeply, but I'd rather have a reach around.
Your solution for lack of credibility is to bring in the profiteers from the "Oil for Bribes" program. Do you not see how that would HURT THE CREDIBILITY of the current coalition?
Wed Dec 29 2004 1:42 PM
Lemme see if I have got this straight?
Clinton awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Yugoslavia - good... Bush awards Halliburton no-bid contract in Iraq - bad...
Clinton spends 77 billion on war in Serbia - good... Bush spends 87 billion in Iraq - bad...
Clinton imposes regime change in Serbia - good... Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...
Clinton bombs Christian Serbs on behalf of Muslim Albanian terrorists- good... Bush liberates 25 million from a genocidal dictator - bad...
Clinton bombs Chinese embassy - good... Bush bombs terrorist camps - bad...
Clinton commits felonies while in office - good... Bush lands on aircraft carrier in jumpsuit - bad...
No mass graves found in Serbia - good... No WMD found Iraq - bad...
Stock market crashes in 2000 under Clinton - good... Economy on upswing under Bush - bad...
Clinton refuses to take custody of Bin Laden - good... World Trade Centers fall under Bush - bad...
Clinton says Saddam has nukes - good... Bush says Saddam has nukes - bad...
Clinton calls for regime change in Iraq - good... Bush imposes regime change in Iraq - bad...
Terrorist training in Afghanistan under Clinton - good... Bush destroys training camps in Afghanistan - bad...
Milosevic not yet convicted - good... Saddam turned over for trial - bad...
Ahh, it's so confusing!
Wed Dec 29 2004 1:45 PM
You forgot you HALIBURTON cheer on your last post. Thought I'd help you out by reminding you.
Wed Dec 29 2004 1:47 PM
Tom from Madison:
Read more carefully. I suggested forming a broader coalition, not necessarily involving the UN. I'm not defending the oil-for-food thieves, merely suggesting that it doesn't give Bush a license to kill innocent Iraqi civilians, nor does it mean that there is no point in forming a broad international contingent.
I thought I needed to stand up for the US taxpayer since Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, and their blindly loyal defenders have abandoned pay-as-you-go and have stolen money from the US treasury to give to their friends. I believe there are laws and commandments against that. Once again it comes down to MORAL VALUES.
Wed Dec 29 2004 2:00 PM
Not quite a Haliburton cheer but pretty close.
How many times does one need to ask, who do you propose to make up this "Broader Coalition" that would be welcomed to Iraq with cheering crowds, you know like the US had when its forces marched down the streets of Baghdad.
Iraq is fearful of it's neighbors (rightfully so) and just because a person is light brown and Muslim doesn't mean they all speak the same language. The nations it would take to make up the "Broader Coalition" you dream of do not exist in the year 2004.
Wed Dec 29 2004 2:42 PM
How much more semantic can this conversation get?
Wed Dec 29 2004 2:48 PM
You mistake irritation as concern. (A mom joke just came to mind, but I'll bite my tongue).
And reading dhermesc's sudden, ad hoc "hurt the credibility of the current coalition" stance gave me a spit-take.
Now that, my friends, is comedy.
In other news, the biggest Sunni party has backed out of the election, citing unfit circumstances for a proper campaign and "dealing a fresh blow to the vote's credibility" (there's that damn word again...where's our court jester dhermesc when you need a good laugh!)
This election has become a pipe dream. I submit that it's probably too late for an effective, radical departure from Bush's status quo. All of our soldiers blood, sweat and tears for what will only become a civil war. The tragedy is that it didn't have to be this way.
Wed Dec 29 2004 5:29 PM
You said: "I'm not supporting Evil's point of view, but he even admitted to Paul's points to be "fair."
If you read Evil's comment, it's standard troll-bait.
Evil said: "Now we're Nazis?"
I had said: "Hitler was committed to his beliefs. Commitment to core beliefs in an insufficient test for choosing a leader."
I was making a point and giving an exaggerated example of that point. I did not call Evil a Nazi, and he intentionally took my statement out of context. Troll!
When I read a comment that sounds like: "I completely disagree with what you said, but I'm intrigued, tell me more," then I know I'm dealing with a troll.
Wed Dec 29 2004 11:20 PM
You don't get it. Let's use the Communism comparison you made and I most certainly did not take out of context. I think you've made one or two points that I could understand where you're coming from, even if I disagree with it. Then when you say Conservatives are Communists, it's so ridiculous that I am left to assume that you merely stumble onto any good point you might make. Call me a troll if you must, I'll choose not to call you a name in return, but I know which one of us is being reasonable. It's the one who's trying to respect the other's opinion, no matter if he disagrees. Calling names rather than reliably presenting a valid counterpoint only leaves one to believe that the other party has no counterpoint.
For cripes sake you just attacked someone who has a similar belief structure to yours. You did this because they pointed out I might be right.
I have an idea: Let's take a poll. Let's see who would rather have a decent back and forth conversation and who would rather sling shit.
I, evil conservative666, would rather discuss current events than call names.
Thu Dec 30 2004 5:49 AM
Don't suppose you realize this is the second time the Sunni party has pulled out? Being a flaming liberal I'd think you'd recognize election posturing when you see it. In the last US election Elizabeth Edwards said there would be riots in the streets if the democrats lost, how serious did anyone take that?
I do realize that it goes against you socialist views to have a free election (in Iraq or the US) but it will happen.
You are too kind. Paul is a dumbass that recently learned the words Nazi and Fascist at a Brown Shirt rally and has decided to include them in all his posts. Next week look for the words Marxist and Leninist.
Thu Dec 30 2004 6:08 AM
Tom from Madison:
You make me laugh. It's REALLY FUNNY to hear neo-cons defend eachother. First there is the defining habit of highly effective neo-cons--the name calling. ['flaming liberal"] I suppose that's EVEN worse than just being liberal. Then you criticize Paul for calling 666 a "dumbass" by calling him a dumbass yourself--any hypocracy there? Finally you call him a Nazi and question his vocabulary. How about discussing the issues rather than engaging in ad hominem attacks?
What's not funny is deliberately avoiding accountabilty. We seem to have strayed from discussing Donald Rumsfeld's prosecution of this war. The Progressives [aka liberals] need to continue to remind our neo-con friends to practice their own moral values:
1) Killing and torture in the name of liberation is per se IMMORAL.
2) it isn't necessary to steal money from the US treasury to fund this or any other war. Yes there are some things that ONLY Haliburton can do, but there are many documented cases of repeatedly overcharging HUGE $ for fuel and meals. Other companies can perform these functions without stealing from the taxpayer.
3) it isn't necessary to steal oil from the citizens of Iraq while this war is going on. The question of who owns the oil that is being pumped in Iraq right now is not being discussed by the administration. It ought to be!
Do any of the conservatives out there care about violation of the 10 commandments and US law? If they do, why don't they talk about it when it is happening on a grand scale in Iraq under the direction of Donal Rumsfeld?
Thu Dec 30 2004 9:12 AM
In response to your last statement, if the point of the military in Iraq was to solely rape, pillage, torture, and murder innocent Iraqis, there would be very few backers. Actually that sounds a little like the previous command in Iraq.
I won't make the argument that our military's been perfect; I couldn't begin to make a sound argument. However, you and many liberals put way too much stock into the few bad apples in the military. You're also not trusting our justice system to take care of the scum who were torturing prisoners in Iraq. Punishment of those guilty few will also likely "scare straight" a good chunk of people who would have otherwise contemplated doing stupid things in Iraq.
Thu Dec 30 2004 9:39 AM
Tom from Madison:
I do appreciate your thoughtful response.
I understand the current explanation for why we are in Iraq is not to rape, pillage, ... However to dismiss Abu Graib as the actions of a few bad apples is very wishful thinking. After all this is an administration who strives to anwer to no one on Earth. Toward that end they have sought to repeal the Geneva convention. They have deliberately created classes of people who have no rights and places where no rights exist. This is not what the founding fathers had in mind!
No matter what the current "stated" reason for being there, a lot of innocent people have been killed. A lot of death and destruction have resulted due to HOW this war is being waged. I'm suggesting that Americans remember what we were being told before the invasion. Then compare and contrast that with what has already happened and what is going on now.
Remember Ahmed Chalabi? You might have spotted him at the 2002 State of the Union address sitting next to the Bush family. He was being groomed for the Iraqi Prime Minister at one point. At the very least, this President's judgment must be questioned. Personally, I think his character flaws run much deeper than bad judgment!
Thu Dec 30 2004 11:04 AM
I still expect it to be worth the effort in the long run. You never thought it would be, and neither of us will be convinced any differently. I don't see the character flaws in GWB that you do; I wish he was a better communicator than he is. That alone might go a long way toward clearing some of the smoke around this. But what we have is a difference of opinion, and that's fine with me.
This country works because of give-and-take. The reason Bush still has widespread support at this point is simply that there are more out there more concerned about the security of the country than the opinion of it. I share that opinion with the majority right now. If there really was widespread feeling that this was done on less than the best intentions, we'd be getting ready to swear in President Kerry.
Thu Dec 30 2004 11:50 AM
Tom from Madison:
I disagree in several ways:
1) Most voters will implicitly trust that the President hasn't mis-led them into war. They don't want to believe that they were deceived. LBJ famously mis-led the US into Viet Nam based on the Gulf of Tonkin fabrication. It took years for the truth to come out. Ugly facts about Iraq continue to emerge despite the spin and damage control done by Fox News and the right-wing propagandists of talk radio. The truth will catch up to Bush.
2) Most voters haven't encountered the real costs of this war in their day to day lives. The increasing death and disability tolls are changing this as we speak.
3) Republicans have bought votes as never before by suggesting that war and tax-cuts go together. There is always a financial cost to pay for war. There are also many scandals in HOW this war was waged & financed. Paying for Iraq by charging it to the National Debt is truly stealing money from future generations.
4) The reasons Bush originally cited for going into Iraq originally have been proven false. As the costs in lives and dollars rise, the electorate will realize that the death, debt, and destruction have not made us safer.
5) Bush's lack of planning has hurt the idea that we can have a volunteer army. A draft in order to sustain this war effort isn't likely to make Republicans more popular; shortages in troops are already a major problem.
This war is an unfolding disaster. If you don't see it, you're in denial.
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:13 PM
Very eloquently stated, Tom.
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:16 PM
Tom from Madison:
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:37 PM
Don't underestimate this country's ability to get through this. We've met bigger challenges.
Since I have nothing left to say I'm going to quote Peggy Noonan from the Wall Street Journal.
"The biggest story of the year happened just as big-thinking journalists went on vacation after filing their "Ten Biggest Stories of 2004" pieces. Life has a way of surprising us.
"The biggest story of 2004 has come, not yet gone, and will be with us for some time. Two thousand five beings on Saturday. For the new year, two thoughts. Remember it can all be swept away in a moment, so hold it close and love it while you've got it. And may we begin 2005 pondering how much we've got in common, how down-to-the-bone the same we are, and how the enemy is not the guy across the fence but the tragedy of life. We should try to make it better. We should cut to the chase."
Keep things in perspective guys. We're lucky to be able to talk about all of this as we wait for five o'clock. And keep those affected by the disaster in Asia in your prayers.
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:39 PM
As Usual, Tom thinks the US government is a dictatorship and there werent any senators, intelligence officers or anyone involved or lets say, voting for the war. Tom is in hardcore denial. He has also forgotten who cut the troop levels. Clinton. He lives in a dream world where him and Paul sit around and drink cool aid and discuss theories.
In addition, he continues to believe that the only reason Bush was elected is because people didnt know any better. Again, insulting the majority. This is a common practice of the left and will only win the republicans even more votes next time around. He lives in a dream world and only a fool would cast 51% of the American people off as ignorant. But when you dislike this country as much as Tom, its not surprising he dislikes it's people as well.
666, you have tried hard to be fair in your conversation. As you see, fair gets you no where with the far left. You see, fair is based in reality, and thats not where they live. Drink up!
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:40 PM
I join you in wishing the best for the Tsunami victims and their families.
However, it trivializes this war to say it's not even the top story of 2004. Neo-cons have gotten used to the idea that news is something to manage.
This war IS A DISASTER. It's not natural. It was 100% avoidable!
As long as we're looking for common ground, how about if we vow to save the lives of as many more innocent Iraqis as possible?
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:52 PM
Tom from Madison:
The last post is mine.
Thu Dec 30 2004 12:53 PM
I'm all for saving lives of innocent Iraqis. I'm all for establishing a government in Iraq that doesn't gas its own. I'm all for Olympic athletes not being beaten for failings. I'm all for humane prisons, a strong economy based on oil sales, and a voice for the people. I'm all for women being treated as fellow human beings.
I'm all for being part of the country that helped establish a free, democratic Iraq.
Thu Dec 30 2004 1:06 PM
Let it be known that I was quoting somebody, My view is not necessarily that the Tsunamis in Asia is the biggest story in 2004. Truth is it's too soon to tell which will be the bigger story, since neither story is complete.
Thu Dec 30 2004 1:12 PM
According to the LA Times, 84% of Iraqus intend to vote -- and of those, 71.4% said they "strongly" intend to vote. In the Sunni areas, the percentages of likely voters are far lower -- but nevertheless, the majority of Sunnis surveyed (53%) said they intend to vote.
I'd say this speaks will for democracy as voter turnout in the United States for presidential elections is just above 50%. During off year federal elections, turnout is generally under 40%. The Sunni's are boycotting the election but will still have a higher turnout then US had in its last election. No wonder Tom is so adamant that elections not take place, another nation is falling to democracy under the leadership of JWB.
Tue Jan 4 2005 9:56 AM
Tom from Madison:
Where did you get the idea I was adamant that elections not take place? You make a lot of foolish points. Let me set you straight. Also, please refrain from misrepresenting me in the future.
I'd be VERY interested in seeing a citation for the poll you're quoting. Accurate polling of a potential electorate in war-torn Iraq strikes me as near impossible. Intention to vote is one thing, getting shot on the way to the voting booth is quite another. Ask some Black folks who were of voting age in the 1950, 60s, and even later in Mississippi.
It should be obvious how important it is that Iraqis be safe when attempting to vote. We know that civilians are being killed on a daily basis in Iraq. It would be great if OUR government would tell us how many.
Once we knew how many civilians were being killed every day or every week we could make a judgment about when the country was safe enough to have elections. If too many people are killed in the first election, there may not be a second!
Once it is safe enough to have elections we should take steps to ensure that elections actually mean something. Establishing a democracy is only meaningful if the people have REAL power to make informed choices about their own future. As a general rule, I'm for THAT! ...and not just in Iraq!
Tue Jan 4 2005 1:18 PM
I don't know why, but what you said about people being killed during the election in Iraq reminds me of the election problems in Latin America. I don't trust the U.S. to run or have any major influence in the election in Iraq; just look at what they've done to Latin America! And in the case that a political puppet didn't get voted, there's a coup d'etat backed by none other than the U.S. I can only expect something like this to possibly happen in Iraq.
I know that has nothing really to do with the topic, but I just felt like saying a little something.
Tue Jan 4 2005 1:50 PM
Tom from Madison:
I think you're right on point! History matters. Your point goes to credibility.
We have a history of interfering in foreign elections and not being honest about it. Reagan and Bush 41 are both responsible for atrocities in Central America committed in the name of fighting communism. The School of the Americas is a shameful reminder of this legacy.
Tue Jan 4 2005 1:57 PM
Tom from Madison:
There are other examples right in the very region we're talking about.
The backing of the Shah of Iran by the US, the backing of Saddam until 1989, and Bush41's allowing of Sunnis and Kurds to be slaughtered in the early 1990s, make Bush's claim that he REALLY cares about Iraqis very suspect.
Then there is the plight of the Kurds. They have been repressed for years by Turkey. Their dream is for an independent Kurdistan, not a small say in a factionalized pseudo-democracy.
Tue Jan 4 2005 2:07 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
I dont know where else to post this comment as i just had to laugh/cry when i saw your banner for the video game 'terrorist takedown'. its very ammusing. as an avid video game player i myself play games such as Counterstrike etc... but i can only sit in awe looking at some of those screenshots and wonder. it looks like bagdhad. explosions going off in the heart of the city. im wondering, speculating actually. i haven't seen the game yet so i me be premature with this but, are they insinuating that everything that moves in the middleeast is a terrorist. are there civilians in the game, that can be killed? can you see the outcome of your mistake or is every kill a terrorist kill?
memories of fallujah anyone?
i also like the fact that 5% of the proceeds go to kids of slain special forces members. maybe it'll help indoctronate other kids to become proficient killers of 'terrorists' in the middle east.
if you cant tell thats sarcasm. scuse me, im drunk and im pissed. debate umongst yerselves if you care.
Tue Jan 4 2005 5:53 PM
On the topic of video games, I hear that army recruitment will ask what kind of video games and for how long do they play them. Kinda makes sense to me. I've been seeing all these games and can't help that there's something behind them. I think the greatest influence being America's Army. If that wasn't an actual recruitment tool, I don't know what is. Video games are also a huge way to control the public mind as well, or at least distract it.
So Mike of the Great White North, despite your drunken anger, you do have a good point, a point I totally agree with you on.
Tue Jan 4 2005 6:38 PM
So let me get this straight. Video Games are being used to control the young into joining the Army?
That could be the most ridiculous thing ever written.
Tue Jan 4 2005 7:56 PM
Tom from Madison:
Video games, like the ones mentioned, are a symptom of a very sick American culture. This is a culture that has gotten de-sensitized to killing foreigners.
The games support the MYTH that the Iraq war is a simple struggle between good [US backed Christian-led self-proclaimed democracy crusaders] and evil ["terrorists"].
The tragic reality is tens of thousands of innocent people are getting killed. Liives are being shattered due to death, dismemberment, and distruction. In the process, oil is being stolen from Iraqis. Whoever has access to the oil flowing out of Iraq now has no financial interest in ceding control of this resource to the citizens of the country.
This is a good time to remind those people who voted for "moral values" that killing innocent people even if it is called "friendly fire" is morally wrong. Stealing [oil] is morally wrong. Coveting your neighbors goods [e.g. oil] is morally wrong. You shouldn't need to have the Ten Commandments in your courthouse to recognize immorality when you see it.
Making $ off of this tragedy is also wrong. As to whether video games are a recruiting tool, I don't know. Given how tough it is to recruit these days, it's not that big a stretch that the Army might be supportive of "war-friendly" games.
Wed Jan 5 2005 7:14 AM
Tom from Madison:
I have to comment on no name's last post. I think it's indicative of a typical neo-con argument.
:"So let me get this straight. Video Games are being used to control the young into joining the Army?
That could be the most ridiculous thing ever written."
Here are the style elements essential to neo-con O'Reilly-esque misrepresentation:
1) It's sound-bite sized.
2) It simultaneously summarizes and distorts.
3) There is a hyperbolic conclusion based on the distorted summary ["the most ridiculous thing ever written"].
4) There is the false pretense of politeness and civil discourse ["so let me get this straight"].
It probably is no coincidence that the phrase "most ridculous" is used--as in O'Reilly's "most ridiculous item of the day".
My New Year's resolution is to take on this kind of knee-jerk, shallow, pseudo-conservatism where ever and when ever possible. The country needs a deeper, better political discourse!
Wed Jan 5 2005 11:28 AM
Why limit yourself to knee-jerk, shallow, psuedo-conservatism?
"In the process, oil is being stolen from Iraqis. Whoever has access to the oil flowing out of Iraq now has no financial interest in ceding control of this resource to the citizens of the country."
Care to explain yourself?
"This is a good time to remind those people who voted for "moral values" that killing innocent people even if it is called "friendly fire" is morally wrong."
Are we to assume you are just the person to tell everyone what "moral values" they should have?
As for the friendly fire issue, is it better to stand by as hundreds of thousands of people killed? By your MORAL STANDARDS it would have been better to leave Europe to the Nazis then to have invaded. The Allied war effort killed millions of noncombatants. Talk about your SHALLOW UNINFORMED assesments. Take you New Years resolution to heart and think a little.
Wed Jan 5 2005 1:00 PM
I never said that it was for getting the young people to join, but to get the military information on possible recruitments. I mean, you have these recruiters going out to THEM, not really the other way around. There's a hilarious comic talking about the game America's Army as a recruitment tool; you can find it here: http://www.penny-arcade.com/view.php3?date=2002-06-05&res=l
There are many games (and almost all first-person shooters) where you're blasting the hell out of Vietnamese people, Russians, Germans, and more recently Middle Easterners. There's no way anyone can say with 100% proof that these games are not shaping the perception of the young people in this country. As Tom said, it gives them the impression that this is all about "good" (us) vs. "evil" (them). If video games weren't teaching its players something, then the military wouldn't ask them information about it.
Oh, and America's Army was developed with the U.S. military, and not just some video game company. I think that reflects a bit onto what kind of game it is.
Wed Jan 5 2005 1:14 PM
Tom from Madison:
Neo-cons and shallow pseudo-conservatives caused needless death and destruction. Our course needs to change before more die needlessly.
First, let's deal with your Nazi WWI non-sequitor. Iraq in 2002 had virtually no air force and a very weak army. They weren't about to attack anybody--It was not necessary to invade quickly.
The Iraqi war was started based on falsehoods told by Wolfowitz, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Bush, and Rice to name a few. They are neo-cons and pseudo-conservative, not true conservatives.
True conservatives stand for fiscal responsibility. Neo-cons spend money like there is no tomorrow. Therefore they are pseudo-conservatives, having radically departed from their conservative roots on a quest for power.
I'm not telling anyone what values to have. I'm showing all who are not in denial that those who started this war are not walking the talk OF THEIR OWN MORAL VALUES. Specifically they are not good Christians because they are killing the least of their bretheren, not liberating them. The Bush campaign used the buzz words "culture of life". Iraq has become more of a culture of death than it already was.
Tens of thousands of innocent people have been killed needlessly in a very short period of time. Iraq is more dangerous now than it was before this war. The US government is not publicizing official body counts and disease-related deaths due to the destruction.
Perhaps you could explain who is NOW getting profits from the oil being pumped out of Iraq? I'd like to hear what the mechanism is by which average Iraqi civilians have access to their own resources.
The people who aren't thinking are those who somehow think this war is going well or serving a noble cause. The death tolls tell a much different story.
Wed Jan 5 2005 1:29 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
now that im sober, let me clarify something.
what i said wasn't an indictment against video games. i will not accept the time honoured tradition of passing the buck for actions done onto a scapegoat. i've played some of the most brutal and violent games ever. they have not made me a killer, because i grew up to respect all life and see the clear line between reality and computer generated fiction. i know the pixels i kill dont have a distraught mother or vengeful father. i know the pixel house will be there again when i reboot.
with that being said, my grievance against this game in particular where many. Simply the name is the most obvious. Terrorist takedown in what is obviously a middle east locale game. Nowhere on the box cover or screenshots do i see chechnya, phillipines, or oklahoma or israel. The game is set in a carbon copy Iraq. Therefore the title implies that terrorism is rampant in Iraq. i call it resisting occupation.
And again, if anyone bothers to look at the screenshots of the game, you've got building being demolished, plumes of smoke and dust and heavy fire all over. What i want to know, if anyone can answer me is, does this game consider ALL targets that can be killed 'terrorists' or are there civilians in the game(if any). I want to know how this game will treat 'collateral damage' IF any. I have a feeling this game will just infest the location with targets to be killed and tallied and make it look all glamourous, even though they wont show pictures from those combat scenes in the news.
I want to see a game made that shows the reality of war. That locking down a city like Fallujah and then laying waste to it will leave bodies in the street and no matter what the puppet media says, they were not all insurgents. I want a video game that shows an infant with a collapsed skull and a half torso left inside of a demolished building after calling in air support or stray tank shells. I want to see a game that will show the real face of war, not a prebuscent fantasy of a land of people that deserve death where you can just Rambo your way through and be the hero.
Rainbow Six series did this well, Terrorism Takedown looks like more patriotic strokeoff material.
Wed Jan 5 2005 1:58 PM
"I want a video game that shows an infant with a collapsed skull and a half torso left"
If you're that interested hangout by the dumpster of an abortion clinic and your fantasy will come true.
Wed Jan 5 2005 2:09 PM
You claim the oil exports are being stolen from Iraq. But then you admit you don't have clue how the funds from exports are being handled, are you that informed on all your other claims?
Wed Jan 5 2005 2:12 PM
Tom from Madison:
You are the ill-informed one.
"President Bush quickly appointed Phil Carroll, a former high-ranking US oil executive, to assume control of Iraqs oil industry and on May 22, Bush issued Executive Order 13303 giving immunity to oil companies for all activities in Iraq and deals involving Iraqi oil. On the same day, under pressure from the US and the UK, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1483 which lifted the former sanctions and allowed the occupation authorities to sell Iraqi oil and put the proceeds in an account they controlled.."
Bush gave authority to US and UK oil companies to keep profits from oil now being pumped from Iraq.
Wed Jan 5 2005 3:02 PM
Tom from Madison:
Getting back to my original question, I was wondering what the Bush plan was for sharing Iraqi oil profits with the Iraqis.
I asked that question because it seems to be a detail that nobody in the Bush Administration wants to talk about.
Wed Jan 5 2005 4:49 PM
Mike of the Great White North:
"I want a video game that shows an infant with a collapsed skull and a half torso left"
If you're that interested hangout by the dumpster of an abortion clinic and your fantasy will come true.
Oh i just love the line of thought here. How'd i get from talking about the realities of war to an argument on abortion. FAR BEIT for me to even start this argument since I am pro-life myself, i just won't legislate my beliefs onto women. But you totally broadsided my whole f'n point you 20 watt lightbulb. How does a dumpster by an abortion clinic factor into the fact that video games glorify the 'herioc' aspect of sensationized destruction for points system, transposing those euphoric feelings onto the landscape of Iraq? You completely lost me?
Wed Jan 5 2005 8:48 PM
You got to abortion because the left screams about moral values and dead babies, when there are 43 million dead babies in our nations garbage dumps, and the left supports them being there.
If your concern over life was real, you would care about the killing of 43 million people.
Thats how you got there.
Thu Jan 6 2005 11:29 AM