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The Lie of Modern Liberals: Human Rights

Progressive liberals no more care about extending human rights than I do about scrubbing the floor with a toothbrush and soapy water. 

FACT: Self-proclaimed “progressive” liberals have never once praised the efforts of the United States and its allies for liberating 50 million people in Afghanistan and Iraq from two murderous dictatorships that were poster children in their suppression of human rights. 

Instead, progressive liberals have been on a witchhunt against liberal Western democracies – looking for every possible sign and signal (most of them false) of Coalition troops committing “war crimes”. 
Our own elected officials from the Democrat Party have repeatedly accused American troops of being terrorists and Ted Kennedy celebrates the anniversary of Abu Ghraib, but not the free elections in two previously oppressed lands.  What the hell?!?

For Amnesty International and their ilk, it is more important to advance their progressive political agenda than it is to truly stand up for “human rights.”  They have used the Geneva Convention as an article of convenience and have not applied the standards equally by keeping Hezbollah, al-Qaeda, Sunni insurgents, Syria and Iran under the same scrutiny as the United States of America.

Latest example?  On its website today, Amnesty International promotes its boat-led protest to the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and its concern about the diamond trade (perfect story for limosine liberals!). 

But not a single word about this Islamic terrorist violation of the Geneva Convention.

Four U.S. soldiers, one of them a New Yorker, were captured – and promptly murdered – last Saturday in the Shiite holy city of Karbala, 50 miles from Baghdad, officials confirmed.

Two of the slain soldiers were found handcuffed together in the back of a vehicle.

Soldiers die in combat, of course.

But the murder of disarmed and helpless troops – killing POWs, in effect – is what’s at issue here.

The murder of helpless captives is a stark reminder of the barbaric nature of the enemy that American-led forces face in Iraq.

Indeed, it puts into perspective the complaints about U.S. “atrocities” committed against prisoners at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib.

Frankly, complaints about degrading photos and alleged desecration of the Koran can’t hold a candle to the savage abduction and execution-style murders of brave soldiers.

Those who have led the outcry over what they hysterically decry as U.S. “war crimes” in Iraq have a particular obligation to speak out against genuine atrocities of the kind committed by these terrorist insurgents.

I also don’t see Matt Foreman of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force shedding many tears over the murder of Americans around the world and the torture of American troops by Islamic terrorists.  Perhaps, for a socialist, it is better to support Islamic fascism than liberal democracy?

This clear hypocrisy of silence shows “progressive” liberals’ true colors.  They stand behind the mantra of “human rights”, but they cast a blind eye when it comes to the human rights of Americans.

Shameful.

[RELATED STORY: Senator Kerry sits down today with former Iranian dictator - RadioJavan.com]

**UPDATE**Another progressive liberal Democrat thinks that liberating Muslims from oppression is wrong!

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., said Bush “tricked” the country into an immoral war. “He did not tell the truth,” she said. “I will not vote one dime for this war.”

Reminder:  President Clinton repeatedly stated throughout the 1990s the same intelligence conclusions known at the time that Saddam Hussein was developing WMD.  Indeed in 2003, all of the world’s major intelligence organizations believed it.

“Tricked”!?!  Hardly, Maxine.  Your brain is just an inconvenient and untruthful mass of cells.

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

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149 Comments

  1. C’mon Bruce.
    They cared enough about 500,000 non-existent Albanians to ignore congress and the U.N.

    On a similar note, I’ve said before that if Iraq was better off with Saddam, the Darfurians are better off now.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 27, 2007 @ 10:38 am - January 27, 2007

  2. Feigning concern about “Human Rights” is just PR to cover what left-liberals are really all about: power. Just like Hillary’s pal Marian Wright Edelman admits that appeals for helping “the children” are just to put a sympathetic public face on the expansion of socialism and big government. If left-liberals gave a damn about kids, they would oppose abortion and support school choice.

    Comment by V the K — January 27, 2007 @ 10:49 am - January 27, 2007

  3. Look who they idolize:

    Castro, Guevara, Stalin, Noriega, Ortega, Chavez etc.etc.etc.

    and they want me to believe they give a d*mn about human rights?

    That’s how I know Bush is not a dictator. They’d love him if he was.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 27, 2007 @ 10:54 am - January 27, 2007

  4. I would expect no concern from libs regarding the murder of captured U.S. soldiers. After all, remember many of them thought the Pentagon a legitimate target on 9/11. I don’t think they’re hypocrites; they’re just supporting the other side.

    Comment by Scott — January 27, 2007 @ 12:31 pm - January 27, 2007

  5. What liberals who hold public office say they idolize Che Guevara, Stalin, etc? Or is this all about straw men, an attack on some fantasy you call “liberal”? Seriously – I am a liberal who despises all of those names in the foolish comment above, who, like all liberals of any intelligence, generously praised our success at the time in Afghanistan (and laments that that wonderful success has been tragically threatened by the unnecessary and resource/life-draining quagmire in Iraq). Like all intelligent liberals, I see Castro et. al. as bad men who brought a lot of grief on their people. Have you ever seen a Democrat in Congress wear a Che button? No, never. The only idiots who do this are college students who, in their ignorance, think they are being hip. Most grow out of it. Those that don’t and pursue ideals the likes of Castro’s and Stalin’s are not liberals or progressives, but hard-core leftist fools and cretins, comparable only to those on the right who revere equally repellent icons, like Pinochet or Hitler. Seriously guys, think before you post. If you really believe “liberals” were down on our victories in Afghanistan do a bit of googling. The “MSM” was delirious with praise at the time, and until we were deep in the Iraq debacle, Rumsfeld was treated with rock-star status – remember? Remember “Mission Accomplished”? The MSM was applauding Iraq, like Afghanistan, as an unheralded success…until it turned into a nightmare from which we may never emerge in our lifetimes. Every intelligent liberal – Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Maureen Dowd, etc., etc. – was firmly behind the president with the invasion and liberation of Afghanistan, and to say otherwise is to retreat into a world of fiction and delusion. It simply isn’t true. Repeat: It’s just not true.

    Comment by richard — January 27, 2007 @ 12:45 pm - January 27, 2007

  6. i hate the usa!
    what a horrible country!
    Gawd I really need to move to another country!
    What a bunch of facists!

    Now stop oppressing me and give me my marriage rights you facists S.O.B.s!

    oh, sorry about that… I was having a Turet moment. I’m better now.
    Sandy

    Comment by sandy — January 27, 2007 @ 12:50 pm - January 27, 2007

  7. Richard-

    You are in a complete denial about where progressive liberals are in our day about freedom and democracy. I doubt you support Joe Lieberman.

    Would you support the foreign policy of Truman now? How about JFK?

    Thought so.

    You need to remember what nation on this earth goes to bat for the world’s underdogs time and time again.

    Think about that the next time you claim to “support the troops” while spitting in the face of their mission.

    After all, Democrat elected officials are urging that we sit down and chat with the terror regime of Syria for crying out loud.

    THAT is the state of progressive liberals today. Fact the facts, bro.

    Comment by GayPatriot — January 27, 2007 @ 12:53 pm - January 27, 2007

  8. I would indeed support Truman’s and JFK’s foreign policy. Lieberman has lost some of my respect – but I do respect him. I believe he is wrong about Iraq, but that many on the left have been unfair to him.

    How dare you say I spit in the faces of our troops? I didn’t want them sent on a half-baked, doomed-to-fail mission in Iraq, especially when that mission would endanger the lives of our troops fighting in Afghanistan in a truly worthy and necessary mission.

    About urging we talk with Syria and others – have you read the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations? Are you aware that James Baker is not a Democrat or a liberal? These generalities are painful, because you’re obviously smart. I am a liberal. I run a blog highly critical of Communist China. You can’t slot us all as if we are a monolith – it’s irresponsible. And because I criticize Bush, following the example of the vast majority of my fellow patriotic Americans, you dare say I spit in the soldiers’ faces? Reprehensible. Fictitious, unfounded and untrue.

    You didn’t answer my question, though: Do you or do you not remember when the “liberal media” lauded our successes in Afghanistan and displayed huge encouragement of the mission? Or to put it another way, which liberal media, and which distinguished liberals were against that war and failed to praise our great achievements there in 2002? Because I was a journalist and read hudreds of articles from hundreds of “MSM” newspapers across America and never once saw what you say occurred (failure to applaud our victory). Because what you say ocurred is not grounded in reality.

    Are you dealing with facts, or with straw men? Let’s get at least a little substance behind these provocative charges. Because for now it’s all hot air, and noxious fumes.

    Richard, another gay patriot

    Comment by richard — January 27, 2007 @ 1:26 pm - January 27, 2007

  9. I find this to be an incredibly stupid rant. It displays none of the wisdom and insight that the best of the conservative perspective could offer. Rather, it just sounds to me like yet another limbaugh-Coulter-Savage wannabe rant. Like that is what we really need in this country.

    The fact is, as any real conservative could tell you, that the best (only) way to spread virtue in this world is to – first step – practice virtue yourself.

    You oppose torture as a means to oppress and control a populace? First thing to do is to outlaw it for your own side, and then enforce that. Once you start down the slippery slope of justifying torture for reasons of expedience, then the game is lost. The painful tragedy of Abu Ghraib (of all places there!) was that the little Saddamites of the world could point to that and say – see? there is nothing wrong with what we do – even the great shining city on the hill does the same thing when it feels the need to. Well, we feel the need to also”

    You expect a government to respect the inherint freedoms of its people – as the geniuses who wrote our constitution envisioned? Then you resist, with all your might, the erosion of those rights by usurpers. Read Madison and Hamilton on the permanent dangers that they foresaw, from otherwise good people who find themselves in positions of power but feel they need a little more. The Bush administration are of that type – I dont doubt their sincerity but they have chosen to aggressively push the envelope on aggrandizing power to the government, especially the execultive branch. There are always arguments that can be found to justify these things – good lawyers can find good arguments for everything.

    It is the role of the conservative to be a staunch defender of our traditional values against the encroaching of well meaning people who argue the pressing needs of the moment. In this, the conservatives of today have utterly failed.
    “There is no explicit grant of habeus corpus in the Constitution”. Can any lover of America and the Constitution allow someone who says that to remain in a position of power?

    You think the world would be, in general, a better place if nations were compelled to truly make every possible effort to avoid trying to solve their disputes through war, if at all possible? That was always the goal of decent human beings – and after the horrors of WWII, the world in general realized how important that standard was.
    But once the great moral beacon decides that war is simply another tool in the toolbox for shaping foreign societies, and (given the great power of our military) a damn convenient one, then license is given to every tinpot leader in the world to use the same justifications to attack their neighbors and to get what they want through violence.

    If you are not prepared to walk the walk, then you really have nothing to talk about.

    Your rhetoric is completely in the realm of lunatic fantasy land. Liberals on a witchhunt against western democracies? Are you really so completely unmoored from reality that you could actually believe that? The fact is that the Bush administration, on the issues listed above, and so many others, has waged consistent war on the principles that have shaped the western world since the end of WWII, and of this country since its founding.

    And of course, there is the deeply authoritarian mindset that has infected the rightwing in this country for quite some time now. Instead of embracing the notion of democracy – which rests on the notion of the people as soverign – the rightwing has consistently payed almost complete deference to the policy directions of the dear leader, and sought to suppress (granted mostly through rhetoric) any efforts of the people to openly discuss, debate and decide the course of our foreign policy.

    The response of conservatives to the great crisis of our time has been deeply disappointing. For two short months, in the campaign agaisnt al-Q and the Taliban, all was well. But when bin Laden was allowed to escape, and the Leader decided to turn his attention to a wholly different war, the conservatives of this country turned off their brains and their senses and willingly, gladly accepted the role of sheep, following the leader uncritically, but also trying to savage all those who fully embraced our role as free people, participating in the democratic process of shaping the policy of our nation.

    Comment by Tano — January 27, 2007 @ 2:01 pm - January 27, 2007

  10. The fact is that the Bush administration, on the issues listed above, and so many others, has waged consistent war on the principles that have shaped the western world since the end of WWII, and of this country since its founding.

    Complete and utter nonsense with no basis in rational fact.

    Comment by GayPatriot — January 27, 2007 @ 2:11 pm - January 27, 2007

  11. “Complete and utter nonsense with no basis in rational fact. ”

    Mouthing of canned phrases with absolutely no thought behind it.

    Facts are not rational. Facts are facts. It is our conceptual understandings or explanations of facts which are rational, or not.

    I would advise taking some (a lot of) quiet time to actually start thinking afresh about the facts. You and your movement have lost (not only for yourselves but for the country) the sympathies and respect of most of the western world, and the support of the majority of the American people. There are reasons for that, and clearly you are so trapped in your ideological tunnel that you cant really grasp it.

    Make the effort.

    Comment by Tano — January 27, 2007 @ 2:40 pm - January 27, 2007

  12. Why is it, in all seriousness, that the best argument the right can come up with against the left is “They’re no better than we are”?

    Comment by Jody — January 27, 2007 @ 3:53 pm - January 27, 2007

  13. Then, oh wise Tano, tell us YOUR plan to defeat Islamic radicalism.

    Tell us YOUR plan to bring peace to Iraq.

    I’m all ears… because all I ever hear from your side is defeatism and anti-American rhetoric.

    If you won’t answer my questions about YOUR plans…. then you will be banned from this site.

    ANSWER, not A.N.S.W.E.R., Tano!

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — January 27, 2007 @ 5:23 pm - January 27, 2007

  14. thatgay- oh yeah, all liberals idoloize Stalin. It’s like when is john edwards going stop talking about stalin?

    wreckless militarism isn’t “human rights”. we haven’t liberated anyone from anything.

    there is no need for the US to go to war with anyone and there hasn’t been since 1776. anyone who does anything to stop it is a hero. the only human rights that idiot bush cares about is the right of his cronies to make billions of this war.

    bruce- my plan to defeat islamic terrorism is to get the us out of the middle east completely. better than being driven out like the commies in afhanistan. and that’s whats gonna happen to us sooner or later.

    my plan for iraq is equally inexpensive: leave. our not being there will do more to bring order and peace than anything we could do by staying.

    another way I would insure we snever cross paths with al queda again is to close down all the right wing think tanks and fox news. if they want to go to the middle east and battle muslims they can buy a plane ticket, not steal my tax dollars.

    Comment by lester — January 27, 2007 @ 6:40 pm - January 27, 2007

  15. lester – perhaps your first plan should be to learn how to spell.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — January 27, 2007 @ 6:57 pm - January 27, 2007

  16. The painful tragedy of Abu Ghraib (of all places there!) was that the little Saddamites of the world could point to that and say – see? there is nothing wrong with what we do – even the great shining city on the hill does the same thing when it feels the need to. Well, we feel the need to also”

    That would make sense, Tano, if you had expressed the same horror and demand for immediate action for Saddam Hussein’s systemic, continuous, and unpunished torture at Abu Ghirab that you had for the United States’s allegedly doing it in a comparatively-miniscule fashion.

    Furthermore, notice the difference. Those who tortured at Abu Ghirab in the name of the United States were swiftly reviled, arrested, put on trial, and punished. Saddam did so for DECADES and nothing happened — not until the “evil” United States and “awful” Bush administration decided to intervene.

    So, in short, if a brutal dictator tortures and imprisons millions of people, you have nothing to say — but if the United States catches, prosecutes, and punishes people who do it, you demand the government’s immediate removal.

    Are you REALLY against torture — or just against the United States?

    Can any lover of America and the Constitution allow someone who says that to remain in a position of power?

    Saddam Hussein said it all the time, and leftists like yourself worldwide saw nothing wrong with it.

    Furthermore, I would put it this way; if suspension of habeas corpus for an individual prevents a terrorist from blowing up a downtown skyscraper here in San Francisco or on Manhattan, I’m all for it.

    What exactly should I think about someone like yourself whose interpretation of the law is so rigid that he would rather allow tens of thousands of people to be killed or injured rather than abrogate it?

    But once the great moral beacon decides that war is simply another tool in the toolbox for shaping foreign societies, and (given the great power of our military) a damn convenient one, then license is given to every tinpot leader in the world to use the same justifications to attack their neighbors and to get what they want through violence.

    Then I suppose your leftist view is that we should not have attacked Kosovo or Afghanistan, that we were right to stay out of Rwanda, and that we should not intervene militarily in Darfur.

    Sorry, but we tried waiting to use the military for too long, and the end result was 9/11. But if you and your fellow leftists are OK with saying that the military should not intervene until at least two thousand or so Americans are dead, I suppose that’s a position.

    Instead of embracing the notion of democracy – which rests on the notion of the people as soverign – the rightwing has consistently payed almost complete deference to the policy directions of the dear leader, and sought to suppress (granted mostly through rhetoric) any efforts of the people to openly discuss, debate and decide the course of our foreign policy.

    Such as the attempts by gay leftists last month to manipulate the Massachusetts Legislature into ignoring the state constitution and blocking the attempts of voters to raise a ballot issue.

    Furthermore, Tano, your whining and crying about how people criticizing your ravings or making public statements against them is governmental “repression” is comic when compared against the backdrop of Ba’athist Iraq, in which making a joke about Saddam Hussein was a capital crime worthy of execution and in which the infant and toddler-age children of political dissidents were imprisoned and tortured.

    In short, you and your fellow leftists are like the man who screams about the ant in his hotel room, oblivious to the fact that there’s a pile of elephant dung in the middle of the bed. The fact that you accuse the Bush administration of horrific crimes while ignoring the proven, systematic ones of Ba’athist Iraq, Iran, Taliban Afghanistan, and others makes it obvious that your concern is not with the crimes, but with using them as an excuse to hate the United States.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 27, 2007 @ 6:58 pm - January 27, 2007

  17. if they want to go to the middle east and battle muslims they can buy a plane ticket, not steal my tax dollars.

    Don’t worry, moLester. They’ll be coming here to saw your “compassionate” head off.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 27, 2007 @ 7:02 pm - January 27, 2007

  18. #5
    What liberals who hold public office say they idolize Che Guevara, Stalin, etc?

    If I’m not mistaken, Bruce’s post was about liberals in general. Knowing I’m right, you try to narrow it down to liberals in public office to spin it into proof that I’m wrong.

    Didn’t think I’d be smart enough to catch that, did you?

    The liberals and their little whores in the MSM praised Afghanistan because they knew they had to. It was popular to do so. One thing you’ll notice in news articles for both Afghanistan and Iraq is that they care little, if at all, about how the enemy treats their prisoners, who are dead.

    No. They’re far more concerned how our prisoners, who are alive and living high on the hog, are treated. They care more about false allegations of torture by our prisoners and could give a sh*t less about how our soldiers are treated by our prisoners. The MSM even had to make up stories of “torture” and mistreatment. How sick is that?

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 27, 2007 @ 7:12 pm - January 27, 2007

  19. #18 – TGC, if I’m not mistaken, when Castro was alive(!) and visited the UN in 2003, he made a side trip to Harlem to preach his anti-American, anti-capitalist and anti-democracy gospel of hatred.

    Guess who was there in Harlem making him feel welcome?

    Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-NY)…who today is the chair of the House Ways & Means Committee. The most powerful committee in the House of Representatives.

    So – to get back to Bruce’s main idea:

    YES, there are liberals out there who are anti-American, though they claim they are not.

    Take that, you libtrolls.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 27, 2007 @ 7:59 pm - January 27, 2007

  20. TGC -

    Thanks for getting us back on track and not diverted by the MadLibs away from the main point.

    Self-proclaimed progressives don’t give a lick about the “human rights” of Americans… especially American soldiers.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — January 27, 2007 @ 7:59 pm - January 27, 2007

  21. there are liberals out there who are anti-American

    However, this does not mean that all liberals hate America, which is what we’re being encouraged to believe here.

    Comment by vaara — January 27, 2007 @ 9:46 pm - January 27, 2007

  22. Certainly not, vaara – but if one’s position, as an American, is that the United State is morally equivalent to Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime, one is pretty much putting oneself into the position of “useful idiot.” Don’t you think? It’s fine and good to “love” the United States, but if, like the junior Senator from Massachusetts, you then go hobnob (repeatedly) with its enemies and denigrate it before the world community (see Kerry’s latest at Davos), forgive me for doubting the sincerity of your “love.” And if you attend a peace rally with a “Vive Saddam” sign (see Althouse’s blog today), forgive me again for doubting that peace is your goal.

    Tano, nobody who equates George Bush to Kim Jong Il (how old are all you people with the “Dear Leader” thing, anyway?) ought to be criticizing others’ rhetoric. Side note, but relevant: in Dallas a few weeks ago, I was in a novelty store in the Knox/Henderson area. There was a display at the cash register of buttons, one of which said, “Oh well, I wasn’t using my civil rights anyway.” The irony of that button’s being made and sold publicly was evidently lost on… well, pretty much everybody in the store.

    Comment by Jamie — January 27, 2007 @ 10:23 pm - January 27, 2007

  23. Ah, so a liberal 40 years ago welcomed Castro in Harlem. So all liberals worship Satan. Now I get it. So can I look at what Bob Ney or Duke Cunningham did and conclude all conservatives are corrupt liars? Is that how this works?

    Guys, this is shite. Most liberals, like most conservatives, are good people who love their country. There will always be some loons on the extreme, like Gay Patriot and TGC, who says above as a matter of fact that “most liberals” venerate Che Guevara, when he can offer no proof. Note the smug, condescending tone as well, as dialogue descends into mockery. Maybe liberals like my mother and father and many other people I love really venerate Che and Castro. But where’s the beef? I.e., how do you know and what is such a claim based on? Tell us please, TGC – share your wisdom with us instead of, as always, hiding behind general accusations that condemn literally half of our nation’s population to hell as traitors and fiends. We’re all waiting: Why do you say most liberals idolize Che and Castro ad Stalin? Why? Serious discussion – no broad brush strokes of unfounded accusations, okay?

    Comment by richard — January 27, 2007 @ 10:26 pm - January 27, 2007

  24. Ah, so a liberal 40 years ago welcomed Castro in Harlem. So all liberals worship Satan. Now I get it. So can I look at what Bob Ney or Duke Cunningham did and conclude all conservatives are corrupt liars? Is that how this works?

    Actually, Googling “Charles Rangel” and “Castro” brings up some rather entertaining accounts of Rangel’s public and political embraces of our favorite dictator.

    Meanwhile, you might note one thing; Bob Ney and Duke Cunningham were repudiated by their party and thrown out of office for their activities.

    Charlie Rangel is rewarded by Nancy Pelosi for his systematic support of Castro and Castro’s repressive regime by elevation to the House Ways and Means Committee leadership.

    Put bluntly, Republicans kick out people who abuse their power and support criminal activity. Democrats reward them for their loyalty and give them positions of greater power.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 27, 2007 @ 11:15 pm - January 27, 2007

  25. And, given that Maxine Waters is listed as one of the 20 most corrupt members of Congress, who herself has voted several million “dimes” to benefit herself, her family, and her cronies…..well, you figure it out. :)

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 27, 2007 @ 11:19 pm - January 27, 2007

  26. I am 84 years old and I well remember the liberal media refering to Stalin as Good Ole Uncle Joe. Also they did not think Hitler was not the bad guy either until he attached Communists Russia.
    JRW

    Comment by John Waggy — January 27, 2007 @ 11:35 pm - January 27, 2007

  27. Put bluntly, Republicans kick out people who abuse their power and support criminal activity. Democrats reward them for their loyalty and give them positions of greater power.

    Oh yeah?

    Comment by Just A Question — January 27, 2007 @ 11:41 pm - January 27, 2007

  28. Yeah.

    Notice what happened to Tom DeLay, who’s listed in numerous of those complaints?

    Meanwhile, remember the cries of Nancy Pelosi and her puppet Democrats like yourself, who claimed that anyone caught committing campaign finance fraud should a) never be in leadership and b) immediately resign and get out of politics?

    Go to it.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 28, 2007 @ 12:03 am - January 28, 2007

  29. This stuff is funnier than Stewart and Colbert combined. When does the show on Comedy Central begin?

    Comment by jimmy — January 28, 2007 @ 2:04 am - January 28, 2007

  30. #20. What do you have to say to the American soldiers that took to the street and protested the Iraq Escalation on Sunday? Do they hate the troops, too? They must, right?

    Comment by jimmy — January 28, 2007 @ 2:05 am - January 28, 2007

  31. #5. All straw men, all the time. It is riveting.

    Comment by jimmy — January 28, 2007 @ 2:06 am - January 28, 2007

  32. Lot of stuff to deal with. I guess the first thing is to respond to Bruce – before he bans me! (geez how lame is that – I try to offer thoughtful, yet serious critique, and the hands clap over the ears!).

    Anyway, I do find it strange that he demands of me the answer to bringing peace to Iraq and how to win against the jihadis – as if that was what his original post, or my response was about. But what the heck, gotta do what the man asks….

    First thing of course, is to accept the fact that those always were two very different issues. The conflation of the two is what has led to this disaster. So lets take them one at a time.

    The jihadis have bases and allies in southern Afghanistan and NW Pakistan. Although these are the people who attacked us and murdered 3K, they still exist, and are growing in strength. Why is that? Why has this battle been put on the back burner and these killers allowed to survive? A recommitment to that fight is the first order of business in the war against the jihadis, and from what I hear reported, that is a view that is widely held in the military. They know full well what can and cant be accomplished, and what the real dangers to the country are, and there is much desire to focus on the real enemy.

    Beyond those bases, we must deal with the many cells that continue to fester in countries around the world. The key to that battle is to help to rebuild the political support for leaders in those countries to be seen helping us. We need to rebuild our image so that the shining city on the hill is not just some fantasy that we coddle ourselves with, but is, once again, the way the rest of the world looks at us.

    I dont think that America is the great danger to the world, but a scarily large number of the people around the world have come to believe that. Now, you can rant all you want about how stupid those people are, but that is really besides the point. They have a different opinion because they see the world from a different perspective, and whether there is any objective validity to their fears or not, that is the landscape that we have to deal with. To the extent that they dont trust us, there wont be political support for thier leaders to cooperate with us, and without that, our task of tracking down those cells gets much harder. I dont know how Bush could possibly accomplish much here – we may have to wait for the next president.

    As for Iraq, well, sorry no silver bullet here. But a few things need to be pointed out. What is required, above all else is a POLITICAL solution to this situation. So long as the Shiites are intent on driving out the Sunnis, and cutting them off from any share in the wealth of the country (and settling old scores, no matter how legitimate), and as long as the Sunnis have fantasies of returning to a dominant position, then there will be no peace, no matter how many tens of thousands of American soldiers are surged in there for no matter how many months, or years.

    They will wait us out. I know that many on the right have made this argument against those who speak of timetables, but you dont seem to take your own arguments seriously enough. They will wait us out if we stay there five more years. Guess what folks, they live there. We dont. Eventually we will leave, even if it is not in the near future. Now, truth be told, they have not had all that much problem spiraling down into civil war even with us there. Lacking a political solution, there will be no end to the violence, even if this surge calms things down for a short while.

    So that is where I think the focus should be. There are external players to the situation who are on the edge of becoming more involved in the violence there – we do not want a broader Shiite -Sunni middle east war.
    And so my suggestion is basically to follow the recommendations of the ISG – demand as a condition for any further assitance real progress on political issues, engage the neighbors, and find a way to get our boys out of the line of fire, while keeping them nearby for emergencies (or on the borders to staunch the flow from outside).

    I await the joy of being called a Stalin-loving, America hating retarded moonbat, for agreeing with the former Republican Sec. of State. (yeah GayPat – that was Baker and the other dems and repubs who made those suggestions, not librul dems as a group – as you well know).

    And finally, to GP, I find it so bizzare that you can say that all we hear from the left is antiAmericanism. Man, you should get out a little more – what do you do for information, just listen to hate radio or read those absurd rw blogs? I mean, get real man – this is serious business, not politics as pro-wrestling type entertainment.

    Comment by Tano — January 28, 2007 @ 2:21 am - January 28, 2007

  33. North Dallas Thirty.

    Well thank you for taking the time to respond at length – I feel a little strange taking up so much room here already, but I will try to address your points.

    Belive it or not, I was amongst those who criticized people like Saddeam for a very long time. The guy was always a murderous psychopath. There is obviously no comparison to the levels of torture that he engaged and what we have (but it must be remembered, that our culpability did not end with Abu Ghraib).

    I find it strange that you could actually write “I had nothing to say”. Do I know you? Have we been good buddies, or even causal aquintences over the years such that you would have the first clue as to what I have or have not said?

    Or maybe you just mean me as some stereotypical representative of what you imagine the “left” to be? There again, if you did some research, you might find plenty of lefties who spoke out about Saddam in years past.

    But to your larger point. There is, of course, a big difference between places like Iraq and the United states. The US is OUR COUNTRY, you doofus. We the people are soverign here. We decide what happens here. Hey, I would love to save the world, and I do support efforts to do that, even, occaisionally, in the right circumstances, using force. But the policies and practices of the United States government is a day to day concern – in fact a RESPONSIBILITY of free people who are citizens. We criticize the US government because it is us. That is, and always must be our primary concern – to make a more perfect our union.

    You seem to have this bizarre notion that ending torture in Iraq and ending torture by the US government are two issues that can be compared – such that we can simply accept that it is worse by far in Iraq and so we should deal with that. You ignore the obvious, that one is a foregin country that we know little about, and the other is our country.

    I’m sorry to be blunt, but I think it absurd nonsense to argue that because Saddam was orders of magnitude worse, that we should just shut up about what our government does in our name. We can control, we MUST control, as citizens, what our government does. We have very little control over what goes on in the rest of the world.

    But we do have some means at our disposal. And as I said, I think it proper, in certain circumstances, to use force. But you damn well better know what you are doing. In Bosnia and Kosovo we did. We could see a genocide in progress, we could see a way that targetted and limited application of force could stop that, and we did so. I was find with that. I was also fine with the Fulf War – a blatant violation of the UN charter, and a straightforward rape and pillage of a small neighbor. We had to drive Iraq out and we did. Ditto Afghanistan after 9/11 – in fact I think we shoud have continued that fight.

    So my point is, that taking out Saddam was not evil, in theory. But in this case we were not driving a forieng force out (like in Kuwait or, effectivly Kosovo), we were invading the country itself and taking out its government and thus inheriting responsibility for the lives of the people. I was opposed to the war – though I readily admit that it was a difficult decision. I just never got the sense that there was any realistic thought or committment to the aftermath. Although I didnt articlate it in my mind to the detail that we now see, I just sensed that we would not know what we were doing there and tha chaos could ensue. Maybe it was the mindless militarism of the Bush supporters, and the snow job (and yes, that is how it struck me) coming from the administration to justify the war, that made me think that there was not much serious thinking going on about what all this would bring. And sad to say, that is what happened.

    Anyway, I shouldnt ramble on endlessly here. Quick riposte to some of your other charges. I did not claim any governmental repression of speech – I was referring to the mindset of the right that equates full participation in the democratic process with treason, or aiding the enemy. Thats a serious charge, the rhetorical force of which is to be an attempt to shut people up. I really wonder sometimes whether many righties might really be more comfortable in an explicitly authoritarian system – they just dont get this democracy thing (or at least, all its implications).

    Anyway, at the end I sense you let yourself go a little, delving into madness perhaps. Let me just calmly assure you that nobody here on the left hates America, despite what the rabble rousers are constantly shouting in your ears. In fact, if you want to consider America hating, how about those entertainers of yours, who are constantly trying their best to get y’all to hate half of the people in this country. Isnt hating Americans kinda like hating America?

    Comment by Tano — January 28, 2007 @ 2:54 am - January 28, 2007

  34. And, while we’re at it, let’s fix Afghanistan too.

    Comment by vaara — January 28, 2007 @ 3:12 am - January 28, 2007

  35. #21
    However, this does not mean that all liberals hate America, which is what we’re being encouraged to believe here.

    Perhaps not. However, the silence of those who don’t is deafening. Just like the silent Muslims who disagree with those who have hijacked their religion.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 28, 2007 @ 5:45 am - January 28, 2007

  36. #32
    I try to offer thoughtful, yet serious critique,

    Yeah. Let us know when you do that because so far, it ain’t happened.

    The jihadis have bases and allies in southern Afghanistan and NW Pakistan.

    And Bahrain, and Bangledesh and France and Germany and India and Egypt and Belgium and Bosnia and Iran and Saudi Arabia and Tanzania and the UK and Sudan and Switzerland and Mauritania and Ireland and Russia and Somalia (until recently?) and Qatar and Kenya and Lebanon and Switzerland and Uzbekistan and Malaysia… Shall I go on?

    Why has this battle been put on the back burner and these killers allowed to survive?

    It hasn’t. There’s just more jihadis dying than American soldiers. Therefore, liberals and the MSM don’t give a f*ck about it anymore. They can still get their rocks off with soldiers in Iraq though. THAT’S why it’s on the “back burner”.

    CIA said we’ve killed or captured over 5,000 of them. Libs could give a rotten sh*t less. The only reason the MSM noticed the Taliban incursions into southern Afghanistan was so they could cheer their heroes and maybe Bush might lose there after all.

    A recommitment to that fight is the first order of business…and from what I hear reported, that is a view that is widely held in the military.

    From what I’ve heard for a number of years until recently, SF wants to go back to Somalia.

    I dont think that America is the great danger to the world, but a scarily large number of the people around the world have come to believe that.

    Bolstered by certain factions who constantly undermine the president, tells us how much we suck, tells us how much we deserved 9/11, tells us how Bush is the greatest threat to the world etc. What should they think when they see “our own” ranting about how much of a dictator Bush is, how he’s Hitler etc.? What should they think when the ditch b*tch humps Hugo Chavez’s leg? What should they think when they see “our own” demanding we surrender and give up on the job we set out to do? How would running away from Iraq impress “our allies”? What are they supposed to think when “our own” gleefully spooges over the deaths of our soldiers or makes criminals out of them on a regular basis?

    Here’s a radical idea: How about making a sacrifice and supporting our soldiers in the jobs they have to do or shut the hell up? I don’t want to suppress dissent, however, I will call for the suppression of intellectually vacuous dissent, which is all we’ve heard for the past several years.

    To the extent that they dont trust us, there wont be political support for thier leaders to cooperate with us,

    Why should they when they keep hearing from Americans is how we should give them the finger, bail out and let the real bloodbath begin? I wouldn’t trust you either.

    skipping ahead:

    what do you do for information, just listen to hate radio or read those absurd rw blogs?

    Don’t have to. All you have to do is listen to the words, watch the deeds and read the blogs of the liberal left. Before long, you wind up knowing liberals like every square inch of your glorious naked body.

    I mean, get real man – this is serious business, not politics as pro-wrestling type entertainment.

    Which is EXACTLY why liberals cannot be trusted with our interests. We hear libs whine about listening to the generals, then when a general tells them what they don’t want to hear, they (Hillary) essentially tells him to STFU. It IS serious business and we have liberals playing political games with our soldiers by issuing “non-binding” resolutions because they know they don’t have the balls to cut the funding. What’s worse is that some spineless tw*t Republicans have fallen for their political games.

    How about a resolution for victory? How about supporting the U.S. for a change?

    Oh BTW, we’re very much aware of Baker’s affiliation and history which makes the Iraq Surrender suggestion even more distressing. And here’s a newsflash for you…they don’t have any more authority in commanding our soldiers or what dictatorships we deal with any more than “my” a$$ clown Sen. Bill Nelson does.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 28, 2007 @ 6:40 am - January 28, 2007

  37. If liberals don’t hate America, why are they trying so hard to destroy it?

    I get the impression that when liberals claim they love “America,” they are only referring to a fondness for some of the scenery that incidentally occupies the middle portion of the North American landmass, or perhaps “America” refers to the landmass in toto, since liberals hate it when people chant “USA.” This is why liberals are so hot to change the national anthem from one that actually commemorates a historical event (“The Star-Spangled Banner”) to one that’s just a meditation on a landscape (“America the Beautiful”)

    But when it comes to everything makes America unique among the world’s nations, liberals work hard on destroying it. They attack our history, shortchanging the Founding Fathers and the philosophy that led them to create a nation founded on liberty to instead focus on PC propaganda about blacks, native Americans and other “oppressed peoples.” Their goal, apparently, is to raise generations of kids indoctrinated in how awful America is. Perhaps not all teachers, but the ones that skew this way are invariably liberal, and the liberal ACLU and the liberal teacher’s union will defend the one who teach this way.

    Liberals don’t seem to think American culture is anything special, which is why they eagerly flood the landscape with immigrants, illegal and otherwise, and insist that instead of adopting our culture, these immigrants be allowed to establish mini-colonies where they can recreate the culture they came here to get away from. And those who think it’s important for new immigrants to adopt our language, our laws, and our culture are derided, mainly by liberals, as nativists and racists. And immigrants who try to adapt are derided by multi-culti liberals as “assimiliationists.”

    Liberals constantly attack individual freedom, which is what made America a great and unique nation, in favor of group rights doled out to designated sub-groups favored by the elite political class. Liberals constantly strive to eliminate individual choice in schools (except for elites), health care, even what cars we can drive and what food we can eat. With McCain-Feingold, even our political speech rights are limited, and liberals in the Senate led by Harry gReid are pushing for even more regulation of political speech through mandatory registration of bloggers and the “fairness doctrine.”

    Liberals constantly attack capitalism, the greated mechanism for the economic and social advancement in the history of humankind, and an integral part of American greatness. They also constantly attack property rights, the recent Kelo decision being a great example. (5 liberal SCOTUS justices agreeing with a left-wing city government that it’s okay to confiscate private property from one owner and give it to another.)

    Liberals even hold American-made products in contempt, as they pile into their Volvos and Subarus to drive to protests where they denounce Wal-Mart for being against American workers.

    Do all liberals do all of these things all of the time? No, but if large numbers of liberals objected to what was being done by their politicians, their judges, and their leadership, would these things be happening?

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2007 @ 8:41 am - January 28, 2007

  38. How about a resolution for victory?

    Because they don’t want America to win. Simple as that.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2007 @ 8:42 am - January 28, 2007

  39. v to the k- a victrory for bush is a defeat for america and iraq

    that gay- lol. al queda is going to come to america and saw my head off? how would they do that? You think muslims would sail over on great ships and conquer america?

    and what does that have to do with iraq? Iraq has been a massive boon for al queda. there are suicide bombs EVERY DAY. you think we just have to wait till they run out of suicide bombers? lol they NEVER will. muslim reproduce faster than mexicans.

    explain to me how al queda is goinf to take over america

    Comment by lester — January 28, 2007 @ 9:13 am - January 28, 2007

  40. Lester: Hmmm. They killed 3000+ Americans in New York only a few years ago. They didn’t need much to conquer our economy for a couple years. An open economy and society is far easier to conquer than you might think. Have you visited much of Europe recently? They are already conquered emotionally/spiritually and it is but a matter of time. Let me quote a line you stated “muslim reproduce faster than mexicans”.

    Finally: :a victrory for bush is a defeat for america and iraq” – besides the obvious emotional fury showing through in your typing, this says it all.

    Comment by Alan — January 28, 2007 @ 11:39 am - January 28, 2007

  41. “Ah, so a liberal 40 years ago welcomed Castro in Harlem.”

    Every year you can find prominent liberals praising Castro, some of them in elected office. And I am personally acquainted with Democratic Party workers who think well of Castro.

    John Kerry praised the North Vietnamese regime, before he realized that such honesty might be bad for his political career.

    And Jimmy Carter keeps saying the most amazing things.

    Comment by pst314 — January 28, 2007 @ 12:13 pm - January 28, 2007

  42. al queda and fellow travellers won’t need to “conquer” America. They’ll just work our liberal system against us like they do in Britain. One snap of their fingers and every Leftist in America will bow down to their every demand in the name of mulitculturalism and ssssenssssitivity. The Brits can’t even wave their own flag these days (too Crusader).

    Comment by VinceTN — January 28, 2007 @ 12:46 pm - January 28, 2007

  43. lester, does it have to be your head before you get concerned about it?

    Comment by Jamie — January 28, 2007 @ 12:53 pm - January 28, 2007

  44. Does the irony of Amnesty International activists protesting against the US at Gitmo — while an entire nation lies oppressed right outside Gitmo’s gates — completely escape the activists?

    I can only hope that news of the protest gets spread within Cuba so that the AI activists are met by a flotilla of real refugees! Maybe the AI folks could give them a lift to the land of the free.

    Then again, I doubt the AI folks would even know what a real refugee looks like…

    Comment by biff — January 28, 2007 @ 1:00 pm - January 28, 2007

  45. shortchanging the Founding Fathers

    Jefferson on corporations: “I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a
    trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

    Madison on religion: “Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprize [sic], every expanded prospect.”

    John Adams on fear (the cornerstone of today’s GOP): “Fear is the foundation of most governments; but it is so sordid and brutal a passion, and renders men in whose breasts it predominates so stupid and miserable, that Americans will not be likely to approve of any political institution which is founded on it.”

    Comment by vaara — January 28, 2007 @ 2:22 pm - January 28, 2007

  46. Great post. And Scott has the right of it — they aren’t hypocrites and they ARE on the other side. J f’n K making common cause on the same stage with terrorists and dictators at Davos and repugnant moonbats protesting across the country this weekend prove it – they are hand-in-glove with our enemies and aren’t even hiding it. This is the true face of the Democrat Party.

    Comment by Peg C. — January 28, 2007 @ 2:29 pm - January 28, 2007

  47. ThatGayConservative,

    Well, it has taken quite a while for my eyes to stop rolling in my head after reading this line that you wrote:

    ” I will call for the suppression of intellectually vacuous dissent, which is all we’ve heard for the past several years.”

    There seems to be some implication here that you see yourself operating on some non-vacuous level. I marvel at the type of mentality that can write the post that you do – a long, bitter, vulgar rant, without the slightest hint of any rational thought, and then try to criticize others for being vacuous.

    You seem oblivious to the cardinal rule of public discourse – that your words will ALWAYS be taken more as an expression of your character than as any sort of an accurate description of your subject.

    We all are at least as aware of the subjects under discussion as you are, we all have our opinions on these matters, and if any of us are going to change our minds, based on what we read here, it is only going to be as a result of an extended serious discussion of the particular points of difference, and the perception, by the one whose opinion will change, that the other point of view exhibits deeper insights, is better informed by the facts, or represents a wiser perspective.

    Are you under some kind of illusion that showing off your ability to come up with psuedo-clever, vulgar insults is capable of impressing anyone? That projecting an image of a deeply angry, downright hateful persona is going to win adherents to your point of view?

    I can only conclude that there is no interest on your part to persuade anyone of anything, but that your comments are nothing but performance art – and that for some reason you have this existential need to proclaim to the world the secrets of your soul, that you are, to sum it up succinctly, an ignorant jerk.

    I’m not saying that that is what you really are, but you do seem obsessed with projecting that image. The first clue to this, of course, was how you began your response. When I mentioned the bases in Afghanistan, you then list all the other places where al-Q is located. What kind of an unserious response is that? I was quite explicit in discussing Afghanistan as a first step, and I went on to discuss all the cells that are located elsewhere and the type of strategy (different from the strategy in Afghanistan) that we needed to pursue in order to deal with them.

    So that part of your response merely demonstrates either that you didnt actually read what I wrote, or that you willfully ignore what I actually wrote and simply were using me as some kind of foil – an excuse to get down to the serious business at hand which was to get that heaving going and to vomit up all your bile and spread it all over this page.

    Should I even waste my time pointing out how absurd your comments about Afghanistan, and its back burner status, are? No, there is not enough substance to your comments to even get a toehold. Let me just repeat the basic facts. These are the people who actually murdered 3K Americans. That was 5 1/2 years ago. We, quite properly, went to war to eliminate them. They are still there. The cheif murderer is still operating, running and building his organization. They still control territory.

    You worry about sending messages to the enemy, and to fence-sitters who could possibly be swayed by them? You rant about Clinton failing to respond to attacks in the nineites? Why cant you get it through your thick skull that the world sees Osama bin Laden as a man who marched into New York City and killed 3000 people and has GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT.

    And you are so incredibly, blindingly stupid as to think that the sight of some American politicians, standing up to defend the processes layed out in the Constitution, is somehow more of a message of encouragment to the enemy than the continued survival of bin Laden?

    The world sees what you seem incapable of seeing. That attacking America can be done without too much cost, because the American government, at least the one in power now, is more interested in using the attacks as an excuse to engage a wholly different project – a war in Iraq, of all places, than to actually deal with the perpetrators of the great crime.

    You also seem to be under some kind of delusion that the president is some type of a dictator in this country – that he has some special powers to be “the decider” over and above the political process, as if the committment of American troops into combat brings with it a suspension of democracy. It is attitudes like yours that cause the more intemperate speakers on my side to dismiss all of you people as a bunch of fascists. Here is a clue for you. The president is commander in chief of the armed forces, not of the country. He is, and always remains, a public servant, an EMPLOYEE of the soverign power in this country – i.e. we the people.

    We the people decide the policies of this country, and that certianly includes decisions about war and peace. We are a free people, and we will fight to the death to remain so, and we will freely express our opinions on all matters, at all times. And if you dont like it, well, then you dont like America, or the American political system. Maybe you would be happier in some regimented authoritarian system, where people know when to shut up, although remaining free to speak their mind whenever they want to, so long as they agree with the leader.

    I feel I have given you more time already than your comment deserved, so I will close with a simple response to your comments about victory.

    Your comments about victory seem to be entirely in the abstract, with no reference to what happens on the ground. Do you have any idea what you are talking about? What does victory in this situation involve? Are we to become complicit in the mass murder and ethnic cleansing of the Sunnis, which seems to be the ambition of significant parts of the current government? Maliki has assured Bush that he can handle the situation in Baghdad – in fact, before this surge idea arose, he was actually asking Bush to withdraw Americans from Baghdad, so that his forces could do the job. Bush, to his credit, figured out just what Maliki was talking about – and the nature of the “job” that he envisioned.

    If there was any reasonable avenue ahead of us in which the use of our force could end the civil war and persuade the people to focus their energies into civil disputation rather than violence, in a governmental framework that had at least some basic resemblance to a representational system, with guarantees for equal treatment, then maybe I could support that, and even equate it with victory.

    But one of the great pathologies that has overtaken the rightwing in this country is the equation of fantasies with reality. The fact that we can paint this rosy future in our dreams does not mean that it has any chance of happening on the ground. And hoo-rah chants, and references to the great power of our military doesnt make it any more realistic.

    I think that you, and so many others on the right, are deeply unserious people. You may not make explicit clowns of yourself by marching in the streets behind funny puppets, but you do, endlessly, indulge yourself in fantasies rather than looking clearly at the real world, and you also seem content to engage in mindless ranting and vulgar namecalling, rather than any serious efforts to persuade. I wonder what the point is.

    Comment by Tano — January 28, 2007 @ 2:50 pm - January 28, 2007

  48. #37: I forgot to mention an instance of self-contradiction on your part. You imply that liberals value the landscape of America more than its values, but then you go on to accuse liberals of “[allowing] these immigrants [...] to establish mini-colonies where they can recreate the culture they came here to get away from.”

    This is nothing new. Ethnic enclaves have existed in America since at least the late nineteenth century. For example, Chinatowns — which were clearly an “attempt to recreate the culture they came here to get away from.” What about the Yiddish-speaking faux-shtetls that arose in many U.S. cities? Not to mention the various German, Dutch, Scandinavian, Polish, etc. etc. communities that have thrived, and eventually dissipated, during our country’s history.

    Did the existence of these monolingual, monocultural enclaves pose a mortal threat to America? Were/are they a nefarious manifestation of the evil bogeyman of “multiculturalism” or “political correctness” (whatever that is)?

    And if so, then how do you square this your belief in the supremacy of the “mind” of America over its “body”? You say that America is a set of ideas and values, not merely a patch of real estate. So it shouldn’t matter whether there are Latino barrios “defacing” L.A. or Korean “mini-colonies” in Queens.

    Incidentally, one thing most immigrant groups have in common is that they count within their ranks many enthusiastic entrepreneurs. And if that’s not an American value, I don’t know what is.

    Comment by vaara — January 28, 2007 @ 3:14 pm - January 28, 2007

  49. #47: What a complete dodge and distortion (but, what else can one expect from a lib?). The difference is, previous waves of immigrants were expected to assimilate, learn English, and accept American culture and values. To liberal-lefties today, the notion that immigrants should leave behind their culture and become a part of ours is offensive and racist.

    Also, leftist policies are actually quite hostile to entrepreneurism, because heavy government regulation enacts what are known as “barriers to entry,” to keep large businesses from having to compete with new entrants. This is why small businesses are all but extinct in heavily socialized economies like Sweden. I seem to recall a certain left-wing first lady cum carpet-bagging senator cum democrat frontrunner, upon being told her health care plan would destroy small businesses as saying “I can’t be responsible for every under-capitalized business in the United States.”

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2007 @ 3:29 pm - January 28, 2007

  50. It’s also rather difficult to make the case that liberals favor small business entrepreneurship when the libs in congress are choking small businesses with a massive minimum wage hike, opposing tax breaks to help off-set the increase, and, in the meantime, cutting out exceptions for their big business buddies at Star-Kist/Del Monte.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2007 @ 3:33 pm - January 28, 2007

  51. This is a most interesting thread.

    The post I most agree with is V the K‘s #36 and I do think Tano makes some sense.

    Tano, you stated (#9, para. 9):

    “Instead of embracing the notion of democracy – which rests on the notion of the people as soverign – the rightwing has consistently payed almost complete deference to the policy directions of the dear leader …”

    Your implication of the North Korean regime hardly elevates you above the “incredibly stupid” (para. 1) level of which you accuse Bruce. However, you are correct about the nature of democracy and that is precisely why this is a constitutionally-limited republican form of government and not a democracy. Disagree? Read some political science and some history. You think I’m splitting hairs to score points on a conservative blog? Read on.

    My single biggest gripe isn’t with liberals — it is with conservatives. Liberalism ranges from a youthful bout of mental disorder to full-scale disease and is on display as such for all to see on a daily basis. However, I find myself consistently annoyed with conservatives who refuse to refute liberalism in a direct, honest way. That is because conservatives aren’t sure who/what they/we are. We’re sure we reject liberalism, but what is it to be conservative?

    Here’s a small example:

    No one can logically justify continuing to support PBS/NPR with tax subsidies. When the argument is presented that in this country, we have and cherish a private media based on the traditions of free speech and free association, the only lame answer one gets from a liberal is that we spend so much on the military that the proverbial drop in the bucket for public media is negligible. Yet with a Republican President, Senate, and House, we could not bring ourselves to end them. Deathly afraid of being accused of ‘taking Big Bird away from kids’ (Clinton), the President simply cannot appear before the American people and lay out the logic of the position. That NPR/PBS is very left-of-center has nothing to do with the logic, except that we as ‘conservatives’ are the only ones willing to criticize the situation. Does anyone really believe that PBS would die if it were allowed to become a private corporation and reap the profits on sales of Tickle Me Elmo? After all, I hear advertisements on NPR and see them on PBS every time I turn it on (ADM, Ford, Bose, etc.) — I thought public broadcasting’s stated purpose was to have advertisement-free news and opinion. Gee, I guess I’m just being a bit cynical if I suspect it’s another full employment program for would-be journalists who know their views wouldn’t be welcomed in the marketplace of ideas. Think of all the other useless, unnecessary programs we taxpayers fund — are there hundreds of them? Why have they not been addressed? Has everything including domestic conservatism taken a very back seat to this war? (For those of you about to write an indignant post exclaiming that the Prez has had his hands full of more important things: bull****.)

    Here’s a more macro example:

    We need to avoid those foreign entanglements our Founding Fathers warned us about. This means economic (WTO), political/diplomatic (UN and others), and military (about 500,000 personnel stationed in over 100 countries across the globe). We need to take a long look at foreign aid and whether the money spent reaches those in need or merely lines the pockets of oppressors or the corrupt or both. In this cyber age, why do we need to maintain expensive embassies (I’d like to know just how much we spend on the upkeep for our beautiful downtown Paris property) except to provide targets for terrorists, illegal immigrants, and cushy jobs as quid pro quos for American political hacks? I’m all for diplomacy, encouraging peaceful resolutions to international conflicts and occasional military actions when American interests are threatened, but am I the only rightie who agrees that perhaps our overwhelming presence in the world is deeply resented by many and could be part of the cause of some our current international troubles? al-Q didn’t attack Tokyo or Paris or Berlin or Toronto. Sure, the U.S. is a symbol of power and success and a natural target, but if we are really honest with ourselves, are there positions we are taking in our complicated relationships with other nations (that we have made complicated) that encourage and in sick, twisted minds justify actions against us? Frankly, being the world’s only great superpower ain’t all that great. As for President Bush, am I the only rightie who suspects that the decision to enter Iraq was likely made as a response to the constant criticism his father received for failing to take Desert Storm to Baghdad, removing Saddam Hussein from power, and proceeding to do exactly what his son is now doing? Well, George — we didn’t elect you that much.

    As for Castro, does it make sense to restore full diplomatic relations with Vietnam while treating Cuba as a pariah? Since capitalism has so utterly defeated communism, would it not be preferable for Castro to witness the defeat first-hand and to see freedom trump his island paradise, crumbling whatever power he enjoyed (he’s a multi-multi-millionaire, by the way) while he is alive, rather than giving him the satisfaction of being defiant to his grave, or does the Kennedy family (not to mention the Cuban community in Florida) have so much sway that we simply cannot dishonor JFK’s legacy? Does suggesting that we recognize the strength of basic economics to destroy tyranny make me a Castro sympathizer? Of course not!

    I’m deeply troubled with the direction this country has taken and most Americans agree with me. There doesn’t seem to be an alternative to the current administration except the Democratic Party, which is no alternative. I’m hopeful that the Republicans will return to a more common sense and truly conservative and pro-American position and soon. I will be very glad when Bush is out of office.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 28, 2007 @ 3:54 pm - January 28, 2007

  52. Hey Book’em Tano, this is actually pretty good, if some one can ignore the multiple insults and name calling…. Here are some responses to your very very serious and clear headed post…
    —————————————————————————–
    Why cant you get it through your thick skull that the world sees Osama bin Laden as a man who marched into New York City and killed 3000 people and has GOTTEN AWAY WITH IT.

    —Al Queda has been bayoneted over and over again. Just as you make the entire US government a dictatorship in your mind by focusing on BusHitler, you are making a very dangerous and pervasive movement into a one man band by focusing on Osamma. We show that he has not gotten away with it by eviscerating his movement in the Phillipines, blowing it away in Somalia, and yes stacking the dead corpses of jihadis in Afghanistan. Additionally, Al Queda’s tactical effort in Iraq is in the process of discrediting it throughout the Arab world. Thousands of Al Queda have been killed in Iraq (http://keyetv.com/topstories/topstories_story_271102007.html) The Sunnis no longer support Al Queda. How long do you think Al Queda can continue to mass murder Shiites and still appeal to all Muslims? I think this supports GayPatriot’s point that the successful elements of the war on terror are ignored because they are being done by a Republican president.

    And you are so incredibly, blindingly stupid as to think that the sight of some American politicians, standing up to defend the processes layed out in the Constitution, is somehow more of a message of encouragment to the enemy than the continued survival of bin Laden?

    —-Ok, follow me her. War is about will. Clausewitz provided the theoretical construct for this. This will undoubtedly make your head explode, but simply Saddam Hussein was a danger. (Clinton said this, Scty Albright said this, Senator Clinton said this, Senator Kerry said this, Senator Rockefeller said this. Senator Lieberman continues to say this.) Recognizing the danger the President asked the Congress for AUMF and was given it. That was unity of will. Three years later, rather than stand behind their decision as a deliberative body and after putting the troops of America on the line, now the liberals say it was all Bush, he’s a dictator. Well you can call it noble standing up for the Constitution, since Congress participated with the President in this decision, others can call it a stab in the back. A unified effort in Iraq might already have been successful, but to the kind of liberals who worship Stalin, Che, Mao and Pol Pot the Iraqi enemies are “freedom fighters”

    The world sees what you seem incapable of seeing. That attacking America can be done without too much cost, because the American government, at least the one in power now, is more interested in using the attacks as an excuse to engage a wholly different project – a war in Iraq, of all places, than to actually deal with the perpetrators of the great crime.

    —-The perpetrators have publically announced that Iraq is a central front. In an audiotape released on December 27, 2004, Bin Laden named Abu Musab Zarqawi as his deputy in charge of al-Qaeda operations in Iraq. http://www.heritage.org/Research/Features/NationalSecurity/tst021606a.cfm Ok here’s another head exploder. According to the 911 report there were connections between Saddam Hussein and Al Queda. The extent of the connections are unknown — or undisclosed — or suppressed by left wing media but this is not a Bushian fantasy.

    You also seem to be under some kind of delusion that the president is some type of a dictator in this country – that he has some special powers to be “the decider” over and above the political process, as if the committment of American troops into combat brings with it a suspension of democracy. It is attitudes like yours that cause the more intemperate speakers on my side to dismiss all of you people as a bunch of fascists. Here is a clue for you. The president is commander in chief of the armed forces, not of the country. He is, and always remains, a public servant, an EMPLOYEE of the soverign power in this country – i.e. we the people.

    And you seem to be under the illusion that commiting forces is a budgetary item or a parlimentary point of order. When President Bush asked for authorization from Congress, every thinking Senator and Congressman should have realized that where we are at was a possibility. Apparently part of the Congress was not committed to victory but in avoiding being on the wrong side of the vote. Well that’s statesmanship. Also, while the polls show dissatisfaction with the war, probably just as much of this dissatisfaction is with not making progress, fighting with restrictive rules of engagement, and of course the drive by media’s refusal to present it as other than a body count.

    Here’s my body count: Every illegal aliens killed 12 American citizens. Multiply that for a year and that is a bigger quagmire than Iraq. Does that change your perspective?

    What liberals are really excited about is being able to crow about defeat. What scares them is that we are on the brink of success. Insurgencies take time to defeat. That’s history. Its just great for liberals that they can play that long effort to bring about political defeat.

    Someday, after the next terrorist strike or maybe the second, or the third perhaps socialist liberals will begin to think of all of us as Americans instead of conservatives as bigger enemies than islamo-nazis.

    Comment by red — January 28, 2007 @ 3:57 pm - January 28, 2007

  53. I will be very glad when Bush is out of office.

    If I thought any of the current applicants for the job were any better, I would agree with you.

    Comment by V the K — January 28, 2007 @ 4:36 pm - January 28, 2007

  54. HardHobbit,

    So good to see a conservative committed to rational discourse. What a breath of fresh air. I understand your annoyance with your fellows – I feel your pain :)

    Your comments about PBS seem a little confused to me. You seem to propose that PBS journalists are somehow taking refuge in this public system because their perspective would not survive in the marketplace of ideas.

    Hmm. I guess my confusion arises from the repetitive drone I hear from most conservatives who whine endlessly about how liberal the mainstream media is. How can it be that PBS journalists, as liberals, couldnt make it in the marketplace when the marketplace is overwhelming liberal?

    And if you see the private sector marketplace as an example of a legitimate competition of ideas, does it not follow that the liberal nature of the mainstream media is evidence of the superiority of liberal ideas?

    You cant have it both ways, although I cant fault you for trying.

    As for the questions of isolation – I sense you want to engage your fellow conservatives on that more than me. So I will be brief on these points.

    I dont think that the world that Washington saw has much relevance today. We are not an isolated continent anymore, rather the contrary, whether we like it or not. Our prosperity is absolutely dependent on resources that we purchase from around the world, and the security of those supplies is thus a vital national interest. I dont think we can avoid involvement in the affairs of the rest of the world. The question, rather, is what will be the nature of that involvement. And to what extent do we display to the world an image, and a reality, that is uniquely American, rather than being yet another in a long line of great powers that strut their stuff on the world stage for a while, and then recede.

    I do believe that we have something unique to offer, and something that can change, for the better, the lives of people around the world. But it is difficult work, requiring serious committed effort, and very little of it can flow from the mindless militarism evident these past few years.

    I think our embassies are absolutely vital. There is no substitute for human interaction. If anything, we Americans suffer from a profound cluelessness about so much of the world, and that has cost us dearly as we set out, inspired with abstract ideals, to influence events in places like Vietnam, or Iraq. Combine great power with great ignorance and you make a great mess.

    I think we Americans, with our culture of liberty and freedom, have more of an ability to overcome ignorance than any other people on earth. That is why I get so annoyed at conservatives who seem committed so often to keeping us ignorant, suppressing dissent (once again, rhetorically, I am not claiming governmental suppression), or pretending that abstract ideals ARE reality and fighting bitterly against those who point out the flaws and seek to fix them.

    So yes, we must expand, if anything, human interactions with other cultures and nations. Imagine how even dumber our policies would be if the policymakers did not have human pipelines into the life and the thinking in other countries. That is the point of having embassies.

    I agree with you on Cuba. Our policies there have been, perhaps, the biggest fiasco in the history of foreign policy. Can you imagine any other country, no matter how irrational the culture, that would continue pursuing a particular policy for 40+ years in the face of continuing failure? Our embargo there was put in place to undermine Castro’s regime. For 40 years it has served to bolster his regime, and to deeply embed in the population a notion that America is the enemy that seeks to harm the people. Of course it was Castro preaching that message, but it gained traction because it seemed to the people to accord with the facts.

    The policy was driven by the understandable, but irrational reactions of the exile community. Wiser heads have never prevailed. If any rational person were seriously interested in undermining the Castro regime, the way forward was obvious. Do everything possible to make America MORE visible to the Cuban people. Do everything possible to encourage communication between the people left behind in Cuba and those living in the US. Leave Castro to argue against a reality that was connected to, and engaged in the free world to whatever extent possible. Instead we gave Castro the keys to a prison within which he could lock away the Cuban people, and we helped him build that prison.

    Just one more example of the fiascos that come about when public policy is driven by the gut-level reactions of the conservative spirit.

    Comment by Tano — January 28, 2007 @ 4:44 pm - January 28, 2007

  55. previous waves of immigrants were expected to assimilate, learn English, and accept American culture and values.

    Yet there are still little old ladies living in Chinatowns who have been here their entire lives, or nearly, and still can’t speak English. Again, this is not a result of something that might or might not have been perpetrated by smelly hippies during the 1960s.

    “barriers to entry”

    You mean, like the ability of a mega-conglomerate like Costco or Target to negotiate lower prices with suppliers? Those dastardly liberals! Enforcing the concept of “economies of scale” like that!

    small businesses are all but extinct in heavily socialized economies like Sweden

    Wrong. Sweden (pop. 8 million) has 50,000 private companies, 85% of which have 10 or fewer employees. What’s more, “new technology has benefited small companies, too. They are now strong generators of economic growth.”

    Comment by vaara — January 28, 2007 @ 5:46 pm - January 28, 2007

  56. I can’t get over how hysterical some of these libtrolls get when it is suggested that their positions would not only (a) encourage the enemy but also (b) would rightly point out their animosity towards America.

    Libtroll whine: “OF COURSE we love the USA. This is OUR country!”

    Of course.

    Liberals love America the way OJ loved Nicole.

    Checkmate.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 28, 2007 @ 6:32 pm - January 28, 2007

  57. #54: Your assertion — which displays a profound ignorance of the rules of chess, but that’s beside the point — is not only idiotic, but unoriginal too.

    And you have the gall to accuse others of merely parroting things they’ve read elsewhere! Ha!

    Comment by vaara — January 28, 2007 @ 7:00 pm - January 28, 2007

  58. “Yet there are still little old ladies living in Chinatowns who have been here their entire lives, or nearly, and still can’t speak English”

    That is in spite of the old policies which expected assimilation. Now we have large numbers of liberals who see any demand to assimilate as racist and fascistic. And we now have growing numbers of immigrants who are not expected to assimilate and who are not interested and in fact who despise and hate us.

    Comment by pst314 — January 28, 2007 @ 7:09 pm - January 28, 2007

  59. Yet assimilation continues anyway. At least linguistically: Of the 13.4% of the U.S. population that is Hispanic, 19% speak only Spanish and 72% have at least a working knowledge of English. One-half of second-generation Mexican Americans speak Spanish at home; by the third generation, this figure drops to 1/3. And so on.

    Where, incidentally, are these “large numbers of liberals” who see “any demand to assimilate as racist and fascistic”?

    And, while we’re at it, what is it that immigrants are expected to assimilate into? V the K, above, mentions “American culture.” Which is …?

    Comment by vaara — January 28, 2007 @ 7:29 pm - January 28, 2007

  60. Wow. Quoting Ann Coulter, without attribution. And imagining that the quote actually means something – even wins an argument.

    Peter Hughes, are you not thoroughly humbled by the insignificance of what you have to offer?

    Comment by Tano — January 28, 2007 @ 7:39 pm - January 28, 2007

  61. Tano,

    Thanks for responding and doing so respectfully. Kudos. I’m going to respond with little editing, so bear with my rambling style. I would respond to each of your points in order, but I’m tired and am just going to throw it all on the screen.

    There seem to be three issues addressed in your post: the media, isolationism, and Cuba. Since we agree re. Cuba, let’s shake hands, back slap, thrust our pelvises with delight and move on.

    You have (perhaps unwittingly) set up two straw men: 1) the liberalism of the media and my confusion regarding same and 2) that I favor isolationism, which is incorrect and likely stems from a poor choice of words on my part or your part or both.

    The liberal media:

    My argument was not about the liberalism of the media nor, specifically, the liberalism of public broadcasting. In fact, I went out of my way to state that public media’s liberal bias really isn’t part of the logical equation and that the subsidization of any views isn’t justified. However, since you state that I’m confused, here goes:

    Though I cannot say/write with any authority, public media outlets likely reflect the respective populations in which they’re located and their programming choices are likely geared to be slightly left of the population in question. Here in Seattle, they schedule alot of Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky (might as well be Engels and Trotsky or Sid and Nancy). I assume that Omaha Public Radio features Lula da Silva’s vegetarian favorites.

    I am one of those who does believe that the mainstream media is liberal, with some conservative exceptions. However, this is a matter of perspective. While you might think Fox News is conservative, I find it to be the only network news program that even attempts an honest balance. Could it be that this is the reason the mainstream media is losing market share year by year? Who is to blame for this decrease in audience — the New Media such as talk radio (which is actually quite an old medium) and Web-based media such as this blog or the liberals themselves who, like the pre-1994 House of Representatives, became complacent, providing mere opinion rather than honest journalism? Do you think that the live stacked-jury audience of ABC’s The View, with its undoubtedly coached screaming every time Rosie O’Donnell shouts someone down, represents American opinion? While a mildly liberal ardent Democrat such as George Stephanopoulos might be as mainstream as one might wish (or as one might pose oneself), a true leftist such as Daniel Shore (I call him the Delco Oracle) would not make it in the private media. There, he would be forced to face disagreement and would have to justify his positions. He would have to ask hard questions of both sides (and thus of himself) rather than simply bloviate. Rush Limbaugh bloviates, but he does so on his advertiser’s dime, not mine, and he doesn’t desire the stamp of approval from the government that so many liberals seem to crave. In short, just as the definition of art is mostly subjective (though I don’t agree that is it entirely so), whatever commentary may fall anywhere on the spectrum and the label attached to it is rather relative. Because these labels are relative, they have become arbitrary and meaningless.

    So, let me clarify that I and many others have long thought that the mainstream media isn’t mainstream and doesn’t reflect the average American’s thoughts and views, many of them common sense. This is what liberals have never understood because: 1) they don’t see the mainstream media as liberal (it is either somewhat to the right or it merely reflects their own views, which are to them natural and ‘in the center’ because, after all, we all like to see ourselves as objective and deliberative, balancing all views and thoughtfully reaching a conclusion) and 2) they have been so insulated for so long that they cannot recognize that the New Media response was borne of frustration. For all the so-called whining you decry re. the liberal media: the conservative radio shows I’ve listened to are regularly peppered with liberal callers that spew their vitriol against that paragon of right-wing hate speech: Fox News (yes, the Fox News that features Mara Liasson — yes, that one).

    Let me also clarify that I do watch the occasional PBS broadcast. I enjoy Masterpiece Theater and the occasional classical music shows. Sure, I have to slog through all the incessant global warming diatribes showing the poor little penguins on their tiny ice floes, curling the claws of their not-so-happy feet and the latest African-American du jour (I find the racist tokenism that is so obvious on PBS its most offensive and insulting aspect and not because it is unique to PBS, but because it is done under the embarrassingly self-conscious banner of multi-cultural celebration, meaning constituency-building and pandering), but they do program some enjoyable shows. Masterpiece Theater would be welcomed in a private, advertising-supported medium, but that would tarnish PBS’s BBC-lust.

    However, this is all beside my point that one cannot logically justify supporting the subsidization of anyone’s views (unless you support subsidizing them all, from tyranny to anarchy [and anarchy == tyranny], which of course is ridiculous). So, to address my original point, do you agree or disagree?

    Isolationism:

    The idea that the Founding Fathers were somehow ignorant and couldn’t possibly have known how outdated their principles would become in this enlightened and indeed brave New World of the Americas is offensive to me. This is the same kind of thinking that hates the Constitution because it doesn’t specifically say “…right of the People to keep and bear flintlock muskets…” instead of “…the right of the People to keep and bear arms…”

    Have you read about the rum trade that existed between the Colonies, the West Indies, and Britain? This existed into the 19th century and was lucrative for all except the slaves. The United States was never truly isolationist (although there have been and are isolationist Americans — I’m not one of them); the Founding Fathers that welcomed Lafayette and French involvement in the thousands is probably the most famous example I can think of. Americans have always recognized the economic and diplomatic advantages of interactions with other nations. (I believe The Wealth of Nations was published in 1776. Certainly Adam Smith was a firm believer in free trade — his analysis of the trade of goods and gold between different nations and the respective standards of their currencies is the basis of modern free trade.)

    There is a big difference between myself, who believes in America first and foremost, and an isolationist who is, for lack of a better term, a deliberate Know-Nothing. As I stated, I’m all for diplomacy. Merely because I think our government is far too focused on international issues (some of its own making) and I state that we need to pull in our resources and focus on our own problems doesn’t make me an isolationist. Do you think our dependence on foreign oil, particularly from a volatile part of the world is wise? No? Then, are you an isolationist?

    If there is a justification for foreign aid, let us aid with knowledge and with actual goods, not merely cutting a check to the goverment in question. I remember in the macroeconomics class years ago suggesting that one way to help sub-Saharan Africa would be for the United States to essentially rent a state. We would set up an agreement with another nation, say Kenya, and set up a government, businesses, schools, infrastructure, and reap the profits, while its people would learn how to run a country. After 50 or so years, we would leave. This was greeted with hoots and catcalls of racism and imperialism. Why is this so offensive, particularly when the relationship is voluntary? (The instructor thought it was a great idea and made me write a proposal in lieu of a final grade, which was gratifying but a bitch to write.)

    Yes, our economy requires us to interact with other nations, but let us interact fairly. We might begin by ending our own farm subsidies, allowing Third World farmers to enter markets competitively, thus raising them out of poverty. We also might reconsider our relationship with nations such as South Korea, one of the most closed and protected markets in the world, while we allow them to sell anything and everything in our market at rock-bottom prices, helping to put another nail in the coffin of our Rust Belt manufacturers.

    Embassies were set up for the purposes of establishing communication with foreign governments and a place to stay for visiting dignitaries. There is no need for them today. An official consulate office with a secretary is fine, but a full embassy the size of a large hotel with kitchens, a ballroom, solarium, swimming pool, secret tunnels and spying equipment, etc…is this necessary? No. To many of us, this is just common sense.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 28, 2007 @ 8:52 pm - January 28, 2007

  62. Of course, the situation in Iraq is worse Bruce, but when you start talking about the persecution of gay you should check out the recent washington blade article:http://washblade.com/2007/1-19/news/national/national.cfm — come back and complain to me then….

    Comment by Wolfe — January 28, 2007 @ 11:13 pm - January 28, 2007

  63. #47
    You seem oblivious to the cardinal rule of public discourse – that your words will ALWAYS be taken more as an expression of your character than as any sort of an accurate description of your subject.

    I am aware. The thing is that frankly my dear, I don’t give a d*mn what you think. Or anybody else for that matter.

    As far as changing your mind on subjects, you have to have some semblence of honesty and neither you, moLester, Ian etc. seem to have any capacity for that.

    Are you under some kind of illusion that showing off your ability to come up with psuedo-clever, vulgar insults is capable of impressing anyone? That projecting an image of a deeply angry, downright hateful persona is going to win adherents to your point of view?

    Nope. As I said, I don’t care what you think about me. That’s me and that’s my style. Your opinion matters little. I know who I am and don’t need you or anybody else to tell me. I don’t give people the power to effect how I feel or who I am. Sorry.

    that you are, to sum it up succinctly, an ignorant jerk.

    Beats the h*ll out of being an arrogant, condecending, long-winded snob.

    I’m not saying that that is what you really are, but you do seem obsessed with projecting that image.

    By my heel, I care not.

    And you are so incredibly, blindingly stupid as to think that the sight of some American politicians, standing up to defend the processes layed out in the Constitution, is somehow more of a message of encouragment to the enemy than the continued survival of bin Laden?

    How absurd can you get.

    You also seem to be under some kind of delusion that the president is some type of a dictator in this country – that he has some special powers to be “the decider” over and above the political process, as if the committment of American troops into combat brings with it a suspension of democracy. It is attitudes like yours that cause the more intemperate speakers on my side to dismiss all of you people as a bunch of fascists.

    It’s mindless blather like that which causes all of us to dismiss you people as raving lunatics. If we were fascists, you’d be in love with us.

    Here is a clue for you. The president is commander in chief of the armed forces, not of the country.

    Don’t you forget it. He’s the commander in Chief and not Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid.


    We the people decide the policies of this country, and that certianly includes decisions about war and peace. We are a free people, and we will fight to the death to remain so, and we will freely express our opinions on all matters, at all times.

    Except when liberals are running things, then we all have to know our role and shut our mouths.

    I feel I have given you more time already than your comment deserved,

    Or any post.

    so I will close with a simple response to your comments about victory.

    Simple? You promise? Nope. You lied.

    As for your conclusion, I am very much aware of what’s going on over there on the ground. Perhaps moreso than you could imagine possible. The thing is that I don’t write long, arrogant, condecending posts with the express and sole purpose of trying to sound smarter than everybody else like you do.

    I have to wonder what the point is in engaging in pessimism, anger and hate on a daily basis. I have to wonder what it’s like being so miserable everyday. I especially have to wonder how you can possibly be that way and expect people to like and respect you. Nobody wants to be around that kind of people.

    I have to wonder why you have this notion of doom, gloom and failure and why we should all rush to be just as miserable as you are. But please, for the love of God, don’t write a long-winded post telling us why we should all be equally miserable and consigned to surrender and failure. We don’t care and that’s not who any of us are nor want to be.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 28, 2007 @ 11:37 pm - January 28, 2007

  64. Well red, you certainly have a tenouous grasp.

    The American government is not a dictatorship. I made no reference to BushHitler. Liberals do not admire Stalin. I have never heard anyone refer to the Iraqi insurgents as freedom fighters. There is no “left wing media conspiracy” that is keeping the Truth from the American people (as if something like that would be possible). We are not on the brink of success in Iraq (nor is the insurgency in its last throes).

    All of these statements of yours give evidence of someone utterly detached from reality, and indulging themselves in arguing against some virtual boogyman “librul” dredged from the fevered swamps of the lunacy-as-entertainment niche of popular culture.

    Here is a hint for you, bud. You are not supposed to take the content of these shows seriously, all you are supposed to do is laugh at the jokes, then go out and buy the products being advertised.

    To your specifics. You rant against the reporting as being only at the level of body counts. This speaks to your attention span, not to the quality of the reporting. If you were to, like, actually read things – entire articles, books, listen to extended interviews with the movers and shakers, y’know stuff like that – you would find a wealth of detailed information on all aspects of what is going on.

    Despite your disgust with the media’s supposed reduction of the war to a series of body counts, when the time comes for you to put forward your thesis – that things are going just swimmingly in the WoT, what is your evidence? Anecdotal accounts of ,,,body counts. We are killing lots of terrorists.
    Surely you are smart enough to see the fragility of this evidence. What is a lot? How many are left out there? How many more are being recruited?
    You know the problem here – body counts are not a good measure of anything. Thats why you complain about them in Iraq, right?

    War is about will. Well, yes and no. Will is important. Unfortunatly, it is not sufficient. I am sure you could dredge up plenty of examples from history in which the losing side was everybit as willful as the victors. Lots of other things are important besides will.

    Your comment about if only we had had united will, perhaps we could have already won in Iraq is blatently absurd. There has not been a single instance of interference with the course of this war as defined by the President. There has not been a single penny denied that has been requested, not a single soldier held back that the leadership had wished to send forward. Your statement is utterly dishonest.

    Your statement about illegals is totally beyond my ability to understand. I think you need to find a way to get a somewhat firmer grip on reality.

    Comment by Tano — January 29, 2007 @ 1:03 am - January 29, 2007

  65. “The thing is that frankly my dear, I don’t give a d*mn what you think. Or anybody else for that matter”

    Back atcha bud. To paraphrase my last comment to your previous post: I wonder what the point of your commenting is then.

    Comment by Tano — January 29, 2007 @ 1:09 am - January 29, 2007

  66. HardHobbit,

    We will have to agree to disagree on the media. I find Fox to be blatently biased to the right, whereas the rest of the media at least makes an effort to be fair. Whether they succeed or not is open to interpretation, no doubt.
    I think they all suffer from the bias of their perspective – which is, obviously, urban, and corporate. They, and their reporters see the world from big cities – so it isnt surprising that there might be some cultural distance from rural and small town sensibilities. And they are all part of large multinational corporations, so it is normal that the concerns of big business will color thier coverage.

    I dont think that ideological concerns are what is driving the loss of market share. The major networks used to have a triopoly. Now, with cable, sattellite, the internet etc. there are hundreds, if not thousands of sources for news and information, whereas there used to be only a handful. I dont see any need for further explanation than that for the erosion of network market share.

    Maybe I am an example of that. I cant really follow your discussion of specific shows, because I really dont watch much TV. Liberal that I am, I cant recall the last time I watched a news show on one of the major networks. I do watch the NewsHour on PBS, and the BBC, and Charlie Rose, and I find all those shows (well,, not BBC so much) to be rigorously balanced. In fact, I recall a recent survey of NewsHour that showed it skewed a bit right of center in terms of the guest commenters.

    I really dont know what you are talking about re. African Americans on PBS.

    Anyway, I do think that PBS has lots of very good shows, and I dont agree that they necessarily would survive on the networks or cable (if a buck could be made of them, then they would be there already). I dont see PBS as being liberal per se, unless you equate being educated with being liberal. We could go down that road if you want, but lets not.

    So I have no problem with subsidizing public television. I think that, like so many other functions of government, it fills a need that the market fails to do. Free markets are great as a fundamental driver to the economy. But they sure as heck are not perfect, and there is much of value to a society that cannot necessarily turn a profit in the time frame demanded by investors. The country would be enormously poorer were there not a PBS, and we can be absolutely certain that it would not be recreated in the private sector. If it could, then it would have been. 500 channels, or whatever it is that people can get on satellites, and none of them resemble PBS.

    There is certainly the opportunity for someone in the private sector to make a PBS. If they would do so, then PBS itself might become redundant, and could be done away with. Hasnt happened yet.

    On isolationism

    Its kinda unfair of you to imply that I was calling the Founding Fathers ignorant or something, because I think that Washington would have a hard time imagining what the 21st century would look like. And what does your reference to “hating the Constitution” refer to?

    I’ll accept that you are not an isolationist. Fine. I have no problem with foreign aid in kind, especially offering practicable skills and help with building physical and institutional infrastructure. I think there is a hell of a lot more of that going on than you seem to realize. (although overall, our foreign aid is a pathetically small amount). I also agree with your formulations of fair trade, not just free trade.

    hey, this is getting scary.

    Ah, embassies again. Good, we can disagree again. Altough I agree that ballrooms could be cut….

    Comment by Tano — January 29, 2007 @ 1:53 am - January 29, 2007

  67. Tano, here’s the problem.

    I have never heard anyone refer to the Iraqi insurgents as freedom fighters.

    Google “Cindy Sheehan freedom fighters”, and you’ll have your answer.

    And by the way, you should also remember that Cindy Sheehan is endorsed by prominent Democrats like Barbara Boxer, Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Ted Kennedy, and Harry Reid.

    Finally, that makes this statement particularly amusing:

    If you were to, like, actually read things – entire articles, books, listen to extended interviews with the movers and shakers, y’know stuff like that – you would find a wealth of detailed information on all aspects of what is going on.

    For you to be so blind to the fact that the leaders of the Democratic Party have openly endorsed and supported a woman who calls the Iraqi insurgents who killed her child and are trying to kill other US soldiers “freedom fighters” and sends them hundreds of thousands of dollars in supplies and cash leads me to wonder…..what exactly ARE you reading?

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 29, 2007 @ 2:19 am - January 29, 2007

  68. Tano,

    You stated that the world Washington saw doesn’t have much relevance today. Forgive me if I assumed you are one of those liberals who believes that the Constitution is a ‘living document’ that needs to change with the times and that the Founding Fathers are outdated. This kind of liberal does exist and often offers the 2nd Amendment as evidence of a quaint historical era that no longer has relevance. I disagree. The Constitution is classical and timeless.

    Re. foreign aid, your statement “I think there is a hell of a lot more of that going on than you seem to realize” implies that I am ignorant. I understand that the U.S. is involved in many charitable works and does provide much education and many needed items to needy foreign countries. I’m merely writing that we should limit it to that, thus ensuring our aid is used primarily to benefit the intended beneficiaries. It is also quite a different matter to forgive a foreign debt than to continue to offer multimillions to the same foreign government that initially and continually made the bad choices with the loan and/or aid money. Also, we have no standard that is applied equally and fairly.

    Re. PBS, you imply that I am equating being educated with being liberal, but “lets not go down that road” (para. 5). By making that statement, you accomplish three things: 1) to insult me and other conservatives as being uneducated and ignorant; 2) to ‘go down that road’ while begging not to — pretending not to want to discuss what is likely one of your deep-seated opinions of conservatives while poisoning the well anyway; 3) accusing me of a an opinion you know I don’t share, but requiring that I spend time refuting.

    Let me state for the record that I do believe some PBS shows could survive in the free market. Sesame Street is a good example. However, it hasn’t been tried and likely won’t, but this is pure conjecture due to the impossibility of proving a negative. The awfully simplistic reasoning that says “Well, if it could survive, it’d be there already” doesn’t really explain why Sesame Street-related products do so well in the marketplace (meaning they generate huge profits). Nonetheless, your statement that PBS fills a void in the market that the free market cannot fill, thus justifying subsidization neglects my central argument: let the market decide. Since you enjoy PBS, send in your money — but don’t be generous with mine. And since PBS already features commercials, let PBS become a truly commercial entity. (Do you really think PBS is free of the corporate influence you deride? Hardly. It would like you to think it is.) Also, when you state that you don’t see PBS as liberal, you confirm another of my arguments: liberals don’t recognize liberalism — they see liberalism as ‘centrism’ or ‘logical’ or ‘obvious’, but they simply cannot and will not understand that there are millions who are to their right that see PBS as opposed to their views. Why should they be forced to subsidize a media organization that regularly offers views they find abhorrent? They are not requiring you to subsidize their viewpoints (and I mean direct subsidies and not some convoluted argument that links pork barrel federal and state subsidies to those corporations that advertise on corporate media — I’m against those subsidies, too). Let the market (meaning you and me) decide. What is so objectionable about that?

    Furthermore, there are cable shows that are similar to some of the PBS offerings such as the Arts Network and Nickelodeon. They are successful and many enjoy them. In fact, I would wager some of them are quite a bit more successful (meaning enjoy a larger audience) than their PBS counterparts. They, like their PBS counterparts, are supported via advertising. Do you disagree?

    The problem with blogs like these is that the problems we discuss are pretty complex, requiring exceptions to be addressed, generalities to be clarified, etc. I enjoy discussion, but it’s hard to ever feel like I’m making headway because I’m either preaching to the choir or pissing in the wind. Anway, I do appreciate that in your agreements, you are granting me that conservatism as I understand it is not a complete anathema. Let’s agree to not make leading, baiting statements. Liberals and conservatives don’t sit down and honestly and fairly discuss issues often enough as it is because it simply takes time and energy, things many of us don’t have much of.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 29, 2007 @ 3:51 am - January 29, 2007

  69. Back atcha bud. To paraphrase my last comment to your previous post: I wonder what the point of your commenting is then.

    How sad. I expected better.

    Which leads me back to the original intent of the thread. You can’t convince me that liberals give a flying f*ck about human rights, nor can you convince me that liberals care a d*mn for our country.

    Your long-winded bloviations prove Bruce’s point.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 29, 2007 @ 5:46 am - January 29, 2007

  70. Tano and vaara – not only do I know both the rudiments and intricate movements of chess (and I dare either one of you to take me on), but for you two to pontificate about “cutting and pasting” is both hypocritic and infantile.

    Of course the line is from Ann Coulter. I have been known to use it before either of you two showed up late to the party and I have always mentioned it in my posts for umpteen number of times. Since others are well aware of my usage, I felt it unnecessary to point it out.

    That being said, since you two are obviously more of the mind to engage in “gotcha” politics rather than intelligent discourse, I will hereby start citing passages that are attributed to other sources. I would recommend that you do the same. Because trust me, I will be watching to make sure.

    So, to quote Shakespeare (“The Winter’s Tale,” Act I, Scene 2): “Go rot!”

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 29, 2007 @ 10:05 am - January 29, 2007

  71. I see. So, plagiarism is OK if you do it often enough?

    Anyway, the basic premise of this entire thread — that all liberals hate America — is inherently unprovable. It’s a bit like saying all Republicans hate homosexuals.

    Have you psychoanalyzed every non-conservative in the U.S. to determine his or her level of countrylove*?

    No?

    Then how can you, or anyone, make such a sweeping generalization? All you’re left with is a slightly more elaborate way of shouting “poopyhead!” at people you disagree with politically. Which is not serious at all.

    *”Countrylove” ©George Orwell, 1948.

    Comment by vaara — January 29, 2007 @ 10:28 am - January 29, 2007

  72. As Hugo Chavez, a Castro disciple and the good friend of Islamic terrorists, increases his socialistic hegemony south of the border he will isolate the U.S. If Sen. Chris Dodd should be the Democratic nominee and the misfortune to be elected president, he´ll welcome them with open arms. Our Constitution will be revised to conform to the liberal wishes of the UN. And the libs talk about a right wing conspiracy!!

    Comment by Roberto — January 29, 2007 @ 11:00 am - January 29, 2007

  73. Web Reconnaissance for 01/29/2007…

    A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention….

    Trackback by The Thunder Run — January 29, 2007 @ 11:06 am - January 29, 2007

  74. vaara, your entire premise is without merit and totally off.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 29, 2007 @ 11:43 am - January 29, 2007

  75. Very clever how Tano, despite the volume of his words, has tried repeatedly to “bait and switch” the topic here.

    The topic is: Why Do Liberals Constantly Look For Ways to Denigrate America Through “Human Rights Violations”, Yet Never Bring The Same Or Greater Condemnation To Terror and Terror-States Who Advocate The Destruction Of Western Liberal Democracies?

    Pretty simple topic, despite the smoke and mirrors of Tano to avoid answering at all costs…

    Comment by GayPatriot — January 29, 2007 @ 11:47 am - January 29, 2007

  76. #75 – Bruce, that’s the “modus operandi” of the left. Bait and switch. They figured that it worked so well in 1992 by repackaging a flaming liberal like Slick Willie into a “moderate,” they’ll keep doing it until it fails.

    Which it actually did back in the 1990s, but that’s not stopped them yet.

    Unfortunately, the libnuts haven’t updated their playbook since McGovern ran for president. So much for the “thinking man’s party.”

    Not.

    Regards,
    Peter H.

    Comment by Peter Hughes — January 29, 2007 @ 11:50 am - January 29, 2007

  77. #76: I’ve seen a couple of strategies at work on the part of the lefties here. One is to quibble about details and ignore the elephant in the room… the left’s admiration for certain left-wing regimes that violate human rights (Castro’s, Chavez’s, Palestine’s) and tolerance of others (Ahmadinejihad’s). I’ll posit some possiblereasons left-wingers won’t condemn major systematic human rights violations in socialist countries with nearly the ferociousness minor and anecdotal violations by free democracies like the USA and Israel:

    1. It’s not safe to protest what tyrants do, but it’s perfectly safe to criticize countries where free speech is protected. Besides, tyrants won’t listen anyway, and what fun is throwing a tantrum if nobody looks?

    2. Liberals are frustrated that their grand socialist schemes have been thwarted by democracy in the USA, and admire Castro and Chavez because they can impose socialist utopia at will.

    3. Slamming your own country provides the cheap thrill of teenage rebellion against your parents. And, you get the support of your fellow left-wingers.

    4. Countries like Cuba and Venezuela don’t have lots of rich trustafarians to send donations to Human Rights Activist Organizations, nor a free media to publicize the cause.

    On a sub-argument, we’ve also yet again heard the idiotic whine: “The media can’t be left-wing biased because they’re owned by corporations.” As if bias is indicated by ownership and not product. It’s like saying since Kraft Foods is owned by a tobacco company, Velveeta must be made out of cigarettes.

    Comment by V the K — January 29, 2007 @ 12:52 pm - January 29, 2007

  78. Peter Hughes writes:

    “I will hereby start citing passages that are attributed to other sources.”

    Well, then,,,
    Sorry for the snark. At the end of the day I feel I have made a small contribution to making the world a better place, and have helped you, Peter, raise your game.

    Quoting Ann Coulter, geez….

    (and making pleas for intellegent discourse!)

    Comment by Tano — January 29, 2007 @ 3:31 pm - January 29, 2007

  79. 40 alan: your theory is based on the assumption that there is finite number of terrorists and if we kill them all we will win and america will be safe. that’s not at all how it works. If that were true we certainly would have killed all the terrorists who existed pre- iraq war over these last 4 years. we’ve killed or they and us together have killed like hundreds of thousands of people.

    if we pull out of iraq now, the terrorists will follow us home. if we pull out in 10 years, the terrorists will follow us home. there will always be terrorists if we remain in the middle east via military prsence and funding the regimes there and supporting israel. If you want us to have another 9/11 you’ll support our continued presence in the middle east.

    Comment by lester — January 29, 2007 @ 3:41 pm - January 29, 2007

  80. GayPatriot,

    “The topic is: Why Do Liberals Constantly Look For Ways to Denigrate America Through “Human Rights Violations”, Yet Never Bring The Same Or Greater Condemnation To Terror and Terror-States Who Advocate The Destruction Of Western Liberal Democracies?”

    Bait and swich huh? Now that is not very nice. I have been having conversations with people who have reponded to my comments. I have tried my best to address the issues that they have confronted me with. Yes, the conversations has ranged afar, as tends to happen when people converse, rather than just hurl prepackaged talking points.

    Your thesis is propagandistic nonsense. Liberals have always been in the forefront of raising human rights issues and demanding that they be seen as relevant to our foreign policy, often in the face of severe criticism from the right.

    The only times that the right seems interested in human rights is when it serves a political objective. Even with the Soviet Union, it took President Carter, in the face of withering criticism from the Republicans, to insist that human rights should be seen as a relevant issue in our foreign policy.

    A few years ago, President Bush admitted as much, when he made that famous speech decrying our past support for authoritarian dictatorships at the expense of concern for the people of those countries. I was amazed he would say that – it was an issue that liberals had been pushing for decades.

    The absolute unseriousness of the right on these issues is manifest, even in this thread. It has become common for instance, for the right to denounce the work of international NGOs, like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International. These organizations have ALWAYS, and continue to do work on all abuses in all countries, certainly including places like Iran, NKorea, Iraq under Saddam etc. But they also criticize Western countries, including the US, and for the right, this is unforgivable.

    That is the real issue here. There is no hesitation from liberals, either in America or internationally, to speak to human rights concerns in foreign countries, including our enemies. The real issue is that the American right refuses to accept any criticism of America, and makes the case that any mention of that is ipso facto a reason to dismiss the person or organization making the charge as an enemy.

    The reactions here on the right are exactly the same as one gets from the governments that commit abuses. The very mention of an abuse is taken as a reason to ignore or denounce the person or organization making the charge, because after all WE could never do anything wrong, and anyone who says we do must either be an enemy or delusional.

    I tried to explain at length, in a comment somewhere above, why I think that anyone who has a concern about these issues must, as a first step, do everything to insure that we live up to the same standards that we preach.

    Why is this such a strange concept to conservatives? Proposing high standards, and insisting on adherence to them, especially on moral issues, sounds like the kind of thing that real conservatives would do, instinctivly.

    There are moral and practical reasons both, for focussing first on our own country. Morally – well thats obvious – if there is any sincerity to the standard then we must make sure we dont violate them. Practically, – well, as I explained earlier, our ability to influence policies in our own country is enormously greater than in other countries. Plus, also in a practical sense, if you ever wish to persuade other countries and cultures to adopt high standards, then a demonstrated record of adherence to those standards is absolutely necessary. No one accepts advice from hypocrites.

    Lets talk about torture for instance. Maybe we can find some common ground.

    Torture is bad, are we all on board with that? I should hope so, given that President Bush has often said, in a simple declaritve way – we dont torture. With the clear implication that it is, without question, beneath the moral dignity of this country to do so. It is also a dumb practice in a practical sense, given that people will say anything while being tortured. but that is a side issue. We should all agree that torture should be denounced.

    So what should an American citizen do when the possiblity is broached that the US government has engaged in torture?

    Ignore the charge? Abandon the standard and start making the exigent circumstances defense? Attack the messenger? What is the moral, and non-hypocritical thing to do?

    I’ll try to be fair to you GP, and not make any blatant charges – I havent visited this site often enough to know what your response was. But judging by the tone of this post, and reading all the other rightwing blogs that sound so similar to the spirit one sees here, I would guess that maybe you have been completely hypocritical on this issue. Please tell me if I am wrong.

    My fear would be that you are like so many other rightwingers who have, in fact, absolutely no real concern about human rights, other than its occasional utility as a club, to pick up and use against your opponents from time to time.

    You accurse the left of being hypocrites on the issue, so you set the standard for yourself. No doubt you criticize the torture that goes on elsewhere – so please tell us – do you criticize the documented cases of torture by Americans? Or the cases where we have rendered suspects (including INNOCENT ones) to other countries so that they could do the dirty work for us?

    Please tell me that my suspicions are wrong about you. – that you do in fact take human rights seriously – seriously enough to walk the walk, to stand up for human rights even if it means criticizing the practices of your own government.

    Please convince me that you are more than just a rightwing ranter who needs to protect your brand, your identity. Point me to examples where you have done the hard work of wrestling with your conscience, with holding your own government to the high standards that you promote for others.

    There are people out there like that. One well known one is Andrew Sullivan. He strikes me as a sincere person who is doing his best to work through the real issues and to uphold the standards that he preaches. I have seen him attacked mercilessly for it. I guess that is the fate of anyone who tries to deal honestly with reality, in the face of ideologues, propagandists, and bs artists.

    I would be happy to acknowledge that you are one of the brave and honest people of integrity. Just point me to a few places where that has been made evident. Because I sure dont get that sense from anything I have read around here recently.

    Comment by Tano — January 29, 2007 @ 6:38 pm - January 29, 2007

  81. Then you would think, Tano, that liberals would absolutely support the removal of one of the worse, repeat worst regimes in human history in terms of blatant abuse and violation of human rights.

    Yet they don’t. In fact, they fought it tooth and nail, claiming it was unjust, unnecessary, and immoral to do so.

    Human Rights Watch, for example, spends more time, ink, and media criticizing the United States than they do any other country; they have repeatedly supported the removal of the Bush administration, but opposed the removal of Saddam Hussein.

    And we’re sick of it.

    What you and they make blatantly obvious, Tano, is that you hold no other country on earth to the same standards that you do the United States. And when that is pointed out to you, you make all sorts of accusations about how we “don’t care” about people being tortured.

    Our answer: While doing nothing may have prevented tens of people from being allegedly “tortured” by us, it allowed hundreds of thousands of people to continue being REALLY tortured by Saddam.

    What you’re trying to do is to make excuses for why avoiding the tens of people was somehow worth perpetuating the hundreds of thousands.

    That’s a foolish, irrational, and racist belief to hold. But that’s the level to which people like yourself and Andrew Sullivan have sunk in an attempt to justify your hatred of the Bush administration.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 29, 2007 @ 7:11 pm - January 29, 2007

  82. Bravo, NDT.

    If a Democrat President had deposed Saddam, all we would hear about — day in and day out — from Tano & the MadLibs would be wails of horror about the poor Iraqis that BushCo allowed to be slaughtered for decades while the United Nations did nothing.

    The MadLib hypocrisy is so laughable…. they are like cartoon characters of themselves!

    Comment by GayPatriot — January 29, 2007 @ 9:12 pm - January 29, 2007

  83. #68
    Speaking of PBS, Power of Choice: The Life and Ideas of Milton Friedman, is on tonight. See here for your local PBS schedule.

    Comment by John in IL — January 29, 2007 @ 9:55 pm - January 29, 2007

  84. NDT,

    No, I think you misunderstand the position of people who opposed the war. Now, I cant speak for all of them, I can only speak for me. This is how I saw it.

    Saddam was one of the worst dictators of our time. I am glad he is gone. I always hoped that he would disappear from the scene some day. To the extent that we in the US could aid in that process, I was certainly open to suggestions.

    Thats why I went through a difficult personal decision making process when this war was proposed. Because invading a country, with all the potential that could flow from that, is certainly an issue unto itself that needs consideration.

    Let me illustrate that with an admittedly absurd example. The government of China is guilty of many horrible abuses of freedom and of human rights. I wish the present government would be replaced by something better. So I make a proposal. Lets invade China, overthrow the government, and set up a democracy. You on board?

    Yeah, you see – its a little more complicated than that. Recognizing an evil, and wishing it gone, does not lead seamlessly into necessary support for a military invasion, a war.

    Wars have consequences. Wars entail evils of their own – unavoidable ones. Sometimes there is a threat so real that the war is unavoidable. Sometimes the predicted consequences (from a serious analysis) seem to stack up in such a way that the cost, in terms of human suffering and longterm poltical consequences, seems minor in comparison to the benefits. In those circumstances, then I can be, and have been, supportive.

    But if the threat is not immediate, or the consequences are too large, or are unknowable with the potential costs possibly excessive, then war should be avoided.

    All of this should be abundently clear from the example of Iraq – I wonder why it is even necessary for me to lay this out for you.

    Several problems with the Iraq war led to my own opposition. First off, as a citizen with a right to make up my mind on these issues, we never had the chance. Bush rolled out his proposal in early Sept. 02, and did everything possible to make it seem like he was the decider. I dont know if you even remember those times – but the talk in the white house was that if there would be a war in Iraq, the president could do it without going to the UN, or even the Congress. There were op-eds in the major newspapers, I remember one from Sec. Eagleburger even, essentially demanding of the president that he go to Congress for authorization. He tried to do this war without even that.

    As an aside, if you want to know why Dems are so disgusted with Joe Lieberman, it is not just his vote for the authorization, it was that when Bush first proposed his plan, Joe was front and center urging an immediate approval by the Congress – effectivly cutting off the ability to have a real public debate on the proposal. An incredibly stupid move on his part, because it probably precluded any chance that the war would have the support of a broad majority (second aside here, before I get some angry response. Support for the war was in the low to mid fifties right up until the invasion. Only when boots were on the ground did it go up to 70 – the number that the propagandists hurl around to pretend the war had broad support_).

    Anyway, the lack of a debate left me to wonder the extent to which the costs and benefits had been weighed out, intellegently, as opposed to just hoo-rah rosy wishful thinking. And I could forsee lots of terrible costs and I wasnt sure of the benefits.

    I wont pretend to have predicted the exact course of developments, but I did fear that lots of bad things could happen, and the dream of democracy just never seemed to make sense. I understood some of the issues, form the Clinton administration, that go into “nation building”, and Bush had made very clear his opposition to anything like that – and yet, it seemed pretty obvious to me that if we took over that country, then that is what we would have to do.

    How can you support invading and taking over a country if you have no vision for what to do when you get there, except totally abstract talk of democracy, with no planning, no vision, no nothign behind it – in fact an oft-stated hostitlity to the very concept?

    There were other reasons that caused my opposition to grow. The charade in the UN where he pretended that WMD were the issue, but when Saddam let the inspectors in, unrestricted, then Bush had them yanked and invaded anyway. It was abundently clear to me, and I think to any conscious person, that Bush had been lying thorugh his teeth the whole time – saying that no decision had been made, that there were things that Saddam could do to preclude war – it was all bs. Bush intended this war from almost a year before it started, and nothing was going to stop him.

    Of course the utterly phony framing of the war as a central front in the WoT was also something I could never buy for a second. Iraq may have been a deeply problematical place, and perhaps worthy of serious consideration for an invasion, but it sure as hell had nothing whatsoever to do with the Islamic jihadists who had murdered our people, nor with their networks around the world that pose a continuing threat.

    And of course, all the fears became materialized. We turned a stable, though horribly repressed nation into a chaotic civil-war zone. We created an environment where al-Q can operate, with a fair amount of freedom, from a place where they were not present at all. And we have replaced the horrible dictator with a group of militia leaders who have deep and growing ties to an even greater enemy of ours.

    If you could have forseen all this, would you have supported the war? Perhaps so, but the majority of your fellow citizens would not have. And it aint because they are terror-lovers, or enemies of human rights.

    Look, I cant rehash the whole story here. Bottom line for me is that war, an invasion and occipation of a foreign country, is not the necessary or only solution to any case of gross human rights violations.

    Maybe you guys had this fantasy that, becuase of our great military strength, this war could have been like Kosovo, or even the Gulf War. A relatively clean effort, with few casualties on our side, and nothing but good as the result. If I could have forseen a picture like that, I would have been supportive.

    I do fault you guys (in general – not speaking to you personally) for not taking this decision more seriously, for not demanding of your leader that he assure you that the prospects for success were very good, and the costs very low.

    We all want to be right and to be good. Self righteousness seems often to be the driving subtext in so many of these debates. I can understand the attraction of thinking you can take out an evil guy like Saddam and leave peace and freedom and happiness in your wake. Being a grown up however, imposes some responsibility. In fact, with great power, comes great responsibility. I sense the right becoming intoxicated with the great power of America, and criminally negligent in avoiding the assumption of great responsibility for your decisions.

    Comment by Tano — January 29, 2007 @ 9:57 pm - January 29, 2007

  85. #74 – what premise? I merely asked for information. Namely, how you came by your apparently unshakeable belief that all liberals hate America.

    Because you obviously haven’t interviewed every liberal in America, this belief has no empirical basis.

    Surely your opinion isn’t based on some sort of “feeling” you have, is it?

    Comment by vaara — January 29, 2007 @ 10:36 pm - January 29, 2007

  86. #83 Thanks for the heads up, John. I believe I’ve seen it, but would like seeing it again. Unfortunately, it’s not on here in Seattle. We’ve got shows on the Berlin Airlift and the Nuremberg Trials on tonight. Probably very interesting, but certainly not as uplifting as Uncle Miltie.

    If you’re interested in economics, I remember a show on PBS that discussed the power of free markets in transforming people’s lives named Commanding Heights: The Battle for the World Economy (I hope I’m correct re. the title — it’s been years since I saw it). Although brief and a bit one-sided, I remember it gave a particularly good overview of Poland’s transformation.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 29, 2007 @ 11:01 pm - January 29, 2007

  87. #86
    HH,
    The premiere of the show was tonight. You may be thinking of Friedman’s original series on PBS, Free to Choose, in the 80s. This is more of a retrospective of his life and ideas.

    It is well worth watching. For more info, see here.

    Comment by John in IL — January 30, 2007 @ 12:51 am - January 30, 2007

  88. The Seattle PBS station is airing it on Friday at 9PM.

    Comment by John in IL — January 30, 2007 @ 1:01 am - January 30, 2007

  89. Very clever how Tano, despite the volume of his words, has tried repeatedly to “bait and switch” the topic here.

    I think y’all ought to start billing Tano for the wasted space.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2007 @ 1:49 am - January 30, 2007

  90. There were other reasons that caused my opposition to grow. The charade in the UN where he pretended that WMD were the issue, but when Saddam let the inspectors in, unrestricted, then Bush had them yanked and invaded anyway.

    Bullshit.

    Inform yourself.

    And especially this portion:

    The chief United Nations weapons inspector, Hans Blix, has distributed a lengthy document to Security Council members containing a wide range of questions he says Iraq has failed to answer about its weapons programmes.

    Furthermore, Tano, that doesn’t even include this blatant and obvious fact — that Saddam was bribing the UN itself AND Security Council members to take the heat off him.

    In addition, your continual attempts to minimize Saddam Hussein’s brutality grow tiresome. What you are doing is stalling and rationalizing, trying to explain why on earth the United States should not remove a dictator who WAS starving, terrorizing, imprisoning, torturing, and murdering literally millions of people because of what MIGHT happen.

    When you, leftist Tano, are willing to stand up and say that you would rather Saddam continue to brutalize and torment those millions of people than the United States act, then we can talk about “taking responsibility” — because that would be the point at which you took responsibility for your inaction and acknowledged fully the costs of your “peace”.

    So, bluntly, Tano, say this: “I value peace more than the lives of the millions of Iraqis who were being and would continue to be systematically starved, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered with Saddam continuing in power.”

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 30, 2007 @ 2:30 am - January 30, 2007

  91. NDT,

    Inform myself?

    And then you point me to a report that says that Saddam was not answering questions fully (yeah, like maybe he was saying that he had no WMD)?

    When my assertion was that the inspectors were allowed in, were doing their work without interference?

    What is the relevance?

    Oh, sorry, I see it now – I just had to scroll down toward the bottom:

    “Mr Blix said inspectors had been able to conduct operations throughout Iraq with relative ease and described the ongoing destruction of al-Samoud II missiles as a “substantial measure of disarmament”.

    Thanks – I thought you were implying I was mistaken.

    Oh, and NDT, this doesnt even include the blatant and obvious fact that there were no WMD. And that the inspectors could have easily ascertained that – just like our inspectors figured that out pretty quickly after the invasion.

    But I am guessing that you are going to be resistant to them facts. Because, truth be told, you (and Bush) wanted the invasion to happen – you didnt want it to be discovered that the stated reason for the invasion was invalid. Be honest here – or at least concede that that was Bush’s view.

    And that is why I think it perfectly accurate to claim that the entire 9 month run-up to the war was a snow job – a lie.

    You dont have to agree with me that the invasion shouldnt have happened to admit that the selling of the war was a fraud.

    As for the number of people killed by Saddam, you give us a double dose of dishonest commenting. First you claim I am tiresome for underestimating his murders, when in fact I mentioned no numbers whatsoever – and my only comments were to agree with the obvious, that he was amonst the very worst of our time.

    So why do you say such things?

    And the second dose, is that you overestimate, by a huge amount. Of course, overestimating is a great rhetorical ploy – to keep the conversation grounded in reality, I have to be in the position of coming in with a lower number – a big fluffy softball to any propagandist who will immediatly label me a Saddam lover.

    So I’ll tell you what. I wont give you a more accurate number. I’ll let George Bush do it.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 3:27 am - January 30, 2007

  92. Oh, and just to pick up on a point I made a short while ago, about the blowhards on the right showing how little they care about human rights with the way that they constantly trash organizations like Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International.

    Go follow that Bush link in my previous comment to see who the White House trusts to have been tracking the behavior of our enemies.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 3:32 am - January 30, 2007

  93. And if you are too lazy to follow the link, then the numbers, from the White House, are:

    “many hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of his actions”

    A category that includes indirect deaths – such as the biggest chunk, 400,000 through malnutrition because of the sanctions.

    And the other big chunks, in the 5 or 6 digits, all coming from efforts to suppress uprisings.

    So yes, he was a horrible, muderous evil dictator, but no, he was not going around murdering MILLIONS on a day to day basis.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 3:42 am - January 30, 2007

  94. OK, my last one for the night. Sorry to pop up once again but I just realized something.

    GAY PATRIOT – you paying attention here?

    This is directly relevant to the original post in this thread.

    You wrote:
    “For Amnesty International and their ilk, it is more important to advance their progressive political agenda than it is to truly stand up for “human rights.”

    Now go read that George Bush link in the comment just above.
    Here you have proof, from your Dear Leader himself, which completely contradicts your statement, and demonstrates how these liberal organizations are relied upon, yes- by George himself, to track what our enemies are doing.

    And what do you do for this world anyway – except spread hate and lies about your political opponents?

    You are so busted….

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 3:59 am - January 30, 2007

  95. The charade in the UN where he pretended that WMD were the issue, but when Saddam let the inspectors in, unrestricted, then Bush had them yanked and invaded anyway.

    That is a really, REALLY nutty claim. Good move in calling it out, NDT.

    The issue was always that Saddam wasn’t co-operating with the returned weapons inspectors, hence, the inspectors couldn’t know if Saddam did or didn’t still have his WMD. Interestingly, Democrats such as Kerry, Rockefeller and Clinton shrieked the loudest that Saddam still had WMD and was a threat – after seeing the same National Intelligence Estimates as Bush saw.

    When a lefty goes into a claim that nutty, you know he’s been listening to one side of the conversation way, WAY too long. (Or that he’s having a typical lefty day; same thing.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 4:01 am - January 30, 2007

  96. These organizations have ALWAYS, and continue to do work on all abuses in all countries, certainly including places like Iran, NKorea, Iraq under Saddam etc. But they also criticize Western countries, including the US, and for the right, this is unforgivable.

    What’s unforgivable is taking the side of those taught to lie to any non-muslim since birth.

    What’s unforgivable is believing those who are trained in their terrorist camps to claim that they’ve been tortured if captured. Meanwhile, our own soldiers are tried and convicted in the court of liberal public opinion.

    What’s unforgivable is the liberal media fabricating stories of torture and “secret prisons” and rewarding themselves with pulitzers.

    What’s unforgivable is leaking national security information to al-NYT who prints it while giving the finger to the White House.

    What’s unforgivable is the desire to extend the U.S. Constitution to those who are not citizens and commit war crimes outside our borders.

    What’s unforgivable is extending Geneva Conventions to those it doesn’t protect and who don’t give the same protections to their prisoners.

    What’s unforgivable is not giving a flying f*ck about how they treat their prisoners, but p*ssing yourself over how we treat ours.

    What’s unforgivable is portraying a “model prison” as the worst gulag the world has ever known.

    What’s unforgivable is comparing our soldiers to Nazis, Pol-Pot’s cronies and the Soviets who ran the gulags.

    What’s unforgivable is playing politics with the lives of our soldiers with candy-a$$ non-binding resolutions.

    What’s unforgivable is liberals running around having pow-wows with our enemies in Syria & Iran.

    What’s unforgivable is liberals supporting invading Iraq from the 1990s all the way up to the point when a Republican president actually does it.

    What’s unforgivable is trying our soldiers for murder, in the liberal court of public opinion, for defending themselves and protecting their pards.

    What’s unforgivable is trying to claim that our soldiers are poor, uneducated dupes who are most likely a h*ll of a lot smarter than you are.

    What’s really unforgivable is the political correctness that the liberals have all hamstrung our soldiers with so that they cannot do their jobs.

    What’s more unforgivable than that is the White Guilt you’re mired down in to the point that you hate your own with a purple passion just so you don’t hurt the feelings of the guys with brown skin.

    Don’t you DARE tell us what’s unforgivable, Tano. EVERY single solitary thing that the liberal left has done over the course of the past several years has been unforgivable. You can take “unforgivable” and shove it sideways.

    How DARE you, Ian, Vaara etc. You can drop down, fifth ring, cook.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2007 @ 6:23 am - January 30, 2007

  97. Oh and you can take your arrogant, smarter than everybody else, “erudite”, pomposity and shove that too.

    Away, I am done.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2007 @ 6:25 am - January 30, 2007

  98. Look, I cant rehash the whole story here. Bottom line for me is that war, an invasion and occipation of a foreign country, is not the necessary or only solution to any case of gross human rights violations.

    Tano, circa 1933.

    Comment by GayPatriot — January 30, 2007 @ 6:52 am - January 30, 2007

  99. Oh and don’t tell us you give a crap about the soldiers who’ve died when you would have supported sucking their brains into a shop-vac years ago.

    Your false interest in their welfare is unforgivable as well.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 30, 2007 @ 8:01 am - January 30, 2007

  100. #96: Dude, I totally don’t drink since I became a Mormon, but I will totally buy you a beer for that comment.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 8:39 am - January 30, 2007

  101. And in case the comment numbers get inexplicably shuffled, my previous comment refers to TGC’s eviscerating list of unforgiveable acts of the defeatist left.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 8:40 am - January 30, 2007

  102. Based on the intelligence reports at the time, the shrilly left was sure that Saddam had WMD´s. He probably did. Thwe fact that none were found doesn´t necessarily mean they didn´t exist. There is the likelihood that they have been dismantled and/or trucked out of the country to Syria, Russia, or China.

    Comment by Roberto — January 30, 2007 @ 10:26 am - January 30, 2007

  103. Roberto, the left is kind of dumb. They don’t realize that a weapon capable of killing millions (a WMD) can fit in the back of a pick-up truck. Because lefties base their reality on Hollywood, they need to see a secret laboratory with stacks of crates stenciled “WMD” and big ticking bombs with red LED readouts on the sides before they’ll believe in WMD.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 10:50 am - January 30, 2007

  104. Gotcha, Tano.

    I figured posting that particular story from the BBC would lead you to that deceptive statement about the al-Samouds — while ignoring the following paragraph:

    But he said such co-operation could not be described as “immediate compliance” – as required by Resolution 1441, passed late last year by the Security Council.

    In other words, game over. Saddam had his chance, and he blew it. Your lies and attempts to argue that he was cooperating have just been bitch-slapped out of existence by the UN inspectors themselves.

    Furthermore, I notice you studiously ignored the proof that Saddam was actively bribing both the UN diplomats overseeing him AND the members of the Security Council he expected to stop any actions against him. You and yours insist that Dick Cheney is unfit to lead the country in any capacity because he used to work for Halliburton, but insist that UN officials and governments who are being actively bribed to ignore someone can exercise oversight over that person without being compromised.

    And then I particularly loved your attempt to minimize Saddam’s brutality by whining this:

    So yes, he was a horrible, muderous evil dictator, but no, he was not going around murdering MILLIONS on a day to day basis.

    Please notice specifically what I said:

    So, bluntly, Tano, say this: “I value peace more than the lives of the millions of Iraqis who were being and would continue to be systematically starved, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered with Saddam continuing in power.”

    Take responsibility for your “peace”, leftist. Stop trying to minimize what Saddam did and say that you valued peace more than removing someone who you yourself admit is one of the worst, repeat WORST, dictators of our time.

    And then I particularly loved the irony of this:

    Now go read that George Bush link in the comment just above.
    Here you have proof, from your Dear Leader himself, which completely contradicts your statement, and demonstrates how these liberal organizations are relied upon, yes- by George himself, to track what our enemies are doing.

    Actually, what you’re missing, Tano, is that the Bush administration is ironically quoting statistics that make it clear that committing murder, genocide, torture, imprisonment, and brutality on a massive scale — from an organization that is trying to block, sabotage, and prevent Saddam’s removal.

    In short, explain why leftist groups like HRW acknowledge the brutality of such people as Saddam but demand that he be allowed to continue — while continually criticizing and berating the United States, regardless of what we do.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 30, 2007 @ 12:25 pm - January 30, 2007

  105. Roberto,

    For a moment there, I thought maybe you would be the one person to at least raise a halfway legitimate point in defense of the war – the ol’ “everybody admitted he was a threat” line.

    Not that that point really goes anywhere. Nowhere have I argued that forcing Saddam to accept inspectors in order to calm the fears of the rest of the world, was a bad idea. I just argued that the inspectors should have been allowed to continue their work until they reached a final conclusion – and of course the conclusion they would have reached would have been the same that our military inspectors eventually did – that there was no WMD threat there at all.

    But then you go ruin your point by basically making the argument that finding no weapons is not a reason to abandon your belief that there were, in fact, weapons there.

    This is kinda nutty on so many levels.

    First of all, just in a general sense, it obviously is an example of someone who is completely resistent to the idea of using real world evidence as a criterion for deciding whether to believe something or not. If you start down that road, there really is no end except the loony bin. Its one thing to believe something on the basis of no real evidence, just circumstansial evidence. So long as it is just a provisional belief, thats ok. You then commit to finding out if your provisional belief is true. Thats what the inspections were all about. But to continue holding on to a belief when the evidence rules out that belief – well thats just nuts. Kinda shows you to be the type of person who can be made to believe anything, and thus easily manipulated. Believe me, the politicians, of all stripes, just love people like you.

    And of course this attitude also undermines the whole “going to the UN and sending in inspectors” exercise that Bush used to assure us that there were good reasons for his war. This was one of my points – that the whole exercise was a fraud. If your thinking is reflective of Bush’s thinking, then how can you conclude anything other than that the whole exercise was a fraud?
    If he tells us that inspectors are going in to determine whether there are weapons, but he then concludes that there are weapons – no matter whether the inspectors find any or not – then what is the point? Other than to lie to the public and make them believe that the war is something other than it was – an effort that he had long ago decided that he would pursue no matter what the reality on the ground actually was.

    Gee, maybe they got moved to Syria. Lets send some inspectors in there to find out. And if they find nothing, then what the hell, lets invade them too, cuz the weapons might have been moved to Iran. Then we can send inspectors in there too.

    Of course, V the K drives the point to its logical conclusion. WMD should be assumed to exist because there really is no way of determining whether they exist or not. Thus you have the perfect argument. All you need say is ‘WMD” and the argument is over. No need for any connection to reality. No reason for any evidence. The perfect mindless little sheep, ready to be led by the nose into any war, or any other situation by the powers that be. Compliant, non-thinking, fully accepting. Pathetic.

    As I tried to say with my remarks about the lack of seriousness and responsiblity on the right – at some point you people need to reconnect with the real world. You are playing with peoples lives here.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 12:42 pm - January 30, 2007

  106. People have been looking for Natalee Holloway on Aruba (a much smaller place than Iraq) for over a year now, and haven’t found a trace of her. By left wing logic, Natalee Holloway never existed.

    Lefties seem to be afllicted with short term memory disorders. The consensus in 2002-03 was that Saddam had WMD, which he had used on prior occasions to kill large numbers of people. (Just as there were photos of Natalee Holloway before she went to Aruba.) The “serious” left has to pretend that this did not happen in order to deny the possibility that Saddam still had, or was seeking to have, WMD as of 2002-03.

    Furthermore, Saddam was acting as though he had WMD and refusing to comply with the inspection regime. These are germane facts that the left, supposedly claiming to be serious and “reality-based” consistently distorts, the latest distortion being that Bush kicked the inspectors out. And as for the bribes to the UN from the Oil-for-Palaces program, the left ignores them entirely, while still claiming to be “serious.”

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 1:13 pm - January 30, 2007

  107. #88 John, thanks for the information. I will be looking forward to watching it!

    I think you may be right re. Free To Choose. I remember he used the example of a pencil and discussed all that went into its design, manufacture, packing, distribution, selling, etc. Is that the one?

    A good show I recently saw on PBS is MT’s production of Jane Eyre. I normally don’t go for costume dramas, but this one was pretty good. And the guy who played Rochester is kinda hot.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 1:20 pm - January 30, 2007

  108. But, having said that, Saddam had to go for a lot of reasons besides WMD, among them, his human rights violations. There’s a lot of other people who should be taken out … Mugabe, Chavez, and Castro to name a few … but none of them are in defiance of 14 UN Security Council Resolutions, and Saddam was.

    And, of course, each of those tyrants enjoys solid support from the anti-war left, despite the left’s self-proclaimed support for ‘human rights.’

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 1:21 pm - January 30, 2007

  109. TGC,

    I guess we can call that a flame out. When all that is left is a bunch of disconnected delusional paranoid rantings, then I guess it fair to say that you have reached the end of your ability to form a coherent thought. Reaching that kind of a dead end should really give you pause, because there is nothing ahead of you but the cliff.

    Time to step back, take a deep breath, turn off the radio, and go out and talk to some real people, and try to get reconnected to the real world. Hopefully they havent trained you so well in hating your fellow citizens that you are now impervious to reason. I’ll be rooting for ya.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 1:22 pm - January 30, 2007

  110. V the k,

    Man, you just cant help yourself making sh*t up, can you? Show me one “leftist” that supports Mugabe? And Chavez? He has, sad to say, the support of a large majority of the people. He has won many elections over the past decade, and even his opposition, hating him from their guts as they do, accept that the majority is with him. So, do you believe in democracy or not? Personally, I dont like Chavez. There are some things that he is doing which are good – not the least of which is bringing to the vast masses of poor people a sense that their concerns are a legitimate topic for a government to address. Whether he actually does anything real for them is another question, but he is setting himself up to be judged by the people for his performanace, and giving them a sense of their stake in the country, and that is probably a very good thing for the long run. But beyond that, he is obviously a self-aggrandizing blowhard who seems inevitably to be pushing his own power way over any acceptable limit.
    But for now he has the support of the people, and, as a believer in democracy, I think there is nothing for us to do about that.

    Or do you think that it is up to you to decide the future of Venezuela? (see, this is what I was talking about in terms of the intoxication with great power).

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 1:38 pm - January 30, 2007

  111. Tano-

    Answer the phone, Mr. Pot. Kettle is calling.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — January 30, 2007 @ 1:38 pm - January 30, 2007

  112. HardHobbit,

    Sorry I kinda lost track of our conversation as GP tried to get us back on track.

    Doncha just think the irony is delicious, that PBS, that government subsidized network, is putting on a series about Mr. Free Markets?

    Why cant Mr Free Market make it in the free market? Dont you think an extended series on the life of an economist, or an extended explanation of economic theory is just an ideal topic for a commerical network? They must have been lining up to be able to put this series on!

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 1:44 pm - January 30, 2007

  113. When you’re done making apologies for a left-wing dictator whose invoking the power to rule by decree, imprisoning his political opponents, and taking over all media outlets to ensure no criticism of his regime (in short, really doing the things the left claims Bush is doing), then maybe you can show for me the leftist anti-Mugabe demonstrations.

    As someone once said, a leftist is someone who doesn’t care if a tyrant has his boot on someone’s neck, so long as the victim is entitled to state provided health care and literacy.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 1:49 pm - January 30, 2007

  114. Man, you just cant help yourself making sh*t up, can you? Show me one “leftist” that supports Mugabe? And Chavez?

    Go to http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10704025/ , and you’ll have your answer.

    We won’t even get into Jimmy Carter.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 30, 2007 @ 2:01 pm - January 30, 2007

  115. #112 – There is a saying among associates of Fidel Castro, “Fidel only praises you when you’re dead.” I think it applies here, Tano. The left-liberals at PBS feel safe in talking about Friedman, now that he’s dead. Meanwhile, private opinion agents talk about current events and the living.

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 2:04 pm - January 30, 2007

  116. #114: I thought of that. Cynthia McKinney is also a major Mugabe supporter. International ANSWER also supports Mugabe. NYC Democrat Councilman Charles Barron is a Mugabe supporter. But I knew the goalposts would be moved from “one leftist” to “elected Democrat leader.”

    The key point is, while the left has demonstration after demonstration against western democracies like Israel and the US, Castro, Chavez, and Mugabe at best ignored and at worst openly praised.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 2:25 pm - January 30, 2007

  117. I think PBS is doing a thing on Friedman for the same reason 82 year old grandmas get screened at TSA or the ACLU files a brief in support of Rush Limbaugh; it’s only supposed to provide deniability. One program on Friedman is supposed to balance a thousand programs produced by Marxists.

    Comment by V the K — January 30, 2007 @ 2:28 pm - January 30, 2007

  118. i saw the friedman thing. It was good. I don’t think PBS is marxist. it’s mainly stuff about stars and animals, not politics

    Comment by lester — January 30, 2007 @ 3:01 pm - January 30, 2007

  119. lester, that is because I’m convinced you are an 11-year old girl. Now go back and do your homework.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — January 30, 2007 @ 3:28 pm - January 30, 2007

  120. Just to tie up the loose ends of a conversation that has ranged far, lets listen to the words of Milton Friedman on the subject of the Iraq War.

    “What’s really killed the Republican Party isn’t spending, it’s Iraq. As it happens, I was opposed to going into Iraq from the beginning. I think it was a mistake, for the simple reason that I do not believe the United States of America ought to be involved in aggression.”

    Since I am sure all of you believe that Uncle Miltie is in a good place now, looking down on all of us, perhaps you should moderate your language and your thinking somewhat when discussing those whose perspectives on the war are a bit different than yours.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 3:45 pm - January 30, 2007

  121. Tano,

    I was disappointed that you used me, then threw me away like a sock you found near your bed.

    Yes, the irony isn’t lost on me. However, is it ironic? We righties (including everyone in the commercial media — oops, I mean everyone in the commercial media except PBS) put into practice Friedman’s ideas every single day — and so do you. Your assertion that Mr. Free Markets cannot make it in the free market is utterly fatuous, but it does touch on an aspect of our culture and economy that needs to be discussed: that we take our economic freedom (such as it still exists) for granted because it is ostensibly self-evident. This is perhaps the subject of another thread, but the implication is that we who celebrate our freedom and attempt its defense are doing a horrible job of educating and reminding. God help us if we must leave this to PBS.

    My local PBS station makes a very big marketing deal of their “providing challenging programming”. Well, I’m sure for many in this particular audience, Friedman is very challenging. As for our local programming, V the K is quite correct. So much of it has a leftist, multi-cultural bent that airing one single, non-local program hardly makes it a bastion of balance. Even the local cooking show commentators can’t help themselves and take gratuitous political swipes.

    Would you be willing to subsidize Rush Limbaugh? No? Why not? Oh, yeah. The market has already decided that it likes him. So, as long as we keep PBS away from market forces, we’ll provide you with the argument that it can’t survive them, right? And as long as we continue to call the ADM, Ford, Cargill, Bose, Volvo, et al. commercials on PBS ‘public service announcements’ and ‘charitable donations’, we can all pretend PBS is advertisement-free, right? And as long as only the manufacturer makes a licensing profit from Tickle Me Elmo, we can pretend that PBS doesn’t really engage in the free market, right?

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 3:46 pm - January 30, 2007

  122. Oh, and if you want a link to that, and perhaps also an example of how two people can discuss their differences in a civil, even loving way (no, we dont have to go that far), here is the link to a WSJ oped.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 3:47 pm - January 30, 2007

  123. Tano,

    Be careful in your generalizations. Like Uncle Miltie, I too was/am against this war. Such actions are diametrically opposed to conservatism as I understand it. We call our branches of our military our National Defense for good reason.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 3:56 pm - January 30, 2007

  124. Well thank you for you honesty and courage HardHobbit.

    Now instead of warning me about making generalizations, doncha think it might be even more helpful for you to slap your fellow conservatives upside the head when they reflexivly and hatefully castigate all people who feel as we do that being against this war necessarily makes one ….blah blah blah a long list of explitives all equating to pure evil.

    What the hell is the attraction of this kind of shtick anyway? If Bush Derangement Syndrome is some kind of deep character flaw, then why is the just-as-virulent, and much-longer-lasting Liberal Derangement Syndrome any better?

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 4:05 pm - January 30, 2007

  125. Bruce -I like the mcGlaughlin group

    Comment by lester — January 30, 2007 @ 4:07 pm - January 30, 2007

  126. Calarato writes,

    “The left-liberals at PBS feel safe in talking about Friedman, now that he’s dead”

    Nice hypothesis. Unfortunatly the facts are that PBS first broadcast the “Free to Choose” series in 1980.

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 4:12 pm - January 30, 2007

  127. Hardhobbit – Now you have me curious: Would you have also been against the war with Germany in WW2?

    Some factors to keep in mind:

    - Germany did not attack us in WW2 – except for just a few commercial shippers that shouldn’t have been meddling on behalf of Britain to begin with. (Hardly greater provocation than Saddam’s shooting at our planes 1991-2003 and his attempt to assassinate Bush 41.)

    - Nor did Germany have any imminent capability or intention of attacking us (at the time the decision was made to go to war with them).

    - Germany did declare a legal state of war with us on December 11, 1941; but that was a mere formality, comparable to the legal state of war between Saddam and the world that still existed in 2003. (Leftover from Gulf War 1, which had never been concluded as far as the U.N. or international law were concerned.)

    - Nor was there any real knowledge, at the time, of the Germans massacring their own people, as we did know with Saddam.

    - Nor had the Germans violated 14 U.N. (or League of Nations) resolutions, as Saddam had.

    In many ways, the legal and moral case for Gulf War 2 was considerably stronger than the case for our war with Germany. For that reason – i.e., because the case for war with Germany was weak – some paleo-conservatives, known in the parlance of the day as “isolationists”, did indeed oppose our war with Germany (as unnecessary, non-defensive, etc.).

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 4:22 pm - January 30, 2007

  128. #125 – 27 years ago! LOL! :-) Tano, you are a piece of work!

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 4:23 pm - January 30, 2007

  129. Hey Calarato – thanks!

    How gracious of you to recognize and admit you were wrong. In fact, y’know, Friedman’s book, by the same name was derived from the PBS show! They were in cahoots, spreading this freemarket stuff just in time to help elect Reagan.
    Damn libruls, just look at what a mess they wrought….

    Comment by Tano — January 30, 2007 @ 4:27 pm - January 30, 2007

  130. I was not alive but would have been against the war against germany. we saved europe for stalin! thanks alot america they must have thought.

    Comment by lester — January 30, 2007 @ 6:00 pm - January 30, 2007

  131. #126 Calarato, the situation in Europe in the 1940s was very different from recent Iraq. Although Iraq attacked Kuwait, which we repelled, it wasn’t marching across the Middle East, swallowing every country in its wake (although I’ve no doubt Saddam would have tried had he thought he could). Desert Shield/Storm was entirely justified. However, Iraq at the time of this most recent war was being contained via sanctions (with mixed results) and no-fly zones, U.S. bases nearby and verbal threats. While I agree that Saddam was likely trying to acquire whatever weapons he could including WMDs, he had not (recently) invaded another country nor set up arms shipments or manufactures with his neighbors (that we were aware of and that would justify our invasion). We also had no hard evidence that WMDs had been acquired, meaning photographs, physical evidence, etc., one of the main premises of our invasion.

    Our entry into the European theater was one of defense of our allies and not an invasion into a single country, forcing it to adopt a form of government of our liking and one we presume everyone in Iraq except the Ba’athists want. Also, I disagree that we were unaware that the Nazis were mass murderers (although the exact extent was not known) and the U.S. is often damned for not entering WW2 sooner for this reason.

    There are many terrible regimes in the world, but we cannot right every wrong. Many would argue convincingly that Iran poses a far greater threat than Iraq ever did. When are we going to start the invasion? Human rights violations? Well, let’s invade China. Ignoring U.N. resolutions? Let’s start with Zimbabwe. Murdering its own people? Heck, we could have sent 10,000 troops into Rwanda/Burundi and probably saved at least 100,000 people within a 3-month period. Freeing enslaved people? If their freedom is the primary value, then why the hell are we subsidizing the North Korean regime with money, food shipments, and consumer products? It is estimated that 1,000,000 North Koreans starved to death last year (and don’t start telling me that gassing thousands Kurds is any worse — both are murder and both are the result of tyranny). Let’s just go ahead and invade and, well, if a couple million South Koreans die in the process, we have to break a few eggs to make an omelet. You see where this goes? Where does it stop? Once we accept the premise that a truly horrible regime (and I don’t deny Saddam was one of the worst) is our responsibility, then all military action against all of them is justified.

    I recall during the Republican National Convention of 2000 Condi Rice saying to the assembled throng to wild cheering that “…we are not the world’s 911!” I cheered, too, believing it to be true and taking her at her word. Now, because of 9/11, we are to take as a premise that any aggressive action done in the name of pre-emption is acceptable. I don’t agree.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 6:01 pm - January 30, 2007

  132. There are many terrible regimes in the world, but we cannot right every wrong.

    True, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t right any.

    Furthermore, HardHobbit, you miss one of the fundamental lessons of 9/11; because we allowed a totalitarian regime to exist and shelter terrorists, we lost three thousand lives.

    Back when transoceanic travel ranged from very slow to almost impossible and weapons were limited in destructive power, we had the relative luxury of allowing other countries to stew in their own juices; our natural defenses would keep troublemakers out, and what damage they could do was fairly nonexistent.

    However, as it stands, a terrorist could board a plane today and arrive in the United States in a matter of hours, carrying sufficient materials to build a weapon — or worse, the information and capability to build a weapon — able to kill thousands of people if correctly detonated in the right place at the right time.

    Condi Rice is correct when she states that we should not be the world’s 911 — that is, they should not rely on us to solve their problems for them. However, when they cannot solve their problems at all, and in the process they allow ideologies and people who hate us to flourish, we are foolish if we do not intervene. That can take several different forms, but one of them will always be, even if it’s only a threat, militarily.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 30, 2007 @ 6:49 pm - January 30, 2007

  133. I have no problem with anti american regimes. we are awesome . of course suck o governments are going to hate us. they still need our awesome movies and video games unless they want to die of boredom and out of it ness.

    anti war anti state pro market

    Comment by lester — January 30, 2007 @ 6:56 pm - January 30, 2007

  134. #128 – HardHobbit – on Dec 11, 1941, when we declared war on Germany (I think theirs was Dec. 10 – sorry for error),

    - Germany’s invasion of Russia was visibly bogging down.
    - Germany’s hopes of invading Britain had clearly been dashed, after Germany lost the air Battle of Britain twice, in the summers of 1940 and 1941.

    So no, I don’t think you can argue Germany was “marching across [Europe], swallowing every country in its wake” at that point in time. (The point when WE DECIDED to make war on them.)

    Also, to state that Saddam was being “contained” by sanctions – when, in fact, he had Russia, France and the UN on his payroll via Oil-for-Food, and was buying all kinds of munitions from them and Germany that he wasn’t supposed to have – simply does not comport with the facts.

    Next: That we had “no hard evidence that WMDs had been acquired” is irrelevant to the comparison I was making. If we had “no hard evidence that WMDs had been acquired” by Iraq, then, at the point in time when we made war on Germany, we REALLY had no evidence of Germany having WMD either, as such weapons were not yet in existence (except for mustard gas).

    You say,

    Our entry into the European theater was one of defense of our allies…

    How so? Again, by that point Britain was clearly going to survive – and they were the only yet-unconquered ally that we cared about, or had any sort of obligation to.

    Also, for Iraq, how NOT so? Saddam was a proven threat, having initiated war on no less than FOUR neighboring countries, three of them our allies. He subsidized all kinds of terrorism across the Middle East, including Palestinian terrorism which attacked our ally, Israel. Additionally, legally speaking, Gulf War 1 was still in effect because no peace arrangements had ever been reached for it; only cease-fire conditions which Saddam violated flagrantly, thus restoring or continuing war. The U.N. Security Council found that, basically, in the course of 14 resolutions over 12 years which Saddam continued to defy and violate. So: Had the Coalition not invaded to enforce those U.N. resolutions, the U.N. would have been fundamentally ineffective: in other words, our allies would have been unprotected from past, present and future aggression.

    There are many terrible regimes in the world, but we cannot right every wrong…

    Indeed we can’t. Iraq was one of the few exceptional cases.

    Iraq, again, unlike Iran, had previously initiated war on FOUR of its neighbors and had 14 outstanding U.N. resolutions against it, whose legal effect was to suspend Iraq’s sovereignty. None of that applies to Iran. I wonder – could that have made a difference to policymakers?

    Where does it stop? Once we accept the premise that a truly horrible regime (and I don’t deny Saddam was one of the worst) is our responsibility, then all military action against all of them is justified.

    But, I DO NOT accept any such premise that all the horrible regimes of the world are our responsibility.

    I think that (1) international law, and (2) our national interests, have to be closely involved in a way that both justifies and and necessitates
    ground invasion. With Iraq, they were. They aren’t with Iran or China – or at least, not yet. The day may come. But, to answer your question: we stop all the time, in the many cases when international law and national interest do not jointly justify and necessitate a ground invasion. OK?

    I recall during the Republican National Convention of 2000 Condi Rice saying to the assembled throng to wild cheering that “…we are not the world’s 911!”

    But then the 9-11 event happened – and changed a lot of us.

    Now, because of 9/11, we are to take as a premise that any aggressive action done in the name of pre-emption is acceptable. I don’t agree.

    I don’t either. And HardHobbit, you have just given a totally unfair – in fact, an intellectually dishonest – misrepresentation of Bush’s position, and/or mine.

    Now – Notice that I tried to answer your question, “Where does it stop?” But I don’t feel you’ve answered my question. Given that the reasons we had for war on Iraq were actually stronger than the reasons we had for war on Germany: would you have supported the war on Germany? You’ve sort-of implied “yes”, but I daren’t assume – and, your only real point of justification for the German war was something about “defending European allies”, which I was able to refute easily.

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 7:17 pm - January 30, 2007

  135. (P.S. Obviously, I do think the Second German War was justified. And the Iraq War, under very similar logic. Defending allies, defeating evil, and handling “gathering threats” BEFORE they can make further and greater attacks on us, all come into it and form a single coherent web of justification.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 7:28 pm - January 30, 2007

  136. (And both the Germans and Iraq did attack us as a harbinger of their future intentions: again, the Germans our merchant shipping; and Saddam, our fighter planes and the physical body of one of our Presidents.)

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 7:31 pm - January 30, 2007

  137. #130 Hello, NorthDallasThirty. I agree that we should do what we must to solve problems, here and elsewhere. However, what we can and what we must aren’t the same. We can invade many countries and we would undoubtedly be successful in some of them (depending upon how many we invade at once, hardware, the weather, who our Commander-In-Chief is, etc.) but must we? Should we? What is to be our standard?

    When discussing the Taliban, I agree with you. What is most tragic about 9/11 (and no, this lesson isn’t lost on me) is that we knew we were targets. Bush #41 was aware of it. Clinton was very aware of it and I believe he even made statements to the effect that we needed to address it. (He now says ‘he tried’, but was rebuffed by members of congress and his own staff. This is perfect fodder for the Giuliani campaign due to the previous two WTC attacks, by the way.) There was simply no excuse to allow the Taliban to fester, particularly when bin Laden and others issued statements (written and recorded) that clearly stated its intentions (not to mention what was already a long record of death, destruction, and financial/arms dealing). I also think this was a wake-up call to domestic security, another of our big, big failings of 9/11.

    The crucial difference is that Iraq (a state rather than a sect) was largely contained and was not led by a religious fanatic bent on destroying the west. In fact, Saddam hated religious fanatacism and had such people put to death. We had already defeated Iraq. Does that mean that Iraq was free of terrorists? Of course not. However, our (and coalition) presence in the Gulf region kept him monitored and he knew we were ready to strike if he tried to once again seize a neighbor. (And let me state for the record that I absolutely oppose the ‘No Blood For Oil’ stance of so many war protestors. I think holding much of the world’s oil supply hostage is a perfect premise for attack, as it is in our interest to maintain the free flow of oil.) Saddam also provided something of a pendant to Iran, providing an enemy to a state that truly had/has designs on domination. Cynical, aren’t I?

    I agree with you that the nature of this battle is an entirely different one. Not only has travel (not to mention a terrible immigration policy, terrible police policies such as no profiling, etc.) made the prospect of terrorism that much more immediate, but the nature of the weapons themselves has made the threat ever more terrible. Nonetheless, we need to address threats when they are real, meaning when we can establish that certain, specific people intend (not wish or hope or talk about, but intend) to do us harm. There are lots of bad men in the world who, for many reasons, would love to see us destroyed or at least get our come-uppance. Some are French. We need to take each threat on its own merits and carefully weigh whether we have enough evidence to take a military action. I’m not anti-war and I’m certainly aware that pacifism is the easiest position to take when one is safely behind the castle walls.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 7:59 pm - January 30, 2007

  138. The crucial difference is that Iraq (a state rather than a sect) was largely contained and was not led by a religious fanatic bent on destroying the west.

    An empirical claim and, as it happens, largely false.

    Saddam was not contained; had made his peace with several Islamist terrorist groups (including arrangements of mutual non-aggression, some training and some financing); was in a process of Islamizing himself and Iraq, more than most liberals want to admit; and, while admittedly not a cleric or theocrat, had a deep hatred and resentment of the West, including a fanatic desire to defeat it and expand his own power.

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 8:18 pm - January 30, 2007

  139. …when we can establish that certain, specific people intend (not wish or hope or talk about, but intend) to do us harm…

    HardHobbit, just curious: what would you accept as evidence of such intentions?

    Because of the U.N. resolutions, Saddam knew that, if he announced attack plans, it would only get him into trouble. So instead of saying anything, Saddam just quietly “did stuff”:
    - Attacking our planes in the no-fly zone.
    - Trying to assassinate Bush 41.
    - Assisting the first WTC bombing, in 1993.
    - Assisting Palestinian terrorism.
    - Trying to build long-range missiles (for carrying future WMD), as found by the Duelfer group.
    - Continuing his research programs in nuclear, chem and bio weapons.
    - Having Baghdad host a large conference each year of Islamist terrorist groups.
    - Having Baghdad as “the place to be” when key terrorists need medical care.
    - Training some terrorists to hijack airlines at his Salman Pak facility.
    - Harboring al Qaeda fighters who fled Afghanistan after their crushing defeat there in October 2001.

    Is that really not enough to substitute for open announcement of attack plans?

    Meanwhile, we have some leftists (not at all you, HardHobbit – I understand) who can’t even accept openly announced attack plans as sufficient evidence, from Ahmadinejad.

    Comment by Calarato — January 30, 2007 @ 8:59 pm - January 30, 2007

  140. #132 Calarato, actually, Germany was trying to acquire (develop) the atom bomb, but that’s a minor historical detail. You are correct that it hadn’t at the time (and in fact wasn’t going to), but I wasn’t mentioning WMDs as a point of comparison — I was mentioning it because it was one of the primary reasons we invaded.

    I was not attempting a point-by-point refutation, but merely stating why I think the comparison isn’t valid. While you are factually correct in stating that Germany was not successful in all its attempts to conquer, it intended (meaning was actually trying, meaning actually had armaments dedicated) to conquer Russia (and Finland and Britain, etc.). So, though you’re argumentative style is to point to details and cry “You’re wrong, see, see???”, I think my statement serves my purpose well, as it describes what the Nazis were in the process of attempting. If you read what I wrote, you’ll find I haven’t argued that an attempt to take over another country is no premise for our involvement.

    You misquote me. I didn’t write “…all the horrible regimes of the world are our responsibility…” While I agree that they aren’t, you accuse me of an argument I didn’t make. Reread what I wrote. OK?

    Do you really think the United Nations resolutions that Saddam was ignoring really matter? Moreover, do you think the United Nations really matters? Saddam didn’t. Of course he ignored them. He recognized an impotent organization full of apologists when he saw it, as should we. That he couldn’t have cared less about it isn’t any kind of justification for our invasion because the U.N. has no teeth. Are you arguing that we are the U.N.’s teeth? I do not accept that premise to invade in the slightest, however much I may agree with this or that series of resolutions.

    Re. sanctions, I stated that they had mixed results. Yes, the oil-for-food scandal happened and isn’t too surprising, but you seem to suggest that the sanctions had no effect whatsoever. Saddam did what he could to get around them, which isn’t too surprising, which implies they were having at least some effect. His economy was in terrible shape, hospitals were without medicine, food was scarce (hence oil-for-food, and oil-for-other-things), infrastructure was falling apart, and on and on. Now, this was undoubtedly not entirely due to sanctions, but they certainly had some effect, as Saddam’s efforts to get around them (as well as reports from probably sympathetic foreign journalists) demonstrate. I never stated that the sanctions alone contained Saddam. For your benefit, here’s what I wrote:

    “However, Iraq at the time of this most recent war was being contained via sanctions (with mixed results) and no-fly zones, U.S. bases nearby and verbal threats.”

    Did I write “Sanctions contained Saddam’s regime.”? When I use the word ‘contain’, I don’t include every single exception such as “…except all those times he flew planes into the no-fly zones, trying to shoot ours down…” I assume that you know there are exceptions and that you understand I’m using the term generally, meaning that I’m comparing this state of containment to when Iraq wasn’t contained, meaning free to attack his neighbors. Make sense?

    As for your charge of intellectual dishonesty, I have been told again and again by this war’s defenders that we had to stop Saddam (and by extension, Iraq — I assume this means anyone who would take Saddam’s place were he removed) before he became too strong, that he was harboring terrorists and a conduit for terror, and that he was a threat to U.S. security. I don’t claim that you have made those statements, nor do I claim that there isn’t any merit in any of them to varying degrees. However, here is what I wrote:

    “Now, because of 9/11, we are to take as a premise that any aggressive action done in the name of pre-emption is acceptable. I don’t agree.”

    What I mean is that as long as we can justify an attack (or invasion or occupation or whatever you like) because we are preventing an attack on ourselves, our attack is justified. None of us want 9/11 to happen again, and so we are searching for the possibility of another such attack, as we should. But instead of playing defense and deterrence, we are now playing a kind of offense — a pro-active, pre-emptive strategy that attempts to attack those we think are threatening us. Ever read about the Spanish-American War? Though Iraq is hardly Spain (and I’m not saying the two wars are the same, so don’t misrepresent me), the jingoistic, rah-rah kind of defense of this war strikes me as awfully similar.

    You are welcome to attempt to make the case that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the U.S. (to my mind, the only intellectually honest defense for any war in which we wage), but I doubt you’ll be able to convince me. However, if you try, I promise to thoroughly read what you write, not misrepresent your arguments, and recognize when you’re writing in generalities. I do try to be constructive.

    P.S. Sorry, almost forgot to anwer your question. You are correct to conclude that I would have supported our entry into WW2 in Europe, just as we fought Iraq when Saddam attacked Kuwait.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 9:10 pm - January 30, 2007

  141. Calarato, point of clarification:

    In para. 1, I state:

    “I was mentioning it because it was one of the primary reasons we invaded.”

    Here, I mean Iraq, not Germany.

    For clarification, you state in #137:

    “Meanwhile, we have some leftists (not at all you, HardHobbit – I understand)…”

    Let me make it clear that though I had strong misgivings about the war prior to invasion and am now convinced it was a bad move, I AM NOT A LEFTIST. I’m making this clear to Calarato or to anyone who may be reading this post who is not being familiar with my other rants. (“…some leftists…” might imply that while you understand that I am not among these some leftists, I may still be a leftist. I am not among any leftists, some or otherwise.)

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 9:34 pm - January 30, 2007

  142. Let me also clarify that now that our military is deployed in Iraq, I only want them to succeed, to come home safe and sound, and for the Iraqi people to succeed in rebuilding their country. I would think this statement unnecessary, but I’m conversing with Calarato.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 30, 2007 @ 9:57 pm - January 30, 2007

  143. The crucial difference is that Iraq (a state rather than a sect) was largely contained and was not led by a religious fanatic bent on destroying the west. In fact, Saddam hated religious fanatacism and had such people put to death.

    Only if they were Shi’ite, such as the first al-Sadr.

    During the period he was under sanctions, Saddam Hussein actively cultivated Islamic fanaticism among Sunnis. He built numerous mosques, imposed stricter Islamic-based law (such as making homosexuality a capital crime), and tried to cloak himself as Islam’s holy warrior.

    Why is this important? Two guesses what al-Qaeda’s branch of Islam is.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — January 30, 2007 @ 11:12 pm - January 30, 2007

  144. #109

    I guess we can call that a flame out. When all that is left is a bunch of disconnected delusional paranoid rantings, then I guess it fair to say that you have reached the end of your ability to form a coherent thought. Reaching that kind of a dead end should really give you pause, because there is nothing ahead of you but the cliff.

    Time to step back, take a deep breath, turn off the radio, and go out and talk to some real people, and try to get reconnected to the real world. Hopefully they havent trained you so well in hating your fellow citizens that you are now impervious to reason. I’ll be rooting for ya.

    Thank you. I know I’m right.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 31, 2007 @ 2:34 am - January 31, 2007

  145. I guess we can call that a flame out. When all that is left is a bunch of disconnected delusional paranoid rantings, then I guess it fair to say that you have reached the end of your ability to form a coherent thought. Reaching that kind of a dead end should really give you pause, because there is nothing ahead of you but the cliff.

    Time to step back, take a deep breath, turn off the radio, and go out and talk to some real people, and try to get reconnected to the real world. Hopefully they havent trained you so well in hating your fellow citizens that you are now impervious to reason. I’ll be rooting for ya.

    I know I’m right. Thanks anyway.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — January 31, 2007 @ 2:35 am - January 31, 2007

  146. HardHobbit – Get a grip.

    Not only are you still evading my basic point – that our reasons for going to war with Germany were, in fact, comparable to (and perhaps slightly weaker than) our reasons for Iraq, making it questionable to support one and not the other – but now you’re accusing me of statements and so-called “misquotes” I never made. Deep breath and retract the fangs, OK?

    As before, I will continue to stay away from making any “reading comprehension” cracks about you.

    Do you really think the United Nations resolutions that Saddam was ignoring really matter?

    Indeed I do. Newsflash: Their existence, plus the actual offenses documented in them, are why we went to war.

    Moreover, do you think the United Nations really matters?

    Yes.

    Are you arguing that we are the U.N.’s teeth?

    As an empirical matter: we were, in Iraq’s case. (If, by “we”, you mean the international Coalition that invaded Iraq.)

    Re: sanctions, I understood and quoted you accurately. You were asserting that Saddam was more-or-less contained; you implied in #129 – and spelled out, in #139 – that if Saddam clearly were not being “contained”, then you could have felt differently about the war. Newsflash: Saddam wasn’t contained. Kindly drop the layered, weaselly qualifiers.

    I have been told again and again by this war’s defenders that we had to stop Saddam… before he became too strong, that he was harboring terrorists and a conduit for terror, and that he was a threat to U.S. security. I don’t claim that you have made those statements…

    Oh, but why not? I certainly have! They’re the truth.

    Now, here is what else you wrote:

    Now, because of 9/11, [under consequent doctrine that led to the Iraq war] we are to [wrongly and unacceptably] take as a premise that any aggressive action done in the name of pre-emption is acceptable.

    Again, HardHobbit: To suggest that Bush’s basic position or doctrine is that “any aggressive action done in the name of pre-emption is acceptable”, as you have done, is absolutely dishonest. Shame on you.

    …I promise to thoroughly read what you write, not misrepresent your arguments, and recognize when you’re writing in generalities…

    But HardHobbit: you have not.

    Comment by Calarato — January 31, 2007 @ 2:53 am - January 31, 2007

  147. And on that disappointed note, I have to warn you that I’m done with this discussion; time to move on to other things.

    Comment by Calarato — January 31, 2007 @ 2:55 am - January 31, 2007

  148. Tano, you sure know how to shovel the s**t with myopic enthusiam
    that afflicts most leftists. I don´t have time to refute your comments point by point. I have three business that occupy most of my time. I don´t have the luxury of time to write tomes to make my points. V the K´s analogy of Natalee Holloway in comment 106 is perfect.

    Comment by Roberto — January 31, 2007 @ 9:52 am - January 31, 2007

  149. Calarato,

    I’m wasting my time with you, but for the benefit of others who are reading this:

    Paragraph 8 of #132:

    “But, I DO NOT accept any such premise that all the horrible regimes of the world are our responsibility.”

    I never made the claim that you do accept such a premise. You didn’t read what I wrote carefully enough to logically make that refutation, but that didn’t stop you, did it? I never wrote that “…all regimes of the world are our reponsibility…” in describing your position. Again, reread what I actually wrote.

    Calarato, you haven’t made the case that Iraq posed in imminent threat to the U.S. No one is arguing that Saddam’s regime wasn’t a terrible one and that it isn’t a good thing he’s gone. We were discussing whether our invasion was justified and a good idea.

    And for the sake of brevity, I will once more make the case that Iraq at the time of this last invasion was contained, meaning not in occupation of another country. Although I don’t think Germany in the 1930s/40s is a valid comparison, Germany was in occupation of many other countries. Desert Storm was justified because Iraq was an aggressor. This time, we are an aggressor, based on flimsy and, it just so happens, false evidence.

    You have real problems with my conclusion that we are now engaging in pre-emptive war and that any action under the aegis of pre-emption is now justified. Shame on me? One of the constant justifications for this war (war on terror and not just with Iraq) is that we must pre-empt anyone we think (because having physical proof certainly isn’t the standard, is it?) might attack us. I don’t agree with that premise.

    You leave with the statement that I haven’t read everything you wrote, I misrepresent your arguments, and that I don’t recognize when you write in generalities. Actually, I have done all of those things. I in fact do read all of your responses to my posts, have never taken something you wrote and twisted it (or misread it and then twisted it), and I assume that you (and that we) are writing in generalities.

    Calarato, this is a blog. We are posting our thoughts and opinions here, not writing term papers. Case in point: You make an awfully big deal of my statement that the Nazis were swallowing every country in their wake, pointing out that they never actually conquered Russia. Well, you are factually correct. They certainly tried, but they didn’t succeed. Congratulations, you win on what, in the overall scope of what we’re discussing, is a very minor detail and is utterly beside the point. I should have stated “the Nazis attempted to swallow every country in their wake” instead. Ah, well. I assumed that you know that it’s impossible to have a constructive conversation with someone who demands that every possible exception to every statement be accounted for, else that exception will be used against the person who didn’t account for it. I’m surprised you haven’t corrected my spelling and grammar.

    Comment by HardHobbit — January 31, 2007 @ 10:27 am - January 31, 2007

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