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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. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. #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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Tano-

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

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. #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

  16. #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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. 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

  25. Bruce -I like the mcGlaughlin group

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

  26. 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

  27. 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

  28. #125 – 27 years ago! LOL! 🙂 Tano, you are a piece of work!

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

  29. 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

  30. 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

  31. #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

  32. 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

  33. 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

  34. #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

  35. (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

  36. (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

  37. #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

  38. 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

  39. …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

  40. #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

  41. 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

  42. 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

  43. 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

  44. #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

  45. 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

  46. 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

  47. 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

  48. 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

  49. 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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