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  1. It will be interesting to see if the Left and their media allies focus on what the pro-Bush protestors have to say and demand that Camp Casey answer their questions. You know, to set the noble example and highlight what the’ve been bitching about for weeks now.

    Yeah. That’ll happen.

    Comment by VinceTN — August 28, 2005 @ 11:27 am - August 28, 2005

  2. Wow, Bruce. You say “the influx of Bush supporters rsults in over 8,500 people in Crawford.” Wonder how many of them there were on the Pro-War side? Any numbers on that?

    Comment by Reader — August 28, 2005 @ 11:46 am - August 28, 2005

  3. Like it’s been said: Fred Phelps and Cindy Sheehan are looney. But as looney as they are, the often help put matters in better relief.

    For example, Chuck Hagel backed up his assertion that we are bogged down in a new Vietnam with an irrefutable litany of failure: “more dead, more wounded, less electricity in Iraq, less oil being pumped in Iraq, more insurgency attacks, more insurgents coming across the border, more corruption in the government.”

    Mr. Kissinger no doubt counts himself a firm supporter of Mr. Bush, but in Washington Post this month, he drew a damning lesson from Vietnam: “Military success is difficult to sustain unless buttressed by domestic support.” Anyone who can read a poll knows that support is gone and is not coming back. The president’s approval rating dropped to 36 percent in one survey last week.

    Hagel’s conclusion: “We should start figuring out how we get out of there.”

    He doesn’t say how we might do that. John McCain has talked about sending more troops to rectify our disastrous failure to secure the country, but he’ll have to round them up himself door to door.

    As the retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey reported to the Senate, the National Guard is “in the stage of meltdown and in 24 months we’ll be coming apart.”

    At the Army, according to The Los Angeles Times, officials are now predicting an even worse shortfall of recruits in 2006 than in 2005.

    Now, maybe, just maybe, loonies help us see beyond our jingoism and arrogance. Even if GWB cannot or will not see the handwritting on the proverbial wall, the American people have. And first among them are not the looney-left or religious fanatics, but well-known Republicans.

    Many thanks to the MSM for reporting the facts, not spueing ideology.

    Comment by Stephen — August 28, 2005 @ 11:49 am - August 28, 2005

  4. Chuck Hagel and John McCain are as much a media whores as Mother Moonbat, so are not to be taken seriously.

    So, Stephen, suppose we take your advice, surrender to the terrorists and pull out of Iraq right now. What do you think will happen then? Will the terrorists then allow the people of Iraq to move freely to a government of their own choosing? After we show them that we’re pussies and can be frightened into retreat if they bomb and kill us enough, is that going to convince them to stop attacking us, or will it encourage them to attack us more? And once the terrorists no longer have to devote resources to attacking our military in Iraq, will they lay down their arms and go back to herding goats, or is it just possible that they will be freed up to pursue more 9-11 style attacks on us in the United States?

    Comment by V the K — August 28, 2005 @ 1:51 pm - August 28, 2005

  5. Remember when democrats said things like this:

    Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty. – John F. Kennedy’s Inaurgural Address

    Makes you want to weep, doesn’t it?

    Comment by V the K — August 28, 2005 @ 2:32 pm - August 28, 2005

  6. Disclaimer: Technically, I can’t remember that since it was before I was born, and democrats have never been like that in my lifetime. But, you get the idea.

    Comment by V the K — August 28, 2005 @ 2:34 pm - August 28, 2005

  7. And GWB is not a media whore? Give us a break.

    Let’s take VtheK’s hypothesis, and the U.S. withdraws from Iraq.

    At best, the people will care, many more than the 3,000 soldiers presently able will rise to defend their U.S.-gained freedoms and democracy, and the 1800+ dead and 12,000 maimed won’t have died in vain. (Stop laughing, this is YOUR hypothesis).

    The likely: At best, what we’ve got now, with less (or no more) U.S. dead and maimed. Or even more likely civil war. Or yet as likely another despot. The “likely” is likely no matter what the U.S. does or for how long the U.S does it. Hasn’t that sunk in yet? We cannot export freedom and democracy; the Iraqi people, like all other people, have to earn it. If they don’t care, why should we? Oh yes, they had the courage to go out and vote, but they don’t have the courage to take up arms and fight. How many more of U.S. dead personnel will it take before you get the idea that it does not matter to Iraqis what the U.S. does, or how long and often the U.S. does it, because the Iraqi people and their mullahs ultimately don’t care. Unless and until the Iraqis give a damn, we’re wasting our precious resources on a people that would rather quarrel than have freedom. As long as they can pray to Allah, fuck their chattel, and kill infidels they are forever happy. Do you think anyone can change that? Wake up with the rest of America. This whole endeavor was grossly oversold for reasons that made no logistical, let alone common, sense. Sometimes a sinner must repent, and the U.S. has sinned by invading a non-aggressive soveriegn nation for no appreciable reason that anyone can muster. Iraqis are going to their heaven while American service people are going to their graves. And for what? A people who don’t give a damn? No thanks. Bring the soldiers home!

    Comment by Stephen — August 28, 2005 @ 2:41 pm - August 28, 2005

  8. Ah yes! America: A Bunch of Losers. Thanks, Stephen for reminding us.

    Comment by njz — August 28, 2005 @ 2:42 pm - August 28, 2005

  9. I see Stephen takes his cues from Kos. “The Iraqi people… screw ‘em!”

    Comment by V the K — August 28, 2005 @ 3:04 pm - August 28, 2005

  10. Ugh. How utterly treacherous some of these comments and posters are. It’s really hard to believe that so-called “Americans” who clearly hate their own country, their own countrymen, their own soliders, and their own leaders so much would even want to remain here. Clearly, they’d rather stay and try to destroy it from within than leave and pursue of their own happiness elsewhere. I’m sure there’s a clinical name for this particular pathology but I’m not a psychologist so I can speak to what it is. I simply refer to it as treason.

    Anyhow, thanks VTK for posting that quote from JFK. I think this country needs to be reminded that Democrats weren’t always the sniveling, spineless self-hating jellyfish they’ve morphed into in the last decade. (Liberals, yes…but the Democrat Party as a whole, no.) Unfortunately, Democrats are no longer willing to do any of those things, which is among the many reasons they keep losing national elections.

    On that point, I believe our nation is now at a critical internal crossroads. It’s simply become a contest between the Weak vs. the Strong. Thankfully, the Strong will always be strong and the Weak will forever be weak. And when push comes to shove at home – which I’m confident it will – only the Strong will survive. As for what happens to the Weak, I don’t know and at this point I really don’t care. But whatever their ultimate fate, they’ve brought it entirely upon themselves.

    Comment by glisteny — August 28, 2005 @ 3:10 pm - August 28, 2005

  11. Stephen-

    Give me a number.

    How many Iraqis need to literally take up arms and fight for their freedom before you will deign to grant your blessing to their freedom?

    Comment by Clint — August 28, 2005 @ 5:24 pm - August 28, 2005

  12. It the goal is “their freedom,” however many it takes for them to win “their freedom.” Remember, Cindy Sheehan’s son died when Iraqis abandoned their posts in the face of a militia that is now working with Chalabi.

    We’ve heard the rationale for why US chicken hawks don’t need to serve to help Iraqis win “their freedom”. Does the same go for expat Middle Easterners?

    Comment by anon — August 28, 2005 @ 5:55 pm - August 28, 2005

  13. Unless and until the Iraqis give a damn, we’re wasting our precious resources on a people that would rather quarrel than have freedom. As long as they can pray to Allah, fuck their chattel, and kill infidels they are forever happy.

    I think that statement stands on its own as an expression of the antiwar left’s values.

    Using the same logic, we are “wasting our precious resources” in our inner cities, since all African-Americans want to do is quarrel; as long as they can blast their music, fuck their “bitches” and “ho”s, and kill people who “diss” them, they are forever happy.

    That isn’t a correct statement about African-Americans; Stephen’s is not one about Iraqis.

    Sometimes a sinner must repent, and the U.S. has sinned by invading a non-aggressive soveriegn nation for no appreciable reason that anyone can muster.

    That statement stands on its own (emphasis mine) as a statement of the antiwar left’s grip on reality. The “non-aggressive” regime to which they refer was under the harshest diplomatic sanctions, surrounded by thousands of US troops, patrolled by coalition warplanes, and supposed to be subjected to complete and open inspection of all of its governmental facilities — precisely because of its aggressions.

    My response to Hagel and Stephen is the same; as soon as you are honestly able to describe conditions under Saddam’s Iraq, you may start drawing comparisons between then and now.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 28, 2005 @ 8:21 pm - August 28, 2005

  14. Just to be clear on my “how many” question…

    At present there are around 150,000 Iraqis in the newly trained Iraqi Security Forces and another 100,000 in the police forces — of course, far more than these volunteered, but we weren’t able to train everyone. How well trained all of these troops are is a more difficult question — but there is no question that they are volunteers who have stepped up to the cause.

    From a country of 25,000,000 people, this represents 1% of the population. For comparison, that’s only slightly less than the proportion of the U.S. population that volunteered for military service during WWII (~2M/150M), during a time when there was a draft, and preferential treatment given to those who “volunteered” before their draft date.

    And this comes after decades in which to be a young man opposed to the Baathist regime was a far more significant health risk than smoking.

    To suggest that the Iraqis are not willing to step up and take on the burden of defending themselves is simply indefensible.

    Comment by Clint — August 28, 2005 @ 11:03 pm - August 28, 2005

  15. It will be interesting to see if the Left and their media allies focus on what the pro-Bush protestors have to say and demand that Camp Casey answer their questions.
    Comment by VinceTN
    ================
    Camp Casey people are not elected officials and do not have to answer anything. If the pro war people want to be pro war and/or pro Bush so be it, but if they are really anti Camp Casey hooligans, that is a different stoiry. An anti-prowar ralley is just diluted derivative nonsense.

    Comment by chandler in hollywood — August 28, 2005 @ 11:56 pm - August 28, 2005

  16. We’ve heard the rationale for why US chicken hawks don’t need to serve to help Iraqis win “their freedom”.

    We have? I seem to recall two really, really long threads exploring the chickenhawk slur, but I don’t remember the part about a “rationale” that seeks to excuse “chickenhawks” for not serving. Why should loyal Americans who support the war for eminently defensible reasons seek a hall pass from snarky chickendoves, for any reason?

    Comment by Butch — August 29, 2005 @ 1:46 am - August 29, 2005

  17. “Sometimes a sinner must repent, and the U.S. has sinned by invading a non-aggressive soveriegn nation for no appreciable reason that anyone can muster.”

    I have to join NDT is flagging that as a truly insane statement, like claiming the sky is orange or something.

    Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq attacked no less than four of its immediate neighbors in a 20-year period. (Count ‘em: Iran, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Israel. The latter two being the subject of missile attacks.) Meanwhile using chemical WMD on hundreds of thousands of its own people and burying them in mass graves, and systematically obstructing U.N. weapons inspectors (by those inspectors’ own account and repeated findings of the U.N. Security Council) in clear violation of its Gulf War 1 cease-fire conditions. And attempting to assasinate a U.S. ex-President, participating in the first World Trade Center attack in 1993, and harboring international terrorists of all kinds.

    It looks like someone has been gazing at Michael Moore’s vision of a happy, kite-flying Iraq rather too much. The craziness of the statement speaks for itself, and I wouldn’t bother responding, except that it’s on my mind and slightly fun.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 2:19 am - August 29, 2005

  18. Wait, what does 9/11 have to do with the Iraq war?

    Oh yeah, neocons still can’t seem to make that differentiation.

    Big news: Saddam didn’t do 9/11. Al-Qaeda did. Al-Qaeda’s leader is NOT Saddam either.

    Ok, take a breath. Slowly now.

    Osama is the leader of Al-Qaeda.

    The Iraq War and 9/11 are different things.

    Terrorists operate in small cells. Iraq is a “country” and not a small cell.

    Saddam also executed Al-Qaeda members on several ocassions(they wanted to control Iraq, so he and they were enemies).

    Iraq is not a good place. Liberating it is a good thing. There were no WMDs though, and not enough evidence, false or true, to go to war in Iraq in the first place. And Iraq still has nothing to do with 9/11. And 9/11 has nothing to do with Iraq.

    Ok, got it?

    “Dina Burnett, whose husband Tom Burnett was one of the Flight 93 heroes on 9/11″

    Saddam didn’t do 9/11. She obviously has no idea why she is supporting the president. The war on terror has seemed to stop while we fiddle and faddle in Iraq. It was a sad loss for her, but she seriously has no idea what she is talking about.

    Comment by Joey — August 29, 2005 @ 3:15 am - August 29, 2005

  19. Al-Qaeda (yes, that al-Qaeda) is one of the terrorist factions in Iraq. It is being led by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the number two guy in all of Al-Qaeda. So, obviously, al-Qaeda does not believe that Iraq is any kind of distraction from the War on Global Jihad.

    Second, and more importantly, if Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and all the jihadis in Iraq weren’t fighting in Iraq, where would they be, and what would they be plotting?

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 7:28 am - August 29, 2005

  20. Joey-

    Your contention that space aliens from Zarquon-5 are responsible for 9/11 has been mocked and disproven over and over again. How dumb do you think we are? Al Qaeda was responsible for 9/11, not space aliens from Zarquon-5.

    Comment by Clint — August 29, 2005 @ 9:01 am - August 29, 2005

  21. Which ignores the fact that al-Zarqawi is not Saddam. And that there are likely far more terrorist cells operating in Iraq now than before Saddam’s fall. Ignores the fact that the US is present in Iraq, so is it too far fetched to think that is why terrorists are NOW flocking there? Or aiding insurgents who are native to Iraq in running out the United States? Ignores the fact that now the border with Iran is far more pourous than it was under Saddam and that it is VERY likely Iran is supporting the insurgency in Iraq that will keep us bogged down. I’m not advocating that we pick up and leave. But the status quo ain’t working friends and I haven’t heard a damn thing about how it’s going to be improved. Let’s not blow up what the current state of Iraq is now in regards to al-Qaeda and terrorism and assume that is what it was like under Saddam because we all know that isn’t the truth. The fact remians that even if we stay in Iraq for another decade (god forbid), even when the Iraqi people take over their own country, that is NO guarantee that terrorists won’t still operate in Iraq. Just like they do in Iran, Syria and everywhere else in the Middle East. Democracy is not an automatic guarantee for ending terrorism. And like I’ve said numerous times on here before and the one thing I agree with Stephen on, is the invasion of Iraq was a logistical mistake in the larger War on Terror and should never have taken superiority over keeping our borders safe and home and finishing all the things we agreed needed to be done after 9/11.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 9:07 am - August 29, 2005

  22. The fact remians that even if we stay in Iraq for another decade (god forbid), even when the Iraqi people take over their own country.

    We still have troops in Germany, we still have troops in Korea, we still have troops in Kosovo. Why all the bed-wetting because we might have a long-term presence in Iraq? Have you looked at a map lately? Iraq is in the strategic center of the Middle East. I, for one, hope we keep a residual force there.

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 9:53 am - August 29, 2005

  23. Which is EXACTLY why the insurgents want us out. Because they are smart enough to know that the United States is a permanent fixture there, which to them is seen as an uninvited occupying force. You said exactly what this Administration has tried to lie about from the very beginning and have pointed out exactly what so many critics of the war have thought about why we went into Iraq. I have NO doubts we’ll be present there for decades. My comment above meant in the numbers of troops we have now.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 9:58 am - August 29, 2005

  24. AND I think I would also argue that the ONLY way we should have stayed in Japan and Germany is because they want us there. If, once Iraq is “stable”, they tell us to get out, we should get out. Otherwise, we’ve proven the point of those who oppose us there.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 10:00 am - August 29, 2005

  25. No, you misunderstand. These people couldn’t care less about American lives, soldiers or not. They couldn’t care less about Iraqi lives, or any lives at all. They couldn’t care less about how many will be massacred if we pull out.

    They care only that the United States be castrated and weak. That’s all they cared about in the sixties, and it’s all they care about now. That’s why it makes no difference what the cause, they will always side with the enemy against their own country.

    That’s all these people are about.

    Comment by rightwingprof — August 29, 2005 @ 10:10 am - August 29, 2005

  26. For what it’s worth, I’m still amazed that the reasons for going into Iraq are still an issue for the Left. WTF difference does it make? Take it to the history books, kids…blaspheme Bush, et. al. there all you’d like.

    For the rest of us, we have a war to win here. Your points are interesting, however unfortunately inconsequential.

    For demonstrative purposes I like to use this argument: Okay. I’m not saying I agree with you (about, in this instance, the reasons for going to war), but let’s say for argument’s sake, you’re right.
    So what? Does that have any bearing on what we should do?

    For being so-called “progressive” the American Left doesn’t seem to be very good at looking at the present, let alone to the future.

    Got any solutions? Or would you just like to crab about what you see as wrongs done unto you? I think we know the answer, and it seems two presidential losses, dozens of legislative losses, and a handful of gubernatorial losses aren’t enough to teach you about productive opposition.
    While you mire yourselves in questions of WMD, Karl Rove, Cindy Sheehan, Abu Ghraib, GITMO, etc., the rest of us are trying to win a war. You’re welcome to join is if you’d like, but you’re going to have to come down off your cross first.

    Comment by njz — August 29, 2005 @ 10:23 am - August 29, 2005

  27. #18

    Joey – How foolish your comments are. The Iraq war has everything to do with 9-11.

    al Qaeda was in Iraq *before* the Coalition invaded and removed Saddam. Google this: “Ansar al Islam”

    al Qaeda carried out the second World Trade Center attacks (a.k.a. 9-11) and no Iraqi operatives were among them; that’s true. But the Clinton Administration itself found that Iraq was heavily involved in the first World Trade Center attacks (1993). Don’t act like they were innocent.

    All kinds of connections have been found – even some financing – between Iraqi Intelligence and al Qaeda, throughout the 1990s. Democratic Party true believers (of which you may be one, so perhaps I am speaking to the wind) don’t want it to be true, and so insist it isn’t. That includes many in the CIA, who clearly stand to LOSE if people in America start noticing and talking about the connections again (i.e. why didn’t the CIA warn us???).

    Were there also power struggles between Iraq and al Qaeda? Undoubtedly so. Think of them as rival crime families. They didn’t love each other and they sometimes had to fight and to jockey for “who’s on top” – yet they had dealings and connections and, with their backs to the wall, they would gather against their common enemy – us.

    al Qaeda is a global organization as you rightly imply, and clearing Iraq of both them and the Baathists / Saddamites is but the fifth or sixth step in the long-term war against them. A whole bunch of steps have been taken to deal with al Qaeda in a variety of countries. A lot of those steps aren’t present to your mind, and some steps we don’t even know about. Removing Saddam Hussein is simply the largest, most public and costly piece of the jigsaw puzzle to have happened thus far. But don’t think for a second that the Iraq theatre doesn’t have everything to do with the long-term, global struggle for our lives that we woke up to on 9-11.

    As President Bush roughly put it the other day….Terrorists will emerge from Iraq…..in one of 2 ways…..Emboldened or defeated. They (al Qaeda) are fighting us in Iraq this minute, that’s for sure. American will and determination is what will decide how they come out of it. Now you take a breath.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 11:32 am - August 29, 2005

  28. #21 – Britton – So Obviously, Saddam was our friend, and in the global long-term struggle against al Qaeda, he was our ally, right? or at the very least, we would be better off in fighting al Qaeda if we still had Saddam in power, instead of being able to engage thousands of al Qaeda fighters on the ground, in Iraq?

    That’s where your argument is going – Truly nuts.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 11:36 am - August 29, 2005

  29. #23 – Who cares if the al Qaeda insurgents see us as a “permanent occupying force”? The point is to *kill them*. Meanwhile, the Iraqi people will build (and are slowly, but surely building) a native democracy.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 11:38 am - August 29, 2005

  30. #26 – njz – Exactly; thank you.

    To all war critics: What can you tell us that will help us win, today, in Iraq? Because that is clearly the best – in fact, the only acceptable – exit strategy.

    And if you can’t tell us anything – then why are your traps still flapping and spewing out words?

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 11:41 am - August 29, 2005

  31. Joe – insurgents in Iraq are NOT necessarily members of al Qaeda or even affiliated with them. What, so every single person who is Muslim who doesn’t like America is a member of al Qaeda. Are we just going to make that term synonymous with terrorist? It’s fine, but lets be clear about who we’re talking about. We are fighting al Qaeda in Iraq because they now have more power there than they did when Saddam was in power. That is not to say we’re “better off” as you like to put it in black/white terms but to point out that that is where they are and why. We didn’t get control of the country when we invaded and now there are parts that are being controlled by insurgents and al Qaeda. It’s a criticism not of the war or invasion in that regard but how it was conducted. And is still being conducted. And insurgents are NOT the only people who see us as occupying forces. The iraqi people will tire of us being there. Many already are.
    Joe – what can YOU tell us to win the war??? I don’t have to explain what will win to be free to speak anymore than your lack of a plan allows you to speak. It’s up to the President the Americans elected to get the job done and his approval ratings show a lack in confidence in that regard. He’s the one that clearly should have a plan that will work. Not me. I say we either pull our or put more troops on the ground. Whatever gets the job done quicker. I’ve never advocated pulling out because the war is wrong but because its being fought in a fashion that seems to be pretty unproductive.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 12:05 pm - August 29, 2005

  32. joe: To all war critics: What can you tell us that will help us win, today, in Iraq? Because that is clearly the best – in fact, the only acceptable – exit strategy.

    Okay.
    1. More troops on the ground. Start first with this war’s most vocal supporters (aka chickenhawks), then a draft in necessary.

    2. All expats and their families, back to their homelands. Having their families with them will further motivate them to want to create safe civic societies.

    3. Treat the unconvinced Americans like the foreign populations and governments: bribe them with fistfuls of cash. Like their foreign counterparts, they can withdraw their support at any time, so this bribing thing will be an ongoing process. Endless really, if you can make it pass from generation to generation.

    4. Allow your bribed populations a piece of the action. Try to get them financially invested in the mission. The better the mission goes the more money they get.

    5. Appeal to everyone’s sense of patriotism and charity. People like to feel that they are part of noble cause and doling out charity just plain makes you feel good. Your take is just icing on the cake.

    Comment by anon — August 29, 2005 @ 12:28 pm - August 29, 2005

  33. Off to class – just a couple quick links -

    Roundup of Cindy’s radical rhetoric, that the MSM generally are giving minimal or no coverage to: http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/news_columnists/article/0,1299,DRMN_86_4033858,00.html

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 2:00 pm - August 29, 2005

  34. And Joey, something for you to hopefully wonder about – an editorial from Al Nasiriyah in 2001, an Iraqi newspaper closely tied to Uday Hussein, where they name and celebrate the destruction of all 3 of the 9-11 attack targets (WTC, Pentagon, White House) weeks before the 9-11 attacks.

    http://www.captainsquartersblog.com/mt/archives/005332.php

    The 9-11 Commission said, “No operational connection between Iraq and the attacks of 9-11 has ever been proven.” I may not have the exact words right, but they phrased it something like that. Phrased carefully in that way, and on current information, it’s fair and accurate. It just means Saddam got smart about hiding behind al Qaeda proxies ;-) The 9-11 Commission also said there were connections (including numerous meetings) between the Iraq and al Qaeda organizations in the 1990s and early 2000s. Think about it.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 2:09 pm - August 29, 2005

  35. Oh so Joe, you know what Saddam was going all this time? You sneaky devil. I knew Saddam has close friends in the Republican administration but didn’t realize it went so far. ;)

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 2:14 pm - August 29, 2005

  36. Wow, that doesn’t even make sense grammatically. I’m getting under your skin, I guess. That’s good.

    I really have to go, but just so my meaning is crystal clear, let me add this briefly: Not everyone is as obtuse or obstinate about “connecting the dots” as you. The 9-11 Commission concluded they could not connect Saddam to the 9-11 attacks as such; and I believe them. The 9-11 Commission also concluded that they could connect Saddam to al Qaeda on some high-level meetings, with the real possibility that if they hadn’t already co-operated on terrorist acts in the past, they likely would in the future. There again, I believe them. Address further complaints to them.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 2:25 pm - August 29, 2005

  37. Oh, yeah, Saddam had absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with 9-11 or terrorism.

    It was sent by a Marine stationed in Baghdad and was accompanied by the notation: “In case you come across anyone who still thinks that the War in Iraq was a bad idea, show them this. Some GIs found this in one of Saddam’s palaces in Baghdad.”

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 2:28 pm - August 29, 2005

  38. Well let me be crystal clear. Both the 9/11 commission’s analysis as well as your own on WHAT MIGHT have happened in the future is pretty subjective. FACTS are different than PREDICTIONS. Indeed, the FACTS might make one question why such a conclusion would have been reached, other than to make one feel better about the fact we went to war based on FACTually inaccurate or misleading information.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 2:30 pm - August 29, 2005

  39. And also – please tell me you, as a Bush supporter, are not commenting on someone’s grammar? Sheesh. Gimme a break.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 2:32 pm - August 29, 2005

  40. V the K – god if only Bush had shown us that prior to the war…I mean obviously a poster/propaganda piece is exactly what we needed as proof that Saddam was behind 9/11. Thank you! That clears it up completely!

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 2:33 pm - August 29, 2005

  41. If I recall correctly, a great deal of those very same Iraqis who are now free from Saddam were also dancing in the streets when 9/11 happened. To admit that Saddam and many others were not incredibly pleased by what OTHERS had pulled off is not the same as their pleasure being substantial proof they themselves were involved in 9/11.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 2:34 pm - August 29, 2005

  42. anon-

    So… your “better” ideas are:
    (1) the drafting of untrained, unwilling troops (a.k.a. getting lots of Americans uselessly killed);
    (2) the forced relocation of a population (sometimes known as “ethnic cleansing”);
    (3) making your new drafted soldiers pay those who don’t fight;
    (4) making the soldiers pay even larger financial penalties if the war goes well;
    (5) propaganda.

    I certainly hope this was intended tongue-in-cheek.

    Comment by Clint — August 29, 2005 @ 2:56 pm - August 29, 2005

  43. I don’t know how it could have been found before the war. It was inside one of Saddam’s palaces… which were exempt from UN inspections.

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 3:26 pm - August 29, 2005

  44. Britton-

    I continue to believe that much of your difficulty with the Administration’s positions is that you don’t know what they are. Quite often that’s even the substance of your complaint — as when you say, “The Administration has no plan.” when what you mean is that you haven’t bothered to find out what the Administration says their plan is.

    You write: “If, once Iraq is “stable”, they tell us to get out, we should get out.

    No less an authority than the President of the United States has repeatedly stated that this is our policy. In fact, if their representative government asks us to go, we will, even if we don’t think things are “stable”.

    You write: “But the status quo ain’t working friends and I haven’t heard a damn thing about how it’s going to be improved.

    I can only assume you’ve never tried to find out what the President has to say about this, since he’s been very, very clear. We are doing three things to improve the situation, in decreasing order of long-term importance: (1) Continuing the “nation-building” (what an atrocious phrase, but you know what I mean) — establishing a representative government to speak for the Iraqi people (even when they might disagree with us); (2) Continuing to train Iraqi security forces, both police and army, which have largely taken over the defensive military roles in much of Iraq already; and (3) As our troops are freed up by (2), we are using them to smash “insurgency” strongholds, search for weapons caches, and shut down arms smuggling groups. If you’ve only been reading the NYT, you might not realize this, but many of our casualties have actually occurred in the course of actual battles being fought for actual objectives, rather than in the course of sitting around hoping for things to get better while the “insurgents” kill our troops haplessly sitting in their tents.

    Your main assertion seems to be: “the invasion of Iraq was a logistical mistake in the larger War on Terror and should never have taken superiority over keeping our borders safe and home and finishing all the things we agreed needed to be done after 9/11.

    We could certainly be doing more on border security… but it seems like domestic politics, not the diversion of resources to Iraq, is the biggest hinderance here. We can’t even agree on whether it’s acceptable for security personnel to use their judgement in who to screen.

    As to your second point, can you give some examples from your general category here — and some reason why you think that fighting in Iraq has distracted us from pursuing them?

    Comment by Clint — August 29, 2005 @ 3:27 pm - August 29, 2005

  45. Very good point, Clint. The failure to secure our borders has nothing to do with Iraq, and everything to do with political correctness, the desire to maintain cheap supplies of labor for business, and the fact that remittances from illegals are the second largest source of income in the Mexican economy.

    Is anyone seriously going to argue that if the Army weren’t killing terrorists in Iraq, they’d be down at the border? Highly unlikely.

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 3:46 pm - August 29, 2005

  46. By securing our borders, I of course was not meaning the Mexicans. That isnt’ even the issue. I meant harbors as well as our borders with Canada and Mexico. Making sure that terrorists stay out. And in previous arguments I have made this was based on the fact that no matter how many Middle Eastern nations we “liberate” and “democratize”, there will inevitably be groups who will wish harm on the United States. And we have clearly seen that merely allowing 19 of them to enter our country can result in disastrous consequences. Which is why I think keeping people like the 19 hijackers on 9/11 out of our country and securing points of interest to terrorists is exactly what should have been the focus of our war on terror. The idea that you can end terrorism abroad is as incredibly naive as believing you can win the war on drugs. And the billions of dollars that have been spent in Iraq could certainly have been used to invest in technology that would have kept us safer at home, paid those who will be doing that job. Just because the dollars spent in Iraq were not spent at home does not mean they should have been spent at all. The bigger argument I have been trying to make is that the idea that liberating Iraq keeps us safer at home than other measures is absurd to me.

    As for the plan in Iraq…I’ll wait to see what comes of it. I’m not convinced a “democratic” Iraq is going to actually mean the United States will be safer at home. But we’ll see I suppose. I’m not denying the greater part of the iraqi people are happier without Saddam. But I’m waiting to see what will eventually (in the next few decades) take his place.

    As for what Clint said:

    You write: “If, once Iraq is “stable”, they tell us to get out, we should get out.”

    No less an authority than the President of the United States has repeatedly stated that this is our policy. In fact, if their representative government asks us to go, we will, even if we don’t think things are “stable”.

    What I wrote was in response to someone saying above that essentially what Bush said is bull because we won’t be getting out of Iraq. That our presence will be there because it is a strategic location in the Middle East for us to have influence in. This is exactly what I have issues with. I believe that ot be the case as well but this is NOT what we are hearing from the Administration. I think the only way we will have a “democratic” Iraq that is good for the United States is one where the United States has a lot of influence over. And in the end, what kind of democracy is that?

    It seems there are always two arguments here…whether Iraq is better without Saddam and whether Iraq should have been a focus in the War on Terror. I think you can agree with the first as I do and not agree with the second. I have no doubt the world is better off without Saddam. I do however have my doubts that we are safer right now because of our invasion of Iraq. I also get tired of the liberation of the Iraqi people being thrown in my face about why this was all worth it. I’m glad something good came out of what was to me a logistical misstep in the war on terror…a waste of resources. But that doesn’t change my thought that we are no safer now without Saddam than with him. As someone said before, that doesn’t really matter anymore…he’s gone. So whether or not we’re safer, what is done is done. But that does not mean we should just ignore mistakes made or question decisions made. And standing up for what you believe in is not a bad thing. People like Ann Coulter (and others on this blog) who think otherwise are the un-American folks if you ask me.

    Comment by Britton — August 29, 2005 @ 4:08 pm - August 29, 2005

  47. Britton:

    Thanks for helping to prove my point!

    Comment by njz — August 29, 2005 @ 4:10 pm - August 29, 2005

  48. Britton-

    I’m not sure I understand your point about troop withdrawals at all, anymore.

    We probably will still have some troops (perhaps a couple of airbases?) there in ten or twenty years —- but we’ll be there with the permission of the Iraqis, based on security guarruntees, promises to share intelligence and other military cooperation agreements. It’s possible that they’ll tell us to leave — in which case we will — but it seems unlikely that they’ll want us to entirely withdraw.

    It seems like you’re accusing the President of lying based on your unfounded belief that he won’t do what he’s promised.

    That’s bizarre.

    Comment by Clint — August 29, 2005 @ 4:31 pm - August 29, 2005

  49. Clint
    1. No. The chickenhawks go first. Remember we get to include women (or vixens as they may like to call themselves) too. Only institute a draft if it’s necessary. Other countries seem to do a fine job of taking care of themselves with “unwilling troops.” So have we in the past. Granted, there may be a few “unwillings” that feel they are best used over here and not there. Any suggestions of what to do with these people would be appreciated.

    2. Only the expats that want an improved Middle East paid for by US blood and treasure. You’re right. Ethnic cleansing might be an issue. Hopefully they won’t engage in tribal blood feuds when they return to their homelands. But if they do, we could think of it as a flypaper strategy. Better over there than here.

    3. The bribing money comes from the US Treasury. Preferably from future dollars.

    4. The money is from the US Treasury. Future generations. (Slogan?: We’re doing it for the children, so they should pay for it). We should pay ourselves first. If we are going to bribe people to follow a policy, we should at least pay our own people first. Money motivates. Look at the number of mercenaries that have joined the ranks of our private security contractors. If we pay high enough salaries, we may not even need a draft. This whole public/private profit/non-profit blur is the wildly popular with both parties these days.

    5. Propaganda. I know that many of you find no shame in war profiteering. But I don’t think our country is ready for such a “paradigm shift” just yet, even after 9/11. Better to appeal to people’s sense of charity and noble cause just to be on the safe side. I suggest that we get someone with a proven track record in direct marketing. These guys understand the difference between what people claim motivates them and what really motivates them.

    Comment by anon — August 29, 2005 @ 4:32 pm - August 29, 2005

  50. Britton, your final paragraph in #46 above pretty much sums up the thinking of many of us opposed to the war.

    Comment by Reader — August 29, 2005 @ 4:37 pm - August 29, 2005

  51. Britton-

    In the early 1940′s, we would have been safer from the Nazis had we stayed out of the European War, than we were by getting involved. However, if we hadn’t gotten involved, the Nazis would have been a much bigger problem for us in the 1950′s.

    We are in Iraq now not because Saddam Hussein was an imminent threat to us (he wasn’t) or because sending troops to Iraq would decrease Islamofascist violence (it increased it) — but because we need to address the root causes of Islamofascism now, or else continue to face larger and larger acts of terrorism at home until we finally do. Iraq is neither the first step, nor the last, but it is one we couldn’t have skipped.

    Can you imagine if we waited another ten years to address the growing cancer in the Middle East? If we’d waited until Libya and Iran both had nuclear weapons, and Pakistan (with its nuclear weapons) was ruled by the Taliban? How long do you think it would have taken them to “liberate Mecca” from the Saudi monarcy? What kind of weapons do you think China and North Korea would have been willing to sell them for access to their oil? What kind of a ground war would it have taken to win, then, and how many cities in Europe would be radioactive slag before it was over? It’s quite possible that what we are doing in Iraq now is nothing less than heading off World War III.

    I do realize that you think this last sentiment is proof positive that I’m deranged. But I stand by it.

    Comment by Clint — August 29, 2005 @ 4:54 pm - August 29, 2005

  52. Anon-

    I knew you were kidding.

    Comment by Clint — August 29, 2005 @ 4:56 pm - August 29, 2005

  53. Anon, in #49 above, you’re proving to the Patsies that what they write IS actually being read (with a couple of foul-mouthed exceptions). And from all that writing, you’ve correctly and amusingly observed that Gay Patriots…

    1. Have extraordinary passion for THIS war compared to all other wars — yet, n.o.t q.u.i.t.e e.n.o.u.g.h to propel them into military service. (That shouldn’t surprise us by now; ever noticed how fast they don the beads and granny glasses whenever the subject of a Clinton-led military action comes up?)

    2. Have a suddenly deep trust in the good democratic tendencies of long-warring desert tribes – a notion (off repeated here) that has just passed You’re Kidding on its way to Laughable. (BTW, still chuckling at your riff on “better over there than here”.)

    3. Now love to spend, spend, spend – and this after years of caterwauling about “the need for budget restraint”. (Apparently it just always depended on who was doing the spending.)

    4. And now believe it’s essentially OK if war industries engage in war profiteering. (Couldn’t believe what I was seeing as one of them leapt off that ledge this weekend.)

    Sharp post — and fun.

    Comment by Reader — August 29, 2005 @ 5:45 pm - August 29, 2005

  54. Chickendoves calling other posters chickenhawks; hallucinations about beads and granny glasses; phantom conscription; red herrings galore; disparaging remarks about struggling people in faraway lands; snotty, fabricated accounts of other posters’ beliefs. What’s a gay patriot to do?

    The left continues its crackup. Sigh…

    Comment by Butch — August 29, 2005 @ 7:18 pm - August 29, 2005

  55. Hey Britton,

    #38 – A null comment. We went to war with Iraq based on the proven FACT that Saddam harbored many international terrorists, the FACT that Saddam harbored Ansar al Islam (an al Qaeda subgroup) in northern Iraq, and the many findings of FACT by U.N. weapons inspectors and the U.N. Security Council that Saddam was obstructing the inspectors and had thoroughly violated his Gulf War 1 cease fire conditions. (Jeez, Britton, how many times to I have to say these FACTS? Can you remember anything from thread to thread, or post to post?)

    #39 I’m saying your previous comment to me didn’t even make sense grammatically – much less logically. Do I have to spell everything out with you?

    #44, zing! Clint, I’ve only had these exact same conversations with Britton about 900 times now. Britton knows perfectly well that Bush’s repeatedly-announced plan to get out is to build the native Iraqi government and security forces to the point where they can handle their own security, and to respect their wishes whether they choose to be our ally or not in the future – as long as they don’t build WMD or harbor al Qaeda bases.

    #46 – Blah, blah, blah making no sense.
    - What technologies to protect us at home are we NOT adequately investing in, because of Iraq expenditures?
    - What could the 150,000 troops in Iraq be doing to “secure our harbors”, that isn’t being done *AND* that current U.S. domestic politics would allow them to do?
    - Why would you assume that, if the Iraqi government likes the United States or is an ally, by virtue of that fact it’s “no democracy at all”?
    - “….I have no doubt the world is better off without Saddam.” Why would you think that, Britton? Or why would anyone think that? Because without Saddam, we can increase the output of Christmas cookies and pies? No – because without Saddam, and with the beginnings of democracy in the Middle East, THE FORCES OF RELATIVE CIVILIZATION HAVE A BETTER POSITION IN THE LONG-TERM WAR ON TERROR.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 7:19 pm - August 29, 2005

  56. Oh, follow-up to the findings of FACT I cite in #55 above:

    Just Google the original authorizing resolution that Congress (read: Democrats) pass for the Iraq war in late 2002. Congress (read: Democrats) agreed those FACTS were FACTS, and agreed those FACTS were the reasons to go to war.

    Look it up – it’s fascinating historical reading.

    Comment by joe — August 29, 2005 @ 7:23 pm - August 29, 2005

  57. Nice job, Joe

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 7:38 pm - August 29, 2005

  58. The posts in this thread confirm my belief that war is a very serious business that can be discussed in earnest only by serious people of all political persuasions. So many people seem to think this war, which began when 19 thugs slammed jetliners into buildings killing some 3000 innocent men, women, and children, is a concoction of Halliburton, the “BusHitler crime family,” and a cabal of neocon fanatics.

    I live in one of the world’s biggest military cities (San Diego), and I encounter military personnel all the time. Thank God they’re serious and dedicated to the task at hand. I hear almost no complaints from warriors or their families, despite undeniable hardships.

    Anti-war, anti-Bush lefties go around saying the right frightens them. Well, the left scares the shit out of me, with their endless red herrings, their constant “chickenhawk” baiting, their feigned weariness of a world about which they know so very, very little, and their smug, “knowing” posturing. God help us if they ever get back into power during wartime.

    What I really want to know is: What exactly would anti-war lefties do to combat terror? Not what they think should be done differently, and not what mistakes George Bush and his team have undoubtedly made, and not how America’s “children” are being asked to fight a war, and not endless complaints about quagmires and body counts.

    What exactly would the anti-war left do to fight terror? – that’s all I want to know.

    Comment by Butch — August 29, 2005 @ 8:37 pm - August 29, 2005

  59. An article filled with many big words and inconvenient facts asks, Why Did the 9-11 Commission Leave Out Intelligence Linking Iraq to 9-11?

    AHMED HIKMAT SHAKIR IS A shadowy figure who provided logistical assistance to one, maybe two, of the 9/11 hijackers. When Shakir was arrested shortly after the 9/11 attacks, his “pocket litter,” in the parlance of the investigators, included contact information for Musab Yasin and another 1993 plotter, a Kuwaiti native named Ibrahim Suleiman.

    These facts alone, linking the 1993 and 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, would seem to cry out for additional scrutiny, no?

    The Yasin brothers and Shakir have more in common. They are all Iraqis. And two of them–Abdul Rahman Yasin and Shakir–went free, despite their participation in attacks on the World Trade Center, at least partly because of efforts made on their behalf by the regime of Saddam Hussein. Both men returned to Iraq–Yasin fled there in 1993 with the active assistance of the Iraqi government. For ten years in Iraq, Abdul Rahman Yasin was provided safe haven and financing by the regime, support that ended only with the coalition intervention in March 2003.

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2005 @ 9:40 pm - August 29, 2005

  60. What I really want to know is: What exactly would anti-war lefties do to combat terror? Not what they think should be done differently, and not what mistakes George Bush and his team have undoubtedly made, and not how America’s “children” are being asked to fight a war, and not endless complaints about quagmires and body counts.

    What exactly would the anti-war left do to fight terror? – that’s all I want to know.

    Actually, you already know, Butch.

    Osama bin Laden was threatening the United States for almost five years prior to 9/11. His alliance with the Taliban was deemed an immediate threat in 1998.

    You know what the reaction was to that. Take away the occasional cruise missile attack on empty camps and “covert actions”, and you have the antiwar left’s solution to terrorism.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 30, 2005 @ 12:01 am - August 30, 2005

  61. NDT, I think you raised a serious question (as you often do) and deserve a thoughtful answer. But you first have to define who you want this answer from; for I’m sure you’d get different opinions from the different elements underneath the Big (and growing) Tent of Americans who are now anti-Iraq War as a part of their views on combating terrorism. So, who exactly are you thinking of when you use the broadbrush label “anti-war leftists”? If you name some part of that movement that I feel I can speak for to any extent, then I’ll give this a shot. Thank you for bringing this topic up. It needs to be discussed.

    Comment by Reader — August 30, 2005 @ 7:27 am - August 30, 2005

  62. TimesWatch Lists the Top Ten NYT Distortions of the 2004 Campaign. Check out Item #2. If necessary, have a dictionary handy to help with the bigger words.

    Comment by V the K — August 30, 2005 @ 7:31 am - August 30, 2005

  63. What is funny is that anyone who is antiwar, is automatically leftist on this blog. While on many social issues, I am undoubtedly on the left. If being against our invasion of Iraq means I’m leftist in that regard, so be it. I am not against the Iraq war because I am against war. I fully supported our invasion of Afghanistan and the end of the Taliban regime. I think that step was absolutely justified and necessary after 9/11. I just don’t agree that Iraq was a logical location to invade. I don’t think that makes me a “leftist” or anything like Michael Moore or Cindy Sheehan. I agree that they are and can be a little over the top, although I do think they often raise interesting questions about what our government is doing. That doesn’t mean I fully agree with everything they say. In most other areas of politics, I tend to be unequivocally libertarian. I believe government is far too involved in our personal lives, in our personal choices and in our wallets. I think Reader makes an interesting point that there are a large variety of folks who think this war in Iraq was either unjustified, or if justifiable, is not being conducted in a very efficient way.

    I’ve alluded to how I think we should have started fighting a war on terror. Afghanistan. I’m not anti war. I think we did the right thing there. I wish we had secured the entire country before committing troops to Iraq. It would have been more efficient and better for the Afghans had that happened. I think we also should have also stayed on finding Osama. I’m sure we’re still somewhat committed but not to the degree we were prior to Iraq. I would have investigated opportunities to have eliminated terrorist cells in Syria and Iran before Iraq because I think those two nations were far bigger threats to national security and far bigger proponents and supporters of terrorism than Saddam. I would have seriously reconsidered our personal relationship with Saudi Arabia and applied far more pressure on the Saudis to weed out terrorism in their own borders. I don’t trust the Saudis one iota and I think it’s extremely sketchy the relationship our government has with that kingdom (yes, kingdom). First and foremost however, I would have finished everything we all agreed needed to be done HERE AT HOME to make sure that terrorists, who will undoubtedly be operating in the Middle East for decades to come, could not get into this country, could not fly on airlines in or out or within this country. I would make sure all the technological issues with communication interoperability among the military, police and fire, etc. were finished more rapidly than what is currently the state. I would rather than have created the bureaucratic nightmare that is Homeland Security and specifically TSA, found alternative (and cheaper) ways to get the same job done without having to SPEND SPEND SPEND.

    Then again, I’m not the President. And I’m sure you can’t always get things done the way you choose to. I think there wer elots of good ideas after 9/11. I just think we lost focus in Iraq. I think a lot of the resistance to may of the domestic items discussed was the seemingly violation of civil liberties and interference in how we as Americans live our lives. I think there had to be a way to get the job done without scaring people into thinking the government was going to be snooping in all their business. I think we are lacking a lot of security in our ports and harbors, water supply, food supply, power plants, etc. These are all huge targets and they are many still vulnerable.

    Just some thoughts. I’m not in charge, so of course I’m sure it’s not as simple as all that. But I do think there is a general lack of concern or disregard for many of the issues here at home because so much of our energy is devoted to Iraq. Which I personally think was not a logical step in the war on terror.

    Comment by Britton — August 30, 2005 @ 9:22 am - August 30, 2005

  64. Britton-

    Would it help at all to point out the enormous strides the Bush administration has made in getting the Saudis to fight terrorism in their own borders?

    Would it help at all to point out that the job of “Al Quaeda head in Saudi Arabia” has had three different occupants in the last year, each killed by the Saudi government?

    Would it help to again ask you to be specific about what it is you think the Bush administration has stupidly and stubbornly refused to do to secure our borders, that they could have done if only we weren’t distracted by Iraq?

    Would it help to point out that “I’d do just what Bush is doing, only faster and better” is the lamest excuse for a criticism ever?

    Everything that you insist he should have done, he has done, faster and better than anyone could have reasonably expected to be possible.

    If you were in charge, I think you’d be surprised by the strident whining about every reasonable choice you made and every necessary step you took. Are you really serious about thinking there’s anything any president can do to increase the effectiveness of our counterterrorist intelligence gathering that would not have resulted in ACLU press releases and NYT editorials stirring up fear about government snooping? (Hint: I can give you a clear example where they reacted the same way when President Clinton tried to do this… So President Gore wouldn’t have gotten a pass.)

    Your suggestion that it was possible to beef up airport security quickly, effectively and cheaply seems to indicate that you have never dealt with the contractor’s triangle: In anything, you can have any two: fast, cheap, good. But you can never get all three — and that’s in the private sector. In government, it often seems like you can only get one, sometimes one and a half.

    It’s very, very easy to state the first sentence of a policy proposal: “I’ll put a chicken in every pot in America!”; “I have a secret plan to end the Vietnam War!”; “If I’m elected, Christopher Reeve will get up out of that chair and walk again!”

    The tougher parts are coming up with a way to achieve such a goal, convincing Congress to pass it, getting the bureaucrats it requires on-board without drowning it in red tape, and making it actually happen. But let’s stick to the first – the plan.

    You mention “securing Afghanistan” — by Iraqi or Israeli standards (not to mention the standards of most sub-Saharan African nations or a half a dozen other countries at the moment) Afghanistan is secure. Obviously you mean something stronger, so tell me this: How would you have “secured” Afghanistan without a invasions of Pakistan and Iran? If you would include such invasions, do you really believe that a large-scale regional conflict would provide the Afghanis with better security than our present policy does??

    Comment by Clint — August 30, 2005 @ 10:35 am - August 30, 2005

  65. Reader, thanks.
    Butch, as ND30 points out this war is older than 9/11.

    Comment by anon — August 30, 2005 @ 11:05 am - August 30, 2005

  66. The anti-war types may not want to hear it, but More Good News From Iraq

    Comment by V the K — August 30, 2005 @ 11:16 am - August 30, 2005

  67. Actually, you already know, Butch.

    Actually, I don’t, and that’s why I posed the question in post #58. As for what an anti-war lefty means, it means exactly what it says. I’m not talking about lefties like Christopher Hitchens who support the war. I’m talking about anti-war lefties, simple as that. That’s not painting with too broad a brush because there are a lot of them who post on this site. (Remember all the “chickenhawk” slurs we’ve been seeing?)

    I’m waiting for a straight answer to my question.

    Comment by Butch — August 30, 2005 @ 11:46 am - August 30, 2005

  68. And, yes, I’m aware the War on Terror probably started in 1979 when Iranian thugs seized American diplomats and held them captive, with impunity.

    I use 9/11 as the start date because that event was our Pearl Harbor and that event galvanized Americans to fight back. I won’t be sitting for lectures from anonymous posters about the timeline of this conflict.

    Comment by Butch — August 30, 2005 @ 12:18 pm - August 30, 2005

  69. So, who exactly are you thinking of when you use the broadbrush label “anti-war leftists”?

    Anyone who opposes the war in Iraq and is unable to say the following without caveats or blaming the Reagan administration:

    “Saddam Hussein, between the end of the first Gulf War in 1991 and the beginning of the Iraq invasion in 2003, while under the harshest non-military-action restrictions possible, systematically starved, tortured, maimed, imprisoned, and murdered millions of Iraqis. Moreover, he openly defied and successfully circumvented, through bribery of European government and UN officials, the United Nations resolutions and inspection schemes meant to stop him from completely re-arming and developing even-more lethal weapons than the biological, chemical, and other agents that the UN proclaimed that he still had after their inspectors were kicked out of Iraq (in violation of the cease fire) in 1998.”

    You can also include those people who claim that the largest cause of terrorism is the US’s ignoring of and doing nothing about the gross human rights violations committed by repressive governments, but then argue that ignoring Ba’athist Iraq, one of the most repressive governments in the history of the world, or the Taliban, formerly one of the most repressive governments in the world, would have no effect whatsoever on terrorism.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 31, 2005 @ 1:08 am - August 31, 2005

  70. Naive me — you sounded sincere, so I thought you were looking for another POV on that subject; turns out you were really looking for the spotlight for your next riff. Well, go on — have fun.

    Comment by Reader — August 31, 2005 @ 12:55 pm - August 31, 2005

  71. Clint – sorry for the delayed response. You’re right. Bush has said he has done a lot of things. Suffice to say I think it’s a load of crap. Last time I checked, our harbors, borders, and points of interest in this country are shown time and time again to be lacking in the security necessary. Even our airports which were our initial focus. TSA is a joke and a giant waste of taxpayer dollars that continues to cost the airlines money left and right becuase they have to carry the burden of issues with travelers going through security. If they were actually not such a joke, I’d think that was a good move, but we can’t even get that right. I know quite a few people who work in DHS and from what I’ve seen/heard, GIANT WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS that produces very little ROI. I do indeed think I woudl have done many of the things Bush has SAID he has done but HASN’T. Yes, I would. That is a completely justifiable excuse.

    Comment by Britton — August 31, 2005 @ 2:48 pm - August 31, 2005

  72. Britton-

    My point was, it’s very easy to say that if you were President you’d “focus on” this problem or that problem… or even worse that you’d try to do the same things he’s tried to do — but you’d do them better.

    Much harder to explain what you’d do to solve the problem — or how you’d manage to do things more effectively.

    Example: the Department of Homeland Security. Yes, of course it wastes vast amounts of money. Can you point to any government agency that does not?? The President and Congress did not choose to create a wasteful agency as opposed to creating an efficient and effective one — they chose to create a real agency rather than do nothing.

    You are free to argue that it was a mistake to make any such department (that might even be true) — but to argue that it should have been formed quickly, cheaply and effectively is to blame Republicans for being incapable of transforming the laws of nature by sheer willpower.

    .

    There’s a story of an old English King, Canute, who was faced with a council of nobles making similar complaints. Finally, in frustration, he marched them all down to the beach. When he had them all lined up and paying attention, he marched out into the surf, getting his fine kingly robes wet and salty, turned to ocean and in a loud and noble voice, commanded the rising tide to recede. He made them all stand there as the tide continued to flow in, and when they were all wet and sandy and feeling rather foolish, he finally explained his point. A king is not God — it does no good to say that he should make the rain fall so the farmers can grow more food, or that he should waves his hand and transform human nature.

    Comment by Clint — August 31, 2005 @ 3:24 pm - August 31, 2005

  73. I know quite a few people who work in DHS and from what I’ve seen/heard, GIANT WASTE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS that produces very little ROI.

    That pretty much every describes every Department of the Federal Government. It was like that long before Bush came to town, and it will be like that long after he’s gone.

    Comment by V the K — August 31, 2005 @ 5:50 pm - August 31, 2005

  74. And I’m not saying it’s okay by any means, but blaming all the waste in Washington on Bush is like blaming all the sleaze in Hollywood on Britney Spears.

    I also remind you, Bush initially didn’t want a DHS precisely because he thought it would be wasteful and inefficient, but Congress pretty much forced him into it. And it’s Congress that writes the spending bills. And it’s Congress that obstructs every effort at Government reform. Bush definitely bears part of the blame, and I would have had him push for more reform. But, given that Bush is a part of the self-selecting, self-perpetuating political class (just like Clinton, Gore, Kennedy, and most everyone else in Washington), only the voters can ever change the status quo.

    Comment by V the K — August 31, 2005 @ 5:58 pm - August 31, 2005

  75. To get back on-topic here (pro-Bush thinking on Camp Casey), I want to share with you a sample of pro-Bush rhetoric re: Cindy Sheehan. Seems this guy wants to gas the protestors.

    http://www.collegian.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2005/08/31/43153f8f28cca

    Comment by Reader — August 31, 2005 @ 6:43 pm - August 31, 2005

  76. I wouldn’t consider an editorial written for a college newspaper to be representative of pro-Bush thinking, nor of any kind of serious thinking, for that matter.

    Comment by Butch — August 31, 2005 @ 8:07 pm - August 31, 2005

  77. Naive me — you sounded sincere, so I thought you were looking for another POV on that subject; turns out you were really looking for the spotlight for your next riff. Well, go on — have fun.

    I AM being serious. Show me an antiwar person who is willing to admit the full extent of Saddam Hussein’s crimes. None of this mealymouthed “he was a bad man, but that doesn’t justify invasion”.

    The reason you’ll have trouble doing that, Reader, is the same reason that Scott Ritter hid the details about Saddam’s imprisonment of the CHILDREN of political dissidents — it kind of ruins the whole antiwar argument about “unjustified” and “unnecessary”.

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 31, 2005 @ 11:19 pm - August 31, 2005

  78. To get back on-topic here (pro-Bush thinking on Camp Casey), I want to share with you a sample of pro-Bush rhetoric re: Cindy Sheehan.

    Ah Reader…..if only you could live up to your name, as the article shows:

    Secondly, it is no longer just peaceniks making fools of themselves in Crawford. Several thousand Bush supporters arrived late last week to begin counter balancing the political circus there. You heard that right. I said the Bush supporters are making fools of themselves. Let me explain.

    According to MSNBC.com a group known as the protest warriors (www.protestwarrior.com) have also been in Crawford. The protest warrior group is dedicated to disrupting leftist peace rallies simply by joining them. They carry sarcastic signs that read things like “War has never solved anything; except ending slavery, Nazism, communism and fascism!”

    This is where the stupidity starts to take over. Being unable to decipher this blazing sarcasm, some of the pro-Bush demonstrators took signs from the protest warriors, tearing them up and throwing them to the ground. They attacked people who were saying the exact same things they were! Way to go guys, way to give Bush Supporters a good name!

    Comment by North Dallas Thirty — August 31, 2005 @ 11:22 pm - August 31, 2005

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