Democrats & Liberals Archives

Get Them, Before They Get You

Fear, rather than altruism was our main motivation for invading Iraq. Though its subject was not legitimate, the impulse was all too valid, given our recent, terrible experiences. That in mind, I have often said that paranoia- which is fear unbound by reason - is a waste of good suspicion. The Bush Administration, so intent on dealing with missiles from rogue states, and going after Iraq, didn’t really take the terrorist threat seriously until it hit far too close to home. We should not wait for events to disprove our most cherished preconceptons of the world.

Our national integrity, in terms of both defense and reputation, depends on getting our intelligence right before we make our choices- or as right as we can get it. Any other course of action leaves us open to attacks on our homeland, and on our honor.

Sometimes, I get the impression that the Bush administration has spent the last five years trying to vindicate what the conservatives have said for the past thirty years. All this talk about winning and losing a war in the media, all this talk about missile shields, tax cuts, faith-based anything, the mandate of conservative political control of the country, their right to bend and break the rules wherever they see fit to defend the country, or just to do what their elections seems to validate them to do.

Torture is one of those items. As somebody else pointed out, there's something funny about an administration that denies at the top of its lungs that it tortures, and yet threatens to veto legislation designed to outlaw just that. The irony of it all is that torture usually produces lousy intelligence. Even if we're talking about an imminent event here, the torture still renders our subject suggestible. This means that when the clock is ticking and the matter is down to the wire, we might be trying to prevent a catastrophe with nothing else than the confabulated ravings of broken will.

We are told that legitimate methods, thorough methods, methods meant to separate out the liars from the truth-tellers just get in the way, take too much time. Folks want us to accept their picture of the world, and act accordingly. Thing is though, being right wastes less time than being wrong. Being right means knowing how to act appropriately from the first, rather than stumbling about trying to find things out while you're in the middle of the mess. Of course, nobody's perfect, so we never get things 100%, but that's no excuse to waste time, money, lives, and prestige being ignorant of the truth. This is not just about being right, but about being able to accordingly act right.

In the course of things, though, it is only on rare opportunities that people come to the game of intelligence work as clean slates. The irony is that while theoretical preconceptions that be one of the worst distorters of intelligence, they are also, in some form, the very foundation of it. We have to assume that there are simpler patterns to the way the world works in order to try and predict how it works. So, some preconceptions, some prejudice even, is inevitable, and paradoxically vital to the process. We don't have the resources or brainpower to gather all the information we need, so we guess.

The question is, how far do we push the guess past what we know, and how hard do we push it? While we need to decide and analyze things with just the imperfect information we can get, we need to get and analyze what we do get with as much certainty as possible, and as much discretion as well. In short, we need to make the best of it, and not just excuse our failures away. It should outrage us, when intelligence failures of this magnitude occur. It's a thankless job, and it should be thankless because the stakes are so high. The pressure is on our intelligence agencies for legitimate reasons.

With all that in mind, of course, what we need are people who can stand up to that pressure and present the leaders with information that accurately reflects the state of the world- whether they like it or not. Unfortunately, some value political or ideological loyalty above good work.

On the other side of things, we need people who take foreign policy seriously, and who retain open minds, even if they they have philosophical tendencies to one side or another. Politics might legitimately motivate questions, but it should not determine the answer that a legislator hears or listens to. It is useless to get the best intelligence, if the leaders receiving it do not feel driven to seek out the truths of the world beyond their sphere of power. If all we care to hear is what fits in our small bubble, we will get attacked again and again, because our enemies will exploit our intelliectual weaknesses to their own benefit. In fact, that's what they have done time and again.

To get these terrorists, as casualities and as prisoners in our jails, we must "get" them as people, as individuals, as members of their societies. If we only take one approach to them, the likelihood is that we're going to miss something important. The more points of view we can get together, the greater likelihood is that the folks who have figured our enemies out in part can assemble their insights into a greater understanding. With that greater understanding comes a more refined, more effective strategy for dealing with those whose hands are raised against us. The better we control the beginnings of these confrontations, the better we control the conclusions of them.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at November 16, 2005 7:26 PM
Comments
Comment #93496

The problem here as I see it is that we do not Support our Troops. We should never have allowed the liberal media to publish the pictures!!! Doing so hurt our country and helped the terrorists!!!

Why do you help the terrorists, Stephen? Why do you undermine us with this call to prevent torture? Torture works!!! Don’t you watch “24”? It clearly proves that a little threat to a killer’s family works!!!

However, I do not blame you. You are just being a Liberal Girlie-Man. Its the French Blood in you. Resist your genes, Stephen!!! Be a Real American and obey the Bushies blindly like the other 61,000,000 people in this country!!! Be a Man, Stephen!!!

Posted by: Aldous at November 16, 2005 9:09 PM
Comment #93529

Stephen,

I read your post twice and I’m still not sure what you are saying.

It seems you allude to a number of changes but do not define them, as you would like them to be.

And, what is torture? The pictures we’ve all seen are not torture. They are harassment. How do you define torture?

Could you suggest other ways of how we can “get” these people/terrorists?

Sorry for all the questions, just trying to better understand what you’re driving at.

Posted by: Discerner at November 16, 2005 10:49 PM
Comment #93530

Wow Aldous that has got to be the stupidest thing I have ever read.I even feel a little dumber having read it
First off, the libreal media as you call them was not the problem with the Abu Grab mess, the hand full of soliders that did the tortue and humilation was. Those picture as where aired on Fox New Channel Does that make them Liberal?

Second, I’m not sure if you realize that 24 is a televison show, not real life. Yes believe it or not that never happened, and was actually written by somebody in Hollywood,who was likely “a liberal” as you call us democrats. If you would like to know about torture I suggest you read a piece written by Sentor John Mcain in this weeks issue of Newsweek. He as you may (or may not know after reading your post I don’t know if I can assume you can tie your shoe)was a prisoner of war for 5 plus years in Viet Nam. He was tortued hundreds of times so I feel he is an expert in the field. In his piece he stated that ” We (he and the other American Soliders) took great strength from the belief that we were different from our enemies” He also says that it is important for us to be different, better then our enemies. If we play by their rules we lose pure and simple.

Oh and as far as your “girlie-man liberal comment” that was so 2002. California has been the birth place of many fads, and arnold was just one of them.

Posted by: Doctor Shopper at November 16, 2005 10:59 PM
Comment #93532

Discerner wrote
” pictures we’ve all seen are not torture. They are harassment. How do you define torture”

I define being stripped naked made to kneel on a concrete floor with a 110LB German Shepard biting me in the nutsack torture.

Maybe thats just me.

Posted by: Doctor Shopper at November 16, 2005 11:02 PM
Comment #93534

Doctor Shopper, Aldous is making another one of his bad jokes. I guess you missed the sarcasm. Aldous is about three hundred miles to the left of Michael Moore.

Posted by: sanger at November 16, 2005 11:08 PM
Comment #93537

Good I hoped nobody could be that dumb. I am pretty new to this blog. When I was typing that I was kicking myself for having agreed with Aldous on a post a few days ago.

Oh and Discerner if what happened at abu grab was just humilation and no big deal why did the ring leader get sentenced to ten years in prision?

Posted by: Doctor Shopper at November 16, 2005 11:16 PM
Comment #93542

Doctor Shopper, the ringleader got sentenced to ten years in prison because the US military does not tolerate that kind of behavior in its troops.

We could spend a long time debating whether human pyramids and panties over heads, things which cause humiliation and possibly fear should be caused “torture” or something else, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s a semantic point which doesn’t bear on the military’s policies in regards to what we saw at Abu Ghraib.

The behavior was illegal and not condoned by the military—as evidenced by the fact that legal proceedings were already underway against those responsible long before the photos were made public.

Posted by: sanger at November 16, 2005 11:33 PM
Comment #93557

Its only illegal because they got caught. Take note that only enlistedmen were arrested. The Intelligence Agents who ordered them got scotfree.

Posted by: Aldous at November 17, 2005 12:14 AM
Comment #93558

That’s right, Aldous. The ones who are “really responsible” are probably hanging out right now with the people who were really responsible for killing Nicole Brown Simpson. God help them all when O.J. finally catches them!

Posted by: sanger at November 17, 2005 12:18 AM
Comment #93561

Discerner-
What is torture? Torment and abuse meant to break the will of a prisoner to resist their tormentor. This distinction based on the kinds of injury inflicted ignores the purpose and the intent of it.

What happened at Abu Ghraib was torture, and approval for it had to go on at a higher level. You couldn’t run a system like that without support from above. Not with so many prisoners being carried around.

This is all part of a loss of discipline and open-eyed inquiry that has plagued this country since 9/11, this notion that the problem was, we took to long to figure things out.

As time has gone on, the opposite has been demonstrated. Being sloppy, rushed, and prejudice about things is not the quick and easy way to find the terrorists and get them out. It’s just the expedient way of things.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2005 12:35 AM
Comment #93564

Stephen, people are abused while in police custody every day within the United States. It’s just ridiculous to say that this is because it was “approved” higher up the chain of command, and that the police in American cities routinely practice torture”as a matter of policy.

The fact remains that legal action was well underway against those responsible for the incidents at Abu Ghraib before it all was made public, seriously undermining the allegation that it was “approved” by anybody. If it had been approved and overseen by higher-ups, those higher-ups would hardly have stood by while Polaraids were taken to be plastered all over Al Jazeera.

There was a major breakdown in protocol at the Abu Ghraib prison—not a trifling matter, which is why the authorities took action. People were doing jobs they weren’t trained for and without proper oversight or direction. This is a fair criticicm to make, and that’s where criticism should be directed instead of reciting Al Jazeera and Al Qaida talking points about torture at Abu Ghraib.

The reason so many believe that there’s something sinister in Democratic attacks against the war effort is just this willingness you’ve shown to jump to the worst possible conclusions about our men and women in uniform and those who lead them.

Posted by: sanger at November 17, 2005 1:15 AM
Comment #93570

Sanger,
You make some great points, well said.

Unfortunately, leadership isn’t always about facts. Often, it’s about perception.

I remember reading about Abu Ghraib in the paper, when it first broke, just a few sentences about something very bad happening at a prison.

Months later, the Abu Ghraib story impacted public opinion when the pictures were published. I felt dismay. I remember what I thought, what I hoped President Bush would do:

Now is the time. Get on Air Force One, fly to Iraq immediately, and go directly to Abu Ghraib. Assemble the prisoners, stand in front of them alone and unarmed, and apologize. Offer each prisoner one million dollars in cash & an immediate pardon. Announce the sacking of everyone in the chain of command, right up through Rumsfeld. And then, talk from the heart. Give the speech of a lifetime, on what it means to be an American, to advocate human rights, to stand for democracy and liberty and all the values we cherish.

That would be an effective way of dealing with public perception. That would be leadership. That would be the act of a man I would follow to the ends of the earth.

But that’s not what happened. As the days passed, and Bush said nothing, I knew. I knew. Torture is the policy of the United States of America. I cannot tell you how… how… disappointing and dishonorable and ultimately infuriating I find that…

As time goes by, I find it increasingly difficult to be polite about expressing my views about the Bush administration. A long time ago, I learned the importance of not confusing the individual with the public image. I can tell you for certain, Edwin Meese was a fine person while he worked in California, and as an Attorney General Janet Reno was dedicated to the law to a degree that was nearly absurd.

So I try not confuse the person with the public image. But perception counts. And the failure of leadership of the Bush administration, the failure to manage perception, is something I will not easily forgive.

Posted by: phx8 at November 17, 2005 2:09 AM
Comment #93572

Hmm… would someone on the Right like to help a certain angry white man into a safety helmet? I’d really hate to see anyone hurt themselves…

Posted by: Adrienne at November 17, 2005 2:26 AM
Comment #93573

sanger:

Since you seem to know the truth, may I ask where were the Officers when all this happened? What about those Intelligence Agents pictured arranging naked prisoners? Did they just disappear?

Posted by: Aldous at November 17, 2005 2:27 AM
Comment #93574

phx8,
Very well said, and I couldn’t agree more.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 17, 2005 2:29 AM
Comment #93577
Torture works!!! Don’t you watch “24”? It clearly proves that a little threat to a killer’s family works!!!

Heh. Makes you wonder why Bush let bin Laden’s family flee the US right after 9/11. Somehow, I doubt Roosevelt would have let Hitler’s family get away. :)

Posted by: American Pundit at November 17, 2005 4:41 AM
Comment #93610

Angry White Man-
Why does your opinion of what the Real America is matter any more than any other American’s opinion out there? You’re free to presume to tell the rest of us how to think and act, and we’re free not to put credence in a single word you say. That’s Real America to me.

If you think it’s whining to say Bush lied, well that’s your opinion. I think it would be whining to let him continue that pattern of action, then complain each time when he gets us in another boondoggle because he can’t let the intelligence speak for itself, or because he doesn’t trust any piece of evidence that doesn’t line up with his expectations.

We’re not just planning to sit around and complain, we’re planning to take back enough seats in Congress and the Senate to where he can’t sneeze without submitting a report to us about it. No more Republican majority in both chambers of the legislature, handing Bush a blank check to screw up. He threw away his chance to retain the support of most Americans when he dishonestly and recklessly got us involved in a war we didn’t need at a time we didn’t need it.

That you have to resort to name-calling and marginalizing us, just indicates that you don’t have the solid notion of why you think the way you do, that either Aldous or I have. If you did, you would be responding to us the way that Sanger or Eric would, as much as we dislike their conclusions.

Sanger-
It’s a scapegoating. Throw a few underlings to the wolves, consider the matter closed. My point is that you cannot get that many people out of their cells and start doing the things they were doing without long term negligence, complicity, or direct involvement of the commanding officers. We have to ask that if Abu Ghraib was something that got out of hand, what was it that they were doing that got out of hand? Various sources in the media would tell us that these interrogation methods, in a more controlled fashion, are more the rule than the exception. Documents from the higher eschelons indicate a permissive, even encouraging atmosphere towards torture, and recent revelations show just how great the disregard for humane treatment of prisoners is.

I think if you go over what we’ve said about this war in general and the things we’ve said about torture specifically, you’ll find that we are not leaping to the worst conclusions about the soldiers who are ordered to carry this out. In fact, we’re not even leaping to conclusions about the higher-ups. We have a trail of evidence leading us to the conclusion that our government is running prisons where prisoners are interrogated through methods we would consider torture, or at the very least serious abuse if they were employed on prisoner here at home. Folks would be calling their lawyers. The unsavory nature of some of the targets of torture and abuse has left us all too silent about whether we want to be like that, and what we really have to gain from it.

Fact is, memory doesn’t improve under torture, it degrades, becomes worse than if you simply used regular methods. Torture victims becomes very vulnerable to the suggestions of their torturers, becoming even sensitive to the way that that the interrogator answers the questions.

If, for example you asked such a victim “Did you see the man standing outside the shop, did you see what color his shirt was?” Then he might say yes, and provide shirt color and other details as necessary, and worse, say it like he believes it. Why worse? Because he never saw this person. The person might not even exist! And yet, because he’s suggestible, he confabulates the entire story as needed by the torturer.

Would you want to be the soldier sent to fight on such a lead? Would want to be the investigator, forced to waste time on what would become a wild goose chase? Do you want to be the torturer, who not only bears responsibility for a bunch of bad information, but has to deal with the fact that he’s inflicting pain and abuse on helpless prisoners for his soldier’s pay, not fighting an enemy out in the field where there’s honor to be had.

Do you want to be the citizen whose defense from our enemies is the made up stories of a victim looking to end his pain and suffering?

Whether or not it meets the dictionary definition of torture, the strategies our government has used to interrogate the terrorists have little other purpose than to hurt and humiliate these people until they bend to our will. Now that might represent a victory of some kind, but it’s a hollow victory that blackens our name and doesn’t give us dependable information. Just a bunch of false alarms and bad information that lulls us into a false sense of security.

Real security needs a constant flow of dependable information. Bad information just wastes our time, no matter what kind of power trip we get from torturing a terrorist, or what kind of “necessary” policy we can get moving (like a war in Iraq) by fudging the facts a little bit.

As for whether approval mean them standing beside their troops in the same photos, I think the photos may represent the real breach of discipline to those above the soldiers, rather than the torture. The attitude of this administration is that these practices are alright as long as nobody has been caught at it.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2005 9:04 AM
Comment #93631

Sanger and Eric,

Do either of you honestly believe that
1) If the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations had not blown the whistle on the prisoner abuse in Iraq and Guantanamo, the Pentagon, well known for it’s transparency, would have come forward and exposed the abuse and held all of those involved accountable?
2) You honestly believe that a hand-full of privates and other low-ranking guards were behind the torture and that their supervisors, the Pentagon and this administration were unaware, even though the vice-president, G.W. and Gonzales have gone on record, begging law makers to let the torturing continue?
3) You still believe that G.W. has the best interests of our troops, this country and the Iraqi people as a priority over the Conservative “Think Tank” model of the Middle East and this administrations view of the U.S. role there?
4) You honestly believe that this administration did not push with all its might to get us into Iraq? They did not plan or research this war well before(years before)we attacked?
5)You don’t see that their rush to war and the selling of the war took precedence over and prevented them from properly planning for occupation and exit strategy?
6) Do you think Bush/Cheney decided to fight war on the cheap with minimal troops if they thought this was a just war that the American people would get behind?
7)Do you think that ignored borders, dismissed trucking cargo searches, non-existent airline cargo searches and lax shipping regulations equals a tough conservative fight against terror and protecting the American people?
8)You two feel that the record debt(foreign debt) is sound fiscal policy for the U.S.?
This is how we should pay for the war?
9)Tax breaks for the rich are more important than programs to help the poor?
10) You honestly believe that Tenet received the nations highest honor for bungling pre-war intelligence and being a complete “fuck-up”?
Not doctoring intelligence?
Chelabi is now the big man on campus in Iraq and meeting(shhh) with Cheney and Rumsfeld in Washington after he supplied bus-loads of bullshit pre-war intelligence and this is just a coincidence?
You two are O.K. with the rampant cronyism that has made this administration look completely incompetent?
How can you support this administration?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 10:21 AM
Comment #93633

American Pundit wrote:
Makes you wonder why Bush let bin Laden’s family flee the US right after 9/11. Somehow, I doubt Roosevelt would have let Hitler’s family get away. :)
_________________________________

Now, if Bush didn’t let his family go and he held them for years without a trial or imprisioned them, then what would you and the leftists do and say about that? Huh?!

Would that be wrong? Did they violate any laws? How could we blame and punish them when it’s Bin Laden that did it?!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 10:25 AM
Comment #93638

rahdigly,

Sounds like you finally get it.
Bin Laden did it. Not Saddam Hussein.

“Now, if Bush didn’t let his family go and he held them for years without a trial or imprisioned them.”

This would be different from his snatch up the Muslims policy how?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 10:34 AM
Comment #93653

Andre,

Whoa, whoa, whoa!!! Now that’s just classic. I answer a comment on OBL, then you chime in with Saddam. Saddam’s day in the sun is over! Finished! Done! No mas!

And, you ended up proving my point. You and the leftists will jump all over Bush one way or the other. Case in point, AP commented on how FDR wouldn’t have let Hilter’s family go as Bush did w/ OBL’s. Then you talk negatively about how Bush is with Muslim policy.

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 11:14 AM
Comment #93659

rahdigly,

You ask a question regarding Bush allowing Bin Laden’s family to leave. All I stated is that at least we’d be going after the person or family of the person responsible for 9/11.
Bin Laden remember him?

My second statement is that the U.S. has been snatching up Muslims and detaining them secretly and not so secretly for long periods of time and without being tried in a court of law.
Am I wrong?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 11:38 AM
Comment #93670

Yes, you’re wrong. The Muslims that are “snatched up” are prisoners of war; and, in my opinion, they definitely don’t deserve to be tried in court. Definitely not!

And, yeah I remember OBL, I responded about him in the post that you (later) responded to. Hello.

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 11:54 AM
Comment #93675

rahdigly,

If they’re prisoners of war why were so many released as a gesture of “good-will” a few weeks back.
Washington Post:
“The Iraqi and US authorities have announced the release of about 500 inmates from the notorious US-run Abu Ghraib prison, west of Baghdad, to mark the end of Ramadan.
Would releasing so many enemy fighters be considered sound war policy?
What about those prisoners who were snatched up from Europe and the U.S?
How are they POWs if the war is in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 12:10 PM
Comment #93686

Andre,

That’s b/c there are people in this country that will “blame our country first”. The goodwill gesture was for the terrorists and the left in this country; sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. You quoted the WP, well you should have quoted Newsweek. They’re the ones that reported the false story about our military’s treatment of detainees at Gitmo. It’s funny that congress got involved and went down there and made such a big stink about it. However, it turned out, those detainees had more than adequate treatment and the story was a lie.

As for the “secret CIA prison”, the left is making a big deal about it. However, for the past few months, the big deal (for the left) was about the White House involvement with “outing” of a CIA agent; but to no avail, no one was outed. And yet, now the outing of a secret prison is a big deal. Huh. Care to explain yourself on that one?!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 12:36 PM
Comment #93690

However one feels about Iraq and our conduct there (I personally feel we should stay stay until the nation is stable enough to hang on to a semblance of democracy), I’m now starting to worry the war will lead to the death not of thousands of soldiers of millions of Americans. Certain Republicans in Congress are refusing their own president’s request for the money to prepare the nation for a bird flu pandemic because this could add to our already massive deficit, which is partly being driven by the war.

Don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great to finally start thinking about the deficit but not when it comes to this particular issue. It could be the worse political decision in the history of the nation, which is saying a lot. Imagine Katrina on a global and national scale, one that kills millions rather than hundreds or thousands of Americans. If our involvement in Iraq is keeping us from taking care of such a basic, no-brainer piece of funding, then I’m suddenly dead-set against it. If it’s either funding Iraq or funding a plan to save millions of Americans, I think Americans should speak with one voice on the issue.

Posted by: Reed Sanders at November 17, 2005 12:41 PM
Comment #93706

sanger

That’s right, Aldous. The ones who are “really responsible” are probably hanging out right now with the people who were really responsible for killing Nicole Brown Simpson. God help them all when O.J. finally catches them!

Having served 20 years in the Military I have a hard time believing that a bunch of low rank enlisted soldiers would have the nuts to do something like that on their own. They know FULL WELL what would happen if they did.
Someone most likely ordered them to do what they did. And Military personnel ARE trained to follow orders. Who exactly ordered it we’ll probably never be known as Officers are generally protected by the system. And if it was the CIA (which I believe it was) we’ll never find out as they will deny it and there’s NO WAY to prove it.
Either way, those that participated in these acts SHOULD HAVE refused to follow the orders. Military personnel are ALSO trained to reject and NOT to obey orders that are either illegal or immoral, or both.
I feel that they got what they desreved because they were ordered to do somthing that in the eyes of the Military is BOTH illegal AND immoral. I just wish that whoever ordered it would get the same punishment that the soliders did. But regretfully they most likely won’t.

You don’t really think that OJ is innocent do you?

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 17, 2005 1:19 PM
Comment #93707

rahdigly,

“As for the “secret CIA prison”, the left is making a big deal about it. However, for the past few months, the big deal (for the left) was about the White House involvement with “outing” of a CIA agent; but to no avail, no one was outed. And yet, now the outing of a secret prison is a big deal. Huh. Care to explain yourself on that one?!”

I have no idea what you’re asking.
Are you asking why the outing of Valerie Plame was a big deal? Are you asking if someone was outed?
Are you asking if secret prisons exist? Are you asking if these issues are big deals?

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 1:23 PM
Comment #93711

angry white man
So your a TRUE AMERICAN and your angry. Well I have an organization that would just love to have your kind right now.
Here’s what you do. Look for a building that has a sign out front that says ‘I WANT YOU’ out front. Go in and tell the nice man that your a TRUE AMERICAN and your angry and want to let everyone know. They will give you a paper to sigh that will tell everyone that your a TRUE AMERICAN.
Then they’ll send you on a trip where you can demostrate how ANGRY you are. Why, they’ll even pay for this trip. And guess what? They’ll even give you money every month so you can party with other angry true Americans.
Don’t this sound like a whole heap of fun? Better hurry!

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 17, 2005 1:33 PM
Comment #93712

Adrienne

Hmm… would someone on the Right like to help a certain angry white man into a safety helmet? I’d really hate to see anyone hurt themselves…

I think the organization that I recomended to him will help him into a helmet.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 17, 2005 1:37 PM
Comment #93713

Andre,

What I’m saying is that a big deal was made about outing a CIA agent, yet no big deal about outing the CIA when it comes to their secret prisons. Now, no one was indicted with outing the agent; yet, no big deal was made (from the left or the media) about outing a secret CIA prison. Why?

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 1:42 PM
Comment #93715

Andre

If the Red Cross and other humanitarian organizations had not blown the whistle on the prisoner abuse in Iraq and Guantanamo, the Pentagon, well known for it’s transparency, would have come forward and exposed the abuse and held all of those involved accountable?

NO, they wouldn’t have came forward and told the public. But they WOULD punish, and as I understand it, WERE already punishing those that committed those acts.
Now only if the officers or CIA agents that ordered it were being punished.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 17, 2005 1:45 PM
Comment #93721

rahdigly,

The crazy “Left” think that the fact that the United States has secret prisons to torture detainees is the important issue.

Whistleblowers speak out about that which is offensive so that the public is aware of it.
Secret prisons are offensive.

Leaking is when the Bush administration tries to punish one of their detractors for disagreeing with their policy.
Why is the Bush administration lying if they were doing a public service like whistleblowing?
Why not come out and admit you blew the whistle on that un-American bastard Wilson and his evil wife Valerie Plame who are trying to manipulate info to make the Bush war machine look bad?
Because they were’nt and it’s not true.
Whistleblowing against a corrupt and offensive policy like “secret prisons” is not the same as leaking.
Nice try though.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 1:57 PM
Comment #93735

Reed, I agree. I feel the money being spent in Iraq should really be spent on protecting America — because our unprotected borders and the threat of bird flu are much greater risks to our security. As far as epidemics go, we can look at how quickly the Sar’s epidemic spread in Asia. We don’t certainly don’t want something similar to start happening here. And we already know that BF has the potential to spread faster than Sar’s did. No, we simply can’t afford to let that kind of virus get out of hand. The cost in massive deaths from such a virus could definitely affect our American, as well as the whole world’s, economy.

Ron, very good replies. And yes, obviously that kind of anger needs a helmet of one kind or another.

Andre, last post, nail on the head there.

Good article, and good posts all around, actually.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 17, 2005 2:41 PM
Comment #93750

No. The “important” issue to the crazy left is to take down Bush no matter who they have to go through. Making the troops look incompetent and ruthless, no problem as long as Bush’s looks bad. Lie about “Korans being flushed down the toilet”, even though it wasn’t true, it doesn’t matter b/c that’s a black eye for the Bush Administration. Uhh, hello! These are our brave men and women we’re talking about here. The left needs to stop using them to get at Bush!

And, my response to your comment: “Why is the Bush administration lying if they were doing a public service like whistleblowing?
Why not come out and admit you blew the whistle on that un-American bastard Wilson and his evil wife Valerie Plame who are trying to manipulate info to make the Bush war machine look bad?.”

When was Libby or Rove indicted for leaking Flame’s name?! When? They weren’t; the investigation took 2 years and they didn’t find anyone guilty of “leaking” her name. No one! My opinion is her lying husband did. And yes I can call him a liar b/c he has been debunked plenty of times.

And, the entire point is why does the media and the left harp on only the things that could impune Bush; regardless if they’re true or not. And yet, other big issues they just sweep under the rug or don’t give as much attention to as they do to the Bush-bashing stuff.

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 3:28 PM
Comment #93758

Aldous and Angry White Man have gotten the ultra right wing clap trap down to an art. What a pitty that to disagree with them makes everyone less a person or an American because of it. To question our leaders, wheather these leaders are local or federal, is the job of all of us in our Democratic Republic.

You two are practicing Karl Roveism, attact, attact and attact, then call those who dare disagree with you as unpatriotic, communistic, socialistic, anti God etc. This method elected Bush II as Governor and President, so it works with a frightened electorate.

I had the pleasure of watching a wonderful movie, “GOOD NIGHTS AND GOOD LUCK.” It tells of the McArthy era of fear and “a red under every bed.” A small group of people heald a mirror up to the Junior Senator and exposed him for what he was. I recommend that everybody, no matter your politics, to see this limited released movie, soon.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at November 17, 2005 3:53 PM
Comment #93759

As lately people have been writting a talking about following the president no matter what he does. If we all did that this would not be a democracy. Lately republican have been making trouble for people who don’t believe in their ideology. But it looks like american are starting to wake up to the fact that they are telling the american people to do something and they are doing another. As you can tell people are getting to the point where they are second guessing action take by the government and they have a righ to do so. But to me they are trying to put questioning the government and not supporting the troop together. The fact of the matter all of the people who use their policies to create a fasle urgency for war are the ones who as they say “Slapping the Troops in the Face”.

Posted by: Big Dog at November 17, 2005 3:59 PM
Comment #93764

WELL PUT BIG DOG. IT IS NOT A CRIME TO QUESTION ANY OF OUR SO CALLED LEADERS EVEN IF SOME OF THEM COULD NOT THINK THEIR WAY OUT OF A PAPER BAG.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at November 17, 2005 4:09 PM
Comment #93770

rahdigly,

“The “important” issue to the crazy left is to take down Bush no matter who they have to go through. Making the troops look incompetent and ruthless,”

Come on!
Was there a liberal stacking detainees naked in the hallway?
Was there a group of liberals pointing at the genitals of prisoners and snapping pictures of them?
Did a liberal President and vice-President threaten to veto a bill that would end torture?
This liberal crap you guys keep trying to throw out there is getting silly.
The troops who participated in the abuse of detainees made themselves look ruthless. The leaders at the Pentagon and the White House who support this and allow it to happen make themselves look ruthless.
And nobody, I mean nobody has to help George Bush or those who are running the Pentagon look incompetent. He has mastered the art of incompetency.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 17, 2005 4:23 PM
Comment #93777

I, FOR ONE, AM SICK AND TIRED OF THOSE OF YOU WHO BLAIM LIBERALS FOR EVERY PROBLEM FACING THIS GREAT NATION. THESE HORRABLE LIBERALS HAVE BROUGHT YOU SUCH HORRORS A SOCIAL SECURITY, MEDICARE, MEDICADE AND THE MAJORITY OF SOCIAL LEGISLATION SINCE A LIBERAL REPUBLICAN FREED THE SLAVES.

WE HAVE GREAT THINKERS SUCH AS GEORGE H.W. BUSH IN HELPING ALONG THIS FORM OF FUZZY THINKING. REMEMBER WHEN H.W. ACCUSED HIS OPPOINENT OF “BEING ONE OF THOSE ‘L’ WORDS.” LIBERAL IS NOT A DIRTY WORD. IT IS USED LIKE THAT BY PEOPLE WHO CAN NOT GO THROUGH LIFE WITHOUT BLAIMING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING FOR THEIR OUR MISTAKES.

I AM PROUD TO BE A LIBERAL AND I HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO BE SO. WE LIBERALS LOVE OUR COUNTRY, LOVE GOD AND BELIEVE IN MOM AND APPLE PIE JUST AS MUCH AS THE CONSERVATIVES, AND TO SAY WE DO NOT IS NOT ONLY AN INSULT TO US BUT TO THOSE HORRIBLE LIBERALS THAT DARED TO BREAK FROM KING GEORGE III AND EVEN CREATE A CONSTITUTION.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at November 17, 2005 4:42 PM
Comment #93782

Craig T.,

I completely agree with you, but there is no need to shout. There are plenty of us liberals in the Blue Column of this blog who can hear you loud and clear, so you really don’t have to resort to using all caps when you write, okay?

Anyway, I really came to post this great speech that I think many of you might like to listen to:
War Hawk Rep. Murtha (D-PA) Calls for Immediate Iraq Withdrawal
One-Time War Supporter, Vietnam Vet, Calls for ‘Change in Direction’
Says ‘American Public Ahead of Congress’ on War Debate, Its ‘A Flawed Policy, Wrapped in Illusion’ Hurting Our Military Preparedness, Budget


Posted by: Adrienne at November 17, 2005 4:53 PM
Comment #93787

Oh, wait a second Craig T….
I can’t agree with this:
“Aldous and Angry White Man have gotten the ultra right wing clap trap down to an art.”

Aldous was just being sarcastic. He’s really an extremely funny guy who simply likes to parody the views of the far-right. I believe that AWM you were correct about, however.

Posted by: Adrienne at November 17, 2005 4:59 PM
Comment #93790

Adrienne,
Thanks for the suggestion. I live in Kansas and we are working very hard to make Kansas a Blue State.

Rep. Murtha’s comments were greated by the Go P people with the typicle denouncements and as usual attact-attact-attact.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at November 17, 2005 5:03 PM
Comment #93793

Adrienne,
My most sincere appologies to Aldous. I re-read it with tongue in cheak and you are correct. Again thank you for the correction. Being fron Kansas, and being the laughing stock of the majority of the country, sometimes I forget and lose my sense of humor. Not all Kansasans are anti science and homophobic like the Go p ers like us to believe. When the moderates and liberals take back our state from the ultra right it will be a great day for human rights everywhere.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at November 17, 2005 5:13 PM
Comment #93815

Adrienne

Aldous was just being sarcastic. He’s really an extremely funny guy who simply likes to parody the views of the far-right. I believe that AWM you were correct about, however.

That’s why I don’t answer Aldous like I did AWM. Aldous is just being sarcastic while I have to think AWM is for real. Hell I even get sarcastic at times. In case you haven’t noticed.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 17, 2005 6:54 PM
Comment #93828

angry white man
In that case let me thankyou for your service to our country.
I’ve been there and done that too. 20 years Air Force.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 17, 2005 7:36 PM
Comment #93832

Angry White Man-
I think Ron Brown has you outclassed in this instance. You spent a few years in the military, he made it his career for a lifetime.

I think you misunderstand what the backbone of this debate is, You think it’s war/anti-war. That’s not the conflict. The conflict, as I’ve laid out, is between careless, reckless methods of gathering intelligence, and defending national security, and the more well-considered practices and procedures.

The more blood, treasure, and time we waste on bad intelligence, the worse off we’ll be. Good intelligence is crucial to knowing where to strike to take the enemy off their center of gravity. It’s crucial to knowing how to defend ourselves, and who to defend ourselves from.

You may make this out to be the utter supremacy of the right in it’s will to fight, but the fact of the matter is, you aren’t getting credit where credit is due. Look at this map, and tell me that that the blue states aren’t doing their part.

It’s sad that so many on the right so underestimate the willingness of the left to defend their country.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 17, 2005 7:55 PM
Comment #93845

A W M,

“Freedom is not easy, and it comes with a terrible price that must be paid.”

Do you know what a war profiteer is?

Who profits from this war? Ask yourself.

Posted by: phx8 at November 17, 2005 9:57 PM
Comment #93850

Andre wrote:
Was there a liberal stacking detainees naked in the hallway?
Was there a group of liberals pointing at the genitals of prisoners and snapping pictures of them?
Did a liberal President and vice-President threaten to veto a bill that would end torture?
__________________________________

Now, this is such a classic example of a liberal retort. I made a specific example of the left attacking our military to get at the President and you ignore that and go right to Abu Ghraib. Ok, even though you completely dodged the question, I’m going to answer you this one time.

Abu Ghraib was a terrible black eye for our military; that’s not how we are. I denounce that incident whole heartedly. I served in the military and I know there can be stupid, ridiculous things that happen and, once they get caught, it is certainly dealt with severely. I believe that the people responsible are getting exactly what they deserve and that’s a court martial. They will pay severely for that. So good riddance to them.

NOW! Let’s get back to the left going through the military to get at Bush. Andre, I am asking you directly to defend the left (if you dare) and explain to me why they were reporting false stories about prisoners at Gitmo and why they don’t give our soldiers the benefit of the doubt in war? Why?!

Don’t blame bush or any other Repub. Just tell me why the left has been so negative towards the war and the military for that matter?!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 10:29 PM
Comment #93871

A W M,
The point of this site is political debate. If you’d like to exchange views or rebut views, ‘bring it on.’ If you’re going to make a juvenile retort, stamp your foot in a perfect hissy fit, run upstairs and slam the door, it wastes everybody’s time.

Rah,

You write: “… tell me why the left has been so negative towards the war and the military…”

“Negative towards the war” is a loaded phrase. Which war? The left, middle, & right agree & support Afghanistan, have since the beginning. The degree of unanimity is actually pretty remarkable. All sides also seem to agree about the need to take out OBL.

The debate about torture is important, but separate.

The country was united after 9/11, and united after Afghanistan. The wheels came off with the invasion of Iraq.

The left supports the troops. In fact, it is the left which supports veterans benefits, unlike the right. What the left opposes is the leadership. Unfortunately for all of us, the left has been correct, and the leadership of this country has been disastrously wrong.


Posted by: phx8 at November 18, 2005 12:48 AM
Comment #93876

Stephen,
The funny thing is, with competent leadership, we could achieve victory in Iraq. It’s all about setting expectations, realistic expectations. Underpromise, and overdeliver.

Competent leadership would declare victory when Saddam Hussein is captured, a democracy is in place, and Al Qaida in Iraq is neutralized. These are realistic goals. There are obvious ways to plan to achieve these goals.

Saddam is finished. Elections will be next month. The opportunity for democracy has been provided, and what they do with this opportunity is up to the Iraqis.

The final point, neutralizing Al Qaida in Iraq, is more difficult. Drawing down US troops should slow the insurgency, and I believe that will cause even the Sunnis to reject the suicide bombings of the terrorists. Competent leadership can achieve this.

Incompetent leadership sets unrealistic goals. Even a great performance starts to look like failure in this scenario. Incompetent leadership fails to plan ways to achieve realistic goals. Everything becomes a reaction. As enemy actions force reactions and changed plans, the goal constantly changes as well, reflecting the new circumstances that have been dictated by… the enemy. Incompetent leadership overpromises, and underdelivers.

Posted by: phx8 at November 18, 2005 1:43 AM
Comment #93882

angry white man, when a participant here calls another participant here a loser, in light of our policy clearly posted at the top of every column, they lose their posting privileges here, as you have just done.

Posted by: Watchblog Managing Editor at November 18, 2005 2:59 AM
Comment #93908

rahdigly,

“NOW! Let’s get back to the left going through the military to get at Bush. Andre, I am asking you directly to defend the left (if you dare) and explain to me why they were reporting false stories about prisoners at Gitmo and why they don’t give our soldiers the benefit of the doubt in war? Why?!”
We are against the war, not the troops. Please don’t give me the often repeated, nonsense that to be against the war we are hurting our troops crap.

The left has not bashed the military. It is a figment of the Bush supporters imagination.
Tell me how the Democrats/Left/Liberals have bashed our troops? Tell me how we are criticizing out troops to get to Bush.
I will answer any question you have, if you ask one that is based in reality.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 18, 2005 9:05 AM
Comment #93922

phx8
Who profits from this war? Ask yourself.

It sure as hell aint the poor solider fighting it.

Posted by: Ron Brown at November 18, 2005 10:51 AM
Comment #93924

Ron Brown,

“Who profits from this war?”

Haliburton.
Large corporations w/defense contracts.
Big Oil.
Chilabi.
The Conservative Think-Tanks.
yellow ribbon magnet makers/ sellers.
The insurgencey.
Radical Muslim clerics needing “hate the west” propoganda
Dick Cheney aka Dr. Evil
Country/Western singers w/God Bless America songs on their new albums.


Posted by: Andre M. HernanAndre M. Hernandez at November 18, 2005 11:05 AM
Comment #93929

Andre M. Hernandez wrote:
The left has not bashed the military. It is a figment of the Bush supporters imagination.
Tell me how the Democrats/Left/Liberals have bashed our troops? Tell me how we are criticizing out troops to get to Bush.
I will answer any question you have, if you ask one that is based in reality.
_____________________________________

Yes the left has bashed the military. I’ll tell you what, I’ll repost my “reality” question that I asked you the other day, to which you totally ducked it, I might add.

“NOW! Let’s get back to the left going through the military to get at Bush. Andre, I am asking you directly to defend the left (if you dare) and explain to me why they were reporting false stories about prisoners at Gitmo and why they don’t give our soldiers the benefit of the doubt in war? Why?!

Don’t blame bush or any other Repub. Just tell me why the left has been so negative towards the war and the military for that matter?!!!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 17, 2005 10:29 PM ”
___

Printing & running with only negative stories and overlooking the positive stories is another “reality” example as well. However, let’s just concentrate on Gitmo for now…

Posted by: rahdigly at November 18, 2005 11:22 AM
Comment #93943

Phx8 wrote:
“Negative towards the war” is a loaded phrase. Which war? The left, middle, & right agree & support Afghanistan, have since the beginning. The degree of unanimity is actually pretty remarkable. All sides also seem to agree about the need to take out OBL.
__________________________________

I agree with you that all sides were united and in unisons right after 9/11; however, as the Afghanistan war went on, that’s when the rift between the two sides became palpable.

The right and left have been split with OBL in Pakistan. The left believes to go into a Nuclear Weapons holding Nation like Pakistan, which has a lot of muslim extremist in their country already, and break their sovereignty in order to get OBL; if that is indeed where he is staying. The right wants to break apart the Al Qaeda cells, cut off their finances and fight terrorists in terrorist states and then have that disease known as “DEMOCRACY” sweep across that region in order to have a chance a “Peace in the Middle East”.

The right believes that OBL is important to catch; however, even if we catch him tomorrow, Al Qaeda and other terrorists will be just as strong. He’s a non factor right now and that’s b/c the US made it that way. The left wants to catch OBL, send him to court, where he’ll receive the best lawyers (from the ACLU) who will probably give him a reduced sentence where he can have Snoop Dog and Jamie Foxx have a rally for he and the founder of Cyrpts that will be executed soon. Nice, huh?!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 18, 2005 12:19 PM
Comment #93944

Just tell me why the left has been so negative towards the war and the military for that matter?!!!

I’ll tell you that the left has definitely NOT bashed the military. Most of us “liberals” believe in a strong military for our defense, not a costly pre-emptive war. How costly?:
1. Almost 2100 US troops killed
2. $300 billion (I’ll add that most of this was borrowed from China, a potential adversary)
3. Thousands of Iraqis killed
4. Our reputation in the world

And yes, we can blame Bush and his cabal for this. Congress gave him the keys to the car, he wrapped it around a tree after running it through a crowd of people.

Posted by: MyPetGoat at November 18, 2005 12:26 PM
Comment #93950

rahdigly:

I believe Andre asked you a question. “Tell me how we are criticizing our troops to get to Bush”

I would like to hear it too, come on, don’t just rant generalities, give it to me straight. I’m a big guy, I can take it.

My money is on that you can’t do it. You can’t say in ONE instance how us evil liberals have bashed the military. Matter of fact, I don’t know of anyone with a pair big enough to blast the military, and I run with a very liberal bunch of people.

Posted by: MyPetGoat at November 18, 2005 12:58 PM
Comment #93959

rahdigly,

We’re waiting.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 18, 2005 1:35 PM
Comment #93976

Andre, phx8 and goat something,

“Flushing the Korans down the toilet” at Gitmo was a FALSE & misleading story that made our military look like they were incompetent, not to mention, torturing the prisoners. They weren’t! And yet, the left; which includes the media that reported the story with another “anonymous” source, and the Democratic Senators like Dick “Turbin” Durbin who likened our military’s treatment of those prisoners to Pol Pot, Nazi’s and the Gulags. And the story was completely false! FALSE!! And yet, the damage was (already) done to the military and the administration; all by the left. Nice going lefties!


Now, all three of you try (just try) to defend your “military friendly” leftists on that. Go ahead.

Posted by: rahdigly at November 18, 2005 2:44 PM
Comment #93983

rahdigly,

You keep bringing up one story you feel was falsely reported to justify your position that we on the left bash the men and women fighting in Iraq.
What about the hundreds of other incidents of torture and abuse that this administration sanctions that were captured on film? Do we dismiss those photos and stories?
Do we pretend we, The United States of America, does’nt have secret prisons where detainees are tortured and some have been killed?
Do we pretend that this administration has’nt been more harmful to our military people by putting them in harms way, cutting benefits, maiming, underplanning and under-supplying soldiers, giving them orders to torture and then scapegoating them when it comes to light.
You pretend this administration is “for” our troops. I will not.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 18, 2005 3:00 PM
Comment #93984

Rah,
Opposing torture supports our military. Opposing torture supports the ideals we stand for as a country.

Furthermore, the torture is carried out by both military and intelligence personnel, but more importantly, torture is countenanced by the Bush administration, to the dismay of the polity.

Personally, I thought the whole Gitmo Koran story was silly from day one. But I am absolutely opposed to the use of torture.

Supporting the troops doesn’t mean they’re beyond reproach. For example, using WP is grounds for criticism. But I don’t think anyone believes supporting our military goes so far as to condone war crimes, right? You know & I know there is such a thing as a lawful order.

Posted by: phx8 at November 18, 2005 3:02 PM
Comment #93988

Rahdigly-
I suppose if you researched any further than your current sources you might discover that Durbin was relating the opinion of an FBI agent.

This is the problem: a rose-colored view of government under Bush and the Republicans, mixed with a jealously prejudicial view of government under the Democrats.

The only reason why Durbin apologized was political pressure. Y’all should understand that this, and not necessarily the pure principle of things can count for a lot of the reason the Republicans haven’t had worse press before now.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 18, 2005 3:20 PM
Comment #94003

Andre and Phx8,

You asked for specifics and I gave you one, specific example (for now). If either of you would’ve (actually) answered it, then I would’ve given you another “specific” example. I now see why the left has a hard time debating with the people. That’s a classic example of dodging, ducking and impuning a debate. However, it is clear that you want to run from a debate, smear Bush and sidestep the issues.

Andre, you said that: “You keep bringing up one story you feel was falsely reported to justify your position that we on the left bash the men and women fighting in Iraq.”

I “feel”?!!! Does that mean you don’t think the flushing of the korans down the toilet in Newsweek wasn’t a false story? If so, then what’s your evidence that it was true? Hmmm?! Explain yourself. You actually have to explain that comment; I know that has been extremely difficult up to this point, but I think you can do it.

The left has a serious problem in this country b/c you keep reciting these liberal talking points on a daily basis. You did that for two years and Bush was (still) reelected; even with all the hateful things that was said about him. He also had the military vote (again) by over 3 to 1. Nice.

So, you’re going to have to come up with something better then “you feel this way”. Bottom line, if liberals are going to debate this way (dodging the question) then libs can debate amongst themselves. Later!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 18, 2005 4:01 PM
Comment #94023

Like I said:

Our military should be used for DEFENSE, not a senseless, costly pre-emptive war.

Pre-emption is a dangerous precedent as is any use of torture.

Simple enough

Posted by: MyPetGoat at November 18, 2005 6:20 PM
Comment #94031

I have read the posts from both left and right contributors about politics, the Iraq war, torture, etc. To begin with let me express how I feel about Republicans and Democrats (or any other political aspirants). There isn’t a tremendous amount of difference among parties. I see it as “same whore—different corner”.
Those who are to the left of center will always forgive the missteps of there leaders and vice versa.

I wish you all, regardless of political affiliation would realize one important fact: Very little of your information is first hand. So the filter of your bias generally dictates your stance and ideaology.

The torture/harrassment revealations in Iraq are indeed sensational, however, they cannot hold a candle to the interrogation methods that were employed in Viet Nam under mostly Democrat administrations.

I was a Republican at one time; I cannot be one anynore. I also cannot be a Democrat. I find both parties to be first amd foremost concerned with retaining their individual position. It seems to matter not what they believe that they must espouse to do so. Whatever you need to hear to select them is what they will relay to you. Both Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton were excellent at employing this strategy.

The Dahli Lama captured the essence of our collective hopes when he stated that all living entities want to be happy and avoid pain. If we all approach life, be it political life, social life, moral life, etc. from that commonality, we will understand first and foremost that we all want and require the same thing.

Namaste

Posted by: Gary at November 18, 2005 7:18 PM
Comment #94032

I have read the posts from both left and right contributors about politics, the Iraq war, torture, etc. To begin with let me express how I feel about Republicans and Democrats (or any other political aspirants). There isn’t a tremendous amount of difference among parties. I see it as “same whore—different corner”.
Those who are to the left of center will always forgive the missteps of there leaders and vice versa.

I wish you all, regardless of political affiliation would realize one important fact: Very little of your information is first hand. So the filter of your bias generally dictates your stance and ideaology.

The torture/harrassment revealations in Iraq are indeed sensational, however, they cannot hold a candle to the interrogation methods that were employed in Viet Nam under mostly Democrat administrations.

I was a Republican at one time; I cannot be one anynore. I also cannot be a Democrat. I find both parties to be first amd foremost concerned with retaining their individual position. It seems to matter not what they believe that they must espouse to do so. Whatever you need to hear to select them is what they will relay to you. Both Ronald Regan and Bill Clinton were excellent at employing this strategy.

The Dahli Lama captured the essence of our collective hopes when he stated that all living entities want to be happy and avoid pain. If we all approach life, be it political life, social life, moral life, etc. from that commonality, we will understand first and foremost that we all want and require the same thing.

Namaste

Posted by: Gary at November 18, 2005 7:20 PM
Comment #94039

Goat said:

“Like I said:

Our military should be used for DEFENSE, not a senseless, costly pre-emptive war.

Pre-emption is a dangerous precedent as is any use of torture.

Simple enough”
_________________________

If we don’t have preemption in this war against the terrorists, we would have hundreds of thousand of people die before our military could be used for “defense”.

Just ask yourself this question, how many 9/11’s does it have to take to (finally) decide to preemptively strike and eliminate them before they strike (AGAIN!)?

Israel has been doing that; especially in 1967, they didn’t wait to be hit (they can’t afford to) and they kicked the palestinian’s butt all over the place. Yeah! Step off.

Bottom line, preemption works and it is a must in this War on Terror!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 18, 2005 7:56 PM
Comment #94054

1967? are you kidding me? how much war and killing do you expect the US to do?
I for one, will not stand by and watch my country decimate a population because people like you are scared shitless of another 9-11.

If you’re so scared or patriotic or whatever, please re-enlist, your president needs you. It’s folks with your attitude that created this whole mess in the first place. Diplomacy, not intervention is the way to peace. Your war in Iraq creates more terrorists than it erases.

Oh, and it’s MyPetGoat. You know, the book your president likes to read in the middle of terrorist attacks.

Posted by: MyPetGoat at November 18, 2005 9:30 PM
Comment #94205

I know this is off the subject and I hope you all will understand. I wish everyone a safe and pleasant Thanksgiving. My God bless each and everyone of us.

Posted by: Craig T. Rich at November 19, 2005 1:30 PM
Comment #94337

rahdigly, I’m not sure how reporting what a senior pentagon official said is not supporting the troops. Newsweek even gave the Pentagon a chance to review and reject the story, but they chose not to.

That example’s not very good. What else you got?

Posted by: American Pundit at November 20, 2005 9:30 AM
Comment #94363

Stephen,

As usual, you wrote another thoughtful article. It is interesting and disappointing to me how we on the left and those on the right talk past each other. We ask a question, challenge a policy - or criticise an incompetent commander and chief and they assume that we hate America, are weak, and naive. They say something and we just know that they are secretly practicing the goosestep - I think some of them really are. I have been and will be gone from these discussions for a while because I am busy writing “Rays Brief Abridged Dictionary of Political Buzz Words and Phrases” which is written from a somewhat humorous sarcastic occasionally serious left perspective. I may occasionally post a few entries here. I am here today looking for new buzz words to define but I have to chime in the debate a little bit.

You wrote:

We need an exit strategy. Maybe in some fantasy world, you can keep the soldiers in Iraq forever, but in the real world, This is draining our resources, breaking our armed forces, and pouring gasoline on the fires of al-Qaeda’s propaganda. Any good author on military strategy would also tell you that prolonged warfare on the part of an aggressor is never smart. You’re thinking one move ahead in the War on Terrorism, but not working out what it means to our security to have an Army that’s no longer capable of keeping fresh troops in the field.

We need, of course, a way out that doesn’t let the bad get worse, but things will not get better if we’re still there five years from now.

I agree we need an exit strategy. The fact that we do not have one is just one more failure of our President. As I have written elsewhere I was opposed to this war from the start - but now that we are in it - I do want to see us try to win or at least draw, not lose it. Good things are happening in Iraq and a free and democratic Iraq would be good for us. Bad things (like Abu Ghireb, torture, and Shia death squads) are happening in Iraq and the war is, or is becoming unwinable. Unfortunately, it is yet one more failure of this President that we are in a double bind no win situation. If we stay, we recruit millions of new terrorists and train tens of thousands of them with live combat training. If we go, we appear weak and beatable and we grant the terrorist a safe haven. Pick your poison we lose either way. That is the situation that Bush has led us into. I am tottering on the edge of changing my mind, but I have been in favour of finishing the job. We may as well at least gain the advantages of a free and democratic Iraq if we can, in order to offset the massive losses of casualties, new terrorists, and treasure. This is all becoming a mute point. We now have an exit strategy. It is called the midterm elections. The Republicans are going to begin to get us out of there for political reasons. Much like Viet Nam this war has been micro-managed by the civilian political leadership from the start (can you say Rumsfeld) - and so for political reasons - we will withdraw. We will withdraw because the war has become unpopular. Our right wing rivals will blame that on us and the American people - but the fact is, that this is but one more failure of our President. He took us to war on the basis of cherry picked, hyped, flawed, shaky intelligence and did not share the uncertainties (which he was fully aware of), of that intelligence with us. Some of us, like myself, saw through the smoke screen, and opposed the war - but were cowed and did not make enough noise at the time. That was my failure. I am making noise now and our right wing friends just want me to shut up. Bush also said that we did not need to listen to our Generals and send in adequate troops, that we could declare mission accomplished, that we would be greeted as liberators, and that our casualties and cost would be light. In short, he did not prepare the American people to make the sacrifices necessary to win this war and so the American people have turned against it - and that is just one more failure of his leadership. He will point the finger of at blame us and the American people, but there are three fingers pointing back at him. This is his failure - case closed - end of report.

Posted by: Ray G. at November 20, 2005 12:42 PM
Comment #94417

Ray G.-
I think you should keep in mind that many of those who opposed the war from the start oppose it for the very same reasons you are beginning to oppose it now. They just came to believe what they did a long time ago. Some of my people would never have given Bush a chance, but many Democrats did after 9/11, and I think the great tragedy in all this is that he alienated people who might very well have become his supporters despite their liberal politics.

Bush would have had to sacrifice his agenda, to be sure, but that would have been a small sacrifice to make for unity in this all too divided country. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it, and here we are, at each other’s throats.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at November 20, 2005 8:24 PM
Comment #94482

rahdigly,

I know you don’t like my responses. Nothing I can do.
You want to fixate on the one incident you can bring a hint of doubt about. I was not and therefore have no first-hand proof that the Queran, The Bible or Humpty-Dumpty, or any other book was flushed down the toilet. If you would like me to concede I can’t because other than you and Rush Limbaugh I’ve heard no proof that it didn’t happen.
This does not prove that the left bashes our troops either. It proves that Newsweek wrote an article that you question. That’s it.
You have wasted alot of peoples time who actually thought you had proof that we bash our troops, which is how this back and forth thing between us started.
You have said nothing to back your position.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 21, 2005 8:09 AM
Comment #94728

Andre wrote:
If you would like me to concede I can’t because other than you and Rush Limbaugh I’ve heard no proof that it didn’t happen.
___________________________________

Ahhh! You must of worked at CBS. That’s exactly how Mary Mapes and Dan Rather see it. They truly believe that their job as reporters is to report the story and it’s up to everyone else to prove it is false. Well, reality sets in at some point and we all know that you have to prove your story to be “true”; that’s how journalism works. It’s no wonder that the lefties recite and defend this kind of rhetoric; the biased, liberal media is their “Bible”. Ohhh no, I have a religious reference in this post. Ahhhh! He! He!


AP, you wrote: “I’m not sure how reporting what a senior pentagon official said is not supporting the troops. Newsweek even gave the Pentagon a chance to review and reject the story, but they chose not to.”

http://www.uwire.com/content/topops052605002.html

As you can see, you’re clearly wrong. They thought they had Senior Pentagon officials backing their story up but they didn’t. It was another “anonymous” source that they ran with instead. Hmmm! No matter though, it just made our military look incompetent and like they were torturing the prisoners. They were not! Not!

I’m telling you all right now that “the left” in this country has a serious problem with the truth and facts. They don’t think the media is biased; they believe the worst about our military without giving them the benefit of the doubt; their retort to republicans or people with different viewpoints other than their own is “right-wing lies”… “you got that from Rush Limbaugh”; and many on the left truly believe Bush is worse than the terrorists. You all that believe that are going to have to face reality and take a chill pill or something.

The bottom line is, the left ran a false story and it was a “black eye” to our military. Now, before the leftwing freaks come out of the woodwork and say “Abu Gharib”, let me say that Abu Gharib and was a self inflicted black eye for our military; they made the mistake and they’re paying for it. The “Koran flushing story” was untrue and Newsweek’s punishment was not nearly as severe as that of our military’s at Abu Gharib. Newsweek didn’t get over 50 front page article of their debacle; Abu Gharib did.

Hey liberals, you better get your priorities straight or we’re going to lose this country; and if the muslim extremists were in charge, you would be the first to go. That’s a fact!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 22, 2005 7:43 AM
Comment #94740

Rahdigly,

You have taken mindless rambling and empty threats to an all new low.
No proof, No insught, No point.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at November 22, 2005 8:48 AM
Comment #94742

rahdigly, I can see why you’re so misinformed. You’re going to put up a college newspaper editorial against The Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, and every other major news outlet?

When you write stuff like your last post, it’s no wonder nobody takes you seriously.

Posted by: American Pundit at November 22, 2005 8:56 AM
Comment #95070

AP and Andre,

“mindless rambling and empty threats”…”you’re so misinformed”

Oh really! Well, you two just continue to dodge my viewpoints and attack me with labels. Personally, I believe it’s b/c I thwarted (that’s right thwarted!) you two on the Abu Gharib retort. I swatted you down on that one. Bam!


Now, I’m calling you two out directly, do you agree that the Newsweek story (“Flushing Korans down the toilet”) was false or not? Yes or No?

Do you believe Mary Mapes when she said that it’s “our job in the media to run the story, it’s up to you to prove us wrong”?! Once again, yes or no?!

Posted by: rahdigly at November 23, 2005 9:01 AM
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