Democrats & Liberals Archives

Hoping it Makes the Difference.

I would like to join my fellow Watchbloggers in the celebration of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s death, hoping the reports aren’t premature. I sure hope he got right with the Lord before he went, and begged forgiveness of every victim. If not, he’ll get what he deserves. I also hope that whatever role he was playing in this bloody war is bloody irreplaceable, and that this marks the beginning of the end here.

Would you be suprised to hear that I have my doubts about that? Probably not. But it sure would be nice if his death matters to this war.

The mistake Republicans make in regards to this war is thinking that we Democrats wouldn't want it better. I think we were loving this war pretty well when we'd successfully toppled Saddam. It's that part after that makes us the frustrated, hard to please folks you see.

It's the common thread in discussions about this war. The number of troops. The Armor. The strategy. The ability to win. Though Republicans have carped that we wanted to lose this war, that's never been true. What many of my Democratic colleagues don't want to do is spend years fighting another losing war.

Whatever gave them that idea? That this was a losing war? Republicans would complain it's the media's negative press, but whenever something important has gone right, they've reported it. Zarqawi's death, Saddam's capture, the successful elections. But that's the crucial part: importance. People are looking to find out whether we're winning battles, taking back territory. They're not waiting with baited breath for the next open school; that's quiet, background material (though not unimportant to the war effort).

If the violence subsides, if the quality of the insurgency diminishes, we will know that Zarqawi's death has meant something. Boy do I want it to mean something. I'm sick of this war. Our nation needs to heal from this, and this war is getting in the way, a thorn stuck in our side, bleeding us, paining us.

Von Clausewitz, in his book On War talked about destroying enemy forces in broader terms than mere annihilation, and rightfully so. Armies, insurgent or conventional, require systems of support to keep them in the field. What we can only hope is that Zarqawi was what Von Clausewitz would call a center of gravity, a person whose expertise, werewithal, connections, charisma or whatever else was key to keeping the insurgents strong and working together.

If he's not? We need to find where the center of gravity is for the insurgency, and push them off it, if we can. Just continuing to kill insurgents will not win this war. To win this war, we have to make it pointless or impossible for the insurgents to remain a fighting force. Let's hope this man's death works to those ends. Otherwise, lets do what's necessary to see those ends through, or do the decent thing for our soldiers and head on home. If the Republicans want support for this war, they need progress. I'm sure Zarqawi's death will be of benefit, but even if it is, more headway needs to be made before Americans can regain faith in those leading our military. Let's shape up or ship out.

Posted by Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2006 7:57 AM
Comments
Comment #155499

Steve—Finally a productive turning point? I hope so, I just heard about this like 4 minutes ago. It probably won’t stop the insurency but a great advent indeed that will have reverberations of one form or another. I must say I am pleased too.

Posted by: Novenge at June 8, 2006 9:14 AM
Comment #155503

Right you are, Stephen. Real support will come only with real results, not with transparent ideologies. The question is, will Zarqawi’s death really benfeit us? Bush and Blair are already saying so, and I sincerely hope they are right. We desperately need to start seeing real progress, which means seeing a substantive, protracted dimunition of insurgency attacks. However, the death of Zarqawi could actually inflame, rather than diminish, the insurgency, as one Islamic web site (reported by CNN) points out:

“We tell our prince, Sheikh bin Laden, your soldiers in al Qaeda in Iraq will continue along the same path that you set out for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The death of our leaders is life for us and only makes us more determined to continue the jihad…”

Only time will tell which side is right. Let’s hope our side is.

Posted by: scoreggi at June 8, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #155504

I for one dont beleive you and deny you the right to celebrate this great victory.You sir just continue to do what you do best which is run down our troops and run down our country.You should be ashamed of yourself to try and take part in this joyfull event.

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 9:23 AM
Comment #155508

“I think we were loving this war”

I think that’s the most twisted thing I’ve read in months. Damn - anyone who “loves” war needs to do some serious soul searching.

I want things to go better in iraq - of couse. Ann Coulter and her whacked bunch of followers can beleive whatever the hell they want to believe, but I know of no American (DEM, REP, IND) who hopes for or celebrates the way things have gone in Iraq. Mt frustration is that I was against the war from the beginning of it’s idea - and I’ve been proven right on pretty every single one of my misgivings about the war.

— No WMDs. We sent out military to die for lies or incompetence (pick one… doesn’t make it any better.)

— Bringing down Saddam was a huge distraction from the hunt for OBL & a huge waste of precious resources.

— We’re still using a sledge hammer as a surgical instrument - using 140K troops when just a few covert special ops could’ve done so much more so much better.)

— I’m glad al-Zarqawi is gone. However, we can’t kill our way out of this mess. Iraq is the petri dish, and we’re breading terrorist way faster than we can kill them. Anyone who thinks al-Zarqawi’s death will slow or bring an end to terror against the US …

— We have a beautifully frame image of a dead guy’s head as a White House trophy. That’s extremely twisted… too bad the guy didn’t have antlers.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #155524

The left loses their top aly yesterday courtesy the red white and blue.Abu musab al-zarqawi took two 500 pound bombs to the chest and is no longer able to assist the liberal democrats with their propaganda against the United states of america.This was the icing on the cake as yesterday was a wonderful day for americans who love america.Ann coulter kicked a few bricks out of the wall of the democrat party just by telling the truth.The truth is never a good thing for the dems.The U.N. shot themselves in the foot by insulting the american people.And Joseph Biden went in front of the world yesterday on hardball with cris mathews to tell iran to move forward with their nuke program and that he alone would make sure G.W dont bomb their nuke facilities.Dan Rather is dumped for the second time by C.B.S. Life is swell The american people are seeing the liberal democrats for what they truly are.ANTI-AMERICA.

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 10:26 AM
Comment #155525

Stephen,

I, too, hope that the killing of this murderous terrorist will help shift momentum and mark a turning point.

I only hope that we are not deluding ourselves with the “kill the head and the snake dies” idea. Or will another “snake” rear its ugly head even uglier and more vicious than the last?

I hope not and hope also that this is the beginning of the end of our involvement and the dawn of a new day in Iraq.

Posted by: Jim T at June 8, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #155536

lookingout -

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 10:58 AM
Comment #155538

— We have a beautifully frame image of a dead guy’s head as a White House trophy. That’s extremely twisted… too bad the guy didn’t have antlers.

==========

I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry at that.

Posted by: tree hugger at June 8, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #155544

Just one more sick thing… on www.cnn.com - their main image (framed dead guy) is directly opposite the Victoria Secret banner ad.

Ever wonder what Rome was like when the flames started getting out of control?

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #155545

Lookingout, You really are nothing but a cranky, crabby curmudgeon who never has anything good to say about anything or anybody. YOU should get the hell out of this country on a one way ticket before any of us! Just because we liberals don’t fall into the mold that you conservatives made up for us certainly doesn’t lend you any credibility. You are just a blowhard asshole that gives conservatives a bad name, especially when you make up lies about owning a business and how SUPER the economy is.YOU should be working for the terrorists with the propaganda you put out. With all the numbnuts that think llike you, this country wouldn’t have a chance!

Posted by: sk at June 8, 2006 11:22 AM
Comment #155549

SK-Sir i respectfully disagree with you Ithink George Bush,Dick Cheney,Condolisa Rice and donald Rumsfeild are wonderful people and are true patriots.I think our military are all true HERO’S.I love all those who love their country The United States Of America.

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 11:36 AM
Comment #155558

If W thinks that bombing a neighborhood and killing some bad guys is “bringing Zarqawi to justice”, I cringe to think what is going to happen to the American court system. A trial would have been justice. This is just revenge.
I can’t celebrate the death of a human being, even a so-called enemy. And for all of the Christians out there, where are the good moral values in whooping it up when we have taken a life. Aren’t Christians supposed to set an example with their Christlike behavior?

Posted by: Lynn from OR at June 8, 2006 11:57 AM
Comment #155560

Lynn ever heard of an eye for an eye?

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 12:06 PM
Comment #155561

Where is everybody at today good news must make you sleepy!

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #155564

Good news… no, but wornout trollmongering… zzzzzzzzzzzz.

Try adding in a bit of substance… or at least make it fresh.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #155566
Lynn ever heard of an eye for an eye?

lookingout,

I don’t know if Lynn ever has, but Jesus did:

“Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.” ~Matthew 5:38-41

Posted by: JayJay Snow at June 8, 2006 12:26 PM
Comment #155572

We gave him our cloak we went the extra mile then we hit him with 1000 pounds of explosives 500 would have done the trick so maybe you can blame G.W. for wasting the other 500!

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 12:37 PM
Comment #155574

The cornerstones of our Democracy go beyond voting for those who make the laws. Key to the greatness of the structure are the guaranteed freedoms of speech, religion,the press and the protection of the rights of minorities. Our government was set up with a system of checks and balances to guarantee against the erosion of the freedoms on which our country is based.

I love those promises of our country, which is why I so deplore what the current government is doing.
And, for you right wingers who maintain that we are not truly happy that Zarqawi is no longer on the scene, it is the Bush government which has gained so much from Al Qaeda. They have utilized its existance to justify every agenda they have had in mind for decades.

It is to the conservatives’ benefit to have Bin Laden and his terrorist followers (and now the greatly increased numbers which the war in Iraq has recruited for them) remain out there and active as a replacement boogyman for Communism.

The right wing methodology requires something to scare the population into willingly compromising the core rights of our system. It sickens me to see how W. and his company have used the horrors of 9/11 to further their personal agendas.

Posted by: dana at June 8, 2006 12:38 PM
Comment #155584

Michael Berg, the father of the Nick Berg the man that this Zarqawi beheaded sent an email to a mailing list to which i belong. Here’s what he said:

I was awakened at 4:30 AM with the news of Zarqawi’s death. I have said to over a dozen reporters so far today, that every human death diminishes me. I have said that Zirqawi’s death is a triumph for revenge, for revenge is what killed Nick. I have said that Zirqawi’s death will inflame the Iraqi resistance and perpetuate the endless cycle of revenge begetting revenge begetting revenge. I have said that the cycle must end, and that it ends with me. I take no joy in Zarqawis death.

I am not sure that you will hear all of that in our slanted media. ABC who called first, suddenly lost interest when I reminded them I’d be ready for any tricks they may try to play.

Please let our mailing list at least know where I stand.

Michael

Please take Michael’s words to heart. He’s paid a deeper price that anyone can imagine.

Posted by: john trevisani at June 8, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #155589

Lynn-
The insurgents could be understood in terms of a resistance, but the only purpose of Zarqawi and his folks, as terrorists, was to kill innocent people and destabilize the country. The fight against Zarqawi, at the very least, could be called a just war under Christian Doctrine.

lookingout-
Deny me the right to celebrate? Just how the hell could you manage that?

You sir! I Celebrate in your general direction!

See? There was nothing you could do.

The only thing getting in the way of your understanding this is your preconception about what we really think. You think I would actually spend day after day writing these things and commenting on them, if I didn’t believe what I wrote? That’s sure a lot of effort to lie, and for what? To impress a bunch of folks who usually don’t credit my good intentions anyways? You got to be kidding.

What I want is victory. I would hate to see us leave and have the place collapse. Even from the start, I’ve considered the number one reason for my dissent that we prevent America from having yet another losing war. Withdrawal without leaving behind a stable Iraq is the last thing I want. But bad policies, however well-intended or defended will put us in that position. They did at the start of the war.

You know we had no plan for occupation? We invaded the country believing we could hand things off to a government of Iraqi exiles, who would slide in as the new heads of the decapitated government. Then we would make Iraq’s security their problem, and start leaving by August. Actual plan, mister.

Why is it that upon taking the capital, we didn’t immediately establish martial law? Most invading forces have enough soldiers at hand to pacify the city they’re taking over. It’s part and parcel of taking and keeping territory. At least if you’re planning on an occupation.

For me, the crux of the matter has been whether the material and strategic support of our troops matched the moral support. You guys may think you’re fighting this war just in print and TV, but the rest of us know that this is more than some oversimplified morality play about discouraged soldiers. Real things are going wrong. Trouble is, you’ve confused the political aspects of this war with the military from the very start, and our soldiers will pay the price.

When a soldier dies in an IED blast because his vehicle wasn’t sufficiently armored, I’m sure he will think those patriots who shouted down and discredited the people speaking up about it, because questioning Bush’s policies was unpatriotic. When a soldier dies on his third tour of duty when he should have come home after the first, I’m sure he’ll thank all those kind patriots who backed their president on the numbers of soldiers, despite the obvious implications of the need for a stop-loss program. When a soldier finds closed doors in his face because of all the apologies for massacres and atrocities that his “friends” back home made, I’m sure he’ll be grateful for your support.

Support is not a lack of dissent over policies. It’s putting the best policies under our soldiers feet so they can stand tall and do the work they are called to do. I support our troops. I don’t support the policies and actions that have left them in this lurch. The media has only been reporting what has really been happening, and if it’s failing to report the whole story, it’s because your president’s strategies have made it too dangerous to go out of the green zone.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2006 1:12 PM
Comment #155591

john -

We learned with Cindy Sheehan - it’s doesn’t matter what price you have paid. If you disagree with Bush, you are labelled evil & anti-American. I can’t wait to see the spin on how Michael is not a traitor and supports the terrorists.

Chicken-hawks always crow the loudest.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #155593

Michael Berg’s remarks have stayed true. He has altered his message in any way since his son was murdered. He’s been highly critical of the Bush administration and will be crucified through the conservative media regardless of his pain. Additionally, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if the Republican media use his comments claiming he’s attempting to gain support for his Congressional run. (he’s running as a Green candidate in Delaware.)

Posted by: john trevisani at June 8, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #155595

lookingout,

That kind of twisted logic sure does explain an awful lot about the “Christian” right.

Posted by: JayJay Snowman at June 8, 2006 1:27 PM
Comment #155597

Michael Berg has drunk the commie kool-aid by the pitcher full. I mean I hate Bush and his war being that he did so while we were also in Afghanistan amongst many other things but to make such statements for the sake of the Al-Zarqawi brood and their “loss”—how do we know they didn’t hate that a**-hole bastard too? The man was a killer, a mass murderer, may Allah greet him with a chainsaw to his scrotum!

We’ll get this new guy too that Osama has supposedly sent in to take command—-what we really need is Osama that would be a nice wallmount. I say when we do we turn him into one of those singing bass for the Smithsonian.

Posted by: Novenge at June 8, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #155599

Please Ask that Brave reporter, and those two lost wonderful cameramen if a Sufficiently Armored Vehicle did them any damn good. they were in one.and it would have been a Hell of a lot better if the Younger Berg, could make his own statements.

Posted by: Mb at June 8, 2006 1:37 PM
Comment #155608

——Stephen—- A great epitaph for a sole from hell. I suppose he is in Hell as we speak with his 100 Maidens on a hot bead of coals.

Posted by: DAVID at June 8, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #155609

Wow… immediate attacks on Michael…

You guys sure don’t disappoint. There is no shame when it comes to blind support of Bush. It’s the greatest source of shame to America.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 1:48 PM
Comment #155611

Stephen if its to dangerous for the media they are wasting their time and effort being there.I suggest they read your blogging and take your word as gospel to complete their propoganda!

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 1:49 PM
Comment #155618

I salute Michael Berg. I will also add to his reference to Donne’s poetry with a quote from the Haggadah,: When the Egyptian armies were drowning in the sea, the Heavenly Hosts broke out in songs of jubilation. God silenced them and said, “My creatures are perishing, and you sing praises?”
Although I am not religious, every year at Passover I hear these sentiments, and I have considered them to be part of my cultural and personal value system. This, I share with Michael Berg. His strength of conviction in the face of the terrible cost he has paid is profoundly impressive.

Posted by: dana at June 8, 2006 2:03 PM
Comment #155621

Tony, here’s what I see in his (Berg’s) statements—politicking and Bush deminishment. Now I’m no fan of Bush but this really does get an evil man off the streets and there are more such terrorists to come undoubtedly, but this is a big fish.

He’s running for congress on an anti-Bush anti-war ticket and he’s entitled to his sentiment and I can’t even imagine what the loss of a son is like especially under such conditions but the left has been tugging at him to be this anti-Bush voice and today he didn’t disappoint. It lacks outward reallity in terms of what they are dealing with over there. I thought this war was foolhardy myself but if we are in it such things make really good stepping stones. Not the coup d’tat by any longshot but a stepping stone against the insurgents from the outside flooding in there. And there will be more and the war goes on but pulling out now is not the answer anymore if we do the place erupts in civil war that would have been all our doing, or more accurately our undoing, but this guy was a main instigator of it.

Posted by: Novenge at June 8, 2006 2:08 PM
Comment #155625

“but the left has been tugging at him to be this anti-Bush voice and today he didn’t disappoint. “

Please - prove this or accept the fact that you are making assumptions against someone who has actually paid a price during this war for your own political agenda.

Why is it so impossible for “the right” to accept that some people have evolved to the point of hating violence and loss of life, regardless of existing rationales? Again - this speaks to the truest form of embarrasment to America.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 2:14 PM
Comment #155627

SK, your name calling toward other WB visitors is not allowed here by our policy stated at the top of every column. Please comply with our policy or lose your privilege to comment here. This will be your only warning.

Posted by: WatchBlog Managing Editor at June 8, 2006 2:24 PM
Comment #155628

TONY You need to start hating the ones who are commiting violence and the murder and stop hating those who are trying to end it.You are blaming the good guys.

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #155635

lookingout -

What the heck are you talking about? I don’t really hate anyone. And what exactly am I blaming on “the good guys?”

I feel for Berg and his loss (as a parent, I can not fathom the pain of loosing a child.) I also admire his respect for human life.

I knew as soon as he made his feelings known that the Neo-cons and faux-Christians would jump all over it as political propaganda (while completely ignoring their own propagance and political agenda that drives them.) Is a sick cancer on America - and I can only hope that evolution cures at least some of these ills.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 2:51 PM
Comment #155639

Michael Berg has been a major name in the anti-war movement with his sentiments of it which I totally respect his right to. But he is running for congress on the anti-war ticket and is a major stoic voice within it.

As much as I disagree with Bush I have to support what we are doing being that we don’t have a choice anymore. we had a choice perhaps at one point in pulling out but it has gone on too long and we didn’t go in with the “overwhelming force” that powell had problems with and made so many other mistakes another biggie: no exit strategy and not knowing what we were getting into there. That was Bush’s fault, republican faults and I could look at it that way, but now we cannot reallistically pull out as sectarian strife and mayhem will swallow up whatever semblance of civility they have built so far.

Killing a violent diabolical mass murderer isn’t murder is it?

Posted by: Novenge at June 8, 2006 2:54 PM
Comment #155644

Novenge now that you support the war in Iraq will you go just a little farther and give the U.S. the benifit of doubt sometime?

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 3:00 PM
Comment #155655

“Ithink George Bush,Dick Cheney,Condolisa Rice and donald Rumsfeild are wonderful people and are true patriots”

How many more soldiers died because of rummy/bush/cheney’s completely horrific war “planning”?
Yet you still admire them.
That makes you quite the moron in my book.
Wesley Clark managed to subdue Milosevic without a single lost soldier, yet you hate him because he happens to be a democrat.
You have no character, dude. None.

Posted by: norby at June 8, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #155656

“You need to start hating the ones who are commiting violence and the murder and stop hating those who are trying to end it.”

Uh, WE are commiting violence and murder on a scale vastly larger than the insurgents. Just because we SAY it’s for good doesn’t make it so.

Posted by: norby at June 8, 2006 3:23 PM
Comment #155664

Norby Who would you wish i admire Usama or Al-Zarqawi?As for wesley Clark he is a historical loser remember BLACK HAWK DOWN?hOW CAN YOU CONCIDER HIM A HERO?

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #155669

I was struck by Novenge’s statement that we do not have any choice any more. I think that those sentiments and the sick feeling about the wreakage of Iraq are the reasons there has not been a concentrated anti war movement.

It is not possible to “win” this war. At this point, there is no win for anybody. Iraq and its population are decimated; even under the best circumstances, the country will be enough influenced by radical Islam to starkly diminish the rights of women(which were better under the dictator Sadam, if you can believe it, than they are and will be); there continue to be large numbers of American deaths, the factions are fighting each other as well as fighting us; the militant terrorists have recruited a vast number of dedicated fighters world-wide and will continue to recruit as long as we are there; and the US is bleeding money, cutting services at home and eviscerating the rights we are theoretically defending.

We should just get out. We can channel a significant fraction of the money we are currently spending on reparations (not paid to Halliburton) and go find Bin Laden with a fraction of the manpower we have in Iraq.

Perhaps we could then start to fix our own house.


Posted by: dana at June 8, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #155672

“Killing a violent diabolical mass murderer isn’t murder is it?”

Yes - it is. Rationale and justifications only effect the way we interpret acts of violence.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #155673

“Norby Who would you wish i admire Usama or Al-Zarqawi?”

Why are those your only choices??
Why do you ignore bush’s incompetence?

“As for wesley Clark he is a historical loser remember BLACK HAWK DOWN?hOW CAN YOU CONCIDER HIM A HERO?”

I never said “hero”. I don’t need to worship heros to make up for my empty life.
Oh, and who’s idea was it to send our troops into Somalia with no plan and no goal? Some other bush, wasn’t it?
The only reason Desert Storm was a relative success was because a bush left the planning up to the generals.
The reason Iraq was such a mess was because a bush DIDN’T let the generals plan it.

Posted by: norby at June 8, 2006 4:00 PM
Comment #155674

lookingout-
I read a book a while out called The Assassins’ Gate, which gave a balanced impression of the problems and the noble parts of this war. I do believe that there are people whose lives are better for this invasion. There are many though, who are not, and that’s something we must remedy.

You think we don’t hate the killing in Iraq? We do. We just don’t feel the need to remind everybody of the fact at regular five minute intervals. Sometime the Right underestimates the character of the other people in society, and this is one of those times.

Why don’t you go and read through my entries. They’re all under my profile in the “about” page on this blog.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2006 4:05 PM
Comment #155677

Norby i have some more folks i admire.Tony blair, Every citizen in iraq that were brave enough to vote in the numerous elections that have been held since we freed their country,All the family members of those who gave up their lives to fight for the freedom that i love.I admire those who fight to give peoples around the world the chance that i have to live a prosperous life.

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #155681

Mr. Daugherty All i ask is to sometime mention the good about the american people and the american government.Are we really evel?Do we ever make a differance anywhere on this planet?Do me a favor sit down and think.What if America did not exist.Think of all the historical dates for the past 100 years no america.What would the world look like?

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 4:18 PM
Comment #155683

Mr. Daugherty All i ask is to sometime mention the good about the american people and the american government.Are we really evel?Do we ever make a differance anywhere on this planet?Do me a favor sit down and think.What if America did not exist.Think of all the historical dates for the past 100 years no america.What would the world look like?

=======

It would be a lot greener. It would be less paved. There would be less pollution. There would be a greater degree of biodiversity. Democrooks and Repuglicrats wouldn’t exist. There would be no automobile. Native Americans would still have a home. There would be no such thing as a nuclear bomb. There would be no such thing as laser guided missles. There would be no chemical weapons. There would be no reality tv. There would be no partially hydrogenated foods.

Sweet, thanks for the mental imagery.

Posted by: dulcetpine at June 8, 2006 4:28 PM
Comment #155684

There’d be no hockey….

phhheeeeewwwww… I was all with ya dulcetpine, but now I’m not so sure.


GO CANES!

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 4:30 PM
Comment #155686

There’d be no hockey….

========

There would be no baseball either. I didn’t say it would be a perfect world…

I don’t hate america, btw. I love it dearly. But just like a child can earn the scorn of his/her parents, our america has done plenty to earn my dissatisfaction as well.

Posted by: dulcetpine at June 8, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #155688

There would be no dulcetpine there would be no tony!

Posted by: lookingout at June 8, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #155690

… there would be no trolls.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 4:41 PM
Comment #155695

Stephen:

I have to say that you have a well written piece. I do not agree with you on everything you say but I find I do on much of it.

The mistake Republicans make in regards to this war is thinking that we Democrats wouldn’t want it better. I think we were loving this war pretty well when we’d successfully toppled Saddam. It’s that part after that makes us the frustrated, hard to please folks you see.

I have to say I agree with you here. I have no doubt the average Democrat was for the war (most people were) at the outset. I also agree it would have been nice to have a better plan on what to do afterwards. The problem that most Republicans I know (I am one) have with Democrats (at least the ones who speak out so much publically) is that they seem to only add fuel to the fire. I see very few Democrats who constructively criticize. There seems to be more enthusiam for being critical then helpful.

If the violence subsides, if the quality of the insurgency diminishes, we will know that Zarqawi’s death has meant something. Boy do I want it to mean something. I’m sick of this war. Our nation needs to heal from this, and this war is getting in the way, a thorn stuck in our side, bleeding us, paining us.

I am with you 100% on this and I am conservative to the bone.

The war has taken years and will most likely take years to come. The war is not against Iraq. The war is not even against fundamentalist Islam. The war is against Tyranny against anti-freedom forces of any nature. At this point it has the face of Muslim extremist but it wont always have that face. Someday it will change and we have to change with it. We are required by fate (being we live in America) to support and protect freedom and freedom loving people anywhere. WWII is over and we are still in Japan, Germany, France and many others. It has been around 50 years now and we are still there.

I realize this view is not always conservative but if we look back at Teddy Roosevelt he said we need to speak softly and carry a big stick. this was a doctrine of spreading freedom for he purpose of America’s needs. I agree with that.

I hope this ends soon but we need to be ready for the long haul and I think we need to be ready to accept the long haul. Iran is coming.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 8, 2006 4:59 PM
Comment #155700

“Do me a favor sit down and think.What if America did not exist.Think of all the historical dates for the past 100 years no america.What would the world look like?”

Indeed we have done much good. We WERE much admired. Which is one reason I hate bush so much. Broken treaties, insulted allies, arrogance, torture scandals, the image of our invincibility forever shattered. I’ll never forgive him for squandering the opportunity 9/11 gave us to REALLY change the world in exchange for petty political gain.
You ask us why we hate him so much. I have a hundred reasons, but THAT is probably the strongest.

Posted by: norby at June 8, 2006 5:15 PM
Comment #155701

One terrorist down, one to go.

Word on the street is the other one is hole up in Washington DC

Somewhere on Pennsylvania Avenue

Imagine that!

Posted by: Cherylee at June 8, 2006 5:17 PM
Comment #155706

dulcetpine

I thought hockey was Canadian. And the Germans were working on the bomb too. And I think perservative have been around since the spice trade was in full swing, about 600 years ago give or take. That might pre date us a bit.

Randall Jeremiah

There is no liberal I know who hates America, most hate what some do once they get to wield power because of the rescources of Americans. We all have to live with the stains even if we don’t get the food.

I was for the war. The one on terror. I supported the Presidents resolution to prosecute the Iraq war because I wanted the American president to have the power to influence Iraq through the threat of force. I guess I was nieve in thinking we had a better idea of what the hell we were doing. Live and learn.

Anyway, tonight I will celabrate the end of the death by the hands of Zarqawiand and lament the death of innocent children by US bombs.

lookingout

Get a grip.

Posted by: 037 at June 8, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #155714

—-Norby,—With all the wisdom you show,you must have made a typographical error when you said you had an empty life. I am sure we invisible folks here would fill some of that void of emptiness if we could. And always know in you heart that some of us here do justly respect your perspective’s.

Posted by: David at June 8, 2006 6:04 PM
Comment #155716

037

There is no liberal I know who hates America, most hate what some do once they get to wield power because of the rescources of Americans. We all have to live with the stains even if we don’t get the food.

I do not believe I ever said anything about liberals hating America. I believe most love their country.

If you have studied the history of war this war is one of the least civilian casualties of any war. I admit that any casualties are bad regardless of civilian or military. I hate to see good people die. I really dont like seeing bad people die either. Sometimes though you have to kill bad people so that good people can live in peace.

That being said I will lament, and send up a prayer, with you on the innocence lost.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 8, 2006 6:09 PM
Comment #155735

Randall Jeremiah

I don’t mean to put words in your mouth. And yes my age yes I understand the rational for war.

What I don’t agree with is the stupidity of modern warfare. I like to believe we are smarter than that.

Let me ask a question. From a prospective of morality, at what point do you justify killing the innocent so that you are not harmed by those around them?

How is it justified to kill good people so that good people can live?

I understand the need to kill, and I understand the need to question our actions. Sleep well tonight :)

Posted by: 037 at June 8, 2006 6:53 PM
Comment #155760

“If you have studied the history of war this war is one of the least civilian casualties of any war.”

How would you know? Our military refuses to count the “collateral damage” (at least they SAY they don’t).
Outside groups have put the civilian deaths at over 100,000. OUR conservative admission is to at least 30-40,000.
I’d say, considering how quickly the Iraqi Army evaporated, our civilian death toll has actually been quite high. And that’s not counting how many future deaths will result from depleted uranium round contamination and other types of chemical exposure.
How can we claim to care about civilian deaths and then refuse to count them???

Posted by: norby at June 8, 2006 8:15 PM
Comment #155765

“I don’t need to worship heros to make up for my empty life.”
“—-Norby,—With all the wisdom you show,you must have made a typographical error when you said you had an empty life.”

Thanks for your concern! NO, I wasn’t reffering to myself. I have quite a fullfilling personal life.
My point reffered to my consternation about people who hero worship politicians, or need to be “born again” and constantly refer to Jesus loving them in order to fill some void they feel. I certainly have people I admire. But I understand they are just human. I don’t vociferously defend their honor and ignore their failures so it wont shatter my little world. I don’t need a father figure President, I view them as temporary employees.
Understand who I’m reffering to?
Thanks for the note though!

Posted by: norby at June 8, 2006 8:22 PM
Comment #155768

Stephen,

Great article as usual. Personally I think Zarqawi’s death is very insignificant in the long run. On it’s face it’s a great moral builder.

There’s my problem! Already the conservatives and the press are basically saying, “could we have done this if we’d followed Murtha’s plan, or Biden’s plan, etc.” Possibly not, but I think this will have a very small effect on the ability of Al-Qaeda to operate in Iraq.

If the conservatives manage to win political points out of this one very evil man’s death then we can look forward to a much longer deployment of our troops who are already run ragged. That means more American’s dead and disabled not to mention more atrocities committed by some of our countries otherwise most honorable men and women.

My request is simple: either get out of Iraq or reinstate the draft! I’d also add that taxation at this point in our history should represent that needed to support the war effort. We must either be committed 100% or not at all. The sacrifice of war must be shared equally by each and every member of society.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 8, 2006 8:29 PM
Comment #155773

KansasDem

I think this will have a big effect. I know from a radio annoucement that since his death we were able to take out 17 terrorist cells there from the information we found where Zarqawi was. I understand with the information found at those other sites we are going to be getting more. This could end up very good. Now with a Kurd in charge of homeland defense this is great. it shows that there is a chance since kurds traditionally are Christian and this is a Muslim dominant culture so this shows us at least opportunity.

I will have to say I no link for this yet I heard the announcement on the radio though I am sure some hard working blogger will find one soon.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 8, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #155774

lookingout-
If I thought America was evil, I would not put so much effort into advocating its redemption. It’s human, and that goes to say a lot.

I thank God America exists, especially as my well-meaning but highly critical prose goes out to people all over the country. I’m glad some idiot in Washington can’t decide that people who disagree with the president can’t air their views. I’m this is a country that can correct itself, even if perfecting itself is impossible.

For me, what I love best about this country is it’s freedom to renounce error. This is a country where all the old prejudices can be washed away, and divisions that would have people killing each others in the street elsewhere in the world barely register here.

America is not free of evil, but neither is it bereft of good. We recognize our fallibility, and instead of morning it, we allow for it, and allow ourselves a way out of problematic choices.

As far as Bush goes, I can’t say much good about him, because I haven’t seen much good out of him. There were better Republicans out there, and if one had to be president, they should have chosen him instead of Bush.

Dulcetpine-
Don’t be so sure. By the time America was founded, the Indians had already been faced with genocidal actions by the Spanish and the the results of the Smallpox Epidemic.

As for other things, I think you should consider that not all was well, ecologically speaking, with the civilizations that came before us, and given enough time, many of the inventions might have been developed in Europe instead of America.

America has its share of sins, but if you spin the globe, you’ll find many countries which were just as bad.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 8, 2006 8:37 PM
Comment #155789

“the Indians had already been faced with genocidal actions by the Spanish and the the results of the Smallpox Epidemic.”

Stephen,

Historical fact is the “great equalizer” when it comes to making rational decisions. Some time ago I was prompted to watch the PBS publication of “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by someone on this site. I apologize for not remembering who recommended it.

Long story short: It was not available at this library but I ordered it and a couple weeks ago finally got to watch it. Wow, what an excellent account of how the Europeans managed to conquer so much of the world we live in today.

Without the use of history as a guide we will continue to follow the path of Dominionism until there is no longer a Dominion to pursue. Then all life on our planet will cease to exist.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 8, 2006 9:01 PM
Comment #155797

Randall Jeremiah,

I hope you’re right. Taking out 17 “cells” within 24 hours would be phenomenal. I wish that we were able to declare an end to the war.

I would love to see a lull in the number of American deaths. Unfortunately I won’t believe it until I see it.

This is one time when I hope I’m proven wrong.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 8, 2006 9:12 PM
Comment #155802

Actually, they didn’t find any information where Zarqawi was - the building was totally destroyed by (2) 500 lbs bombs. The military had known about these other 17 sites long before that air strikes on Zarqawi. The military waited until the strike on Zarqawi was carried out before raiding the other 17 locations to avoid tipping Zarqawi off that something was about to happen. The military did find huge amounts on potentially helpfully documents, etc at these other 17 sites.

Posted by: tony at June 8, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #155803

I share Joe Biden’s opinion of this whole damn thing. You can listen to him here:

Biden Says Zarqawi Death has Limited Impact
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5460462

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 8, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #155825

Thanks tony

I had a bit of misunderstanding I was busy when i was listening to the radio.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 8, 2006 9:52 PM
Comment #155833

Stephen,

Another excellent well defended article. However, I agree with KansasDem and I am humbled by the spiritual greatness of Michael Berg. Killing Zarqawi was a military victory - nothing to celebrate - he was a human being - a sick, dangerous, misguided human being - that, sadly, we needed to kill. But his death is nothing to celebrate. He was only a small part of the civil war - our attention was focused on him - instead the real problem - which is the intractable tribal conflict. Still, he was an accomplished leader and he needed killin. Like a headless hydra, his followers will probably fight on without him. He will be a martyr, an inspiration.

I have repeatedly written that I believe that the U.S. is an imperial power much like Rome was during the Golden Age and that we need to win our wars. As corrupt as Rome was, it was still the best thing in the world at the time, and the dark age started after it collapsed. If, or rather when, the U.S. collapses it will bring a new dark age, I think. I could easily be wrong - lets all hope that I am. We don’t want to see the U.S. collapse and we sure don’t want to see a dark age. So, we need to win - if we can. But this regime has led us into a situation which may be unwinnable. If it is unwinnable, then we need to withdraw, keep our powder dry, and prepare for the “big one.” I don’t know if it is unwinnable, but I trust Murtha, if he thinks that it is unwinnable, then I think it is unwinnable.

Our troops are fighting against overwhelming odds. If we do win, then 100% of the credit belongs to our brave troops and the good intentions of the American people, and ZERO percent of the credit belongs to this corrupt, incompetent regime.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 8, 2006 10:01 PM
Comment #155841

Ray Guest
You stated

He was only a small part of the civil war - our attention was focused on him - instead the real problem - which is the intractable tribal conflict. Still, he was an accomplished leader and he needed killin. Like a headless hydra, his followers will probably fight on without him. He will be a martyr, an inspiration.

Did you know that 17 cell of his followers were then summarily taken out right after. Also the information that was gathered from those cells is currently being used to squelch even more. This is not a civil war this is not even an insurgency it is foreign terrorist who are trying to create fear and nothing more. Inspiration. I hope so. I hope he inspires many to not follow his way. Let him speak loudly. Let the people hear that if they follow his ways they will end up the same way. The same way his 17 cells that were taken there after were. I hope he inspires many many more.

I would agree that celebrating death is morbid. I still am happy that he is dead though. I may actually be morbid. I just figure this now there will be many more innocence left alive because of it. He was not innocent.

This is winnable. Very Very Winnable. This regime should get credit if we win. Because they lead it. I admit they made mistakes has a war ever gone with out mistakes. No ofcourse not. If you study history and wars in history this has less then most. by you stating that this is unwinnable (since you agree with Murtha) then we need to pull out now. If we pulled out when Murtha wanted us to we would not have got Zarqawi nor the 17 cells and possibly more. There would be no democratic government and a true civil war would most likely spawn. Civil war is the hope of terrorist. It is their way of winning. They get to create more terror.

I agree eventually this nation will fall. Though not in our life time nor our great grand childrens. It will be a ways out there and there probably will be some sort of vacuum that will cause great stress around the world in ways we can not conceive. Oh well that is the way of history.

Finally our troops do deserve the credit due them thanks.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 8, 2006 10:16 PM
Comment #155865

Randall,

Thanks for your comment. I think that you are wrong on many of your points, but I hope you are right and I am wrong about this war being winnable. This war is not just foreign terrorist. You are dead wrong about that. There are Iraqi Shia and Sunni death squads operating everyday, often with the complicity of the police. This is a low grade civil war. It is a tribal conflict and our presence in the middle of it is increasingly counter-productive. It is only low grade because of the presence of American troops holding the lid on against overwhelming odds. And the Bush regime deserves absolutely NO credit for whatever our brave troops achieve.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 8, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #155958

The world isn’t going to weep that old Z is dead, just like nobody wept when Uday and Qusay were killed. They were schmucks. If we’d have killed Saddam, no one in this world will lose a wink of sleep. Riddle me this: if we hadn’t made up some bullshit story to the world about why we attacked Iraq in the first place, would we even have an al-Zarqawi that we can celebrate the death of? No. No one would know who he was. No one would care if he died. We made him the infamous schmuck he was. It’s not as if he just miraculously appeared, is it? No.

Killing this man isn’t going to change anything that wouldn’t have already changed on it’s own. That’s like saying Reagan won the Cold War. Bullshit. The Soviet Union’s economy was on the verge of collapsing, and so was the Communist Party. But leave it to an asshat Republican to take credit for something he didn’t do.

Zarqawi wasn’t the kingpin on which everything rests. By all accounts, he was that most stupid of guerrila fighter: a visible one. What’s worse? He pissed in the well he drank from: Jordan. That just makes him supremely dumb. The Jordanians tipped us off to where he was, because our own military intelligence and CIA, despite the gazillions of dollars we invest in it, fails miserably every time it really counts.

But what will his death actually accomplish? Some foreign fighters, of which even the Iraqi insurgents say they don’t like, don’t support and don’t want in Iraq, won’t be as coordinated for a time. Then some other schmuck will come in and take over for him unless the security in Iraq is homogenized and solidified. Until then, there will be 3 more to fill in for the head of the Hydra you just lopped off.

And Bush? Like he does anything at all. Don’t even go there. Bush is a mouthpiece. The Christian Conservatives and Big Business run that man. Look closely and you can see the puppet strings. He, like the rest of the Republican leadership, are a bunch of lying windbags and cowards. Our troops did the work. Our troops put it on the line. Bush is a stupid retarded trust-fund boy who never put ANYTHING on the line. So he deserves about as much credit as the kid who cheers when his ant farm appears to create something. Yeah, like YOU had anything to do with it.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 9, 2006 10:17 AM
Comment #156061

“I have repeatedly written that I believe that the U.S. is an imperial power much like Rome was during the Golden Age and that we need to win our wars. As corrupt as Rome was, it was still the best thing in the world at the time, and the dark age started after it collapsed.”

Ray Guest - I agree 100%, but do you know the main reason ancient Rome collapsed? Bankruptcy! Borrowed too much and couldn’t pay for all of those wars - sound like any other country we know - 1.04 trillion in debt and growing!!!

Posted by: Lisa C. at June 9, 2006 2:23 PM
Comment #156093

Where is OSAMA??

Posted by: gypsyirishgirl at June 9, 2006 3:38 PM
Comment #156134

Watch BLog Editors:
Why won’t you allow me editorial comment?

Posted by: jblym at June 9, 2006 6:06 PM
Comment #156164

Lisa C.

That is why I think that Randall is a little optimistic. If we are going to fight wars, we need to win them. Better not to fight them. Better to lead by example and win through diplomacy - to “walk softly and carry a big stick” - where have I heard that before - was it Theodore Roosevelt - wasn’t he a Republican - a progressive Republican - that cared about the environment - a dead breed. Progressive Republicans are a dead breed. Republicans are a dead breed. They need to rename their party.

Posted by: Ray Guest at June 9, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #156220

Lisa C.,

Actually, it’s funny you mention that. It’s a very fitting analogy, that Rome and the modern US are similar. It was something I remember reading in the latest Al Franken book, “Truth”. He mentions somewhere in there that he talked to a Republican think tank guy that was close to the Administration, and that’s basically what they said when it was brought up that the US these days tends to lie about what it’s doing and why it’s doing what it’s doing, meaning the government.

The reply was something along the lines of “The US is now an imperial power like Rome, and what you have to understand is that we will do what we want, how we want, and when it’s all over and done, it will be our version of history that gets written into the books, because we, the mover and shaker nation, gets to call the shots.”

A fairly frightening attitude, but that’s where the Repubs are coming from these days. They will just do as they please, lie about it to get the populace dumb enough to swallow that “great nation with the destiny to lead the world” crap to go along with them, and stand back and watch as events take on a life of their own. They think they are some kind of master chemist, where they can stir up a bunch of tested theories into a mixture and watch the energy unfold from it.

And this is how they will win wars also. They will lie about it, say it was their stated intention all along to leave Iraq in a sectarian disaster and say that everything is as we said it would be, move along to the next abomination, and you can bet that the Dittoheads and their ilk will be lock-step and in line. Why don’t they just get some brown shirts and make a really cool salute? They may as well.

Funny how these fascist wannabes always accuse liberals of being neo-Communists. If only they could read. Communism was decided to be less of a threat than Fascism was, and we even allied with the Communists to take out the Fascists in WWII. Which of the two ideologies was deemed to be the larger threat? History already shows us the answer.

But how can a terribly partisan political party accuse another partisan political party of such crimes when they work the other end of the scale and in equal proportions? Mr. Pot…meet Mr. Kettle.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 10, 2006 1:27 AM
Comment #156221

Oh yeah, about the insurgents…I’m fairly surprised that I’m hearing anyone talking about insurgents as if they are not Iraqis. Most of them are now. The composition is fairly broad now, but the catch here is this, and this is where, once again, our elected leaders can’t understand history, is that an invaded nation will always side against the invader, no matter what that invader’s stated intention is.

The more people that have nothing to do with the Baathists or the former Iraqi Army that we kill, by accident or on purpose, the more young men and women will join the people they didn’t even agree with in the first place against us. Vietnam should have taught us this very valuable lesson in counterinsurgency tactics, but it apparently has not. Can we fire our political leaders on the grounds that they can’t understand the forces of history in foreign policy? We should be able to, but the rub is…most of the populace doesn’t even read history much less understand it.

Americans must get this very basic fact into their heads: to the average Iraqi, the US military in Iraq are invaders. They do not belong there. They are the enemy of the Iraqi people. I don’t care how much rhetoric we can drum up about how we are there to “free them” (which is bullshit anyway) or how we were only there to remove a dangerous and belligerent tyrant from an already unstable Middle East, or even the real reason we are there, which is to secure vast quantities of oil for our use. The Iraqi people, as more US military operations mess with innocent people, will continue to side against us, even if they liked us to begin with. History repeats itself, once again. Who will actually read it this time? Probably as many as last time. Not too many.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 10, 2006 1:37 AM
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