Democrats & Liberals Archives

Republican Leaders Want Permanent Iraqi Bases

From the very beginning, the Bush Administration shrouded everything about the Iraq War in intense secrecy. Little by little, all the nasty secrets are coming out. After both the House and Senate approved amendments to their respective money bills that would not allow money for permanent bases in Iraq, Republican leaders stealthily removed these amendments in conference. From this example of Republican democracy at work, it is obvious that the Republican Party wants to indeed make this a “long war.”

In the spring of this year, both the House and the Senate were working on an appropriations bill. In the House, Congresswoman Barbara Lee, and in the Senate, Senator Joe Biden, introduced amendments forbidding government spending money on permanent bases in Iraq. Both these amendments were respectively approved and both bills were respectively approved.

Both houses of Congress proclaimed their aversion to permanent bases in Iraq.

You would think that the conference for settling differences between the two bills would start by leaving this amendment - they're essentially the same - alone. You'd be wrong. Bingo! We hear that the leaders deleted it! It did not matter that there was general agreement on this matter.

The Republican leaders acted like the Iranian ayatollahs: they knew better than the legislators; they overrode the democratically-derived legislation.

These Republican leaders make it starkly clear what they have had in mind all these years. It is painfully obvious to all of us that they want to have permanent bases in Iraq. This makes it excruciatingly clear that they intend to change not only Iraq but the entire Middle East. They WANT to have a "long war."

Do YOU want a "long war"? Do YOU want your children to be killed and maimed in Bush's endless war? Do YOU want our entire society militarized in order to satisfy Republican paranoia?

Do YOU want a couple of irrational and aggressive Republican leaders to destroy our democracy?

Inform your representative and your senators to vote NO for a bill that does not include the amendment that outlaws permanent bases in Iraq. Make Congress stick to what Congress passes.

Posted by Paul Siegel at June 13, 2006 5:34 PM
Comments
Comment #157353

Paul:

You are so right!! We Republicans want a long war. After all it is one of the most popular things our country has done in a generation. Because of it’s great success, we are set to keep control of congress for a very long time.

Craig

Posted by: Craig Holmes at June 13, 2006 5:43 PM
Comment #157357

America cannot leave Iraq until Al Queda is completely destroyed.

I approve of the permanent bases. This is the only way to ensure Al Queda stays in Iraq. The fight must continue.

Whatever the price.

Posted by: Aldous at June 13, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #157359

Paul,

This is only the beginning— Soon we will have military bases all over the world! Muhahahaha!

Seriously though, if I were you I’d be a little more worried about the bases they are building here. They meaning Halliburton, and bases meaning ‘detention centers’.

I prefer the term re-education center myself. A place where those unfortunate enough to have been infected with harmful and addictive memes can find new joy and peace by shaking off the shackles of their former political pursuasions and once again become productive members of society as well as faithful Republican voters.

Posted by: esimonson at June 13, 2006 5:59 PM
Comment #157367

“America cannot leave Iraq until Al Queda is completely destroyed.”

Wow - so are we using the Iraqi bases to attack al queda in all the other countries they exist in? (Foreign fighters make up about 5% of the insurgency we now face.)

Posted by: tony at June 13, 2006 6:26 PM
Comment #157371

tony:

Iraq-Trained Terrorists are showing up in Afghanistan. The Taliban are now using Iraqi-designed IEDs.

We must secure Iraq. Whatever the price.

Posted by: Aldous at June 13, 2006 6:29 PM
Comment #157386

Seriously, Eric. when are you going to return to some more serious posting?

I think Paul points to a misdirected oil/ military confluence of policy here. It is obvious we intended Iraq to help secure oil. Even if, you and George still want us to believe it’s all about freedom and those freedom haters.

While short term we have no choice, where is the conservative leadership moving away from oil, and it’s inevitable wars?

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #157390

Aldous -

Large military bases (and the Iraqi war) are not the answer… not even close.

Al Queda will only initially be defeated by strong intelligence and tacticle military force on the ground… and long term solutions to terrorists in general will only come from a foreign policy that does not bread hatred of America. (A huge part of this is complete energy indepenedence from oil…. and the Middle East.)

You remember the old game OPERATION? Our leaders are trying to play that game with a sledge hammer.

Posted by: tony at June 13, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #157393

What a tragic betrayal of Republican rhetoric for an independent Iraq and peace and democracy in the Middle East. Since the cat is out of the bag, all of us need to work diligently to help the rest of America wake up to this betrayal of American’s hope for an end to the conflicts and American losses in Iraq. This is a November election if there ever was one. Republicans have acted to insure our permanent engagement in the Iraqi situation. They have no intention of removing our troops from harm’s way regardless of how well or bad things go in Iraq.

Posted by: David R. Remer at June 13, 2006 7:16 PM
Comment #157398

gergle,

Seriously, Eric. when are you going to return to some more serious posting?

I generally respond in kind. Serious posts deserve serious comments. Silly ones…

I think Paul points to a misdirected oil/ military confluence of policy here. It is obvious we intended Iraq to help secure oil. Even if, you and George still want us to believe it’s all about freedom and those freedom haters.

Did we go to war for oil? If there had already been peace and freedom in Iraq would we have gone to war still?

Posted by: esimonson at June 13, 2006 7:27 PM
Comment #157402

This is a good quote I might save.

The Republican leaders acted like the Iranian ayatollahs: they knew better than the legislators; they overrode the democratically-derived legislation.

Let me see. The Republican House, Senate and President OVERRODE the democratically-derived legislation. Is that democratically as in party or democratic as in duly elected? Or is Paul alluding to the fact that Republicans have not been legally elected in the last 8 years.

Posted by: esimonson at June 13, 2006 7:34 PM
Comment #157414

Eric,

Lets just say I hope we went to war for oil. That was a reason GHW Bush gave for invading Iraq the first time. I don’t mean in simplistic terms, Iraqi Contracts. Although I’m betting American and British Companies have the fast track. I mean our middle east position that we’ve played for since WWI.

If there were peace and freedom in Iraq we would have oil contracts wouldn’t we?

Is there peace and freedom there now? Who’s developing the oil fields?

What are you suggesting the geopolitical strategy is here, Eric? Peace, Love and Freedom? San Fransico’s Haight Asbury East?

Or was it just revenge on Sadam? I surely hope your not still believing Sadam was behind 911?

Posted by: gergle at June 13, 2006 8:14 PM
Comment #157462

Will any sitting President, now or in the future, give up a foothold in the Middle East? Strategically can they afford to not have landing rights and/or base rights in Iraq?

I worry that this creates more effort to attack the United States directly. However, how can a sitting President ignore the lightning rod that is seemingly Iraq.

Does the American hater in the Middle East find their way into the United States and attempt to quietly plan a terrorist act … or do they pick up a gun, travel to Iraq and go “mano a mano” with an American that is carry a gun too?

Posted by: Edge at June 13, 2006 11:15 PM
Comment #157467

Like true addicts we go where the drugs are. The middle east has our collective drug, the thought of getting off of it is disturbing, more countries are becoming addicted, the supply is getting smaller. If we were not addicts maybe we could think with a clear mind and find a way out, unfortunately we act like addicts and we will do what it takes to get the oil. Al Queda just happens to be a side issue.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 13, 2006 11:34 PM
Comment #157491

Why are the Republican leaders so hellbound on bringing us into another Vietnam? I mean, really. It’s so frightfully apparent that the Iraqis are going to fight us no matter what we say.

And it should be clear by now that we are after three things by being in Iraq with our military: oil, oil and that black stuff that came from dinosaurs.

Are they so blind? They must be. The Republican party is to Corporate America as Sinn Fein is to the IRA. A mouthpiece to work the people while the real dastardly deed-doers go and rake up all the cash. And for what?

With alternative fuel sources, we not only break free of our oil dependence, but improve our image to the rest of the world, and on top of that, we likely stave off environmental disaster.

Why are they so blind? I have no idea anymore. I toyed with the idea of the fact that, with China and India fast becoming economic powers in their own rights (with help from us, naturally) we need the military to insure that we have access to the means to feed our energy hungry leviathan of an economy. But it doesn’t wash. Alternate energy sources wipe it all out in one fell swoop.

Freedom for the Middle East? Yeah, good luck with that one. Democratic institutions flourish on their own. The Eastern Europeans did it all on their own. We actually, if you go by their own statements, hindered their return to sovereignty by playing all those CIA games and then forcing the Soviets into hard-line tactics. So, that isn’t it either.

In the end, I think it’s just what I always thought. It’s pure and simple greed, power and madness. The three key watchwords of the Republican party. If you add in zealotry, you’ll sum up the entire right-wing agenda for this nation.

Let’s hope the rest of the US starts developing some critical pathways in the brain regarding being deceived and used. I can’t wait to see where this is all going to lead us.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 14, 2006 2:37 AM
Comment #157494

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 11, 2006

Resolution to Impeach Bush Receives Strong Support at Texas Democratic Convention but Falls Short of Passage

The �Impeach Bush Resolution Campaign� delivered almost 1400 signatures signed by more than 30% of the delegates at the 2006 Texas Democratic Party state convention in Fort Worth to the party. The resolution called on the U.S. House of Representatives to impeach President George W. Bush for high crimes and misdemeanors and for willfully violating his Oath of Office to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. The resolution failed in a close vote on the floor of the convention.

A video of the floor debate on the resolution is on YouTube.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMsth3faJkE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0E8NNw72yM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eoP8LNIqFq4

Texas would have joined ten other states whose Democratic parties have passed impeachment resolutions: Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, California and Hawaii.

The vote on the impeachment resolution took place in a nearly empty convention hall, although it could have been brought up much sooner if the rules of the TDP had been followed in a timely manner. The TDP rules state, �A submission of such a resolution shall be immediately recognized as being before the convention as the next order of business after completion of any item under consideration.� However the convention chair kept the resolution off the agenda until two point of order requests from delegates caused the chair to bring the resolution to the floor in the final hours of the convention, when only around 250 people were present in the hall. The chair also refused to accept a friendly amendment to the resolution to include vice president Dick Cheney. Many people did not want to vote for the resolution unless it included a call for impeaching Cheney as well as Bush.

In addition to the impeachment resolution that was brought to the floor as a result of the petition drive, the Resolutions Committee at the convention approved an impeachment resolution, but the convention was adjourned before that resolution was voted on by the floor. It, along with all remaining resolutions, were sent to the State Democratic Executive Committee for consideration at its next meeting in Austin.

Hooman Hedayati, 19, who volunteered 20 hours to collect signatures was very disappointed at Texas Democratic Party officials for not letting the resolution get to the floor before so many delegates had left. �Democrats need to understand the reason for such a low youth turn out at the convention. A big reason why young people are staying away from the Democratic Party and finding alternative avenues of political involvement is because the Democratic Party has consistently failed to stand up for Americans and protect our rights� said Hedayati.. �The continuing perception that the Democrats are afraid to stand up to the Bush Administration is going to lose Democrats the votes of many people.�

Posted by: Hooman Hedayati at June 14, 2006 2:49 AM
Comment #157511

1.) I am all for getting out of Iraq as soon as the job is done.

However, I say the same for Germany, Korea, Japan, Balkans, and other places we have fought far less recently. Why not a peep from the Left (or ~anyone) re stop subsidizing & protecting regions WHERE THE MISSION IS TRULY ACCOMPLISHED?

2.) C’mon guys, be honest. The vote (above) was to not preclude the possibility of bases, not that they are “wanted”. Isn’t that really the Truth?

I think Bush/etc. are on the record, and I think Americans and the World would not accept, if the sovereign Iraqi gov’t asked us to leave and we didn’t.

3.)

Democratic institutions flourish on their own. The Eastern Europeans did it all on their own. We actually, if you go by their own statements, hindered their return to sovereignty by playing all those CIA games and then forcing the Soviets into hard-line tactics. So, that isn’t it either.

Does ~everyone recognize this as rubbish, so that an in depth response isn’t needed?

Posted by: Brian at June 14, 2006 7:21 AM
Comment #157514

Brian:

Nice to see that you consider 2 American Servicemen dead per day as rubbish.

This is what permanent bases in Iraq means. A dead GI or two per day.

I support staying in Iraq however long it takes. However, when the Government pulls crap like this it becomes a problem. You notice that there are no votes on the Record? We have no idea who made the decisions on this. Its all magic.

Posted by: Aldous at June 14, 2006 7:39 AM
Comment #157543

I’m afraid it’s not rubbish, Brian. That statement is very true. If you choose not to believe me, you can ask the sources, namely Gorbachev and the other Warsaw Pact national leaders. Gorbachev said many times that if anything, the US made the transition from the Soviet bloc to more independent ones more difficult. Those transitions were already occuring, with or without our interference, because we certainly did nothing useful to help them.

Don’t believe that? Ask the people involved in the Hungarian uprising, or the Czech people when they had theirs. How much did the US help? NONE. How much did the US incite them to revolt? Oh, you bet we did, through VOA and RFE and all the other CIA radio stations. Did we lift a finger to help them after they revolted? No. Not even a weapon shipment. Why? It would have meant fighting Russian troops, meaning WWIII.

Recognize the pattern yet? Now move forward a few decade, and place your eyeballs in southern Iraq and the Shia uprising, brutally crushed by Saddam. Before that, the Kurds.

Don’t believe any of that? I’m going to direct you to a fascinating book by a former State Department employee named William Blum who abandoned his chances to be an FSO because of his opposition to the war in Vietnam. The book is called Killing Hope. In it, you’ll find all of the places the CIA had it’s mitts in things, and did little to help anything at anytime anywhere.

If you’re going to dismiss something, you had better back it up, Brian. I have historical facts on my side. What do you have?

Back to the bases in Iraq: the fact that they want bases in Iraq signals their intentions more clearly. They want the US to be there. Why?

Whenever I’m studying a crime or an event, the first question I always ask is “Cui bono”. Who benefits. Who would benefit from having the US in Iraq? Only our industries, and Israel. No one else in the Middle East even remotely likes us. How do they, the nations of the Middle East, especially the ones involved with OPEC, feel about the US sitting on a huge chunk of the earth’s oil reserves?

It’s not going to be stable as long as we are there. Period.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 14, 2006 9:28 AM
Comment #157544

Let’s all chant it Together:

Ossama is our friend…Bush is a terrorist…Ossama is our friend…Bush is a terrorist…

Posted by: Cliff at June 14, 2006 9:32 AM
Comment #157548

Hooman,

Ever thought of getting hired by SNL? You have great potential.

Posted by: Indiana Will at June 14, 2006 9:43 AM
Comment #157561

To all those talking heads who think G.W. has been too secretive fighting this war Seek Help You dont publish your war plan on al-jazeera.And most of the media in the U.S. are fighting for the enemy.

Posted by: lookingout at June 14, 2006 10:30 AM
Comment #157568


A year from now, nearly every pollitician in Iraq will be on the payroll of an American corporation. The Iraqi government will pass a resolution that will establish permanent U.S. bases in Iraq.

Posted by: jlw at June 14, 2006 10:44 AM
Comment #157574

jlw This is called progress.Its a good thing!

Posted by: lookingout at June 14, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #157597


Lookingout: Every member of the media is on the payroll of a corporation.

This is called progress. It is a good thing.

Posted by: jlw at June 14, 2006 11:52 AM
Comment #157601

Hooman Hedayati,

I’d like to commend you for your efforts. Why in the world so many Democrats are scared to be vocal on impeachment is beyond me. I fear that too many Democratic candidates are still trying to “play” to the political center when I’d argue that we need to reenergize our true base.

It’s time to be Liberal and be proud to say so. If we did so I predict we could get a hell of a lot of the “non-voting” public to turn out at the polls. The status quo really has left many liberals feeling that the two choices are “Republican” or “Republican-Lite”!

Personally, I must admit that I’m feeling “Greener” every day.

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 14, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #157605

“To all those talking heads who think G.W. has been too secretive fighting this war Seek Help You dont publish your war plan on al-jazeera.And most of the media in the U.S. are fighting for the enemy.

Posted by: lookingout at June 14, 2006 10:30 AM”

Looking,

Take a look at this:
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/facility/iraq-maps.htm

or this:
http://www.fcnl.org/iraq/bases.htm

KansasDem

Posted by: KansasDem at June 14, 2006 12:15 PM
Comment #157636

KansasDem,

I wish all the dems would follow your advise and be who they really are…It would truly make for a more interesting election…I also think we would truly realize who our country is and what the majority stands for…

Posted by: Cliff at June 14, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #157641

Dear Indiana Will,

I never thought about applying for SNL. But since you recommended it I will think about it. lol

KansasDem

I think you are right on this issue. I met many democrats during the convention that were more conservative than many of my republican friends. Someone told me that collecting petitions against president Bush is a disgrace to the Democratic party.

Posted by: Hooman Hedayati at June 14, 2006 1:43 PM
Comment #157719

“America cannot leave Iraq until Al Queda is completely destroyed.”

You speak as if Al Quaeda is a finite resource. It’s not. Our presence is inspiring more followers. Your strategy if folly.

“Whatever the price.”

Are YOU paying the price? What have YOU sacrificed? Planning on volunteering? Have you had to ration anything? Has bush asked us to change ANYTHING? No.
NOTHING is as dangerous as a war that has no apparent cost. No reason to EVER end it.

Posted by: norby at June 14, 2006 4:45 PM
Comment #157724

“Why not a peep from the Left (or ~anyone) re stop subsidizing & protecting regions WHERE THE MISSION IS TRULY ACCOMPLISHED?”

One reason is that in the other countries you mentioned, they don’t necessarily WANT us to leave. Iraqis, in every poll conducted, want us out by a HUGE margin. They also tacitly approve of attacks on US soldiers by a large margin. Apples and oranges.

“And most of the media in the U.S. are fighting for the enemy.”

More drivel from our resident troll.
Don’t forget, he PROMISED to go away if democrats win either house in Nov.
Now THAT should be motivation enough to volunteer to work for our local democrat candidate.

Posted by: norby at June 14, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #157769
3.) Democratic institutions flourish on their own. The Eastern Europeans did it all on their own. We actually, if you go by their own statements, hindered their return to sovereignty by playing all those CIA games and then forcing the Soviets into hard-line tactics. So, that isn’t it either. – DOES ~EVERYONE RECOGNIZE THIS AS RUBBISH SO THAT AN IN DEPTH RESPONSE ISN’T NEEDED?


“Democratic institutions flourish on their own.”
a.) …Hmm, well, maybe this depends on your definition of ‘Flourish’. ~No democracy flourished between Athens and USA in 1776. Since then, some (e.g. France) w/o our intervention, and many with our small/large intervention. Seems we ‘imposed’ this upon all(?) countries we defeated, and the US, UN, EU, and many other democracies generally nurture fledgling democracies even today. E.g., depending on your definition of ‘Flourish’, I am not sure Iraq or Afghanistan are ‘Flourishing’ yet, despite massive external assistance.

b.) No, I would not say E.Europe ‘did it all on their own’. There was a 40+ year Cold War in which US and much of the West did ~everything possible to convert the ‘evil empire’ to democracy (yes, generally short of armed conflict). Reagan published his approach for this in ’63, then did ~exactly this, and (surprisingly to me) this occurred ~immediately thereafter. BTW, do you know how involved we are now in Ukraine trying to promote democracy across FSU, and how much ex-communists are opposing this??

c.) I do not agree that US ‘forced’ the Soviets into hard line tactics. My understanding is that USSR was most hard-line under Stalin (before CIA existed or USA had ~any involvement w/ USSR), then got ~progressively more lenient. Do you know how incredibly hard-line the Soviets used to be – I’ll bet even way-worse than you think. Sure, you can find for corner-cases where some programs of ours undoubtedly hindered democracy in *some* ways (even though it may have helped in others – maybe even helping much more than hindering).

In short, I am ‘Surprised’ you characterize the US as a hindrance to Democracies, since we seem to be their largest supporter and proponent … to me.

Posted by: Brian at June 14, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #157919

Despite my burning desire to point-by-point you on this, I shall refrain. Even I admit I went too far on the last topic, and I shall not do that again.

All I will say on this rebuttal is: read Bill Blum’s book. Don’t take his opinions too seriously; he is a crackpot in a lot of ways, but what he says happened actually did happen, and it’s pretty damned well documented. If you read it, you’ll find that the US foreign policy objectives for the last century have had zero to do with promoting democracy. They promote right-wing totalitarian regimes, and why? Because Big Business in the US loves the Banana Republics to be just where they want them: under the watchful gun-barrel of their own nation’s armies. Free access to cheap labor, cheaper resources, and free especially of those troublesome regulations we “civilized nations” love to create to protect our workers from the depredations of those same said corportations.

OK, enough of that.

As far as Iraq goes in this context, you can be assured that, as long as we are there, these things will happen:

1. No one will welcome us
2. Everyone will be against us over time
3. Permanent bases will just mean our troops are targeted by people who weren’t nominally our enemies to begin with as long as those bases stand

The bases aren’t going to help stave off the inevitable civil war. They aren’t going to help with the democratization of Iraq. It’s police action all over again, and apparently that’s OK with a lot of right-wingers. They must have thought Vietnam was really bitchin, too. Phew.

But that’s OK. The right-wingers that really like the idea of the war in Iraq don’t seem to mind that we have killed more civilians than insurgents, but it’s apparently OK, because life isn’t precious to us when it’s not our lives at stake. Funny how they do that. Right-wing Christians that love war, death, poverty and hopelessness. Seems to me that those people are pretty much batting for the other team, if you actually follow the Bible and do what it says to do.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 14, 2006 11:38 PM
Comment #157971

Yes we propped up some Banana Republics, against them going Communist. Can we all agree this was the lesser of two evils? Cold War was Soviets supporting the opposition-parties’ totalitarian takeovers —> ~0% democracy (no chance of any votes, ~ever again).

Now that Cold War is over, I think we all see the US (for the first time under George W.) commit to the policy of democracy over current alliances. I believe NO other major country has committed to so lofty an ideal, yes? While we can/should do better, how about Leftists give our home country a break occasionally?? Or not just a break, how about a little pride of us doing/being so good (relative to any(?) other country)?

Also, while Agnostic myself, how about you give Christians a break. National Socialists liked to demonize Jews when discussing the weather, and American Socialists seem to like to demonize Christians ~any chance they get. We are discussing the possibility of permanent bases (that will ~never happen anyhow). Why introduce anti-Christian vitriol????

Similarly, maybe you should not falsely accuse the other side of things they are not guilty of. “Right wingers don’t mind we kill so many civilians” / “Right-wing Christians that love war, death, poverty and hopelessness.” etc.
C’mon. I suspect I would like you in many ways, but for this: Shame on you. I think you should apologize to these people.

Oh, while I agree I would like US to be out of an area we are not generating goodwill, your statements might not be right.

1.) the Iraqi Gov’t IS welcoming our military there now, they always have been, and suspect they will for some time. The whole reason our troops are there now is promote democratization … you are sure we are not helping, but I suspect most feel we are.

2.) ‘Everyone’ will not be against us … though many would be.

You say Civil War is inevitable. Maybe your crystal ball is better than mine (I *guess* 20% chance of violent civil war leading to breakup w/i 7 yrs) … would ‘possible’ be a more accurate term?

Posted by: Brian at June 15, 2006 5:54 AM
Comment #158206
Yes we propped up some Banana Republics, against them going Communist. Can we all agree this was the lesser of two evils? Cold War was Soviets supporting the opposition-parties totalitarian takeovers —> ~0% democracy (no chance of any votes, ~ever again).
That’s not what the facts say. The facts say that most of these nations were tired of the US and British colonial crap they were pulling at the time. From Wikipedia:
It was in Honduras that the United Fruit and Standard Fruit companies dominated the country’s key banana export sector and support sectors such as railways. The United Fruit Company was nicknamed ‘The Octopus’, for its willingness to involve itself in politics, sometimes violently. In 1910 Sam Zemurray, who 22 years later would take over United Fruit in a hostile bid, hired a gang of armed toughs from New Orleans to help stage a coup in Honduras in order to obtain beneficial treatment from the new government for his own banana-trading company, Cuyamel Fruit. Four decades later, the directors of United Fruit played a role in convincing the Truman and Eisenhower administrations that the government of Colonel Arbenz in Guatemala was secretly pro-Soviet, thus contributing to the CIA’s decision to assist in overthrowing Arbenz’s government in 1954 (see Operation PBSUCCESS). Pablo Neruda would later denounce the dominance of foreign-owned banana producers in the politics of several Latin American countries in a poem titled La United Fruit Co.

This is a prime example of your idea of “spreading Democracy”. Arbenz rebuffed the Soviets and Cubans attempt at installing a Communist regime there, but the US decided that they would tolerate no neutrals in the Cold War. You’re either for us or you’re against us was their motto. Sound familiar to you?

Now that Cold War is over, I think we all see the US (for the first time under George W.) commit to the policy of democracy over current alliances. I believe NO other major country has committed to so lofty an ideal, yes? While we can/should do better, how about Leftists give our home country a break occasionally?? Or not just a break, how about a little pride of us doing/being so good (relative to any(?) other country)?
Here we do have a fundamental difference of opinion, but not where you think it is. I love my country, I was in the Army for 4 years. So I proved it by putting my ass on the line. That ends the discussion about my patriotism.

However, I’m going to paraphrase Al Franken, since he said it far better than I ever could or would. He said that the difference between us so called “America Hating Liberals” and you “American Loving Conservatives” is one of a viewpoint. Conservatives love America as a child loves his mother; unconditionally and seeing no fault nor believing any fault could be present, and showing vehement disagreement with anyone who would dare say different. Liberals, on the other hand, love America as an adult does. We see the glorious experiment as one with flaws. It’s not perfect and we know we can do far better. If you see a problem with anything, do you not tackle the problem, and promote solving that problem, or do you just look at what isn’t broken and say “Wow, this isn’t really that bad! How could you dare say something is wrong with this! It’s not as broken as that one over there!”

Also, while Agnostic myself, how about you give Christians a break. National Socialists liked to demonize Jews when discussing the weather, and American Socialists seem to like to demonize Christians ~any chance they get. We are discussing the possibility of permanent bases (that will ~never happen anyhow). Why introduce anti-Christian vitriol????
I don’t have to give anyone a “break”. They earn the respect they deserve and generally get it. I know tons of really lousy Christians, and nearly 100% of them are Conservatives. Where there is smoke, there is fire, friend. “Demonizing” bad Christians is my duty. I will never demonize a good one, although I have to look real hard to actually find one. The bad ones tend to focus on what the Old Testament says rather than the New Testament. I have news for those people; that’s the Jewish Bible, not the Christian one. And I’ll wager that even Jews think rabid fundamentalist Christians are nuts, well except the rabid fundamentalist Jews. Birds of a feather. I’m not “anti-Christian”. I’m “anti-stupid”. Or to be more precise, I’m against Christians who wish to degrade my nation with their superstitious bullshit and mess with my beloved country as if it were there right. St. Peter might have pulled that “Christianity is like a blanket with it’s four corners at the four corners of the Earth” crap or whatever he said, but I didn’t elect him. Nor any preacher. If they want into politics so bad, let them pay taxes and join the rest of us.
Similarly, maybe you should not falsely accuse the other side of things they are not guilty of. “Right wingers don’t mind we kill so many civilians” / “Right-wing Christians that love war, death, poverty and hopelessness.” etc. C’mon. I suspect I would like you in many ways, but for this: Shame on you. I think you should apologize to these people.
Right-wingers don’t mind that we kill more civilians than we kill insurgents, or they wouldn’t support the war so vociferously. The Republicans claim that the war in Iraq is the first step in the War on Terror (it’s not). They claim that establishing a permanent prescence in Iraq will aid the Middle East in promoting democracy (it won’t, their own people will). But if you support the war, then you support the conduct of it, and sorry, but the cold hard facts say that we have killed far more civilians than we have insurgents, Baathists or terrorists.

We did it in WWII, also, if you recall. We bombed civilian centers mercilessly trying to get a war material producing factory. Later studies done by the military show that not only did it not accomplish the goals it was trying to attain, but it killed far more civilians than it did anything else. This kind of “carpet bombing” was responsible for the imbalance of war with respect to civilian vs military deaths. It was judged to be immoral by most nations, including a lot of military men at the time.

The scale might be different, but the effect is the same: you kill more innocents than you do enemies. It’s a fact. An unpleasant one. A horrible one. But a fact. Vietnam was the same. Korea was the same. War somehow got moved into the civilian sector. At least in WWI, the battles were fought well away from the civilians for the most part. True, insurgencies are different, but that doesn’t change the facts. You do not cure dandruff by decapitation.

1.) the Iraqi Gov’t IS welcoming our military there now, they always have been, and suspect they will for some time. The whole reason our troops are there now is promote democratization … you are sure we are not helping, but I suspect most feel we are.
The South Vietnamese government welcomed us too. The South Vietnamese population wanted nothing to do with any of it, but got roped into it at the barrel of a gun. Another imposition of democracy on people that didn’t ask for it. They wanted to be left alone to live their lives in peace. Do they get it now? No. Their population is constantly under siege. If the insurgents don’t kill you for “siding with the invaders” then the US might get you later by an errant bomb, some faulty intelligence or just plain bad luck.

Every time an Iraqi civilian dies to our troops, the populace hates us more. The same thing happened in Vietnam. The same thinking that you are suggesting is what the US’s position was then. They want us here. They want democracy. They don’t want to be Commies. Even if we have to kill them all, we’ll insure that this nation will not go Communist. Well, we won’t kill all the Iraqis. We couldn’t if we wanted to. But the fact remains that, as long as we are there, the Iraqis will come to hate us more and more, simply because we are invaders and don’t belong there and we kill their people. It doesn’t matter why we are. We just are. History repeats itself again.

Civil war is inevitable. The Shia and Sunni don’t like each other. Haven’t for centuries. An imposition of power on quarrelsome people was also tried in Yugoslavia. Between Tito and the other Communists that held that group of former nations together, they had “peace”, if you want to call it that. When that big power was removed, they went right back at it again, and fiercely so. What makes you think it won’t happen in Iraq once we are gone? Or even if we aren’t gone? History teaches us this very valuable lesson, but most aren’t going to pay attention.

Posted by: joshuacrime at June 15, 2006 7:43 PM
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