The Democratic hoax

There’s a lie circulating—you’ve probably heard it—that Democratic politicians support the troops in Iraq. They’ve done a laudable job stifling the truth thus far, devising politically savvy expressions to disguise the duplicity, but the deception is going to unravel sooner or later.

Granted, not all Democratic politicians consistently undermine and demean the world’s finest army, but here are a few prominent ones who have:

As penned by Hugh Hewitt, author of Painting the Map Red, Illinois Senator Dick Durbin, responding to an uncorroborated FBI report of abuse at Guantanamo Bay, boldly professed:

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings.”

Comparing U.S. military coercion techniques to history’s most sadistic murders should deeply offend every honorable serviceman and servicewoman. Rhetoric like this is only meant to degrade the military, undermine the brave men and women serving in our military, and challenge the moral fiber of the administration and the global war effort.

But Durbin’s U.S.-Nazi comparison is only the beginning. DNC Chairman Howard Dean, among others who will be mentioned later, believes, "the idea that the United States is going to win the war in Iraq is just plain wrong."

At first glance this quote may appear to be aimed only at the war effort as a whole, and not specifically at the troops. But look past the façade and a demoralizing sense of hopelessness emerges, as Dean essentially asserts that the troops are wholly incapable of winning, and the notion that the troops are going to win is “just plain wrong.” How degraded must the troops’ morale be after being told by the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee that no matter how much blood, sweat and tears you sacrifice, you are simply an inadequate force that has no chance of returning home triumphant?

Massachusetts Senator John Kerry also sided with the DNC Chairman regarding the military’s inability to defeat terrorism in Iraq by declaring the Iraq War, “unwinnable.”

Kerry’s callous remark is yet another example of a Democratic politician having absolutely no faith in our soldiers’ competency to achieve victory in Iraq.

While Kerry and Dean seem content with dismissing all hope for our troops in Iraq, California Senator Dianne Feinstein, with the elegance of an ivory swan, isn’t foolish enough to wholly discredit the military, eloquently declaring, as reported in Hewitt’s book, “it’s his war,” “it’s” referring to President Bush and “war” referring to the Iraq War. Instead of diminishing our soldiers’ aptitude, like Kerry and Dean, Feinstein dissolves all ties between her and the troops, biting her thumb at the most heroic men and women this country has to offer.

The bulk of America vehemently backs our soldiers and rejects Feinstein’s ludicrous severance from the troops, but if the honorable Senator wishes to detach herself from our courageous combatants, nothing can be done to stop her.

Action must be taken against this liberal hypocrisy. Politicians boasting support for our troops on the one hand, while simultaneously chastising their proficiency on the other, do no not deserve to hold public office. Thus, America must stand together to expose and disgrace these shameful individuals, for the troops’ sake.

Posted by at July 27, 2006 1:37 PM
Comments
Comment #171095

Alex,

Your article is just obscene, mere sophistry. It is a dishonest tactic to equate opposition or doubts about the war with slander against the troops. This is the kind of cheap rhetorical grandstanding engaged by many, both left and right. It does a disservice to honest debate.

Posted by: Trent at July 27, 2006 2:04 PM
Comment #171099

ZZZZZZZ. Why should I blanket support a policy (torturing people) that I find unAmerican? Democrats aren’t the only ones, lots of Republicans too. I think its kind of sleazy the way you are positioning this as a Democrat versus Republican thing when lots of Republicans also don’t like the idea of American troops torturing their prisoners. The mostly Republican Supreme court even said it was wrong.

Posted by: Max at July 27, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #171100
Comparing U.S. military coercion techniques to history’s most sadistic murders should deeply offend every honorable serviceman and servicewoman. Posted by Alex Fitzsimmons at July 27, 2006 01:37 PM
If true, shouldn’t the abuse be the offense?

Trent, Good postings. Maybe I can take a breath and get back to some sane debating.

Posted by: Dave1 at July 27, 2006 2:15 PM
Comment #171102

John McCain should just admit he doesn’t support the troops. All of his talk about banning torture is obviously just motivated by his hatred of the US military.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 27, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #171104

Democrats have been very careful not to disrespect the troops. I suspect the former peaceniks among them are not particularly fond of military, but they have behaved themselves. Many other Democrats are firm friends of the military. We don’t need to go after them for that.

The danger is that a central part of the Dem strategy is to use the war in Iraq to discredit the Bush Administration. It is very difficult to believe as Nancy Pelosi does that the war in Iraq has been a grotesque mistake without at some point cutting away the support for those who are fighting it. This is what ordinary soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who actually have experience think about what they are doing. Most of it is seriously at odds with the Democratic Party’s worldview.

The Democratic strategy makes our military out as victims or (according to Murtha) perpetrators of crimes. Most are ordinary people doing a tough and dangerous job. Some are heroes. As a whole, they are neither victims nor perpetrators.

I am afraid as the election season heats up, so will the mischaracterizations of our troops. We have to be vigilant against calling them either victims or criminals.

Durbin, of course, went way over the line. I lost all respect for him (and I have met him personally and liked him). I will never trust him again. But we have to castigate individual Dems, not the whole party.

Posted by: Jack at July 27, 2006 2:25 PM
Comment #171106

Thomas Jefferson once said:

“Every difference of opinion is not a difference of principle. We have called by different names brethren of the same principle.”

Don’t disagree with or debate the war policies of this administration or you may be labeled a traitor or not supporting our troops.

Although I may not agree with some of the things folks have said regarding the war; I dare say it be wrong to label the person as against our own American brothers and sisters. It is fair in a democracy as ours to question government decisions; particularly those decisions we are paying the price for in the blood of our children and parents.

Debate is a good thing for America. Even when you disagree with the other side it does a disservice to our own freedom and democracy to label the other side as “traitor”.

Regards

Posted by: Tom L at July 27, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #171108

Keep up the good work! the only reason some would not agree with your article is: you know the old saying “Birds of a feather-flock together”.

Posted by: Daniel Younger at July 27, 2006 2:31 PM
Comment #171109

Alex:

Support of the troops requires more than lip service. The scene of combat troops scrounging for metal to augment under-armoured vehicles and personal armor, the fact that a mendacious and deliberately contrived policy has put the ground troops into the middle of a civil war that has been precipitated by the US, making them more a glorified constabulary than an army, and at the same time cutting VA funding while thousands of military personel are returning with PTSD, exposure to depleted uraninium weapons, and an unfriendly economy. This after serving as indentured servants by having their tours lengths doubled and even tripled because the neo-cons are too chicken-shit to even consider a draft—for the simple reason that if the load of this stupid policy were equally shared by the entire country, we would have been out of Iraq last month.

Support of this failed policy and the troops is not a package deal. That crap was tried in Vietnam, and eventually the American people wised up. The military did it’s job in Iraq, brilliantly. This Iraqi policy reeks of imperial hubris and arrogance; spreading democracy at the point of a gun is a no-win policy, and ludicrous from any angle you want to look at it.

I’m sure, once we’re out of there, neo-con revisionists will be spreading the lie that we could’ve ‘won this thing’, if ‘they’ hadn’t stabbed the military in the back. If they were stabbed in the back, it was the ne0-cons who did it, by concocting this fiasco to begin with so George could be a war president and one-up his dad and his stodgy advisors like Brent Scowcroft and James Baker. Cheney, and Rumsfeld and William Crystal will be quietly consuming beer and pretzels while millions of people deal with the aftermath of their lies and horrendous policy-making.

Support the troops? Talk is cheap, and the Right has more blood on its hands over this than anybody else.

Posted by: Tim Crow at July 27, 2006 2:34 PM
Comment #171110

So “supporting the troops” is simply finding new ways for them to be killed?

Why do you support the fact that 1/3 of homeless in America are Military Vets?

What about most of the military families living under the poverty level?

Have you ever been to a military base and seen the schools our military’s kids attend? (I’ve seen one elementary school that used a double wide trailer for their gym AND storage.)

Are you confusing Support for the Troops with Support for your President?

Posted by: tony at July 27, 2006 2:45 PM
Comment #171114

I believe the comments cited are meant to discredit the policies behind the actions, and the policymaker, not those charged with dutifully carrying out those policies.

It is easy to discredit the debater by accusations of being unAmerican or Bush haters or not supporting the troops. It is much harder to admit that mistakes have been made and to learn from those mistakes, listen to the critiques, and sift out whatever wisdom is there to be gotten.

Certainly, it does not help when the critiques from both sides come in the form of venom of the most toxic variety as to purposely spur opposite but just as toxic responses. Once again, the “parties” have a politically vested interest in this argument continuing through election. They have done so little to solve this country’s ills that they need a topic larger than their own failures to distract voters.

Vote out the bad ones (which is most of them). Clear the slate. Send a message.

Posted by: Chi Chi at July 27, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #171115

Is it my imagination or are some of these threads specifically designed to elicit sanctimonious posturing and then ultimately acrimony?

Posted by: DOC at July 27, 2006 2:49 PM
Comment #171116

Tim Crow wrote -

“because the neo-cons are too chicken-shit to even consider a draft”

1. Crass statement.
2. Incorrect statement.
3. Bill was placed before Senate (I believe) to begin draft (was a democrat bill by a black Michigan senator I believe). The author of the bill didn’t even vote for it.

The Republicans did consider it and rejected it. So did the Democrats.

Posted by: Don at July 27, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #171118

You reps do of course know that congressional dems have requested $10 billion more is military spending for needed equipment and resources than even GWB has requested. Realistically, you don’t think they support our troops?

You dems do of course know that congressional reps have been trying to increase spending levels for decades for the military to bring pay, benefits, living conditions for our men in uniform to a liveable level?

Learn to get along or find another job. Vote out the bad ones. Send a message.

Posted by: Chi Chi at July 27, 2006 2:53 PM
Comment #171120

Jack,

Sounding reasonable and being reasonable are two different things.

It is very difficult to believe as Nancy Pelosi does that the war in Iraq has been a grotesque mistake without at some point cutting away the support for those who are fighting it.
Why?!?! I support my troops, I want them home. I want them rested and trained and healthy for when a real threat to our nation comes along, not some some grotesque excuse by an Ivy elite Oedipal retard from Texass.


DOC,

Not your imagination, this is a Republican thread after all…

Posted by: Dave1 at July 27, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #171121

Chi Chi,

Which party has a majority in congress and a sitting president?

Posted by: Dave1 at July 27, 2006 2:56 PM
Comment #171122
How degraded must the troops’ morale be after being told by the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee that no matter how much blood, sweat and tears you sacrifice, you are simply an inadequate force that has no chance of returning home triumphant?

Leaving aside the fact that you are completely twisting Dean’s words into a negative comment on the troops… what do they care what Howard Dean says? They know what is going on in Iraq.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 27, 2006 2:58 PM
Comment #171123

“Ivy elite Oedipal retard from Texas.”

I think I see a bumper sticker…

Posted by: tony at July 27, 2006 3:01 PM
Comment #171124

I’m not a Dem or Rep, but can someone tell me what we accomplished in Iraq so far? Something positive I mean.

Please, I’m asking for rebuttal.

We went in Iraq, against the advice of our own military, our own intelligence, and against the advice of the United Nations and the Weapons Inspectors. Cheney confirmed in 1991 that removing Saddam would lead to Civil War that would last for decades, which the military intelligence also advised before Bush’s Invasion. That can’t be rebutted, I was there.

The Civil War that was predicted is now being waged. The situation is deteriorating everyday. That news comes directly from the embassy reports and from military that are being rotated out. The citizens have less civil rights now, extreme unemployment, infrastructure is crumbling, utilities are extremely unreliable. The people are being murdered by their own people for wearing the wrong type clothes or wearing their hair the wrong way. Women have have less access to government services and education. We have replaced a secular government with a religious based government, and the consequences are obvious. More Iraqis are being murdered by Iraqis than under Saddam’s rule.

I’m not a fan of Saddam. I’m Jewish and I’m glad he is gone.

I don’t let the popular news media, either left or right, control my opinions. Most Americans are too ignorant to form their own opinions so they turn of the TV and the partisan news programs tell them what to think. I examine the facts and make up my mind. I cannot see what positives we have accomplished in Iraq, someone please tell me. It’s been bad for Iraq, bad for the U.S., bad for all involved. Bad for the economic future for the U.S., bad for our foriegn relations, bad for Bush’s and Reps popularity.

I’ve been looking for positives on a daily basis, that is not just right wing confirmation bias. It seems like everything is going downhill, and

Has anything positive been accomplished?

Posted by: mem beth at July 27, 2006 3:04 PM
Comment #171125

If we leave Iraq, we are cowards and can’t be trusted.

If we stay, we are fools.

Iraq is a true no win situation.

Kobayashi Maru?

Posted by: mem beth at July 27, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #171127

mem,

Maybe we should replace WWJD with WWKD?

Posted by: Dave1 at July 27, 2006 3:17 PM
Comment #171129

Does anyone remember this:
“Powell was supportive of the war in public in an effort to win international support. But he was also concerned about the complications of a war. Powell used language from one of Tom Friedman’s columns in referring to the “Pottery Barn rule” of foreign policy. That is: “you break it, you own it.”“

Posted by: tony at July 27, 2006 3:20 PM
Comment #171135

Just because you question this adminsrations policy and use of the military does not mean you do not support the troops. If the Bush had went after the real supportrs of terroista Iran,Syria Saudia Arabia with money and teaching that all christian and jews are evil and should die. We might not be bogged down in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq had little to do with the war on terroism and more on pay back. Earl

Posted by: Earl at July 27, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #171134

Just because you question this adminsrations policy and use of the military does not mean you do not support the troops. If Bush had went after the real supportrs of terroista Iran,Syria Saudia Arabia with money and teaching that all christian and jews are evil and should die. We might not be bogged down in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq had little to do with the war on terroism and more on pay back. Earl

Posted by: Earl at July 27, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #171136

Just because you question this adminsrations policy and use of the military does not mean you do not support the troops. If Bush had went after the real supportrs of terroista Iran,Syria Saudia Arabia with money and teaching that all christian and jews are evil and should die. We might not be bogged down in a civil war. The invasion of Iraq had little to do with the war on terroism and more on pay back. Earl

Posted by: Earl at July 27, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #171139

Dave1:

“Which party has a majority in congress and a sitting president?”

What difference does this make to the arguement? It would not matter which party had a majority or the whitehouse. They would both still be spewing the same gelatinous puss back and forth till the cows come home.

The fact that the dems are in the minority now is no excuse. If they really had the “right ideas” and could intelligently express it, maybe they would still be in the majority. Not to mention the fact that when Clinton was pres, he had rep majorities in both houses and still accomplished a great deal. I did not agree with all of it, but he advanced an agenda with some success.

The longer we all make excuses for our failures, the longer it will be to find and implement solutions. The longer partisans blindly defend their party without regard to truth, the worse this situation will become.

Clearly, only a select few in Congress right now have any ability to work accross the aisle. The rep leadership has its head in the sand and won’t listen to anyone without true red blood. The dem leadership can’t seem to get off the whining train long enough to learn how to cooperate.

The best thing that has happened in the last five years is the formation of the group (I have forgotten their tag) of senators from both sides of the aisle who said “Enough.” Nothing will get past us unless there is cooperation from both sides. It’s a lesson the rest could learn.

I applaud Pelosi for at least attempting to reign in the ridiculous actions of some of her members. Removing ranking members from elite committees takes guts. Now she needs to translate that to public policy, set a meaningful agenda, learn to cross the aisle for support and assistance and plow ahead. My fear is that she will get entangled in the partisan web of self preservation.

Vote out the bad ones. Send a message. Clean the slate.

Posted by: Chi Chi at July 27, 2006 3:49 PM
Comment #171140

Alex

I’ll give you my take on the situation from a different perspective.

As an avid hunter, I take personal pride in knowing that if I can remain under control, watchful, patient, that I can out manuever my prey by using his natural tendencies against him. Take the average Eastern wild turkey, his eyesight puts humans to shame, but his natural tendency to gobble, and quite loudly, are his eventual downfall. In my experience most, if not all, turkey hunters would say, “let ‘em gobble - the more they do, the easier the hunt”.If I sit tight, remain calm and stimulate his natural gobbling reflex by calling on my own, I can then locate him before he does me. The results are deadly for the turkey. Ah, there is nothing like roast turkey in November!

Posted by: JR at July 27, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #171141

When someone is trying to defend an indefensible position, their last option will be to label all dissent as treasonous.

How about a soldier who doesn’t supprt the war? Does that soldier in turn not support the troops, including himself? Is he a traitor?

The notion that in order to “support the troops” you must support the war is ludicrous, logically unsound and typical of the sort of argument-framing that has kept the Republicans in power. By the logic used by the Republicans, you must be in favor of every military action or be anti-military.

There is a movement on the far left that says we should not support the troops, that their conscience is the last line of defense against misplaced military agression. I cannot agree with this. I want soldiers who will fight, kill and die without questioning the motivation behind the order. However, those soldiers should have the reasonable expectation that the one making the decision to send them to war is taking their dedication and sacrifice seriously, and that the society they are protecting will act as a watchdog over any leader who will treat the sacrifice of the soldier with disrespect. This president and his administartion have shown that disrespect, and I support my troops by demanding that they be brought home, and that those whose lies caused the deaths of many brave men and women be tried, convicted and punished for their arrogance.

Posted by: David S at July 27, 2006 3:53 PM
Comment #171142

I don’t get it. How can you “support the troops” on one hand and not support the reason they’re there in the first place? It seems to me that one goes with the other. You can best support the troops by openly expressing support for the cause.

I admit I don’t have all of the facts. But no one here has all of the facts, either. Most of us probably get our “facts” via Google, anyway, and since anyone can publish anything on the Internet without critical review, just how reliable are these “facts”? The Internet has devolved into an electronic version of an old ladies’ sewing circle. Gossip, whine, complain.

I can only speak for myself, and I support both the troops and the cause they fight for. I believe we are in the midst of a war not against terrorism, but against Islamo-Fascism. Iraq is center stage of this war, and we’d better come together as a people pretty damned quick. The Islamo-Fascist enemy may be a 7th century savage brute right out of the 7th century, but he is a true believer and totally committed.

I believe there comes a time when you have to pick sides. That time is now. No fence-sitting allowed. There are no “moderate” Islamo-Fascists! You either support the troops and the cause they fight for, or you don’t. Simple. Help win the war or get the hell out of the way. Better yet, move to Mexico or Venezuela.

Posted by: crowan at July 27, 2006 3:54 PM
Comment #171146

Crowan, that kind of thinking scares me. Dissent is not treason; the idea that debate is essential to a democracy is enshrined in the first amendment. It is not a stretch to say your statements are fundamentally un-American, which is not to say you don’t have the right to make them.

Posted by: Trent at July 27, 2006 4:11 PM
Comment #171149

Good post… but for clarity sake — call the Dems what they are “Liberals or Democrats” NOt “Democratic.” There is nothing “democratic” about them.

Better yet.. Why not just say Liberals and Conservatives.

ExP

Posted by: ExPreacherMan at July 27, 2006 4:34 PM
Comment #171150

Very well stated Trent!

Posted by: Tom L at July 27, 2006 4:36 PM
Comment #171152

I’m a fan of the Yankees, but that doesn’t mean I have to agree with and support every decision the team owners and the manager make. I can disagree with a bad trade, pulling a good pitcher out in the bottom of the 7th inning, etc. without quitting my support of the team. Saying the Yankees can’t win the pennant this year because they traded their best batter away doesn’t mean I don’t support the team or want them to lose.

If I’m a fan of Star Wars and criticize GL about something in Episode 3, it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly a traitor against everything Star Wars and want it to fail.

So…I can support the troops and want the best for them (how about proper body armor and vehicles better armored than the Hummer at the dealer down the street?), but criticize the decisions and management of the people in charge.

Now, if the President and the GOP, who has been in charge of everything for years, really actually support the troops, where’s the body armor, armor for the vehicles, good military decision-making (rather than throwing out 10 years of planning for Iraq to go in on a whim)? Why are they upping premiums and co-pays on veterans’ benefits, closing down VA hospitals? Where is the exit strategy for Iraq? Doesn’t having a plan, equipment, and treating the troops well after they come home too count as supporting the troops? It must not, because the GOP leaders don’t care about any of that, and yet they seem to have a monopoly on “supporting the troops.”

Posted by: superboodah at July 27, 2006 4:40 PM
Comment #171156

“This is our situation, and who will may know it. By perseverance and fortitude we have the prospect of a glorious issue; by cowardice and submission, the sad choice of a variety of evils-a ravaged country- a depopulated city- habitations without safety, and slavery without hope- our homes turned into barracks and bawdy-houses for Hessians, *(Islamofascists?)*, and a future race to provide for, whose fathers we shall doubt of. Look on this picture and weep over it! and if there yet remains one thoughtless wretch who believes it not, let him suffer it unlamented.”

Thomas Paine
COMMON SENSE. *added emphasis mine*


Posted by: JR at July 27, 2006 4:47 PM
Comment #171158

Are there troops in Iraq that feel that they are fighting a worthless cause? The answer is yes. To answer no to that question would be declaring that a soldier has no mind of his own.

But there is one big difference in that soldier and those persons here stateside. while both may see the cause as worthless that soldier will stand beside his fellow soldier and risk his life attempting to help win the war that he considers a worthless cause. that is what is missing here stateside.

Posted by: The Griper at July 27, 2006 4:50 PM
Comment #171159

Fighting for peace is like fu_king for virginity.

Crude, but it gets the point across. There have been lessons to learn with the years of troubles in the Middle East… all of them seem to have been ignored.

Posted by: tony at July 27, 2006 4:52 PM
Comment #171161

Jar Jar Binks = Iraq

Posted by: cjw at July 27, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #171164

I can only speak from my personal experiences and those of my friends in Viet Nam. Whenever the people back home would protest and “support the troops, but not the war” it seemed to make our job that much tougher. The NVA and Viet Cong would get bolder and attack with more force, and often our rules of engagement would change in order to be more “politically correct”. I have no doubts that a lot of the names on the “Wall” are there because of the war protesters and their friends in government.

I agree that everyone has the right of dissent. That is one of the principles I was willing to go to war for and I certainly wouldn’t want to take it away from anyone. I only wish those who slam the administration and war would understand the added burden it puts on our brave men and women.

I think the democrats are in a unfortunate position now. Opposition to the war seems to be their main platform, but to oppose the war they must by design oppose our troops actions at the same time. It’s hard for me to see your support if you are constantly criticizing my job.

Posted by: tomd at July 27, 2006 5:13 PM
Comment #171170

Trent said - “Dissent is not treason”

Yes! But most of the dissent I have heard is unnecessary, unpatriotic sounding (yes, that’s what I mean), and wrong-spirited.

Most of the dissent in the 60’s was also unnecessary, unpatriotic and wrong-spirited. Some would argue that the dissenters were right. But most people remember the dissenters as angry, anti-American, and against the troops. The image I remember most from that time is of a mother trying to get to her soldier-son’s grave, being blocked by angry protesters who were yelling obsenities at her and calling her son a murderer.

It’s hard to get the mix right when you dissent. The tendency is to go overboard. The statements at the start of this thread are examples of overboard. They go too far, therefore they are unnecessary, sound unpatriotic and definitely are wrong-spirited.

If dissent is to work, it has to be crafted to a fine focus, razor sharp in details, and incredibly well articulated. Otherwise it does make the dissenter sound anti-American, anti-U.S. soldier, anti-patriotic, and sometimes just plain stupid.

Most people do not see this issue as shades of gray. They are patriotic. They are proud of the troops. They want the troops to serve honorably and successfully. Therefore when they hear this kind of stupid dissent they are turned off. The Democrats will not win the hearts of America with stupid dissent. Mertha chose the wrong angle. Durbin chose the wrong angle. They were stupid. Their stupidity is what this thread is about.

Posted by: Don at July 27, 2006 5:23 PM
Comment #171171

It will be interesting to see what dems would and/or will do if given control of Congress and the White House. What would they do differently? Withdrawing immediately would be lunacy, not much debate there, and Iraq would further degenerate into a bloody sectarian civil war. This would probably bring about a Shiite government allied with Iran, which needless to say would be very, very bad. Given a timetable, what keeps the terrorists from just keeping there heads down till we’re all gone then blowing Iraq apart? The only other option is staying the course, in which case reps can call them on it in 2012…And if they screw things up even more then reps still have a major campaign issue.

We are not losing the war in Iraq. We give out far more than we take. Problem is the media and dem politicians don’t let anyone see how bad we’re owning the bad guys. Unfortunately, we and our allies still get hurt and thats all anyone ever gets to see. When we do get to see all the captured bombmakers, gunmen, etc. its when we’re told how badly they’re being mistreated.

Posted by: Silima at July 27, 2006 5:24 PM
Comment #171172

tomd,

i believe you and i have just declared the essense of the meaning of the word support. a good example here in the states is the situation with joe lieberman. he has lost support because of his stance on the war, nothing else. in otherwards he wasn’t doing his job as was expected of him when it comes down to it.

Posted by: The Griper at July 27, 2006 5:26 PM
Comment #171174

I think that Howard Dean and his Democratic compatriots in dissent taken beyond all reasonable boundaries actually don’t want the US to win in Iraq. Cause if we did then Bush and his people would have done a good job and Dean etc. would look like idiots for complaining about it and they would lose badly in the next election. If it is going badly or is percieved as going badly then Bush and his guys look bad and dems will do better.

Posted by: Silima at July 27, 2006 5:29 PM
Comment #171176

Tomd-

I’m confused by your statements. Are you saying that you are in favor of allowing for political dissent to what is percieved by some as an unjust or unnecessary war while at the same time saying that anyone who does dissent is morally reprehensible and responsable for killing more soldiers?

You are either fighting for freedom or you are not. You can’t say that you believe in freedom and take a high ground that you risk your life to protect it, then turn around and say that certain expressions of that very freedom is bad and take the high ground that it could cost the lives of those who fight to protect it. You cannot pick and choose what freedom you are willing to fight for. You either fight for it, all of it, or you do not.

You seem to be great at finding the moral high ground, but you cannot play both sides of the fence at the same time.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 27, 2006 5:33 PM
Comment #171177

Woody, you said John McCain hates the military. I don’t know what crystal ball you are looking into. If their is someone who is probably on the side of the Military it is John McCain. I don’t vote republican usually, but I would vote for John. Oh when him and bush were both going for the nomination, read how bush bad mouth him

Posted by: KT at July 27, 2006 5:44 PM
Comment #171182

kevin23,

you have taken what tomd said totally out of context of what he meant. in otherwards your train of thought is misleading you down the wrong path not what he said.

Posted by: The Griper at July 27, 2006 5:53 PM
Comment #171188

“Massachusetts Senator John Kerry also sided with the DNC Chairman regarding the military’s inability to defeat terrorism in Iraq by declaring the Iraq War, “unwinnable.”

——————————————————————-

In the interview with Matt Lauer of the NBC News program “Today” shown on the opening day of the Republican National Convention, Mr. Bush was asked if the United States could win the war against terrorism, which he has made the focus of his administration and the central thrust of his re-election campaign.

“I don’t think you can win it,” Mr. Bush replied. “But I think you can create conditions so that those who use terror as a tool are less acceptable in parts of the world.”

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/090104Z.shtml

Posted by: Josh at July 27, 2006 6:02 PM
Comment #171193

“Truth is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error” Thomas Jefferson (qouted by William O Douglas in his book The Right of the People)

When we as a country realize this war was not started for honorable reasons perhaps then we can move on. To allow W and his ilk to execute their ill-conceived strategy without dissent would be much more harmful to the troops in the field than dissent itself.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2006 6:18 PM
Comment #171194

Griper-

Since you seem to understand clearly, how about a bit of an explaination? I asked an honest question, so I’m looking for something more than: “you just don’t understand”.

Well duh…I think I said that.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 27, 2006 6:19 PM
Comment #171197
Your article is just obscene, mere sophistry. It is a dishonest tactic to equate opposition or doubts about the war with slander against the troops. This is the kind of cheap rhetorical grandstanding engaged by many, both left and right. It does a disservice to honest debate.

Trent:

Normally, in an honest debate, when you attack someone’s work, your supposed to be able to back it up. Apparently you don’t understand that concept.

Dave1:

Your right, if the US has abused prisoners at Gitmo, they should be punished. But first of alll, there are not official, credible sources affirming abuse, and all credible sources that have gone on the record deny any wrongdoing.

And even if the US military abused prisoners, comparing their action to Nazis is wholly out of line.

Tony:

The purpose of this post is not to debate the justification for the war effort.

To all:

Some people here seem to think that I believe that all Dems don’t support the troops. I thought I made it clear that only some do not. Also, I agree, there is a difference between believing in the cause and believing in the troops, and the aforementioned politicians, in my opinion, support neither the cause nor the troops.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 27, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #171202

Silima wrote:

“We are not losing the war in Iraq. We give out far more than we take. Problem is the media and dem politicians don’t let anyone see how bad we’re owning the bad guys.”
———————————————————————-
We don’t even “own” the good guys - e.g. the Iraqi Prime Minister as well as speaker of Parlement commenting quite negatively on the U.S.-Israeli stance in the Lebanon conflict…

As for the “bad guys”… they are rallying ever more new potential terrorists around their own flag, the Kuran. More than a hundred Iraqis are killed each day because large parts of Iraqi life are completely beyond the control of either the government or our forces.

These things, and nothing else, create a very strong perception - to say the least - over there that the U.S. is not winning. This has nothing to do with Dems. Reps are in charge. The facts on the ground prove them wrong. Most Dems are providing the necessary critique of this failing policy, not critique of the troops themselves. Alas, some Dems are overplaying their hand for easy political success and make it seem as if all Dems are against our troops in Iraq. Shooting the messenger remains the oldest trick in the book…

Posted by: Josh at July 27, 2006 6:50 PM
Comment #171203

“I’m confused by your statements. Are you saying that you are in favor of allowing for political dissent to what is percieved by some as an unjust or unnecessary war while at the same time saying that anyone who does dissent is morally reprehensible and responsable for killing more soldiers?”

No, That’s not at all what I am saying. I am saying that you have every right to dissent, march, and hold sit-ins as much as you want and I have and will fight for your right to do so.
Along with the right of dissent comes responsibility. As surely as one who yells FIRE in a crouded movie theatre is responsible for any deaths or injury it causes, I think the war protesters during the Viet Nam era are responsible for more than a few added casualties of the war.
Sadly I see the same pattern today.

Posted by: Tom D. at July 27, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #171207

_______The HOAX on VOTERS______

More partisan warfare (sorry Alex).

The grand distraction.
Politicians love it (and fuel it).

Americans have forgotten the one simple thing they were supposed to do, always:

Posted by: d.a.n at July 27, 2006 7:08 PM
Comment #171208

Tom D-

I can respect the emotion behind your statement, but it still seems to me to be logically inconsistent. If freedom has caused added casualties, are those not justified for the cause? If you fight for that freedom, then because you have it someone dies (causation is still an issue here), is that death not for the same greater good?

The analogy of yelling of “fire” in a crowded theater is misleading because it assumes bad intentions to begin with. Unless the person yelling “fire” is too stupid to know the result, he’d be excused from liability anyway, and we’d all have to be realistic about the fact that anytime there is a crowded theater, there is the possibility that some mentally challenged person could yell “fire” and there will be no recourse.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 27, 2006 7:11 PM
Comment #171212

Tom D,

forget trying to explain what you said. for someone like kevin to understand would require he take on a totally new mindset and he is incapable of doing that. he can’t understand just how deadly words from back home can be to a soldier in battle.

if he really wanted to understand he’d just read what you said in the first place from a different viewpoint than the one he possesses now. and he would realize that it is not an emotional appeal on your part but a very logical one.

Posted by: The Griper at July 27, 2006 7:39 PM
Comment #171213

“If freedom has caused added casualties, are those not justified for the cause? If you fight for that freedom, then because you have it someone dies (causation is still an issue here), is that death not for the same greater good?”

No! No! No!…

If I am in a foxhole in some desolate country fighting for your right to protest and your protest brings more hostile fire upon me and gets me killed, that is NOT for the same greater good.

I would love to hear you explain to the mother of a slain soldier how his death was for the greater good because you protested and instead of one fighter against him he had two.

Posted by: Tom D. at July 27, 2006 7:42 PM
Comment #171215

“I think the war protesters during the Viet Nam era are responsible for more than a few added casualties of the war.
Sadly I see the same pattern today.”

This war protestor raised money to help get the troops the body armor they hadn’t gotten from our government — which saved a few lives more than Bushco cared to save, rather than needlessly lost them through callous neglect.

As for patterns, I think we’ve seen a new one emerge:
Republicans supporting wars with no justification, and watching while their leaders utterly fail at waging it, yet never speak a word of criticism, even as it turns into a quagmire and a civil war.
These same Republicans then turn around and start calling people on the left who didn’t and who don’t now support having our troops remain in that war (because it had no justification, and because it has been such a total failure due to the stupidity of this Republican leadership), Traitors. On top of that, and even more unbelievably, they now want to blame the left for troop casualties when all along we’ve been trying to get them to home where they belong.

Nutty new pattern indeed, but there it is.

Posted by: Adrienne at July 27, 2006 7:44 PM
Comment #171217

Griper-

How about contributing an idea to this debate? Other than pretending you know me…lets face it, you know less about me than you do about the subject matter at hand, yet you avoid the subject matter and attack me? This doesn’t make sense, unless you are just unable to express yourself without first shooting the messenger.

I’ll repeat and maybe this time you won’t wait to ride someone else’s coattails:

“Since you seem to understand clearly, how about a bit of an explanation?”

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 27, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #171218

tomd-
Our troops are not free agents. Their actions are dictated to them by the chain of command. They are free to decide how to follow those orders, and somtimes the guidance they’re given is criminally negligent

Let me ask you: which is worse, the disappointment of not having your people support the war your fighting, or the stress of dealing with a prolonged insurgency with a government and chain of command too wrapped up in politics to give you the means to successfuly complete that mission? Is it worse to have somebody dissent against the war, or for you to fight and see your friends die to retake ground people fought and died for maybe just a month ago?

If you were to listen to people here at home, all our soldiers do is sit around the the base listening to reports on the public reception of the war. The truth is these people are out in the field most of the time, bearing the brunt of the president’s policies. They’re the ones who see their friends die when the armor fails, who feel the pressure that a lack of manpower exerts. They’re the ones who have to deal with the civilians angered and outraged by the incidents that some of their undisciplined comrades in arms perpetrated.

In short, they are right in the middle of it, enduring the results of the failure of Bush’s policies. I don’t think it’s particularly supportive to give a soldier a pat on the back then shove them out of the door for their third tour of duty into an undermanned, underplanned, underprepared war. That dishonors their sacrifice, and embrittles our defense as it saps the strength from our armed forces.

Don-
The trouble is, there’s detail after detail regarding this war, and we’re damned tired of repeating them. It’s all been documented. Go and look for yourself, if you dare.

What’s wrongheaded is thinking that you can win a war by beating down any dissent at home that pops its head up. The dissents on this war should have been taken care of, not scoffed at, duly noted instead of viciously attacked.

I don’t see this in shades of grey here. The war, now that we’re in it, must have a positive outcome. If we are to continue this war, we’re not going to do it with our hands tied behind our back by shitty equipment, and insufficient manpower. We’re also not going to to take an obvious failure of a policy and try and beat that dead horse back to life. A new plan has been in order for some time. It’s time to leave the damn failures behind and do something productive with our policy.

If we cannot do so, then we should withdraw, and the ones who should be blamed for the failure are the people who started the damn war in the first place, the administration that thought it was smarter than everybody else on the matter, and couldn’t bear to be told different.

If I sound a bit angry, a bit bitter, it’s because I don’t really have any shades of grey on this matter. It’s cowardly not to fight a war like this right simply because it presents a political or ideological problem for you. We don’t need self-absorbed politicians running this country whose egos won’t let them take the counsel of others, even from their own party.

Silima-
We will end up going eventually. We can pretend things are nice until we can’t stay there any longer and leave them to their devices, or we can set a timetable, during which we set goals, such as beating the shit out of the insurgency, establishing reliable police and Army presence, improving the infrastructure, etc. The point is not to give them a schedule to tell them how long they have to hide, it’s to give them a deadline as to how long they have to live, and how soon we’ll take the country back from them. If it encourages them to hide and keep a low profile, all the better; we can build up the security presence around them as they get lax and flabby, and when they try to pick up their old bad habits, they’ll get smacked.

The point ultimately is not to get complacent ourselves, to have both parties know that there is a point where the umbilical cord gets cut. It will encourage both sides to get their act together.

If that is an impossibility at this point, then we’ve lost the war for our part, and should leave; the whole point was to have a nation that could stand on its own two feet. If that isn’t possible, victory, at least for our part, isn’t either.

crowan-
Like I told tomd, the troops aren’t free agents. We can support the Coast Guard members who go to great lengths to rescue people after Katrina without having to praise the Bush administrations response.

I admit I don’t have all of the facts. But no one here has all of the facts, either. Most of us probably get our “facts” via Google, anyway, and since anyone can publish anything on the Internet without critical review, just how reliable are these “facts”? The Internet has devolved into an electronic version of an old ladies’ sewing circle. Gossip, whine, complain.

Textbook argument by ignorance. What do we know? On the internet you can access the text of bills before congress and laws they’ve passed. You can access many online editions of newspapers, opensecrets.org’s databases on campaign finance, polls, PDFs, etc, etc. With a little patience, prudence, and critical thinking, one can discern the good from the bad.

We are in a war against the terrorists. Islamofascism is a made up concept created by people too lazy to distinguish between Saddam and the Ayatollahs, Ayman al-Zawahiri and Hosni Mubharak, al-Qaeda and Hezbollah, Bin Laden and the Saudi Royals. It’s a concept that fails to distinguish these bitter enemies and their traditions from one another, in the interests of smearing them into one simple enemy against which we can employ a kneejerk response to.

This is not a time to pick sides; it’s already clear to most Americans that the terrorists aren’t on our side. It’s a time to pick approaches, to choose how we will wage the fight. The choices we make will succeed and fail base on our ability to match our strategies to the realities already in place. They will also succeed and fail based on whether they’re compatible with a Constitutional Republic like our own. To make Fortress America into Prison America would please Bin Laden to no end.

The question for you Right-Wingers is who do you want to defeat more badly: the Liberals, or the terrorists. I’ll give you a clue to the right answer: Americans should stick together against an unquestionably common enemy.

It’s time for eht

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2006 7:53 PM
Comment #171219

I guess these troops over in Iraq are traitors too?
‘Waiting to Get Blown Up’
Some Troops in Baghdad Express Frustration With the War and Their Mission

Posted by: Adrienne at July 27, 2006 7:54 PM
Comment #171220

“If I am in a foxhole in some desolate country fighting for your right to protest and your protest brings more hostile fire upon me and gets me killed, that is NOT for the same greater good.”

They are firing at you more because they percieve weak support back home right? But that weak support is due to people having the freedom to express their true opinions right? And their opinion is that they do not support the war right? So would you now advocate eliminating people’s freedom for a victory? What have you won? Certainly not freedom…MAYBE the opportunity for freedom. But that is a downgrade.

I realize there is grey area here, but you seem so sure of yourself that the two are consistent that I want to know HOW they are consistent.

“I would love to hear you explain to the mother of a slain soldier how his death was for the greater good because you protested and instead of one fighter against him he had two.”

I would say that the enemy was trying to exploit weakness…which is exactly what they are supposed to do. Why does this mean it is my fault for protesting and exercising the very freedom you fight for?

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 27, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #171221

Charlie Rangle, who represents Harlem in New York City, introduced draft legislation in 1993.

Old Charlie thought too many rich white boys were not doing their share of the fighting.

Statistics at the time indicated that blacks made up about 30 percent of the military, compared to about 21 percent (I think that’s the right number) of the U.S. population.

The problem is, it wouldn’t have worked. The rich white boys would still find a way around the draft, just as they did in the Vietnam War era, when the majority of draftees were blacks and poor whites.

Rangle knew the bill wouldn’t go anywhere. It was just a lot of posturing on his part.

Posted by: ulysses at July 27, 2006 7:56 PM
Comment #171222

We are a country split in two. If you don’t support the troops its as if you don’t support American freedom. How can that be you ask? Well, look at it Israel. Everyone is supporting the war. They are 50 times smaller then us and they are more nationalistic then we are. The loss of a few men sends the whole country in rage. You sicken me. Democrats against the war need to take it somewhere else. If you want to all die feel free. I mean who needs an army anyway, right? Who needs to protect themselves when they are attacked? no one right?

As for Iraq. I have spoken with people in the army, and does anyone even know what is going on. The media doesn’t tell you anything. They are building schools, hospitals, wells, houses not just fighting a war to DEFEND the UNITED STATES.. and what are you doing? Ha yes I forgot NOTHING BUT COMPLAINING ABOUT IT! Get over yourselve’s and support. Otherwise you shouldn’t be called an American.

Posted by: Kate at July 27, 2006 8:19 PM
Comment #171223

The fact of the matter is that the opposition does not pay any real attention to what protestors in the US are saying. Do an of you really believe that some insurgent in Iraq is watching tv, thinking, “hmmmm, I was going to plant this roadside bomb today, but now that I see the new poll numbers from the AP I’ve changed my mind.” ????? This is the most ludicrous excuse for the poor handling of this war I’ve seen yet: “We’d be doing better, but all these dissenters keep strengthening the enemy.” Keep trying.

Posted by: David S at July 27, 2006 8:20 PM
Comment #171225

Wow Kate-

So your point is support the war or you can no longer be American? All dissentors must leave? Does this apply to all issues?

Israel is extremely nationalist and reactionary, therefore we should be too?

We are doing good things in Iraq, so none of the attrocities matter anymore? They certainly matter to Iraqi’a who want us out of THEIR country. And what is the point of building schools if everyone is afraid to go?

What am I doing? I’m raising a family, working 3 jobs, just so the borders can be wide open, record debts can be accumulated, rich can avoid taxes, etc, etc, etc.

“Get over yourselve’s and support. Otherwise you shouldn’t be called an American.”

Wow. I mean, WOW!

Posted by: kevin23 at July 27, 2006 8:34 PM
Comment #171227

Kate-

Nothing you just said makes any sense at all. I’ll start at the beginning and work my way through:

If you don’t support the troops its as if you don’t support American freedom

Thats quite a leap. No real logic backing that up, either. First, the best thing for the troops is to not be at war. I think everyone can agree to that. Second, Iraq was no threat to American freedom, so how are the troops there defending it?

Well, look at it Israel. Everyone is supporting the war. They are 50 times smaller then us and they are more nationalistic then we are

The war between Israel and Hezbollah is a bit different from the war between the US and Iraq. First, and most obviously, Hezbollah repeatedly attacked Israel. Israel has a legitimate claim taht they are defending themselves. Second, they have a plan for the entire war, including how it will end, which they have not hesitated to make public. Still haven’t heard that from Bush. And since when was being “nationalistic” a good thing??

Who needs to protect themselves when they are attacked?

We weren’t attacked by Iraq.

They are building schools, hospitals, wells, houses not just fighting a war to DEFEND the UNITED STATES..

All those things are great, but they are not worth the cost of American lives. And they are not fighting a war to “defend the United States”, because as I’ve said a few times already, WE WEREN’T ATTACKED!

and what are you doing? Ha yes I forgot NOTHING BUT COMPLAINING ABOUT IT! Get over yourselve’s and support. Otherwise you shouldn’t be called an American.

This one gets me the most. This country was built on the idea that everyone has an equal voice. If your position is so weak that even questioning is un-patriotic, maybe you need to re-think your position.

In summary, lets see what we have: pro-war, nationalism, silence all dissenters, pro-torture, anti rule of law…are you guys sure you’re not Nazis?

Posted by: David S at July 27, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #171228

If you look at the polls, most Americans essentially agree with Howard Dean about the war:

http://www.pollingreport.com/iraq.htm

So if Dean doesn’t really “support the troops” in your mind, you could say the same thing about most Americans.

I, for one, think we are a nation of realists. Sometimes the truth can sound unpleasant.

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 27, 2006 8:38 PM
Comment #171229

Sorry Jack,they are victums. Victums of an unnecessary and poorly managed war. The best way to support them is to get them home. Yeah,we are going to blame every body bag,every lost limb, every tormented youg soul on that egomaniac cowboy you guys forced into the Whitehouse. Blame Bush? Damn right. He did it,and lied to pull it off. If the war is so great why doesn’t he get his daughters to inlist? They might be targeted?No excuse. Every ones sons and daughters in Iraq are also targeted. I bet their unit would get all the armor they needed.

Posted by: BillS at July 27, 2006 8:49 PM
Comment #171231

Alex, honestly, the fallacies, over generalizations, and downright hypocrisy in your article are so manifest I feel a line-by-line refutal a waste of time. I freely admit I don’t take you seriously, and it has nothing to do with your specific politics, it is with your rhetoric. And no, I don’t think Democrats are innocent of the same tactics. Some of the rhetoric that the DNC sends me via email is just as ridiculous.

Perhaps you don’t think I am capable of ripping apart your overheated rhetoric. That’s your perogative, and you can tell yourself whatever you wish. I prefer to engage seriously more reasonable people, of whom there are plenty on both sides of the aisle.

Posted by: Trent at July 27, 2006 9:05 PM
Comment #171232

“Since you seem to understand clearly, how about a bit of an explanation?”


Posted by: Kevin23 at July 27, 2006 07:47 PM

alright kevin here is a start. if you wish to understand his viewpoint the first thing you need to do is forget this idea of a “just” war vs an unjust” war. until you do you cannot see another viewpoint on war.

if we are to accept the principles of the concept of “human rights” then no war can be justified for in the waging of any war we must violate every principle of the concept of human rights. and each participant waging war violates those human rights.

now, from the above i have justified the pacifist ideology of wars and i am no pacifist. so, if what i said above is true than wars must be seen from an entirely different set of principles, principles that most of us were never brought up to live by. that is my first thought.

as for the subject you refer to one thing must be understood. words have the power to influence both good and bad. this is the principle behind politically correct speech. and behind this thought is the fact that it is not the intent by which words were spoken but how the one that hears the words takes those words to mean that determines how one should choose their words.

this same concept is true here. how would a soldier in Iraq take your words to mean? would he see it as words of support? Tom D has said that from his experience in viet nam the answer would be no and that the soldier in Iraq would most likely say no.

now, if a person who was fighting our soldier in Iraq was to read what you say and think of this war what would his reaction be? would he feel you are supporting him thus give him greater incentive to fight on thus kill more soldiers?

in other words, protest the war if you feel it an unworthy cause but choose your words carefully as you would while being politically correct.

in world war II there was a poster that read “loose lips sink ships” that is the idea behind what Tom D was saying.

Posted by: The Griper at July 27, 2006 9:14 PM
Comment #171234

Kate
Your comments are as insulting as they are ignorant. Stop for one moment and think for yourself. dont run to the Radio to get your opinion, think for yourself.
We are divided as a country primarily because of people like yourself. Yes its on you, its your fault. Why? because when you think the Iraq debacle is worth the people of this country giving up any rights and freeedoms then you become the enemy. You play into the arms of the enemy when you think that by restricting rights you are fighting terrorism or WW3 or islofacism or whatever you think we are fighting.
You allow bad policy,bad judgement and bad idealogy to go unchecked. You worship false idols.
Yet you refuse to see the light, instead you choose to insult and demean anyone that doesnt agree with the stupidity you have fallen prey to.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2006 9:21 PM
Comment #171235

Silima
You seem to think we are winning the war but the media doesn’t want to report all the great things that are being done. Rush limbaugh has 15 hrs a week on the radio. Mike savage 10 hrs a week, Glen Beck 10 hrs a week. that is just three of the many, right wing radio hosts. Why don’t they spend their time filling the American people in about all the great things that are happening in Iraq?

I have yet to hear any right wing people mention more than just a few things that are going well in Iraq. Please fill us in.

Posted by: 037 at July 27, 2006 9:22 PM
Comment #171236

Kate-
I will call myself American and be proud of my dissent. I’m not dissenting to stop a war, I’m dissenting to win one. The Iraq War, if we can; the war against global terrorism, without question. I cannot stand by a president whose policy kills soldiers unnecessarily,. I consider the possibilities of hurting their feelings or the possibility of discouraging soldiers to be a small price to pay for saving their lives and increasing the chances that they’ll succeed in their mission to make Iraq’s freedom permanent.

You talk about schools, hospitals, wells… Unless that accompanies a strategy to wrest control of the territory from insurgents and expand the peaceful territory, it’s just window dressing. Not that I think its bad for the soldiers to do that, mind you. I just don’t think this should be your argument for success, not when the terrorists and insurgents strike at will, and low-grade civil war soaks the country in blood.

As for the enemy, I think we should take a second to remember that these people’s lives don’t necessarily revolve around us. I would venture that much of what emboldens or discourages them is local. When they can strike on us again and again with great effect, when they can bomb as they please, does that not embolden them? Does our lack of manpower and our alienation of the people not embolden the terrorists? The GOP’s obsession with wrestling with the so-called liberal media has turned their attention far to domestically. The Arab media shows what we won’t on our stations. They show our soldiers getting killed, their people getting killed.

If you take a broader view of what’s going on, you might find that everything centers on the execution of the war, not on the media picture of the war. It’s the tail wagging the dog to care more for the media presence of the war than the war itself. Get your people to stop fighting the dissenters, and start getting this war fought right. The further excuses only serve to make things worse. Your choice: fight the media war in addition to the real one and lose both, or fight the real war by itself, but with our help, and win it.

America will remain divided as long as its leaders are more interested in perpetuating their hold on policy than they are in getting it right.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 27, 2006 9:48 PM
Comment #171237


War is evil. It destroys lives, families and nations. It wastes money and resources that could be utilized in better ways.

The only reason to go to war is to prevent a greater evil. War should be a last resort after all other means have been exhausted to relieve tensions. Or, war is a defense after a nation has been attacked.

However, once war has been declared, it should be waged with every means available. There should be overwhelming force applied to end the conflict as quickly as possible. The Israelis understand this, our present administration does not.

We must also realize that the conflict in Iraq is not a war. At best, it is a police action. In this country, only Congress can declare war and it hasn’t. As a historical reminder, this is but one of several undeclared wars that we have been involved in. Korea, Viet Nam, Gulf War 1, Bosnia, none of these were declared wars.

Having said all this, I maintain that we owe the military personnel doing the fighting and dying our respect and support. They have a tough, dirty, frightening job to do, and for the most part, perform that job well. My hat is off to them even as I abhor the lack of honesty and honor that put them in harm’s way. We may protest the war and the administration that got us into this mess without disrespecting the men and women who are fighting. I support our troops and pray they will be safe and home as quickly as possible.

Posted by: John Back at July 27, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #171241

Trent:

Fair enough, if you don’t take my opinions seriously, then don’t even bother reading my articles, and certinely don’t bother leaving a post. Don’t waste my time, and I won’t waste yours…

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 27, 2006 10:25 PM
Comment #171242

Think out of the box people.
Forget your partisan programming.
Bush started an unnecessary war.
Now, Iraq is now in civil war.
How many people will die before someone finally says it was a horrible mistake based on flawed (possibly criminally negligent) intelligence.
Bush and his administration have made a very serious mistake. Tens of thousands have died unnecessarily. There was no WMD.
Bush may go down as the most irresponsible, most arrogant, most narrowminded, religiously motivated U.S. president in a long, long time.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 27, 2006 10:29 PM
Comment #171243

99 blunders

Posted by: d.a.n at July 27, 2006 10:32 PM
Comment #171245

Griper-

There are a lot of assumptions in your argument, and a whole lot of surrounding circumstances unaccounted for which might make all the difference. But let me go through it, because I don’t necessarily disagree with a few of the principles in there.

I’ll be the first to argue that military rules are very different than civilian rules. The army should never have to act as a police force. I’m not sure where this distinction between just and unjust wars applies to me, but I do not pretend to know the difference anyway. I do know when I feel I have no other option but to fight. And that is when I would advocate fighting. “Just” and “Unjust” are labels decided, usually by the victor, after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. However, there is a difference between reasonable judgements and irresponsible judgements, and even soldiers must be accountable.
I do not believe “war” justifies every bad act.

Your saying that words have influence both good and bad…well, of course. If you go looking for something, you will find it. It is not the job of Americans to shut up, but rather the role of military leaders to understand exactly what they are getting into when they put people’s lives in danger. If a soldier is fighting an unpopular war, his enemies will exploit this, but it is not the root cause of the fighting, nor does it necessarily mean anything other than any other weakness.

I understand that the soldiers want to feel supported, but is this not the responsability of their leaders to not put them in such an uncomfortable position to begin with. They are fighting on behalf of the American public. If we do not like a war, then we, as democratic entities, need to voice our opinion or nothing will ever change. It is our democratic duty. Where a REAL threat is percieved, as Israelis are doing now, we would all support the war just as the Israelis do. Support at home is not a necessary part of war, but when you have it, you feel justified. Again, it is not the responsability of free thinkers to do anything but think freely. This is why I think most of us love this country enough to fight for it. In a war like WWII, people were more than willing to give things up temperarily for survival. This is not the case today.

As for choosing words carefully, this is the job of leaders and politicians. My role is to be true to myself, and part of that may be to feel bad for the troops enough to silence my dissent. But it also may not be, and the fact that an enemy could use it to recruit and intensify attacks says nothing more than they want to win. Well of course they do. We dropped 2 atomic bombs to win in 1945. And I’m guessing you find it to be justified. Our history books glorify this action because almost all americans agreed with it. If they did not, then it would have ended differently. Maybe Japan doesn’t surrender (hoping American discontent forces an early withdraw) and a million lives are lost invading Japan. I fully understand that this is a scary thought. But reality is that there was support, and it does not exist for the Iraq war. Leaders need to plan accordingly. Forcing everyone to be sheep is the tail wagging the dog…or fascism. Either way, I’d go to Canada at that point as my free nation would no longer exist.

Posted by: kevin23 at July 27, 2006 10:35 PM
Comment #171246

John Beck,
Very eloquently put, I agree wholeheartedly with your post.

Posted by: j2t2 at July 27, 2006 10:44 PM
Comment #171247

It is probably because the “In Party” is the Republican party, but the rose colored column is by far the most partisan column of all.

Sure, it will change soon, as Democrats soon recover a majority, and the same [explicative] will come from the new “In Party”, but the slant over here is so, so obvious.

Both are bad, no doubt, as they continue to take turns being irresponsible.

Here, it’s “Democrats ….”, and in the blue column, it’s “Republicans …..”.

Does any one ever get tired of this petty partisan [explicative] ?

Nothing good can come of it.

We can not move forward because of it.
It is very effective.
It distracts voters from substantive issues.

There will come a time when we will wish we had not succumbed to the petty partisan warfare. That time may not be far off. Congress is fiscally and morally bankrupt. It may not be much longer before an economic meltdown due to $42 trillion of nationwide debt finally catches up with us.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 27, 2006 10:47 PM
Comment #171249

Stephen D. responded -
“What’s wrongheaded is thinking that you can win a war by beating down any dissent at home that pops its head up. The dissents on this war should have been taken care of, not scoffed at, duly noted instead of viciously attacked”

Since I was referring to the original article posted by Alex, in which he clearly shows the stupidity of Democratic leaders in their dissent, I don’t get your response. For instance how can the Bush administration “taken care of, not scoffed at…” this statement by Durbin:

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime—Pol Pot or others—that had no concern for human beings.”

This dissent was wrong in the facts, it was ignorant, it was stupid, it was anti-troop, and in the end it was anti-American. What else can be done about this but to scoff.

I stand by my post.

Posted by: Don at July 27, 2006 10:54 PM
Comment #171250

Griper,

“in world war II there was a poster that read “loose lips sink ships” that is the idea behind what Tom D was saying.”

Sorry, “loose lips” was about spies and the locations of loved ones, or the “ships” they were on.

http://www.eyewitnesstohistory.com/lslips.htm

“Millions volunteered or were drafted for military duty during World War II. The majority of these citizen-soldiers had no idea how to conduct themselves to prevent inadvertent disclosure of important information to the enemy. To remedy this, the government established rules of conduct. The following is excerpted from a document given to each soldier as he entered the battle area.”

What tom seemed to be saying is that our dissent strengthens the morale of those we fight.

Posted by: Rocky at July 27, 2006 10:56 PM
Comment #171251

Don,

“If I read this to you and did not tell you that it was an FBI agent describing what Americans had done to prisoners in their control, you would most certainly believe this must have been done by Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime Pol Pot or others that had no concern for human beings.”

“This dissent was wrong in the facts, it was ignorant, it was stupid, it was anti-troop, and in the end it was anti-American.”

If you actually feel the need to be factual, where in the above quote does Durbin mention American troops?

Where does he say that he saw this with his own eyes?

Posted by: Rocky at July 27, 2006 11:03 PM
Comment #171253


I find it troublesome, at least for me, that when dissent is mentioned it’s mentioned with an almost otherworldly overly dramatized, breathless aura of supreme goodness and light on the left. Equally troublesome is the overzealous, obtuse demeanor put forth by those on the right who feel any dissent in a time of war is treacherous.

Both overstate. The greater part of what I read here is partisanship, sometimes political, mostly ideological. That division, I believe, is the heart of the issue. One side holds dear the tenets of peace without, if possible, the shedding of one drop of blood. The other abides by the virtue of self preservation, self defense, war for the sake of peace.

Passion on both sides enflames the rhetoric, names are called and the ratcheting up of attacks, some personal, begins. The declarations of treason on one side, immorality or warmongering on the other becomes a kind of white noise - nothing is really being said, nothing can being heard.

The foundation of the country you are blessed to live in? The constitution. Both agree that it’s the foundation of our country? Then discuss the issues as americans talking to americans, not as enemies eyeing each other suspiciously through a barbed wire fence.

Put aside the declarations of evil intentions by either side of the debate, forgo any defeatist mentality or claims of treachery for speaking freely. Speak freely indeed, but know that your speech is not truly free, it came with a severe price attached.

“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”

Abraham Lincoln

Posted by: JR at July 27, 2006 11:12 PM
Comment #171254

DON
Do you know what the report Durbin was refering to actually said? I don’t. Maybe it was that bad to have sounded like something the Pol Pot would say. I’m not saying it was accurate. But does anyone know what the actual account said? Until we do how would we know ir Durbin is out of line?

Posted by: 037 at July 27, 2006 11:13 PM
Comment #171257

Alex, I guess the intent of ALL of the statements you quoted are a little too complex for you. All of the statements have to do with the heirarchy of the ranks of the military, most pointedly at the President. Maybe your idea of the “troops” differs than mine but to me the troops are the men and women on the ground fighting the war not the policy makers at the pentagon and in Washington. All of the statements you cite are referring to the policy-makers.

Regarding Durbin’s statement: Are the “troops” in charge of interigation?

Regarding Dean and Kerry: This may be a shock to you but the “troops” do not win wars. It is up to politicians. The “troops” are not in charge of defineing what or when we decide to say, ‘We won the war. Let’s go home’. That is up to the President.

On top of all of this, I think it is you who is disrespecting the intelligence of our troops.

If you were to ask the troops if the statements by politicians effects the morale of them, they would say, ‘No’. Morale is based on the perception of the progress they are making in the region from day to day. Without well defined goals to acheive, it is difficult for our troops to see any progress. I think that is what would lower morale more than anything, not the statemnts of Congressmen. Again, thanks to Bush not the Congress, those goals are not well defined.

Posted by: Matthew at July 27, 2006 11:41 PM
Comment #171260

I remember when my Mother used to say, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”. It seemed she was always completely surprised when I’d respond by flipping her off.

For anyone who has any loyalty to a political group, you understand how it feels to be catagorized by the insane actions or comments of someone else that proports to speak for your group. Conversely, when you consistently attack an entire group for the idiocy of one member, there comes a time when the routine gets so irritating and tiresome that you begin to be ignored.

In the few short months that I’ve been exposed to this venue, I’ve seen viable bi-partisan solutions that I’d back to Congress, but I’ve primarily seen a set of brilliant minds, wasting their time acting exactly like those who are creating our problems.

This is an excellent vehicle to collaborate to the effect of positive change. It’s also a perfect outlet to point fingers and complain.

The room is getting darker by the hour. Who wants to light some candles?

Posted by: DOC at July 27, 2006 11:50 PM
Comment #171269

DOC,

My heart goes out to your mom. It sounds like she would be a perfect example of the sprit of your statement.

You want some ideas about Iraq?

Simply, I think the best result of where we are at NOW is a 3 state solution. Meaning a united 3 states with Bahgdad as their Washingtion DC and all oil money being distributed equally. Basically it’s along the lines of the Biden idea. I think this is the best way to stop the sectarian violence and hopefully over time the factions can come together.

Okay so it has some holes but I’m open to listening to other ideas.

Posted by: Matthew at July 28, 2006 12:09 AM
Comment #171275

037 asked -
“Do you know what the report Durbin was refering to actually said?”

Answer: Yes. Durbin read it on the air during an interview in 2005.

He eventually apologized (sort of) for his comments, however not before Al Jazera reported on his comments and his unwillingness to retract them. The result of Durbin’s words includes the following from an active-duty soldier:

“Senators,

I am currently deployed to Kosovo as a member of Task Force Falcon, Multi-National Brigade-East, NATO KFOR….I have served in the U.S. Army, Army Reserve, and California Army National Guard for 24 years….

The recent comments of Senator Durbin in reference to the conditions for inmates at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility are as detestable as anything I have ever heard or read concerning members of the of the United States military. By now these comments have been quoted or aired enough that I need not repeat them here.

The senator’s remarks, while apparently intended to apply to only a small number of us, actually hit ALL of us squarely in the heart. To compare any member of the U.S. armed forces with the murderous thugs who ran Hitler’s camp system, the Soviet Gulag, or who gleefully slaughtered entire populations in Cambodia, is an affront to all men and women of our military.

Does Senator Durbin really mean to imply that WE are thugs and murderers? Does he really mean to imply that WE treat our prisoners in the same manner, as say, the totenkopfverbande treated prisoners at Sobibor, Belzec, Treblinka, or Auschwitz? Does he really mean that?

If the good senator really does intend to convey this message, then I suggest that he read Eugen Kogon’s excellent and heartbreaking study of the Nazi camp system, titled “The Theory and Practice of Hell.” I think he should read it, and then decide whether or not his comparisons are entirely accurate. I would also like to suggest that Senator Durbin read Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s “The Gulag Archipelago,” or “Children of Cambodia’s Killing Fields” by Kim DePaul and the late Dith Pran.

We men and women who serve in the armed forces are NOT the jackbooted tyrants that some people seem hell-bent to depict us as. We are many things, but we are not evil. Implications to the opposite effect serve only to undermine and demoralize us as we try with all our hearts to carry out our missions to make the world a better place. If Senator Durbin or any other lawmaker would like to see evidence of, or hear testimony about what we really do, then I suggest a trip to Kosovo. Ask the people here what they think of America and our soldiers. You might be surprised.

In conclusion I would like to remind you that many of the men and women currently running the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay come from the California Army National Guard. They are upstanding and honorable citizens of the state of California, and the United States of America. They are members of the greatest force for peace, or war, that the world has ever seen. I personally know many of them, and they are absolutely not as Senator Durbin portrays them. Senators, I beg of you, stand up for them. Do not allow these reprehensible statements by one of your colleagues to go by the board without censure. He must be called to task on this.

SSG Stephen Pointer
S-6/IMO
432nd Civil Affairs Battalion (-)
Camp Bondsteel
APO AE 09340”

I think this soldier hits the nail on the head.

Posted by: Don at July 28, 2006 12:40 AM
Comment #171280

kevin,

thank you. your rebuttal affirmed all i said in my comments. funny how someone attempting to discredit another’s arguement ends up doing nothing but affirm it.

rocky,

thank you for the history lesson but i already knew what the purpose was in wwII in regards to the poster. i never said it was for the same reason but only the idea behind it was relevant. that idea being that a person should be careful of what they said. and the reason being is that what they said may end up inadvertently being the cause of the death of men. and that person may never realize it.

Posted by: The Griper at July 28, 2006 12:55 AM
Comment #171285

Kevin 23-
I don’t believe anything has changed in Americans to preclude the self sacrificing sort of conduct we saw in WWII. The trouble has come as we’ve mixed politics more with war, to the point of placing higher priority on the political campaigns involved, than the nature of the war itself.

Since the beginning of the Cold War, all too much emphasis has been placed on the politics. That’s how we got into Vietnam, really: Kennedy did not want the GOP to charge him with “losing” Vietnam the way we “lost” China. Because of the politics, people did not question so much whether these places were ever ours to keep much less lose, and people who warned of the fall of these nations to the communists were often label sympathizers, and accused of wanting these things to happen.

Until we shake this notion of realism and defeatism being one and the same, we can’t shake the ghost of Korea and Vietnam. We must not approach war as if getting what we want is simple or easy. In that, I think we are agreed. We fight for objectives, not for political milestones.

Don-
I would call the new “torture-lite” to be no better than the regular torture, anymore than child abuse inflicted without evident bruising is morally superiot that which leaves the kid black and blue. It is both wrong in the moral sense, and in the operational sense, since what torture does is make people suggestible. Your torturer, whether he leaves a mark or not might lead their subject into a pack of lives with one poorly phrase question.

The more productive interrogations have involved building relationships with the sources, deflating the picture al-Qaeda gave of rough treatment. According to the book The One Percent Doctrine, by Ron Suskind, one guy actually flipped after we got his mother an operation. If we get a reputation for being generous to those who give us information…

It’s your decision, really. Do we want to follow the example of the idiots we’ve fought and destroyed throughout history, or do we want to act in the best interests of our country?

Support for our soldiers should not mean the rationalization of illegal and immoral actions they may take on their own, or be commanded to take by others. Durbin, if you actually follow his comments, was speaking of behavior. Such comparisons are not unreasonable, given all the people we’ve stuck in the gitmo black hole.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2006 1:12 AM
Comment #171287

Forgive my poor spelling:
1)morally superior to
2)lies, not lives

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2006 1:15 AM
Comment #171289

Nice to see where you stand as well griper. You’d cut off nose to spite your face, right? Daring and decisive, but possibly unnecessary and pointless.

Let me just tell you, a soldier has so much less to fear from those who are reading and communicating back home than you do those who would send kids 6000 miles away to build a “democracy” in the midst of a civil war they allowed to happen between people they have no substantial relations with. Your solution? Shut up the kids back home, and keep shipping them off to die. I’m being extreme here, but this is what happens if I use your argument as truth.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 1:19 AM
Comment #171292

David S,

You are ignorant my friend. Being nationalistic is a good thing. When wouldn’t it be? I think you don’t know what you are. I don’t think you even really stand for anything. You must stand by your country in bad or good. I stood by Clinto while he was in term.. that did not mean I liked him. The one who bombed an asprin factory. Ha what a joke. As a matter of fact I still stand by what I said.

You are uneducatd if you said Iraq did not attack us when indeed they did. They harbor terrorists who attacked us. They are connected. How could they not be? I agree maybe we should of started in North Korea. Are you saying we should of just left he middle east alone for them to attack us again? Oh my that sounds like a great idea. Let’s have more unarmed civilians die then have armed men/woman defend the freedom that we have.

Everyone does have an equal voice, but sometimes other people are right. I am sorry for you if you think we should just leave Iraq alone. Who needs to defend their country anyway, right? My brother is indeed in the army. Its tough for me to see him go, but most of them fight with pride. Support them because they are risking their life for YOU!

You are a Dick Durbin WANT TO BE! How could you call me a Nazi. We are trying to have PEACE for the world. Not go around and take over other countries. We are treating the prisoners well. Better then the Nazi’s ever did. Israel is going to have more problems then Lebanon. They have Syria and Iraq to deal with right now. Sure they may rid the Hezbollah in Lebanon, but what will happen next? I am sorry you want us to not defend ourselfs and do this diplomatically. When was the last time that worked? Ha yes look at North Korea. When was the last time the UN did something? O yes the Oil For Food Act? Look how well that turned out. I am not a Nazi. I am thinking with my head on straight unlike you.

Posted by: Kate at July 28, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #171293

Matthew - Mom and I had a reverse, On Golden Pond - Fondaesque moment, where we were able to laugh at our inability to admit that we had always listened to each other.

I like your idea. I think if the U.N. represented countries could commit and seriously assist in mediating and acieving this, it would seem less like the structure was being unilaterally imposed (which is a big sore spot for Islamic fundamentalists). Get representatives from other countries with predominantly Islamic culture to back the effort and you have a winning solution.

The Al Qaeda element will not be swayed by the effort, and my impression is that it will rile them into action, which is perilous, but needed if we are still interested in subdueing them. It’s hard to hit a target that doesn’t present itself.

Excellent!

How do we use others’ expertise to take it further?

Posted by: DOC at July 28, 2006 1:26 AM
Comment #171295

kevin,

nice try, my friend but you missed the ring once more. tis time i put this hot and tired body to bed now,,good night all. enjoy the debate.

Posted by: The Griper at July 28, 2006 1:43 AM
Comment #171297

Stephen-

I really do believe in the power of a popular mandate, and I think this country would unite exactly as we did in WWII if we felt a direct threat. For some, 9/11 was direct. I lived right next to the Empire State building at the time. I felt the full range of emotions as I watched first a buring tower, then a second plane hit, then felt the tingle up my spine as I realized the likely third target. Compound this with the fact that my wife worked at the mall in the bottom of the trade center at the time and was scheduled to work two hours later. I lost cell phone reception as everyone in manhattan did. Then Me and six of my friends from law school (which was located in lower manhattan) stood with a few dozen other residents on the roof of my building and watched, debating the causes and consequences of what was potentially unfolding. We all knew something big should happen, and for the few hours we thought we might be under a broader or more sustained attack on our own soil, we were all pro-war.

Then fear and anger gave way to a more informed sense of tragedy. EVERYONE supported the war against Al Quiada. But then came Iraq, and NYers felt betrayed…I among them. I went through a lot of personal hardship following that event which I can say is directly related to the attacks. Regardless, I feel no vindication from world domination. I think prosperity is defined by happiness, not by wealth or power. “Nation Building” was just not the response I had in mind as effective or efficient. But I was told by the president and co. that we were actually liberators. I knew this to be a lie, but it is too cynical to tell the optimists not to be optimistic in such a seemingly desperate time. So I again watched as they created war in Iraq and an international insurgency began to blow up our soldiers. I knew many. One marine friend gave me some Saddam money and told me great stories of kids asking for candy and him swimming in the pool in the presidential palace in Babylon. He said the marines had it on “lock-down” and that it was planned and executed well. He did blame the army for being soft, and said that crowds could instantaniously turn on Americans if one person threw a rock from a far or some similar instigation.

So the rest has been a constant drudgery of unnecessary violence and civil strife. So coming from this mind-set of feeling cheated out of meaningful retribution by my leader in exchange for an Iraq/Afgan democracy project that is doomed to fail and far to expensive to justify, I cannot believe there are people who take domestic partisan politics so seriously as to start advocating WWII style (and worst) constitutional reins on people who speak up, and on prisoners taken. And to try and justify it by saying the troops are in greater danger just strikes me as insulting our history. Its a discredit to the nobility of a war which was truely necessary like WWII to begin making expectations of similar popular support, let alone dissenter silence.

And while I’m on topic, it really insults those who have felt the effects of 9/11 when the Homeland Security dept gives NYC the shaft in federal money. Many feel it to be a slap in the face when midwest republicans exploit the deaths of 3000 people in NYC by using it to apply their political theory of nearly unlimited executive power, using it to further erode the upward mobility of lower middle class people like me with their unpopular domestic agenda. It is an insult to intelligence to justify Iraq with 9/11 (New Yorkers knew it, but the midwest believed anything they were told). And most importantly, it is adding insult to injury to tell us that we all need to be united with the red state agenda or we are not “true Americans”.

True Americans fight ONLY for what they truely believe in. THAT is why we kick so much ass when it matters most. Because we can’t stand lose what we have.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 2:03 AM
Comment #171298

Stephen responded -
“Support for our soldiers should not mean the rationalization of illegal and immoral actions they may take on their own, or be commanded to take by others. Durbin, if you actually follow his comments, was speaking of behavior. Such comparisons are not unreasonable, given all the people we’ve stuck in the gitmo black hole.”

Again you have masterfully ignored the point of my post. I have not condoned illegal torture (if that is what has been done). I pointed to the effect of the words of Durbin. What he said was stupid. I have heard and read his entire statement made in June, 2005 (I believe). I know the point he was trying to make. I know the point he actually made. I know the effect it had on our soldiers (it sure didn’t support the troops). And I know the joy our enemies felt when he made the statement. Sadly, he read a report from one FBI agent whose report of abuses was not then, nor has been since, been proven true. And Durbin’s statement was way out of line even if everything in the report he read from were true. It was stupid, stupid, stupid for Durbin to make such statements from every angle you can possibly find. Such comparison are NOT reasonable.

According to YOUR argument that these comparisons are reasonable… the following is also reasonable: A bird dropping landing on your head is the same as a 16 pound bowling ball landing on your head. After all, its the same gravity, they are traveling in the same direction and they land on the same object. But that would be utterly stupid, because one messes up your hair while the other KILLS you. “Reasonable”… I think not!

(BTW - I usually avoid these wanderings into wild “your logic sounds like this” statements. Often there is a better way to handle it.)

Posted by: Don at July 28, 2006 2:08 AM
Comment #171300

Kate,

Your anger and frustration is misplaced. I do not think you realize yet how much Bush has lied to you. Have you read the 9/11 commission report? Have you seen every one of Bush’s initial justifications for the war blow up in his face? But now people say either: “we have to stay the course so it can mean something”, or “We are doing it for the Iraqi people”. They are both utter garbage, but the second really gets me. We are doing this for them? Why them? Why now? So many better targets. So many better ways to help people around the world. So much better and more efficient ways to help than by using military force. But this is all lost in the fog of aimless need for a war…any war…any reason. When the order is: “Just give me a connection…any connection”, a connection will be found every time.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 2:20 AM
Comment #171313

Kevin23:

Thank you for your excellent Neville Chamberlain impersonation.

Sincerely,

Good King Ned

Posted by: goodkingned at July 28, 2006 5:08 AM
Comment #171320

I got up too late to comment this morning. I will be back this afternoon.

Keven, When I bought my old Jeep it had a decal on the windshield that said “It’s a Jeep thing…You wouldn’t understand” I guess my thoughts are It’s a patriotic thing…You wouldn’t understand.

Good day everyone.

Posted by: tomd at July 28, 2006 6:36 AM
Comment #171328

“It’s a patriotic thing…You wouldn’t understand.”

Yea - right. One man’s patritism is a another man’s tyranny.

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 8:29 AM
Comment #171342
Regarding Durbin’s statement: Are the “troops” in charge of interigation?

Regarding Dean and Kerry: This may be a shock to you but the “troops” do not win wars. It is up to politicians. The “troops” are not in charge of defineing what or when we decide to say, ‘We won the war. Let’s go home’. That is up to the President

On top of all of this, I think it is you who is disrespecting the intelligence of our troops.

Matthew:

The last part is absurd and doesn’t merit comment, but as for Durbin, of course troops are in charge of interrogation, do you think Rummy goes to Gitmo every Friday to coerce detainees into submission?

True, troops are not in charge of overall battle operations, but they are the guys who have to execute the battle operations, and when someone tells you the war is unwinnable, it sends two clear messages…(1) the people devising and executing the plan are inept, and (2) that the speaker has no faith in either the devisor or the executor.

Lastly, unless you’ve asked every troop how they react to these fanatical statements, you don’t know how they’d react…I merely questioned their reaction, inferring that they probably would react negatively, but again, neither of us can be entirely certain…

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 28, 2006 9:18 AM
Comment #171346
Durbins allegations have been proven true. The methods employed in Gitmo were reverse engineered from those used in SERE training, which themselves were reverse engineered from Soviet torture methods designed to break the will of prisoners and make them pliable. The conduct in Abu Ghraib is a direct result of methods tested in Gitmo.

Stephen:

Sources, please. All reports I’ve read dismiss Durbin’s findings and dismiss any wrongdoing at Gitmo. If you have a source affirming otherwise, please cite it.

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 28, 2006 9:22 AM
Comment #171349
if the US has abused prisoners at Gitmo, they should be punished. But first of alll, there are not official, credible sources affirming abuse, and all credible sources that have gone on the record deny any wrongdoing. Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 27, 2006 06:24 PM
Alex, Numerous credible sources, including vicitms of the torture and their lawyers and congressmen (not just Murtha) and former servicemen, are on record as saying torture exists. If torture didn’t exist, then why Congress have written an “anti-torture” law and why would Bush have issued a signing statement against the law? The reality is that torture is condoned by Bush, and especially Dick. They will not ever publicly admit it or allow anyone within their control to either. They also say that the “interrogation techniques” are harsh but not torture”. The signing statement basically says, “Congress can not control my behavior during wartime and if I should ever decide to allow torture, then it is legal to do so because I say so.” It’s typical BushCo obfuscation. Deny until undeniably caught then change the subject. Posted by: Dave1 at July 28, 2006 9:37 AM
Comment #171352

Dave1:

If you call the victims of the supposed “tortured” and their lawyers credible sources then you mide as well be asking the six year old across the street, b/c he is perhaps more credible…it’s actually quite laughable, you trust the opinion of a suspected terrorist who just spent the worst days of his life locked up in a US prison…do you think this suspected terrorist is going to be rosey-posey about his treatment?

And second of all, Congressmen Murtha and others do not get their sources first hand, they supposedly get their uncorraborated sources from inside informants…real believable, given there isn’t actually any concrete testimony other than the flimsy informants who won’t discolse their identity.

And for every servicemen who reports abuse, which has not been many and to my knowledge the ones who have haven’t discolsed their identity, there are at least 10 debunking the notion.

So, who do you trust, suspected terrorists, lawyers of suspected terrorists, and uncorraborated, unconfirmed reports from confidental informants who can’t even disclose their identity, or the US military’s official oversight, the Red Cross, a typically left leaning organization affirming no prisoner torture, and Bill O’Reilly (don’t laugh, I’m sick of people scoffing O’Reilly), the only media person to have access into Gitmo, all debunking the notion?

Posted by: Alex Fitzsimmons at July 28, 2006 9:54 AM
Comment #171355

Well said Kate,

These folks speaking against you think by their many words they can shout down the truth. President Bush spoke correctly in the many quotes above. Saddam did continue his chemical weapons program and was actively seeking yellow cake uranium from Africa. The British investigated their own claims thoroughly and still stand by them.

Here’s a partial quote from the 2003 state of the union address:
“Our nation and the world must learn the lessons of the Korean Peninsula and not allow an even greater threat to rise up in Iraq. A brutal dictator, with a history of reckless aggression, with ties to terrorism, with great potential wealth, will not be permitted to dominate a vital region and threaten the United States. (Applause.)

Twelve years ago, Saddam Hussein faced the prospect of being the last casualty in a war he had started and lost. To spare himself, he agreed to disarm of all weapons of mass destruction. For the next 12 years, he systematically violated that agreement. He pursued chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, even while inspectors were in his country. Nothing to date has restrained him from his pursuit of these weapons — not economic sanctions, not isolation from the civilized world, not even cruise missile strikes on his military facilities.

Almost three months ago, the United Nations Security Council gave Saddam Hussein his final chance to disarm. He has shown instead utter contempt for the United Nations, and for the opinion of the world. The 108 U.N. inspectors were sent to conduct — were not sent to conduct a scavenger hunt for hidden materials across a country the size of California. The job of the inspectors is to verify that Iraq’s regime is disarming. It is up to Iraq to show exactly where it is hiding its banned weapons, lay those weapons out for the world to see, and destroy them as directed. Nothing like this has happened.

The United Nations concluded in 1999 that Saddam Hussein had biological weapons sufficient to produce over 25,000 liters of anthrax — enough doses to kill several million people. He hasn’t accounted for that material. He’s given no evidence that he has destroyed it.”
www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/01/20030128-19.html

There are many who falsely accuse President Bush of lying. Many of those false accusers are deliberately lying themselves. Others believe those liars.

Hitler was a socialist. The political correct group likes to label their opponents as Hitlers even as they promote socialism. The more you ask the government to do for you, the more power you give to the few.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 9:59 AM
Comment #171357

Kevin,

Do you think the Democrats would do a better job on border security? Have you checked Hillary’s position and other leading Democrats on illegal immigration?

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 10:02 AM
Comment #171358
Woody, you said John McCain hates the military. I don’t know what crystal ball you are looking into. If their is someone who is probably on the side of the Military it is John McCain. I don’t vote republican usually, but I would vote for John. Oh when him and bush were both going for the nomination, read how bush bad mouth him.

I was being ironic. I don’t think he is in any way against the military.

What I meant was that since he is concerned about our troops torturing people, according to right-wing logic he must hate the military. All patriotic Americans know that our boys in uniform would never do such as thing, right? So he must hate the military. QED

Posted by: Woody Mena at July 28, 2006 10:03 AM
Comment #171360

David S,

Iraq was a gathering threat to the United States and the world. Saddam’s forces shot at our planes for 12 years in violation of a cease fire.

Do you deny he was trying to rebuild his chemical weapons? I invite you to show that the British were wrong in their claim Saddam sought yellow cake uranium from Niger. The claim is not based soley on the forged document. Sometimes people use forgeries to discredit the case they appear to be trying to support.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 10:07 AM
Comment #171363

j2t2,

Part of why the nation is divided is that several of the Democrat appointees President Bush left in place decided it was more advantageous for them to lie in their support for the Democrat party rather than to work with President Bush.

President Bush and other Republican Presidents appointed judges who are not hard line on the right.

It is the Democrats who have been only appointing judges who support Roe vs Wade.

I invite you to support the Florida Supreme Court’s rulings in the 2000 Presidential election. Please show how that court was upholding the law.

Those who want to invent the law as they go along are the ones being dividers.


Those who didn’t allow pro life Democrats to speak at the Democrat conventions are dividers.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #171364

Alex -

Have you read anything put out by the Red Cross? I just googled “Red Cross, torture” and found tons of articles released quoting a variety of reprorts by the Red Cross on toture at GITMO, Iraq, the secret prisons, etc… (I tried to post them here, but those posts get blocked… maybe too many html links…???)

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 10:12 AM
Comment #171368

d.a.n.,

You may want to fact check your 99 blunders.

George W was correct not to include Iran and Syria in a coalition that would then insist we not remove Saddam from power. That was the mistake Bush Sr. made.

Leaving the corrupt Iraq army that was loyal to Saddam in power would have made it more difficult to build an army loyal to the people of Iraq. Existing power sturctures in our own military helps keep it from changing quickly. That’s a good thing when we have a military loyal to the people of the United States. It would not be a good thing for a military that was loyal to Saddam.

Try to see the other side of each claim made of the “99 blunders”. It isn’t that difficult.

Posted by: Steve at July 28, 2006 10:18 AM
Comment #171369

Disent is not treason, but revealing miltary secrets is. Several articles from the New York Times claimed in the article it was a secret they were revealing, showing they knew they were revealing information that could be harmful to the United States.

That is treasonous.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 10:21 AM
Comment #171377

“Section 3. Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. No person shall be convicted of treason unless on the testimony of two witnesses to the same overt act, or on confession in open court.”

Go and actually read the NYT story, and then tell me how it fits into treason. Also, notice that 2 other major newspapers reported on this story the same day… but no mention for them? Why?

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 10:34 AM
Comment #171379

If everything critical a newspaper writes is either dubbed unpatriotic, unsupportive of our troops or even treason it has clearly become a more dangerous world for common sense, as well as constitutional rights.

Posted by: Josh at July 28, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #171384

“everything” critical isn’t what was refered to.

Last year, the Times revealed a top secret program tracking phone calls connected to numbers found in Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s cell phone.
www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/article.cgi?article=138

When is The New York Times going to get around to uncovering an al-Qaida secret program?
In the latest of a long list of formerly top-secret government anti-terrorism operations that have been revealed by the Times, last week the paper printed the details of a government program tracking terrorists’ financial transactions that has already led to the capture of major terrorists and their handmaidens in the U.S.
…What if, instead of passing information from the government’s secret nuclear program at Los Alamos directly to Soviet agents, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg had printed those same secrets in a newsletter? Would they have skated away scot-free instead of being tried for espionage and sent to the death chamber?
www.anncoulter.com/cgi-local/article.cgi?article=136

Treason:
Violation of allegiance toward one’s country or sovereign, especially the betrayal of one’s country by waging war against it or by consciously and purposely acting to aid its enemies.
A betrayal of trust or confidence.
dictionary.reference.com/browse/treason

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 11:05 AM
Comment #171387

Steve S,

Are you seriously using Ann Coulter as a source of factual information?

Please try again if you have any hope of people taking your sources seriously.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #171391

Lawn Boy,

You haven’t shown the source to be false. Truth is truth no matter who is saying it.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 11:14 AM
Comment #171394

Yes, Steve, I know that I’m using an ad hominem attack here. The problem is that truth is alien to Ann Coulter.

Use a real source, please. If what you say is true, you should be able to cite a real source.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 11:18 AM
Comment #171398

LawnBoy,

You accept the New York Times as a source. I accept Ann Coulter as a source. You quote your source and I will quote mine.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 11:25 AM
Comment #171399

Steve S,

Wow. You’ve said all you need to say about your positions, your partisanship, and your ability to reason and discern.

Thanks for being so clear.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 11:27 AM
Comment #171405

Steve S-

Ann Coulter is to the NYT as Michael Moore is to Fox News.

Posted by: David S at July 28, 2006 11:48 AM
Comment #171408

LawnBoy,

Maybe you want to register at the New York Times as one of their readers, but I don’t. If they truly want to defend their revealing of what they claim is classified information then they should make their information easily accessible.

Here are some more secondary references:
michellemalkin.com/archives/005585.htm
The Bush administration is rushing a delivery of precision-guided bombs to Israel, which requested the expedited shipment last week after beginning its air campaign against Hezbollah targets in Lebanon, American officials said Friday.
The decision to quickly ship the weapons to Israel was made with relatively little debate within the Bush administration, the officials said. Its disclosure threatens to anger Arab governments and others because of the appearance that the United States is actively aiding the Israeli bombing campaign in a way that could be compared to Iran’s efforts to arm and resupply Hezbollah.
…The new American arms shipment to Israel has not been announced publicly, and the officials who described the administration’s decision to rush the munitions to Israel would discuss it only after being promised anonymity. The officials included employees of two government agencies, and one described the shipment as just one example of a broad array of armaments that the United States has long provided Israel.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 11:55 AM
Comment #171409

I found a reference in the New York Times that didn’t require registration:
www.nytimes.com/2006/07/22/world/middleeast/22military.html?ei=5065&en=f843a97f84eacaf6&ex=1154232000&partner=MYWAY&pagewanted=print

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 11:59 AM
Comment #171412

NY Times hires only the best and brightest journalists from the entire country, wins the world’s top awards and distinctions each and every year for its investigative journalism. Ann Coulter is a partisan writer whose only stated goal is to sell books. Even comparing the two is insulting.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 12:07 PM
Comment #171414

Kevin23,

Attack the message, not the messenger.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 12:10 PM
Comment #171416

Steve S,

Michelle Malkin is hardly better than Ann Coulter (a bit, but not much). There’s a difference between journalism and rabid punditry.

Yes, you found an article from the New York Times in which they reported facts. That’s journalism.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #171431

Stephen-

I appreciate your last post. You have a way of writing which masterfully avoids being over-emotional about a topic - especially when responding to the more extreme posters. But seeing the last post made me realize you are just as upset by some folks’ lack of will to see a bigger picture as I am. I think you and I both feel similar anger and frustration from the state of politics today, and despite our being from different parties (I think), we have in common a feeling of cynicism towards our government right now. I think people mistake this for a lack of will to make it better. We are not merely complaining to hurt our “enemies” in government. We are expressing that we want a better, more effective therapy (this probably means a war) for 9/11 related stress than what we got with Iraq. We want out leaders to have at least some degree of transparency and competence. We want leaders held accountable for sending kids to die for reasons which failed to come to fruition. We also want any leader to at least attempt to play the middle ground when it comes to domestic issues. Instead we’ve gotten the most far right domestic agenda being pushed that is possible. But still, to question Bush is to not support troops right? Even when the issues are worlds apart. It’s just nuts! Everything in life seems to be black and white to some, and any shade of gray is quickly labelled and disposed of via straw-man ranting.

But what we are up against is an administration which relies on the theory that there is a simple answer to everything. I guess this is needed by many people. We are beginning to see that the two party system today is defined by one thing: do you agree or disagree with Bush? As a republican, who lived in NYC during 9/11, I feel utterly betrayed by my political representation. My own party tells me I can either agree to war with Iraq or whoever else they arbitrarily decide has a “link to terrorism”, or I can stop calling myself an American. Then the democrats tell me that they are anti-Bush, and thus I should vote for them. Kerry acted as if that was all he needed to say, and his pompous attitude lost him the easiest campaign I could imagine. It should honestly have been a landslide…but trying to not offend anyone tended to offend everyone. This is why I’m STILL republican.

I speak up, not to undermine our system, or to encourage “enemies” to fight us, or any other totally unrelated, unpredictable, and uncontrollable results. I feel it is necessary and noble to question our leaders. I’ve read a great deal of Hamilton’s pre-constitution writings, and it is apparent that the framers envisioned a nation of free thinking entrapreneurs who took an active role in politics, both federal and especially local. Not a nation of almost imperialistic ambitions of spreading its ideals, by force, to other nations, and sacrificing the freedoms the framers worked so hard to achieve to do so. And most people know absolutely nothing about their local politicians. This is why people are so shocked when a congressman who fights for a bill to post the ten commandments in a courthouse cannot name but two commandments when asked. No accountability. All he had to say was: “I support the president.” This is NOT what wars were fought for, and this is NOT what we deserve after that very government failed to head the warnings of 9/11 and caused the greatest city in the world to take huge steps backwards. But I guess when your a blue state, you get what you get under the present political landscape…the shaft. But I’m told to rest assured that a war in Iraq and federal homeland security money going to Idaho and Ohio instead of NYC is making the owrld a safer place. The statistics have not, and will not support that theory. Thousands of dead innocent civilians who died solely becuase of our presence in Iraq can tell you that. And they are trying to tell us this every day. Even the new “democratic” government we installed wants us to leave.

So I’m not anti-war. I AM anti unnecessary war. We ruined our credibility with Iraq. Now we can’t even get the arab community to stop supporting Hezbollah while they fire rockets at cities. The UN regularly sides against us while we pay most of its bills. We are now in a hole and the solution being proposed is to keep digging? What Stephen and I are saying is: maybe there is a better way. But you’ll never know unless you speak up and stop assuming the simplest approach to be the best one. Often it merely provokes a similar and opposite simple response: violence begets violence.

A truely great leader picks their battles carefully. Bush and co. should really read some Sun Tzu:

“Generally in warfare, keeping a nation intact is best, destroying a nation second best;

… to gain a hundred victories in a hundred battles is not the highest excellence;
to subjugate the enemy’s army without doing battle is the highest of excellence.

… the best warfare strategy is to attack the enemy’s plans, next is to attack alliances, next is to attack the army, and the worst is to attack a walled city.

…If the general cannot control his temper and sends troops to swarm the walls, one third of them will be killed, and the city will still not be taken.

…This is the kind of calamity when laying siege to a walled city.

…Therefore, one who is skilled in warfare principles subdues the enemy without doing battle, takes the enemy’s walled city without attacking, and overthrows the enemy quickly, without protracted warfare.”

This is not some liberal actor talking, this is the godfather of military science. I think it speaks for itself…something many people should try doing.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 1:03 PM
Comment #171432

Steve S-

Huh? You don’t make any sense. I attacked you? All I posted was the truth…the NY Times has great bright journalists while Ann is looking to capitalize monetarily on book sales.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 1:10 PM
Comment #171433

Kevin23,

No, you didn’t attack me. You insulted Ann Coulter’s integrity with a baseless attack. Please be specific if you wish to impugn her integrity.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 1:23 PM
Comment #171435

Kevin23,

I apologize. It was LawnBoy who was questioning Ann’s integrity as a source.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 1:26 PM
Comment #171437

Steve S,

The policy here of “Critique the Message, Not the Messenger” is to prevent us from attacking each other. It is not intended to prevent discussion of famous people, although politeness is still a good idea.

Do you seriously need an explanation of why Ann Coulter is an unreliable source? I could do it, but I’m not interested in wasting my time restating the obvious if you’re just pulling my leg.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 1:30 PM
Comment #171438

Ann’s purpose is to sell books. Period. Not exactly a reliable source.

The NY Times has a reputation and a HUGE following of readers in all 50 states from BOTH parties. They win awards and are known to be the best at what they do…which is to actually go out to find, collect and report newsworthy events.

Steve S-

You first impuned the most prestigious media source in America and claimed Ann was just as “credible.” I take major issue with this as should anyone who has read either. Agree or disagree with the Times, it is much more accountable if it tells a lie. Ann can lie all she wants and so long as she sells books she will consider it successful.

LawnBoy attacked your message head on. Now you try to hide behind the policy? People who live in glass houses…

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #171440

For either of you: I invite you to show where Ann Coulter is wrong in her facts.

Unless you can share an example of her lying, then it isn’t right for you to call her a liar.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 1:50 PM
Comment #171441

I don’t have to show you a lie to prove my point Steve S. It’s the very nature of what they do. Ann is simply a writer of opinion. NY Times reports news. Very different when it comes to accountability…and thus, credibility.

Are you arguing this not to be true? I know you like her and all, but be realistic.

Posted by: Kevin23 at July 28, 2006 2:00 PM
Comment #171442

Steve S,

Ann Coulter is wrong in her facts repeatedly. Follow almost any of the links on this page for an examination of how she lies repeatedly. Here’s another source. And another.

Sadly, this is just a start.

And Kevin is right - Ann Coulter’s credibility wouldn’t be in the ballpark of the credibility of a major respected newspaper even if the above lies weren’t so blatant.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 2:06 PM
Comment #171448

LawnBoy,

Thank you for your links. I’m sure you have read the above New York Times article. You don’t see how that information can be useful to our enemies?

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #171451

Yes, I read the article when it came out.

I don’t think the standard can be “could this information possibly be useful to our enemies.” Under that loose standard, any information that the government doesn’t like could be hidden, anything that is embarassing to the government could be kept locked up.

The standard you favor would necessarily mean the end of freedom of the press.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 2:55 PM
Comment #171454

Steve S

The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times all covered this story. How do you justify on focusing on the NYT? If all three papers had stories to run on this, how classified to you think the information really was?

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 3:09 PM
Comment #171463

Alex,

Thanks for commenting on the part that “doesn’t merit comment”.

1. No, I don’t think Rummy is talking to detainees (he’s not listening either) but he is instructing the interrogators thru the policys by ignoring and rewritting past prisoner guidelines.

2. I don’t know how else to explain it to you but I will try. Nobody has a problem with the EXECUTION of the plans. They do have problems with the plans the troops HAVE BEEN GIVEN. And we both agree that the troops have nothing to do with creation of the operations. “Stay the course” is not a good plan for the US. Though it’s been a great plan for the radicals in Iran, Lebannon, Hammas, al Qaida and the Taliban. They love it. They have never been stronger.

3. We dont have to ask every troop how they react. We take surveys instead. You think that because John Kerry is against the Iraq plan these troops have lost their confidence? Do you think our troops are that wishy-washy? Becasue I don’t. Do you care what these congressmen think? If I really backed the idea for this war it would take a lot more than a few public statements to change my mind. I think more and more troops are witnessing a dissentigration of the country with their own eyes and coming to their conclusions all by themselves.

Posted by: Matthew at July 28, 2006 3:39 PM
Comment #171464

Tony,

I agree that anyone revealing classified information is doing our nation a disservice to say the least.

Our Intelligence agencies may release stuff on purpose, but that’s a different story. Diplomats, including national leaders, also may decide in some cases what classified material they can release, but there are procedure for a reason, since even a Congressman may not know the whole reason some of the information needs to be kept secret (like when the exact words of a terrorist were reported from an intercepted message).

Newspapers don’t have enough information to know what our enemies can use. That’s why the government decides what to classify. These articles don’t seem to be uncovering government misdeeds that the public needs to know in order to keep the government from abusing them.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 3:45 PM
Comment #171465

LawnBoy,

Certainly run of the mill information can possibly be used by terrorists. If the information is classified then the ones revealing it against the law need to be brought to justice. Freedom of the press should not protect those who know they are revealing government secrets, even if that is just the embarassment of the government to cause our allies to turn their backs on us.

Revealing classified information should not be so common an occurence as these articles are showing.

An example I was told about was a guy who wrote a book in WWII telling how our submarines would dive to below 300 feet to avoid Japanese depth charges. After the Japanese read that article they adjusted their depth charges deeper to be more effective.

Being a citizen should mean a person has a least some consideration for the interests of our country before revealing classified information.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #171473

And yet the article you complain about so much isn’t even describing information known to be classified.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 28, 2006 4:19 PM
Comment #171475

LawnBoy,

That article is just one recent example. I’m sure you know of others where the article itself claims the information was secret.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #171482

Alex-
Rumsfeld provides the policies or lack of same that defines how those newfangled interrogations work.

As for sources on the use of SERE in interrogations, there was an article about the reverse engineering of it in the July 2005 issue of New Yorker Magazine. I remember it being quite detailed.

Here’s some more information, courtesy of Wikipedia. Here is an online piece with Jane Meyer, who I believe is the author. Could be wrong. regardless, It’s rather informative about the issues One particular telling line from there is that a leaked Red Cross Report said that the treatment in Gitmo is tantamount to torture.

Another one, which covers my concerns is the FBI’s resistance to Gitmo’s methods. Partly it’s their requirement to do prosecutions, which could get scuttled if it’s revealed the suspect was forced into confession. But another part is, torture does not yield reliable information. There’s an extensive section about a guy named Zubaydah (could be wrong about the spelling) in Ron Suskind’s The One Percent Doctrine.

Despite the fact that this guy turned out to be an absolute loon, he was interrogated using the harsh gitmo-style methods for days on end. Investigators looking at the fellow found out he was little better than a travel agent, arranging things for families. He had three different personalities, and was certifiable. His rantings, under torture, had us going hither and yon protecting such high order targets as shopping malls. Just about everything turned out false.

What did turn out to be true wasn’t gained under torture. Instead, some guy with good knowledge of the Koran talked it up and built a relationship with the fellow. That, I think, is what lead us to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who planned 9/11.

Torture increases suggestibility, encouraging submission in those being interrogated. Doesn’t matter whether you leave bruises, gaping wounds, or a pair of soiled underwear over his head, or none of the above. The point is breaking a person. Once broken the person does whatever you ask them, including naming names, supposedly. Except it isn’t so simple. Interrogators don’t often go in as clean slates. They have expectations and ask questions accordingly. Even normal questions, applied with enough force, can lead a person to recount things differently. Torture can not only skew the recollection of the subject to the interrogator, it can destroy it, substituting conflation and confabulation for fact, as hypnosis has been seen to do in child abuse cases. Memory is reconstructive, torture is deconstructive. It’s not a good combination.

It’s interesting that you use the phrase suspected terrorist. I think your argument would carry more weight if we were talking about confirmed terrorists, as many of the people picked up turned out to be just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The Right is all too willing to believe that the greater force one uses in one tactics, the better results. Some situations, though, require delicate touches, however unmanly that might seem to some. Strength of mind, though, should not be scoffed at. We Democrats do not speak of diplomacy, non-torture interrogations, or other “gentler” methods because we wish to cede territory to the terrorists. No, what we wish to do is outwit the terrorists, and what’s more, maintain our status as a example of freedom, Democracy, and human rights. Or rebuild it, given this administration’s actions. You find that a relinquishing of power. I call it a regaining of it. Power is in what you can get people to do for you. Are we not less powerful if we cannot get good information out of suspects, if we can’t distinguish the innocent from the guilty? Are we not less powerful if we can’t use words alone to defuse situations, and turn them to our advantage? Are we not less powerful if America’s authority and reputations suffers abroad, with the accompanying loss in the ability to persuade and mediate, associate and interact? Don’t we want the opinion of folks in our enemies nations on our side? Winning the war on terrorism, making America safe is about more than outfighting the terrorist, it’s about out thinking and out-persuading them too.

Steve S-
The British based their claims on two documents, both of which were based on a memorandum of understanding that turned out not just to be a forgery, but an amateur effort at that. When we invaded Iraq, there was not one functioning chemical weapons factor, and no Chemical or Biological weapons have been found younger than the gulf war- and those would be the ones Bush was contending was the threat.

Let me repeat myself for emphasis: no working Chemical, Biological, or Nuclear weapons facilities were found. None. Sanctions did work, and we know because of what we found.

David Kay and Charles Duelfer, neither of whom were big on Saddam or inclined to believe that there were no weapons investigated and said the same thing: Saddam had no WMDS that he could actually use. The sum total are relics from a war that was over before all of our most newly licensed drivers were even born.

As for shooting the missiles, not one jet was ever shot down by them, and technically he had the right to do it. We were on his sovereign territory. We were also technically in our rights to detonate the missile sites in question.

Hitler was a fascist; he sent communists and real socialists to the concentration camps, for your information.

On the subject of boarders security, not only would Democrats do a better job, we did a better job, under Clinton. Clinton arrested more people, charged more employers, and saw much lower rates of illegal immigration

As for the Revelations, I guess you’re not open to the idea that illegal operations should not be kept secret. the veil of classification was not meant to be a get out of jail free card for those violating American’s rights.

On the subject of the revelation of the bunker buster bombs, you might want to ask the Pentagon itself about it, specifically, the Defense Security Cooperation agency. They did a press release on the matter in April of last year. It was not a secret, though they weren’t taking the things on parade.

Steve(if you’re different from Steve S)-
This is universally considered to be one of the major blunders of the post-invasion occupation. We haven’t yet returned Iraq’s force levels to what they were before, and we put out thousands of unemployed soldiers on the street who had no other business to make a livelihood at. Our soldiers ended up having to fight them, where these people, properly vetted and sanitized of the corrupt and the true-blue Baathists, could have served to make our soldier’s stay much shorter.

Kevin23-
I suppose we’re not so far apart- a New York Conservative, and a Texas Liberal.

Kerry’s problem, I think, is that he’s the exact opposite of Bush: non-confrontational at heart, but somewhat abrasive in person. I’ve known from personal experience that I can be the same way. Experience has moderated it, but sometimes can come across as arrogant. So I cut him some slack.

On the subject of Homeland security money, its the sort of things that leaves me shaking my head. One would think that people would take the threats seriously, but it seems some people lose perspective when it comes time to wheel and deal. The worse thing I’ve encountered about this war, in terms of the Bush administration, is how much they’ve encouraged a sort of oblivion and retreat into complacency about the War on Terrorism. I don’t mind that the average citizen gets back to normal life, it’s when the politicians also act that way that I start shaking my head in sadness.

As far as military strategy goes, I liked Von Clausewitz better than Sun Tzu. His book, is a mind-numbingly detailed and incomplete work, but his perspective on enemy forces, and how killing the enemy is not the only way to destroy their forces, is one of my guiding principles on how I think this war should be fought, especially given the nature of our enemy. I don’t think attrition is going to be a successful means of destroying al-Qaeda. I think we have to destroy what makes al-Qaeda capable of recruiting, supplying itself, and maintaining interest in their cause. We have to take the foundation from underneath al-Qaeda’s base, if you catch my drift.

If only more Republicans thought along your lines. There are more important things than party and president.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2006 4:56 PM
Comment #171494

“These articles don’t seem to be uncovering government misdeeds that the public needs to know in order to keep the government from abusing them.”

OK - so stories need to be bad to be published? Also, you failed to explain why you (and the REPs in DC) are only focused on one of the three papers who published articles.

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 5:55 PM
Comment #171509

Woody,what John McCain is saying is I had it done to me(Hanio Hilton), and I do not want it to happen to anyone else. The US has always pushed and stressed that we are civilized, and do not torture prisoners. We abide by Geneva Convention, and are told in the military, if a order is given and it is illegal order do not obey it. Already how many lower enlisted have gone to jail for doing something illegal, but where are the Officers who gave them the orders and OK to due it. Only one has been kicked out of the Army, and she said she had orders from Rummy-Dummy himself. It is back to CYA and pass the buck.

Posted by: KT at July 28, 2006 6:35 PM
Comment #171511

Tony,

Some would say that it’s ok to reveal US secrets because the public needs to know when the government is running amok. If that were their justification then the articles would be showing that justification.

I am refering to the New York times because they are the ones I know about. I’m not excusing the bad behavior of anyone else.

Even if there isn’t a law against revealing the specifics of US strategy in tracking terrorist bank activity people should want to help prevent the information from becoming widely known.

Since that information came out there have been formal cases filed to stop us from tracking the terrorists in that manner.

Please feel free to explain your point in defending the revealing of US secrets to the world. You are making an excellence case for removing the freedom of the press since some seem to have no regard for the United States.

Just as free speech doesn’t protect spies who sneak secrets to the enemy one by one, newspapers’ freedom of the press shouldn’t protect them from prosecution for revealing secrets on a larger scale.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 6:36 PM
Comment #171528

“I am refering to the New York times because they are the ones I know about. I’m not excusing the bad behavior of anyone else.”

You don’t know about it becomes the Republican party does not like the NYT, therefore it has singled them aobu t without ever mentioning the other papers. Surely, some REPs read these other papers…

As for the issue with reveling information to the terrorists… this was a no-brainer, and was mentioned by Bush several years previous. This is about as much of a surprise to the financial world as the idea that we’ve been monitoring their cell phone conversations. Also, think about how much secrecy there is in a program that three separate papers all report on on the same day.

This is also sort of like the boy who cried wolf. Basically, if Bush had no been engaged in NSA spying (in violation of FISA) and secret prisons, and torture at GITMO after legal work by their lawyers to study the legal use of torture… this might have not been a story. After so many extremely questionable programs and activities - you tend to want to see everything in more detail.

one more point - Bush and his people gave out much more detail on all of the above programs while trying to publically explain and justify these programs than was ever included in the actual reports. So, to them, what is more important? National Security or Job Security?

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #171529

Lawn Boy,

I don’t mean to sound mean.. well nvm I do. Anne Coutler could beat you in a debate any day. Enough said.

Posted by: Kate at July 28, 2006 6:57 PM
Comment #171530

“You don’t know about it becomes the Republican party does not like the NYT”

That should read BECAUSE, no becomes… sorry about that.

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 6:59 PM
Comment #171537

Tony,

President Bush was not in violation of FISA because these were international calls being monitored. The military, especially in time of war, has always been able to spy on enemies.

The program for keeping track of phat phones called what phones was not listening in to those calls.

The challenges to the bank tracking were made shortly after the newpaper articles were printed. Are you saying that is just a coincidence?

There were details released in those articles that made it more helpful to the enemy.


Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 7:12 PM
Comment #171538

” Anne Coutler could beat you in a debate any day. “

??? … and my Dad can kick your dad’s ass…???

Ann Coulter is a moron. She sticks to outlandish statements based on the same fools logic that Rush made famous.

example
——————-
I noticed that you have new shoes. (Thanks I bought them at X store.)

I know X store… and gay people shop there, so you must be gay.
——————-

You should see her (or Rush for that matter) try to stand their ground in open deabte… it get ugly for them quickly.

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 7:13 PM
Comment #171540

BTW, the terrorists may have had the same misunderstanding about what was allowed. That may account for why listening to their phone calls was so effective before Congress leaked that program.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 7:18 PM
Comment #171544

Tony,

I’m getting the impression that you only accept information from sources you consider reliable (that is, not Ann Coulter).

Truth is truth no matter who says it. I’m listening to you even though I have no reason to consider you any more reliable than Ann Coulter.

You are seriously limiting yourself if you refuse to even hear what people like Ann Coulter say.

You will want to check the facts of anything anyone says. It’s when you trust someone unquestioningly or denounce someone unquestioningly that it becomes a refusal to accept truth.

Posted by: Steve S at July 28, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #171547

“You are seriously limiting yourself if you refuse to even hear what people like Ann Coulter say.”

… but I just said I’ve seen her on TV. I’ve heard her, and since you asked - yes, I get my information from quite a few sources, American and International. I make my own decisions and, from what I’ve seen - Ann Coulter is a moron.

—————
“Coulter writes in a new book, “Godless: The Church of Liberalism,” that a group of New Jersey widows whose husbands perished in the World Trade Center act “as if the terrorist attacks happened only to them.”

She also wrote, “I’ve never seen people enjoying their husbands’ deaths so much.”
—————-

Since you disagree with me on Coulters - defend that.

Posted by: tony at July 28, 2006 7:37 PM
Comment #171589

Kate, Steve S-
First, we made it very clear we would be tracking terrorist finances from the start. Second, there’s information in a Dec 2002 UN publication speaking of the program and recommending similar programs be initiated.

Third? Well if a third point was necessary, it would be this: the disclosures are so vague, and terrorists probably are assuming they’re being watched. In fact, most money is now funneled by informal means, for that very reason, and we’ve become largely blind to their finances.

As for FISA, it doesn’t matter whether a call’s international or not if an American is on one end of the line, or could be expected to be at some point.

The impression I’m getting is you don’t want to believe there is a such thing as going too far. You don’t see the lines they’re stepping over, nor are you weighing the consequences of that.

I could not stand to be so uncritical, to give up my rights so easily.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 28, 2006 9:56 PM
Comment #171644

Kate:
“Lawn Boy,
I don’t mean to sound mean.. well nvm I do.”

Of course you did. Just taking a page from Coultergeist, right?

“Anne Coutler could beat you in a debate any day. Enough said.”

No, not nearly enough said.
Lawnboy has been posting here for as long as I’ve been visiting this blog, and he’s clearly a very intelligent and well informed guy, as well as an excellent debater — one who knows just how to cut right through the crap and get to the point. While Coultergeist, on the other hand, is an insane, hatefilled, lying whore-in-a-cocktail-dress, who, being a talking-head pundit, never has to debate anyone, anywhere. Nor does she ever have to answer to anyone who wants to call her on all the lies and disinformation she spreads.
So, your little comment is completely ridiculous.

Coulter doesn’t know how to do anything but feed you righties your daily dose of liberal hatred, and spew out the lies and disinformation you’re sure to feast on. She does this almost as often as she spews every half-digested meal into the nearest toilet, judging by the skin and bones looks of him — ooops, I meant “her”.

SteveS:
“You are seriously limiting yourself if you refuse to even hear what people like Ann Coulter say.”

Aside from her now-infamous attack on the 9-11 widows who had the collosal nerve (in her opinion, hence the attack) to demand the independent 9-11 Commission, here are a few choice spewings from the gaping maw of Coultergeist:

“You don’t want the Republicans in power, does that mean you want a dictatorship, gay boy?”

“we should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity”

“I have to say I’m all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the ‘hood to be flogged publicly.”

“I think [women] should be armed but should not vote … women have no capacity to understand how money is earned. They have a lot of ideas on how to spend it … it’s always more money on education, more money on child care, more money on day care.”

“We need somebody to put rat poisoning in Justice Stevens’ creme brulee.”

“I wish Timothy McVeigh had bombed the New York Times instead of the Federal building in Oklahoma City.”

“I think our motto should be, post-9-11: raghead talks tough, raghead faces consequences.”

Q:You say you’d rather not talk to liberals at all?

Coulter: “I think a baseball bat is the most effective way these days.”

“I dedicate this column to John Murtha, the reason soldiers invented fragging.”

“If Murtha did get fragged, he’d finally deserve one of those Purple Hearts.”

“Christianity fuels everything I write. Being a Christian means that I am called upon to do battle against lies, injustice, cruelty, hypocrisy — you know, all the virtues in the church of liberalism.”

Bulimic whore-in-a-cocktail-dress who is quite obviously jacked in the brain — and you people actually take her seriously.

“You are seriously limiting yourself if you refuse to even hear what people like Ann Coulter say.”

Just had to quote that again — because it’s just so bloody hilarious!!!

Posted by: Adrienne at July 29, 2006 1:17 AM
Comment #171645

So I guess REPUBLICAN Tom DeLay was lying when he said that “you can support the troops without supporting the President”, eh?

Posted by: ElliottBay at July 29, 2006 1:33 AM
Comment #171666

Stephen Daugherty and Kevin23:

It’s really encouraging to see not everyone in America has gone nuts. There’s a couple of others who are also worthy of praise, forgive me for not mentioning you, too many posts to remember who said what.

Ann Coulter is even worse than Michael Moore if you can imagine that.

I recently saw a cartoon where as two fighters are in the ring and one is Uncle Sam and the other is some Arab with a sword in his hand and the referee reads Uncle Sam a long laundry list of things he is not allowed to do, like torture, et al. Then, same referee turns to the Arab and says he can do anything he wants. The implication, I guess, was that this is unfair and we should be allowed to act the same.

Sorry, the whole point here, is that we are not like them.
So maybe when we have disent and debate here, it encourages the enemy. It is true, that in the past, our enemies have mistakenly taken this as a sign of weakness. They have all found out they were tragicaly (for them) mistaken.

One thing I’ve noticed about the more, let’s say “impassioned” posters is that you seem to be afraid that if you conceed some part of your opponents argument you have to accept their whole position.

Let’s take the “evesdropping” issue for example. You could support the program and still admit that the administration violated Fifa. All they had to do was take the program to the Super-Duper Secret Judge, after they executed a particular action and it would have been rubber stamped.
That would at least have kept the letter and spirit of the law and kept the judiciary in the loop. But these guys just want to do what they want to do and don’t seem to want to bother with the niceties of following the law and democratic principles.

Here is another one; I believe, that they totaly believed there were WMD. Furthermore, I think it was totally reasonable to believe it. Hell, I believed it myself. I’m still flabergasted that there aren’t any. Furthermore, it’s Saddams fault that we believed it, he did everything in his power to impede the inspectors from doing their job.

But here is the problem, they were so sure, that they went a few steps too far. They pressured intelligence analysts into comming up with the “proof” and savagely attacked anyone, their own people even, who disagreed in public. They disregarded the advice of their own generals, spies and experts and tried to destroy anyone who didn’t march in lockstep.

I personally don’t think we should pull out of Iraq. There are people there that are counting on us, we told them to form a goverment, we told them to join the police and the new military and that we would stand by them. Lets not do the same thing that the first Bush did and tell them to rebel, to throw off the shackels of tyrany and then abandon them to be slaughtered. At the very least, I would not abandon the Kurds, who seem to be just fine with us. And as far as public timetables for withdrawals, that just seems dumb to me, tactically idiotic if you want any kind of victory, even a partial one.

Posted by: Rene at July 29, 2006 5:12 AM
Comment #171678

Thanks, Adrienne. I wasn’t going to bother to respond to Kate’s trolling, but I appreciate your response.

Keep up the good fight.

Posted by: LawnBoy at July 29, 2006 8:53 AM
Comment #171709

Though rather unfortunate, such demagoguery does have a marketplace. And that marketplace is the American polity. How else would and could we place the greatest military machine since the Golden Horde in such a morass. But politics of the crescent is another matter. So we have reached an age of enlightenment, in which, one cannot criticise without being branded a traitor or a cut and runner. If anything, history has taught us, the polity much prefers to be lied to, for the truth creates too much discomfort. No one wants to know how spooks that work and live in the shadows practise their craft; under the auspice of “we the people” aka US Government. No one wants to know that sensitive debriefings – interrogations at Gitmo, and the “ black sites “ are conducted by sub contractors : Deniability. Yet all are under the auspice of “ we the people “ – US Government. However, if one gives address , label the person (s) a traitor or cut and runner…. Indeed, such demagoguery does have a marketplace. Therefore, any politican, especially those that are Democrats that question “the” war and the strategm are traitors in our midst. Indeed !

Posted by: Eisai at July 29, 2006 11:09 AM
Comment #171712

Though rather unfortunate, such demagoguery does have a marketplace. And that marketplace is the American polity. How else would and could we place the greatest military machine since the Golden Horde in such a morass. But politics of the crescent is another matter. So we have reached an age of enlightenment, in which, one cannot criticise without being branded a traitor or a cut and runner. If anything, history has taught us, the polity much prefers to be lied to, for the truth creates too much discomfort. No one wants to know how spooks that work and live in the shadows practise their craft; under the auspice of “we the people” aka US Government. No one wants to know that sensitive debriefings – interrogations at Gitmo, and the “ black sites “ are conducted by sub contractors : Deniability. Yet all are under the auspice of “ we the people “ – US Government. However, if one gives address , label the person (s) a traitor or cut and runner…. Indeed, such demagoguery does have a marketplace. Therefore, any politican, especially those that are Democrats that question “the” war and the strategm are traitors in our midst. Hoax you say, but by whom ….. Indeed !

Posted by: Eisai at July 29, 2006 11:13 AM
Comment #171821

This fact never talked about much, but it colors my perceptions of democrats — as a group, liberal democrats are

- far less likely to volunteer for military than republicans/conversatives, especially front-line. Furthermore, the blood shed on our behalf has to large degree come from republicans. Q: Are dems sabotaging war effort to kill more repubs?

- last in terms of financial support for war, as federal income taxes again funded mostly by repubs. And while this is mostly due to fact that repubs more successful/make more money — it does raise some interesting questions.

If liberal dems are not dying and not paying, then why listen to them? Or at least we should discount their noise by the lack of contribution they make.


Posted by: Mr_Rationale at July 29, 2006 4:02 PM
Comment #171842

Mr (REDICULOUS) rationale,

“far less likely to volunteer for military than republicans/conversatives, especially front-line.”

That is pure B.S. What is your resource for that statemant? Or did you just think it up during one of Rush’s commerical breaks?

“in terms of financial support for war, as federal income taxes again funded mostly by repubs.”

More B.S. This one I imagine you came up with while thumbing thru “Trucker’s Speed” magazine. Get a clue.

You are not doing your fellow Rebups a favor by sharing your childish ideas.

Posted by: Matthew at July 29, 2006 5:18 PM
Comment #171933

Mr. Rationale-
Are Republicans sabotaging the war efforts to prolong a means of gaining political capital? See, I can ask loaded questions too. I think given enough time, Democrats and Liberals will be more a part of the Armies. I think it’s the cultural shock in the Democratic party over Vietnam that caused the most problem here. If you think most Democrats are anti-war by their very natures, you’re wrong. Some on the far left are pacifists, but many Liberal Americans are merely pragmatists on the matter. Not itching for the next war, but having no problem with the nation’s defense.

As for federal income taxes, it might interest you to know that many of the rich are Democrats, and that the main tax base of the country, the middle class, is pretty much even divided between the parties.

I think Mr. Rationale, that you have few siblings to join you from the Rationale family to help you in your critique of the Democrats.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 29, 2006 11:19 PM
Comment #171955
d.a.n., You may want to fact check your 99 blunders.
Which parts (line numbers) were not factual ? Where did is say anything about making Iran and Syria part of the coaliton?

[02] is debatable perhaps.

But, most of the rest are not.

So, 98 out 99 ain’t bad.

How about:

  • [03] failure to equip troops in Iraq with adequate body armor and armored HUMVEES;

  • [05] ignored plans from Army War College and other war-planning agencies, which predicted most of the worst security, looting, chaos, and infrastructure problems America faced in the early days of the Iraq occupation;

  • [06] bad intelligence; no WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) in Iraq;

  • [09] predicting Iraq would pay for its own reconstruction with its own oil and resources;

  • [23] Telling Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan about plans to go to war with Iraq before Secretary of State Colin Powell;

  • [31] Repeatedly ignoring warnings of terrorists planning to use aircraft before 9/11;

  • [47] Bush saying: “We found the weapons of mass destruction; We found biological laboratories”. Did you see the so-called biological laboratory? There was nothing in it. No WMDs have been found.

  • [63] Passing tax cuts for the wealthy while falsely claiming “people in the 10 percent bracket” were benefiting most;”

Posted by: d.a.n at July 30, 2006 12:32 AM
Comment #171993

d.a.n.

3, you go to war with what you have, not with what you wish you had. 3,000 dead soldiers in a war is a tiny number. Mucj smaller than the liberals were hoping for. Do you remember their cries of how many thousands of body bags that would be needed for the dead Americans if we went to war with Saddam?

5, our primary job was not to provide security for Iraq in the first days of the war. We first removed the military infrastructure of the enemy. We didn’t go “up the middle” like Rumsfeld’s opponents wanted, so we didn’t lose tens of thousans of soldiers while having to go door to door to kill Iraqi soldiers amongst what would have been many more dead Iraqi civilians.

6 there were WMDs. Saddam shipped some to Syria and dispersed other things to scientist’s homes. Are you honestly thinking Saddam walked away from his WMD programs and felt he had to keep that a secret from us so we would attack him? Why did Saddam’s forces guard what looked like WMD facilities that turned out to be sparkling clean warehouses? Why do you think Saddam WANTED us to think he had WMDs? He has responsibility for the impression he deliberately gave. After 9/11 was not a good time for him to expect us to “just trust him.”

9. Iraq is costing way more than their own GDP ($25 billion if I remember correctly). Saddam learned for Gulf War I and made sure he had loyalists positioned to make sure units didn’t surrender. The units also planned to melt into society to fight guerilla warfare, hiding among civilians. The only way to be sure to get them all would be to kill every adult male. The strategy we are pursuing now is slower and isn’t killing as many civilians as a massive frontal assault would have. The rebuilding effort is going faster than rebuilding Germany and Japan after WWII.

31, are you intending to blame Bush for not stopping 9/11 when Clinton refused to accept Osama Bin Laden when he was offered to us? A general threat of the use of aircraft is a lot different than a specific threat. This kind of thing seems to be looking for excuses to blame the United States for the tragedy of 9/11 rather than the terrorists. Saddam was supporting terrorism as evidenced by him paying suicide bomber’s families.

47, the satellite photos clearly showed what WERE wmd facilities. Saddam cleaned them well, planning ahead for this war of public opinion. People who hate President Bush are so eager to believe each deception Saddam put out and demand that we prove every word before they accept that Saddam is a terrorist. Just because Saddam’s not able to continue the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis doesn’t mean he is no longer a terrorist.

63, who benefited most, by percentage reduction of taxes paid. In other words those who paid in the 10% bracket got a larger percentage of their income back than people who were in higher brackets. While everyone who paid taxes pay less taxes now, the ones with the highest incomes now pay an even higher percentage of actual taxes paid than they did before. That makes this tax break more proggressive than before, not less.

When there’s a tax increase liberals whine because the rich do not pay a higher percentage. When there’s a tax decrease the liberals complain not about the percentages, but about the raw numbers. That is not intellectually honest.

Just as many of the accusations against Bush in the end are shown to be made either in ignorance, or in intellectual dishonesty.

Posted by: Steve S at July 30, 2006 9:02 AM
Comment #171994

“3, you go to war with what you have, not with what you wish you had. 3,000 dead soldiers in a war is a tiny number.”

So, you’re saying we should feel a “tiny” amount of sorrow? Maybe we should complain only a “tiny” amount?

Do you rememebr how many soldiers we lost taking Iraq? How many does that leave for “incompetance after the fact?”

“Just as many of the accusations against Bush in the end are shown to be made either in ignorance, or in intellectual dishonesty.”

So - there are no problems with Bush or his policies, just us DEMs making it look that way? Really, I had no idea we were that talented. Move over Orwell, your radio show on Martians ain’t got nothing on us!

Posted by: tony at July 30, 2006 9:15 AM
Comment #171995

(shoot - that should’ve been Orsen Welles… whoops)

Posted by: tony at July 30, 2006 9:17 AM
Comment #172005
you go to war with what you have, not with what you wish you had.

When it’s your job to build and equip the military, you don’t get to use this excuse.

there were WMDs. Saddam shipped some to Syria and dispersed other things to scientist’s homes.

It’s interesting to me that you consider your baseless speculation as more valid than any of the facts on the ground. Then again, you consider Ann Coulter as trustworthy a source as actual journalists, so never mind. It’s not surprising.

The rebuilding effort is going faster than rebuilding Germany and Japan after WWII.

Fast at what? Getting Americans and locals killed? Turning a rebuilding into a civil war? Anything else, and you need to go back to find out what journalism can do for you.

when Clinton refused to accept Osama Bin Laden when he was offered to us

Ahhh… that old lie. Learn the facts, please.

the satellite photos clearly showed what WERE wmd facilities.
They clearly showed what some analysts concluded might have been WMD facilities. That’s a big difference. Posted by: LawnBoy at July 30, 2006 10:37 AM
Comment #172011


Dear critcally reasoning challenged liberals. I was surprised that any would disagree with the facts that replublicans make more money and thus pay more income taxes (on average) than dems and voluntunteer for the military in higher rates (and thus lose their lives in much greater rates.

After spending 5 minutes gathering supporting data>

1. On the very basic fact that the military has more repubs than dems —- from USA TODAY 10/2004

In the survey of more than 4,000 full-time and part-time troops, 73% said they would vote for Bush if the election were held today; 18% said they would vote for Kerry. Of the respondents, 59% identified themselves as Republicans, 20% as independents and 13% as Democrats. The survey was conducted Sept. 15-28 by the Army Times Publishing Co., which distributes the weekly newspapers Army Times, Navy Times, Air Force Times and Marine Corps Times. (Army Times Publishing is owned by Gannett, which also publishes USA TODAY.) Army Times Publishing sent e-mails to more than 31,000 subscribers and received 4,165 responses on a secure Web site

2. On very basic fact that repubs more successful/make more money than dems — statistical analysis of 2004 exit polls done by Columbia University (look it up). R=Bush Voter, D=Kerry Voter. As you can see the higher the household income the more likely Repub. At > $200K it becomes very pronounced.

HH Income %R %D
$15-30K 41% 58%
$30-50K 48% 51%
$50-75K 55% 44%
$75-100K 53% 46%
$100-150K 56% 43%
$150-200K 57% 43%
>$200K 62% 37%


Again I would hope this doesn’t surprise anyone.

Posted by: Mr_Rationale at July 30, 2006 11:08 AM
Comment #172038

Steve S,

“you go to war with what you have, not with what you wish you had.”

Of all the lame excuses Rumsfeld has uttered, this is far and away the lamest, and his head should have rolled for that remark alone.
Unless of course, the threat was imminent, but Mr. Bush never said that, right?

“3,000 dead soldiers in a war is a tiny number.”

Compared to what?
Any comparisons to WW2, or even Vietnam, are out the window. This has been a remote controlled war. The technology that has been on display even eclipses the Gulf War.

“there were WMDs. Saddam shipped some to Syria and dispersed other things to scientist’s homes.”

And of course you have proof of that statement beyond pure speculation.

“The rebuilding effort is going faster than rebuilding Germany and Japan after WWII.”

Yep, you’re right. That construction in the Green Zone is right on schedule, and of course those projects dwarf everything else.

Oh, BTW.
Why, if the rebuilding effort is going so smoothly, is the power and water service to the Iraqis virtually nonexistent?

Posted by: Rocky at July 30, 2006 1:14 PM
Comment #172046

Tony,

I believe the 3,000 Americans killed includes all since the beginning of Gulf War II or however else you would like to name it.

Even a single American soldier killed is a sad event and should not have to happen. Sadly, there are evil people out there who want to kill anyone who won’t allow them to force their religion on us. They were killing “infidels” long before the United States became a nation.

3,000 is less than be lost in the invasion of Normandy, so relatively speaking it’s a small number compared to the number who will die if we let terrorists use nuclear bombs.

By intellectual dishonesty I mean things like your inuendo that I take lightly the loss of American lives.

Posted by: Steve S at July 30, 2006 1:42 PM
Comment #172063

Steve S,

Sorry, but I’m not buying any of those arguments, with the exception of [02] (which is debatable).


[02] Approving demobilization of Iraqi Army (May 2003), bypassing Joint Chiefs of Staff and reversing an earlier position; which left hundreds of thousands of armed Iraqis disgruntled and unemployed, contributing significantly to the massive security problems American troops have faced during occupation;

Other than that, those arguments are weak indeed.

First of all, no WMD was ever found.
They finally gave up looking for it.
To say it went to Syria is merely a theory.
And, had there really been any significant amount of WMD, there would have been traces.

Many studies show the wealthy got the majority of tax cuts. And, the tax system is so perverted anyway, to benefit the wealthy who can take advantage of the countless loop holes.

Median incomes have been falling for 6 consecutive years.

%Debt to GDP is now 68% of GDP (up from 33% in 1980). It’s never been worse since WWII. Why should debt have grown so massively for such a “tiny” war ?

The gap between the wealthiest 1% (with 40% of all wealth) has never been larger since the Great Depression of 1929.

I see you skipped # [23].
Feel free to address the other 82 thnigs on the list of 99 blunders.

Regarding 9/11, I blame Bush and Clinton. They both ignored many warnings. They can’t connect the dots. To me, that borders on criminal negligence (both Bush and Clinton).

Steve S,
That’s a fair attempt to spin and twist the facts to paint a rosier picture than reality, but it rings false. The facts are the facts. Tactics like bringing up Clinton’s culpability is just a clever tactic to obscure the facts, shift blame, and in no way refutes the facts.

Also, the repetition of what Rumsfeld said “you go to war with what you have” is about as lame an excuse as I’ve ever heard. Just more weak spin.

And, you trivialize the deaths of American Soldiers by saying:

Steve S wrote:
3,000 dead soldiers in a war is a tiny number. Much smaller than the liberals were hoping for.

If you truly don’t take it lightly, and I’m sure you don’t, you should not trivialize it. But, for you to say the number of dead are “Much smaller than the liberals were hoping for” destroys the credibility of your argument and claim of unfair inuendo.

How revealing ?
That’s weak too.

Such weak, lame excuses don’t change the facts.

But the attempts to do so reveals an obvious partisan motivation to paint a rosy picture. That is the lazy way. Laziness is normal, but it is immoral to surrender to it completely. Once you finally reject the partisan spin, the petty partisan warfare, and take off the partisan blinders, you will feel like a load of bricks have been lifted from my shoulders. No longer will it be necessary to twist and spin the facts, demonize the other party, shift blame, and try to find ways, no matter how weak and flimsy, to rationalize the unacceptable deeds of one’s party.

Posted by: d.a.n at July 30, 2006 3:52 PM
Comment #172356

Steve S-
You go to war with the soldiers you can get, with the soldiers your generals tell you are necessary to get the job done right. Read the passages in Plan of Attack by Bob Woodward where Rumsfeld actively pushes General Franks to invade with fewer and fewer soldiers, bargaining him down further and futher. Recall how they criticized Eric Shinseki for saying that several hundred thousand would be necessary. Recall further the stopgap measures, Reserve and Guard call-ups that Rumsfeld’s active policies have made necessary. From that evidence alone, it’s clear that Rumsfeld was not the passive recipient of a minimal fighting force, but the person most responsible for it. Because Bush continues to stand behind Rumsfeld, despite heated calls from both sides and many Americans for the SecDef’s resignation, we can only assume that Bush stands behind Rumsfelds policy and is equally responsible for it.

On the subject of security in Iraq, we should have had ever square inch of land we took secured immediately, so far as the pace of the invasion allowed. The longer you wait to take control, the more complicated and difficult it becomes to take complete control of that area.

There are no WMDs, as of yet. That could change, but the fact is it hasn’t. We could argue from ignorance that maybe the weapons are in Syria, or we could argue from what people like David Kay and Charles Duelfer know now, and say that’s very unlikely.

There are less bloody ways than complete devastation for defeating insurgencies. The key is taking the mobility away from your enemy. Complete control of the territory makes it difficult for the people to run to some safe haven and regroup for additional attacks. It also gets people use to peace and quiet, which means people will tend to react more negatively to those who disturb the peace among them. We didn’t need a massive frontal assault. We just need massive presence.

On point 31, the word on that particular exchange is that we could not trust the inviduals in question to BMW with some homeless on the corner, or with a guy in a toyota dealership. We don’t make deals with people who are likely to tip off the target, or who don’t have the authority or wherewithal to deliver people like Bin Laden.

We don’t know whether Bush could have prevented 9/11, but he certainly could have done more on the matter. When an agent reading Bush the memo on Bin Laden’s wish to attack in the country, Bush guaged the credibility of the issue on the man’s nervous demeanor, and told the agent that it was alright, he had covered his ass. Needless to say, Bush could have taking things more seriously.

As for Satellite photos, there’s another line from Plan of Attack, attributed to Colin Powell: you can’t interrogate a pixel. You can get a shot of a chemical plant, but you can’t tell what’s inside the tanks. You can look at facilities that might have WMD manufacturing capacity, but without further evidence, you can’t say for sure.

In the end, it takes a lot of denial, at the very least, to accept Bush’s picture of things. I have no such desire to bury my head, you should not either.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2006 3:40 PM
Comment #172359

Pardon me, a section did not get fully written out:

On point 31, the word on that particular exchange is that we could not trust the inviduals in question to deliver on their promises. You wouldn’t give credibility to the notion that some homeless guy on the corner could sell you a BMW, or a guy in a toyota dealership either . We don’t make deals with people who are likely to tip off the target, or who don’t have the authority or wherewithal to deliver people like Bin Laden. That, I believe, was the situation.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at July 31, 2006 3:43 PM
Comment #172371
In the end, it takes a lot of denial …
Yes, a whole lot. Posted by: d.a.n at July 31, 2006 5:03 PM
Comment #172797

Too bad there’s never a Sicilian Eagle around when it’s time to answer the critics. I believe he owes Mr. Murtha, me, and our troops an apology. I’ll still wait for the trial results, but I guess this issue didn’t just dry up and vanish, once it was public. Huzzah for a true patriot.

Posted by: gergle at August 2, 2006 11:17 AM
Comment #172933

Why not ask the troops what they think?

“Nobody Comes Home From War Unchanged” This quote is from Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director of the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans of America IAVA.org/. It links to a short eight minute film about his organization.

Regardless of your political affiliation or opinion of our involvement in Iraq you owe it to yourself and to American’s military men and women to watch this video. It helps summarize “The True Cost of War.”

QuestionItNow - Still In Iraq

Posted by: REB 84 at August 2, 2006 11:04 PM
Comment #173295

Regarding “uncorroborated FBI reports of abuse at Guantanamo Bay”, what ever happened to Spc. Sean Baker ?

Spc. Sean Baker, a former member of the 438th Military Police Company (search), said he played the role of a prisoner and was beaten so badly by four U.S. soldiers that he suffered a traumatic brain injury and seizures.

Capt. David Page called it a training accident ? ? ?

And how about the cover-up that followed?


Posted by: d.a.n at August 4, 2006 12:13 PM
Comment #174015

Steve S,

Do you still question whether Ann Coulter lies? An analysis of her footnotes in her latest book should end any doubt you have.

Posted by: LawnBoy at August 8, 2006 10:29 AM
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