Third Party & Independents Archives

December 05, 2005

Iraq War: Reflections

The U.S. invades Iraq which, posed no threat to the U.S. homeland, and drops bombs, chemical, and incindiary devices on homes and neighborhoods killing innocents right along with, hopefully, the enemy forces of Hussein’s regime. In response to this attack by a President who refers to the invasion as a Crusade, Islamic reactionaries, lacking a military to take on the U.S. in a conventional war, resort to heinous acts of hit and run attacks, murder and torture of innocents, and hostage taking as bargaining chips.

Reminds me of Mahatma Gandhi's admonition about an eye for eye only leaves the whole world blind. Many Americans hate the Islamic terrorists for their heinous acts. In kind, Islamic terrorists and Iraqi insurgents hate the US for what they view as heinous acts inflicted upon their population. War is heinous. War drives people to hatred, and hatred drives more heinous acts. For a horrendous length of time for those subjected to the ravages of war, war is self-perpetuating in just this manner.

Ben, in his article in the column on the right, threatens,

The next overly sensitive, silver spoon-fed shelter baby that whines aloud that Americans need to understand the Islamic terrorist perspective and consider these individuals’ feelings is going to witness a little terror firsthand.
Ben's passion however fails to recognize that we must understand how, and with what, the terrorists and insurgents are recruiting more terrorists and insurgents. For there is no doubt today, that their numbers are growing; as some in our own government now admit. We cannot short circuit their recruitments until we understand how and with what they are recruiting.

There is also no doubt that our very occupation of Iraq is a recruitment tool. But, is it the primary one? If it is, then withdrawal at the earliest possible time can be a partial solution. But if there are other recruitment tools used by terrorists and insurgents to motivate new recruits, we need to know this in order to address and halt their use.

My personal view: Iraq is a quagmire, another way of saying we are in a no-win situation much like Viet Nam. What makes Iraq a no-win situation for the US is different in some ways than what made Viet Nam a no-win situation. But they are both quagmires.

If we stay, we continue to act as a recruitment poster for terrorists and insurgents. If we leave, Iraq potentially falls into civil war and terrorists will replace the US as recruitment poster with an Iraqi government fashioned by the US, as a recruitment poster. The fatal flaw of the Bush administration was in failing to recognize, as we did in Viet Nam, the history, culture, and perspective of the people we would call enemy BEFORE engaging them in a war designed to force our democracy upon them.

Prior to our invasion, Iraq was a regional problem. Much like the Israli-Palestinian conflict was a regional problem. The answer to the problem was to bring the region's nations and people to address the problem in their own backyard. Iraq only became a problem for the U.S. when the U.S. decided to own the problem instead of working to make the regional countries around Iraq own it.

The coalition of the willing was a joke. What was needed was a coalition of neighboring Islamic countries to deal with Iraq and Saddam Hussein. But, like so many other activiites of the US, the idea of others owning anything without our fingers in the pie, is the antithesis of our view of being the greatest nation on earth. Common sense dicates that the greatest nation on the earth should have its way wherever it goes.

This philosophy and psychology of not just the Bush administration but, the American people, are what led the U.S. into this quagmire with a willing and compliant citizenry backing the play all the way. Now we pay the price for the arrogance and hubris of acting first, and seeking understanding afterward. And the price is high. The price is a divided nation here at home. The same price we paid for the hubris of intervening in a civil war in Viet Nam bounded by China as potential adversary on the side of the North.

United we stand, divided we fall, is the old addage, which we repeatedly ignore in assessing the consequences of our actions, at our own peril.

Posted by David R. Remer at December 5, 2005 06:52 AM
Comments
Comment #98885

David:

You see the US at a fork in the road, so to speak, and you offer up the negatives of either road. Thanks for the direction-its so helpful.

You offer up that “If we stay, we continue to act as a recruitment poster for terrorists…” and ” If we leave, Iraq potentially falls into civil war…” How nice to be able to take both sides of the situation and leave the conversation without any salient statement of what you’d suggest—other than that its Bush’s fault for getting us into the war.

There are two distinct subjects regarding Iraq, and they are separate. The first is how we got in, the second is how to get out. Discussing them together is truly counterproductive. To analogize, its like being in a sinking boat discussing who created the leaks while not discussing how to stop the leaks.

David, I recognize your viewpoint, but you suggest that the solution all along was to bring in regional countries to resolve the dispute. For 12 years, the US relied on the UN to do just that——it never happened. I doubt that it ever would have happened.

There are many discussions available on whether we should have gone to war, why we went to war, what was the cause of the poor intelligence etc. Those issues will be there at the conclusion of the war. Just as the people in the boat need to focus on how to stop the boat from sinking, so too do we need to focus on how to win this thing (although victory will never be as finite as it was in past eras, due to the nature of this war).

David, so what is your suggestion. Leave now? Stay for a while? Stay forever? Pick a path to run on, but don’t make the mistake of picking multiple paths just so you can later complain about the choice that people in authority make.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 10:29 AM
Comment #98891

Clinton first linked al Qaeda to Saddam


By Rowan Scarborough
THE WASHINGTON TIMES


The Clinton administration talked about firm evidence linking Saddam Hussein’s regime to Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda network years before President Bush made the same statements.”

Posted by: bugcrazy at December 5, 2005 10:52 AM
Comment #98897

Thanks for the laugh, bug…

Obviously I missed the invasion of Iraq by Clinton 10 years ago.


JBOD,

I see you have the answer; “Stay the course”

Posted by: Dave at December 5, 2005 11:12 AM
Comment #98904

Dave:

Perhaps there are some who simply toss out slogans to try to make a statement. I’m not one of them. There’s far too much complexity in war to simply sloganeer.

I believe we need to be in Iraq now and that an immediate withdrawal as supported by Jack Murtha would be the wrong move. I agree that specific timetables based on dates are not the right move, since they do not necessarily encompass the things we need to accomplish before leaving. For instance, had we simply left Germany immediately after defeating Hitler, Germany would not be where it is today.

We do, though, need to be planning our exit with each passing moment. We need to continue strengthening the Iraqi’s to the point that they can manage their country. To leave before they are able to do so invites disaster. Its impossible to put a date on this, but its not impossible to put a timeframe on it—-and I’d say roughly 18 months as a guesstimate.

I wouldnt suggest a full withdrawal all at one time, but rather a phased withdrawal. This might mean leaving some personnel in country as we have done in Germany and Japan for a long time.

Dave, I hope that gives you a more realistic version of my thoughts, as opposed to your “Stay the course” slogan.

Lastly, while Clinton did not ‘invade’ Iraq, you may have missed his pre-emptive military bombing of Iraq in 1998, before which he used almost verbatim the same logic and wordings that George Bush would use 5 years later.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 11:39 AM
Comment #98914

JBOD,

Thanks for the reply. Your proposal, well phrased as it is, is what Bush has been proposing and is (sorry for the potentially derogatory tone) “Stay the Course” E.g. “Stand down when (they) stand up” “Stay as long as we are needed” etc…

As for the Clinton reference; Willie’s bombings appear to have worked since Saddam didn’t have either the OBL relationship or the WMD’s that Bush43 used to justify his war. Reusing 5+ year old words doesn’t make a valid case, it only shows how good Rove was at manipulating public opinion.

My opinion continues to be that this war was a lie from the beginning and anything coming from this administration is “politics only”, facts are secondary and really not important to them in deciding what they say.

Consequently, I will listen to people like Murtha and McCain but not Rummy, McClellan, et. al. I mean, did you hear Rummy argue with brass about what it means to “intervene in innapropriate treatment”? The guy has no freakin’ clue what it means to be in a uniform.

Also, Murtha did not advocate an immediate withrawal, please (re)read his speech. Hopefully we will be on the same page afterwards.

Posted by: Dave at December 5, 2005 12:15 PM
Comment #98929

Great article, David.

You wrote:
“If we leave, Iraq potentially falls into civil war”

Whether we stay or leave there will be civil war in Iraq. In fact, many believe it has already begun.

“This philosophy and psychology of not just the Bush administration but, the American people, are what led the U.S. into this quagmire with a willing and compliant citizenry backing the play all the way. Now we pay the price for the arrogance and hubris of acting first, and seeking understanding afterward. And the price is high. The price is a divided nation here at home.”

Yes, and the price has been even higher than that, for we have destroyed our good name all over the world as well.
I do not, and will never understand the willing compliance of a certain percentage of our people (quite a few of whom appear here in this blog) who have been praising our “leaders” who took us into this pre-emptive war on lies, and when Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Who approve of our military using torture on prisoners, which have resulted in deaths. Who defend the use of white phosphorus as a weapon in urban areas regardless of whether there will be civilian deaths — as well as the use of extraordinary rendition and secret CIA prisons, all in the name of “the war on terror”. Meanwhile, those same “leaders” have completely ignored the safety of this country and have been doing everything they can to shred our Constitution.

“United we stand, divided we fall, is the old addage, which we repeatedly ignore in assessing the consequences of our actions, at our own peril.”

America has already fallen — from everything we once stood for, because of our current “leaders”. It’s time to “cut and run” from the shame they have heaped upon us. The consequences of THEIR actions now make it urgently necessary for us to impeach them so that we’ll be able stand up again, because only by returning to our former ethics and principles can we ever hope to restore our name in eyes of the world — most importantly among our allies.
And quite obviously, we must also look to restoring our ethics and principles, at home, because they’ve also been hanging precariously for quite some time.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 5, 2005 01:01 PM
Comment #98938

David,

Now we pay the price for the arrogance and hubris of acting first, and seeking understanding afterward.

Noooo…I think it was Saddam who acted first (Against Iran…and then against the Kurds…and then against Kuwait). And then it was the U.N. who tried to understand…for 12 years.

Now, seeing that the U.S. is part of the U.N., doesn’t that indicate that we ALSO tried to understand for 12..long…years?

Something else everyone here needs to understand in a crystal clear manner.

There is absolutely NO winner in ANY war. One side prevails over the other, but that’s it.

In any war, both sides believe that they are right and that the other side is evil…and that is the decision that must be made here.

Do you believe Saddam to be good or evil?
Do you believe the United States and its allies good or evil?

In the final analsys, does how we got into Iraq really matter?

No.

In the final analsys, the ONLY question that must be answered is:

“Did we do the right thing?”

Yes or no. There is no “maybe”. Yes or no.

Did we do the right thing?

Posted by: Jim T at December 5, 2005 01:40 PM
Comment #98942

Dave:

I checked Murtha’s website, but he has taken down his statement. I believe he actually did use the words “immediate redeployment”. But regardless, I think he is wrong in trying to set a timetable, which he puts at 6 months. In his bill, he calls for the “earliest practical date”, but in his comments, he has used the 6 month timetable.

It sounds as if you have closed your mind. You say you have decided that anything the administration says is either politics or lies. If that is truly the case, then discussion no longer matters. Any information that doesnt comply with your viewpoint will simply be viewed through the lens of “politics” and “lies”.

You can use whatever slogan you choose. My position remains that the elections we have seen, along with the waning support for terrorists like Zarqawi, show proof positive that there are good things happening. To remove our presence in the face of such good things would be wrong, in my opinion.

I’d agree that we need some timetable—-but it should be OURS. A good football coach doesn’t tell the opposition what plays are going to be used and when, and a good army doesn’t tell its enemy what to expect.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 01:47 PM
Comment #98950

David
Iraq is not what has caused our nation to become divided, political ideology has.
Look back at the 90s and how divided our country was at that time.
Our nation is coming apart at the seams and it will only get worse.
We are no longer one nation, we are now two nations. Two nations whose followers believe their way of government is better than what made us the greatest nation on earth, our Constitutional Republic.

“Any information that doesnt comply with your viewpoint will simply be viewed through the lens of “politics” and “lies”.”

Great definition of the lefts way of thinking JBOD.
All one has to do is read the responses to see that.
Truth be damned!

Posted by: kctim at December 5, 2005 02:04 PM
Comment #98955

Bug,
Your link is to the Washington Times, Sun Myung Moon’s newspaper. It’s not a resource most people respect.

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 02:11 PM
Comment #98959

I think there are only a few options for Iraq:

1. Overwhelm the country with US military (300 - 400 thousand troops) and commit to stay until you have effectively beat the insurgency into a political agreement. As it stands today, the amount of troops we have, while large, doesn’t have enough coverage to staunch the insurgency. The administration would most likely have to re-instate the draft to accomplish this. It would take another 2-3 years to get to sufficient troops strength for this option. Plan on staying 5-10 years in this fashion in order to see the infrastructure of the country rebuilt and the government stabilizing. This is the idea McCain has been quietly suggesting (not the draft part, but the increased troops) and I think he is gearing up for it relative to his own run for president in 2008.

The idea will not play well in Peoria or any other place in the US, but it would have a better chance of achieving the goals that the Bush Administration has put forward of stabilizing the country, rebuilding the infrastructure and providing a more reasonable timeline for an actual democracy to take hold. I’m not in favor of the approach because of the presumed loss of American lives in the process. Consider a track that keeps us there for another 5-10 years. Even if we pacify most of the country, we will still see attacks on the military stationed in Iraq. Does the country have the stomach for another 10 - 15 thousand dead Americans? I don’t believe so.

2. Adopt Murtha’s plan and redeploy back to special operations functions and ready response teams to quiet terrorist activity in the area. I use the word terrorist versus insurgency, because if Murtha is correct, (and based on his connections with Pentagon brass, it seems likely he is) only about 7% of the insurgency is from outside forces (read terrorists). Allow “All the poisons to hatch out” in terms of the civil war and attempt to contain the fight inside Iraq. This will likely not accomplish the Bush Administration’s objectives of a government in Iraq thas is friendly to the US. Ayad Allawi most likely would not be prime minister which is one of the adminstration’s goals. Expect in this scenario a Shiite dominated government with a closer alignment with Iran than with the U.S.

3. Stay the current course and “hope” for the best. We could see a more orderly transition of the government after the elections. I personally have been surprised in the lower level of Shia revenge activities against the Sunnis and Baathists that were in control. I thought there would be major reciprocity after Hussein fell. The problem with this option and in Option 1 is that more US soldiers get killed. Perhaps more Iraqi civilians as well, but I’m more concerned at this point in not investing any more US lives in a cause that fundamentally will not be achieved by us. To me the logical conclusion to the troubles in Iraq is if the Iraqi people decide to quell the insurgency themselves, bring the Kurds, Sunni and Shia together and have a peaceful transition into a unified country. I happen to agree with Congressman Murtha that at this point in time the US military presence is inhibiting versus facilitating that transition. My preference would be for us to adopt option 2 and implement the congressman’s plan.

The other thing I would do if I were advising the president would be to get him to stop this ridiculous use of sectarian and religious language in his discussions of Iraq. There is nothing that will fuel a fundamentalist muslim’s fire than to counter that “our God” is the reason that Bush invaded Iraq and that he has been called by God and indeed won the election in 2004 to liberate the country and bring democracy to the middle east. If this continues, we get into a “my God is bigger than your God” fight and once that is done, there is no chance for rational discussion. All we need to do to understand this is review the history of the crusades.

Posted by: Dennis at December 5, 2005 02:28 PM
Comment #98960

jbod:
“It sounds as if you have closed your mind. You say you have decided that anything the administration says is either politics or lies. If that is truly the case, then discussion no longer matters.”

Yes, it’s very much a “boy who cried wolf” situation, because they’ve proven time and again that all they give us is politics and lies — therefore, the only discussion worth having now is how we are going to remove them from power.

“a good army doesn’t tell its enemy what to expect.”

A good army also doesn’t kill people in captivity, or use chemical weapons in urban areas, or send prisoners to secret torture prisons, or hold people indefinitely without charge either.
And a good commander doesn’t talk about democracy and then deliver hypocrisy. Time and again this administration has proven to us here at home that “freedom of the press” is an idea that simply doesn’t apply them, and of course it now seems likely they weren’t above exporting that view outside America’s borders.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 5, 2005 02:29 PM
Comment #98966

Dennis,
Good post, well reasoned. Murtha is right. Every choice has its plusses and minuses, but the second option is the most realistic & sensible option.

By the way, Allawi is a candidate backed by the US, but he’s no walk in the park, and I think we’d better better off steering clear. The amount of money that disappeared through graft & corruption while he was in office have been jaw dropping. He’s a secular Shia, but his power base is the Mukhabarat- Saddam’s Sunni secret police & intelligence services. He’s corrupt, he’s a thug by instinct, and just because he offers to be our Man in Bagdhad doesn’t mean jack. When will the Bush administration ever learn to steer clear of guys like this?

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 02:59 PM
Comment #98977

JBOD,

I don’t think my mind is closed, I think my mind is made up. Bush has no remaining credibility so no decisions I make can be based on what he says nor can I believe what comes from sources influenced by them. E.g. paying reporters seems to be a Bush trademark.

But, I can see where your choices come from and I can respect that they are come upon by due diligence. I just think you’re wrong. I think we need to start leaving now or else the Iraqi’s won’t stand up. Why bleed when the infidel invaders will bleed for you?

Posted by: Dave at December 5, 2005 03:06 PM
Comment #98982

Dave:

I didn’t mean to impugn your thoughts. You indicated that your mind was closed to anything Bush or his admin might have to say. I understand your reticence to believe him, when you believe he has lied so far. I see it differently, but I can understand how you see it.

I agree that we need to be “leaving” and getting the Iraqi’s to stand for themselves. And that seems to me what we are doing. The apparent difference between our thoughts seems to be timeframe and whether we publicize any such timeframe.

I think its too early to begin any real pull out. I think the key is to continue training Iraqi battalions so they can enforce the laws of their country. This has been going on—-albeit too slowly for my taste—and hopefully will continue to go on.

What is your timeframe? Sounds like you’d start pulling out immediately and be totally gone within 6 months, considering that you seem to like Murtha’s ideas. I think that’s too fast, but as I’ve said, 18 months sounds about right to me.

Thanks by the way, for the reasoned and thoughtful responses. I prefer a civil conversation…something that is simply out of the capability of some of the crackpots lurking around the internet.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 03:17 PM
Comment #99006

“civil conversation…something that is simply out of the capability of some of the crackpots lurking around the internet.”

Question: How can apologists of this administration continue to expect strictly polite debate from the other side of the isle? Never has there been such an uncivil, arrogant, dishonest, scapegoating, left-demonizing, and out-of-control group of people in charge of our government, and those who continue to support these “leaders” have continually labeled anyone who doesn’t agree with them crackpots, traitors, anti-patriots, terrorist sympathizers, etc., etc.
And yet still they expect to engage in arguments where nothing but mutual respect will be shown. I for one, find that expectation laughable.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 5, 2005 04:11 PM
Comment #99008

“How can apologists of this administration continue to expect strictly polite debate from the other side of the isle?”
Its easy Adrienne:

Party before truth!
Party before the people!
Party before country!

I was asking the very same question throughout the 90s and got the same type of response you are getting now.

Posted by: kctim at December 5, 2005 04:21 PM
Comment #99012

kctim said:

Party before truth!
Party before the people!
Party before country!

The result of a spectator sports culture raised on ESPN, I suspect. There is no greater spectator sport in America than the Democrats and Republicans, save maybe the NFL playoffs. Of course, politics has one over on the NFL, everyone who wants to play at politics can. All that is needed is a mouth and words - no brain or athletic skills required! :-)

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2005 04:29 PM
Comment #99020

Adrienne:

those who continue to support these “leaders” have continually labeled anyone who doesn’t agree with them crackpots, traitors, anti-patriots, terrorist sympathizers, etc.,

You’ve no doubt noted that I support President Bush generally—not in everything, but certainly I support his policies more than I disagree with them. You have now included me as someone who labels those who disagree with me as being crackpots etc. But I have yet to do so. In fact, were I to do so, then by necessity I would have done so to Dave, because he and I obviously have disagreements over policy.

Perhaps you might show me in ANY post where I have done so. I’ll save you the time and tell you that you will fail to be able to do so, because I don’t do that. And since I don’t, I don’t expect you to claim that I do. Of course, you’ll be able to claim that you weren’t really referring to me…but since you posted your comments in direct response to mine, that posture would be meaningless.

There are traitors on the left—I’ve pointed to a lady at a conference in San Diego who said she hoped the US loses in Iraq. That is a traitorous statement. There are crackpots on the left—I’ve seen those who claim that Bush orchestrated 9-11 to enhance his Presidency, and that a plane did not hit the Pentagon etc. Those are crackpot claims. There are those who by their actions or words give unintended support to the opposition, just as it happened in Viet Nam (As an example, Jane Fonda’s intent was to end what she saw as an unjust war, but her actions and words gave unintended support to the enemy).

Adrienne, I tend not to look at someone’s intentions, because its hard to see into someone’s heart. I believe Murtha, for example, has the best intentions—I simply disagree with his solution. That makes him no less of a patriot than I am, and no more. It simply means that his ideas are different from mine. One can be a good person, yet misguided. I’ve invested in certain stocks in order to enhance my portfolio. That some of them have gone down at times doesn’t make me a bad person…it does however raise questions about my investment acumen.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 04:42 PM
Comment #99021

“civil conversation…something that is simply out of the capability of some of the crackpots lurking around the internet.”
————————————
Personally, I’ve found most (not all) of the commentary on Watchblog civil and intelligent. I’m very pleased with the community that debates here in all three columns. With few exceptions, most have stayed true to the “critique the message and not the messenger” charge.

This site is actually educational as it requires thought and some research to participate. I applaud the editors and the commentators who participate.

Posted by: Dennis at December 5, 2005 04:45 PM
Comment #99023

Adrienne:

I intended also to add that there are crazies and crackpots on the right as well. There are folks like Pat Robertson who claim that God will bring wrath down upon specific certain people for specific certain actions. While I believe in God, I don’t believe in him that way. There are those like Duke Cunningham who are dirty, and do anything to line their own pockets. Neither the left nor the right is immune to crackpots, crooked politicians, partisan idiots or the like.

There are fringe lunatics on both sides of the political spectrum, and there are those I consider to be fringe lunatics on Watchblog. I see them in all columns. I don’t consider them lunatics or crackpots based on the level which they agree with me, but rather based on the content of their posts.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 5, 2005 04:47 PM
Comment #99030

kctim:
“Party before truth!
Party before the people!
Party before country!”

It’s sad and true.
You know, I just left the Green Party because I can no longer bring myself to go along with nonsensical things simply to be able to claim that I’m still a member of a political party — so now I’m adrift with none.
I have to admit though, I’m pretty damn fed up with everyone on the left being called a traitor to this country just because they strongly disapprove of the actions of these Neocon’s. In fact, I am personally so sick and tired of it, that I’ve decided not to read and post to WB as much as I have done in the past — that way I won’t have to see that particularly nasty sentiment repeated in numerous ways by numerous posters every single day. Who needs the agravation, you know?

Posted by: Adrienne at December 5, 2005 05:14 PM
Comment #99034

I have to admit though, I’m pretty damn fed up with everyone on the left being called a traitor to this country just because they strongly disapprove of the actions of these Neocon’s. In fact, I am personally so sick and tired of it, that I’ve decided not to read and post to WB as much as I have done in the past — that way I won’t have to see that particularly nasty sentiment repeated in numerous ways by numerous posters every single day. Who needs the agravation, you know?
—————————

Adrienne,

I strongly encourage you to continue to post to WB. I find your posts insightful and informative. Everyone has a perspective, and they should be heard. One of the problems with our political discourse today is that we spend ore time yelling at the other guy than talking about ideas. We need this community to continue to debate, argue and come up with ideas that may help ourselves and our kids improve things in the future. Hang in with us and keep up the debate….

Posted by: Dennis at December 5, 2005 05:25 PM
Comment #99035

Jim T,

I think it was Saddam who acted first (Against Iran…and then against the Kurds…and then against Kuwait). And then it was the U.N. who tried to understand…for 12 years.

Funny. All western countries were backing Saddam in his war against Iran at this time. Some countries pushed even harder the hypocrisy to also sale arms to both countries (Iran Gate, sounds any bells to you?).

Also, did you forget about first Iraq War in 1991?
Before “understanding” Saddam for 12 years as you name the scandalous embargo who killed so much iraqis children, a *real* coalition of many nations stands together to figth Saddam after Kuwait invasion. Hardly an UN passive position at this time, rigth?

There is absolutely NO winner in ANY war. One side prevails over the other, but that’s it.

Agreed.

In the final analsys, the ONLY question that must be answered is:

“Did we do the right thing?”

Yes or no. There is no “maybe”. Yes or no.

Did we do the right thing?

Oh. The Binary View of the World. Black & White. Us or Them. Good or Bad. Divine or Evil…
How easy it should be to live in your world, Jim…

So, my (binary) anwser to your question is:
NO.

If you want me to argue about my reply, you must before leave a bit your world to the real, colorful one where doubts, truths, maybes, lies, self-interests, faiths, fanatism and all others human weaks make it far more complex. And interesting.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 5, 2005 05:26 PM
Comment #99052

Thanks, Dennis. I still intend to read and post here, just not as often. Maybe that way I’ll still be able to engage in “polite debate”, rather than be constantly enraged that people on the left like myself are being called traitors every single day.

What really kills me about being labeled as such is that so many in our government (on both sides of the isle) are now acknowledging that the Iraq war has been naught but a complete mistake. And yet, somehow it’s still supposed to be super-patriotic and make perfect sense for our troops to “stay the course” and “win”?
Truth is, even though I was against going into Iraq to begin with, I’ll never be able think of our remaining in this mistaken war to be a logical or sane example of patriotism or leadership — whatever the outcome.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 5, 2005 06:44 PM
Comment #99067

The US cannot leave Iraq until Al Queda is destroyed. This withdrawal with honor crap is just a smokescreen for flipfloppers on the Iraq War. Al Queda in Iraq must be destroyed by Americans. It is not the responsibility of Iraqis to fight Al Queda for the simple reason that Al Queda was never in Iraq before Bush came. The US brought Al Queda to Iraq. It is the US job to remove them.

Posted by: Aldous at December 5, 2005 07:30 PM
Comment #99085

Adrienne, those who label their fellow Americans traitors, despicable, or unAmerican because they don’t agree, say much more about themselves and their love of country, than about their opponents. You just have to read between the lines a little to hear the inner voice of fear, lack of faith in the American principles and Bill of Rights, and lack of confidence in themselves or their country.

It is the responsibility of those they distrust, to continue to patiently layout dispassionately, what America, the Bill of Rights, and the ideal of America values enshrined in the Constitution really require of American citizens and patriots. Our founding fathers held an acute distrust of power in the hands of the few who run any kind of government, including our own, and also held, America can only achieve her ideals if United, not divided in their love of this land, distrust of government officials, and a very loud public voice of dissent when that government misrepresents and acts contrary to the ideals and dreams in the Constitution, especially in its Preamble and Bill of Rights.

One of the core underlying principles embedded deep in the Constituiton is that of “Live and let live”. Tolerance for differences is a part of that code, a lesson lost on many who fail to realize that the checks and balances and protections for individuals were built on that presumption that to “Live and let live”, is noble, honorable, and the action of intelligent persons who revere freedom, their own as much as that of others. They knew too well, that to infringe unjustly upon the freedom of others is a wound inflicted upon one’s own freedom ultimately and that of one’s progeny. As King George’s unjust infringement upon the Colonialists ultimately became a fatal wound to the British Empire’s expansion in the world.

Posted by: David R. Remer at December 5, 2005 08:35 PM
Comment #99090

Aldous

I strongly disagree; perhaps this is because I view that goal as unattainable. If we were capable of destroying Al Queda, I think we would quickly find another such organization to fill its space.

In any case, we are in a foreign land - a sovereign nation - it is not our place to take any actions in a sovereign country without the express authorization of the UN Security Council. This is, of course, only if you believe in the principal of national sovereignty.

Assuming that you do, then our only correct action in Iraq was to purge any threat and then leave. (This was still an illegal action, however, not the point…)

If we wish to police the world, then we must stop hiding behind the façade of the UN and take our place as hegemon (if this is even possible). Otherwise, we must consign ourselves to the role which we agreed to at its creation, a member nation.

I realize that not everything is black and white; however, half-stepping here will prove neither successful, nor judicious.

Posted by: Diogenes at December 5, 2005 08:53 PM
Comment #99138

If we leave, Iraq potentially falls into civil war

I would like to question who has made this idea so prevalent in American minds? Could you possibly be all wrong thinking that a civil war will erupt.

Dennis said: I personally have been surprised in the lower level of Shia revenge activities against the Sunnis and Baathists that were in control.

Think about it.

Just where did this idea come from? Maybe it does not reflect reality.

Posted by: D. Allen at December 5, 2005 10:48 PM
Comment #99150

D Allen,

“Could you possibly be all wrong thinking that a civil war will erupt.”

After the First Gulf War, the Shias rose against Saddam Hussein’s regime. Saddam & the Baathists repressed the rebellion. Up to 300,000 Shias died. The Kurds have been in almost perpetual rebellion against Saddam’s regime. This resulted in other examples of brutal repression, including the use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Suicide bombings are conducted by Sunnis which often target Shias. Shia death squads are starting their work. The US has been fighting as a proxy for the Shias against the Sunnis in an ongoing civil war.

The Shias and Sunnis could make peace when the US departs. But I doubt it.

Posted by: phx8 at December 5, 2005 11:40 PM
Comment #99200

D Allen:

The situation right now is that the Iraqi Army is being used to oppress the Sunnis. Men in Iraqi Uniforms would pick up Sunni Men and “disappear” them. Its not labeled as Shia vs Sunni violence because of the uniforms.

Posted by: Aldous at December 6, 2005 02:46 AM
Comment #99236

David

A well written piece although I disagree with you.

Although I do agree with you in past posts concerning the broken two-party system that runs things in the beltway,look at this view for a moment:

1.Things will get better in the fight against insurgents.

I say this because as each day passes,the quality of forces(both Amnerician and Iraqi) get better while the opponent gets weaker.

I can to this conclusion because two and a half year ago,most of the insurgents and their leadership were either veterans of the Russian-Afganistan war,or veterans of the Bin Laden training camps.

Now,most of that group has been killed off,imprioioned or in hiding.While some remain in the fight,the newer “replacement killers’ are far less trained,experienced and apt to make the wrong moves as opposed to their predessors.

In comparasion,our all-volunteer troops,especially the special operators,have now 2 or 3 tours there and the marines and army units have the same.The American forces,despite lack of armor and the usual litany of shortcomings are now far more experienced at urban warfare and now are more experienced that their opponents.

2.However bad the Iraqi security forces are,even you will admit that progress has been made…and they will get better once as an officer corps..(which takes years,not months) develops.

These next two weeks will be brutal…many innocent will die in the run-up to the election,but many insurgents will die too,further weakening the pool of fighters.

3.Some news in Iraq is actually good.

I watched that piece on Fox last Sunday outside the Green Zone,and it wasn’t a staged piece.It showed hope.I wonder why the nationial broadcasting stations don’t do such pieces,but I know the answer..we all do.

Peace doen’t sell.

I agree with Joe Liberman..it’s now a war of 27million against 10,000 and I like those odds going forward.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 6, 2005 06:50 AM
Comment #99251

Sicilianeagle,
I like your hope for the problem caused by President Bush’s lack of imagination. Although I agre in pricinple with Rep. Murtha’s stance to redepoly our assets, I am not for a total withdraw of our forces any time soon.

The reason that I say this is that directly after the election everything could become quite for the next 6-12 months allowing time for the terrorists to regroup and rest while more and more pressure is placed on America to send the troops home. A big mistake IMO and a fatal one to the Iraq People.

Play with the Devil for a monment. Both sides are facing more and more bad PR. By laying low and only attacking clear military targets, the terrorist have a chance to train and gather more troops. In the meantime, political pressure from both inside Iraq and here in the USA will bring down the troop numbers in the area. 6 months after the election without a single terrorist attack and I think you know how much pressure would be put on the President to bring home at least half of our force in the area.

That is why IMO it is better to use the cover of “Redeploying our Troops” to better establish our selve throughout the Middle East. Remember that Iran is next door with a leader that is a little off step to be nice about it.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 6, 2005 08:44 AM
Comment #99256

Adrienne,

This is a good forum to hone one’s debating skills and obtain greater understanding of one’s owns positions as well as those of others. It’s not unexpected to lose a bit of patience with people who simply denegrate you and your position and it is certainly necessary to look at who’s posting and any history they may have before responding/reacting.

For example, despite JBOD’s protestations to the contrary, he has been on the Right is Right and Left is Stupid/Insane side of the equation. Whether he fell into the same trap you just did or whether he, like most other conservatives, are decent people who are just starting to see the right of liberalism and can now talk reasonably, I don’t know. In any case, I’m glad to be having a decent conversation with him at last.


JBOB;
“I think its too early to begin any real pull out. I think the key is to continue training Iraqi battalions so they can enforce the laws of their country. This has been going on—-albeit too slowly for my taste—and hopefully will continue to go on.”
This is my point exactly. Bush says this is ongoing. How can you believe what he says? Supposedly 18 months ago there were 2 battalions of Iraqi troops trained and ready (numbers are appx. since I really don’t listen to them anymore). To me, this is all posturing for the next election cycle. I.e. Act as if we’re leaving so people can vote Republican again.

We need to say “We will start leaving in 3 months and be gone in 6.” This will force the Shiia mullahs to put up or shut up. They will get their troops trained or be on the short end of the stick when we leave, the insurgency will lose their recruitment base, we will be able to rebuild our army and save $6B a month, and we can start to repair our relationship with our allies.

After we’re gone, the Sunnis are screwed, but that’s not our problem. Too bad they backed Saddam. If the arab nations are really concerned, let them clean it up with their blood and money.

Henry,

I think there are 150 attacks in Iraq a day, we only hear of the ones that kill troops in quantities greater than 1 or 2 or civilians more than 5 or 10. How on earth do you think that number will go to 0?

Posted by: Dave at December 6, 2005 09:35 AM
Comment #99264

Dave:

despite JBOD’s protestations to the contrary, he has been on the Right is Right and Left is Stupid/Insane side of the equation.

I’m sorry that you see fit to characterize me in this fashion. It seemed to me that we were having a decent conversation in which we took opposing positions. I don’t recall saying anything to you that would come close to the “Left is Stupid/Insane” category, but I’ll ask you to provide any quotes of mine that would put me there. I have said that there are those on the left and the right who fall into the lunatic fringe, but that condemns neither the entire left or right. It simply holds people accountable to their own words, which is what Watchblog asks for in its “Critique the message” posture.

If you need to characterize my disagreement with your position in such a way, so be it. It won’t be correct to do so, but you are free to frame it in any way that you choose.

My last response to our conversation left off with a thanks to you for a reasoned conversation. I guess we can just leave it at that.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 6, 2005 10:15 AM
Comment #99285

JBOD,

My bad. I should have been clear I was refering to the early period of my introduction to Watchblog.

I don’t remember the thread/topic, but you were “strong” in your denunciations of the left. “Strong” enough for me to remember it and bin you.

As I said above, perhaps back then it was just a bad day on your part. It does not apply to this thread. Again, my appologies.

Posted by: Dave at December 6, 2005 11:52 AM
Comment #99301

Philippe,

It is a “binary” question. Yes or no. “Did we do the right thing?”

I believe “yes”.

You believe “no”.

You see, in this case…with this question…it is a question of yes or no. It is not a question of “maybe yes” or “maybe not”.

Did we do the right thing?

A simple question that not too many people want to discuss here.

All the acusations of “Bush lied” and “Intelligence was distorted” (etc., etc.) is nothing more than posturing and “armchair quarterbacking”. That is the past.

The reality is that we are there.

So now the question that must be asked is not “How did we get there”, but “Now that we’re there, did we do the right thing?”…and…”How can we do the right thing for the Iraqi people?”

By the way, in 1991 we went to war in response to Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait.

And the embargo? Oil for food? It was more like “Oil for Saddam’s upkeep and maintenance”. So who was it that starved Iraqi children? America? Or was it Saddam?

Do you actually think that a man (Saddam) who would put people in a meat grinder (yesterday’s testimony in Saddam’s trial) and use electrical shocks on naked women (today’s testimony) and lead men around women’s cells naked by their testicles (today’s testimony) would have any hesitation to starve children?

Did we do the right thing?

Yes. Without question.

Posted by: Jim T at December 6, 2005 12:39 PM
Comment #99342

Here’s what I don’t understand,

We have the god-damned oil, that is what this godforsaken crusade is about! Why do we have to do any of this nation building why not get the f#ck out of there and get them the funds to rebuild their own damn cities???

this war on terror is bull-sh#t—pardon all my profanity but this is just a Bush administration Keynesian Stimulus package in the most rudementary sense of the term. This war is now entirely for wallstreet not liberation, not even nation building, but entirely about military stocks and feathering portfolios. All hail the real president—the military industrial complex, why don’t the contractors start making the speeches instead of Bush??????? Couldn’t be any worse.

LISTEN WE HAVE THE OIL, NOW LIKE GOOD PRAGMATISTS WE SHOULD GET THE F#%K OUT OF THE CITIES ATLEAST WHERE WE ARE CAUSING MORE CIVILLIAN DEATHS THAN ANYTHING!!!!!!!!! IF WE ARE THE TARGETS, WHY BE IN HIGHLY POPULATED AREAS such as cities???

The common republican would say well that’s where terrorists are, wrong that’s where we are and we are handing out friggin’ candy to schoolkids and getting them blown up too. WE are loitering outside schools and shopping areas AND WE ARE THE DAMNED WALKING TARGETS.

No friggin’ wonder they don’t feel safer with us there as was just recently reported. Everywhere our grunts go they are the target of the Sunni insurgeants.

LET ME TELL YOU A STORY I JUST READ:

A bunch of soldiers went over to a hospital to pass out candy and they were bombed, because, duh they are the targets. The explosion left thirty two dead and dozens more wounded and maimed for life, WHY???? Because we perhaps breed the dumbest soldiers on the god-damned planet. Who is in charge over there who said they as a varified target can hang out at childrens playgrounds and hospitals to attract the local children with candy??? ESPECIALLY WHEN WE ARE THE TARGETS?

Think about it.

Plus we are an army that strikes with sledge hammers not quite conducive to urban combat fighting. we do football field size bombings why are we insisting on the tedium of urban combat that gets more civillians kiled than anything. If they head out of the cities they run the risk of our stupid grunts shooting up the vehicles with their kids inside and if they stay they are always in danger of being blown to bits with shrapnel by one side or the other.

And to hear these republicans tell it it’s all just like a game of god-damned Stratego, WAKE THE F#CK UP! Human life guys, civillian lives that we are putting in danger everyday we stay in those urban areas.

WE MAY NEVER BE THE GOOD GUYS AGAIN, SORRY TO SAY.

Posted by: Novenge at December 6, 2005 02:29 PM
Comment #99473

Dave,
If a group in Iraq attack “Official Military/Government” sites than are we not to say that these folks are Freedom Fighters? However, by attacking the civilain population using terrorist tactics this same group can be seen as the idiots that they are (I know not pc correct, but than again I can’t find a nice word to explain their actions but stupidity).

Thus, the attacks could go to zero terrorist attacks against civilians which would be a politically smart way to bring pressure on the US to leave Iraq. At the same time these groups could work to undermine Iraq military and law enforcement agencies making it less likely that the Nation can find peace.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman at December 6, 2005 09:04 PM
Comment #99475

David, you’re right! :^)

Dave:
“Whether he fell into the same trap you just did or whether he, like most other conservatives, are decent people who are just starting to see the right of liberalism and can now talk reasonably, I don’t know. In any case, I’m glad to be having a decent conversation with him at last.”

All I said is that I was sick and tired of people on the left being called traitors or crackpots simply because they are against this totally f*cked up war that has been waged for all the wrong (though numerous, according the administration) reasons every single day. If that’s a trap, I suppose I did fall in, but the traitor and crackpot claims are complete bullsh*t.
As for decent conversations, I’ve found that with a great many conservatives on this blog, the response can vary widely from one day to the next, so it seems best not to get too cozy with any of them.

Novenge, good post. I share your sentiments.

On Meet the press this weekend, the 69 year old McCain called the 73 year old Murtha “too emotional” and “sentimental” due to his age. McCain is obviously also a changeable Republican. One minute he’s the straightshooting maverick, and the next he’s the knife-wielding party hack praising the president for no bloody reason.
Here’s the transcript.

Also, some of you “traitorous crackpots” might like these…
Alternet:
Donald Rumsfeld Is Mad As a Hatter
Also from Raw Story:
ACLU files suit challenging CIA rendition; Names ex-CIA director

Posted by: Adrienne at December 6, 2005 09:07 PM
Comment #99490

Dave:

I’ve undoubtedly had bad days. I find myself frustrated with people who have small ideas and small opinions. Sometimes that frustration boils over. I don’t have any problem with people disagreeing with my thoughts. I actually find it helpful in that I sometimes learn to modify my thoughts and other times I learn to reinforce my thoughts.

I consider those on the internet (not just Watchblog) who rely on talking point type of ideas without really understanding the concepts to have the small ideas. I spoke with one young man who claimed Iraq did not have WMDs after 1991. I worked to correct his information by showing documentation from the UN, from the Clinton administration, and from the Congress to show that Iraq did in fact have them during the mid 1990’s. He refused to consider my information, calling me a partisan shill. That’s the kind of small thinking person that frustrates me—-not because he disagreed, but because he was so incorrect in his reasons for disagreeing.

If I had a bad day when you first read my thoughts, my apologies. I’d like to think I have plenty to offer that is more worthwhile. I’ve come to realize that my worst day is better than many people’s best days…meaning that I am well blessed with good health, good family etc. I have much to be happy about, and I am learning (its a process) to not allow my frustrations with people to show through.

As evidence, my initial response to your comments was quite caustic, but I previewed it, trashed it and started over. Would that some in here would learn that lesson as well, dontcha think?

My best

Jbod

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 6, 2005 10:01 PM
Comment #99668

JBOD,
Yup, It would be a great day when schools have all the money they need and the airforce holds a bakesale to buy their bombs. Until then, we can only try to be civil in our discourse.

Novenge,
Great rail against the machine. Sometimes “We’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore!” is as good as anything else.

Adrienne,
Honey, not vinegar. You’re far more persuasive when playing nice. But, believe me, I know the urge to scream against the inanities of politics and some postings quite well.

Posted by: Dave at December 7, 2005 09:23 AM
Comment #99786

“Adrienne,
Honey, not vinegar.”

:^) Well Dave, for better or worse, I am a woman comprised of both. In a respectful conversation, you will see that I am like unto the Sweetest of Bee’s. When faced with disrespect — for example, the terms “traitor” or “crackpot”, I can sometimes be the “Mother” of all Vinegars. You may not approve of that, but I believe there is a place for both. Besides, how would we know the pleasure of sweetness if we’d never experienced the tang of tartness? Personally, I find spice in the variety of my responses.

“You’re far more persuasive when playing nice. But, believe me, I know the urge to scream against the inanities of politics and some postings quite well.”

That’s just it. When I am faced with people who would label those on the left with such offensive terms, I can’t help but get angry and sarcastic. I don’t even care to meet those words with sweetness or persuasiveness. Since I view such name-calling as disrespectful and dismissive (as though our opinions are invalid, or hateful, or illogically thought out), I don’t feel the need to try to convince those who would stoop to using them of anything.
Of course, tommorrow may be a different story. For instance, Jbod and I have had several really good discussions in my time in WB, so I realize it is not only possible but probable that he and I will do so again. But as I already said, I’ve found it unwise to feel too cozy after those discussions, because it is just as likely that sparks will fly, as well.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 7, 2005 12:20 PM
Comment #99790

Adrienne,

No advice (or disproval) intended, my comments were just observations.

But; Sweet, tart, and spicy! All these food analogies are making me hungry…

be well,
Dave

Posted by: Dave at December 7, 2005 12:32 PM
Comment #99823

Adrienne: Your thoughts on our world standing are well founded. When was the last time, in our history, when we had representatives flying all over the globe making apologies for the manner in which our government has acted? We are now trying to act as though we have done nothing wrong with respect to detainees. Why are we calling them detainees. Because they are NOT prisoners of war?
We have ruined our relationships with nations we have always worked with.
I could go on and on and on, but it just makes me ill to think the United States of America has to aplogise to the world for the behavior of our leaders.
I’m right up there with Murtha and Mccain, age wise and I hope I never see our country in this condition again!
JCP

Posted by: jcp at December 7, 2005 02:11 PM
Comment #99848

Adrienne:

Interestingly, you’ve accused me of using terms like traitorous or crackpot, but when I asked you to show instances of such, you stopped responding to me. I admitted to using those terms where they apply—-but not as generalizations. For instance, I think the woman I mentioned who wanted the US to lose in Iraq is traitorous. Wanting your own country to lose is a traitorous notion, in my opinion. But I did not generalize her actions and statements to Democrats, liberals or the anti-war left, or any other group. I simply held her accountable for her words.

We both know there are crackpots and traitors out there. They are there on all sides of the political spectrum. You could make an argument that Duke Cunningham acted traitorously, though I’d be more likely to simply say he acted illegally. That wouldnt mean that all Republicans are that way—-rather, it merely says that Cunningham is that way.

So….you’ve lumped me in with people who use the terms “crackpot” and “traitorous” to define those who disagree with them. My question is: Did you mean to include me or did I take your statement incorrectly? And if you did mean to include me, then I’d ask you to show my statements that make you think I’m that way.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 7, 2005 02:56 PM
Comment #99915

JCP,

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
“I could go on and on and on, but it just makes me ill to think the United States of America has to aplogise to the world for the behavior of our leaders.
I’m right up there with Murtha and Mccain, age wise and I hope I never see our country in this condition again!”

Me too! And I’m only several years over being half of Murtha’s age.

jbod:
“Adrienne:
“Interestingly, you’ve accused me of using terms like traitorous “

No, you’ve never called me a traitor. It was the SicEagle who called me a traitor at least six times recently — and wasn’t banned for it — though I considered that an extremely personal attack on the messenger rather than the message.

“or crackpot, but when I asked you to show instances of such, you stopped responding to me.”

This is what you said to Dave:
“Thanks by the way, for the reasoned and thoughtful responses. I prefer a civil conversation…something that is simply out of the capability of some of the crackpots lurking around the internet.”

That was directed toward me. You know it, I know it. Let’s not play games, okay? When you told Dave and anyone who agrees with what Dave wrote* that our trouble is that we are closed minded, I responded and must assume you believed my comments were unreasonable and uncivil. This is why you ignored what I wrote, replied only to him, and delivered the parting “crackpot”.

*Dave:
“My opinion continues to be that this war was a lie from the beginning and anything coming from this administration is “politics only”, facts are secondary and really not important to them in deciding what they say.”

The truly ironic thing about all this is, the administration that’s always being defended by folks such as yourself and the SicEagle have obviously lied this country into a war, put our soldiers into harms way unnecessarily, killed thousands of people, completely destroyed their country, broke our military, spent us into ruin, strained relations with our allies to the breaking point, and blackened America’s good name all over the world by using torture, chemical weapons, extraordinary rendition, and secret gulags.
Now, some of us believe that these actions might well be considered those of crackpots, and traitors to America, too. But most of us on the left don’t go around calling those who continue to support these Neocon’s outrageous and wildly arrogant and unwise behavior by those same labels — although quite clearly we could.

Posted by: Adrienne at December 7, 2005 05:11 PM
Comment #99931

David,

“The result of a spectator sports culture raised on ESPN”

I am so glad someone else brought this up. I have noticed over the past 4-5 years that sports bars have taken on a change, especially during football and baseball season.
More and more sports bars are advertising their loyalty to one team or another. ex. “Jimmy’s Sports Bar” Home of the Bears or Yankees etc.
I feel that like most people, we like to surround ourselves with people who share our interests. This takes it to a new level and ensures we are surrounded by people who think exactly as we do. The entire bar-room community live and die on every play together. They only criticize that which is safe to criticize(as determined by the pack)and share an unwavering and irrational loyalty to the team. I see alot of similarities to this and both political parties.
Just a thought I had the other day while watching the game.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at December 7, 2005 05:39 PM
Comment #99940

Adrienne:

I’m sorry you think my comment was directed at you. It wasn’t. I think you jumped to a conclusion that was incorrect. I originally wrote about “crackpots lurking on Watchblog”, realized that wasn’t very fair, and changed it to “crackpots lurking on the Internet”. Watchblog isn’t the only place I reside, and lets face it, there ARE some wackjobs out there. I gave several examples of what I consider wackjobs (those who think the Pentagon was bombed, those who think Bush planned the WTC bombings etc).

I don’t often agree with you and I find our viewpoints diametrically opposed on most things. As such, I think your viewpoints are incorrect, just as you think mine are. But I dont see you as a wackjob or a crackpot. I didn’t respond to your post simply because it didn’t call for a response. You made statements—I read them—and then returned to the conversation I was having. I neither impugned you nor commended you. I responded to Dave’s post as part of the ongoing discussion we were having.

I did not say Dave’s (or anyone’s) problem was their closemindedness. Dave said that he sees anything that the Bush admin says is “politics only”. If that’s the case, then Bush could honestly say something correct, but Dave might not believe it, thinking instead that its another example of “politics only”. That seems like a closed thought process to me. But I said it only to Dave, and only in response to his comment.

Lastly, if you have a problem with SicilianEagle, take it up with him. I’ll stand on my own two feet and be held accountable for what I write, but I shouldn’t be held accountable for what others write.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 7, 2005 06:13 PM
Comment #99946

In my opinion never before has the agressive nation in a war done more to divide itself than it has, or could ever hope to do, to unify and free the peoples of the nation it has undertaken to attack.

On it’s current track, the Iraq crisis will spill over well into the next administration IMO.

Posted by: steve smith at December 7, 2005 06:45 PM
Comment #99996

The Jewish control of the American mass media is the single most important fact of life, not just in America, but in the whole world today. There is nothing—plague, famine, economic collapse, even nuclear war—more dangerous to the future of our people.

Jewish media control determines the foreign policy of the United States and permits Jewish interests rather than American interests to decide questions of war and peace. Without Jewish media control, there would have been no Persian Gulf war, for example. There would have been no NATO massacre of Serb civilians. There would have been no Iraq War, and thousands of lives would have been saved. There would have been little, if any, American support for the Zionist state of Israel, and the hatreds, feuds, and terror of the Middle East would never have been brought to our shores.

By permitting the Jews to control our news and entertainment media we are doing more than merely giving them a decisive influence on our political system and virtual control of our government; we also are giving them control of the minds and souls of our children, whose attitudes and ideas are shaped more by Jewish television and Jewish films than by parents, schools, or any other influence.

The Jew-controlled entertainment media have taken the lead in persuading a whole generation that homosexuality is a normal and acceptable way of life; that there is nothing at all wrong with White women dating or marrying Black men, or with White men marrying Asian women; that all races are inherently equal in ability and character—except that the character of the White race is suspect because of a history of oppressing other races; and that any effort by Whites at racial self-preservation is reprehensible.

We must oppose the further spreading of this poison among our people, and we must break the power of those who are spreading it. It would be intolerable for such power to be in the hands of any alien minority with values and interests different from our own. But to permit the Jews, with their 3,000-year history of nation-wrecking, from ancient Egypt to Russia, to hold such power over us is tantamount to race suicide. Indeed, the fact that so many White Americans today are so filled with a sense of racial guilt and self-hatred that they actively seek the death of their own race is a deliberate consequence of Jewish media control.

Posted by: NatAll at December 7, 2005 09:30 PM
Comment #100121

NatAll, that’s garbage. You’re proof positive of JBOD’s assertion of there being crackpots on the internet.

I’ve said what’s needed to be said. Let his post die.

One thing that’s been brought up at least once is armor for the troops. Having more armor isn’t necessarily a good thing. The more you pile on your body or on a vehicle, the less mobility you have. The HUMVEE for instance, is a high mobility vehicle (hence the name). On the one hand, it does a fine job of stopping AK-47 and other small arms fire; A rocket propelled grenade on the other hand… not so well.

You can surround every troop with an inch of steel and it would be no match for RPGs and IEDs. Nevermind the fact he couldn’t move with the agility that’s necessary in combat.

I’m due to go “over there” soon. If not Iraq, then Saudi Arabia. Dispite what some Republicans will have you believe, the support from both sides is warming. Not having to deal with what our military people dealt with in Viet Nam puts this Libertarian’s mind, and surely many others, “at ease.”

Posted by: Joseph at December 8, 2005 05:24 AM
Comment #100122

Congratulations NatAll.
Worst racist post I’ve read here *ever*.

PS: Hitler died long ago. Sorry.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at December 8, 2005 05:28 AM
Comment #100139

Natall,

Hmm could you present your arguement with a little more finesse perhaps??? Not so reminiscent of The Metzger brothers.

I think we should stay out of Israel and put our money where we can create ‘measurable change’ but not that jews are the cause of all evil. SEE that’s where ya’ lose me.

There’s a jewish conspiracy? How about whites taking responsibility for their own society’s downfalls? let’s start there.

NatALL,Paul Wolfowitz is a jew are you for the Iraq Invasion?

Posted by: Novenge at December 8, 2005 07:55 AM
Comment #100143

Joseph:

Thank you for your service to our country, in whichever theatre you end up in.

You are correct about armor for the troops, in that during war, people die. There truly is no way to be fully protected. That having been said, its not right that troops should go without in battle. We must ensure that they have what they need, and Congress, DOD, Joint Chiefs etc all must play a role in it. As war tactics change, and they always do, we must speed up our own ability to change as well.

And yes, Virginia, there ARE crackpots on the internet, and now even on Watchblog.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 08:23 AM
Comment #100155

JBOD,

“Bush could honestly say something correct, but Dave might not believe it, thinking instead that its another example of “politics only”. That seems like a closed thought process to me.”

I think there is a critical distinction between closed-minded vs mind-made-up. How many times do you believe someone who lies to you? What level of trust and vulnerability do you accept by acting upon information from someone who lies to you.

I cannot trust anything that Bush says becuase his administration has been proven to lie whenever the need arises. I can not act on anything from them because the truth of their statements are suspect. They have no credibility left, it’s all been spent. If you’re willing to put your life and fortune on the line for a liar that’s your perogative, but I don’t think you really would.

Dave

Posted by: Dave at December 8, 2005 09:22 AM
Comment #100169

Dave:

I understand the distinction you are making. You have made your mind up based on the evidence that you have seen. I’m focusing on the end result as opposed to the process. You’ve admitted that you won’t believe anything that Bush has to say, because you think he is a liar. As a result, you have closed your mind to him. I’m not castigating you for that—I’m simply calling a spade a spade.

I’ve closed my mind to certain people who I don’t trust. Oliver Stone comes to mind. While he’s a good filmmaker, I don’t like the way he represents various events as the truth. I see it as his version of the truth, which I often disagree with. When I see Stone as the director of a movie, I don’t go to it. So…I’ve closed my mind to Stone—-he could create a good movie and I’d miss it.

The difference is I’m willing to admit my mind is closed to Stone. You have closed your mind to Bush—and you have your reasons for it—but you don’t want to admit it.

Dave, we disagree on Bush and whether he lies, or rather, to what degree he lies. He is a politician, I believe all politicians lie

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 8, 2005 10:02 AM
Comment #100205

“We must, indeed, all hang together or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790”

It does not matter how many peaceful Muslims there may be, they are no protection from the terrorist Muslim leaders and what they are fanatically bent on doing — by their own pronouncements — killing all of us “infidels.” the peaceful Muslims are afraid to lend a hand. What would you do if the choice was shut up or die? In countries without freedom you will be killed.
So who are we at war with? There is no way we can honestly respond that it is anyone other than the Muslim terrorists. Trying to be politically correct and avoid verbalizing this conclusion can well be fatal. There is no way to win if you don’t clearly recognize and articulate who you are fighting. We can definitely lose this war, and as anomalous as it may sound, the major reason we can lose is that so many of us simply do not fathom the answer
to the second question: What does losing mean? It would appear that a great many of us think that losing the war means hanging our heads, bringing the troops home and going on about our business, like post Vietnam. This is as far from the truth as one can get. What losing really means is: We would no longer be the premier country in the world. The attacks will not subside, but rather will steadily increase. Remember, they want us dead, not just quiet. If they had just wanted us quiet, they would not have produced an increasing series of attacks against us over the past 18 years. The plan is clearly for terrorists to attack us, until we are neutered and submissive to them, If we lose the war, our production, income, exports and way of life will all vanish as we know it. The Muslims fully know what is riding on this war, and therefore are completely committed to winning, at any cost. We’d better know it too, and be likewise committed to winning at any cost!!

Posted by: Fred Evans at December 8, 2005 12:36 PM
Comment #100359

Fred,

My response to your post, and your “winning at any cost” scheme is in the republican blog, under ‘the war on the war on terror’, under your identical post. It would be far more interesting if, in the future, you would actually change the post to some extent - or simply refer people to it, as I am. (i’m betting that most people read all three blogs, anyway).

Posted by: Diogenes at December 8, 2005 09:03 PM
Comment #100513

JOBD:
“You have closed your mind to Bush—and you have your reasons for it—but you don’t want to admit it.”
I admit it freely. Bush has proven to be a liar, constantly and without any remorse, to push his agenda. He has no value to me and is only a disgusting embarrasment to our nation. He had his chance on 9/11/01 to prove leadership as a “uniter” and blew beyond redemption by lying to go to war, among many other lies.
Those are my main reason. Someday you will see it.

Posted by: Dave at December 9, 2005 10:00 AM
Comment #100524

Dave:

In an earlier post, you said “JBOD,

I don’t think my mind is closed, I think my mind is made up.” Now you “freely admit” that your mind is in fact closed. Which statement do you want to run with?

I understand your reasoning in why you dislike Bush and why you distrust him. You say he has lied to the country, embarrassed our country etc. You feel he plays politics with the truth etc. While I understand how you’ve reached your conclusions, I respectfully disagree with your conclusions about him.

I can show many reasons why I like much about Bush (not everything but alot). You will disagree with my conclusions for the most part. That we see things from opposing viewpoints makes neither of us a bad person, nor unintelligent people, nor even right or wrong. It makes us two people who have looked at the information available and have reached different conclusions.

I worked for a company during a downturn in the economy—my boss decided to cut advertising to save money. I argued for increasing advertising because our competitors were most likely cutting advertising. We looked at all the same information, but had different ideas of how to achieve business success. We’ll never know who was right or wrong in that instance because we can’t compare the two ideas in actuality. We can only compare them in theory. There were good arguments made on each side of the discussion—but ultimately, you can only choose one or the other side.

Dave, I respect your position, but I disagree with it. I think I understand how you’ve arrived at your conclusions, but I’m not sure you understand how I’ve arrived at mine. When you conclude your comments with “Someday you will see it”, it appears to me that you simply think I’m not smart enough to know what you know, and that were I smarter, I’d agree with you. I hope that’s not what you intended, since that would carry a measure of condescension. I’ll assume you intended otherwise, since I’ve typically seen you take the higher of roads when available.

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 9, 2005 10:41 AM
Comment #100535

My mind is made up, Bush is a closed book to me. There is no contradiction. I have no faith in him or his policies. I think he serves only his own interests and, by extention, those who would get him re-elected. I think he defines corruption. To paraphrase O’brien in 1984; “We are not interested in money, we are interested in power. That is why Big Brother and the party are succesful, there is no confusion in what we want.”

As for “some day you will see it”. It is not a slap at intelligence or diligence. It’s an observation that I believe you will come to recognize that the logical constructs that directed you to your conclusions are based on the wrong premises. If you were to view your rationales as excuses for Bush’s bad behaviors you would likely be able to see my perspective.

Posted by: Dave at December 9, 2005 11:09 AM
Comment #100557

Dave:

I can say your last statement right back at you, and be as correct or incorrect in saying it to you. What you basically said is that you disagree with me and hope I will see the light someday. Which is precisely what I hope for you.

We got off track a bit regarding the closed mind thing. I don;t think having a closed mind is ever a good thing, but its certainly an understandable thing. If it makes you think Bush is bad even when he does a good thing, then having a closed mind would prevent you from seeing reality. Someone in Watchblog once admitted that they would never see Bush as doing anything good. So even if Bush did something good, they would find something wrong with it. Thats not a good way to think.

I don’t think you are ‘closeminded’ to that degree at all. I think you’ve simply decided that Bush is a bad guy. To that end, we disagree.
But I do appreciate the conversation. And in the estimable words of Forrest Gump, ‘that’s all I have to say about that.’

Posted by: joebagodonuts at December 9, 2005 11:44 AM
Comment #100621

Adrienne

I am truly sorry if I called you a traitor…I recall calling John Kerry one…which led to a rather spirited discussion but I do not think you are a traitor…I know nothing about you to make that assessment.

However passionate I am about my views you are to yours (and I repect that)but honestly if I offended you for calling you a traitor I apologize.

The intention was to let John Kerry know that his actions were,in my view,treasonous.Not yours.

Posted by: sicilianeagle at December 9, 2005 01:47 PM