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Left-Wing Hawks

By localroger in Op-Ed
Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:33:06 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)

Around the water cooler, among my customers, and at the art galleries and library, I've noticed an interesting trend in the last week or so. While everyone agrees we must Do Something about 09/11, it is the tofu-munching vegetarian PETA members who have protested every other war in their lifetimes who are most likely to suggest nuking Afghanistan or occupying the country.

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comments (24)
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Ten years or so ago I remember a conversation between Larry the Liberal and Right-Wing Ron that went something like this:

Larry: We don't belong over there. It's none of our business.
Ron:: It's a little bitty country that got attacked out of nowhere, and we should defend them.
Larry: It's a little bitty religious monarchy and nobody cared about half a dozen other little bitty countries that got attacked, except this one has oil.
Ron:: Well, we need oil.
Larry: At the cost of how many lives?

Recently Larry and Ron were at it again. This time it went more like this:

Larry: We gave them their chance, they blew it, we should nuke them.
Ron:: Christ, Lar, we can't just go nuking a bunch of starving civilians. What would the world think?
Larry: The world can Fuck Off And Die. Okay, we don't nuke them, we do like whats her name said and take over the pissant country and convert them all to Christianity.
Ron: I thought you were a pagan?
Larry: I am, but I know who I'd rather have as a neighbor.
Ron: They're not our neighbors, they're half-way around the world and we'd have to occupy their country for years.
Larry: Fine.
Ron: Think of the casualties. Civilians. Our boys. Is it really worth all that to straighten out Afghanistan?
Larry: You have to break eggs to make an omelette.

Liberals, as conservatives love to remind us, have a well-deserved reputation for opposing any military action on the dual grounds that it kills people and costs money that could be spent feeding the poor. But it is the tofu- munching vegetarian PETA members who have been foaming at the mouth lately, looking to wipe the Taliban off the face of the Earth regardless of the costs to us or to Afghanistan.

The usual course of Leftist US war involvement is that the initial action is protested on general principle as being unnecessary and barbaric. Then, as the liberal community becomes familiar with the enemy they empathize and begin laying out the arguments why we should go home. Noam Chomsky, seen on the Front Page here at this moment, is doing this even now. But Chomsky is in a vanishingly small minority. His people aren't listening.

Few protested the initial involvement because, well, we got attacked. Duh. But as the second phase went into its usual gear, something different happened. As the Left learns about Afghanistan and its recent history they aren't empathizing. Instead they're becoming outraged because...

  • Women treated like slaves, denied education, health care, and sunlight
  • Men conscripted at gunpoint
  • Aid supplies stolen to supply the ruling elite
  • Destruction of priceless antiquities
  • People put to death in public...
  • ...for the equivalent of jaywalking
  • And oh yeah, they may have helped on 9/11
Liberals can't help but empathize -- it's what makes them liberals -- and as the Taliban emerges from the anonymity of distance into the glare of close examination, the liberal quickly realizes that this is an enemy like the alien in Independence Day. You can't reason with them because all they want to do is to destroy everything you've ever found beautiful or meaningful in life, and they have proven a casual willingness to destroy you too if you get in the way.

Liberals aren't liberal because they're stupid, but because they try hard to understand what it's like for the other guy. And what I am hearing from the self-proclaimed bleeding hearts in earshot is that we should send in the army, kill the Taliban, set up our own government, and run it as long as necessary. And nuke the bastards if they don't go along.

These are the people who protested our involvement in Bosnia, protested our involvement in Somalia, protested the Gulf War, protested Grenada, and protested against Vietnam and Korea if they are old enough. They have understood the enemy and they have Gotten It. Those who knew about the Taliban before 9/11 have been loudly telling anyone who will listen we told you so and reminding them that Bush Jr. gave the Taliban $43 million earlier this year as a thank-you for their wonderful help in the Failed War on Some Drugs.

The media and the Administration haven't Gotten It yet. They're still worried how it will play when the civilian casualties start popping up and the body bags start coming home. They forget how it played out the last time this happened. They don't need to spin the news to make the Taliban appear evil; the Taliban are doing a fine job of that all on their own. The Right are responding to an attack in a measured way. The more empathetic Left have figured out that, if the positions were reversed, the Taliban would have already killed us all on general principles. The only way to deal with them is the way you would deal with a rabid dog, and that doesn't vary no matter how much you love dogs.

The Right, which is looking for an "appropriate response" to a role of unknown magnitude in the bombing of a few buildings, don't realize that for the Left it isn't about 9/11 any more -- It's about the Taliban. 9/11 has just shown that we can't ignore these shitheads any more just because they're 10,000 miles away. Since we're going to put on the hip boots and go over there anyway, these former doves reason, we might as well free their women and straighten out their legal system while we're at it.

When the Administration puts out feelers about "moderate Taliban" to install in power, the liberals I know are outraged. They have already figured out that there are no moderate Taliban. Surely, they implore, there are plenty of Afghanis who will be willing to pledge fealty to all that is opposite of the Taliban. Find a couple of hundred of them and make them form a democratic representational government with a Constitution and Bill of Rights like ours. And look over their shoulders and shoot them if they don't go by it.

Don't think it will work? Look at the last country that did this. It took us four years but we slogged our way in, nuked them, occupied their country, forced them to adopt reforms, and today Japan is more capitalistic and modern than we are, their people are more free, and they are among our strongest allies.

The Leftists don't want us to leave the Taliban in power, like George Sr. did with Saddam. (They will also remind you that before the Gulf War Iraq was the most progressive of the Arab nations in terms of human rights, particularly women's rights. Much of that has been reversed as Saddam appeals to his own fundamentalist elements in the wake of the war.)

They don't care how many poor people could be fed with the money we spend on the operation. They don't care about how many innocent bystanders get blown away. (Liberals can blame the victim too.) They don't care about how many of our boys get killed. (It's their job.) They don't care how long it takes. (Finish the job.) They don't care what the rest of the world thinks. (Fuck Off And Die.)

They just want the Taliban gone. And since we had a major role in putting them in power, what with supporting them in their war against the Soviets with our own modern weapons, we have a moral responsibility to correct our mistake. So send in the bombers, send in the cavalry, send in the nukes if it comes to that. And while you're passing the tofu, don't forget to support the animal shelter.


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Left-Wing Hawks | 99 comments (52 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
hey (2.77 / 9) (#3)
by mami on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 07:50:12 PM EST

draft the liberals into Special Ops and allow the Army guys to go to college free of charge, never facing enemy fire ... and we won't know left from right and all is well.

Democracy lives! (2.60 / 5) (#7)
by hillct on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 08:00:31 PM EST

What a novel approach to democracy - locate a moderate Taliban faction and:
[M]ake them form a democratic representational government with a Constitution and Bill of Rights like ours. And look over their shoulders and shoot them if they don't go by it.
I think you've got the basis for a new empire building phase of American foreign policy.


--Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
Next time RTFA (4.50 / 4) (#10)
by localroger on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 08:07:11 PM EST

locate a moderate Taliban faction

Why don't you read the fucking article before posting? There is an entire paragraph in there about how there is no moderate Taliban. There are moderate, even liberal Afghani citizens and groups (such as RAWA) but they are not the Taliban.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

No kidding... RTFA again. Maybe you'll get it... (1.75 / 4) (#17)
by hillct on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 08:32:03 PM EST

I did read tha article. This is why I found the quote so amuzing. The author spend some time explaining how there is no moderate faction then suggests that we go find a moderate group and install them. It's entertaining at one level, and yet perhaps it's just a badly written article. Personally I find it entertaining.


--Got Lists? | Top 31 Signs Your Spouse Is A Spy
[ Parent ]
Nice try, you blew it (4.33 / 3) (#24)
by localroger on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 09:25:44 PM EST

In your first post you said

moderate Taliban faction

In this post you said

find a moderate group

which is completely different, since very few Afghanis are Taliban, and is still different from what I relayed (an actual conversation with a woman who refuses to eat meat on moral grounds) which was

Surely, they implore, there are plenty of Afghanis who will be willing to pledge fealty to all that is opposite of the Taliban. Find a couple of hundred of them and make them form a democratic representational government with a Constitution and Bill of Rights like ours.

That is not "find a moderate group." That is "accept no existing group, go find some unconnected right-minded people and connect them." But you already made up your mind by the time you got to that paragraph, if you bothered to read that far at all, which I doubt.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

No (3.00 / 9) (#19)
by Nyarlathotep on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 08:35:30 PM EST

Yes, there are many lefties who have done a 180, but there are also two other importent groups of lefties:

(a) Those who feal that nothing has changed: war is still bad and we should extradite bin Laden and Kisenger to a world court for trial (a remarkably dumb destabalising idea).

(b) Those (me) who understand the world situation more now and feal that they need time to revaluate the role of millitary and diplomatic power. We are willing to make sigificant compramizes with the republicans, but we want to know that our sacrafices will produce effective means to combat terrorism.

Example: We do not just want to let the republicans make a quick buck trashing our wild life for oil, but we might be willing to allow drilling in ANWR if our country descideds that we should sigificantly reduce the ammount of money going to *anyone* in the middle east. Specifically, the republicans must tell us: Yes, all those Saudi's are making donations to charaties which support terrorists and the only wy to stop it is to kill all their budgets.. friend and foe alike.

Example: We all not that racial profiling by bill bob redneck cop is a failure and a civil rights abuse, but increased screaning (profiling) of all applicants for jobs with terrorism potential could be a very good idea.

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
They've gotten you. Game over. (4.75 / 4) (#23)
by localroger on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 09:17:01 PM EST

Example: We do not just want to let the republicans make a quick buck trashing our wild life for oil, but we might be willing to allow drilling in ANWR if our country descideds that we should sigificantly reduce the ammount of money going to *anyone* in the middle east.

OTOH if you knew anything about the industry you could tell them you're willing to spend a few more cents a gallon for gasoline and to drill in the Gulf of Mexico which (1) has much more oil than ANWR and (2) isn't the ANWR.

But you probably don't realize how much oil is in the Gulf because there is a semi-official policy of hoarding our own reserves until we have drained the rest of the world dry. I know people whose job it was to draw maps of the reserves in the Gulf of Mexico, and there is a HELL OF A LOT of oil out there and we have the techniques for drilling it at reasonable cost now. But that doesn't even come into the debate. The oil interests don't mention it and the leftwise don't pick it up because it's below the radar when you're looking at ANWR and the WTC and the mess between Jordan and Israel.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Gulf of Mexico (4.00 / 1) (#56)
by greenrd on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 06:57:16 AM EST

Fascinating - can you explain why the US has this policy?
"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]
sarcasm (none / 0) (#79)
by Nyarlathotep on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 03:59:53 PM EST

You missed my sarcasm. The republicans would *never* meat the conditions I impossed on drilling.. they want to give millitary aid to the various gulf states. OTOH, I think most liberals would take seriously a simillar republican offer to permenently eliminated the (millitary) aid flowing to the middle east (so what I said is likely true).

I did not know about the oil in the Gulf of Mexico and related policies, but I gues that means we can keep ANWR pretty safe for the long run, i.e. the republicans will want to save it and it can not be that much cheaper to drill ANWR. Honestly, I had considered the "depeate the rest of thee world" as a possible responce to the middle east problem, but it sounded as silly as the "don't give those damn arabs any money policy." I would think we are really reserving those oil fields for a diffrent reason (like maybe they do not want oil wasking up on U.S. shores? I donno)

Also, I have had liberals claim that there is a switch to natural gas / electric cars comming which will cause oil reserves to be less useful, i.e. you should drill and sell now. Perhaps, the Gulf is being protected by the millitary so the Oil companies get interested in ANWR?

Campus Crusade for Cthulhu -- it found me!
[ Parent ]
Achooly .... (none / 0) (#86)
by aphrael on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 11:02:28 AM EST

there was a fight earlier this year between Jeb Bush and the GWB administration over plans to issue new drilling leases off the gulf coast of louisiana and florida; the voters in florida are evidently opposed to this.

[ Parent ]
Would somebody please explain something to me? (3.25 / 8) (#18)
by spacejack on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 08:35:30 PM EST

How did the human race make it to the year 2001?

Well.. (3.16 / 6) (#46)
by strlen on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:14:57 AM EST

They made babies.. oh you ask how? When a man and a woman really love each other.. ugh never mind.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
+ 1 Section (3.12 / 8) (#25)
by Tatarigami on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 09:33:02 PM EST

If only we could harness the power of these kneejerk reactions, we'd have an efficient, clean and renewable source of energy to sell!

Hey -- I know it's branching out at a tangent, but how do you tofu-munching types stand it? That stuff tastes like wallpaper paste.

Tofu: Not meant to be eaten alone (4.33 / 3) (#30)
by localroger on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 10:07:36 PM EST

You eat tofu in a preparation which involves some kind of sauce the tofu absorbs. The fact that tofu has hardly any flavor of its own is what makes it so interesting as an ingredient; it gives "body" to a dish, like meat, only it's much cheaper and can take on just about any flavor. Many of the vegetarian replacements for meat which are popular now among such cogniscenti were inspired by tofu and seasoning mixes. For example, it's almost impossible to distinguishe fried rice with meat from fried rice with tofu if the tofu is seasoned properly.

Just to let you know I wasn't making fun of the tofu-munching radical left, since I hang with them enough to eat their food.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Tofu (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by tjb on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 11:00:17 PM EST

Dude, you're insane. There's a NYC Sushi place I go to (best in the US, IMHO, but everyplace in Tokyo kicks their ass) that serves fried tofu with every meal. And lemme tell ya, I feel revulsion just thinking about it. That stuff is absolutely awful. I don't care how you season it (I tried it with soy/wasabi sauce, and it was still awful), tofu is either an acquired taste or the refuge of the starving. In fact, I might opt for starvation if tofu was my only choice. Or perhaps there's something I'm missing here? Perhaps you (or someone else) could suggest a place for 'good' tofu so that I can be enlightened (in the NYC area, if you're from there)? Tim

[ Parent ]
More Tofu (4.00 / 3) (#38)
by localroger on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 11:32:03 PM EST

There's a NYC Sushi place I go to

You don't go to a sushi place for Tofu. You use it yourself. It really is pointless to go out for tofu unless you are intent on dining out and a persistent vegetarian.

that serves fried tofu with every meal.

Fried tofu? Ugh. What a revolting concept. What you want is fresh tofu in rice or pasta, garnished with a sauce so rich you couldn't stand to taste it without dilution. Tofu really has no taste, only a texture, and frying would certainly ruin that. Tofu is best appreciated when served in a very light (thin, as opposed to creamy) strongly flavored garnish. Eat it with beef broth, it tastes like beef. Chicken broth? Chicken. Celery infusion? Celery. It tastes like anything. It has no taste of its own, and anyone who has told you otherwise is pushing their own version of "what it should taste like."

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Even More Tofu (3.00 / 1) (#40)
by tjb on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 12:28:53 AM EST

Hehe. At least you understand my revulsion :)

And I'm not kidding: they serve a 2x2x2 (inches) block of *fried tofu* :( It's awful. So awful that it damn near ruins my sushi dinner when I go there (though my friends, apparently, have no problem with it, which is why I don't object).

Anyway, I'll give flavored tofu a shot sometime. If you say its not as revolting as fried tofu, I could stand to try it at least once :)

Oh, and sorry about the block-paragragh structure of my last post: meant to change to plain-text but accidentally clicked post :)


[ Parent ]
Acquired taste (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by KnightStalker on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:04:47 AM EST

I used to think tofu was as wretched as you think it is, but I've gotten to like it, even fried.

There's different textures of tofu, too, apparently the rougher stuff is meant to be stirfried as a meat substitute and the "silken" kind is meant to put in miso and ... I don't know what else. But not fried. That's probably the kind you think of as wallpaper paste.

I still think it's pretty bad straight, though.

[ Parent ]
Go to a Thai restaurant... [Thoroughly OT!] (none / 0) (#64)
by Anatta on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 11:24:18 AM EST

...and get a very spicy red or maseman curry dish with tofu... it is wonderful, if you like spicy food. Of all the tofu I've had, Thai cuisine seems to make it the best.

And hey, I'm a tofu munching vegetarian right wing libertarian. Who knew we existed?!
My Music
[ Parent ]

Liberal? Conservative? American! (3.54 / 11) (#37)
by WombatControl on Mon Oct 22, 2001 at 11:01:16 PM EST

One of the effects of 9/11 is the realization that conservatives and liberals both really are for the same things. What we're seeing is a fundamental realignment in American politics. Who gives a rat's ass about minor political squabbles when our entire way of life is under attack? The fact is, most Americans have a deep-seated patriotism that transcends any political affiliation. Anyone who messes with our nation quickly learns this.

The real split is between those who see America as the shining city on the hill and the anti-American radical Left. The Democrats are quickly pulling away from the radical Left, and embracing centrism more than ever. This is a split that already took root in the Gore/Nader situation, and is now more clear than ever. Luckily, these anti-American groups are a distinct minority, and now the American public can see their rhetoric for what it is - and they've soundly rejected it.

Now, I make no prediction as to how long this unification will last, but frankly, even a diehard conservative like me feels perfectly find rallying around Tom Daschle and Joe Liberman and John McCain. At the core, we're Americans, and that's what counts at a time like this.

Great! (4.00 / 5) (#45)
by strlen on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:11:00 AM EST

So anyone who doesn't like the current government, and critiques its foreign policy (because he views it harmfull to the American people and others) is now anti-American? *sarcasm* To hell with the constitution, anyone who dares dissent is a dangerous criminal and must be shot! */sarcasm*

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Defining Anti-American (3.50 / 2) (#68)
by WombatControl on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 11:57:47 AM EST

Nowhere did I say that these people have no right to dissent... in fact they have every right to dissent. However, that does not make their dissent any more factual. The Barbara Kingsolvers, Michael Moores, and Noam Chomskys of the world are showing what they truly believe - that America is essentially wrong and nothing that this nation does is right. Their critiques of our foreign policy display a clear disregard for the facts, and assume that whatever we do it's to serve some malevolent interest.

These people are trying to attack the very core of what America is, a liberal (in the sense of John Locke) representative democracy with a capitalist economy and an emphasis on individual rights. Anyone who can say that a system like that is morally equivalent to a repressive system like that of the Taliban is either completely oblivious to the truth or so tainted by their disgust with the US that they're no longer rational. Those are the people who can rightly be called "anti-American". They have every right to speak their mind, but they also need to be brought to task for their inaccuracies, half-truths, and outright lies.

[ Parent ]
Falwel (5.00 / 2) (#85)
by Weezul on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 12:36:15 AM EST

I seem to remember some right wing extreamists saing "we deserved to get attacked for being a godless nation." The traits you are describing are fundamental properties of all extreamists. You should try reading a copy of Z and a copy of some libertarian rag some time.. they are not really very diffrent when it comes to the importent things (honesty, open mindedness, etc.) I think a more useful comment to make about the current situation is: All the open minded left wing intelectuals who are really prepared to think about the war has shut up. Personally, i think they recognise that (a) we really do need action now and (b) it will take them a long time to really figure out whats going on. The one execption to this rule is left wing Muslem experts on the region. They basically say (a) Israel is not as importent as everyone thinks it is and (b) America's cultural exports are much more importent then everyone thinks. Seriously, how would our religious conservatives react is Mexico was suppling 80% of our porn market? The majority of the left dose not want to talk about this because the American public will read this "they hate us for being who we are." Instead, the left talks about the one regional thing they understand: Israel.
"Fascism should more appropriately be called Corporatism because it is a merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini
[ Parent ]
True respect for America (none / 0) (#99)
by Seraph on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 01:38:25 PM EST

I'd like to speak up for those of us (nutty radicals) who do not consider ourselves anti-American but pro-reform. I see nothing wrong with "a liberal representative democracy with a capitalist economy and an emphasis on individual rights." In fact, it's a wonderful principle to base a government on - I just don't think it's a doctrine being represented by our current government. And I resent being categorized as anti-American by the so-called defenders of our way of life. There's nothing wrong with finding fault in the way things are currently done. Thomas Jefferson was famously quoted as saying, "the price of liberty is eternal vigilance." That doesn't mean agencies devoted to national security from outside threats. It means regular citizens paying attention to what the government does and finding fault when it missteps. To me this is what liberalism means more than anything else - paying the price of liberty and being vigilant.

[ Parent ]
Get out of my head! (none / 0) (#96)
by EdFox on Sat Oct 27, 2001 at 04:43:27 AM EST

Precisely what I have been thinking for quite a while. Thank you for putting it so well.

Rational people can disagree on things like root causes and historical perspectives, but after 9/11 it has been heartening to see everyone snap to focus on what's important now: victory. Smash the enemy, then we can talk about changing policy.

In the course of my travels across the net since the terrorist attacks, I've been exposed to mountains of interesting information from all sides. K5 itself is a wonderful resource. I've listened to speeches by Chomsky, I've read long, long dissertations on oil politics, and I've heard many yell very loudly about Islamic theory. I've learned many things about the evils committed in my name in the past and possible ways to avoid committing similar evils in the future. I happen to agree that supporting unstable bands of lunatics who just happen to be currently opposing the same people we oppose is a bad move. I too wonder exactly what the hell our leaders were thinking when they sent troops into a nation that has almost no relation to us. Policy should be examined. Choices need to be made.

All that, however, comes AFTER we utterly defeat our current enemy. Pulling back influence, changing policy, or otherwise appeasing the aims stated by the terrorists will be seen as surrender. Surrender brings on further assault. It seems that nearly everyone can see that inviting further assault is undesirable.

I'm also DEEPLY shocked that this story made it out of the submission queue and into the section page. I was also a bit surprised to see this slip under the radar, as it were. I saw this story because of a nod from instapundit. Anyway, I had come to see K5 as a forum where hawkish viewpoints were instantly suppressed without exception. Apparently that view was incorrect. I'm immensely pleased.

-- EdFox

[ Parent ]
Left-wing/Liberal oposition to a killers (4.42 / 7) (#44)
by strlen on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:06:41 AM EST

.. and torturers is nothing new. Amnesty international has critiqued many supposedly "leftist"/"Marxist" governments such as that of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe, China, Cuba etc.. I've heard trhurler bitching about Amnesty supporting "terrorist regimes", but of course I'd like to see an example. Their focus for this year has been Saudi Arabia, their fundamentalist regime and their system abuse of dissidents, non-Muslims, foreigners and women. I believe they've even assisted Revolutionary Women of Afghanistan, by providing them cameras so they could go inside Afghanistan and film the abuses that go on. So in short this is nothing new -- human rights activists have been warning the US government for ages, that great many of their "friends" and "freedom fighters" are quite willing to use terrorist tacticts (be it at home or abroad) against anyone who dares to disagree.

[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Just in case if you're serious (3.57 / 7) (#49)
by montjoy on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:35:38 AM EST

I feel the need to point out that every "Liberal" I know would disagree with this. Since I'm afraid too many people might take you seriously, I'm voting -1. If the liberals I know really are in the minority, then God help us all.

On a personal and somewhat related note, I remember when I was in 8th grade (when I was a die-hard republican) thinking it might be more efficient to nuke Saddam. But at the time I was expecting an all-out ground war (the idea was there would be less total lives lost if we nuked them). Yuck.

Digressing further and becoming more unrelated, I now associate republicans with an 8th-grade mentality. Maybe that's why it's so hard to take them seriously.

I will stop rambling now.

don't bother (none / 0) (#59)
by ODiV on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 08:45:03 AM EST

protecting us... I think we can handle it.

[ odiv.net ]
[ Parent ]
I'm a Liberal, and I agree 100% with this article (none / 0) (#84)
by Shadow Knight on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 09:35:48 PM EST

Really, it's true. I'm afraid the liberals you know really are in the minority. The Taliban is a force of pure evil. I hadn't realized that such a thing existed until I found out more about the Taliban. They should all die. NOW. This post is NOT sarcasm, just in case you were inclined to think it was.

If you are inclined to look back on the article I posted about Imperialism, and problaim me a conservative whacko, you should know that I was 100% opposed to imperialism pre-9/11. And that I still support environmentalism, gun control, pro-choice, etc. You should also know that that article was really a call for debate, not meant to truly argue one position over another.

Shadow Knight

Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
[ Parent ]
bah.. (4.10 / 10) (#50)
by rebelcool on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:57:51 AM EST

anytime i see someone talk about 'the liberals' or 'the right', or 'the anything' and the usual gross generalizations that follow I tend to tune out from what turns into rather disingenous ranting.

COG. Build your own community. Free, easy, powerful. Demo site

It's about time! (3.75 / 8) (#51)
by Blarney on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 02:09:42 AM EST

Thank you. Nobody I know has understood my beliefs about the Taliban. Just today a dumbass coworker was harassing me saying "I thought you were a liberal, why do you talk war now? Do you just believe any old random thing you feel like?" as if there was any sort of contradiction between believing that all humans have certain rights to freedom, security, and basic necessities of life, and believing that Taliban nutsos who deny these rights should be killed.

My housemate goes around spouting that "I guess that having a city bombed isn't enough to make Bush give a shit. Gee, I wonder what would?" and stuff like that - talking nuke-em, all of that - and nobody harasses him because he's a conservative. Meanwhile, our conservative government plays its useless aerial bombing game for show, with no intention of conquering these murderous monsters.

There is a lot of popular confusion as to what liberals are all about - witness the recent anti-globalization protests! Liberal protestors are stereotyped as wanting to end modern industry, conservatives gripe that we just want to live in caves. However, many people are out there demanding decent wages and a clean environment for the Third World, why? So that they can live like we do! I'm a liberal, I love the American way, and I'm not the only one.

This article makes me very happy. Thanks again!

listen to yourself (3.75 / 4) (#72)
by streetlawyer on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 12:11:30 PM EST

as if there was any sort of contradiction between believing that all humans have certain rights to freedom, security, and basic necessities of life, and believing that Taliban nutsos who deny these rights should be killed.

Taliban nutsos, are also human beings.

In general, your point of view appears to be that your ideology (liberalism) is the right one for the whole world and any society which doesn't fit your model should be forced to conform by violence. There's a name for that point of view, but I'm not sure if it's "liberalism" without qualification.

Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

Of course it is! (4.00 / 4) (#76)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:45:25 PM EST

Or at least, that's what "liberal" means in the modern day US. Of course, they don't really end up with much in the way of rights or anything like that by the time they're done oppressing everyone into respecting everyone else's "rights," but they're damned sure that their gang of thugs is smarter and better than the last one, so it should work this time, they're sure of it! They're preaching tolerance from the rooftops, so long as it is tolerance of liberals, but somehow they don't seem very tolerant when they bust down your door to tell you you had no right to throw that guy out in the street for starting a fight in your place - that was violent of you!

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
To all those voting +1 (2.12 / 8) (#54)
by emc2 on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 06:06:34 AM EST

The next article this guy is going to post is: "Why the Republicans and the Conservatives are Marxists".

For goodness sake.



Well, yes (2.83 / 6) (#73)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 12:53:22 PM EST

However, there's another reason. Liberals are generally in favor, not through thought, but by knee jerk reaction, of any nation that gets on the US government's bad side. They love an underdog. The problem is, they were all geared up to love this one, and then the little bastard bit them. They're pissed. Really pissed. I can't entirely blame them, because I'd be pissed too, but I'm not stupid enough to find myself in their situation all that often.

Remember, this is the same intellectual movement that still has admirers of Chairman Mao, and which once was dominated by such ideas. They're hardly opposed to tyranny or horrific suffering, as long as it isn't in any way perceived to be caused by the US - and for all their loyalty to tyranny and oppression, they get punched in the face! Imagine how you'd feel!

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

Mm hmm (none / 0) (#77)
by fluffy grue on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 01:53:28 PM EST

Then, at the same time, conservatives are generally in favor, not through thought, but by knee-jerk reaction, of any nation that is on the good side of the US economy.

Also, please remember that Mao-freak liberals represent All Liberals about as well as I represent All K5 Users.
"Is not a quine" is not a quine.
I have a master's degree in science!

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

mao's side (none / 0) (#78)
by alprazolam on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 02:46:03 PM EST

why can't we just let china have whatever fucking stupid kind of government they want?

[ Parent ]
Good question (none / 0) (#81)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 04:53:33 PM EST

Of course, by "China" you apparently mean "a tiny elite that controls a militarily enforced government which is massively unpopular with its people," and apparently you don't care that Mao's belief system did indeed include militarily advancing the "spread of communism," so live and let live really isn't a viable option in this case...

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
why do i care about the spread of communism (none / 0) (#82)
by alprazolam on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 05:13:10 PM EST


[ Parent ]
Well, (5.00 / 1) (#83)
by trhurler on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 05:35:51 PM EST

Seeing as the "communism" in question was basically totalitarian rule by an elite of which you would most assuredly NOT be part, and seeing as the people under such regimes suffer horribly, you might not want to live under one... and seeing as their means of spreading was often simply to roll tanks and troops over their neighbors, you might not want to be caught up or have friends caught up in the inevitable wars... and seeing as such a conflict would inevitably have gone nuclear, you might enjoy the fact that you still have a habitable planet on which to plant your ass from time to time.

'God dammit, your posts make me hard.' --LilDebbie

[ Parent ]
"Getting It" (2.00 / 6) (#80)
by MrAcheson on Tue Oct 23, 2001 at 04:06:19 PM EST

Do you realize why liberals are liberals and conservatives are conservatives? Do you? Because your article leads me to believe that as a liberal, have done what it is that liberals do. You have pushed on ahead thinking you are right without actually thinking about any of the details before hand.

Conservatives are conservative. They do things slowly. They make little changes. The work with what is already in place provided they can stomach it. If they have to do something big they sit down and think everything through before they start. They are evolutionaries. Liberals on the other hand are radicals and knee-jerkers. They do things quickly in sweeping movements. They often leap before they look but conceal it under the guise of compassion. They are revolutionaries.

Conservatives are about slowly walking places and expending the least amount of energy. Liberals are about running directly there despite the chasm which may potentially be between them and what they want.

So why do liberals advocate nuking Afghanistan? Certainly not out of respect for the afghanis, because this will be thousands of times worse than what they did to us. Certainly not because this will result in lasting peace in the region because it certainly won't when all the muslim nations hate us for it. Its because those Taliban are bad people and they need to be dealt with. This is of course ignoring the fact that the same Pakistan we need to help us with this war put the Taliban in power. That if we did anything nuclear the Muslim oil-producing nations of the Middle East would cut off this same oil that makes our economy (and our war effort) run. And they of course are overlooking the fact that ruling a puppet country against the will of the populace is a non-trivial endeavor, see vietnam for an example of this.

What are the conservatives doing? They are employing the Special Forces to train Afghans to fight for the US. The Special Forces will of course be indoctrinating them into the American Way at the same time. The conservatives are now giving support to the northern rebel forces. They are are attempting to build an enlightened Afghani base which will be capable of ruling once the Taliban has been removed. In short they realize that conquering a divided Afghanistan is not difficult compared to keeping a united Afghanistan. So the conservatives are going the slow and steady route that makes them conservative and makes what they do far more likely to actually work.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

BS (none / 0) (#91)
by roju on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 12:53:35 AM EST

That is the biggest load of crap I've read in a while.

Up here in Ontario, for the last two terms we've had a conservative government. Since coming into power, they have single-handedly destroyed our education and health-care systems. They made drastic changes ignoring advice from the experts (eg. for health-care, ignoring the people running/working in the hospitals), and since then everything's gone to hell. They thought nothing through, they spend half their budget on advertising, and quite frankly, they've acted nothing like what you've described.

Class sizes in schools are up, my high school (which I've since graduated) was at over 200% capacity, and that's the norm. We've had teacher strikes, support staff strikes, student walk-outs, everything. The conservatives don't give a rats ass. They are selling their changes to the white middle-class suburbanites, and their upper-class buddies. The only people who like them are those that are excited to get a $200 tax return in exchange for their kids not having textbooks in school.

Sorry to rant, but that's the case.

Our federal Liberals do nothing quickly. It could be argued that they do nothing at all, but in any case they have yet to do anything really rash *touch wood*. It's thanks to them that we don't yet have a DMCA threatening to throw us all in jail.. blah blah blah, you get the point.

[ Parent ]
Umm (none / 0) (#94)
by MrAcheson on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 10:51:24 AM EST

So what you are saying is that your Candaian conservatives, who are potentially nothing like the US conservatives, have ruined a lot of things. What does this have to do with how the US is fighting the war again? Or foreign policy? Oh right nothing sorry.

These opinions do not represent those of the US Army, DoD, or US Government.

[ Parent ]
Umm, yeah (none / 0) (#98)
by Seraph on Wed Dec 19, 2001 at 01:24:14 PM EST

It's a useful illustration of how you're doing exactly what the author of the article was criticized for doing - characterizing a complicated ideological divide in a few paragraphs that illustrate your obvious sympathies with one side over the other. Real life is never as simple as could be summed up in layman's terms.

[ Parent ]
They (2.33 / 3) (#87)
by Mertamet on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 02:30:54 PM EST

You sound like an idiot writing about "The Liberal" with such certitude in their motivations. As if you could sum up people like this. Whenever anyone talks about another group the way you do, "they think..." "the trouble with them...", it is certain to be wrong. Where do you get off saying crap like this. I know not one self-described liberal that wants to nuke Afghanistan. Quit trying to sum up people that you for some reason seem to see as "others" like this.

You know nothing about what you speak.

Well, You can up your count to "one" (5.00 / 1) (#88)
by Shadow Knight on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 03:32:35 PM EST

I am a "self-described liberal" who supports the use of tactical nuclear weapons in Afghanistan, especially if the anthrax attacks have any link to OBL. Obviously, it would be pointless to use "real" full-sized strategic weapons in Afghanistan, as there are no targets of value for such weapons. They would only succeed in killing unecessary numbers of people. Tactical nuclear weapons, however, could be quite useful in cracking open the caves and bunkers Al Qaeda and the Taliban are sure to be hiding in. It would also send the clear message that we aren't going to put up with their crap any longer. The Taliban is evil, I can't stress that enough. Irregardless of whatever else we do, we must eliminate the Taliban and anyone who shares their militant fundamentalist beliefs (possibly including Jerry Falwell).

Shadow Knight

Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
[ Parent ]
Please rethink your support of nukes (none / 0) (#89)
by Mertamet on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 04:30:21 PM EST

The Taliban ARE evil. But I urge you to rethink your support of using nuclear weapons in Afghanistan. There is absolutely no quicker way of making us pariahs to the whole world than to use Nukes. Not even the UK would stand by us then.

The people of Afghanistan are not, in general, evil, they are poor and powerless. I don't care how "smart" tactical nukes can be, there will be fallout, literally and figuratively, and many innocent people will die. Most likely, many more than died in the WTC.

[ Parent ]
You're thinking of the big nukes (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by Shadow Knight on Wed Oct 24, 2001 at 08:17:19 PM EST

To paraphrase someone else, not all nuclear weapons are the same giant city-leveling monstrosities we grew up worrying about. Believe it or not, they come in multiple sizes! Tactical nukes aren't smarter versions of normal nukes, they are smaller versions. I imagine they're generally pretty dumb, actually, in the "smart bomb" sense of things. The main point is that the yield is generally measured in the low kilotons, instead of in megatons. That's a factor of 1000 difference. It's also a factor of 1000 more powerful than conventional explosives. A couple tac-nukes dropped on top of caves and bunkers in the mountains of Afghanistan would not significantly raise the background radiation levels in populated areas, so there would be no innocent deaths (unless the Taliban or Al Qaeda were lining their bunkers with civilians, which I suppose is possible).

Now, your point about figurative fallout amongst the "international community" might have a small amount of merit. But your statement that not even Britain would stand with us is patently absurd. And most of the other nations wouldn't dare to interfere, once we showed willingness to use the weapons... especially if the anthrax can be traced to Osama bin Laden or Al Qaeda. See, the US policy is to respond to all attacks with Chemical/Nuclear/Biological weapons with a massive nuclear retaliation. By limiting our response to tac-nukes, we should actually gain respect in the eyes of people like the British.

Shadow Knight

Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
[ Parent ]
How big was the bomb on Hiroshima? (none / 0) (#92)
by Mertamet on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 11:00:43 AM EST

12.5 kilotons.

Just drop a few of those in the mountains and no innocent people will get hurt? No fallout will drift over neighboring countries? I find this highly implausible.

Maybe you mean we should use Neutron bombs which kill troops and leave buildings standing. They also contaminate the land for centuries and kill innocent people, but everyone will understand that we didn't mean to kill them. They were just "collateral damage". Where else have I heard that term lately?

As for my use of the word "smart" atomic bomb, it was ironic. There are no "smart" atomic bombs, be they tactical or strategic. Atomic bombs are massive blunt instruments of destruction, no matter how small they are.

Considering world opinion again for a second, and forgetting whether Britain would or would not stand by the use of Nukes, you surely must agree that support of our operations from the Islamic world would evaporate once Nuclear weapons were used. Maybe they would quake in fear, but how would we defend ourselves against claims of barbarism? How do you think Pakistan would handle our use of Nukes? How about the non-Taliban Afghanis?

Where would Russia stand on this? How about China? NATO would be torn asunder. I don't care about whether they will interfere. Most likely, no one would. What concerns me is how we would be outcast from the world for being the only country to use Nuclear weapons. And against a country of poor nomads this time, not a brutal imperialistic empire. Public opinion in Western Europe wouldn't stand for it. And they are our closest allies.

[ Parent ]
Actually, it was 15 kilotons (4.00 / 1) (#93)
by Shadow Knight on Thu Oct 25, 2001 at 06:41:22 PM EST

And no, I don't mean bombs that size. I mean tactical nuclear weapons, with yields typically of 0.5 - 2 kilotons, maybe up to five (but that's pushing the definition I'm using). Atomic bombs are not "massive blunt instruments of destruction, no matter how small they are." That's absurd! There are bombs with yields in the hundreds of tons, not even kilotons. Yes, that's pretty massive compared to a conventional 1000 pound bomb, but hardly what you seem to be thinking of. It's only slightly more massive than, say, a couple airliners full of jet fuel, in terms of yield.

We don't have any support in the Islamic world right now. If you think otherwise, you're deluding yourself. "What about Pakistan?" you say. Pakistan is cooperating because we made it very clear they had no choice. Uzbekistan, Tajikstan, etc are cooperating because their daddy Russia said they have to. The other countries are externally neutral, but fighting off internal fundamentalist movements that will probably win one day even without our interference. Then even the extremely minimal support they're offering will dry up.

And lastly, the United States is ALREADY the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons! Using a few more won't change that status. You mentioned Hiroshima yourself, and then forgot about it? What about Nagasaki? The bomb dropped on Nagasaki (Fat Man), by the way, had a yield of 21 kilotons, but the bomber missed the designated target and inflicted far less damage than the smaller bomb dropped on Hiroshima (Little Boy). Also, Hiroshima was/is in a bowl-shaped depression, which helped to focus and contain the explosion, and Hiroshima possessed a greater percentage of old-style paper houses and wood buildings in Hiroshima as compared to Nagasaki.

Shadow Knight

Supreme Lord High Commander of the Interstellar Task Force for the Eradication of Stupidity
[ Parent ]
Still a PR disaster (none / 0) (#97)
by Mertamet on Mon Oct 29, 2001 at 11:12:12 AM EST

I guess I'm just absurd. I think using even those micro-nukes is a PR disaster and the contamination of the areas they are used on will still be irreversible.

I suppose I was still thinking too big in terms of nukes, but tactical nuclear weapons covers a big range of weapons. Some people define the low end of tacticals as 15 ktons and the low end of Strategic as 1Mton. Really, the difference is in the use.

The bunker busters that I suppose you are talking about might do the job you want without harming the cities. I was unaware that the standard 9 Mton bunker busters have been recently replaced with smaller bombs. But that's because the new bombs were snuck through procedures without public notification, using loopholes in definitions of weapons in order to avoid scrutiny under anti-proliferation treaties.

Still, nuclear weapons ARE "massive blunt instruments of destruction, no matter how small they are" because they can't be made small enough to not be massive, (300 tons is still massive as you admit yourself) they can't be targeted precisely enough, and they cause permanent damage (long lived radioactive waste products). So how am I being absurd?

We don't have any support in the Islamic world right now. If you think otherwise, you're deluding yourself.

Fine, support is too strong a word. But if you don't think that the lack of condemnation currently practiced isn't the best support we can expect, you are deluding yourself.

But the point is the same. We will instantly destabalize all sorts of countries in the mid-east including Pakistan, which is the only Muslim country with nuclear weapons. We instantly begin a war against the whole Islamic world. Use of nuclear weapons has a huge psychological impact.

And lastly, the United States is ALREADY the only country in the world to have used nuclear weapons! Using a few more won't change that status.

Now who is being absurd? Like I said before, there is a big difference between using nukes against an imperialistic country with a menacing army, and using nukes against a country of nomads. Even if we can successfully target just bin Laden and Al Queda, many will perceive us as having nuked Afghanistan. A large part of the world already thinks of us as barbaric for our use of the bomb on Japan.

[ Parent ]

$43 Million (5.00 / 2) (#95)
by shaum on Fri Oct 26, 2001 at 01:05:05 PM EST

Can we please kill that persistent falsehood about the $43 million supposedly given to the Taliban, supposedly for the War on Drugs?

We (the U.S.) did send $43 million to Afghanistan earlier this year, that much is true. It was humanitarian aid, sent to people sufffering from famine. And it was channeled through the UN and through various non-governmental agencies, specifically so that it could be kept out of the hands of the Taliban.

As they say, no good deed goes unpunished. At the press conference announcing the aid package, Colin Powell was asked about (among other things) the Taliban's decision to shut down poppy (heroin) cultivation; Powell responded that this was one of the few things that the Taliban had done that the US agreed with. Some news reports on the announcement at the time mentioned the Taliban's anti-drug measures, but didn't mention the steps being taken to keep the Taliban from getting the money. Some anti-Bush commentators -- notably Robert Scheer of the LA Times -- latched onto this, and construed the aid as a reward to the Taliban for their anti-drug efforts. Not so.

It's been claimed that even if the money didn't go to the Taliban, it relieved the Taliban of the burden of feeding and caring for the people of Afghanistan. But since the Taliban has shown no inclination to shoulder that burden in the past, this argument doesn't hold much water.

I didn't vote for Bush, and I don't support the War on Drugs; but I prefer that the facts be reported accurately, all the same.


Left-Wing Hawks | 99 comments (52 topical, 47 editorial, 0 hidden)
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