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[P]
The Best Lies Money Can Buy

By stpna5 in Op-Ed
Tue May 11, 2004 at 05:25:23 PM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)
Freedom

George Bush has given al Qaeda and bin Laden exactly what they wanted. Not only has he killed nearly 800 of our troops he will also have soon blown through $300 billion of Americans' tax dollars to do so.


I

In 1990 Osama bin Laden attempted to convince Saudi Prince Sultan to let him bring in a force of mujahadeen to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, which had just been invaded by Iraq. The Saudis said thanks, but no thanks to one of their wealthy countrymen and began allowing the Americans to set up secret bases in the Saudi kingdom instead. The Gulf War of 1991 followed.

A dozen years later bin Laden saw the Americans fall into a trap by sending their military into Iraq a second time. A destabilized Iraq, which al Qaeda could not achieve while Saddam was still in power, is one less secular Islamic state in the region. The bonus to the further recruitment of young, whack-job zealots in the jihadist cause is that now it is easier to point to Iraq and say: the Christian Infidel Crusaders have attacked and now occupy an Arab country rich in oil.

The US army now occupies a country which was not a military threat to the US. The whole-cloth invention of bogus threats used to justify another undeclared war there has played out as bin Laden for years has propagandized that it would. Putting the enormous reserves of Iraqi oil under the control of the Coalition Provisional Authority instead of Saddam Hussein has preceded oil and gas prices now cresting to an all time high.

A number of Americans believe many totally fictitious things about Iraq involving weapons of mass destruction, al Qaeda operating from there with Saddam (not true, they wished to eliminate him) and the rest of the world mostly approving our invasion. (They mostly didn't.) The allies of the US are actually moving away from the American position of unilateral justification for the Iraq attack, even as the EU expands, Chechnya continues to plague the Russians, and terror cells in Europe proliferate. The European Union has added a group of new member states and the currency of those nations is now unified. (Saddam had indicated before his removal that he wished in the future to be paid in Euros, not dollars for barrels of Iraqi oil.)

As numerous career military experts pointed out before and since, the Pentagon's Infantry Lite scheme implemented in the 2003 attack was wrong-headed in the extreme. No body armor was provided for most troops, no armor plate for many vehicles, and the Pentagon brass and the Joint Chiefs have now spent a year slowly sending to slaughter brave warriors who were not trained nor equipped for their assignments. The contempt by the Bush juggernaut for the seasoned advice of many military experts is based on nitwit assessments such as this:

"We're dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction, and relatively soon. The oil revenues of that country could bring between $50 and $100 billion over the course of the next two or three years."

--Paul Wolfowitz

Undersecretary of Defense Wolfowitz is the ultimate chickenhawk. He was recently (while appearing before Congress) unable to answer correctly by an order of magnitude how many American troops were killed the past 12 months in Iraq. He seems blithely unaware of the folly of sending a stripped-down military force on such an ill-conceived fool's errand. Iraq is the wrong place to do the wrong job, with the wrong equipment at the wrong time. Wolfowitz would have you believe he merely received some faulty information. Someone has called it the worst intelligence failure since Cassandra and the Trojan Horse.

II

The question of civilian control of the military was most acutely resolved by Harry Truman early in the Cold War. Though there were Congressional hearings and calls for his impeachment, Truman fired the heroic Gen. Douglas MacArthur. He later wrote:

I "didn't fire MacArthur because he was a dumb SOB, although he was, but that's not against the law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters of them would be in jail."

--Harry S. Truman

He was fired for not respecting the authority of the President.

Some have called for Donald Rumsfeld to be fired. I don't think he should be. He is certainly responsible for overseeing the Pentagon, but Bush, Cheney, the Joint Chiefs, Powell and Wolfowitz are equally culpable in this strategic meltdown in the desert. Bush has said of himself "I don't do nuance." Rumsfeld said last year "I don't do quagmires." Such is the mindset of these subdividers of sand dunes who are spending your money to send your family members off to die, and then having them face courts martial for following orders.

Truman was himself a war veteran and a half-century before the $150 toilet seat became shorthand for the Department of Defense money pit, he made certain that the massive expenditures by the United States via the Marshall Plan --which rebuilt the destroyed and destitute industrial nations and their economies after World War II-- was nearly devoid of graft, patronage and waste. Such cannot be said of the Return to Iraq, 2003.

One of the greatest threats facing the US is private corporate control of defense spending which has skyrocketed in the past two fiscal years concurrent with the large tax cuts specifically handed to the wealthiest tier of America's citizens. Before one of them was passed, billionaire Warren Buffett said on "ABC Nightline" it was so economically useless you might as well call it the "Warren Buffett tax relief act." The wet dreams of imperial conquests by the likes of Wolfowitz, Cheney and Richard Perle result in precisely what we see on the ground in Iraq right now.

As Eisenhower said,"we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex." With the involvement of private firms such as Halliburton, Bechtel, Dyncorp and numerous other defense contractor firms being paid for security, transportation and some, as it now turns out -- for interrogation of captured prisoners in Iraq, the situation resembles that of 19th century Pinkertons and the private armies of ruthless railroad barons in the Old West. Some of these firms have engaged in firefights with "insurgents" and calling in their own air support. They operate outside the chain of command to which all the active military members sent by the Pentagon must adhere.

Unlike previous Iraq involvements the expenses of the Pentagon for everything from fuel to firepower are not being shared by the vaunted "coalition". The Gulf War of 1991 with Iraq under Bush the Elder cost around $61 billion dollars. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Japan paid around $57 billion of those costs. The current war in Iraq has cost Americans $100 billion in the first 12 months according to Bush the Second's administration, which says it will keep the current number of troops (130,000) on the ground through 2005. Including their request of Congress for an additional $25 billion to supplement the $87 billion outlay they estimated last year it comes out to +/-, $1 million per man on the ground for this zero-sum, neo-con destabilization exercise.

$132 billion divided by 130,000 = $1,015,384.62
The costs may actually be much higher but severely lowballed for election year consumption. Some US allies who supported our Afghanistan effort beginning in late 2001 do not understand why Iraq once again took precedence over everything else for another President Bush. The 9/11 commission heard testimony from Richard Clarke that the number of policemen in New York City is larger than the force we sent to Aghanistan to hunt bin Laden and overthrow the Taliban.

France and Russia, among others opposed a US invasion of Iraq. Some say they had lots of lucrative Iraqi oil contracts to protect. Other European allies have been alienated as well. Donald Rumsfeld dismissed them as "the chocolate making countries" of old Europe when some of them dared --as did the Islamic democracy of Turkey-- to represent the will of their constituents in opposing the launch of a new Iraq war. According to Bob Woodward $700 million was pulled out of Afghanistan at a crucial point in that war and diverted toward preparations for another Iraq invasion.

At Saudi Arabia's Prince Sultan Air Base the American forces are now leaving. Many civilian oil workers from abroad are leaving the country too. Unlike 1991's Gulf War, Turkey refused permission this time for American troops to deploy from their country. This is blamed by some Bush apologists for the failure of his Iraq strategy. Spain has pulled its troops out of Iraq. General William Odum, a former NSA head who accurately predicted the outcome of this invasion and occupation points out that we have now alienated our allies in Europe over this misguided Gulf War sequel. The costly task of overthrowing a sovereign nation and then attempting to occupy ancient lands among an Islamic population has created a netherworld of conflicts between international law and the Geneva Accords, from Guantanamo to the recently installed mosque and minaret sniper positions of Iraq's holy cities.

Fighters who were shooting at Marines only weeks ago are now being recruited in the Fallujah brigade. Our man in Fallujah, their newly installed leader, General Mohammed Latif says he wants the Americans to leave Fallujah and then to leave Iraq.

This is the grand result a year after victory was declared by the President of the United States. The neo-conservative architects of this experiment in massive defense spending abroad said "major combat operations" were ended in May, 2003. They are lying scum who act as if the lives of our enlisted grunts are a dime a dozen.

"Even when there is a necessity of military power, within the land,...a wise and prudent people will always have a watchful & jealous eye over it."

-- Samuel Adams

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The Best Lies Money Can Buy | 403 comments (335 topical, 68 editorial, 0 hidden)
Euro (2.93 / 16) (#11)
by jmj on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:46:03 AM EST

The European Union has added a group of new member states and the currency of those nations is now unified.
This is incorrect. The European Monetary Union is a subset of the European Union.

From the EU website : The euro is the currency of twelve European Union countries: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Finland.

Some of the new member countries will probably adopt the euro as their official currency at some point (some of them may already use it unofficially), but it is not a requirement. The most obvious example would be the UK, where Eurosceptics will do everything in their power to keep the pound.



erm. (none / 0) (#88)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:43:10 PM EST

I was under the impression that, unless a country had a specifically granted privilige of opting out of the euro, once they met the conditions for adopting it, they were required to do so.

[ Parent ]
Partly true (none / 0) (#244)
by liftarn on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:49:38 AM EST

Basicly it is, but there is no time limit so they can decide not to use the Euro for infinity.

[ Parent ]
Oh. (none / 1) (#263)
by aphrael on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:24:21 PM EST

They can play RealSoonNow(tm). Got it. :)

[ Parent ]
"Eurosceptics" (2.00 / 5) (#188)
by holdfast on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:08:12 PM EST

Eurosceptics will do everything in their power to keep the pound

It would be more accurate to call lots of theese supposed partiots xenophobes. They want to 'avoid giving sovereignty to Brussels' and want to keep the pound, obsolete meaurement units (feet, pounds, farenheit and so on). They tell lies about silly ideas that the bureaucrats have invented - as if the reality is not enough.

Their main targets of dislike are people who do not speak some form of english as their first language. That means that they love the USA because you (sort of) speak english. ;)

If they could leave the EU and join NAFTA they would!


"Holy war is an oxymoron."
Lazarus Long
[ Parent ]
UK (none / 3) (#197)
by kurioszyn on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:15:43 PM EST

Xenophobes ?
For wanting to stick with a currency that your country has been using since .. well, since forever.

I don't have an opinion on this issue since it doesn't really affect me much, but I think making a decision that would result in the most radical change for UK in centuries would necessitate at least some serious discussion ...

[ Parent ]

Since? (3.00 / 5) (#232)
by holdfast on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:45:27 AM EST

15 February 1971 is when they changed to the current system. The previous system used the same word "pound" and the same £ symbol.

12 pennies (pence) in a shilling
20 shillings in a pound
There were various sub unit coins - farthings (0.25 penny), ha'penny (0.5 penny), thruppence (3 penny), sixpence, florin (2 shilling), half crown (2.5 shillings, crown (5 shilling) and guinea (1 pound and 1 shilling). I think there was something called a groat but I haven't a clue what it was worth!

All that changed to
100 pence (pennies) in a pound

The, sensible enough, reason for this change was to help us integrate with the rest of the world. Several of those coin values had been discontinued before 1971.

That was the genuine British currency. It was dumped and we got on with life. There were a few grumbles but life goes on and now UK currency is much the same as anywhere else.

Millions of British holidaymakers travel to various parts of Europe each year and change their money to whatever they need. Then they use it just the same. The only people who benefit from it are that banks & businesses who make healthy profits on changing it. When the UK changes to Euros, people will be able to spend money on holiday & business travel without contributing to the banks profit margins!


"Holy war is an oxymoron."
Lazarus Long
[ Parent ]
Euro (2.66 / 6) (#234)
by jmj on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:10:32 AM EST

The change isn't that radical you know... I live in Belgium, and for several years before the introduction of the euro the Belgian Franc was tied to the German Mark anyway.

We had to modify a lot of computer programs (because we rarely had fractional amounts in BEF a lot of programs could only store integers), but this coincided with the Y2K work. Yes, it can be a pain doing conversions in your head, but the positive effects easily outweigh that inconvenience.

Of course it helps that I have absolutely no loyalty to Belgium as a state (and antiquated institutions like the royal family), I'm a human being first, a European second and a Fleming third.

I agree with holdfast's opinion on the British Eurosceptics, but wanted to keep that opinion out of my original post. They claim to want to keep their independence but are more than happy to roll over for the US. Their objections to the EU include quality arguments of the type "If it were up to Brussels all bananas could only be bent up to 60 degrees !". And xenophobic is the correct word, especially with regard to the French and the Germans.

I sometimes get the feeling the UK really doesn't want to be in the EU, and that the only reason they joined is that they didn't want to be left out. They have a history of stalling or even blocking important developments. And then you find out they're actively spying on us for the Americans (Echelon), which most British citizens probably don't even realize.

The EU is far from perfect : lots of bureaucracy, inefficiency (bordering on corruption in some cases), ... But it does make sure that there will never again be a war amongst the member nations, which for me is the most important thing.



[ Parent ]
UK/EU vs USA (none / 3) (#257)
by kurioszyn on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:28:01 PM EST

"I live in Belgium, and for several years before the introduction of the euro the Belgian Franc was tied to the German Mark anyway.""

That's the key.
UK Pound was a major currency and ,with all due respect, getting rid of it will affect UK in more significant ways than it did Belgium when they switched to Euro.
There are plenty of Germans who still believe that getting rid of their Mark was a big mistake.

"They claim to want to keep their independence but are more than happy to roll over for the US. "

I wouldn't call it "rolling over."

Frankly, if you want to be fair you have to admit that given the history of the last century , Brits have quite a few valid reasons not to sever their close relationship with USA.

The problem is that , at this point, the French vision for EU is that of a federation designed to oppose US dominance in the world. Given their latest moves ( like for example their participation  in a series of naval military exercises with China, designed to intimidate US ally during their election time) , I fear that some French politicians wouldn't mind taking the role USSR played in the last 50 years , at least in the sense of their relationship with USA.

"They have a history of stalling or even blocking important developments."

Perhaps they consider economic and social (open borders etc ) cooperation a model that was working pretty well and fear that extending it any further will not be in the best interest of UK.
I don't know.

"But it does make sure that there will never again be a war amongst the member nations, which for me is the most important thing."

I think the current model worked pretty darn well.
Wars are not only fought between nations and having a huge federal republic doesn't guarantee peace ( US civil war or conflicts in former Yugoslavia.)

[ Parent ]

UK and the euro (none / 1) (#293)
by jmj on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:41:44 PM EST

There are plenty of Germans who still believe that getting rid of their Mark was a big mistake

Only for convenience reasons though (having to mentally switch to a new currency). For at least a year (can't remember the exact timeframe) before the euro introduction all exchange rates between the euro currencies were fixed. So we had a "virtual euro" the whole time, but these people never noticed. It's purely psychological.

I wouldn't call it "rolling over."

Blindly following the US president into an unjust war, ignoring the will of the majority of your own citizens, isn't rolling over ?

Frankly, if you want to be fair you have to admit that given the history of the last century , Brits have quite a few valid reasons not to sever their close relationship with USA.

Who's talking about severing the relationship ? I just want them to make a choice : either you support the idea of the EU and try to help in its further development, or you say "No thanks, you guys go ahead without us". Whatever they choose, they'll still be our friends.

A lot of Americans seem to think that having a close relationship to the US means "do what we say, or else...". And I'm afraid the people currently in charge of the US are amongst those people.

The problem is that , at this point, the French vision for EU is that of a federation designed to oppose US dominance in the world

If you really think that's their main goal I'm afraid you've been brainwashed by anti-French propaganda.
Yes, the EU is a large economic power. But this doesn't have to be at the expense of anyone else. One group of countries getting stronger economically doesn't mean that others will be thrown into the stone age.
And yes, a lot of people are annoyed at the way some US leaders think they can ignore any laws, treaties, common decency, ... just because they happen to have the most power at the moment. Those people do not want the US to be destroyed, they just want it to act more responsibly and respectful to other countries.

Perhaps they consider economic and social (open borders etc ) cooperation a model that was working pretty well and fear that extending it any further will not be in the best interest of UK.

Open borders are a perfect example of where they trail behind : a number of EU countries have signed the Schengen treaty, which means all border controls are abolished. The UK is not one of them. If you want to take the Thalys high-speed train from Brussels to Paris, you can turn up one minute before it leaves. If you take the similar Eurostar high-speed train from Brussels to London you have to be at least 30 minutes early to allow for passport checks.



[ Parent ]
Well (none / 3) (#296)
by kurioszyn on Wed May 12, 2004 at 06:08:36 PM EST

" But this doesn't have to be at the expense of anyone else. "

No, it doesn't but the French are acting as if it did matter.
For a friend they tend to really go out of their way to oppose US position on many issues - this is not related to Bush or his administration only either.
Hard core democrats like Howard Dean were known to remark about being able to count on French taking exactly opposite position of whatever positions US is currently at.
We are not talking about cold-war style conflict but France is definitely not a friendly nation - not anymore (neutral at best)

"And yes, a lot of people are annoyed at the way some US leaders think they can ignore any laws, treaties, common decency"

No, some people are annoyed that US is refusing to sign certain treaties.
In other words, they are not complaining that US is not abiding by treaties it had already signed but rather that we are unwilling to sign new ones.

I will not accept accusations related to our refusal to cooperate in certain treaties which we consider non-productive from the perspective of US interests.
I think it is common sense.


[ Parent ]

The French and the Americans... (none / 1) (#310)
by Chakotay on Thu May 13, 2004 at 12:15:49 PM EST

First some background info on me: I'm Dutch, but I live in France, where I work for a majorly French / Dutch / German company, and oh, aside from Dutch, French, German and English, I also speak Esperanto - one would say, your perfect model European ;)

You say that the French will generally take the exact opposite position of the US, which, politically speaking, might be pretty correct, but culturally speaking, I would say that no European country resembles the US as much as France. When I visited the US a few years ago, I stayed for a few weeks with a friend in Richmond VA, and constantly I saw stuff that made me think "hey, that's just like in France". Basically, I believe that France is going exactly where the US is going, about a decade behind... Maybe they're in counterphase with eachother, but they're definitely headed in the same direction!

Lets pick out the latest rendition of the Gulf War. Both the US and the French position on that were mostly based on their own interests - The interests of the Iraqi people only played an unsignificant role in the true decisionmaking process behind the positions taken by the two countries, even though in the media it was blown completely out of proportions.

--
Linux like wigwam. No windows, no gates, Apache inside.

[ Parent ]

Hmm (none / 2) (#339)
by kurioszyn on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:53:48 PM EST

" Both the US and the French position on that were mostly based on their own interests "

I don't think this is something unusual.
Frankly, if your goverment is not working on making sure that your nation interests is being server first, I think you have a problem ...


[ Parent ]

Americanised? (none / 2) (#348)
by liftarn on Fri May 14, 2004 at 04:05:40 AM EST

I would say that no European country resembles the US as much as France.
There's an old joke that says that Sweden is the most americanised country in the world. USA is number two.

[ Parent ]
Xenophobia (none / 0) (#229)
by Bad Harmony on Wed May 12, 2004 at 03:51:40 AM EST

The wogs begin at Calais.

I can't say that I blame them for wary of the EU/EMU. There seems to be a noticeable lack of transparency and democracy in EU institutions.

54º40' or Fight!
[ Parent ]

Eurosceptics (none / 2) (#349)
by the womble on Fri May 14, 2004 at 04:29:18 AM EST

Just aboutt everything you say about Euroscpetics is wrong. No one wants to keep obsolete measures, although a lot of us are unhappy about it being an offence for shops to use the older measures if thats what their customers want - and there is a general dislike of EU bureaucracy in general. As for "loving the US", where did you get that from. How many Eurosceptics are in favour of the Iraq war - and why did a Europhile government get us into it. If anything Eurosceptics are in favour of stronger ties with the Commwealth - which includes lots of fast growing economies with strong economics and cultural ties to Britain. It is the the Europhiles who are Xenophobes, they want to turn the EU into a fortress to keep thmselves isolated from a changing (and non-white) world.

[ Parent ]
So, Drop the Strongest Currency? (none / 0) (#381)
by jameth on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:21:06 AM EST

I always thought the UK liked the pound because it has been the strongest currency in the world FOREVER. No, really, it's a hugely strong currency. The Euro is still debatable in some people's eyes.

[ Parent ]
-1, fuzzy-headed, unfocused (2.27 / 11) (#24)
by mjfgates on Tue May 11, 2004 at 06:38:33 AM EST

I don't see any coherent theme here, except maybe "I don't like the war in Iraq." Which is maybe a reasonable position to take, but a bit much to cover in one short article.

offense taken (none / 0) (#203)
by Fuzzwah on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:44:01 PM EST

Why's it bad to have a fuzzy head?

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Reason Not To Have A Fuzzy Head (none / 1) (#301)
by mjfgates on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:49:59 PM EST

Because people walk up to you and rub balloons on your head.

[ Parent ]
but (none / 0) (#387)
by Fuzzwah on Tue May 18, 2004 at 01:30:28 AM EST

I make lots of new friends that way.

--
The best a human can do is to pick a delusion that helps him get through the day. - God's Debris
[ Parent ]

Reenactment of some Brave Warrior payback (2.62 / 37) (#26)
by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:01:10 AM EST

*Hsst* Commence Operation Brave Fallujah Defender *click*

  {  It's a tricky shot, but if she doesn't drop her dolly  }
  { and bend to pick it up, I think I can Bravely nail her. }
          O
        O
      o
   _____
  /     \
 /   ____\ _______
 |__/   -  \######|
  | (   _\__|____|____________n
  | _____/###====#############|
   /   /################/
  /   |  / =/ |##|
      | / _=  |##|


We're quite normal. (2.50 / 4) (#96)
by A tiny minority of k5 users on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:02:17 PM EST

We understand that while it both likely and possible  that scared 19 year old white boys from Alabama carrying automatic weapons would spray vast quantities of armor piercing rounds into soft wooden structures at the first sight or mention of enemy fire without checking to see if aforementioned building is full of school children, we doubt very much that these selfsame soldierlings would spend valuable self defense time drawing sniper beads on little girls.

We suspect that your hostility and warped worldview are the direct result of a failing marriage.
--
98% of k5 thinks Osama is a Freedom Fighter. We're the 2%.
[ Parent ]

Duh (3.00 / 7) (#187)
by dn on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:49:49 PM EST

...we doubt very much that these selfsame soldierlings would spend valuable self defense time drawing sniper beads on little girls.
Of course not.

You have to lead them a little.

    I ♥
TOXIC
WASTE

[ Parent ]

-1 Critical of the REQUIRED War in Iraq (1.00 / 25) (#28)
by haplopeart on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:16:01 AM EST

Sadam needed to be taken out, infact all tyrannical leaders everywhere in the world, who keep their people subjugated need to be taken out.  All Muslims who believe in the ideals of Saddam, Bin Laden or any of their various followers need to be taken out.  If innocents die in the process its thier own damned fault for not overthrowing the leader who cuased them to be attacked in the first place.
Bill "Haplo Peart" Dunn
Administrator Epithna.com
http://www.epithna.com

Scary troll (2.83 / 6) (#31)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:39:02 AM EST

So we have started thinking that killing people based on their ideals and ideas now. If someone believes the wrong thing, they should be killed.

That is a very slippery slope. And interesting too, moslems who believe in the idea of a secular state should be killed? Moslems who believe that american bases in Saudi Arabia shoud be killed? I think you just declared you wanted to waste most of the population in the Middle East right there.

And the interesting part is that one could argue that attacking the WTC was not a deplorable act at all. In fact the victims were all at fault for not overthrowing the american government and changing it's foreign policies.

You might need to take this one back to the drawing board my friend.

[ Parent ]

well... (none / 2) (#32)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:42:46 AM EST

i was with you until i got to this part:

If innocents die in the process its thier own damned fault for not overthrowing the leader who cuased them to be attacked in the first place.

uh... no

you do not succesfully defeat islamonazis by proclaiming your willingness to kill innocents. innocents never need to die, period, end of story. any innocents harmed in any conflict, wherever, whenever, by whomever, are to be regretted, period, end of story.

why?

because that's the only difference between you and the islamonazis in the first place

islamonazis TRY to kill innocents. that's the reason we fight them, capisce?

don't blur the line between you and the islamonazis, then you are no better than them.

so no, idiot, innocents are NEVER to be killed or harmed, and you are just like those redneck stupid fucking us prison guards for not understanding this: people like you only hurt the fight against islamonazis in the end, and you are just as dangerous and just as much the enemy as bin laden is.


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I'm just Sick... (none / 3) (#35)
by haplopeart on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:10:26 AM EST

...of anti-war assholes...Look its simple, I'm of the opinion of live and let live in general...I'll stay out of your shit if you stay out of my shit...

However everytime that some radical group gets the notion to attack the United States or some country we are allied with or protect (Yes thats Isreal), they are violating that live and let live rule.

Personally I could have cared less what the hell Sadam did, as long a he kept it in Iraq.  But he didn't...personally I could have cared less if Osama had kept his business out of our Business and not attacked us or any other country we care about...

But once they did provocitive things it became time to strike back.

In otherwards WHY CAN'T THE FUCKING WORLD JUST GET ALONG!!!!!!???????
Bill "Haplo Peart" Dunn
Administrator Epithna.com
http://www.epithna.com

[ Parent ]

HEY KURO5HIN (none / 1) (#37)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:21:01 AM EST

this huy thinks i'm an antiwar asshole!

LOL

someone please instruct him as to my longtime support of invading iraq, and my desire to invade north korea and myanmar

i'm not an antiwar asshole, i'm very much the anti-isolationist, you asshole, but if you don't do it RIGHT, then you make things WORSE

killing and harming innocents MAKES THINGS WORSE

or did you somehow miss the hoopla over the iraqi prisoners?

what is at the root of all the hoopla, eh einstein?

MAYBE IT'S BECAUSE THOSE FUCKING PRISON GUARDS MAKE THE US OUT TO BE NO BETTER THAN SADDAM

SO THEY NEED TO BE FUCKING PUNISHED

and you need to be called a FUCKING ASSHOLE for not getting it!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

circletimessquare is a warmongerer (3.00 / 4) (#38)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:23:22 AM EST

I am the anti-war asshole here.

[ Parent ]
thank you! lol (nt) (none / 1) (#39)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:33:41 AM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Wasn't Ment... (none / 0) (#45)
by haplopeart on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:55:03 AM EST

...to indicate that you were the Anti-war asshole....just an expression of my motivations for the original posting...
Bill "Haplo Peart" Dunn
Administrator Epithna.com
http://www.epithna.com

[ Parent ]
well you need to amend your thoughts... (none / 0) (#48)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:03:48 AM EST

on killing innocents

otherwise, you are no better than what we fight

or should i say, should you not amend your thoughts

what i and others like me fight

for you truly would then be the enemy, as evil as bin laden

the whole point of winning the fight and making the world a better place because of the fight, is to have the moral high ground

you seem to think we can give up some of the morality we fight for as due process of winning the fight

but that just makes the whole battle pointless: one tyranny replacing another

you will not define our actions in iraq, i will

and should people like you come to define the actions in iraq instead of people like me, we have lost, not won

and by we who lose, i mean humanity itself


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Are you high? (none / 2) (#57)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:19:30 PM EST

Personally I could have cared less what the hell Sadam did, as long a he kept it in Iraq.

No, he didn't. Back in the 90's he invaded Kuwait, and we along with our sizeable coallition, backed by the U.N. thoroughly stomped his ass all the way back to Bagdad.

And that was the end of it until Bush2 decided he needed to test out some new toys on some people.

There were no weapons, he was not in cahoots with Al Queda, and we are definately not the moral puritans looking to bring democracy and freedom to the people of iraq. Just as the "terrorists" are not looking to "destroy freedom."

You are a wee-bit brainwashed buddy...nevermind the wee-bit part...you're seriously living in Rupert Murdochs wet dreams of the perfectly propagandized citizen.

[ Parent ]

erm, no (none / 1) (#72)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:06:25 PM EST

we stomped his ass back to baghdad, and left him there

was it right to do that? or should we have finished the job?

ask an iraqi if you think that's a crazy question

because in asking that question, we get as some semblence of reason

but in just supporting the invasion-without-removal of saddam in gulf war i, we are just supporting the status quo, with no sense of reason

don't get me wrong, the grandfather comment of this comment is written by an asshole: killing innocents is justified he says... no, it is not

but you are wrong to: resisting the removal of saddam hussein is a just cause... no, it is not


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm... (none / 2) (#84)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:40:39 PM EST

Let's look at possible reasons for invading Iraq, both real and imagined.

1) Iraq is an immediate threat to us, he has WMD's.

That was our first try, and miserably failed because there was no hint of truth in it, and that much was obvious to everyone, nearly everywhere in the world.

2) Saddam and Al Quaeda are working together and are a great threat to us.

Again, no evidence, and nobody believes us.

3) We're doing it to liberate the people of Iraq, because Saddam is a ruthless dictator.

Now we have something that is partially true (saddam is a rutheless dictator) and partially false (we are "liberating" the people).

Now Americans like how that sounds, because it makes them feel all warm and fuzzy and lets them ignore pretty much our entire history in dealing with the world. But people in the middle east must really wonder where our newfound love of liberty comes from when we still support Israel year after year, and have several times voted down U.N. resolutions that would have helped increase liberty around the world.

There is another, very easy and obvious explanation, that no one seems to talk about.

5) We invaded Iraq to maintain strategic control of resources. It's the exact same reason we propped Saddam up for the last 20 years before he stepped out of line. He was a bad puppet, we need a new and better puppet now.

International politics are not feel-good affairs.

The very least we could do is just admit that #5 is the truth, and then the world would at least know we're not lying, because they certainly know that 1-4 are big fat lies.

It has nothing to do with terrorism, other than the fact that similar deals in the past have greatly increased terrorism *against us*.

[ Parent ]

#3 is, or should be, the reason (none / 1) (#94)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:53:56 PM EST

i am someone who believes we should invade north korea yesterday, but out of intertia and selfish interest, we don't ;-(

until there are more people like me in this world: all people are equal and deserve freedom and deserve to have that right guarded by force by all parties in the world, then we are doomed ;-(

we don't invade north korea for the same reason we didn't invade rwanda, selfish interests, and it sucks ;-(

in that regard, the people of iraq benefit simply because they sit on a lot of oil, and that's unfair to those who don't ;-(

i wish people would realize that we get nowhere until we safeguard freedom, everywhere, period, or we all lose

and i'm not talking about americans, i'm talking about human beings

i'm just waiting for everyone else to catch up

and it's nothing but decades of suffering until everyone does ;-(


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Sudan is much better! (none / 1) (#100)
by tetsuwan on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:14:02 PM EST

There's two major reasons not to invade North Korea:
  1. North Korea still has the capacity to level Seoul in 24 hours with massive amounts of indirect artillery.
  2. China would have to respond to such a provocation, although they don't particularly like Kim il Song's Juchism.
Sudan, however, is in much better need of stabilization. In general, cts, you seem to be focused on Asian countries where intervention might do more harm than nonintervention, than the African countries, where people are slaughtered every day in armed conflicts. Your disinterest reflects the disinterest that allowed Rwanda 1994. This was not the fault of the US, rather a failure of France and Belgium. Nevertheless, I do not understand why you target only the neigh-on impossible countries to intervene in, when there's so much else to do that can be done good knowledge of the outcome.

I am naive enough to belive that Myanmar is the next Indonesia, and that it will turn democratic within the next ten years. As for North Korea, you will have to be able to paralyze the whole chain-of-command in 24 hours to avoid catastrophy.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

HAHAHAHA (none / 0) (#104)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:19:45 PM EST

i've never been able to refute someone's characterization of my focus in a more clear cut way:

(psst... look at the author)

cheers... the rest of what you write is insightful ;-)

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I am aware of that article (none / 0) (#118)
by tetsuwan on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:57:57 PM EST

(now I'm going to accuse you of not having your priorities clear, and that you really are much more into realpolitik than you would like to admit)

However, the sole reason that the US was able to attack Iraq is Saddam Hussein. Saddam's forehead has had the tattoo "bad guy" for twelve years. It didn't take much for the US government to convince the Americans that an invasion of Iraq was a good idea; after all, everybody knows Saddam is a bad guy. As soon as Bush began a sentence with "Saddam ... " he had already won the argument.

On the other hand, ever since the incident in Somalia, it has become impossible for the US to do humanitarian interventions in Africa. To the American public, 10 US marines is worth more than 1 million anonymous Sudanese.

My general critisism is that on the humanitarian side, many of the interventions you suggest are quite costly. I do also think that you are underestimating one of the most basic feelings of a human (and some primates, too!): the feeling of fairness. Most of the German and Japanese people thought that they indeed had been the aggressors. They had attacked and lost, and therefore it was a natural outcome that they'd be occupied.

As for Soc's comments I can only say: school and water is up from close to zero (no surprise). The invasion did destroy a lot of infrastructure. Of course I hope Iraq will be a success. I have no choice.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Interesting Facts (none / 1) (#107)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:29:39 PM EST

all people are equal and deserve freedom and deserve to have that right guarded by force by all parties in the world

When Nicaragua went to World Court and got a judgment against us for illegal use of force, and international terrorism, we withdrew from the world court.

When they went to the U.N. and the general assembly put forth a resolution calling on all nations to respect international law, we vetoed the resolution.

So while I agree with your beliefs that we all deserve to have our freedoms protected, I think it is unfortuante that you live in a country like the U.S., which does not share our beliefs - despite their rhetoric.

If the American people really respected and loved freedom so much, they would not allow their government to act in such a fasion. However, the only conclusion that can be drawn is that the majority of the American population simply doesnt give a damn about anyone but themselves....

i wish people would realize that we get nowhere until we safeguard freedom, everywhere, period, or we all lose

So true - if we had been safeguarding freedom from the get-go we'd be in way better shape right now. Unfortunately, our government hasn't really shown much interest in it since WW2.

How about the palestinians? Who's safeguarding their freedom? And are the people safeguarding that freedom flying around in American attack helicopters? Unfortunately the answer is the palestinians, and no. When the UN put forth a resolution calling on Israel to cease settlement activities, and respect the internationally recognized borders, the U.S. vetoed the resolution.

[ Parent ]

you want me to defend america (none / 1) (#113)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:37:16 PM EST

when i just told you you i don't care about nationalism!

the icc is a great idea... but the implementation of it is mired in equally nationalistic forces, but simply allayed against the us

i'm not defending the us, i'm just pointing out that you are mired in exactly what i am trying to fight: thinking of the world through the prism of nationalism: pro us and anti us

what about just pro human being?

that's the side i take!

i could care less about america and americans!

I CARE ABOUT HUMAN BEINGS

and while all you dumb fucks argue about the us is great because of this and the us sucks because of that... we all lose

it's sad, nationalism is a vile evil religion ;-(


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Sure... (none / 1) (#119)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:58:45 PM EST

it's sad, nationalism is a vile evil religion

It is indeed sad. But unless you support the scrapping of governments the world over, and can propose some way of accomplishing that, dealing with nation states is going to have to continue.

It would be nice if everyone looked at everything with a strictly humanitarian eye, but that's just not how the world works. It would be really nice if everyone could simply follow the golden rule, but again, it's just not how things are.

Holding everyone accountable to the same set of rules, such as what the ICC and the U.N. do, is not slanted against America, other than in the fact that America simply doesn't like being held to the same set of rules everyone else is.

Not discussing the actions of countries due to that being "nationalistic" is a cop out. Cry humanitarian morality all you want, but that's not our goal in Iraq. Aren't you the same circle that in another thread was arguing for taking "intent" into account?

[ Parent ]

this is what you just said (none / 1) (#124)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:08:07 PM EST

"yes the way things are is wrong, but that's just the way it is"

everything changes in this world, it starts with you and me

the United Nations, the EU: we are starting down the path away from nationalism in this world

identify yourself as a human being first, and an american second, that is all i ask of you

and then look at the world through a human being's eyes

if you understand something is wrong, and you admit it to me, then do not blink and then go right on down the path that allows you to sell your sense of right and wrong and morality and your human conscience... for the sake nationalism

you admitted nationalism is wrong

so everything else you said means nothing

it's like saying "well, slavery is wrong, but that's just the way it is, so why fight it" to me in 1860

a lot changes my friend, do not let inertia mean more to you than your human conscience, do not let your analytical skills explain away your simple human empathy

all you have said to me in your comment above is "i know it is wrong, but everyone else is doing it"

come on!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Confusion. (none / 0) (#132)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:22:15 PM EST

the United Nations, the EU: we are starting down the path away from nationalism in this world

Here's the mixup.

I support the U.N., and I support the ICC.

I think our government is fucked for writing off both organizations. I plan on getting Bush out of fucking office as soon as possible, and working towards America taking a sensible approach to the world. What I meant by my previous comment is that we are not there yet, hence we still have to work in the paradigm of nation states, because that is where we are. Not that I have completely given up hope and am just going along for the ride.

Just because I use the word "america" doesn't mean I'm getting drowned in nationalism. It simply means I'm using the name of the country in which I live to describe the land-mass/population of the country in which I live.

Now, to get back to what we were talking about before you distracted the topic with symantics.

Our invasion of Iraq was not done for humanitarian reasons. This indicates that we have not changed. For that reason I don't give Bush the benefit of just saying "yeah - he did it for a dickhead reason, but at least it helps the people in Iraq." Because in the long haul, it won't. They will still be a client state. And as long as they are a client state, we will dictate to them how they will live, or allow them to live in a shitty conditions, as long as they toe the line.

[ Parent ]

Re your willingness to invade other countries (none / 0) (#189)
by driptray on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:20:49 PM EST

You have a touchingly naive faith in the effectiveness of military action for improving the lives of people in other countries.

Things just don't work that way, although I would admit that it's never been tested.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

Intentions don't matter (none / 1) (#42)
by smg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:48:06 AM EST

because that's the only difference between you and the islamonazis in the first place

islamonazis TRY to kill innocents. that's the reason we fight them, capisce?

No. The important question is how many innocents are killed, not the supposed intentions of the players.

Let me draw up a little table to aid your moral clarity.

Innocents killed

              Islamonazis          Zionazis
911           3000                 -
Iraq          -                    10000  
Israel        800                  3000

The Islamonazis are looking pretty good so far.

[ Parent ]

intent is everything! (none / 2) (#44)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:53:20 AM EST

i really can't believe that you would say that

if i intend to help, and kill innocents by mistake, and i regret it

can you really compare me to someone who intends to kill innocents?

what kind of world is that where intent has no value?

because it's not this planet

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Intent is certainly not "everything" (none / 1) (#47)
by smg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:01:27 AM EST

If you have evil intentions but harm nobody, you're fine by me.

If you have good intentions but kill thousands, you are evil and need to be stopped.

Remember, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions."

Essentially, what you are saying is that we should judge people not by their actions but by their supposed inherent moral quality - their "intentions". Zionazis use this idea to demonize all Arabs becouse they all have an "intent to kill", even if they are simply defending themselves, whereas the IDF, which kills hundreds of Palestinian children with no provocation, is somehow morally suprerior despite their actions. It's actually a justification for anti-Islamic racism.

[ Parent ]

this is not about propaganda (none / 1) (#49)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:36:52 AM EST

this is about truth

so do not pull zionism into this discussion as i do not defend it, and have no intention of defending it, ever

If you have evil intentions but harm nobody, you're fine by me.

If you have good intentions but kill thousands, you are evil and need to be stopped.

if you have evil intentions, you WILL kill on your path through life

if you have good intentions, you MAY kill on your path through life

there is no such thing as someone who has evil intentions who does not kill

there is such a thing as someone who has good intentions and does not kill

do not condemn both sides of a fight, the evil and the good, because of what the evil one does

otherwise, there can be no progress in this world, as evil must be fought

i would like you to define a world where no one fights evil, and what that world would be like by your judgment

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ehrm (none / 1) (#50)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:42:38 AM EST

"if you have evil intentions, you WILL kill on your path through life"

Not to be a nitpicker but the above statement is just mumbojumbo. This can never be proven in any sort of way and it also clearly assumes that we can objectively say that a belief system or an idea is evil.

Is satanism evil? I know a couple of satanists that haven't killed anything at all. Is fundamentalistic forms of Islam evil? There are thousands upon thousands of fundamentalist moslems that wouldn't kill anyone.

So exactly what are you referring to? Lack of empathy? There are psychopaths and sociopaths that never kill or hurt anyone physically.

[ Parent ]

ok, you are correct (none / 0) (#51)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:55:28 AM EST

your philosophical musings about someone being evil who does not kill is correct

so instead, we can change my observations to suit your objection

we shall define evil as someone who DOES kill the innocent and INTENDS to do so

do you have any problems with my observations now?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

In that case, (none / 0) (#53)
by smg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:07:02 PM EST

the US army is just as evil as Al Quaeda.

Do you seriously believe that when US bombs civilian area, they don't know what they're doing? It's all intentional.


[ Parent ]

so, let me understand you correctly (none / 0) (#59)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:22:16 PM EST

the us army wants to kill iraqi civilians?

the intent of the us in iraq is to kill iraqis?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

But that is not the same thing (none / 0) (#61)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:28:08 PM EST

You said that a person is evil if he kills the innocent and intends to do so. Now you are saying that ends justify the means, that is that a person can't be defined as good or evil without looking at some overall purpose.

If Saddam Hussein's overall purpose (whatever that might have been, to create a beautiful, blooming country where everyone was happy and dressed in pink perhaps) was good then any atrocity he commited or allowed in itself is inherently good?

[ Parent ]

that's a weird blind spot you have (none / 0) (#68)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:59:34 PM EST

first paragraph: you say the ends justify the means, that's so wrong of you

second paragraph: the ends justify the means, and that's ok

erm... can you extricate yourself from your own paradox? i'm not much help to you there ;-P

i don't believe the ends justify the means, i believe that evil must be fought, and in picking up arms against evil, i do not automatically become evil myself


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

And I didn't claim that taking up arms (none / 0) (#181)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:12:39 PM EST

against evil automatically made you evil. Again. I was merely making a comment on the paradox you created yourself by claiming that some overall intention would absolve the perpetrator of a heinous act from any responsibility.

[ Parent ]
where did i say that? (none / 0) (#220)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:27:35 AM EST

point out this supposed hypocrisy, forgive me for my blindness if you can

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Here you go (none / 0) (#242)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:40:12 AM EST

we shall define evil as someone who DOES kill the innocent and INTENDS to do so

We also had a discussion on general intent where it became clear that, in your view, the morality of the act itself depends on the overall intent. Hence in a war against North Korea, the bombing of Pyong-yang might be inevatible and lead to civilian casualties but it would still be considered a good act rather than an evil act.

Or in Iraq, that we can't label the acts of war as evil since the intent is good. The paradox lies in the definition of evil above, what you are proposing is in fact a hierarchy of intent to decide whether someone is Good or Evil.
So for example, the intent of the allied command in Europe back in WWII would have been to free Europe. However, under that they definitely intended to kill people, like in Dresden. Now the bombing of Dresden by itself would be an Evil act but since the overall intent is good it becomes Good. The problem and the paradox is that we can never know the real intents of other people until later and perhaps not even then, objectively trying to achieve this kind labeling doesn't work. It is so full of loopholes a humpback whale with Usama Bin Laden on it's back could escape through it.

Good and evil are not moral absolutes in my opinion. What is evil in my act may be good in someone elses. What was a good act in Henry Kissinger's eye was a war crime of gigantic proportions in others. Moral universalism. ICC. Power to the UN, reformation of the SC and a United States which isn't so full itself and thinks that it can quick fix the world.

[ Parent ]

i don't defend the us (none / 0) (#259)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:43:01 PM EST

i don't defend history, i don't defend anything except the rights of human beings to exist and live peaceful prosperous happy lives

so: in the eyes of those who want 13th century theocracy, osama bin laden is the greatest good of all

so: in your appraisal: for a given individual, what is good and evil is relative, and that's just the way it is, static and end of story

i say to you that ABSOLUTELY democracy is good, while 13th century theocracy is ASOLUTELY evil... and therefore we have a point of departure between our two rationales

i shall defend my absolutism from your nihilism by saying that my absolute judgment can be derived from a simple statistical study: more people are happy, prosperous, secure, peaceful, and free under democracy than 13th century theocracy... if this website were in tehran you would not be allowed to say the words you say so freely without fear of repercussion, for example... do you not feel then a compulsion to protect your rights to free speech? apparently you don't, because the framework of theocracy is not better or worse in your eyes, it is not good or evil, it just is, no judgm,ent necessary or possible

but to me, those who fight for 13th century theocracy are universally evil, because what they fight for is a mode of civilization whose time has passed, and is inferior to the model of democracy and what it delivers to its inhabitants

and a world in which these two modes does not come into conflict does not exist: it's a small world, people have passions for what they believe, conflict is inevitable form either side: simply look at the actions of osama bin laden or the west

and really, for all we have in life, as human beings, is the struggle to make our lives better in the way we think is better, and that naturally comes into conflicts with other modes of struggle to make it "better"

and without a yardstick, how do you know if you are doing better? how do you know if you exist? without acting, without doing, how do you know if you exist?

to me, your backing off from judgment- by claiming that you do not know democracy is ABSOLUTELY better than 13th century theocracy, but it is just a relative static comparison of what he says versus what she says, and has no value, and by proposing no action at all, to me... that just removes you from humanity

to me, you are subsuing your analytical skills to extricate yourself from a debate because you have no courage to choose, to measure, to act

well, that is a nice way to negate your existence, but you therefore have no right to believe you are contributing anything positve, or even negative... you're not contributing anything at all... you are simple nihilism... you're not peaceful, you just don't exist

here, like this: since you argue against judging what is good or evil in someone's actions or pov, then you have automatically also removed your own right to claim that your position is good, for that would mean you are being hypocritical

therefore, your position has no value at all, and your observations amount to nothing

you will not judge, you will not act, and you only defend the right not to do either

so: you are empty, a human shell, without a conscience, without a judgment, without action

you must pick a pov in this life, and act on it, and judge things as evil or good... but by refusing to do any of those things you win nothing, not the least of which, this argument ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I think you cut to the core of things (none / 0) (#278)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 03:46:38 PM EST

by defining arguments as something that is either won or lost. Black and white. Good and evil. You seem to want or need (and I am don't mean this in a derogatory way at all, we all have our idiosyncracies and ways of viewing the world) absolutes. However, I view arguments as a way of communicating. I do not necessarily change your mind or vice versa but perhaps we can come to a better understanding of each other's respective points of view and even see the merits of them. Or at least respect them.

You see, you have this idea that democracy is inherently more good than a 13th century theocracy (as you call it, I suspect you would be referring to Iran), however in the Middle East that particular theocracy may hold the key to the reformation of the entire region. It is there, and only there that there exists a democratic movement that might eventually succeed and change the country itself. See, our democracies have deep roots, they need deep roots to thrive, this is my absolute conviction. Democracy in islamic terms may not be exactly the same as democracy in the roman law western world.

And saying that from a GNH (gross national happiness) pov that a democracy is necessarily better than say any feodal society is ludicrous since that would negate the existence of a feodal society ruled by someone who actually has his people's interests in mind. Certainly the idea of inherited power is not one that is attractive but thinking that people are necessarily happier in a democracy than anywhere else would be a gross overstatement.

And remember acting can take many forms. I act by working with human rights issues. I act by volonteering to do work in countries most people wouldn't even go near. And I think we can safely say that I think that it is bad to kill, steal, lie or otherwise behave badly. However I find that I would rather work for the greater good by acting positively than acting in ways that just increase pressure and inflict suffering.

Yes, I am a pacifist, I don't think that violence should be used except as a last resort. And by last resort I mean that every single other alternative has been tried.

[ Parent ]

my problem with pacifism (none / 0) (#315)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:10:32 PM EST

existence is a struggle

pacifism, to me, is a refusal to be part of the struggle

therfore, pacifism to me is a rejection of existence and life itself

by saying you are a pacifist, that you won't take sides, that you won't pick a belief and then fight for a belief, that to me says that you will not live

pacifism at its core is an ivory tower arrogant attitude: it does not propose a superior mode of conduct, it merely says that no conduct at all is superior, which it certainly is not

to believe in pacifism means that you believe there is nothing worth struggling for in this life

currently in this world, millions starve, are killed for petty reasons, die of curable diseases, etc.

i believe that the struggle worth being fought is to improve these people lives so these tragedies no longer occur

and to believe that the struggle to do that can proceed without any effort, without any bloodshed, without any conflict or facing evil men is just flat-out naive

so one of two things is possible:

  1. you agree with me, but you just haven't thought about the contradictions between your philosophy of pacifism and reality... and so you haven't yet come to realize that pacifism is inherently flawed when it comes to relieving this suffering that you also desire to relieve
  2. you are an arrogant ivroy tower twit, and you honestly don't care about the suffering of others in this world
personally, i think #1 applies

and therefore, i think that you haven't yet, but eventually will, for lack of a better term that sounds vaguely insulting, grow up

you're naive, a child: i'm not insulting you, i'm just calling pacifism what it is

to relieve suffering in this world, you must choose a framework, a guiding system of principles, a judgment of what is good or bad in reference to that framework, and then proceed down the path with an amount of conviction that may, at times, unfortunately, lead you to oppose others in violent ways

and the reason that you must oppose them sometimes, unfortunately, in violent ways is simply because they are trying to DO SO THE SAME THING YOU ARE: improve the world... however, since you are both operating under a different framework, the proper way to proceed is a point of contention. they have passion, you have passion, your beliefs conflict, and deadly force ensues.

do i like this? no, but by not denying it does not mean i am embracing the unfortunate point, it simply means i am being realistic, and still have enough conviction in my beliefs to procees down the path that i believe will better the world, right over the dead bodies of those who would choose a different path.

to believe otherwise is to be unrealistic, or to believe that the struggle to improve our lives isn't worth it.

pacifism is just a giant cop out on life itself

life is simply a struggle

do not choose to remove yourself from the struggle, because then you are merely dead to the world

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

I think (none / 0) (#323)
by PrinceSausage on Thu May 13, 2004 at 03:06:29 PM EST

standing with the likes of Gandhi and Jesus can hardly be called childish. But you are, as always, entitled to think otherwise.

[ Parent ]
au contraire mon freir (none / 0) (#336)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:33:12 PM EST

jesus, gandhi, martin luther king were very passionate about what they believed

and their actions were very much in line with positive results for their goals

but if you believe their tactics are the answer to ALL scenarios and  problems in this world, you are naive

a pacifist would willingly accept that all peoples of the world suffer under the weight of a tyrant for thousands of years rather than lift a finger against him... simply in the blind naive hope that the tyrant would change his tune on his own

for the tyrant:

jesus would die

gandhi and mlk would demonstrate nonviolently

and i would fight

and you? you would do nothing at all

so my passion is very much in line with jesus and gandhi and mlk

while your lack of passion is duly noted

you pay homage to the right people, for the wrong reasons

i pay homage to those men as well, for they are great men, for teaching us about passion, something you apparently know nothing about, or simply haven't worked out all implications thereof in your mind

i prefer to think you are in the latter camp


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Again (none / 0) (#340)
by PrinceSausage on Thu May 13, 2004 at 07:28:19 PM EST

I act, but I also argue against war. Therefore I lack passion. Everytime someone speaks for war I speak out against it, so I lack passion. I refuse to say that violence can be good because down that path lies only more destruction, and I lack passion?

I think you have a lot to learn.

[ Parent ]

no, you have a lot to learn (none / 0) (#342)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 08:07:52 PM EST

i say "war, unfortunately, is sometimes necessary in life, unfortunately, simply because of the way human nature plays itself out, unfortunately"

you hear "gawd i love the smell of burning iraqi children's flesh in the morning! YEEHAH!"

why is that?

this whole exchange between you and i is just a giant game of shoot the messenger

let's break it down for you... if you find fault with any of these 6 fundamental, logical observations below of simple human nature, then you can be gone with me and have your pacifism as a viable model for people to behave themselves in this world, how's that?:

  1. human beings have free will
  2. therefore, they have a range of ideologies
  3. these ideologies are of such range that they eventually come into conflict
  4. human beings have passion
  5. some human beings are willing to go to deadly force for their passion in their ideology
  6. therefore, in this world, you must be willing to go to deadly force to oppose those who would otherwise kill you simply because of your ideology
did i say these 6 steps was good?

no

i said it was inevitable

do i like that fact?

no

do i run away from that fact in denial?

no, i accept some unfortunate things in this life, that doesn't make me a monster, that makes me realistic

you are just a child, who needs to grow up and realize what the world and human nature is all about

but go ahead a tantrum against me, for i am just a fascist killing asshole trying to justify his evils, right

yup, yeah, that's my message, right


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (none / 0) (#62)
by smg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:28:37 PM EST

It may not be the US's primary intention, but it still is an intention.

If you know what you are going to do will kill innocents, but do it anyway, then you intend to kill innocents, even if it's not your original goal. This is how any court of law would view the matter, BTW.

[ Parent ]

no (none / 0) (#67)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:57:29 PM EST

the courts see that as manslaughter versus murder

if i am on my way to the old folks home to help build a new wing there and improve their living standards, and i hit an old lady crossing the street, it was not my intention to do so

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Bad analogy (none / 0) (#73)
by smg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:07:12 PM EST

The US army knows it's going to kill civilians but shells and bombs anyway, just to kill a few militants.

The proper analogy is that you are going to build a new wing on the old folks home (guffaw) and you see an old lady in the middle of the road and keep driving anyway, even though you know you are going to run into her.

That, my friend, is intentional murder.


[ Parent ]

you ask me to justify unfortunate things (none / 0) (#77)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:16:28 PM EST

i will not say i am happy to kill innocents

but i will also not say that the fight against evil should not proceed because the evil hide behind innocents

would you please explain to me a world where you never have to fight evil, and everything that happens is not messy?

would you please tell me why you think i have to justify the messiness of this world, when i only want to justify the fight against evil?

in your mind, are those not two separate things?

what can be gained from equating those two things?

do you see no need to fight evil in this world?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

opinion (none / 1) (#129)
by phred on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:21:36 PM EST

You'll always have evil.

What I would do is contain evil. For instance, I would work on evil's opportunity. I'll never be able to feret out all of evil, as it exists in so many forms and can be effectively hidden. What I want to do is remove opportunity from evil.

For instance, with 9-11, we gave evil an opportunity by letting airliners fly unguarded. The real culprit with 9-11 was the airlines (and indirectly the passengers for wanting to fly on the cheap). There is no excuse for letting these flying missiles go unguarded. Think of it; when these things are in the air, they're a country unto themselves, where was the country's police force? Thats right, nonexistent, all because we are too cheap to properly police these flying entities.

But nobody likes to look at it that way, because proper security is expensive and removes from our standard of living in the form of higher costs.

[ Parent ]

well said (none / 1) (#151)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:49:17 PM EST

i would expand upon your observations:

we will always be fighting pedophilia, but this fact does not move us to grief and burden that we stop the fight, nor does it mean, because of simple statistical aberations of human sexuality, that we will ever completely win the fight

so, as you say: we limit evil's opportunities, and remain forever vigilant

it is expensive, but if we ignore the expense, really vile things will happen, and shock us, and move us back to vigilance and acceptance of the expenses

same with the "war on terror" or "the war on drugs" (even though i think pot should be made legal, something like heroin never should)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

And here comes the next can of worms (none / 0) (#60)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:22:20 PM EST

You see our view of what is evil and who is innocent might not correspond with someone elses. (Of course this is selfevident since it has been the base of any struggle between two belief systems of any kind)

I would actually like you to define innocent for me. Now, I am just being the really annoying guy here now, I am fully aware but I have to do this.

The intention of the firebombing of Tokyo was to destroy as much of the city as possible. The intention of the bombing of Dresden was terror. The intention of Shock and Awe (for those who remember that) was terror. The deaths of civilians was unevitable, you can't destroy half of a major city without killing a lot of people. Hence, those acts and the people who were behind them are by your definition evil. That includes some rather influential figures in 20th century USA. Kissinger, McNamara, Kennedy, Eisenhower, Truman and so on. All evil. Is it really that simple?

Which bring us to this, do you think that the people working in WTC were innocent in the mind of Mohammed Atta?

[ Parent ]

moral absolutism versus moral relativity (none / 0) (#66)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:54:54 PM EST

how about this:

peace, prosperity, happiness, for all human beings worldwide

how's that for a moral absolute about intent?

what actions by whom in this life gets us closest to these goals?

what actions by whom in this life gets us further away from these goals?

there's your grand struggle

now, reject this struggle if you like, but i think you will find that most of the world is engaged in it, so by rejecting this struggle, you do not reject my scatterbrained ideology, you reject the world


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

But you still (none / 0) (#180)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:09:44 PM EST

can't show that you are absolutely, conclusively on the Good side. Which is the whole issue.

It doesn't matter how much you believe, the proof still eludes you.

And I would recommend you to think about moral universalism rather than in those antiquated terms since you define yourself as a humanist.

[ Parent ]

i define myself as a cosmopolitanist (none / 0) (#221)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:46:10 AM EST

http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/cosmopolitanism/

as to whether or not i am the good side: well, that's a matter of trust, not truth then, isn't it?

for you have conclusively argued that an evil man is not evil without having taken an evil action first, which you corrected me for above, and i agreed with your correction

so here you delineate the other side of the coin, and again, you are correct: i cannot conclusively say i am on the good side unless my actions speak for themselves, right?

which brings us to this "It doesn't matter how much you believe, the proof still eludes you."

that is the whole crux of the matter, and here i got you, with your own argument:

action defines you, not words, i agree with you wholeheartedly, and you have underlined that point yourself a number of times so far

therefore: how can those who act in iraq, who state their intent and do so, be called anything but good... or evil... depending upon your pov?

BUT

how can those who act be criticized by those who do not act at all?

AND

and, in fact, argue against action!

those who argue against action and do not act thereby prove themselves to be without merit on accusing anyone of being good and/ or bad, as, since you have delineated, not i, that those who have not acted "can't show that (they) are absolutely, conclusively on the Good side."

so i agree wholeheartedly with you: only action brings proof and weight to argument, and therefore, since you advocate inaction, you have no weight or proof to your pov

meanwhile, since i propose action, all i have to do is actually act to gain truth and trust

and that really is the whole jumping off point from wisdom to virtue... it is one thing to know what the right thing to do is, it is another entirely to actually do it

you may have wisdom in your pov, but you have no virtue, and you have no currency to call anyone good or evil, since you will not act

action, of whatever flavor, is automatically superior to inaction

only through action do you define your identity

so a pov that proposes no action is not to be respected, and bears no weight, and is not good or evil... it is nothing, it does not add to the struggle which is human existence, it is a black hole

meanwhile, the most vile evil actions in this world are to be respected: necause they are willing to put their money where their mouth is... and those same actions are to be fought... with action of your own

;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Road to hell is paved with good intentions (none / 0) (#276)
by decaf_dude on Wed May 12, 2004 at 03:25:10 PM EST

Try explaining your intentions to the boy whose family was wiped out by an accidental drop of 2,000lbs bomb. He doesn't care about your intentions, he now has one thing to live for: make you suffer as much as he did. Only thing is, he can't find you personally, but he *will* fulfill his vengeance nevertheless.

Need I explain this further?

--
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=89158&cid=7713039


[ Parent ]
Intent mattering? It depends. (none / 0) (#321)
by jolly st nick on Thu May 13, 2004 at 02:08:09 PM EST

Mr. Rumsfeld accepts responsibility for the prisoner abuse scandal, but no consequences to himself. Is this a meaningful acceptance of responsibility?

Likewise, I might declare my intent is not to kill innocents, but if the effect of my intent on my decisions is nil, then what does that mean?

So, I'd say intent matters to the degree it has a measurable impact on our actions, otherwise it is meaningless. If we accept mere unsupported intent as sufficient justification, then terrorists can use exactly the same logic. Sure, they killed a bunch of innocent people on 9/11, but their intent is to change US policy, and to bolster their policies in their home countries. The fact that innocents are killed is a regrettable side effect.

The impacts on people have to be weighed; we can neither use people as a means to our ends (as the terrorists do), nor can we ignore the effect of our actions outside their intended consequences (as some ultramilitarists do). For example, we could end the insurgency in Fallujah by killing everybody there. But this could only be justifiable if, in a clear and immediate way, this could be shown to save more innocent lives than it costs. Furthermore the way in which we evaluate this possibility is critical. It is not enough to do so on the basis of wishful thinking, but real critical thought should be employed before taking actions that harm innocents.

[ Parent ]

Ignorant Twat... (2.00 / 4) (#55)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:12:18 PM EST

The ideals of Saddam and Osama were almost diametrically opposed, to begin with.

No muslims believed in the ideals of Saddam, because *SHOCK* he wasn't muslim. But he did live in the desert, so I can see how and ignorant fuckwad would make that mistake.

I suppose to follow your logic, we deserved 9/11 due to our inability to overthrough our government during their period of support for Saddam, as well as our continued support of Israel.

[ Parent ]

We don't have the resources (none / 0) (#86)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:41:36 PM EST

to overthrow all of the tyrannies of the world. Nor are most of us willing to die to liberate the oppressed people of Myanmar. Sad, perhaps, but true.

[ Parent ]
So, what's the plan? (2.41 / 12) (#29)
by IHCOYC on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:31:32 AM EST

a wise and prudent people
So, how do we get rid of the American people and bring these guys on board?
--
Iac et Iill, quærentes fontem, ascendebat paruum montem.
Ille, cadens, fregit frontem, trahens secum hanc insontem.
you don't fight propaganda with more propaganda (2.00 / 21) (#30)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:33:35 AM EST

you don't fight vile propaganda with more vile propaganda that is just diametrically opposed

you fight propaganda with truth

this ain't it

truth is proof positive, not proof negative

that is, if you want to defeat bush and cheney, you do not spend your time tearing down their efforts, you start your own efforts of an alternative plan, until more see your efforts as more positive than bush and cheney's efforts

then you defeat them

but by simply kneejerking reacting to them, you are merely placing yourself under bush and cheney's feet, and acting like their teenaged children

please, be adults in life, not teenagers: propose proof positive alternatives to actions you don't like, do not define your existence as merely nothing more than proof negative knee-jerk response


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

I must be going insane (2.40 / 5) (#200)
by findelmundo on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:07:49 PM EST

I am right there with you this time. I was thinking along the same lines re Michael Moore. He was interesting at first, but these days he's just propaganda in the other direction. The outrage spent over the claim of censorship. (People need to check the amendment and learn what censorship means btw) The man posts one thing on his website for PR reasons, and another at CNN. But fanboys ignore the fact that he's known for a year about Eisner's decision, because they think he is our country's greatest voices of dissent. (If that's true then the U.S. is fucked. THIS is our man?) Yet the same frickin people are first in line to point out Mel Gibson's PR stunt with Passion. They seem to have some sort of code or ethics, but they only apply it selectively. Not willing to apply it to someone like Moore because they like him. I don't know why, because he's contributed nothing! No solutions, just humorous finger pointing. Average Joe comes walking out of an art house high and furious and feeling good about himself. The small audience makes him feel like he knows something others don't. "Now I know what a minority feels like! I've gotta spread the news to others! Everyone needs to know!" Bumper Sticker as Film. Incredible. Nothing happened for people in Flint. Nothing happened with gun control. (Let's point out a problem with guns when rich white kids are involved, but ignore the rest of it...Compton anyone?) Nothing is going to be the result of his latest piece. He's done nothing for the cycle. He's just spinning it the other way.

So basically whats pissing me off the most is not Moore, but people who don't take their own rules all the way and apply them across the board. And the fact that everyone falls for this righteous indignation crap, get outraged and MAD at bush...and nothing comes of it. It's not simply a matter of voting...votes without quality got us Bush. To do it again to get him out should be embarrasing to everyone! There's no forward movement or evolution in replacing Bush with Kerry...but now we're forced to...this mess should cause outrage...but time wasted bashing bush now (and the past 3.5 years) is time completely wasted.

More bumper sticker crap: "Not my President" BULLSHIT. If the situation were reversed no one (except Republicans) would be crying out how Gore was appointed but not elected. All these yokels would just silently ignore it. This is where I also agree with your human first american second theme...people allow their parties (and the parties they despise) shape their decision making and belief systems. No real independant or critical thought...they wait for millionaires like Moore to do it for them. The Not my President crap is useless drivel. Say something real! Your T-Shirts do nothing but attract like minded people who think its funny. Do people really think T shirts and bumper stickers are going to help the fence sitters make up their minds? "Hmmmm...I was gonna vote for Bush, but then I saw that Mini..." Or will they change the minds of those on the other side?



[ Parent ]
the difference between propaganda and reason (none / 0) (#202)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:32:24 PM EST

for some, in the fight against what they perceive as their enemy, they do the same evil or hypocritical things that originally pissed them off about their enemy in the first place

then the struggle becomes meaningless, for they have become their own enemy

it's sad, and pisses you off at the same time

i'm right there with you too bro


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Rumsfeld should have resigned already (2.71 / 14) (#33)
by nkyad on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:58:11 AM EST

The torture of war prisioners is serious enough to require the whole chain of command to be held accountable. Rumsfeld is now a major embarassment to the President, to the military and to himself.

The torture was probably written in the stars also: we are talking about an administration that claimed some prisioners were "untouchable", less than human scum without rights or voice, locked them in a military base that shouldn't even exist anymore and ignored all countries and organisations who tried to stop the abuse. On the top of that, they probably enjoyed choosing the most cruel bigots in the Army to look after the military prison, forgetting that the "unlawful combatant" label couldn't be applied to regular enemy soldiers.

And sick as those criminal soldiers are, it is absolutely unfair that the whole blame falls on them while the main planners of their crime, people like Rumsfeld and a whole line of generals bellow him, continue to inhabit government offices and plot more misguided policies and wars.

Don't believe in anything you can't see, smell, touch or at the very least infer from a good particle accelerator run


Yes and no. (none / 3) (#85)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:40:43 PM EST

I want him to resign for the whole fuckup. Things aren't going well; we aren't in control, and we're having to expend a great effort to get back *in* control, and that fact can be traced to specific things that we did wrong _because Rumsfeld insisted we do them that way_. He should go.

[ Parent ]
Resignation aint enough (none / 3) (#190)
by driptray on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:25:38 PM EST

I'd be disappointed if Rumsfeld resigned. The only ending that would satisfy me would be for Rumsfeld, Bush, Cheney, and the rest of that crowd to be tried as war criminals.

And found guilty, and then executed.
--
We brought the disasters. The alcohol. We committed the murders. - Paul Keating
[ Parent ]

I find it funny (none / 1) (#208)
by mcc on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:25:48 AM EST

That the significance of three prisoners being psychologically tortured is this horrible thing, this mindblowing international incident that is leading to nationwide denunciations and calls for Cabinet resignations.

Yet nobody seems to be offering so much as an idle passing thought to the significance of ten thousand dead Iraqi civilians.

Meh.

[ Parent ]

What's funny about that? (none / 0) (#300)
by Mike the Kid on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:43:01 PM EST



[ Parent ]
Rumsfeld must resign. (none / 0) (#254)
by haro on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:23:13 PM EST

To the average mid-east person, the US has now show itself to be no better than Irak was under Saddam. As long as taking responsibility implies nothing more than saying sorry and blaming the bottom of the command chain that view will remain. A necessary but not sufficient response is that Rumsfeld resigns. Even Saddam could have responded to publication of bad pictures by punishing the obvious wrongdoers. With a top level resignation, at least there is an argument that there is a difference.

Sadly - he will not resign.

Sadly - his resignation is unlikely to be enough.

[ Parent ]

While I agree with you... (none / 0) (#264)
by spectecjr on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:32:45 PM EST

The torture of war prisioners is serious enough to require the whole chain of command to be held accountable. Rumsfeld is now a major embarassment to the President, to the military and to himself. While I agree with you, I do have one thing to add to this debate. A good friend of mine is Iranian (or, as he likes to put it, Persian). His grandparents - on hearing about the torturing of prisoners of war - had this to say:
"Don't they realize that they have to cover this stuff up? How can they let it get out?"
Apparently this kind of mistreatment of POWs - while illegal - is common everywhere. Especially in the Middle East.

[ Parent ]
Unlawful combatants (2.83 / 18) (#36)
by John Thompson on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:13:37 AM EST

stpna5 wrote:

Some of these firms have engaged in firefights with "insurgents" and calling in their own air support. They operate outside the chain of command to which all the active military members sent by the Pentagon must adhere.

I can't help but wonder when the Iraqi insurgents will capture some of these "contractors" and hold them, without charges, access to counsel, or respect for the Geneva Convention, as "illegal combatants" in the same manner in which the US holds hundreds of prisoners in Guantanamo. What grounds would we have to object to such a situation?

None, I fear. We have set a precedent and must live with the consequences.



Geneva Convention (3.00 / 4) (#40)
by bryaninnh on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:38:03 AM EST

Geneva Convention, Article 4, Section 2 ( Definition of a P.O.W ) 2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions: (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) That of carrying arms openly; (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. which of these conditions are you saying the contractors are violating?

[ Parent ]
In that case, (none / 2) (#43)
by smg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:51:47 AM EST

which condition did the inhabitants of Gitmo violate?


[ Parent ]
Just a guess... (none / 0) (#211)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:46:50 AM EST

...at least (b), (c) and (d). Maybe (a) too.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Unfortunately.... (none / 3) (#52)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:04:44 PM EST

...president bush has already stated that the geneva convention does not apply in Iraq.

[ Parent ]
authority (none / 2) (#65)
by John Thompson on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:37:10 PM EST

kcidx wrote:

president bush has already stated that the geneva convention does not apply in Iraq.

I wonder who granted him the authority to make delcarations like that?



[ Parent ]
God. [n/t] (2.60 / 5) (#69)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:01:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
nope (none / 1) (#76)
by SocratesGhost on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:15:15 PM EST

what he was considering was actions in Afghanistan. These are two different theaters with two different opponents. The problem was that this ended up being a mixed signal; he said it in reference to Afghanistan but never recinded it in the case of Iraq.

Whether he intended it for Iraq, he has not made clear; that's the problem.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Terrorists? (none / 2) (#92)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:51:47 PM EST

I thought you could only suspend all obedience to the law when you were fighting terrorists, not opponents.

The Taliban, and Saddam were both governments, not terrorists.

Just because the Taliban offered to hand over Osama to a 3rd party, and we refused to negotiate, doesn't make them terrorists.

It just gets so confusing when the enemy is an amorphous entitey which is loosely defined as "anyone who does like us, or who we don't like, anywhere, anytime, at our discretion."

[ Parent ]

That's the argument (none / 2) (#103)
by SocratesGhost on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:18:05 PM EST

Bush was claiming in Afghanistan that, since there was no government there, all opponents be labelled as "unlawful combatants". As a result, they fall outside the law of both the United States and Geneva. Or, at least that's the Bush argument.

Only two countries in the world recognized the Taliban government. Everywhere else, they were viewed as dominant warlords or gangleaders. That's the reason Bush considered this policy for Afghanistan. Obviously, Iraq was a recognized government and there was no mention of treating Iraqi soldiers as unlawful combatants.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Official vs. Unofficial (none / 1) (#108)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:31:12 PM EST

We certainly recognized them when we gave them money for slowing opium production.

Certainly they were gangleaders and warlord, but so were the northern alliance.

I guess the difference was that they were "our" gangleaders and warlords.

[ Parent ]

Uhh...yeah... (none / 0) (#212)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:50:05 AM EST

...and therefor we weren't jailing them and being challenged on the grounds of the Geneva Convention at that time. Your smug comment is just one more empty equivalence in the dart-quivver of contrarian victim-complex ideology.
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

unfortunately (none / 2) (#93)
by orestes on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:53:29 PM EST

when dealing with terrorists, the geneva convention and our own constitution are rags that the bush administration use to wipe their asses.

[ You Sad Bastard ]
[ Parent ]
True... (none / 2) (#110)
by kcidx on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:32:04 PM EST

and also unfortunately, when dealing with american citizens the same holds true.

[ Parent ]
violation (3.00 / 4) (#63)
by John Thompson on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:28:54 PM EST

bryaninnh wrote:

Geneva Convention, Article 4, Section 2 ( Definition of a P.O.W ) 2. Members of other militias and members of other volunteer corps, including those of organized resistance movements, belonging to a Party to the conflict and operating in or outside their own territory, even if this territory is occupied, provided that such militias or volunteer corps, including such organized resistance movements, fulfil the following conditions: (a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) That of carrying arms openly; (d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war. which of these conditions are you saying the contractors are violating?

First of all, it is immaterial what I think the contractors may have violated, if anything; all that really matters is what the Iraqi insurgents think the contrators may have violated.

I suspect they would be able to rationalize violations under any of the conditions you list:

(a) That of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates

It is not clear who exactly is responsible for the actions of these contrators. In the Abu Ghraib situation, the Pentagon has explicitly denied responsibility for the contractors involved there, and the companies themselves have not been forthcoming about what they intend to do with those responsible.

(b) That of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance

These contractors are not uniformed soldiers of any country, yet they are engaging in firefights with the Iraqis.

'Nuff said.

(c) That of carrying arms openly

They may carry their arms openly, but that could probably also be said for many of the "unlawful combatants" being held in Guantanamo. If we feel this doesn't apply in Guantanamo, how can we claim differently for potential prisnoners of the Iraqis?

(d) That of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.

In light of the photographic evidence from Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, reports from Maj Gen Antonio Taguba, Amnesty International, the International Red Cross, etc., it appears abundantly clear that contractors have been involved in war crimes in Iraq. While you and I may hold a different opinion, it is still only the opinion of the Iraqi insurgents that will really matter if and when such prisoners are taken. And they are likely to have significant support from other Arab nations and elsewhere, should it come to this.

Does that answer your question?



[ Parent ]
not quite (none / 2) (#80)
by bryaninnh on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:26:51 PM EST

I can see condition a being violated, maybe ... , it's too early to say at this point I think. these companies could be sued, they could be criminally prosecuted, maybe they will be, maybe they won't.
point b doesn't say they have to be uniformed soldiers of a country, in fact if they are a uniformed soldier of a country, then NONE of the above conditions apply, that's covered by the previous section of the Geneva convention, perhaps you should read it. this condition applies to non-army soldiers, and others. it says they need a distinctive sign, all the contractors in pictures/ on tv, etc that i've seen are all wearing easily identifyable uniforms.
c, are they carrying arms openly ? or not ? what does Guantanamo have to do with contractors in Iraq? just because a prisoner in guantanamo was carrying arms openly doesn't make him a POW entitled to it's protections, maybe they were in violation of one of the other conditions, you have to meet ALL of these conditions, not just one of them.
the partial definition I posted for a POW under the geneva convention applies to individuals, not groups. if an individual violates one of the above conditions, and that particular individual is captured than that individual is not considered a POW and loses it's protections.
but you can't lump everyone into a category, and treat them all as violating the definitions laid out by the convention because of the actions of other members of that group. if you could, then I'm sure we could find a single Iraqi who has violated some such condition or other, and then, by your logic, we have license to mistreat all of them.
as far as potential AlQuaida members being held in Guantanamo, ALQuaida has specifically stated that they do not conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war, therefore tough shit for them, they lose Geneva convention protections, this doesn't mean we shouldn't treat them humanely, and I disagree with the treatment they are receiving, but they have no legal recourse.
as far as others in Guantanamo, some of these people were in violation of the posted section, and for those people, again, tough shit. for the others, they are being mistreated and should be released, apologized to, and compensated in some fashion.

[ Parent ]
Too late... (none / 0) (#195)
by John Thompson on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:46:03 PM EST

bryaninnh wrote:

as far as others in Guantanamo, some of these people were in violation of the posted section, and for those people, again, tough shit. for the others, they are being mistreated and should be released, apologized to, and compensated in some fashion.

...it's already begun.

[ Parent ]

not quite (none / 0) (#309)
by strumco on Thu May 13, 2004 at 12:13:17 PM EST

as far as potential AlQuaida members being held in Guantanamo, ALQuaida has specifically stated that they do not conduct their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war, therefore tough shit for them, they lose Geneva convention protections,

Absolute tosh, I'm afraid.

No-one escapes the protection of the Geneva Convention. No party to the Geneva Convention is free to exclude anyone from its protections.

The GC recognises only two forms of detention:

  • Prisoners of War - for which the GC prescribed a detailed set of protections and rights.
  • Criminals (or people charge with criminal offences). The GC is less prescriptive about such cases, since treatment depends so much on the jurisdiction involved (that of the captor), but such detainees must have access to the due process of law, and the minimum standard for that law should be the treatment given to soldiers in the detaining force, if they were accused of crimes.

The GC makes no mention of this mythical concept - 'illegal combatants'. It is a unilateral invention of the Bush administration, with no authority whatsoever.

DC
http://www.strum.co.uk
[ Parent ]

bullshit (none / 0) (#341)
by bryaninnh on Thu May 13, 2004 at 07:39:17 PM EST

Quote from Article 2 - "Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof." repeat of part of that quote for emphasis, in case you missed it - "if the latter ACCEPTS and APPLIES the provisions thereof." this is quite clearly an exclusion, and furthermore, quite clearly excluded members of organizations such as Al Quaida.

[ Parent ]
Nope (none / 0) (#350)
by strumco on Fri May 14, 2004 at 06:33:26 AM EST

this is quite clearly an exclusion

If you turn your monitor upside down, fiddle with the contrast and squint your eyes then you might be able to see an exclusion there. No-one else could.

DC
http://www.strum.co.uk
[ Parent ]

err (none / 0) (#356)
by bryaninnh on Fri May 14, 2004 at 11:34:51 AM EST

so what happens to your relation to "said Power" if that Power fails to "accept and apply the provisions thereof" ? are you saying they're still covered? if so what was the point of using this language in the text of the document?

are you seriously claiming that the following statement causes the "said Power" to be INCLUDED in these provisions?
- "They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof"

have you actually read this document?

are you capable of responding to this in an intelligent manner, without resorting to useless and meaningless references to unrelated things such as monitor acrobatics?



[ Parent ]

Wrong again (none / 0) (#374)
by strumco on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:01:06 PM EST

if so what was the point of using this language in the text of the document?

What, then, was the point of the Geneva Convention requiring that an independent tribunal settle such disputes? Perhaps to settle such ambiguous phrases?

Face it, neither you, nor George Bush nor the DoD have the authority to resile unilaterally from an international treaty.

have you actually read this document?

Yes. Have you? - it doesn't look like it.

DC
http://www.strum.co.uk
[ Parent ]

unlikely (none / 0) (#209)
by martingale on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:30:47 AM EST

Keeping prisoners like the Americans do in Guantanamo is not worth it for now. The insurgents don't control enough land to be able to keep pow camps, and torturing them in private for god knows what reason wouldn't help their cause.

Probably their best approach is to either keep temporary prisoners for negotiation, or execute them publically to convince the population to join them, being the "forces of justice".

[ Parent ]

Have you seen the news today? (none / 2) (#272)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:28:43 PM EST

I fear it is already happened. An US contractor named Nicholas Berg was captured by a militia and beheaded on camera.

How did this happen? 2 years ago the US captures a large number of prisoners in various theatres (mostly Afghanistan). Instead of following the Geneva convention, they call them "illegal combatants" or some other sophistry and jail them in Gitmo without charge, trial, access to counsel or the ICRC. As other stories reported here on K5 and up in Canada suggest, the US was using similar, sexually degrading methods of "interrogation" on prisoners there. Then, last year, despite opposition by most of the world, the majority of people in the US and most traditional allies, the US invades Iraq based on lies and false information. In an ongoing effort to get info for the "war on terra", they use one of Saddam's old torture chambers for "interrogation". We now know that they began torturing prisoners (and otherwise violating the Geneva Convention) there at least last September going through December and into this year (according to the dates when the pictures that have been released so far were taken. They may have started earlier). Suddenly, for some reason, March of this year, there is a up-swing in violence, kidnappings of foriegn nationals and a seemingly popular uprising behind Al-Sadr. Then, Nic Berg is kidnapped and killed in a manner errily familiar to Daniel Pearl.

So, we are to be outraged at the death and treatment of this one American (as we should be) but not at the treatment of prisoners in US custody (as some US senators would have us believe). The Bush administration abandoned the rule of law, morals and ethics when it started this "war on terra", it should not be surprised if the other side uses that to their advantage. While the people who murdered Nic Berg are certainly monsters, they have local support and an air of legitimacy about them because of the actions of the US government. If you are going to invade a soveriegn nation to "bring democracy and human rights" perhaps you should follow your own advice. This groups is acting just like the US Senators who say things like "why should we be all upset about the treatment of a bunch thugs that murder Americans" - I'm sure this group is saying "why should we care about the treament of American citizens whose government tortures prisoners just like Saddam".

The terrorist army of Al-Sadr just doubled in size. Way to go.

No wonder the world seems to hate you(by an American Citizen BTW).


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

-1: For blatant misuse of numbers (2.54 / 11) (#41)
by fyngyrz on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:38:53 AM EST

One million bucks per man, eh?

It makes about as much sense to say X$ per grenade.

The war effort (which I do not support) spends a LOT of money transporting and supporting (for instance) a tank; a jet; a helicopter. Troop costs are a fraction of what you imply with your hand-waving.

Adding more troops won't add anywhere near a million each.

Blog, Photos.

-1 Yourself (3.00 / 6) (#46)
by virg on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:00:59 AM EST

> The war effort (which I do not support) spends a LOT of money transporting and supporting (for instance) a tank; a jet; a helicopter. Troop costs are a fraction of what you imply with your hand-waving. Adding more troops won't add anywhere near a million each.

Adding more troops means adding more support hardware. Those planes don't fly themselves, you know. The more troops you add, the more money you need to spend on infrastructure and support, so saying "$1 million a man" is a loose but still reasonable assessment. Sure, adding one more soldier won't add $1 million, but they're not likely to send one person with a pack, they're likely to send a combat group, with their own trucks, planes and tanks to support.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Still not the same (none / 2) (#185)
by Eater on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:24:21 PM EST

An operation should not be evaluated in "dollars per soldier" because it implies that sending more soldiers will necessarily up the price proportionally to how many soldiers were sent. For example, let's say I send a group of 15 guys in tanks (3 per tank) to Some Place, at a cost of 1 million per tank, and since there are only 5 tanks, two of them get blown up, and another gets disabled because I didn't have enough mechanics, so they have to be replaced and the repairs cost half a million. The total cost of this operation comes out to 7.5 million, or $500,000 per soldier sent. Now lets say I send in 30 guys in tanks, and since they are greater in number, they don't have as much trouble doing their job, and none of them get damaged or destroyed. The cost is now 10 million, or $333,333 per soldier. Of course, this example is exaggerated, but you get the point.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
You dont all even disagree. (none / 0) (#237)
by megid on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:48:30 AM EST

What is presented here is an statistical "average" cost per soldier, which is as meaningful as the value "temperature in your area". Of course grossly simplified (in case of temperature depending on sun, shadow, wind, etc at every single spot), but still useful to grasp the overall dimension of the value.

And thats what it all boils down to (at least outside the world of pure mathematics): A useful, understanding-promoting, value.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
[ Parent ]

No. (none / 2) (#193)
by fyngyrz on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:43:05 PM EST

There is no magical "tank-to-soldier ratio" or "aircraft to soldier" ratio. Those numbers entirely depend upon the local tactical situation, which is hugely fluid and chaotic, as in any contested military operation.

It may be that they need ZERO tanks, and only light infantry. It may be that they need ONLY tanks (that's more like it here, they're bringing in a bunch from Germany right now.) At this point, they're not deploying stealth fighters or bombers in any numbers, because they're not bombing. So the ordinance costs for smart weapons and so forth are skewing - included at first, not included now. We don't have multiple subs launching cruise missiles at 7 figures a pop anymore. Even when we did, it had nothing to do with soldier count.

The point was, and is, you can't get a reasonable dollar value per soldier out of the total cost of the endeavor and simple(ton) division. If you produce such a thing, it's only a "trash number." The kind of number you feed to the average American. You know, the citizen with the IQ of one hundred who watches Fox News and slurps all that mangled data up as if it were the one true gospel.


Blog, Photos.
[ Parent ]

i think stalin said something along the lines of (1.50 / 30) (#58)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:21:26 PM EST

"one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic"

or something like that

all those who hoot and holler over guantanamo and these prison guard abusers to me just represent the victory of propaganda over reason

do bad things go on in guantanamo? yes

are these prison guards dumb red neck fucks who need punishment? of course

but this is my problem: all of you

all of you who invest so much of your attention in these prison guards and guantanamo, and hoot and hollar about these abuses, and have not ONE PEEP of derision for the likes saddam hussein

in other words: perspective, scale, context... intent, reason

words that should have, but for many of you, do not have, much weight in how you think about the world or the actions that take place in it

for me, a lot of you represent to me the victory of propaganda over reason

for you, stalin's quote is very appropriate

you dismiss and disregard mountains of evil in the world,
and focus all of your energies on molehills

these red neck prison guards and any upper level commanders are vile repugnant assholes who need to be punished severely for what they have done

and yet, to you, that is where the fight against evil in this world begins, and ends

you are dragged from one scandal to the next, obediently towing the line at surface-level kneejerk reaction, and applying none of your outrage to the deeper, larger evils in the world

you don't look beneath the surface, you are, victims of propaganda

stalin would love all of you

but don't mind me folks, i'm just asking you to think a little, and stop reacting reflexively to visceral surface level displays in the media, to look at really evil men in this world who really intend much harm, and not just the little fish

i'm just so silly that way


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

Oh please (none / 2) (#101)
by kero on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:14:47 PM EST

     I must say that is not only the silliest most pretentious formatting I've ever seen, but a pretty goofy argument as well

      You chide people for being outraged over the misdeeds of our troops or contractors or whatever and not for the misdeeds of some far away dictator

       And then you are surprised

        And then you imply that only red necks can be bad prison gaurds

         And then you bring in Stalin just so you can add a couple more double spaced lines

          Of course most people only care for their immediate surroundings; try and care for every wrong in the world and you turn into a kook or a burn out or you live in Boulder

           But thank goddes we've got you here to tell us what we Should Care About and what we Shouldn't Care About, that must make you feel better

[ Parent ]

let me tell you what you should care about (none / 1) (#109)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:32:00 PM EST

you should care about your fellow human beings, period, regardless of geopolitical border or socioeconomic class

and you should apply the outrage you feel at those prison guards AT A GREATER VOLUME to the genocide that is now occuring in sudan, simply because the scale of the crime going on there is a mountain compared to these prison guards

what i am asking for is your outrage to match the crime, not the media coverage

should you stop your outrage at the prison guards?

no!

but all i want is your outrage and concern to match very real evil versus minor scandals

and sadly, the world we live in is mired in nationalistic religions and other somesuch bullshit, so that truly horrendous evil goes unpunished, unfought, and unnoticed

while a million busybodies make themselves busy over molehills

to me, it's sad ;-(


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

think globally act locally (none / 2) (#133)
by JyZude on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:23:29 PM EST

Outrage in itself is not a very productive thing. I can be "outraged" at the Sudanese genocide, I can be "outraged" at the prison guards, and I can be "outraged" that my grocer raised the price of bananas by six cents a pound. In all of these cases, the outrage itself means nothing.

What matters is what you do with your moral indignation, what you can do, and what we as a group can do. In terms of the American soldiers torturing prisoners in Iraq, there is a lot we can do. These soldiers are citizens of our country, and thus we are obliged to punish them if they step out of line. This isn't nationalism - this is just the responsibility inherit in the existence of a nation. We can lean on our representatives to punish these soldiers, and also to audit the U.S. Military and see why these sorts of things happen.

With Sudan, our hands are tied further. They are another, sovereign nation, and though I may love my fellow men equally, the way the world works right now it is illegal for us to walk on into another nation and "fix" the problem. Yes, I know that we just did that with Iraq, but I think you understand the logistical difficulties of the undertaking, and can appreciate that our already thinly-spread military is in no position to right the wrongs of yet another country.

So, let's take responsibility for the things that are directly our responsibility, and that we have the ability to change, and hope and pray that as we clean ourselves up, that we can have the strength to help the Sudanese in the future.

-----
k5 is not the new Adequacy k thnx bye


[ Parent ]
if the world were just (none / 1) (#159)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:58:24 PM EST

level of outrage would match level of crime

and level of action would match level of outrage

all you are asking me is to accept the status quo, because of nationalism

i reject that

we should invade sudan yesterday, we should invade north korea yesterday, but we won't, and why?

selfishness, lack of concern, nationalism, inertia

i am championing simple human empathy and simple human conscience and simple human morality

you are merely giving me reasons to explain that away

i will not, and it saddens me you do, and so many others do too ;-(


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Level of outrage (none / 1) (#246)
by cluke on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:54:56 AM EST

My level of outrage matches the level of the crime. When I read about the torture in Iraq, it made me shout out "Raaar!" Sudan, however, makes me go "RAAAAAAAAARRRR!!"

Thus is the outrage-to-crime ratio requirement satisfied. All without me having to leave my parents basement! I truly am a citizen of the world.

[ Parent ]

You took the words right out of my mouth. (none / 0) (#376)
by DavidTC on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:47:26 PM EST

I've been reading this entire stupid thread, all the time wondering what the fuck 'outrage' was supposed to accomplish. circletimessquare can go running around outraged at the 'correct' level for various world problems, like all good little citizens of humanity.

Meanwhile, us who are US citizens will, instead of getting outraged, demand changes in the situtation in Iraq, and hopefully, because we are the United States of America, get them, and less people will be tortured. And maybe we'll be able to leave Iraq completely as soon as possible, (Taking into account the fact we don't want to leave them a non-functioning government.) and there won't be anymore confrontations between Iraqis and American soldiers, and 'less citizens of humanity' will die bleeding in the street.

And maybe, just maybe, as a citizen, and as someone theoretically partially in charge of, one of the most powerful entities on the planet, I'll be able to figure out a way to help the people in the Sudan, too.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

A side comment (none / 0) (#235)
by stalker on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:34:39 AM EST

What a nice person you are, full of empathy toward the people of the whole world.
You, Sir, are truly noble in spirit, advocating the utter necessity of adopting the humanity as our sole "nation".

However, you are also vain and ineffectual.

If you hear about a misdeed done in your name (as an American citizen, you have the responsibility of the deeds of american soldiers and contractors in Iraq. Voting contrary, I'm afraid, doesn't disqualifies you from sharing the burden of responsibilty of your state actions), you prefer to cry about the tragic state of humanity and  rant about the necessity of being a "citizen of the world", rather than take all action that is in your power to stop the misdeeds.

It is precisely because you are a citizen of the world, that you have the responsibilty of policing the actions of those who you send around the world.

Sadly, you will take this comment as an attack to you person and beliefs.

Sadly, you will go on "applying your outrage" to the "truly horrendous evil" and you will stop there: you will voice your outrage and you will feel a good man, while having done nothing to change the situation.

Sad, indeed.

[ Parent ]

The sources of outrage (none / 1) (#106)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:20:31 PM EST

circletimessquare - I'm pissed off about the prison guards and commanders in Iraq. I'm pissed off for two reasons, one pragmatic and one ethical.

Pragmatically, what they are doing undermines the very intent of our troops being there; it undercuts the mission and makes our job in Iraq harder. It's counterproductive, and it's fucking stupid.

My other anger is broader. These soldiers - American soldiers - are committing atrocities while on official duty. They are committing those atrocities in the name of, and under color of authority of, the United States of America. They are our ambassadors to Iraq. For them to commit these atrocities is no different than for you or I to commit them. Worse yet, they are doing so without authorization, without the consent of the voters; they are taking away our choice to not commit them. They are violating the fundamental precepts of a democracy, that the state does not do anything without the consent and approval of the electorate.

If the Congress were to vote to authorize torture and the army were then to do it, I would not be upset in the same way; I'd be pissed at the Congresspeople in question, and I wouldn't vote for a congressman who had authorized that, but I wouldn't be pissed at the soldiers. They would be executing the will of the sovereign people. In this case, the soldiers responsible are flouting the will of the people (as expressed in laws banning this kind of behavior), misrepresenting us to our Iraqi dependants, and taking an important ethical and moral choice out of our hands.

THEY HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO SO. And they should be punished for it.

[ Parent ]

what about what is going on in the sudan right now (none / 1) (#111)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:33:26 PM EST

why does your outrage match the media coverage, instead of the scale of the evil being committed?


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
what's going on in the sudan (none / 1) (#112)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:37:06 PM EST

as far as i know, isn't being committed by people acting as my agent.

[ Parent ]
HEY DUMB FUCK (none / 2) (#114)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:39:43 PM EST

YOU ARE A HUMAN BEING

YOU FIGHT FOR THE RIGHTS OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS

OR, APPARENTLY, MAKE EXCUSES NOT TO CARE FOR THEM

god i hate nationalism, a vile evil religion... it says what happens outside of my arbitrary geopolitical border is not my concern

nice excuse to not have a conscience


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

heh. (none / 0) (#115)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:43:17 PM EST

Did I say that? Please listen to what i'm saying, not what you think i'm saying. :)

For agents of the United States of America to commit a crime is, in theory, for me to commit that crime. For them to commit it without my authorization, or without the authorization at the very least of the electorate at large, is to deprive us of the choice to commit or not to commit the crime. It is intolerable.

Am I responsible for what happens in the Sudan? Yes, but on a different level and in a different way. It is the responsibility of inaction. I am an accessory to those crimes.

[ Parent ]

well then riddle me this batman (none / 0) (#116)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:47:34 PM EST

why is outrage over prison guard abuses so loud, but your outrage over genocide in sudan so soft?

because of nationalism?

let me phrase this another way: are you an american first, and a human being second? or a human being first, and an american second?

it is nationalism- arabic and american, that allows for what is happening in the sudan to be forgotten, while what happens to some iraqi prisoners to be inflated

and it's sad really ;-(

sad for all of us: that our egos should be attached to some arbitrary geopolitical tribal view of the world

until we lose nationalism, it is just more suffering for us all


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

not nationalism. (none / 1) (#117)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 02:57:40 PM EST

Nationalism isn't really the issue. The issue for me is that the prison guards are acting in my name.

They are an extension of me and my friends.

I'm not saying that what happens in the US is more important or more interesting or more worthy of attention than what happens in the Sudan.

I'm saying that i'm outraged that someone is committing crimes in my name.

I'm sad about what's happening in Sudan; disappointed, on some level disgusted. It's incomprehensible to me. But i'm not attached to it. It's one of those strange and terrible things that happens in the world. If I focused on it, it would overwhelm me, and i'd be outraged; but I choose not to, in part because on my own I can't right all of the wrongs of the world and I have to pick and choose which things to focus my energy on.

I choose to be outraged over the prison guard stuff because the prison guards are acting as my agents. I am - however indirectly - paying them to commit a crime. I would never, of my own volition, have chosen to pay them to do that. They took that choice away from me.

I'm pissed at them because, ultimately, they made me morally culpable for a crime I would never have chosen to commit. That's not ok with me.

[ Parent ]

WHAT AN INCREDIBLY DUMB FUCK!!! (none / 1) (#120)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:01:32 PM EST

Nationalism isn't really the issue. The issue for me is that the prison guards are acting in my name.

THEY ARE ACTING IN YOUR NAME BECAUSE OF NATIONALISM YOU DIM WIT!!! DUH!!!

I'm sad about what's happening in Sudan; disappointed, on some level disgusted. It's incomprehensible to me. But i'm not attached to it.

YEAH!!! BECAUSE IT'S NOT IN AUSTIN TEXAS!!!

you are a royally moronic fucktwit: it is more important for you to be an american, than a human being

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No. (none / 0) (#122)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:04:32 PM EST

They are acting in my name because I am a citizen of a democratic state. The state is indistinguishable, morally speaking, from its citizens.

That is not true for a non-democratic polity.

The amusing thing about this debate, for me, is that you're picking on one of your allies. I think the US press is incredibly self-centered and uninterested in describing what is going on in the rest of the world. I think our failure to act in Rwanda was reprehensible. I could easily be convinced that we should be pushing the UN to act in the Sudan.

What I reject is the notion that I should be more outraged over that than I am by people committing crimes in my name and depriving me of the choice not to commit them.

[ Parent ]

good lord what a blind spot! (none / 1) (#126)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:10:47 PM EST

take the weight of the crimes happening in the prison in iraq

take the weight of the crimes happening in the sudan RIGHT NOW

tell me again the first deserves more of your attention

why? "because they are acting in my name"

acting in your name as what? "because I am a citizen of a democratic state"

HEY YOU STUPID BLIND FUCKTWIT

THAT'S CALLED NATIONALISM

you are telling me your concern for your fellow human being is tempered by arbitrary geopolitical boundaries

unfuckingbelieveable

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

concern for my fellow human being? (none / 1) (#135)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:25:20 PM EST

fuck, man, on some level "concern for my fellow human being" doesn't enter into my outrage about iraq.

i'm outraged because someone else has chosen, outside the rules of our group decision making procedure, to commit a terrible crime. i have morally binding commitments to that group, and it to me. i'm outraged at the violation of our decision-making process, and at their acting in the name of the group without authorization, and at their commiting the group to a course of action that we, ourselves, would not have committed to. I'm outraged at the violation of process and the betrayal of the group.

Concern for my fellow human beings is a different discussion entirely.

[ Parent ]

apparently (none / 0) (#137)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:28:33 PM EST

concern for rules and procedures and some prisoners getting abused is more important to you than the genocide of thousands

exactly as stalin said: "one death is a tragedy, the death of millions is a statistic"

stalin's way of saying that you're the perfect victim of propaganda

fucking sheep


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

*grin* (none / 1) (#139)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:31:03 PM EST

Concern that my group not be tricked into conducting evils it did not agree to conduct is more important than most things outside of the group, yes.

This has nothing to do with Stalin's quote. :)

[ Parent ]

your group (none / 1) (#143)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:41:11 PM EST

is humanity

all human beings

not some stupid fucking arbitrary tribe

you stupid racist fuck


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

race? (none / 0) (#145)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:43:08 PM EST

what does race have to do with it? my group is all people who, whether by birth or by voluntarily joining, have agreed to be part of it. i'd open the doors and let anyone immigrate who wanted to, and let anyone become a citizen who agreed to the principles of our polity.

In what way is this racism?

Do you want to _talk_ or hurl insults?

[ Parent ]

racism (none / 1) (#147)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:44:53 PM EST

americans this, sudanese that

what about HUMAN BEINGS this, HUMAN BEINGS that

WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i'll hurl whatever fucking epithets i want to if it it will WAKE YOUR SMUG BLIND ASS UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

not effective. (none / 0) (#149)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:48:20 PM EST

hurling epithets just gets me to stop listening. :)

I think I see what you're saying: that caring more about group [a] than about group [b] is racist. That's not the standard use of the word, and I think the standard use of the word misreprents my position; i'd prefer a different word, but it may not exist.

Do you care equally about everyone? Do you put yourself and your family above the homeless man down the street? If so, why?

[ Parent ]

you care about all human beings equally (none / 0) (#154)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:53:41 PM EST

to the extent that you care about those living in los angeles, you care equally about those living in khartuom

we're talking about nationalist borders, geopolitical burdens on basic human empathy, which you apparently accept

don't fucking obfuscate that point with socioeconomics and human family units asshole


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

no obfuscation whatsoever (none / 0) (#184)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:24:13 PM EST

i'm assuming you care more about your family than you do the people in khartoum.

Yes. I care more about the people in LA than I do the people in Khartoum; my citizenship constitutes an agreement to that. Does that mean I don't care about the people in Khartoum? No.

[ Parent ]

but you should care about them equally (none / 0) (#219)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:26:18 AM EST

your identity as a human being is more important than your identity as an american, or should be

that's the only morally defensible position to take

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

...what? (none / 0) (#224)
by OniDavin on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:15:05 AM EST

You seem to know a lot more about how this fellow thinks (or should think) than he does. Interesting, that.

[ Parent ]
erm, who the hell are you? (none / 0) (#225)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:20:45 AM EST

he has announced his position quite clearly, and i am attacking it, and he is defending it... 200 comments later you come along and say i don't know what his position is?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Another big 'what?' (none / 0) (#288)
by OniDavin on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:42:19 PM EST

What? Where did you get that from anything that I said? I'm saying that, essentially, you're a frothing kind of poster who is just attempting to verbally beat his ideas against others. IE, his opinion is incorrect. Hence the title. "What?" If you're trying to argue/debate, you're doing it in a fashion that's the opposite of effectively. You know, poorly. And, to me, that kind of inane yelling is counter to the idea behind the site - a meaningful exchange of ideas.

Does it matter where I came from? I lurk this site and mostly don't feel like commenting. But the incredibly, well, annoying display here made me post. Deal.



[ Parent ]
meta-irony (none / 0) (#304)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:11:11 AM EST

summary of parent comment:

<said in a frothing poster tone>
you have a frothing poster tone!
</said in a frothing poster tone>

lol ;-)

i'll stop being me when you stop being hypocritical ;-)


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Winky-smiley. (none / 0) (#325)
by OniDavin on Thu May 13, 2004 at 04:11:59 PM EST

I'm pretty sure 'relaxed but annoyed' is as far away from frothing as you can get. Now back to your regularly scheduled k5-outage.

[ Parent ]
oh ok thanks (none / 0) (#333)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:25:30 PM EST

relaxed but annoyed is perfectly acceptable while a frothing poster tone is worthy of your teeth gnashing

got it now, thanks

you've contributed so much to this discussion, really, so glad you chimed in, you're a positive benefactor to the bounty of this website

 

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Thanks! (none / 0) (#345)
by OniDavin on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:45:27 PM EST

Thanks! I'll go back to you know, not being a prick in discussions. You don't seem to understand what 'frothing' means. Explaining calmly and rationally? Not frothing. Shouting about how the other side is 'a fucking idiot'? Rather frothing. This is pretty much a waste of time, though.

Have fun your way.



[ Parent ]
BWAHAHAHAHAHA (none / 0) (#362)
by circletimessquare on Fri May 14, 2004 at 11:05:19 PM EST

the "define frothy" troll

you're a hoot!

sorry for getting you in such a hissy snit bro

BWAHAHAHAHA ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

This is CTS... (none / 0) (#391)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 19, 2004 at 01:10:50 PM EST

you are new here aren't you?

:)

CTS is like your crazy uncle - wildly eccentric, mildly entertaining, and often times right. Remember, just because you're crazy, doesn't mean your wrong.....

BTW, CTS, you really gotta work on the delivery ;)


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

Not particularly. (none / 0) (#392)
by OniDavin on Wed May 19, 2004 at 01:40:02 PM EST

Actually, I've been lurking the site but never posting for quite some time. And while CTS sometimes hits the nail on the head in a rather direct manner, he's just spouting right now, which is half past annoying. Though the flaw here is that my being annoyed at it won't change anything. Doh!



[ Parent ]
I can see where my argument below (none / 0) (#121)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:02:18 PM EST

I can see where my argument below might imply nationalism. But that isn't it, truly.

We live in a democracy. Ultimately, that means that the state is an agent of the people. We are the state. Full stop.

When my state does evil things, it is morally indistinguishable from me doing evil things.

When evil people in the Sudan do evil things and I sit by and watch it, I am guilty of the sin of ommission. When my state does evil things, I am guilty of the sin of commission.

There is a different level of culpability. And so the outrage is different, stronger, when it is my state doing the evil; and it is even stronger when my state is doing the evil in a way in which the people were never given a chance to approve it - because, in that case, we never had the choice to commit the crime or not.

This is a facet of being a citizen of a democracy, not a facet of being a member of a particular nation.

[ Parent ]

you are a citizen of the planet earth (none / 0) (#127)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:12:51 PM EST

first and foremost

the rest is your analytical skills being turned against your simple human empathy

take the weight of the crimes happening in the prison in iraq

take the weight of the crimes happening in the sudan RIGHT NOW

tell me again the first deserves more of your attention


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

hmm. (none / 0) (#130)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:21:56 PM EST

I have agreed, along with the other citizens of this polity, that we constitute a single entity for certain purposes. I have assumed a responsibility for the decisions and actions of that entity.

I have entered into a much weaker agreement with the people of the Sudan.

On a universal scale, is what's happening in the Sudan more important than what's happening in Iraq? Yes. But my agreement with the citizens of this polity is such that our joint actions deserve more attention.

[ Parent ]

then do you agree with me (none / 0) (#134)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:25:08 PM EST

that that is the source of the problems in this world?

you are telling me that your simple human ability to empathize with others ends at the arbitrary boundaries of a geopolitical entity

i accept that that is the status quo as you describe it, but i reject the status quo

and i am asking you, simply in the name of human conscience, to reject it as well

to reject nationalism

to be a human being first, and an american second

that is all i ask


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

no. (none / 0) (#136)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:27:41 PM EST

I think you're conflating two different things: (1) a sense that my group is better than everyone else, deserves things other groups don't, has the right to order other groups and group-free individuals about, etc; (2) a sense that i have agreed to be part of a group.

The first is ipso facto harmful. The second is not per se harmful. I do not engage in the first; I engage in the second.

I believe it is possible to fight the first within the confines of the second, and that in the world as it is today that will be the most effective way of achieving change.

[ Parent ]

your group (none / 0) (#144)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:43:07 PM EST

is all of humanity

until you and others accept that, we are all doomed

you work in whatever "confines" you think makes sense

i'll work in the confines of human moral conscience

you stupid racist fuck

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

so ... (none / 0) (#146)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:43:53 PM EST

have you renounced your citizenship, or are you content to violate the agreement the citizenship represents?

[ Parent ]
HEY YOU BLIND MOTHERFUCKER (none / 0) (#148)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:45:53 PM EST

I AM A HUMAN BEING FIRST

and an american A WAY DISTANT SECOND

that's the only morally defensible position you can possibly take in this world!

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

not an answer to the question. :) (none / 0) (#150)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:48:37 PM EST



[ Parent ]
your answer (none / 0) (#153)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:50:28 PM EST

i will not rest until all human beings enjoy the rights and freedoms i enjoy

and their right to enjoy what i enjoy does not end at the rio grande, which you apparently are content with

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

enjoying what you enjoy (none / 0) (#186)
by aphrael on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:38:02 PM EST

i think it would be a grand thing if the entire world enjoyed what you and i enjoy.

i also think i have a responsibility to the other members of my polity, in exchange for the things that i get from my membership.

your mileage apparently varies. *shrug*

[ Parent ]

membership in the human race... (none / 0) (#218)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:25:09 AM EST

is and should be the only membership that matters

assertion of membership in any subset of the human race over membership in the human race is morally unjustifiable

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Hmmm. . . . (none / 0) (#152)
by Pop Top on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:49:58 PM EST

Okay, lets send a hundred thousand US peacekeepers to Sudan. Like maybe from Iraq?

[ Parent ]
what about germany? france? (none / 0) (#157)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:55:22 PM EST

philippines? japan? india? egypt? etc...

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Sure thing. . . (none / 0) (#164)
by Pop Top on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:18:41 PM EST

Should I ask, or will you?

[ Parent ]
ask the un to stop dithering while so many die (nt (none / 0) (#166)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:20:57 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
As long as the US doesn't veto in the SC again, (none / 0) (#269)
by JohnnyCannuk on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:56:15 PM EST

for the 43rd time in 50 years...but I digress
We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]
The Sudanese I know (none / 0) (#230)
by stpna5 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:24:05 AM EST

(quite a few the past few years)who have fled here, to the US, are amazed at our kid-gloves attitude as a nation. One still has a bullet lodged behind an eye. The offenses now being soft-pedaled by unctuous defenders of ticket-punching Pentagon careerists weren't initiated by anyone on the ground in Iraq wearing American-issue fatigues. They were dreamed up at home. By folk like the Rocket Scientists who thought an extreme makeover of Saddam's Favorite Gulag would be cool. Those below a certain rank in the military food chain are treated as mere cannon fodder, even if it is in the bureaucratic/media war which was so evident in the separate appearances before Congress of Rumsfeld and Gen.Taguba the past few days. The diminishing effectiveness of the force is strategic and top-down, not the other way around. Like blighted districts historically attaching themselves to military bases, this Department of Defense Disease is enabled by The Pimps of War, personified by the greedhead corporations now infesting every aspect of military operations. With it come kickback-rich contracts and absurd outsourcing schemes with cadres of private subcontractors, who have been crawling all over their new subdivision and making easy targets. They are not held responsible for orders from an officer up the chain like the troops, but answer to project managers and accountants in remote offices. The White House look-see is: they operate in market-capture opportunity mode, not war mode. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz think like Peron, not like Patton.

[ Parent ]
What can we do about it? (none / 1) (#330)
by magney on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:19:39 PM EST

Go to war against them? Wreck their country and put nothing useful in its place, like we have in Iraq?

Let me tell you a dirty little secret. It might get my "Vast Left Wing Conspiracy" membership card revoked, but here it is:

If John McCain had been president in 2003, I would have supported the war on Iraq.

I am not anti-war. I am not even anti-Iraq-war. I am anti-Bush-fighting-an-Iraq-war.

Bush lied when he made his case for our war - none of the WMD threats he specifically promised we'd find have we found. He held rigidly to his belief that we would be universally greeted as liberators, in defiance of the blindingly obvious fact that Iraq has a plethora of power subgroups, many of which are even more anti-American and anti-freedom than Saddam ever was - and because of that belief, he (and through him, Rumsfeld) committed far fewer troops, with the wrong training, than we needed for the job. Even if I grant that Germany and France were dismissive of our nation-building in Iraq - Bush still screwed even that up, by a stiff-necked arrogance that deprived us of any chance of convincing them to join in (even via their own selfishness).

In short - Bush has a vast thing in a half-vast way. And worst of all - by being such a mindbogglingly huge fuck-up, he's given the Democratic leadership the excuse to put up a hamster like Kerry as his opponent.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Yeah, sure (none / 1) (#142)
by Pholostan on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:40:09 PM EST

If you give the USA the hollering about guantanamo it surley means that you looove Saddam and his ilk. Or maybe not.

Get a fucking clue.
- And blood tears I cry Endless grief remained inside
[ Parent ]

all i ask (none / 1) (#156)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:54:46 PM EST

is that you holler louder at the mountain of evil than at the pebble

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
My reason (none / 1) (#169)
by phred on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:24:53 PM EST

I want to support the US. I never wanted to support Saddam.

I want to believe in the ideals that the US can do good in the world. I never believed Saddam was much good for anything.

I can understand your concern for folks nationalism, but for much of the 20th century, the US stood for good things and was a leading force against evil in the world. I don't like seeing the US turn evil as a matter of policy, whereas I expected nothing good from Saddam.

[ Parent ]

this is all well and good (none / 0) (#171)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:32:36 PM EST

but i want us to move beyond nationalism

then we can escape so much evil and potential for it in this world

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Heartfelt thanks (none / 0) (#248)
by dhk on Wed May 12, 2004 at 09:27:43 AM EST

It is comments like these which support my view that can have a positive view of the values of his own nation and still keep a rational attitude towards the US-american policy.
- please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
[ Parent ]
I have news for you (none / 0) (#183)
by Eater on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:18:47 PM EST

Saddam is not in charge of Iraq any more, they found him in a hole in the ground some time ago. And the prison scandal only confirms what many people have been saying for months, and it is not, for many the sensationalist one-time event you claim it is.

Eater.

[ Parent ]
erm (none / 1) (#217)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:23:29 AM EST

ok, so we got rid of saddam, we both agree on that (phew! can't take anything for granted nowadays!)

so, it cost us to get rid of saddam, it cost us a lot as this article clearly points out

is it your assertion that the cost was to high for what was gained?

i think the cost was worth it


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

An easy assertion (none / 2) (#245)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:50:39 AM EST

Since the cost for you personally was very low. Ask the iraqi mother who lost an 8 year old girl because the british soldiers were a bit trigger happy one day. Do you think she would say that it was worth it?

What makes your assertion more valid than hers? She has first-hand experience which would certainly make her experience more valid than yours.

[ Parent ]

yes, she does (none / 0) (#317)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:20:55 PM EST

and she also has more first-hand experience which would make her experience more valid than YOURS

you fight for your fellow human beings in this world, and because it can be messy and mistakes can be made does not nullify the reason and desire and justification to act

if it does in your mind, it means you care less than i, not more, because of simple FUD

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/04/28/iraq.poll/

Iraqi interviewers conducted face-to-face surveys with 3,444 adults in Arabic and Kurdish in respondents' homes. The poll covered urban and rural areas throughout Iraq, representing about 93 percent of the population. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Nearly half -- 47 percent -- said they believed attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq could not be justified, while 52 percent said those attacks could be justified some or all of the time.

Thirty-three percent of those polled said the war had done more good than harm, while 46 percent said it had done more harm than good.

Forty-two percent said Iraq was better off because of the war, while 39 percent said it was worse off. Given the sampling error, those figures indicated a dead heat.

On a personal level, Iraqis appeared more optimistic, according to the poll. More than half of those surveyed -- 51 percent -- said they and their families were better off than they were before the invasion, while 25 percent said they were worse off.

Fifty-four percent said conditions for creating peace and stability had worsened in the three months before they were questioned for the poll. Twenty-five percent said conditions improved during that time before the upsurge in violence.

Those polled were virtually united in opposition to attacks against Iraqi police, the survey found. Ninety-two percent said those attacks could not be justified.

But the Iraqis surveyed were split on whether ongoing U.S.-led military action in the country was justified. Fifty-two percent said it was not, while 47 percent said it could be justified.

Asked about when they wanted U.S. and British forces to leave, 57 percent chose immediately, as in the next few months, the poll said; 36 percent said troops should stay longer.

At the time the question was asked, 53 percent said they would feel less safe if the U.S.-led coalition left immediately. About half as many -- 28 percent -- said they would feel more safe. Sixty-nine percent said they or their families would be in danger if they were seen cooperating with the coalition.



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Hey dickhead (2.25 / 4) (#192)
by blackpaw on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:37:16 PM EST

We were hollering about Sadamm Hussein - its just that for most of the past 3 decades he was the USA's best friend and they weren't listening.

Also he is now out of the picture

I am so sick of idiots like you posting straw dog arguments.

[ Parent ]

my point is perfectly valid (none / 0) (#216)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:22:04 AM EST

because all of the costs that the article cites adds up to an amount of sacrifice: in blood and money and influence, that is still worth the endeavour of ridding the world of saddam hussein

this article counts up all of the costs, but does not mention what was bought

i'm sorry for gently reminding you of the benefits of the action in iraq

but silly me, i'm just posting straw dog arguments

i'm so silly that way, so sorry


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Ahem (none / 1) (#297)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 06:09:57 PM EST

1) Hussein hasn't been in power for 3 decades (he came into power in 1979).

2) He was NEVER the USA's best freind. Iraq before and after Hussein came to power was firmly in the Soviet camp. He may have been an occasional freind to France but his relations with the U.S. were never very warm.

   At best, he was the choice of the lesser (seemingly) of 2 evils during the Iran-Iraq war. However, even then we only afforded him assitance once it became clear that Iraq was LOOSING the war.... and we only gave him enough assitance to ensure that the war resulted in a STALEMATE, not a victory for Iraq (which it could have acieved with greater assistance). That is because we didn't want EITHER the Iranian fundementalists OR Saddam to have control over both territories.

[ Parent ]

You want to combat evil? (none / 1) (#223)
by cburke on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:08:25 AM EST

Do you want to stop evil from occuring in the world?

Do you want to spread the freedoms and opportunities you have to everyone?  Do you wish every country was a freedom-loving democracy?

Do you wish dictators like Saddam no longer existed?  Do wish genocide no longer occured?

How are you planning on accomplishing that?

What tool is available to you?

Would not the most likely tool be the democratically elected government chosen by you and representing your interests?  That is the reason we want to spread democracy, isn't it -- to give others the same ability.

What other power do you know of that is more capable of causing the changes you want, and more importantly enough under your control that you have a chance of getting it to do what you want?

Isn't that what you say our government is supposed to be doing, right now, in Iraq?

Instead, what is happening is killing and torture.  The purpose for going there was to end this kind of thing, and instead we are causing it.

Is the killing and torture better than it was before?  Is U.S. occupation better than Saddam's government?  By far most Iraqis agree that they are better off.  

But Iraqis also know this truth:  there are a thousand levels of oppression, and they don't like any of them.

Those living in 1930s Russia would have welcomed a regime like Saddam's as liberators.  At first.

It is useless to say that this evil is greater than that evil.

It is useful to say what evil you can stop, and how you should.

The first priority must be to stop the evil that your own misguided attempts to stop evil are causing.  This should be obvious.

We are in grave danger of failing our mission in Iraq.

What hope do we have to succeed, when things like what happened abu Grhaib occur?

"How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye."  Jesus is just full of practical advice.

Do you think the relative size of plank and speck is what is important, when both make you blind?

I am a human being and child of God first, and that is my morality.  I am a citizen of the United States, and that is my practical reality.  Getting rid of nationalism is great, but the State will still remain.  If I am to help my fellow man it doesn't matter where they are, I still have to help them as a citizen of the U.S.

Why do I yell louder when the U.S. government does evil than the Sudanese?

Because neither you nor I can change the behavior of the Sudanese government by yelling at them.

But I can change the behavior of my government.  Not directly; but if enough people realize that we need to fix ourselves before we can cure the evils of the world, then it is possible.

And then by all means let's turn our attention and efforts on Sudan.

[ Parent ]

You know... (none / 0) (#344)
by bradasch on Thu May 13, 2004 at 08:46:45 PM EST

I've said something near to what you said a long time ago.

Congratulations for an extensive explanation to a mutual feeling.

[ Parent ]
You're turnig into (none / 1) (#228)
by Nursie on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:56:58 AM EST

A really bad troll.

Yes people should be citizens of the world first, before any national boundaries come into it. That much is obvious and the only defensible position to take, as you are so fond of saying.
But do you understand that someone would feel an elevated level of outrage when a crime is comitted in their names?

Especially when this comes on the back of lies, deceptions, half-truths and spin from the powers that be in the presently existing socio-political unit called the United States?

Sudan is an appalling tradgedy, and a terrible crime of much greater magnitude. And something needs to be done. But whoever is doing the killing there is not pretending to do it in my name or on my mandate

That is why people are outraged. Not nationalism. But the assumption of mandate and the subsequent fall in reputation that is engendered.

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
not obvious to me anymore (none / 0) (#270)
by speek on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:57:09 PM EST

Yes people should be citizens of the world first, before any national boundaries come into it. That much is obvious and the only defensible position to take...

This used to be obvious to me, but I'm not so sure anymore. I'm not sure that loyalty to such huge external abstractions does anything more than impair our ability to connect strongly with anything, including our immediate communities, which seem to suffer greatly as a result.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Not sure loyalty is the word I'm after here.... (none / 0) (#280)
by Nursie on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:05:21 PM EST

But the point about the position of being a "citizen of the world" first is to break down the artificial psychological and xenophobic boundaries that people put up.

It's perfectly alright to consider yourself a part of the local community, but when that consideration turns into 'and thus I am not part of this other community outside of here' we have the building blocks of inequality, oppression and eventually war.

It also begs the question, "where does the boundary of this community lie?"
What if your local community only extends to the people in the house next door to yours? Their local community may well extend to the house next door to them on the other side from you, what then?

Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
loyalty is what it's all about (none / 0) (#291)
by speek on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:02:59 PM EST

Where does your loyalty lie? To yourself? To your family? To your friends? To the law? To the country? To the UN? To the world? To humanity? To principles? In what order?

We're being "taught" not to honor family bonds as highly as people used to. The nation would prefer we honor the law more and turn in family wrong-doers. The UN wants us to honor their rules, not our nations (ie soldiers, militaries, and "illegal orders"). Our wives and husbands and children would rather we honor their needs and wishes first and foremost. It isn't necessarily about xenophobia (though it often is), and it's an important question.

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Good questions and good points. (none / 0) (#311)
by Nursie on Thu May 13, 2004 at 12:33:31 PM EST

Where does your loyalty lie? To yourself? To your family? To your friends? To the law? To the country? To the UN? To the world? To humanity? To principles? In what order?
friends family and myself are about equal at the top. The UN doesn't enter into it because it is a representation of an idea, not the idea itself. The idea being world unity/harmony.

Loyalty to the law is a strange thing to ask. I don't think anyone should be loyal to the law without first questioning it. I am not loyal to the law where I think it is stupid. Which in some peoples' minds makes me not loyal to it at all. Loyal to a sense of ethics and morals and codes of behavior perhaps.
The country doesn't enter into it either. The country is an artificial construct and has outlived its usefulness.

I'll go with this order friends/family/myself first, world/humanity second
Nothing else matters at all.

It is important, and I would never preach lack of loyalty to ones friends or family. But then extending it to a group, most of whom you have not met, seems to me a dangerous step and one that people take too easily and too lightly. This loyalty can then be abused by schemers and the power hungry, who turn it into irrational emotion and exploit it. The will of these few then directs the country, and when these megalomaniacs and weasels clash, they call upon the emotional natonalism and use it to bring death.



Meta Sigs suck.

[ Parent ]
so (none / 0) (#326)
by speek on Thu May 13, 2004 at 05:35:32 PM EST

It's not "I'm a human first, American (or whatever) second", it's "I'm a husband/wife/father/mother/friend/son/daughter first, and a human second, and nothing else matters". That, I can agree with, and it's worlds apart from what we currently have. It is an old way of thinking, common to isolated farming communities and towns from hundreds of years ago. Though, often enough, strange humans rated lower than our pets and farm animals :-)

--
al queda is kicking themsleves for not knowing about the levees
[ Parent ]

Not Our Problem (none / 0) (#253)
by azurensis on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:15:00 PM EST

>but this is my problem: all of you
>
>all of you who invest so much of your attention in
>these prison guards and guantanamo, and hoot and
>hollar about these abuses, and have not ONE PEEP of
>derision for the likes saddam hussein

We do not deride him because we are not responsible for him. We *are* responsible for the treatment of prisoners under our control. Our tax dollars are going to pay for this abuse! It is simply not our job to make sure that the rest of the world acts in ways that we approve.

>you dismiss and disregard mountains of evil in
>the world, and focus all of your energies on
>molehills

Yes, we focus on *our* molehills. The things that we might be able to have some effect on. Speaking out against Saddam would have zero effect anywhere. Speaking out against Bush and the evils he is purpetrating in Iraq can at least change things here.


[ Parent ]

ah yes (none / 0) (#324)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 03:08:22 PM EST

a member of the nationalistic tribe called america is speaking

it is more important to consider yourself a member of the human race

as long as there are more people in this world who consider themselves to be an american (or chinese, or european, etc.) first and a human being second, we will have problems like we are discussing

when more people think like me: i am a human being first, and an american a distant unimportant second, then a lot of these kinds of problems go away

so consider your racist, nationalistic mentality to be part of the problem, not the solution

nationalism is a stupid, arbitrary tribal religion, it needs to be banished


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Really? (none / 0) (#357)
by azurensis on Fri May 14, 2004 at 11:55:36 AM EST

>it is more important to consider yourself a member of the human race

Says you? Why is it not more important to consider myself a mammal and start railing against beef consumption?

>when more people think like me: i am a human being first, and an american a distant unimportant second, then a lot of these kinds of problems go away

Well that's never going to happen. Complain all you like, people are by nature tribal. Without some serious genetic engineering, it's always going to be "us" against "them" for the vast majority of the planet.

>so consider your racist, nationalistic mentality to be part of the problem, not the solution

No, you consider it whatever you like. I consider it knowing the difference between things that I can effect and can't and taking action to prevent atrocities being done in my name.

>nationalism is a stupid, arbitrary tribal religion, it needs to be banished

Sure it does, just like religion (which is really the same thing anyway).

Your ranting does nothing to actually help anyone.


[ Parent ]

LOL (none / 0) (#363)
by circletimessquare on Fri May 14, 2004 at 11:09:00 PM EST

you, paraphrased: "your belief in progress is what is holding us back!"

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

you're hilarious! ;-P

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

whatever (none / 0) (#395)
by azurensis on Thu May 20, 2004 at 11:39:14 AM EST

>you, paraphrased: "your belief in progress is what is holding us back!"

No, your belief in progess does nothing for us. It neither helps nor hinders us at all.

At best, you annoy. If you want to consider that progress, go right ahead and keep telling us that we should care more about things that we cannot do anything about instead of the things that we can. We'll see who actually does more good in the end.

>BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
>
>you're hilarious! ;-P

And you are just barely entertaining.


[ Parent ]

The difference between us and terrorists... (none / 3) (#282)
by magney on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:12:56 PM EST

...is this:

When atrocities are committed against a people's enemies, the supporters of terror rejoice, whereas decent people are outraged.

Do not attempt to weaken our moral resolve against all atrocity, for that, and that alone, is what separates us from al Qaeda.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

you i have no problem with (none / 3) (#322)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 03:03:52 PM EST

but do you deny the existence of those who rail against the us's much smaller atrocities (in comparison), while falling quiet on those of saddam hussein and kim il jong?

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
First of all... (none / 0) (#329)
by magney on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:07:19 PM EST

in light of the newer revelations, I'd like to dispute "much smaller." Smaller, yes, but not by as much as we might've thought if we thought that the first pictures out of Abu Ghraib were the worst there was.

Second: your original quote...

but this is my problem: all of you

all of you who invest so much of your attention in these prison guards and guantanamo, and hoot and hollar about these abuses, and have not ONE PEEP of derision for the likes saddam hussein

...this I do deny. Or specifically, I deny your implication that just because we didn't support going to war against Saddam, that we didn't care about his atrocities. As you say... "perspective, scale, context"... and the context you ignored, and still ignore, is the fact that Bush gave us no plan for making sure that Iraq would be free - for making sure that Iraq wouldn't simply fall to another murderous dictator.

And worse, we realized that his handling of Guantanamo demonstrated a disturbing lack of regard for human rights - although none but the most tinfoil-hat of us anti-war people ever dreamed that that lack of regard would bear such horrible fruit as it has.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

i'll underline that comment (none / 1) (#331)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:20:26 PM EST

if you don't support going to war with saddam, but you do find us prison guard abuses as truly horrible, then your priorities are out of whack

simply because a reckoning of saddam's evils and the punishment that he deserves for that versus a reckoning of the prison guard abuses and the punishment that those involved deserves are on many orders of magnitude in difference, and if you can't understand why, you drown in propaganda, and have no grasp on reason

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Your reasoning is: (none / 0) (#332)
by magney on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:24:42 PM EST

"We must do something. This (Bush's war on Saddam) is something. Therefore we must do this."

This is nonsense.

You also ignore the fact that, weak as it is, you and I have far more power to correct the wrongdoing of my nation's troops than we do to correct the wrongdoing of an entirely different nation.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

that's because of your shortcomings (none / 0) (#337)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:39:36 PM EST

you are only able to thinks in modes of nations

i think in terms of human beings

in terms of humanity worldwide, saddam hussein's removal is worth all of the cost we have seen for it

kim il jong, were the world truly just, would be removed asap

however, it is those who are stuck in nationalism, like you, that obstruct this, so that those in north korea continue to suffer

i am a human being first, and american a way distant unimportant second... i am bureaucratically an american, that's just the district i live in, that's all the usa means to me... my caring for the peoples of the world does not end at the rio grande, as it does for some

please do not tell me that your membership in whatever petty unimportant arbitrary nationalistic tribe you were born in is more important to you than your identity as a human being

for me, iraqis are my equals

that is the only morally justifiable way to think about the world and its peoples

it's because of people like you that the the genocide in rwanda went unintervened, and why the genocide in the sudan goes unnoticed on the backpage, while molehills like this prisoner scandal and guantamo rage so brightly: simple narrowminded, bigoted, racist nationalism trumping your humanity

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

What your saying is... (none / 0) (#354)
by JohnnyCannuk on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:08:06 AM EST

"..our torturing of prisoners is better than Saddam's torturing of prisoners because we are the Good Guys(TM) and went there to give them liberty and freedom"

CTS, I agree with the substance of what you say a great deal of the time (although the delivery can use some work), but this time I think you've missed the point.

If the US has gone to Iraq to free the people from tyrrany, what is it acting like the tyrrant they just deposed? The Iraqi people, that you claim to care so much about, care precious little whether it's Saddam's goons or the Marines who are humiliating and torturing them. They just want it to stop. In some ways, the US is a victim of its success in Iraq. The US encouraged Iraqis to resist and take up arms against Saddam for years to stop his tyrrany. Now that the US is occupying their country and abusing them, they have decided to take the US advice and fight against the people who are doing it now - the US.

A little note: the Good Guys(TM) don't abuse and torture people, even if theose people are the Bad Guys(TM). That's supposed to be what makes you the Good Guys(TM) in the first place. But put yourself in an Iraqi's shoes for a moment:

You've been living under a brutal dictator for years, one that commits terrible atrocities in the war with Iran and against his own people. But you have one of the highest standards of living for the common people in the Arab world. You live in a secular society that is a bulwark against Islamic Fundementalism. Women can work, go to school and enjoy quite a lot of "freedoms" - It's not like its Cambodia (during the Khemer Rouge) or North Korea. But you hate Saddam and those in the world that support him - the US (and to lesser extents, France, Germany, Russia). Then in 1990-91, Saddam makes a mistake, invades Kuwait and brings the US and a (real) coalition to war against him. The US-led coalition defeats him soundly on the battle field and stops dead. The US president encourages you to rise up. You do, but the US abandons you to Saddam and his thugs, because they are too busy installing the undemocratic and brutal Amir of Kuwait back to his throne. So, you see friends and family murdered, tortured and 'disappeared' because you did what the US asked. And it is now clear that the US doesn't give a crap about democracy and freedom since it supports the corrupt and repressive Saudi and Kuwaiti royal families instead of the people. The icing on the cake - the US and the UN impose sanctions against Iraq, greatly reducing your standard of living while Saddam keeps on going, building palaces and getting money. Your country and your life is in shambles thanks to the US.

Flash forward 10 years or so. The new US president, who is the son of the one that fucked you over last time, suddenly declares his intent to make war again with Iraq over some supposed WMD or to make you free and grant democracy or something (depending on when the question is asked, you get a different answer).Well, maybe this time they'll do it. Nope, after killing thousands of civillians in the 'Shock and Awe' campaign and ground war, you end up living for months without proper food, water, electricity. Hospitals are in shambles and for a while there is no law at all, only looting and chaos. Things settle down but the very soldiers you were thanking a few months ago are now disrespecting your laws and traditions, roughing you up when the search you at the numerous check points or shooting your own police force when they try to do their jobs. You hear rummors about torture and disappearances. Well, the US is certainly acting like a despot. They've screwed me over for 10 years and they have only installed or supported brutally repressive regimes in the region so thy can have oil. Then the news of (and perhaps even bootlegged pictures of) the torture at the prison comes out (probably months before it became known here).

So CTS, what would you do? Sit back and take it...again? Or pick up an AK-47 and join that Al-Sadr guy, whom you think is a nut but at least he's doing something about the new oppressors (you know the old saying "The enemy of my enemy is my friend"). You suddenly have no qulams about car bombing, kidnapping and murdering foriegners or even suicide bombing - you are fighting for your future and have nothing to loose.

CTS, I appreciate the sentiments behind your convictions, but I think what I have describe is probably a fair assessment over there. But I think the actions need to be thought through. Doing things based on the principle of least harm. I know what your conviction is, but I suspect the people that yearned for and created this war do not share your morality or sentiments. But they will happily use you for their ends. You know, the stuff the road to hell is paved with?

Give the Iraqi people something to live for instead of something to die for.


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]

erm (none / 0) (#361)
by circletimessquare on Fri May 14, 2004 at 11:01:16 PM EST

i don't defend the us, or it's actions

me: "nationalism is evil!"

you: "why do you defend that nation?"

get the cotton out of your ears, you can't argue with me in the mode of nationalism when i don't subscribe to it

and i think i said that pretty loudly int he grandparent post, so wake the fuck up

as for the rest of your typical, unimaginative fud about iraqis (yet another case of "how dare you speak for iraqis! here, let me speak for them!" ;-P ):

Iraqi interviewers conducted face-to-face surveys with 3,444 adults in Arabic and Kurdish in respondents' homes. The poll covered urban and rural areas throughout Iraq, representing about 93 percent of the population. It has a sampling error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

Nearly half -- 47 percent -- said they believed attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq could not be justified, while 52 percent said those attacks could be justified some or all of the time.

Thirty-three percent of those polled said the war had done more good than harm, while 46 percent said it had done more harm than good.

Forty-two percent said Iraq was better off because of the war, while 39 percent said it was worse off. Given the sampling error, those figures indicated a dead heat.

On a personal level, Iraqis appeared more optimistic, according to the poll. More than half of those surveyed -- 51 percent -- said they and their families were better off than they were before the invasion, while 25 percent said they were worse off.

Fifty-four percent said conditions for creating peace and stability had worsened in the three months before they were questioned for the poll. Twenty-five percent said conditions improved during that time before the upsurge in violence.

Those polled were virtually united in opposition to attacks against Iraqi police, the survey found. Ninety-two percent said those attacks could not be justified.

But the Iraqis surveyed were split on whether ongoing U.S.-led military action in the country was justified. Fifty-two percent said it was not, while 47 percent said it could be justified.

Asked about when they wanted U.S. and British forces to leave, 57 percent chose immediately, as in the next few months, the poll said; 36 percent said troops should stay longer.

At the time the question was asked, 53 percent said they would feel less safe if the U.S.-led coalition left immediately. About half as many -- 28 percent -- said they would feel more safe. Sixty-nine percent said they or their families would be in danger if they were seen cooperating with the coalition.

http://edition.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/meast/04/28/iraq.poll/


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Points taken (NT) (none / 0) (#373)
by JohnnyCannuk on Sun May 16, 2004 at 09:35:50 AM EST


We have just religion enough to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another - Jonathan Swift
[ Parent ]
delusions of omnipotence (none / 0) (#372)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun May 16, 2004 at 09:29:11 AM EST

You seem to imagine that one's opinion is somehow omnipotent, that by merely "investing attention" one will inevitable affect far-off things for the better. Whereas pretty much the only way a U.S. private citizen could materially affect the ongoing massacres in Sudan and in the Congo is by voting for political candidates who support intervention in these distant theatres of war. And even if your favorite pro-intervention candidates get elected and establish a vigorous (and costly) policy opposed to those massacres, there still is no guarantee that their opposition will be effective, for the U.S.A. as a whole is not omnipotent either, as we are finding out daily in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

Minnamin, Gut mag alkan, Pern dirstan.
[ Parent ]

Who exactly will be facing court marshals? (2.86 / 15) (#64)
by hatshepsut on Tue May 11, 2004 at 12:32:39 PM EST

Such is the mindset of these subdividers of sand dunes who are spending your money to send your family members off to die, and then having them face courts marshal for following orders.

I really, REALLY hope that this is either a joke, or you have miss-spoken. The only soldiers I have heard of so far who may be facing court marshals for "following orders" are those who may have followed ILLEGAL orders to torture and humiliate prisoners of war (to be fair, since no trials have yet occurred, they may or may not have been following orders, all this remains to be proven). Anyone who thinks that "following orders" is a carte blanche to do anything and everything should go and read a history book (c.f. Nuremburg trials).

your post is reasonable and full of common sense (none / 3) (#82)
by circletimessquare on Tue May 11, 2004 at 01:37:47 PM EST

which means, unfortunately, that it will be torn to pieces because it doesn't tow the propaganda party line


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
Nah (none / 1) (#182)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 07:18:24 PM EST

Because he actually is right. Why would anyone argue with someone who is right? (Like me)

(Just kidding you know, I enjoy our little discussions)

[ Parent ]

No, not a joke. It is irony. Here's a joke: (2.85 / 7) (#123)
by stpna5 on Tue May 11, 2004 at 03:07:10 PM EST

"The Geneva Convention indicates that it's not permitted to photograph and embarrass or humiliate prisoners of war," Donald Rumsfeld --March 23, 2003

[ Parent ]
Yeah... (none / 1) (#213)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:52:15 AM EST

...really makes you wonder why Donald Rumsfeld took those pictures!
------------------------------------------------

By replying to this or any other comment in this thread, you assign an equal share of all worldwide copyright in such reply to each of the other readers of this site.
[ Parent ]

Hmm. (none / 3) (#172)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Tue May 11, 2004 at 04:36:51 PM EST

Two things, though.

First, it's far from certain that it was soldiers that actually committed the abuse/torture. Private contractor interrogators were in some of these rooms, along with military prison guard. How much would you like to bet, that sometimes it was the contractors doing this, with the guard unable to intervene. Not nearly so simple to make a big stink, and get the dishonorable discharge, as it is to be one of the "only military" in there and not abuse them yourself.

Second, with the exception of a small percentage of really inexcusable conduct, the majority of this will boil down to minor abuse. Not that this justifies it, but slapping someone in the back of the head, and telling them to "move it, camel fucker" is not torture in the same sense that dremeling off their extemities is. Me, I'd use "abuse" for things that won't require any extensize therapy to recover from (even though I'm aware this means that abuse/torture could vary from person to person), and torture for only the most extreme crimes. That being said, would I be wrong to think that 99% of what people are bitching about is abuse, and only 1% of all the complaints amount to torture? Ironic, that in Iraq, some of these things are now called torture, when 24 months ago that was reserved for the Baathists electrocuting your testicles.

Now, all that being said, this must only get worse. The abuse, will usually start out as minor things, name-calling, slapping and such, and devolve downhill. More prisoners will be brought in, but not more guards (if anything, they're pulled to do something else), and it's going to be more work for you. Those prisoners wrongly held, can't have any kind of respect for someone that would imprison them (rightly so), and the ones that should be there... well, they sure as hell won't have any. And there are about five times as many as you could ever reasonably handle. Leading me back to my first point, now some CIA spooks come in to question Achmed. And they get a little rough with him, and they have the power to make your job even worse if you protest...

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

justice must be *seen* to be done (3.00 / 5) (#214)
by martingale on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:53:04 AM EST

In some ways, I think you're arguing about unimportant details. Justice must be *seen* to be done, otherwise it means nothing.

First, it's far from certain that it was soldiers that actually committed the abuse/torture.
Clearly, it was Americans who committed the torture, rape and killing. From the point of Iraqi or Middle Eastern populations, Americans must be shown to pay the price. You can argue about fine points such as whether soldiers were trained or not, whether contractors are beyond the law or not, but these details don't matter (geopolitically), only to a small part of the US audience.

To limit the damage and convince Iraqis to not support their freedom fighters, it is essential that sufficient numbers of Americans be made to pay dearly. Only this way will the Iraqi in the street be convinced that the laws which apply to him now also apply to the invaders, thereby proving that they can be lived under.

Second, with the exception of a small percentage of really inexcusable conduct, the majority of this will boil down to minor abuse.
I very much doubt that is the case. Hopefully, time will tell, but it seems this is a systemic aspect of the crusade Bush has been following for several years.

We know for a fact from tales by former Guantanamo prisoners that this sort of thing also goes on in Guantanamo. Perhaps you don't believe those former prisoners, but remember that after they were freed to their countries of origin, they have typically been investigated by their own police, and found to have comitted no crimes. Extrapolating from those statistics, it is clear that the great majority of Guantanamo prisoners are 1) abused and tortured and 2) innocent.

Now, all that being said, this must only get worse.
I agree with you completely.

[ Parent ]
have you even *seen* the pictures? (none / 3) (#240)
by benxor on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:24:57 AM EST

'telling them to "move it, camel fucker" is not torture in the same sense that dremeling off their extemities is'

Well, no, but I would think sexual humiliation would be. 'Torture'  isn't always attaching electrodes to someone's scrotum. It can be mental.

However you want to split hairs over the competing senses of 'torture' and 'abuse', just imagine how people would react if the opposite was happening - American POW's were being humiliated, beaten and raped. Imagine, even, if this was happening in general prisons, and it was uncovered by some journalist.

What drives people to do these things? It may prove that circumstance has more to do with eliciting these sort of behaviours than culture or brain chemistry. It seems to prove that yes, even us normal upstanding white people who come from proper countries with human rights and democracy(R), are still capable of being animals. Gee, maybe those Iraqi's and terrorists aren't entirely inhuman psycopaths after American blood after all - maybe they're human beings reacting to something. And so we all try and play the whole 'torture' thing down.

Well no. This happens all the time in war - it can be a tool of war. If this really is operation 'Iraqi Freedom' then perhaps we should be taking a serious look at this instead of trying to relegate it to justifiable, or an 'isolated incident', or some other double-talking bullshit.

--
all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]

I've seen two pictures... (none / 1) (#271)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:59:49 PM EST

That are credible (unaltered, able to identify the US soldiers in them) and what I would consider abuse extreme enough to be torture. I do not deny that torture is taking place, but the extent of it, and the details, are in all likelyhood impossible to know now. You can be damn sure, that if it still happens, they'll be much more careful. Think any pictures will leak out?

I have neither read about any credible rape accounts, nor seen any presented on the evening news. Do you have a link to it?

Now, assuming that your perspective isn't taking everything out of context, and blowing it out of proportion, exactly what solution is there? Do we pull a Kerry, and just leave immediately, so the biggest meanest Baathist takes over?

Do we release all the prisoners, when at least some of them are truly terrorists, so they can continue to kill more US soldiers?

Do we scapegoat the few that are caught, privates and corporals and such, letting go all the big fish, that if not accessories, then at least negligent?

Or maybe we gut our entire military on a witch hunt, when there aren't enough to go around over there?

Every single one of these problems would have been avoided entirely, if Dubya hadn't had a big hardon for Hussein, but now we're stuck with them.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]

Pull a Kerry? (none / 1) (#365)
by shinshin on Sat May 15, 2004 at 02:56:28 PM EST

Do we pull a Kerry, and just leave immediately, so the biggest meanest Baathist takes over?

Kerry has said he would do no such thing. Suggestions otherwise are merely reciting Bush propaganda and have no basis in fact or reality (unless, of course, you can provide a reference to back up your statement).



____
We believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons --Dick Cheney, Meet the Press, March 16, 2003
[ Parent ]
Too lazy to find a citation... (none / 0) (#369)
by NoMoreNicksLeft on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:26:43 AM EST

Did hear it, on the evening news, out of Kerry's mouth. He will "get us out" of this war that we didn't want. Can't remember if he specified when he'd get the troops back, do remember an emphasis that amounted to "as soon as fucking possible". Given that even Dubya wants this to happen this summer (unrealistic by at least a decade), when do you think that would be? Even if Kerry wins (haha) he can't do anything before Feb 2005. Does that qualify as "immediate" ? Maybe not. But that when I'm guessing he'd try to slink out of there, given the chance.

--
Do not look directly into laser with remaining good eye.
[ Parent ]
"Illegal orders"? (none / 2) (#207)
by mcc on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:18:33 AM EST

those who may have followed ILLEGAL orders to torture and humiliate prisoners of war

Wait.. wait.. I'm confused. Since when are soldiers required to be able to discern the difference between a legal and an illegal order? Since when do soldiers have the authority to judge the difference between a legal and an illegal order? I don't know much about military law but wouldn't it be illegal to NOT follow orders?

---
Aside from that, the absurd meta-wankery of k5er-quoting sigs probably takes the cake. Especially when the quote itself is about k5. -- tsubame
[ Parent ]

there are legal and illegal orders (none / 1) (#210)
by martingale on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:36:15 AM EST

It's only illegal to not follow legal orders, although you can be punished for not following illegal orders by those giving them, I think. Whether that punishment is legal or not depends on exactly what you are punished for.

[ Parent ]
And people wonder why I am a pacifist n/t (none / 0) (#243)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:45:52 AM EST



[ Parent ]
/me thinks the military are for braindead dorks (none / 1) (#250)
by trezor on Wed May 12, 2004 at 09:55:16 AM EST

A place where following orders are required, and questioning them are a punishable offence, seems to leave room little else.

Of course, a pacifist can nonetheless anyday be beaten the shit out of by these braindead drones.

Doesn't alter my pacifist stance though.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
Could you do it? (none / 1) (#251)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 12, 2004 at 11:40:49 AM EST

Could you do what people in the military do? I don't mean, would you, or should you do it--I mean are you capable? Somehow, I doubt it, which makes me wonder if you are the one with the shortcoming.
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[ Parent ]

Without a doubt (none / 2) (#252)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 11:53:49 AM EST

But that is beside the point. The idea that just because you are a pacifist you automatically are a weakling, a pansy and someone who would get their ass kicked by a girl is simply false.

Could you climb 5.12d onsight? I think not. Does that make you a weakling? Certainly not. Do I want to be part of the military? Absolutely not. Does that make me a weakling? Only in the feeble mind.

[ Parent ]

I think many people are confusing... (none / 1) (#255)
by SPYvSPY on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:23:28 PM EST

...things that scare them with things that should not be done.
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[ Parent ]

That may well be true (none / 1) (#284)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:17:24 PM EST

However, as someone who has had to spend time in jail for his convictions, I would say that I am not particularly afraid of much of anything. Except flying. I don't much care for that.

[ Parent ]
Flying is a gas... (none / 0) (#366)
by tinkertux on Sat May 15, 2004 at 06:12:59 PM EST

It's running into the ground at 500 knots that sucks. But few have really complained about it, so how bad can it be?

[ Parent ]
and I think (none / 0) (#308)
by needless on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:49:15 AM EST

you're just playing a game of "rile the pacifist" to try and see if they break, and say something you can sink your teeth into. You should really try to be more subtle.

[ Parent ]
Late reply (none / 1) (#352)
by trezor on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:24:34 AM EST

I dunno. I haven't tested my karate skills in a real-life situation yet.

I don't behave agressivly, so I haven't gotten in trouble yet. At all, ever. Even when punch drunk hardly able to walk. No trouble, whatsoever.

"Somehow you doubt it". Wow. You wanne know what? Somehow I don't care.

Being a pacifist is a political stand, it is not a measured state of capabilities. And only an idiot would think so.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
dunno for how long (3.00 / 9) (#222)
by Entendre Entendre on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:49:56 AM EST

But it's true. If a soldier believes he (or she of course) is being ordered to do something illegal, it behooves the soldier to refuse. If a soldier follows an illegal order, the soldier becomes a criminal. As noted above, this was one of the big issues of the Nuremburg trials. I don't know what the situation was like before that, but those trials firmly established that following orders is NOT a defense. Coincidentally, I just read a moment ago that one of the US soldiers now facing charges for the torture of Iraqis recently saw a copy of the Geneva regulations for the first time, and highlighted every rule that was broken at Abu Ghraib. Apparently that took quite a bit of highlighting. It seems that the US military has fallen short on its obligation to educate its soldiers about the laws of war and the difference between legal and illegal orders.

--
Reduce firearm violence: aim carefully.
[ Parent ]

UCMJ (3.00 / 4) (#274)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:47:52 PM EST

Since Congress enacted the UCMJ into law. Soldiers are, in fact, required to discern between legal and illegal orders. Soldiers are only obligated to follow "lawfull" orders. They are not obligated to follow "unlawfull" orders and may, in fact, be subject to court martial for carrying out an order that violates millitary or civilian law, including such things as lawfull treatment of prisoners.

[ Parent ]
The point... (none / 1) (#281)
by magney on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:07:24 PM EST

Actually, those are exactly the soldiers stpna5 is talking about. stpna5 apparently believes that the abuses at Abu Ghraib are systemic rather than "a few bad apples", and that our soldiers were routinely given illegal orders to torture and abuse... and were subjected to pressures that tended to thwart their training to recognize and reject illegal orders (or in the case of reservists, may not have had enough of such training in the first place).

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Wherein this is scientifically proven to be BS (none / 1) (#294)
by wurp on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:50:41 PM EST

Stanley Milgram performed experiments, verified many times, that people under authority do what the authority tells them to, even when no real punishment is possible.  These tests were performed on hundreds of ordinary people, all told.  Most of them were willing to punish strangers with voltages they believed could kill them, merely on the basis of someone telling them to.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

How much more likely is a soldier, self-chosen to follow orders, sent through training to break down his personality and replace it with one that is more prone to follow orders, under the real threat of serious charges or death, to follow cruel and inhumane orders?

Until we get smart enough to make teaching people to resist following unconscionable commands as part of our public education, we can't reasonably hold the people who follow orders solely responsible for doing so.  We have to hold those who give the orders as primarily responsible.  To do otherwise won't help solve the problem of people doing horrible things to other people.
---
Buy my stuff
[ Parent ]

Bumper stickers (2.42 / 19) (#176)
by mcgrew on Tue May 11, 2004 at 05:51:13 PM EST

There were three bumper stickers on the car in front of me at a red light on the way home. One was an advertisement for a "Christian music" radio station.

One said "God is Pro-Life". The third said "Bush-Cheney '04".

I would have liked to point out to the lady driving the car that Bush is not pro-Christ, but anti-Christ. Not a single thing he has done while in office follows Christ's teachings. I believe that Bush is Satan's tool, as are the "christians" who follow him (starting with Pat Robertson, who will surely burn in hell for his blasphemy).

How can anyone who proclaims to be "pro-life" support a President who is responsible for the deaths of thousands, from Texas murderors to American and Iraqui soldiers and civilians?

And then I would have liked to slash her fucking tires. Yes, I'm a sinnner.

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie

Deaths, maybe (none / 2) (#179)
by minerboy on Tue May 11, 2004 at 06:41:48 PM EST

but thank God he is not like those evil prison guards (and Bill Clinton)who FORCE people to Masturbate. Better he emulate the honorable Muslim

[ Parent ]

oh boy (1.16 / 6) (#191)
by horny smurf on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:34:17 PM EST

Jesus deals with person-person and person-God relations, not international diplomacy.

Anyhow, the number of deaths in Iraq due to our occupation is far less than the number of deaths that would have occurred from Saddam's baathist boys.

PS - Christianity is bsaed on Jesus dying for your sins. Killing one man to save 2 is not contradictory to that principle.

[ Parent ]

That is an interesting little tidbit (none / 3) (#201)
by PrinceSausage on Tue May 11, 2004 at 11:27:03 PM EST

So you say that in the last 12 months fewer iraqis have died than would have died had Saddam still been in power?

Do you have any facts that would actually back that claim?

[ Parent ]

I'll try this one.... (none / 1) (#262)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:22:24 PM EST

Human Rights Watch esitimates that a MINIMUM of 300,000 people were executed by Saddam over his 23 year reign as leader of Iraq.... actualy figures will never be known and may actualy be much higher. Best intellegence estimates are that Iraq suffered over 500,000 killed during the Iran/Iraq war.

If we take these figures alone (800,000) and average them over Saddam reign of 23 years we arrive at a MINIMUM annual average of 34,000 Iraqis per year that Saddam was responsible for... every single year of his 23 year reign.

This figure does not even take into account the 25,000 - 75,000 soldiers Iraq lost during it's invasion of Kuwait and Gulf War I. Nor does it consider Iraq civilian casualties during the interwar years when Saddam was using oil for food money to rebuild his palaces and millitary rather then provide for the basic needs of his people. Nor does it consider the deaths from starvation and disease of the Kurds that were displaced from Iraq after the '91 pograms. Over 1.5 million Kurdish refugees were forced to flee into border regions of Iran and Turkey with little or no provisions. Nor does it stop to consider non-iraqi's, such as the casualties that Iran suffered during the Iran/Iraq war (far in excess of Iraqs) or the casualties both millitary and civilian suffered by Kuwait during Iraq's invasion of that country.

I'm pretty confident that the actual number of deaths Saddam was directly responsible for is well in excess of 100,000 per annum. Not surprising for a man who consciously tried to model his political career after Joseph Stalin.

 

[ Parent ]

Very nice (none / 1) (#283)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:15:39 PM EST

But the Iran-Iraq war is long over so averaging that in is just trying to inflate the numbers. So you get an average of a minimum of 13 000 per year. However, somewhere between 50 and 100 000 of those 300 000 deaths were due to the Anfal offensive against the kurds in 1988 (correct me if I am wrong, can't say I have bothered reading up on this lately). Really, what HRW says is that executions in Iraq have numbered somewhere from hundreds to several thousand depending on the year. Some years have seen prison cleanings (a very bizarre euphemism for killing loads of prisoners) while others have been calmer.

However, IBC claims at least 9 000 iraqi civilians have been killed by allied forces in the last 12 months. Far more than would have been executed had a relevant UN intervention been used instead. (i.e. weapons inspectors, human rights inspectors etc). Note that this is civilians only.

[ Parent ]

Well.... (none / 1) (#295)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:52:26 PM EST

Yes, the Iran/Iraq war is long over...but I think it's valid to include it (and all the other stuff) in the calculations. It's not just an exercise in inflating numbers.

In order to get any idea what Hussein (and his likely successors) would have done if left in power one has to look at their pattern of past behavior. That includes starting bloody expansionistic wars of attrition against thier neighbors.

Sure, Hussein wasn't likely to have been attacking anyone last year or in a number of years to come I think..... but do you really think he (or Uday) would eskew from such behavior over the long haul? If you do then you are FAR more optomistic then I.

Or do you only care about the short term? It seems to me that you kinda like the man in the old joke who, while falling past the 50th floor of the Empire State building, is heard to say "So far, so good". That won't fly for very long.

It's a pretty bogus comparison you are trying to make. It would be like looking at WWII and concluding that the Western Front was far bloodier then the East by only looking at H-Hour on D-Day and trying to compare it to a period of relative calm on the Russian front.

It's hard for me to imagine the number of lives lost in the fighting in Iraq isn't going to be many orders of magnitude less then the number of lives that would have been lost by leaving Saddam and Uday in power over the long term.

Of course, it remains to be seen what manner of state will eventualy emerge from the Iraq situation.... and what the long term effects of the intervention will have outside Iraq. But it would be mean feat to top the butchers bill that Hussein racked up over his career and showed every sign of continuing to rack up.

[ Parent ]

I tend to dislike (none / 1) (#298)
by PrinceSausage on Wed May 12, 2004 at 06:32:38 PM EST

the whole idea that "we made the iraqi people a great service by stepping in". I have a feeling that before this is all over they will be left feeling like they would rather have stuck with old Saddam Hussein Al-Majid Al-Tikriti (or whatever his full name was, not sure).

As far as including the war is concerned one could them claim that the US has been responsible for deaths on a scale which dwarfs Saddam. Especially considering the war with Iran wasn't just his idea to begin with.

[ Parent ]

Wrong! (2.40 / 5) (#204)
by D Jade on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:14:41 AM EST

PS - Christianity is based on Jesus dying for your sins. Killing one man to save 2 is not contradictory to that principle.

Actually, Christianity is based on the teachings of Christ. Mainly that we should do unto others as we would have done to ourselves and that we should practice charity, tolerance and understanding in all areas of life.

Killing one man to save two is contradictory to the principles of Jesus' teachings as He would have you kill neither and instead discuss the issues at hand. A person who actually reads the bible knows this.

If you read the old testament and compare it to the new, you will find that the Judaic roots of the Christian religion are contradictory to the teachings of Christ and, as such, Jesus rebelled against His Father (as any other child does) in His teachings.

Also, God laid down the first testaments whereas Jesus' followers laid down the new. God is not pro-life. In fact, he is quite the opposite. He/She would be quite happy to strike you down where you stand. Therefore, he probably wouldn't mind if you aborted your unborn child also...

So sick of so-called Christians who have no idea about the ideology they supposedly live by.



You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
International diplomacy (none / 3) (#227)
by enterfornone on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:46:43 AM EST

The fact that Jesus said nothing about international relations probably explains why up until constantine's conversion, christians refused to have anything to do with politics.

Still, wouldn't loving your neighbour also mean loving your neighbouring nations?

--
efn 26/m/syd
Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
[ Parent ]

Pro-life? Anti-choice? (3.00 / 4) (#241)
by liftarn on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:34:20 AM EST

The "pro-lifers" are only conceirned about the life *before* birth. When they are born they are no longer interested.

[ Parent ]
it's a matter of timing (none / 0) (#385)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 17, 2004 at 07:44:57 PM EST

liberals think that any embryo can be aborted, but once born, you cannot execute a person no matter how murderous.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
*sigh* (1.84 / 13) (#194)
by darkseer on Tue May 11, 2004 at 08:43:06 PM EST

In a perfect world there is no war. Plato had a more realistic view "Only the dead have seen the last of war."

Given the circumstances of the time a decision was made to go to war, I'm sure the correctness of that decsion will be debated for many years.

To acuse our leaders of lying about it, I believe, is folly. A more mature stance is to say the decsion was wrong, and not vote for the offending party again. Possibly citing some way the outcome should have been better.

In terms of the lives lost, occupation is a bloody business when anything but complete war is involved. The will of the couquored is not yet broken, so they, as I would, resist.

In short, grow up. There are no lies here. We know how much the war will cost in dollars, and in blood. If you are so course as to use numbers of dead in you metric of how costly this war is, it is by far one of the cheapest conflicts, in terms of US soldiers, this country has ever paid.

In short, read some real history and not what was in the media today. If the authors opinion was educated, I may actually agree.

I see alot of emotion, and possibly a point, but very little meat to back it up.

maturity == lack of emotional reaction (3.00 / 4) (#199)
by benxor on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:38:25 PM EST

appears to be your unsaid assumption.

'To acuse our leaders of lying about it, I believe, is folly. A more mature stance is to say the decsion was wrong, and not vote for the offending party again. Possibly citing some way the outcome should have been better.'

So in essence you're saying, we should not punish those in ultimate power for lying - which lead to war, and the unecessary deaths of thousands - but that we should, if we afford them a punishment at all, just not vote for them again. That's interesting, because I know a lot of people who opposed them, and didn't vote for them originally, and it didn't make a goddamn difference.
   How exactly could you cite a way in which things could have turned out better? An impossible task - you're presumably infering that since the author couldn't have dealt with world politics better themselves, then whatever has occured is clearly a more well thought out course of action, or something.

'In terms of the lives lost, occupation is a bloody business when anything but complete war is involved. The will of the couquored is not yet broken, so they, as I would, resist.'

What a very accurate and totally useless point, which makes you seem colder still.

'In short, grow up. There are no lies here. We know how much the war will cost in dollars, and in blood. If you are so course as to use numbers of dead in you metric of how costly this war is, it is by far one of the cheapest conflicts, in terms of US soldiers, this country has ever paid.'

In short, think and feel when forming responses. We don't know how much the war will cost in blood, or dollars - could you tell us maybe? Do you have access to a time machine, or perhaps you can read the minds of the American administration?
   Is it really course to use death-toll to judge the validity of a war? Perhaps, but I think considering the whole activity of war is about mass-murder, then probably death-toll comes into it. As it is, why don't you grow up, and go and tell the families of those dead soldiers and dead civilians that the lives of their sons and daughters represent a comparatively successful campaign for the US and that we should all try to put follies of the past behind us and get on with electing some as-yet unknown non-Bush-like president.

--
all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]

sweet (none / 1) (#205)
by darkseer on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:16:58 AM EST

Because I think I am right is not a persuasive argument. Try this tact, I think I am right because....

Over the past 200 years the US has occupied several countries in both conquest and for defensive means. Over the decades the US has has had varing sucess in restructing these governments in either a democratic framework or one that is more plyable to US foriegn policy.

One example that may relate to current events is the conquest of parts of the carabeian in the Spanish American war. For no clear reason other than "Remember the Maine", the US commited treasure and blood to the obtaining of the islands with no clear political or strategic goal. Now over 100 years after the conflict, the jewel of that conquest, Puerto Rico, cannot even maintain the infrastucture to bid for the olympics and is still in constant termoil over sucession.

Given the similarity between the Iraqi war and the spanish american war of 100 years ago is it fair: to promise the Iraqi people things we cannot deliver in our own territory, freedom which their society is not ready to handle, and spend American lives on objectives that are historically not achieved?

It seems Mr. Bush's decsion making is flawed in a manner most high school text books can point out, yet we still went to war. Is this the president you want for the next 4 years? Someone who cannot maintain the reason of a 11th grader in office?

In case you were wondering this is what a real argument looks like.

I want to debate you but there is nothing to argue. I don't think the author is completely wrong. I just think he need to articulate his point better.

All the things I said are true.

1. We do know about how much the war will cost per year give or take a few billion. The military is very anal about its budget.

2. Compared to Vietnam (our last occupation attempt) the loss of life is small.

3. I see no facts or historical president cited to back the author's opinion.

Niether you or the author has stated anything to refute these points. Try engaging me instead of telling me I am wrong bucause you say so.

It is not the author's opinion that appauls me, it his ignorance of world history, even the history of the past 100 years.

[ Parent ]

I know (none / 0) (#206)
by darkseer on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:18:17 AM EST

yes... my spelling sucks.

[ Parent ]
Not all the things have said are true. (none / 0) (#239)
by benxor on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:14:01 AM EST

'1. We do know about how much the war will cost per year give or take a few billion. The military is very anal about its budget.'

What if something changes? What if the war America is currently fighting causes another event to occur - a backlash in the form of a bit of nuclear terrorism - and suddenly things move out of control? The assumption you seem to make is that the war is a known quantity, and that it's existence can't affect anything else related to it. Were it that the war existed in some kind of vacuum, it would probably change, age, and come to an end in a predictable fashion. But it isn't in a vacuum. So how can we possibly know the cost in dollars or blood? Even if the first is fairly accurately known, again, this is useless information if we can't predict the outcome of events from the war and everything connected to it. As for knowing the cost in blood - well I'm sure that's a comforting statistic for you. Possibly not for those dying in accordance with the projection. Are you trying to say this is fair and can continue because it's a relatively succesful campaign?

'2. Compared to Vietnam (our last occupation attempt) the loss of life is small.'

I'm not exactly disputing this, but it makes you seem extremely cold to say the above. A lower death-toll might have been zero - which is what it would have been had America not launched an illegal and undeclared war on Iraq. You aren't incorporating the lives lost on the Iraqi side, either - many innocent, and so needless deaths.
   But I agree, saying it shouldn't have happened in the first place is not a very good argument against it. But I restate my earlier point that deciding not to vote for Bush doesn't really a) help and b) address the fact that thousands are dead because of the whole thing, and Bush will recieve no punishment for this other than you not voting for him.

There, 1 1/2 of your points disputed. In case you're wondering, I decided to rebuke your comments based on your apparent lack of human emotion in quantifying your little observations. You even blithely name your comment 'sigh', as if to say that the entire thing is just a misguided hack totally below your intellect. I suppose this lead me to the idea that you're a fuckwit or something. Odd how that could have occurred when you were just making some valid logical p-- oh, just blow it out your arse.

Your grammar sucks too. 'try this tact' - it's tach you moron. Tact is the thing you possess none of, having suggested we know the cost of the war in blood and dollars and it's all fine within historical precedent. I suppose you would say that's a deep-seeded problem of yours.

--
all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]

lets try this one more time (none / 0) (#247)
by darkseer on Wed May 12, 2004 at 09:08:37 AM EST

I hate to break this to you, you haven't disputed any of my points. You have, however, attacked my character.

Now, will you try to convince me you are right, or will you continue to harp on how cold you think I am. The former is constructive, the later just annoys me.

You seem to be traveling down a valid path of argument, try attacking the foundations of my stament, not the foundations of my character. Again, the former is constructive, the later just annoys me.

The first point, what if things change.... This a good argument. If you had stuck with that, you'd actually have a chance to prove your point, and maybe even convince me you are right.

Obviously you have not chosen to read the entirety of my comments carefully. If you had I think you previous post might have been a wee bit less venomous. ESPECIALLY SINCE I LAY OUT AN AGRUMENT THAT AGREES WITH THE AUTHORS POINT OF VIEW AND USES HISTORICAL PRECIDENT TO BACK UP MY ASSERTIONS!!!!!!!

You think I am wrong. Why? I can be what you consider cold and still be right, why do you think I am wrong?

And it stands, the author's orginal artical and you subsequent posts still fail to adquitly address my questions/arguments.

If you want to debate me fine, if you want to yell at me and insult me, Troll somewhere else.

[ Parent ]

do, let's (none / 0) (#360)
by benxor on Fri May 14, 2004 at 08:43:59 PM EST

Oh, I'm so sorry to have annoyed you, oh I've annoyed you, OH GOD! Forgive me Emperor Darkseer, far be it from me to try and troll on one so incredibly clever as yourself. The highest crime to annoy an imperial lord of the senate of argument afficianados! Only from those who scored very highest in first-year formal logic are the lords picked.

Well, mission accomplished it seems, resorting to caps must mean I've pissed you off quite a bit.

Anyway, blow me. Take my first point as it stands if you like. That was what I was mainly getting at - your incredibly arrogant assertion that the war's okay because we know exactly it's cost. Part of that cost is imeasurable: human life. And the assertion that we know it because of some adjusted fiscal reporting, well, doesn't sound too convincing to me. Use the same technique to predict the stock-market, and you may find yourself losing a lot of money.

You are a troll. You use provocative statements like the one I'm attacking - 'we know the cost in money and blood'. Does that really demand a constructive response? Or does it perhaps blind a person to what you're really saying - which seems to be that you think the occupation is bad, I'm not quite sure. Are you saying that? Sorry, what are you saying? Oh that's right, that we can take the whole thing as fairly succesful because of our ability to tell the future, and we can always just not vote for Bush again. IT DIDN'T WORK THE FIRST TIME, DID IT, MORON?

So since we seem to be within this theme of emotion and reason, let's take a look at what you've said which is mature constructive argument, and what you've said which is arrogant and provocative:

'sigh'
'To acuse our leaders of lying about it, I believe, is folly. A more mature stance is'
'If you are so course as to use numbers of dead in you metric'
'If the authors opinion was educated, I may actually agree.'

Remember the apostrophe of ownership in 'authors' there! Don't quibble on the differences between 'tach' and 'tact' when you told me to use a different tact in my argument! Obviously one who is so educated to use words like 'metric' instead of 'measure' and 'folly' instead of 'foolish', or some other term current in 21st century English, should know this, but alright - hey, you're still right. I mean, that's the point right, making sure we all know how incredibly beneath you this article is?

Who the fuck do you think you are: Lord Byron? I say enough sir! It is a briggand and a cad who uses such high and haughty terms to dispense one's argument and expects not an argument back! What ho! Go fuck yourself.

But Just To Appease Your Angry Penis:

'1. We do know about how much the war will cost per year give or take a few billion. The military is very anal about its budget.'

We do not know. The military is not anal about it's budget. We're going to believe monetary reports coming out of the military? About a war? Yeah, no conflict of interests there.

'2. Compared to Vietnam (our last occupation attempt) the loss of life is small.'

We never attempted to occupy Vietnam, though I see your point. The Americans were 'at war' with it - though they never declared it, thousands died, infrastructures were destroyed, the war ended unofficially as it had started - with no good coming out of it anywhere. Very like Iraq - hey, though, considering it's an attack, let's judge it on the 'metric' of how many lives we lost! Although considering we're not defending ourselves, just attacking and occupying - you say it yourself - maybe the better variable to incorporate into our 'metric' might be to judge the lives lost on the side we're attacking?
   The loss of life on the side of the Americans may be smaller than in VIetnam, at present, because we are not totally out of our depth in Iraq, and because the war hasn't been going on for 10 years yet. The loss of life on the first night of bombing, in Bahgdad, however, was greater than - well, rather interestingly - the september 11 attacks. And yet, the thousands of civilians were killed in these 'shock and awe' bombings - the very people America is apparently trying to free and protect - are only 'collateral damage'.
   Interesting question: were the number of civilian and military deaths, combined, reported, in the first 1 1/2 of Vietnam, the same, or more than the current toll in Iraq? That might be a better 'metric'. But who would be so course as to use human lives as the measurement for that argument?
   Your argument is totally one-sided. By saying that the loss of American lives is small, but recognising the whole thing as an 'occupation' - genocide and opression - you are effectively showing people that you a) think that we should only care about the lives of our own people while they illegaly and immoraly slaughter thousands and b) since you show no compunction for this, it means you're in support of it. Going back and then trying to be all logical and measured and saying 'but hey, I'm not' - well: doesn't really wash, does it?
   And as already stated - punishment of these people who you apparently don't support should be to... ignore them? VERY PRO-ACTIVE OF YOU! WHAT A "MATURE" THING TO DO!

'3. I see no facts or historical president cited to back the author's opinion.'

'Precedent' you fucking illiterate. Meaning something that has preceded. Someone who doesn't know that, and has meanwhile provided no precedents of their own - except the one I just debunked - shouldn't be whining about the author's lack of references.

--
all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]

Please explain (none / 0) (#249)
by trezor on Wed May 12, 2004 at 09:47:16 AM EST

    Over the past 200 years the US has occupied several countries in both conquest and for defensive means.

Call me naiv. Call me ignorant. Whatever, see if I care.

Could you just please tell me how an oocupation of a foreign, sovereign country can be called a "defensive" act?

I, for once, would assume it exlusively gengerates hostility. But thats just me, and where I come from, we don't even have cents.


--
Richard Dean Anderson porn? - Now spread the news

[ Parent ]
I can (none / 0) (#258)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:32:21 PM EST

Germany & Japan post WWII.... or even better U.S. occuption of Iceland during WWII.

I'm not saying these are analgous to Iraq but they ARE examples of what you ask.

[ Parent ]

Vietnam (none / 0) (#265)
by xg0blin on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:38:36 PM EST

I was under the impression that at about the same point in Vietnam, we'd lost far fewer lives than we've lost in Iraq up to this point. I don't remember where I heard it, I just heard it. After two years in Vietnam we hadn't lost many. Of course I believe that is due to the fact that most of the personnel we sent initially were only there as support, but still we're talking numbers here.

[ Parent ]
You're off topic. (none / 0) (#268)
by NateTG on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:53:07 PM EST

"To accuse our leaders of lying [about the descision to go to war] is, I believe folly."

Although the accusations are not so strong in the mainstream, the notion that Bush et. al, drove to war for self-serving reasons has not been in any way discredited.  Since that type of descision represents a fraud, and potentially a criminal act, accusations, and investigations of the descision to go to war are legitmate, and justified.

Moreover, the current administration is extremely secretive - Bob Woodward describes it as more secretive than Nixon's.  When an error is made (and you indicate that he descision to go to war in Iraq was an error), then an investigation should take place, if for no other reason than to avoid the error in the future.

Of course, an even more substantive justification for accusations of the president is that lying about the war - a matter of state - represents a much more legitemate grounds for impeachment than lying about sexual pecadillos - a personal matter.
http://www.votetoimpeach.org/articles_rc.htm

Regarding the bloody buisness of occupation, as you describe it, consider that the casualty count is usually higher on the occupied side -- the side that the US government is not keeping any casualty counts for.  It is indeed fortunate that the loss of life is relatively low, but that does not justify a cavalier attitude about invasions of sovereign - and I do mean sovereign, unlike Bush & co. - countries.  

Moreover one of the big casualties of the war in Iraq is the international credibility of the US, which, because it is intangible is difficult to evaluate, but was a subtle and powerful force acting in favor of the US around the world.

It's nice to see someone bring up the Spanish-American war - a war with a surprising number of parralels to the current situation.  Attacking a nation because of an event that it may not have had any influence on.  A "splendid little war" driven by mass media - the Yellow Fox News. Faith based initiatives and Manifest Destiny aren't exactly that far apart either.  Both of them also short, one-sided wars with low casualties followed by occupations with more casualties that the war proper.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish-American_War
Seems eerily familiar:

There were other pressures pushing towards war. The United States Navy had recently grown considerably, but it was still untested. The Navy had drawn up plans for attacking the Spanish in the Philippines over a year before hostilities broke out. The end of western expansion and of large-scale conflict with Native Americans also left the Army with little to do, and army leadership hoped that some new task would come. From an early date many in the US had felt that Cuba was rightly theirs. The theory of manifest destiny made the island just off the coast of Florida seem very attractive. Much of the island's economy was already in American hands, and most of its trade, much of which was black market, was with the US. Some business leaders pushed for conflict as well. In the words of Senator John M. Thurston of Nebraska: "War with Spain would increase the business and earnings of every American railroad, it would increase the output of every American factory, it would stimulate every branch of industry and domestic commerce."

In response to your claims:

"We do know about how much the war will cost per year give or take a few billion. The military is very anal about its budget."

Between the changing conditions on the ground - for example increased ground troops and oil prices, the budget shenanagans from the Afghanistan funds, and the special funding requests to the cost plus contracts to Halliburton, that claim is incredulus.
Even so, if the cost of the occupation were predicable, why isn't there a figure attached to the claim?

"Compared to Vietnam (our last occupation attempt) the loss of life is small."

Although the cost of life is small, the US occupied several other locations, Grenada and Panama come to mind, since the debacle in Vietnam.

"I see no facts or historical president cited to back the author's opinion."
Just because the author does not list them, does not mean that there are not crony contracts in the history of the United States.  Teapot Dome is one of the more famous ones.

Of course, these enumerated claims are beside the point.  Even if they're stipulated for the sake of argument, they do not at all refute the inital author's primary points:

  1. The current administration has consistently taken actions that improve Al-Quaeda's stature.
  2. The invasion of Iraq is tantamount to a pork injection.
  3. The use of civilian contractors in combat situations (mercenaries) represents a liability, control and accoutability problem for the US.
P.S.
Using phrase like "I am right." in what you claim is a contstructive argument is pointless, and weakens your position.  If you want to resort to ego dixit arguments, please do so in a more subtle fashion.

P.P.S.
"Historical precendent" not "historical president" unless you mean the quote from Eisenhower.  Historical precendent, is, of course, a foolish justification for almost anything.  For a timely example, consider the legal precedent set by Plessy v. Fergusen which was overturned by Brow v. Board of Education.
Historical precedent means that things are justified because they've been that way before, so there's lot's of precedent for example for the lovely of slavery, torture, racism, genocide, and anti-semitism.

"Try this tact" also only makes sense if you're talking about rythm-- perhaps you meant "Try this tack"?


[ Parent ]

Treason, traitors and the US (none / 0) (#292)
by cdguru on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:06:03 PM EST

If you believe the interpretation of the news media, then there is little argument that the President is a traitor or a complete dupe, that his cabinet is out for financial gain at the expense of American lives and that the military leadership is utterly incompetent.

Since most people holding this interpretation also believe that the results of the Florida election was somehow rigged or outright stolen from the people, then there is little hope for anything resembling a fair election in 2004. Especially with a traitor backed by thieves and murderers in office.

So, what the heck are you doing typing on some Internet site? If the US has been taken over by such a group as described above, we need to ensure they are removed as quickly as possible - forget the election, it will be rigged, stolen or whatever. Why would Bush relinquish power, ever? The question everyone needs to ask themselves is if you believe the US is being run by criminals WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? They certainly aren't going to go away by themselves.

[ Parent ]

#2 (none / 1) (#347)
by Go5 on Fri May 14, 2004 at 03:04:41 AM EST

"2. Compared to Vietnam (our last occupation attempt) the loss of life is small."

The Vietnam War started with a slower death rate. The United States had been involved in Vietnam for six years before total fatalities surpassed 500 in 1965, the year President Lyndon B. Johnson ordered a massive buildup of forces.
Quoted from the San Jose Mercury News, April 18 2004, emphasis added. At that point 503 had been killed in action in Iraq.

[ Parent ]
Lying? (none / 1) (#290)
by cdguru on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:49:52 PM EST

I have never seen any evidence of "lying". I have seen the President say that we can't take the chance on their being banned weapons in Iraq and their leader refuses to confirm or deny that they exist.

I have seen Saddam Hussein believe that the US attack would leave him in power and unscathed with the assumption that we left him in power after the first war and would do so again. We have seen the UN hopelessly mired in corruption and graft over the sanctions to the point where they became meaningless and more punative to the population than to Saddam.

So, I am not sure there was a lot of choice. I think if Saddam had gotten up and said there were no weapons it would have been a completely different situation. As it was, it was a choice between two alternatives without a lot of information. Yes, there wasn't any proof there were weapons, but there wasn't any evidence of what was known to exist having been destroyed either. Do not forget that there was proof of at least the use of gas weapons on Iraqi civilians.

So, I don't see "lying". I do see a lot of emphasis on preemtively preventing use of possible weapons. Unfortunately, we aren't going to know how much stuff was moved to Syria and Jordan. We do know that some of it was and it wouldn't have been good for that to have been put in Saudi Arabia, Israel or New York now would it?

[ Parent ]

You know, I keep seeing this. (none / 0) (#375)
by DavidTC on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:10:19 PM EST

Saddam DID, in fact, deny he had the weapons. I don't know in what universe you've been operating in, but this is a LIE I've seen over and over, like he was just standing there pleading the Fifth or something.

Now, I will admit he wasn't the most gracious of hosts, and didn't particularly like the UN inspectors. And, yes, fear by the citizens of opposing the government in anyway did interfere with any possible tattle-telling by scientists, but that was more a side effect of fascism than anything delibrate on his part.

But the most you can say is that he 'refused' to prove he didn't have WMD...he didn't by any defination say 'I refuse to confirm or deny those allegations'. And even 'refusing' is an exageration. He was at most just poorly cooperating.

-David T. C.
Yes, my email address is real.
[ Parent ]

evidence of lying (none / 0) (#401)
by benxor on Mon May 31, 2004 at 10:54:29 PM EST

You aren't very well read, are you?


Simply stated, there is no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction.
-Dick Cheney
Speech to VFW National Convention
August 26, 2002

Right now, Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
-George W. Bush
Speech to UN General Assembly
September 12, 2002

We know for a fact that there are weapons there.
-Ari Fleischer
Press Briefing
January 9, 2003

Our intelligence officials estimate that Saddam Hussein had the materials to produce as much as 500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent.
-George W. Bush
State of the Union Address
January 28, 2003

Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised.
-George W. Bush
Address to the Nation
March 17, 2003

Well, there is no question that we have evidence and information that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction, biological and chemical particularly . . . all this will be made clear in the course of the operation, for whatever duration it takes.
-Ari Fleisher
Press Briefing
March 21, 2003

There is no doubt that the regime of Saddam Hussein possesses weapons of mass destruction. -Gen. Tommy Franks
Press Conference
March 22, 2003

I have no doubt we're going to find big stores of weapons of mass destruction.
-Defense Policy Board member Kenneth Adelman
Washington Post, p. A27
March 23, 2003

I'm absolutely sure that there are weapons of mass destruction there and the evidence will be forthcoming. We're just getting it just now.
-Colin Powell
Remarks to Reporters
May 4, 2003

What I've seen, is the Bush administration, along with my own country's pitiful Howard government, and the Blaire government, stating with absolute certainty that there are WMD's. What I haven't seen is any of evidence of them after about 2 years of occupation, thousands of people being killed by you imperialist morons, and no mention whatsoever of the fact that virtually every country involved in the war in Iraq already has WMD's themselves. America would have more than a hundred times the amount of WMD's that Iraq supposedly has - but, hey, they wouldn't be used against ordinary, god-fearing people like US citizens, whose lives are apparently about 5 times as precious as those of Iraqis and other inhabitants of the land of wind and ghosts outside America, so we can all sleep safe in our beds -- knowing that the only nations in the world who do definitely have these weapons of mass murder are the democratic ones who illegally invade other countries at the drop of a fucking hat.

--
all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]

Oh, wow. (1.28 / 21) (#196)
by RyoCokey on Tue May 11, 2004 at 09:48:06 PM EST

How'd this steaming pile of crap get voted to the front page so quickly?

This article contains multiple outright falsehoods.



The troops returning home are worried. "We've lost the peace," men tell you. "We can't make it stick
care to actually name any? (2.25 / 4) (#198)
by benxor on Tue May 11, 2004 at 10:20:44 PM EST



--
all generalisations are false - including this one
[ Parent ]
doesn't stuff like this rankle you? (none / 3) (#215)
by circletimessquare on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:57:50 AM EST

In 1990 Osama bin Laden attempted to convince Saudi Prince Sultan to let him bring in a force of mujahadeen to expel Saddam Hussein from Kuwait, which had just been invaded by Iraq. The Saudis said thanks, but no thanks to one of their wealthy countrymen and began allowing the Americans to set up secret bases in the Saudi kingdom instead. The Gulf War of 1991 followed.

it's like taking the chain of cause and events of real life, clipping out a bunch them, magnifying some greatly and shrinking others, and molding a storyline of events that marginalizes reality and maximizes emotional impact for a particular pov

i don't know who this guy is who wrote this article, but he really should get a job as an editorial writer or a political speechwriter

because this is some grade a prime propagandizing in this article!

the victory of emotion over reason in the mind's eye of the reader here is spectacular

it's really very very good propaganda, i'm kind of impressed

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

No. (none / 3) (#233)
by stalker on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:51:57 AM EST

What rankles me is the straight face with which the neo-con intellighentsia told a blatant lie, i.e. that Saddam Hussein was going hand in hand with Osama bin Laden.

Could *someone* please explain how the notion of Saddam and Osama being fiends escaped the mind of most people?

I'll elaborate: Saddam Hussein was a secular tyrant, quite in contrast with the theocratic figures in the area (cf. the usefulness of Saddam against the Ayatollahs), while Osama bin Laden is (was?) a religious leader.

Postulating a cooperation between the two is an objective falsity.

A falsity held as a truth by the North American neo-cons.

[ Parent ]

Just like (1.75 / 4) (#256)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:24:12 PM EST

It would be impossible for Joseph Stalin (a die hard communist) and Adolph Hitler (a die hard anti-communist) to cooperate?

I hate to break it to you but your understanding of real world politics is incredibly naive. There have been numerous examples throughout history of bitter idealogical enemies cooperating for a limited basis or a limited time when both happaned to percieve it was in thier individual interests to do so.

I won't even pretend to have an accurate understanding of the nature of the relationship (or lack there of) between Hussein and Al Queyda in recent years. I doubt very few people in the world (on either side of the Iraq issue) actualy do. However, dismissing the possibility of mutual cooperation between the two soley on the basis that they were idealogical enemies shows an utter lack of depth in understanding history and real world politics.

Also, I think you want to check your sources because most North American conservatives will tell you straight up that the Iraq war had very little if anything to do with Al Quayda.

[ Parent ]

Not quite right (none / 0) (#260)
by dhk on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:51:02 PM EST

Of course, history shows that ideological differences won't hinder political leaders from cooperation. But what stalker pointed to, was the fact that their goals actually differ in the case of Saddam and Bin Laden. A secular tyrant like Hussein would never (except for short-lived tactical reasons) cooperate with somebody who wants to establish a mere theocracy like the islamist terrorists seem to do. Just for my information: Is it really the case that "most North American conservatives will tell you straight up that the Iraq war had very little if anything to do with Al Quayda.? What will they give me as the main motives, then?
- please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
[ Parent ]
Here goes (none / 3) (#267)
by CENGEL3 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:46:43 PM EST

Again, Hitler and Stalins goals were directly in opposition to one another... every bit as much as Hussein and Bin Laden. That did not stop them from cooperating to carve up Poland.... nor supplying each other resources after that.

It's true that the alliance only lasted a couple of years..... but that was precious little consolation to Poland. I think you underestimate the kind of damage that can be caused by "short-lived tactical" alliances of that nature.

The reason for the invasion of Iraq was pretty straightforward. Hussein was a dangerous, millitarly expansionistic leader whose stated goal was to create a pan-Arab fascist state across the entire middle east. He had no qualms about destabilizing the entire region and actively supported regional terrorist groups, including ones (Hammas) that have had a history of targeting U.S. citizens and interests. He had shown extreme resiliance to both internal and external pressures and was believed (possibly a mistaken belief) to have been developing dangerous weapons programs. However he was very clearly in a temporarly weak position millitarly.... yet the arms embargo program which helped keep him that way already showed signs of breaking.

In other words, in conservatives eyes, Saddam was a mini-Hitler but the year was 1936 not 1939. Possibly a mistaken view, possibly even a mistaken philosophy.... but that is the reasoning behind the motive.


[ Parent ]

Yes and No (none / 0) (#306)
by dhk on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:20:14 AM EST

Again, Hitler and Stalins goals were directly in opposition to one another Remember Orwell's 1984? Here you might get an idea of what sort of "direct opposition" there could have been between Stalin and Hitler: The old principle of "divide et impera". I should say that they would have had a nice time, having conquered and divide Europe. But I fail to come up with any idea how this should be possible between Bin Laden and Hussein. That my be due to my lack of imagination, of course.

you underestimate the kind of damage that can be caused by "short-lived tactical" alliances of that nature.
There is a misunderstanding here. It was my very point that the cooperation between Stalin and Hitler would be rather strategical than short lived and tactical. And the division of Poland fits in quite nicely into my argument.

The reason for the invasion of Iraq was pretty straightforward. Hussein was a dangerous, millitarly expansionistic leader whose stated goal was to create a pan-Arab fascist state across the entire middle east. [...] He had shown extreme resiliance to both internal and external pressures and was believed to have been developing dangerous weapons programs.
Please recall that my question for the motives the Neo-Cons would give me were not rhetorical at all. Living in Germany (which I do) means to have a biased view and selected information as anywhere else in the world. So you say that the military threat that Hussein posed to the region would be the main reason. How come, then, that the west supported the Baath-Regime for years? IS this what foreign policy is supposed to be?

However he was very clearly in a temporarly weak position millitarly.
I detect a bit of a cynical view here. It is reported that the north-Korean Minister of Defence has said: "The lesson we learned from the Iraq war is: You are not invaded when you have weapons of mass destruction but when you don't have them". Regardless of wether this citation is fake or not: The idea seems rite, doesn't it? And what does this tell us?
- please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
[ Parent ]
Some points (none / 3) (#338)
by CENGEL3 on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:53:13 PM EST

1) On Stalin and Hitler. Stalin might have been willing to live with such an arrangment.... although Stalin was a paranoid bastard so I doubt he would have been happy with a strong germany on his doorstep for long. However Hitler was rabidly anti-communist and wouldn't have accepted such an arraingement. Furthermore from the outset Hitler wanted to conquer russia, clense it's western portion of "unsuitable ethnic groups" and colonize it with ethnic germans. That wouldn't have jived too well with the existance of Stalin. So not only were they fierce idealogical enemies, thier long term goals were in direct opposition. However both saw a temporary advantage to short term cooperation and the subjugation of Poland. In no way would a hypothetical alliance between Hussein and Bin Laden be any different. I'm not saying that I know for a fact such alliance existed.... just that it is not precluded by thier conflicting ideologies and goals. Both had a vested short term interest in seeing U.S. influence in the middle east diminished and rousing Arab ire. It would not have been at all illogical for them to cooperate over the short term to meet those ends. Very much like Hitler and Stalin cooperated over the short term to meet thier immediate goals.

2) The "West" did NOT support the Baath regieme for years. The Baath regime was heavily in the Soviet camp for it's entire existance.... which even a cursory examination of the historical record will reveal. Even after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Russia had a very close relationship with the Baath regime. Now Hussein was not a mindless Soviet puppet...he had ambitions of his own.... and thus he needed a source of support outside the Soviet camp as well. He found this primarly in France. He also had strong economic ties with Germany. What Frances interest in the Baath regime were I really can't speculate....except to say that Frances interests are not the U.S.'s interests, are not the U.K.'s intrests, are not Germany's, etc

The U.S. really gave VERY little support to the Baath regime over the years. When last I checked, I think we were something like 18th place on Iraq's list of top millitary suppliers...somewhere behind Argentina and South Africa.

The primary support we gave Iraq was during the Iran-Iraq war. Even then we only gave it after it was clear that Iraq was LOOSING the conflict and only gave them enough support to achieve a STALEMATE. This was because we didn't want EITHER Iraq or Iran to gain control of the entire region. It was seen as the choice of the lesser of two evils. In nature it really wasn't that different from the Lend-Lease support we gave Stalin after the Germans invaded in WWII. No one in the U.S. actualy thought Stalin was our friend. Everyone would have been perfectly happy to see Stalins regime implode the second the war was over. However giving him aid seemed a better alternative then sitting by and watching Hitler conquer all of Russia (and it's resources).

3) The North Korean Minister of Defence is very astute. Once a power hungry, expansionistic tyrant has nuclear weapons it's ALREADY TOO LATE to do anything about him. The only thing you can do at that point is sit back, cross your fingers and HOPE the guy isn't reckless enough to risk a nuclear confrontation.

  However, it really DOES behoove the Western powers to do something about power hungry, expansionistic, tyrants who don't have nuclear weapons YET but are trying to ACQUIRE them. The reason is very simple, the fewer power hungry, expansionistic tyrants that have nuclear weapons, the fewer people the rest of the world has to worry about being held hostage to and the less the chance that something really, really bad (i.e. a nuclear exchange) will happen.

Hussein, made one really horrible mistake. If he really didn't have an active nuclear weapons program (and it seems like he actualy didn't since '91) then he shouldn't have let the rest of the world have even the slightest doubt about it.
He should have let the inspectors go whereever the hell they wanted from the very start. He should have destroyed everything he had IN FRONT of the inspectors (like the Cease Fire Agreement required) and if he had to, he should have manufactured stuff just so he could be seen to be destroying it in front of the world.

Either that or he should have been a much better at bluffing and should have given the impression that not only MIGHT he have had a weapons program but that MOST DEFINATELY he already had WORKING NUKES. If we would have believed that, it would have been insane for us to go in.

As it was, he did the worst of all possible things. He gave the impression that he MIGHT have had a weapons program (including bio and chem weapons that would be dangerous to a civilian population but NOT to a properly equiped western millitary) and MIGHT have been pursuing a nuclear program but DIDN'T actualy have NUKES yet.

Kim Jong-il was actualy a very smart customer (for a man with a Daffy Duck fetish). North Korea developed it's nuclear program in SECRET without anyone suspecting what he was doing.... and he waited to spill the beans until he had FUNCTIONING nuclear weapons (not to mention missles capable of hitting Japan, Hawaii and maybe even the West Coast of the U.S.). Now he has us in a terrible position and he's in the catbird seat. We all better just hope that he is not as cracked as he is reputed to be.

[ Parent ]

Well answered (none / 1) (#351)
by dhk on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:01:37 AM EST

and I think you make some good points. However, I disagree with your "The U.S. really gave VERY little support to the Baath regime over the years."
Some hints (quotes)?

"According to Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward, in a December 15, 1986 article, the CIA began to secretly supply Iraq with intelligence in 1984 that was used to "calibrate" mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops. Beginning in early 1985, the CIA provided Iraq with "data from sensitive US satellite reconnaissance photography ... to assist Iraqi bombing raids".

The August 17, 2002 NYT reported that, according to "senior military officers with direct knowledge of the program", even though "senior officials of the Reagan administration publicly condemned Iraq's employment of mustard gas, sarin, VX and other poisonous agents ... President Reagan, vice president George Bush [senior] and senior national security aides never withdrew their support for the highly classified program in which more than 60 officers of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) were secretly providing detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for air strikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq."

In 1983, the Reagan administration approved the sale of 60 Hughes helicopters to Iraq in 1983 "for civilian use". However, as Phythian pointed out, these aircraft could be "weaponised" within hours of delivery. Then US Secretary of State George Schultz and commerce secretary George Baldridge also lobbied for the delivery of Bell helicopters equipped for "crop spraying". It is believed that US-supplied choppers were used in the 1988 chemical attack on the Kurdish village of Halabja, which killed 5000 people.

A 1994 US Senate report revealed that US companies were licenced by the commerce department to export a "witch's brew" of biological and chemical materials, including bacillus anthracis (which causes anthrax) and clostridium botulinum (the source of botulism). The American Type Culture Collection made 70 shipments of the anthrax bug and other pathogenic agents.

Wouldn't you call this "support"?
- please forgive my bad english, I'm not a native speaker
[ Parent ]
In perspective (none / 0) (#358)
by CENGEL3 on Fri May 14, 2004 at 01:32:01 PM EST

Sure it's support. I did say that we gave Iraq some limited support during the Iran-Iraq war. That is the stuff you are seeing in those qoutes. However look at it in comparison to the amount of support Iraq got from the Soviet Union and France it doesn't amount to an anthill. Just a cursory scan of Iraq's weapon systems will tell you that.

Just a few highlights, Iraq was the only nation outside the Soviet Union itself to be equiped with the Soviets Mig-29 fighter jet when it first came out. During the Iran-Iraq war France "permanently lent" a squadron of SuperEntard attack jets to Hussein.... something which I believe is unprecidented in Frances history. Even after Gulf War I, in which France was an active participant for the Coalition ...and after the imposition of sanctions France still made Iraq a "co-developer" on the Mirage 2000 fighter jet project.... and that stuff is just the tip of the iceberg. Really, check out the quality and sheer volume of weapons systems that Iraq recieved from the Soviets and France over the years. Compare that to what the U.S. provided them with and draw your own conclusions about who the Baath parties real supporters were.

A 500 ft hill can look pretty daunting, until you stand it in front of the Himilayas.

[ Parent ]

Motivations ... (none / 2) (#285)
by cdguru on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:35:42 PM EST

From where I sit a strong motivation for dealing harshly with Iraq was Saddam Hussein was given around six months to say "I don't have any banned weapons!" and did not. Repeatedly the offer was made and repeatedly it was ignored.

The result was to either believe that he was hiding something or that he way just trying to make himself look better to his neighbors.

Now it would have been a completely different ballgame if Saddam had sent an envoy to the UN to say "We have no banned weapons" and there was an invasion ANYWAY.

[ Parent ]

Uhhh (none / 2) (#355)
by esrever on Fri May 14, 2004 at 10:28:18 AM EST

He *did* say, repeatedly, that he had no WMD. Bush, in the face of a resounding lack of evidence (remember, we're not counting manufactured and 'whoops, our mistake, sorry about that intelligence error' evidence here), decided to not believe him. Or did you miss all that?

Audit NTFS permissions on Windows
[ Parent ]
remember your history too (none / 1) (#261)
by phred on Wed May 12, 2004 at 12:57:23 PM EST

Of course Stalin and Hitler entered a pact, which in short order allowed Hitler to fuck Stalin over pretty well.

Stalin then proceeded to roll through the eastern half of Germany (after an extraordinarily costly battle on Soviet turf).

However, the real and costly misunderstanding of Middle East politics and society are happening at the top levels of governments who really fuck things up.

Also, I think you want to check your sources because most North American conservatives will tell you straight up that the Iraq war had very little if anything to do with Al Quayda.

Its generally acknowledged that most North American conservatives supported an invasion for net geopolitical gain, regardless of what the American people were told. Thats why some folks are griping.

[ Parent ]

The "truth" then, please. (none / 2) (#236)
by megid on Wed May 12, 2004 at 05:39:49 AM EST

So what is YOUR interpretation of events?

Btw, not to offend you, but you would also make a good political writer.

--
"think first, write second, speak third."
[ Parent ]

well (none / 1) (#320)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 02:01:27 PM EST

if i were cutting and pasting cause and events like the author of this story... that is, if, like the author of the story, i were creating propaganda by editting and inflating and deflating reality to portray a cause and effect storyline which justified a particular point of view with maximum emotional impact (ie, propaganda creation), then i would start with gulf war i

gulf war i, which was sound and just in a majority of the world's eyes

i would then characterize powell's decision to call off the dogs of war at baghdad's gates as a bow to saudi arabia and a political calculation to lessen the american body bag count, etc.

then i would characterize gulf war ii as simply an extension of gulf war i: finishing a job left undone, a job jeft undone for poor reasons

i actually don't know why bush propagandists didn't do this as well... oh right, they were the same bush propagandists who made bad decisions in gulf war i ;-P


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

So (none / 0) (#266)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed May 12, 2004 at 01:43:18 PM EST

Can you name any falsehoods in the article?  For that, matter can you think of a single justification for the U.S. conquest of Iraq?

I victory of emotion over reason indeed.  You just need to admit that Bush isn't as stupid as you thought and he pulled one over on you.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]

Lots of justifications. (none / 1) (#287)
by NateTG on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:39:31 PM EST

There are many justifications. The salient question is not what the justifications are, or were, but what the motives are (or were).

Consider, for example, that the humanitarian situation in Iraq was horrible, so intervention might have been justified.  Of course, considering that the US was instrumental in creating the humanitarian situation in the first place...


[ Parent ]

And also consider that the Iraqi people don't (none / 0) (#299)
by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed May 12, 2004 at 08:00:04 PM EST

want our help.

I'm like Jesus, only better.
Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
[ Parent ]
Consider that... (none / 0) (#303)
by D Jade on Wed May 12, 2004 at 10:36:45 PM EST

The humanitarian situation in Iraq is no different from many Middle Eastern countries where no hostile takeovers have been launched and it becomes aparrent that the humanitarian situation is not really important to our governments.

You're a shitty troll, so stop pretending you have more of a life than a cool dude -- HollyHopDrive
[ Parent ]
heh (none / 0) (#307)
by needless on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:32:37 AM EST

I just think you're jealous because he writes better than you.

[ Parent ]
i am! i don't deny that, i said that! (nt) (none / 0) (#319)
by circletimessquare on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:50:45 PM EST



The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]
What should we have done? (3.00 / 7) (#231)
by RaveWar on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:26:35 AM EST

Saddam was very useful in his time to the West but was getting old and weak. His overthrow was only a matter of time. Could the Western powers sit back and watchone of the following happen after Saddam: a religious zealot in power, or one of his sons in power (a very unknown quantity). The transition could have beeen a civil war resulting in the fragmentation of the country.

I suspect for these reasons that it is the supporters of the war who are the "saddam likers", even if they do not know this themselves. A useful despot was reaching the end of his sell-by date, the carefully created hardman image prevented the direct help being given to the country (not on Saddam's part, but because a loss of face would be immense to the US if they helped a country they had been embargoing for a decade). The only option was to invade to make sure a strong, centralised secular state was actually maintained. To paraphase another US slogan of the 20th century: "to save the regime, we had to destroy it".
We don't need freedom. We don't need love.
We want Superpower, Ultraviolence.

To save the people, we had to destroy the regime (none / 0) (#277)
by Peaker on Wed May 12, 2004 at 03:45:00 PM EST

Which is not in itself incoherent or contradictory in any way.

[ Parent ]
asdf (none / 2) (#335)
by magney on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:31:10 PM EST

The transition could have beeen a civil war resulting in the fragmentation of the country.
So instead we're triggering this ahead of schedule. This is an accomplishment?

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Hey moron (1.44 / 9) (#273)
by trhurler on Wed May 12, 2004 at 02:47:16 PM EST

Quick quiz. How many major deployments of US troops have been done with body armor given to most of the troops IN HISTORY? Answer: zero.

How many violent foreign military takeovers of a country of millions have occurred with fewer than 1000 casualties on the winning side IN HISTORY? Answer: two. Afghanistan and Iraq.

How many Allied troops lost their lives during the post WWII occupations? Answer: many, many thousands.

In short, as the history of invasions, occupations, and attempts to set up a new government go, this one is so far WILDLY SUCCESSFUL despite all attempts to portray a death here and a death there as total failure. More tanks and more artillery would not improve matters; "infantry lite" is a success on a ridiculous scale.

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

Hey Troll (none / 2) (#275)
by RaveWar on Wed May 12, 2004 at 03:03:07 PM EST

The main bugaboo (if you regard mutilation of corpses, decapitation as a "bugaboo") was not the invasion, that is the actual war against the armies of the state, but the ability of this invasion force to perform peacekeeping. In the case of Iraq this was always going to be the hard part because the scrappy Iraqi military could barely be described as an army, whereas the subjugation of a population that hates you is always a messy business. No matter how many toys you have.
We don't need freedom. We don't need love.
We want Superpower, Ultraviolence.
[ Parent ]
Yeah (none / 0) (#314)
by trhurler on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:10:31 PM EST

And since some of them have said they hate us, they all do, even though some of them still claim to really like us. Come on. In Congressional testimony the other day, an officer on the ground(obviously disillusioned) was quoted as saying 2/3 of Iraqis hate us. He was probably exaggerating, judging from the content of the rest of his letter, so it is quite likely that more than 1/3 of Iraqis like us even now. That's a fair percentage considering that we ARE an occupying force, which is never popular.

By the way, that Iraqi army wasn't nearly as incompetent as you think. Its leadership sent most of its troops home or had them surrender rather than fight, because they knew they would eventually lose anyway and they didn't want to fight for Saddam. They thought losing was in the national interest. That little fact seems ignored in the media frenzy about us being hated and so on.

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

[ Parent ]
In fact.... (none / 0) (#279)
by skim123 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:03:20 PM EST

How many Allied troops lost their lives during the post WWII occupations? Answer: many, many thousands.

Among them one being General Patton.

Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
PT Barnum


[ Parent ]
Inaccurate (none / 3) (#286)
by NateTG on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:36:03 PM EST

Considering that the Northern Alliance supplied a good number of the ground troops for the war in Afghanistan, and was part of the winning side, it's hard to see how you can claim that there were fewer than 1000 casualties, but there were probably less than 1000 U.S. casualties.  Note that there also hasn't really been a real takeover in Afghanistan, but simply the removal of a particular government.  Most of the warlords are still in power.

The Iraq claim is even more disengenious considering that there are 4,400 or so wounded casualties in current Iraq war.  I expect that the invasion had about 2000 wounded US soldiers.  That means that the US casualty count was more than 1000.  (I assume you refer to second US invasion of Iraq, since the first one was not a takeover)

Finally, the Spanish-American war which saw the US take over Cuba and the Phillipines had IIRC less than 500 US dead.  The following Phillipine Insurrection saw more than 4000 U.S. dead.  Another, more recent example, is the invasion of Panama under Reagan.

Realistically speaking, the casualty numbers that you're exposed to are deflated because the government is no longer giving information about the wounded, and now calls them injured.  

In terms of warfare in general, the casualty count is certainly relatively low, and the death count is relatively low, but if it's compared to, for example, the Spanish American war, it does not represent an unprecedentedly low casualty count.

[ Parent ]

Well (none / 0) (#316)
by trhurler on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:18:49 PM EST

Note that there also hasn't really been a real takeover in Afghanistan, but simply the removal of a particular government. Most of the warlords are still in power.
I snipped your NA comment, but as a note, their losses weren't particularly high either; they were thrilled with the results. As for the warlords, perhaps you should look up the history of occupations. You don't totally replace the government if you don't have to. That doesn't mean you didn't invade and occupy. Germany did the same thing in WWII with local government as much as was possible(which was a very large extent.) Does that mean they should only have had a couple thousand casualties? Because they had a lot more than that...
That means that the US casualty count was more than 1000.
True enough, but most of those are superficial. They count because they can get their purple hearts, but face facts: many of them are people who were getting hazard pay at the time they fell off a truck and bumped their heads and so on. Trying to portray them as "losses" is ridiculous, even if they ARE "casualties."
Finally, the Spanish-American war which saw the US take over Cuba and the Phillipines had IIRC less than 500 US dead.
True enough. I neglected to compare Iraq to countries that had no military to speak of. Waltzing into Luxembourg can make anyone look heroic. I can only apologize for this grievous error on my part and hope that you will take my UTMOST sincerity unquestioningly at face value. Hehe...

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

[ Parent ]
Troll along. Nothing to see here. (none / 0) (#327)
by NateTG on Thu May 13, 2004 at 05:43:50 PM EST

Regarding the Spanish-American war:

Spain was on the tail end of being a world power.  Spain had a sizable, if perhaps obsolete navy and was not adequately mobilized.  The US essentially won the war in two battles.  I'm sure that even more particular parralels could be drawn.

I submit that the disparity in force in Iraq was comparable, if not more severe than the disparity in the Spanish American war.

Regarding Superficial Casualties:

It's generally accepted that one of the reasons that the death counts for US soldiers are so low is that battlefied medicine and medevac logistics have improved massively.  That means that the number of soldiers wounded in battle should be expected to be proportionally higher than historical examples.  I would hardly describe the loss of a limb or major burns as superficial.

[ Parent ]

You're missing the point (none / 0) (#378)
by trhurler on Sun May 16, 2004 at 08:34:07 PM EST

While individual medical records are private, there is "non-identifying" information available. Yes, some people are losing limbs and being burned horribly, and that should not be downplayed. But, your average "casualty" is more like a broken ankle or a superficial gunshot wound. Enough to keep him from performing the physical duties of a soldier, but not enough to be a lifelong problem - or likely any problem at all, once it has a few weeks to heal.

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

[ Parent ]
answer to straw man quiz: (none / 2) (#289)
by stpna5 on Wed May 12, 2004 at 04:46:06 PM EST

SUNDAY, MAY 09, 2004 WASHINGTON Army Maj. Gen Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, ...asked if he believed the US was losing the war, he said: "I think strategically, we are ...." Army Colonel Paul Hughes, a top planner for the occupation, said the pattern in Iraq was looking more and more like the Vietnam War...

[ Parent ]
Wow (none / 1) (#313)
by trhurler on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:07:29 PM EST

You learned how to take quotes out of context and use ellipses to make people say things they never said. Did you go to journalism school to learn that, or did you figure it out all by yourself?

"I think strategically, we are... winning" is a lot different from "I think strategically, we are... losing."

"Iraq is looking more and more like Vietnam in that we're being bled to death while public support erodes" is a lot different than "Iraq is looking more and more like Vietnam in that there is no regular army threat - the threat model is irregular attacks against vulnerable targets."

Now, I don't know exactly what these two men said, but I'm willing to bet money that a general and a colonel did not publicly state anything but the party line, because both of them have political considerations at stake if they actually value their careers. So, it is a virtual certainty that you or whomever you might have taken these mutilated quotes FROM is lying through his teeth quite deliberately. Congratulations, asswipe.

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

[ Parent ]
What was reported.. (none / 0) (#368)
by noise on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:49:49 PM EST

From one site: Army Maj. Gen Charles Swannack, commander of the 82nd Airborne Division, said the US was winning on the tactical level. But asked if he believed the US was losing the war, he said: "I think strategically, we are .... Unless we ensure that we have coherency in our policy, we will lose strategically," he said.

Army Colonel Paul Hughes, a top planner for the occupation, said the pattern in Iraq was looking more and more like the Vietnam War.

"Unless we ensure that we have coherency in our policy, we will lose strategically," he said. "I lost my brother in Vietnam ," Hughes said. "I promised myself that I would do everything in my power to prevent that (sort of strategic loss) from happening again. Here I am thinking we will win every fight and lose the war."


Although you are correct in stating that politics and the military are closely related I do not believe it is correct to imply that officers always follow the party line. The comments made by Col. Paul Hughes certainly don't appear to follow the party line.

Do you feel that coherency exist in the administrations current plans?

[ Parent ]
Try as hard as you'd like... (none / 3) (#302)
by PhillipW on Wed May 12, 2004 at 10:00:32 PM EST

...but you can't polish a piece of shit. You should calm down with the pissy little nitpicks, and actually try and refute the main point of the article. Just in case it was too long for you, here it is:

The Iraq invasion is a disaster. We don't have control on the ground, it's cost billions of dollars, and Iraq is now doing us more harm than it could ever have done to this nation before the invasion. It's a money trap, an energy trap, and our men on the ground are dying.

Also, it should be mentioned that comparisons to World War II are totally out of line. The Germans and Japanese(not the Italians, they haven't been real since the fall of Rome) were actually formidable opponents. They had modern armies with actual technology, rather than outdated Soviet gear that's been sitting on the shelves.

And what's the cherry on top? We don't even get cheaper gasoline. The one benefit that I thought the Bush administration would be capable of providing, and they've fucked up on that, too!

-Phil
[ Parent ]
Heh (none / 1) (#318)
by trhurler on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:31:25 PM EST

We don't have control on the ground, it's cost billions of dollars, and Iraq is now doing us more harm than it could ever have done to this nation before the invasion.
Wrong. At this point, Kurds have found terror cells in Iraq. Zarqawi not only is there now, but has been determined to have visited many times during Saddam's rule, despite claims by know it all leftists that "those two groups never got along, and the accusation is ridiculous!" Turns out that US-hating makes strange bedfellows. ONE major terrorist attack with Saddam's backing could have cost us more lives AND more cash than the whole Iraq war has cost so far. (See the WTC for an example of such an event.) Also, occupying forces can never gain real control on the ground until either they reestablish local leadership OR they start shooting civilians who stray out after curfew and so on. We aren't willing to do the latter, so the former will have to suffice.
The Germans and Japanese(not the Italians, they haven't been real since the fall of Rome) were actually formidable opponents.
Which has what to do with their behavior after their militaries surrendered and handed over their weapons? My whole point is that the occupation itself was very costly, and I'm not saying ANYTHING about what led up to that point.
They had modern armies with actual technology, rather than outdated Soviet gear that's been sitting on the shelves.
You mean like a modern fiber optic air defense network with 90s era Chinese SAMs? Maybe you mean those Silkworm antiship missiles he supposedly bought. Yeah, those are so out of date that they prompted a whole slew of Aegis upgrades, but they're nothing to worry about. Outdated garbage, right? The ONLY reason Iraq was as easy to invade as it was had to do with us never giving up air superiority over southern Iraq since the last war in 1991. As a result of that, the whole thing was a house of cards.
And what's the cherry on top? We don't even get cheaper gasoline.
We will. Combine election season with the fact that turmoil always raises prices and they usually settle back down when turmoil decreases, and you'll see a drop, I bet. It will be a political mixed bag for Bush, though, because he'll probably try to make it happen by squeezing the EPA's reformulated gasoline rules, which will bring ignorant enviro-wackos who don't even understand the formulation of gasoline or what difference it makes out of the woodwork to scream that he's destroying everything.

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

[ Parent ]
non sequitur (none / 2) (#334)
by magney on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:29:01 PM EST

Wrong. At this point, Kurds have found terror cells in Iraq. Zarqawi not only is there now, but has been determined to have visited many times during Saddam's rule, despite claims by know it all leftists that "those two groups never got along, and the accusation is ridiculous!"
There's a huge gulf between Zarqawi being there, and the Saddam government supporting him. Feel free to bridge that gulf any time.

Do I look like I speak for my employer?
[ Parent ]

Two things (none / 0) (#379)
by trhurler on Sun May 16, 2004 at 08:37:18 PM EST

First of all, prior to us taking over, Zarqawi would only have had one reason to be in Iraq. Namely, resources. A safe haven, perhaps, or maybe more. That reason depends on at least the tacit acceptance of his presence by Saddam's government, if not outright support.

Second, claims that Zarqawi and friends hated/hate Saddam are only half true. Most of them believe in fundie Muslim rule, but their main target is/was Saudi Arabia, not Iraq. If Iraq was willing to help them out, they wouldn't have said no, even if later on they might turn on Saddam given a chance - as long as they were free to pursue their goal of replacing the Saudi government. These guys have accepted help ANYWHERE they could get it, as long as there were no strings that would interfere with that goal.

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

[ Parent ]
Get real. (3.00 / 4) (#305)
by Znork on Thu May 13, 2004 at 11:13:34 AM EST

"How many violent foreign military takeovers of a country of millions have occurred with fewer than 1000 casualties on the winning side IN HISTORY? Answer: two. Afghanistan and Iraq. "

In Afghanistan the Soviets lost a total of around 10K in combat, over a ten year period. Taking over the entire country took only a few weeks, and incurred minor losses.

If you want to call the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan 'wildly successful', the current invasion is, indeed, right on track to be just as 'wildly successful'.

The Soviets engaged in various other invasions, some with less than a hundred casualties on the winning side.

[ Parent ]

No (none / 1) (#312)
by trhurler on Thu May 13, 2004 at 01:03:49 PM EST

I meant OUR takeover of Afghanistan. The Soviets never succeeded, so I cannot have meant THEIR takeover of Afghanistan. And those other Soviet "invasions" were hardly real invasions. They were more like well orchestrated handovers of power.

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

[ Parent ]
Indeed. (none / 1) (#328)
by Znork on Thu May 13, 2004 at 06:06:54 PM EST

"The Soviets never succeeded, so I cannot have meant THEIR takeover of Afghanistan."

Exactly. They only 'succeeded' about as well as the current invasion of Afghanistan. Two weeks into the invasion they had most major cities and got variously shot at and blown up in the countryside. Two years later they still controlled most major cities and got variously shot at and blown up in the countryside.

Scarily similar to the current version of the same thing.

And I'm not certain I'd qualify doing about as well as the Soviets there as being a 'wild success'.

[ Parent ]

No... (none / 0) (#380)
by trhurler on Sun May 16, 2004 at 08:41:58 PM EST

The Soviets lost huge amounts of men and materiel and never really controlled even the "civilized" areas. The warlords never gave their allegiance to the Soviets. The provisional government has that allegiance and is moving to solidify it, disarm the warlords, and create a single national military. This is so far beyond the Soviets' achievements in Afghanistan that I don't see how you can honestly compare the two.

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

[ Parent ]
answer to your question 2 (none / 2) (#353)
by dago on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:42:47 AM EST

How many violent foreign military takeovers of a country of millions have occurred with fewer than 1000 casualties on the winning side IN HISTORY?

To find another example, you can look at the invasion of Yougoslavia by Germany in 1940, which led to 558 casualties on german's side.
I cannot find stats for other countries, but I would guess that it is the same order when they invaded Greece, Belgium, Netherlands, Norway or some others. And they were all countries of millions.

And somebody else noted that USSR invasion of afghanistan make less than 1000 casualties.

[ Parent ]

get a hotel room (none / 0) (#371)
by anonymous cowerd on Sun May 16, 2004 at 09:01:12 AM EST

trhurler sez: How many violent foreign military takeovers of a country of millions have occurred with fewer than 1000 casualties on the winning side IN HISTORY? Answer: two. Afghanistan and Iraq.

What makes you think we've won, that Mission Accomplished banner? We haven't won yet in Iraq and we haven't won yet in Afghanistan either. (And the plotters and financiers of the nine-eleven attack are still running free, also.) Consider that in Iraq the U.S. lost a hundred and forty soldiers - that's a hundred and forty dead, not "casualties," by the way, the "casualty" count is much higher - in the last month alone.

You can't properly compare the cost in casualties until after you've won. With an equal lack of justification, you could have said that the U.S. invasion of Vietnam occurred with fewer than 1000 U.S. casualties - if you were stupid enough to have said it in 1964.

You and Duh-Byuh - ick, get a hotel room, 'kay?

Yours WDK - WKiernan@ij.net

Minnamin, Gut mag alkan, Pern dirstan.
[ Parent ]

Why would you invade Iraq? (none / 2) (#343)
by njmc on Thu May 13, 2004 at 08:29:03 PM EST

Choose one of the following:

1. To secure future oil supplies and assist in the replenishing of your strategic oil reserve.

2. A pure electioneering stunt (heck, it worked for Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands Conflict (note: 'conflict', not 'war' - there is a difference you know ... apparently)

3. Because the regime represented a clear and present danger to the security of your own country.

4. To liberate a nation from tyranny and suffering.

5. To stimulate your own economy by pumping large reserves of cash into both the military and military industrial complex (and their associated workforce) to watch it trickle back up to the revenue coffers.

6. Familial pride.

7. To try out those new tactics and hardware you've been trying to sell to your customers.

8. Just for the hell of it.

So many reasons, so many people involved in the decision. You can turn the question around and ask, 'Why wouldn't you invade Iraq?'. Maybe your answer would be along the lines of, 'Because a soverign nation doesn't attack another unless it's threatened.' Or you might say, 'Because my largest national oil company is already doing quite nicely with the situation as is thank you very much.' Even, 'Because once the world has reached a technological level where sufficient resources are available to provide a good standard of living for all its inhabitants, then war becomes nothing more than murder' has a pleasant ring to it.

Though perhaps it doesn't really matter, after all ... surely it couldn't happen again. It's not like we're setting economic sanctions against any other Middle East country. Say ... Syria or anyone like that.

Awww nuts, here we go again.

Electioneering Stunt? (none / 0) (#346)
by Wildgoose on Fri May 14, 2004 at 02:51:31 AM EST

2. A pure electioneering stunt (heck, it worked for Margaret Thatcher in the Falklands Conflict (note: 'conflict', not 'war' - there is a difference you know ... apparently)

Crypto-fascists like yourself might approve of military juntas sending troops to invade neighbouring democracies, but those of who believe in human rights and the Rule of Law think that Margaret Thatcher was right to defend British subjects against fascist aggression.

And for the record, I opposed this war in Iraq just as I opposed many of Margaret Thatcher's domestic policies. But in the Falklands we were the victim of aggression, not the instigator.

[ Parent ]

Re: Electioneering Stunt? (none / 0) (#364)
by mpmansell on Sat May 15, 2004 at 03:56:29 AM EST

Remember, though, that there are many questions regarding the apparent "incompetence" of British intelligence regarding Argentina's invasion plans, and what Thatcher's part in this was.

Few can doubt that it helped her win the next election and many, especially those who suffered as a result of her other policies, believe she was playing very fast and loose with the lives of British subjects.

There is no doubt in my mind that the Argentinian junta was evil, nor that the (mainly innocent) Argentinians, once they had invaded, should be expelled but the question that has been posed in many circles for the last quarter century, or so, is whether or not the Thatcher government 'engineered' the invasion (by inaction) for its own ends.

Sadly I doubt we will ever know the truth of this. If it isn't true, much as I hate Thatcher and her 'vegetables' (Spitting Image :) ) it would be unjust for them to be blamed for something they didn't do. However, if it is true, that same sense of justice says they should be punished to the full degree of suffering they caused.

[ Parent ]

A correction (none / 1) (#359)
by njmc on Fri May 14, 2004 at 07:09:30 PM EST

When a small and distant outpost of your sovereign territory is invaded with no real threat to the safety of the inhabitants you can do one of two things.

Seek a peaceful resolution through the U.N., or under its umbrella bring international pressure to bear on the aggressor, create a dialogue, seek a peaceful solution. Ultimately using force as a last and tragic resort.

Or, you can assemble a fleet, stir up a mood of jingoistic fanaticism not seen since Nuremburg and wage war (sorry, conflict). For good measure get the tabloid press to clad page 3 girls in Union Jacks and use phrases like `we'll give them argy-bargy'. Then sit back and coast into power, the wheels of the polls lubricated freely with the blood of your armed forces.

But to be fair, perhaps I should have used the phrase crypto-electioneering.

Special VISA for you and yours... (none / 1) (#367)
by noise on Sat May 15, 2004 at 11:34:28 PM EST

The real failure was with INS policies. Residents of Saudi Arabia (including non citizens residing in Saudi Arabia) have for a long time been able to apply for non-immigrant visas at any travel agency. These visas are rarely scrutinized and the applicants are rarely interviewed. Some report that in the month following 911 out of 102 visa applications filed remotely from Saudi Arabia, only 2 applicants were actually interviewed prior to approval. Contrast this with applying for a Visa in a friendly Central American country where we had many bases - trip to the US embassy in that country, wait in line, personal interviews, etc etc etc.. money money money... etc etc etc... waiting...etc etc etc...police checks...more waiting...another interview...etc etc etc...

Then there is the alarming situation of secretly rushing Saudi nationals out of the country in the week following 911 including some of the Bin Laden family. Administration officials state this was done to protect them from being harmed by Americans looking for revenge. Uhhhh.... If they can't protect a small group (relatively) of people how can they be so sure about defending the free world? How can they protect you? In the days following 911 the heat was quickly removed from the INS and placed on minimum wage airport security personnel. The Democrats bought into this as a way to expand the government workforce - "We don't professionalize until we federalize!" They, with their Republican friends, also voted to give the president sole authority to wage war on terrorism...

During recent 911 hearings C. Rice testified that she was completely unaware of the special status of non-immigrant Saudi residents prior to 911. I knew of this policy even back to the 1980s. A friend who is from Central America and worked for our government once questioned me about the special status of Saudi's applying for a US visa. In other words, he was aware of this policy and was concerned about how it could be used to damage the US long before 911, even though he is a foreign national.

C. Rice's statements, and those of other officials regarding this policy show that they are not qualified for their positions. This administration did not seek out qualified people - they sought out yes men and women.

The correct answer to 911 would have been to:
1) Bring US military assets and personnel home to protect the United States, which is the actual mission of our military. It is the reason 18 year olds sign up...
2) Revamp INS policy. There should be at the most 3 visas. One for tourists, one for immigrants, and one for diplomatic purposes. Every applicant should be interviewed by the INS. The CIA and other military intelligence agencies should not have the power to approve visas after the INS has rejected the same. No country should have special status when it comes to immigration. As a side note immigration policy should never be molded to the immediate needs of any institution or person.
3) Osama Bin Laden should have been hunted down like a dog, secretly using our CIA assets. The CIA and Osama go way back... I am positive they would have found him by now had that been the actual goal. Two FBI agents reported prior to 911 that their investigations of Al Qaeda were being hampered all around...
4) Iraq? What the fuck does Iraq have to do with 911? The Bush administration has already admitted that their intelligence was severely flawed (at best).

Amnesty for illegal immigrants? How could Bush even suggest this. This alone tells me that he isn't worried about terrorism here. The Patriot Act and Homeland Defense and everything else suggested and done so far are just ways to gain more control over the citizens of this nation.

Have you even considered... (none / 1) (#370)
by justaghost on Sun May 16, 2004 at 12:59:19 AM EST

...that the whole point of the war is to appease al-Qaeda?  To give them something concrete to target that's easier to get to than US commerce buildings?

Consider it.  If you want to take the US off the terrorist to-do list, what better thing to do than give them something even more offensive to them, and closer to home?  At least the terrorists will be targeting the military and not civilians.

-----

Not strong, only aggressive
Not free, only licensed
Not compassioniate, only polite
Not good, but well behaved.

Wealthy terrorists are the problem (none / 2) (#377)
by cpghost on Sun May 16, 2004 at 01:57:53 PM EST

Al Quaeda terrorism is a bigger problem than we might think. Unlike political motivated terrorism in misc. countries, Al Quaeda is extremely well funded. They can buy visas, passports, even expensive flight training sessions.

We're quite naive here when we close our borders, or imitate big brother. Nothing can prevent wealthy terror orgs from hiring hit men within the US and Europe to do their dirty jobs. They don't need to be physically in the country at all.

If we really want to win this war on terror, we need the cooperation of a lot of countries, not all of them our friends, to track down money laundering and channelling. We esp. need much better cooperation from the Saudi and other arab countries' authorities.

Sadly, we're losing ground here, because we had to alineate nearly every country worldwide with our foreign policies. With the latest prisoner abuse scandal, we've also lost the last good will in the arab world. People who might have helped us in our fight will now turn away in disgust and leave us to our own premises. That's a bleak future indeed.


cpghost at Cordula's Web
"Just" causes, too (none / 0) (#388)
by egeland on Tue May 18, 2004 at 02:42:23 AM EST

If the US didn't train and fund Osama, and have such a terrible foreign policy record, then they wouldn't have (in their minds - I cannot condone killings) the justification for attacking the US.

I find it interesting that Americans tend to track only the number of American casualties, and practically ignore all the other, mainly civilian, casualties.

Now before you dismiss me as anti-US, I'm not. I believe the US has done a lot of good for the world, but also a lot of bad. I have faith in the American PEOPLE, but not their government.


--
Some interesting quotes
[ Parent ]

Have People No Concept of War Anymore? (none / 1) (#382)
by jameth on Mon May 17, 2004 at 02:39:18 AM EST

"Not only has he killed nearly 800 of our troops"

Why must I be badgered with this foolishness day in and day out? "Oh no! 800 hundred people died!"

Guess what, it's a war. There were over 200,000 people over there, and 800 died. I won't work out the ratio there, I'll let you do that yourself. However, by my math, I could go to war for a year with a group of around a hundred friends (more friends than I actually have, about as many people as I know at all well) and not have a single one of them die.

I'm opposed to the war as a whole, but why the hell are you bitching about the body count? We went to war for and had less than two people die each day, on average. My God, you can expect a couple casualties if you have 200,000 people SIT ON THEIR ASSES for a year. Someone would die from getting a clot in their leg, or some such shit! Why the fuck do people bitch about such a casualty count when people get sent to WAR?!?!?!

True (none / 0) (#383)
by mr100percent on Mon May 17, 2004 at 04:29:47 PM EST

Yes. They were soldiers, they knew the risks. I'm far more concerned with the civilian body count. Iraqbodycount.net says the number is now between 9148-11005. I've seen even higher estimates by others.

It seems the US forgot about winning hearts and minds when they wrecked Fallujah, 600 dead by most media reports. Many women and children. That was supposedly in retaliation for the 4 mutilated contractors, and it's been reported that Bush personally ordered the seige, wanting to see "heads roll" over it.


--Never trust a guy who tattoes his IP address to his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
[ Parent ]

I Completely Agree (none / 0) (#386)
by jameth on Mon May 17, 2004 at 08:10:45 PM EST

And, if the article had mentioned that in its intro, I wouldn't have bitched.

[ Parent ]
The object of war (none / 0) (#384)
by stpna5 on Mon May 17, 2004 at 05:13:48 PM EST

is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

-- General George S. Patton

[ Parent ]

War in Our Republic (none / 0) (#394)
by mikelieman on Thu May 20, 2004 at 07:33:40 AM EST

The power to declare War lies with WHICH BRANCH of our government? You say "We are in a War", but you do not tell the truth. I'm not sure what we're in, but Congress has NOT DECLARED WAR, so WE ARE NOT AT WAR.
-- I Miss Jerry
[ Parent ]
"...there is Bush (none / 0) (#403)
by stpna5 on Wed Jun 09, 2004 at 02:34:42 AM EST

once again, an unelected President, but serving his time and quacking away. You know, as though he were the real thing. Wartime President. I'm a wartime President. Why, if we had any media in the country that was honest, and we don't, somebody would have pointed out this is not wartime. You cannot have a war without a declaration. Article Two of the Constitution of the United States declaring war, and that should be the House of Representatives. That is the law of the land."--Gore Vidal, recent radio interview

[ Parent ]
And then the alarm clock went off and I woke up... (none / 0) (#389)
by k24anson on Tue May 18, 2004 at 11:28:53 AM EST

People still rob banks with the best security systems, and nothing would have stopped 9/11 unless the facts were staring us in the face. What to do after 9/11, and any future biological/nuclear terroristic expression that will happen then. I'll mention this just as a thought, to prepare the "silly bananas" who will emerge, and have emerged already in the West with our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Twenty, thirty thousand people are killed in a week from a future terroristic expression. If this latest happens in an european nation, kid gloves come off and the full force and fury of every western nation comes into "play." If said expression occurs within the United States, we go it alone again as the majority of european nations punk out, again, claiming as cowards the US brought it on themselves. Regardless and whatever, alone or in consort with others, the United States is definitely at war. So,

High profile Islamic leaders throughout the world are either known to bedetained by the US and brought out of any influential positions wherever they may currently reside in the world, or they have their bodily functions to be brought to cease to function. "Aim for the head" is the war cry within the US press. Tens of thousands of Islamics are "squelched" throughout the world.

After this response in retaliation, the President and his crew sit back, and take it day to day as to any other proper responses. Whatever backlash will happen will be directed towards the US, and we will measure any response to this backlash day to day, month by month. Though let everyone know that we, the US took out all their leaders. If this doesn't work and another Islamic incident occurs, just scorch that tribal region in Pakistan, and the Bekka Valley is now too radioactive to retrieve those "things" Saddam has over there. And I'm still waiting for those Palestinians to vote. I want to know how much I care about them as a people, as a whole. Because it's day by day as the West, or the US learns to temper its literal hate for any thing Islamic now days. We are the most powerful nation on the earth. These people do not seem to have an idea in their head what the word powerful means, what it entails. Let the history books of future generations learn to know what the word means then. Too bad.

And I thought, until now that as the events unfold something would come up and present itself to me that would resolve this type of situation, without having to make me look like some Gestapo, some SS colonel during the World War. I guess not. Not unless I just keep absorbing all this atrocity, and be nice about it.
KLH
NYC

Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.

The US needs to learn about the rest of the world (none / 0) (#390)
by expat on Wed May 19, 2004 at 03:43:42 AM EST

In response to If this latest happens in an european nation, kid gloves come off and the full force and fury of every western nation comes into "play." If said expression occurs within the United States, we go it alone again as the majority of european nations punk out, again, claiming as cowards the US brought it on themselves. Regardless and whatever, alone or in consort with others, the United States is definitely at war. As an American resident of France, I think that several facts need to be brought to the attention of the Americans, namely:
  • France has the largest Muslim population in Europe (approximately 5m), the result of its extensive colonies in Africa, the Middle East and Asia,
  • The French army fought (and lost) a large-scale war against the Algerian FLN,
  • During the height of the Algerian civil war (1992-1998) estimated at more than 120,000 deaths), militant Islamic groups perpetrated a string of bloody bombings in France during the 80s and one aborted airplane highjacking (which ended in Marseilles),
  • The French intelligence services have far more Arab speaking agents and analysts than the United States and has been working to penetrate Islamic networks for over a decade,
  • The vast majority of the French population was supportive of the United States after 9/11 and during the war in Afghanistan. The linkage between 9/11 and Iraq is considered by most as pure invension. Most of the anti-Americanism is France is among its vocal intellectual elite, which represents a minute fraction of the population,
  • Most Europeans are far more frightened about the consequences of a failed American occupation than they have ever been about Saddam Hussein. If the US loses control of the situation, the consequences could be dire for Europe.
  • With that you are free to rant about the rest of the world. I personally would be very surprised if the United States proves able to win this war alone. I would also think back to what Richard Clark, former counter-terrorist head, said about Iraq being a diversion from the real fight against terror which actually decreases the chances of winning the war.

    [ Parent ]
    "War against terror?" (none / 0) (#393)
    by Steeltoe on Wed May 19, 2004 at 01:55:08 PM EST

    I see you bought into the "war against terror" new-speak. It's a claim right out of 1984: Who is the enemy? When do you win? How do you ever end this "war"? Perpetual war, what a way to ensure perpetual power. Perpetual fear ensures perpetual leadership.

    Why use terror yourself when you're fighting against it?

    It just doesn't make sense to somebody who can think for themselves.

    Explore the Art of Living

    [ Parent ]

    re: War on Terror (none / 0) (#399)
    by expat on Sun May 30, 2004 at 03:38:51 AM EST

    You are right on that account. "War" is absolutely not the right metaphor for the current struggle. All the less so that US military forces are likely to win in any conventional confrontation while losing the broader conflict of legitimacy. When the French were faced with Islamic terrorism in the early 90s, they responded not with war but with increased intelligence gathering and a reinforced judicial process to handle terror cases (the most famous of the judges being M. Brugière). In the name of the war on terror, the current administration seems to have thrown due process and individual rights out of the window.

    [ Parent ]
    Judicial process, or amputate? (none / 0) (#402)
    by k24anson on Sat Jun 05, 2004 at 12:47:23 PM EST

    There might not be an answer, though if and when it happens the response will be the answer, good or bad won't matter, the response will just be.

    What should be the response after thirty, forty thousand are killed from a terroristic expression? Should we try to maintain a dignified posture to the future generations, being read as being good little boys and girls who drew up more indictments, to be presented in a formal court of law? Only to have a couple months or years pass and more are killed in a similar fashion? The composure and frame of mind needed to rationally and ethically address what the response will be, will be viewed as draconian, satanic by anyone reading and contemplating this scenario as it is being read about at the present moment, and will be viewed as monstrous and diabolical to those who are actually watching the events go down, if they do go down. The supporters of Islamic terrorists do not know what they're doing, what they are creating; what the word power means, what it is and can do.

    The definition towards anything Islamic will be regarded in such a negative light in the future should steps be taken in response to a terroristic expression of magnitude. And anything Islamic will suffer. Do those Middle Eastern, Indonesian nations know what they are doing and becoming? Rather, what could go down? Not that I personally care about anything Islamic, rather, I try to temper the phrase 'God fearing' with what a 'proper' response should be to a cancer, to an ancient dinosaur or something like that.

    Enough said.
    KLH
    NYC

    Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.
    [ Parent ]

    the vapid thoughts of R. Clark et al. (none / 0) (#396)
    by k24anson on Thu May 20, 2004 at 02:43:52 PM EST

    expat, you must (should) realize the average Islamic, whether in the Middle East or Indonesia, has a little bit different opinion of the US now that two of their most vocal and radical nations have been nuetered. Three years after 9/11 and I'm sure the "average" Islamic is creating new definitions towards the United States. This is to say we are not being portrayed as Satanic, etc., from a good number of the pulpits, fomenting the nonsense of the past.

    The term powerful is being defined to include more than just the military view of us within these nations too. The fact that the average Islamic understands US military forces are leaving someday is an instance of this new definition taking shape. The most important non-military target to eventually decimate though is the Islamic religion itself, to render it obsolete and to be seen as not conducive by the masses towards a "better" future society, to bring any long term stability to the region, to the world for that matter.

    It's unfortunate that in the West there are few who see, much less put any effort to contrast the West as more favorable than any Islamic civilization. Doing so steps closer to achieving the conditions we want in the world, I gotta go do something ...
    KLH
    NYC

    Stay focused. Go slow. Keep it simple.
    [ Parent ]

    nothing? (none / 0) (#398)
    by jbridge21 on Mon May 24, 2004 at 08:31:56 PM EST

    and nothing would have stopped 9/11 unless the facts were staring us in the face.

    How about some good old fashioned getting fighters up in the air to figure out wtf is going on with planes 90 degrees off course for 30-60 minutes?

    [ Parent ]

    At what purpose (none / 0) (#400)
    by dudsen on Mon May 31, 2004 at 10:56:13 AM EST

    what was those fighthers going to do shoot down 2 planens over some new york suburb!
    And how where they to know that it wasn't just the avrenge free our comrades from prison, plane hijacking.
    Do you risk crashing an plane in some elemetary school, when you has no indication that it's not just another, plane hijacking.

    [ Parent ]
    the Islamic democracy of Turkey (none / 0) (#397)
    by aytekin on Mon May 24, 2004 at 06:08:50 PM EST

    Very good article.

    Just one correction. Saying "Islamic democracy of Turkey" is like saying "Christian democracy of USA" or "White democracy of USA" just because the majority of US is Christian or white. Republic of Turkey is a secular democracy and as a state has no religion.

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