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20.6.2006

Yay, war.

Tags: Uncategorized — Author: @ 7:40 am

I just found out today that a kid from my old Boy Scout troop was shot while on patrol in Iraq. Josh Snyder graduated from my high school in 2002, he was just two weeks shy of his 21st birthday. I remember Josh very well, he was one of the “younger scouts” but was very mature for his age and was very much respected amongst us “older scouts”.

I also discovered that his best friend (whom I never knew), Norman Anderson, who graduated from my high school with him, enlisted with him, went to bootcamp with him, and roomed with him, was killed by suicide bomber in Iraq just a month earlier. Just two months before his death, Norman married his high school sweetheart. She’s 20 years old and a widow.

These two guys weren’t men, they were just boys like I was at that age. They should have been out dating and drinking and partying and fucking and enjoying themselves – not fighting in some stupid ass war against some other kids who should have been out dating and drinking and partying and fucking and doing whatever else they want to do. Both those guys enlisted in 2002, soon after 9/11, when the U.S. was arguably fighting for a worthy cause in Afghanistan – I wonder if they would have still signed-up if they would have know the situation in 2005?

Yay, war.
norman_anderson_iraq.jpg

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com Giustino

    That’s the reality, Phil. A guy from my hometown – same age as me/us – was killed two years ago – he left behind a pregnant wife. Christ, I didn’t even muster a tear at my own grandfather’s funeral, but when I heard how he died and the circumstances I was pretty shaken up for at least the next 24 hours.

    These young men were robbed of their lives. The rationale for the war in Iraq is so convoluted, I’m still not exactly sure what the letters their widows recieved said. Did they die for “spreading democracy to Iraqis,” “fighting terrorists,” “taking down the evil dictator Saddam Hussein,” or all of the above?

  • CB

    ‘The rationale for the war in Iraq is so convoluted’

    What rationale? It IS reality unfortunately; these guys signed up, in the wake of a wave of patriotism and ‘defend us from the terrorists’ rhetoric. I feel very sorry for them, their families and for people who knew them that they were sucked into the machine.

  • Nora

    God … that’s so awful to hear…. You’re right, they were not men just yet, they were young guys in their way to be full adults … I too feel sorry for them and hope their families and beloved ones will soon find consolation and resignation…. War itself is wrong and senseless. I guess it works when there’s a real motive, such as defending a country from a real and proved thread and I believe the invasion to Irak was just a patethic excuse for start a war that still has no real motive behind its creation

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Phil,
    These were men in every sense of the word. While you may hold differing views concerning the rationale behind the Iraq war, claiming that they were “just boys” who should have been “fucking around” instead of doing what they strongly believed in, is demeaning.

    The fact that the re-inlistment rate is at an all time high, tells me that these men and woman strongly believe in the cause they are fighting for, and see that they are indeed making a difference by their mere presence in Iraq.

    The Army by the way, reported recently that they far exceeded their enlistment goals for this year, that has seen 2,500 of their fellow men and women killed during the past three years. So IMHO, there would have been every indication of them signing up regardless of how badly the war is being reported by the MSM…and its international cousins.

  • Topias

    Even if you consider 20-somethings to be too young and immature for war, they really are the only ones capable of waging it effectively enough. At least physically, but also mentally to some extent. Now here could be a hidden message somewhere.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Nora,
    The threat behind Saddam’s Iraq was greater than what for the most part, the MSM has reported. Its not conspiracy, but a culture, that has created an enviorment where even “a sense of duty” is ridiculed as a thing of the past. The fact that the overwhelming majority of the MSM leans Left and hard Left cannot be overlooked.

    When looking at the death of al-Zarqawi, the MSM couldn’t even bring themselves to report it as a good development. Instead there was the usual poo-pooing of it with more gloom and doom scenarios, instead of celebrating it as a definitive example that the terrorist are indeed losing their hold in Iraq.

    For the first time in recorded history, killing the leader of your enemy is not a good thing…..pure buffoonery.

    Saddam’s Iraq had ties to terrorism, as did their Baa’tist cousins in Syria. The Iraqi regime had developed ties with Osama Bin Laden, al-Zarqawi as well as with the Taliban. The fact that the suicide bombing in Jordan at the bequest of al-Zarqawi involved a high ranking Baatist officer and his wife (ironically killing three Palestinian intel officers at a wedding), proving that its no small leap for socialists to merge with religious fanatic jihadists.

    Iraqi Documentation captured during the beginning of Operation Iraqi Fredom has uncovered a treasure trove of intel, that shows Iraq was up to its neck in terrorism, developing plans to spread it throughout Europe, setting aside finances to bribe member states in the UN, most notably the UNSC 3/5 member states China, Russia and France, as well as underlining its attempts to play a shell game with the UNSC.

    Though WMD’s were never the main reason for the war, (UNSC resolution 14441 was) but not one of the anti-Iraq war ‘nay-sayers’ I have discussed with has ever explained the “insignificance” of the vast convoy of trucks that headed to Syria on the eve of the war. Nor what top Russian generals were doing right up until the outbreak of hositilities. A top Iraqi airforce general claims that chem WMD’s were also spirited to Syria in multiple flights.

    Even the badly reported Duefler report spoke of finding WMD “start up plans”, that would have took very little time to get up and running. The very fact that a deadly dangerous tyrant that had started a number of wars, invaded countries, launched rockets at Israel while paying 25 000 dollars per suicide attack at the Jewish state that indeed killed Americans there, does not give hope for a brighter future with an Iraq regime unchanged.

  • Anonymous

    Interesting to see how Phil makes his friends deaths mean nothing.
    How you must loathe them. You love your own bizarre mushy anti-war ideas more than your friends.
    What a sad man you are.

  • iJusten

    Anonymous, Phil did say that he only knew the first person, because he had a reputation as “old kid”. Phil knew his name, but I got the impression they werent friends. Surely he would have been informed earlier if that were the case?
    The second person was just a friend of the boy/man he knew of. A tragic story.

    It’s quite sad when a person can’t even read short post that is very well written without getting it wrong.

    BTW, Phil, good post. Really helps to get the perspective after all those “Haha! Three americans killed in Iraq! Why did they even bother to go?”-stories. Made me, at least, remember its human people we are talking about, not some robots.

  • tim73

    This is very, very sad for these families and friends but when one joins de facto mercenary army of the United States, one might get him/herself killed. It is still voluntary decision. It is not like WWII GI Joes or Vietnam draftees out there, these men are paid to kill and that is one big difference. What makes this so much worse is that these men/women probably died for nothing, it is not like dying in Normandy beaches back in WII etc etc.

    Iraqis have every right to defend themselves against foreign armies just like any other nation. It is that simple. There are always consequences when people elect bad leaders like Germans electing Hitler and Americans electing this Dim Son Dubya and his gang of greedy neocons. Little people pay the price every time.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Good Grief Tim73,

    What a load of rubbish. In case you haven’t noticed, the Iraqis have formed a democratically representative government, the first of its kind in the Arab world. The Islamofacists fighting the Iraqi government and US Coalition forces have no political base to draw from. The overwhelming majority of Iraqis reject the Islamist fascists, as well as there foreign jihadist brethern.

    If you really think that the US troops are dying for nothing, than you are appear to be most likely a friend of the jihadis….not a great ideological company to keep.

  • Helsinkian

    tim73: for many Americans the army is the best way of climbing up the social ladder. It has an important societal function, it’s not just about national defense. Many people go to the army to get a good education after their stint in Iraq and the army itself is seen as part of that education.

    Every death in the war is a very tragic one. Absolutely. Regardless of the families and friends are for the war or against it, it’s just as horrible. But Tim’s comment of it being sad and then basically saying they got what they deserved since they are mercenaries, was the height of hypocrisy.

    “Iraqis have every right to defend themselves against foreign armies just like any other nation.”

    The Saddam régime invaded two neighboring countries early on. After he’d done that, he and his régime could in no way expect not to be invaded themselves. Saddam had it coming. Even if Saddam had not been able to invade other countries for a time, he was being “kept in his box”, which sounds sanitary and nice but countless of Iraqi kids were dying because of the sanctions, Saddam himself wasn’t suffering of them.

    So if your neighbor is a mass murderer, you think getting him to face justice is not that important. After all, police officers who come to arrest that murderer might get shot at. It wasn’t just that Saddam had started wars that had killed countless people and used WMD while doing that, people were still continually suffering and dying because of him in the early years of the 21st Century.

  • Liber Al

    KGS59 wrote: In case you haven’t noticed, the Iraqis have formed a democratically representative government, the first of its kind in the Arab world.

    But the U.S. has no business telling the Iraqis how to run their country. Regardless of whether the Iraqis amongst themselves agree or not. What if, say, China started bombing the U.S. simply because U.S. does not govern herself like China does?

    Seriously, we all know the true motives behind U.S. actions in Iraq. U.S. is the only country that has been continuously at war since WW2. And, looking back, not one of those conflicts has been for anything but selfish reasons on U.S’s side. Do you seriously believe that U.S. would spend hundreds of billions on this war unless the plan was to reap equal or preferably greater rewards off of Iraq later?

    We know for a fact that by now the U.S. economy is for all practical purposes bankrupt. From this we can deduce that for U.S. to spend so much on this war at this particular time, the Bush cabal must by necessity view Iraq as U.S’s main leverage in getting back to solvency. Their plan may call for the attempt at the rape of Iran, too. But in any case Iraq is a start.

  • Petteri

    It remains to be seen what if anything will improve in Iraq and in the region in general to warrant this war and validate these numerous deaths by the both sides. Wars have this unavoidable problem that even the best laid plans tend to go wrong and where these things will eventually lead, nobydy can tell for sure. Wouldn’t it be sad to an extreme if there will be no democracy, peace, prosperity, justice or even Iraq when the dust settles down and the blood stops running. All those lifes wiped out for nothing would really put salt in the wounds.

  • Helsinkian

    In the present situation in Iraq a key element to stabilizing democracy is the establishment of the rule of law.

    There are regular challenges to the rule of law by various militia groups but one that springs to mind is the pro-Iranian Mehdi (or Mahdi) army, who gained some fame a couple of years ago.

    One of the acts of war of that militia (led by Muqtada Sadr) was the razing of this Roma village called Qawliya on March 12, 2004:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A46446-2004Apr2?language=printer

    The spokesman of the Mehdi Army explained what had happened to Washington Post journalists:

    “Sadr’s office had sought to reform the village. It had offered to send a preacher to serve there, provide religious CDs and videos, hold Friday prayers in the town and send five of the residents to the seminary in Najaf ‘Since the fall of the regime, we tried to call on these people to improve,’ he said. ‘I wanted to give them an opportunity to decent life.’

    ‘They refused’, he added.”

    The reasons why the Mehdi Army tried by extortion to get the Roma villagers to accept their religious way of life before razing the village, were alcohol and prostitution, something the religious militia didn’t want to tolerate in a territory they felt was theirs.

  • tim73

    Helsinkian: You are forgetting one thing: US was the ally of Saddam Hussein, basically INSTALLED him there and Americans could not care less for example about gassing the Kurds during Iraq-Iran war. Here is a little reminder:

    http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/

    Talking about hypocrisy!

    Americans and Brits have been continuously messing up things in Middle East. Every time Muslims did elect democratically someone, god forbid, somebody leftist leaning, they did everything to throw him away or kill him and put some right-wing dictator to power instead.

    The Soviets were no better, probably even worse, but don’t talk about how innocent Americans are spreading freedom there. They got almost as much as blood in there hands as Nazis since WII, just not directly but via fascists middlemen and via countless low-intensity conflicts around the globe. For every dead American, these de facto mercenaries have killed at least 10, maybe even 100 Iraqis, almost all of them civilians.

  • Helsinkian

    tim73: When Saddam committed the atrocities against Shiites and Kurds and many other things he did while being dictator, he wasn’t acting as a middleman of the United States, he was acting of his own free will. When he invaded Iran and Kuwait, the battle plans were drawn in Baghdad.

    The link you provided was about the 1980s, a time when there was a warming-up of relations between Washington and Baghdad. Plenty of hypocrites in almost every country condoned what Saddam was doing at that time and profited by their relations to the Baghdad régime. The Reagan Administration was one of those governments seeking warmer ties with Saddam at a time when it not was morally justifiable but certainly not the only one or the worst one.

    According to you America installed Saddam in power. No, they did not. Saddam was neither elected nor installed. He grabbed the power with his very own hands.

    Yes, America has supported dictators in the past as part of a Cold war strategy and so have many other democratic and free nations as well. That is hypocritical. But saying the Soviets were “probably even worse” than the Americans is to me outright slanderous. You can compare the Soviets with the Nazis and say that one totalitarian system was “probably even worse” than the other, but you seriously can’t compare the Americans to totalitarian régimes. The Soviets and Nazis were openly promoting totalitarianism and spread the poison of such terror at every opportunity they got. Americans fought that evil throughout the 20th Century, sometimes the ends justifying the means in a way that turned out to be counterproductive. But if the Americans had not intervened in WWII and supported Western European democratic structures throughout the Cold War, the flame of liberty would have been extinguished from Europe.

  • Helsinkian

    Tim is saying in his argument that Americans habitually thwart democracies and install dictators.

    But the Americans thwarted a dictator in Iraq and are trying to secure a democracy.

    Americans won the Cold War. If America’s goal had been the spread of dictatorship and fascism worldwide, then why did the end of the Cold War turn out to be the most beneficial event for the spread of democracy in human history?

  • tim73

    “Concerned about growing Soviet influence in Iran during the Cold War, the U.S. toppled the regime of Iran’s ELECTED prime minister Mohammed Mossadeq, who intended to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. The U.S.-backed coup against Mossadeq in 1953 reinforced the power of the young Mohammed Reza, Shah of Iran.

    The pro-Western Shah was viewed by many in Iran as increasingly autocratic and oppressive. He tried to institute many Western social reforms by decree, and his secret police, SAVAK, viciously silenced opposition voices. A 1979 Islamist revolution against the Shah’s regime swept a new kind of Islamic state into power, the Islamic Republic of Iran, governed by Islamic jurists and scholars. The popular hatred of the Shah also tarred his American supporters, and the revolution’s anti-American passion led to the storming of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, where 53 hostages were held for more than a year.

    Saddam Hussein and the United States

    The U.S. supported Iraq’s Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988), when Iran’s new post-revolutionary Islamic regime appeared to be the region’s biggest threat.”

    Source:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/globalconnections/mideast/questions/uspolicy/

    So when one rudeless plan failed eventually, Americans just switched sides and Saddam was their new favorite playmate. Thanks to “freedom loving” US, almost 40 LONG years of right-wing dictatorship in Iran and 10 years of supported dictatorship in Iraq.

  • tim73

    typo:..30 long years.

  • http://fredfryinternational.blogspot.com Fred Fry

    Sorry to hear about his loss.

    The sad fact is that people that age are injured and die for all sorts of reasons. He died while doing something he wanted to:

    “His mother tells WJZ’s Sharon Lee he was a patriotic young man. “Josh was proud to serve. I remember talking with him. [He] had his uniform on and knew he was going over there to do some good.”"

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Liber Al,
    Great going. Not only do you ascribe the US with only greedy goals for its being in Iraq, you really think that the overwhelming majority of Iraqis (both Shiia and Sunni Kurds)enjoyed life under Saddam.

    According to you, a tyranical regime was perferable to most Iraqis, and the US just “came in due to its greed and forced democracy down their throats”. What a grand scale misreading of events that lead up to the war.

    Liber Al is appearntly ignorant of the fact that its Japan and the whole of Europe that was dependent of Iraqi oil, not the US. Libera Al is probably also unawares that ME oil only counts for only 25-30% of all US oil imports. A supposed imperialistic power (that’s what Liber Al really believes the US to be) does not hand over oil fields to a beaten power, then pay the beaten power for that very same oil.

    For the US to just depose the Saddam regime and allow for the Baatist to continue in power would be the height of stupidity, and then we would be presented with Liber Al’s bloviations on how corrupt the US is to not try for democratic change once Saddam was gone ect.ect.

    The US and Britian and its allies are the one who have rolled up their sleeves and put their own lives on the line, while others dither, with the odd hope that the status quo would continue. Talk about “the nerve” of some people. Liber Al would complain about any number of scenarios if the US was involved.

    One one hand the US supplies the Arab world with funding, to keep a quiet peace with Israel

    Liber Al: THE US SUPPORTS ARAB DICTATORSHIPS.

    The US takes down two dictatorships in Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Liber Al: THE US IS IMPOSING ITS WILL ON THE THIRD WORLD. IRAQIS LOVED SADDAM*S DICTATORSHIP….BOO ON THE US AND ON THE NEW DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT OF IRAQ.

    Sounds pretty stupid, naive, cynical and all rolled into one Leftist naysaying jihadist apologizing lump.

  • Helsinkian

    While I believe there are factual errors in Eric Margolis’ column on who backed Saddam when he committed atrocities, and I certainly don’t agree with the tone of his writing, it’s an interesting read:

    http://www.bigeye.com/fc122004.htm

    “The Reagan Administration and Thatcher government were up to their ears in backing Iraq’s aggression intended to overthrow Iran’s Islamic government and seize its oil. Italy, Germany, France, South Africa, Belgium, Yugoslavia, Brazil, Chile and the USSR all aided Saddam’s war effort against Iran, which was even more of a victim of naked aggression than was Kuwait in 1991.”

    While I don’t support Margolis’ conclusions, I think his list of countries who backed Saddam is in itself convincing. Unfortunately the column gives the impression that America and Britain were more important allies to Saddam than the Soviet Union or France or some of these other countries. No, both America and the Soviet Union supported Saddam to some extent for a major part of the Iran-Iraq war. And indeed, many more countries supported Saddam than just the eleven named by Margolis.

    I think it was wrong of America and Britain to support Saddam but it was right of them to stop supporting him. Some of these other countries I’m not sure if they ever stopped supporting him as long as he was in power.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Tim73,
    The US supported Iraq in a very limited way, which was only to secure it from being defeated by Iran, which would not be in the world’s bests interest.

    Digging up these old and very debunked myths only serves to prove just a vacant the nay-sayers are in the fact dept.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    The US uses dictatorships in the Third World in much the same way they used the USSR in its war against the Nazi fascist powers. They are only of use while they help against an even larger threat, once the threat is gone, so to the support for these dictatorship/autocratic governments.

    Marcos of the Phillipines felt the shove as well as Augusto Pinochet. Both by the way, were far less destructive than the monster that still reins in Cuba, and both paved the way for a return to democratic rule, by leaving thier fiefdoms. Castro, which has the full support from the deluded Left has yet to see the light.

  • Helsinkian

    Let me quote the wikipedia article on Jimmy Carter:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Carter

    “On August 5, 1980, the Saudi rulers welcomed Saddam Hussein to Riyadh for his first state visit to Saudi Arabia, the first for any Iraqi president. Saudi Prince Fahd claimed that President Carter, apparently hoping to strengthen the U.S. hand in the Middle East and desperate to pressure Iran over the stalled hostage talks, gave clearance to Saddam’s invasion of Iran. On September 22, 1980, Saddam Hussein invaded Iran and began a bloody trench war that would last almost a decade and kill one million people.”

    So the Saudis supported Saddam and urged him to invade. Interestingly enough Margolis didn’t even mention Saudi Arabia in his column despite that country’s great role behind Saddam’s war effort. But the evidence of a clear link between Jimmy Carter and Saddam still isn’t there. Saddam was certainly not Jimmy Carter’s puppet.

  • http://- Abu Omar

    But the Americans thwarted a dictator in Iraq and are trying to secure a democracy.

    Yah, and what about the democracy in Palestine. Did your US respected the election results?

    US -and EU- are promoting their own definition of democracy, where the elected government must adhere totally to their well. Otherwise, besieged and suffocated

  • Helsinkian

    Abu Omar, you’re just flaming. You know very well that America was a key power behind bringing about the Palestinian elections. Americans certainly did not support Hamas in that election, yet Hamas won. The Americans are under no obligation to support a Hamas government as long as such a government does not renounce terrorism.

    You just don’t like democracy at all.

  • gopha

    Nice to see a FOX News mouthpiece roaming around here.

    What makes this so much worse is that these men/women have died for nothing

    Edited for clarity.

    Back on topic. Unfortunately, there are many people who enlist in the American armed forces because they cannot pay the rigoddamndiculous amount of money it takes to go to college. Then, there are those who join willing to serve their country because they are patriotic like that. Finally, there are those who join because they are gung-ho assholes. I knew one of the latter.

    From 8th-12th grade i went to school with him. He died in 2003 exactly how i thought he would die, on the battlefield. I can still hear him roaming through the halls of my old high school yelling “hoo-rah!” at the top of his lungs. To quote a particular movie: “The dead know one thing: it’s better to be alive.” Being one of the alive and well, i can confirm that.

    He’ll never know that he died for nothing.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Hi Abu,

    The Palis can elect a terrorist government of their choosing, and the rest of the world can choose to not recognize it. The Palis’ democratically elected parliament is great if you’re a straight male who conforms to a rigid 7th century interpretation of Islam.

    Other than that, they are a bunch of bigoted homophobes. Their brand of Islamist Islam defines a child whoes father just died as an orphan, though the mother still lives. Shows just how much they think of the other 50% of their population.

    PS, just a word of wisdom, holding an election does not prove a government is democratic. A democracy is defined by its democratically working institutions, and its adhering to the rule of law. A respect for the civil/human rights of all its citizens, not just for straight Islamist males.

  • George

    Congratulations Phil, you just got swiftboated on your own blog by the likes of KGS59 (#4, accusations of deamening your friends) and Anonymous (#6, accusations of loathing your friends).

    This is so utterly appalling and disgraceful.

    In addition, this fine men that KGS59 rightfully praises are instantly reduced to rubbish as soon as they express their opinion against the war, even though they all enlist for generally the same reason – patriotism, which doesn’t change on the front lines, stupid.

    The political war-time dynamics during this administration is …. fascinating, to say the least. You have …

    - a president who served in the national guard, clearly from family ties (I don’t blame him or his family for that, most people would so do if they could. However, I believe the credibility to lead a “support the troops” chant is severely lacking)
    - a vice-president with 5 deferments, and who justified this by publicly claiming he had ‘other priorities’ (ditto)
    - while having an american pubilc that, as a whole, are so “support the troops”, yet:
    …. are not completly outraged that their brave young men are not abundantly protected with armour
    …. are not completly outraged against tax-cuts during war-time (if we are so patriotic, can’t we pay the same amount of taxes for now while we protect their humvees?)
    …. tolerates the secretary of defense’s claims that “As you know, you have to go to war with the Army you have, not the Army you want”
    …. are so quick to follow smear campaigns against front-line war
    veterans (Kerry, Murtha, etc), even to label them as cowards or unpatriotic
    …. are so quick to attack the simple decency of fellow Americans for expressing their opinions, just like the the idiots KGS59 and Anonymous

  • takaari

    KGS59 how do you know it would not be worlds best intrest. You americans have litle bit too much eagernes to know what is good for every nation in the world. You know people can think outside usa allso. you know what, other countries are getting fed up to the usa policy of being worlds police. And that your defend act is very nice. US must in all capably methods stop any nation to come as powerful as united states of america. That makes cold shivers go through me.

    about that saddam supporting, bullshit. You support or you don’t there is no middle way. When US supported saddam it made clear that it don’t give a shit about people under saddam’s dictator ship.

    What comes to death. it is sad, but it’s all your own falt. You started a war and I haven’t never heard of war there haven’t had causalties.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Great Gopha,
    I am all for the reduction of the professors’ wages so that academic studies can be more affordable for all the working class. As for whether or not the young man you claim died for nothing, that’s for history to decide.

    As for how he acted in high school, I am sure that you can at löeast agree that people change, and that the military has a proud tradtion of turning young boys into men. Understanding the military through the interpretation of an Oliver Stone movie(or any movie for that matter) is nonsensical.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Interestingly enough George,

    Your tirade devloves into nothing more than “GWBush is evil, let me count the ways.” Typical.

    I beleive that IT IS demeaning to describe people with a sense of purpose and honor, would be better off “drinking, cruising chicks and fucking around” then trying to do a difficult and dangerous job.

    Takaari,
    Let me get this straight, you believe that Iraq being run over by an Islamist Iran to be in the world’s best interest?! Just how in the owrld can you manage to pull that on out of your hat? You sound like the traditional European, that just wishes for things to chug along with out having to deal with the real world.

    Just tell me, how has the European intitiative to get Iran to stop with its uranium enrichment been progressing lately?

  • Helsinkian

    tim73: your link to National Security Archives inluded this statement about the Iran-Iraq war:

    “The Iran-Iraq war was a tragedy for Iraqis and Iranians, resulting in hundreds of thousands of casualties and immense material damage. It was sustained by an arms bazaar made up of a broad spectrum of foreign governments and corporations: British, Spanish, Italian, German, Brazilian, Argentinean, Chilean, North Korean, Chinese, South African, Eastern European, Israeli, American, etc., who found both combatants eager consumers of weapons, ammunition and military technology.”

    Many arms-dealers sold weapons to both combatants and countless governments condoned this. Most people who armed Saddam and Khomeini did not do it because they supported either of them and the best interest of most arms dealers was to keep the war going as long as possible to sell as many weapons as possible. But it was Saddam who started the Iran-Iraq war. A lot of people said they’d support him and sold weapons to him, sure, but many of these same people sold weapons to the other side as well. It’s an unfounded myth that all these governments that supported him really wanted him to win and snatch Iranian oil. The Saudis and Soviets may have had an interest in him actually winning, I don’t know, but basically the death of a million people brought profits to almost everyone. It certainly strengthened the grips of both Saddam and Khomeini on their peoples, in a sense both of them were winners and the Iraqi and Iranian peoples paid the price.

  • George

    KGS59,
    Actually, I didn’t say anything even remotely similar to “GWBush is evil” at all. None of the points I made counted such a thing.

    If you bothered to pay attention, my tirade was against the ease of fellow patriot bashing, and the hypocrasy of the “support the troops” culture in America today.

    But it is a lot easier to just dismiss it as just ‘typical’, isn’t?! … then to really self-examine what you are really doing to support the troops. Now that is demeaning.

  • Helsinkian

    When Eric Margolis wrote in his column that those who supported Saddam should be put on trial, that wasn’t a bad idea at all. In fact a Dutch businessman named Frans van Anraat who supplied thousands of tons of chemicals to Saddam was convicted of such a crime:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frans_van_Anraat

    It’s one thing that many of these people sold weapons to Saddam, another thing is that people like van Anraat willingly helped him to acquire WMD.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    George’s post about patriotism and the right to dissent even at a time of war, reminds me of then Vice President Harry S. Truman’s response to Joeseph Kennedy during the relection campaign of F.Roosevelt.

    Kennedy came complaining to Truman and demanded to know how could Truman throw his support behind the man who killed his eldest son in a war of Roosevelt’s choosing.

    Truman responded that if Kennedy didn’t shut his mouth and leave, he would throw his ass out the window.

    During a time of war, yes, the right to a dissenting opinion is permissable and protected by the US constitution. Such dissent can be seen in some of the top and still respected senators from the Democratic party. But many others have crossed the line from dissent, straight into collusion with the enemy.

    The enemy reads the words of US politicians, and in one of Zaeqawis communiques, just this point was raised. I believe that a defeatest attitude by politicians during a time of war for political gain, is a gross display of stupidity and foolishness on a grand scale. Especially when the troops on the ground are telling a complete different story.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    If you really think that the US troops are dying for nothing, than you are appear to be most likely a friend of the jihadis….not a great ideological company to keep.

    What kind of irrational thinking is it that got us into the War in Iraq? Some sort of kindergarten algebra that ‘if we give Iraqis democracy … then terrorism will weaken.’

    But terrorists lived in democracies. They organized cells in Hamburg and Madrid and took flight lessons in the US. The 7/7 bombers grew up in a parliamentary democracy in the UK. But in the end they chose – as you put it – ‘Islamofascism.’

    So one of the premises of Bush’s war on terror is false. Terrorism can thrive as well in a democracy as it can in a theocracy. See Tim McVeigh. See the IRA. See the ETA.

    And as an American congnizant of the limits of our resources, you could say that Iraq is a blunder, a mistake. We parked our whole army in Mesopotamia. The only big sticks we have left are speeches, sanctions, and the atomic bomb.

    That robs me of my security. And as a citizen and investor in this project called America, I would like my money to be well spent and my security protected.

    It’s no wonder that President W. ran every business prior to the US into the ground. He’s a bad businessman and a terrible leader.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    The enemy reads the words of US politicians, and in one of Zaeqawis communiques, just this point was raised. I believe that a defeatest attitude by politicians during a time of war for political gain, is a gross display of stupidity and foolishness on a grand scale. Especially when the troops on the ground are telling a complete different story.

    In election 2006, most Iraq War veterans running for office have chosen to run as DEMOCRATS. Why is that? How could Tammy Duckworth lose both her legs in the war, and then come home to ‘collude with the enemy’?

    Why is it that Reagan’s Secretary of the Navy and Vietnam Vet Jim Webb is running as a DEMOCRAT against 2008 fav. Sen. George Allen of Virginia?

    Why do all these vets come home and run as DEMOCRATS, KGS59? Could it be that your ‘colluding with the enemy’ crap is false.

    I think so.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    George,
    You resorted to the old canard about W’s service record bla bla bla….all I can add to that is ….Dan Rather.

    As for the many failures during the course of the war, that is the nature of war, it can never be predicted. As for the troops being under supplied in armor, so to the invading US army that resulted in thousands being wasted on the beaches of Normandy. Yet I do not recall the elective branch of the US Government KVETCHING to Roosevelt that HE is to blame for every miltiary failure ect ect.

    All the doom saying and negative press the US effort in Iraq has garnished is so surreal that its farcical.

  • N. Siinistö

    It’s funny how some so called “libertarians” immediately turn into big government worshippers when said government spends billions and billions of tax payer money on their little military adventures. (Failed military adventure in this case.) Props to anti-war Phil for at least in this regard being consistent with his libertarians views.

  • Kimmo W

    KGS59:
    “Yet I do not recall the elective branch of the US Government KVETCHING to Roosevelt that HE is to blame for every miltiary failure ect ect.”

    Maybe it’s because they saw a point to both the conflict itself and the broader military strategy.

  • George

    KGS59,
    The whole Dan Rather thing was about how much time he actually spent at the National Guard, not the fact that he was stationed there instead of Vietnam. Clearly, a person who avoids combat duty is not as credible for supporting the troops as someone who fought on the front lines. Again, I don’t fault GWB for taking advantage of his situation, almost anyone would.

    Secondly, the fact is that troops are not fully equipped and that America has the means to do so. I am not specifying who deserves the blame, but my question is: Where is the outrage from all our patriots? The political climate during WWII is completely irrelevant to this.

    And by the way, I admit that comment #6 was far more abusive. I am curious, what is your opinion of it? Does it cross the line, or does it not bother you?

  • Helsinkian

    giustino: Jim Webb is running as a Democrat in Virginia because he wants to run on an anti-Iraq war platform. George Allen is obviously a strong supporter of the war. Webb, who has supported probably every American military involvement except this one and who was no Democrat before this election, is going to be a very strong Democratic candidate due to his charisma and a way with the word. I don’t really think he would’ve run as an anti-war candidate because of the war itself, it’s probably because he was so fed up with the continuous insults toward Democratic veterans by non-veteran Republican spin doctors and politicians. Webb is against this war, but the Democratic Party is by no means an anti-war party, most Democratic Senators supported the Iraq War at the very beginning.

    George: I certainly think anonymous #6 crossed the line. It was both an inaccurate statement and an insult to Phil. It must’ve been why it was signed “anonymous”.

  • Helsinkian

    “He decapitated the government of a country that was not directly threatening the United States and, in so doing, bogged down a huge percentage of our military in a region that has never known peace.”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/opinion/editorials/2004-02-18-veterans-edit_x.htm

    This is a very eloquent putdown of the US war effort in Iraq by Jim Webb.

    He says Saddam was not a direct threat to the United States and he doesn’t believe peace in the Middle East is possible.

    I think that removing Saddam led to one of the worst tyrants of our age losing his power. Of course one of the very reasons he was allowed to commit genocide in the first place had been that he wasn’t seen as a direct threat to the United States or to any other of the major powers that looked by. This is how the supporters of a realist foreign policy always thought he was a guarantor of stability in the Middle East, no matter how outrageous crimes he committed. Letting people like Saddam do whatever they want is not a good recipe for world peace or stability, neither from a European nor an American perspective. The belief that Middle East can’t see peace or is not rife for democracy is pretty cynical as long as not just any dictators but war criminals of the worst sort like Saddam are justified to do their thing in the first place. It is no accident that James Webb had a position in the Reagan Administration, the very same administration that was pretty reluctant to do anything about Saddam’s gas attacks.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Kimmo,
    Bush jr. is desperately hated by the Left, and anything W did or didn’t do, would be subject to relentless barrages by the “just say no” Left wingers in the Democratic party. I just cannot take them seriously anymore as a major party, when their political instincts and sense of duty is outweighed by the hatered for just one man.

    As I said before, there is justification for complaints and criticism over the handling of the war, but that in itself does not warrant the unhinged lunatic rantings from the likes of Murtha and other bloviators in the Left wing. It most certainly goes beyond the pale some the charges laid at the Bush admin. by senior Democrat politicians.

    Trying to bring down the present admin. with phony charges and disengenuous accusations about lying to congress and misleading the American public ect.ect. and all during a time of war, is obscene and self defeating. I would be just as angry if it was a Dem in the Oval office under the same circumstances.

    Lets not forget the canards of W doing the bidding of Israel through the cabal of the neo-cons, all of this nonsense begins to add up into a picture of anti-Semtism with a hint of subversion.

  • George

    Maybe it’s because they saw a point to both the conflict itself and the broader military strategy.

    Kimmo is exactly right. Clearly, the reason why this has been dragged out for so long and with minimal results (security, electricity, water, umemployment, exporting oil, etc) is because the coalition has been too small.

    To fix that, you need either:
    - Another 300,000 American troops (impossible without a political suicide draft)
    - Many more countries with sizable armies joining the coalition (either involves political suicide by leaders making the decision on their own, or America publicly admits it needs help in order for the public of other countries to accept joining the war)

    Both involve political suicide which make them impossible, and, unfortunately, America has put herself in this position.

    Whatever progress has been made politically, it is useless without a functioning society.

    The “as Iraqis stand up” strategy is smart, but not for the short-term, which could be many, many years.

    Some call this a defeatist attitude, and some call it a stop to a terrible military strategy and an occupation with no end in sight that continues to tear American families apart.

    Either do it right, or get the fuck out. And that is essentially what Murtha and co. are saying.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Webb is wrong on all counts. Saddam was many things over a many number of years, but not being a direct threat to the US, is not one of them.

    Its been documented that the guy was playing the UN Security Council for suckers, even creating an account for bribery of the remaining 3/5 of the permanent council. He was in bed with terrorism and terrorism flourished in his model of a Ba’atist Iraq. His 25 000 dollar stipends to suicide terrorists in Israel is well documented as well.

  • Helsinkian

    This website has a 1993 LA Times article on the Iraq policies of the Reagan and Bush 41 Administrations:

    http://www.casi.org.uk/2000/msg00776.html

    “A number of classified State Department cables suggest also describe proposals in 1982 and 1983 by William Eagleton, the senior U.S. diplomat in Baghdad, to funnel arms to Iraq through allies in the Middle East. ‘We can selectively lift restrictions on third-party transfers of U.S.-license military equipment to Iraq,’ he said in an October, 1983, cable.

    Although initially rejected, other documents and interviews with former U.S. officials indicate that the policy was pursued on a covert basis with Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait and that arms were transferred to Iraq.

    ‘There was a conscious effort to encourage to ship U.S. arms or acquiesce in shipments after the fact,’ said Howard Teicher, who monitored Middle East policy at the National Security Council in the Reagan Administration. ‘It was a policy of nods and winks.’

    While the American rationale was that Hussein was a buffer against Iran, classified records show U.S. support for his regime continued unabated after the official cease-fire in the Iran-Iraq War was signed in August, 1988, and after Iraq’s chemical weapons attack on the Kurdish villages on July 19, 1988.

    In fact, in August, 1988, Deputy Secretary of State Whitehead recommended in a secret policy memo that ‘there should be no radical policy changes now regarding Iraq.’

    The pro-Iraq strategy was embraced by Bush when he became President. His Administration continued to encourage the transfer of U.S.-supplied arms to Iraq from Arab allies, according to interviews and classified documents.”

    The Bush in the above quote of course refers to George H.W. Bush, the current President’s father. So even if there was no war going on against Iran and Saddam had already committed his war crimes in that war, before Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait the Bush 41 Administration had allowed more arms to be shipped to Saddam through covert means, if there is any credibility to this 1993 LA Times report.

    Yes, it was the invasion of Kuwait that led to the change of the US attitude toward Saddam. The end of the Cold War also coincided with that change. As I’ve many times pointed out, very many governments shared a pro-Saddam attitude before 1990.

    Kuwait certainly showed what kind of a nutcase Saddam is and how dangerous and delusional he is. I think the fact that Saddam had earlier been supported by the US still weighed on the shoulders of those who let him stay in office in the name of realism and stability. This is the kind of pre-1990 thinking that may be one factor for how Jim Webb interprets the situation in the Middle East today.

  • Helsinkian

    Sorry about the wrong link, this should be the 1993 LA Times article:

    http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2000/msg00776.html

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    I will say one thing that I agree with, George is most correct in saying that a draft would have been a political suicide attempt. The Left would never settle for it, and would have made it the battle cry against the war, so there you have it.

    We do not have enough troops because the Left wing in the Democratic party would have harpooned it from the very beginning. GWBush was just reacting to the reality of the situation, that we would have to make do with less.

    The Dems need a purging of their party not unlike the Republicans jettisoning of the John Birch society a few decades ago.

    Murtha makes incredible loopy statements like: “the U.S. can not accomplish anything further in Iraq militarily. IT IS TIME TO BRING THEM HOME.”

    What utter nonsense, from all the intel gathered at during the past 6 mos., al-Qaida is on the ropes, no matter HOW MANY SUICIDE BOMBERS they can attempt to send, they are locked out from Iraqi poltics, they have no base whatsoever. That spells doom for the jihadists.

    How many times have we seen a recuiting station bombed, but what we don’t hear, is about the even bigger numbers of Iraqis volunteering the very next day to defend their homeland from the Islamists.

    Murtha sad to say, is out of touch with reality.

  • Helsinkian

    I’m sorry the website said the article was 1993 but it was in fact 1992, which was a presidential election year. It would’ve been more credible if it had been published after the election. Still I got the picture they were using Reagan Administration sources for the part that had to do with those times.

  • Kimmo W

    KGS59
    “Bush jr. is desperately hated by the Left, and anything W did or didn’t do, would be subject to relentless barrages by the “just say no” Left wingers in the Democratic party.”

    You don’t need a personal pathological hatred to see that the guy is a total screwup – in Iraq, and elsewhere. You don’t even have to be a leftist or a Democrat!

    All it takes is an ability to see the obvious – something that seems to be getting easier for Americans of all backgrounds and political persuasions, as the quagmire of Iraq deepens.

    As the emotional impact of 9/11 – that political godsend for the bushies – gradually fades, Bush and the die-hard rats who do not desert his ship will find it increasingly difficult to invoke the tragedy for any lunacy that he puts forward.

  • Helsinkian

    Here’s the Webb campaign website on some of the supporters of his (Murtha and some generals):

    http://www.webbforsenate.com/press/release.php?id=24

    I don’t think this is necessarily an anti-war campaign as much as it is a critique of the original decision to go to war. General Zinni, for example, says “Jim spoke out in advance against the war in Iraq with an honest critique of a flawed strategy. I know that in the U.S. Senate, he will be an outspoken advocate of giving our military the tools to do the job and uphold the peace.”

    Doing the job doesn’t really sound like cutting and running. I know campaign websites often give a dodgy impression on where the candidate stands but Webb can very well run on a platform saying if we’re to be in Iraq, let’s do the job properly. I don’t know. We’ll see.

  • George

    KGS59,
    Are you really that simple?!?!!?

    A draft is not political suicide because of the left, it is political suicide because very few people are willing to risk their life by going to war! Otherwise our volunteer army would be the size as China’s!!

    Wake up! I can promise you that a draft would be voted down overwhelmingy by the GOP as well. And do you think that if the left called for a draft, the right would not use it as a political advantage? You are so determined to see everything as left or right, that you ignore the merits of the debate.

    And here is some reality for you. I am afraid Iraq is not as peachy as you think …
    http://news.independent.co.uk/world/middle_east/article1090904.ece

    Or is the US Ambassador in Iraq now a leftist anti-patriot and also out of touch with reality?

    This would be laughable if it were not so painful for so many people.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    George,

    Are you really that much of a “door knob” ?1??!!??

    Have you been out to lunch over the past 4 years to have missed the Left’s propaganda machine churning out one lie after another in hope of derailing this president? They would have had a field day with a Republican draft.

    The Left has succeeded on many campuses in denying the role of ROTC to hold meetings or even pass out material. A media dominated by either Liberals or far Left wing individuals, would have been relentless on the administration. That is fact, and why we could never hope to fill the ranks with any draftee.

    As for a confifential report being “leaked” to the press, I don’t put any stocl in it until the Ambassador himself publically admits to its authenticity. Again, you understand what you want to understand…ect ect.

    I never said criticism is unpatriotic, but unrealistic defeatism…is.

  • gopha

    I am all for the reduction of the professors’ wages so that academic studies can be more affordable for all the working class.

    I am also for the reduction of wages, starting with the administrations who run the colleges. I don’t understand why the President of the University of Texas at Austin gets paid more than the President of the United States.

    As for whether or not the young man you claim died for nothing, that’s for history to decide.

    Claim? Not really. History happens every minute and every second. History has had 3+ years to decide.

    As for how he acted in high school, I am sure that you can at löeast agree that people change

    Not really. It’s gullibility to even think so.

    and that the military has a proud tradtion of turning young boys into men.

    Don’t forget the women. I agree and disagree. I will leave it at that.

    Understanding the military through the interpretation of an Oliver Stone movie(or any movie for that matter) is nonsensical.

    Stanley Kubrick. I didn’t use that particular quote as an interpretation of the military. It was to make a point about life and death given the situation. You’re forgiven for not understanding that well enough, considering you’re being shot at from all sides (and with good reason).

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    OBTW,

    The draft wasn’t political suicide during both world wars either, but only after Vietnam. Thanks John Kerry, your lying epeisodes before congress will never be forgotten, and your ilk are trying it once more with supposed Haditha massacre.

  • Mikko

    KGS59 wrote that al-Qaida is on the ropes and U.S. is in control. I do not think so myself. In the past there wasn´t even any proven connection between Iraq and al-Quaida. Now there are new activists in Iraq who claim themselfs to be a part of al-Quaida. Iraq has become a terrorist breeding ground and the “war against terrorism” is not working very well. Believe me, those al-Quaida terrorists are just as difficult to find and kill than Viet Cong in Vietnam.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Gopha,

    History happening every minute? really? That is truly an interesting quip seeing that there is still hundreds of thousands of untranslated captured documents from Operation Iraqi Freedom, waiting to see the light of day.

    Your arrogant claim that people don’t change, runs smack into reality that has proven time and time again that people change their points of view over the course of their life time. Only a naive person would claim otherwise.

  • tim73

    “Have you been out to lunch over the past 4 years to have missed the Left’s propaganda machine churning out one lie after another in hope of derailing this president? They would have had a field day with a Republican draft.”

    1. Give me one example of Dim Son Dubya (in your world, the Great Leader Bush II) managing/directing/DOING SOMETHING, ANYTHING successfully in his whole life? Except quit drinking.

    2. Check out the perception of US around the world? Is it better or worse than during Clinton administration?

    3. Do you see shrinking US Government, so much advertised by the Republicans?

    4. Tax cuts only to the rich are helping the US economy in what way?

    5. Just type “failure” or “worst president” or “miserable” in Google and try your luck. Or is Google just plain leftist propaganda tool?

    Just like one old joke, try finding one fool at the negotiating table and if you cannot find one, YOU are the one.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Captured documents show that Saddam had set aside funds for training terrorists in camps, as well as providing Zarqawi refuge back in 2002. Abu Nidel, who murdered Leon Klinghoffer on the Italian cruise liner also found refuge in Saddam’s Iraq.

    Ties with the Taliban, Ties with the Sudanese Islamist run gov’t, and feelers put out for Osama Bin Laden, with high official contacts being made for some type of cooperation.

    Suicide bombing stipends ($25 000 )for Palestinian Islamakazis also rounds out Saddam’s terrorist portfolio, as well as tapes depicting a rather different scenario:

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=22645

    The dust has not settled on the debate…yet.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    This is the kind of pre-1990 thinking that may be one factor for how Jim Webb interprets the situation in the Middle East today.

    The dilemma presented for rightwing thinkers when confronting the Iraq situation is that the US reaction to 9/11 is a global one, and so actions within Iraq must be seen not interms of classic rightwing “good vs. evil” “right vs. wrong” box thinking.

    Instead the strategy requires one to a) accurately assess the capabilities of American political and military power b) identify the greatest threats and c) use that power in the most conservative ways to create positive change.

    Chicken hawk, armchair warrior rightwing thinkers in America, weaned on Reaganite promises of military might and FOX News, think America in terms of unlimited resources. Real veterans, like John Murtha, Jim Webb, and others, KNOW that American power is limited and it must be applied in the most meaningful ways possible to protect the security of the United States.

    Because our army is parked in Iraq, we have fewer options when it comes to other more genuine threats. We will choose diplomacy over and over again vis a vis Iran because we have no other choice. And North Korea’s next missile test? It will go forward with only diplomatic protest. Russia? They’ll get more heavy handed in bullying East Europe and the Caucuses.

    Because the Iraq War makes us WEAKER, instead of stronger. We are asserting ourself as a super power with at least one hand tied behind our back.

    And chicken hawks don’t see that because they are only able to function in a black and white world of gay marriage BAD, leader bush GOOD. That’s why they will lose at the polls this November, and come 2008 they very well may lose again.

  • winter

    Phil

    You have been in the French “White Flag” area to long.

    It is sad to see young folks die. But who the heck in this world is doing anything, except the USA? Not the EU, they just sit on their buts, drink coffee, and be world critics.

    By the way the US Military has lost more folks, in one year, to auto crashes, than we have lost in the entire gulf war. But I don’t see one ounce of compasion for those losses.

  • Mikko

    KGS59, in your mind this is a war between good and evil. It is all black and white, right? Why do those bad jihadists hate us western good people so much? Why?

    We did not do anything wrong.

    http://student.math.hr/~bruckler/war.txt

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    PS. The Middle East’s track record in terms of peace and stability isn’t too hot, for those who like to study the history books.

    Just ask the French, British, Italians – whomever. They know all too well. In fact, just go rent Sirocco from 1951, starring Humphrey Bogart. It’s all there – the French occupying Syria under League of Nations mandate, a viscious insurgency, terrorist bombings of night clubs.

    Enjoy it, and tell me if it reminds you of some other conflict.

  • http://m-sandt.blogspot.com Mikko Sandt

    Phil:
    They should have been out dating and drinking and partying and fucking and enjoying themselves

    Excuse me but who are you to stay what they should have been doing? You can’t accept the fact that many rather go and fight than waste their time drinking and partying?

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    This is the reality of war unfortunatly, it’s always the brave young men/women with futures ahead of them who pay the price. It hurts a lot more in wars like Iraq when more and more people each day feel the war is unjust.

    As for the people who think Europe is doing nothing, rather than trying to find someone to blame for their troubles they should look closer to home.

  • http://m-sandt.blogspot.com Mikko Sandt

    How you know they didn’t die doing what they saw was 100% worth dying for?

  • tim73

    “How you know they didn’t die doing what they saw was 100% worth dying for?”

    and how you?

  • gopha

    History happening every minute? really? That is truly an interesting quip seeing that there is still hundreds of thousands of untranslated captured documents from Operation Iraqi Freedom, waiting to see the light of day.

    yawn..

    Your arrogant claim that people don’t change, runs smack into reality that has proven time and time again that people change their points of view over the course of their life time. Only a naive person would claim otherwise.

    Arrogant? Not really. Experience. I wouldn’t have said what i said about him if it weren’t true. But hey, nice trying to rewrite my own personal experiences with the people that *’I'* (not you) know/knew.

    If i were you, i wouldn’t go running to radio stations trying to be the next “great” conservative talk show host. You try to hard at not being convincing enough.

  • gopha

    to hard

    +o

  • tim73

    Winter: “By the way the US Military has lost more folks, in one year, to auto crashes, than we have lost in the entire gulf war. But I don’t see one ounce of compasion for those losses.”

    So the rest of the friggin world is wrong? :

    “A Pew opinion poll released last week found that citizens across the globe are losing confidence in the US leader, with his approval ratings plummeting, for example, to 15% in France, 7% in Spain and a 3% in Turkey. Support for the administration’s militaristic policies has also dramatically waned, with majorities in only 2 of the 14 countries surveyed favoring the so-called war on terror, and similar majorities citing the US military presence in Iraq as a greater threat to world peace than Iran….

    And they wouldn’t be heartened by Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-CA) April 2006 assessment of National Counterterrorism Center data, which found an increase of over 5,000% in the number of global terrorist attacks and over 2,000% in the number of terrorist-related deaths in the three years following the US invasion of Iraq. Yet the administration says the war on terror is making us safer. ”

    Read my lips, FIVE FUCKING THOUSAND and TWO THOUSAND PERCENT MORE! So you better start rewriting the wikipedia and start with this one:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Failure

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Hey Mikko,

    Due to your moral relativism, I can understand why you wouldn’t define tyranical dictatorships as well as their bloody executioners who saw off heads for the glory of their God…. as being evil.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    So Tim73′s ideas for making the world safe are….?

    The IslamOfascists could care less whether the West opts for the “safe road” of appeasement, choosing rather to co-exist with the jihadis. They will bring the fight to our doorsteps regardless if we try and make nice.

    Breaking the back of the terrorists is a must, anything else short of that will not suffice.

  • tim73

    “So Tim73’s ideas for making the world safe are….?”

    Well, here are a few simple rules to make world peace:

    1. Mind your FUCKING own business.

    2. Stop messing things up in the Middle East, you Americans have been there SINCE WWII! (See #17 or use Google). Remember, you guys kinda ignored Iranians (those little people) wishes back in 1953…

    3. Go ahead, build the fucking immigration wall around US, I and a lot of others will gladly help TO KEEP YOU INSIDE in your little ignoraduckmuses pond. You are the Pariahs of the World now.

  • tim73

    http://www.iltasanomat.fi/uutiset/ulkomaat/uutinen.asp?id=1191270

    Probably they got wrong picture but this was expected.

  • STP

    In Finland during the civil war, people were taken into shady
    forests, forced to dig their own graves and shot.

    Yet you, descentants of these “killers”, claim to be all goody goody.

    You aint. None of us is. When shit hits the fan, when someone pisses you off like Saddam did piss of G W Bush sr and jr. People do things.

    Not neccessarily intelligent things, but things.

    At least US is not lashing out like Russia probably would have.

    (think mushroom cloud in Kabul)

    Good things can come out of Iraq war. Like someone could argue, good things came out of Finnish / US civil war / WW2.

    I know it does not make any sense, but sometimes you have to show that you have limits on how much abuse you can take. You have to fight. If you do not, your abusers are only going to fuck with you more. We all saw that at schoolyard.

    Saddam did try to assasinate George bush sr. He was also building a cannon that would be able to shoot ballistic projectiles. His people most certainly were funding terror.

    US is setting limits. Us is showing that it wont take shit.

    Had saddam bowed down, his people would have been spared from war.

    He did not.

    When it comes to Finland.. We can only take it up the a**.. Years of appeasement have made us lose a touch with reality. We think everything in the world can be solved with negotiations and taking it up the butt. Sadly, this is not true. Just like that big bully in the schoolyard would not listen to anything but force.

    When you are a superpower.

    You have to talk the language people listen.

    When you are a country hidden under mosquito poop, you have to take it up the butt and build undeground weapon arsenals just in case.

    Not even dreaming about pissing off the big bear next door.

    In the world of Tim73 the likes of Kim Jong Il would rule.

  • tim73

    “US is setting limits. Us is showing that it wont take shit.
    Had saddam bowed down, his people would have been spared from war.
    He did not.”

    Read your history again, boy. Saddam was supported by USofA in the 80′s. Saddam actually asked TWICE very directly from USofA via diplomatic channels about Kuwait operation back in the late 80′s. The answer was “we do not care” or “go ahead”.

    Saddam was very very careful with the US and with other Western power but it was the US that suddenly realized that “OH, Saddam is now controlling 25 percent or more of world oil, not good” back in 1990. Iraq was very indebted to Kuwait because of Iraq-Iran war and that is why Saddam decided to invade that little “insect” south of border.

    Just like in the case of Iranians, Americans do not learn from history, they act project by project basis. No long term perspective, nothing but short term speculation, expecting great results without bothering to even learn the basics of other cultures.

  • STP

    Tim, you should stop reading the socialist propaganda daily magazines!

    Saddam had a full half a year around 1990 to pull out and he did not.
    He was too full of himself to do it. He also paid the price, twice.

    Americans do not learn from history? You sir, are full shit.

    A question? Why so critical about Americans, why not be critical about North Korea / China / Iran? Why? Why?

    Becasue lets face it. You hate US. You hate us because US acted after being struck by fundamental muslims. You would have expected them to be beyond hate.

    Well, you are not beyond hate. Why would US? Why would anyone.

    It is a human thing to get pissed off.

    You want world to be led by fundamentalist muslims / commies. I prefer Americans. We are different. We would not get along. That is why I sit here in Atlanta and you sit where ever hell you do.

    Have yourself a bad day.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    KGS59:
    PS, just a word of wisdom, holding an election does not prove a government is democratic. A democracy is defined by its democratically working institutions, and its adhering to the rule of law.

    Exactly, and this is why the much-touted Iraqi photo-op “democracy” does not pass the acid test. They dropped pieces of paper in boxes under Saddam as well.

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    “Years of appeasement have made us lose a touch with reality”

    Looks like someone has already lost touch with reality.
    When you have to resort to insults or fall into whataboutery, like you have done with Tim, then you have already lost the argument. And going down the “you hate the US” route is really quite sad, a sure sign that you are unable to tackle the arguments.
    But continue, it’s really quite amusing.

  • winter

    Freeriden

    You forgot those millions of purple fingers. All going to the polls with the threat of death. Hard to explain, but we would love to see you try.

    Question is. Would you do the same for democracy? I do not think so. The French White Flag EU can only watch the world go by.

  • winter

    Tim73

    “So the rest of the friggin world is wrong? :”

    Yes.

    What a bunch of whimps you all are. The EU could not even fight your own little war against Yugoslavia. Had to call in the bad, evil, wrong direction, miss directed USA? Again?

    Failure is the EU’s middle name. Or rather inaction. As failure is the result of your inaction.

  • winter

    Tim73′s few simple rules to make world peace:

    “1. Mind your FUCKING own business.”

    Yes the EU does put its head in the ground. Simple Fact. If the USA goes home, the world stops dead (Commerce). Hope you have a farm to grow food.

    “2. Stop messing things up in the Middle East, you Americans have been there SINCE WWII! (See #17 or use Google). Remember, you guys kinda ignored Iranians (those little people) wishes back in 1953…”

    And the EU has an answer to the Middle East? Other than surrender? Another EU mess we are just cleaning up, the Middle East. Thanks EU.

    “3. Go ahead, build the fucking immigration wall around US, I and a lot of others will gladly help TO KEEP YOU INSIDE in your little ignoraduckmuses pond. You are the Pariahs of the World now.”

    Until you have another EU war (Like Yugoslavia) for the Evil USA to fight for you. By the way we will not come next time. So have fun.

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    Winter
    “If the USA goes home, the world stops dead (Commerce). Hope you have a farm to grow food.”

    *snigger* been reading “idiot’s guide to economics”?
    Simple fact. We are all in this together whether we like it or not. No country can manage on it’s own these days, even the mighty US.

    “Another EU mess we are just cleaning up, the Middle East.”

    Perhaps you might expand … how exactly are the US “cleaning up” the Middle East? Come to think of it, how did the EU “create” the mess in the Middle East? And no revisionism please.
    You may also like to remember the fact that the US relies on support from a number of EU & other European states, without them you simply couldn’t manage.

  • tim73

    “You want world to be led by fundamentalist muslims / commies. I prefer Americans. We are different. We would not get along. That is why I sit here in Atlanta and you sit where ever hell you do.
    Have yourself a bad day.”

    Good Morning to Atlanta. I do not want led by 1. Americans. 2. Fundamentalist muslims or 3. Commies. I would like to be lead be US, Finnish People, you ignorant little twit (no take out that globe and pinpoint us).

    “You hate us because US acted after being struck by fundamental muslims. You would have expected them to be beyond hate.”

    Oh, careful there boy. How about KILLING ONE MILLION PEOPLE in Cambodia because of bombing campaigns, NEXT TO VIETNAM. Domino theory my ass.

    You are my little cousin. It has nothing to do with communism, socialism, or capitalism. You are from Atlanta, next to florida, in the middle. So your friends are all Protestants and that should mean something.

    Hello, WE ARE THE THE ORIGINAL PROTESTANTS you dimwits. We do NOT carry guns here and respect human rights UNLIKE you dim sons there. We do not attack other cultures to teach them, DO WE? DO WE? SO what are gonna do about that?

  • STP

    Maca, it pisses me off when Tim keeps on blabbing his propaganda. He claism that Saddam was a ragdoll of US. As if he had had a US blessing for attack for kuwait and later on US would have changed its mind. What complete bullshit. I am not afraid to say how it is. Tim is full of shit.

    If he stops spewing shit out of his mouth. I will say that yes, “tim is spent” “there is no more shit in Tim”, but as long as there is more shit coming out of him. I will keep on saying. Tim is full of shit.

    Or maybe he is half full of shit? Who knows.

    All I know is that he is no better than Baghdad Bob.

  • winter

    Shocking…. Shocking… Evil Evil USA


    Officials said the suspected senior al Qaeda in Iraq member captured in yesterday’s raid is known to be involved in facilitating foreign terrorists throughout central Iraq, and is suspected of having ties to previous attacks on coalition and Iraqi forces. Troops found an AK-47 with several magazines of ammunition and destroyed them all on site.

    Several women and children were present at the raid sites, officials said. None was harmed, and all were returned to their homes once the troops ensured the area was secure, they added.”

    Darn the Evil USA. Returning women and children to their homes no less. Pure Evil.

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    “Shocking…. Shocking… Evil Evil USA”

    Funnily enough the only people I ever heard saying such things were Americans when faced with criticism of their involvement in the Iraq War or of their Government’s foreign policy. You really need to learn to take criticism on the chin and to deal with the arguments presented rather than responding in what is really quite a childish fashion.

  • winter

    maca

    maby you missed the part where the EU does nothing. And I mean nothing as the world goes down the tubes.

    Thats right, nothing. (I do give the UK a pass, as they are not really in Europe, and are engaged)

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    p.s. “Darn the Evil USA. Returning women and children to their homes no less. Pure Evil.”

    One could simply respond with photos of Abu Guraib or articles concerning some of the innocents killed by US troops in Iraq however one could very easily go around in circles posting such things without having an adult discussion on the topic at hand.

  • winter

    maca

    “criticism on the chin ” from the EU? Frapin no way I will ever worry about some French White Flag surrender types.

    Please do some good for the world, then I will think better of you all.

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    “maby you missed the part where the EU does nothing. And I mean nothing as the world goes down the tubes.
    Thats right, nothing. (I do give the UK a pass, as they are not really in Europe, and are engaged) ”

    I see your grasp of geography is as poor as your grasp of international politics. Perhaps you could answer the questions posed to you? If you are able?
    Also, it seems your definition of doing nothing is ‘not going to war’. War isn’t the only solution you know, indeed it should be the last solution if it actually is a solution at all. And judging by events in Iraq it isn’t a solution. Care to explain to us all how the war in Iraq will stop the world going down the tubes? You never stopped to think for a split second that perhaps the war in fact contributes to the mess?

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    “Please do some good for the world, then I will think better of you all.”

    Hilarious. Keep ‘em coming, you only make yourself look even more foolish.
    Perhaps you missed the earlier point about the European states assissting the US? Do you seriously think the US could manage the conflicts in Iraq or Afghanistan WITHOUT the support of European nations?? Not on your nelly.

  • tim73

    “f he stops spewing shit out of his mouth. I will say that yes, “tim is spent” “there is no more shit in Tim”, but as long as there is more shit coming out of him. I will keep on saying. Tim is full of shit.
    Or maybe he is half full of shit? Who knows. All I know is that he is no better than Baghdad Bob.”

    That is the state of mind of many Americans soldiers out there, replace just that “Tim” with raghead or sandnigger. THERE ARE ALWAYS CONSEQUENCES AND I HOPE you use that to bring back democrazy to America.

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    Winter, for your information (because you obviously don’t have a clue), here are some of the countries currently assisting the US with (specifically) the Iraq War:
    Georgia, Latvia, Moldova, Macedonia, Azerbaijan, Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Hungary, Romania, Latvia, Slovakia, Lithuania, UK, Italy,
    The Netherlands, Denmark, Portugal, Czech Republic; and a number of other nations assist/have assisted in other ways.
    You need to do your research sunshine.

  • tim73

    Anyway and all the way, protestants do NOT teach something about invading muslims unlike this Dim Son Dubya. Jesus teaching were about love, peace and understanding, last time I read them. Nothing about like these red state gun owner idiots are teaching.

  • winter

    Maca

    You mean we have support? No frapin way, as we are the evil ones. The wold hates the USA.

    But then again the polish troups are well respected by US Army forces. Seems that when fighting startes up, they are out the door, Armed and ready for the fight. Same for the Austrlians who are running out the door guns in hand to help.

    So big question is, Where are the rest of the Europeans we helped so many times in the past?

    Flapin their lips again?

  • winter

    I do agree with this one

    Tim73 == Baghdad Bob

    The tanks are rolling behind Bob and he is saying the USA has lost.

    9 million purple fingers and Tim73 is saying all is lost

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    winter
    “No frapin way, as we are the evil ones. The wold hates the USA.”

    Back to the childish comments again. What a come back, especially after you’ve been shown up for your complete lack of knowledge on the subject.
    What age are you 15? Get an education first then come back to talk to the adults.

    “So big question is …”

    Is THAT the big question?? Surely the big question is why the US invaded Iraq in the first place? If it wasn’t for the lies about WMD’s being ready to launch in 45 minutes or the bull about trying to “free” the Iraqi people perhaps you might have had more support. The lies did you or the UK no favours and turned many people off the war, not only around the world but in the US also. People don’t like being lied to.
    As I said before, look closer to home if you want someone to blame.

  • Freeridin’ Franklin

    winter:
    You forgot those millions of purple fingers.

    That would be the photo-op I was referring to. The Bush administration is all about photo oppoertunities.

    All going to the polls with the threat of death.

    According to whom? Remember, we can’t trust news reports from Iraq, because the MSM journalists are all afraid to get out of the green zone.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Maca,
    Your accounting of the reasons why the US resumed hostilites in Iraq are seriously lacking in depth. Every western intel agency was pretty much on the same page concerning Saddam’s WMD capabilities.

    Again, no one has ever given 100% certainty that the convoy leading out of Iraq just prior to the resuming of hostilities did not contain WMD’s ect. But all of this is just a side issue, for the main reason of US involvement in Iraq is about UNSC resolution 1441, which saw Iraq not being in complaince with the UN Security Council.

    Not leaving Iraq in the hands of the Ba’atists was the only logical and morally correct decision to make. The spinning of the reasons why the US led Coaltion went to war by the political air headed Left and its ideological cousins in the main stream media, has resulted in the whole issue being so misunderstood.

    If you don’t like being lied to, I suggest you stop believing in the muck found in the Left wing journals.

  • XD

    Im a “European”, and I dont really care how many US soldiers will die in their missions to deliver freedom, democracy and unite foreign countries as a one star more into US flag.

    I just hope, that some day somebody in United States will understand what kind of terrible mistake this vendetta against terrorism has been. Not against the terrorism itself, but for the whole image that US gives to rest of the world.

    United States is a threat, a threat to world peace. That is what the rest of the world is thinking, but what does that mean to US citizen?

    It doesnt mean anything. Because they, people of United States are the ones who are right.
    Of course “Europeans” are wrong, because they are just doing nothing. If “Europeans” think US is a threat to world peace, why should it mean anything?

    Get it? YOU are pretty much alone.
    Welcome back to real world.

    What comes to “Europeans” doing nothing, thats out of the context. Maybe some Europeans have learnt for their mistakes, that killing is not the solution to every problem. Like “we”, “Europeans”, found the America. That is the greatest mistake “Europeans” have ever made. And “we” killed bunch of people too. Shouldnt you be mad for us?

    Other mistake is to speak us as Europeans. Europe doesnt form a single collective mind for their politics, as US does. Europe consists several countries, and these countries have a right for their own opinnions. Heck, some of them even joined your freedom operations…

    But back on topic for a while. A young american boy died, so what. How many Iraqis have died? Did their parents and friends cry for a terrible loss? Did they think, that they were fighting for a reason?

    Iraqis are people too, they have every same right to defend their beliefs as US has. Except if they are transferred into Guantanamo, where human right doesnt carry much value.

    Its all about how you put it.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Wrong XD,

    Some Europeans ARE doing something. Britain and many other EU states decided long ago that stopping tyranny didn’t end with the demise of the Nazis or the USSR. Their ideological cousin, Islamist fascism, (just as religious as the poltical believers in national socialism and Marxist communism) is just as dangerous to the free world.

    As for US soldiers dying for a just cause, they could care less what you or others think about their sacrifice, its personal to them, and it was their choice to make, as much as it is your choice to sit behind your PC and wish for a return of things the way they were before 9/11 occured.

    Get it through all of your heads that Iraq has an overwhelming majority that has voted for poltics over violence, for peaceful democracy over relentless terrorism. As for Gitmo detainees, they are being treated fairly as their situation demands. They are enemy combatants that owe no allegiance to any particular state, and therefor are held differently than a regular POW captured from an enemy state.

    Even if they had POW status, they would still be held indefinately until the war was over. Like you said:

    “Its all about how you put it.”

  • Anonymous

    “United States is a threat, a threat to world peace. That is what the rest of the world is thinking, but what does that mean to US citizen?”

    Speak for yourself XD, I am part of the “rest of the World” and I don’t agree. You make the so called “European opinion” on war sound like a great wisdom by setting up a straw man. “Americans” do not think that war is an answer to every single problem but rather that it was an answer to this specific one; it is just that the “Europeans” have miserably failed to argue any reasonable way Saddam could have been removed from power without any bloodshed.

  • winter

    ““Europeans” have miserably failed to argue any reasonable way”

    not only do the EU have no clear agenda (Well except to surrender), they do NOTHING.

    Yep the “Do Nothing” crowd is unhappy with the USA. Well so what, who cares. We plan on kicking some BUT, maby Iran or North Korea next, (HINT: Don’t piss of a US president by taking shots at his DAD, an ACT OF WAR no less) and the EU can just sit there and cry in their coffee.

    Well you didn’t actually expect Europeans to do something, did you?

  • winter

    XD

    You are waiving the French white Flag of surrender again. Do you keep a supply of white flags handy to use each time an attack occur’s?

    By the way I am an American, and have zero, nada one, plan to ever save your ass again. Fight your own wars and have fun.

  • Hege

    “SPIEGEL: Even though no Western scholars harbor any doubt about the Holocaust?

    Ahmadinejad: But there are two opinions on this in Europe. One group of scholars or persons, most of them politically motivated, say the Holocaust occurred. Then there is the group of scholars who represent the opposite position and have therefore been imprisoned for the most part. Hence, an impartial group has to come together to investigate and to render an opinion on this very important subject, because the clarification of this issue will contribute to the solution of global problems. Under the pretext of the Holocaust, a very strong polarization has taken place in the world and fronts have been formed… Normally, governments promote and support the work of researchers on historical events and do not put them in prison.”

    Do I really need to say what this has to do with the Iraq war?

    106 Posts and NONE of you have any idea whats going on in the world…

  • Helsinkian

    winter: “By the way I am an American, and have zero, nada one, plan to ever save your ass again.”

    The US President decides saving whose ass is in the US national interest. There’s this organization called NATO which practically means that whenever a member state is attacked (apart from the US, only Canada is not a European country of these), the US marines show up. I understand that you wouldn’t enlist if a European country would be attacked but that’s another matter.

    NATO has increased in size lately. Partly because of this many of these new NATO member states (and some that might want to join but aren’t there yet) actually signed up for the US coalition in Iraq. That was by no means required by the NATO treaty but they wanted to prove their trustworthiness as allies by supporting America.

    So plenty of European countries have joined the coalition and supported the Bush Administration. Above all Tony Blair, who leads one of America’s oldest allies, has been very important in this respect.

    Plenty of Americans, on the other hand, have been critical of the conduct of the war by the Bush Administration. Many of these are of a military background and have had many complaints about the Pentagon. Whatever opinions there are of the Bush Administration, and there sure are plenty of them for and against, the talk about lack of planning not for the early phase of the war but the aftermath has remained a topic in many quarters. War sure is unpredictable and there have to be many plans for all sorts of eventualities.

    I’ve often thought about the problem of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld in communicating about what the specific goals are. Tony Blair has generally been much better at explaining why this war is being fought. Bush’s “mission accomplished” stunt also made it look like the whole war would be over at the point when the first phase of the war was finished. Misunderstandings and misinterpretations have played a part on why there is such a lively discussion about the course of the war on both sides of the Atlantic. A war leader in today’s world also needs to be a communicator and having a Secretary of State who can communicate doesn’t help so much; it does when diplomatic solutions are chosen but not so much when it comes to the War in Iraq. Bush is not such a bad political campaigner but dealing with the press has never been his strong point. After all, the press matters a lot.

  • XD

    To Anonymous… I think there were some negotiations or atleast something, anything going on to save the situation, but suddenly the US forces didnt care to wait enough. I mean, was the threat of weapons of mass destruction so imminent? Afterall, non of them have been found so far… Maybe with time, things could have gone other way.

    And to Winter, lets make that a deal. Now if you could take those US outposts out of the europe, I’d be more than happy. Though im not sure, how well your country pays to those nations for keeping the bases. Anyhow, I bet it doesnt cost anywhere near than fighting a war as your ally.
    And what comes to saving our ass, Im pretty sure Germany will not try that kind of stunt again, what they did some time ago.
    And why would we surrender? to whom? Atleast were not fighting wars under our name around the globe.

    Thanks for keeping us safe!

  • Kimmo W

    Here’s something quite revealing about the mindset that prevails among the “benevolent US liberators”.

    http://www.cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2184&theType=NR

    The actual video is here:

    http://www.cair.com/video/marine-hadji-girl.wmv

  • Kimmo W

    Winter’s “French white flag of surrender” is getting a bit old. He seems to apply it to anyone who is unwilling to jump through hoops held up by the USA.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Dear readers of the blog (and any other frequented by Americans)

    Here is a lexicon of Bush supporting partisan terms that you may have come across in the past 100+ posts.

    1. ‘MSM’ – this stands for ‘mainstream media’ and is used by Bush supporters to describe all media outlets (other than the traditional TV news network FOX as well as widely ready traditional newspapers like the Wall Street Journal) that don’t put rightwing pundits on the frontpage or editorial page or in the 7 pm to 10 pm slot. Such outlets (the Washinton Post, LA Times, CNN, the New York Times) are decried as ‘liberal’ and all bad news is seen as the ‘MSM’ in collusion with the ‘terrists’.

    2. ‘Islamofascists’ – this is a term used by Bush supporters to describe any Islamic group engaged in armed conflict – ie. Chechnyans, Palestinians, Iraqis, Al-Qaeda, Ba’athists, etc. They are all the same.

    3. Clinton – Any errors that have occured during the second Bush Administration are his fault (or the MSMs, take your pick)

    4. Hitler’s Invasion of France in 1940 – the most important event in recorded history – used as a prism through which to interpret all current world events.

    5. Weapons of Mass Destruction – Bush supporters favorite term up until May 2003, when it became their least favorite term.

    6. Loopy – an adjective used by Bush supporters to describe anyone that disagrees with Don Rumsfeld. Usually applied to US veterans and retired generals that disagree with the war strategy.

    7. Defeatist – anyone that questions Bush’s war strategy or wants to set deadlines for US troops to remain in Iraq.

    8. Naysayer – individuals that say ‘no’ to or disagree with any part of Bush foreign policy.

    9. Blinded by Hatred – American citizens that question any of Bush policies are just ‘blinded by hatred’ of the president, ie. they cannot see Bush’s light/understand his true brilliance.

    10. Fuhrer/Great Leader/King/Dictator – terms used by naysaying, defeatist, loopy liberal Americans that are blinded by their hatred of George W. Bush, pay too much attention to the MSM, and are in collusion with the Islamofascists and would have surrendered to Hitler, like France, in 1940, for the current president of the United States.

    :) Hope that helps Suomenlaiset, Kippis! :)

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Kimmo…HAH.

    Another example of someone finding anything, just anything to counter an argument, and not know the details to what they are poting.

    CAIR:
    –”Civil rights group partially funded by *Saudi Wahhabi establishment*

    –Co-founder Nihad Awad declared in 1996, “I am in support of the Hamas movement.”

    –Board member Siraj Wahhaj served as character witness for 1993 World Trade City bombing conspirator Omar Abdel Rahman

    The case about the song, was of an American soldier who penned a tune that depicted a soldier being lured in a trap by the pretty daughter of Jihadist parents, who was shot at by her parents in an ambush.

    Both daughters died as the result of the parents AK47 bullet spray.

    Either Kimo was IGNORANT of this, or he is guilty of slander.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Giustino,

    I just have time to flay a portion of your flimsy argument.

    1.) MSM. Its proven that the US media leans Left:
    http://www.newsroom.ucla.edu/page.asp?RelNum=6664

    2.) I advise you to read Paul Berman’s book Terror and Liberalism. Berman has strong Left credentials, but understands the enemy just as clearly as Christopher Hitchens

    “Radical Leftists and Radical Islamists are joined by the nihilistic side of their utopian ideologies.” Not that I expect you to understand that.

  • Kimmo W

    How does posting a couple of URLs qualify as slander?

    Details of the story line of this disgusting ballad (“As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally”)in no way mitigate the racisst overtones and the blatant indifference toward human life exhibited by the singing jarhead and his audience, who can be heard “laughing maniacally” in the background.

  • m

    “a cannon that would be able to shoot ballistic projectiles.”

    Noooo! Not the BALLISTIC projectiles!?

  • Kimmo W

    One possible explanation for a “liberal bias” in the “mainstream media” could be that American schools of journalism are unfairly biased in their admissions policies, as they tend to discriminate against illiterates.

  • m

    Salam Pax confirms some of the things reported in the US ambassador memo:

    http://justzipit.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    I just have time to flay a portion of your flimsy argument.

    The recent you cannot ‘flay’ my ‘flimsy’ argument in post #112 is because it is NOT AN ARGUMENT. It is a group of simple observations on the lexicon of Bush-supporters in the US.

    Foreigners that read this blog may not be used to reading the same rightwing buzz words until they get sick like those of us in the US are. So I decided to help them out by translating some of the more frequently used terms – MSM, Islamofascist, defeatist, loopy – that they might not normally encounter in a conversation with a normal American that does not consume a daily diet of Limbaugh, Coulter, and O’Reilly.

    Hell, I have never used the word ‘loopy’ in my life, ever. Not once. Neither have I ever used ‘flip flop’ as a verb. But rightwingers love those words. They use ‘flip flop’ as a verb all the time. And loopy is a favorite adjective.

    That’s how you can tell they’ve been brainwashed. When you come into your office and a coworker looks at you with a blank look on their face and says something like: “you loopy liberal defeatists, your boy Kerry is a flip flopper. I saw him on FOX news the other day flip flopping about the War on terror…Since 9/11…”
    Well, then it’s obvious. They have become Bushbots. Rightwing androids.

    Anyway, even if I did make a reasoned argument, you couldn’t flay it because it doesn’t follow the same tired rightwing strongman verses leftwing strawman argument that has been played over and over again for the past three years. It usually goes something like this:

    BUSHBOT: The Iraq War is a crucial part of the war on terror…Saddam was a blood thirsty dictator…killed his own people..supported terrrr…

    JANEFONDA: But the US armed Saddam in the 1980s….the UN…the rest of the world thinks…There was no WMD in Iraq…

    BUSHBOT: You defeatist, naysayer…MSM…emboldening the terrrists…love Zarqawi, don’t you?

    JANEFONDA: Thousands of dead Iraqis…starving children…Kyoto treaty…Bush, your fuhrer…Reagan…My Pet Goat…global warming…

    BUSHBOT: Since 9/11…Clinton’s fault…Oil for Food…MSM…France…evil
    dictator…Islamofascists…flip flopping….Jane Fonda

    JANEFONDA: UN…support for Israel…world peace…Vietnam…Shrub…

    BUSHBOT; Kerry…loopy librool…Ward Churchill…America…blinded by hatred…France

    *Yawn*

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    A Marine happy to escape a premeditated ambush/attack on his person, and you call him a racist? What do you call the headchoppers of the two US soldiers……freedom fighters?

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Hah, that settles it, bring in the reserves…THE BIG GUNS like Hanoi Jane (purging in the bathroom) Fonda….great going giustino.

    Your latest post is nothing more than retreaded bloviations that have been debunked one too many times. How very robotic of you.

  • Kimmo W

    “A Marine happy to escape a premeditated ambush/attack on his person, and you call him a racist?”

    No, a person who writes a song taking a flippantly gleeful attitude at the wholesale slaughter of “Hajis”, and the audience that cheers the lyrics, are what I call racist. Hell, even the Pentagon is embarassed, and trying desperately to deny that the video shows the US military in its true colours!

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/usnw/20060613/pl_usnw/cair__pentagon_calls_online_song__insensitive____inappropriate___music_video__contrary_to_the_high_standards_expected_of_all_ma

    “What do you call the headchoppers of the two US soldiers……freedom fighters?”

    So, it’s the old “you’re either with us, or with the terrorists” routine? It didn’t work when Dubya pulled it either.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Your latest post is nothing more than retreaded bloviations that have been debunked one too many times. How very robotic of you.

    From this discussion:

    So IMHO, there would have been every indication of them signing up regardless of how badly the war is being reported by the MSM…and its international cousins. – KGS59, post #4

    Though WMD’s were never the main reason for the war, (UNSC resolution 14441 was) but not one of the anti-Iraq war ‘nay-sayers’ I have discussed with has ever explained the “insignificance” of the vast convoy of trucks that headed to Syria on the eve of the war. – KGS59, post #6

    The Islamofacists fighting the Iraqi government and US Coalition forces have no political base to draw from. – KGS59, post #10

    But many others have crossed the line from dissent, straight into collusion with the enemy. – KGS59, post #37

    You have been in the French “White Flag” area to long. – Winter, post #64

    And that’s just halfway through! You guys are FUNNY.

  • winter

    XD

    More than happy to “US outposts out of the europe,”. In fact we are moving some of them to Poland, a true supporter of the USA.

    Glad to be of help. Just don’t call the USA in for your next war, please do it yourself.

    Kimmo – “anyone who is unwilling to jump through hoops held up by the USA.” NO, just looking for that European SPINE. Just can’t seem to locate it anywhere. You know, the EU SPINE that actually did something for the world.

    Bottom line- I don’t care about EU critics of the USA. Maby if the EU had a SPINE, and actually did something other than talk, I would respect the EU.

    Please EU do something of significance?

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Giustino:
    1#”The rationale for the war in Iraq is so convoluted, I’m still not exactly sure what the letters their widows recieved said. Did they die for “spreading democracy to Iraqis,” “fighting terrorists,” “taking down the evil dictator Saddam Hussein,” or all of the above?”

    Anyone following the course of events and not twisting them to their liking knows that hostilities against Iraq RESUMED because of Iraq’s failure to comply with UNSC resolution 1441. Building the failed state was a matter of common sense, since dictatorships are not conducive to peace.

    38#”What kind of irrational thinking is it that got us into the War in Iraq? Some sort of kindergarten algebra that ‘if we give Iraqis democracy … then terrorism will weaken.’

    But terrorists lived in democracies. They organized cells in Hamburg and Madrid and took flight lessons in the US. The 7/7 bombers grew up in a parliamentary democracy in the UK. But in the end they chose – as you put it – ‘Islamofascism.’

    So one of the premises of Bush’s war on terror is false. Terrorism can thrive as well in a democracy as it can in a theocracy. See Tim McVeigh. See the IRA. See the ETA.”

    If Giustino would have been paying attention he would have known that depriving the terrorist a base to work from like in Afghanistan and in Iraq, would while decapitating the leadership of the terror networks would greatly hinder the terrorist networks globally. Even Finland’s intelligence society is in agreement that Al-Qaida and sister networks have been greatly hindered by US involvement in both countries. The intelligence gathered inside Iraq tells that al-Qaida is desperate.

    The fact that there is terrorism in western countries is a headache at best, the fact that there is presently no host country providing logistics and funding and training is a very good development. Puting countries on notice that the US will not tolerate states that promote such a scenario is also a welcome development.

    Seeing that eventually, states can indeed break up domestic terrorist groups shows that states promoting terrorism to be the main worries.

    “It’s no wonder that President W. ran every business prior to the US into the ground. He’s a bad businessman and a terrible leader”

    Sounds hollow when viewing US economic performance over the last 6 yrs, and its still improving, better than Europe can ever hope to imitate.

    39#”Why do all these vets come home and run as DEMOCRATS, KGS59? Could it be that your ‘colluding with the enemy’ crap is false”

    http://www.azcongresswatch.com/?p=1079
    Frank Antenori, a Republican who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, is running for CD8.

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20060521-102933-7835r.htm
    Van Taylor; At this early point in election 2006, Mr. Taylor — a 33-year-old Iraq veteran and first-time office-seeker -

    Certainly not ALL Iraqi vets run as Dems as you claim

    63#”Because our army is parked in Iraq, we have fewer options when it comes to other more genuine threats. We will choose diplomacy over and over again vis a vis Iran because we have no other choice.”

    ‘Old Europe’ thinking would have let Saddam get away with treating the UNSC as a chump institution. THAT more than anything else would have sent the wrong signal to other rogue states and the Islamofascists, that the West was not interested in confronting its adversaries.

    Enough with the false claims.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Enough with the false claims.

    You – and others like you – miss the same points over and over and over again.

    You scan documents for sentences that trigger memorized responses garnered from your favorite MSM outlet (Wash Times. FOX, WSJ, CBS radio) and then continue to slug away at arguments you percieve being made.

    Take this exchange:

    63#”Because our army is parked in Iraq, we have fewer options when it comes to other more genuine threats. We will choose diplomacy over and over again vis a vis Iran because we have no other choice.”

    ‘Old Europe’ thinking would have let Saddam get away with treating the UNSC as a chump institution. THAT more than anything else would have sent the wrong signal to other rogue states and the Islamofascists, that the West was not interested in confronting its adversaries.

    How the hell do these two fit together? The point was that because the US has commited its military to Iraq, it has considerably less resources in dealing with any other military problem.

    But some words must have triggered a response from the wingnut above that led into this rehashed crap about Islamofascists, Old Europe, and the UNSC…it’s like some form of chronic tic disorder.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Anyone following the course of events and not twisting them to their liking knows that hostilities against Iraq RESUMED because of Iraq’s failure to comply with UNSC resolution 1441. Building the failed state was a matter of common sense, since dictatorships are not conducive to peace.

    Iraq did not constitute an imminent threat to the United States.

    Moreover, the War in Iraq was never even declared by the Congress of the United States. Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution clearly asigns the legislative branch the right to make war ONLY. In this way, HJ Res 114, which authorized the executive (BIG MISTAKE) to use military force in Iraq went directly against Congress’ constitutional duties.

    Frank Antenori, a Republican who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom, is running for CD8.

    Most Iraq War vets that are seeking public office are seeking public office as Democrats.

  • winter

    giustino

    Just what other military problem does the USA have? I do not see one, unless you are refering to the axis of evil countries.

    By the way, when Iraq tried to kill a “X” USA president… THAT WAS AN ACT OF WAR.

    Thats all we needed. PERIOD.

  • winter

    Just when you thought it was over. WMDs show up.

    “(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-Mich.) announced Wednesday the finding of over 500 munitions or weapons of mass destruction, specifically “sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles,” in Iraq.”

    But wait. Its not the Factory sized WMD’s we were told …No the country sized WMD’s we were told…. No the (Raise the bar here)

  • Kimmo W.

    “By the way, when Iraq tried to kill a “X” USA president…”

    So they say. And the CIA is known to have plotted to kill Fidel Castro. Sure, he’s a dictator, but so was Pinochet, whom the US actually helped shoot his way into power.

  • Helsinkian

    KGS #105: “As for Gitmo detainees, they are being treated fairly as their situation demands. They are enemy combatants that owe no particular allegiance to any particular state, and therefor are held differently than a regular POW captured from an enemy state.”

    No, the Gitmo detainees are a very heterogenous group. It’s not at all true that the same rules should apply for all Gitmo detainees. Those that are high-level al-Qaeda operatives warrant special treatment but categorically stating that Gitmo detainees owe no allegiance to a state is wrong. The Taleban were indeed running a state of their own and AFAIK at least some detainees did owe allegiance to the state of Afghanistan and should’ve been treated as POWs. Many of the Gitmo detainees have been released since they were not seen to be of imminent threat to the US. Yet these already released people were neither treated as POWs nor had any due process of law applied against them. It’s not the treatment of al-Qaeda operatives that has European states and human rights lawyers up in arms, it’s the foot soldiers, many of whom may indeed have owed a very specific allegiance to the state of Afghanistan (or of Iraq).

    I’m not saying that jihadists should be treated softly, after all many of these fighters were being trained in Afghanistan to perpetrate terrorist atrocities. But not all suspected terrorists are terrorists and some enemy combatants are simple foot soldiers who should be treated as POWs. The disregard of the Geneva Conventions was essentially not because there was a real need for it, those who are to be tried in the US should’ve been transported there for a long time ago. Many Gitmo prisoners should simply have belonged to a POW camp. President Bush has had to spend so much time apologizing for the treatment of the nationals of so many countries that he has lost many key battles in an important ongoing propaganda war. All he would’ve needed to do is to respect international law and the domestic rule of law in the treatment of enemy prisoners. Sure many people say that in a war against terror taking the moral high ground is a too high a price to pay since the terrorists don’t respect any laws in any but so much in this conflict is really about ethics and upholding the rule of law. An ethical army can be just as effective and swift against its enemies. Ethics and decency are two qualities that are of great importance to the defense of freedom.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Giustino shows problems in 128#, but the logic is clear(except to him):
    “We HAD TO park our army in Iraq, in order for the UNSC to actually mean something. Not doing so would send the wrong mssg to other rogue states and war lords who sit in defiance of UN security resolutions….now do you get it?

    Giustino in post 120# actually supports my position that not ALL Iraqi vets runs as Dems…Nice that you have conceeded to my point, since I found two Republican vets that showed interest in running for public office.

    Then the unhinged Giustino claims that the President didn’t get Congresses’ authorization for war on Iraq…HUH????!!!
    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/11/iraq.us/
    Senate approves Iraq war resolution. Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.

    So you are a constitutional lawer and de facto “expert”, and congresses “own constitutional lawyers* that approved of the document as well as the Supreme Court that offered no objections…must defer to GIUSTINO’S superior constitutional understandings. Looks like you missed your calling, and should apply for a job as a constitutional lawyer with either of the three branches of the US government.

    Just what are you smoking? If there ever was a “wingnut”…it the Leftist Giustino “unhinged” type.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Helsinkian offers some valid observations, but the fighters captured in Afghanistan were perhaps of a government, that no one recognized outside of the Sudan and Iran I believe. In other words, its government was null and void, a non entity.

    The fact that Al-Qaida was the defacto ruler in Afghanistan and was not recognized as a head of state either….puts the whole question of what people the US caught on the battle field in even more murkier water.

    I believe that the Geneva Conventions must be updated to recognize the phenomenon of international terrorists. But I still maintain the position that the US (which has since promised to relinquish inmates to their host countries if they will not be murdered or tortured, and the Afghans have promised as much) is not bound by the Geneva conventions when it concerns jihadis captured in Iraq and Afghanistan who belong to al-Qaida.

    A POW camp perhaps for those Ba’atists captured might be a simple way out of the situation, but as I said before, that would mean that they would still remain indefinately confined till the end of hostilities. Regardless, the prisoners at Gitmo are being afforded all the rights due to POW’s, its just that their status is not labeled as being POWs.

  • Helsinkian

    KGS #134:

    “Senate approves Iraq war resolution. Hours earlier, the House approved an identical resolution, 296-133.”

    Exactly right. The Iraq War was authorized by the Senate and the House of Representatives. No doubt about that.

    There were two telling quotes, Sen. Byrd who was against the resolution and Sen. McCain who was for it.

    In his comments Sen. Byrd was very clear that this vote gave the White House full constitutional rights to wage war.

    Sen. McCain was open and honest about how he saw the threat of Saddam at the time. He meant it was better to take out Saddam before he becomes such a threat that he starts a war of his own choosing.

    Some senators don’t seem today to remember what they were thinking when they cast that vote but at least these two experienced senators seemed to understand the exact implications of the vote.

  • Helsinkian

    KGS #135: “… the fighters captured in Afghanistan were perhaps of a government that no one recognized outside the Sudan and Iran I believe.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taliban

    “At its height, the Emirate was diplomatically recognized by Pakistan, by the United Arab Emirates and by Saudi Arabia. It then controlled all of Afghanistan, apart from small regions in the northeast which were held by the Northern Alliance. Most of the rest of the world, and the United Nations continued to recognize Rabbani as Afghanistan’s legal Head of State, although it was generally understood that he had no real influence in the country.”

    Pakistan, the UAE and the Saudis all three had close ties to the United States at the time when they recognized the Taliban as the legal government of Afghanistan. Iran was one of the most anti-Taliban countries, as Iran is ruled by Shiite religious leaders and the Taliban considers these and their followers infidels and massacred Shiite Afghans early on.

    More on Iran vs. Taliban Afghanistan from that wikipedia article:

    “Relations between Iran and the Taliban deteriorated further in 1998 after Taliban forces seized the Iranian consulate in Mazar-e-Sharif and executed Iranian diplomats. Iran went to the brink of war over this. Following the incident, and the military de-escalation Iran stepped up support for the Taliban’s rivals, the Northern Alliance.”

    “Hazaras are not Muslims. You can kill them. It’s not a sin.” (a Taliban commander speaking about the country’s Shiite minority Hazaras)

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    I appreciate that Helsinkian,

    I was mistaken about Iran, but I am sure that Khartoum had relations.
    I just don’t consider the states mentioned of any real significance, but that’s just a matter of personal perspective.

    Since Rabbani was a de facto puppet of Bin Laden, it doesn’t speak much for his position of a head of state, when it was an internatioanlly wanted Saudi at the helm.

  • prince of dorkness

    @maca, post 90,
    it’s interesting, really, Just like they are the only people to use phrases like ‘Chimpy MacHitlerBurton’.
    Phil Agre did a notable essay on this phenomenon, http://home.att.net/~hugh2you/jargon1.txt, but you probably know that.

  • prince of dorkness

    “Just like that big bully in the schoolyard would not listen to anything but force.
    When you are a superpower.
    You have to talk the language people listen.” STP, post 78

    Yes, all great powers are bullies that respect nothing but force and guts. Fortunately the Iraqis have guts, anyway. More than you, sitting in Atlanta. Venceremos! La luta continua!

  • qwertyasdf

    Its not only Iraq, or Iran… Now you have friends at North-Korea.

    They want to negotiate, but US doesnt…

    N-Korea wants to launch their lada-missile, but US says its against every treaty N-Korea has signed. Then United States itself heats up their missile defence system.

    A living example, how treatys doesnt involve United States.

    If N-Korea would pull out from every treaty they have made, would it be justified?

    Though the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty was cancelled in a right manner, by the rules, it is still something unbeliavable to ears of a non-american.

    Be safe, sooner or later there will be (If not already) Anti-Anti-Ballistic Missile… And wheel of fire gets more speed.

    You really make this world a better place.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    So the Prince Of Dorkness believes that its “fortunate” the insurgents who are fighting the most representative and democratically elected Arab gov’t in the ME “have guts”?

    The same bunch of belly slicing (remember the murdered British aid worker Hassan whoes guts were spilled))and head chopping jihadis are fortunate to have POD in their corner trading posts with the rest of us who view these thugs as opponents of freedom and democracy and civility.

    That you dare voice public approval for these heartless murderers is beyond me, but then your nom de guerre is… “the Prince of Dorkness”.

  • Helsinkian

    KGS: “I was mistaken about Iran, but I am sure Khartoum had relations.”

    I’m not at all sure about the Sudan, either. 1996 is a key year in this respect. That is the year of the expulsion of Osama bin Laden from the Sudan, his reappearance in Afghanistan, and the ascension of the Taliban to power in Kabul. I’m not exactly sure the Taliban even wanted to have relations with a government who had kicked out of their country their best friend, Osama bin Laden, no matter how jihadist the Sudanese were. I certainly haven’t found anything about Sudanese-Afghan relations on the official level but that doesn’t mean they didn’t exist. It would be easy for anyone to forget the Sudanese due to the geographical distance.

    So it’s possible Khartoum’s relations with the Taliban were stronger at a time when the Taliban hadn’t the Afghan state in their hands and the issue of diplomatic recognition did not exist (before the expulsion of bin Laden by the Khartoum government).

    Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were very significant, both in their open and generous backing of the Taliban before 9/11 and as recipients of US military aid at the same time. The support of these countries made the Taliban possible.

    Taliban expert Ahmed Rashid writing in 1999:

    “Until they captured Kabul in 1996 they expressed no desire to rule the country. But ever since then – abetted by their Pakistani and Saudi backers and inspired by ideological mentors such as bin Laden – the Taliban have committed themselves to conquering the entire country and more.”

    http://www.indianembassy.org/policy/Terrorism/think_tank/taliban_extremism_fa_nov_99.htm

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Helsinkian, one more thought on the applying the Geneva Conventions. Even if the Taliban and jihadists/Ba’atists fighting in Iraq would qualify as belonging to a bonified army of a state, there is the question as to whether their war ethics and treatment of prisoners would allow them to claim the GC’s provisions that are afforded to other member states.

    A good article in the WSJ brings out this POV and I think its worth considering.

    http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110008549

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Helsinkian,
    BTW, I believe you’ve proven your point about the Sudan, though I believe it was out of other considerations why the jettisoned Osama, they still believe in the same Islamists goals, and most certainly would give support to the Taliban in any covert way they could.

    Even Sadddam (who courted and made ties with the Taliban) found the Sudanese Islamist gov’t of value:

    http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/005/887nvenc.asp

  • prince of dorkness

    Well, KGS59, taking on the US military does take guts. I’d like to see you deny that, with a straight face.
    Moreover, every single poll anyone bothers to take shows most Iraqis think it’s OK to attack American/Coalition troops. That, to me, suggests they don’t want those troops in their country.
    That’s the only position for any patriot to take, of course. Traitors are another thing.
    I don’t much care for the head-choppers as opposed to the IED crowd, but you might qualify your love of the Iraqi Quislings who use electric drills on their victims. Or even mention, just once, that your heroes and/or allies are quite fond of doing stuff like that.
    And the ‘representative’ and ‘democratically elected’ governmment has no power outside the Green Zone, or inside it. They might as well relocate to the US. IIRC Najib’s regime in Kabul actually survived a couple of years without any Soviet troops to back it up. Think the Chalabites could do as well?

  • Helsinkian

    POD: “IIRC Najib’s regime in Kabul actually survived a couple of years without any Soviet troops to back it up. Think the Chalabites could do as well?”

    The Soviet puppet régime in Afghanistan was a dictatorship. The current government in Iraq is neither a dictatorship nor is Chalabi the head of that government. Yes, the Iraqi government is depending on the presence US troops.

    To you the Iraqi elections were a joke compared to the elections that were previously staged by Saddam and other staged elections elsewhere but I wouldn’t give any credence to that assessment.

    If you really want to compare US presence in Iraq to Soviet presence in Afghanistan, that would be very interesting but please find some facts and take your anti-American sunglasses off for a second to see that the Americans promise to the Iraqis something else than what the Soviets promised to the Afghans.

    When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, that country was not known of habitually invading its neighbors. Afghanistan has had the misfortune of being invaded by others time and again. Iraq’s track record under Saddam was quite the opposite.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    First of all POD, you are on record saying its FORTUNATE that the “insurgenets” have guts. I am questioning your sanity for saying its fortunate that they have the guts to wage violence at all. You have clearly placed yourself as being in favor of the Islamists, otherwise you would be speaking of how fortunate it is that the average Iraqi has the guts to face down terror. They have been doing so since the coming of the Baatist into power.

    It would be interesting to see you sell your enthusiasm to the average Iraqi.

    Also of note is POD’s claim that the maority of Iraqis think its ok to attack US troops..please provide a link to that poll. I doubt the Sunni Kurds care for such a thing, neither the majority of the Shiia, who follow Sistani.

    Sounds like POD was confusing the disputed territories of the WB and Gaza with Iraq.

    I know personally a Finnish researcher in international terrorism at the Unisversity of Turku, who visited Baghdad a little over a year ago, explain his amazement at the amount of support the average Iraqi had for the US Coaltition forces.

    He said it was the exact opposite to the reporting here in Finland.

  • prince of dorkness

    @Helsinkian,
    well the parallelism would be that the Soviets also tried to impose a secular, modernist regime with a revolutionary economic programme on a Muslim people less than enchanted with having foreigners tell them what they can do with their country.
    Of course there are differences. A dictatorship like the PDPA finds it easier to deal with Islamist (or any other popular) movements. Plus they actually had some kind of base among the Afghans.
    It’s also easier to mobilize people to your side if you don’t start by wrecking the economy (privatization) and destroying all organs of government, starting with the military.
    I’d really have to search for another occupying power dumb enough to do this sort of thing.
    The elections, well, they’re nice photo ops, I suppose. But lots of times people actually would prefer a government of their own that got some things done even if it fell short of electoral democracy to one which gets nothing done and is parasitical on a foreign military.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    POD “supposes”………

  • Helsinkian

    “the Soviets also tried to impose a secular, modernist regime with a revolutionary economic programme on a Muslim people”

    But the Saddam régime that the Americans thwarted already had been both secular and modernist. It was both of those things in the sense that the Nazis and the Soviets had been before them. The modernism that the US represents if of a different type than the totalitarian variety. The US tradition of imposing their model on defeated enemies includes the defeated WWII Axis powers of Italy, Germany and Japan. Yeah, that was long ago and Iraq today is different but isn’t the repeat of those success stories in Iraq the idea?

    “A dictatorship like the PDPA finds it easier to deal with Islamist (or any other popular) movements.”

    You mean like the South Vietnamese colonels dealt with the Viet Cong?

    “It’s also easier to mobilize people to your side if you don’t start by wrecking the economy (privatization) and destroying all organs of government, starting with the military.”

    Do you have any data on the Iraqi economy? How much do we know about the economic system that Saddam had and exactly what changes have been made by Paul Bremer and the successive Iraqi governments? Since there is a war going on, this economy bit is usually not discussed. To Ba’athist government was destroyed in purpose in order to root out their ideology: the debaathification of Iraq was modeled on the denazification of Germany.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Good point Helsinkian,

    http://www.portaliraq.com/news/Iraqi+economy+to+grow+10+percent+in+2006%2C+official+predicts__1111805.html
    This site shows the progress made so far.

    I remember seeing an article that showed Iraq for the very first time in its history exporting grains abroad, as a direct result of private ownership, having created surpluses in many agricultural sectors ect.

  • http://www.ssi-developer.net/rant/ maca

    @KGS59
    “If you don’t like being lied to, I suggest you stop believing in the muck found in the Left wing journals.”

    I’ll add them to the list right behind the US Administration & Right wingers.

    Btw, regarding Hassan … she was shot.

    Winter
    “More than happy to “US outposts out of the europe,”. In fact we are moving some of them to Poland”

    Ahem, Poland is still in Europe. That darned geography failing you again!!

    “We plan on kicking some BUT, maby Iran or North Korea next,”

    Of course i’m sure you’ll be well able to explain to us all how the US Military could handle either N.Korea or Iran when:
    1. years after invading Afghanistan they still haven’t finished off the Taleban (4 US Troops sadly killed yesterday btw)
    2. they are struggling with a few hundred thousand rebels in Iraq. Interesting how you think they could take on MILLIONS in a place like N.Korea … without blanket bombing the place with nukes.

    All your yap about the US kicking ass on it’s own you still haven’t gotten it through your thick noggin that the US couldn’t even manage Iraq without the support of 20+ European countries plus other allies outside of Europe. Go it alone and see how far you get.

    You give Americans a bad name. One of my American work colleagues was mortified when he read this thread this morning :)

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Just what are you smoking? If there ever was a “wingnut”…it the Leftist Giustino “unhinged” type.

    This is indicative of the sorry state of American discourse. Because I believe (like most Americans) that the War in Iraq was a strategic error in American foreign policy, I am labeled a ‘Leftist.’

    A leftist like who? Karl Marx? Leon Trotsky? Eugene V. Debs?

    How does disagreeing with a war suddenly make a person a supporter of unknown number of traditional ‘leftwing’ policies?

    I have tried to label people that support the war as ‘Bush supporters’, though erring on occasion, because that is more accurate, as many people that consider themselves ‘rightwing’ agree with me and most Americans, that the Iraq war was both a strategic error and has been poorly executed.

    This interpretation of the war in Iraq is neither limited to the traditional left nor right.

    Bush supporters though, unable to work with any kind of discourse outside of their script, must put all individuals that disagree with Bush policy in a the “hard Left” box in order to maintain their fragile worldview.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Maca #153 I stand corrected, Hassan was indeed shot and it was another body of a Polish woman that was found gutted. Other bodies found had their legs cut off ect…the handy work of the Islamist faithfull.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Giustino fails to convince.

    Only a convinced democrat would claim ALL Iraqi vets that run for public office are Dems. Talk about a “fragile world view”.

    Myself, I am affiliated with neither.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    So you are a constitutional lawer and de facto “expert”, and congresses “own constitutional lawyers* that approved of the document as well as the Supreme Court that offered no objections…must defer to GIUSTINO’S superior constitutional understandings. Looks like you missed your calling, and should apply for a job as a constitutional lawyer with either of the three branches of the US government.

    Yeah, this is a traditional O’Reilly tactic. When somebody questions authority, the Bush backer talks down to the questioner:

    BUSHBOT: “So all these much smarter people agree on this fact but you, you insolent American citizen you, you with your feeble little mind think something different…”

    This reminds me of Christianity prior to the Protestant Reformation, when church members had to have the Bible interpreted for them by someone much smarter than they could ever become – the local priest :)

    I read the Constitution, chief, and the Constitution says that Congress has the exclusive right to make war, not the president. The American Congress in 2002 abdicated its responsibilities to the American people. If Iraq was such an imminent danger to the United States, they could have simply declared war. Instead they handed that decision over to Bush to make. In other words, they were too scared of their constituents to act in accordance with the letter of the law and decided instead to pass the buck. McCain, Kerry – all of them. In that moment, they failed us.

    I mean Congress declared war on Iraq in 1991. It declared war on Mexico in 1846. But it couldn’t find the backbone to formally declare war against Iraq in 2002.

    I am not arguing that it is illegal. No we can thank Lyndon Baines Johnson (this current administration’s mentor) for what resulted in the War Powers Act of 1973. That’s what made this a legal act. But I am arguing that that act – meant to cover our ass in another undeclared war, Vietnam – as well as the 2002 resolution go against the spirit of the US Constitution.

    Anyway, lawyers are paid to tell their clients what they want to hear. On September 18, 2001, the U.S. Congress authorized the president to:

    use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.

    Thanks to that resolution, I’m sure Alberto Gonzalez could find enough wiggle room to allow the Feds to search through my grannies panties without a warrant should the might “He” of the executive branch deem it necessary.

    In other words, in some aspects, the US is now a ‘benevolent dictatorship.’ The president can do whatever he wants under the guise of the War on Terror. He has the power to do whatever he wants. Neither judiciary nor legislative branch can balance the powers of the executive.

    It’s like the Jackson, Polk, and Johnson administrations, all rolled into one.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Giustino fails to convince.

    Only a convinced democrat would claim ALL Iraqi vets that run for public office are Dems. Talk about a “fragile world view”.

    Another classic O’Reilly move. Take a quote, read it without digesting its full meaning, then use it as a political weapon against your imagined ‘hard Left’ adversaries.

    My statement was:

    Why do all these vets come home and run as DEMOCRATS, KGS59?

    My statement refered to veterans I had previously mentioned in my post (Duckworth, Webb, etc.), hence my use of the word ‘these’ to refer to them.

    But that doesn’t matter. Facts don’t matter. Reality doesn’t matter.
    KGS59, who don’t you just argue with yourself? Wouldn’t that be even more satisfying?

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Giustino BACKTRCKS ONE MORE TIME…this is getting boring. So now your saying that the US Congress DID IN FACT give the US presisdent the authorization for resuming hostilities in Iraq!

    What you should have said, is that *you disagreed with Congress’ decision to authorize hostilities.*

    Sour grapes….you’re just against the presidency having an equal say with the other two branches of government.

    So that’s your play now…name two Dem candidates while “overlooking” republican vets…great.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    The US Congress gave the president a blank check to do whatever he wanted to do. They should have declared war in accordance with the Constitution. Instead they weaseled their way out of being accountable for the war by citing the War Powers Act and passing the buck to Bush.

    Yes, I disagree with their dishonorable actions in 2002.

    The Dems are fielding 60 veterans in the 2006 elections. The following are veterans of the current Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

    David Ashe, Virginia, 2nd Congressional District
    Bryan Lentz, Pennsylvania, 7th Congressional District
    Patrick Murphy, Pennsylvania, 8th Congressional District
    Andrew Duck, Maryland, 6th Congressional District
    David Harris, Texas, 6th Congressional District
    Tim Dunn, North Carollina, 8th Congressional District
    Tammy Duckworth, Illinois, 6th Congressional District
    Andrew Horne, Kentucky, 3rd Congressional District
    Jay Fawcett, Colorado, 5th Congressional District
    Joe Sestak, Pennsylvania, 7th Congressional District

    And you never answered my question, why are all THESE vets running as Democrats?

    Maybe because they prefer a party that is actually advancing plans for how to win the war and come home, rather than to just continue to SIT AND WATCH.

    Like I said, I hope you enjoy the argument you are having with yourself. Carry on :)

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Looks to me that the DEMS are busy trying to field vet candidates to bolster their anal track record on the War Against Islamist Facism. Like I said, I have no problems with any politician that’s not a defeatist, whether dem or repub.

    “The Republicans have one Iraq war vet running for Congress, Van Taylor of Texas, who is trying to knock off Rep. Chet Edwards (D). Carl Forti, spokesman for the National Republican Campaign Committee, says 38 Republicans with military experience are running for Congress. When asked if any of the Democratic vets pose a threat to any Republicans, his answer is simple: “Zero.”

  • winter

    Dem track record on the war against Islamism fascism. Didn’t they vote for it before voting against it. Come on give them credit here.

    By the way the Dem war plan (Its a secret, so no telling):

    1. Cut
    2. Run (Or re-deploy if you are Merthia)

    Now that the old Dem talking point WMD’s has fizzled “500 munitions or weapons of mass destruction, specifically “sarin- and mustard-filled projectiles,” in Iraq.

  • tim73

    Winter: oh mama, you must be really scared of those 500 sarin munitions. Really gives Americans the right to bomb the shit out of Iraq with all you got and kill at least 100 000 pesky muslims.

    Hmm, I remember something about 80′s that YOU guys were the ones that effectively armed Mr. Saddam in the 80′s with all kinds of fancy weapons against Iran. But I forgive you for your long term memory loss. (Hey LOOK! Runaway bride! 1…2…3…here, snap out of it. HERE! HERE! STAY FOCUSED!)

    The discussion with these Republicans is frustrating because they really are like androids, keep repeating those 10 points written by Giustino.

    Hitler Jugend comes to mind, there are no grey areas for these people, there is only one big BATTLE between GOOD and EVIL. Stay the course or you are at least guilty of appeasing with the terrrrist or islamofassicst.

    So for all of you Republicans, I suggest ripping off the New Testament from your bible because hey, it is so hippie pinko commie stuff, love and peace and all that shit. So appeasing, ha!

    But Old Testament, Old T’…man that is the goooood stuff. They did much worse stuff in the Old T’ then American troops in Iraq. You’d like that, wouldn’t you…think of that Old T’ as kind of field guide how to hate properly in your path..

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Republican war plan:

    1. STAY (the course, 1,000 points of light)

    2. PAY (millions upon millions of dollars with no end in sight)

    You have no exit strategy. You won’t even agree to placing a deadline on US actions. You have NO PLAN!!!

    Christ, every businessman in the world has a neat little book where he jots down his DEADLINES. Without DEADLINES, most jobs would never get accomplished.

    Instead, like the lazy chickenhawk sods you are, you want an indefinite extension.

    By the way, Winter & K, they just raised the maximum age for enlistment to 42. I assume you’ll be signing up for a few tours in Iraq :)

  • George

    winter and KGS59 are definite BUSHBOTs.
    Here is a historical account of “cutting and running” in modern US history, stupid.
    http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/06/20/cut_and_run_hardly/

  • tim73

    Yes, in the end those two young ones died and those ones they killed. But they said that back in 1942 in Berlin…so what now?

  • winter

    NO PLAN!!! is to win, and yes the cut and run plan is not ours.

    No Plan??? except elections (Remember all those purple fingers)

    No Plan??? except support the elected Iraq government (Remember you can’t support when you cut and run)

    No Plan?? except to rebuild Iraq (Some good stats there)

    No Plan?? except to train the new Iraq Army and then pull out when conditions are acceplable to the Iraq Government Did someone forget the USA extended the leave now option when the elected Iraq Gov said so???? All it would take was for the president of Iraq to go on TV and say leave. We be gone. Darn has that happened? Did I miss the event? Tell me it happened so we can leave.

    Oh but there is no plan as bold as the French Flag of Surrender, wave the white flag thing. Can’t even remember when that plan ever worked?

  • winter

    Best Quote of the day:

    “The Democrat message is wrong for many reasons but first and foremost it works against progress in the war effort. From a terrorist point of view they couldn’t have better support from certain segments of the American government. The Jane Fonda party is exactly what they need to deflate the troops, turn public opinion against winning the war and pit American against American. ”

    Best link:

    phased redeployment. here, for your edification, is a brief survey of “Phased Redeployments through History.”

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com Giustino

    Oh but there is no plan as bold as the French Flag of Surrender, wave the white flag thing. Can’t even remember when that plan ever worked?

    Ask the great Republican President Gerald Ford how it felt to cut, run, and *lose* Vietnam. I’m sure he’d be willing to share. Maybe you can ask him and Arlen ‘Magic Bulet’ Specter about the JFK assasination while you’re at it…

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com Giustino

    NO PLAN!!! is to win, and yes the cut and run plan is not ours.

    No Plan??? except elections (Remember all those purple fingers)

    No Plan??? except support the elected Iraq government (Remember you can’t support when you cut and run)

    No Plan?? except to rebuild Iraq (Some good stats there)

    No Plan?? except to train the new Iraq Army and then pull out when conditions are acceplable to the Iraq Government Did someone forget the USA extended the leave now option when the elected Iraq Gov said so???? All it would take was for the president of Iraq to go on TV and say leave. We be gone. Darn has that happened? Did I miss the event? Tell me it happened so we can leave.

    So our ability to protect ourselves depends on when the Iraqi government is done renting our troops. How perfect. It;s great to know our army is for hire FOR FREE. We also do Bar Mitzvahs.

    We now have military commitments from the DMZ in Korea to Taiwan to Baghdad to the eastern flank of NATO and in our own hemisphere. That’s one perfect way to bleed an empire dry. And no, I’m not happy about it.

  • http://observer Anonymous

    Giustino serves up the same tired mantra over and over again, no matter how hollow or debunked his claims have been. Kind of like a dog returning to its own vomit

  • Not Amused

    The Far Left Dems (FLD) are the best chance the terrorists have at defeating the US. We all know who Osama wanted as US Pres.,,,Kerry.

  • Anonymous

    Why would Osama want to have anybody else than Bush? Isn’t his adventures in Iraq creating hundreds of new terrorists every week?

    Thanks Giustino for your efforts to explain the new Republican rethoric, by the way. It’s disgusting, but Rove apparently plans to win the elections with it. Where did they find all these angry and stupid people? And why are they so angry and stupid?

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    173#
    That doesn’t square with the facts coming from raids on the not-so-safe-houses of al-Qaida in Iraq. They now place hopes in the US tangling with Iran, since their suicide/homicide campaigns are not working.

    http://www.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2006/6/21/150609.shtml?s=et

    Their doom was sealed when the Iraqis chose representative democracy over jihadist terror, having seen enough of terror during Saddam’s era, it was the logical decision. Only anti-Bush mongers want to keep the myth alive that Iraqis don’t want the US troops there.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Giustino is just swinging wildly and hitting nothing. The only stupid people are the ones who cling to defeat while the evidence says otherwise. Hatred for a man (Bush)outweighs their common sense.

    Only the ignorant would believe that a Saddam still in power would not constitute a threat to the US or the world in general.

  • Anonymous

    Only the ignorant don’t know how the mentality has changed – among young men in particular – throughout the muslim world since the occupation.

    Only the ignorant claim to know what “the Iraqis” think. In fact, there are numerous faction, some of them quite willing to use violence and terrorist methods, if you haven’t noticed. The same goes for the rest of the Muslim world.

    Only the ignorant would believe that a Saddam still in power would not constitute a threat to the US or the world in general.

    As if there would be somebody in the west thinking that Saddam should be in power. The contoversy dealt with the problem of how one should proceed. Hans Blixt, anybody? Security Council?

    Anyway, that’s in the past now. At the moment we have to solve such problems as where to cut the foreign aid in order to pay for rebuilding of Iraq.

    And how frightened one should be of this “new Republican rethoric”. It’s not normal in a civilized country to accept the kind of propagandistic hate mongering that is going on.

  • Petteri

    As far as I am concerned Giustino more than held his righteous position in this argument. There are several comments that echo those I have been reading in some American blogs. I even ventured to open up some dialogue but sooner than I could say God Bless America, mudslinging ensued. There is no reasoned ruminations among the Bushiets and everything is just like religious scriptures that have been chiselled in stone. Ein Fuhrer, Ein Folk, right or wrong! The mood of those people is a crazy mixture of an all denying defence and a hysterical attack on those who have refused to see the greatness of their beloved supreme Ayatolah, W. Bush. This wouldn’t be so bad if they weren’t in the leadership of the free world.

  • Not Amused

    Interesting, three Iraqi elections vote in favor of representative democracy, and all Anonymous can muster up to say is that…”its ignorant to claim what Iraqis think”. What an arrogant and infantile assertion.

    As for the controversy, its due to the fact that 3/5 of the UNSC refused to hold Iraq accountable for its defiance of UNSC resolutions. Something of which the majority of the Bush bashers here refuse to admit to.

    Petteri expresses himself here typically for those who hold that sentiment, libel Bush with slathering references to German Fuerher Hitler. That summs up the anti-Iraq war radical crowd.

    There can be useful criticism to be found, but the Bush bashers can’t resist the urge to defame, sling mud ect ect, then when they get a dishing of it back in their faces…..whine and cry FOUL.

    Get a life all of you, while the brave Iraqi people struggle against Islamist tyrrany to establish once and for all a decent life for themselves, all without your help.

  • Anonymous

    Not Amused, let me repeat: “In fact, there are numerous faction, some of them quite willing to use violence and terrorist methods.” It’s quite obvious that these factions, not only in Iraq but trhoughout the Muslim world would not exist or be as strong as they now are without the occupation. You’re in denial.

    And I have no problem admitting that Saddam didn’t act according to the UN resolutions or that the UNSC could have worked better. I have no problem, because that was not the reason the Bush (as well as Blair etc) administration gave for going to war – remember terrorism? – and it definitely wasn’t among the main true – and to this date mostly secret – motives. The UN got sidetracked because Bush wanted so, he had already made up his mind. That was his “sin” on the eve of the war. More and more Americans have started to think that the way the whole thing was hadled worked against American intrests not only by drawing the US in an unnecessary war but also by weakening the international system. The neo-conservative agenda is going down the tubes to a place where it deserves to be.

    And one shouldn’t forget the human misery every war brings about either. To this date nobody knows how many innocent people have been killed during the war but the number has to be in tens of thousands.

    the brave Iraqi people struggle against Islamist tyrrany to establish once and for all a decent life for themselves

    You mean those who haven’t been killed so far? And by the way, I am, as a Finnish tax payer, paying for those efforts of the the Iraqis – although the Finnish government didn’t have anything to do with starting this illegal war.

    And what is this Islamist tyranny you are talking about?

  • Petteri

    Not amused, my intent was purely to illustrate the steadfast mind set of the right wing Republicans, not president Bush himself. Naturally there is no logical connection with Hitler’s and Bush’s policies, don’t be silly. However, some of the blind obidience remains me of those doctorinated and naive Germans who checked their brains in safe keeping when voting in the man with empty promises and catastrophical concequenses and refused to see the light to the bitter end. Bush is the president of the great democracy but some of his follower’s act in a manner that remains me about those before mentioned hot heads of the different era. I don’t think that it is far fetched to suggest that quite a few of them wouldn’t mind total ban of any kind of critique toward their dear leader. In my books, that’s not democracy neither is it healthy to any nation.

  • tim73

    The great irony of all this is that Canada and Mexico could invade US now because almost all the best troops are in Iraq or elsewhere. There are actually nobody left to DEFEND America :)

  • asdfqwerty

    Well, seriously tim73..

    That would be cool. No more terrorising in europe from organinsations like MPAA and RIAA.

  • winter

    Tim73

    Check your FACTS again. We took Baghdad in less time Finns go on Vacation each year. Hint: Don’t go on any vacations, the uSA can change the world in that time.

    So are you the new Baghdad BOB?

    Tim73 == world in falling down, USA can’t attack and win, we are soooooo bogged down in Iraq…..soooooooo

    right… just try to piss of a standing US president. We will send you to club Gitmo for a long rest from jehad. (Offering free dental care there as well)

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Thanks Giustino for your efforts to explain the new Republican rethoric, by the way. It’s disgusting, but Rove apparently plans to win the elections with it. Where did they find all these angry and stupid people? And why are they so angry and stupid?

    It’s a bizarre scenario. They are in favor of most any war put before them, but none of them are willing to fight it THEMSELVES. Bush Jr.? When his time came he got into the Texas National Guard, and it’s still not clear how often he showed up. Cheney? Five draft deferments. Rove? Deferment.

    And now we have Winter and KGS59, who follow in the same mold. All talk. No action. Let somebody else’s kids get killed doing my bidding. Yeah, you are right, that is disgusting.

    And if Bush decided to withdraw tomorrow, they’d applaud and say it was a great idea and they thought of it first.

    But what’s funny is that I am still smiling after all of this. I still feel great because after having laid down what their ten talking points are they continue to use them over and over again, because they are incapable of deviating from the script.

    When an independent thinker questions them, they just change the subject back to something that works with their script.

    This is what has become to the America of Washington, Jay, Madison, Jefferson and Adams.

    I don’t think that it is far fetched to suggest that quite a few of them wouldn’t mind total ban of any kind of critique toward their dear leader. In my books, that’s not democracy neither is it healthy to any nation.

    They are slowly working towards that end. The only thing average Americans have left is the Internet, though I am sure they’d love to regulate that too and make sure all blogs regurgitate their talking points.

    1. Don’t worry, the war is going fine
    2. Don’t worry if our whole army has an undefined military commitment to a foreign country several thousands of miles away.
    3. All critics of anything Bush touches are like the French in 1940. They want to cut and run.
    4. Bush never makes mistakes
    5. If Bush makes a mistake, he made it on purpose because he is such a wily, cunning, genius.
    6. If all else fails, blame the “eMeSeM”

  • winter

    giustino

    “in the same mold. All talk. No action. ”

    HUH, I spend 20 years keeping the world safe during the cold war. My ingoing class (24 of us) is now at 19. Don’t tell me about not doing anything.

    Pra-tell. What did you do to keep the world safe?

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    HUH, I spend 20 years keeping the world safe during the cold war. My ingoing class (24 of us) is now at 19. Don’t tell me about not doing anything.

    Pra-tell. What did you do to keep the world safe?

    Looking to sign up again for another tour?

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Quite honestly, Winter, my father was very much a working class 19 year old kid in 1966 when Lyndon Baines Johnson decided that he should go to fight in Viet Nam.

    It was drummed into my head at quite an early age to avoid linking my future to the US Army’s (case and point the War in Iraq).

    I took my father’s advice.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    OK, fellows, time to return to my blog and work on my Estonian skills.

    Winter, I apologize for inferring you were, like most architects of the War in Iraq, a chickenhawk who muscles other people’s children into battle yet has avoided similar service. Perhaps you are not. I mean no disrespect to a genuine veteran, although I disagree with your views.

    But I must say this. The only place in the American government where there is an honest and spirited debate over Iraq is within the Democratic Party. There is no debate going on in the Republican Party.

    They keep saying the same things over and over again (“we’ve turned a corner” “there is light at the end of the tunnel”) but the reality is that the majority of Americans feel that the mission (remove Saddam) has been completed and they would like to see a plan to bring the American troops home and allow the Iraqi government to stand on its own feet.

    Our troops were assigned the mission to remove Saddam, not to police Iraq indefinitely. In many ways, they exacerbate the problems of the Iraqi government. While our troops are doing great work and should be commended for their service, many are on their second or third tour, they’ve been kept apart from their families, and the security of the US and its allies greatly depends on them coming home. Not to mention high profile controversies – like those at Gitmo, Haditha, Abu Ghraib – do little to help the Iraqi government maintain stability.

    All Democrats are asking for is an end game with hard numbers. All Republicans give back is more of the same. Wait and wait and sit and wait. All the while our men and women are getting disfigured by IED attacks or killed. They have no concrete plan except sit and wait.

    Our citizens deserve better leadership – leadership that doesn’t treat them like disposable condoms – uses them, then throws them away. They deserve people that are actively searching for a way to bring them home and keep Iraq stable at the same time. To them, our troops are “just a number.” You know – more people die in car accidents. 2,500 dead? That’s miniscule. A drop in the bucket.

    This is sick.

    Ok, the swiftboating of Phil’s thread as been fun. And I still feel quite happy about my Friday.

    Waving the white French flag of surrender/cutting and running,

    Giustino

  • Petteri

    I have spent a better part of this month on mainly Republican blogs and come to an conclusion that they have generally done an excellent paint job but a damn wall without the door is hitting their collective rear ends now. Stay the cource and don’t give an inch has never been sufficient in any military theatre, ever. To try to keep an artificial structure, such as Iraq, glued together, in my estimation, can be done by establishing a fundamental islamist state or a dictatorship, the kind they just had with uncle Saddam. Now, I am by no means supporter either of those options but guess what, it really doesn’t matter what I like in this matter. Come to think of it, it doesn’t matter what the boys in Washington D.C. think either. You can stay and blow your trillions on this sad venture and in the process get a few more thousand of your soldiers killed. It really doesn’t matter what you do there because your objectives, what ever they are, can not be realized. THE FRIGGING WAR IS UNWINNABLE!

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Petteri summs up the anti-Iraq war crowd’s myopia, with the defeatist battle cry of “The Frigging War Is Unwinnable”. Never mind the fact that little by little the Iraqis are taking more and more responsibility while US troops provide only tactical support.

    All of this matters little to those who NEVER approved and cared little about the Iraqis new found freedom. Call it a sad venture and money mispent, but ridding fascism and the threat of communism from the heart of Europe succeeded and so to will this effort, in spite of the defeatist nay-sayers, if the nascent Iraqi gov’t is given at least a half a chance by the West.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com Giustino

    Call it a sad venture and money mispent, but ridding fascism and the threat of communism from the heart of Europe succeeded and so to will this effort, in spite of the defeatist nay-sayers, if the nascent Iraqi gov’t is given at least a half a chance by the West.

    Well, next time you start a war – at least be honest about your intentions from the begining so that people, like the citizens of the US, will KNOW that their sons and daughters will be plicing a foreign country for the forseeable future.

    Americans were told that this war would address a grave threat to our national security. But as you said, Baghdad fell within a few weeks. Some threat. Americans were told that this was part of the war against terror. But in reality, it is a nation-building project with roots in the Project for a New American Century in the 1990s.

    Next time, don’t mislead and lie to the American people. Just tell them “hey, we’ve got this great idea. we’re going to invade Iraq and set it up as a democracy. We think that democracy might spread to neighboring countries – even our allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan – and we want your kids, not ours of course, to do it.”

    See if they’ll give you the money/blood/body parts next time round when you put on your honest face.

    This mission is a missionary one.

  • Not Amused

    Of course what Giustino is saying is pure crap, repeated over and over again ad nauseum.

    That’s all he does.

  • http://finnpundit.blogspot.com Finnpundit

    Next time, don’t mislead and lie to the American people. Just tell them “hey, we’ve got this great idea. we’re going to invade Iraq and set it up as a democracy. We think that democracy might spread to neighboring countries – even our allies in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan

    Giustino, I don’t know what planet you’ve been during all of this, but I recall reading in detail about the post-liberation intentions of the Bush administration way before 2003. The goal was always to set up a democracy in Iraq; in fact, much was made about Iraq being the ideal place to start, given its multiple ethnicities and religious differences.

    And, right from the start, after 9/11, Bush said this was going to be a long haul. 90% of the American people supported that, in addition to their representatives in Congress. So if you’ve conveniently forgotten all of that, you’re deluding yourself, or then you’re simply a liar.

  • Petteri

    The lies part is known everywhere but for som quite unexplainable reason these news haven’t reached the ears of our friend, Finnpundit. It just might be that his special hearing aide don’t work outside the parameters of the Fox News. Just in case if you haven’t noticed it, Finnpundit, it’s going to be a lonely place where you and your remaining extremist rigt-wing buddies habitate.

    There is no doubt in my mind that, outside the extremist elements, we all wish that there would be a happy ending to this chaotic situation that has been caused by this reckless grew of incompetent ideologs in D.C. The whole premise that it would take the U.S. and her mighty army to do the deed is simply mind bogling in it’s arrogance. In this case I have to conclude that the Bush’s oratorial skills really reperensent the mans intellect as well. “Stay the course, this ship is unsinkable”, could have well been the words uttered by the captain of SS/Titanic. Bush & Co is showing exactly the same skill navigating the good ship U.S.A.

    Democracy needs to have roots up process to be viable or even possible and I am hard pressed to see people demanding anything like Jeffersonian democracy in that part of the world. Now if the U.S. troops were there to make sure that the new puppet dictator, such as Shah of Iran was, would be growned, I could see it working for a while untli the Islamist would envitably oust him. This whole silly BS about democracy is only possible because the world wiew fron the White House is obscured by the rose collored mist and that an average American doesn’t know anything about Iraq and couldn’t even find it on the map. Some mission, some missionaries!

  • http://finnpundit.blogspot.com Finnpundit

    One of the more fascinating manifestations of Finnish anti-American bigotry is the prevalence of Finns, like Petteri here, to take on the role of an “armchair American”, in imagining what Americans should do if they are to behave like “real” Americans, all thought up by Finns from the comfort of their armchairs. Far be it for coddled, welfare-statist Finns to actually take on the personal risks and responsibilities that are second-nature to most Americans: Finns still imagine that they know better than Americans about what to do with all of America’s, – and the world’s – crises.

    I suppose it’s emulation, in a way, but it also points to a darker side. For example, this statement:

    You can stay and blow your trillions on this sad venture and in the process get a few more thousand of your soldiers killed. It really doesn’t matter what you do there because your objectives, what ever they are, can not be realized. THE FRIGGING WAR IS UNWINNABLE!

    What is it but the elucidation of a wish by a bigot? There is no attempt to go beyond the negative critique to assess the possible options (and there are many). To suggest possible options would negate the real intent of the statement, whose potency has to be set out in capital letters (lest it become impotent).

    In other words, Petteri has a dire wish to see that Americans would be defeated. However, underneath he realizes that could only happen if Americans themselves understood that they were defeated; as they themselves don’t seem to be able to understand that, then that is solely because they’re uneducated, or unaware, or they’ve been either manipulated, misled, or in some other way fooled. All of which, again, provides added fodder for the circular logic of the Finnish (and European) anti-American bigot.

  • Petteri

    Holy smoke, Finnpundit, you just see in my text what ever the hell it is that you want to see! What I have actually to say is a minor manner to you, so, you go on with your childish chattering that hardly ever makes any sense.

    Where was it that I said wishing the Americans loose the war? I specifically said that I hope this chaos will get to a happy ending. There would be nothing I’d like better than be wrong and that the Iraqis would get peace, liberty, democracy and soverinty. Absolutely nothing so far makes me to believe that such wonderful end is waiting for them at the end.

    Your monotonous harping about the anti-Americanism is most of the time hysterical whimpering and complete lack of understanding about the role of those of us who consider America and her people as dear friends. If my uncle Heikki, who has an Altzheimers, would make a dangerous move that wouldn’t be in his best interest, I certainly would do my best to stop him. No matter what the bunker-mentalists such as yourself say, this is not a question of anti-Americanism. It would be totally absurd to suggest such a thing because, as it is today in the U.S., the most (63%) Americans would be anti-American. This is so outrageously stupid that only a fool, and Finnpundit, can resort to this sort of reasoning. Who the hell gave you and your extreme right wing buddies the monopoly to define who loves and hates America? If nothing elese, stop this labeling everybody who doesn’t agree with your preceptions as dummies and left wing commie pinkos. Democracy to you means to shut up and put up whatever your leader tells you. George, Dick, and Rummy to you represents sort of Holy Trinity. Sorry buddy I don’t belong to your church!

  • Anonymous

    CNN, June 12, 2006: “55 percent said they believe the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was an error …”

    I wonder how many of the rest, of those Americans who think that the invasions wasn’t a mistake, still believe that Saddam was behind the 9/11 or that he had not followed the UN resolutions and had not destroyed his WMDs.

  • prince of dorkness

    @151, (the Helsinkian)
    Yes, the Ba’ath regime in Iraq was indeed a secular, nationalist regime hostile to Islamism and religion. Just like the Syrian Ba’ath regime, which is also on the US hit list. And in Syria, also, the Muslim Brotherhood would probably take over if the Ba’ath were destroyed.
    Fighting WWII over again may seem like a great idea is that’s all the history you know. (Munich, French surrender, quotes from Churchill, blah blah…) But that’s just the window dressing for the punters/voters, surely, not something an intelligent person should take seriously?
    Re the ARVN colonels, all contemporaty sources of any note felt that the Viet Cong would have won any and every fair election held in South Viet Nam. So the saigon regime collapsed in the end, but as a democracy it would not have survived a week.
    As for the Iraqi economy, when you have a heavily statist economy, with much of the population holding jobs that are more or less sinecures, a hack-and-slash privatization is a surefire way to really wreck the economy and piss off most people. And this was not, of course, done by a democratic regime but by a foreign military regime, effectively a military dictatorship that could care less about the Iraqis.
    And German denazification never meant not hiring former Nazis. (That would have meant Germany would have been run by Social Democrats and Communists.)

  • Helsinkian

    POD #198: It’s true that both the former Iraqi régime and the current Syrian régime are Ba’athist. Both opponents and supporters of Ba’athism tend to take it for granted that they stand for a similar ideology. Yet these two régimes were hostile toward each other.

    Comparing Ba’athist Iraq to Ba’athist Syria is like comparing Hitler to Franco. Well, not exactly, but I hope you understand what I’m trying to say.

    I wouldn’t equate Syria with Iraq. There were plenty of reasons that made Saddam different from almost any other dictator. Syria’s current dictator has a totally different kind of track record. Syria is really just a dictatorship like any other, Iraq used to be a uniquely insane case of tyranny. Sure, Assad’s father was a very cruel dictator and this Assad is a dictator as well, but the withdrawal from Lebanon is a huge step in a positive direction of a kind that someone like Saddam was never willing to make.

    There are other options for any country in the Middle East than either being run by islamofascists or being run by fascists. In Iraq, the fascist option is rapidly disappearing from the picture. Supporting the fascists (and Saddam was the worst of them) as the best guarantee against islamofascist rule was delusional. The secular dictatorships in the Middle East benefit from the fact that the only opposition to them is islamist. It’s their raison d’etre to say that “look, we’re functioning as a barrier against islamism” when they’re in fact functioning as a barrier against democracy and their crimes make people look at islamism as the only alternative there is (the secular dictators can’t repress the mosques even if they can repress all other political parties, of course Syria’s massacre of the Muslim Brotherhood and Hama civilians in 1982 somewhat complicates the picture of what targets can be repressed and by whom).

    On Viet Cong having won a free election, that’s speculation. But the other side wasn’t exactly democratic, either. For a democratic movement to defeat an authoritarian movement at polls, it helps for your credibility if you’re a supporter of democracy from the beginning. The South Vietnamese colonels would’ve had a credibility problem if they’d run as democrats just as Fatah had a credibility problem running against Hamas in the Palestinian elections. If you’re corrupt and autocratic yourself, you’re not bound to be that good a popular choice when you’re fighting extremists in elections. What makes the New Iraq so significant is that the alternative to both islamist and secular fascist rules is not a corrupt military government but a democratic government.

    When a movement contests democratic elections, had Viet Cong done that (they didn’t allow any democracy after having won in South Vietnam which makes their popular support a moot point in a sense) or when anybody else does that, it means that the dictatorship option disappears from the table. It’s not the high point of democracy when someone wins an election on an autocratic platfrom and then abandoning democracy. In a democracy, you have to be able to vote in people but also to vote them out. That is when a democracy is being tested. So what if Viet Cong had won a popular election if they had committed themselves to allowing opposition to work in their country and then they could’ve been voted out one day. But when the communists took over the whole of Vietnam, the option for the people to get them out of power wasn’t there. The whole point about Iraq is that the people who get elected are not elected for ever, they set about to operate within a system of checks and balances. Whether the New Iraq can survive as a democracy is tested over and over again for a period of years, election after election. Democracy is not an easy magic potion that cures a country’s ills once the ballots have been cast one time.

    On German denazification, well, Adenauer wasn’t a former Nazi and it was he who was in charge of postwar West Germany. I’m certain that the New Iraq is at such a point where former Ba’athists can indeed be hired and I’ve understood many former Ba’athists have already made a career in the post-Saddam Iraq. There is a distinction between a former and a current Ba’athist just as there was a distinction between a former and current Nazi in Germany after WWII.

    Should an intelligent person take WWII (or WWI) seriously now when it comes to the War in Iraq? Yes, absolutely. You say it’s just window dressing but for those people who denazified Iraq and who toil day after day to keep that country from falling apart the tradition of the World Wars is what motivates them and what gives hope. Vietnam is also relevant but not so much as a source of inspiration but as an example of a bad way of doing it and a valuable lesson of mistakes (My Lai, supporting a military government etc.) that shouldn’t be repeated this time.

  • Helsinkian

    Oops, I wrote “denazified Iraq”. I meant “debaathified”.

  • prince of dorkness

    @Helsinkian,
    “like comparing Hitler to Franco” – How about Horthy to Antonescu? Obviously Syria and Iraq are different, for any number of reasons (different history, different ethnic distribution, different neighbours). Arab Socialism may be just a convenient ideological justification for minority rule (Sunni in Iraq, Alawi in Syria) and not something that would unite the regimes choosing this label.
    But the idea that there is a huge mass of pro-western majority hidden from sight somewhere in the Middle East is just wishful thinking. I mean, really, what’s stopping the Iraqis from pacifying their country? The little fact that they are not in charge, that the US military are? And why is that?
    “On Viet Cong having won a free election, that’s speculation.” ‘The whale would swallow the minnows’ is a contemporary assessment of the likely result of any elections, by Douglas Pike, CIA’s expert on VietNam. There was no political movement to match the Communists in VietNam once they managed to make the national cause theirs. So the Americans had to work with corrupt juntas. There was no alternative, except to cut and run. As they did, in the end.
    “Adenauer wasn’t a former Nazi and it was he who was in charge of postwar West Germany.” All on his lonesome? There were masses of old Nazis in positions of authority. Had to be, given that the Nazis did very well indeed in recruiting students and other future elites. A thorough denazification would have decapitated the German right.
    “Vietnam is also relevant but not so much as a source of inspiration but as an example of a bad way of doing it and a valuable lesson of mistakes (My Lai, supporting a military government etc.) that shouldn’t be repeated this time.” A bad way of doing it? Nahh. They did their best, the only way they knew.

  • Anonymous

    The main difference between Nazi Germany (or Japan) and Iraq is, of course, that the Germans had started the war they then lost. Thus Germany had to reinvent itself starting from quite different circumstances.

    What will be the “big story” of the Iraqis? How do they justify to themselves that there is this country called Iraq of which “we all” are a part? Had “they” managed to overthrow Saddam by themselves there would be no problem, but now “they” have to think of themselves as having not really taken part in their own “liberation”. Perhaps there are stable democracies like that in existence, where the democracy was imposed upon the citizens after an illegal occupation, but I can’t think of a single one.

    One influential “big story” goes like this: “Once again the west started a crusade against us in order to secure the oil reserves”. And it’s pretty close to the truth, too.

  • Helsinkian

    Anonymous: “The main difference between Nazi Germany (or Japan) and Iraq is, of course, that the Germans had started the war they then lost.”

    Had Saddam been overthrown in 1991, the situation would’ve been similar to that in Japan and Germany. It was a big mistake not to overthrow him then.

    Had the Iraqis been able to overthrow Saddam themselves, that would’ve been an ideal scenario. Saddam’s grip on his country was absolute and the only Iraqis who could’ve overthrown him were members of the Ba’athist élite. Many of these were loyal to Saddam and complicit in his crimes. Saddam wanted them to be as complicit as possible so that they wouldn’t later on distance themselves from him saying: “I didn’t do it, Saddam did it”.

    I’m a bit tired of time and again pointing out the illegal and pathologically criminal nature of the Saddam régime, which was pretty obvious at a very early time in his rule when it was the human rights organizations, not the US government, that were bringing up evidence of sinister atrocities.

    Whether future historians will speak of “liberation” or liberation of Iraq, that depends on the outcome (democracy, civil war, “benevolent and enlightened” military rule, talibanization or the return of Ba’athism, other suggestions?). But not to see the liberating element in the downfall of such a tyranny as Saddam’s (after all, he was oppressing the majority of his population in a way that was perfectly visible to all) is blindness. Not many people want Saddam back. Whichever the “big story” of the Iraqis (or different stories for different groups of Iraqis) will be, at least at the moment they are in a position to figure out that for themselves (previously the Iraqis had only one story – the lies that Uncle Saddam was feeding them).

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    199#
    I would beg to differ on the “supposed differences” of Syrian and Baatist regimes. Both are derived from the same racist ideology of nationalist Pan Arabism, with only the severity of Assad’s democide(state murder) being overshadowed by Saddam Hussein’s.

    Assad’s Syria never went officially to war with a neighboring Muslim country, but did invade a sovereign state, Lebanon, and only left due to the idiocy of the inept Assad jr., who is only at the helm due to his brother being killed. Hafez Assad and Saddam Hussein were cut from the very same bloody cloth, as is shown with Hafez Assad’s leveling of the town Hama, in which over 20 000 were murdered.

    Both ruled from a smaller base of power, Saddam from a Sunni minority and Assad from the tiny Allawite religious clan. Both used other minorities to rule the majority in their perspective countries, and both Saddam and Hafez used each other.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    The false claim of the Iraq war being illegal is used quite easily on this site, and contains not a shred of truth. Operation Iraqi Freedom is the continuation of the first Gulf war, when the Coaltion forces threw Saddam out of Quwait.

    UNSC resolution 1441 was very much a legal resolution and Saddam had no room for defiance any longer. That he continued to do so in spite of all the chapter seven resolutions, and especially in light of UNSCR 1441′s declaration of serious consequences, spelt his doom. The fact that Saddam had both ties to terrorsim (US never claimed a 9/11 tie) and WMD’s contiue to be found: http://tinyurl.com/n6epd shows that the US was correct in getting rid of Saddam.

  • Helsinkian

    KGS: “Hafez Assad and Saddam Hussein were cut from the very same bloody cloth”

    If you didn’t like my Hitler and Franco comparison, maybe Hitler and Mussolini might sound better to you.

    Syrian Ba’athism is Ba’athism lite compared to Saddam. As vicious as Hafez Assad’s track record was, his son is not half as dangerous as the father.

    “due to the idiocy of the inept Assad jr.”

    But ineptitude is not a vice in dictators, quite to the contrary. Aptitude means more repression, more executions and mortal danger for the neighboring countries. Ineptitude means that the neighbors can sleep more soundly and the system starts slowly crumbling from the inside. When a dictator is really good at what he’s doing, that’s when a foreign invasion might be the only solution, as sad as it is.

  • Kimmo W.

    “(US never claimed a 9/11 tie)”

    The Saddam-9/11 connection – whether openly stated or merely implied – was certainly a major factor in getting the backing of US public opinion for the future quagmire. At that time, and to some extent now as well, there was a tendency by many Americans not to be too particular about details of nationality or ethnicity, and to scapegoat just about any Asians of the non-slanty-eyed variety for the disaster.

    Sure, the Dubya administration stopped short of actually saying “we must attack Iraq, because the government of that country was behind the 9/11 attacks”, but it did nothing to dispel the widesperad perception that this was the case.

    It’s something like Bill Clinton basing his claim that he had “not had sexual relations” with his intern on the notion that the fellatio and the stuff with the cigar, and whatever caused those stains on the blue dress, were not – technically – sexual intercourse.

    Lying by omission is still deception.

  • Helsinkian

    Thanks KGS for the WMD link.

    Rick Santorum says: “We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons.”

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,200499,00.html

    These are old chemical weapons from the pre-1991 era.

    One interesting aspect of this WMD discussion has been that many people have said that it doesn’t matter that Saddam had old WMD, since chemical weapons become ineffective over time. Now Santorum read aloud from a declassified Pentagon intelligence unit report that “chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal”.

  • Helsinkian

    Rick Santorum of course held that “we found WMD” press conference because of his senior position in the Senate Republican leadership.

    It remains to be seen what the effect will be for his ongoing re-election campaign. According to a recent poll, Rick Santorum has the lowest approval rating of all senators (along with Conrad Burns, another Republican seeking re-election this year):

    http://www.angus-reid.com/polls/index.cfm/fuseaction/viewItem/itemID/12353

  • Anonymous

    http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/lawindex.htm

    “Shortly before the outbreak of hostilities, UN Secretary General stated that the use of force without Council endorsement would “not be in conformity with the Charter” and many legal experts now describe the US-UK attack as an act of aggression, violating international law.”

    The Bush administration disagrees, of course, but that doesn’t make the occupation legal. There was no direct threat that could have justified the war in the pre-emptive sense, just a lot of talk (lies even or at least misleading statements, the 9/11 connection was, for example, implied repeatedly).

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    About Bashar. That he’s a duncling in comparison to his father still does not change the brutality of the Baatist ideology. If Assad Sr. was still alive, the Syrian army would still be in Lebanon(though its secret police are still there). The ideology of Ba’atism is racist and absolutist as it is inherently evil, like all other utopian authortairian ideologies.

    About the WMD’s, its also interesting to see that the Fatah Al-Akso Martyrs Brigades coming out with the claim of WMD capability. Couold possibly be coming from Iraq as well.

    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1150885848200&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Regardless of elections, the fact remains….Saddam had em, when he shouldn’t have.

    As for UN Sec-Gen Annan’s statements, UNSC 1441 was drafted under the auspices of the US and Britain, and regardless of the differing interpretations, did not specify another resolution for hostilities to be resumed. Being in a “grey area” is not illegal.

    Would it have been better for another resolution with all five being on board….of course. But with 3/5 of the Council having their “own cow in the ditch” with things continuing along as is….the Brits and the US were correct in their resuming hostilities and overthrowing Saddam.

    The war was a combination of many different assesments, direct threat was one and violation of 1441 was another. Saddam’s attempt at bribing the SC and circumventing sanctions and close to getting them lifted was another.

    Iraq being in violation of UNSC 1441 was more than enough to resume hostilities and drive Saddam out from power.

  • Helsinkian

    On the relations between Ba’athist Syria and Ba’athist Iraq:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hafez_al-Assad

    “Despite the fact that Iraq was ruled by another branch of the Ba’th party, al-Assad’s relations to the Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein were extremely strained. Hostile rhetoric was intense, and Iraq was until Saddam’s fall in 2003 listed in Syrian passports as one of the two countries no Syrian citizen could visit (the other being Israel). But with the exception of a few border guard skirmishes, and mutual support for cross-border raids by opposition groups, no heavy fighting broke out until 1991, when Syria joined the US-led United Nations coalition to expel Iraq from Kuwait.”

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    The goal was always to set up a democracy in Iraq

    213 posts and growing. What this blip in internet commentary shows is that Americans are still deeply divided over the War in Iraq and today, even three years after it started, most question it’s importance. No one is really sure what *exactly* it is about, but they are sure that they don’t want to be policing Iraq for years to come.

    General George Casey, who commands all of our forces in Iraq, wants to initiate phased withdrawal. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki also wants the US forces to initiate phased withdrawal. The Democrats too are calling for phased withdrawal.

    So it seems that consensus does exist on a few things, though I’d hate to be the one that has to write the history book about the Iraq mission.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    UNSC resolution 1441 was very much a legal resolution and Saddam had no room for defiance any longer. That he continued to do so in spite of all the chapter seven resolutions, and especially in light of UNSCR 1441’s declaration of serious consequences, spelt his doom.

    So any UN member has the right to independently enforce UN resolutions, even without the consent of the UN?

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    It remains to be seen what the effect will be for his ongoing re-election campaign. According to a recent poll, Rick Santorum has the lowest approval rating of all senators (along with Conrad Burns, another Republican seeking re-election this year)

    Santorum will lose. He’s been at a serious disadvantage ever seince Casey entered the race. I think Pennsylvania’s mind is made up. As for Burns, he has to face off against Tester, a real Montana farmer from Big Sandy. I expect Burns to lose too.

  • Helsinkian

    POD #201: “But the idea that there is a huge mass of pro-western majority hidden from sight somewhere in the Middle East is just wishful thinking.”

    What I’m saying is that there is a mass of anti-dictatorship sentiment in the Middle East. Many of these dictators have been both corrupt and brutal. There was a genuine anti-Saddam sentiment although the Iraqi people had no means of expressing such a sentiment.

    Part of the anti-Western sentiment is also due to the fact that many of these dictators have been supported by Western powers (not just America but major European powers as well).

    Do you guys really think democracy is being exported because of oil? After all, for many oil industry executives a stable dictatorship would be a much more stable source of oil than a potentially volatile democracy. The doctrine of “stability” used to be the dominant discourse in the West when talked about the Middle East exactly because of oil. Stable dictatorships, such as the House of Saud, have been seen as “good” Middle Eastern rulers because of the access to oil. Nobody seemed to be much disturbed of that type of policy but now the danger of democracy spreading seems to be a great cause for concern among many intellectuals.

  • Kimmo W.

    “What I’m saying is that there is a mass of anti-dictatorship sentiment in the Middle East.”

    Just because there is opposition to a particular dictatorship among members of an ethnic group other than the one that is in power, does not necessarily translate into support for democratic principles.

    “Do you guys really think democracy is being exported because of oil?”

    It’s more like the notion of exporting democracy is a pleasant-sounding smokescreen for the oil grab.

    “Stable dictatorships, such as the House of Saud, have been seen as “good” Middle Eastern rulers because of the access to oil.”

    Exactly, which is why the autocratic rulers of SA are under no particular pressure from the USA.

  • Helsinkian

    giustino asked what the war is about.

    * deposing Saddam
    * debaathification
    * WMD
    * war on terror
    * justice
    * securing oil
    * water resources
    * privatization
    * democratization
    * religious freedom
    * clan feud
    * other geopolitical reasons
    * securing a base for US troops

    Did I miss anything? It could be a combination of many of these things to many people.

    What has certainly been accomplished?

    1) Saddam Hussein has been deposed and it is the most unlikely scenario that he will come back to power.

    2) Iraq has been debaathified. Some other idea will be the leading light of Iraqi politics in the future.

    3) Saddam is facing justice for his crimes which is a major development since it’s often the biggest criminals that get away with their crimes.

    4) Those who wish to see the war as a clan feud between the Bush clan and the al-Tikriti clan (after all, Saddam wanted to kill W’s dad only to get his own sons killed), that part of the war is over and the Bush clan won.

    If the other accomplishents are of a temporary or permanent character remains to be seen. Some of the other possible goals may be in contradiction with each other. Some of these may never have been US goals, just perceived as such by observers. It’s quite obvious that different people in favor of the war had different goals in mind.

  • Anonymous

    After all, for many oil industry executives a stable dictatorship would be a much more stable source of oil than a potentially volatile democracy.

    Dictatorships are never stable the same way democracies are, in particular they are not stable in western eyes if they don’t like westerners. They are also unpredictable because the decisions are made by one man, who don’t have to take economical considerations into account. Anyway, I’m pretty sure that to compute this equation one has to, in addition to Iraq, take into account at least Iran, Saudi-Arabia and China … and the fact that oil will be running out pretty fast after a decade or two.

  • prince of dorkness

    DO I think democracy is being exported because of oil?
    Well, I sort of think that if the US was actually ever interested in promoting democracy and human rights it would pick some place where it had serious influence and could do something short of actually invading a country and bombing it into a pile of ruins. Various parts of Latin America come to mind. Take Mexico. Remember the way the US protested the blatant attempts to shut the most popular candidate out of the Mexican presidential race recently? You don’t? That’s because they didn’t. Very concened about fairness of elections in Ukraine and Belarus, but Mexico is too far away and too small to interest them.
    No doubt there’s anti-particular dictator sentiment in the Middle East and even pro-some kind of popular government -sentiment. But replacing tyranny with bloody chaos and calling it democracy is not the strategy I’d choose to promote democracy, quite the contrary.

  • George
  • Helsinkian

    POD #221: “But replacing tyranny with bloody chaos and calling it democracy is not the strategy I’d choose to promote democracy, quite the contrary.”

    The chaos is in neither the US nor the Iraqi interests. But it is in the interests of many of Iraq’s neighboring countries, tilting the regional balance of power toward them. As far as the terrorists go, Zarqawi’s main goal seemed to be spreading chaos rather than any realistic plan to grip power. Some people are even speculating Zarqawi’s fellow al-Qaida operatives gave the tip about his whereabouts to get rid of him, since chaos for chaos’s sake isn’t even in their interests.

    Still, many countries have emerged from chaos. The French Revolution was bloody chaos, the US civil war, the Finnish civil war etc. This chaos has later on been used to build many national myths and is then celebrated in all sorts of ways. We’ve discussed this before and many other nations have also succumbed to chaos or been broken up. Brutal dictatorships have emerged from chaos. Chaos is unpredictable but the predictable stability in form of Saddam was leading Iraq and the region in the wrong direction.

    I disagree about Latin America. The current administration has the best US record on democracy in Latin America for decades.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Did I miss anything? It could be a combination of many of these things to many people.

    Indeed it is. The main reasons keep changing as time goes on. We in the US certainly heard a lot about WMD, nuclear weapons, and mushroom clouds (and Saddam’s sons’ sexual indiscretions) in the lead up to the war, but after the Mission Accomplished pep rally it unraveled into a series of different rationales for staying.

    That’s why having an end game is so important. Because with this plethora of rationales for having military forces in this one country, we could be there for decades to come.

    When the war started I was told by Bush backers that it would be over quickly, that it would be easy, that Saddam’s state would crumble, that there would be dancing in the streets and everyone would live happily after ever.

    I predicted that Iraq would basically turn into a more drawn out version of South Central Los Angeles circa April 1992. The authorities say we’ve turned a corner ever few weeks, the insurgency is in its last stages, their on the ropes…and then…more people kidnapped and beheaded. More civilians dead.

    Iraq is one of the most destabilized countries in the world. I wouldn’t go there. Bush didn’t even spend 24 hours in the place during his latest photo-op. Things are so unstable that the PM is offering amnesty to terrorists. And that’s with our whole army patrolling its streets.

  • prince of dorkness

    “I disagree about Latin America. The current administration has the best US record on democracy in Latin America for decades.” Helsinkian, post 223
    Yes, the failure of their anti-Chavez military coup was a surprize. They’ve lost the touch, it seems. Or maybe the Latins have stopped taking remote control?

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    215#
    I can’t really take your question seriously Giustino, since we are talking about permanent members of the UN Security Council, of which 2/5 of the total five drafted the resolution, and specifically knew what serious consequences meant, even Hans Blix (no friend of the Bush admin.) understood serious consequences to mean and act of war in diplo speak.

    Its a rather moot issue, since UNSCR 1441 is a US/British draft/resolution, and regardless of what the other dissenting voices say about it, the US and British interpretation of their own document is what counts. Tough luck for the French, Russian and Chinese and ….Kofi Annan. He’s too preoccupied with the dallyings of his shmendrick son Tojo, to be pointing any fingers.

  • Helsinkian

    “Things are so unstable that the PM is offering amnesty to terrorists. And that’s with our whole army patrolling its streets.”

    Perhaps the amnesty offer also has to do with the death of al-Zarqawi. Another matter is that many people have complained that the debaathification went too far and it’s time to rebuild the country so that all elements feel included, as long as they don’t rock the boat.

    The “whole” army argument sounds strange since the main criticism from veterans has been that there are not enough troops there. That may be true, since it takes a lot less troops to 1) oust Saddam 2) bring him to justice 3) decapitate the Ba’ath régime and 4) crush the hold of the al-Tikriti clan in Iraq than the democratization and nation building bits require. Perhaps Don Rumsfeld really saw these goals 1-4 here as sufficient when he accepted the original war plans and wasn’t overly concerned about the next stage.

    The Mission Accomplished pep rally was held when many of these significant war goals had been achieved. Since the war was about much more, the rally was counterproductive as far as the war goes. But the real aim of that rally was to be a campaign speech in the 2004 presidential election and it helped Bush get re-elected.

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    220#
    I will have to agree with anonymous on this one. Dictatorships are not reliable nor stable. Only a developed democracy has any hope of being stable, as a rule, liberal democracies do not wage war on another democracy.

  • Helsinkian

    giustino: Andrew Sullivan’s January 15 column in the Sunday Times seems to echo many of your points on Iraq:

    (from page 2 of the column)

    “What deeper conclusions can we draw? The post-invasion plan was all but non-existent, an act of recklessness. The reason, however, was not just incompetence; it was a deliberate decision by Rumsfeld and Bush not to commit sufficient resources for nation-building.

    Rumsfeld, after all, had never been a neocon. He loathed the idea of using large numbers of Americans to reconstruct a broken society. So he deflected responsibility and ordered the crudest tactics against the insurgency: torturing large numbers of innocent Iraqis in Abu Ghraib, sending troops into combat with insufficient armour, engaging in a cat-and-mouse game with Iraqi and jihadist terrorists who knew the terrain intimately.

    And Bush? There’s a very revealing statement in the Barnes book, reminding us of something that Bush said back in 1999. Bush’s main political interest “is not in the means, it is the results”. Once he had declared war, his decision was done. It was up to others to implement it. And he was bored and irritated by the follow-up details.

    In Barnes’s book, Bush said during the Iraq occupation, ‘If Bremer’s happy, I’m happy. If Bremer’s nervous, I’m nervous.’ But if Bremer is to be believed, he was deeply unhappy and Bush either dismissed his concerns or had no idea that they existed.

    In an earlier statement, Bush had spoken of his faith. It is ludicrous to think, as some Europeans do, that this president invaded Iraq on instructions from the Almighty. But Bush’s kind of faith may help to explain the shambles of the occupation. He once wrote, ‘(My faith) frees me to enjoy life and not worry what comes next.’

    His mindset is focused on grand decisions followed by results. There is no toleration for mess, whining, criticism or second-guessing. The nitty gritty – which can mean the difference between success and failure in wartime – was not his concern. He delegated the whole thing to commanders completely intimidated by Rumsfeld and institutionally trained not to challenge their bosses. You want to know why we are in Iraq? We’re beginning to piece it together.”

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,29449-1985737,00.html

    I don’t personally agree with some of these conclusions. After all, Reagan had a pretty similar mindset and he won the Cold War. That Bush wouldn’t personally be involved in detail and that he would delegate the practical matters to others should come as no surprise to anyone. That’s not automatically a sign of bad leadership. But the issue remains on whether Rumsfeld’s war plan was adequate (it was to him that Bush had delegated much of the task). The endgame of the war is of course open but Sullivan was discussing the issue of why the insurgency turned out to be so damaging for Iraq. The “Barnes book” Sullivan refers to is a biography of George W Bush, Rebel-in-Chief by Fred Barnes.

  • Helsinkian

    Since I quoted Sullivan on the occupation, I’d also like to quote his view on the upcoming elections (from the Chris Matthews show):

    “My view is that Americans don’t vote on the past, they vote on the future. And the mistake that the Democrats are making is by rehashing the past, which I think most of us will agree was screwed up in this war. Nevertheless, Americans are like, look, we’re here, what do we do now? Are we going to pull out, are we going to turn this into another Afghanistan? Or are we going to stay the course? And on that argument, Bush and the Republicans are stronger.”

    http://mediamatters.org/items/200606250001

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    The “whole” army argument sounds strange since the main criticism from veterans has been that there are not enough troops there.

    Everybody I know in the military has been called up over the past three years to go over there. From Army Reservists with 15 years under their belt, to a kid I used to play with in a high school rock’n'roll band who joined the military for a paycheck and to play drums, they’ve all recieved a nice letter notifying of their duty to report to Southwestern Asia (Iraq).

    That’s why the Iraq War – without redeployment – in its current states prohibits the US of American military resources in most of our other global military commitments – from NATO to the DMZ in Korea. Sans draft, we just don’t have the human beings in uniform at this moment to sure up those commitments. And that absence in hardpower translates to an absence of soft power.

    That’s why we will appease Putin, and Kim Jong Il, and we are offering Ahmadinejad a nice nuclear package if he’ll put down his nuclear energy plans.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    After all, Reagan had a pretty similar mindset and he won the Cold War.

    That’s fiction. America maintained a mindset towards the USSR for 45 years. From Truman to Ike to Kennedy to LBJ to Nixon to Ford to Carter to Reagan to Bush – they maintained a strategy to defeat the Soviet system.

    From the Soviet side, their economy tanked in the 70s, by which time they fell behind American military prowess. The War in Afghanistan bled them dry from ’79 onwards, and the new leadership (Gorbachev) was expertly bullied not only by his seniors (Reagan, Thatcher, John Paul II) but also be reformers in Russia.

    Once he okayed glasnost and perestroika it was all over, because Soviet power was never accepted as legitimate in east Europe. The generational difference was key. I mean the US watched passively in ’56 during the Hungarian uprising and in ’68 during the Czech uprising.

    But Gorbachev just didn’t have it in him to unleash the kind of bloodshed Stalin and his peers did to assemble the Russian empire.

    Yes, Reagan played a significant role in that decision. But those people took freedom themselves.

  • Anonymous

    It’s an American right-wing myth that “Reagan won the Cold War”. No single person won the war. And it’s demeaning, too, as if the people in the east had nothing to do with what happened to that morally bankrupt imperium.

  • Helsinkian

    In Kansas, former Kansas GOP chairman Mark Parkinson is running as the Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Parkinson

    Parkinson is the running mate of Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius. Last time around, in 2002, as state GOP chair, Parkinson “called Sebelius ‘a left-wing liberal Democrat’ and claimed that any Republicans who supported her were either ‘insincere or uninformed.’”

    It’s a strange world, this world of political defections.

    As a Democrat, Parkinson is eager to denounce the Kansas GOP platform on social issues:

    “They were fixated on ideological issues that really don’t matter to people’s everyday lives. What matters is improving schools and creating jobs, … I got tired of the theological debate over whether Charles Darwin was right.”

    source:
    http://observer.guardian.co.uk/world/story/0,,1805330,00.html

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    I will have to agree with Giustino, there where many reasons for the failure of the Soviet System, Ronald Reagon was just one of the catalysts, Democrat Senator “Scoop” Jackson was another.

    Reagon speed up the Soviet demise with his combined “Star Wars” program and the missle defence build-up (actually replacement with better missles) in Europe (which angered the far Left), but it was Sen Jackson that set the first nail deeply into place in the Soviet system by demanding (and getting) all US loans and sales to the USSR conditional on Soviets compliance to civil human rights and liberities.

    That more than anything else set things in motion. Reagon’s denounciation of the Soviets as the ‘Evil Empire’, set the dissidents in motion, knowing that they clearly had Washington approval and backing…..that they wouldn’t be held out to dry in a pivotal moment.

    Many great Americans from both sides of the political aisle can hold their heads up proudly for their joint acheivments, but they need to reamin focused on the present dangers in Putin’s Russia, that things do not go sliding into authortarianism. There is still a very long way to go in Russian democracy.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    There is still a very long way to go in Russian democracy.

    Amen to that.

  • winter

    Got to love the have empty glass folks who proclame:

    ” THE FRIGGING WAR IS UNWINNABLE!”

    But fail to explain:

    11 Million purple fingers

    An elected Government, that has the option to send the USA home NOW, but has NOT

    The EU taking Bribes in the Oil-for-food program, clearly showing the world which side then are on. (OK so we lost the war in the EU, but who cares)

    And the now released plans to bring some troups home. Gad that must really smack one on the side of the head. Hay we are loosing, how can they be comming home?

    I could go on.

  • Helsinkian

    Giustino in #63 referred to the gay marriage debate. It’s pretty much off topic but Chuck Colson (yep, one of the Watergate Seven who found religion in prison and started a prison ministry of his own) wrote a column on gay marriages some weeks ago:

    http://www.townhall.com/opinion/columns/chuckcolson/2006/06/02/199668.html

    “Ironically, once gays have the right to marry, few take advantage of it. Evidently, they want the right to marry only because they do not want heterosexuals to have something they can’t have. And they are willing to destroy the institution for everybody else.

    The result is going to be more broken families – and more crime.”

    According to Chuck Colson, gay marriage leads to more crime. Remember, this guy knows about crime having been in prison himself and having done his religious work among the prison population. Although I find his post-Watergate life work of preaching the gospel to prisoners admirable and interesting, I must say his activity in the gay marriage, abortion and intelligent design issues has probably not helped his pet causes.

    More on Chuck Colson:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chuck_Colson

  • Helsinkian

    Yet another one on Chuck Colson, the 74-year-old veteran of the movement for faith-based prisons. In the same way as he called gay marriage as a cause for more crime, he has called abortion the root cause of illegal immigration:

    http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=2073

  • http://www.tundratabloid.blogspot.com KGS59

    Forget about Chuck Colson, this is even more juicy:

    http://tinyurl.com/njs47

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    Although I find his post-Watergate life work of preaching the gospel to prisoners admirable and interesting, I must say his activity in the gay marriage, abortion and intelligent design issues has probably not helped his pet causes.

    Colson is a nut! But he gets face time on TV. Right-wing nuts are allowed to be on TV all the time, while us librools must settle for public television (which only old people watch) or that ultra, bra-burning, man-kissing, America-hating librool, Keith Olberman :)

    It’s a funny country. I’ll give you that. Sometimes I wonder if my family shoud have stayed in Italy, where they have rightwingers like Alessandra Mussolini in government, but at least Italian rightwingers (like Alessandra) take their clothes off :)

  • tim73

    Fortunately, these right-wing morons with their Dear Dim Son Leader were not running America during Cold War. They would have sent 50 percent of the US Army to North Pole, 49 percent to South Pole and remaining one percent (their dear little dim sons and daughters) to Panama Beach Club and declared the Total Victory over Soviets.

    I remember those glimmering eyes of many Americans just days after 9/11…we are gonna get SOME! It is WAR! Finally, we have a Mission! New Pearl Harbor! WWIII! Fuck, yeah. USA! USA! USA! Where the fuck is that Afganistan or whatever!

    The warlords in hell must be laughing their asses off…luckily for Americans, Mexico or Canada are not exactly planning to invade USA. Two useless wars with no leadership whatsoever bleeding gradually Americans dry. When the US Ponzi economy eventually collapses, you cannot even blame somebody else like Germans in the 1920′s :) Simply quite amazing!

  • Helsinkian

    tim #242: “Fortunately, these right-wing morons with their Dear Dim Son Leader were not running America during Cold War.”

    Cheney and Rumsfeld were in high positions already in the Ford Administration.

    Reagan was in some sense right-wing and his people were running America during the Cold War.

    Much of Bush’s interventionist foreign policy has Wilsonian roots. Wilson, FDR, Truman were activist foreign policy Presidents and much of the right wing of those days wanted to keep America out of foreign conflicts.

    That there is no leadership in Washington is just not true. Bush is a leader who delegates a lot to his subordinates but these issues are far more complex than leadership styles.

    So where would you have sent US forces if you’d be the armchair general?

  • tim73

    “Cheney and Rumsfeld were in high positions already in the Ford Administration. Reagan was in some sense right-wing and his people were running America during the Cold War.”

    Yes, some of them were already in high positions in the 80′s. I remember something about Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam in the early 80′s…

    Now the whole administration is full of THEM. Back in November 2000, the floodgates, which were holding back red state right-wing republican morons, were just opened wide by electing this spoiled little narsistic shit called Dubya.

  • Helsinkian

    Tim: “I remember something about Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam in the early 80s…”

    A lot of people met with Saddam to do business with him. Chirac developed a friendship with him in mid 70s, here’s one photo:

    http://english.mn.ru/english/issue.php?2003-8-3

    At that time Saddam was vice-president and the strongman behind President al-Bakr. Of course, it was worse to do business with him during the 80s than during the 70s (his track record got worse with the years) but the French connection lasted over the years.

    Not that I have any sympathy with anyone who did business with him. But just about every country that had some kind of contacts in the Middle East tended to do business with Saddam.

    The position Rumsfeld had in 1983 was the President’s Special Envoy to the Middle East but his job was in the private sector, at the GD Searle & Company. He was an award-winning CEO, rewarded the Outstanding Chief Executive Officer in the Pharmaceutical Industry award by the Wall Street Transcript (1980) and Financial World (1981). You made a big point about Bush having been unsuccessful in business but Rumsfeld has been very successful. I actually think it’s the bold, risktaking businessman in him that came up with the Iraq War strategy that was to be such a target of criticism for the lack of planning for the aftermath, as it was hugely praised for the execution of the initial phase.

    Rumsfeld had various positions already in the Nixon Administration, among others, Director of the United States Office of Economic Opportunity, Counselor to the President, Director of the Economic Stabilization Program and Ambassador to NATO. According to Wikipedia, President Nixon called him a “ruthless little bastard” in 1971 (not that Nixon wouldn’t have called everybody else all sorts of names):

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Rumsfeld

  • Helsinkian

    Just to clarify Rumsfeld’s job situation in 1983-84, he took time off from his job at Searle for the stint as the President’s Special Envoy to the Middle East. Saddam’s Iraq had been removed from the State Department’s list of countries that support terrorism in 1982, the year before Rumsfeld’s diplomatic mission to establish full diplomatic ties with Iraq. The State Department at the time was fully aware of Saddam continuing to give sanctuary to terrorists, exactly the same terrorists who went on to murder US citizen Leon Klinghoffer in 1985.

    The Reagan Administration’s foreign policy record is both good and bad. Showing a clear moral leadership in the Cold War is a lasting legacy of the Reagan Administration. It’s a little bit the same with Churchill – the inspiration given to millions that changed the course of human history overshadows the shortcomings.

    When it comes to US relations with Iraq 1982 onwards, I don’t believe any Cold War strategy can justify what happened.

    In 1990 the invasion of Kuwait led to a complete change in US-Iraqi relations. After having been soft on Saddam and indeed, selling all sorts of equipment to him, America recognized him for what he was.

    Then Don Rumsfeld was one of the first to see the threat that Saddam posed to world peace. Almost all of the other politicians from all over the world who had known Saddam couldn’t change their opinions of him that quickly. America’s Cold War strategy (repeating that I wouldn’t justify the ties with Saddam by any such strategy) had led America to build relations with dictators (and in Saddam’s case, a criminal who America knew gave sanctuary to terrorists). But when America won the Cold War, it was possible to break ties with many former dictator allies very quickly.

    Yes, it’s true that when it comes to Saddam Rumsfeld has been a cold and ruthless person. Other politicians who had met him would continue to appease him long after 1990. While I’m not willing to praise Rumsfeld for having helped the Reagan Administration to build ties with Iraq in 1983, I’m certainly willing to praise the very same Rumsfeld for every tireless effort (after Saddam turned from friend to foe in 1990) to finally bring down Saddam’s tyranny and ultimately being the architect behind Saddam’s downfall in 2003.

    Did the State Department apply a double standard to Saddam in 1982 when removing him from the list of the sponsors of terrorism as the evidence didn’t back such a conclusion? Yes. That is a moment of disgrace in the history of diplomacy and in the anti-terror struggle.

    Was Rumsfeld cynical and ruthless when he repeatedly called for Saddam’s downfall after Saddam had become America’s main enemy? Yes, but he was also in the right. He had come to his senses on the issue of Saddam. He’s one of the few people who had first-hand knowledge of Saddam’s Iraq to recognize Saddam for what he was. These other, less ruthless but also spineless people, who had supported Saddam during the 80s, were so ashamed, and rightly so, of what kind of a monster they had supported, that they’d rather not speak out against Saddam. If it wasn’t for people like Rumsfeld and a uniquely American mentality of living in the present, all the world’s leaders would have kept a silent agreement not to speak too loudly of Saddam’s crimes, since so many of them had given him comfort and support while he committed them. Perhaps it was pangs of conscience that spurred Rumsfeld on to pursue Saddam, or perhaps it was just ruthlessness.

    At any rate I think the anti-Saddam efforts, Rumsfeld’s and everyone elses, have been valuable and important in closing the chapter of Saddam’s tyranny. What happened before 1990, was shameful. But all the other countries supporting Saddam before 1990 was equally shameful and many of these remaining pro-Saddam to some extent even after that was even more shameful.

  • Helsinkian

    As for Saddam as a sponsor of terrorism, Abu Nidal used to be his close associate, although he was apparently murdered on Saddam’s orders in 2002:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/08/05/wnidal25.xml

    “Abu Nidal worked closely with Saddam during the 1970s and early 1980s to carry out a number of terrorist outrages in the Middle East and Europe, including the attempted assassination of the Israeli Ambassador to London in 1982.”

  • Helsinkian

    This is the Telegraph link I tried to post in #247:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2002/08/25/wnidal25.xml

  • Helsinkian

    One more link: Mark Steyn’s interesting analysis on how George W. Bush’s approach on Middle Eastern issues got protests from many of the veterans of Nixon, Ford, Reagan and Bush 41 Administrations on the eve of the Iraq War:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2002/08/25/do2505.xml

  • Helsinkian

    My mistake:
    “The State Department at the time was fully aware of Saddam continuing to give sanctuary to terrorists, exactly the same terrorists who went on to murder US citizen Leon Klinghoffer in 1985.”

    First of all, the State Department in 1982 couldn’t anticipate the terrorist atrocity that took place in 1985. My mistake here was using the wording “exactly the same terrorists” since it wasn’t the same terrorists.

    The terrorists that the US knew Saddam supported in 1982 were Abu Nidal terrorists (those who tried to assassinate the Israeli Ambassador to London that year). Abu Nidal had moved his main base from Iraq to Syria in 1981 (which probably gave the factual background for the decision to move Iraq from the list of the countries that support terrorism) but he continued to have ties with Saddam.

    The terrorists who killed Leon Klinghoffer were led by Abu Abbas. They were different terrorists. To them Saddam gave sanctuary only right after they had killed Klinghoffer in 1985, not before that. Abu Abbas was caught by US troops in 2003 and died in US custody in 2004:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Abbas

  • prince of dorkness

    @243,
    and in lower level staff there’s lots of interesting continuity:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dimitri_Negroponte
    Kind of makes it hard to credit that there’s been this great big change of heart…

  • prince of dorkness

    @246
    “The Reagan Administration’s foreign policy record is both good and bad. Showing a clear moral leadership in the Cold War is a lasting legacy of the Reagan Administration. It’s a little bit the same with Churchill – the inspiration given to millions that changed the course of human history overshadows the shortcomings.”
    How about we ask the Indians how they felt about Churchill, who opposed Indian independence to the bitter end and did not believe in freedom and democracy for pigmentation-challenged people? There might even be an Iraqi Kurd alive who remembers the way the RAF honed their terror bombing techniques in Iraq. Churchill was shocked when some irresponsible person atually wrote down what wiping out villages from the air was like. Stuff like that should never be committed into writing.
    “when it comes to Saddam Rumsfeld has been a cold and ruthless person” It’s not a personality thing. “the state is the coldest of all cold monsters.” (Charles de Gaulle) When people are no longer useful, they get dumped, just like that.
    “a uniquely American mentality of living in the present” – and forgetting what you just did five minutes ago. Must be a bore when others persist in remembering your past record.

  • Helsinkian

    “Must be a bore when others persist in remembering your past record.”

    Well, American politicians are just like everybody else in that they don’t want to remember bad things they did in the past. Nixon’s selective memory in the Watergate affair is a case in point. A politician can’t be caught more red-handed, yet Nixon chose to remember Watergate in excruciating detail later on, just omitting some of the stuff that was unflattering to him.

    Rumsfeld’s record in the Nixon Administration is very interesting in that he appears to be one of those who wasn’t involved in Watergate.

    I think it was the French philosopher Jean Baudrillard who wrote that Watergate could only happen in America, since other cultures couldn’t cope with a scandal like that as easily (or something like that). I don’t necessarily agree with him and I don’t remember 100% how he put his words on Watergate being something uniquely American (not the corruption and government crime but the way in which it was exposed).

    My guess would be that most Americans are aware of the record of the Reagan Administration on Iraq. Still, letting Rumsfeld continually deal with Iraq doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for them. Rumsfeld, after all, had the superior experience on Saddam. Perhaps the alternative to Rumsfeld would’ve been to let someone who has no experience at all on Saddam to deal with the matter.

  • Helsinkian

    POD: this is a funny exchange between two Indians (a Churchill scholar and a politician, referred by the scholar) on Churchill:

    “‘You must know that Churcill was the foremost enemy of India, yet you are devoted to him. Why?’ I replied,’If Churchill had not defended democracy, we wouldn’t have it here; people like me could never have the life I am having, nor could you have become the leader you are.’ He denied this, saying, ‘Churchill’s war with Hitler had nothing to do with that.’”

    http://www.winstonchurchill.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=319

  • Anonymous

    Churchill was fighting for communism, too, and was pretty successful.

  • Helsinkian

    POD: did you by any chance see the Suomen Kuvalehti article on Rumsfeld a couple of weeks ago?

    http://www.suomenkuvalehti.fi/?id=7834

    In the article that’s in the mag itself you get the picture that on Vietnam Rumsfeld was a liberal dove who couldn’t wait to cut and run (when serving as a Republican in Congress and in the Nixon Administration).

    It’s kind of comical that people like Jim Webb (Dem running for Senate in VA) who to this day maintain that Vietnam was the right thing to do are now in a position where the tables have turned saying that Iraq was a big mistake from the very beginning.

  • http://www.palun.blogspot.com giustino

    It’s kind of comical that people like Jim Webb (Dem running for Senate in VA) who to this day maintain that Vietnam was the right thing to do are now in a position where the tables have turned saying that Iraq was a big mistake from the very beginning.

    Jim Webb’s candidacy is great for the Democratic Party. The Republican playbook goes as follows: 1) oppose opponent of being weak on national security 2) link opponent to John Kerry and Teddy Kennedy 3) infer opponent will help terrorists…4)put anti-gay marriage measure on ballot 5) win election.

    Usually Dems, like Kerry, take it lying down. But it’s really hard to do that to candidates like Jim Webb, or John Tester in Montana. People have a hard time believing that a Vietnam Vet, like Webb, or a Montana farmer, like Tester, will coddle terrorism or mankiss Teddy Kennedy.

    They are teflon Dems in that sense.

  • Helsinkian

    This Joe Klein column is a bit old, since it’s about the VA Dem primary and Jim Webb of course already won it and is challenging George Allen. Yet there are some nice quotes in the Time column:

    http://www.time.com/time/columnist/printout/0,8816,1200712,00.html

    “Webb may turn out to be a crucial figure in the recent history of the Democratic Party. For the past 25 years, the tide of political conversions has been running in the opposite direction, from Democrat to Republican, and most of the converts were people like Webb: white, Southern, middle class or poorer, patriotic and, often, with a strong family tradition of military service – in fact, Webb’s son Jim Jr. is a Marine lance corporal headed to Ramadi.”

    “Webb is an outdoorsy hunting-and-fishing environmentalist. He is pro-choice, pro-gay rights. He has expressed nuanced reservations about affirmative action and women in combat in the past and takes careful time to explain his positions now.”

    “Webb is a convert in a party that mistrusts converts.”

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    Thanks.

  • colin

    Peace from New Zealand!

  • http://valintinoqmail.com Anonymous

    Hello, Your site is great. Regards, Valintino Guxxi

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