December 14, 2003

Coalition of the Pissy

T-bogg says he hates to join the Coalition of the Pissy. But he joins on his own free will.

Is Iraq better off now than it was before? At the moment, yes. Will it be better off after the US Corporations finish acquiring all the Iraqi assets and have their own little colonial empire to bleed dry under the protection of a puppet military and private "security forces"? Nope. History and time don't stop with this moment, much as the warbloggers would like to believe.

The exploitation of the Iraqi people is over. Let the new exploitation begin...

Hey, T-bogg. I know you hate me because I left the left. But you're part of the reason I left the left. I used to miss it, but comments like yours make me feel a whole lot better about my decision.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at December 14, 2003 01:18 PM
Comments

I left the Left for the same reasons; they drove me out with their anti-americanism, obligatory secularism, paternalism toward minorities, etc. People like T-Bogg did a better job at driving me out than any conservative could have done.

It was gradual, but before I knew it, I was referring to myself as a conservative, something I said would happen only after hell froze over.

Posted by: David at December 14, 2003 01:25 PM

David: Me too.

I'm reminded of that quote from one of the creators of South Park:

"I don't really like conservatves, but I hate fucking liberals."

Posted by: Joey at December 14, 2003 02:12 PM

Okay, this next sentence is snarky:

You left the Left because we worry about the long-term consequences of policy?

Or is it simply that we do not share your belief that the Bush Administration suddenly changed into beacons of liberal proselytism, willing to make any sacrifice in order to keep men more free?

Posted by: Kimmitt at December 14, 2003 02:29 PM

He could of course look at other US interventions. South Korea-- better off than North Korea? Yes.
Panama-- better off than before our intervention? Yes.
Grenada-- again, yes.

The idea that the US intervenes to bleed dry assets and set up colonial empires is unsupported by history. The worst bled dry countries are bled dry by their own dictators, especially when the US and the rest of the world considers it not worth the trouble (for various reasons, some reasonable) to intervene and dispose of them.

One does not have to believe that the Bush Administration is a beacon of liberal interventionism. However, people who oppose liberal interventionism because they hate Bush or wish it fail because they want to win an election are certainly no beacons of liberal intervention either. (And no, that doesn't describe all Democrats, certainly, but it does describe a particularly loud faction of extremists.)

Posted by: John Thacker at December 14, 2003 02:43 PM

Hey, T-bogg. I know you hate me because I left the left. But you're part of the reason I left the left. I used to miss it, but comments like yours make me feel a whole lot better about my decision.

Beautiful. Funny, I said almost the same thing to Hesiod of Counterspin after he sent me a number of ridiculous insulting emails accusing me of saying things I've never said.

I agree, it's stuff like this that doesn't make me miss the left one bit. The air's much nicer down here on earth.

Posted by: Nathan at December 14, 2003 03:40 PM

As a Jew and former Liberal I guess I would be classified as a neo-con now (I have already been called that by my own brother). People on the left need to learn to not personalize differences of opinions, not accuse people's mistakes as being lies, etc. Liberal people seem to think that anyone that doesn't think like them are inherently deficient or ill-willed. I did not vote for President Bush last time, in fact I had never before voted for a Republican, I will this time for sure. Michael you say you might vote for a President Bush, but not for a Republican in Congress or Senate. That's nuts! I'm sorry. What short term initiative or social cause eclipses our role in the world today, you tell me. The Democrats wouldn't even support the 87 billion package for Iraq, meaning they aren't serious. This President, despite popular saying among liberals is trying to move to the middle, if he moved any more to the middle he would fracture his governing coalition (Medicare, Education, 15 Billion for AIDS, 3 African Americans in his Cabinet!!, support for Isreal) I'm sure only Ted Kennedy writing the Medicare bill or Jesse Jackson being in his cabinet would be enough for some of you. The Republicans at least had the sense to take what legislative victories they could even if Clinton got credit (NAFTA, Welfare Reform). The Democrats will piss on themselves just to deny victory for the President. Dick Morris himself said that Welfare Reform helped give Clinton a second term, the Republicans did'nt try to take it away from him. The Democrats are so foolish they are going to find themselves on the wrong side of history on everything. I should have jumped off this ship a long time ago. We strain and argue on the margins, for what? Ideas? NO!! Political gain period. Just go to the Democratic Undergroud and read what people are saying. They are more concerned about the political fallout over this than what is really in the best interest of the nation. Only our failure as a nation will help them win with their "See I told you everyone in World hates us!" The left does'nt only hate political opposition but they have to hate themselves as well. How else can you explain their self destruction?

Posted by: Samuel at December 14, 2003 04:33 PM

The Coalition of the Pissy is being well-matched by the Coalition of the Self-congratulatory.

Posted by: Marc at December 14, 2003 05:54 PM

Marc,
You don't think that a loud part of the left has been self-congratulatory every time something has gone wrong in US foreign policy over the past couple years?

Posted by: Nathan at December 14, 2003 07:00 PM

Marc you said,

The Coalition of the Pissy is being well-matched by the Coalition of the Self-congratulatory.

It is obvious that nothing will satisfy those who put politics first. You act like the President counted his chickens too soon but the fact is that it is the anti-war peoples arguments that are falling by the way side. And I predict all your arguments will follow the same fate of Saadam Hussein’s own fortunes. The most extreme will never admit it. The Democratic Party is in danger of spending a good generation in the wilderness. Liberals just come across so ill-willed. What ever it is please get over it so I won’t see the party go the way of the Whigs. What will you say when the Al-Quaeda connection and WMD evidenced is verified, beyond doubt. Bush gave humanitarian reasons from the very beginning, but of course in his effort to be multi-lateral and bring in our “allies”, he gave arguments to the UN that addressed their legalistic resolutions. Humanitarian reasons wouldn’t have been enough to convince this sorry organization, an organization that condemns Israel for protecting herself and turns a blind eye to countries that truly violate rights. George Bush never questioned anybody’s patriotism, the Democrats love putting words in the Presidents mouth and then cry “foul!” for saying what he never said. Some Democrats, (B ob Graham, John Kerry) did , however question the President’s patriotism, and I would argue that John Kerry has used his Vietnam service as a means to attack those with differing opinions from him, like their opinions aren’t valid because they did’nt leave blood in Asia. John McCain never did this (though he also was ornery and had a tendency to swear and use the F-Word like John Kerry). The Democrats have become too clever by the half for their own good. As the President further vindicates himself, his critics will look smaller and smaller. Congratulations, you Noam Chomsky types. You are changing the world. You have helped inspire me, Jewish with Socialist Grandparents from Germany, radically liberal parents, one who campaigned for McGovern as a 12 year old, to completely divorce myself of your party. Wake up and be for human rights again!! Quit being the nit-picking, "Why did it take more than a year?", or "He exaggerated the WMD claim!!” You are beginning to look stupid. Like I said, I didn't even vote for President Bush. I can understand people not thinking of Bush as being particularly well read or intellectual (many elitists mistaken intellectualness with being the only factor to measure intelligence, or worse, leadership) this President is a leader and is so far out in front of most of us (myself included) I’m convinced that his genius lies in his own instincts (not Carl Rove, or Condi Rice’s) but his own. I would add that people who constantly see politics or cynicism in his policy decisions need to look in a mirror. I could see one questioning his IQ, but not his honesty or sincerity. If one does that I would suggest they question their own, and do some good soul searching as well.

Posted by: Samuel at December 14, 2003 07:16 PM

yeah, that's the fringe i'm not so proud of.

i don't mean to be terribly snarky, but there's a habit in the blogosphere, and in the world at large, to define oneself politically as in opposition to the more ridiculous views of the other side. hence, the repudiation of TBogg and embracing South Park Republicanism. South Park is, at best, a caricature of liberalism, and yet that's how some people have seriously sought to define their views--as opposed to South Park's version of Liberalism.

As regards TBogg, it's what he does. I don't do it, and I know most people don't. But if one's moral and political Weltanschauung derives its dynamism from a revulsion in the face of ridiculous statements, then, well, I'm sorry. I sometimes find TBogg pretty awful too, but no one should seriously think liberalism is vacuous because of his silliness.

Posted by: Marc at December 14, 2003 07:23 PM

Marc,

There are so many T-boggs. Maybe not where you live, but my neighborhood is overflowing with them.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 14, 2003 07:35 PM

...and there are so many fascists, too, and they all vote for Bush. What's your point?

Posted by: Kimmitt at December 14, 2003 08:21 PM

Actually, Kimmitt, whatever fascists still exist in the US almost certainly voted for Pat Buchanan if they bothered to vote at all.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 14, 2003 08:29 PM

Michael,

Very true, the paleo-cons and fascists HATE this president. Pat Buchanan isn’t even a Republican any more. I predict the Republican’s will break the 50-50 nation after 2004, for a generation. History is repeating itself and the roles are reversed.

The war that is going on in the Democratic Party right now is very reminiscent of what the Republicans went through in 1964. I would not have characterized it in such gloomy terms but it is true. Let us draw some comparisons.

1) Republicans control the whitehouse from 1952-1960
Republicans control congress in 1952 lose control in 1954

Democrats controlled the whitehouse from 1992-2000
Democrats control congress in 1992 lose control in 1994

3) Republicans win a disputed election in 2000
Voter fraud believed by embittered other side.
Incumbent Vice President is the loser.

Democrats win a disputed election in 1960
Voter fraud believed by embittered other side.
Incumbent Vice President is the loser.

4) 1960 disputed election produces a likable popular President.
People wonder if he is up to the job.
Proves himself in responding to national crises

2000 disputed election produces a likable popular President.
People wonder if he is up to the job.
Proves himself in responding to national crises

5) 1960 Democratic President introduces huge tax cuts
Republicans warn of high deficits and a busted budget
Expanding economy is the result

2000 Republican President introduces huge tax cuts
Democrats warn of high deficits and a busted budget
Expanding economy is the result

6) 1960+ Democratic Party gains in affiliation
2000+ Republican Party gains in affiliation

QUESTION FOR DEMOCRATS WHO IS YOUR BARRY GOLDWATER – WHO IS YOUR RONALD REAGAN?

WHO IS YOUR POTENTIAL NIXON - YOUR PERSON WITH THE BEST SHOT OF WINNING AND SETTING YOUR PARTY BACK?

I would argue as we get further into history that it will be obvious that Ronald Reagan = Franklin D. Roosevelt and George Bush = John F. Kennedy

In 1960 many Republicans impressed with Kennedy changed Parties.
Myself in 2002 a Democrat impressed with President Bush switched Parties.

Posted by: Samuel at December 14, 2003 08:50 PM

no worries, there are plenty of TBogg's round my home as well (NYC). but there are also some josh marshall's and john podesta's and ken pollack's and seymore hersch's and molly ivins's and bill moyers's, etc. etc. i dunno the numbers of crazies versus serious liberals, but i'm fighting hard against the crazies retaining the position of standard bearers. it's quite an accomplishment, for instance, that many people still don't identiy the GOP with the christian right even though it accounts for so much of its support. somehow the serious conservatives have managed to muzzle them or keep them out of the spotlight or something. but if people really appreciated how crazy those MoFos are, things might be different for the GOP as well.

Posted by: Marc at December 14, 2003 09:08 PM

Kimmitt> If I were a fascist, I'd vote for Buchanan.

Samuel> Sometimes people get too hung up on labels and I'm just as guilty of that. I was at 16 a die-hard Republican and very partisan. In College, I became more Libertarian and I chucked my old paleo-conservative views. My libertarian views are mixed with a neo-conservative set of views, along with a fondness for Machiavelli.

Now, I am not as certain where I stand, but I reject ideological purity. I guess I would still consider myself a conservative (and for plenty of non-politcial reasons, like my fondness for three-piece suits and bowties and Latin prayer) and I am still registered as a Republican.

Michael> I'm guessing there are people like TBogg where my Aunt lives (upper West Side of Manhattan). She was against the war, but she didn't think less me of me for my views.

Posted by: Green Baron at December 14, 2003 09:15 PM

Marc,

Agreed on your last post.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 14, 2003 09:41 PM

Marc,

Most of those crazy MOFO's as you call them have either quit the party or are just being quiet watching the Democrats destroy themselves. If the Democrats staighten up and get serious, then these MOFO’s might feel threatened and get desperate and start acting crazy like the Democrats. But the fact is that it is the Democrats that are acting desperate and it is making them look small. I am a long time admirer of some of the very “main stream” writers you mention. As a pre 911 hard core liberal who thought that Bill Clinton governed as a moderate Republican (to my very annoyance) I’m sure many Republicans feel that George Bush’s policies are like a moderate-conservative Democrat. Time will tell whether the Republicans stay in the center or if the MOFO’s try to take the party after George Bush leaves (like what is happening to the Democrats). The disadvantage that the Democrats have (I voted for Clinton twice) is that Bill Clinton screwed things up. Why do I say that? Because he, I’m sorry to say had the integrity of Richard Nixon, I know this probably will make some people mad hearing me say that. But it is true. You can blame the Republicans all you want but if he were a Republican, he would not only have been impeached but kicked out of office as well. Why? Because the Republicans would have thrown him overboard and the Democrats would have helped. I just laughed my head off when all of a sudden Arnolds peccadilloes mattered to the liberal groups, this makes you look so disingenuous. I don’t at this time agree with the Republicans on much more than the war on terror, but they are more consistent then the Democrats. They didn’t try to keep Clinton from stealing their initiatives or signing 7 out of 10 items of the Contract with America into law (the principle was getting it done). I have a gut feeling that George Bush will leave the Republican Party in a better condition then Clinton left the Democrats, because he and Laura Bush aren’t nearly as self indulging as Bill and Hillary Clinton. Bill Moyers and Molly Ivins come off pretty silly to me these days, Molly thinks “Dubya” is a nice enough fellow but just an idiot. It’s tiring hearing people judge others who don’t act and think like them as stupid. Read Ronald Reagans hand written letters. What an idiot! I hated Ronald Reagan, but looking back now it seems so self-debilitating, this political smugness that comes from the left. Every Republican was intellectually challenged from Eisenhower through George W. Bush. The only exception was Nixon, no one would question his intelligence just his sanity. The person I miss is Michael Kelly because he was changed politically by the first Gulf War. He got it clearly without the same stubbornness that I had. Principled people follow principles, not parties. Clinton was lucky that he had the sex scandal because the stupid Republicans went after the Monica Lewinsky affair rather than things more important. An honest look at Bill Clintons character and nature would not necessarily mean complicity in the death of Vince Foster, but it should make people nervous his dealings with China etc. It also remains to be seen what will happen after G.W. leaves the stage. They may make the same mistake as the Democrats. Whether you agree with me or not the President has moved to the center as you can read in my post above (Medicare, Education, 15 Billion for AIDS, 3 African Americans in his Cabinet, support for Israel). The Democrats look silly arguing on the margins right now. You know that if Bill Clinton had put forward the Medicare Bill as currently written, the Democrats would have supported it. Many conservatives, especially the sagebrush libertarian types are starting to get pretty irritated with G.W. compassionate conservatism. I would think that even if you hate the President and his policies you have to at least admire his activism which is what compassionate conservatism really is. It is activist conservatism. I’m sure it is very threatening to those who are used to doing the liberal activism thing. Now I think I know how the conservatives felt all those years. The thing that Democrats need to understand, we liked the Republican’s that didn’t fight back. Now they have learned to be activists as well. We taught them well, now we have to learn to deal with it.

Posted by: Samuel at December 14, 2003 10:49 PM

why do any of you pathetic obviously-never-were-leftists-to-begin-withs think that anyone cares enough about you or your whiny victimization conversion stories to "hate" you?

whatever feelings Tbogg might or might not have for you certainly pale in comparison to the monumental lack of feeling you inspire in either him or any other being not as pathetically self-possessed as you all seem to be.

fools who liken their political philosophies to the musings of cartoon characters are, in sane circles, objects of contempt and mockery. but given the state of the right, delusion is predominant and sanity ain't been getting served up in fitting portions, so y'all must fit in just fine.

chances are you're just more average straight, white, male, bougies doing what average straight, white, male, bougies always seem to do... turn republican. 'cept when you do it, it's part of a "movement," deserving of your own lifetime tv special - "the left done did me wrong."

Tbogg's got more sense, more cool, more guts and more funny in the salty remnants of his ball sweat than you "i used to be on the left" losers have in all your blog blatherings combined.

Posted by: ttoongttoong at December 15, 2003 12:11 AM

"Kimmitt> If I were a fascist, I'd vote for Buchanan."

Pfeh. Bush is Buchanan-plus: You get all the blame-America "we didn't kill or imprison enough people" insanity, plus you get to conquer other countries at whim. He's what fascists dream Buchanan was.

Posted by: Kimmitt at December 15, 2003 12:21 AM

why do any of you pathetic obviously-never-were-leftists-to-begin-withs think that anyone cares enough about you or your whiny victimization conversion stories to "hate" you?

I think you've just answered your own question.

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at December 15, 2003 04:31 AM

chances are you're just more average straight, white, male, bougies doing what average straight, white, male, bougies always seem to do... turn republican. 'cept when you do it, it's part of a "movement," deserving of your own lifetime tv special - "the left done did me wrong.

haha! I was more Leftist than you can ever claim to be. And guess what. I'm not white either. I'm Latino, and a solid enough Leftist in my time to spend 6 months out of my life protecting Sandinista interests during the Contra War, and relaying medical supplies to their clinics, and organizing pressure groups on campus and in my church. You've got nothing on me toonbong as far as Leftist credentials are concerned.

The irony is, when I look back on the people I used to hang with, and you are an exemplary specimen, is that you do indeed seem cartoonish to me in your self-righteousness about your "cause". It's stock and trade of being a lefty. And nobody experienced it better than I did.

Posted by: David at December 15, 2003 04:53 AM

Kimmitt wouldn't know a fascist if one came up behind him and bit him on the ass.

If the Bush admisnistration was anywhere near as fascist as you claim it is, none of you leftist dweebs would even be talking right now.

You are a joke. A silly, pathetic joke.

Posted by: eric at December 15, 2003 05:48 AM

Tbogg's got more sense, more cool, more guts and more funny in the salty remnants of his ball sweat than you "i used to be on the left" losers have in all your blog blatherings combined.

You are obviously the reigning authority here on the taste of Tbogg's ball sweat . . .

Posted by: Browning at December 15, 2003 06:03 AM

chances are you're just more average straight, white, male, bougies doing what average straight, white, male, bougies always seem to do

Proving yet again that leftism is nothing more than hatred for confident, wealthy, white, heterosexual men. I dug for years into their philosophy (Marx, Rawls, etc.) to see what was there. But there was no there there.

You know what this Republican says? Hooray for decent people of all stripes! And there are lots more besides me, a fact which I found out recently, realizing that I had been lied to all these years. Lied to by whom? Gee, I just don't know, let me see.... THE LEFT!

Posted by: Jim at December 15, 2003 06:17 AM

C'mon Michael. A lot of us bloggers on the left, myself included have expressed unalloyed elation at Saddam's capture.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 06:41 AM

I left the right because I could see thru their cheap political talking points.

Lower taxes and less govt spending for example..

Spending is up 26%

26%!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

With NO end in sight. Either they raise taxes or decrease spending. Either or.

We're seeing that the Republicans are bigger spenders than the Democrats, so we know they're NOT going to cut spending. So the other option...raising taxes, is right around the corner.

Posted by: mike at December 15, 2003 07:00 AM

sigh...

Posted by: Marc at December 15, 2003 07:07 AM

Michael:

Why do you even attempt to engage these people? They're beneath you. Neither do they respond to rational engagement. It's all just so depressing to here their sophmoric kvetching. Just enjoy the good news.

Posted by: Eric Deamer at December 15, 2003 07:25 AM

It's always a fun thread when the tbogg goons come over to play.

Posted by: Court at December 15, 2003 07:26 AM

Jesus, Samuel needs to get a life. Shorten those posts, boy!

Posted by: BV at December 15, 2003 07:27 AM

I guess I fail to see what is is offensive about his post. TBogg is asserting that he feels that Iraqis are not going to be any better off than they were before our invasion and occupation. He disagrees with the fact that the invasion ever occurred, and with how the occupation is being administered. Nowhere in his post is he blaming successful white men for what he feels is a debacle.

If you expand your citation further up and down you will see that TBogg, like a lot of Americans, fail to see how this furthers the cause of either bringing the man responsible for killing the man I knew back in 2001 to justice, or to prevent him from doing more of the same.

You (including your posters) do nothing to counter the argument. How is what the United States doing in Iraq not colonialism? I'm not saying I think it is or isn't, but nothing in what you've written counters the argument. Is there even anything wrong with colonialism? Maybe that's what's best for America? It certainly seems like the current government feels that whatever they're doing is in this country's best interest, and if it is imperialist colonialism, why dance around and not admit it?

Just exactly what was it about what he wrote that makes you hate liberals so damned much? I don't get it.

Instead, all I see here are taunts -- a bunch of pigeonhole dismissals of those you disagree with. Statements about "typical liberal" behavior. Non-admissions of hypocrisy by accusing the other side of the same. Ad-hominem attacks. Telling people to get a life because they actually thought you cared about their opinion. I really know you don't.

Posted by: Lefty at December 15, 2003 08:05 AM

From an old lefty now a centrist,
Ditto Micheal Totten the left is a parody of itself. It is nothing but a bunch of self loathing children. When they finally grow up they too will look back and see what a bunch of whiny 'twits they really are. Grow up, if georgie boy is a fascist then I guess the rest of us will be hearing less and less of you as he rounds up you self rightous boneheads and sends you to those camps he's building. What a bunch of asswipes.

Posted by: jimcee at December 15, 2003 08:24 AM

Number of countries the US has bombed since World War II: 34

Number of those same countries that have become Democracies: 0

Number of Conservatives who seem to have even the slightest clue what the Left critique really is: 0

Posted by: Joe Briefcase at December 15, 2003 09:43 AM

I left the right because I could see thru their cheap political talking points.

Except you didn't. Conservatives never become liberal.

Isn't it interesting that as people grow up, hit their late 30s or early 40s, they start to shed the childish notions of Liberalism?

Who was it that said, "If you're not a liberal at age 20, you have no heart. If you're still a liberal at age 40, you have no head."

Posted by: David at December 15, 2003 09:57 AM

Hey Joe Briefcase,

You said:
Number of Conservatives who seem to have even the slightest clue what the Left critique really is: 0

The David Horowitz ex-liberal types like me know exactly what we are talking about. And as Michael has said. The conservatives know how to read and discern history. Fortunately some of us don't want to repeat it the worst part of it. (BV, I hope this is short enough for you!)

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 10:16 AM

Churchill, David.

Posted by: Phil Smith at December 15, 2003 10:18 AM

Well this is one liberal who doesn't engage in gross generalizations. Perhaps some of the conservatives in this comments thread might want to consider offering me the same courtesy.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 10:18 AM

David, I'm a conservative who became a liberal. More generally, I'm fascinated by this thread, because almost every post, on either side, begins from obvious stereotypes or even caricatures of the right and the left.

And I never want to read another post that mentions his ball sweat. That's just....weird and bizarre.

Posted by: jackson at December 15, 2003 10:19 AM

Randy,

The problem is that so many liberal people question the motives and heart, or in other words the intentions of those they diagree with. Obviously there are weenies on the right that do the same. Right now the Democrats are the one who are caught in this trap today. I call myself a neocon as a joke because my own brother accused me of being one. (I voted for Al Gore). I gets old.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 10:28 AM

Lefty:"You (including your posters) do nothing to counter the argument. How is what the United States doing in Iraq not colonialism? I'm not saying I think it is or isn't, but nothing in what you've written counters the argument. Is there even anything wrong with colonialism? Maybe that's what's best for America? It certainly seems like the current government feels that whatever they're doing is in this country's best interest, and if it is imperialist colonialism, why dance around and not admit it?" [Lefty]

Why "not admit it"? Because there does not need to be any other explanation for "whatever they're doing" than that it is a manifestation of the Bush Doctrine, which is a war upon terrorism which seeks to respond to it and prevent it. This is being done very consistently and seriously. One may interpret the Bush/America acts regarding Iraq as colonialist or imperialist, but not before analyzing the Doctrine in terms of its stated mechanism and goal, which comprise a war on terrorism in response to real conditions, as is occurring. I too could suggest any number of alternative motives, but these would likewise not need to be answered, since the action in Iraq is completely explained so far in terms of the factual existence of the current form of terrorism and the Bush Doctrine as a response to it.

Lefty wants us to explain away all other alternatives, somehow to reduce the explanation by elimination to what it already is as both stated and effected. If Lefty wants to claim that the action will end up to be also colonialist and imperialist, we can note this then see what happens. But ignoring that it is already what it says it is, in favor of claiming it is what it has not yet become represents a blindness which is illogical and suspiciously willful. Such a thought process is at least self-indulgent to the point of dysfunction, which IMHO actually extends toward sadomasochism: it seeks to self-censor in favor of dogma, and cajole others to not defend themselves in the face of obvious threats to their existence, and to the existence of the self-censorer -- threats which we others see clearly. Hence, the inappropriate claim that the Bush/America action in Iraq is colonialist and imperialist, rather than self-defensive, as explained quite adequately by the Bush Doctrine as a response to a real threat. Actually, the Bush Doctrine is the only feasible solution. We know this. It is a response to the current terrorists, who are also sadomasochists.

Posted by: Joe Peden at December 15, 2003 10:36 AM

Moderates and conservatives aren’t angry with the left because of their ‘liberal values’ . We’re angry because the left has abandoned its liberal values.

Liberals used to be opposed to fascism. Some liberals still are, but the left has abandoned that idea altogether.

Liberals are opposed to isolationaism, and attempt to learn more about the world around them. What can the average leftist tell me about the political situation in the middle east? I was having a discussion a Chosmky supporter who thought that Iraqis were Persian. The average leftist knows very little about Baathism, Wahhabism, and the rise of fascism in the Middle East? Here's a hint - the rise of fascism began before WWII, so please don't blame it all on the CIA..)

Liberals encourage self-reliance. This is what we’re trying to encourage in Iraq. Democracy in Iraq is a direct threat to the dictatorships in the area. Like Israel, we’re at war with the surrounding countries, with the kleptocratic dictatorships that have been funding terrorist paramilitaries for years. Terrorism is how they fight their battles. It’s a little bigger than al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden. Anyone who pays some attention to world news knows that. Abandoning Iraq, or letting the 'international community' handle it would mean abandoning them to these oppressors. How could this be called a liberal goal? Once the situation is settled, every American, conservative and liberal will be happy to leave Iraq.

Liberals didn’t abandon the left, the left abandoned us.

Posted by: mary at December 15, 2003 10:37 AM

Joe Pedan and Mary,

Well said!!

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 10:41 AM

I'm from a long line of liberal Dems.. An aunt of mine once worked on JFK's election to congress. There was never any thought given to which party you belonged to in my family.

Today, although my family still considers themselves liberals, in the traditional meaning of the term, they no longer consider themselves Democrats.

There wasn't any one thing which caused them to stop being Democrats. Just a lot of little things that caused them to realize that Liberal doesn't mean what it once did. Liberal now means intolerance and narrow mindedness (among other things).

So, we're basically Independents now.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at December 15, 2003 10:45 AM

Conservatives never become liberal.

Isn't it interesting that as people grow up, hit their late 30s or early 40s, they start to shed the childish notions of Liberalism?

This is not my experience -- most of the conservatives I knew as a young man ended up becoming moderates at least as they grew older and were exposed to both poverty and racism.

Posted by: Kimmitt at December 15, 2003 11:07 AM

there is this mistaken view that those of us on the left who use disgusting and snarky rhetoric do it because we don't know any other style or tone.

hardly.

it is quite clearly a reaction to the hypocrisy, lies and willful mischaracterization that dominate the rhetoric of the right and "newly right."

engage in rational debate? surely you jest - look at mr. totten's post - "coalition of the prissies"? rational debate?

refrain from characterizations? the demographics of the republican voters are no lie - straight, white males predominate. face it, the bulk of you converts are simply engaging in identity politics. furthermore, the right continually ignores critiques of the war from the right or from military figures, while chararcterizing similar critiques from the left as being "america-hating" and such.

intemperate rhetoric of the left? do you read the freepers? do you not see the ridiculous policing of liberal blogs that monitors for insufficient adoration of our leader and his accomplishments?

the left has "changed"? wasn't it nixon who used to support nationalized health care? wasn't it bush who ridiculed "nation building"?

we snark because you lie. we ridicule because you gloat. we mock because your ilk contains the likes of andrew sullivan who has the nerve to say "you're welcome" to the iraqis, simply because he BLOGGED.

convert to the right, that is your free right. but don't lie about the left to rationalize your decision. don't delude yourselves with the comforting justifcation that the left abandoned you due to a lack of reason or an overabundance of bile. it just doesn't add up, because you can find lack of reason and bile a' plenty on the right too.

Posted by: ttoongttoong at December 15, 2003 11:07 AM

Chris,

I wish I could say my family was independent. They are all Democrats. Many people don't like George Bush because he is a religious conservative. His religion (like Tony Blair's) seems to influence him in a way that I like. I don't consider myself religious. But I do consider myself somewhat of a moralist with a liberal activist heart. One could argue with his faith based initiatives, but I fail to see the threat. People can get upset and cynical thinking he is being tricky with his 15 Billion Dollar Aids package, wanting to increase Medicare coverage, Education, free the world of a Dictator and actually do it for the good of the Iraqi people and not for oil. But what I see is a great opportunity for G.W. to transform politics in a radical way that I had hoped Clinton would. Why are people so upset he is changing the Republican Party? Would they rather the party go back to what it was? HELL NO!! Now I’ve got my own family sounding like old Republicans crying against the cost of his Medicare proposal like the Republicans did the Great Society and Kennedy tax cuts. And the debt? The democrats are starting to sound like the old Rockefeller Republicans. The democrats are losing it I can’t believe what I am seeing. I am hoping that the Republicans keep moving in the direction that they are. I may find a home again.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 11:17 AM

ttoongttoong,

You say:
we snark because you lie.

Paleeeze!!

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 11:24 AM

Sounds like bile to me.

Posted by: jimcee at December 15, 2003 11:28 AM

That's funny Kimmett. I grew up in poverty. I remember not answering any phone call, this was long before caller ID, just after Touch Tone became the norm. I remember ducking the Insurance man when he came to the door. I remember the times the power/gas was turned off. I remember the weeks on end of Cornbread, beans and potatos. I remember all of this and the funny thing is, my two brothers and I grew up with a single mother after I was 13 and we all turned out to lean to the right. All three of us joined the military to make something better of our selves.

All three of us believe in personal responsibility. All three of us watched our mother work hard to provide what she could for us. All three of us love her more than you could ever know. All three of us would not vote for a democrat for whitehouse if you held our feet to the fire. Although I might vote for Lieberman, I like and respect him as a person.

The only thing my brothers and I could count on were each other, our mother and our extended family. I guess because we were raised in the South we are all just stupid or something.

I do not expect you to answer, you probably never had to worry were your next meal was coming from.

I remember my brother telling a girlfriend that and her calling him a liar. Ah, but how we wished it were true.

Nope, hard work pays off. It isn't easy, but anything worth doing is hard.

Posted by: James Stephenson at December 15, 2003 11:48 AM

Jesus, do you all ever stop patting yourselves on the back?

You must have some monster triceps, all ten of you.

Posted by: jesse at December 15, 2003 11:50 AM

I tire of all these "I used to be a lefty, but they were just so MEAN that I became a Republican so I wouldn't have to talk to them anymore" posts. Don't be ridiculous. Political affiliation isn't a social club or a fraternity. It is an expression of your political philosophy and your ideals regarding governance and international relations. Do you change your ideals because you dislike some of those who share those ideals? Claiming that people like TBogg drove you out of the left is a cop-out. Either have the courage to admit that your views have changed or quit whining.

Posted by: Smokey at December 15, 2003 11:55 AM

Smokey,

You are right that political affiliation isn't a social club or a fraternity. The point is that the arguements coming from the left don't carry much weight anymore because they aren't even arguing on principle. People like TBogg sort of help affirm peoples decisions. Get the message, argue priciples. Maybe I have changed but I maintain that John F. Kennedy would not feel at home in todays Democratic politcal party. The party has changed more than I have.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 12:03 PM

TBOGG is hilarious, I think maybe you left the left because you lost your sense of humor.

I agree with Smokey, above, BTW. I don't only associate with people who fit in lockstep with my political views.

Posted by: maurinsky at December 15, 2003 12:08 PM

I used to identify with the left, and I still do. The left that fought for progress, not the left that can't recognize it when it falls in their lap. The left that championed human rights, not the left that is actively opposing them in its self-satisfying slander against the United States. The left that championed development in the Third World, not the left that wants to save me from Halliburton. The left that condemned Saddam Hussein and his ilk, not those who would sacrifice the Iraqi people on the vapid and narcissistic pretense of opposing an imaginary imperialist oppressor blown out of all plausible correspondence with reality. The left that actually stood for progress, not the left that passed it up for the perpetual revolution.

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at December 15, 2003 12:32 PM

Give me a break, you were never part of the left. Tbogg is clever and much faster on the verbal draw than you and that is what pisses you off.

People like you sling mud without hesitation and blame others for your own choices. Yet, when the mud comes back you cry foul louder than anyone else. You made your choice, you call yourself conservative. So what? Be a real man and stand up and say who you are without disclaimers.

I can accept that you believe something that is opposed to my belief, but you lose credibility when you try to blame someone else for your choices. Tbogg would not blame anyone for his choices, he's not afraid to say what he believes and why. He also enjoys challenging people like you to explain your choices. He's snarky, so deal with it. You come off like a child who whines that someone called him a bad name.

In short, grow up.

Posted by: RitaM at December 15, 2003 01:17 PM

Smokey: I tire of all these "I used to be a lefty, but they were just so MEAN that I became a Republican so I wouldn't have to talk to them anymore" posts...Either have the courage to admit that your views have changed or quit whining.

I'm not a Republican, Smokey. Nor have my opinions changed much. I am more disturbed by anti-Americanism than I once was, but I'm still hawkish and anti-fascist as before. That's nothing new for me.

I quit the left because the left was content to leave Saddam alone. And it's posts like T-boggs that make me feel better about my decision to leave. I'm not whining, I'm just saying.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 15, 2003 01:17 PM

James Stephenson, your post is like the perfect storm of stereotypes of liberals. Your background is admirable. Nice job, really. But your understanding of liberals is straight from the pages of the RNC. It's propaganda, really. All liberals despise personal responsibility, hate the military, and think everyone should get a free ride from a huge government!

You may think that's all true. You were probably brought up to think it's true (I know I was). But it's not. It's really not.

Posted by: jackson at December 15, 2003 01:20 PM

Michael T., do you really not think it's a vast simplification to say "the left was content to leave Saddam alone"? And was the fate of Saddam Hussein the only thing you were concerned about as far as foreign policy goes?

And what do you think about what's going on in Afghanistan right now? Can you really say that is a success?

Posted by: jackson at December 15, 2003 01:23 PM

And what do you think about what's going on in Afghanistan right now? Can you really say that is a success?

The job isn't finished there, but it's vastly better than before we invaded.

It's certainly more successful to Clinton's response, which was send a few cruise missiles to blow up empty training camps.

So yes, it's successful.

Posted by: David at December 15, 2003 01:35 PM

Jackson,

You said to James:
Your background is admirable. Nice job, really. But your understanding of liberals is straight from the pages of the RNC.

WHAT? It is propaganda you say where someone is coming from? You obviously feel James is a liar or a demagogue. The fact is many of us are in a re-evaluating where we are. Not necessarily because we have changed (911 did change my priorities somewhat), but because we find our principles are being sold down the river for something it is not. Being a liberal is not fighting to keep the UN as it is and France and Germany happy, or running with the multilateralist crowd regardless of their intentions. I have always been a Radical at heart and happen to believe that G.W. to my surprise is the one being the radical, and I'm not complaining, 15 billion for Aids in Africa and overthrowing a nasty Dictator. And putting the rest of the worlds despots on notice. It's about time! If Bill Clinton were doing these things a lot of you would be lighting candles and paying homage to him. Give me a break.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 01:40 PM

Jackson: And was the fate of Saddam Hussein the only thing you were concerned about as far as foreign policy goes?

No, but it is a substantial part.

And what do you think about what's going on in Afghanistan right now? Can you really say that is a success?

Afghanistan is a huge mess and I think the Bush Administration is shirking its responsibilities by focusing mostly on Kabul and blowing off the countryside. But there is still some progress. Osama's base is wiped out, the Taliban-regime has been replaced, and little girls are going to school again.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 15, 2003 01:41 PM

Michael,

I don't think that George Bush is "shirking its responsibilities by focusing mostly on Kabul and blowing off the countryside", I predict that all those Delta and Special Force Units that caught Saadam Hussein will be sent back to Afghanistan to finish the job. I’ll admit that Dubya took a huge risk in waging 2 fronts, but the political will wouldn’t have aloud him to wait for Afghanistan to be finished and then go to Iraq. I will admit I have been very doubtful of this President, but I am starting to honestly believe that he knows what he is doing, he taking risks, no doubt, but I think he has calculated the odds well. I make the choice at this point but to give him the benefit of the doubt, he has earned it.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 01:50 PM

Samuel. James S. is not a liar or a demogogue. That's not what I said. In fact, anyone who serves in the military goes up a couple of notches in my mind.

He is misinformed. That's all.

Posted by: jackson at December 15, 2003 01:55 PM

Jackson,

Correction accepted. Thanks for clarifying.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 01:57 PM

Jackson,

I would like to add though that James had said he was speaking from an informed background. He was giving a testimonial (however irritating that might be) not an interpretation. That is why I responded the way that I did. It is hard to be misinformed about ones own experience.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 02:03 PM

I quit the left because the left was content to leave Saddam alone.

Come on Michael. This is disingenuous, it engages in stereotyping and is unfair. Some of us on the left think that there were better ways to bring about Saddam's ouster (coercive inspections for example). You know we don't all move in lockstep and you cheapen your argument by generalizing.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 02:33 PM

I do not expect you to answer, you probably never had to worry were your next meal was coming from.

No, thank goodness. I don't think anyone should have to go through that. Wouldn't you say the same?

Posted by: Kimmitt at December 15, 2003 02:33 PM

Randy,

Your belief that a coercive inspection or 3rd way approach might be ok if the plight of the Iraqi people being ignored or sacrificed was OK. This is the problem I have with the left today. Like I make abundantly clear I am part of the old left that cared about humanitarian plights of people more than a political argument. I know that WMD was the pretext for this War, but as stated earlier, the UN required legalistic arguments for the sake of the resolution. This is shameful anyway, it is shameful to say but humanitarian reasons wouldn’t have cut the mustard for that vacuous organization. I regret that George Bush didn’t talk more of this, but I do believe that is what it has become, and I believe that is how he sees it. All the carping about Haliburton seems pretty cynical to me when Clinton used Haliburton for similar purposes. We can argue all we want about how we got in this War and mistakes made, but it is beginning to really look like sour grapes. This President made a gutsy decision that quite frankly could have had far worse outcome. I know that we have a long way to go, but we seem to have beaten the odds. To continue to predict gloom and doom like many still are (I know not all lefties are doing this) but a majority are. A majority of Democrats voted against the 87 billion dollar package, that is a disgrace. I could disagree with the Republicans on just about everything else and this (voting against the 87 billion) is almost enough for me. That is putting politics first way to much. Humanitarian reasons may have been the #2 reason for President Bush, but it should be the #1 reason for any true lefty.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 03:15 PM

Randy,

I don't remember hearing anyone speak about coercive inspections back in 1998-2001. France and Russia made their best efforts to remove the UN sanctions then even though there were no inspections taking place at the time. This "left" that you speak about which you claim approved of coercive sanctions were silent until 2002, when Bush had already made overtures towards regime change. Then, and only as an alternative to Bush's policy, did Ms. Mathews consider this coercive inspections policy.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 03:26 PM

...and the coercive inspections do not at all address Saddam's human rights violations or how to make sure they end.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 03:28 PM

Glenn,

Thanks for affirming me even though you had probably not even read my post yet!!

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 03:32 PM

I read Christopher Hitchens' book, The Long Short War, and aftrwards felt ashamed that we did not address the human rights issues after the First Gulf War. Bush's dad encouraged a rebellion by the Kurds and the Shiites, and then America abandoned them. No wonder they don't trust us too much. No wonder we look like hypocrites.

But I think it's wrong that America must be handcuffed, refrained from doing the right thing simply because we had screwed up in prior times. That goes for the coddling of Saddam during the 80's, that goes for training Bin Laden and funding the Muslim Brotherhood during the 80's, that goes for abandoning the Iraqis in the 90's, and a whole host of other things. We must be able to admit prior mistakes and we must be allowed to do whatever necessary to make up for those mistakes without the shackles of the past.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 03:35 PM

Sorry Samuel!

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 03:35 PM

Randy,

I do not see how inspections could have removed Saddam Hussein from power. Maybe you didn't want to leave Saddam alone per se (and so I plead guilty to a slight overgeneralization), but you didn't want him forcibly overthrown either. I did, and that was what I was getting at.

I know you're glad Saddam is gone. You said so on your own blog, and your record on human rights is pretty solid. No one thinks that you or those like you are pro-Saddam. But the anti-war crowd, of which you are a part, opposed the policy that removed him from power. If Howard Dean were president, Saddam Hussein would still be running his terror state from his palaces. That is not okay with me.

I'm glad you're glad he's gone. You acknowledge that the war isn't entirely bad, which is more than some are apparently capable of even now. I don't put you in the same category as T-bogg by any means, but we're still on different sides of this question. I favored his ouster while you and the most of the left fought against it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 15, 2003 03:38 PM

Glenn,

No problem!! I thought it was cool!

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 03:41 PM

On the ethical philosophy test linked by Norman Geras, i thought the most interesting question, as relates to the Iraq War, is to which do you give priority: ends, means or intent.

Just been thinking about it for a while. Both sides, anti-war and pro-war, attack the other side on all three.

Anti-war people claim to approve the ends of the Iraq War (removal of Saddam from power), but attack pro-war position by saying that, in the long run, the higher ends are unattainable (peace and security for Iraq).

Of course, they also attack the means - WAR, and all its consequences.

As for intent, why did we go to war? To save the Iraqi people? No, for war-profiteering, oil, for Bush's dad, etc. Anything but the implied intent.

On the other side, pro-war people state their end goals (a peaceful, free, democratic Iraq) and attack the anti-war people by saying that no matter what the anti-war crowd would have done, Saddam would still be in power. I agree with this point fer sure.

On means, as it relates to the above, there are not many alternatives to get to a peaceful Iraq - appeasement (wouldn't work with Saddam), coercive inspections (Saddam wouldn't approve of them - then what?, FRance, etc. would hedge anyway, and it doesn't address the human rights issue). what else?

As for intent, the pro-war people search for answers as to why the anti-war people think the way they do and the usual answer is anti-Americanism. While it may be true in the extreme cases, it certainly isn't the norm. This is something that ticks me off. I have too many friends that were against this war and I'm sure that NON of them are unpatriotic or un-American (they do hate bush though).

Anyway, I'm done. Anyone else have any thoughts?

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 03:56 PM

I think that one of the main points I was trying to make (which I have not done yet) is that people can share the same exact philosophies yet completely disagree on any global issue. We all see this world in very personal and unique ways, don't we.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 04:04 PM

All the carping about Haliburton seems pretty cynical to me when Clinton used Haliburton for similar purposes.

???????????????

This "left" that you speak about which you claim approved of coercive sanctions were silent until 2002, when Bush had already made overtures towards regime change.

I didn't claim that "the left" approved of coercive actions because I don't claim to speak for "the left." In any event, some would make the argument that the attacks in December 1998 took out the WMD's and that argument may be bolstered by the fact that none have been found as of yet.

But the anti-war crowd, of which you are a part, opposed the policy that removed him from power.

Again, you're generalizing. I wanted more international support for the war. I was opposed to the way this president was hell-bent on a headlong rush to war. You assume that the entire anti-war movement speaks with one voice. You're wrong.

What inspections could have done was to humiliate Saddam and weaken him. I don't imagine anything would have been more humiliating (present circumstances excepted) than to have armed inspectors inspecting every square inch of his presidential palaces? It was worth an attempt.

But Michael, please, I'd like to offer some constructive criticism. You have a habit of speaking in stark dichotomies and grand generalizations and sometimes you're wrong. A case in point, this post on Liberia. It was the ECOWAS troops and now it's the UN who did and are doing the heavy lifting. When I read statements like "[the UN] has botched every job assigned to it," [my emphasis] it offends me. It ignores successes such as East Timor, Cambodia, El Salvador and Angola, it trashes the work of many people including a cousin of mine who spent time in Angola at great personal risk and it trashes the work of people like Sergio Vieira de Mello, who placed himself time and time again at great personal risk in some of the world's most dangerous places and paid for it with his life.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 04:41 PM

Yeah, I was just in Cambodia a few weeks ago- that country's a great joint success of the UN and a half century of French- what do they call it again? oh yeah, imperialism. Well, except for all the guns, landmines, drugs, political violence and rampant corruption....

Multilateralize! Let in the UN- they'll fix it! They have done such a great job everywhere else! Can't trust those Americans, that's for sure.

Posted by: CaryF at December 15, 2003 05:00 PM

the pro-war people search for answers as to why the anti-war people think the way they do and the usual answer is anti-Americanism. While it may be true in the extreme cases, it certainly isn't the norm.

Well, that depends on how you define anti-Americanism. Most liberals I know are not Chompskites - although a surprisingly large number actually are (or at least Zinnites). But a very substantial number proceed from the assumption that hostility directed towards the U.S. from the third world (or even Europe), must be because "we" have necessarily inflicted some (generally imagined) wrong on "them". In other words, it's America's fault. I think of people who cite one trip by Donald Rumsfeld to Iraq in 1983 as evidence that we caused Saddam, disregarding tens of billions of dollars in real support given by Russia, France, Czechoslovakia and China (even Canada!), not to mention military training to thousands of the Baath armies military personnel in Russia and France, not to mention outright sales of nuclear technology by France, etc. The same goes for George Bush I's Ambassador to Iraq who supposedly gave the "green light" to Saddam to invade Kuweit and therefore it's all our fault.

Frankly, the real world is not at all that simple. This type of thinking is so patently naive, simplistic and utterly ignorant of historical, geopolitical and cultural realities, that I can only describe it as anti-American, even if not rabidly so. It is certainly thinking of a kind that would not occur to the French or the Germans with respect to their own countries, not to mention the Russians or the Chinese. To the extent that we do not regard such thinking as anti-American, that may simply be that we have assimilated it as mainstream in left/liberal/Democratic Party circles.

Posted by: Gabriel Gonzalez at December 15, 2003 05:07 PM

Glenn,

The problem with most stereotypes is that there is just a grain of truth in them, whether someone is Anti-War Pro-War etc. What galls me is that I supported Clinton (I voted for Clinton) in Bosnia-Kosovo, which by the way was done way more unilaterally than President Bush did Iraq. I supported both Clinton and Bush. (Even though I voted for Gore) My question to you Glenn or any other conservative out there is did you honestly support President Clinton when he went after Milosevic. If not, at least let it be a lesson to you to not make that mistake again. That is why I said I hope that the Republicans keep moving in the direction that I think they are. I want at least one Party for human rights, but preferably both. The hypocrisy coming from the Democrats now is HEART BREAKING. Principled people support principles period. Not just when your guy is doing it. How can we ever reach our potential as a nation if we only support change when it comes from “our guy”? The AARP supports the Medicare legislation for heavens sake. There is no doubt that we Democrats would accept this half loaf coming from Clinton. But coming from a Republican it has to be perfect, which of course means it can’t come from a Republican. When did we allow ourselves to be so disingenuous and politically prejudiced? Prejudices aren’t just racial. They are political and I guess I am worried that my fellow Democrats are so prejudiced politically that they won’t support what they would if President Bush were a Democrat. This is going to cause us to come up empty. Do you think that the Republicans would still have a majority in Congress had they rejected Welfare Reform or NAFTA, just because Clinton was going to sign it? No way! To match a wrong with a wrong is counter productive. Worse it is self destructive. My point is if you supported Kosovo and you agreed with the 1998 resolution on Iraq then it is impossible in my opinion to avoid being criticized and possibly being viewed as hypocritical or blinded by politics (I suggest you go read the resolution and what the Democrats are on record as saying in 1998). Setting up the playing field differently for Republicans and constantly moving the goalpost doesn’t cut it. The American people aren’t stupid. They see the rule changing going on.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 05:08 PM

Sure, the UN has had its successes but they are few and far between the failures. The problem is that the organization as a whole has done little to address the underlying issues resulting in all these failures.

Lets take the case of human rights and the UN's drive to protect these rights around the world. For the most part, it's done very little. You can't have an effective human rights police force if you lack the means (bare-bones UN army), the justification (sovereignty trumps all) or a credible legislative body to rule on these issues. The secretary general thinks that if the UN is handed the power (wherever), everything else will fall into place. He has spoken out on the sovereignty issue but that's about it.

It will take major reforms before the UN will be able to become the credible and effective international organization that everyone wants it to be. But the necessary reforms will be opposed by too many nations, because their own interests would be at stake. So it goes nowhere.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 05:14 PM

Cary,

Are the genocidaires still there? Are the killing fields still turning up fresh bodies? I have not doubt it's far from perfect, but it's better off than it was before.

East Timor is a far better success story and the UN played a major role.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 05:15 PM

Gabriel,

The Chomskyites may be wrong, and their views may be unpopular, but it doesn't make them unpatriotic, per se. Most people wouldn't say the same about extreme right-wingers who cling the the Southern flag, hate the multicultural nation that America has become, etc. They may be wrong and their views unpopular. Most people do not stick them with the unpatriotic label.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 05:18 PM

Randy: You assume that the entire anti-war movement speaks with one voice. You're wrong.

I don't make that assumption and never have. When I slammed T-bogg (for example) I slammed T-bogg, not you and Thomas Friedman and Christopher Hitchens along with him. Some liberals and leftists supported the war, some were conflicted, others supported the Stalinist Internation ANSWER and Saddam Hussein. I've made distinctions such as these countless times on my blog and in the comments.

I'll plead guilty to messing up the Liberia post many months back. Instead of "every" I should have said "many" or at least "most."

Most left-liberals did oppose the war for whatever reason and preferred a course of action that would have left Saddam Hussein's totalitarian dictatorship in place. That's just a fact that cannot be denied, no matter how much you might like to downplay its significance.

Iraqis enjoy a dramatic improvement in human rights thanks to George Bush, Tony Blair, and the coalition military forces. They have done far more to advance human rights on the ground than anyone else in recent memory, and for that I thank and support them.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 15, 2003 05:21 PM

Samuel,

I've never voted for a Republican president or senator in my life. So I dont think it would be proper for me to speak for the conservatives or republicans. i consider myself an independent.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 05:21 PM

The United Nations is too busy condemning Israel and blaming the United States and Israel for all the worlds ills to be taken seriously. They turn a blind eye to Human Rights Abuses and allow known Human Rights Abusers to sit in seats of judgement over other nations concerning what? Human Rights of course (Libya, Cuba etc.) Yea they can do some humanitarian services, but give me a break!

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 05:24 PM

On the same note though, I saw how the republicans attacked clinton, disagreed with practically every policy because they hated him so much, even though he truly was a moderate. I see the same thing going on with the democrats now, but worse.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 05:24 PM

Michael,

You said:
Iraqis enjoy a dramatic improvement in human rights thanks to George Bush, Tony Blair, and the coalition military forces. They have done far more to advance human rights on the ground than anyone else in recent memory, and for that I thank and support them.

Well said. If people would just accept the fact that when good things happen to appreciate them and learn as well. If you are for Human Rights than consistantly be for Human Rights.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 05:32 PM

Glenn,
You said:
I saw how the republicans attacked clinton, disagreed with practically every policy because they hated him so much.

Well that is mostly true. They did not, however, shoot themselves in the foot on Welfare Reform like the Democrats have done with Medicare.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 05:39 PM

well gingrich surely shot himself in the foot on welfare reform, didn't he? i'm sure there are other examples but i'm not gonna go through the old newspapers to figure them out.

anyhow, it looks like some places in Iraq are taking baby steps towards democracy. maybe they can have as much love for each other as left and right do in this country. hehe

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 05:48 PM

"We recognize this area as vital to U.S. national interests, and we will behave, with others, multilaterally when we can and unilaterally when we must." Madeleine Albright, 10/17/03

Randy,

Saddam wasn’t the kind of guy who was going to change because of “coercive inspections” humiliating him. Thankfully, that was not the assumption by the U.S., for Saddam would certainly still be crushing his opposition by throwing them off of roofs, etc. Would you think that someone could “humiliate Charles Manson? As long as Saddam thought he had the diplomatic support of France, he was content to wait things out until he could restart his murderous programs. At least 60 countries are now part of the coalition that deserves credit for Saddam’s downfall. France and Germany’s “prestige” may soon go to shit for opposing a just and legitimate war. The weasels just hated Dubya more than they hated Saddam.

Sergio Vieira de Mello, when he was in charge of the UN Human Rights Commission earlier this year stated his organization was “proving nearly unable to discuss human rights”, that “the manifest desire of most states was to avoid opening up a discussion of human rights in Iraq”, and that the U.N. venues lack a way to conceptualize the interrelationship between security, democracy and human rights. I don't think even Sergio would say this is the kind of multilateral institution to which America should consign its international prestige.

Posted by: d-rod at December 15, 2003 05:49 PM

Well Michael you did say this:

But the anti-war crowd, of which you are a part, opposed the policy that removed him from power.

I can tell you this. I opposed the largely unilateral action of this administration. As you read Samantha Power's book, consider the fact that few people did a better job of documenting Saddam Hussein's brutality, yet she stated in an interview on NPR that she opposed the war, because she feared what preemptive unilateral action would mean to the world. That's close to my position.

As for whether or not Bush is a great humanitarian, well, as you know I've posted about that on Beautiful Horizons. I'll believe it when he has his DOJ stop undermining the Alien Torts Claims Act and when individuals such as Maher Arar never have to fear illegal refoulement to Syria to be tortured.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 05:55 PM

So you want perfection randy?

Because we all know that all that these human rights abusing activities did not start with President Bush. They went on during the Clinton years. They went on during the Carter years. Maybe to different degrees, but then it seems that right now, you will only accept perfection. All this is nothing new. We can strive to make improvements, point out all the abuses, but that does not mean that we have to do what you do, which is dismiss all Bush administration actions because of the aforementioned stuff.

There has been no point in time since WWII that the US coddled fewer dictators, and done so to a lesser degree. What does that mean for the human rights situation around the globe? Good thing? Bad thing?

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 06:11 PM

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I hated Newt Gingrich, remember I voted for Clinton twice. Newt shot himself everywhere, head, foot, ass, you name it! I was againts Welfare Reform. But the Republicans gave Clinton the votes to pass Welfare Reform. This time around the Republicans not the Democrats gave Bush the votes to pass medicare (backed by the AARP!) this is a huge mistake for the Democrats. The Republican's also gave Clinton the votes for NAFTA (I was againts that also).

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 06:15 PM

Wow. As an unreconstructed liberal, but not a leftist, what a pleasure to find this oasis of more or less reasoned argument where that distinction might even be recognized.

Why I'm not a former liberal neocon:

I don't believe that any honest, informed person can believe that "freedom for the Iraqis" was what motivated the invasion. And I think the chances for "freedom for the Iraqis" actually happening are still pretty dicey at this point, and that an invasion was a not the best plan for acheiving that goal.

Coalition partner: Azarbaijan - are human rights there any better than in Hussein-era Iraq?

China - New democracy Taiwan takes a tounge-lashing from the Prez for thinking about, not indepence, but just asking please point those Chinese nuclear missiles away from us.

Criticizing horrible American policy or leadership is not anti-American. Is criticizing a Clinton or any of Bill's policies anti-American?

I see a lot of cross-partisan goodwill and sensible debate on this site and hope to learn some things.

P.S. Tbogg is just plain funny - so are righties Dennis Miller and Drew Carrey.

P.P.S. OK - Dennis Miller isn't funny. Just said that to be nice.

Regards,

Posted by: Murray at December 15, 2003 06:15 PM

Randy,

Did you support or oppose Clinton's unilateral action in Kosovo?

It's odd that Samantha Power argues so long and so well about people who come up with all sorts of reasons not to depose genocidal dictators, and then does the same thing herself. Sometimes I wonder if she read her own book.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 15, 2003 06:16 PM

D-Rod

That's not what I said. I said it would have weakened him, because it would have shown him as being vulnerable (not in the touchy-feely sense, but in the military sense). It was worth a try. Sergio Viera de Mello's last words, by the way, were a plea not to pull the mission out of Iraq. He also spoke of how humiliating it must be for the Iraqis to know that their nation is occupied and stated that it would devastate him to see foreign tanks in Copacabana.

The UN is much more than the UNHCR. By the way, the blame for why the UNHCR has countries such as Libya and Cuba rests with the nations that vote these countries onto the UNHCR, not the UN itself. There of course, need to be reforms but blaming the UN when it is only as good as the nations that make it up is misplacing much of the blame.

If you are for Human Rights than consistantly be for Human Rights.

Yes you should I'm afraid that sensibility is sadly lacking at the core of this administration.

What a shame.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 06:24 PM

No one is consistent in upholding human rights unless they do so from the comfort of their computer chair. Compare Bush's results on this front to other leaders of the world. Who has freed more people from tyranny lately? Anyone?

Randy, you'd have a lot more impact (with me anyway) criticizing Bush's human rights failures if you aknowledged the good stuff. Human Rights do not need to be his number one priority for him to deserve credit unless you think intentions matter more than action and results. Intentions never freed anyone from slavery.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at December 15, 2003 06:35 PM

Randy

You said:

As for whether or not Bush is a great humanitarian, well, as you know I've posted about that on Beautiful Horizons. I'll believe it when he has his DOJ stop undermining the Alien Torts Claims Act and when individuals such as Maher Arar never have to fear illegal refoulement to Syria to be tortured


It would be nice if some people would quit trying to disqualify people from doing good just because you can find some fault or disagreement with them in some way. We would have a reason to oppose anyone at any time on anything. This leads to a he’s not worthy to do good mentality. If a starving person longs for food should he care if the person feeding him is perfect or not? Not being supportive in helping the Iraqis because you don’t trust George Bush doesn’t help one Iraqi Mr. Humanitarian now does it? Obviously your sitting in judgment of President Bush has clouded your judgment.

Posted by: Samuel at December 15, 2003 06:40 PM

Murray,

Here's all the information you need to learn who's coddling Azerbaijan.

Randy, On the UN and UNHRC, you nailed it! how can you separate the UN from the nations that make up the UN. You can't. Who made up these rules for voting for the UNHRC?? And that was only one example. I know that the UN is more than just the UNHRC. When I say UNHRC, I mean UN human rights commission, not UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and its sister UNWRA, which is another disaster. You want to get into that too? Soo many serious painful reforms...

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 06:42 PM

yes yes, lets talk about means, ends and intent. What matters more??

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 06:44 PM

i mean most!

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 06:44 PM

i would definitely say that intent is the weakest priority. Does anyone remember why France supported the colonists in the Revolutionary War? I don't, but thank you France!!

I don't remember why any of the UN members voted to ratify the Palestine PArtition plan. I'm sure the US made lots of promises to a bunch of those little countries. Thanks little countries!!

The ends matter most to me.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 06:47 PM

Michael,

Clinton's action was with NATO, it wasn't unilateral and yes I supported it. Most of the worst of Saddam's actions had taken place in the 1980's (I'm thinking of Halabja in particular), but Kosovo was an opportunity to stop the human rights abuses in their tracks.

As far as Power's position goes, I think that her sentiment echoes mine in the above paragraph. Many of Saddam's genocidal actions had already taken place. While that is no excuse for not doing anything about him afterwards, her book focuses on the US response to genocidal activities while they are taking place. If something had been done at the time perhaps we would not have had to go to war. I'm sure that she would have had no problem with him being prosecuted for his crimes.

There has been no point in time since WWII that the US coddled fewer dictators, and done so to a lesser degree. What does that mean for the human rights situation around the globe? Good thing? Bad thing?

Part of that is the fact that there are fewer dictators in the world. I certainly think it's a good thing, but the only acceptable number in my mind is zero.

As far as perfection goes, it's certainly worth striving for. I also never said that this statrted with Bush. Carter was an idiot for saying that the brutal regime of the Shah of Iran was "stable and progressive" a year before he was overthrown. The contortions that the Clinton administration did to avoid referring to the Rwandan genocide as a genocide were a disgrace. The Bush administration made scarce mention of the human rights angle until after the search for WMD's failed to bear fruit. Color me unconvinced as to the administration's position when it comes to human rights.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 06:49 PM

Randy, you'd have a lot more impact (with me anyway) criticizing Bush's human rights failures if you aknowledged the good stuff.

You'd have a lot more impact with me if you'd acknowledge that there is a great deal of inconsistency in his polices and that intentions do matter.

I'm pooped however and have to continue this another time.

Posted by: Randy Paul at December 15, 2003 06:53 PM

2 less dictatorial regimes thanks to bush.

Posted by: Glenn at December 15, 2003 06:55 PM

Randy,

You know you just brought a host of subjects that are controversial, worthy of individual posts and can't be addressed briefly. I've got plenty to say about the I.C.C. for example, but here is my take on why the Draft Optional Protocol to the U.N. Convention Against Torture is a recipe for failure, if you're interested.

Posted by: d-rod at December 15, 2003 06:55 PM

"If you're not a liberal when you're 25, you have no heart. If you're not a conservative by the time you're 35, you have no brain."

This is often, and incorrectly, attributed to Winston Churchill, who was a Conservative at 15, and a Liberal at 35.

I'm sorry that you have grown disenchanted with "the left", but you should not mistake intellectual fatigue for wisdom, nor moral fatigue for virtue.

Posted by: synykyl at December 15, 2003 10:08 PM

I'll toss another bottle of gasoline on the fire: I'm tired of the current Left because they've managed to marginalize leftist political discourse (trans: we're going to get our asses kicked politically). GWB is President, not because Gore got screwed by nine judges in DC but because he couldn't fucking carry Tennessee or Arkansas.

The DLC has managed to pimp the party out to Big Media and Big Law, and to build something that walks and talks like a political party, but is really a zombie.

Dean is making traditional parties obsolete, and the intersection of his new marketing model and the 15 - 20% of the Pissed Off Left has probably delivered him the nomination.

I'd like to win, and I'd like those wind to translate into a better life for people who make less than I do - and sadly, TBogg, Hesiod & Co. are obstacles in that path, not assets.

A.L.

Posted by: Armed Liberal at December 15, 2003 10:35 PM

But see Samual. We all look at facts. You can not overly burden people willing to work hard for things to pay off people who do not.

My wifes Uncle and Aunt, lived with her Grandmother for about 12 years. During that period of time, they got credit cards in her Grandmother's name and her dead Grandfathers name. To the tune of 80k. These people honestly believe the government owes them something. One graduated from Georgia Tech for God's sake, I went to DeVry, ends to a mean. Has been offered jobs, had them and lost them because they are not willing to get up every morning.

Should I, who gets up at 5 every morning and works everyday, should I have to support these two? My wife and I both agree they will not find a place to live with us ever. Why should I let them preach to me the evils of Capitalism when I get up and work everyday. Why should I have to support them. And the other day my wife, thank god I was not there, told her family that only rich people love this country. Gah, I love this country, because I know that if you try hard you can make it.

And Samual, do you deny that the left takes it easy on criminals because of how hard their background was, I call BS, personal responsibility.

The sad part is, her Grandmother will not charge them with identity theft. So she is liable to lose her house. It just makes me so angry. Thankfully, her Grandmother has moved into her other Aunt and Uncle's house. They at least work, they have kicked those two out, but of course her Grandmother still has to buy them groceries. Of course her whole family really believes this country is not what it is cracked up to be. I know it is not only as good as people think, it is better.

Borderline Socialists. By the way, I spent three years in Germany. And I visited as many countries as I could, including East Berlin, when there was such a thing. Would not trade any of their governments for our, ever.

Anyway, sorry for my little rant.

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Posted by: James Stephenson at December 16, 2003 10:39 AM

Randy Paul:

Characterizing East Timor as a great success for the U.N. is simplistic. At best, it was a qualified success, and its economy still lanquishes in deep poverty. The reason Indonesia ultimately relinquished their deathgrip on East Timor was (once again) the committment of a credible military force to enforce the cease-fire and partition. In this case, that force was Australian.

Some people always rave about the supposed legitimacy of "international solutions" even when the only reason that opressive regimes are moving is because of the threat of force (i.e. 250 thousnad U.S. soldiers on the borders of Iraq prior to the inspections push). Do you seriously think that if the soldiers weren't there Saddam would have voluntarily thrown open the gates of his country to international inspectors? Even the inspections that did take place were a shell game and a sham, and they only took place at all because of the soliders surrounding Iraq. If Saddam really didn't have WMD, then he made one of the most massive miscalculations in history to think that he could play the "international community" fiddle indefinitely and keep the U.S. from invading. Game, set, and match to the evil unilateralist warmonger Bush.

I won't even broach the sordid history of U.N. peacekeeping failures in Rwanda, Kosovo, Cambodia, and even in defeding their own workers in Iraq. I think the U.S. should work with the U.N. to the extent that it doesn't impinge upon our priorities and goals via-a-vis Iraq and the region, but to claim that the vaunted "international community" is what gives wars legality and sanction is simplistic at best. I don't want to listen to the Syrian and Lybian representatives lecture the world about the sanctity of human rights!

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9 SUPER,ZESTAW,sklep,9">CANON,PowerShot,A60,SUPER,ZESTAW

10 CANON,PowerShot,A40,

11 CANON,PowerShot,S50

12 MINOLTA,Dimage,F300+POKROWIEC,GRATIS!!!

13 MINOLTA,Dimage,F100

14 MINOLTA,Dimage,7Hi,

15 MINOLTA,Dimage,Xi

16 MINOLTA,Dimage,X

17 MINOLTA,Dimage,7i

18 NIKON,Coolpix,2500,

19 NIKON,Coolpix,3500,

20 NIKON,Coolpix,4300

21 NIKON,Coolpix,4500

22 NIKON,Coolpix,5700

23 NIKON,D100

24 SONY,DSC-U20,

25 SONY,DSC-U10,+,akku,gratis!

26 ,DSC-717,+,MS,256,PRO,,sklep,26">SONY,,DSC-717,+,MS,256,PRO,

27 SONY,DSC-717,+,ACC-CSFM,+,128MB

28 CANON,EOS,300,V,+,EF28-90,DC+,GRATISY!

29 NIKON,Coolpix,2100,

30 NIKON,Coolpix,3100

31 CANON,Ixus,400,

32 CANON,PowerShot,A70,-,SUPER,ZESTAW!,

33 CANON,EOS,10D

34 CANON,Digital,IXUS,V3+CF,128MB,

35 MINOLTA,Dynax,4,+,AF,28-80,(D)

36 MINOLTA,Dynax,5

37 MINOLTA,Dynax,7

38 MINOLTA,Dynax,9

39 NIKON,F55

40 NIKON,F65,

41 NIKON,F80

42 NIKON,F100

43 NIKON,F5

44 NIKON,FM3A

45 HAMA,Syscase,DF50

46 HAMA,Syscase,DF30

47 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DF10,czarny

48 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DF10,czarno-beżowy

49 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DF10,czarno-bršzowy

50 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DF30,czarny

51 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DF30,czarno-beżowy

52 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DF30,czarno-bršzowy

53 HAMA,Digital,Soft,DFV40

54 RiDATA,CompactFlash,128MB

55 RiDATA,CompactFlash,256MB

56 RiDATA,CompactFlash,512MB

57 RiDATA,CompactFlash,64MB

58 KINGSTON,CompactFlash,128MB

59 KINGSTON,CompactFlash,256MB

60 KINGSTON,CompactFlash,512MB

61 RiDATA,SmartMedia,64MB

62 RiDATA,SmartMedia,128MB

63 RiDATA,SecureDigital,64MB

64 RiDATA,SecureDigital,128MB

65 RiDATA,SecureDigital,256MB

66 RiDATA,MultiMedia,Card,64MB

67 RiDATA,MultiMedia,Card,128MB

68 FUJI,xD-Picture,64MB

69 FUJI,xD-Picture,128MB

70 CANON,EOS,1V

71 CANON,EOS,3

72 CANON,EOS,30

73 CANON,EOS,33

74 CANON,PowerShot,A300+POKROWIEC!

75 NIKON,Coolpix,2100,

76 NIKON,Coolpix,3100

77 OLYMPUS,C-350Z+,xD,64,MB,i,akumulatorki

78 OLYMPUS,C740Z,SUPER,ZESTAW!

79 OLYMPUS,mju,300,Blue+,xD64,+skórzany,pokrowiec

80 OLYMPUS,mju,400,Digital,+xD,128MB,+,pokrowiec

81 PENTAX,Optio,330GS

82 PENTAX,Optio,430RS

83 PENTAX,Optio,33L

84 PENTAX,Optio,S

85 PENTAX,Optio,550

86 CASIO,EXILIM,EX-M1

87 CASIO,EXILIM,EX-M2

88 CASIO,EXILIM,EX-S2

89 CASIO,EXILIM,EX-Z3

90 CASIO,QV-5700+CF,512MB

91 CASIO,QV-R4

92 SONY,DCS-P32

93 SONY,DSC-P72

94 SONY,DSC-P8

95 ROWI,532

96 PENTAX,MZ-60,D

97 PENTAX,MZ-30

98 PENTAX,MZ-7

99 PENTAX,MZ-6

100 PENTAX,MZ-5N

Posted by: aparaty cyfrowe at December 6, 2004 06:38 PM

Every prescription medication has certain side effects. Lipitor is no different, however its side effects are infrequent and relatively mild

Posted by: lipitor side effects at December 8, 2004 03:00 AM

Keep Cool, but Don't Freeze
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Posted by: Payday Loan at December 16, 2004 07:06 AM

Nuclear war would really set back cable.
-- Ted Turner
Payday Loans http://www.paylesspaydayloans.com

Posted by: Payday Loans at December 17, 2004 06:16 AM

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Posted by: Aparaty cyfrowe at February 17, 2005 04:00 PM

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Posted by: cAMCOO at February 17, 2005 04:02 PM

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Posted by: Adam at February 23, 2005 12:42 PM

Telewizory
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