June 03, 2005

Bigots with Car Bombs

So-called Iraqi “insurgents” continue their campaign of terrorist rampages in Baghdad, this time targetting some of the least offensive people on Earth – Sufis.

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - A suicide bomber blew himself up at a gathering of Sufi Muslims north of Baghdad, killing 10 people in the latest attack by Iraqi insurgents on religious sects they disapprove of, officials said on Friday.
A person who deliberately mass-murders his fellow citizens because they belong to the “wrong” religious sect is not an insurgent. The “insurgents” are not oppressed by a Sufi regime in Iraq, nor can Iraq’s government be considered even remotely dominated by Sufis. Those killed weren’t part of the government or police force in the first place.

“Insurgent” is a morally and ethically neutral term. There are good insurgents and bad in this world, just as there are good guerillas and bad. There are not, however, good mass-murdering terrorists.

Professional writers should know this. Reuters’ so-called “insurgents” are bigots with car bombs. Mass-murdering Sufis solely because they are Sufis is a hate crime. It is distinguishable from genocide only in scale.

UPDATE: On that note, see the HateWatch briefing at Winds of Change.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 3, 2005 12:56 PM
Comments

Obviously they can't use the word 'terrorist' because that would be a tacit admission that this may actually be a """war on terror"""".

Posted by: spaniard at June 3, 2005 04:53 PM

For me, the term 'Koranimals' is perfectly descriptive. But then, I don't need to worry about Saudi sponsorship, or offending the delicate feelings of Islamic "activists".

Posted by: mika. at June 3, 2005 05:22 PM

I believe the mass media uses the term insurgents because it sounds better than terrorists and gives the impression that they are simply Iraqi loyalists who oppose the Bush-led U.S. forces. This term and tactic, of course, are puposely chosen and used as part of the media Bush-Attack. It's too bad that they put their disdain of our leaders above the liberation and welfare of a nation and millions of its citizens.

Posted by: Woody at June 3, 2005 05:25 PM

That's positively foul. Sufis represent the most purely humane and spiritual qualities in Islam. To call plain religious murderers "insurgents" only compounds the crime.

I propose that Reuters make the following additions to its style book:

Abortion clinic bombers: "pro-life insurgents"
Klan lynchers: "Redneck insurgents"
Nazi concentration camp guards: "Leather fetish insurgents"
Jeffrey Dahmer: "culinary insurgent"
Gay-bashers: "genital insurgents"
Charles Manson: "Hollywood insurgent"
Baby seal clubbers: "bipedal insurgents"

Posted by: Callimachus at June 3, 2005 06:17 PM

"Professional writers should know this. Reuters’ so-called “insurgents” are bigots with car bombs. Mass-murdering Sufis solely because they are Sufis is a hate crime. It is distinguishable from genocide only in scale"--MJT

There is no bottom to this.No bottom whatsoever.These animals are merely vermin who by some happenstance appear in human form.If only I could I would gladly exterminate each and every one of them(and their tacit supporters) personally,and my conscience would be perfectly clear.

A prior poster on another thread said in regard to the 'gulag' crap launched by AI that 'Uncle Joe' would have merely put a round in the 'insurgent's' heads and dumped them in a mass grave.If only they could be identified,that solution works just fine for me.

Posted by: dougf at June 3, 2005 06:28 PM

Every innocent civilian that the fanatics and criminals murder reveals them for what they are. It doesn't matter what the quisling journalists call them. People can see exactly what they are. Even sunni muslim arabs in other countries can see what dregs these things are.

Posted by: Rivenkant at June 3, 2005 06:42 PM

According to Zarqawi, they're fair game:

Tape justifies killing innocent Muslims

Posted by: Caroline at June 3, 2005 10:58 PM

This is the same as the Herald Tribune referring to Hamas as "a group that Israel and the United States considers terrorist".

Posted by: MarkC at June 3, 2005 11:12 PM

So Reuters uses the term "insurgents".

The crowd here, however, uses dehumanizing phrases right out of the NAZI propaganda playbook(it's the exact same use of language, look it up):

Koranimals

These animals are merely vermin who by some happenstance appear in human form.

the quisling journalists

what dregs these things are

but I guess that's just fine.

Posted by: novakant at June 4, 2005 02:13 AM

Yes! I win again!

Posted by: Godwin at June 4, 2005 02:45 AM

Well of course they're insurgents, they're also dangerous, evil terrorist scum, the two don't conflict at all.

Part of any insurgency (good, bad, indifferent) is to start to impliment the policy of the kind of government they want before (if ever) they succeed in taking power. Killing large numbers of civilians is part of their policy now and will be if they succeed. As far as that goes, they're being pretty open about it. As I understand the situation (thru Iraqi friends) among Iraqis they only have the support of former Saddam toadies.
I personally suspect they have the support of lots of different kinds of despot arab governments who want their people to associate 'democracy' with 'chaos'. But that's only a suspicion.

Posted by: Michael Farris at June 4, 2005 04:55 AM

Also, I think the MSM "journalists" wouldnt know a Shia from a Sunni from a Sufi. Plus, of course they feel the intense need to always portray the USA and the actions of the American Govt in negative light. So, given all that, it isnt surprising that even the massacre of Sufis wouldnt get MSM "journalists" to reexamine their assumptions.

Posted by: ronin at June 4, 2005 05:02 AM

So, you affectionately call Stalin 'uncle Joe'. So what..

http://www.alphecca.com/ddaypaper/paper_d_3.html

Posted by: mika. at June 4, 2005 05:03 AM

the quisling journalists

winger,

how can "quisling journalists" be a term straight out of the Nazi playbook when "quisling" was a term applied to Norwegians who collaborated with the Nazis? Let me guess, any term applied to you Libs is "nazi".

Posted by: spaniard at June 4, 2005 06:29 AM

I personally suspect they have the support of lots of different kinds of despot arab governments who want their people to associate 'democracy' with 'chaos'. But that's only a suspicion

It's a fact. Sheik Saleh Al Luhaidan, chief justice of Saudi Arabia's Supreme Judicial Council, told the Kingdom that fighting in Iraq was "religiously permissible". Since religion is Saudi law, this was a government official's legal justification for joining the insurgents.

Syria is allowing its territory to be used by those who seek to carry out attacks inside Iraq.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards and Hezbollah provided Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr with money, training and logistical support for his campaign against U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq.

These governments support the insurgents for the same reason they supported Palestinian attacks against Israel. They're at war with Israel, they're at war with us, they're at war with the Thais, the Indian government, Russia, etc. Since most of the insurgents are Ba'thist or Islamist, hate and bigotry isn't just their motivation, it's their philosophy and their laws. This is how they wage war. It's how they've been waging war for years.

Posted by: mary at June 4, 2005 07:15 AM

So they're 'at war' with you instead of sucking up to you? Bad them. Maybe you should bomb them some more and invade another one of their countries, to make them love you?

Yeah, that ought to do it... NOT

As I see it you guys have no right of complaining whatsoever. Leave these people be and they will let you be.

As long as you fcuk with them, expect that they will fcuk with you. The war will end when your pain is as great as theirs. Until you get it, expect more suicide bombers, more flag draped coffins, more 9-11s.

One day in the near future bombs will go off at Wal-Mart, McDonalds, at the movie theaters. You will die on the beaches, you will die on the airports, you will die in schools and in factories. You can not win this war. They will never surrender.

Thanks for your attention.

And now you can keep on with what you were doing before. Lice picking each other and confirming to each other that the lies you're constantly repeating are honest to God truths.

Posted by: Tatterdemaelion at June 4, 2005 08:07 AM

..."but I guess that's just fine"--Novakant

Yes it is actually.These 'things' don't need to be 'de-humanized'; they are ,per se,inhuman. By their actions shall you know them,and their actions speak volumes.It's more than past time that applicable words be used to describe inexcusable actions.

Posted by: at June 4, 2005 08:14 AM

You will die on the beaches, you will die on the airports, you will die in schools and in factories. You can not win this war. They will never surrender.

you sound like Winston Churchill in reverse, calling for the victory of our enemies instead of their defeat. But I wouldn't dare question your patriotism. That would be "fascist" and "nazi" and "gulag" of me.

Posted by: spaniard at June 4, 2005 08:30 AM

"You sound like Winston Churchill in reverse, calling for the victory of our enemies instead of their defeat. But I wouldn't dare question your patriotism. That would be "fascist" and "nazi" and "gulag" of me."------Spaniard

Oh, I so dare.But what would be the use? This WILL end badly one way or the other, so now it's merely a question of hanging on until the ride stops.At one point I would have thought that this POISONOUS rant would have come direct from Jihadis-R-Us,but regrettably this is just LEFTIST Insanity at work

One sub-set of the population is now undeniably MAD,and simply cannot go back.
I sincerely hope it's not I, but on the other hand I really did like Nicholson's performance in the 'Shining',so at the least I have a role model to emulate should worse come to worse. :-)

Posted by: dougf at June 4, 2005 08:47 AM

Tatterdemaelion - if you're going to use a silly alias, you should try to spell it right.

from Ulysses:

Florry Talbot, a blond feeble goosefat whore in a tatterdemalion gown of mildewed strawberry, lolls spreadeagle in the sofa corner, her limp forearm pendent over the bolster, listening..

Otherwise, your rant is standard troll fare. Standing up for a bunch of genocidal bigots makes you feel so important, doesn't it? We're all so impressed.

Posted by: mary at June 4, 2005 08:56 AM

quisling = traitor

maligning critical journalists and other voices of dissent, calling them traitors and questioning their patriotism was one of the major aspects of Nazi propaganda (Bolshevik as well) and is still a good indicator for totalitarian thought

as for dehumanizing speech, it puts the people employing it in an awful tradition (cf. e.g. "vermin" "rats" in "Der ewige Jude"), serves no rational purpose and is counterproductive if your aims are somewhat on the humanistic side

Posted by: novakant at June 4, 2005 10:01 AM

novakant,

calling a journalist a "quisling" is straight from the "Nazi" playbook, but calling conservative republicans "nazi", "Hitler", "neonazis", "gulag" is what, pray tell? Is that straight from Stalin's playbook? Face it, you don't know what the fuck you're talking about.

Posted by: spaniard at June 4, 2005 10:16 AM

Quisling journalists? I see what you mean--too redundant. I'll try to do better, honest.

Belmontclub link
has an interesting discussion on possible ways in which the conflict with the sunni islamist terror networks might escalate, and the part that quis-- er , journalists might play in the drama. Very interesting.

Posted by: Rivenkant at June 4, 2005 10:17 AM

I disagree that all insurgents are mass-murdering Zarqawi biggots. Obviously some are. But a lot are not. Many are nationalist-motivated local Iraqi insurgents who oppose the U.S. occupation.

http://www.comw.org/pda/0505rm10.html

These nationalist insurgents don't mass murder Sufis, they car bomb Americans like my friend Jeff who was attending UC Davis until the national guard sent him over there to die in a foreign country that REPRESENTED NO THREAT WHATSOEVER to us...

Posted by: mike at June 4, 2005 11:02 AM

Tatterdemaelion: Leave these people be and they will let you be.

Tell that to the Sufis, pal.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 11:10 AM

This use of the word "insurgents" to describe these killers is one of the strangest practices of today's MSM. It bespeaks a moral vacuum so deep that its hard to fathom--obviously, on the part of the killers, but also in smaller measure on the part of their semantic defenders, the MSM.

About a month ago, I wrote here, about how heinous the practice of using the word "insurgents" in this context is. Excerpt:

The definition of the word "insurgents" is as follows: People who are fighting against the government in their own country. So, how is it that the media persists in calling them this? This is not merely a matter of nitpicky semantics, either; words have power and meaning, and the use of this one lends worldwide legitimacy to people who should have absolutely none. There is a perfectly good alternative available, too--"terrorists"--and the consistent refusal to use it is deplorable.

Posted by: neo-neocon at June 4, 2005 11:11 AM

I do think journalists should not be called quislings. A friend of mine works for Reuters, and I guarantee you he agrees with my post. His bosses forbid him to use the word terrorist outside of quotation marks.

"Vermin" is a bit much when used to describe genocidal mass-murderers. But only a bit. Let's try to remember who are the real fascists here.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 11:16 AM

So advocating an end to a pointless and destructive war is me being MAD?

The Iraqis are right in defending their country. The US is the crook here. Just as it was in Korea, Vietnam and many other places it conquered and occupied.

Soon those warlords will realize what Hannibal realized when his country was attacked by Rome. Take the war to the enemy's country. We'll see how cocky you chickenhawks are then.

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 4, 2005 11:20 AM

The U.S. was the crook in Korea? Not Kim Jong Il?

Wow, you really are a nutjob, aren't you?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 11:35 AM

The US is the crook here. Just as it was in Korea, Vietnam and many other places it conquered and occupied.

The best way to know for sure if someone is a nutjob is when he says America's role in Korea is that of "crook". And that's how you know where he's coming from when he talks about Iraq and Kuwait too. These are the enemy within moonbat traitors that have taken over American Liberalism. If I were king I'd round them up and dump them en masse on the shores of North Korea and give them exactly what they wish for and deserve. And then I'd give up my earthly throne just to see the look on their faces when they finally woke up to the madness that is their worldview.

Posted by: spaniard at June 4, 2005 11:59 AM

"So advocating an end to a pointless and destructive war is me being MAD?"

You're in the wrong forum. Now, scoot over to your local madrasa, and repeat them fighting words there.

Posted by: mika. at June 4, 2005 12:04 PM

""Soon those warlords will realize what Hannibal realized when his country was attacked by Rome. Take the war to the enemy's country. We'll see how cocky you chickenhawks are then."---T....."

Wonderful.Your historical insight is exactly on a par with your current events analyses.Some Latin for you; Cathago Delenda Est !!

You do realise,don't you,the Hannibal killed himself,(while in humiliating exile),as the Romans closed in to seize him as a trophy?

You do realise that Carthage,his homeland,was razed to the ground and everyone not slain outright was sold into slavery.EVERYONE.

You do realise that Hannibal's Italian campaign was fundamentally a failure,and that arguably it lead directly to the obliteration of everything he valued.

When people such as me,for example,use Carthage as an analogy,it is really not to indicate that Hannibal or his cause was a great success.He did manage to kill hundreds of thousands of poorly led Roman soldiers,and he was a great general,and an equally great fanatic,but he was a FAILURE.He marched for years up and down the Italian penninsula,and when it was all over,Rome was more powerful than ever, and he was an historical footnote(as was Carthage).

That you use him as an example indicates very clearly your level of historical awareness(well as if your MAD posts were not evidence enough).Frankly I would be quite happy if the jihadi v***** were a direct equivalent to Hannibal.

As for the use of v***** to describe jihadist butcher boys,perhaps that was a triffle unfair.I could care less about the crypto-FASCIST allegations which are pretty much same-o,same-o at this point.Everybody has to be something,and as a blog I read yesterday stated; 'In the future everyone will be Hitler for 15 minutes'.No,I just worry that the term might be quite unfair to the 4 legged variety of the type.

Flexible as I am,I now use 'perfidious'in place of 'treasonous'or 'seditious',so if someone has a word that fits more usefully,I am more than willing to adopt it forthwith.

Posted by: dougf at June 4, 2005 12:11 PM

Wow DougF

Don't introduce basic history to the young Mr. Chomsky. His head will explode. Plus, icluding data in an argument is considered rude these days. :)

Posted by: spc67 at June 4, 2005 12:21 PM

Spaniard,

Tatterdemalion isn't American. He's European. Can't you tell? No American is that fully anti-American.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 12:29 PM

MJT writes: "Tatterdemalion isn't American. He's European. Can't you tell? No American is that fully anti-American."

Michael, Michael, Michael--you innocent country lamb. I've met the type, here in the US and abroad. They're like Michael Moore/Noam Chomsky hybrids.

Posted by: chris in st. lou' at June 4, 2005 01:11 PM

Tatterdemaelion: "Leave these people be and they will let you be."

Sure Tatter - whatever you say:

Chronology of Islamic Terror

Coming soon to a theatre near you, no doubt, even if you are in Europe.

Re the Zarqawi tape justifying the killing of innocent Muslims, Robert Spencer had this article at frontpage, in which he issues a call to moderate muslims to please come forward and dispute Zarqawi's claims on theological grounds:

Robert Spencer

"For if Islamic moderates convince non-Muslims that Islam is peaceful, those non-Muslims will go home reassured, but that is all: only if the moderates can convince their fellow Muslims of this will there be any weakening of the jihadist initiative. With this audiotape, Zarqawi has seized the intellectual and theological initiative within the global Islamic community, and reinforced the jihadist claim to represent “pure Islam” — a claim that has proved to be a potent recruitment tool among Muslims worldwide, as well as here in the United States. If moderates do not or cannot take that initiative from him, the consequences could reverberate across the world for decades to come."

Posted by: Caroline at June 4, 2005 01:38 PM

My analogy to Hannibal is correct. It is of no importance that Hannibal lost and that Carthage was destroyed. What's important is that he took the war to his enemy's country.

I have no doubt that the USA would militarily win over any of the Muslim nations in the world, but that is not the point. The point is that the people living in the USA should avoid that this war be brought to their own country.

Once Pandora's box gets open there is no closing the lid again. Once one group of terrorists or freedom fighters shows the way, the rest of them will follow. Every future conflict will result in bombs going off at the Wal-Mart, kidnapping of american schoolchildren, poisoning of water wells.

How would you fancy that, you brave ones who call me 'Anti-American'? How will it feel when YOUR kids die? How will it feel?

Think about it for a while. Even the mere thought is horrible.

Then realize that the feeling of utter hatred you would feel for the people who did this to you is the same feeling that the Iraqis feel for you when you kill their kids for no reason at all.

Also realize that nothing you did to punish the terrorists would bring your kid back. Nothing. All you'd accomplish would just escalate the spiral of hatred. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. And a kid for a kid.

Now. Ask yourself what's more patriotic; To continue living in peace and prosperity, building your future with your family and countrymen, or to incite foreigners to bring death and destruction to your home?

BTW, I was referring to the Korean War and not to Kim Jong Il.

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 4, 2005 01:43 PM

Tatterdemalion: The point is that the people living in the USA should avoid that this war be brought to their own country.

It has already been brought to our country. Why do you think we went to Afghanistan? The war has been out of our country ever since we did that. Anyone can play your Hannibal game.

BTW, I was referring to the Korean War and not to Kim Jong Il.

We fought Kim Jong Il's father Kim Il Sung (which is who I meant to cite the first time around) in the Korean War.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 01:47 PM

I'm sorry. This is the same ridiculous argument Hitchens tried to make in Slate a few weeks ago, and it is clearly and obviously wrong. You have to have a tin ear to keep pushing this.
First of all, insurgent happens to be the preferred term of the US military and the US government. End of discussion as far as I'm concerned. Check out any Pentagon briefing - insurgent is always the word the briefers use. If the media decided to use some other term they would be,rightfully, accused of bias.
Second of all, insurgent is hardly "neutral", it is derogatory unless you happen to be a radical leftist, which may be why MJT and Hitchens' left-wing pasts have got them confused. No normal person uses the word "insurgent" approvingly. You would never call the minutemen at Lexington "insurgents" unless you were a British Tory. I've seen some good arguments on this site. But using the mass murder of Sufis to make a dubious semantic point is really not worthy of this website.

Posted by: vanya at June 4, 2005 01:55 PM

I miss the good ol' days when America's terrorists were 'freedom fighters'...

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 02:05 PM

I've just blogged an excerpt from a book about war reporting that describes a strange effect of the NYT's policy during the Spanish Civil War of labelling all of Franco's troops as generic "insurgents"--no matter whether they were Mussolini's Italians, Hitler's Germans, or mercenary Moroccans.

Posted by: Joel at June 4, 2005 02:07 PM

Tell that to the Sufis, pal.

well, there's not a little to it, there was plenty of state terror to run around in Iraq before the official invasion of Iraq, but this bombings galore business is pretty new to Iraq and tied to the invasion in terms of timing. reality i'm afraid.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 02:08 PM

Vanya: Second of all, insurgent is hardly "neutral", it is derogatory unless you happen to be a radical leftist, which may be why MJT and Hitchens' left-wing pasts have got them confused. No normal person uses the word "insurgent" approvingly.

Someone has finally come along and made an interesting counterargument.

You may well be right about that, Vanya.

Still, I don't see how sectarian hate crimes count as acts of insurgency. If the Pentagon does, in fact, use that terms to describe such acts that doesn't make it accurate all of a sudden.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 02:22 PM

Still, I don't see how sectarian hate crimes count as acts of insurgency.

General Dostum was the equivalent of the founding fathers, was he not? Or so Ronald Reagan and Dan Rather asserted in the 80's.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 02:25 PM

Meanwhile, an Iraqi national guard unit has been disbanded after it refused to attend a military training academy overseen by US advisers, former members of the unit said on Saturday.

The soldiers, part of a 90-strong force that calls itself the Defence Force of Rutba, said they feared reprisals from locals if they were seen to be cooperating with the Americans.
"We refused to go because we were afraid that when we came back to Rutba we would be killed," Taha Allawi, a former member of the unit, said. Rutba is in the far west of Iraq, close to the border with Jordan.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 02:30 PM

Stan: General Dostum was the equivalent of the founding fathers, was he not?

He most certainly was not. Now stop being a hack.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 02:40 PM

Oh, ok, I just wanted to be sure, I mean that's what Ronald Reagan and Dan Rather called him, along with the contras in Nicaragua. For that matter, we refer to the death squads on our side in Iraq as 'defense forces' and 'militias', no?

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 02:46 PM

"For that matter, we refer to the death squads on our side in Iraq as 'defense forces' and 'militias', no?"

Who is we? And since when are you on our side?

Posted by: mika. at June 4, 2005 03:00 PM

Stan: I mean that's what Ronald Reagan and Dan Rather called him

So? Why is this supposed to convince me that I'm wrong?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 03:05 PM

I'm definitely not on Mika's side. I'm not sure you got the point I was making Michael, you seem to think I agreed with Reagan and Dan Rather.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 03:27 PM

"I'm definitely not on Mika's side."

Your silence speaks louder than words. Thanks for the honest reply to my question.

Posted by: mika. at June 4, 2005 03:37 PM

Stan,

No, I realize you don't agree with Reagan and Rather. I don't either. If you were trying to bust me on my "inconsistency" it would have been better if you had first asked what I thought of Reagan's and Rather's comparitive skills.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 03:49 PM

Fair enough, though the Reagans of today would still not admit their past mistake or they would tell us referring to a Dostum was 'necessary'. However, I'm curious, if your're consistent, do you think of the death squads we've organized to work on our behalf as 'terrorists' or just death squads?

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 05:14 PM

Stan: I'm curious, if your're consistent, do you think of the death squads we've organized to work on our behalf as 'terrorists' or just death squads?

I don't know that they're either. Show me the evidence that they are and I'll take a look at it.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 4, 2005 05:26 PM

Tater,

funny that you would put "anti-American in quotes. Do you ever put "fascist" in scare quotes when you insult America? Do you ever put "nazi" in scare quotes? Do you ever put "Hitler" in scare quotes when you refer to Bush? No, but "terrorist" is ALWAYS in scare quotes if you're a Leftist, and so is "anti-American."

Posted by: spaniard at June 4, 2005 05:42 PM

stan,

However, I'm curious, if your're consistent, do you think of the death squads we've organized to work on our behalf as 'terrorists' or just death squads?

You mean the lynch mob that strung up a couple of would be bombers the other day? I think the proper PC term is "the people." You know, like, the people have risen and revenged themselves on their oppressors. You right wing types just don't understand the concept, I'm afraid.

Posted by: chuck at June 4, 2005 05:56 PM

Show me the evidence that they are and I'll take a look at it.

Here's a primer for you, Michael. It's about the "Special Police Commandos," a militia of ex-Baathists created with U.S. knowledge and support. Some quotes:

I was 10 feet away, beside Bennett and four G.I.'s. One of Falah's captains began beating the detainee. Instead of a quick hit or slap, we now saw and heard a sustained series of blows. We heard the sound of the captain's fists and boots on the detainee's body, and we heard the detainee's pained grunts as he received his punishment without resistance. It was a dockyard mugging. Bennett turned his back to face away from the violence, joining his soldiers in staring uncomfortably at the ground in silence.

. . . We walked through the entrance gates of the center and stood, briefly, outside the main hall. Looking through the doors, I saw about 100 detainees squatting on the floor, hands bound behind their backs; most were blindfolded. To my right, outside the doors, a leather-jacketed security official was slapping and kicking a detainee who was sitting on the ground. We went to a room adjacent to the main hall, and as we walked in, a detainee was led out with fresh blood around his nose. The room had enough space for a couple of desks and chairs; one desk had bloodstains running down its side. . . .

. . . One afternoon as I was standing near City Hall, I heard a gunshot from within or behind the detention center. In previous days, I saw or heard, on several occasions, accidental shots by commandos -- their weapons discipline was far from perfect -- so I assumed it was another negligent discharge. But within a minute or so, there was another shot from the same place -- inside or behind the detention center.

Posted by: Swopa at June 4, 2005 06:49 PM

Yep Swopa,

That stuff goes on. Different culture, you know, and quite traditional. You can't expect these folks to be corrupted with American values overnight.

Posted by: chuck at June 4, 2005 06:55 PM

"Insurgency" actually has a definition that is quite exact: people who are fighting against the government in their own country. That's what it means; you can look it up. So that those who target the Iraqi military or Iraqi police could certainly arguably be called "insurgents." But to call those perpetrators who blow up random citizens, or murder those who are worshipping at a mosque, or who target people of a certain ethnic group or sect "insurgents," is, quite simply, a misuse of the word (whether it's the US military or the press or Michael Moore who's using the word). It may not be a complimentary word, exactly, but it's an awful lot less derogatory than calling them exactly what they are: terrorists, and in the case of the murderers of the Sunis, hate crime perpetrators.

Posted by: neo-neocon at June 4, 2005 07:38 PM

Michael, I was referring to this among many other articles that show evidence of our use of death squads

Add on top of that the use of Pinochet's old guard and other such mercenaries training Iraqis on how troublemakers are dealt with back home...

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 07:55 PM

Michael, you might be interested to know btw that Haaretz generally refers to suicide bombers as 'suicide bombers'...

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 07:57 PM

stan,

I recall Iraqi bloggers complaining that the US troops were far to gentle with the insurgents. They were anxious for Iraqis to take over the job so they could do it right, non of that namby pampy stuff.

Look, torture has been a universal feature of humanity for thousands of years. Its relative absence in the Anglo-Sphere and Europe is an anomaly, and you only have to go back to WWII or the disintegration of Yugoslavia to find it on the continent. I have my doubts today about France, Spain, and Greece.

As to the left, their association with murder and torture is a thing of legend. I certainly wouldn't want you in a position of power. WHether or not like means in opposing such things is justified is a tricky guestion. Generally, when the stakes are high enough, people do what they gotta do. War is ugly, but that never stops the left from promoting war in the form of insurgency. By and large, I think Chile, Guatamala, and to a lesser extent, Nicaraqua have turned out all right. One can't say the same of Cuba.

Posted by: chuck at June 4, 2005 08:06 PM

>>>"Michael, you might be interested to know btw that Haaretz generally refers to suicide bombers as 'suicide bombers'...:

stan,

obviously, because Haaretz is the chosen daily of the Israeli Left. You'll NEVER see such scare quotes in a proper daily like the Jerusalem Post.

Posted by: at June 4, 2005 08:33 PM

That stuff goes on. Different culture, you know, and quite traditional. You can't expect these folks to be corrupted with American values overnight.

Chuck,

Notice how stan and company give a continual pass to jihadists and "insurgents", but suddenly become squeamish when an Iraqi security guard doesn't stroke his prisoners with rose petals, as if said security guard doesn't have infinitely more reason to smack him or deliver him a good kick or two.

Posted by: at June 4, 2005 08:38 PM

anonymous, you misunderstood what I wrote, there were no scare quotes, they refer to suicide bombers as suicide bombers. Not every use of quotes is meant to indicate scarequotes connotation.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 08:41 PM

Notice how stan and company give a continual pass to jihadists and "insurgents", but suddenly become squeamish when an Iraqi security guard doesn't stroke his prisoners with rose petals, as if said security guard doesn't have infinitely more reason to smack him or deliver him a good kick or two.

Squeamish? Don't remember being squeamish, I was just noting the contradiction, the putative outrage at only one side. Now mind you, the use of death squads is an excellent way of recruiting more insurgents or resistance in Iraq, if that's what you wish for...

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 08:43 PM

Guatamala, and to a lesser extent, Nicaraqua have turned out all right. One can't say the same of Cuba.

Hardly, the former two are utterly dependent on outside support for their survival and unlikely to change in that regard, regimes that prop up the power of wealthy landholders and extremes of poverty and wealth. Haiti or the Domincan Republic, even better comparisons are even worse messes. Cuba if you listen to the far-rightwing exile leadershiop in Miami is worse than Guatemala Haiti,or Nicaragua, but outside that not many would agree with such a sentiment.
Then again, who knows, maybe you're right and death squads are the way to deliver democracy.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 08:48 PM

And I should add that if you have no objection to your mother or sister being tortured even if they are not guilty of any crimes then you are at least consistent in what you believe is desirable as a government policy abroad or domestically.

Posted by: stan at June 4, 2005 08:49 PM

Now mind you, the use of death squads is an excellent way of recruiting more insurgents or resistance in Iraq,

I agree completely stan. You have just misidentified who is getting the recruits and who the insurgents will be. The number of recruits for the Iraqi army continues unabated, tribes are beginning to fight back against the "insurgents", and there is a cycle of revenge taking place. Note the bodies of seven "insurgents" that turned up outside Ramadi, victims of revenge by the nephews of a commander killed by the "insurgents" in Fallujah. Note the bodies of 10 Sunnis that turned up in a garbage dump after 50 shites were fished out of the Tigris. You have identified the results, you are just confused about who is committing the outrages. Note this lovely incident:

Few hours ago the Iraqi civilians in the centre of Baghdad near Haifa Street captured two terrorists before they carry on their crime.

This is not the first time that the Iraqis capture terrorists before the cockroaches commit their filth but this time the people perseverance with postponing justice by the government has finished and they decided to carry out immediate justice.

After capturing the terrorists the brave civilians impose the justice the criminals deserve. They hanged them in the street and made them a lesson and warning for the others.

So it goes. As you point out, the Iraqis can scarcely be blamed for their outrage .

Posted by: chuck at June 4, 2005 09:03 PM

Stan you still suck! Jackass:)

Posted by: Mike #3or4 at June 4, 2005 11:50 PM

Note the bodies of seven "insurgents" that turned up outside Ramadi, victims of revenge by the nephews of a commander killed by the "insurgents" in Fallujah. Note the bodies of 10 Sunnis that turned up in a garbage dump after 50 shites were fished out of the Tigris.

Boy, such progress makes me just about ready to sign up and go over and help out with the construction of democracy in Iraq! Lol

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:05 AM

Chuck, are you saying you don't mind if your mother or sister, daughter, father, brother are totured for being suspected of possibly being a terrorist because your neighbor turned them over to the US military? Or are you saying you only mind if the US does that to your relatives?

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:13 AM

Stan: "Lol"

That there tells me just about all I need to know about you.

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 08:22 AM

I was just noting the contradiction, the putative outrage at only one side.

stan,

There's no contradiction at all when I cheer an Iraqi security gaurd putting a bullet in the brain of a terrorist, while at the same time condemning a terrorist sawing off the head of a innocent civilian captive. You consider the two morally equivalent? Yet another perfect example of the moral confusion of the Left.

So I repeat my question. Why so squeamish at the harsh treatment that Iraqi gaurds and U.S. servicemen might dole out, but only Leftist double-talk from you when Michael Moore's minutemen do it? I've already given you my explanation, I've yet to hear yours.

Posted by: Carlos at June 5, 2005 08:53 AM

There's no contradiction at all when I cheer an Iraqi security gaurd putting a bullet in the brain of a terrorist, while at the same time condemning a terrorist sawing off the head of a innocent civilian captive. You consider the two morally equivalent?

Nice evasion of the question, but there is plenty of evidence of death squads not being terribly picky about whom they put a bullet into, be they terrorists or ordinary people with no alliances to any of the battling gangs. But, hey, if you think that you're advancing the goal of democracy in Iraq by supporting Iraqi death squads, good on ya.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:59 AM

stan,

Iraqi "death squads" are merely Iraqi gaurds who have taken matters into their own hands, something akin to what American GIs often did during WW2 with captured Nazi SS troops and Japs after particularly hard fought island battles. You didn't know? That's because our press used to censor itself-- back in the day when they used to be on our side. And guess what, our democracy survived intact!

So I'm not terribly alarmed by it if it happens in Iraq to tell you the truth (because it couldn't happen to better people), and I've already explained to you why. I don't consider terrorists to be at all sympathetic, while I do consider innocent civilians and Iraqi guardsmen to be. There is no moral equivalence between putting a bullet in the head of a terrorist vs setting off bombs in a market place or sawing off the head of an aid worker. Was I being too evasive?

Your sympathies, however, seem to be for the other side. Please explain why so squeamish at Iraqi gaurds taking matters into their own hands, but no such squeamishness by Michael Moore's minutemen? Third time.

Posted by: Carlos at June 5, 2005 09:25 AM

Spaniard (and others)

What's the point of wildly attaching labels to other people based on one or a few of their opinions? I have never called or regarded Bush to be like Hitler. That's both cheap and idiotic.

Which still doesn't mean I support the policies of Georg W Bush. If you must know, I consider him the worst president the US has had ever.

Also why would my dislike of this immoral and injust war be 'Anti-American'? On the contrary, if anything, it is Pro-American.

Now you know.

The day will come, maybe in 20 years from now, but hopefully sooner, when all the war mongers will confess, like Robert McNamara finally did, that this war was a 'mistake'.

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 5, 2005 09:36 AM

"But, hey, if you think that you're advancing the goal of democracy in Iraq by supporting Iraqi death squads, good on ya."

If they're indeed putting bullets in each other in the name of democracy, rather than in the name of jihad, to me that's a step forward. I say, pass the ammunition.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 09:36 AM

Tater,

You can hate Bush all you want, but you can't cheer the victory of our enemies and then express dismay at being rightly labeled as anti-American. THAT'S what is idiotic, and it certainly is NOT "pro-American."

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 09:41 AM

Spaniard. you're missing the point our good friends are trying to convey. Advancing the cause of Communism, Sharia, Bathism, Nazism, is what true pro-American patriotism is all about. Anything that might impinge on these sacred ideologies is immoral and unjust, and in the final analysis is really anti-American. You follow now?

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 10:12 AM

Iraqi "death squads" are merely Iraqi gaurds who have taken matters into their own hands, something akin to what American GIs often did during WW2 with captured Nazi SS troops and Japs after particularly hard fought island battles. You didn't know? That's because our press used to censor itself-- back in the day when they used to be on our side.

Oh Caroline, don't get me wrong, I hate Japs too [irony alert].
Your fantasies about press censorship in the day are cute, but Ernie Pyle put out more critical reports that got published than today's media could imagine.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 10:36 AM

Hmm... "one of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong."
Let's compare, Tatter, these two statements in the same frikkin' post:

"What's the point of wildly attaching labels to other people based on one or a few of their opinions?"

vs.

"The day will come, maybe in 20 years from now, but hopefully sooner, when all the war mongers will confess, like Robert McNamara finally did, that this war was a 'mistake'."

Isn't "war monger" a label?

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 5, 2005 10:37 AM

You can hate Bush all you want, but you can't cheer the victory of our enemies

In the day your type felt that the Vietcong were our 'enemy', but my trip to Vietnam 14 years ago found none of these 'enemies'. They were quite friendly to Americans actually, maybe more so than anywhere else I went to. I'm with Jeb Bush's sons on this, they're not that important that I have to risk my life dying to fight them. More people should think like the healthy 20 something male and female children of Jeb Bush and their cousins.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 10:39 AM

Stan,
They happen to be quite friendly to many americans even during the war, if you were of the Jane Fonda persuasion. And I bet they didn't mistake you for any other.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 10:53 AM

You mean Beruit Jane?

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 10:57 AM

Stan, your usefulness as a troll is wearing thin. Anyway, what of "Beirut Jane"?

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 11:06 AM

Your fantasies about press censorship in the day are cute, but Ernie Pyle put out more critical reports that got published than today's media could imagine.

stan,

I don't mind you being a Lefist, just don't be an ignorant one. That bugs the hell out of me.

What you call my "fantasies" is merely your ignorance:

"Voluntary domestic censorship was one of the shared sacrifices of war for American journalists. On one hand, World War II was perhaps the most newsworthy event of the century, offering opportunities for lucrative and significant "scoops." On the other hand, no nation can fight a modern war by refusing to exercise some control of information."

http://uncpress.unc.edu/chapters/sweeney_secrets.html

We even had an Office of Press Censorship, because WE WERE AT WAR. Today we are also at war, even though the Left puts that war in scare quotes. Your own war against the American Rightwing is very real to you however. Sadly, even at the expense of your country as a whole.

The Right is fighting international terror and islamic fascism, and Leftist are fighting the Rightwing, tying their hands and nipping at their heals at every chance. It almost exactly mirrors how we fought and won the Cold War-- inspite of the American Left, not because of it.

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 11:07 AM

Stan,

Why don't you tell us what you think we should do differently in Iraq. I think that would be a great place for you to start. And I don't mean one snarky sentence. I want to see something like a plan from you, I want it to be realistic, and I would you to take your own plan seriously. Whaddaya got?

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 5, 2005 11:09 AM

stan,

answer the question. Why does the Left heap praises on Michael Moore's minutemen, but show such squeamishness when Iraqi guardsmen make reprisals? Fourth time.

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 11:11 AM

Mika, by troll you mean, of course, anyone who disagrees with Mika and doesn't facilitate the echo chamber effect. Ah yes, so 'what of' Beruit Jane, other than she is someone who plainly is not what your paranoid fantasies tell you she is [or was for that matter]. She's someone who is hardly committed to antiwar causes, and when she was at one time involved in them, her reasons for going to Vietnam have long been erased from rational memory capacity:

Erased from public memory is the fact that Fonda's purpose was to use her celebrity to put a spotlight on the possible bombing of Vietnam's system of dikes. Her charges were dismissed at the time by George H.W. Bush, then America's ambassador to the United Nations, who complained of a "carefully planned campaign by the North Vietnamese and their supporters to give worldwide circulation to this falsehood." But Fonda was right and Bush was lying, as revealed by the April-May 1972 White House transcripts of Richard Nixon talking to Henry Kissinger about "this shit-ass little country":

NIXON: We've got to be thinking in terms of an all-out bombing attack.... I'm thinking of the dikes.

KISSINGER: I agree with you.

NIXON: ...Will that drown people?

KISSINGER: About two hundred thousand people.

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20040322&c=2&s=hayden

Then again, your idea of traitor probably also includes this guy:

http://www.eastvalleytribune.com/index.php?sty=42535

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 11:11 AM

So the dikes were bombed. So what of it? You want to turn that into a war crime? Is that it?

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 11:16 AM

Michael,
Leave now. Stop the forced privatization of Iraqi assets [let the Iraqis decide on their own terms how much of the economy should be owned by foreign companies, a basic precondition of democratic development]. Reparations [i.e. not Buchananist isolationism] for all the damage caused by the unnecessary and deadly war. Removal of all US permanent bases.

THe leave now [and defeated] part will occur eventually, I'd just as soon see it now since it would likely remove the # 1 reason why violence continues in Iraq unabated. There's no way you're gonna get democracy and peace as long as you've got plans for permanent bases combined with forced privatization of the economy. That is unrealistic.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 11:16 AM

So the dikes were bombed. So what of it? You want to turn that into a war crime? Is that it?

Is that comment you're making intentionally incoherent? I guess you're right, bombing dikes is a great way to make democracy.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 11:18 AM

Michael, do you have any problem calling death squads in Iraq that the US supports terrorists? You never did answer me or Swoba on that one.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 11:18 AM

It's a good way to win a war. And any war the Commies lose is good not only for the US, but good for democracy.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 11:21 AM

It's a good way to win a war. And any war the Commies lose is good not only for the Third Reich, but good for democracy.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 11:25 AM

stan: The U.S. = Third Reich

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 11:32 AM

Stan,

In the words of John Chrichton, Astronaut, "That's your plan?!? Wile E. Coyote could come up with a better plan than that!"

I was going to pen a long argument against your "plan," but I realized that there's no point. If you honestly believe what you wrote is the best way for things to go, nothing I or anyone else writes is going to change your mind. Instead, I'll ask you another question.

Assuming for the moment that the US instituted your plan, what happens next?

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 5, 2005 11:44 AM

No Stan, what is unrealistic is you expecting something for nothing. Iraq started the war, and Iraq lost the war. They owes the US war reparation, both for blood and for treasure. And frankly, Iraq is yet to even start this process of war reparation.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 11:48 AM

erratum: owes -> owe

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 11:51 AM

Hee, hee. stan is desparate too snatch defeat from the jaws of the coming victory. Poor soul, nothing is a greater tragedy to the left than the triumph of democracy and justice.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 11:55 AM

stan: The U.S. = Third Reich

wrong again, though if I were to talk that way it wouldn't put me that far from Rick Santorum of course. The rhetoric you use is the same as used by the Third Reich of course, and was used quite effectively for a time.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 12:08 PM

Evil,
well, for one the main excuse for much of the violence in the country ends. unless you believe that carbombs, suicide bombings, etc. were the way of life before the official invasion.
also, if the privatization measures that were forced on Iraqis and are unpopular were rescinded, maybe their economy could be one that Iraqis could still control. Also, A. Chalabi would be fired immediately in his role as Oil Czar.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 12:12 PM

*Iraq started the war, and Iraq lost the war. They owes the US war reparation, both for blood and for treasure. *

Wow! Now that's a new line of liberation thinking, hadn't thought of that one.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 12:13 PM

Now that's a new line of liberation thinking, hadn't thought of that one.

What does one have to do with the other?

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 12:42 PM

Well, in a nutshell, when you have outsiders like A Chalabi as oil czar in Iraq, it's kinda hard for Iraqis to feel terribly 'liberated'. Or they're liberated, but not free to run their economy as they see fit, ok. I guess most Iraqis deserve such a fate after liberation.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 12:47 PM

Stan -

Iraq appeals for greater US role

"In general, Zebari said the United States has pulled back too much in Iraq, after what many Iraqis considered heavy-handed leadership during the 14-month U.S. rule of Iraq. "There is something between too much and not enough," Zebari said. Washington, he said, now needs to be "more focused and more engaged" and not say "this is yours, hands off." Failing to meet established deadlines for the democratic transition would be "the end of trying to transform Iraq," he warned."..."As long as U.S. interests are not directly at stake, we've allowed Iraqis to run the show and make their own mistakes and be responsible. The problem is when there aren't results, we're blamed," said Judith Yaphe, a former CIA analyst now at the National Defense University."

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 01:00 PM

...when you have outsiders like A Chalabi as oil czar in Iraq...

Yeah, those stupid Iraqis. Don't they know an outsider when they see one. Geez, why don't they call in stan, he could measure noses or something.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 01:06 PM

Nonsense. The allies administered post Nazi germany and other. Does that mean these dominions weren't liberated from tyranny? And Chalabi is an Iraqi. An Iraqi that won an Iraqi election. Contrast that with the Allied administrators that ran the liberated post WWII Nazi dominions.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 01:08 PM

They did administer it, they didn't subject the economy to privatization in the fashion they have in Iraq. In fact in Germany much of the new markets were quite protected from foreign control and investment, otherwise Germany never could have developed as it did in the post-war era. Iraq has no chance of doing that, it's economy is now flooded with foreign products, local industries can't compete and oil is in the hands of foreigners such as Mr. Chalabi who are eager to privatize that as well. Germany saw nothing along such lines as the US' shenanigans in Iraq. And of course, there is no comparison between Iraq and WW2, not even Cheney pushes that fantasy anymore.
And Caroline, you're referring to a government that is entirely dependent on the US for its survival, of course they're gonna call for a US role.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 01:23 PM

German industry wasn't protected from foreign ownership and control. The simple fact is, American and British companies weren't all that interested in rebuilding bombed out german industry. That doesn't mean german companies weren't for sale. In fact, the best selling car in history might have been British had it not been to Sir William Rootes..

http://www.answers.com/topic/volkswagen

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 01:34 PM

Stan - the government was elected. If we pull out it could well fall to unelected Baathists or Wahabbists. Is that your preference?

(And do you actually believe that there is an "excuse" for blowing up Iraqis at funerals, car bombing gatherings of children, blowing up Sufis, assassinating doctors, lawyers and intellectuals of all sorts, that is explained by our presence there? An "excuse" that would magically vanish once we left?)

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 01:34 PM

Looks to me like the Iraqia are in charge of privatization and aren't in any hurry. On the other hand, there is a growth of small businesses, so we will see how it goes.

But what is the big deal anyway, stan. Countries where everything is socialized are invariably corrupt, backward, tyrannical, and poor. It's just one of those bad ideas.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 01:38 PM

Evil,
well, for one the main excuse for much of the violence in the country ends.

Oh really? The sunnis are going to just lay down their arms? The Kurds will cease their drive towards independence? Al Qaeda is going to be happy with the Shiites in power? The former baathists are going to let the Iraqis develop a deomocracy without a fight?

PLEASE. You can not possibly be that naive. No one older than six can possibly be that naive. And certainly no one who's studied the situation can possibly be that naive.

unless you believe that carbombs, suicide bombings, etc. were the way of life before the official invasion.

No, Saddam kept order. Of course, his methods usually invloved genocide, invasions of neighboring countries, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in mass graves. Are you OK with that?

Since you were an opponent of the war, I take it you were comfortable with the status quo of Iraq before the invasion? Saddam in power, butchering his own people, starting wars, building palaces while siphoning money off of programs designed to help his people, and letting his people starve to death by the hundreds of thousands under sanctions? Or did you have some brilliant idea to remove Saddam from power without war and turn Iraq into a democracy that didn't involve military action? If so, I'd love to hear it. I'm sure it's as well-thought-out as your plan for ending US involvement.

also, if the privatization measures that were forced on Iraqis and are unpopular were rescinded,

They are... "unpopular?" Prove it. I mean, where exactly are you getting this? And even if you are correct, is "privatization" a greater horror than that which the Iraqis faced for roughly thirty years?

Hell, do you even CARE what happens to the Iraqis?

maybe their economy could be one that Iraqis could still control.

Their economy has been in the shitter for DECADES, thanks to wars, incompetent management, rampant corruption, and UN sanctions. And the US pulling out is going to miraculously make things better?

Not a chance. Let me tell YOU what will happen in Iraq if the US and her allies pull out: all-out civil war. Not a few car bombs, not terrorist acts by AQ and leftover Baathists. CIVIL WAR. The kind that kills hundreds of thousands, could result in a Iranian-style theocracy (and likely will end with dictatorship of some kind no matter what), and will turn Iraq into a new Afghanistan. THAT is the reality of what you are proposing.

I mean, jeez, do you learn ANYTHING from history? After the Soviets left Afghanistan, the US didn't need the Afghanis any more, and so we pulled out, stopped any real support, and watched the Taliban rise from the comfort of our own living rooms, secure in the knowledge that it wasn't our problem. A little more than a decade later, planes were crashing into our buildings.

Also, A. Chalabi would be fired immediately in his role as Oil Czar.

Oh, well, I take it back. That is worth a few hundred thousand deaths.

I mean, I love your plan. We could call it "Operation Take Our Toys and Go Home." And hey, the reparations part, that's even better! Since Saddam was the legitimate government of Iraq and our war was supposedly illegal, he should be released and the reparations be given to him. He can then decide how best to spend the money.

After all, his palaces are in pretty bad shape.

Tell you what, Stan, why don't you go here, state your plan, and see what they say. I'm sure they'll answer, once they finish laughing.

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 5, 2005 02:18 PM

Will anyone ever get tired of "our side does bad, therefore their side is good" logic? I don't know, but stan, tatter, and swopa are really wearing me down.

On a side note though, only tatter seems to get a visceral thrill out of Wal*Marts being bombed. Creepy.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 02:30 PM

Well, in a nutshell, when you have outsiders like A Chalabi as oil czar in Iraq, it's kinda hard for Iraqis to feel terribly 'liberated'. Or they're liberated, but not free to run their economy as they see fit, ok. I guess most Iraqis deserve such a fate after liberation.

Will you PLEASE stop acting like you know what Iraqis are feeling? You don't Stan. You didn't live for decades under a monster. You didn't watch your family members slaughtered by Saddam's government. You didn't see your sons, brothers, and fathers killed in Saddam's wars. You didn't watch your village wiped out by Saddam.

You don't KNOW what they want, Stan. Neither do I. I'm not foolish enough, though, to think I do. I'm guessing that they want what most people want: freedom. And the US pulling out is NOT going to give it to them. It's going to result in even more bloodshed, and the hope for a better future wiped out as the thugs (either secular or religious) take power and oppress all who oppose them.

This is a delicate time, and what happens now will affect the future of the whole middle east for many decades to come. Right now, the democracy movement is in its infancy, and if we pull out now it will most likely die, an even which will cause ripples in not only Iraq but in nearby countries like Iran and Lebanon. Is that worth quibbles over privatization or who the oil czar is?

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 5, 2005 02:36 PM

"On a side note though, only tatter seems to get a visceral thrill out of Wal*Marts being bombed."

Maybe it's because he works there.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 02:40 PM

Evil Otto, if the US pulls out, Iraq can become another Vietnam!

Don't kid yourself that a certain mindset doesn't have a stake in this.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 02:40 PM

Good point, Mark. It's Vietnam if we stay, it's Vietnam if we leave, and I have no doubt that people just like our friendly leftists here will blame the US for any horrible consequenses should we pull out of Iraq.

I mean, we pulled out of Vietnam, and look how well THAT turned out! All those people, living today in freedom and peace, no more mass murders. And CERTAINLY no boat people.

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 5, 2005 02:48 PM

Stan only cares about the iraqis in some abstract, utopian way - imagining them living in perfect harmony under his ideal democratic socialist state. That's why he is "LOL" as the bodies pile up in the dumpsters - because the US is having a tough go of things and the satisfaction he sees in the evil capitalist US (especially Bush) taking a beating trumps all. Hey, at least he's somewhat honest about it. But he has no real solution for evil as it exists in the real world that the rest of us actually live in.

Tatter: "The day will come, maybe in 20 years from now, but hopefully sooner, when all the war mongers will confess, like Robert McNamara finally did, that this war was a 'mistake'."

The day will never come when most people will think it was either unjust or immoral. If it turns out to be viewed as a 'mistake' it will be because a whole lot of people never anticipated that we'd have to fight a just war with a massive 5th column tying one hand behind our backs and undermining our efforts every step of the way.

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 02:50 PM

Stan,

I am not (not today anyway) willing to declare the Iraqi security forces terrorists or death squads. Overly brutal and rough, though, you bet they are.
(Although the same can be said for any military force on the planet - including Canada's - at least at times.) But they are not intentionally murdering civilians in order to terrorize the population at large, which is what terrorists and death squads do.

In any case, if the US were to leave Iraq the "death squads" would become a heck of a lot more brutal. We can moderate them to an extent while we're there. Unless you truly believe the Gulag rhetoric coming from some quarters, in which case no one in the world respects human rights less than the United States currently does.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 5, 2005 02:57 PM

"Will anyone ever get tired of "our side does bad, therefore their side is good" logic? I don't know, but stan, tatter, and swopa are really wearing me down."--MP

I feel like Michael Corleone.Everytime I think I'm out,they drag me back in.

With respect,Marc --- Just Say No !!!

Arguement is useless;logic is useless;appeals to morality are useless;DISCUSSION is useless.One of the lesser known interesting things about 'free speech',is the 'freedom' to totally ignore both it and its originators.Doing so really does not automatically make one a 'bad'person.In some cases,it merely makes one a 'discriminating' person.

This particular truth is binary ,and why bother to 'debate'the situation any further? As I mentioned earlier,I no longer even care if I manage to attract the 'kill-all-vampires' NAZI tag.It means nothing to me,coming as it does from 'these' sources.

If they are wearing you down ----- DON'T LISTEN TO THEM. Contempt and derision really are legitimate responses;that's why we have formal names for them.

Just trying to help.

Oh my,almost forgot :-)

Posted by: dougf at June 5, 2005 03:54 PM

stan,

it's pretty obvious you don't want to answer my question, as you've addressed me, but repeatedly ignored my question: why the squeamishness over Iraqi guardsmen but not over the "insurgents"? I've already answered your question, now answer mine.

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 04:14 PM

Nice summing up Michael.

I do worry a bit about how the Iraqi government is going to get control over the continuing assassination of ex-Baathist officials that has been going on. There are apparently several organizations involved and they recruit in the southern part of the country. I can certainly understand someone who lost family during Saddam's regime joining such a group, but things have to settle down sometime.

One aspect of Iraqi culture that may play a role at some point are the religious courts. Societies, tribal societies, where revenge and honor are important, have mechanisms for settling such disputes. It will be interesting to see how things play out. I hope that some of the Iraqis can explain ongoing events to us and let us know how things are going.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 04:15 PM

I do worry a bit about how the Iraqi government is going to get control over the continuing assassination of ex-Baathist officials that has been going on.

The main group that is presumed to be responsible for the assassinations is the Badr Brigades, which is the military wing of SCIRI ... which, in turn, is the largest party in the governing alliance.

So you could say they do have control over it. Though not in the sense you meant.

Posted by: Swopa at June 5, 2005 04:30 PM

"Presumed to be resposible".

Okay. I presume the Ba'athistst to be responsibe for a whole... lot... worse... atrocities.

I'm not saying two wrongs make a right. I am saying we have a better chance making Iraq a better place without Ba'athist control than with.

Or do you really think the future of Iraq would have been better in Hussein's hands?

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 04:39 PM

Swopa,

We will see, but I don't see how you can find anything wrong with this targeted punishment exacted by the formerly oppressed without, at the same time, condemning even more strongly the arbitrary murder of civilians perpetrated by the "insurgents".

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 04:45 PM

I am not (not today anyway) willing to declare the Iraqi security forces terrorists or death squads. Overly brutal and rough, though, you bet they are.
(Although the same can be said for any military force on the planet - including Canada's - at least at times.) But they are not intentionally murdering civilians in order to terrorize the population at large, which is what terrorists and death squads do.

Great, Michael. When they're brazen enough to start murdering people in front of U.S. reporters, I suppose I'll drop by to let you know. Given how the bad news has come out in a seemingly calibrated trickle of admissions (when Newsweek first wrote in January about a "Salvador option" as being under consideration, the militias had already been formed months earlier), perhaps I won't have to wait long.

(Incidentally, a U.S. military source is quoted in that January article as saying, "The Sunni population is paying no price for the support it is giving to the terrorists. . . . From their point of view, it is cost-free. We have to change that equation." What do you think the source meant by that? What "price" do you think he expects them to pay?)

In any case, if the US were to leave Iraq the "death squads" would become a heck of a lot more brutal. We can moderate them to an extent while we're there.

I agree with you. So how long does that mean we have to stay, Michael? Forever?

With recruitment levels collapsing how are going to pull that off?

Posted by: Swopa at June 5, 2005 04:55 PM

"With recruitment levels collapsing how are going to pull that off?"

Not with you leading the charge, my friend.

Welcome the Dark Side.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 04:58 PM

And is recruitment collapsing? Source please.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 05:03 PM

Ah Swopa,

What are you going to do when your beautiful fantasies of disaster collapse? Watch The Titanic again and again and cheer as the ship goes down? Oh, well, not my problem I guess. Good Luck.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 05:05 PM

And is recruitment collapsing? Source please.

Head been in the sand for a while there, Mark?

Army recruitment fell 42% short of targets for April, and May's numbers are apparently so bad the Pentagon has delayed releasing them so it can figure out a way to spin them (" this information must be reasonably scrutinized and explained to the public").

Posted by: Swopa at June 5, 2005 05:27 PM

Another view of recruitment. There are shortfalls, but the situation is nowhere near as bad as in 1998 and 1999 when the thought of serving under Clinton kept 'em away in droves.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 05:45 PM

Chuck,

Your requests that I be more politically correct are duly noted, and will be ignored.

Interesting that you bring up the Titanic, though. I wonder if the captain, upon being told the ship had struck an iceberg, accused whoever told him of being happy about it. Or of being biased for not noting that the majority of the hull was still intact.

Posted by: Swopa at June 5, 2005 05:46 PM

"Congress authorized a 30,000 increase for the U.S. Army and several thousand personnel for the rest of the services. This caused all recruiters' quotas to increase."

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 05:47 PM

"Congress authorized a 30,000 increase for the U.S. Army and several thousand personnel for the rest of the services. This caused all recruiters' quotas to increase."

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 05:48 PM

Swopa, I know icebergs. You are no iceberg.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 05:48 PM

Ooops, I forgot: Or of failing to denounce the iceberg.

Posted by: Swopa at June 5, 2005 05:50 PM

LOL.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 05:51 PM

No, I really want to know, mr. S. Facts matter. I'll look, when I'm not jet lagged.

What I want to know is, do you feel good about it, if the numbers are down? And do you think you're on the good side of those (as yet unscrutinized by me) numbers?

Hussein or Bush? Who's the better despot to lead Iraq out of darkness?

In so many ways, this is getting so old....

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 05:55 PM

swopa - You link to truthout.org to prove a point? It's hardly an unbaised source.

Why don't you give us a link to the Democratic Underground, or Oliver Willis? Maybe then, someone will counter with a link to the Free Republic. That way, both extremes can be balance each other out.

Posted by: mary at June 5, 2005 05:57 PM

I don't see how you can find anything wrong with this targeted punishment exacted by the formerly oppressed without, at the same time, condemning even more strongly the arbitrary murder of civilians perpetrated by the "insurgents".

Chuck,

the international Left have painted themselves into a corner by their long support for the Iraqi jihadists, calling them "insurgents", freedom fighters, and minutemen. They worst they've said about jihadist atrocities is to basically ignore them. So how can any sane person not break into howls of laughter and spit their drink into the face of these Leftists when they whine about "death squads". The terrorist dogs deserve a bullet in the brain and far worse.

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 06:00 PM

I just want to put to the record that Totten has not provided me any financial incentives to increase his web hits. And I want hear similar assurances from Stan, Swopa, et al.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 06:04 PM

Spaniard, too far. The point is to preserve (and promote) civilization.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 06:04 PM

Swopa - if recruitment is falling I blame the 5th column. That includes you and everyone else who would question that soldier who shot the guy in the mosque the day after his friend was killed by a fake-surrendering 'insurgent'. I blame the people who made a big fucking deal over the soldier who fired a pistol next to someone's ear. I blame everyone making a big deal over the fact that some soldier forgot to put on his gloves before handling the "Holy Koran". Why the hell wouldn't anyone expect for recruitment to fall given the impossible demands the 5th column puts on our soldiers? Pardon my french, but screw you folks. You're the ones responsible for the fact that noone wants to sign up. Why would any sane young person want to sign up given the fact that they could face serious reprisals for doing the ordinary things that people on the front lines need to do in wartime. Why don't you just get out your prayer mat and practice facing it towards Mecca while you're amusing yourself with those falling recruitment numbers?

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 06:09 PM

Here's a thought:

Every detainee a Gitmo is given a choice.

Sign a pledge, in the presence of an Amnesty International official, that he will die in order to ensure the victory of Islam over all other creeds.

Each man who signs is executed by firing squad.

Each man who doesn't is set free.

And each man knows this going in.

Everything vidiotaped, everything published for the world to see.

I could live with that. So could every single detainee, should he make the choice to decide I am not a target.

Yo, Stan, got a problem with that?

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 06:14 PM

Sorry to get this off topic. Amazing how topics get sidetracked from the car bombing of peaceful sikh worshipers into domestic political BS....

Swopa, does your keyboard feel clean?

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 06:22 PM

Ahh, the parade of excuses continues.

Mary says: You link to truthout.org to prove a point? It's hardly an unbaised source.

If you had the courage to click the link, , you'd see that it's a Reuters article quoting a Defense Department spokeswoman by name. I used the truthout.org link because it's permanent, as opposed to those from Reuters or Yahoo news.

Are you really so afraid of having your pristine biases polluted by contrary facts that you couldn't even click the link to find that out? How sad and ignorant you must be.

mika says: I just want to put to the record that Totten has not provided me any financial incentives to increase his web hits. And I want hear similar assurances from Stan, Swopa, et al.

Michael pays people for commenting?!? I haven't received any incentives from him or anyone else, but hell, if he's paying, we can talk. :-)

Posted by: Swopa at June 5, 2005 06:25 PM

Swopa is probably busy wiping off the Starbucks coffee he accidentally dribbled on his keyboard.

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 06:28 PM

Swopa: "Are you really so afraid of having your pristine biases polluted by contrary facts"

What would those pristine biases be Swopa? That western liberal democracy, epitomized by the US, is worth fighting for? And that ordinary Iraqis who have lived under fascist dictatorship for 30 years, might just appreciate having a shot at something similar?

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 06:32 PM

Caroline,
You're exactly right!

The left's credo:

"The military is fighting an immoral war. The military is losing the immoral war they are fighting. Oh, by the way, we support the troops."

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 5, 2005 06:34 PM

"Michael pays people for commenting?!?"

If not, I think he should. Particularly given some of the Leftist idiocy he allows on this site.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 06:37 PM

exhelodrvr: "Oh, by the way, we support the troops.""

Meanwhile, gloating over falling troop levels, while they do everything they can to ensure the levels fall.

(By the way, what is a "helo-driver"? I assume you're an ex one of them?)

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 06:44 PM

Swopa, I don't doubt recruitment is down after 9/11. Why should that be a surprise? We've not been hit again, and Tatterdemalion's disturbing posts notwithstanding, I believe few people want that. (S)he seems to thing another hit would have us cowering -- I'm far more worried about the Full Ceaserian follow-up on the Middle-East, if you git my drift.

What I want, and what I would have listed to on 9/12/2001, is a rational plan (from the Left) to deal with the threats made that actually treated the threatening parties with some respect.

Don't give me this "why do they hate us" crap over and over again.

OBL said why they hate us. So did some Iraqi, according to Andrew Sullivn:

"Democracy! Whisky! Sexy!"

Personally, I am unwilling to give up any of those things.

Tell me how we SHOULD be dealing with the roots of terrorism from that oil-(and money)-glutted region without stepping on toes (and before the guys building bomb-belts figure out how to go nuclear), and I will listen to you. Until then you are a problem I wish reasonable people would see as insignificant.

In other words, take your sermon to the other end of the platform.

Posted by: Mark Poling at June 5, 2005 06:47 PM

My favorite leftist hypocricy re the troops is the drive to block ROTC on college campuses while also trying to block the pentagon from even having access to student lists at private universities so they can't mount any recruitment effort. This, despite the fact that we have an all volunteer army (whereas young folks are involuntarily conscripted in other countries) and despite their endless nattering, ala Michael Moore, that our military is comprised of working class folks. Well if it is - no wonder. It's their doing.

Done wiping the Starbucks from your keyboard yet Swopa?

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 06:51 PM

Particularly given some of the Leftist idiocy he allows on this site.

That's not leftist idiocy, that's the Democratic party. Seriously, at meetings they show movies with titles like this “The Oil Factor: Behind the War on Terror”. They have rich asshat Dean, born on Fifth Avenue, saying that all them red state peasants "...have never made an honest living in their lives". Biden and Edwards now have to dodge all this crap as they make their move forward to the 2008 elections. I don't think they will make it to safety myself.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 06:58 PM

*but repeatedly ignored my question: why the squeamishness over Iraqi guardsmen but not over the "insurgents"? *

I've not been squeamish at all, revolution like war is ugly. on one is at least caused by real threats, whereas the other is by imagined threats that need the aid of the most sophisticated propaganda machine based in the most advanced capitalist country of the world to convince people that a country that was 500 times weaker was somehow capable of posing a "WMD" threat to it.
In the case of the insurgency, no such fake propaganda machine is needed, everyday hundreds of families experience foreign forces invading houses, randomly arresting people, torturing, etc.
That prowar types wish to deny that reality is not my problem. I'm with Jeb Bush's kids on that score.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 07:14 PM

You're the ones responsible for the fact that noone wants to sign up.

Are you sure? have you really aggressively sought out those in the wealthy neighborhoods? Have they been given the chance to show their love of country and concern about defense?

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 07:17 PM

Sign a pledge, in the presence of an Amnesty International official, that he will die in order to ensure the victory of Islam over all other creeds.

What if they sign the pledge but have not had any prior involvement with terrorist organizations and have no expressed interests in terrorism? We shall execute them for their beliefs? Long live demoracy again!

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 07:20 PM

I've not been squeamish at all, revolution like war is ugly. on one is at least caused by real threats

I love you stan,

You embody all the spurious reasoning that justified the murder of over 100 million people last century. I've heard it all before, I've read it all before. You could have stepped out of the pages of The Gulag Archipeligo. Nothing new here, just another morally disgusting relic of a morally disgusting century.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 07:22 PM

Michael -

With this thread, and the one directly following, you begin to really understand the monstrosity of BOTH western big-L Liberalism and the other enemy we face - fundamentalist Islam.

I lost my first friend to terror in 1983.

There have been others since.

This war will end. And it will not end in victory, but in survival, if it is to be won at all.

Watching the collapse of the ethics and leadership of the Republican caucus in D.C. has been sobering. Turning their backs on what they were elected to accomplish, in favor of "getting along" with the Beltway establishment is going to add years to the struggle and possibly cost millions of lives to boot.

Where the Republicans fail to lead, they will lose their BASE - not any mythical mass of moderates or army of fundie snake dancers, but people with families, jobs, and some small grasp of history - and then the people like nova and anon will see their type of apartchik installed out of apathy.

Chew on that for a bit and then look down the road.

Posted by: TmjUtah at June 5, 2005 07:29 PM

Stan - the wealthy kids are at private colleges. They're blocking recruitment there. So how would I know if they're willing to sign up? (and frankly, given the steady diet of anti-Americanism most of them get anyway, maybe they wouldn't.) But for the middle class kids who do put themselves on the line - all I hear from you is that they're not perfect. And hence that they're no better than Saddam Hussein. How do you think that message - the one you're delivering - affects morale and recruitment?

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 07:29 PM

"The military is fighting an immoral war. The military is losing the immoral war they are fighting. Oh, by the way, we support the troops."

I didn't know whether one 'supported the troops' that it made a difference since the troops don't make policy? I would think the only thing that matters is whether one supports the president and the congress' decision to go to war and occupy Iraq?

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 07:33 PM
  • Nothing new here, just another morally disgusting relic of a morally disgusting century.*

uhm, you're the one who is saying death squads are A-ok, not me.
Caroline, proportionately speaking, it's workign class and rural poor who put their lives on the line in Iraq. I believe they do the best they can being placed in a country they know nothing about and whose history and culture they understand even less. It is their leaders that are to be blamed, that you confuse criticism of the leaders who make policy for criticism of those who have no real power to change it is odd.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 07:36 PM

... it's workign class and rural poor who put their lives on the line in Iraq.

Yeah, those poor stupid sods. They need some pampered fellow like yourself to tell them what to do. And you wonder why they vote Republican.

A lot of those folks are my relatives. They have zero respect for people like you. Zero.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 07:47 PM

Stan - you may say you blame the leaders and not the individual soldiers but the overall demand for perfection in battle (and in detention) - in comparison to what our enemy does - most certainly does trickle down to the individual soldier. How couldn't it? You may think you're going after the higher ups - no doubt that's why the left's criticism has been so ugly - to take down Bush and Rumsfeld - but the practical consequences of your partisan politics affect the guy on the front line most of all. That guy gets used as a PAWN - by YOU. But you don't care do you? Or don't you even see it?

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 07:48 PM

Chuck, they can make their criticism before the war, after the war, not during the war. They're not the loyal opposition, you're mutineers. I hope in 2008 the electorate act even more decisively on this.

Posted by: mika. at June 5, 2005 07:49 PM

A lot of those folks are my relatives. They have zero respect for people like you. Zero.

Rubbish, if that were true you'd see increasing support for the war among working class people and that cappy is one thing we're not seeing. they see what the politicians' kids are doing and it is not escaping them that there is no compelling need for working class kids to do all the dying.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 07:58 PM

By the way Stan - you never did express your choice - given the real-life current options - the democratically elected Iraqi government (with its privatization plans (according to you) and its requested US help), the Baathist fascists, or the Wahabbi Islamists ala Zarqawi. Which do you prefer for the Iraqi people? (BTW - You don't get your utopian dream option of the happy socialists living in harmony under the desert stars.)

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 08:00 PM

Stan - you may say you blame the leaders and not the individual soldiers but the overall demand for perfection in battle (and in detention) - in comparison to what our enemy does - most certainly does trickle down to the individual soldier. How couldn't it?

That's plainly illogical. The soldiers have no control over whether their leaders put them in a lousy position of having to occupy a country that they know nothing about. i don't demand 'perfection' in battle [after all,what would that look like?].
Then again, why should I support the military on the basis of faith? what democracy calls for that, presuming you believe in democratic values sincerely.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:02 PM

Stan, do you even know any working class people? You talk about them in the third person collective, as if they were some strange aggregation you had never met, but whose interests you mysteriously understand.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 08:05 PM

given the real-life current options - the democratically elected Iraqi government (with its privatization plans (according to you) and its requested US help), the Baathist fascists, or the Wahabbi Islamists ala Zarqawi.

Democratically elected? you must be kidding, you are the same people who insist that Chavez wasn't democratically elected and at least in Venezuela they know who they've just voted for!
Then again, why should I believe that your 3 options are the only options available?

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:07 PM

*Stan, do you even know any working class people? *

I've walked with a whole lot more working class people on strike lines in one day than you'll walk with on strike lines for your whole life.
And anyone who thinks that working class people support this war like you do Chuck clearly has not met many working class people.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:08 PM

An option prowar folks are against

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:11 PM

I've walked with a whole lot more working class people on strike lines in one day than you'll walk with on strike lines for your whole life.

So stan, you have never worked, right? Never been on the line in a factory for 12 hour days and earning minimum wage, right? Never made deals with the truck drivers to buy cigarettes smuggled across state lines, right? You just don't smell right to me.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 08:13 PM

*Never been on the line in a factory for 12 hour days and earning minimum wage, right? *

have too.

*Never made deals with the truck drivers to buy cigarettes smuggled across state lines, right? *

have not, but then again, that's not relevant to whether I know or support working class struggles. You on the other hand support a war that takes their lives and demands no such sacrifices from the wealthy.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:23 PM

I can't believe the number of pixels wasted on a moral relativist replaying 30 year old memes. If he had the guts to use his name, an author could look him up and use him for a chapter in "How Kerry Lost the Election and Ruined the Democratic Party". A loser's loser.

"I've walked with a whole lot more working class people on strike lines"

Name the strike, the location, the name of the local, it's president and the business agent and I might stop thinking of you as a complete liar.

Posted by: Rick_Ballard at June 5, 2005 08:28 PM

stan,

My relatives work construction, they are auto mechanics, they have farmed, some are salesmen. They don't think of themselves as "working class". They think of themselves as real people with families and a life. That working class nonsense is insulting and pathetic stuff, and they are not going to vote for anyone who talks about them like that.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 08:29 PM

Stan - I don't oppose the option you linked to. If the Baathists get back in power presumably they will oppose it, as did Saddam. Do you reckon Zarqawi would support it? Do you think those trade unionists are the "insurgents" - are they blowing up kids one day and then visiting the US the next? Just curious. In general, I'm wondering whether the current democratically elected government carries the best chances in the long run of them realizing their goals (assuming that there's another round of election in the future), or whether they are more likely to realize those goals if the US pulls out altogether, as you suggest, and either the Baathists or Wahhabists assume control.

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 08:32 PM

Caroline,

The "insurgents" have been assassinating workers and union members in Iraq, Iraqi Trade Unions.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 08:41 PM
  • Do you reckon Zarqawi would support it?*

More important, do you reckon the US would support it? Our record compelling Iraq to privatize doesn't speak well, nor does handing over the oil czarship to A Chalabi. Nor our suppport for Saddam's labor laws...

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:44 PM

UPS strike, hawaii...I organized a dozen people from the University of Hawaii to go down and walk on the strike line of the Teamsters in Honolulu...
I suppose you opposed that strike.
The other details, get real, since when does one have to know the name of the local president to walk on a strike line. you've obviously never organized people to go walk and show support for striking workers.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:47 PM

Chuck -

Three dollar bill Stan couldn't google up enough strike info - your intuition was correct - anyone who calls a picket line a strike line has never walked one.

You're a liar Stan - but we knew that, didn't we?

Posted by: Rick Ballard at June 5, 2005 08:50 PM

The "insurgents" have been assassinating workers and union members in Iraq, Iraqi Trade Unions.

You know so little about what labor thinks

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:51 PM

Three dollar bill Stan couldn't google up enough strike info - your intuition was correct - anyone who calls a picket line a strike line has never walked one.

I didn't call a 'picket line' a strike line. UPS was on strike. some 'gotcha' that was.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 08:54 PM

UPS strike, hawaii...I organized a dozen people from the University of Hawaii to go down and walk on the strike line of the Teamsters in Honolulu...

Yeah, just what I thought. You're sure some hero of labor. Rick asked for the details because he wanted to know if you were a real worker. On the evidence, you ain't.

More important, do you reckon the US would support it? Our record compelling Iraq to privatize doesn't speak well, nor does handing over the oil czarship to A Chalabi. Nor our suppport for Saddam's labor laws...

Suuure, stan, we're running everything. All those Iraqi voters were hoodwinked. That's why it took so long to put together a government. That's why Allawi didn't get the nod. That's why oil and electricity and the railroads and the universities have all been privatized. Not. Dream on.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 08:55 PM

Stan - the vague impression you've apparently been trying to give is the trade unionists you support are part of the "insurgency" - part of the "revolution". However, the article you linked to re the trade unionists coming to the US!! (have Zarqawi's or Saddam's minions been traveling to the US??) indicates that Saddam was not their friend. I very much doubt Zarqawi is their friend. As Chuck points out, the insurgents have been murdering the very trade unionists you support. You ask, "do you reckon the US would support it?" Well, I guess my answer would be - the fact that they're coming here looking for support probably indicates that among the three options, the US is the best bet. Apparently, we're not the guys who are killing them! Sure - I'll support them. That still leaves the question, will you support the U.S.?

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 08:59 PM

OK - now Stan links to a counter article. This will take some reading, which will have to wait until morning. Night all...

Posted by: Caroline at June 5, 2005 09:02 PM

Three dollar,

When do you plan on graduating from Honolulu U? It's been 6-7 years riding old dad's account - isn't he getting a little tired of writing those tuition checks agains failed classes? Except the straight A's in Marxist dialectics - right?

If you had done an even half-assed job of organizing anything you'd have a Teamster's cap with the Local number plastered on it and 20 of the BA's cards. Somebody hauled your sorry butt out of your dorm in '02 to stand around for a few hours and nobody paid any attention to you. A real 'man of the people' you are, kiddie - I'm done with you.

Posted by: Rick Ballard at June 5, 2005 09:11 PM

uhm...gee, i'm 40 years old, 6-7 years of riding ol' dad's account eh? pretty smart guessing.
and, let's see, how do you know I live in Hawaii at present? ESP?
You speak with such ignorance. You don't need a teamsters' cap to organize community members to go down to a teamsters' strike line and show support. you've obviously never walked on a strike line or picket line in support of workers on strike.

Posted by: stan at June 5, 2005 09:19 PM

OK,

A 40 year old kiddie. They're a dime a dozen these days. Stan, you're a phony. Small accomplishments, big talk.

Posted by: chuck at June 5, 2005 09:41 PM

Mass-murdering Sufis solely because they are Sufis is a hate crime.

Perhaps the insurgents were just "hitting back" at Sufi foreign policy, or the Sufi imperialist war for oil.

Leftwing = clowns

Posted by: spaniard at June 5, 2005 10:55 PM

Stan,

I find it peculiar that some of Iraq's biggest problems of late have been totalitarianism, terrorism, and genocide, yet your personal boogeyman is privatization. Try to get a little perspective.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 5, 2005 11:59 PM

Stan - I read your link. It confirms the article Chuck posted. The "insurgents" are murdering the trade unionists (the IFTU statement makes that clear). You and your friends seem to think that if the US pulled out, suddenly these "insurgents" would turn around and stand in 'solidarity' with these guys and work to build a 'peaceful and progressive' democratic society (or however they phrase it). That makes no sense whatsoever. Rather, its quite apparent that the "insurgents" are opposed to the construction of a 'peaceful and progressive democratic society', privitization or no. You're point would only make sense if the trade unionists WERE the insurgents. Clearly they're not.

Posted by: Caroline at June 6, 2005 03:57 AM

:You can hate Bush all you want,
:but you can't cheer the victory
:of our enemies and then express
:dismay at being rightly labeled
:as anti-American.

They are not your enemies, you are theirs.
I see no Iraqi forces occupying New York City.
There are no Iraqi Republican Guard members checking people's IDs in Washington DC. No houses of worship are being destroyed by iraqi grenades in Los Angeles.

As to 'Anti-American', let me tell you a little secret: Most of the world's peoples do in fact feel a great deal of sympathy for America and its people. Including most Arabs and Muslims. What is turning the world off is when America tramples on other nations in their own countries. This is what also turns decent Americans off too.

The righteous and just demands for America to stop doing unto others what they wouldn't want others to do upon them are then dragged into dirt and labelled as 'Anti-Americanisms' and other sensless stereotypes.

I have followed this thread, which has eventually turned into a pissing contest of egos, with growing disbelief. The amounts of hatred and evil outpoured are unbelievable. A couple of women are the most hateful. Caroline is a regular Lady MacBeth. Mary's there right along her side.

That hatred and evil is then projected onto those who for some reason will not subscribe to the idiocy. "Catch the thief".

To cite Morgan Freeman playing a judge in some movie I forgot the title of: "This is about being decent. Go home and be decent to each other."

That is also my advice to the occupying authorities of Iraq, to chickenhawk warmongers in the USA, and to the supposedly 'patriotic' lobby here.

Start out by being a decent human being first, then Republicans, Democrats, and patriots.

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 6, 2005 04:02 AM

If you had the courage to click the link, , you'd see that it's a Reuters article quoting a Defense Department spokeswoman by name

LOL. It takes courage to click on a link? I thought it just required a lot of spare time (something that I don't have enough of)

I'll save my opinions about 'values neutral' Reuters and truthout.org for later, but I will agree with one thing - although the war in Iraq had some effects that people in the Middle East consider to be positive (getting rid of Saddam, enabling elections in Iraq and Lebanon) Cheney and Bush's motivations were primarily realpolitik-based. Many Americans would be willing to risk their lives to defend our people against our enemies.

Many are not willing to risk their lives for realpolitik. I hope that, in the long run, an all volunteer army will eliminate realpolitik games. The goal of a war should be victory against those who have attacked us.

Otherwise, I share Mark Poling's exasperation with these old right-left arguments. The anti-war left and troglodyte isolationists like Tatterdemalion are using arguments and reasoning that haven't changed since 1972. There isn't much of a point to it.

Oh, Stan, see if you have the 'courage' to click on this link, about a former union worker, Jose Vilas, who was murdered by the "democratically elected" Chavez's police.

http://caracaschronicles.blogspot.com/archives/2004_02_29_caracaschronicles_archive.html#107824213716108854

If you organized a protest against Chavez's democratically elected regime, do you think he'd be as tolerant as the US government? I doubt it.

Posted by: mary at June 6, 2005 06:33 AM

Right Tatter - It is rather unbecoming for women to oppose tyranny, isn't it? Guess I'll go back to knitting my doilies and praying for world peace then. Thanks for reminding me of my proper place you beacon of human righteousness.

Posted by: Caroline at June 6, 2005 06:41 AM

Tatter,

ousting one of the most brutal dictators of the 20th century is a pretty decent thing to do. Or did you mean we should treat Saddam and suicide bombers decently?

If our troops linger in Iraq it's only because of the terrorists, not the other way around.

Posted by: spaniard at June 6, 2005 06:43 AM

"They are not your enemies, you are theirs.?I see no Iraqi forces occupying New York City."

We are not fighting Iraqi Forces. In fact, Iraqi Forces are fighting along with us against our common foe -- Jihadis. Jihadis are EVERYWHERE including some on this forum. They use taqiya to hide their true id, and hide amongst civilians while they perform their demonic commission. It's a struggle for power, and nothing else. These demons want to keep humanity in the dark ages so they can maintain their power structure, their particular caste system. I have little doubt that as their monopoly on opinion/power is broken through education science democracy, the people of the Middle East, as other peoples elsewhere, will break free from these demons.

Posted by: mika. at June 6, 2005 07:12 AM

Caroline,
I'm a retired Navy helicopter pilot.

Posted by: exhelodrvr at June 6, 2005 07:31 AM

"The amounts of hatred and evil outpoured are unbelievable. A couple of women are the most hateful.Caroline is a regular Lady MacBeth. Mary's there right along her side. ".---t...

Oh that hurts me sir. Sincerely.

When it comes to despising,loathing,and holding in utter contempt those who hold 'opinions' such as you have expressed here,I like to think of myself as being in the first rank.

You have hurt my feelings,sir.

Posted by: dougf at June 6, 2005 07:40 AM

A bit more on the poor exploited soldiers.

A myth persists that the military grossly exploits the poor and disadvantaged. However, the enlisted ranks exclude the 20% of the population without high school degrees or its equivalent, and their profile is comparable to that of similar occupational skills in the civilian labor force. Certainly, limited opportunity induces some to enlist. If this is a scandal, set it next to the egregiously meager presence in the military of graduates from elite universities. In one Ivy League university, the percentage of graduates in 2004 entering military service was .08% -- to name the institution solely because this figure is at hand would be unfair. That number represents a broader truth: America’s elites much prefer to have other people’s children in military uniforms. Professional and social elites select themselves out of the military.

The elites include, of course, most of those snooty folks talking about the "working class" origins of the troops.

Posted by: chuck at June 6, 2005 07:48 AM

The elites include, of course, most of those snooty folks talking about the "working class" origins of the troops.

Another revealing Leftie term is the "masses"-- the faceless collective devoid of individuality with an enligtened and privileged ideological elite to watch over them.

Posted by: spaniard at June 6, 2005 08:06 AM

It may be a little late to add anything this late in the thread - but just note that it is not uncommon for 3rd world insurgencies to behave like genocidal maniacs - Congo, the Mau mau insurgency, Sendero Luminoso, the Maoists in Nepal, on and on. All of these anti-government groups are/were guilty of horrific slaughters of innocents. The difference in Iraq is that this is the first time the US has had to fight one of these groups face-to-face. Maybe insurgency is not the best term, but it has been used by all political factions in the US to describe groups like these. "Terrorist" doesn't work to my mind because it implies an amateur, loosely organized group. Clearly we are dealing in Iraq with people who are well trained and well funded. In many ways we're fighting the same enemy we were engaged with 2 years ago. They were smart enough to realize they could never fight us on our terms so the Ba'athists are trying to change the game to their advantage.

Posted by: Vanya at June 6, 2005 08:11 AM

:Tatter,
:
:ousting one of the most brutal dictators of the
:20th century is a pretty decent thing to do.

What a nice afterconstruction. How come you weren't bothered by his dictatorial brutalities earlier then? He's been in power since when? 1979?

:Or did you mean we should treat Saddam and
:suicide bombers decently?

You should. Saddam is a prisoner.
Suicide bombers of course need no treatment at all.

:If our troops linger in Iraq it's only because of
:the terrorists, not the other way around.

Remarkable then how there were no such 'terrorists' over there before the US invasion. My suggestion: Leave Iraq and see how your 'terrorists' will disappear as well. It is their country and they should work everything out among themselves.

:dougf
:
:When it comes to despising,loathing,and holding in
:utter contempt those who hold 'opinions' such as you
:have expressed here,I like to think of myself as being
:in the first rank.

You can't be first rank unless you show some signs of intelligence and litteracy. For instance; What comes after comma? Only one choice is correct:

1. space
2. aeroplane
3. any letter but space

High evilness scores can only be accomplished by intelligent and educated people. The dumber ones can always claim ignorance, bad upbringing and lesser education as a defense. Sometimes bad genes too.

While Caroline is Lady MacBeth and while Mary is her slightly bleaker sister, you're merely... shall we say... Mad the Swine? See the difference? Like the difference between travelling in business class versus in a cargo trunk. You're the cargo trunk.

(Don't whine about being classified like this. You asked for it.)

All this is actually good news for you. Since you can't help it, it is easier to forgive you.

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 6, 2005 11:04 AM

"You can't be first rank unless you show some signs of intelligence and litteracy."

While "litteracy" is a good neologism for what you practice, dimwit, literacy is the way the literate spell it.

Good luck on your GED exam - how many times have you taken it so far?

Posted by: Rick Ballard at June 6, 2005 11:20 AM

"What a nice afterconstruction. How come you weren't bothered by his dictatorial brutalities earlier then? He's been in power since when? 1979?"

The US had bigger fish to fry. Like the Soviets. Like the mad Mullahs in Iran.

"You should. Saddam is a prisoner."

And what did the Bathists and Jihadis do with their prisoners?

"Remarkable then how there were no such 'terrorists' over there before the US invasion."

False. The only change that occured is that Bathist criminals and their Jihadi allies took their uniform off. So now they can be called terrorists. Not too nuanced for you to follow, I hope.

"You can't be first rank unless you show some signs of intelligence and litteracy."

MJT can deal with this one.

Posted by: mika. at June 6, 2005 12:25 PM

:While "litteracy" is a good neologism for what you practice,
:dimwit, literacy is the way the literate spell it.

A typo. English is my fourth language.

:mika
:And what did the Bathists and Jihadis do with their prisoners?

I can imagine.
But that is hardly a sanction to behave in a similar way.
You are better than them, aren't you?

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 6, 2005 01:50 PM

A typo. English is my fourth language.

Klingonese isn't a real language, Tatter.

Oh, and here's a free hint: don't lecture others about "litteracy" and expect to get away with even one typo.

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 6, 2005 01:59 PM

The simple fact of the matter is that Bush messed up: if you don't control the country you chose to invade three months after the war is over, then the operation cannot be called a success. If you don't control the country two years after the war is over, then it can only be called a horrific failure.
It was clear to me in September 2002 that Bush would invade Iraq, no matter what. I thought it was not worth it (a feeling a majority of americans now share btw) and that the risks (i.e. death, destruction, instability) outweighed the possible gains. Yet, since it was decided anyway, I prayed that Bush wouldn't mess it up, that the US would do it right and get it over with quickly, if that was possible at all. I very skeptical about this, to say the least, but prayed that they had some master-plan in the drawer to turn post-war Iraq into a flourishing and peaceful democracy asap ("greeted with "flowers", "celebrated as liberators", "a cakewalk"). Unfortunately it turned out Bush didn't have a plan at all, and worse, willfully chose to ignore every plan and study that wouldn't fit his narrow view of the matter (e.g. the several thousand pages of post-war planning from the State department). The seeds of the present situation were sown in the immediate aftermath of the war, as the US never gained full control of the country, giving the Baathists and others time to regroup, rearm and reorganize. Maybe it was impossible to prevent this, but then the US should never have invaded in the first place.

Posted by: novakant at June 6, 2005 02:07 PM

"You are better than them, aren't you?"

Yes we are. We're far more efficient killers. And it's time to have this amateur pastime come to an end.

Posted by: mika. at June 6, 2005 04:23 PM

Tatter – I have no idea why you’ve called me evil but I do feel compelled to respond. Based on my comments on the above thread, this is presumably because of my

1. Supporting the overthrow of Saddam.
2. Advocating that our troops stay there at the request of the elected Iraqi government, so that the country doesn’t fall to unelected thugs like the former Baathists and jihadis who are blowing up innocent people left and right and have been for 2 straight years now.
3. Supporting our troops efforts there and resenting the unfair and hypocritical standards applied to their actions, which result in demoralization and declining enlistment numbers.
4. Being a woman and expressing my opinion (what other explanation is there for you to single my comments out of this thread when many male posters have been even more sarcastic or vitriolic in expressing their opinions?)

You, in contrast, have stated: ““What's the point of wildly attaching labels to other people based on one or a few of their opinions?” – and then proceeded to label people “evil” and “cocky chickenhawks” and to insult their intelligence. You have said that it is “easier to forgive” some of us than others ( you also seem sympathetic to the notion of “an eye for an eye”), and most tellingly, you have made what sound like veiled threats, with your reference to “righteous and just demands”, your rather hysterical question, “ How would you fancy that, you brave ones who call me 'Anti-American'? How will it feel when YOUR kids die?”, and most tellingly, “The war will end when your pain is as great as theirs. …. One day in the near future bombs will go off at Wal-Mart, McDonalds, at the movie theaters. You will die on the beaches, you will die on the airports, you will die in schools and in factories…”

Frankly Tatter – you’re positively giving me the willies. I almost get the impression that you support fascist dictators (when even UBL is on record as opposing them) as well as the jihadis, whom it may have escaped your notice, have declared war on us – and not only us – but also the Indian Hindus, the Christian Sudanese, theRussians, the Egyptian copts, the Israeli’s – well hell! – virtually every non-Muslim people in the world. In fact, Muslims are currently responsible for at least 90% of the violent conflicts waging worldwide today – and most of them do not involve the Americans. As anyone can see in Iraq – Muslims are killing far more Muslims than Americans are and this has been going on since we entered Baghdad in a mere 3 weeks. But you imagine that if we just went home from Iraq, this would all somehow go away. We should all just go home and love eachother and seriously no one will come and bomb us in our Walmarts and in our schools (tell that to the residents of Beslan) on our beaches blah blah blah. Maybe you don’t actually listen to all the imams that have entered the west on our hospitality, stating their intentions very very clearly – towards us, towards Britain, even towards Sweden for Pete’s sake.. No sane person in the west doesn’t know that it isn’t entirely inevitable that our innocent civilians are already targets of the kind of violence you seem to get a thrill out of describing. And that’s the case whether we leave Iraq tomorrow or not. Did you read that chronology I posted way up the thread? This pattern didn’t start with Iraq. This is a pattern that has been going on for centuries.

Sorry Tatter – but we didn’t start this war. While you would apparently gloat over mass US casualties, we are trying very hard to free the Iraqis from tyranny, because we think their freedom will ultimately diffuse the kind of hatred that fuels recruits to the jihad. That may be naive but it is in no ways evil to try. We are going about this as humanely as possible, in a very difficult situation in which it is almost impossible to distinguish friend from foe. In contrast, when they come after us in our Walmarts and schools and office buildings we are quite aware that the entire point will be to intentionally inflict as much suffering as possible on the innocent. We also know that in the aftermath, we will witness joyous celebrations all around the world. You may well be joining in one of them, for all I know, based on the overall tone of your posts.

Please do not presume to lecture me about morality or about good vs evil Tatter. I get the definite impression that you harbor far more hate in your heart than I do in my mine, and nurture far more feelings of revenge.

Posted by: Caroline at June 6, 2005 05:27 PM

Mika: Jihadis are EVERYWHERE including some on this forum.

Stop saying that. I'm not asking.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 6, 2005 06:24 PM

Note: I'm not saying everyone else on this thread is a shining example of decorum, and I don't particularly mean to single out Mika. If the vituperative insults don't start winding down I'm going to have show some people the door. It's getting nasty in here, so knock it off.

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at June 6, 2005 06:29 PM

'Being a woman and expressing my opinion (what other explanation is there for you to single my comments out of this thread when many male posters have been even more sarcastic or vitriolic in expressing their opinions?)'--Caroline

To be frank the only reason I last got involved with T... was because he did single you and Mary out for personal attack.I thought that was petty even for him,and certainly unwarranted.
Otherwise his drivel simply leaves me speechless with something very near ANGER.He deserves nothing more than vitriol and/or sarcasm.
I prefer sarcasm as vitriol is demeaning to both parties.

Posted by: dougf at June 6, 2005 07:06 PM

Thanks Dougf. You're a true gentleman (something I already knew). And anyway, anyone who know's anything at all knows that you're a BUS and not a cargo trunk. :-)

Posted by: Caroline at June 6, 2005 07:33 PM

"Note: I'm not saying everyone else on this thread is a shining example of decorum, and I don't particularly mean to single out Mika. If the vituperative insults don't start winding down I'm going to have show some people the door. It's getting nasty in here, so knock it off."---MJT

If I said that Syria was probably justified in keeping its boot on Lebanon's throat,and I continued to say that FOREVER despite all the points you made to the contrary, would you remain 'polite' FOREVER ?

Civility merely serves to hopefully prevent disagreements from becoming existential. When however they ARE existential, then civility cannot do anything but add an artifical gloss to the bitterness underneath.

I regret that things have come to this, but come to this they have. I trust that you recall many of my much earlier posts in which I made the point that this was a very DANGEROUS situation, and that things were going to end badly unless a structural change occurred. Niceness is not a structural change, I fear.

Fascist,Imperialist,Neo-Colonial Warmongers on the one side --- Effete,Decadent,Defeatist,(objective)Fifth-Columnists on the other.

Since the 'discussions' NEVER change (because they can't ),is it very surprising that sooner or later the bottom falls out? Not to me it isn't. This is much more than merely a choice of language--- much more.

Posted by: dougf at June 6, 2005 07:57 PM

Tatterdemalion: Once Pandora's box gets open there is no closing the lid again. Once one group of terrorists or freedom fighters shows the way, the rest of them will follow. Every future conflict will result in bombs going off at the Wal-Mart, kidnapping of american schoolchildren, poisoning of water wells.

It's already too late because that way "was shown" a long time ago by the Palestinians. And since nothing really bad happened to the Palestinians as a result, terrorist have learned that terrorism works.

It will continue as you described it, with the weapons getting more and more terrible, culminating in WMDs hitting the civilized world.

But you're wrong about the causes. Look up Mohammad's last words some time. Israel is attacked because Mohammad made his people promise to clear the gulf of infidels and his last prayer was for God to wipe out the Christians and Jews.

The problem is not "humiliation" as we know the word, but the humiliation of men told that God expects them to be the ubbermench. When those who expect obesience, men whoes duty is to be the rulers over the inferior religions are forced to deal with other humans as equals instead of as serfs, they find this humiliating.

Even if it were not for the above motivation, the following would be sufficient:

Terrorist religion teaches that killing infidels gets martyrs, their friends and their family into heaven.

That teaching has been and will continue to be reason enough for generations of terrorists to come.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at June 6, 2005 09:14 PM

The comments section has been ravaged. I would not want anyone to be blocked, but stan (the man with many names) is an asshat. If he were a rightwing fascist Nazi he would have been booted long ago. The debate over fascism and communism can be settled quite easily, they both suck and you suck for supporting the nonsense.

Stan, once we have reached our imperial goals you will have to kiss the metric system goodbye. Dollars, feet and yards from here forward.

Posted by: Mike#3or4 at June 6, 2005 09:22 PM

When however they ARE existential, then civility cannot do anything but add an artifical gloss to the bitterness underneath.

dougf,

my answer to the "niceness" towards moonbats is to level sarcasm and scorn at their doctrines and worldview, rather than at individual moonbat bloggers. It's their beliefs and politics in the abstract that I hold in contempt and spit on, not the blogger. Some moonbats get it, others don't, and those that don't will respond with personal attacks against me. Kimmit and DPU are good examples of that. I guess they get "offended". Oh well, tough luck. But at least I'm trying keep it about the politics-- even if they don't like what I think of the politics-- and not about the individual moonbat. I'm hoping that Michael can see the difference.

Posted by: spaniard at June 6, 2005 11:50 PM

I can't believe Stan responded to

but repeatedly ignored my question: why the squeamishness over Iraqi guardsmen but not over the "insurgents"?

With

I've not been squeamish at all, revolution like war is ugly.

He's perfectly happy to see "insergents" blow up mosques, schools and even slaughter all members of the "wrong" religions without reserve because they're fighting a "revolution". What a complete monster! I've been arguing with people on the internet for 15 years and this is the first time I've felt a strong need to call someone evil and thow in the "H" word and all that.

Stan is blind as a bat when he see's that "revolution" he's always wanted even though these revolutionaries represent fascist oppression, religious oppression and gender oppression and nothing else.

Posted by: Joshua Scholar at June 7, 2005 12:32 AM

Evil Otto:
Klingonese is a real language, sort of.
You can study it at some university and get a degree in it. Like Latin or Classic Greek.

Caroline:
Your womanhood is no factor here. What is a factor, is your level of education and intelligence. Intellectual noblesse oblige.

You can't expect to be weighed and measured as if you wee a twit, when you're in fact intellectually superior to most of the posters here.

I am well aware of the discord between what people say, what they say anonymously on an Internet forum and what they really will feel and do when push comes to shove.

Most people are much nicer in real life than on forums like this one.

However, we all must tidy up the intellectual garden we share with each other here and not let ourselves go just because 'everyone else' does.

My 'hysterical' pictures of what might happen unless... are not just a product of a particularly vivid imagination. Everything of it has happened already. Kidnapped kids, Tchechnya. Bombs going off at restaurants and warehouses, Israel. Aeroplanes into skyscrapers, USA.

Whatever happened to 'winning the hearts and minds' idea?

Posted by: Tatterdemalion at June 7, 2005 05:45 AM

dougf - you are a true gentleman, and you always have well-reasoned thoughts on the issues. Please don't waste time with tatter - he's just a reactionary, motivated by hate, who spews out a bunch of bile, then wonders why we're not trying to win his heart & mind.

Arguing with reactionaries is like poking at a jellyfish - all you get is a predictable, unthinking response. There are better things to do, like cleaning tile grout.

Posted by: mary at June 7, 2005 06:59 AM

"Arguing with reactionaries is like poking at a jellyfish - all you get is a predictable, unthinking response. There are better things to do, like cleaning tile grout."--Mary

This comparison is totally unfair to jellyfish. At least the poor thing is doing the best it can with what it has . Why poke it?

Tatter bothers me not. He may be semi-fluent in 4 languages but he is apparently clueless in each and every one.

On a personal note, thanks to you and Caroline for the kind thoughts. I must confess though that my 'gentlemanly 'side is ,I fear, rather shallow although I do try to at least acknowledge what the 'right' thing to do is. Almost never do it, of course, but --------

Posted by: dougf at June 7, 2005 07:22 AM

Excerpt from Bill Whittle's latest essay at www.ejectejecteject.com:

Why then, do so many people – most of them on the far left – so fundamentally hate humanity?
I think it must be the constant frictions between what they hope people are and what they really are.

...

Here they sit, surrounded by laws and medicine and art and culture: despising themselves. Remarkable, isn’t it? These people, who pride themselves on nuance, see no difference between a naked human pyramid of ten prisoners lasting two minutes and piles of corpses six million deep. Both shameful, therefore, both equal in their eyes. And we are the ones who only see things in black and white?

...

So why -- someone? anyone? – why do otherwise intelligent and educated people so despise and detest American society, which has achieved more in the way of individual rights, science, arts, medicine, diversity, cooperation and prosperity than any other in history? Why would they oppose such a society when it is trying to bring these blessings to people who have spent thirty years cowering in dark places, fearful of letting the slightest word slip, or betraying their entire family with an askew glance or unguarded moment? Why would someone so viciously oppose freeing a People who have lived for a generation in total, abject fear?

It’s because they have never lived it. That is what I mean when I say reality has left their building. How many people would be opposing the war in Iraq if they had to watch, actually witness, three or four hundred thousand people being shot in the head in front of their families? At the rate of one life taken every single second, with one unique and irreplaceable person being extinguished every tick of the 60 Minutes stopwatch, going without sleep or rest, you would be at it for three and a half days. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Every face unique, every one someone’s son or mother or precious grandchild. Bang. Bang. Bang. All night and all day, every second for three and a half days. How long to wipe out your entire family? Four seconds? Eight? Thirteen? We have found that many in Iraq, more will follow, believe me.

How many children – four or five year old boys and girls – do you need to see raped in front of you before you change your mind about Iraq? Fifty? Fifty thousand? Will that make a dent in your stainless steel belief system? How many cries for mercy in the muffled corridors of prison basements? Ten thousand? Ten times ten thousand? They were there. They happened.

They just didn’t happen to you. Not in Berkeley. Not in Manhattan. Not in Santa Monica, or at Columbia University. Not in your Sanctuary. If they did we wouldn’t be having this discussion, would we? You’d be dead, and it would be your relatives begging for good and powerful people to come to their rescue to stop this horror.

There’s nothing “progressive” about what these people believe. It is refined selfishness and moral cowardice. I can understand not wanting to go overseas and lose blood and treasure to solve other people’s problems. I can at least understand that. But these “progressives” should be thanking whatever they take to be sacred – which is nothing – and hit their knees in gratitude that better, braver people have built them the kind of Sanctuary where torture and state-sponsored murder are so far from their closed eyes that even the act of imagining such horrors is beyond them.

How far from the reality of human nature do you have to be to see our culture as a curse on the Earth, rather than being the only ones willing to roll up our sleeves, shoot the wolves that are eating our kids, go out into the blizzard to collect some firewood and then paint the goddam house?

Posted by: markytom at June 7, 2005 07:23 AM

Klingonese is a real language, sort of.

In the same sense that Velveeta is a real cheese.

Posted by: Evil Otto at June 7, 2005 10:47 AM

I'm not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, or if anyone has mentioned this already (I don't know if I have the stomach to wade through all these comments), but I thought this comment from Cheney during the commencement speech at the Air Force Academy:

"...as our coalition fights Taliban remnants in Afghanistan and insurgents in Iraq..."

So, uh, yeah. When a reporter uses the word "insurgent" it's because he loves terrorists and would marry them if he could. When Cheney uses the word "insurgent" it's because he's the might fist of righteous justice. Or something. Also, something about postmodernism and so forth.

PS I started a blog! Uninformed Opinion

Posted by: The Commenter at June 7, 2005 12:50 PM

There's a big difference in using the term "insurgents" to refer to the people attacking OUR, American, troops (the way Cheney used the term), and using it to describe the murderers of innocent civilians for belonging to the wrong religious group (in the example used by Michael to start this thread.)

So I'm not sure what your point is commenter.

Posted by: nick at June 7, 2005 10:51 PM

We refer to them as expended martyrs or chew toys.

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Posted by: 优化男儿 at September 11, 2007 12:01 AM
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