November 07, 2006

The Case Against Killing Saddam Hussein

Christopher Hitchens says don't kill Saddam. I argued with him about this in Washington last year, and he very nearly convinced me. He very nearly convinces me now.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at November 7, 2006 12:41 AM
Comments

I would love to agree. I have been drifting away from capitol punishment for a long while now, but in this particular case, I don't think Iraq has a chance if the spectre of Saddam hangs over them.

Posted by: Dawnsblood at November 7, 2006 02:28 AM

One of the excellent things about Hitch is how honestly he puts the argument with which he disagrees.

Yet his "But this still seems to me to be more like an exorcism than an execution—a concession to superstition and primitive emotion. And we have enough of both in today's Iraq." shows how his hope of having had enough conflicts with the reality.

It is an exorcism. It is the death of a demon -- but aren't the suicide bombers believers in just such superstition and primitive emotions of hate America, kill to defeat the Great Satan?

In fact, is it not true that the "civilized" emotion against executing the guilty is based on the myth that the death penalty doesn't work to deter crimes? There is no conclusive proof on either side, usually both sides require it of the other -- but if Hitch begins talking against the pro-DP myth basis, it's fair to ask him for non-mythical evidence that non-Death Penalty states are better at establishing justice.

Most of the anti-DP states of the EU, and others like Turkey, were not much in favor of fighting against Saddam. Since fighting means killing, dying, and even killing some innocents along with the guilty.

Such EU / UN / Amnesty International anti-DP results can be seen in Darfur (THERE's another place you should consider going to, Michael) -- unspeakable genocide. And mostly unspoken, since to speak of it as it happens in slo-mo, thousands every month, is to show the weakness of the anti-war, anti-death penalty, anti-force for justice idea.

It was America, where the Death Penalty is an issue but where most feel that there are guilty who deserve to die, it was America that fought against Saddam. America, where the desire for justice is enough to fight, kill, die, and even kill innocents. To get rid of the guilty. To establish justice. (Which hasn't happened yet in Iraq, and is perhaps the biggest reason the Reps might well lose the House today.)

Hitch fails to state about the changing regimes and hangings afterward that at no time in the past had Iraqis written their own Constitution, nor elected their own representatives to exercise government power. If that government chooses not to execute Saddam, that would be OK with me. But I think it would be a mistake.

When mercy is seen as weakness, it invites more terror.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 7, 2006 03:05 AM

Execute SH.

Some people have earned the right to be removed from the living; SH, Pol Pot, Stalin, Hitler, Jeffrey Dahmer, Child Molesters, Serial Killers and other similar ilk. I have also read that there is a very low rate of recidivism for persons that are dead.

Shades of grey; perhaps, but that is partially what judgement is all about, and to some degree judges/juries.

Posted by: Ron Snyder at November 7, 2006 04:45 AM

Hitchens arguments are:

1) Abolishing Capital Punishment is the mark of civilized nations.

Rubbish. Hitchens writes, "I agree completely with this view, and I have not had to search through encrusted ditches for the remains of my relatives in order to arrive at it." Hitchens neglects to point out that our relatives were murdered as an administrative penalty, not under a recognized system of justice.

Abolishing capital punishment assures evildoers that if caught, they will never receive the ultimate penalty, can always hope to return to freedom, and that the power structure of their criminal network can remain intact, though it may be inactive for a time. It discourags victims and the terrified from acting, because they know that the penalty they could receive is greater than the penalty the criminal could receive. Abolishing capital punishment, then, is the road to barbarism, not civilization.

2) Hitchens argues that killing Saddam "seems to me to be more like an exorcism than an execution". Isn't that how it's supposed to feel when justice is done, even if it's just paying the fine on a traffic ticket?

3) Hitchens argues that executing the guilty "destroys evidence". Most dictators are serial liars, and by the time they reach trial, almost all useful information has been obtained already. Perhaps they can tell us a little more, but the experience in the U.S. is that the time to bargain is after the conviction, not before. The fact that he's about to die should concentrate Saddam's mind wonderfully well.

4) "If he is dropped through the trapdoor, we will never get to hear Saddam Hussein's response..."

Ooh, as if Saddam is a literary Napoleon and we should get to read his memoirs? Give me a break; that's what trials are for. Saddam can be tried again on these counts if Iraqis wish. If they think the facts are clear enough, let them execute Saddam without further ado.

Posted by: Solomon2 at November 7, 2006 06:59 AM

Nations and individuals who call themselves "civilized" and reject the death penality enjoy the ability to do so because the murderous bastards would would deny then that boast have already been killed. One would think insightful writers like Hitchens and Europeans of all people would understand this. Pehaps the Iraqi people will one day reject the death penalty too just not today.

Posted by: Brad at November 7, 2006 07:25 AM

Just as war should be a last resort, so should capital punishment. Both, however, must remain as options. Hitchens view, while admirable, comes from a perspective that the Iraqis cannot currently afford.

I guess if war is diplomacy by other means, then execution is war by other means.

Posted by: G. Hamid at November 7, 2006 08:05 AM

Hitchen's arguments in favor of the death sentence make more sense than his arguments against it. Plus he fails to acknowledge that the trial against Saddam for attempted genocide has now begun and will be heard before he is executed.

I can't see peace ever prevailing in Iraq while Saddam remains alive and the prospect of his returning to power remains a possibility (however unrealistic).

Posted by: David at November 7, 2006 11:26 AM

"When mercy is seen as weakness, it invites more terror."

Amen. Pragmatically speaking, this is definitely accurate. I also believe it is the moral thing to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. No society which totally eliminates the death penalty can survive. There are simply times when its appropriateness is nonnegotiable. A viable social order must be able to unhesitatingly assert that some crimes deserve the ultimate punishment.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 7, 2006 11:36 AM

"When mercy is seen as weakness, it invites more terror."

Amen. Pragmatically speaking, this is definitely accurate. I also believe it is the moral thing to rid the world of Saddam Hussein. No society which totally eliminates the death penalty can survive. There are simply times when its appropriateness is nonnegotiable. A viable social order must be able to unhesitatingly assert that some crimes deserve the ultimate punishment.

Posted by: David Thomson at November 7, 2006 11:38 AM

I can't see peace ever prevailing in Iraq while Saddam remains alive and the prospect of his returning to power remains a possibility (however unrealistic).

I think the issue of Hussein's presence among the living has little connection to the violence in Iraq at the moment. Those entertaining such connections may want to re-examine the similar conjectures made about his presence among the uncaptured two years ago.

Just as his incarceration made little difference to the insurgency then, the gallows will make little difference when he hangs.

Posted by: double-plus-ungood at November 7, 2006 11:39 AM

I'm not sure that Iraq gains much from killing Saddamn, but I'm not sure it loses much.

The best argument for the penalty, though - that it permanently removes the fear of him returning - could have been dismissed by putting Saddamn in the Hague, though. No one comes back from a life sentence in the Hague.

I neither feel that executing Saddamn is an imperative, nor that it is an injustice. Saddamn created the bloodthirsty environment that now comes for his a**, just like it does for most others who lead something like that.

Posted by: glasnost at November 7, 2006 11:45 AM

He will be used as a call-to-arms alive or dead, but his utility as such is diminished once deceased. Those who would inovke his name in cries of war will move on and find another Idol.

Hitchens argument about "universal jurisdiction" is remarkably weak. As someone who has devoted years of his life to indicting Kissinger, he must know "universal jurisdiction" is hardly a consensus-builder. Also, the trial of Saddam Hussein is about Iraq and the Iraqi people long before it is about any high-handed international notions of justice and war-crimes prosecution.

I can see the arguments on both sides. Not executing Saddam would send a powerful message that Iraq has turned a corner and entered a new era of peaceful civil-led government. On the other hand, not executing Saddam only allows the past to linger and makes it harder for Iraqis to put the past in the past.

Posted by: Chris at November 7, 2006 12:29 PM

Damnit! I posted something similar on another thread but I got an error message on the other one and didn't think it went through. So apologies for sort of double posting.

Posted by: Rommel at November 7, 2006 02:25 PM

Even if you disagree with Hitchens, you should recognize that Hitch is not asking for "mercy." I think Hitch is probably one of the last people in the world to have even the slightest tender feeling toward Saddam Hussein. I understood his argument as basically pragmatic - we (Americans/Westerners) will get a better result in Iraq in the end by not killing Saddam. Most of the arguments in favor of killing Saddam seem to me to be based in emotionalism or abstract issues of justice. You can even support capital punishment in general and still argue that in this particular case we might be better served by having a loser rot his life away pointlessly in a small cell rather than turn him into yet another martyr for the cause, particularly when the society we are dealing with us shows so much veneration for martyrdom.

Posted by: vanya at November 7, 2006 02:47 PM

vanya makes good points, as did hitchens. i'm just not sure that it's a good idea to have saddam hussein hanging around rather than hung.

what's wrong with an exorcism, anyway?

Posted by: Todd Grimson at November 7, 2006 04:49 PM

What I am missing here? Yes, US troops captured him, but then turned him over to the Iraqi justice system since it is their jurisdiction, correct? Saddam committed crimes against the Iraqi people. How does the West play into the hang or not hang decision? Perhaps at the level of a recommendation, but it is in the hands of the Iraqi courts to make the call according to their laws, not ours. No wringing of hands needed by any westerners over the decision. Just the aftermath.

Posted by: allan at November 7, 2006 04:50 PM

The civilized world isn't France and Europe. If Iraq wants to sign onto the failed policies of Europe, that even now are causing European implosion, they can do so when Americans are no longer in their country.

And if the Kurds think emulating the Turks are so hot, maybe they should join them. Unlikely, however.

There are a lot of domestic enemies in Iraq, enemies of America and enemies/traitors to Iraq. Until those are purged completely and absolutely, you will always have hotspots and eruptions of violence.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at November 7, 2006 04:57 PM

Glasnost suggests, * No one comes back from a life sentence in the Hague.*

If SH can be held in absolute security there then that is the best solution.

There may be some information he could provide in future when some crisis arises.

Ending his life at this time just gives wild incentive to Iraqi insurgents and nothing is gained by burning bridges to unique knowledge that can be bargained for later. = TG

Posted by: TG at November 7, 2006 08:22 PM

Just as war should be a last resort, so should capital punishment. Both, however, must remain as options.

Well, in much of the world capital punishment is not an option, it is outlawed. The EU outlaws it completely in all circumstances. Other countries do too. This is a good thing: civilised people should reject it completely.

Posted by: Benjamin at November 7, 2006 10:57 PM

we (Americans/Westerners) will get a better result in Iraq in the end by not killing Saddam.
If I thought this was true, I'd favor not killing him. I'm certain it's false (with belief!). The anti-West terrorists biggest recruitment issues are: 1) the West is weak (paper tiger of the USA),
2) the fighters against the West will win.

The USA could, with nukes to Tehran and Demascus, create so much destruction that they would stop supporting terrorists. This would be Total War -- but the USA is unwilling to do so (until Tel Aviv goes mushroom). Our strength is no greater than our will.

If 'we' don't have the will to kill a butcher like Saddam, it will be proof that we don't have the will to win a long, slow, less-than-Total-War fight against Islamists who ARE in a beheading/ torture/ murder Total War against us.

But it won't be 'us' to decide, it will be the the Iraqis.

And as the majority Shia continue to increase their domination of the Iraqi Security forces, and increase their own dispensation of 'justice thru death squad', the Sunni anti-democracy folk are creating an Iraqi people in no mood for 'civilized restraint.'

Not if such restraint allows terrorist victory, as it did after 1974 in Vietnam and Cambodia -- as it seems to be doing in Darfur and Somalia today.

Insofar as the 'civilized' UN Charter, prohibiting genocide, has allowed atrocity after atrocity without justice (for N. Viet violaters Paris Peace Accords, etc.) or protection of the innocents -- we do NOT have a civilized world.

Rule of law starts with enforcement, and fear of the enforcers. It is the fear of enforcers in the guilty that protects the innocent, not the written or unwritten rules.

Wonder if the Dems will cut and run in Iraq, to allow another 'we wash our hands' bloodbath.

Posted by: Tom Grey - Liberty Dad at November 8, 2006 01:21 AM

hitchens argues about the "destruction of evidence" if saddam is executed. does he really think that saddam would provide it and not manipulate the situation as he did with the oil-for-food scandal? does hitchens believe that this will safeguard against later "revisionism? if the holocaust can be the subject of "revisionism", anything can.

no doubt we would see him living in a posh minimum security facility in exchange for his answers we so desperately want. and he would continue to pontificate and declare himself as the legitimate iraqi president (which some later court would eventually agree with him). there was opposition to the nuremburg trials initially, that they would become farcical, which they almost became. it can be argued that "farce" is the perfect description to describe milosovic's trial at the hague, as well as saddam's own trial.

hitchens loathes the death penalty and he is grasping at anything to justify not executing saddam, which is not surprising. his ultra-rigid categories are sacred, untouchable, and impenetrable, even for someone like saddam.

which is why, if it were up to hitchens, if hitler survived the war in europe he could still be alive today. enlightened? i think not.

Posted by: mike at November 8, 2006 02:31 AM

***DO*** finish the 2 other trials.

Then hang the bastard.

Posted by: Zvi at November 8, 2006 03:02 AM

Wonder if the Dems will cut and run in Iraq, to allow another 'we wash our hands' bloodbath.

You have to wonder?

The current generation of Democratic leaders came of age during Vietnam, and they seem determined to re-live their glory years.

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 03:48 AM

ps: in case you think I'm being overly pessimistic (or, heaven forbid, am just another right-wing partisan):

http://www.democraticleader.house.gov/pdf/thebook.pdf

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 03:52 AM

You all have apparently failed to notice that Iraq is already more or less a bloodbath. What real difference will it make if American troops leave if they are not able to maintain order today? The big difference between Iraq and Vietnam is that South Vietnam was basically a functional state at the time we pulled out and the ARVN was a true US ally. In Iraq, it is painfully clear, we have no real allies outside of Kurdistan and most of the country is already run by Shiite muslim fundamentalists, with our implicit blessing. Right now we are following the worst of all possible strategies - we have enough of a presence to infuriate Iraqis but not enough to maintain order. Right now we look weak and incompetent, far more so than if we simply wash our hands of the whole mess. Leaving Iraqis alone to fight it out for themselves is the wrong thing to do morally, I agree, but if your only concern is that America look strong than it makes more sense to leave than to hang around unable to maintain security.

Posted by: vanya at November 8, 2006 04:23 AM

You all have apparently failed to notice that Iraq is already more or less a bloodbath.

There's always room for things to get worse, Vanya.

What real difference will it make if American troops leave if they are not able to maintain order today?

Basically, it's the difference between our allies in the middle east (as well as the rest of the planet) seeing that the US is willing to try to do something and see it through, vs the US trying something, throwing up it's hands after ~3 years (hardly any time at all, by geopolitical standards) and pulling out, leaving the nascent Iraqi government (that the US established and invested quite a lot of resources in creating) holding the bag.

Basically, if we leave Iraq hanging, how much confidence can our allies have that we won't leave them hanging once things get ugly?

The big difference between Iraq and Vietnam is that South Vietnam was basically a functional state at the time we pulled out and the ARVN was a true US ally.

Yeah, and look what it got them. The lesson we're teaching governments worldwide is that being a true US ally does not pay, so what we're going to get is a bunch of fair-weather allies who bail on us when the going gets tough... because that's how we treat our allies.

That is going to cost us.

In Iraq, it is painfully clear, we have no real allies outside of Kurdistan and most of the country is already run by Shiite muslim fundamentalists, with our implicit blessing. Right now we are following the worst of all possible strategies - we have enough of a presence to infuriate Iraqis but not enough to maintain order.

...but so long as we're still there, a President can change the strategy in Iraq and hope to accomplish something. Once we leave, that is no longer an option.

Right now we look weak and incompetent, far more so than if we simply wash our hands of the whole mess.

No. We look incompetent, but the US's weakness is a strange kind of weakness by middle eastern standards... having massive force at your disposal and not using it against our enemies.

I don't think they really understand it.

They will understand cutting and running, though. They've seen the US do that often enough to have figured out that once the US leaves, it doesn't come back, so they can do as they please without fear.

Leaving Iraqis alone to fight it out for themselves is the wrong thing to do morally, I agree, but if your only concern is that America look strong than it makes more sense to leave than to hang around unable to maintain security.

I do not want America to look strong.

I want America to be strong, and for that strength to deter our enemies from interfering in our affairs, or the affairs of our allies.

Right now, that's not happening.

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 04:56 AM

Right now we are following the worst of all possible strategies - we have enough of a presence to infuriate Iraqis but not enough to maintain order.

So the Shia and the Sunni are killing one another because of the presence of our troops?

I do not want America to look strong.

I want America to be strong, and for that strength to deter our enemies from interfering in our affairs, or the affairs of our allies.

Right now, that's not happening.

Well stated and completely true.

The trouble is the left has been toiling for decades to turn Americans into pacifists -- primarily through our leftist-dominated educational system -- and they have been successful, as any number of indicators show.

For instance, just 7 weeks after the horror of 9/11, polls showed that 90% favored military action against the perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks -- which certainly doesn’t sound pacifist, does it? But if you read beyond the first question in those polls, you see that when asked if they support military action "if it meant getting into a war and suffering significant casualties" only 52% were in favor, 48% opposed.

So even in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, roughly half the country did not want to do anything about 9/11 unless it was relatively easy and painless. A Clintonesque lobbing of a few cruise missiles was fine, but war and casualties? No way. You can view the poll here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/polls/polls.htm Just scroll down to the poll from November 8, 2001.

Which political party do you suppose that 48% belonged to?

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 8, 2006 06:58 AM

For all the touting of the Death Penalty, I have yet to see an unbiased report (from either side) as to its value as a deterrent. If Saddam is killed, will it really give the next crazy megalomaniac cause for pause before killing a few hundred of his own people? I think not.

I don't personally care about Saddam's fate. If he's hung, he'll be dead and Iraq will still be in the situation that its currently in. If he doesn't hang, then he'll be alive and Iraq will still be in the situation that its currently in.

Anyone who thinks otherwise, may need to reconsider their position. The current violence seems to have little to do with Mr. H and much more to do with crazy cults whacking each other.

As for the idea that not hanging Saddam would encourage the terrorists... it seems to make use of some sort of bizarre logic.

Remember:
Saddam = Secular Dictator and enemy of the Shiites.
Mosbunall Terrorists = Religious Shiites.

1+1 usually equals 2 it does not usually equal "The terrorists will win"

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 8, 2006 07:51 AM

For all the touting of the Death Penalty, I have yet to see an unbiased report (from either side) as to its value as a deterrent.

Who said anything about deterrence? The appeal of the death penalty, IMO, is the recidivism rate after the sentence is carried out.

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 08:16 AM

"The trouble is the left has been toiling for decades to turn Americans into pacifists -- primarily through our leftist-dominated educational system -- and they have been successful, as any number of indicators show."

Do you have any support for this assertion? The real reason Americans are becoming pacifistic is far simpler - we are materially spoiled and live a very comfortable life style. I haven't noticed affluent Republicans thronging to volunteer for the military in any great numbers. As any society moves from predominantly rural/agricultural to urban/trader it's military spirit declines. And throughout history rich affluent merchant societies have had a hard time maintaining a warrior spirit among their populations. Look at Rome in the last centuries. For a recent example look at the Soviet Union. The education system was aggressively militaristic for decades, yet as people became (relatively) affluent and urbanized the quality of Russian soldiers has dropped noticeably and the willingness of the elites to support a real war is pretty low. Blaming these structural changes to society on "left-wing indoctrination" is just a recipe for frustration because you won't fix anything by simply changing teachers and curricula.

Posted by: vanya at November 8, 2006 08:25 AM

I think the important question is, will executing Saddam lead to a greater or lesser loss of life in Iraq in the future?

It seems likely that so long as he is alive, he will be a rallying point for Baathist fighters.

Fortunately his sons are gone. There may be surviving grandchildren.

Posted by: Don Cox at November 8, 2006 08:55 AM

America Misses

Americans avoid facing and understanding the problem at our peril.

The fundamentalist march is gaining strength and it is a complex headache to deal with.

The American people have chosen to not deal with the problem, but rather to look the other way and hope for the best.

The majority of the American people do not realize the true and urgent nature of the common thread running through the Taliban, Hezbollah, al Quaeda, the Muqtada al Sadr killing squads of Sadr City Iraq, and Hamas.

Americans fail to see the peril clearly because the Media has managed to avoid joining the dots so that no clear picture of understanding is generally available.

This is a time when all free nations should be joining with the EU and Nato to restrain Iran from its Islamofascist take-over of the Middle East.

If the radical Mullahs , [ not the citizens], of Iran are allowed to take over Iraq and build their world Centre of Terrorism from that base, just as Osama bin Laden declared, our military conflicts will become desperately massive.

Pulling out of Afghanistan and Iraq would condemn millions of people who hoped for a free and civilized life to massive torture and death. Citizens of Iran also had hopes of a modern way of life but can not speak out now without losing their heads.

Today we seem to be repeating history under similar storm clouds of war to those overhead in 1938 before our struggle against Hitler. = TG

Posted by: TG at November 8, 2006 10:30 AM

If the radical Mullahs , [ not the citizens], of Iran are allowed to take over Iraq and build their world Centre of Terrorism from that base, just as Osama bin Laden declared, our military conflicts will become desperately massive.

From the US's point of view, that might just be the way to go.

While the US military is bad at counterinsurgency and brushfire wars, it is very, very good at massive military confrontations. Having a massive military confrontation going on would deny our allies the luxury of pretending that it was a minor problem that they could let the US deal with on it's own while they heckle from the sidelines.

Damn shame about all the civilians who will die, though. I was really hoping it wouldn't come to that.

Posted by: rosignol at November 8, 2006 10:56 PM

TG,

Its really a shame that you choose to take such a manipulated view of the situation. I, for one, understand exactly what sort of threat fundamentalism appears to be morphing into. In fact, that's why I voted for a Democratic senator and Democratic Congressmen.

It appears to me that Mr. Bush has not made the right choices in how to deal with the situation. Congress, unfortunately hasn't pressed back on him and forced him to reconsider anything. This, I think, is why we didn't "win the peace" and we're now hip deep in hell. Rumsfeld put forth an idea, Bush and company chose to implement that idea. Now for years, even after it became glaringly apparent that it was not working, we've been stuck with that plan. Congress has a duty to keep the Administration in Check. They didn't with the Patriot Act, they didn't with the war and they haven't with any of the Presidents opinions on his rights, powers and duties.

I voted for Democrats, not to get us out of Iraq, but because the republican party failed to properly manage their job in the House and Senate. It's not really their fault, its a common problem, I think, when the House/Senate and Administration are all from the same Party.

Fundamentalism is a very dangerous thing. Fundamentalism causes a person to accept something as true, because of their beliefs, not because of facts. Fundamentalism can be invasive, pervasive and very destructive. I have no desire to see fundamentalist Muslims or fundamentalist Christians or fundamentalist insert belief system here anywhere near any government.

If the Republicans had stuck with Conservative values, I would have voted for them. If the Republicans had managed their responsibilities as a check to the President, I would have supported them. Heck, if the Conservatives would have just stuck with politics instead of wandering around the the metaphysical realm of Terri Shivo's consciousness, a zygotes state of being and Gods views on gays, I might have at least split my vote.

However, they did a poor job, they got fired. If you wish to interpert that as some celebration of Islamic Extremism, then you go right ahead. I personally see election time as a time to send a message to our government and I don't really give a damn what the muslim extremists think.

Its called Democracy, rule by the people... not rule by the gang in power when the s*it hit the fan. Fear tactics failed and the republicans got what they deserved. Hopefully, they will think carefully and return to actual valuable political views, such as smaller government and less intrusion into peoples lives... maybe some fiscal responsibility wouldn't hurt.

I'm hoping for a more sane party and maybe Mr. McCain in '08.

Posted by: Ratatosk at November 9, 2006 06:25 AM

MJT,

I must confess that I find the article rather unpersuasive.

Hitchens writes, "a concession to superstition and primitive emotion..."

Hitchens gives us no actual evidence of superstition. He simply uses this well known trigger phrase to invoke certain attitudes in his audience. The same is true of the phrase "primitive." Hitchens quickly summarizes basic human psychology and then summarily dismisses it as "primitive."

Science has shown that our emotional brain is the most primitive part of our thinking brain. All emotion is fairly described as primitive. Love? Hope? Empathy? They are all primitive. Should I dismiss "mercy" because it is primitive?

This is not logic it is using what marketers call "trigger words."

Posted by: JBP at November 9, 2006 08:45 AM

vanya said:

"The trouble is the left has been toiling for decades to turn Americans into pacifists -- primarily through our leftist-dominated educational system -- and they have been successful, as any number of indicators show."

Do you have any support for this assertion?

Yes. Just go to any liberal arts college in America and you will hear a steady stream of propaganda demonizing America. You will hear that we are imperialistic, racist, war-mongerers who wage war to exchange blood for oil. You will hear that we launch wars for profit and to conquer new markets for our blood thirsty businessmen, that we are engaged in an ever-expanding quest for global hegemony, that just as we wiped out the native Americans and stole their land, so we seek to exploit the underprivileged and poor of the world and steal their resources, etc, etc,. It is all a lie -- but it is taught relentlessly, and after years of hearing this stuff, many are convinced that America doesn't deserve to be defended.

Your theory about affluence leading to pacifism doesn't hold water. For instance, we are far more affluent than the Europeans, but they are far more pacifist.

Beside, what reason is there to believe that as one owns more and more material goods and builds an ever more prosperous existence, one feels less and less inclined to defend it? That doesn't make any sense, does it? That wouldn’t be true in your case would it? If you received a big pay increase at work, would that suddenly make you less willing to defend your country if it came under attack?

Posted by: Michael Smith at November 9, 2006 12:59 PM

liming 07年09月10日
wow gold
wow gold
wow gold
wow gold
powerleveling
powerleveling
power leveling
power leveling
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
wow power level
wow power level
wow powerleveling
wow powerleveling
wow power leveling
wow power leveling
powerleveling
powerleveling
World of Warcraft Gold
World of Warcraft Gold
warcraft gold
warcraft gold
BUY VIAGRA
BUY VIAGRA
rolex replica
rolex replica
beijing hotels
beijing hotels
shanghai hotels
shanghai hotels
china tour
china tour
hong kong hotel
hong kong hotel
beijing tour
beijing tour
北京律师
北京律师
搬家公司
北京搬家公司
搬家公司
在职研究生
营养师
营养师培训
喷码机
铸造模拟软件
激光快速成型机
搬家公司
北京搬家公司
飘零月
飘零月
rolex replica

google排名
google排名
great wall
beijing travel
beijing
beijing
china tour
china tour
翻译公司
翻译公司
保洁
保洁
保洁公司
保洁公司
光盘刻录
光盘刻录
光盘制作
光盘制作
光盘印刷
光盘印刷
猎头
猎头
货架
搬家公司
搬家公司
北京搬家
北京搬家公司
北京搬家公司
搬家
搬家公司
搬家公司
北京搬家公司
北京搬家公司
搬家公司
搬家公司
北京搬家公司
北京搬家公司
google排名
google排名
监控
监控

激光打标机
软件工程硕士
集团电话
集团电话
激光打标机
激光打标机
打包机
打包机
拓展训练
塑钢门窗
网站设计
机票
机票
网站建设
数据采集卡
美国国家大学
在职研究生
呼叫中心
交换机
激光打标机
激光打标机
磁控溅射台
磁控溅射台
淀积台
淀积台
镀膜机
镀膜机
匀胶机
匀胶机
宠物托运
宠物托运
溅射仪
溅射仪
刻蚀机
刻蚀机
pecvd
pecvd
匀胶机
匀胶机

Posted by: 水无痕 at September 11, 2007 12:38 AM

货架
货架
货架
货架
货架
货架公司
货架公司
货架公司
货架厂
仓储货架
仓储货架
仓储货架
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
钢制托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘
塑料托盘
仓储笼
钢托盘
堆垛架
钢制料箱
物流台车
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼   
仓储笼 
折叠式仓储笼 
托盘 
钢托盘 
钢制托盘 
仓库货架 
阁楼货架 
货架厂 
重型货架 
仓储货架 
重型货架 
货架公司 
轻型货架 
堆垛架 
仓储笼 
折叠式仓储笼 
托盘 
塑料托盘 
托盘 
铁托盘 
铁制托盘 
托盘 
钢托盘 
钢制托盘 
求购货架 
货架求购 
货架制造 
贯通货架 
货架 
悬臂货架 
仓库货架 
阁楼货架 
货架厂 
重型货架 
货架公司 
中型货架 
仓储货架 
轻型货架 
仓储货架
轻型货架 
角钢货架 
货架厂 
重型货架 
货架公司 
中型货架 
货架制造 
悬臂货架 
托盘 
塑料托盘 
仓储笼 
折叠式仓储笼 
托盘 
钢托盘 
钢制托盘 
求购货架 
货架求购  
货架公司 
轻型货架  
仓储货架 
中型货架 
货架厂 
重型货架 
仓库货架 
阁楼货架 
货架 
悬臂货架 
货架 
模具货架 
托盘 
钢托盘 
托盘 
钢制托盘 
托盘 
塑料托盘 
仓储笼 
折叠式仓储笼 
堆垛架 
钢制托盘 
仓储笼 
模具货架 
仓库货架 
货架厂 
仓储货架 
货架公司 
货架   
仓储笼 
登高车 
手推车 
塑料托盘 
货架  
货架 
货架 
轻型货架 
货架 
中型货架 
货架 
重型货架 
货架
阁楼货架 
货架 
悬臂货架 
货架 
模具货架 
托盘 
塑料托盘 
钢制托盘 
仓储笼 
货架
货架 
货架公司 
货架厂 
仓储货架 
货架厂家 
托盘 
钢托盘 
钢制托盘 
木托盘 
轻型货架 
中型货架 
重型货架 
模具架 
中型货架
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
仓储笼
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
钢托盘
折叠式仓储笼
折叠式仓储笼

Posted by: huojia at November 14, 2007 06:19 PM

runescape money <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-

c-599.html">runescape gold runescape money <a

href="http://www.runescape2store.com">runescape gold wow power leveling <a

href="http://www.vgoldsupply.com">wow powerleveling Warcraft Power Leveling <a

href="http://www.vgoldsupply.com">Warcraft PowerLeveling buy

runescape gold buy runescape money <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-c-599.html">runescape items <a href="http://www.runescapemoney-

runescapegold.cn">runescape gold runescape money <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-runescape-accounts-c-599_988.html">runescape accounts <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-c-599.html">runescape gp <a href="http://www.vgoldsupply.com/dofus-c-

1054.html">dofus kamas buy dofus kamas <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/guild-wars-c-389.html">Guild Wars Gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/guild-wars-c

-389.html">buy Guild Wars Gold lotro gold <a

href="http://www.buylotrogold.org">buy lotro gold lotro gold <a

href="http://www.buy-lotro-gold.cn">buy lotro gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/lord-rings-onlineus-c-

975.html">lotro gold buy lotro gold <a

href="http://www.800millions.com">runescape money runescape power leveling <a

href="http://www.runescape2vip.cn">runescape money runescape gold <a

href="http://www.buydofuskamas.com">dofus kamas cheap runescape money <a

href="http://www.runescape4money.net">cheap runescape gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/hellgate-london-c-

1102.html">Hellgate Palladium Hellgate London

Palladium Hellgate money <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-rasa-c-1107.html">Tabula Rasa gold <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-

rasa-c-1107.html">tabula rasa money lotro gold

buy lotro gold <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-rasa-c-1107.html">Tabula Rasa Credit <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/tabula-

rasa-c-1107.html">Tabula Rasa Credits Hellgate gold

Hellgate London gold <a

href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/dofus-c-891.html">dofus kamas buy

dofus kamas 血管瘤 肝血管瘤 <a

href=http://www.nncbroadway.com>音乐剧 北京富码电视 富码

电视 富码电视台 7天酒店 <a

href=http://www.innhot.com/7daysinn>7天连锁酒店 7天连锁 <a

href=http://www.filt.cn>自清洗过滤器 过滤器 压力开关 <a

href=http://www.bf-rae.cn>压力传感器 流量开关 流量计 <a

href=http://www.bf-rae.cn>液位计 液位开关 温湿度记录仪

风速仪 可燃气体检测仪 <a href="http://www.wow-power-

leveling.net">wow power leveling wow powerleveling <a

href=http://"www.wow-power-leveling.net">Warcraft PowerLeveling Warcraft

Power Leveling World of Warcraft PowerLeveling <a href=http://"www.wow-

power-leveling.net">World of Warcraft Power Leveling runescape

power leveling runescape powerleveling
runescape money <a href="http://www.vgoldseller.com/runescape-

c-599.html">runescape gold wow power leveling 棕榈树


eve isk
eve online isk
eve isk
eve online isk

Posted by: runescape money at November 30, 2007 06:57 PM
Post a comment













Remember personal info?






Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member



Testimonials

"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

"Terrific"
Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere


Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com


News Feeds




toysforiraq.gif



Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button

totten_button.jpg


Tip Jar





Essays

Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn