« India-China Growth Rate Comparison | Main | The Seeds of Technology »

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83452455969e200d8351817fb69e2

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference The Way to Debate Iraq:

Comments

usnjay

Hello from Baghdad.

I’ve enjoyed your blog for quite awhile, and I found your techniques highly effective at debating Iraq war critics. Cognitive dissonance prevents them from actually admitting to themselves they are wrong, but at least they appear to start thinking. I’ve also asked the question
"If you oppose the Iraq war, how would you prevent another 9/11?"
to show that war opponents have no workable alternatives (I don’t recall where I first read it, may have been this site). Shockingly, I've since been banned from DKos, despite my respectful tone.

I’m launching a site tomorrow for active duty military to voice their opposition to congressional calls to retreat and media efforts to undercut our mission, www.AppealForCourage.org. With your permission I’d like to reprint this article and your “decisively win in ‘08’ articles in their entirety. Of course I’ll link back here as the source.

Thanks for your rational analysis of world events, keep up the good work.
Regards,
LT Nichols
[email protected]

Assistant Village Idiot

Thank you for your service, lieutenant.

I have characterised the leftist groupthink as tribal rather than cliquish, and have been discussing the implications of this defensiveness for both intelligent debate and American security over at my own site. I think you would find at least some of the November-January archives enjoyable.

I very much like the style of questioning which asks: "if not this, then what?"

GK

usnjay,

You're IN Baghdad now? Wow - please stay safe, my friend.

Yes, please reprint anything you need from here, and I will try to get some traffic to go to your site as well, from here as well as from other blogs.

tmi3rd

USNJay-

As a member of the MSM who gets to battle the idiot groupthink that goes on in my current day gig, it is with great pleasure that I send the link to your blog to all my military friends... reservists and active-duty folks in all five branches of the service. Thanks very much for your service, and watch your tail over there.

Uuurrah!

tmi3rd

GK

tmi3rd,

You are a member of the MSM? I what capacity, may I ask?

I have many questions on which I would love to hear your thoughts, such as :

1) Why do they sometimes resort to *mischaracterization* on order to make the War appear worse than it is?

2) Will they support the WoT after Bush leaves office, or will they oppose it even then? Are they likely to be more supportive of, say, Giuliani?

3) Why do they have so much cognitive dissonance about the fact that Al-Qaeda and other such groups support an ideology that is the diametric opposite of everything that the Left claims to support (women's rights, gay rights, etc)?

tmi3rd

GK-

Thanks for asking. I'm what is known as an assignment editor- I am sort of a traffic cop in that I assign the reporters and photographers to the stories they cover on a local level- after the producers decide what stories they want done that day. I am in charge of calling the shots on what we call spot news (fires, car accidents, that sort of thing). I work at a CBS affiliate in a top 50 market in the mid-South. In the interest of not jeopardizing my position (it supports my music career) I will apologetically not say where specifically.

Anyway, on to your questions... bear in mind that my training is not primarily in journalism, but in music, and so someone with a true J-school degree may have more to add to it than I.

Let's background most of this by describing your typical TV reporter/producer/news director. There will usually be only one degree- a BA in Mass Communications or Broadcast Journalism. As is the case with most of academia, the overriding majority of folks who teach journalism lean hard left- conservative journalists tend to find academic environments very hostile, isolated, and suffocating. Folks who go for an MA or a DA in either field usually get fed up with being told what stories to cover. Oddly enough, it is my experience that there is a balance of viewpoints among photographers, particularly those who have embedded.

Sooo...
1) At a national level, my counterparts almost exclusively come from Columbia University. Some attend Mizzou- their J-school is very highly regarded. In any event, they've lived in NYC pretty much since they got out of high school, if not before. Allow for that to have colored their viewpoints significantly. They probably didn't pay any attention to current events until they had to, and most of the people with whom I've ever worked still don't pay attention.

On a local level, you run the national stories that your network gives you. There typically isn't an opportunity to go back and revoice them, and you almost never have the raw footage to go back and correct obvious failings within the writing. For example, a typical CBS package from over the weekend contained only soundbites from Pelosi and Reid, and no word at all from their Republican counterparts. At a local level, we have to run both sides or else we can't run the package. This rule does not seem to apply up the ladder on a national level. This stems mainly from the fact that any affiliate is going to pay a fee to their network to run those network shows, and you are essentially beholden to that network's stance on national news.

At a national level, it's worth noting how overdramatized the wording is in most stories... one of my very left-leaning producers and I spent about 45 minutes last night parsing AP stories down from 2 minutes of hyperbole to 20 seconds of cold hard facts. There is uniform disgust within most local newsrooms about that (at least with conscientious producers of any political stripe).

Anyway, moving on, the bureaus over in the Middle East are usually fairly lightly staffed- it costs a lot of money to have people live over in harm's way. CBS, as an example, has closed many of their foreign bureaus... for an interesting perspective from someone who has worked in the foreign bureaus, check out the following link... Scotti Williston is the writer's name- she's ex-CBS. Note her interesting remarks about CNN.
http://www.tbsjournal.com/Archives/Spring01/Williston.html

Anyway, let me bring this back to a local perspective. So much of what we do is reaction news- how do people feel about this, that, or the other thing, and blood gets reactions. The number crunchers have decided that good news doesn't sell, so we specialize in bad or "hard news"- we save one happy or funny story for the end of a newscast, called the kicker. Reporting bad news out of Iraq or Afghanistan serves that model.

I can't stress enough- it is that way even on FNC because that's the template. The thinking is, if you want to read about accomplishments, go to the sports section. Even the Weather Channel has gone to this sensational, disaster--driven coverage (and note how many insurance ads you see during severe weather outbreaks) instead of delivering dry, fact-based weather coverage.

To conclude this rambling explanation, Iraq is being covered the same way your neighborhood murder is covered... the bad guys kill someone, you get the grieving relatives, you get the grim-faced policeman to deliver facts, and then you get the politician screaming about how they're going to make it all better.

Whew. If any of that needs clarification, just ask- I'll be back. Moving on...

2) The WoT is not likely to ever be supported by major media outlets, as near as I can tell. This is because we're talking about something that, if successfully accomplished, will realistically take a couple of decades. Iraq I was a great TV war because it was over almost as quickly as it started. Here, we're trying to put stuff back together, and the MSM doesn't institutionally know how to cover progress and good happenings in any part of the world. Even with stories about people working hard, suffering has to go along with it. Hell, look at the feature stories you see in the Olympics. An ingrown toenail never has sounded so dramatic. The broad scope does not exist to tell the story of the War on Terror properly because you can't condense it down into 20 second soundbites. One of the great failings of the current administration is not having a true professional group of newsers there to counterbattery the MSM. Tony Snow is a good start, but he literally needs his own aggressive news staff to counterweight the forces against him.

The MSM has written the story to be disaster in the Middle East, and it can't afford the kind of retractions it had to make early in Iraq II, when the NYT told stories of us getting our asses kicked, only to see the statue of Saddam topple.

3) Here's the fun one.
Within the news business, you are talking about a demographic that closely resembles a theater ensemble- primarily aggressive women and gay men. They view domestic politics as the only tangible threat in their lives. Most of these folks have never met a true believer in jihad... nor faced crime on the wrong end of a gun... and have come from the very America-centric notion that if you don't like someone, you can avoid them and they'll go away and leave you alone. They believe that everyone plays by the same rules that we do. It's not just AQ- it's Castro, it's Chavez, it's Ahmadinejad, and so forth- many of my colleagues really don't understand that they'd be in jail in Cuba, in Venezuela, in Iran, or even in Mexico!

The knee-jerk reaction is that peace is the absence of conflict. They were shaken out of that mentality for about 6-9 months at best after September 11th... but they think in terms of news cycles, and forget about most stories within a week. The newsroom mentality does not lend itself to research or careful analysis of what's going on in the world, and most of these folks are still just wondering what they're going to do to get laid this week. All the things that make them feel good- stop the violence, help the animals at the shelter, those poor women at the domestic violence shelter, et cetera- real threats to their country, their way of life, do not really exist except in some sort of right-wing paranoia.

Thus, you get that horrible inbred arrogance of the media, who will merrily tell the rest of us in flyover country what to think. And what do we in the newsrooms do? We take on the same mentality.

GK, this was a long post, and I apologize for the verbosity. I welcome your questions, and will merrily answer them to the best of my ability.

Thanks again for asking- hope it all made sense. I'm on the back end of having to endure that awful drivel that is the Grammys. I have a close friend whose mother was nominated but didn't win... otherwise, I'd have just turned the crap off.

The Police were quite good, though.

tmi3rd

Yuva

well, its sound good for debate but fact is fact.

questioning wrong policy NOT anti-american if so, be it.

its mistake by Bush(since he is the leader) and no excuses will change/save people life.

GK

Yuva,

You haven't read the article.

What are your alternative ideas that would be a better course of action? If you are going to criticize, you better have some better ideas.

tmi3rd

GK-

A better endorsement of your debate tactics could not possibly exist than post #7. I look forward to bringing them up in the near future. It won't change minds, but it will expose the depth of the argument.

tmi3rd

GK

tmi3rd,

You are right. I am going to append the article to include a method of parrying this predictable first response that Bush critics will push out that "dissent is patriotic". Yes, dissent with BETTER IDEAS is patriotic. Dissent with no ideas is juvenile, and dissent with a barely concealed hope that things go badly for the US is much worse.

BTW, your detailed account is quite interesting, and taught me a couple of things I was not aware of. I hope to discuss this much more on an ongoing basis with you in the future.

tmi3rd

GK-

It would be my pleasure. I'm getting ready to take a break from my MSM duties to do an opera tour in the Northeast, and will have plenty of time to respond. Thanks for the invite, and I look forward to your questions.

And, if I didn't say so already, bravo- I wish I had a stable of producers that write half as well as you do. Some of my reporters in the past have managed to misspell their own names in different fashions multiple times in the same stories...

tmi3rd

DemocracyRules

8 SIMPLE RULES

HE WHO HATES will himself become hated. He who loves hate destroys his own soul. He who wishes death on others invites his own death. He who fights peace will have no peace. He who lives in hate will die in hate. He who dies in hate will pour his own blood into the sand, no trace of it to be revered by those who knew him. He who is without caring will live amongst those without caring. He who will not love will not be loved.

Assistant Village Idiot

Democracy rules - who made those rules? I would agree that they are "simple," but that word has several meanings.

tmi3rd - I read every word, so even if you find yourself meandering, don't stop. I'll let you know when you are spreading yourself too wide. I thank you for your observations.

When you encounter Paul Radulescu, the Romanian baritone, on your opera jaunts, you might strike up a conversation with him (though I believe he is recently in the Pacific northwest). For reasons which will be obvious to you, though not to many others, it seems, he is a strongly anti-communist observer of events and very intelligent.

DemocracyRules

To: "Assistant Village Idiot", & 8 Simple Rules...
I wrote those rules, about an hour ago. If you don't like them, don't use them. They are not laws! Also, I did not, of course, invent the ideas behind them. I simply tried to write 8 simple statements that most humans would agree with. Also, they are designed to be mostly true most of the time, i.e., a rule. In times of war, our worst enemy is hate itself.

tmi3rd

AVA-

Thanks much. I found myself ventilating a lot of stuff after the Grammys... it's awfully easy for a screed like that to turn into an "it's all about me" purging.

I've heard Paul sing... since we largely sing the same repertoire (high baritone stuff), we don't cross paths too much. Nonetheless, I'll keep my eye out for him in the next audition season.

A thought that occurred to me earlier today- note as well that you can usually guess what region wrote different stories. The majority of news goes through NY, but you will occasionally on later shows find stories written out of the LA or Seattle bureaus... look for them to have some sort of bizarre environmental garbage thrown in there.

Keep your ears to the ground about a few things as they apply to the media, and something that sure as hell doesn't get a lot of press:

1) NBC Universal is quietly up for sale. GE tried to sell MSNBC to Microsoft, and were politely told to go to hell. With Jeff Zucker having taken over, there is some downsizing going on. Other NBC networks are very much on the market... USA, Bravo, Telemundo, and so forth. It's not a stretch to assume that the fire sale is beginning.

2) Westinghouse, after splitting up Viacom and CBS, is now making real noises about selling CBS.

3) Time Warner (CNN) just sold the Atlanta Braves today to Liberty Media, one of whose corporations is News Corp (FNC and the NY Post, among others).

One can reasonably ask questions about the profitability of these media networks for a couple of reasons...

a) Four networks and a whole bunch of newspapers are covering the left side of politics... ABC, CBS, CNN, and the NBC networks. The market is flooded.

b) People are extremely aware of their angry left lean, even if they keep watching. MSNBC and CNBC have never drawn well, but the advertisers keep buying. Nonetheless, advertising rates are driven by ratings. FNC's prices go up as MSNBC's go down, and so forth.

c) ABC, as it has tacked gently back towards the center, is noting an uptick in ratings- ABC's evening news program is projected to overtake NBC Nightly News in the next couple of ratings periods, as CBS is a steady last place.

Again, some interesting things to keep an eye on... more later.

tmi3rd

mishu

GK,

As always, your writing is concise and clear. For this topic, I've tagged it for future encounters with the BDS'ers.

tmi3rd,

You comment describing the inner workings of news media was facinating. It really should be a post in and of itself. I'd also like to ask, are you aware of any blogs, aside from the one you linked, written my conservative media people in a situtation similar to yours?

Fabulinus

I think the best way to beat someone in the "fifth column" is with a baseball bat. (INSENSITIVITY ALERT! INSENSITIVITY ALERT!)

- No, that only adds fuel to their fire and makes them think we cannot win in the realm of ideas and supports their belief that we resort first to violence -

I actually like to beat them with their own rhetoric, because when you speak in terms they can relate to, you have an easier time making progress.

When discussing WMD's, I first make the point that we know Saddam had them because he used them against his own people and against his enemies. In the 80's he used them against the Iranians during the Iraq-Iran war and towards the end of that war he began using them against his own people (the Kurds in the north during the Anfal campaign). When making this argument I like to rely on groups like human rights watch. Libs love human rights watch. When you link to articles who write about how Saddam committed genocide against the men women and children in Halabja, and how this was the "largest chemical weapons attack on a civilian population in modern times" it really sets the stage for you. It is also good to exhibit knowledge of genocidal attacks, because for some reason libs love knowing the names of atrocities committed by militaries and they likely have never heard of Halabja.

It is one thing to say Saddam was a brutal dictator, it is another to catalogue the attacks against his own people and show the the images of the dead children.

By using groups like human rights watch to help make your point, you are also using a source they trust - and that is KEY to winning over their hearts and minds.

For instance, "fifth columnists" rely on the 9/11 commission report as evidence of their world view. The reason they believe the 9/11 commission report helps their position is because the American media, relying on the fact that most Americans would not read the 500+ page report, distorted, cherry picked, and misreported the 9/11 report to no end. This works to our advantage. When you quote the 9/11 commission report to prove the links between Al Qaeda and Saddam, or to point out that the 9/11 commission report could not disprove the Czech meeting between Atta and Iraqi intel (they cited compelling evidence against the meeting but flat out said they could not disprove it) then you have just shattered the left's notion that the 9/11 commission report proved Bush wrong.

When making the case FOR wmds in Iraq, the absolute best resource is the ISG's "Dulfer Report."

Once again, the Dulfer Report was widely misreported. It was like the AP reported every other line, skipping anything that helped the Bush Administration's case.

The Dulfer report discusses everything that was declassified as of 2004, but is absolutely chock full of reliable information about what Saddam had.

The UN is also a good source of intel. If you take the time to read the UNMOVIC reports, you have a wealth of knowledge from a source the "fifth column" wouldn't dare deny.

When you speak in terms they can relate to, and cite to sources they trust, you win.

GK

Fabulinus,

Those tactics would work against honest people. However, it will not change the opinion of those who secretly (yet proveably) want the US to lose.

That is why questions about general principle, and demanding that they produce ideas, reveal the most.

aravi

I just want to address some of your points (I'll number them for clarity's sake):

1) Although it's true that it'd be difficult to prove the Iraq War has made America less safe, there are a few points to make in support of that position. The war has obviously agitated some Muslims in Western countries as your list of attacked cities attests. America is not immune to this phenomena. There have been a few minor cases such as the attack at UNC last year. There have also been alleged attempts that authorities have foiled. The fact there hasn't been another major attack since 2001 attests the hard work of police & intelligence authorities and the strength of America's immigration system in integrating newcomers.

2) When I hear people say "Saddam had no ties to 9/11" they're often trying to make the case that resources could have been better used to combat the forces that led to the attack, that Iraq was a careless diversion. A waste of money, time, and lives. The other attacks you mention are irrelevant.

3) I agree with your analyses of WWII comparisons. It's arbitrary and not at all informative. I should add though that I also dislike it when pro-Iraq War folks make too much of WWII comparisons.

4) I too haven't seen evidence that Bush had knowingly lied about WMDs but there is a bone to pick here. It's clear by now that, behind the scenes, there was an environment the encouraged people to emphasize things Bush and other senior level administrators wanted to hear. Generals were silenced for making helpful recommendations. This was a disaster and probably Bush's worst legacy.

5) I agree that comparing Iraq war deaths with 9/11 deaths is unhelpful. Like the WWII comparisons, they're arbitrary and not at all informative as well as somewhat irrelevant.

6) I wouldn't call The Lancet a "non-credible" source. It's a respected medical journal. If you think about it, the war must have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Remember, it's not just direct deaths by terrorists or coalition forces. For example, less accessible doctors also lead to death. There are the innocent casualties of American attacks, the victims of terrorism, the victims of increased crime, the victims of disease, and there are those who are simply unaccounted for because they weren't sent to the morgue but were buried right away. Of course the terrorists are to be condemned, and I support every effort to eradicate them, but one cannot escape the conclusion that if the US didn't attack, many of these people would still be alive.

7) I do support pulling soldiers out of Germany. They would be more helpful elsewhere. The Cold War is over the new war is in Asia/Africa. The soldiers in Bosnia appear to be helpful and those positioned in the pacific should remain for geostrategic reasons.

I support Israel over Hezbollah and Hamas, Taiwan over China, South Korea over North Korea, and the US over Cuba (though I don't support the embargo).

Three main ethnic groups? Aren't there just the two: Arabs and Kurds? There are the Assyrians but they're minor. There also the two main religious groups: Sunni and Shia.

GK

aravi,

1) The war has obviously agitated some Muslims in Western countries as your list of attacked cities attests.

Perhaps, but that still leaves many attacks that have been against countries other than those in the Coalition (India, Russia), and even other Muslim countries (Jordan, Morocco, Turkey, Bali in Indonesia).

This cannot possibly be due to Iraq (the Bali attack was even before Iraq). It is quite obvious that Al-Qaeda is targeting a very wide range of victims, including other Muslims in Muslim countries.

2) If it is a waste of resources, I can agree if the person saying this quickly presents better ideas. I distinctly account for this position in my article, and even provide an example of such an idea. Your ability to present better ideas will bring you a lot of consensus with those who support the War on Terror.

The other attacks are most certainly RELEVANT, as it shows that we have been under attack for a long time, particularly before Bush was in office. The 1993 WTC attack was particularly relevant to any discussion of the issue today.

4) Whatever cherrypicking Bush allegedly may have done, it was not enough to prevent Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, and many Democratic Senators from having the same opinion as Bush. I don't think Bush did anything more than a salesman trying to sell a car.

6) Lancet's number deviates by more than an order of magnitude from the UN number. This destroys their credibility.

but one cannot escape the conclusion that if the US didn't attack, many of these people would still be alive.

In Iraq, Saddam's death chambers would still be there (Saddam killed thousands per year). The UN sanctions that led to the starvation of 500,000 Iraqi children would still be in place, as would the Oil for Food scandal. The US has also brought vaccinations that were not there before.

Thus, there is no evidence that the US invasion has caused a net negative, even if the terrorist attacks are wrongly counted as an indirect consequence of US action.

If the US did not attack Afghanistan, some people in Afghanistan would still be alive too. Does your reasoning also apply to Afghanistan?

Take Darfur, where there is currently genocide. If the US (or Europe) intervened there, there would certainly be some innocent deaths, as well as terrorists killing people. By your statement, how would you account for Darfur?

I support Israel over Hezbollah and Hamas, Taiwan over China, South Korea over North Korea, and the US over Cuba (though I don't support the embargo).

Thankfully, you are at odds with most Leftists.

aravi

Before I respond to some of your more specific points, I'd just like to say that I supported the Iraq War. I don't anymore but I don't support cutting and running either. I hope Bush's new plan works.

1) Of course there were Islamist terrorist attacks before Iraq and they were going to continue even if Iraq never happened. This doesn't change the fact that it has at least made it easier to manipulate impressionable Muslims thus making recruitment that much easier.

2) The Iraq War has little to do with those previous attacks. Perhaps they serve as examples of consequences to unanswered threats but that's pretty indirect.

4) There were many people who thought Saddam probably had WMDs but had arrived at the conclusion that not enough evidence was presented to justify a war.

6) I believe the UN counted the bodies that arrived at morgues and which could be attributed to the violence plaguing the country. The Lancet took a more broad view of the overall affect of the War. They didn't talk in terms of net positives or negatives.

I'm pretty sure polls have shown that Iraqis feel there was more security under Saddam's regime than now (but they still didn't want him to return). Assuming he wasn't in the mood for more genocide, of course there are more people dying now than would have died under Saddam's rule. Hundreds are dying every week just from violence alone.

The violence and chaos in Afghanistan don't compare to Iraq and, as a direct response to an attack on American soil, Afghanistan was worth it. The humanitarian cause in that country is secondary and a natural consequence of the war.

Stopping genocide isn't what we're talking about in Iraq or Afghanistan. If this was the 80s, I would have supported the invasion of Kurdistan, at least, in order to protect those threatened with extermination. The Kurds wouldn't have turned on the Americans. I don't think the Darfurians would either.

baxtermadux

If you were George Bush, and I punched you in the face, how would your respond?...You would turn the other way and punch someone else in the face of course. That is essentially the way George bush has responded to 9/11, and a metaphor for the war in Iraq.

And as a George Bush apologist, you are someone who stands around and cheers George Bush along as he continues to beat up the wrong guy, who never threw a punch, and was never planning on throwing a punch.

Your entire critique of the people that criticize this war is totally misguided. We should have never even invaded Iraq. It was wrong. You are wrong for defending it.

GK

baxtermadux,

You have essentially proven the whole point of the article.

You did not respond to any of the points in the article (because you know they quickly send you to a crushing defeat). Most importantly, YOU DID NOT OFFER ANY BETTER IDEAS.

The article already states how to defeat those who claim Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11. Go read it.

And as far as 'beating up the wrong guy', by your logic, since Iran is openly threatening the US and Israel, they are justified in beating Iran up, no? Explain your contradictory views (if you can).

And if you claim that US action in Iraq is the reason that Al-Qaeda attacked Mumbai, Morocco, Jordan, Turkey, etc., isn't that a genuine example of them beating up someone who had nothing to do with Iraq? Why do you excuse that, while wrongly claiming America did the same?

I doubt you have the courage to answer these questions.

GK

aravi,

1) This doesn't change the fact that it has at least made it easier to manipulate impressionable Muslims thus making recruitment that much easier.

Not provable. If Iraq succeeds as a democracy, it is a huge setback for Al-Qaeda. Zawahiri has said as much, and it is why they are pouring so much of their own resources in destabilizing the democratic government.

2) Ramzi Yousuf (of 1993) had ties with Saddam that were suspicious to say the least.

4) There were many people who thought Saddam probably had WMDs but had arrived at the conclusion that not enough evidence was presented to justify a war.

The group you mention did not include Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and many Democratic Senators, who DID think the evidence was sufficient and hence either voted for it (senators) or joined up (Blair, etc.)

6) Lancet used the most far-fetched indirect causes to inflate a number to be as high as possible.

Saddam killed thousands outside of his larger genocides, all the way up to 2002. Plus, you didn't acknowledge the 500,000 dying through the UN sanctions.

Overall life expectancy in Iraq has risen since 2003. It is arguable that the US vaccines alone saved far more people than have died.

You have nothing to back up your claim that more are dying now than under Saddam. Plus, you still have to concede that it is the terrorists that are killing people.

baxtermadux

"(because you know they reveal your intellectual bankruptcy)"

How insightful. I don't reply to Ad hominem attacks.

GK

baxtermadux,

Translation : You are stumped in the debate, and seek to retreat.

I said :
"I doubt you have the courage to answer these questions"

I was right.

baxtermadux

"And as far as 'beating up the wrong guy', by your logic, since Iran is openly threatening the US and Israel, they are justified in beating Iran up, no? Explain your contradictory views (if you can)."

Please tell me what I said that was contradictory?

How does Iran threatening us have anything to do with the fact that we waged war against Iraq on false pretenses?

How can I root to win a war that was waged on lies and bad CIA Intelligence?

The War on Terror taking place in Iraq is a Self Fulfilling Prophecy, because the very fact that we have invaded that country has created the terror we are fighting.

baxtermadux

"I said :
"I doubt you have the courage to answer these questions""

Arguing with a child is not a courageous act. It's a never ending cycle of Ad hominem attack.

Who gives a hoot about being the winner in an argument on a blog, when people are dying everyday in the middle east because of Bush's War of Choice?

GK

baxtermadux,

Answer the two simple questions :

Has Iran done things that might justify military action against them, by the US or Israel or both? (Note that Iran had nothing to do with 9/11.)

Also, how has Iraq created more terror, when we have not had an attack on US soil in 65 months, even while countries with no troops in Iraq have been attacked (Mumbai, Beslan, Bali, Madrid, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan)? (this point of yours is also discussed and defeated in the article.)

Simply saying things that you wish to be true, does not make them true in the real world (a world with which you may someday become acquainted).

GK

Who gives a hoot about being the winner in an argument on a blog, when people are dying everyday in the middle east because of Bush's War of Choice?

Translation : baxtermadux wants to surrender and retreat from the debate, which he concedes he has lost.

As Sun-Tzu once said, the pinnacle of excellence is not to win the battle each time. The pinnacle of excellence is when your opponent surrenders without the courage to fight.

The same has just happened here in this debate.

baxtermadux

"It is true that Saddam had no participation in 9/11, "Which is why we dealt with the Taliban in Afghanistan first"

But we diverted our attention from Afghanistan too soon and did not fully "deal" with the Taliban, because they have had a resurgence there now, and are beginning to control the rural areas. Iraq was merely a distraction on the real war in Afghan which we have failed to fully secure.

"But the statement above implies an assumption that 9/11 was the only terrorist attack ever to occur against US citizens or US allies. The way to corner your opponents is to test their knowledge of (or willingness to acknowledge) the numerous other terror attacks on US citizens before 9/11 (some of which received direct and indirect support from Saddam)."

Nice little way you try to divert the issue here, but the fact is that the War in Iraq was sold to the American Public by the Administration a) linking Saddam to 9/11 and b) cherry picking CIA intelligence about WMD's which turned out to be completely false and outdated and based on terribly poor and unreliable sources.

Please tell me one time when a Bush official Sold the Idea of a War in Iraq because of a terrorist attack before 9/11.
You can't, because you are just making up rhetorical talking points for your bobbling heads.

GK

But we diverted our attention from Afghanistan too soon and did not fully "deal" with the Taliban,

Not really. Hamid Karzai's democratically elected government is secure, and is under no threat of being overthrown by the Taliban. That is victory for the US.

a) linking Saddam to 9/11 and b) cherry picking CIA intelligence about WMD's which turned out to be completely false and outdated and based on terribly poor and unreliable sources.

No one buys your 4-year old Kool-Aid. Bush never said Saddam was responsible for 9/11 (nor have I). Plus, you admitted that the intelligence was outdate and poor. This is not the same as 'lying', which you claimed earlier.

And why did Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin also believe Saddam had WMDs (which he used on Kurds and Iranians before)?

Plus, you continue to dodge the whole crux of my article, which is that unless you provide better ideas, there is no evidence that you are on America's side. Let's see your ideas for America to win from here.

Please tell me one time when a Bush official Sold the Idea of a War in Iraq because of a terrorist attack before 9/11
Better than that, Bill Clinton already attacked Iraq in 1998 over Saddam's WMDs, killing 2400 people. This was Operation Desert Fox. 1998 was before 9/11, you know. Of course, you never heard of this before due to your limited knowledge of the subject.

You can't, because you are just making up rhetorical talking points for your bobbling heads.
It is you who is stumped by simple questions.

baxtermadux

"Has Iran done things that might justify military action against them, by the US or Israel or both? (Note that Iran had nothing to do with 9/11.)"

No. Ahmadenijad has no control over the true rulers of Iran. The Ayatollahs control Iran and make all the decisions. His Hyperbole is causing his own administration to implode becuause the ayatollahs are angry with his Anti-US rhetoric. By the west attacking Iran, we will galvanize an Iranian population (which just so happens to like America) to support their unpopular leader.

"Also, how has Iraq created more terror, when we have not had an attack on US soil in 65 months, even while countries with no troops in Iraq have been attacked (Mumbai, Beslan, Bali, Madrid, Morocco, Turkey, Jordan)? (this point of yours is also discussed and defeated in the article.)"

Let me get this straight. you dont believe that terrorism is taking place in Iraq? When a bomb blows up innocent people at a farmers market or standing in line or in a cafe in Iraq, how is that not terrorism? That happens every week in Iraq because we are there, That was not happening before we went. Terrorism takes place everyday in Iraq because we sent troops there.

"Simply saying things that you wish to be true, does not make them true in the real world (a world with which you may someday become acquainted). "

Again, Ad Hominem and completely baseless. You seem to be pretty good at it. Perhaps you should look it up in the dictionary.

I am never afraid to debate. But when I debate with people, I don't feel the desperate deisre to dance around and say "I'm right, I'm right" like a 3 year old.

baxtermadux

"Not really. Hamid Karzai's democratically elected government is secure, and is under no threat of being overthrown by the Taliban."

Perhaps you should read a newspaper every now and then. The Taliban is growing and strong in Afghan and that is a US failure.
http://paktribune.com/news/index.shtml?167813

"No one buys your 4-year old Kool-Aid."

Huh? That statement is just retarded.

"Bush never said Saddam was responsible for 9/11"

To deny that Bush and Cheney linked 9/11 and Iraq is denying reality. ( I never said bush claimed Saddam is responsible for it, but simply pointed out that they unjustly tried to link the two)

"(nor have I)"
I couldnt care less

"Plus, you admitted that the intelligence was outdate and poor. This is not the same as 'lying', which you claimed earlier."

You would be misguided to assume those two facts are linked. Yes the Intel was outdated, and Yes they lied. Two different facts.

African-Saddam Yellowcake link in the State of the Union in the leadup to the war- Bush Lie

We know Saddam has WMD's - Bush Lie

"And why did Tony Blair and Vladimir Putin also believe Saddam had WMDs (which he used on Kurds and Iranians before)?"

You mean the WMD's that the United States Sold to him? Oh yeah, those.

"Plus, you continue to dodge the whole crux of my article, which is that unless you provide better ideas, there is no evidence that you are on America's side. Let's see your ideas for America to win from here."

I have a pretty good Idea that I think is Pro american. how about we stop threatening everyone, and worry about our own Domestic Agendas and maybe there will be a little less tension in the world. We don't have to start wars with every country that doesn't like us. I've heard about something called diplomacy, it works pretty well. Solved the cold war. It's ok to talk to your enemies.

I don't need to prove my patriotism to a internet peon like yourself.

"Please tell me one time when a Bush official Sold the Idea of a War in Iraq because of a terrorist attack before 9/11"

you justify the war in Iraq because of terrorism that took place before 9/11. Yet the public was never presented with a logical excuse for this war for any other reason besides WMD's and Yellowcake, and link to 9/11 with Al Quaeda.


"Better than that, Bill Clinton already attacked Iraq in 1998 over Saddam's WMDs, killing 2400 people. This was Operation Desert Fox. 1998 was before 9/11, you know."

this statement doesn't even make a point. you seem to have confused yourself about the point you should be trying to make.

"You fail Of course, you never heard of this before due to your limited knowledge of the subject."

you sure are great at talking out of your ass. That must be quite the attention getter at parties.

"It is you who is stumped by simple questions."

Keep telling yourself that

GK

baxtermadux,

So you have no ideas for how America can win the War on Terror, other than :

1) America should stop threatening people.

2) America should focus on its domestic agenda.

3) We should talk to Al-Qaeda, a.k.a 'diplomacy'.

THAT'S YOUR IDEA? My god, you are insane. I even spoonfeed you an idea in the article, and you still can't build on that.

You can't even decide whether the intelligence was faulty or whether 'Bush lied', and have shied away from the gaping contradiction between the two.

You also claim that 'Iraq has increased the risk of terror against the US', but could not admit that America has not had an attack in the last 65 months.

At the same time, you admit that terrorism is happening inside Iraq, yet claim that victory in Iraq has nothing to do with winning the war on terror.

You claim 'Bush lied about WMDs', but in the next sentence, when confronted with the fact that Blair, Clinton, etc. also knew Saddam had WMDs, you reveal your anti-Americanism by saying "oh yes, America sold those to him."

So if America sold him WMDs, how did Bush lie about their existence (again, you are also saying Bill Clinton lied, then)?

You avoided (with conspicuous cowardice) answering my question about Operation Desert Fox, as well.

Your inability to admit these massive contradictions, and unwillingness to provide ANY workable alternatives other than 'America should stop threatening people', makes you both an anti-American and a non-thinker. Period.

Readers, note how this person simultaneously says that 'the intelligence was faulty and outdated', that 'Bush lied about WMD despite the faulty intelligence', AND that 'America sold WMDs to Saddam, that is where he got them'. A thinking person would see the contradiction between these 3 beliefs. This person is not a thinking person.

Plus, look at his lame ideas for winning the War on Terror (this too only after multiple requests for ideas). Other than 'America should not fight terrorists', he says little. He also refuses to admit that many other countries have sufferer terrorist attacks in the last 4 years, as this does not fit his US-centric worldview that there would be no terrorism without US troublemaking.

Spinx

GK,

I agree. This baxtermad person has exhibited the textbook liberal stupidity. The earlier post by tmi3rd explaining the psychology of 'liberals' has predicted the exact behavior of this baxter fool perfectly.

Great work dismantling him, as always.

Josh

Well, we have not any attacks on US soil for 65 months and counting.

Post hoc, ergo propter hoc.

At the same time, other nations have experienced attacks during the same period, like in London, Madrid, Bali, Beslan in Russia, Mumbai, Jordan, Morocco, and Turkey. All but two of these countries have not had troops in Iraq. How do you explain that?"

Those countries have much larger Muslim populations, and are much closer to the Middle East.

Many of your other rebuttals are similarly weak.

GK

Those countries have much larger Muslim populations, and are much closer to the Middle East.

Distance from the ME does not matter. Italy and Bulgaria are near the ME, and have not had attacks.

Plus, your statement does nothing to prove the assertion that Iraq has increased the danger to the US.

In fact, you are stating that terrorism is a function of Islam in general, which may very well be a valid point, but is quite the opposite of what baxtermadux and others of his ilk believe - that there would be no problem anywhere in the world if not for US aggression.

aravi

Not provable. If Iraq succeeds as a democracy, it is a huge setback for Al-Qaeda. Zawahiri has said as much, and it is why they are pouring so much of their own resources in destabilizing the democratic government.

We've seen it happen in the UK and there are endless examples of Muslims, even in Europe, enunciating that America is waging a war against Islam. They point to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc. There has also been an uptick in the terrorist incidents in Europe post-Iraq War and here I'm including those attacks that seemed to have been foiled.

Regardless, I would agree with you that all this would be worth it if democracy were to flourish in Iraq. In the longer term, this would alleviate much of today's problems. I believed this when I supported the war and I believe it now. The difference is that I now know that when I supported the war I overestimated the Bush administration's competency, underestimated the ability to export democracy from the top-down, and I underestimated the potential for sectarian conflict. Needless to say, the odds of a real functioning democracy in Iraq are minor at best.

This is as good a place as any to make it clear that Iraqi deaths and more terrorism are the least of why I recognize the War to have been a mistake. My main concern is Iran and the current Shia revival. You asked what I would have done if not Iraq. I would have concentrated on Afghanistan, increasing the number of troops and aid. Having a lot of troops on Iran's border whom are not tied down would have placed pressure on that country. More options would have been available right now. I would have even perhaps taken it a step further and used Saddam's attacks on American planes as an excuse to enter Kurdistan in order to place pressure on Saddam and even more on Iran.

The group you mention did not include Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, and many Democratic Senators, who DID think the evidence was sufficient and hence either voted for it (senators) or joined up (Blair, etc.)

Well, Clinton didn't vote. Blair and the Democratic Senators obviously misjudged. I'm not convinced that either particularly thought the evidence was convincing. I have no doubt they assumed that Saddam had WMDs but political issues must have come in to play when they made their final decisions.

You have nothing to back up your claim that more are dying now than under Saddam. Plus, you still have to concede that it is the terrorists that are killing people.

The terrorists are killing people but if the war didn't happen the terrorists wouldn't be killing people. Instead, Saddam and sanctions would have been killing them. I still maintain that The Lancet numbers are trust worthy as the journal isn't known for publishing rubbish. They're world-renown and they have earned that status. They put the number at around 600,000. I do question their decision to publish each of their articles right before important elections (2004 and 2006) but that's immaterial to their content.

GK

aravi,

The difference is that I now know that when I supported the war I overestimated the Bush administration's competency, underestimated the ability to export democracy from the top-down, and I underestimated the potential for sectarian conflict.

I'll agree here, but note that this is in hindsight only.

Needless to say, the odds of a real functioning democracy in Iraq are minor at best.

I'm more optimistic than that. I think you will agree that the Kurds have become what we hoped they would. We just have to get the other 80% of the population (of which only a small fraction is causing trouble) to go along. If it can happen for Kurds, it can happen elsewhere.

My main concern is Iran and the current Shia revival.

Remember that when we went into Iraq, Khatami was in charge of Iran, who was far less explosive. Ahmadinejad came afterwards.

But at least you are presenting ideas, which separates you from those who uselessly criticize, or worse, root for failure.

The terrorists are killing people but if the war didn't happen the terrorists wouldn't be killing people.

Ah.. a key piece. Note that many terrorists from around the world have gone to Iraq to fight America, Zarqawi being the most well-known. These people WOULD be doing attacks elsewhere if they were not in Iraq. Many have been killed by US forces, indicating that the 'flypaper' model has worked, to some extent.

Many Mujahideen in Kashmir have gone to Iraq (and gotten killed), which is why Kashmir terrorism has conspicuously gone down.

each of their articles right before important elections (2004 and 2006) but that's immaterial to their content.

It shows the intent for bias, and is particularly ghoulish for a medical journal to hope for as high a number as possible. Plus, their numbers include deaths that are not attributable to the war (such as petty robberies, etc). They furthermore do not account for the positive affects of US vaccines, removal of UN sanctions, etc.

Again overall life expectancy has risen from 2003 to today. That is really the best metric to use.

The UN figure is more accurate than Lancet. If you think Lancet is right, you are saying the UN is wrong. Lancet's indirect metrics have a lot of room for exaggeration to suit the bias of the creators.

Lancet's number, even if accurate (which I believe it is not), is a *gross* number, not a net. For all we know, the 600,000 from 2003-06 might be against 800,000 from 2000-2003 through the Saddam+UN+lack of vaccines causes, thus the net being a benefit of +200,000.

mishu

I still maintain that The Lancet numbers are trust worthy as the journal isn't known for publishing rubbish.

Isn't that the 'Appeal to Authority' logical fallicy? Take a look at these two articles criticizing the methodology of the Lancet survey. For me, the biggest problem I had was the deviation from the number Lancet settled on to publish. 57,000 to 190,000 for the first study? Then there is the issue of always publishing the study just before the election. If the Lancet were truly interested in science, it wouldn't have rushed the report in order to influence an election.

Josh

Distance from the ME does not matter. Italy and Bulgaria are near the ME, and have not had attacks.

Two data points are insufficient to disprove the hypothesis that distance from the middle east may correlate with increased terrorist attacks.

In fact, you are stating that terrorism is a function of Islam in general

No, I'm not. I'm implying that having a large population of muslims increases the likelihood that a few of them will be islamic terrorists. If you must resort to straw men I won't waste my time.

but is quite the opposite of what baxtermadux and others of his ilk believe

I'm not at all interested in what baxtermadux and others of his ilk believe. See the point about straw men above.

Perhaps any hope for reasoned discourse in this thread has become irrevocably lost in the tedious exchange with baxtermadux, but at this point you appear primarily interested in scoring cheap rhetorical points via logical fallacies and misrepresentations. Let me know when you are interested in having an honest, good-faith, debate of the issues.

GK

Two data points are insufficient to disprove the hypothesis that distance from the middle east may correlate with increased terrorist attacks.

Nor is there sufficient evidence that geographical distance from the Islamic world has a close corelation to terrorist attacks within a country. In terms of number of casualties over the last 5 years, the US is still higher than any country other than Iraq and perhaps India.

You said :
Those countries have much larger Muslim populations, and are much closer to the Middle East.

This implies that you are suggesting :

1) Terrorism is a function of the size of a Muslim population, as some fraction of those will be terrorists
2) Distance from the ME corelates with the risk of terror.

Neither of these points is necessarily wrong. But if this is true, it certainly defeats those who claim that US actions are increasing terrorism. Terrorism is merely a function of the size of a Muslim population, and the distance from the ME.

But this is indeed what you are suggesting from the statement above.


aravi

On the war deaths: I concede that the numbers are, by their nature, rough. That whether more or less Iraqis are dying now than would have under different conditions is very speculative. But I maintain that The Lancet and the UN are both correct. They simply took different perspectives. The perspective The Lancet chose to pursue will inherently have a wider margin of error and I believe their article makes that clear. Appealing to authority isn't always a bad idea.

I think you will agree that the Kurds have become what we hoped they would. We just have to get the other 80% of the population (of which only a small fraction is causing trouble) to go along. If it can happen for Kurds, it can happen elsewhere.

The Kurds are secular capitalists who admire the West. They deserve almost all the credit for their success. The Arabs, and I'll risk being accused of rascism, are just less culturally inclined towards democracy. This might not matter if Saddam didn't so devastate civil society and insititutions in his country.

Josh

Nor is there sufficient evidence that geographical distance from the Islamic world has a close corelation to terrorist attacks within a country. In terms of number of casualties over the last 5 years, the US is still higher than any country other than Iraq and perhaps India.

Why is the casualty count your preferred metric, instead of the number of terrorist incidents?

But this is indeed what you are suggesting from the statement above.

Correct. You got it right the second time around.

But if this is true, it certainly defeats those who claim that US actions are increasing terrorism. Terrorism is merely a function of the size of a Muslim population, and the distance from the ME.

I never said, or implied, "merely," or that these were the only two relevant factors.

GK

Josh,

Why is the casualty count your preferred metric, instead of the number of terrorist incidents?

Then why not also try to quantify attacks that were foiled? The US/UK airline plot this summer might have killed 12,000.

The US has foiled over a dozen major attacks since 9/11, attacks that probably would not have been foiled in India, Kenya, or Turkey.

Correct. You got it right the second time around.

So your statement, if we accept it, does destroy any claim that US actions are the cause of world terrorism (you are not the one who has claimed this, but others often do).

Josh

Then why not also try to quantify attacks that were foiled? The US/UK airline plot this summer might have killed 12,000.

You can add them if you want, but they don't seem to help your case. If the proposition being debated is whether or not the Iraq war has radicalized more Muslims into jihadist activity, terrorist attacks since the Iraq war, foiled or not, tend to support that proposition.

But my point is that attacks, not numbers killed and wounded, are a better measure of whether our actions are increasing Islamic radicalism.

So your statement, if we accept it, does destroy any claim that US actions are the cause of world terrorism (you are not the one who has claimed this, but others often do).

I disagree. The problem with your statement is that you appear to assume that there is only one cause of world terrorism - note you used the phrase "the cause" rather than "a cause".

It seems to me that the claim that our actions have played no role in radicalizing some Muslims to jihad is just as implausible as the notion that our actions are solely responsible. The causes of jihadism are complex and difficult to weigh with precision.

tommy higbee

Questions for Josh:

1) Isn't accusing the U.S. in Iraq of "radicalizing" Muslims to jihad blaming the victim? Or is it your position that the U.S. is always the victimizer, never the victim? Even on 9/11?

2) Given that terrorism predated the Iraq War and has continued in venues unrelated to it, can you really support the claim that the war in Iraq is causing more terrorism?

3) If our presence in Iraq is radicalizing previously moderate Muslims, doesn't that contradict the claim that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror?

4) During the Cold War, the accusation was often made that spending money on our military made war more likely, because it antagonized the Soviets. But we achieved peace with the Soviets only after significant deficit spending to make our military and weaponry stronger. Wouldn't that suggest that being seen as strong makes peace MORE likely, not less?

5) Given that Osama bin Laden has accused the U.S. of being a "paper tiger" for backing down in Somalia, wouldn't backing down in Iraq make us far more likely to be targeted than before?

6) And if backing down from the conflict makes us more likely to be targeted, does it even make sense to complain that we're "radicalizing" Muslims?

7) Given that you yourself used the word "jihadist", which has a long history of referring to "holy war" by Muslims against "infidels", is terrorism really new with radical Muslims, or simply a new tactic in the same old jihad?

8) Isn't it possible that the real reason so many Muslims have recently turned to terrorism is that the U.S. is too strong for more overt military action, leaving them with terrorism as the only tactic that seems to work at all?

9) Finally, doesn't it bother you that suggesting we're radicalizing them implies they're not capable of being radicalized without our help? Are they children? Are they only capable of doing bad things if we push them to it?

bfartan

Josh,

"The causes of jihadism are complex and difficult to weigh with precision."

Yet it must be done esp. when the US is the one on the receiving end of jihad, no?

If you're asking for more careful and accurate discussions of what's going on, then it seems you agree with the point of the original post: that we should demolish and move beyond the simplistic arguments motivated by anti-Americanism, by Bush hate, by current fashion.

Unfortunately, the stupid simplistic arguments have too much traction and the MSM is doing very little to shed light on the matter. As noted in the comments from tmi3rd, they'd rather generate more emotion & heat because that's the template they insist on framing the WoT.

Thank you for trying to discuss matters beyond the silly talking points mindlessly repeated by people like baxtermadux.

Josh

Tommy,

Many of your questions are premised on what I feel are false dichotomies and mistaken, or at least questionable, assumptions.

1) Isn't accusing the U.S. in Iraq of "radicalizing" Muslims to jihad blaming the victim?

The use of emotionally loaded language obscures more than it clarifies. Either our actions are radicalizing some Muslims who would otherwise be peaceful, or they are not. How you care to label it makes no difference.

2) Given that terrorism predated the Iraq War and has continued in venues unrelated to it, can you really support the claim that the war in Iraq is causing more terrorism?

Yes. Are you seriously contending that, if a phenomenon exists before an event, it is impossible for that event to result in an increase in the incidence of that phenomenon? Would you, for example, seriously ask this question "Given that lung cancer existed before cigarettes were invented, can you seriously contend that cigarette smoking increases lung cancer rates?"

3) If our presence in Iraq is radicalizing previously moderate Muslims, doesn't that contradict the claim that the war in Iraq has nothing to do with the war on terror?

I never made that claim. Certainly now that the chaoes resulting from the invasion has created more space for al Quaeda to operate, Iraq is part of the war on terror.

4) During the Cold War, the accusation was often made that spending money on our military made war more likely, because it antagonized the Soviets. But we achieved peace with the Soviets only after significant deficit spending to make our military and weaponry stronger. Wouldn't that suggest that being seen as strong makes peace MORE likely, not less?

I don't think the jihadists are sufficiently similar to the leadership of the Soviet Union for this analogy to bear much weight.

5) Given that Osama bin Laden has accused the U.S. of being a "paper tiger" for backing down in Somalia, wouldn't backing down in Iraq make us far more likely to be targeted than before?

bin Laden has also pointed to the Iraq war as a reason to wage jihad against the US. How do you decide which of his claims to accept and which to reject?

6) And if backing down from the conflict makes us more likely to be targeted, does it even make sense to complain that we're "radicalizing" Muslims?

Yes. The issue in question is whether withdrawal or stay the course is more likely to create more jihadists. So of course it makes sense to assess the likely consequences of both courses of action.


9) Finally, doesn't it bother you that suggesting we're radicalizing them implies they're not capable of being radicalized without our help? Are they children? Are they only capable of doing bad things if we push them to it?

No, because it doesn't imply that.

Robert

I have one question, which I have not seen answered. When an attack happens on America again, where do we respond? Presume noone takes responsibility, how do we respond? I am sure someone smarter than I am has thought this out. I would appreciate a viewpoint from anyone that has an idea.

GK

Robert,

The War on Terror underminers would respond by blaming America. They have no answer other than that, as evidenced by their extreme inability to produce good ideas on what course of action the US should take. These actions reveal their true wishes.

In my opinion, the next attack has a 90% chance of being traced back to the mountains of Pakistan. We will have to pressure Musharaff to let us send forces into Waziristan. We should be doing it already, but are more likely to gain permission after an attack (unfortunately).

I don't think the next attack will be traced to Iran in anything more than the most indirect sense. They have too much to lose and too little to gain by killing 50-200 Americans in an attack.

Josh

The Iraq War critics would respond by blaming America. They have no answer other than that, as evidenced by their extreme inability to produce good ideas on what course of action the US should take. These actions reveals their true wishes.

Right, because nobody who criticizes the Iraq war supported the war in Afghanistan. This childish response suggests that GK is more concerned with propagating bad-faith smears against domestic political opponents than fighting terrorism.

GK

Josh,

Now you are grasping at straws, and resorting to outright lies about my position.

In the article, I devoted significant attention to Patriots who oppose the Iraq War. They can provide constuctive ideas and alternatives. I even provided an example to help such people get started.

You have read that, yet have provided no ideas in any of your 7-8 posts. Thus, your desire to see the US succeed is questionable at best.

I have never accused you of hoping the US failes before, and am still not, but you are hovering very close to that line.

Demonstrate that you can come up with ideas. We are waiting.

Josh

No, GK, you seem to think that burden-shifting is an adequate substitute for an argument. Unable to defend the Iraq war on the merits, you attempt to shift the burden so that you can impugn the motives of those who question the wisdom of the invasion. Again, your interest is not in discussing the problem and ways out, but rather labeling those with whom you diagree as fifth-columnists.

GK

No, GK, you seem to think that burden-shifting is an adequate substitute for an argument.

No, Josh. The willingness of a person to offer constructive ideas is an accurate way to judge whether they actually want the same outcome.

Again, no ideas from Josh, even after 8+ posts.

He claims I have called him a fifth columnist, which I have not.

He lies about me saying that anyone who opposes Iraq also opposes Afghanistan, which I have not.

I have clearly stated that a pro-US person (Dem or GOP) who opposes Iraq can be constructive by coming up with alternative ideas. I even give an example. Josh's claim that I am seeking domestic partisan advantage is also false, based on the article itself.

Josh still refuses to come up with an idea that would help the US win. What does that tell us about how badly he wants the US to win?

Sibylle

It is poetic that illiterate Iraqi farmers are destroying the United States.

The number of dead crusaders so far this month is already more than triple compared to February 2004.

Glory to the lions of al-Anbaar.

GK

At least Sibylle is honest about which side she supports, and she does have the right to free speech.

The psychology behind rooting for a side (which are not 'Iraqi farmers') that does not allow women to own property, wear pants, have sex before marriage, or gain an education is a different matter.

Robert

Actually, burdon shifting is a long and well worn process, one a woman does best. My question, though indirectly was responded to, is not so simple, once understood. I take no sides in this debate, I merely question a way to solve, or win. I know my own view, I doubt many would agree with me. One Ohio class sub, nuff said. I know, I am a purist. Thanks gk, again I agree.

Sibylle

Well Robert, WMD is completely useless against non-state actors
and NGOs like Al-Qaa'ida.

But your desire to nuke Iraq exposes your 'liberation' mission as bogus

Josh

He claims I have called him a fifth columnist, which I have not.

Do you read what you write? Your side of this exchange consists almost entirely of a tedious attempt to suggest that I don't want the US to win. Isn't someone who doesn't want the US to win a fifth columnist?

He lies about me saying that anyone who opposes Iraq also opposes Afghanistan, which I have not.

If you're going to lie, you shouldn't leave a paper trail. I never claimed that. I suggested that your statement implied it to show that your statement was absurd. You said:

The Iraq War critics would respond by blaming America. They have no answer other than that, as evidenced by their extreme inability to produce good ideas on what course of action the US should take. These actions reveals their true wishes.

Note you said the Iraq war critics. Not some. If all Iraq critics blame America, then they presumably would have also opposed the war in Afghanistan. Since they did not, your premise must be false. Showing that your claim is illogical is not the same as saying that you lied.

Josh still refuses to come up with an idea that would help the US win.

Has it never occurred to you that there are none? If there were, don't you think people who know a lot more about the situation on the ground there would have tried it?

And by the way, where are your constructive ideas? Don't you want the US to win?

GK

Josh,

Wow, you really are imploding. I thought more highly of you 2 days ago than I do now.

Josh still won't provide ideas for winning the War on Terror. One who criticizes current actions should back them up with better ideas. An unwillingness to do so raises questions.

Josh said : Your side of this exchange consists almost entirely of a tedious attempt to suggest that I don't want the US to win.

I did not suggest this until you had already posted 6-7 pointless messages. Only then, did your avoidance of any attempt to provide constructive suggestions become painfully obvious. Prove us wrong by providing an attractive array of ideas that could enable the US to win the WoT.

And by the way, where are your constructive ideas? Don't you want the US to win?

A lengthy section of the article is devoted exclusively to ideas that Iraq War opponents (who are still Patriots) can provide for winning the WoT. I have pointed it out to you many times, and you have surely read it. To ignore something this conspicuous is dishonest.


Josh

One who criticizes current actions should back them up with better ideas. An unwillingness to do so raises questions.

Only in the minds of those, like you, who are unable or unwilling to debate the question on its merits. Rather than address the criticims, you prefer to question the motives of those offering them. It's a rather transparent game of ad hominem that you're playing.

A lengthy section of the article is devoted exclusively to ideas that Iraq War opponents (who are still Patriots) can provide for winning the WoT.

You provided one paragraph with an utterly banal example of some kind of PR campaign aimed at women. Is that really your serious suggestion for winning the war in Iraq? TV commercials telling Muslim women how better off women are in other countries? Are you unaware that the US has engaged in such PR campaigns in the past? If this nonsense is the best a die-hard dead-ender like yourself can come up with, you should be able to forgive war critics.

And again, it's not as if you actually think these ideas would somehow be translated into policy. At least I hope you're not that deluded. You simply want war critics to prove their bona fides to you. Left unexplained is why dead-enders such as yourself, who have been embarrassingly wrong on every important question with regard to Iraq, think you are in any position to demand such supplication on the part of those who have been right all along.

GK

Josh, now on his 10th post, still refuses to come up with any idea that can help the US win the War on Terror, despite being asked multiple times. He actually thinks he should have absolute authority to criticize everything about Iraq (including the right to treat hindsight as foresight), yet have no obligation to offer any constructive alternatives.

Josh first says (even though he knows my ideas, good or otherwise, are in the article):

And by the way, where are your constructive ideas?

When cornered about his deliberate avoidance the ideas in the article, Josh then says :

....If this nonsense is the best a die-hard dead-ender like yourself can come up with

So, not only did he first pretend that I had no ideas of my own, he then scoffs at the idea, particularly when I have said that such ideas are AN EXAMPLE of how someone who opposes the Iraq War, yet wants the US to win, could contribute in a constructive way.

If that example is not good, by all means, come up with better ideas to help the US (if, of course, you want the US to win).

You simply want war critics to prove their bona fides to you.

Yes, I have the right to expect critics to offer something constructive, which you absolutely refuse to do. How then, pray tell, is it valuable for others to read what you write?

... think you are in any position to demand such supplication on the part of those who have been right all along.

Right all along? About what? Given how many times you have been crushed in debates on specific questions, your ambiguity is predictable. But are you suggesting that you have some amazing ability to predict specific War outcomes that exceeds that of many world leaders, the CIA, and most US Senators?

Someone so brilliant should have ideas about how the US should win, no?

Victory in Iraq will be achieved in 2008, as predicted long ago.

Josh

He actually thinks he should have absolute authority to criticize everything about Iraq (including the right to treat hindsight as foresight), yet have no obligation to offer any constructive alternatives.

That's right. Whether a criticism is accurate bears absolutely no relation to whether the critic is able to offer a solution. If a house is on fire, it's on fire regardless of whether I can think of ways to put the fire out. Do you disagree?

Yes, I have the right to expect critics to offer something constructive, which you absolutely refuse to do.

Actually, you don't. If you want to be taken seriously, you can debate the criticisms on the merits, rather than attack your opponents' motives. Your burden-shifting efforts are simply a transparent attempt to dodge a debate you know you can't win.

So, not only did he first pretend that I had no ideas of my own, he then scoffs at the idea, particularly when I have said that such ideas are AN EXAMPLE of how someone who opposes the Iraq War, yet wants the US to win, could contribute in a constructive way.

I was doing you the kindness of not acting as though that silly suggestion was an actual idea to win the war. And, since the US has actually undertaken a similar program, it's a bit misleading of you to pretend that it was "your" idea. But I'll let your dishhonesty slide. How would your PR campaign clear Anbar province of insurgents, GK? If you can't give a plausible account, then it isn't really a constructive situation, and you'll have to count yourself among the Fifth Columnists.

Right all along? About what?

Whether Iraq had WMD. Whether Iraq had an operational relationship with al Quaeda. Whether the occupation would be quick and easy.

Victory in Iraq will be achieved in 2008, as predicted long ago.

Hope is not a plan.

Again, GK, why do you want to make this about people's motives, rather than their arguments? Why do you insist on making it about personality rather than policy?

Alex

Dear Futurist,
I was shocked by this blog post of yours... I believe, your roots are in India, right? So, I was hoping that you are not one of those war-holics...
Trust me, US will never win that war in Irag, because there is no strong idea behind that war... If Europe was fighting for real freedom, this war in Iraq is an invasion, US will be defited as Nazies were defited in 1945, remember my words. It's useless loss of human life and resources... Well, not so useless for the Bush family and big corporations - they have their big pie...

I feel pity for our troups in Iraq - they are fighting for... NOTHING... US IS free, and it's tOO free to do whatever the feds want... Period.

Greetings from Ohio!

JLawson

Josh -

Again, GK, why do you want to make this about people's motives, rather than their arguments? Why do you insist on making it about personality rather than policy?

Motives let you justify the arguements used, especially if there's a feeling way back in your brain that you're arguing on the wrong side of things. If that happens, you'll justify using any method possible to win, you'll duck and weave, dodge and evade, because you know your arguement can't stand on it's own merits. It's not about being correct, it's about 'winning', which is something entirely different.

You cannot separate motive from argument, no matter how much you might want to.

As far as arguments and motives go, it's odd to see a fair portion of the womyn's and GLBT community be quite vocally anti-war, yet in doing so they support regimes and cultures that would quickly kill them for deviancy or force them into second-class status in a heartbeat. Don't know about you, but if it takes a war to make sure that sort of insanity is bottled up, then I consider it a small price to pay. It also makes you wonder why people would support groups that would quickly kill them if given the chance.

There's certain murderous insanities that must be contained or eliminated. There seems to be no way to co-exist peacefully with radical, militant Islam (as opposed to non-militant Islam) so you're left with two choices - bottling it up, or eliminating it.

(And before someone asks - I'm a straight male, and yes, I'm aware of what Christianity's done over the centuries - but THAT religion, for what it's worth, has pretty much learned that you don't do well by doing badly. For all the hyperbolic crap about how Bush would institute a Christian theocracy here in the US if he could - he can't, and the country wouldn't stand for it if he tried, so the equivalency argument between Christianity and Islam just doesn't wash.)

If you see any other options, I'd like to hear 'em. (As would GK...)

One of the more pathetic anti-war memes I've seen on-line is the tendency of the anti-war folk to insist that those who are FOR the WoT MUST enlist and fight in it, regardless of age or gender or physical capacity, otherwise they should just STFU. I'm a 23 year AF veteran, and have been told that I should reenlist if I think the war's a good idea. I understand the reasoning, but I sure don't agree with the logic. As 9/11 showed, you don't have to be on the front lines to be a victim of the WoT. Yet they seem to feel that all that's required is to sit down with those who would gladly see them dead and kill them in a heartbeat, and there'll be a Kumbaya moment and everyone will rise up as friends understanding the other point of view, and the WoT won't be needed.

Man, I wish the world were that simple.

If they, the anti-war folk with their semi-passionate ire against the supporters of the WoT, can't manage to hash out an accomodation for coexistance with the folks prosecuting the WoT, how do they think that they'll be able to convince the beheading lunatics of Al Quaeda and other jihadists to stop what they're doing and peacefully coexist?

I submit that if they can't convince the folks who see the WoT as something that must be fought, they're looking to get their throats cut pretty damn quick. If they figure that silencing those who are pro-war is a sensible and valid tactic for manipulating public opinion, they're dreaming.

If their arguements against the war are so good, so compelling, so CONVINCING, why do they feel the need to emphatically force silence on those who do not agree with them?

I don't get it, myself - I thought that freedom of speech was a good thing... but then, I guess it's okay as long as you AGREE with the speech, right?

Sorry for the long-winded comment...

J.

GK

Alex said :
I was shocked by this blog post of yours... I believe, your roots are in India, right? So, I was hoping that you are not one of those war-holics...

What the hell does my ethnicity have to do with anything? You may be surprised to know that India, as a democracy, is a strong supporter of Iraq also achieving democracy. India is also a country where George W. Bush is more highly regarded than in the US.

I feel pity for our troups in Iraq - they are fighting for... NOTHING...

Then why did the majority of the troops vote for Bush and not Kerry? Perhaps because they believe in their cause.

You need to learn a lot about both India and the Iraq War.

GK

Josh,

You still have no ideas, do you (now after your 11th post)?

I present mine, and you first pretend that I had no ideas (an outright lie), and then say the idea is unworthy (while still presenting none of your own.

Why do you insist on making it about personality rather than policy?

Well, maybe because... you have no policy ideas despite being asked 11 times. I am the one trying to keep it about policy (as clearly stated in the article), while you childishly try to claim you have no obligation to produce policy ideas at all, on top of putting down other people's ideas.

Plus, you actually claim that you knew before the war that Iraq 'did not have WMDs'. Again, since you claim to have known more about the subject than several world leaders, the CIA, and most US Senators of both parties, you are either confusing hindsight with foresight, or are so brilliant that at least you should have ideas on how the US should win (if, of course, you want the US to win).

Your burden-shifting efforts are simply a transparent attempt to dodge a debate you know you can't win.

Again, you are burden-shifting because you have no ideas, put down other people's ideas, plus you have lost this debate as you have not even addressed the original points in the article.

Thus, you have lost twice.

M. Simon

Did you say WMDs?

I say A. Q. Kahn, Libya, Iraq

Josh

I present mine, and you first pretend that I had no ideas (an outright lie), and then say the idea is unworthy (while still presenting none of your own.

That wasn't an idea on how to win the war in Iraq, GK, and it wasn't even yours.

Has it ever occurred to you that the reason nobody presents any ideas is that there are no good ideas, and it's time to cut our losses? In 2003, you and those like you were cheerleading for this invasion, even though people like me were warning you that this exact mess was likely to develop. And then you turn around and say that we can't criticize the mess you made unless we can tell you how to clean it up? What self-centered and child-like behavior.

I am the one trying to keep it about policy

No you aren't. You're simply trying to cow critics into silence by questioning their motives.

you claim to have known more about the subject than several world leaders, the CIA, and most US Senators of both parties, you are either confusing hindsight with foresight, or are so brilliant ...

No. I simply wasn't convinced by reports of aluminum tubes and computer animations pretending to be evidence. Neither were a lot of people. I can hardly be blamed for the fact that Senators are as gullible as you are.

plus you have lost this debate as you have not even addressed the original points in the article

Actually, I pointed out that your very first "point" was based on a post hoc, ergo propter hoc fallacy. Perhaps you should respond to that before you declare victory. I won't hold my breath, as you'd have to have a rudimentary grasp of logic to do so, and ad hominem is all you seem capable of.

So just keep desperately linking to your blog into the comments of other dead-ender websites, using different handles. Maybe eventually you'll get the attention you're so desperately seeking.

Vertalio

Thought I'd mention...I'm a carpenter, not a Senator, and I too was never convinced of Saddam's WMD capability, in light of a decade of sanctions, weapons inspection reports, and the likelihood of SH simply pretending in order to maintain power both in Iraq and among his neighbors.
It also seemed and still seems suspicious to have bailed before fully securing Afghanistan, let alone leaving the capture of OBL to untrustworthy warlords. In light of other, frankly, incompetent decisions by this Admin, I'm willing to admit that as the most likely reason.

I would say that any solution in the ME must include a way to restore the balance between Arab Sunni, Persian Shia, and Israelis that while unsatisfying kept a relative detente all could and did live with.
And I'm afraid that implies the major players sit around a table and hash it out, as respectful "equals".

Swallow that.

M. Simon

The Muslims of the ME are currently dedication to the destruction of Israel as an encroachment on Islamic territory.

Square that circle.

Rich Casebolt

I would say that any solution in the ME must include a way to restore the balance between Arab Sunni, Persian Shia, and Israelis that while unsatisfying kept a relative detente all could and did live with.

Is that detente ... or breathing space for the totalitarians to plan and plot their next move against their neighbors, in relative peace?

That is similar to finding a cobra under your bed, putting it in a shoebox -- and sliding the box back under the bed.

Not a sustainable endstate.

And I'm afraid that implies the major players sit around a table and hash it out, as respectful "equals".

As long as a player is willing to stoop to terrorism and/or totalitarian rule to impose his will upon others by denying them their inalienable rights as human beings -- inside or ourside his borders -- it is unreasonable to consider him an "equal", especally when it comes to trusting him to negotiate in good faith.

Rich Casebolt

Josh -- there are two reasons why the terror groups attacking in Iraq today, did not do so under Saddam:

1> The same reason some say lawyers are immune from shark attack -- professional courtesy. It is considered bad form to attack someone who supports your efforts ... particularly if the hand you are biting is one that (logistically/financially) feeds you, or your friends (i.e. Palestinian terrorists).

2> From what I see, Saddam & Sons did whatever it took -- and I mean WHATEVER -- to keep order and maintain their exclusive franchise in brutality within the borders of Iraq. That would tend to discourage the radical Islamists from playing out the sequel to "Jaws", there.

And that brutality franchise was a going concern ... as in, hundreds of thousands of ordinary Iraqis going to mass graves, with not a few going into rape rooms and/or plastic shredders along the way.

That is, if you didn't stave as a result of the sanctions meant to bring Saddam to heel -- which, like all forms of "containment" were a leaky bucket that may have slowed the Butchers of Baghdad down a little, but did not stop them from still having everything but the stockpiles (according to the Duelfer Report) when it came to WMD.

That wasn't going to change, as long as Saddam & Sons were left alone.

We didn't leave them alone ... and now they have the opportunity to achieve real, sustainable peace and security for themselves, as long as we don't bail out on them before they are able to establish a secure, rights-respecting government to maintain that peace/security.

To say that the long-term future for Iraq is worse now than it was under Saddam, is a joke.

Rich Casebolt

BTW ... here is the justification for invading Iraq, in the simplest of terms.

And the path to victory -- ENDING, not just containing, the threat of terrorism and totalitarian expansion -- is the same one the Administration has stated from the get-go:

The replacement of totalitarian regimes -- particularly those who support terrorism -- with sustainable, secure, rights-respecting governance that will deny terrorists the support that sustains them ... and continue to do so in perpetuity ... both by immunizing the government (through limits/checks/balances) from being hijacked by totalitarians from within, and by protecting the individual's right to live free and pursue happiness, which greatly reduces his/her susceptibility to the terrorists' siren song.

Imposing that governance transformed the totalitarian states of Germany and Japan ... along with many of the Pacific Rim nations brutalized by WWII, just as the MidEast has been brutalized by both radical Islam and Baathism ... into nations that today pose no threat to free people.

It does work ... for that yearning for individual life/liberty/pursuing happiness is a HUMAN characteristic that transcends -- and overrides -- religion and culture, if not held down by the force of arms.

Removing that holddown, is what we are doing today ... not imposing "empire" ... not stealing oil.

Rich Casebolt

GK -- here is my musical version of what you are talking about in this post ... as sung to the protesters on the Halliburton front lawn in Carrollton, TX, back in 2004.

Think of it as the "Dick and Jane" version of your methodology.

I'll be quiet now ...

Spinx

Rich Casebolt,

You are trying to present facts to Josh, who has painfully demonstrated that he does not want Iraq to succeed. Look at how many times GK presents him with the option of coming up with better ideas, only to have Josh dismiss the notion that he has any obligation to offer anything constructive.

Actions speak louder than words.

Alex

Dear GK,

>What the hell does my ethnicity have to do with anything?
Your ethnicity doesnt, your culture does.

>India, as a democracy
India is far from democracy yet...

>India is also a country where George W. Bush is more highly regarded than in the US.
Guess what, without Bush steps, India would not have the opportunity to improve it's economy by outsourcing US software/other projects. That's why it's a strong supporter, who wants to cut the brunch he/she is sitting on?!

>Then why did the majority of the troops vote for Bush and not Kerry? Perhaps because they believe in their cause.
Brain washing is a part of US army's agenda, you know.

>You need to learn a lot about both India and the Iraq War.
I know a lot about India and the conditions the major part of the country is in.


When people say "War On Terror", it makes me smile, because terrorists WERE, IS and WILL BE all the time, their motives will vary... If you are a good neighbour - nobody will be bad to you. Muslims are not enemies to the world, they are a part of it.
US more and more reminds me of the Rome Empire at it's end... it's sad...

Alex

Just forgot to say that not everything works the same way for different cultures...
What works fine as the "Democracy" in US may not work in Saudi Arabia due to the cultural differencies; and we are forgeting about such important things... :(
You cannot paint apples in orange just because you think that oranges is the only way to go...

GK

Your ethnicity doesnt, your culture does.

Again, how does my ethnicity OR culture have anything to do with whether I think the Iraq War is worthwhile or not? Are you suggesting that certain groups are supposed to have certain views, and to depart from that is wrong?

Let me ask you, is Condoleeza Rice's views wrong compared to what they 'should' be?

India is far from democracy yet...
WRONG. That is one of the most ignorant statements ever. India achieved democracy before France, Spain, and Italy did.

You know nothing about the subject of India or Indian people. You really make a fool of yourself lecturing Indians about what role your uninformed worldview assigns to India.

Guess what, without Bush steps, India would not have the opportunity to improve it's economy by outsourcing US software/other projects. That's why it's a strong supporter, who wants to cut the brunch he/she is sitting on?!

So are you saying Democrats are anti-India? Also, do you think outsourcing will stop if the next President is a Democrat?

Brain washing is a part of US army's agenda, you know

So you are saying the troops are not capable of thinking for themselves? More left-wing arrogance - that the troops are stupid.

At least you admitted that you think the military does evil things.

If you are a good neighbour - nobody will be bad to you. Muslims are not enemies to the world, they are a part of it.

Another incredibly naive sentence. Why did terrorists attack London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai, Kenya, Tanzania, Beslan in Russia, Turkey, Morocco, and Jordan? How did all these unrelated countries, some of them Islamic, 'provoke an attack'?

It is amazing to me you are this blind to basic world events.

US more and more reminds me of the Rome Empire at it's end... it's sad...

Rome took 1000 years to decline. The US will still be the only superpower by 2030, contrary to the wishes of anti-Americans.

Rich Casebolt

You cannot paint apples in orange just because you think that oranges is the only way to go...

The idea that rights-respecting, representative, free-market, limited/checked/balanced governance should be promoted -- and even in some cases, imposed -- upon dysfunctional nations is based upon more than just "we think so", Alex.

It is based upon its PERFORMANCE as a system of governance, compared to the alternatives, with respect to how nations conduct themselves, and how their people are able to live.

The mistake the so-called "tolerant" like you make, is that technology and wealth are such force multipliers, that even small nations can become threats virtually overnight if they become dysfunctional ... and the most reliable, long-term method for preventing such dysfunction is the establishment and maintenance of rights-respecting governance within these nations.

Civilization can no longer afford to allow dysfunctional nations the luxury of "self-determination" unitl they figure out for themselves what it takes to thrive in this world.

You have a better idea on how to immunize nations from being hijacked by totalitarians, and exploited to foment terror and expansion of such oppressive rule?

Bring ... it ... on.

But let me tell you up front ... just telling America to "mind its own business" is not a better idea ... for the totalitarians who we now face will not be stopped until they are CONFRONTED with the CREDIBLE threat of force against them.

How many people are you willing to sacrifice -- to oppression, to even death -- in the name of your "tolerance", Alex?

How many MILLIONS have people who think like you, sacrificed already since WWII ... with NOTHING in the way of sustainable peace and liberty to show for it?

ALL the significant progress since WWII, in terms of sustainable peace and human liberty, has come through credible confrontation of those who threaten peace and liberty ... i.e. the very "cowboy diplomacy" people like you look down your noses and sneer at.

Alex

@GK


>how does my ethnicity OR culture have anything to do with whether I think the Iraq War is worthwhile or not?

I really dont want to hurt your feelings, but I think that asian Indian culture was shaped by US recently.

>India achieved democracy before France, Spain, and Italy did.

Wrong. Just check the definition of "Democracy": http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy.
BTW, by that definition, USA is not a Democracy anymore, not until the next election...
India become democratic in 1950 (but the real pro-democracy came in 1998), France become democratic in 1958 (with short democratic goverments starting from 1789)
Anyway, India is still suffering from the religious separation of populatio in high and low levels of society...

Nice reading, look what I found (your words):
>Anti-Americans, who are generally opposed to democracy

This is a false statement. Now, the major parts of Europe are anti-Americans, but they are for the Democracy. You can see a lot of American tourists wearing t-shirts with Canadian flag :), guess why...
Dont put people in two baskets - it's

> Condoleeza Rice's views wrong compared to what they 'should' be?

She is a monster, and yes, they should be...

>You really make a fool of yourself lecturing Indians

I'm lecturing anybody, and I appologize if I hurt your feelings. I just express my opinion.


>So are you saying Democrats are anti-India?

Eeehhh...

>Also, do you think outsourcing will stop if the next President is a Democrat?

It will not because it will be stupid for the Feds to disallow the corporations to outsource.

>So you are saying the troops are not capable of thinking for themselves? More left-wing arrogance - that the troops are stupid.

Soldiers are forbidden to think if those thoughts will stop them cary on their "duty", if you were in the army you know that (I was). By the way, dont call me right or left wing - I'm neither. ;)

>Why did terrorists attack London, Madrid, Bali, Mumbai, Kenya, Tanzania, Beslan in Russia, Turkey, Morocco, and Jordan?

Look at what those countries did to the minorities... When minorities cannot fight for freedom against stronger armies, they become partizans using same tactics as those during WWII in Europe, but now they are called terrorists :)
that sounds funny, imagine an article in Nazie newspaper: "French terrorists exploaded 3 supply locomotives on the border with Italy, it's saint War On Terror! We must stop them at any cost, it's time to invade Soviet Russia and teach those pigs how to obey! We MUST establish our national socialist nazi democracy there!"

All that stuff is merely the conflict of the interests, nothing more.

>It is amazing to me you are this blind to basic world events.

Very wrong.

>The US will still be the only superpower by 2030, contrary to the wishes of anti-Americans.

Hmmm... I thought Mahatma Gandhi said that it's bad to hate the person next to you...
The US resources are depleating very fast, so it cannot be a superpower by 2030 without those resources, unless it become the Third Reigh and start to conqure weaker countries with some resources (that's what happen to Iraq, btw - it's a war for resources, not "On Terror", it's a war on terror to be left without oil!).

>Rome took 1000 years to decline.

You are right, US will take less, if we dont shape our minds from the Civil War times to the contemporary world.


@Rich Casebolt,

>Civilization can no longer afford to allow dysfunctional nations the luxury of "self-determination" unitl they figure out for themselves what it takes to thrive in this world.

Sounds like Utopia... Do we need to start killing ill infants and kids in the sake of stronger civilization like tribal people were doing in Ancient ages?

>You have a better idea on how to immunize nations from being hijacked by totalitarians, and exploited to foment terror and expansion of such oppressive rule?

There are a lot of peaceful ways to do that, Gandhi is a good example.

> How many people are you willing to sacrifice -- to oppression, to even death -- in the name of your "tolerance", Alex?

None. How many innocent were willingly sacrificed and humiliated by Bush administration (dont give me that crap that every war has collateral damage)

>How many MILLIONS have people who think like you, sacrificed already since WWII ... with NOTHING in the way of sustainable peace and liberty to show for it?

So, why didnt we start to fight Nazies on all the fronts from the beginning, but waited to open the second front when the curse of the WWII was reversed to the victory?

Why werent we opposing Salasar regime in Portugal (Portugal doesnt have any resources, that's why!)?

Do you know that fight is a immature way to win the situation? Do you know that millions of lives can be saved just by good diplomacy and covert operations?


> "cowboy diplomacy"

Wrong person you are pointing at, point at the White House, they are "cowboy diplomacy" carriers.

Rich Casebolt

Sounds like Utopia... Do we need to start killing ill infants and kids in the sake of stronger civilization like tribal people were doing in Ancient ages?

Not in the least -- neither do we need to let them be killed and enslaved by totalitarians as they expand their reach.

Your INACTION facilitates that killing and enslavement ... my "cowboy diplomacy" puts an end to it.

There are a lot of peaceful ways to do that (immunize nations from totalitarian hijacking), Gandhi is a good example.

Ghandi had the luxury of working against a nation that already had an earlier form of rights-respecting governance ... a respect for rational thinking ... and a conscience.

The totalitarians have none of the above, from what I see.

It has often been said that if Ghandi had faced, say, Stalin or Hitler, his name would have never appeared in our history books.

None. How many innocent were willingly sacrificed and humiliated by Bush administration (dont give me that crap that every war has collateral damage).

You are willing to sacrifice NONE?

I am now going to use a word I do not use lightly?:

LIAR

A FAR bigger liar than that portrayed by the worst Leftist stereotype of George W. Bush ... and a liar, along with the anti-war Left.

You were more than willing to sit by as Saddam & Sons put hundreds of thousands of innocent people into mass graves, along with a few through plastic shredders and rape rooms, with no end in sight ... provide logistical and financial support for terrorists that would kill still more ... and enhance that support through acquisition/development of WMD (and yes, he had everything but the stockpiles, to do that).

And stop him with what? The same INEFFECTIVE "diplomacy" that we and the UN have used since 1991 in response to his actions ... a diplomacy that assumes that all involved will act honestly and in good faith?

If you really wanted to stop the killing, you would have been all over the first President Bush in 1991, to take Saddam out immediately at the end of Desert Storm.

As for "sacrifices" perpetrated by this Administration, they pale in comparison to the numbers killed by the enemy we face, in Iraq and elsewhere.

We don't make innocents our target ... our enemy does.

Despite your denial, collateral damage is not only a fact of warfare ... the case can be made that the INACTION promoted by the anti-war Left before this war started, and the undermining of the war effort once engaged, has INCREASED that collateral damage by dissuading timely and decisive actions on the part of America.

You want to stop the killing? Talk to the enemy ... see if they will listen to your "diplomacy".

I am more than willing for my nation to talk to our adversaries, using language appropriate for their listening ability.

For many, verbal and written communication will suffice ... but when an enemy will exploit your willingness to talk to gain a lethal advantage over free people, nothing gets the point across to them like ordinance on target.

So, why didnt we start to fight Nazies on all the fronts from the beginning, but waited to open the second front when the curse of the WWII was reversed to the victory?

Because, back in the 1930's and 1940's, we -- and the rest of civilization -- listened to your isolationist fellow-travelers for far too long.

A big mistake.

I read recently that, had we stood up to Hitler when he first tried to move troops into the Sudetenland, there were elements in the German power structure that would have been ready and willing to "relieve" Hitler of command in the face of such a confrontation.

That didn't happen ... and you know the result.

Why werent we opposing Salasar regime in Portugal (Portugal doesnt have any resources, that's why!)?

No -- Portugal was not expansionist, and was not exporting terrorism to its global "neighbors".

Were it to show signs of that, it would have been a more urgent target ... but even in the absence of that, totalitarian rule would leave it wide open to hijacking for such expansion and export, and therefore we need to be ready to ACT at the first sign such a dysfunctional nation starts said expansion/export.

Do you know that fight is a immature way to win the situation? Do you know that millions of lives can be saved just by good diplomacy and covert operations?

Like I said -- have you looked at history? It tells quite another story from the one you're telling.

When your pacifist, peace-through-universal-impotence viewpoint has ruled the day, totalitarian rule has expanded ... when the confrontation of "cowboy diplomacy" has ruled the day, totalitarians have RETREATED and/or been DEFEATED -- around the world in the 1940's, in Western Europe in the late 1940's, in Eastern Europe around 1990, and in Afghanistan, Iraq ... and Libya ... in this century.

Name one totalitarian ruler with expansionist aspirations, that ended his brutality and stopped expanding his empire ON HIS OWN, in the absence of a CREDIBLE threat of force being used against him.

BTW ... in some cases, covert operations are acts of war ... only with less direct control upon events than overt warfare.

Same goes with proxy warfare, and all the other substitutes for the direct, timely, resolute and decisive use of military force by rights-respecting governments, when it comes to dealing with totalitarian nations and movements.

Wrong person you are pointing at, point at the White House, they are "cowboy diplomacy" carriers.

I was pointing at them ... and at Reagan ... and at Truman ... and at FDR.

They made the world safer and freer ... while you and your ilk have not.

No way would I ever accuse you of supporting cowboy diplomacy ... which is one reason why I hold your expressed ideas in such disdain.

Alex

Rich,

> Your INACTION facilitates that killing and enslavement ...

Interesting... if the civil rights groups would not stand up and made some ACTION, the people in vietnam would be dying another 10 years...

> No -- Portugal was not expansionist, and was not exporting terrorism to its global "neighbors".

really? What about their colonies in India, Timor and others? And the way they held them? Are you aware of portugues military actions in 60s on the Indian soil? Do you call it not expansionist? Non terrorism you say?

>Because, back in the 1930's and 1940's, we -- and the rest of civilization -- listened to your isolationist fellow-travelers for far too long.

Wrong, my kind mostly appeared after Vietnam war ;)
In 30s and 40s the main topic was if it's economicaly safe to open the second front.

> When your pacifist, peace-through-universal-impotence viewpoint has ruled the day, totalitarian rule has expanded

Interesting statement, so isolated from the reality...

You war moguls didnt win a single war in US history (except Civil War; WWII was mostly won by Soviet Russia), and didnt make this planet better, but just follow the natural process of evolution.


>I was pointing at them ... and at Reagan ... and at Truman ... and at FDR.

How a Democracy can be done without Democrats? I keep asking myself this question...


>They made the world safer and freer ... while you and your ilk have not.

Hmmm....

May I ask you a question, Rich? Do you recycle your garbage, or just put everything in one basket?

Alex

If you have time, take a look at this movie: "Iraq for Sale: The War Profiteers".

http://www.netflix.com/MovieDisplay?movieid=70055245&trkid=90529

spinx

Interesting... if the civil rights groups would not stand up and made some ACTION, the people in vietnam would be dying another 10 years...

Of course, Alex does not care that AFTER the US left, 3 million innocent people died in South Vietnam and Cambodia.

He should see the move 'The Killing Fields'.

But, of course, the spread of Communism is his goal, no matter how many lives lost. This is why the left is so phony.

How a Democracy can be done without Democrats?

Reagan was not a Democrat, you fool. Plus GWB is also not a Democrat, but has brought Democracy to Afghanistan (where there was none before), and now to Iraq.

Robert

Ghandi fought the british, nuff said on that point. Ghandi would not last one moment in this country. Case in point, they capture two of our men, and torture them beyond recognition, dna was used to identify our two soldiers. We have no luxury to play the same game, we have too many that do not believe reality. We continue to arrest and convict our own, while the other side begs this stupidity to continue. We already lost America, so now we fight only to preserve what is left, and that is not worth fighting for? OK, you win again.

Robert

"Well Robert, WMD is completely useless against non-state actors
and NGOs like Al-Qaa'ida."

This concept of wmd as a weapon is just a perfect example of how lost a sample of society is. Ohio class subs were built to fight the soviet union, not a state, or actor. Just to edify, 4 subs, by salt 2, were qualified only to be conventional. If you see my point, my vision, my example, or my opinion, great, but I never need an opinion without logic, nor facts shunned to show me a better way. The ellusive quest is to survive, not to pander to the less informed. Not to mention wmd, is only singular, not a real threat to anyone. Ok, w could be thought of as w's, in which case it is are, not is.

Rich Casebolt

Alex:

RE: Vietnam ...

Spinx did a good job setting things straight there, regarding the continuation of the killing.

Plus, President Nixon had the NVA on the ropes and at the peace table, thanks to the "Linebacker II" air offensive and mining North Vietnamese harbors ... just before he gave in to y'all, gave you what you wanted, and pulled our troops out.

Two years later, our political leaders, following your lead, completed the job, and pulled out ALL the support from the South Vietnamese.

As I said, Spinx did a good job documenting the results.

Once again, we see in stark contrast how my kind of confrontation can work to end a threat ... and your kind of mindless pacifism allows the death and oppression to continue.

And once again, you are shown to be a liar about your desire to stop the killing.

RE: Portugal ...

1> There is certainly a difference of scope, between the establishment of a few colonies and the establishment of a global Caliphate, when it comes to expansionism and totalitarian aspirations impinging upon free people ... akin to straining at gnats, while swallowing the camels of death and oppression whole.

2> Portugal still had enough of a conscience, to CONFRONT its authoritarian leadership and remove it. It is no longer any threat to civilization.

3> Why didn't we help? Because we listened too much to people like you, who told us that War is Never the Answer, and elevated "self-determination" above the preservation of life and liberty. I daresay that, had we intervened in Portugal, you and your ilk would have protested America for doing that!

And, they didn't attack us, our allies, our suppliers/customers, or other more direct interests. We didn't see the threat ... again, in part, because we were desensitized to it by the elevation of "self-determination" as a standalone virtue-in-a-vacuum.

RE: pre-WWII isolationism ...

Google "America First Committee", and read about the anti-war/isolationist opposition to entering WWII.

RE: REALITY ...

Thanks to Reagan's cowboy diplomacy:

No more Soviet Union
Hundreds of millions in Eastern Europe freed from Communist oppression
Nuclear-arms stockpiles reduced in REAL terms
(including the removal of Minuteman missile silos from all around my uncles' farms in MIssouri)

Thanks to George W. Bush's cowboy diplomacy ...

Afghanistan liberated from Taliban rule.
Al Quada decimated, and reduced to primitive means of command/control/comm.
Iraq liberated from rule by Saddam & Sons.
Saddam/Uday/Qusay -- DEAD-AY!
Mass graves/rape rooms/torture chambers -- SHUT DOWN!
Iraqi resources/infrstructure no longer at terrorists' disposal.
Iraqi WMD precusors/process infrastructure/"recipes" no longer available for terrorist use.

Thanks to your pacifism ... all of the above kept on going, until the cowboys rode into town. Show me where your jaw-jaw of diplomacy, instead of the war-war of confrontation, produced ANY substantial progress towards ending all the death and oppression I listed above ... listed because it was STOPPED by the cowboys.

Those who fail to understand history, are doomed to repeat it.

Those who fail to understand that mere democracy is not enough to secure life, liberty, and peace ... that it takes rights-respecting governance, that includes democratic representation, to secure all this ... are clueless.

Alex

Dear Rich,


>And once again, you are shown to be a liar about your desire to stop the killing.

Dont call me liar without a good base.

>There is certainly a difference of scope, between the establishment of a few colonies and the establishment of a global Caliphate

Big or small, the intention is the same, Portugal just didnt have enough resources to start bigger occupation.

>Portugal still had enough of a conscience, to CONFRONT its authoritarian leadership and remove it. It is no longer any threat to civilization.

Who said that Iraqi people didnt? Do you think they are mindless and heartless animals?


>Why didn't we help? Because we listened too much to people like you

Oh, common, you are singing the same song over and over, and that's your only argument. Republicans are always to blame anybody else but themselves, because all they care about is just money...

>And, they didn't attack us

Who is "you"? Portugal was Nazi state until 1974, and they did shoot Allies during WWII.

>Google "America First Committee"

That Committee was something different from what we are discussing here. They was not anti-war, they just wanted to sleep tight in their sack not beeing afraid to be attacked one morning. We are discussing different thing here - the reasons to start a military operation against a state who did not attack US. Iraq didnt attack us first, dont forget that, we were asking for that.

>Thanks to Reagan's cowboy diplomacy

I believe that the other side (contemporary Russia) worked towards that as well, so we have to thank both sides to be responsible for future (Reagan and Gorbachev).
If you know, In Soviet Union, there were several movements to change the goverment from Communist to free market democratic one, and Mikhail Gorbachev as the first president of Russian Federation. Dont put the victory in one hands, that was a truly work of both presidents to ease the tension between the two biggest countries.


BTW, thanks to Reagan and Bush families, most of the baby boomers will have to work till their death, because social security money were used elsewhere (you too will be without that, my friend, stock up your 401(k), if you can).

>Show me where your jaw-jaw of diplomacy, instead of the war-war of confrontation, produced ANY substantial progress

Are you sure we have a progress in Iraq and Afganistan? Let's see in couple of years...
I think we just kicked the ant hill, and the whole world may come to the WWIII...
C.Rice already backing up with her tactics. Iran is not as helpless as Iraq was (it can really kick US troops butt, because they have trained army and they will fight for their own soil), but even so, the US troops are still not quite secure in Iraq after so many years of war (even WWII would be finished by now)...

If we bring Democracy to the world, how do you explain that US government overthrown a strong democratic government in Iran back in 1953? And the reason was to own an oil company? Do you think we've own much love from Iran after that? Do you remember that US government used Saddam Hussein to attack Iran again to weak them up just to get to the country's major oil companies?
And with the weapons of mass destruction that US government PROVIDED to Saddam, Iran people suffered as much as 1,000,000 people in casualties.


>Those who fail to understand history, are doomed to repeat it

Exactly! Read above! Now it's my time to call you the LIAR.
The American people and the government are moving in circle...

Rich Casebolt

If we bring Democracy to the world, how do you explain that US government overthrown a strong democratic government in Iran back in 1953? And the reason was to own an oil company?

The reason we facilitated the overthrow of Mossagedeh was that he showed signs of taking that "strong" democracy and handing that democracy, its oil -- and more-importantly warm-water ports -- to the Soviet Union, who at that time would have never considered giving it back ... and would have used this "gift" to further expand their totalitarian rule.

Maybe Iran does "owe us some love" for keeping them out of the paws of the Soviet Bear ... problem is, when the Shah started causing problems, your kind of "self-deterministic" thinking precluded direct action on our part to correct that problem ... and institute rights-respecting governance in Iran, that would have kept the Islamist, totalitarian terror-facilitators of today out of power.

Do you remember that US government used Saddam Hussein to attack Iran again to weak them up just to get to the country's major oil companies?

Nope -- we supported Saddam as a proxy, to harasss the aforementationed facilitators of terror and slow down their "progress".

As is so often the case with proxy warfare, the results were neither clean nor decisive.

Direct action by America against Iran would have been far more appropriate and effective ... but people like you would have pitched a fit about it, so our leaders made the best of a bad situation and ONCE again used proxy warfare to attempt to do what America should have done itself.

THAT CIRCLE -- ineffective proxy warfare, followed by periods of INACTION in the face of threats to world peace -- IS WHAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU ENCOURAGE!

This Administration, OTOH, is putting an end to that circle ... not by proxy warfare and jaw-jaw, but by direct, timely, resolute and decisive ACTION that is aimed at decisively defeating the enemy and putting an end to the threat he poses.

You don't like that ... because, in your Leftist myopia, you perceive the greater threat as an America whose leaders MIGHT shred paper, than thugs who DO shred people.

And with the weapons of mass destruction that US government PROVIDED to Saddam, Iran people suffered as much as 1,000,000 people in casualties.

Phuleeze ... that old canard? We provided Iraq with MINUTE quantities of chem/bio weapons materials ... as we did to several other nations ... to assist in developing DEFENSES for them.

Our relationship with Saddam -- even as proxy -- was a mere conversation over coffee, compared to the whores' bed he shared with France (and yes, for them it was about the OIL ... and contracts between Saddam and ELF), Russia, the participants in UN Crude-for-Food ... and Germany, whose commerical chemical knowledge Saddam readily tapped into for his brutal purposes.

And, given that you acknowledge that Saddam was hazardous to everyone's health back then ... why didn't you and your fellow-travelers stridently demanding that President GHW Bush ignore the Arab street and the "international community", and take Saddam down then?

I know why ... because you believe that War is Never the Answer, even when it will permanently end a proven threat to life, liberty, and peace.

*****************

But enough of the above ... for it is you that is moving in a circle ... dancing around a very inconvenient truth for you:

Your approach to peace ... a weakened America, subordinated to a morally-corrupt "international community" that promotes peace through impotence ... has done NOTHING to liberate people from oppression, NOTHING of substance to reduce arms stockpiles, and NOTHING that is lasting in terms of reducing international tensions.

I, on the other hand, have plenty of evidence where "cowboy diplomacy" HAS liberated millions, HAS substantially reduced arms stockpiles, and HAS facilitated lasting reductions in international tensions ...

... because we were willing to kick a few anthills and bring the pests to the surface, instead of letting them stay underground and undermine the foundations of our civilization.

Alex, instead of telling me what you think we've done wrong ... why don't you try telling me what you and your fellow-travelers in Leftism have done RIGHT ...

... by giving me some examples of applied Leftist policy that produced RESULTS which SUBSTANTIALLY advanced the causes of human liberation, arms control, world peace, and freedom?

Go ahead ... make my day.

Alex

Rich,

> "The reason we facilitated the overthrow of Mossagedeh was that he showed signs of
taking that "strong" democracy and handing that democracy, its oil -- and
more-importantly warm-water ports -- to the Soviet Union,"

This is total BS, because, it's known that he was against Communism, and that BS was
spread in US by CIA to justify the operation - total brainwash.
Anybody can put a label "Tiger" on a cage with a rabbit inside, but it does not change
the nature of the animal.


Another thing is if US decided to be a world police, UN can do the same to us, I would
not be amazed if Bush administration starts to show stronger Nazi signs of doing
things, UN will start a wide millitary operation against USA. Believe me, in that case
we will be wiped out, because of numerous issues inside our country and weak
infrastructure, because the Federal government turned away from them (and I'm not
talking about building a fence between Mexico and US, which is stupid and useless waste
of resources).


>"and would have used this "gift" to further expand their totalitarian rule."

Nope, that is not true, he was true Democrat, read his book, check other sources then
US media.

>"Shah started causing problems"

I happend after the Iran Democratic government waas overthrown, so you cannot connect
it

>"Islamist, totalitarian terror-facilitators of today"

Dont put all Islam into one basket, not all of them practice extremist approaches, the
most of Islamic people are peaceful citizens, wishing live in peace like the rest of
the world. People of other religions do practice extremist approaches as well:
Christians, Catholics, Orthodocs, etc.

As I understood from your comments, you belong to the Republican ideology, which is
based on the religious right, which fully describes your comments about other religions
(for instance Islam), and show them as the enemy of your kind. It may sound strange,
but the Lord is one for all of us: Catholics, Christians, Orthodocs, Islamics, etc.
It's WE who obuse His words.


>"to harasss the aforementationed facilitators of terror and slow down their
"progress"."

How "flexible" to treat the historic facts and bend them the way you like...

>"but people like you"

Again people like me... hmmm....

>"THAT CIRCLE -- ineffective proxy warfare, followed by periods of INACTION in the face
of threats to world peace -- IS WHAT PEOPLE LIKE YOU ENCOURAGE!"

Yes Sir, let's conquer the rest of the World, call it the Liberation, and the wave of
Democracy! Good job, Team America!

Reminds me the early days of Adolph Hitler...

If you are so fond of GWB ideas, how can you comment his unitary executive theory which
is a controversial theory of Constitutional interpretation?.. That exactly how Hitler
made his move back at times... Does it smell like totalitarianism? Huh?


>"in your Leftist myopia"

I already told you that I dont belong neither to Left nor to Right wings.

>"Our relationship with Saddam -- even as proxy -- was a mere conversation over
coffee,"

A coffee with an "enemy", shaking hands, how hypocritical, how double-faced... It can
tolerated as a part of the spy operation, but when it's done from the name of the whole
nation - who's gonna trust that nation later?

Alright, let me give you my opinion on your statement:
"Your approach to peace ... a weakened America, subordinated to a morally-corrupt
"international community" that promotes peace through impotence ... has done NOTHING to
liberate people from oppression, NOTHING of substance to reduce arms stockpiles, and
NOTHING that is lasting in terms of reducing international tensions."


I would not say that my approach would be a weakened America, and here is why:
1) Any country which is constantly in the state of war is weaken itself, just because
of the accelerated resource consumption, also a war does not give an opportunity to
solve internal problems, which will accumulate over the time and make the country
weaker even more from inside. The good idea to solve problems is in a peaceful way and
be a good neighbour.
2) You may not say that America is morally perfect and higher then other countries
(like Europe), I would say we have more moral problems then Europe at this time
(discrimination, racism, Medicare, education, etc)
3) Peace through impotence - that doesnt make much sense, a lot of problems were solved
in a peaceful way (in North Ireland, Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, etc)
4) has done NOTHING to liberate people from oppression - that's not true, because even
if you look at what happened in Portugal, Russia, Poland, India, people went on streets
and changed their fate in peaceful way...
5) and NOTHING that is lasting in terms of reducing international tensions. - That
exactly what US government didnt do - reduce the international tensions...

I want this country to be strong and WISE.
And, by the way, calling USA as "America" is not correct either ;), there are Canada,
and bunch of countries in South America, which are Americans as well ;)
USA is not the only "true" America, it's time to open our eyes on this problem as well.


>"why don't you try telling me what you and your fellow-travelers in Leftism have done
RIGHT"

Well, I'm not a Leftist, so I cannot do you a favor here :)

You see, when a person gets an university education, travels a lot around the globe,
and speaks several languages (to understand the other cultures from inside of them), it
opens his eyes, and you can see the world as it is, not in the way as it was told to
you. The person who lives in Texas, never stepped outside US, understands only American
English, hates British accent and French language, and thinks that US is #1, watches
only highly opinionated Fox channel - that makes a big difference between them.

You dont need to be a "Rightist" to do right things - it doesnt mater how you call it,
the most important is the nature of your actions. Defending your country from the
direct enemy is one thing; using the mass media to brainwash people and use the warfare
for commercial purposes - completely different (as in the case of Iraq and others).

Unfortunately, I dont have time to give you every example of a history event, when
"democracy" was not planted by force from outside, and I think the idea of planting
democracy by force defeats the purpose of the democracy itself... If people think they
are ready for the Democracy, they will fight their way out, otherwise, nothing good
will happen from that.
Anyway, here are few examples of such Democracy: USA in 1787, France in 1958, Portugal
in 1974, Russia and Eastern Europe in 1991, Iran in 1951, etc.

Rich, if you are so afraid of Leftists and Liberalists, why dont you look closer at the
history facts and find out that all the cases when Democracy was established after any
other forms of government, was the job of those people? Any ideas?


GK

I have to say, Alex is a candidate for the prize of being more out of touch with reality than any other commenter I have ever seen here.

1) He insists that India is not a democracy, arguing that he knows better than people who have actually lived in India AND Freedom House which rates countries by freedom of democracy.

2) He claims to care about the lives of people, but refuses to admit that 2.5 million S. Vietnamese and Cambodians died after the US left Vietnam and stopped protecting them.

3) At the same time, he thinks he is well travelled and knowledgable about the world, yet somehow Americans who are pro-US are not.

4) He opposes the Patriot Act even though the Senate voted in favor 98-1, saying it is a waste of time and instead the US should focus on reducing 'racism'.

5) He does not believe in free speech, as shown by his obsession with Fox News. When out of 8 news networks, 7 are left-wing and 1 is right wing, to obsess over the 1 out of 8 that is pro-US is the very definition of fascism and the suppression of free speech.

6) He thinks a gasoline car cost $2.30 a mile to drive. It is not a crime to be mathematically illiterate, but it is a sign of intelligence and worldly knowledge.

7) He is a typical left-wing racist, as he thinks there are certain views that people of color 'should' have (which are anti-American, anti capitalism views). According to Alex, Condi Rice is a bigger deviant than George W. Bush, simply due to her race. He calls her a 'monster'.

That is all I have to say about Alex's comments across 3 threads here.

Rich Casebolt

GK:

Thanks for putting up with this ... Alex is a prime example of what results, when one confuses mere knowledge and formal education, with objectivity and wisdom.

I'll be back ... as he has created a target-rich environment in the battle against ignorance.

Alex

@Rich

"I'll be back ... as he has created a target-rich environment in the battle against
ignorance."

I'm glad to be your opponent, I like to confront people ignorance, who dont see further
then their back yard, as well ;)

I wonder if people like you, guys can sometimes look outside your stereotypes, be tolerant and wise, stop accusing other people in what they are not, stop singing the same song like “terrorists, terrorist, terrorists, bad bad bad everything that is not a Republican”?


And for the God's sake, why do you attack me personally when we were debating on the actions of the government? Are you afraid of my kind, so you just want silence me? Or you are afraid of everything and that tomorrow their will not be any gas left for your cars?
That's sign of weakness... You are weak, gentlemen! Your argument is personal obuse, nothing more, very typical for Elephants (thick skin, small brain, slow on turns, but dont call me a Donkey, I'm not a Democrat, I'm a Linux guy ;P).

Rich Casebolt

Alex, I had a nice, long, detailed rebuttal prepared for you this morning ... but apparently either I didn't hit POST after Preview, or it was otherwise lost in the ether.

I don't have time to re-create it right now, so let me leave you with one brief thought:

The nations that you list as achieving democracy from within, did so ...

(1) through vigorous CONFRONTATION (in some cases, at the point of a gun) of their ruling leadership ... not the peaceful jaw-jaw you think is so effective for us to use today, and

... (2) with direct, or indirect (but close) aid from other nations ... and not purely on their own, as you seem to think.

We can thank France for their assistance during our Revolution -- and they can thank us for keeping them free of Hitler and Stalin, to achieve that democratic government.

If we can assist another nation to overcome its dysfunction, we all win ... and today, it is often the case that civilization cannot wait for oppressed people to change things on their own ... because the ruling leadership is exporting oppression and lethality outside its borders.

Unfortunately, that assistance must often be violent, because that is often the only language the ruling leadership will respond to positively with respect to peace and freedom for their people.

Sometimes, War IS the Answer ... unless you are satisfied with the bloody drip-drip-drip of the status quo, in the name of preserving a mere facade of peace that hides gulags, graveyards ... and potential minefields for free people outside these nations ... out of the view of you "enlightened".

Apparently, you are satisfied with that status quo -- so apparently, despite your words, you do not wish to see NONE lose their lives.

Alex

Rich,

>"I had a nice, long, detailed rebuttal prepared for you this morning"

I'm glad you lost it, and represented your ideas in much calmer and simplier way ;)

>"through vigorous CONFRONTATION"

But not throught the war, and, for example, in Portugal they had no victims.

>"Unfortunately, that assistance must often be violent,"

I believe in opposite ;)

>"Sometimes, War IS the Answer"

My understanding is that War Is the Answer only when the enemy is invading your own soil (9/11 is not a good example that justify the move to Iraq).

>"Apparently, you are satisfied with that status quo -- so apparently, despite your words, you do not wish to see NONE lose their lives."

You are right, I dont wish anybody to lose their lives, except for the result of a court decision through, let say, an electric chair. That's a matter of the level of maturity of a civilization, I believe that war is a barbarian way.

Sibylle Rauch

If you want to deny casualty figures, you should also provide your own estimate. Let's hear it. How many people have been killed by the U.S.-led coalition since March 2003

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment