Abuse Update

Another soldier convicted:

An Army Reserve private faces up to 16 years in military prison when he is sentenced for beating one of two Afghan detainees who later died.

A military jury found Pfc. Willie Brand guilty on Wednesday of assault, maltreatment, false official swearing and maiming. It acquitted him of similar charges involving the second man. His sentencing hearing begins Thursday.

Brand, an Ohio reservist with the 337th Military Police Company, was accused of repeatedly beating the two detainees while working as a guard at a detention center at Bagram Air Field in Afghanistan in December 2002 and then lying about it. The detainees died later that month.

The conviction was for abuse of a prisoner known as Dilawar. An Air Force medical examiner had testified the man was injured so severely that his leg muscles were split apart. Homicide charges were dropped earlier this year.

As the verdict was read, Brand, 26, wiped tears from his face. His attorney, John P. Galligan, said the conviction will be appealed.

”When you send a man who has been to war back with a conviction, that’s punishment enough,” Galligan said.

Military prosecutors did not comment afterward. They had asked the jury of four enlisted soldiers and three officers to reject Brand’s claim that he just did what he was told and taught.

”It’s an excuse that comes up when you are caught,” 1st Lt. David Trainor said. ”He was not confused about it (his orders); he lied about it.”

I just find it hard to believe this is just a few rogue soldiers acting up. There is more to this.

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178 replies
  1. 1
    BinkyBoy says:

    You sound like one of those lefties now, John.

    Its just a few bad apples and these court cases prove that, don’t you see?

    Maybe you just don’t want to see.

  2. 2
    Lee says:

    I think he is are being blinded to the true fact of this being a few rogue soldiers by the elite liberal media.

  3. 3
    Jim Caputo says:

    I just find it hard to believe this is just a few rogue soldiers acting up. There is more to this.

    There are lots of pictures we haven’t seen that were worse than the ones that came out. There’s even videotape that soldiers took and apparently it shows a soldier sodomizing a young boy who you can hear shrieking in pain.

    A federal judge recently ordered them to be released and the date came and went. The Bushies ignored the judge’s order.

    They’ll have to come out eventually though. Someone will start to leak them and then the dam will open.

  4. 4
    Mike S says:

    What do you think it will take to see commanding officers starting to get charged? If the brass refuses to hold them accountable for this, where does it go. It seems to me that even if the jury felt that there was culpability farther up there would be nothing they could do, other than Jury “nullification.” But I have a hard time seeing that happening because while I have no doubt that it comes from higher up these people are still guilty.

  5. 5
    jg says:

    What do you think it will take to see commanding officers starting to get charged?

    Aren’t commanding officers responsible for what the men in their charge do?

  6. 6
    Don Surber says:

    What happened to the guys who lopped off Daniel Pearl’s head?
    I’d go down the list but that is unnecessary.
    What did we do when two detainees were beaten?
    I’m proud of my country and my military for the reaction to this crime.
    Reasonable minds may disagree but experience tells me my critics are disproportionately unreasonable

  7. 7
    Rick says:

    John,

    Until higher ups are formally charged, then convicted, I gotta part with your perspective again. Lots of CIVLANT types think enlisted personnel can scarcely blink without flag-rank authorization, but you must know better based on your service.

    Lotta non-reg things go on when the O’s backs are turned.

    Cordially…

  8. 8
    jg says:

    What happened to the guys who lopped off Daniel Pearl’s head?

    I hear the one who did it was one of the guys India released when terrorists hijacked an airliner back in the late 90’s. They got on the plane and went to Afghanistan and then crossed the border into our partner in the global struggle against something something something, Pakistan.

  9. 9
    jg says:

    Lots of CIVLANT types think enlisted personnel can scarcely blink without flag-rank authorization, but you must know better based on your service.

    I know plenty of people who served. Thats where I got this:

    ‘Aren’t commanding officers responsible for what the men in their charge do?’

  10. 10
    BinkyBoy says:

    Given that the abuses were so wide spread and almost homogenous in their descriptions, don’t you think the commanding officers would have had an inkling about what was going on and would have been forceful in the punishment and deletion of such acts on their watch?

    Oh wait, thats logic talking again, and this isn’t the time nor the place for such nonsense.

  11. 11
    Lee says:

    When we have to justify our behaviour by comparing it to terrorists, the terrorists have won.

    ….wait…that actually works out…. ;)

  12. 12
    StupidityRules says:

    Don Surber, personally I tend to compare my country to other countries that perhaps are a bit more democratic. I see no reason in for example saying that we treat our citizens better than North Korea or that our legal system works better than Irans’.

  13. 13
    Bernard Yomtov says:

    What happened to the guys who lopped off Daniel Pearl’s head?

    Why is that relevant?

    What did we do when two detainees were beaten?

    We convicted a soldier of it. Are you saying you’re confident that there is no further culpabilty at all? Just one more bad apple, is that it?

  14. 14
    Rick says:

    ‘Aren’t commanding officers responsible for what the men in their charge do?’

    jg,

    Of course, they’re responsible. Which doesn’t translate into culpability for misdeeds.

    There are many layers of supervision, and the guilt buck *can* stop at the E-4 level, or the E-5, or E-9, or O-2. That’s what investigations and trials are for (I WANT THE TRUTH!!! YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!!!)

    Now, if some sergeants come forward with stories on the looies or the company commander, or something going up the chain to regiment, etc., it’s a new ballgame.

    Otherwise, Poppy Bush was responsible for Ruby Ridge, and Bubba Clinton for Waco. Throw ’em in jail and lose the key!

    Cordially…

  15. 15
    Mike S says:

    Something that disgusts me almost more than the actual crimes committed is the people who defend or deflect it by comparing us to the worst dregs that humanity has to offer. Every day the GOP and their mouth pieces talk about “moral Relavency, moral values, American supremacy” and the like yet are the first to use terrorists to defend our actions.

    As someone from your own party said, “This isn’t about who they are, it’s about who we are.”

  16. 16
    jg says:

    Of course, they’re responsible. Which doesn’t translate into culpability for misdeeds.

    Why not? If the men and women in their charge are torturing and killing detainees how can they not know or prevent it? If they do know and don’t take steps to prevent it aren’t they also culpable? The torturing is seemmingly systemic. I can’t imagine it isn’t known and condoned at the higher level? Can you? I would love to conclude that it is just some bad apples but there’s too much of it happening for me to draw the conclusion I’d prefer. Frankly I’ve known people who would volunteer for the torture duty and would do it behind their leaders back but this is too big for that IMO.

  17. 17
    Darrell says:

    Its just a few bad apples and these court cases prove that, don’t you see?

    No, of course not, it couldn’t possibly be a few bad apples or isolated incidents, but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.. in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan.. oh, wait

  18. 18
    Mike S says:

    Darrell. I’ll make you a deal. Let me beat the shit out of you for days on end, shove lightsticks up your ass, make you perform oral sex on another man, beat the living shit out of you again, sick dogs on you and allow others to rape you. Let me do this for a while and I will never complain about it again.

    Deal?

  19. 19
    Anderson says:

    C’mon, Mike S, this isn’t a Personals section! ;)

  20. 20
    TallDave says:

    The perpetrators need to be punished, and if anyone can provide a scrap of evidence that this was ordered or condoned, those people should be punished too.

    But in the absence of such evidence, I’m not sure we should be surprised that this happens.

  21. 21
    TallDave says:

    The experiment very quickly got out of hand. Prisoners suffered — and accepted — sadistic and humiliating treatment at the hands of the guards, and by the end many showed severe emotional disturbance.

    After a relatively uneventful first day, a riot broke out on day two. Guards volunteered extra hours and worked together to break up the revolt, without supervision from the research staff. After this point, the guards tried to divide the prisoners and pit them against each other by setting up a “good” cell block and a “bad” cell block, to make the prisoners think that there were “informers” amidst their ranks. The efforts were largely effective, and there were no further large-scale rebellions. According to Zimbardo’s former convict consultants, the tactic was similar to those used successfully in real US prisons.

    Prisoner “counts”, which had initially been devised to help prisoners get acquainted with their identity numbers, devolved into hours-long ordeals, in which guards tormented the prisoners and imposed physical punishments including long bouts of forced exercise.

    And that wasn’t even a real prison.

  22. 22
    jg says:

    IIRC a WH lawyer last name Woo wrote a memo stating that the Geneva convention doesn’t apply to the terrorists in Gitmo. The Geneva Convention is what tells us we can’t torture. Isn’t that a condonement of torture? The memo actually said that if you are trying to get info from the subject its not torture. Zoiks!

  23. 23
    TallDave says:

    that the Geneva convention doesn’t apply to the terrorists in Gitmo.

    It doesn’t. They aren’t soldiers in a uniform belonging to a state.

    The Geneva Convention is what tells us we can’t torture

    No, human decency tells us that. Zoiks, indeed.

  24. 24
    Darrell says:

    jg Says:

    IIRC a WH lawyer last name Woo wrote a memo stating that the Geneva convention doesn’t apply to the terrorists in Gitmo. The Geneva Convention is what tells us we can’t torture. Isn’t that a condonement of torture? The memo actually said that if you are trying to get info from the subject its not torture. Zoiks!

    I think his name is Yoo, not Woo. There were legal opinions offered to the President explaining that we didn’t have to give the terrorists Geneva convention priveleges, so what?.. the terrorists themselves were not respecting the Geneva convention, hiding among civilians, fighting out of uniform, chopping off heads, etc. If one side is not a signatory to the Geneva conventions and systematically violates it, there is no obligation for the other side to follow Geneva rules. But the President has so far declined that option and has agreed to give the terrorists Geneva convention protections

  25. 25
    StupidityRules says:

    TallDave, you do know that the Geneva Convention doesn’t exclusively deal with the treatment of soldiers?

  26. 26
    TallDave says:

    You mean, as opposed to other prisoners of war?

    What does it take to qualify as a prisoner of war? Article IV of the Geneva Convention states that members of irregular militias like al Qaeda qualify for prisoner-of-war status if their military organization satisfies four criteria.

    The criteria are: “(a) that of being commanded by a person responsible for his subordinates; (b) that of having a fixed distinctive sign recognizable at a distance; (c) that of carrying arms openly; [and] (d) that of conducting their operations in accordance with the laws and customs of war.”

    Al Qaeda does not satisfy these conditions. Perhaps Osama bin Laden could be considered “a person responsible for his subordinates,” although the cell structure of al Qaeda belies the notion of a chain of command. But in any event, al Qaeda members openly flout the remaining three conditions.

    Al Qaeda members deliberately attempt to blend into the civilian population – violating the requirement of having a “fixed distinctive sign” and “carrying arms openly.” Moreover, they target civilians, which violates the “laws and customs of war.”

    Thus, al Qaeda members need not be treated as prisoners of war.

  27. 27
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    TallDave, you do know that the Geneva Convention doesn’t exclusively deal with the treatment of soldiers?

    And your point is..??

  28. 28
    Steve says:

    There seems to be an argument here that because some brown-skinned people chopped off heads, etc., therefore all brown-skinned people have waived any rights they might possess under the Geneva Convention.

    If I may be bold enough to speak for the entire Left, only a small minority of us care what happens to actual terrorists. Shoot them dead on the spot, it’s fine with me. But the concern is that we have many people in custody without any real idea whether they are innocent or guilty, and we abuse them just the same.

  29. 29
    KC says:

    There is a lot of really wretched material that we have yet to see. Stories about new photographs have been in the papers, our Congress has seen some of them. The administration is right now arguing that to release them would undercut the war and endanger our troops. They may or may not be right. However, one has to admit, if the administration’s saying stuff like this, it’s tough to argue that inmates weren’t tortured in places like Abu Ghraib. If cuttin’ loose was all that was going on there, presumably the administration would have no reason to block the release of the photos.

    As for the administration’s guilt with respect to actions of torture, I think it’s pretty certain people in it bare some responsibility. After all, several memos have now been released that show the administration was willing to tolerate some below-the-belt interrogation techniques. The administration may not be directly guilty of torture, but it’s pretty clear people in it cultivated an atmosphere in which torture or something extremely close to it was a legitimate tool of interrogation.

  30. 30
    StupidityRules says:

    Darell, please point me to where it says that country A doesn’t need to respect the Geneva convention in respect to prisoners from country B if country B hasn’t signed it.

    And since Mike S has already quoted John McCain I won’t.

    I thought the terrorists hated us for who we are and our freedoms? So is this the easy way out, we become them and then they won’t attack anymore?

  31. 31
    jg says:

    There were legal opinions offered to the President explaining that we didn’t have to give the terrorists Geneva convention priveleges, so what?.. the terrorists themselves were not respecting the Geneva convention, hiding among civilians, fighting out of uniform, chopping off heads, etc

    It doesn’t matter what others do. Thats not how we define our behavior. We are better than them. We can kick ass and do it politely. We don’t have to be barbaric to get results. I can’t believe the response is ‘well they do it’.

  32. 32
    StupidityRules says:

    Darrell, the point is that TallDave seems to believe that the Geneva Convention only deals with how soldiers should be treated.

  33. 33
    jg says:

    The Geneva Convention is what tells us we can’t torture

    No, human decency tells us that. Zoiks, indeed.

    First of all I said Zoiks! to about this:

    The memo actually said that if you are trying to get info from the subject its not torture.

    Second, human decency? I agree but how does that explain the folks on the right who say if they do it we can? Are those people lacking human decency?

  34. 34
    StupidityRules says:

    TallDave, has the prisoners in Gitmo all been validated as members of Al Qaeda? And if so then why have some of them been released? If they are terrorists then shouldn’t we keep them locked up?

  35. 35
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    Darell, please point me to where it says that country A doesn’t need to respect the Geneva convention in respect to prisoners from country B if country B hasn’t signed it.

    And since Mike S has already quoted John McCain I won’t.

    The Geneva Convention, like all treaties, is a contract between signatories. Does this really need to be pointed out to you?

    So is this the easy way out, we become them and then they won’t attack anymore

    The left has a habit of equating us with the terrorists.

  36. 36
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    Darrell, the point is that TallDave seems to believe that the Geneva Convention only deals with how soldiers should be treated.

    I didn’t read anything that would lead you to say that. What did TallDave write which makes him “seem to believe” the Geneva Convention only deals with treatment of soldiers? He wrote nothing of the sort… so what what in the hell was your point?

  37. 37
    John S. says:

    The left has a habit of equating us with the terrorists.

    The right has a habit of equating the left with the terrorists, too. They also enjoy calling those on the left unpatriotic and against the troops while simultaneously calling for their deportation.

    So allow me to play the world’s smallest violin for you Darrell, because you’re breaking my heart.

  38. 38
    Jim Caputo says:

    Darrell says…
    The Geneva Convention, like all treaties, is a contract between signatories. Does this really need to be pointed out to you?

    You’re dead wrong on this if you’re implying that the nations who signed the GC are only compelled to respect the GC parameters in the event they’re holding prisoners of other GC signatories.

    If that were true, then there wouldn’t have been ANY debate over whether the prisoners we’re taking should be afforded GC protections.

    So if you were saying that, you were speaking out of your ass.

  39. 39
    Mike S says:

    The left has a habit of equating us with the terrorists

    .

    The New Republicans has a habit of excusing anything that makes them look bad. Darrell has taken the Bush appoligist strategy to new heights.

  40. 40
    jg says:

    The left has a habit of equating us with the terrorists.

    No they don’t. Comparing and equating are two different things.
    Saying that certain acts are similar to what the insurgents would do is not equating them. Saying that this is something the Nazis would do is not equating, its not saying they ARE Nazis.

  41. 41
    Darrell says:

    KC, the story you link to is 15 months old. I don’t get the “new pictures” business. Could you elaborate? Also specifically, what are you calling “below the belt” interrogation methods endorsed by the administration? Because your link refers to sleep deprivation and stress positions, but I’m not sure why they qualify as ‘below the belt’ interrogation methods.

  42. 42
    StupidityRules says:

    jg said:

    that the Geneva convention doesn’t apply to the terrorists in Gitmo.

    TallDave answered:

    It doesn’t. They aren’t soldiers in a uniform belonging to a state.

    Darell, that bit.

    Secondly, I would still like to see it the bit about the Geneva Convention only being valid if both countries have signed it in writing. Cause personally I’m not sure that you’re right.

  43. 43
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    You’re dead wrong on this if you’re implying that the nations who signed the GC are only compelled to respect the GC parameters in the event they’re holding prisoners of other GC signatories.

    If that were true, then there wouldn’t have been ANY debate over whether the prisoners we’re taking should be afforded GC protections.

    So if you were saying that, you were speaking out of your ass.

    Talk about speaking out of your ass, you should buy a clue for a change. The only reason we were debating GC protections for the terrorists, was not because we were LEGALLY obligated to provide these protections, but whether we should be MORALLY obliged to provide them.

    You ever feel embarrassed by your ignorance Caputo? just curious

  44. 44
    Don Surber says:

    “The left has a habit of equating us with the terrorists”
    I don’t know how to make a nifty box (nor do I care to learn) but when I read this:
    “We are not waging a war on terror in this country. We’re waging a war of terror. The biggest terrorist in the world is George W. Bush!”
    And this:
    “They’re a bunch of fucking hypocrites! And we need to, we just need to rise up…”
    And this:
    “If George Bush believes his rhetoric and his bullshit, that this is a war for freedom and democracy, that he is spreading freedom and democracy, does he think every person he kills makes Iraq more free?”
    And this:
    “The whole world is damaged. Our humanity is damaged. If he thinks that it’s so important for Iraq to have a U.S.-imposed sense of freedom and democracy, then he needs to sign up his two little party-animal girls. They need to go to this war.”
    And this:
    “We want our country back and, if we have to impeach everybody from George Bush down to the person who picks up dog shit in Washington, we will impeach all those people.”
    I get the feeling someone does not really have a grip on reality.
    The soldiers who did this to the enemy were punished. The enemy does not punish its soldiers. In fact, its soldiers violate the Geneva Convention by not wearing uniforms and hiding among civilians.

  45. 45
    Mike says:

    It doesn’t sound like any of you are international law lawyers, neither am I, so let me politely point out that our collective legal opinions on the Geneva Conventions don’t mean much.

    However, a common sense reading indicates that a trial of some sort is REQUIRED to determine the status of the person. The courts have all held that the people should not necessarily be released, but that they MUST have a status review trial. It could be by the military, they haven’t ruled that out, but they must have such review before the govt can LEGALLY declare them to be Al Qaeda, Taliban, Innocent, whatever their status is.

    The point is that very few of them have had such trials and yet they have all been convicted by those who keep screaming loudly “They’re Al Qaeda, they’re killers” when in fact YOU do not know that. Many of them have been held for over three years with no trial at all.

    Some of them are probably Al Qaeda. Some of them are probably Taliban. They were fighting against us on the battlefield and the military should simply have convened a drum head trial right then and there. Had they done so then much of this protest would never have happened. Now that they have been held so long, it turned out that some of them are innocent of being involved with terrorism. In fact, the military has let a number of them go because it turned out that they had been SOLD to the military by tribal Afghan factions/warlords who wanted to get rid of their enemy tribes and leaders. They lied to our guys over there and said, “those people are terrorists, we heard them talking about Al Qaeda” and we gave them rewards and picked their enemies up when they had NOTHING to do with Al Qaeda.

    How does that square with your American Values, not even to speak of your humanity?

  46. 46
    Mike S says:

    How does that square with your American Values,

    Values are something that the New GOP uses as a club. You don’t expect them to really live by them, do you?

  47. 47
    Rick says:

    Why not? If the men and women in their charge are torturing and killing detainees how can they not know or prevent it? If they do know and don’t take steps to prevent it aren’t they also culpable?

    jg,

    This isn’t hard. It’s entirely possible for things to go on behind closed doors and turned backs. Entirely possible, shoot! It’s a certainty.

    I suspect since this private has been convicted, someone *did* find out and took the steps to stop the criminality.

    In fact, if a superior found out and did nothing, *that’s* where culpability attaches to that level of command.

    Gosh, in the Vietnam of beloved left-wing lore, the dog-faces were babykilling drugged-out arsonists. Now, in the supposed sequel, they’re just lumpen proles following the Sturmfuehrer’s orders. Quite a comedown.

    Cordially…

  48. 48
    Darrell says:

    However, a common sense reading indicates that a trial of some sort is REQUIRED to determine the status of the person. The courts have all held that the people should not necessarily be released, but that they MUST have a status review trial

    I believe a number of military tribunals are already underway enabling the captured terrorists to challenge their status. But more to the point, Prisoners of war have never had the right to courtroom trials. Did you know that? Complicating things further, these terrorists aren’t really POW’s either, they are illegal combatents. But hey, don’t let those details stop you from suggesting that the lack of trials for them is inhumane and anti-american.

    In fact, the military has let a number of them go because it turned out that they had been SOLD to the military by tribal Afghan factions/warlords who wanted to get rid of their enemy tribes and leaders

    I’ve heard this warlord-sold-me-out claim made by a lot of leftists, but I’ve never seen it substantiated. Got evidence/links? And if we let them go, doesn’t that clearly demonstrate that there was some sort of investigation of guilt by the military? The fact that at least a dozen of the those released were re-captured on the battlefield trying to kill our troops tells me that if anything, the military has been too lenient in who they release.

    What is it about the terrorists that inspires such concern for them from the left? To the point where they invent ‘rights’ to be bestowed upon them and spread enemy propaganda that so many of them are innocents ‘caught in the net’

  49. 49
    TallDave says:

    TallDave, has the prisoners in Gitmo all been validated as members of Al Qaeda? And if so then why have some of them been released? If they are terrorists then shouldn’t we keep them locked up?

    That’s one of the great ironies of the whole Gitmo debate: even as we’re accused of violating people’s rights, we are releasing terrorists, some of whome have been killed or captured fighting us again in Afghanistan.

    We can’t lock people up just because we think they’re terrorists — nor should we. If they take a vow to not fight us again, some are being released.

    It’s not a perfect system. It’s not a perfect world, either. We’re doing the best we can.

    Transparency and accountability. That’s all we can ask.

  50. 50
    TallDave says:

    Damn sloppy tags. Let me try that again.

    TallDave, has the prisoners in Gitmo all been validated as members of Al Qaeda? And if so then why have some of them been released? If they are terrorists then shouldn’t we keep them locked up?

    That’s one of the great ironies of the whole Gitmo debate: even as we’re accused of violating people’s rights, we are releasing terrorists, some of whome have been killed or captured fighting us again in Afghanistan.

    We can’t lock people up just because we think they’re terrorists — nor should we. If they take a vow to not fight us again, some are being released.

    It’s not a perfect system. It’s not a perfect world, either. We’re doing the best we can.

    Transparency and accountability. That’s all we can ask.

  51. 51
    stickler says:

    TallDave, this is pathetic:

    It’s not a perfect system. It’s not a perfect world, either. We’re doing the best we can.

    It’s 2005. We’re just now releasing people who we picked up in 2002. They’ve been flung into a Caribbean prison camp for three years. How many of them were guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time? We were paying Northern Alliance thugs a head-bounty for Taliban/AlQ operatives; how many poor schmucks ended up with a surprise Caribbean vacation because the price was right?

    “Mistakes were made” is an obnoxious excuse. This is your government we’re talking about, remember. They could fling you into Gitmo if they felt like it.

  52. 52
    Mike S says:

    Gosh, in the Vietnam of beloved left-wing lore, the dog-faces were babykilling drugged-out arsonists. Now, in the supposed sequel, they’re just lumpen proles following the Sturmfuehrer’s orders. Quite a comedown.

    Gosh, in the last few elections we’ve been hearing the Republicans support the troops. I guess that doesn’t include the people who aren’t officers.

    What I find interesting is the fact that people like John Cole, Tacitus and Markos think it smells of something bigger. But I guess people who have never served are more likely to know what really goes on in the armed services.

  53. 53
    Jim Caputo says:

    Talk about speaking out of your ass, you should buy a clue for a change. The only reason we were debating GC protections for the terrorists, was not because we were LEGALLY obligated to provide these protections, but whether we should be MORALLY obliged to provide them.

    All you had to do is look it up. But you’re so cock-sure that you know what is and what isn’t, that you go off on me despite the fact that you’re just an uninformed ass.

    Here is what the GC says:
    “Customary Laws
    The following are rules applicable in all conflicts, regardless of whether the countries in question are signatories of the Geneva Conventions – and regardless of whether the warring party in question is recognized as an independent state. ”

    This is from the genevaconventions.org website.

    Darrell, you asked…

    You ever feel embarrassed by your ignorance Caputo? just curious

    No. I refrain from speaking about things I know nothing about (you might try that). You just got schooled. In the future, don’t be such a lazy ass. Do the friggin’ research before you make statements of fact that are so easily refuted.

    Your the kind of poster that makes these boards so exasperating. It’s difficult enough trying to engage in discourse about serious events without people like you who just make shit up throwing nonsense into the conversation. Now learn to act responsibly or go work at the white house. I hear they’re looking for someone with your talents now that Gannon/Guckert is renting out his ass fulltime.

  54. 54
    jg says:

    jg,

    This isn’t hard. It’s entirely possible for things to go on behind closed doors and turned backs. Entirely possible, shoot! It’s a certainty.

    How is it a certainty? Because you want it to be? I’d love it too but evidence doesn’t back that fantasy up. Where does Yoo’s memo fit into this idea of yours?

    How could this possibly go on behind closed doors and turned backs anyway? Are CO’s in the military so, ummm, not smart, that they can’t tell when a prisoner has been beaten? You must be the type who believes a woman got that black eye because she ran into a door. I mean its possible right, so therefore its a certainty.

    I suspect since this private has been convicted, someone did find out and took the steps to stop the criminality.

    People took pictures. Thats how this became public. Are you saying this would be happening, privates being convicted, if the pictures didn’t become public? Don’t kid yourself, the military would NEVER make this public if they weren’t forced to.

    Gosh, in the Vietnam of beloved left-wing lore, the dog-faces were babykilling drugged-out arsonists. Now, in the supposed sequel, they’re just lumpen proles following the Sturmfuehrer’s orders. Quite a comedown.

    Not exactly speaking for the left here but in Vietnam they were ordered to set fire to villages, they didn’t just do it on their own. I certainly don’t fault the ‘dog-faces’ for any of it. If I spent 6 months in a downpour or hiking through a swamp while ducking machine gun fire, I would probably follow that order too. Imagine the frustration of not beig able to trust even south vietnamese because they might be VC. You treat them with respect and they fire on you when your back is turned. It wouldn’t take too many of those events to get me to follow through on the order to fire a village.

    You peeps really have to stop with the ‘the left hates the troops’ crap. They hate the people who give the orders, not the ones who carry them out. It would be better for you if they did hate the troops but you’ll just have to deal with being wrong I guess.

  55. 55
    Jim Caputo says:

    If anyone finds what I said offensive, I’m sorry…oh screw that, I meant every word.

  56. 56
    Jim Caputo says:

    What I posted from the GC is not the actual language of the GC, but a layman’s version. So before Darrell gets his panties in a bunch, here’s the actual GC text:

    “Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it”

  57. 57
    PotVsKtl says:

    But the President has so far declined that option and has agreed to give the terrorists Geneva convention protections

    You’ve got to be joking. Have you ever heard of Gitmo?

  58. 58
    felix says:

    What I posted from the GC is not the actual language of the GC, but a layman’s version. So before Darrell gets his panties in a bunch, here’s the actual GC text:

    “Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it”

    Just wanted to point out that that is not the complete text, here is the actual text (Convention III, Chap1, Art 2, third paragraph):

    “Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.”

    Please note the rest of the first sentence and the complete second sentence.

    The other passage:

    “Customary Laws
    The following are rules applicable in all conflicts, regardless of whether the countries in question are signatories of the Geneva Conventions – and regardless of whether the warring party in question is recognized as an independent state. ”

    may have been replaced in the genevaconvention.org web site. What actually appears there now is:
    “customary law

    Laws of war which are applicable in any conflict, regardless of whether the country in question is a signatory to the Geneva Convention. They include the rights listed in the common article 3 of the Geneva Conventions (Convention I, Article 3) and the basics of human rights law – freedom from torture, mutilation and rape, slavery, and willful killing. Customary law also forbids genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.”

    Interestingly, just a few paragraphs above it is:
    “combatant status

    Combatants have protections under the Geneva Conventions, as well as obligations.

    Convention I offers protections to wounded combatants, who are defined as members of the armed forces of a party to an international conflict, members of militias or volunteer corps including members of organized resistance movements as long as they have a well-defined chain of command, are clearly distinguishable from the civilian population, carry their arms openly, and obey the laws of war. (Convention I, Art. 13, Sec. 1 and Sec. 2)

    See wounded combatants for a list of protections.

    Convention II …(deleted for brevity)

    Convention III offers a wide range of protections to combatants who have become prisoners of war. (Convention III, Art. 4)

    For example, captured combatants cannot be punished for acts of war except in the cases where the enemy’s own soldiers would also be punished, and to the same extent. (Convention III, Art. 87)

    See prisoner of war for a list of additional protections.

    However, other individuals, including civilians, who commit hostile acts and are captured do not have these protections. For example, civilians in an occupied territory are subject to the existing penal laws. (Convention IV, Art. 64)

    The 1977 Protocols extend the definition of combatant to include any fighters who carry arms openly during preparation for an attack and during the attack itself, (Protocol I, Art. 44, Sec. 3) but these Protocols aren’t as widely accepted as the four 1949 conventions.

    In addition to rights, combatants also have obligations under the Geneva Conventions.

    …(rest deleted)

    I have deleted portions of it to keep this from getting too long. Feel free to look up genevaconventions.org to check if any of the deleted portions substantially change what it says.

  59. 59
    StupidityRules says:

    Jim Caputo, thanks for the info.

  60. 60
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo Says:

    What I posted from the GC is not the actual language of the GC, but a layman’s version. So before Darrell gets his panties in a bunch, here’s the actual GC text:

    “Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it”

    Thanks for the clarification sh*t for brains, “not the actual language of the GC and all”. Except that you’re dishonest as hell and your link is to only a general website with nothing specific and doesn’t explain dick.

    Although one of the Powers in conflict may not be a party to the present Convention, the Powers who are parties thereto shall remain bound by it in their mutual relations. They shall furthermore be bound by the Convention in relation to the said Power, if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof.”

    Source

    So unless Al Queda has “accepted and applied” the Geneva convention rules.. that would mean you are officially full of sh*t. Why don’t you leftists, particularly you Caputo, ever admit that you * really are * idiots without a clue?

  61. 61
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    Jim Caputo, thanks for the info.

    Too funny

  62. 62
    Steve says:

    I am a lawyer, but not an international lawyer, so this is my best attempt to summarize things.

    The letter of the Geneva Conventions does not apply to our dealings with al-Qaeda. However, there is a strong tradition in the international communities that signatories to the GC will observe them regardless of who the opposing party may be.

    This was laid out, I believe, in the Yoo memo from 2001. Yoo explained that Bush had the option, if he wanted, to ignore this tradition and refuse to observe the GC with respect to al-Qaeda. He also made the case that we could ignore it with respect to the Taliban as well, on the theory that they were not really the government of Afghanistan. Bush chose to go along with this recommendation with respect to al-Qaeda, but not with respect to the Taliban.

    At this point, Colin Powell urged Bush to reconsider, citing, among other reasons, the bad precedent we would set when it’s our own troops who are in harm’s way and relying on the protections of the GC. Gonzales then wrote a memo for Bush, explaining the pluses and minuses of the two options in a pretty thorough way, and recommending that Bush should not reconsider the decision. Bush agreed.

    I don’t think there’s a serious LEGAL argument under international law that the GC applies to al-Qaeda. The only issues are the moral one, if you feel the GC reflects basic standards of human decency, and the political one, if finding loopholes in the GC comes back to bite us someday.

  63. 63
    KC says:

    I think we can add this to the whole Rumsfeld-torture issue. Is there anyone with a black record who Bush won’t reward?

  64. 64
    Darrell says:

    Good post Steve. Except for this:

    At this point, Colin Powell urged Bush to reconsider, citing, among other reasons, the bad precedent we would set when it’s our own troops who are in harm’s way and relying on the protections of the GC.

    Are you seriously suggesting that Al Queda or Baathist terrorists would EVER abide by the GC? Incredible assertion on your part that the US could or would ‘rely’ on Al Queda’s willingness to abide by the GC. Care to take that one back as your post was otherwise on the mark?

  65. 65
    Darrell says:

    Is there anyone with a black record who Bush won’t reward?

    Ah of course, everyone Bush nominiates has a stained record. It’s that kind of absurd hyperbole which makes your side look like the kooks that you truly are

  66. 66
    Steve says:

    No, Darrell, I’m pretty sure he was referring to other countries we might be at war with someday, and I think there was also a sense that some allies would lose respect for us if we set the precedent of ignoring the GC. I don’t think anyone at all was concerned with being nice guys to al-Qaeda so they would be nice back to us.

  67. 67
    Darrell says:

    Thanks for the response Steve, although since we are at war with terrorists, not Denmark or New Zealand, I fail to see how your assertion that the US “relies” on GC protections as being relevant. If I follow your logic here, we are in agreement that terrorists have zero respect for the GC. However, although this fact is apparent to all, you are concerned that we may be at war with a GC signatory who will then violate the GC with our US troops because of how we dealt with Al Queda?? Makes no sense to me at all..

  68. 68
    StupidityRules says:

    Darrell, this is not a battle that we can win with only military might, unless you are ready to nuke large parts of the world. We also need to win the support of people in the muslim world. And following the GC will help us do that, torturing people who may or may not be terrorists won’t.

    The US are not at war with either Denmark (who’s an ally with troops in Iraq, but I’m guessing you didn’t know that) or New Zealand. But they might not be as interested in helping in the GWOT (or whatever the latest acronym is) if the US treats their prisoners badly. But if you do think that there is no need for allies…

  69. 69
    Steve says:

    This is getting frustrating. I have been trying to explain the historical context, Darrell, and it seems like you’re just looking for something to argue about.

    you are concerned that we may be at war with a GC signatory who will then violate the GC with our US troops because of how we dealt with Al Queda??

    Let’s be very clear about something. I am not concerned with anything at all. I am not making a case for following the GC; I am not making a case against following the GC. I am just explaining the historical reasons why Colin Powell asked Bush to reconsider his decision. If you think Colin Powell was a fucking moron for saying so, give him a call, just don’t give me a hard time for it, okay?

    Yes, Powell was concerned that the next time we are in a war, we might find that our adversary is less likely to respect the GC because we blew it off in this case. How likely is this? I have no idea. More to the point, he was concerned that we might alienate other countries right here and now if we set the precedent of ignoring the GC. Should we care? I express no opinion, so please don’t lecture me on what a retarded reason you think it is.

  70. 70
    Aaron says:

    Okay, here’s the reasons why I don’t think this is systemic abuse (at least in the Rummy ordered them to do it sense.)

    1. Abu Ghraib photos not released include Graner and Lizzy having sex. Were they under orders there too? And why did those orders suddenly include Graner marrying the other lady in the triangle? I just don’t see the light on these actions.

    2. If they do have a video of a kid being sodomized, again, I suggest that would be a very hard order to issue. However, for one sick perverted soldier to do on his own? Much more likely.

    3. Wars all include macabre and sick stunts pulled by soldiers. You know, sticking a cig in the dead Japanese soldier’s body, etc. NOT UNDER ORDERS.

    4. This stuff happens in NYPD, where I’m sure the oversight civilain and otherwise is very, very intense.

    For other actions, say sleep dreprivation, hoods, hot/cold, dogs, there may be a better argument – but that’s really on a different scale of abuse.

  71. 71
    John S. says:

    Are you seriously suggesting that Al Queda or Baathist terrorists would EVER abide by the GC?

    Darrell, your capacity for moral relativism is astounding. You really want to lower our standard of conduct to what terrorists would do?

    Simply amazing.

  72. 72
    John S. says:

    Thanks for the response Steve, although since we are at war with terrorists, not Denmark or New Zealand, I fail to see how your assertion that the US “relies” on GC protections as being relevant.

    Actually, we are at war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Despite your best effort to apply superfluous terminology to the scenario, the countries we have invaded and currently occupy do have names.

  73. 73
    Jim Caputo says:

    So unless Al Queda has “accepted and applied” the Geneva convention rules.. that would mean you are officially full of sh*t. Why don’t you leftists, particularly you Caputo, ever admit that you * really are * idiots without a clue?

    Darrell, al-Qaeda isn’t a country, neither is terrorism. Terrorism is a tactic, yet the people who are using terrorism ARE citizens of some country and those countries have NOT discarded GC protocols.

    For example…
    We lock up a citizen of Pakistan whom we suspect is a terrorist. We should be bound to follow the GC as long as Pakistan follows the GC in the event they were holding one of our people.

    And here’s the flip side of that… if we arrest someone in our country who has a large cache of illegal weapons, we don’t ship them off to Guantanamo and label them enemy combatants. If the intention to committ some act that will use fear and the deaths of many to further a political goal is terrorism, then why did someone like Timothy McVey have a trial?

    Those people we’re holding are either soldiers (i.e combatants) or civilians. Those are the only two categories you can be in. This bullshit about “enemy combatants” being a separate category is just shit the Bush administration made up so that they could hold people indefinitely and not be bound the the GC.

    Now as to why we should apply the GC to those we capture, there are many reasons. I’ll list just a few:
    1. We’re either going to be leaders or followers. If we treat those we capture in a way we’d object to if it were our own people on the receiving end, then we’re saying it’s okay to abuse prisoners. We should be the model for what is right and what is wrong.
    2. It’s the correct thing to do from a moral standpoint. All this talk about this being a Christian nation, yet we’re so quick to abandon the tenets of Christianity whenever it suits our wants. All that does is announce our hypocrisy to the entire world.
    3. We have no idea whether the people we’re rounding up are guilty of anything or not. We held some people there for a couple of years and then released them not too long ago because they never should have been held to begin with.

    The way we’re conducting ourselves in the world doesn’t make me proud. Just because our enemy lowers itself to a standard we think is inhumane and wrong, doesn’t mean we should also lower ourselves to that same standard. We’re powerful enough to lead by example, not through the use of fear and intimidation. The latter only breeds contempt towards us and assists our enemies in recruiting people to fight against us.

    So no Darrell, I’m not wrong on this. You’re trying to apply the a pact between countries to a tactic. So don’t remove the “idiot without a clue” label from your forehead just yet.

  74. 74
    Richard Aubrey says:

    Sounds like somebody hopes there will be more to it.

    Several misunderstandings:

    The commander is responsible, etc. True. But not in the criminal sense. BG Karpinski got fired–had to resign–because she, being responsible, didn’t stop it. Nobody said, nor should they have, that she was criminally responsible and should have been criminally indicted. If a couple of privates go into town and tear up a bar, the company commander’s leadership abilities are going to be looked at and his next OER will reflect poorly because of that. His career will be stunted. He is not responsible in the sense he is to be tried for drunk and disorderly.
    Seems that civilians ought to know better. It’s a simple enough concept. My guess is they know better but hope to stampede some of the unwary and clueless.

    The reason for mentioning what AQ or other bad guys do is not to compare or excuse our behavior, but to taunt the liberals. They finally get upset about bad stuff happening. Liberals don’t give a shit about any bad stuff happening, nor the highest piles of dead civilians, unless it can be used to reproach America. So when the comparison is made, the implication is, Where you been, lefty? How come NOW you get squeamish? You think you’re fooling anybody that you really care? Try it someplace else.

    The applicability of the GC is also misrepresented. If AQ doesn’t qualify under the GC, that’s AQ’s doing. Nothing we can do about it. We didn’t write the GC or AQ’s tactical manuals. They took themselves out of it. The question is whether we should and whether we do treat them humanely. That this somehow puts US troops in additional danger is a crock. Nothing we have done wouldn’t have been an improvement over what has actually happened to US soldiers the last sixty years or so. The only exception is the Germans–if the POW wasn’t a Jew. My father’s division pulled all Jews out of the line units after finding the mutilated bodies of some who had been captured. Non-Jews did okay, as these things go, relatively speaking. Everybody else, Japs, Norks, Chicoms, VC, NVA, Iraqis, were unspeakable.
    We should be humane because we are Americans. There’s no practical use for it, nor should that be a consideration.

  75. 75
    John S. says:

    The reason for mentioning what AQ or other bad guys do is not to compare or excuse our behavior, but to taunt the liberals. They finally get upset about bad stuff happening.

    Huh?!? So moral relativism is really just a tool for upsetting liberals? Please explain how you derive this conclusion.

    Liberals don’t give a shit about any bad stuff happening, nor the highest piles of dead civilians, unless it can be used to reproach America.

    Do you really believe such nonsense?

    Everybody else, Japs, Norks, Chicoms, VC, NVA, Iraqis, were unspeakable. We should be humane because we are Americans.

    We should also be civil to our fellow man and refrain from calling them ethnic slurs. Or do you think that Japanese people are at ease with being called ‘Japs’?

  76. 76
    Darrell says:

    Steve, apologies for misreading your post. After reading your post again, you were referring to Colin Powell’s reasoning, not your own.

    Caputo OTOH, dishonestly truncates GC language, intentionally omitting the “if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof” wording and gets called on it.. so instead of admitting how wrong he was in lecturing us that we are legally obligated under GC rules to follow the GC.. he simply moves the goal posts while spouting leftist talking points.

    Caputo is the kind of leftist jackass that makes these boards so exasperating. It’s difficult enough trying to engage in discourse about serious events without people like him who just make shit up throwing nonsense into the conversation.

    Richard Aubrey wrote:

    Liberals don’t give a shit about any bad stuff happening, nor the highest piles of dead civilians, unless it can be used to reproach America.

    Amen. At the same time, the leftists actually see themselves as noble. They never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians being slaughtered under Saddam. They only started screaming about Iraqi civilian deaths after we liberated the country. There were hundreds of thousands protesting our toppling of Saddam. But did anyone ever see even 1 leftist protest outside an Iraqi embassy when a mass murdering sociopath was in charge of the country? that says it all about the left as far as I’m concerned

  77. 77
    Jim Caputo says:

    They never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians being slaughtered under Saddam.

    Darrell, the Kurd slaughter happened under Bush the Elder and it happened with the gas that the U.S. sold Saddam during the Reagan administration.

    They only started screaming about Iraqi civilian deaths after we liberated the country.

    We “scream” about the Iraqis civilian deaths that WE are causing because we should be above such things.

    Caputo is the kind of leftist jackass that makes these boards so exasperating. It’s difficult enough trying to engage in discourse about serious events without people like him who just make shit up throwing nonsense into the conversation.

    Is this an attempt at being clever? Take what I said and replace your name with mine…third graders all over the world are snickering at your ingenuity.

    What’s next? Mother jokes?

  78. 78
    John S. says:

    They never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians being slaughtered under Saddam.

    Correction: The right never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians being slaughtered under Saddam (until it became the third explanation after the fact to justify the current war in Iraq). That is why the Reagan administration turned a blind eye while supplying Saddam arms to fight Iran, and why Bush I left him in power after the first Gulf War. But that’s a nice revisionist (and fictional) account of history you have there.

    But did anyone ever see even 1 leftist protest outside an Iraqi embassy when a mass murdering sociopath was in charge of the country? that says it all about the left as far as I’m concerned

    You somehow want to desperately shift the power to topple a dictator onto the shoulders of minority protestors, rather than place it squarely on those in power (who were Republican) that allowed Saddam to stay in power for so long.

    That says it all about the right as far as I’m concerned.

  79. 79
    Jim Caputo says:

    Caputo OTOH, dishonestly truncates GC language, intentionally omitting the “if the latter accepts and applies the provisions thereof” wording and gets called on it.. so instead of admitting how wrong he was in lecturing us that we are legally obligated under GC rules to follow the GC.. he simply moves the goal posts while spouting leftist talking points.

    The part I truncated isn’t relevent since we’re not fighting a country. However, that doesn’t make the GC irrelevent. The GC is our committment, and the committment of the signees, that we will not engage in the barbarism defined in the conventions. That we recognize that such behavior by a country is wrong. It’s the high road, but right now we’re not on it. I can’t be proud of my country when it has a choice between the high road and the low road and it chooses the latter.

  80. 80
    John S. says:

    What’s next? Mother jokes?

    We can only imagine what the Dick & Darrell Show will come up with next…

  81. 81
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    Darrell, the Kurd slaughter happened under Bush the Elder and it happened with the gas that the U.S. sold Saddam during the Reagan administration

    The left never hesitates to smear America, making up lies along the way. It’s who they are. Show us Caputo, the evidence that the US “sold Saddam” poisonous gas used to slaughter the Kurds. There may not be a shred of evidence to support your smear, but it doesn’t stop you from throwing it out there, does it?

    Speaking of, were there leftist protests outside the Iraqi embassy when Saddam slaughtered Kurds? You know, kind of protest like the hundreds of thousands who protested our toppling of Saddam? just curious

  82. 82
    Jim Caputo says:

    Correction: The right never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians being slaughtered under Saddam (until it became the third explanation after the fact to justify the current war in Iraq). That is why the Reagan administration turned a blind eye while supplying Saddam arms to fight Iran, and why Bush I left him in power after the first Gulf War. But that’s a nice revisionist (and fictional) account of history you have there.

    Kudos to John S. who summed it up much better than I.

  83. 83
    Darrell says:

    John s. wrote:

    The right never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians being slaughtered under Saddam (until it became the third explanation after the fact to justify the current war in Iraq). That is why the Reagan administration turned a blind eye while supplying Saddam arms to fight Iran, and why Bush I left him in power after the first Gulf War

    Uh speaking of ‘revisionist history’, Bush “left” Saddam in power because Democrats and the “international community” told us that they wouldn’t support the fight against Saddam’s army (a minority of Dems supported it as it was) at that time unless we limited the mission to simply removing Saddam from Kuwait.

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    The part I truncated isn’t relevent since we’re not fighting a country

    More dishonesty. You claimed we were legally obligated under the GC to follow GC rules against Al Queda and Baathists. You have been proven wrong, so instead of admitting it, you move the goal posts

  84. 84
    gratefulcub says:

    A 2 million man march outside the Iraqi embassy would not have changed one thing SH did. The left can’t protest and make foreign leaders change the way they do things.

    The left, or right, can protest, and possibly change, the actions of our own country. Domestic public pressure works much better than protesting a third world dictator half a world away.

    We live in a Republic, that is supposedly by the people for the people. If that is true, then what my government does, they do in my name. SH never once did anything in my name. We are expected to take responsibility, at least in an abstract way, of the actions of our nation. That is why we protest our own government when we feel that it is out of line. It is part of our patriotic duty.

    That is why

    Speaking of, were there leftist protests outside the Iraqi embassy when Saddam slaughtered Kurds? You know, kind of protest like the hundreds of thousands who protested our toppling of Saddam? just curious

    Is the worst argument made yet today, and there have been some bad ones made on both sides today.

  85. 85
    Darrell says:

    gratefulcub wrote:

    A 2 million man march outside the Iraqi embassy would not have changed one thing SH did. The left can’t protest and make foreign leaders change the way they do things.

    There are protests in front of foreign embassies all the time by a variety of concerned groups for different reasons. I think this is relevant, because it exposes the dishonest hypocrisy of the left. They protest en masse when we liberate Iraq, but they are silent when Saddam was slaughtering his people.

    The left is consistently hypocritical on that point. They * really are * that despicable. Were there leftist protests when the soviets invaded Afghanistan? yet there were massive protest when we liberated Afghanistan

  86. 86
    Darrell says:

    The left tell us how “concerned” they are over human rights. If there was an ounce of sincerity to that claim, the left would have supported the toppling of Saddam on a HUMAN RIGHTS BASIS ALONE.. but they didn’t did they? Because the left is not sincere, they are not noble. They would rather see Iraqis suffer, than for George Bush to succeed. It’s the truth

  87. 87
    gratefulcub says:

    Who was the left supposed to protest when the Soviets invaded Afghanistan? Really, who? Was a mass protest in NYC going to change the actions of the Evil Empire.

    “Comrade Brezhnev, there are a million people outside our embassy in America. They seem to be upset because you are trying to liberate Afghanistan.”

    “Liberate? Oh yeah, we did say we were liberating Afghanistan. Are you seriously telling me that Americans are protesting us? I can’t believe it. Why now, when our two countries have grown so close. What will this do to our new tourism market? I was really counting on a bunch of New Yorkers spreading around some green to jump start our economy. I think we better get our troops out of Kabul as quickly as possible. Make it happen.”

    And, I know it is convenient to say, but where does the illusion that ‘the left’ doesn’t have any concern for saddam gassing the kurds, or the Sudan, or Rwanda, etc. The only people that seem to care are a handfull of hippie leftists. They scream as loud as they can while the atrocities are going on, but Wolf Blitzer is too busy chasing down missing white women to cover anything like the Sudan. Plus, the american people ‘don’t want to see that.’ They want more happy news, more sensationalized news. The left, like those pinko american hating Amnesty Internationalists are always out in front trying to bring attention to the third world dictators oppressing their own people. It is always ignored, then 10 years later the left is called hypocritical for not doing exactly what they did.

  88. 88
    gratefulcub says:

    It’s the truth

    you have spoken, so it is

  89. 89
    Darrell says:

    It is always ignored, then 10 years later the left is called hypocritical for not doing exactly what they did.

    My bad, I must have missed the leftist protests against the Iraqi embassy under Saddam while he was murdering and gassing his people. They were too busy telling us how our sanctions were “starving Iraqi children”, never putting the blame on Saddam

    Leftist protests outside embassies of N. Korea in europe and elsewhere? Missed those too. Cuba embassy protests? Oh yeah, that’s the ‘people’s paradise’.

    Whether it’s here or abroad, the left could not give a sh*t about human rights unless they can use it as a stick to criticize the US.. Hence Amnesty Intl’s claim that Gitmo = Stalin’s gulags. Like I said, not an ounce of sincerity

  90. 90
    gratefulcub says:

    Kim Jong Il and Castro care what the american left thinks?

    We, as citizens, can change OUR government, we can’t change theirs.

    Who is asking for intervention in the Sudan, and who has his head in the sand ignoring it. And this isn’t a completely partisan issue. Clinton was wrong in Africa when he could have saved lives, and he was wrong in Bosnia. We could have prevented more death and destruction, but we used our air force instead.

    We didn’t invade Iraq for human rights. That was an add on reason at best. We invaded Iraq for American interests.
    -Fight terrorism
    -Stabilize the region
    -Overthrow SH because he could use weapons against us, or give them to terrorists.
    AND, by the way, we can liberate the Iraqis from a brutal dictator.

    There is a big difference between liberating a country to improve their human rights and quality of life, and to invade a country for self interest and it happens to be a country that we can help.

    The ends may be the same, but the motive is not.

  91. 91
    Richard Aubrey says:

    John S.
    No moral relativism here, exactly. It’s sort of a way to hammer lefties for their moral relativism. You know. When somebody said the USSR is bad because of the gulags, you lefties would get all hot and bothered about the death penalty. We’re just as bad!!!!!!!!.
    So this is not my moral relativism. This is pointing out your morals are completely and utterly dependent on your politics. If it reproaches American policy, you pretend to care. If not, not.

    I expect the US servicemen who were in the Jap prison camps–the sixty percent who survived–use worse terms than “Jap”. I have an elderly neighbor, a widower, who fought the Japs in the Phillipines. I went over there for a couple of pops earlier this week. My wife wasn’t with us, which usually keeps things settled down. He began talking about what he’d seen. I said he ought to write his memoirs. “I’m still trying to forget.” And he wasn’t a prisoner. My daughter had a good friend at one school she attended who was from Japan. They don’t think they did anything wrong–the PM’s apology was several years after this encounter–and don’t own their crimes as many Germans do.
    So, screw your change of subject.

    We didn’t provide SH with weapons, much less gas. As you know, guys. As you know.

    Why not protest murderous regimes? Can’t hurt. Besides, it would make up for making excuses for them.
    Boycotts? Sure. Stop doing business with the USSR, as with, today, Israel. Nope, couldn’t do that, said the lefties. Zimbabwe? Liberal lipstick all over Mugabe’s skinny ass. You can’t afford to yell about him. He was your idea.

    Anybody here think the liberals don’t know they’re BUSTED?
    I mean, they keep acting as if people ought to believe them.
    Man.

  92. 92
    tBone says:

    Why not protest murderous regimes? Can’t hurt. Besides, it would make up for making excuses for them.

    How ’bout we start with Saudia Arabia?

  93. 93
    John S. says:

    Dick,

    You are a moonbat, sir.

    I haven’t the time – nor do I care to exert the effort – to pick apart your rambling post to point out just how ludicrous most of your ‘finer’ points are.

    Your flummery stands on its own for all to see, and thus far the only one who seems to be drinking from your trough is Darrell.

  94. 94
    Don says:

    This is getting frustrating. I have been trying to explain the historical context, Darrell, and it seems like you’re just looking for something to argue about.

    Steve, porcine voice lessons never work out well. Why does anyone bother responding to someone who throws around things like “Thanks for the clarification sh*t for brains” as if the * makes it not an insult? I don’t yell at the static on my radio, I just ignore it.

  95. 95
    Jim Caputo says:

    Uh speaking of ‘revisionist history’, Bush “left” Saddam in power because Democrats and the “international community” told us that they wouldn’t support the fight against Saddam’s army (a minority of Dems supported it as it was) at that time unless we limited the mission to simply removing Saddam from Kuwait.

    What a load of made-up horseshit. The genesis of the decision did NOT begin with the Dems in Congress. At the time, Bush the Elder had an approval rating in the upper 80s. The Dems couldn’t have stopped him because the public was supporting the president at the time.

    As for the “world community” being against it, that’s true. But so what? The “world community” wasn’t going to strike back at us, nor was the world community going to support Iraq if we decided to take out Saddam. The world community was against it this time around too, but that didn’t stop Bush the Lesser, did it?

  96. 96
    Darrell says:

    There is a big difference between liberating a country to improve their human rights and quality of life, and to invade a country for self interest and it happens to be a country that we can help.

    I don’t like to argue with you gratefulcub, because you a minority on the left.. unlike most leftists, you are actually sincere. But my point is valid. Whether or not we invaded Iraq for self interest (improve our security) or not, if the left gave a rat’s ass about human rights as they claim, they would have supported the removal of Saddam on the human rights case ALONE. But they didn’t. They didn’t, because the left, by and large * really doesn’t * give a crap about human rights unless it can be used to criticize the US. What other explanation?

    Why does anyone bother responding to someone who throws around things like “Thanks for the clarification sh*t for brains” as if the * makes it not an insult?

    Yes, my language was over the top in that instance. the person I referred to had dishonestly truncated a quote from the GC rules, intentially omitting language that would have discredited him. So yeah, when I see that type of blatent dishonesty, sometimes I let it get to me. my bad

  97. 97
    Jim Caputo says:

    You claimed we were legally obligated under the GC to follow GC rules against Al Queda and Baathists. You have been proven wrong, so instead of admitting it, you move the goal posts

    We are.

    For example…
    Suppose we invade a country that has a government and is a signed member of the GC. At the point at which we do that, the GC applies. Now we overturn the gov’t and install one that is more friendly to our viewpoint. Does that mean the GC no longer applies and we are allowed to lower ourselves and act like the animals we’re fighting against? No.

    I think I read in the papers where what I just said happened.

  98. 98
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    What a load of made-up horseshit. The genesis of the decision did NOT begin with the Dems in Congress. At the time, Bush the Elder had an approval rating in the upper 80s. The Dems couldn’t have stopped him because the public was supporting the president at the time.

    You’re so ignorant, you’re like something out of a cartoon. Bush I got only 10 Senate Dems to vote for gulf War I. 10. How’s that for Dems following the public’s wishes? and Bush had to agree to limit actions to removing Saddam from Kuwait in order to get even those 10.

    You might try reading some history before spouting off your BS

  99. 99
    jg says:

    and why Bush I left him in power after the first Gulf War.

    We left him in power because if we took Baghdad we would OWN Baghdad and no one thought it was a good idea. Our whole point in that war was to get him out of Kuwait, not remove him from power. Our coalition was for pushing him back to Iraq not for regime change. Even Cheney was against moving on Baghdad.

  100. 100
    Jim Caputo says:

    Whether or not we invaded Iraq for self interest (improve our security) or not, if the left gave a rat’s ass about human rights as they claim, they would have supported the removal of Saddam on the human rights case ALONE.

    There are two things wrong with this:
    1 – It was never the argument that Bush used to justify the invasion
    2 – At the time we invaded Iraq, Saddam was contained and was no longer a threat to the northern or southern peoples.

    If “human rights” is the justification you’re claiming, then why choose Iraq where human rights violations at the time we invaded were minimal compared to human rights violations in other countries around the world? There was certainly the potential for saving many more lives by invading any of a dozen other countries where citizens are in much more peril from brutal government dictatorships.

    That’s why you’re “we meant to say we invaded for civil rights” argument loses.

    Also, tie that in with the record of conservatives in this country regarding civil rights. And when I say “conservatives” I’m not talking about Republicans, I’m talking about those on the conservative right of the political agenda of the time. For example, during the revolutionary war period, the founding fathers were the more politically liberal while the American Tories were the conservatives.

    During the Civil War period, the radical Republicans were the liberals and the Democrats were the conservatives. Again, I’m using the literal meaning of the words “conservative” and “liberal” when I’m describing this.

    During the Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, there was a mix. The Democratic Party had taken up the mantle of civil rights as the Republican Party increasingly abandoned the rights of African-Americans in favor of big business concerns. In the 1860s and 70s, big business could support civil rights because free slaves would flood the labor market thereby decreasing the value of labor resulting in lower pay for workers and higher profits for owners. By the 1920s, we see unions starting to see more and more success, so big business, having to choose between rights for blacks and profits, will choose the latter. By the time the Civil Rights Movement comes around, there is a divide in both parties: northern democrats and southern democrats (dixiecrats)are on opposite sides of the civil rights argument. By the time the 1970s roll around, almost all the democrats who voted against the Civil Rights act had made the switch to the Republican Party.

    The Republicans also had a divide. While all repubs alligned themselves as economic conservatives, not all were social conservatives. There were many repubs who were outspoken social liberals (the rockefeller repubs). Because the republicans were in the Congressional minority for most of the past 60 years, it was easier for repub leaders to hold them together as a group (notice how easy it’s been for Reid to keep the Dems in the senate together on most issues this year). Now that they’ve achieved majority status, it’s becoming more difficult.

    I think we’re probably seeing another political reallignment similar to what we saw in the period from the 1930s through the 1970s. Since their party is holding power now, moderate republicans will want to see some of their issues addressed and enacted upon. As the clashes between the two sides of the republican party become more frequent and more adverserial, we’ll see more frequent switching of parties.

    Anyway, my point was this: conservatives do NOT have a good record when it comes to civil rights. To claim that was the motivation for the Iraqi invasion is horseshit.

  101. 101
    Darrell says:

    jg wrote:

    We left him in power because if we took Baghdad we would OWN Baghdad and no one thought it was a good idea.

    No, no jg, your fellow traveler John S. has told us the *real reason* that Bush I “left” Saddam in power was because “the right never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians”

  102. 102
    Jim Caputo says:

    You’re so ignorant, you’re like something out of a cartoon. Bush I got only 10 Senate Dems to vote for gulf War I. 10. How’s that for Dems following the public’s wishes? and Bush had to agree to limit actions to removing Saddam from Kuwait in order to get even those 10.

    Nice try. You’re talking about two very different moments in history, chronologically near though they may be.

    Prior to the war, when Bush’s approval ratings were so-so, the Dems could oppose him. But once the war got started and people were elated over the ease of victory and the amount of international support the president brought on board, Bush’s approval ratings soared to around 89%. At that point he could have taken out Saddam and the Dems wouldn’t have been able to do a thing about it without risking severe public backlash.

    You might try reading some history before spouting off your BS

    I really expected you to say something bad about my mother. You disappoint me.

  103. 103
    Jim Caputo says:

    No, no jg, your fellow traveler John S. has told us the real reason that Bush I “left” Saddam in power was because “the right never gave a sh*t about the Iraqi civilians”

    Darrell, if the right cared so much about the civil rights of the Iraqi people, how come THEY didn’t protest the chemical massacre that Saddam ordered against the Kurds in March of 1988? Why did Ronald Reagan, the wingnut icon, not do anything about it? And why did Donald Rumsfeld go to Iraq for a photo op with Saddam shortly thereafter? And why did the U.S. not take any action against Saddam until he invaded another oil rich country?

    Go ahead, Darrell, break out those history books.

    Folks, here’s something to be aware of. The wingnuts always include the line about “massacred his own people, the Kurds, with poisonous gas” in their “why we went to war” rhetoric. How come they never tell us WHEN that happened? That’s because it happened when Reagan was president and he did jack shit about it. And when George Bush the Elder took office less than a year later, he did nothing about it either. Both of those presidents maintained friendly relations with Saddam and his government AFTER the Kurd massacre. And now they want to pretend to give a shit about civil rights? What a bunch of fucking hypocrits.

  104. 104
    gratefulcub says:

    Darrell,
    I understand that I don’t really represent the fringe of the left, but that is part of the problem. Most of the left doesn’t represent the fringe of the left. To say that ‘the left’ doesn’t care about human rights is not true. Just like saying that all ‘the right’ cares about is big business. It isn’t true, but I could pick members of the right to prove my point that they do.

    The terms left and right are useless. We sit here and act like there are these two large groups that oppose each other and that each group agrees amongst themselves. There are people and groups that lean left that use human rights to beat the US over the head. That isn’t where most of us come from.

    There are many more sincere lefties than you realize. The talking heads, and leaders on both sides don’t represent the groups they ‘represent.’ Ward Churchill and James Dobson can yell at each other, but they don’t represent the opinions of the country.

    I think your argument of ‘if we believed in human rights we would support the war on those grounds alone’ is being too simplistic. I DO support the ‘idea’ of removing sh, and freeing the people of Iraq, even if it takes military force. I believe the same thing about many nations in the region, Central Asia, Africa, and even Southeast Asia. The problem is, that I support that in an abstract way: in a vacuum, I support it. But, nothing is that simple. While I support removing saddam, I have to balance that positive against the negatives. My negatives were:
    -many people will die
    -I didn’t think we could establish democracy, and I still don’t
    -I thought the result of removing sh would result in ethnic, religious, and tribal tensions that would likely result in civil war
    -I thought the likliest outcome (10 years later) would be an islamic theocracy
    -I thought that the rights of women in Iraq would be diminished

    So, I compared the pros and cons, and in my humble opinion, I thought that the result for Iraqis would be a net negative. That is of course debatable. But, that is my opinion, and the opinion of many on the left. That is why I do support human rights, and I do give a sh*t, but I opposed the war. That is why so many on the left opposed the war. Granted, some opposed the war because:
    -I don’t like war
    -SH isn’t that bad
    -America is an evil empire

    Whatever half baked reason some people have. But that is why the broad brush of left and right is ridiculous. There are good and bad people on both sides, there are well thought out opinions and idiotic opinions on both sides.

    Both sides have been right and wrong so many times in history, hell, last week. We need to stop acting like we are always right, and you are always wrong. Stop acting like the other 50% of america is evil. Try to differentiate the large portion of america that supports this war from the neocons in power, and differentiate the people that are against the war from Susan Sarandon. We are not two big groups.

  105. 105
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    There are two things wrong with this:
    1 – It was never the argument that Bush used to justify the invasion
    2 – At the time we invaded Iraq, Saddam was contained and was no longer a threat to the northern or southern peoples.

    More ignorance. Human rights abuses under Saddam were repeatedly trumpeted by Bush in speeches, and Iraqi human rights abuses were explicitly spelled out as a justification in the Congressional authorization to use military force in Iraq.

    Whereas Iraq persists in violating resolution of the United Nations Security Council by continuing to engage in brutal repression of its civilian population

    ..that Iraq’s repression of its civilian population violates United Nations Security Council Resolution 688 and ‘‘constitutes a continuing threat to the peace,

    Whereas the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (Public Law 105–338)expressed the sense of Congress that it should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove from power the current Iraqi regime and promote the emergence of a democratic government

    And note how the ever so informed left thinks Saddam ‘was contained’. Yeah, those oil-for-food sanctions worked real well, huh? Palaces filled to the rafters with cash and guns.. Saddam the mass murdering child killer had turned over a new leaf, right?

    The larger point is this: even if one ignores the speeches and debates and wording in the authorization mentioning human rights concerns in Iraq.. If you ignore or discount that justification, but at the same time you claim that you *really do care* about human rights, as the left tells us they do.. If the left really gave a sh*t about human rights, they would have supported the toppling of Saddam on the HUMAN RIGHTS BASIS ALONE. But they didn’t, because the left doesn’t give a sh*t about human rights unless they can use it to berate the US

  106. 106
    Darrell says:

    Darrell, if the right cared so much about the civil rights of the Iraqi people, how come THEY didn’t protest the chemical massacre that Saddam ordered against the Kurds in March of 1988? Why did Ronald Reagan, the wingnut icon, not do anything about it? And why did Donald Rumsfeld go to Iraq for a photo op with Saddam shortly thereafter?

    More ignorance of history. Rumsfeld did not go to Iraq for a photo op with Saddam right after the Kurdish massacre in 1988. He went there in 1983. Caputo, do you still stand by your lying smear that the US gave Saddam the gas to murder the Kurds?

  107. 107
    gratefulcub says:

    Of course we supported SH in the 80’s. We didn’t give him chemical weapons, we gave him dual use equipment that he used for WMD. Of course we were in a ‘back alley alliance’ with him. He was fighting Iran, we even nudged him in that direction. Realpolitick. We were in a ‘cold war’ atmosphere with Iran. We deal with many nations that we would rather not. That is the way of the world, and we can’t change that by refusing to talk to people we don’t like. Sometimes we have to take the lesser of two evils, and sometimes we are wrong.

    Each side wants to look back on situations like this and flamethrow against the other. 91 was the dems fault, uh uuuh, it was Bush’s and Cheney’s. An honest look at most situations show that it was much cloudier, and the decisions made were difficult. Sometimes they work out as planned, other times they backfire.

    I am not saying that no one is responsible, or that no administration has done things that I don’t agree with. This administration hasn’t done but a handfull of things I do agree with. But the demonization of the other side has to stop. Not on this thread, just in general. Arguing that everything is Reagan’s fault or clinton’s fault.

    Sorry, I’m just grumpy and rambling.

  108. 108
    Darrell says:

    My negatives were:
    -many people will die
    -I didn’t think we could establish democracy, and I still don’t
    -I thought the result of removing sh would result in ethnic, religious, and tribal tensions that would likely result in civil war
    -I thought the likliest outcome (10 years later) would be an islamic theocracy
    -I thought that the rights of women in Iraq would be diminished

    So, I compared the pros and cons, and in my humble opinion, I thought that the result for Iraqis would be a net negative

    So after all this deep contemplation, you believed that leaving a mass murdering child killer in power was the best alternative for the Iraqi people. Silly naive me, I though you were honest

  109. 109
    Darrell says:

    We didn’t give him chemical weapons, we gave him dual use equipment that he used for WMD.

    The amount of weaponry we sold Saddam was miniscule.. around 1%. You insinuate without basis that the US knowingly gave Saddam dual use weapons which he used for WMD. At a bare minimum, patriotism means giving your country the benefit of the doubt barring other information. Do you have any evidence that the US knew that Saddam would use what we sold him for WMDs?

  110. 110
    Jim Caputo says:

    More ignorance. Human rights abuses under Saddam were repeatedly trumpeted by Bush in speeches, and Iraqi human rights abuses were explicitly spelled out as a justification in the Congressional authorization to use military force in Iraq.

    Yes, Saddam’s PAST abuses, the most egregious of which happened during Reagan’s last year in office. Once the no-fly zone was enforced, Saddam’s ability to do harm to those in the north and south of Iraq was pretty much eliminated.

    Where you and the conservatives then?

    I know you don’t know, so I’ll give you the answer. We did nothing about Saddam gassing the Kurds because we didn’t want the Kurds to have any chance of seizing power in Iraq. The Kurds are a very religious population, Saddam was not. There was a fear that a Kurd revolution would draw support from other nearby religious governments and organizations. We didn’t want Iraq to become dominated by religious zealots so we did jackshit about the gassing of the Kurds. And you wonder why they hate us.

  111. 111
    gratefulcub says:

    I hope you are missing my point.

    SH was not a bad guy in a world of good guys. Life in Iraq was no worse than life in SA, Uzbekistan, half of Africa, and many other nations on earth. And that is NOT a defense of SH. The point is that I do believe in promoting human rights in all of these places.

    What I don’t believe in is: invading one of these places and turning it into something worse than it was when a baby killing tyrant was in power. If Iraq turns from a war zone, to an occupation, to a civil war zone, to an islamic theocracy (backed by Iran) that continues to fight a Sunni insurgency and what will become a Kurdish insurgency against a Shia tyrant……..that draws sunni arab nations into the fray to fight the Tehran influenced Baghdad government (moved to Najaf); that draws Tukey into the fray to protect the minority Turkmen of the north; that includes Iraqi, Iranian, and Syrian oppression of the Kurds since they all fear an autonomous Kurdistan……that all results in an Iraqi shia theocracy that ends all women’s rights…..that completely destabilizes the region……

    I am not saying that all of that is going to happen. What I am saying is that yes, Iraq could have been contained for a while longer. We, and our allies, could have slowed down and had this discussion before the war. We could have slowed down and even built an arab coalition, allying ourselves with some of the worst leaders on earth (realpolitick again). We could have done something besides blow the damn place up and hope that everything turns out ok.

    You set up false choices: Invade Iraq or let a baby killer tyrant stay in power.

    Is there a hypothetical example of things being so bad in Iraq that you would rather leave a ‘baby killer’ in power than invade? What about: We have to kill half of Iraq to liberate it. Is it worth it then? Like the Phillipines: “We may have to kill half of the savages to bring civilization to the rest.”

  112. 112
    gratefulcub says:

    The amount of weaponry we sold Saddam was miniscule.. around 1%. You insinuate without basis that the US knowingly gave Saddam dual use weapons which he used for WMD

    That was actually my point. I was clumsy making it. We sold him weapons, but we are in no way responsible for his WMD use against the kurds. And, as I was saying, I have no problem with us giving him weapons. we were fighting Iran through him.

  113. 113
    gratefulcub says:

    I have never heard of the Kurds being ‘religious zealots.’ They want islam out of the constitution, and they like their whiskey with dinner.

  114. 114
    Darrell says:

    We didn’t want Iraq to become dominated by religious zealots so we did jackshit about the gassing of the Kurds. And you wonder why they hate us.

    Uh Jim, I guess you haven’t heard that the Kurds are our biggest fans in Iraq. They are overwhelmingly Pro-American. Just thought you might want to know

  115. 115
    Darrell says:

    SH was not a bad guy in a world of good guys. Life in Iraq was no worse than life in SA, Uzbekistan, half of Africa, and many other nations on earth. And that is NOT a defense of SH. The point is that I do believe in promoting human rights in all of these places.

    The problem gratefulcub, is that Saddam had killed more of his citizens than South Africa, Uzbekistan, and Zimbabwe combined. He was not “just another” mass murderer. He was the bloodiest living dictator on earth.

    Given that reality, I don’t think I gave a false choice at all. What’s more, you still say that after you now KNOW that Saddam was stealing money from the program which should have been buying food and medicine for the Iraqi people… and using it to buy palaces and weapons. You know that now, and yet you talk of ‘false choices’. Incredible

  116. 116
    Darrell says:

    gratefulcub Says:

    I have never heard of the Kurds being ‘religious zealots.’ They want islam out of the constitution, and they like their whiskey with dinner

    I believe Jim Caputo has demonstrated himself not to be particularly well informed. What’s so hilarious is that he speaks with such strong opinions as if he has the first clue what he’s talking about

  117. 117
    jg says:

    And note how the ever so informed left thinks Saddam ‘was contained’. Yeah, those oil-for-food sanctions worked real well, huh? Palaces filled to the rafters with cash and guns.. Saddam the mass murdering child killer had turned over a new leaf, right?

    He wasn’t contained? Then why was he trying so hard to get from under the sanctions? He was completely marginalized. he didn’t have the capacity to hurt anyone but his own people.

    How can anyone say that hippie tree hugging touchy feely fringe lefties don’t care about human rights? Its the most absurd statement ever made.

    No one on the right gave a shit about the Iraqi people until Bush used it as an excuse for invading Iraq after the WMD shit blew up in his face. I was on the right before the war (center-right actually, I’m not religious). I would have laughed my ass off if he said we were going there to rescue the people. I don’t even care about them now never mind then. They’re not worth the life of even one of our soldiers.

    Since when does the conservative right believe the US military should be used to free oppressed people? All this time I thought they felt our military was for defense only. We’re not the worlds police.

  118. 118
    Jim Caputo says:

    More ignorance of history. Rumsfeld did not go to Iraq for a photo op with Saddam right after the Kurdish massacre in 1988. He went there in 1983.

    You’re right. I have the date wrong. Rumsfeld went there in December 1983. And that was AFTER there were already complaints in the U.N. that Iraq was using chemical weapons. The first occurence wasn’t in 1988, I used that one because it was probably the worst occurence. Doesn’t change the fact that Rumsfeld was there, smiling and shaking Saddam’s hand, despite knowing that Saddam had already used chemical weapons against his own people.

    But it would be nice if you’d address the more important questions I posed:

    Why didn’t the right protest the chemical massacre that Saddam ordered against the Kurds in March of 1988?

    Why didn’t Ronald Reagan do anything about it?

    Why did the U.S. not take any action against Saddam until he invaded another oil rich country?

  119. 119
    gratefulcub says:

    False choice as in there were only two options. 1)exactly what we did 2)leave him in power to kill people

    Is there an outcome that you can even create that would be worse for the Iraqis than leaving him in power? To me, this is a very important question.

  120. 120
    gratefulcub says:

    Darrell,
    I don’t think Oil for Food plays a major part in my decision, even today. 2 reasons:

    1) Corruption in the middle east is standard operating procedure. I don’t condone it, and the UN members that are found to be involved, should face whatever consequences. But, if there was an oil for food program, I would have to expect that SH was getting some money under the table, and other world diplomats would be on the take too. Our government as a whole is corrupt with bribes and ‘campaign contributions’. But, we are one of the most corrupt free nations on earth, that just isn’t saying much.
    2) We can’t topple regimes because they don’t spend their money the way they should. I know he was buying weapons and palaces instead of infrastructure, food, and medicine. The house of saud builds palaces on top of palaces while their people live in slums. Again, I am not condoning their actions, but we can’t change all of these regimes. We don’t have the manpower.

    None of that is a defense of SH. I just don’t think the oil for food scandal is a reason to invade.

  121. 121
    Rick says:

    What I find interesting is the fact that people like John Cole, Tacitus and Markos think it smells of something bigger. But I guess people who have never served are more likely to know what really goes on in the armed services.

    Jeff S,

    Delighted that you see fit to share your finding, citing the trio of experts. And what makes you suspect I didn’t serve?

    Cordially…

  122. 122
    Rick says:

    People took pictures. Thats how this became public. Are you saying this would be happening, privates being convicted, if the pictures didn’t become public? Don’t kid yourself, the military would NEVER make this public if they weren’t forced to.

    jg,

    This issue wasn’t “making it public.” The issue was prosecuting crimes and misconduct.

    The military has an entire justice system (military justice is to justice what military music is to music. Or is it the other way around?) that exists to investigate, convict and punish this stuff.

    So yes, I’m saying that the punishment would have come down without any pictures getting into the media. The brigs and stockades of our armed services are full of convicts for whom no photos of their crimes exist.

    Wake up, already.

    Cordially…

  123. 123
    Darrell says:

    You’re right. I have the date wrong. Rumsfeld went there in December 1983. And that was AFTER there were already complaints in the U.N. that Iraq was using chemical weapons

    Again you are wrong. It wasn’t until 1986 that charges of CW usage was brought against Iraq at the UN

    Why didn’t Ronald Reagan do anything about it?

    Honestly I don’t know. For one thing, in 1988 Reagan was a lame duck on the way out… the last full year of his Presidency. Also, in the latter stages of the war, Iran had also been guilty of using CW’s, so perhaps they perceived both sides were dirty.

    Why didn’t the right protest the chemical massacre that Saddam ordered against the Kurds in March of 1988?

    I know secretary of state Schultz made public condemnations of Saddam gassing the Kurds. The right should have protested more. But what of the left? You know, the ones who claim to be carrying the mantle of human rights ‘concern’. Where were they then? And why do they oppose the toppling of Saddam now?

    Why did the U.S. not take any action against Saddam until he invaded another oil rich country?

    Well, Saddam tried to invade oil-rich Iran and we took no action. How about that one? But never mind those details.. because according to you leftist kooks, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE OOIILLL!

  124. 124
    Darrell says:

    He wasn’t contained? Then why was he trying so hard to get from under the sanctions? He was completely marginalized. he didn’t have the capacity to hurt anyone but his own people

    No he wasn’t, and the UN was seriously talking about lifting sanctions. The French, Russians and Germans on the UNSC all had sweetheart cashola deals with Saddam and were pushing hard to have sanctions lifted. As demonstrated by his palaces filled with cash and lavish furnishings, sanctions weren’t working so well. I guess you hadn’t heard

    No one on the right gave a shit about the Iraqi people until Bush used it as an excuse for invading Iraq after the WMD shit blew up in his face

    I disagree, but for the sake of argument, let’s say you’re correct – no one on the right gave a shit about the Iraqi people.

    Even if that was the case, the left, who claims to care sooo much about human rights and the downtrodden, if they really gave a sh*t about human rights, would have supported the toppling of Saddam on the human rights basis alone.. Because they’ve told us so often how much they “care”. But they didn’t, because, by and large, the left couldn’t care less about human rights if it means George Bush might succeed. The left hates Bush more than they support human rights. Clear enough for you now?

  125. 125
    gratefulcub says:

    Darrell,
    You keep saying that the left doesn’t give a sh*t about human rights or they would have supported the invasion.

    But, is there a scenario in which leaving him in power would have been better for Iraqis than what has happened, and what may happen in the near future?

    I have already told you that I didn’t support the war partly because I thought that it would be a net negative for the Iraqi people and possibly the region. That isn’t not caring, that is just my conclusion after comparing the pros and cons.

  126. 126
    Darrell says:

    gratefulcub wrote:

    Is there an outcome that you can even create that would be worse for the Iraqis than leaving him in power? To me, this is a very important question.

    Every time action is taken against tyranny there is a possibility things might get worse. Same in WWII, Balkans, virtualy every conflict in history. Even in Rwanda, where you scream we should have acted (I agree), there would have been a real risk that things could have ended up even worse than had we done nothing.

    But in the case of such a blood soaked ruthless dictator as Saddam who would be followed by his sons who seemed even worse, the odds of the Iraqi people ending up worse off without Saddam were pretty slim. Sounds like that’s what you’re hanging your hat on though. whatever

  127. 127
    Darrell says:

    I have already told you that I didn’t support the war partly because I thought that it would be a net negative for the Iraqi people and possibly the region.

    yes of course, because there was such a real possibility that the Iraqi people would be worse off with the removal of such a brutal mass murderer. Following that ‘logic’, the removal of Kim Jong-il might be worse for the N. Korean people.

    Reality based community?? Puhleeze

  128. 128
    gratefulcub says:

    I just wanted you to see where I am coming from. I don’t think we can achieve the goals that we set. I think we created one of the world’s most volatile situations. I think that things could go very badly, for Iraqis as well as the region, and for us.

    This can end in many different ways. Some would leave the region, and especially Iraq in much worse shape than before the war. Others would leave it in better shape, with flowering democracy throughout the region.

    All that I asked for was real discussion, and an honest debate. All we got was a rush to get into iraq, sold to us through fear. I know Bush mentioned human rights, but that wasn’t the selling point. It was sold through fear of mushroom clouds.

    SH may or may not have been a threat to his neighbors. He was a threat to his own people. But, for the short term, we could have contained him in all of those areas (“9/11 changed everything”, as we heard over and over. The rest of the world understood that as well. So, some of the same tactics and ultimatums that didn’t work in the past, may have worked this time because he knew he was messing with a ‘wounded animal’ mentality. We had been attacked.) and slowed down to have a more rational debate about the aftermath of an invasion. Instead we got the ‘happy iraqi’ scenario shoved down our throat and anyone that disagreed with that, anyone that predicted a protracted insurgency was ridiculed. But, they were right. That point of view should have been considered.

    And, just to be honest and straight, I will answer your original question.

    Yes, I do see a scenario in which leaving the baby killer in power would have been better for the iraqis than us invading. That scenario includes civil war and an Iranian led theocracy that oppresses women. The new dictator may be just as bad as sh. So, if we couldn’t improve the lives of iraqis, human rights was not a legitimate reason to invade.

  129. 129
    gratefulcub says:

    yes of course, because there was such a real possibility that the Iraqi people would be worse off with the removal of such a brutal mass murderer. Following that ‘logic’, the removal of Kim Jong-il might be worse for the N. Korean people.

    Again, in a vacuum, you are 100% correct. With saddam or without, who wouldn’t take without.

    But, if his removal ends in civil war that draws the entire region into the fight, shuts down oil production of the region due to sabatoge (sp?, it doesn’t look right), and the region is a war zone for a generation……..that is a net negative for the iraqis, and the entire region, and the world.

    Not saying that is what is going to happen, but it is intellectually dishonest not to accept that there are worse possible outcomes than life under saddam.

  130. 130
    Darrell says:

    All that I asked for was real discussion, and an honest debate. All we got was a rush to get into iraq

    Wrong, there was a loud year long debate before the war. Bush went to congress for authorization and received it (overwhelmingly btw). You lefties dishonestly repeat the lie that this was a “rush” to war. Hell, Iraqi regime change became official US policy back in 1988.. Some ‘rush’, huh?

    But, for the short term, we could have contained him in all of those areas

    It is a bald faced lie on your part to say we could have contained his human rights abuses without invading the country. And given his history, Saddam could be trusted, right?

    Yes, I do see a scenario in which leaving the baby killer in power would have been better for the iraqis than us invading. That scenario includes civil war and an Iranian led theocracy that oppresses women. The new dictator may be just as bad as sh. So, if we couldn’t improve the lives of iraqis, human rights was not a legitimate reason to invade.

    Following that bit of brilliant ‘logic’, by removing Kim Jong-il, we run the possibility of a Korean civil war and worse military dictatorship, blah. You really don’t see how ridiculous your position is?

  131. 131
    gratefulcub says:

    Reality based community?? Puhleeze

    I wasn’t a national leader claiming that we would be greeted with flowers and candy; Iraq reconstruction will pay for itself; we will have most of the troops home within a year.
    I wasn’t the new UN diplomat ready to move on to Syria as soon as we got to baghdad.
    I am not the president rattling my saber at Iran.

    I’m the one saying that i don’t know what the outcome will be. I am just the one that thought that the mentioned national leaders weren’t near as smart as they thought they were with their bold absolute predictions about how easy this was going to be and how great it was going to be for the average iraqi.

    What’s more reality based: I can’t predict the future and i don’t understand the minds of millions of people from a culture that i only know as much about as i can read in a book. Or, I know what will happen, they will love us.

  132. 132
    gratefulcub says:

    Following that bit of brilliant ‘logic’, by removing Kim Jong-il, we run the possibility of a Korean civil war and worse military dictatorship, blah. You really don’t see how ridiculous your position is?

    Different situation entirely. If we deposed KJI, the life of Koreans would improve, it may take time, but in the long run there is little doubt. Civil war is not a possibility there, regionally instability is also not a primary concern.

    The problem with invading NK is the fact that they have a decent military, and they would be fighting at home. The military is loyal, since their standard of living isn’t so bad. There would be massive loss of life on both sides. and, NK may have nuclear weapons that they would hit Japan, or maybe even us with when they felt they were losing. Those are the reasons we haven’t liberated NK.

    NK is a serious threat to our national security. they have a military, they have nuclear weapons, and most importantly they have an irrational leader. He is drunk and crazy. you can’t predict what he will do. We all know that it would be a bad strategic mistake to bomb Japan, but that doesn’t mean the crazy little shithead won’t do it.

  133. 133
    gratefulcub says:

    And again, I am talking about an array of outcomes. Some being worse than leaving sh. Others being better. I think we had an optimistic view going in about what that array of outcomes were, and about the probability of each.

  134. 134
    Brian says:

    John,

    You have spent officially too much on the internet. The answer in cases like this is always a lot more simple than people want to believe. You see senseless killings like this every day here in the United States. Why is it such a shock to you that a senseless killing might happen in a situation like this, especially when this guy probably thought he would get away with it.

    You sounded like Oliver Willis here.

  135. 135
    gratefulcub says:

    d, it’s just us. i don’t think this is the first time we have run everyone off.

  136. 136
    Brian says:

    Hey Jim Caputo:

    You said:

    [i]A federal judge recently ordered them to be released and the date came and went. The Bushies ignored the judge’s order.[/i]

    The NY Times retracted that bull story the next day. Of course you missed it.

  137. 137
    Darrell says:

    I wasn’t a national leader claiming that we would be greeted with flowers and candy; Iraq reconstruction will pay for itself; we will have most of the troops home within a year.

    1. Many Iraqis did welcome our troops with flowers
    2. With all the unknowns in war, who can accurately forecast the cost with any degree of certainty?
    3.we will have most of the troops home within a year. Now that’s the first time I’ve heard that one. Who said that going in? Bush said it was going to be a long hard fight

    I am just the one that thought that the mentioned national leaders weren’t near as smart as they thought they were with their bold absolute predictions about how easy this was going to be and how great it was going to be for the average iraqi.

    Unless you can substantiate those words, “bold predictions”, it sounds like you are not telling the truth. I never heard Bush say it would be fast or easy. I have heard him say the opposite several times. Substantiate that claim or be honest enough to take it back

    I am not the president rattling my saber at Iran.

    One of the things I loathe about the left is how they try to paralyze us from doing what it needed and how they minimize real threats. It’s a strong possibility that Iran may have nukes or is getting close, but how dare we “rattle sabers” at them? You, and most others on the left, cannot even comprehend that Iran is a dangerous threat, yet you want us to take your opinions seriously? Incredible how you people ‘think’.

  138. 138
    Darrell says:

    Different situation entirely. If we deposed KJI, the life of Koreans would improve, it may take time, but in the long run there is little doubt. Civil war is not a possibility there, regionally instability is also not a primary concern.

    Regional instability is very much a concern there as China might try to seize control.

  139. 139
    Jim Caputo says:

    Hey Jim Caputo:

    You said:

    [i]A federal judge recently ordered them to be released and the date came and went. The Bushies ignored the judge’s order.[/i]

    The NY Times retracted that bull story the next day. Of course you missed it

    The NYTimes correction had to do with the specific date that the government was to release the photographs. The judge gave the government additional time at the last minute to black out the faces of the detainees. To my knowledge, that date has passed as well and the photos have still not been released.

    You can read about the correction here.

    You can read the actual judge’s ruling here.

  140. 140
    jg says:

    So yes, I’m saying that the punishment would have come down without any pictures getting into the media. The brigs and stockades of our armed services are full of convicts for whom no photos of their crimes exist.

    You’re not suggesting that I didn’t know about the military policing itself? Did you think I wasn’t aware of MP’s,JAG and CID? Seriously?

    This isn’t just some soldiers stealing from the PX. The right controlled media is constantly saying this whole thing undermines our mission yet you suggest the military would have willingly made all this public on their own. No chance. Is it easier for you to just assume your conversing with an idiot? Thats the impression that you’re giving me. You’re not really trying to prove your point IMO. Its like you don’t feel you should have to answer to me. I really can’t believe you came back with ‘brigs and stockades’. As though that is proof that the military would have prosecuted these guys. You’re too smart to have given me such a weak resonse. This tells me you don’t feel the need to explain your opinions to me. Thats fine. Just say it and we’ll both move on. But don’t talk to me like I’m a 2 yr old if you do answer. I expect that crap from Darrel, that and made up BS.

  141. 141
    gratefulcub says:

    1. Many Iraqis did welcome our troops with flowers

    Yeah, but you know what I am saying, and you know what was meant by those statements when they were said.

    2. With all the unknowns in war, who can accurately forecast the cost with any degree of certainty?

    my point exactly, and we never discussed the negative outcomes as a possibility. Failure is always an option. We never discussed the current situation before the war.

    3.we will have most of the troops home within a year. Now that’s the first time I’ve heard that one. Who said that going in? Bush said it was going to be a long hard fight

    Wolfowitz. I don’t have time to find the quote, but he said it in front of the senate, the same day he said oil would pay for reconstruction. I way over para phrased, but the quote gave an actual number that would be home ‘by next summer.’

    As for Iran, I am not trying to paralyze us. I am just saying that we don’t have the ability to invade Iran right now. What army is going to fight the war. They have an acutal military. We could win, but not right now. So, threatening military intervention isn’t all that realistic. I truly should have left that out though, and it was probably over the line.

    NK, regional instability: Of course you are right about China. I am just going on the assumption that if we invade NK that China, Russia, and Japan are all on board in some way. Either as allies, or an agreement to support us by not being involved.
    The day that we invade NK while China is telling us not to, I hope that a democrat is in office so i can prove to you that I am a nonpartisan hater. That would be stupid.

    Bold predictions; Easy: i know bush said it would be hard work, yada yada yada. But, they made it sound pretty safe and easy. They only talked about the invasion. We all knew the invasion would be easy. (Correction, some on the left talked about body bags and a hard fight and yada yada. They are idiots.) The occupation, liberation, and nation building wasn’t sold to us as hard work. It wasn’t sold to us at all. The war was sold to us, and it was sold as a ‘cakewalk’. Wolfowitz made many bold predictions, I will admit that Bush toned down that rhetoric and gave a more somber assessment. But, his was still optimistic. He will tell you that he is optimistic. hell, the election was about who was the optimist and who was the pessimist. They tried to out optimistic each other. If anyone had shown up and said, “i’m a realist!” I would have definitely voted for that guy.

  142. 142
    Darrell says:

    I expect that crap from Darrel, that and made up BS.

    Uh jg, name one thing I have simply “made up” or STFU. Oh, and it was the military’s own investigation which broke the prisoner abuse scandal, not the media. just thought you might want to know

  143. 143
    Jim Caputo says:

    Again you are wrong. It wasn’t until 1986 that charges of CW usage was brought against Iraq at the UN

    No, it was in the summer of 1983 that Iran made a complaint to the U.N. about Iraq’s use of chemical weapons.

    Go look it up online. The information is available at many sites. Here’s a redacted CIA report that says it also.

    Honestly I don’t know. For one thing, in 1988 Reagan was a lame duck on the way out… the last full year of his Presidency. Also, in the latter stages of the war, Iran had also been guilty of using CW’s, so perhaps they perceived both sides were dirty.

    But Reagan knew about it in ’83, before he ran for his second term. But you didn’t know that so I’ll let you revise your theory on this after you look it up and confirm what I said.

    I know secretary of state Schultz made public condemnations of Saddam gassing the Kurds. The right should have protested more. But what of the left? You know, the ones who claim to be carrying the mantle of human rights ‘concern’. Where were they then? And why do they oppose the toppling of Saddam now?

    If Schultz was saying anything, I’ve never heard it. I’d like to read anything you can point me to bearing that out. As far as I know concerning Schultz, he was given a U.S. intelligence report in November of 1983 confirming what they’d known since the summer, that Iraq was using chemical weapons against Iran on pretty much a daily basis. Despite that knowledge, Reagan sent Rumsfeld to Iraq the following month to assure Saddam of the United State’s friendship and support.

    Well, Saddam tried to invade oil-rich Iran and we took no action. How about that one? But never mind those details.. because according to you leftist kooks, IT’S ALL ABOUT THE OOIILLL!

    But oil is exactly the point. At the time, we were hoping Iraq would win that war and take over the oil fields since Iraq was friendlier to the U.S. Plus, we were still pissed about the hostages that were taken years before.

    We were willing to be Saddam’s friend despite the abuses he was committing, and that’s under a socially conservative republican administration. So this contention of yours that social conservatives have a good civil rights record is just wrong. Social conservatives are always the opponents of that kind of progress.

  144. 144
    Rick says:

    …yet you suggest the military would have willingly made all this public on their own. No chance. Is it easier for you to just assume your conversing with an idiot? Thats the impression that you’re giving me. You’re not really trying to prove your point IMO. Its like you don’t feel you should have to answer to me.

    jg,

    Yes, I suggest the military would’ve “made all this public” to the same extent that it makes all punishment public. Like that Airborne Muslim that fragged some officers before the invasion. And other thieves and murders that get put away. What, you don’t know about them? Well, it’s more a case that such aren’t really news to the media, thence with the public, rather than the military hiding those instances. So the armed forces don’t take out ads in the NYT publicizing its criminals; go sue them.

    The fact is, I don’t have to answer to you. But I’ve responded to you in full, but my replies disappoint because they don’t buttress your suspicions of a “Few Good Men” military justice system, and, of course, the “right controlled” Mary Mapes/Dan Rather whack-jobs.

    If deadly force during interrogation was authorized or encouraged, it will out. But you need evidence, not suspicion. Every action by lower enlisted personnel is not directed and controlled by non-coms and officers.

    Cordially…

  145. 145
    Jim Caputo says:

    Uh Jim, I guess you haven’t heard that the Kurds are our biggest fans in Iraq. They are overwhelmingly Pro-American. Just thought you might want to know

    Oh Christ, Darrell, again…TWO DIFFERENT TIMES. In the 1980s we didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Kurds because saw them as not too different from the fundamentalists that took our people hostage in Iran.

    Today, the Kurds like us because we overthrew Saddam, but not because they support American values and democracy. They like us because of that wonderful staple of American foreign policy: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. That’s worked out so well for us over the years…cough…Osama…cough.

  146. 146
    StupidityRules says:

    Ok, today we got a republican president and both the House and the Senate is control by republicans. So I would guess that the republicans are calling the shoots today.

    There is at this moment only one islamic country with nukes, the country is run by a dictator. The “father” of their nuclear program has shared his work with other countries, still he’s not locked up. Its secret police has way too close ties with the Talibans and their religious schools taught some of the London terrorists. The country is Pakistan and despite all this they are an ally.

    There is another country where Osama Bin Laden was born and so where most of the 9/11 hijackers. A lot of the suicide bombers in Iraq were born there too. Lots of the money that’s funding Al Quada comes from here. This country is also not a democracy, they practice a strict form of sharia law where thiefs get their hands cut of and people are executed in public. Women are forced to wear burkas and people are in fear of the religious police that punishes those who break the laws. The country is Saudia Arabia and despite all this they are an ally.

    In the end helping Saddam Hussein was a mistake, but the important thing is not to make the same mistake again. The concequence of not dealing with these two problems will be more dangerous than the funding of Saddam Hussein and the freedom fighters in Afghanistan in the 80’s.

  147. 147
    Jim Caputo says:

    Unless you can substantiate those words, “bold predictions”, it sounds like you are not telling the truth. I never heard Bush say it would be fast or easy. I have heard him say the opposite several times. Substantiate that claim or be honest enough to take it back

    Here are some quotes to mull over…

    Feb. 7, 2003 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

    March 4, 2003 Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: “What you’d like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the ’90s,” when its forces were routed from Kuwait.

    March 16, 2003 Vice President Cheney, on NBC’s Meet the Press: “I think things have gotten so bad inside Iraq, from the standpoint of the Iraqi people, my belief is we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators. . . . I think it will go relatively quickly, . . . (in) weeks rather than months.” He predicted that regular Iraqi soldiers would not “put up such a struggle” and that even “significant elements of the Republican Guard . . . are likely to step aside.”

    Within weeks, when it becomes clear that they were all wrong and this would be a long, drawn out engagement, the administration changed its tune…

    March 30, 2003 Myers, on Meet the Press: “Nobody should have any illusions that this is going to be a quick and easy victory. This is going to be a tough war, a tough slog yet, and no responsible official I know has ever said anything different once this war has started.”

    I love the qualifier in this statement…”no responsible official I know has ever said anything different once this war has started.

    March 20, 2003 President Bush, in an Oval Office speech to the nation: “A campaign on the harsh terrain of a nation as large as California could be longer and more difficult than some predict.”

    Who specifically could Bush have been talking about when he said “more difficult than some predict.”? Answer: Rumsfeld, Cheney, Meyers…and there were more but I’m not going to look up all of them. I’m sure with a little digging, we’d find statements from Rice, Pearle, and Wolfowitz at a minimum.

  148. 148
    Darrell says:

    Caputo, the CIA report you link to is undated as far as I can see.

    No, it was in the summer of 1983 that Iran made a complaint to the U.N. about Iraq’s use of chemical weapons

    I looked it up. It was November of 1983 that Iran complained to the UN, not the summer. But it took the UN until 1986 to determine if Iran’s claims were true or not before issuing a condemnation.. talk about foot dragging. Do you blame Reagan for the UN’s foot-draggin?

    But Reagan knew about it in ‘83, before he ran for his second term. But you didn’t know that so I’ll let you revise your theory on this after you look it up and confirm what I said.

    Did he? Says who? Show me the substantiated reports in 1983 because the CIA report you link to is clearly labeled “Not Finally Evaluated Intelligence”. Reagan certainly had to have known by 1995 or so, but then again, Iran had already started using CW’s too by that time so both sides were dirty.. and besides, Reagan was more concerned about the Soviets use of chem and bio weapons in Afghanistan at that time.

    We were willing to be Saddam’s friend

    More unsubstantiated lies from the left. Note how dishonest lefties inflate an essentially neutral relationship between the US and Iraq at that time.. how they inflate it into the US was “Saddam’s friend” or sometimes “Saddam’s best friend” depending on the ignorance and dishonesty of the leftist making the claim

  149. 149
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    Oh Christ, Darrell, again…TWO DIFFERENT TIMES. In the 1980s we didn’t give a rat’s ass about the Kurds because saw them as not too different from the fundamentalists that took our people hostage in Iran.

    Nice try, but here’s what you actually wrote:

    We didn’t want Iraq to become dominated by religious zealots so we did jackshit about the gassing of the Kurds. And you wonder why they hate us.

    Why they “hate” us is what you wrote. Present tense. You did not write why they ‘hated’ us in the past tense. You’re both stupid and dishonest. typical leftist jackass

  150. 150
    Darrell says:

    The concequence of not dealing with these two problems will be more dangerous than the funding of Saddam Hussein and the freedom fighters in Afghanistan in the 80’s.

    A question to you ever so thoughtful lefties. Do you, in your whacked worldview, actually think it was wrong to aid those Afghan soldiers in the 1980’s who were fighting brutal Soviet invaders who did not hesitate to slaughter civilians and who were unleashing chem and bio weapons? Help us understand, insight into your warped thinking, how it was wrong to help the Afghans at that time.

  151. 151
    Darrell says:

    Jim Caputo wrote:

    Here are some quotes to mull over…

    Feb. 7, 2003 Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, to U.S. troops in Aviano, Italy: “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

    March 4, 2003 Air Force Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, at a breakfast with reporters: “What you’d like to do is have it be a short, short conflict. . . . Iraq is much weaker than they were back in the ‘90s,” when its forces were routed from Kuwait.

    Ooohhh Jimbo, you really got us there. Scoring such ‘solid’ points there. Rumsfeld, etc were talking about major combat operations then no?

  152. 152
    Rick says:

    Iraq was overrun by just three divisions (plus the Brits doing the mop-up in Basra) in three weeks. If Bush=Hitler, then Heinz Guderian is green with envy at that kind of walkover.

    Cordially…

  153. 153
    StupidityRules says:

    Darrell, actually I might have been wrong in calling them Freedom Fighters, I really should have said the Mujahideen in Afghanistan, since they wouldn’t actually have set up a democracy after Soviet troops left.

    Instead two groups were created: the Northern Alliance and the Taliban. The Taliban helped Al Quada (and I’m guessing you won’t debate wether that was good or bad for the US) and the Northern Alliance was fond of growing opium (which the Taliban wasn’t). So I’m guessing the outcome really wasn’t that good for the US. Also I’m guessing we did learn them stuff that came handy some 20 yeears later. (As a side note the Mujahideen was funded by both Carter and Reagan.)

  154. 154
    StupidityRules says:

    Darrell, I’m guessing that was the only thing you’re going to complain about? Or will you justify why an islamic dictatorship with nukes are an ally?

  155. 155
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules, using your ‘logic’ our alliance with Stalin during WWII to defeat Hitler was wrong, because Stalin turned out to be such a bad guy, and we taught the Soviets a number of tricks + supplied them too right? context of the time..The Soviets really were the bad guys when they invaded Afghanistan. Did you know that? You lefties are such intelligent deep thinkers, let me tell you

  156. 156
    PotVsKtl says:

    Rumsfeld, etc were talking about major combat operations then no?

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s some pretty major combat going on over there.

  157. 157
    Rick says:

    Scary smart, they are.

    Cordially…

  158. 158
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    Darrell, I’m guessing that was the only thing you’re going to complain about? Or will you justify why an islamic dictatorship with nukes are an ally?

    For now, the leadership of Pakistan is relatively secular. Why do we work with Pakistan? Because without them, we would not be getting cooperation like this and this. Seems like you leftist kooks are actually suggesting that we shouldn’t be working with Pakistan, despite Pakistan’s willingness to help us capture and kill terrorists. Is that what you’re suggesting Mr. Stupidity?

  159. 159
    PotVsKtl says:

    Darrell, have you noticed that you are the only one here calling people names in every single comment? It’s childish. Please attempt to restrain yourself.

  160. 160
    Rick says:

    In case you hadn’t noticed, there’s some pretty major combat going on over there.

    In case you hadn’t noticed, the military calls such brushes “low-intensity conflict/warfare.” Hurtgen Forest is isn’t.

    More admin lies, right?

    Cordially…

  161. 161
    Darrell says:

    PotVsKtl Says:

    Darrell, have you noticed that you are the only one here calling people names in every single comment? It’s childish. Please attempt to restrain yourself

    Pot, got anything to contribute to the discussion? No? then STFU

  162. 162
    PotVsKtl says:

    More admin lies, right?

    If you believe that a quote such as:

    It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.

    has the unspoken but understood caveat “however, 2 years later, more than 2 American soldiers will be dying every day” then I suppose you are right.

  163. 163
    StupidityRules says:

    Darell, never said that the Soviets weren’t the bad guys. But we didn’t fund every country being invaded by bad guys, did we?

    Hitler was a threat on bigger scale than the Soviets invading Afghanistan. Also we didn’t make Stalin an ally, Hitler did by invading them and breaking their pact. Even if they hadn’t been allianced with us they still would have fought Hitler.

  164. 164
    Darrell says:

    Hitler was a threat on bigger scale than the Soviets invading Afghanistan

    Thanks for that stellar observation. In case you didn’t notice, our support to the Afghans was a tad less then the support we gave the allies in WWII fighting Hitler. So your point is..??

    Bottom line, we were right to help the Afghan mujahadeen at that time who were fighting off brutal ruthless Soviet invaders. Your earlier post indicated it was a bad thing we helped them. It wasn’t. We did the right thing, no matter how much it pains the left to acknowledge it

  165. 165
    Jim Caputo says:

    Nice try, but here’s what you actually wrote:

    We didn’t want Iraq to become dominated by religious zealots so we did jackshit about the gassing of the Kurds. And you wonder why they hate us.

    Yes, and I stand by that exactly. “They” wasn’t a reference to Kurds. Although in retrospect I could have made it more clear. I meant it as a reference to the Muslims that are fighting against us, not just to the Kurds. What we allowed to happen to the Kurds is just part of our long history of disasterous foreign policy in the Middle East. Those people (the ones who are fighting us) have numerous reasons to hate us.

  166. 166
    StupidityRules says:

    Darrell, so a nonsecular Islamic country shouldn’t be allowed to have nukes, for instance Iran. But it’s ok for a secular dictator of an islamic country like Pakistan?

    Then why would it be wrong if Saddam Hussein, a secular dictator of an islamic country, got his hands on a pair of nukes?

    I’m not saying it should be ok in any of the cases, but you obviously think so.

    For now, the leadership of Pakistan is relatively secular.

    I like to be a lot safer when we’re dealing with nukes. The dictator might be overthrown tomorrow, if so who will control the nukes?

  167. 167
    StupidityRules says:

    Darrell, short question, in hindsight, was it still good that we helped the Mujahideen?

  168. 168
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    Darrell, so a nonsecular Islamic country shouldn’t be allowed to have nukes, for instance Iran. But it’s ok for a secular dictator of an islamic country like Pakistan?

    Pakistan already has nukes. Reality bites sometimes. Pakistan is helping us capture, infiltrate and kill terrorists, including a number of big-fish Al Queda. Iranian mullahs are probably the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the world. Do you see a distinction?

    Then why would it be wrong if Saddam Hussein, a secular dictator of an islamic country, got his hands on a pair of nukes?

    Wow, just wow. And the left wonders why they’re not taken seriously.

  169. 169
    Darrell says:

    StupidityRules Says:

    Darrell, short question, in hindsight, was it still good that we helped the Mujahideen?

    Absolutely it was the right thing to do.. at the time, and in hindsight

  170. 170
    SeesThroughIt says:

    Pot, got anything to contribute to the discussion? No? then STFU

    Well, you don’t appear to have anything of actual substance to contribute, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping you.

  171. 171
    ppGaz says:

    Well, you don’t appear to have anything of actual substance to contribute, but that doesn’t seem to be stopping you.

    Darrell is never deterred by having nothing to say. But he keeps his Ballbuster badge current by showing up.

    I tend to avoid Darrell threads now, it’s a little like watching Fred and Ethel Mertz argue over what’s for dinner. Or, if you prefer, The Costanzas.

  172. 172
    Darrell says:

    I tend to avoid Darrell threads now, it’s a little like watching Fred and Ethel Mertz argue over what’s for dinner. Or, if you prefer, The Costanzas.

    Ok, gotta admit that was funny. semi-kudos. Are you coming to Festivus this year ppgaz? You can participate in the traditional ‘airing of grievances’

  173. 173
    StupidityRules says:

    Darell said:

    Pakistan already has nukes. Reality bites sometimes. Pakistan is helping us capture, infiltrate and kill terrorists, including a number of big-fish Al Queda. Iranian mullahs are probably the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the world. Do you see a distinction?

    as I previously stated:

    I’m not saying it should be ok in any of the cases, but you obviously think so.

    So your point is that we should try to stop countries to get nukes, but if they still get them then “Reality bites” and we should move on? You’re not a bit worried about Pakistan not the worlds most stable country, ruled by a dictator and with a large part of the population being antiamerican having nukes?

    I’m guessing this is the foreign policy equivalence of Bush’s tax cuts – our kids will pay for it.

    You’re not worried about Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of the Pakistan nuclear program who has been helping Libya, Iran and North Korea with their nuclear programs? He’s obviously highly regarded in Pakistan and since they are our ally we’re not going to pressure them enough. Can’t wait to read your spin on this…

    And I got to agree with SeesThroughIt and PotVsKtl, it’s sad to see you making personal attacks.

  174. 174
    Steve says:

    I don’t understand what the disagreement is. We all agree the government of Pakistan is far from perfect; we all agree that it could be much, much worse; we all agree that it’s important to keep the people in the “much, much worse” category from getting their hands on nukes; so why wouldn’t we all agree that it’s smart to support the existing government of Pakistan? Do we really want to risk their downfall?

  175. 175
    tBone says:

    Ok, gotta admit that was funny. semi-kudos. Are you coming to Festivus this year ppgaz? You can participate in the traditional ‘airing of grievances’

    Man, Darrell and ppGaz attending Festivus together – I would pay money to see that. Preferably from a distance, so as to avoid the blood spraying from all of the popped forehead veins.

  176. 176
    ppGaz says:

    avoid the blood spraying from all of the popped forehead veins.

    107/55. My BP as measured today.

    But I would be glad to pop your forehead vein for you.

  177. 177
    DougJ says:

    We are fighting terrorists. Would you rather we had tea with them a la Joe Wilson? Would that help you sleep better at night?

    I’m sure there are some guards that went over the line, but these are TERRORISTS WE ARE DEALING WITH. Whatever the “culture” was, I am sure it was a culture that was appropriate for dealing with the kind of vermin that end up in detention centers. If someone broke the law, prosecute them, but don’t use it as part of the anti-Bush jihad of the left.

  178. 178
    John S. says:

    DougJ:

    As always, your warped views are amusing.

    Would you rather we had tea with them a la Joe Wilson?

    He had tea with the terrorists, eh?

    If someone broke the law, prosecute them, but don’t use it as part of the anti-Bush jihad of the left.

    Oh, so the left are the terrorists since they are waging a ‘holy war’ against Bush. So what you are really saying is that Joe Wilson had tea with people on the left.

    Oh the horror.

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