Sheehan To Address EU Parliament

As long as John is still feeling a bit under the weather I’ll do my best to carry on blogging for the both of us.

For John’s sake, it appears that grieving mother Cindy Sheehan has joined the lecture circuit:

I have been invited to speak to the European Union Parliament in March in Strasbourg, France. My message will be one of peace and non-violent unity against the out of control murderous and disastrous policies of the Bush Administration. I wrote extensively about meeting with other world leaders in my article, “Friends don’t let Friends Commit War Crimes.”

My message to the EU will focus on “we the people” forcing the leaders of all countries to work diplomatically and peacefully to solve problems. It is time we reach across artificial borders of lines drawn on a map to forge bonds of love and friendship with all members of humanity no matter what color, religion, language group or nationality that other person is. Killing other members of the human race is barbaric and abhorrent and should never be used to solve conflicts. This is so important with the current beating of the war drums against Iran, and we must not let off the President of Iran for his inflammatory and non-peaceful statements. The wonderful and innocent citizens of Iran don’t deserve the fate that the undeserving citizens of Iraq received and are receiving on a daily basis still.

I feel a punchline coming.

On a serious note, this shit pisses me off:

Let’s set up Camp Caseys in front of recruiter’s offices to stop our children from even enlisting to wear a uniform for the war profiteers.

No, let’s not. I have all kinds of problems with the government but the last thing that I want to do right now is starve the military for recruits. It’s like some denigrating leftie caricature. So we want out of Iraq, great. I’m on board. Now find some way to accomplish that which doesn’t leave the military even less equipped to handle real-deal threats and set up “the left” as some sort of enemy of national service. Seriously, this has to be the most counterproductive use of energy that I’ve ever seen. And yes, I understand how overzealous recruiters can sometimes make kids’ lives hell. Hassle your congressperson’s office (that works), don’t stand in front of a recruiter’s office making yourself look bad.

***Update***

The recruiter story is bogus. Insofar as it existed the general problem of overenthusiastic recruiters seems to have come and gone, most likely because people complained to their congressperson’s office. Score one for sensible forms of protest, as compared with Sheehan’s misguided crusade.






181 replies
  1. 1
    Davebo says:

    Sheehan has never served a day. What freakin right does she have to comment?

    chicken dove!

  2. 2
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Yes, whatever you do don’t stand in front of a military recruiters office handing out informational literature to those people who need it the most.

    It might make us look bad.

  3. 3
    Pb says:

    I agree that no one should actually stop (i.e., physically prevent, forbid, or whatever) someone from enlisting, that’s stupid. But I won’t stop anyone from just protesting outside of a recruitment office.

  4. 4

    Public protest used to be as American as apple pie.

  5. 5
    Pb says:

    Davebo,

    What seriously amuses me are the few, the proud, the wingnuts, who seriously use “chicken dove” as some sort of epithet, and think they’re making a real point. Yeah, that’s the ticket, we lost the war because those seditious pacifists are too cowardly to enlist in our armed services and start blowing up the foreigners! I guess some people are just born without a capacity for irony.

  6. 6
    neil says:

    Let’s set up Camp Caseys in front of recruiter’s offices to stop our children from even enlisting to wear a uniform for the war profiteers.

    No, let’s not. I have all kinds of problems with the government but the last thing that I want to do right now is starve the military for recruits.

    Sheesh, Tim, you think you’re going to get to be on _Meet the Press_ if you keep talking this way? It’s wrong for the liberals to speak irresponsibly! It’s wrong for them to say that you would be throwing your life away by joining the Army in 2006! Much better that they shut up, so that some kids can be fooled into throwing their lives away to maintain the illusion of an all-volunteer military.

    Let’s try this one on for size: “I have all kinds of problems with being on fire, but the last thing that I want to do right now is get wet.”

  7. 7
    Rick Taylor says:

    I’m pretty liberal, but I’d have to agree with you here. Coalition building would be better; you don’t have to be a pacifist or believe we don’t need an army to have opposed the Iraq war. This sort of thing marginalizes the movement.

    –Rick Taylor

  8. 8
    neil says:

    If the military experiences any shortage of recruits, Cindy Sheehan holds no responsibility for this, even if she _does_ choose to react to the idiotic policies that lead to shortages. This is just a slightly more reasonable-looking variation of the dumb-ass argument that liberals are to blame for the disaster in Iraq because they were too critical of it.

  9. 9

    Yes, she and anyone who acts on her suggestion has a right to peacefully protest outside a recruiting place. No, actually doing that is not a very good idea, practically or politically.

    As far as protests of that kind having much of an impact on actual recruiting numbers, I’m skeptical.

    I think everyone, whatever their position on the war is, should keep some perspective. We’ve got a land of 300 million or so people here. Most wars are polarizing to some extent. It’s to be expected that an elective war that turns out to have been started under false and misleading representations will trigger a sharp reaction from some people. So will a war and occupation that has been badly bungled.

    That the mother of a dead soldier is protesting our Iraq misadventure shouldn’t surprise or alarm anyone.

  10. 10

    I have to agree with Tim. I think this would be a horribly bad move.

    I’m not a peacenik, and I think that our military is incredibly important to our security. I have no interest in starving the beast, just to prove a point.

    I do have an interest in having an intelligent Command-in-Chief who doesn’t view our military as a toy to be used to score cheap political points. I also have an interest in having a rational discussion about expenditures, and not just tossing money away to friends of Republican congressmen who need a new boat.

    Honestly, I don’t care about Sheehan. What I do find annoying is how some people(left and right) can prop some idiot up on a pedestal. I guess it’s the fact that we lack true leadership in our politicians and people are craving it.

  11. 11
    OCSteve says:

    On a serious note, this shit pisses me off:

    They aren’t serious anyway – it’s just about getting attention and extending that 15 minutes. There are hundreds if not thousands of recruiting offices in the country so they could never effectively manage this. They’ll pick one or two with highest visibility then alert the media. Circus for a day or two then fade to black until she dreams up the next stunt.

  12. 12
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    When the idiots in the White House finally do lose this war (which in my opinion they already have), who do you think they’ll blame? The party most responsible, that being themselves?

    Not a chance.

    This is a group of people who only really care about power and politics. And if they’re talking exit strategy, they’re talking about who to blame.

    “Who Lost Iraq?”

    You did.

    I’m sure the script is already written.

  13. 13
    Brian says:

    I hope she does set up little Camp Caseys outside recruitment offices to perform her political theater, and that recruits prioudly walk past them and spit on the Camp’s actors.

  14. 14
    Pb says:

    OCSteve,

    They aren’t serious anyway

    Why don’t you try saying that to Cindy’s face, maybe you’d find out how serious she is.

  15. 15
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Brian: That is assuming any recruits walk by at all.

    Maybe you should be one of those proud recruits, Brian. And if I was in that camp and you spit on me, one of the first things you could do once you are inducted into the military is get them to fit you out with a nice set of false teeth.

  16. 16
    neil says:

    Most of the arguments I’ve seen against protests outside military recruiters would fit the ending of mandatory military service as well.

    How about it, you libs? Is the military so unquestionably important that you’d support making it mandatory for all able-bodied youths?

  17. 17
    OCSteve says:

    Why don’t you try saying that to Cindy’s face, maybe you’d find out how serious she is.

    I believe she is serious about getting publicity for herself and her cause. As we have seen she will go to just about any length to achieve that.

    As several posters to the left of me have pointed out – it won’t help your cause. She is in fact a “denigrating leftie caricature”. I think most people just sadly shake their head at this point.

  18. 18
    Jim Allen says:

    Let’s set aside the fact that it’s “Cindy Sheehan”. What should be kept in mind here is that the EU Parliament has invited a highly visible anti-war/anti-Bush symbol to speak, thereby keeping the anti-war/anti-Bush meme front and center. The fact that they invited her at all says more than anything she’ll say in her speech.

    Yeah, she can be an embarassment to the left, but the right can’t/won’t answer her concerns, and can/will only attack her personally (“Cindy Sheehan’s a wacko!” “Cindy Sheehan is a publicity whore!”)

    The fact remains that Sheehan is one voice in a growing list of voices — take a look at the recent polling numbers. And go back to the Vietnam era — Abbie Hoffman, the Yippies, Jane Fonda, et al were all derided as “wackos”, “clowns” and “traitors”, but their actions kept the anti-war movement visible. Eventually, the protesting went “mainstream”.

    Marginalize Sheehan all you want, but unless someone can start countering what she has to say, and not just attack her personally, she’ll continue to keep the anti-war feelings out in the open. And she won’t be alone.

  19. 19
    neil says:

    How about this argument against joining the military? “Don’t join it now, they’ll just throw your life away in Iraq. If you want to defend your country, join up after we’ve pulled out, that way you might have a chance to do it.” This is the message I’d like to see Cindy deliver outside recruitment centers.

    There’s no point in having a volunteer military if you’re opposed to informing prospective volunteers. On the other hand, if you think that the military is so important that people should join it regardless of the circumstances, then you support mandatory military service. Write your congressman!

  20. 20
    Andrew says:

    Ever since Sheehan took over formal control of the entire Democrat party, it has been quite clear that the objectively pro-Cindy left wants America to lose the war in Iraq and let the French take control of our ports.

  21. 21
    Pb says:

    OCSteve,

    As several posters to the left of me have pointed out – it won’t help your cause. She is in fact a “denigrating leftie caricature”. I think most people just sadly shake their head at this point.

    And I think they’re probably right about that, at least in a vacuum–some of her personal political views are in fact far to the left of most Americans. However, I support her right to speak out, to protest, to do whatever she wants to do to raise awareness about anything within the law. And those who would seek to deny her that, even those who question her sincerity, do much more to further her cause than she might otherwise do by herself. Bill O’Reilly personally proved that on Letterman.

  22. 22
    Linda says:

    “Let’s set up Camp Caseys in front of recruiter’s offices to stop our children from even enlisting to wear a uniform for the war profiteers”

    Who is she to determine my child’s future? If my son wants to join the military, that is his choice to make, and I will stand behind him 1000%, not some left wing nut. She has no right to stop any future enlistees to join.

  23. 23
    Jim Allen says:

    And those who would seek to deny her that, even those who question her sincerity, do much more to further her cause than she might otherwise do by herself.

    That’s also part of what I was trying to say above. It doesn’t matter if the left takes her seriously. The right seems to take her very seriously, and I think the Great Middle is going to see the sheer desparation of those who are attacking her so vociferously. If the right had just ignored her, she probably would have gone away by now, but because she’s such a poke in the eye with a sharp stick to the right, those opposed to the right are going to keep using her, if only to piss them off.

  24. 24
    zzyzx says:

    She has no right to stop any future enlistees to join.

    Yes, but she does have a right to point out things that people who aren’t following these issues closely might have missed, like stop loss rules extending terms.

  25. 25
    Sstarr says:

    In Nebraska there’s been quite a bit of news on protesters who have been showing up at the funerals of soldiers killed in Iraq. They stand outside of churches or community centers, where they jeer the parents and relatives of the deceased while holding up offensive signs. The signs generally say something like:

    “GOD HATES FAGS.”

    The proestors are from the extremely conservative and anti-gay Reverend Fred Phelps’ Westboro, Kansas Church. They believe that soldiers are being killed in Iraq as devine retrabution for the United States “pro-gay” policies. Veterans groups have had to organize counter protests to protect and screen the families from these nuts.

    Why do the major national media outlets cover Cindy Sheehan’s actions, but fail to cover the much more offensive actions of this group? Why is it that somehow all people to the left of center in American politics get tarred with the “crazy” brush because of Cindy’s protests, while those on the right never get associated with the offensive actions of people to the far right? Objectivly, how is anything that Cindy Sheehan or Michael Moore has ever done more oiffensive than what Fred Phelps does?

  26. 26
    Lines says:

    Hey Linda, I think you’re just pissed because Cindy Sheehan is doing the job you should have already done.

    And she’s not stopping anyone, you whacknut, she’s protesting and handing out informational leaflets.

    Are you intentionally stupid or do you have Cindy Sheehan Derangment Disorder?

  27. 27
    GOP4Me says:

    Cindy Sheehan is the premier reason why America needs a new anti-sedition law. Traitors like her want- literally- to destroy America. If she hates it so much here, let her go to Cuba and experience what it’s like to live amongst our enemies. If she won’t go willingly, we should send her to Guantanamo.

    Failing that, maybe we should all stand outside of her house, protesting until she moves to Iran or France or some other similar country, where she’d obviously be much happier and her America-hating treasonous patriot-taunting would be better-received.

    As for Fred Phelps, I agree. He’s crazy and offensive. If you dislike Fred Phelps, talk to the Democrats about him. He is one, you know.

  28. 28
    Pb says:

    Woo. GOP4Me, still a bad parody.

  29. 29
    ppGaz says:

    Two things:

    1) When the thing you want to get rid of is falling apart at the seams, the smartest thing to do is get out of the way. The war is its own anti-war movement, there is no need to try to create another one.

    2) I agree about the recruiting offices. Leave them alone, let them do their work. They are not responsible for the war. Interfering with the nation’s defense is not exactly congruent with a quest for peace.

  30. 30
    jaime says:

    All this gung ho talk, Gop4Me, and no action. Why not? Call the police or write a letter to congress. Better yet…citizen’s arrest. Be a fucking man and physically act out what your cheeto stained fingers hunt and peck.

    You’re too much of a coward to enlist and prove your Moscow marching, France invading, traitor arresting, Civ III playing patriotism.

  31. 31
    ppGaz says:

    I believe she is serious about getting publicity for herself and her cause

    Yes, everybody knows that when you are out to mount a protest, the smart thing to do is to keep it a big secret.

  32. 32
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    Interfering with the nation’s defense is not exactly congruent with a quest for peace.

    That’s true, as far as it goes, but I think ‘defense’ is probably the wrong word to use here. At least as far as Iraq is concerned, we aren’t ‘defending’ the United States from anything. Not that our borders are secure, mind you, but there’s no Iraqi threat here. And as Bill Hicks said, “A war is when *two* armies are fighting”.

  33. 33
    ppGaz says:

    But the recruiting office is not the Iraq War Recruiting Office. It’s the general recruiting office for the armed forces of the United States.

    Wrong place to mount a protest at this time.

  34. 34
    MAX HATS says:

    The only people who seriously think setting up TEH PEOPLE versus TEH ARMY (alt: TEH MAN) are pot bellied midlife crisisers longing for the bygone scent of weed and teargas.

    So, you know, pretty much most of the liberals online.

    It’s a terrible idea, and a destructive one. The vocation of national service is one of the most honorable paths available to youth. The nation is just now recovering from the false dichotomy between service and liberalism – which in truth was just narrowly masked class warfare against the poor ironically couched in leftist rhetoric. Only a fool would want to tear those wounds open again.

    I say this as a social libertarian beaten by police at the WTO: Sheehan supporters are a bunch of fruits. The 60’s sucked, the people sucked, hippies sucked, the music kind of sucked, and a bunch of rich kids pretending they’re heroes because some black kid from the ghetto or white dropout born under a tin roof in Alabama had to go in their place? That sucked too.

    Blame the surgeon, not the tools. You have a problem with how the military is used, that’s between you and your elected representatives.

  35. 35
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    But the recruiting office is not the Iraq War Recruiting Office. It’s the general recruiting office for the armed forces of the United States.

    At the moment, the two are not that different. Of course, there is no “Iraq War Recruiting Office”, per se, but on the other hand, recruits don’t really have a say in where they end up, and guess where the majority of them are ending up, or have ended up. It might be worth at least having someone there telling the soldiers what their odds are.

    Wrong place to mount a protest at this time.

    Now that’s probably true, but as I said before, I still wouldn’t stop anyone from doing it.

  36. 36
    Joey says:

    Leave the recruiting offices alone. I know the Iraq war sucks, but what if something comes up and we need all the men/women we can get, and in a hurry, before a draft can be implemented? And as ppgaz, its not the Iraq recruitment office. The military is needed in lots of other places, here included, besides Iraq, and if people are willing to volunteer and serve, let them. I’m sure most of them are already informed of the risks.
    And yes GOP, you’re absolutely right. Sheehan wants to literally destroy America. You’re a fucking tool.

  37. 37
    Pb says:

    Ahem. telling the soldiersrecruits… potential soldiers, that is.

  38. 38
    Joey says:

    Blame the surgeon, not the tools. You have a problem with how the military is used, that’s between you and your elected representatives.

    Very well put.

  39. 39
    Pb says:

    Joey,

    The military is needed in lots of other places, here included, besides Iraq

    But unfortunately, that’s not how it’s being used–Iraq has put a huge strain not only on active duty military forces, but also on our national guard, as we’ve already found out.

    if people are willing to volunteer and serve, let them. I’m sure most of them are already informed of the risks

    Far too many of them actually believed the recruiters when they were told that they’ll only be in the army for the alleged length of their contract–go figure.

  40. 40
    srv says:

    OS and Joey see a world of threats, alot of which I think are artificial, and alot of which we are probably creating now with our own stupidity.

    Re Sheehan’s camps. I can’t argue with her – the primary reason so many people are actually pondering why we got into this war in the first place now is because of her antics. It’s sad that the media and public take 2 years to get around to those questions, but it’s the best she can do.

    But consider this. We have a DoD that is already accepting smaller force levels. This means more technologies like drones dropping bombs. It is completely within the realm of possibility that in 5 or 10 years a sustained Kosovo-like (or Iran) air war could be done without exposing a SINGLE service member to combat risk.

    Now, will the People or their representatives in Congress end up with more influence over the tools of war or less?

  41. 41
    Bruce in Alta California says:

    I tend to agree that protesting at a recruitment center is not the same as protesting against the war in Iraq. I also believe that Sheehan has as much right to grab media attention as a lot of other folks on all sides of the issue.

    But allow me to digress. After having given considerable thought to recruitment problems and thinking back 30 years and how many judges dropped charges against minor offenders if the offender joined the military, and further how the military did instill a sense of accomplishment and can-do into lots of draftees who were otherwise footloose and directionless, here is my suggestion:

    Those charged with minor criminal offenses should have the option of serving jail time or military time. After all, the Anglo tradition of shipping minor criminals off to penal colonies managed to build some great nations and those minor criminals were given a fresh start, even if they didn’t want one.

  42. 42
    SeesThroughIt says:

    I’m not a peacenik, and I think that our military is incredibly important to our security. I have no interest in starving the beast, just to prove a point.

    I do have an interest in having an intelligent Command-in-Chief who doesn’t view our military as a toy to be used to score cheap political points. I also have an interest in having a rational discussion about expenditures, and not just tossing money away to friends of Republican congressmen who need a new boat.

    I agree with this, and I agree with Tim F. It looks like Sheehan is on her way to setting up a left-wing version of douchebag asshole abortion clinic protesters. And the last thing this country needs is more people like that.

    That said, I do support letting potential recruits know exactly what’s in for them (you know, extended tours of duty, the slashed benefits, that sort of thing). A little knowledge is a good thing, but like the commentor said above, I have no interest in starving the military just to prove a point.

  43. 43
    Joey says:

    It’s not so much that I see the world as full of threats as I would just rather be safe than sorry. Better to have an army that is too big than too small. Really, the only threat I see in the world to us militarily is N. Korea, and I won’t put money on a war with them too soon.

    PB, I see your points, and I’m with you, but that’s not an issue with people volunteering. That’s an issue we have to take up with the DoD. It’s not that I disagree with you guys. I see your points, and I agree with most of them. BUT, as long as the enlistees are aware of the situation, and I think most of them who are enlisting now most certainly are, I don’t see the point in protesting outside of recruitment offices. Protest outside more important places, where the decisions that put our guys and gals in harm’s way are made.

  44. 44
    Joey says:

    I agree with this, and I agree with Tim F. It looks like Sheehan is on her way to setting up a left-wing version of douchebag asshole abortion clinic protesters. And the last thing this country needs is more people like that.

    That said, I do support letting potential recruits know exactly what’s in for them (you know, extended tours of duty, the slashed benefits, that sort of thing). A little knowledge is a good thing, but like the commentor said above, I have no interest in starving the military just to prove a point.

    I agree 100% with that.

  45. 45
    Pb says:

    Bruce,

    Those charged with minor criminal offenses should have the option of serving jail time or military time. After all, the Anglo tradition of shipping minor criminals off to penal colonies managed to build some great nations and those minor criminals were given a fresh start, even if they didn’t want one.

    I guess that might ok if they’re actually given a clear option. Otherwise, I’d imagine that you’d see the government stepping up enforcement of drug laws, immigration laws, etc., and we’d essentially end up with a draft of potheads and illegal aliens and whatnot.

  46. 46
    Pb says:

    Joey,

    I’m not advocating protesting outside of recruitment offices–and I think that politically, it’s probably a bad idea. But as I said, I wouldn’t stop anyone from doing so, either. However, I certainly see the rationale for it (as well as the one against it :)).

  47. 47
    Joey says:

    I’m not advocating protesting outside of recruitment offices—and I think that politically, it’s probably a bad idea. But as I said, I wouldn’t stop anyone from doing so, either. However, I certainly see the rationale for it (as well as the one against it :) ).

    Yeah, it’s one of those issues where I can see both sides’ points, and agree at least partially with both sides as well.

  48. 48
    Sock Puppet says:

    Sshhh! Don’t move! Karl Rove will see you!

  49. 49
    Sock Puppet says:

    Is GOP4Me REALLY Fred Phelps?

    I think you people should look into these sorts of things a little more thoroughly before making wild accusations like that.

  50. 50
    srv says:

    It’s not so much that I see the world as full of threats as I would just rather be safe than sorry. Better to have an army that is too big than too small. Really, the only threat I see in the world to us militarily is N. Korea, and I won’t put money on a war with them too soon.

    We have bases in almost half the countries of the world now. For all the trillions invested in the 90’s in being “safe”, how did that work out on 9/11? Were those 15,000 troops in Saudi keeping you safe or making you sorry?

  51. 51
    Bruce in Alta California says:

    To borrow a stanza from the poem, “The New Colossus,” by the nineteenth-century American poet Emma Lazarus, which appears on a plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

    The Army should modifiy some language and use as a recruitment tool:

    Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your jailed masses yearning to be free,
    The wretched refuse that the rich deplore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the Army’s door.

  52. 52
    Davebo says:

    If you advocate judges assigning military service instead of prison for offenses minor or otherwise, you can’t really believe in the all volunteer military.

    Because that’s hardly voluntary. And I can assure you that though the recruiter may be thrilled, most in the military don’t want them.

  53. 53
    Joey says:

    We have bases in almost half the countries of the world now. For all the trillions invested in the 90’s in being “safe”, how did that work out on 9/11? Were those 15,000 troops in Saudi keeping you safe or making you sorry?

    I never said that it was making me feel safe, and I never mentioned anything about how those troops were deployed. All I said is that I would rather have an army that is too large than one that is too small.

  54. 54
    Davebo says:

    Were those 15,000 troops in Saudi keeping you safe or making you sorry?

    They weren’t there to keep us safe. They were there to keep Saudi Arabia safe.

    And had they been in Afghanistan at the time instead, they still wouldn’t have been able to keep us safe. Just as those in Afghanistan now aren’t really keeping us safe.

    Now tell Musharref to go screw himself and send them over the border to Pakistan and they have a chance to improve our safety against terrorists.

    But in one of the great conundrums, that would hurt the fight on terrorism.

  55. 55
    srv says:

    All I said is that I would rather have an army that is too large than one that is too small

    Well, it would be great if we had something like the Swiss, where 90% of the military was a reserve. Maybe that would work. But having a large standing force around is like having a large standing police force. If they don’t look busy, people are going to start wondering.

    It’s only a matter of time before someone finds a noun for them to pursue.

  56. 56
    Bruce in Alta California says:

    Davebo, I said give the individual the option of serving. I never implied it was mandatory.

    I was drafted and ended up in a straight-leg infantry outfit in the central highlands of Viet Nam with other inner-city kids and poor from all over the nation. We were good, we had each other’s back and the Army did instill a sense of pride for what each individual accomplished. I didn’t mean we liked the war or even the Army but it did have a profound affect on one. I, like many others, never realized my potential until I was “pushed” by the military to achieve what I never would have thought possible.

  57. 57
    Joey says:

    Well, it would be great if we had something like the Swiss, where 90% of the military was a reserve. Maybe that would work. But having a large standing force around is like having a large standing police force. If they don’t look busy, people are going to start wondering.

    It’s only a matter of time before someone finds a noun for them to pursue.

    There is always something for the military to be doing. There are always drills to be ran, peacekeeping duties, humanitarian efforts, etc. The military always stays plenty busy, with or without a war in which we are actively involved. And, once again, the military itself doesn’t decide who it attacks. It’s up to us to elect people who won’t just throw a noun out there for them to pursue, though I’m not sure that’s within the majority of our citizens’ capabilities. I really didn’t think my comment was that controversial.

  58. 58
    srv says:

    I, like many others, never realized my potential until I was “pushed” by the military to achieve what I never would have thought possible.

    I fully support allowing drug offenders to serve in the frontline of the War on Drugs. Ironically makes sense.

  59. 59
    Davebo says:

    “Davebo, I said give the individual the option of serving. I never implied it was mandatory”

    Well, I just don’t consider 3-5 years in state prison or enlist in the Marine Corps for 2 years to be much of a choice.

    Hey, I too was profoundly changed by my five years in the military. And I understand what you are saying. But we’ve already lowered standards and accepted so many exemptions in order to try to meet recruiting goals.

    I’m a firm believer that the military isn’t a social services project.

  60. 60

    Well, it would be great if we had something like the Swiss, where 90% of the military was a reserve. Maybe that would work.

    Switzerland is a very small country with an extremely long time between wars. Its defense posture fits the U.S. about as well as George W. Bush fits the presidency.

  61. 61

    Bruce in Alta California, I salute what you did then and what you said just now.

  62. 62
    srv says:

    Switzerland is a very small country with an extremely long time between wars. Its defense posture fits the U.S. about as well as George W. Bush fits the presidency.

    Yeah, they focus on Defense. We seem to conflate defense with offense (someone will no doubt have a football quote).

    Most other Euro nations have larger reserve contingents. I think even Israel has more reservists than active duty (I’m arguing that our defense posture has practically nothing to do with real existential threats to our freedom).

    Alas, I think George is the model for a modern president. It isn’t his fault he fits our cultural and societal desires for a central powerful authority. It took Europe a long time to find Fascism. Maybe we’ll catch up to them by the time the average Iraqi finds Jefferson.

    Yes, it’s our fault, which is why Cindy chiping away at the foundations really doesn’t bug me that much. At least she is doing something.

  63. 63
    kb says:

    “Marginalize Sheehan all you want, but unless someone can start countering what she has to say, and not just attack her personally, she’ll continue to keep the anti-war feelings out in the open. And she won’t be alone.”

    Well of course they cant.

    After all 3 years in , no wmds, no links to 9-11 and those like John cole who in early 2003 were spending their time posting hilarous articles about how the french were cowards or how the french were perhaps appeasers or on the other hand coddling dictators cant turn around now and acknowldege that well after all the french were right.

    All the time. Chirac was 100% correct and Bush & co were utterly wrong. No wmds, no links to 9/11. Still it’s not the french who’ve wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and more than 2000 lives working that out.

  64. 64
    scs says:

    We seem to conflate defense with offense (someone will no doubt have a football quote).

    Sometimes the best defense is a good offense. Had to do it.

  65. 65
    Pb says:

    kb,

    Don’t you know, by exercising your rights under the First Amendment to point out that Bush might have made a mistake (surely you jest!) or that the French could have been right about something (and also violating O’Reilly’s boycott, no doubt), you’re making America look weak, thereby providing aid and comfort to our enemies, which means that you’re a traitor and therefore should be executed for sedition, as soon as we bring back the good ol’ Alien and Sedition Act, but this time with some teeth… I heard it from GOP4Me and friends, so it must be the objective truth!

  66. 66
    Gray says:

    “I have all kinds of problems with the government but the last thing that I want to do right now is starve the military for recruits.”

    Uhuh. Sure you encourage your kids (if you have some) and those of relatives to join the military now so it doesn’t starve of cannon fodder? Yeah, keeping kids from receiving informations why they shouldn’t go to Iraq and kill or get killed is extremely important because else the Bush Administration would either have to stop that Iraq adventure or propose the draft and get the answer from the voters. And nobody wants that, right? At least you don’t seem to want that.

    For god’s sake Tim, you’re proposing here to violate against the right of free speech, you don’t want kids to make an informed decision about military service and you don’t care if more troops will be hurt or killed while you wait for a political solution. Sry, I can’t believe you wrote this c*** in a clear mind! Which Beer are you drinking and how many empty bottles are in front of you???

  67. 67
    Tim F. says:

    Christ people, I’m not arguing that Sheehan should be stopped from doing whatever it is that she’s up to these days. I’m arguing that if you want to achieve what she apparently want to achieve then you don’t want to do what she’s doing. I’ve attended my share of protest marches. I’ve organized my share of protests.

    People act like I have the power to pass laws and arrest people. I’m an op-ed page with a comments section. All I can do is suggest that if you want to protest, do it in a less stupid way. Or if you want to be stupid about it, switch to the Republicans and make them look bad.

  68. 68
    OCSteve says:

    But the recruiting office is not the Iraq War Recruiting Office. It’s the general recruiting office for the armed forces of the United States.
    Wrong place to mount a protest at this time

    Thank you ppGaz. Once again I find myself in agreement with you. (Sorry if that bums you out..)

  69. 69
    Gray says:

    “How about it, you libs? Is the military so unquestionably important that you’d support making it mandatory for all able-bodied youths?”

    Good point, Neil. As a lib, I’m against everybody who wants to prevent people from offering important informations to kids who are about to make a decision of really vital importance. Everybody who is concerned that the military might starve because of protest against recruitment should propose the draft. That would be honest. Clandestine satisfaction that your safety will be provided by US teens and twens that made a decision you wouldn’t seriously consider for yourself and your family is about the worst attitude I can imagine.

  70. 70
    OCSteve says:

    Yes, everybody knows that when you are out to mount a protest, the smart thing to do is to keep it a big secret.

    That was a response ppGaz, context, context…

  71. 71
    Gray says:

    “But the recruiting office is not the Iraq War Recruiting Office. It’s the general recruiting office for the armed forces of the United States.”

    This is hairsplitting. Right now, there is not much of a difference. Check the percentages of recruits that actually end up in Iraq.

  72. 72
    OCSteve says:

    Pb:

    However, I support her right to speak out, to protest, to do whatever she wants to do to raise awareness about anything within the law.

    Me too. I put on the uniform and defended it. Just sayin’ – she ain’t doing you any good. Not that I want you to win… but the more extreme folks seeking/getting the spotlight on your side – the less serious consideration folks give you.

  73. 73
    Gray says:

    “All I can do is suggest that if you want to protest, do it in a less stupid way.”

    OK. I guess I have interpreted too much into your words Tim. But I’m not really sure that protests are the wrong way. After all, all reports say, the US army is stretched dangerously thin. A serious drop in recruitment numbers now will have consequences in, say, 6 months, about right? Now compare this to the impact of political opposition against the war. It hasn’t been succesful in the last 3 years. On what arguments do you base your optimism that it will succeed in less than 6 months?

  74. 74
    ppGaz says:

    Thank you ppGaz. Once again I find myself in agreement with you. (Sorry if that bums you out..)

    I’m biting a cyanide pellet now, but before I go ….

    I can’t understand why my friends on the left have never figured out that being “for peace” does not mean being against the military. To me it’s a no-brainer. If anything, a strong military is pro-peace. Also, people in the service should be treated like royalty. We can never repay their service.

  75. 75
    MAX HATS says:

    OK. I guess I have interpreted too much into your words Tim. But I’m not really sure that protests are the wrong way. After all, all reports say, the US army is stretched dangerously thin. A serious drop in recruitment numbers now will have consequences in, say, 6 months, about right? Now compare this to the impact of political opposition against the war. It hasn’t been succesful in the last 3 years. On what arguments do you base your optimism that it will succeed in less than 6 months?

    So you actually want the U.S. to lose?

    I am not so sure you are a person so much as a phantasm lept from one of Bill O’Reilley’s less-wet dreams.

  76. 76
    Pb says:

    OCSteve,

    I can see that, more or less, but when the GOP4Me’s of the world come into the picture and try to take her down, Cindy Sheehan couldn’t look more patriotic. Here’s what I wrote about that, a while back:

    Recently, I have been awed by the courage, dedication and conviction of one strong, religious American: determined to stay the course and not back down in the face of adversity: foreign or domestic, political or personal.

    I am, of course, talking about Cindy Sheehan. She is a strong Catholic, a mother, an American patriot, and a proud parent–and she’s not afraid to speak her mind. No doubt you have all heard about her continued loss. From her son’s death in Iraq, to the recent divorce papers from her husband, her mother’s stroke, and even the constant personal attacks she has endured, just for speaking her mind.

    The strength of character it must take to keep on going and do what she thinks is right is unimaginable. Her struggle is entirely grounded in the First Amendment–all five parts of it. Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and of course the freedom to petition the government for a redress of grievances. And she will not be cowed.

    Now I don’t agree with everything she says, but I entirely support her Constitutional right to say it. Also, I hope that this is the start of an open and honest national dialogue that should rightly have happened several years ago. I honor and respect her stance in this matter, and I proudly stand behind her uniquely American courage of conviction.

    by pb on Fri Aug 19, 2005

  77. 77

    neil wrote:

    How about it, you libs? Is the military so unquestionably important that you’d support making it mandatory for all able-bodied youths?

    Actually, yes. On one condition. Authorization into a combat zone needs to have a higher bar. I think military service would be tremendously a good thing. I don’t think it would be a good thing for a loose screw like Bush to have 3 million young soldiers to play toy soldier with.

  78. 78

    You know, this has been raised before, but…

    given Republicans tendency to not take responsibility for their own foul-ups, we know that if Iraq goes bad they’re going to try to blame it on someone else.

    It seems to me then that it’s a good idea to not go running around with a target on your head saying “Blame me! Blame me!”

    We’re not going to be getting out of there any faster by having cindy Sheehan running around screaming her head off. Sorry to say, just not gonna happen. So why waste your time, cindy?

  79. 79

    I can’t understand why my friends on the left have never figured out that being “for peace” does not mean being against the military. To me it’s a no-brainer. If anything, a strong military is pro-peace. Also, people in the service should be treated like royalty. We can never repay their service.

    Agreed. Although let’s be honest here. There are very few people on the left who don’t believe in a strong military.

    There is, however, a difference between a strong military and spending $40 gazillion on some weapons system just some congressman wants some jobs back in his district. Just spending the money doesn’t make anything stronger, you have to spend it wisely.

  80. 80
    ppGaz says:

    Just spending the money doesn’t make anything stronger, you have to spend it wisely.

    Amen.

  81. 81
    Jack Davis says:

    Sheehan’s the best propaganda tool the Republicans have- or perhaps their only one. With the Iraq and Katrina debacle, the right needs a diversion. Unfortunately, Sheehan’s far-left views and semi-treasonous statements make the whole liberal-left movement look bad. It would be far better if she went away.

  82. 82
    GOP4Me says:

    Well, you people have certainly uttered a lot of words since I was last here. No one can ever denigrate the verbosity of the Left, that’s for sure.

    If we could just deport Sheehan, we wouldn’t have to argue about any of this mess. It sounds like in your heart of hearts, half of you know I’m right, but are too cowardly to come out and agree with me; the other half vehemently disagree, probably because you fear undergoing a similar fate. It’s okay, it’s not like the Secret Service would grab random people off the street and send them to Burkina Faso before they knew what had happened or something. We’d have hearings and court procedures and appeals processes, you know. It’s not like even traitors don’t get due process in this country.

  83. 83
    GOP4Me says:

    Look, if Sheehan thinks it’s her prerogative as an American citizen to go to a European city and call her fellow citizens war criminals, maybe she’d be happier living in that European city and not associating with war criminals like us. And maybe a majority of us would be happy to be rid of her. So, maybe under my proposal everyone would be happier. What’s so controversial about that?

  84. 84
    Jim Allen says:

    Sheehan’s the best propaganda tool the Republicans have- or perhaps their only one. With the Iraq and Katrina debacle, the right needs a diversion. Unfortunately, Sheehan’s far-left views and semi-treasonous statements make the whole liberal-left movement look bad. It would be far better if she went away.

    Their only propaganda tool? Yeah, unless you count Faux News, the Sunday morning talking heads, Chris Matthews, Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, Mann Coulter, the Washington Times, Falafel O’Reilly, LGF, Instapudding, and on and on. The Republicans don’t need Cindy Sheehan, she just comes in handy.

    Care to post something that Sheehan has said that would be considered “semi-treasonous”? And while you’re at it, how about defining “semi-treason” for us. Reminds me of being “a little pregnant”.

  85. 85
    Gray says:

    “I can’t understand why my friends on the left have never figured out that being “for peace” does not mean being against the military.”

    Imho, this is a gross exaggeration. Only very few are against the military. Personally, I did a voluntarily two years tour of duty once. Don’t ever accuse me of being against the military.

    “To me it’s a no-brainer. If anything, a strong military is pro-peace.”
    Sorry, NO. Not now. A strong military NOW will not lead to peace, but to a prolongation of the Iraq occupation. This just prevents the Bush administration from conceding that they have to start withdrawal from Iraq soon.

    “Also, people in the service should be treated like royalty. We can never repay their service.”
    Absolutely right! But even if the troops would get the attention that they deserve (what isn’t happening now), do you think this will compensate for sending them into a struggle that is already lost? No way!
    The main point here is that all you chickenhawks on the left and on the right WANT that OTHER people will join the forces and will be sent to Iraq, even though there is no progress there in any way and the sacifice of the troops will have NO purpose. And, sorry, this is just lousy ethics that can’t be justified!

    Encourage people to join the army after the withdrawal, but prevent them from giving their ideals, their health and potentially their life when it makes no sense. Or does anyone of you have a reasonable answer for the relatives of a fallen soldier what good purpose his/her ultimate sacifice in Iraq did serve?

  86. 86
    Gray says:

    “So you actually want the U.S. to lose?”
    Nonsense. I’m just saying that the presence of the US troops in Iraq makes no sense anymore because it only fuels the insurgency. After all, there is a slim chance that Iraqs new democracy would survive after a withdrawal, but there is no chance when the occupation by US troops divides the people. It would be great if a democratic Iraq would prevail and I would have no problems in applauding this.

    Instead of making ridiculous accusations you should better tell us why you think that the situation in Iraq is getting better, LacksHead…

  87. 87
    VidaLoca says:

    GOP, it sounds like you’re ready to give the government some pretty hefty powers to decide what is acceptable speech, and deal with speech that it doesn’t want to accept:

    Cindy Sheehan is the premier reason why America needs a new anti-sedition law. Traitors like her want- literally- to destroy America. If she hates it so much here, let her go to Cuba and experience what it’s like to live amongst our enemies. If she won’t go willingly, we should send her to Guantanamo.

    Failing that, maybe we should all stand outside of her house, protesting until she moves to Iran or France or some other similar country, where she’d obviously be much happier and her America-hating treasonous patriot-taunting would be better-received.

    If we could just deport Sheehan, we wouldn’t have to argue about I wouldn’t have to think about any of this mess.

    (there was a little typo in that last one but I fixed it up for you)

    The problem with giving the government a whole lot more power than it’s had up to now is not just that it’s a wholly novel position coming from the conservative movement. The problem is that you should take a look at the calendar: it’s April of 1945. Things are not looking so good for your 1000-year Reich. In fact you’re retreating from the suburbs of Berlin. It must be just hell to be living down in that damp moldy bunker wondering what fresh idiocy your leaders will dream up this week to amuse us: the ports fiasco? the new Katrina fiasco? Another drive-by hunting blunder?

    Now the Democrats aren’t Eisenhower. And they certainly aren’t the Red Army, they’re nowhere near that competent. But just in case things don’t go like you were thinking they would in the next couple of years, you might want to hang on to some of that “free speech” stuff, even for the likes of Ms. Sheehan, for the day when you might want your own protected.

    I won’t be happy on the day when President Hillary Clinton sends your sorry ass to Guantanamo. But I wouldn’t claim you didn’t deserve it for that comment about Sheehan.

  88. 88
    Gray says:

    VidaLoca, good post, though I guess the effort is totaslly wasted on that GOP troll whose only purpose it is to provocate. Never saw him engaging in a serious discussion.

    Your points on the third Reich remind me of something: My people had to learn the hard way that a stubborn refusal to withdraw doesn’t help war efforts but only condemns the troops to needless suffering. One of those lesson was called “Stalingrad”. Compare this pls to the reasonable stance of Churchill who didn’t hesitate to order withdrawal from Dunkerque. And he didn’t sacrifice his troops at exposed airfields during the Battle of Britain, but pulled them back. He gave us an insight into his reasoning: “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

    History proved him to be right. The Brits came back, with a lil help from their friends, and prevailed in the end. Their reasonable strategy was superior to the ideological stubborness of “Where the german soldier sets foot, there he remains”.

    So, what is more important, to win the battle of occupancy or to prevail in the War on Terror?

  89. 89
    Gray says:

    For those who believe that the forces can stay in Iraq much longer, check this story :Desperate???:

    Reminds me of Hitler’s decision to disband specialized units and send the troops into infantry formations. This must have been at the end of ’44…

  90. 90
    Pb says:

    The recruiter story is bogus. Insofar as it existed the general problem of overenthusiastic recruiters seems to have come and gone

    Would you care to substantiate either of those claims? And, no, the link doesn’t do it. And personally I think ‘overenthusiastic’ is being far too kind–how about fraudulent, or criminal?

  91. 91
    ppGaz says:

    Don’t ever accuse me of being against the military.

    I don’t know you, never heard of you, and didn’t accuse you of anything.

    Any idiot would understand that the reference was a generality aimed at the tin ear of many people on the left to charges of being anti-military and anti-defense.

    I’m the most liberal sumbitch here, and I am telling you, those charges are well founded and well deserved.

    If that doesn’t apply personally to you, fine. But it applies to the antics of many who call themselves “anti-war” activists. And that activist bloc is considered the friend of the left.

    That’s a real problem. It’s a perception problem, and it’s fixable. The crop of veterans running as Democrats this year will help.

    As for wanting other people to serve, damned right. I’m having a 60th birthday and I have a cardiologist that I see regularly. So you better hope that somebody other than me is serving, otherwise you are in deep shit.

  92. 92
    Gray says:

    “Any idiot would understand that the reference was a generality aimed at the tin ear of many people on the left to charges of being anti-military and anti-defense.”

    A generality, yes. And the way you phrased it “my friends on the left have never figured out that being “for peace” does not mean being against the military.” gives the impression that his covers all on the left, not “many”, as you say. I am on the left, I’m not “anti-military and anti-defense” and most of the leftwing readers don’t seem to be either, judging by their comments. I don’t think you’re doing them justice by posting prejudices like those above.

    Sure, there are some hardcore pacifists, but they are far from being the majority and they are very small numbers among the supporters of the Dem party. Painting liberals in general and Dems in particular as “being anti-military and anti-defense” is just a republican smear tactics that isn’t based on facts at all.

  93. 93
    VidaLoca says:

    One of those lesson was called “Stalingrad”.

    Heh. I never thought of that one. Adolf Hitler, one of the pre-eminent military failures of the 20th century, originating the concept of “fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them here.” It’s got the obsession with the battle of occupancy, it’s got the needless suffering of the troops. It’s got the empty blowhard vanity, the posturing, the egotism.

    Fricking depressing.

    At least Hitler wasn’t fighting a noun.

  94. 94
    Pb says:

    Heh. I’m pro-defense, which, incidentally, is just another reason to oppose expensive nation-building boondoggles that sap our military and economic resources, and both infuriate and destabilize important regions of the world.

    World peace: the ultimate defense strategy?

  95. 95
    ppGaz says:

    is just another reason to oppose expensive nation-building boondoggles that sap our military

    Yes, we are all preaching to the choir here. But mounting a protest at the recruiting office is not the right way to do that.

    We should be supporting recruitment, not blocking it. Recruitment woes only make life harder for those already serving. And it degrades readiness across the board. It’s a loser politically.

    It’s just bad mojo all the way around. A dumb idea, to be blunt.

  96. 96
    Gray says:

    “We should be supporting recruitment, not blocking it.”

    Now this is the umpteenth time this is stated here. And I thought I very clearly stated why there is a huge ethical problem with this.
    Would pls anyone of the “recruitment now!” folks here explain how he/she can reasonable account for recruiting soldiers now that will end up in Iraq and risk lossing their health and even their life for a battle that can’t be won?

    Recruitment yes! But not now! Don’t feed the beast!

  97. 97
    Mac Buckets says:

    So let’s summarize the brilliance on this page:

    1) Bush lost the Iraq War (someone tell Saddam he won, so he can get back to that spiderhole!)

    2) Telling soldiers that they are “throwing their lives away” in Iraq is just “informing” them. You know, because every recruit eventually dies in Iraq.

    3) The media should cover Fred Phelps’s wackos just like they cover Sheehan, because they’re the same…even though Sheehan begs for the media coverage and gets invited to State of the Unions addresses by Democratic congresspeople.

    4) Fred Phelps is a Republican now?

    5) No one can counter what Sheehan has to say, and if they do, Cindy will tell them to their faces that they are just tools of the Zionists who control America.

    6) People who volunteer for the armed services must not know what they’re doing, so they must need vocational guidance from … wait for it … Cindy Freakin’ Sheehan! No, seriously!

    7) Republicans are just like Nazis.

    To quote Bart Simpson, “Slow down, Frenchy! This stuff is gold!”

  98. 98
    ppGaz says:

    “We should be supporting recruitment, not blocking it.”

    Now this is the umpteenth time this is stated here. And I thought I very clearly stated why there is a huge ethical problem with this.

    Well, I am not agreeing with you. While there is an ethical issue as you describe, there are other issues as well.

    Is it ethical to degrade the nation’s defense because you oppose a war?

    To me, that’s what I would call the Jane Fonda approach. Damage the most irreplaceable and important asset you have, in order to make a point.

    That is called Cutting Off Nose to Spite Face.

    It’s why Fonda is hated, and couldn’t run for dogcatcher in this country. And rightly so.

  99. 99
    Gray says:

    MacFuckets,
    1) Won the first battle, ruined the victory in the aftermath. Saddam lost, Bush s***ed things up, Iran is winning.
    2) It’s not only Death or injury, one of several risks is that 33% of Vets suffer from personality disorders. Why risk this for a battle that can’t be won?
    3) ??? Are we responsible for the MSM? Do all liberals support Sheehan? Not even the majority of them…
    4) Who is Fred Phelps and why should we care?
    5) see 3)
    6) People interested in joining the forces should have access to all relevant informations regarding this decision.
    7) Not generally. Besides, who said that?

  100. 100
    Richard Bottoms says:

    What I haven’t heard from any one of those gungho warhawks that THEY just went down to the recruiting office and joined the military. Until we go a few of those posts perhaps you can all just STFU.

    As for the liberals going weak in the knees because Cindy Cheehan is trying to stop this war by any means she can, well our guys maybe shouldn’t have vited for it in the first place.

    And what exactly is wrong with telling recruits they are being lied to and about to be sent off to fight a war we are LOSING. And what is so horrific about going to the EU to say the same things we post here every day. George Bush IS a lying sack of shit and we shouldn’t have elcted him as president. I’m certainly sure 50,000 dead Iraqi’s think so.

    Recruiting is down, not because of Cindy Sheehan but because of George Bush.

  101. 101
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    Is it ethical to degrade the nation’s defense because you oppose a war?

    Well, that’s only half the question, now isn’t it? Is it ethical to wage a war that degrades the nation’s defense? I would argue that the military–as it is being used now–actually has very little to do with our nation’s defense. In fact, in Iraq, I’d argue that it has had a strongly negative effect on our defense. Therefore, opposing that war is actually the ethical thing to do to *strengthen* our defense. The word ‘defense’ has a meaning, and that meaning isn’t ‘war’.

    And no, ppGaz, I’m not saying that protesting recruitment offices is a good idea. I’m just saying that–unlike GOP4Me here–I wouldn’t ship anyone off to Gitmo just for protesting.

  102. 102
    Gray says:

    “Is it ethical to degrade the nation’s defense because you oppose a war?”

    This nations’ defense is first and foremost degraded by the dangerous strain the Iraq occupation is putting on the military forces. Don’t confuse cause and effect! The military and the defense ability will not vanish from one day to the other when recruitment numbers temporarilly go down. But the military leadership will be forced to abandon the Iraq operation that can’t be sustained with a lower number of soldiers.

    Btw, lousy smear tactics of “guilt by association”, Pp. Jane Fonda isn’t representative for the reasonable people who support a withdrawal from Iraq. Nor is Sheehan. But why don’t you mention that two thirds of US troops in Itaq support withdrawl?

  103. 103
    Gray says:

    Pb, good point! Much better than my answer :(

  104. 104
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Goddamit when are liberals going to stop being suckers for Republican spin? So the Sheehan story is totally flase, yet the first instinct of some is to curl up in a ball so they can beg the mean Republicans not to hurt us.

    BTW, they may not need as many soldeirs in Iraq in the future. Seems they are calling up the Navy to start pounding the beat.

    s for me it’s a little earth-shattering – especially since one of them was my replacement when I left the Navy. Quick background… when I was in the military, I was an E-2C Hawkeye Naval Flight Officer. That means I flew around in a radar equipped plane and directed the air-war. That’s a VERY watered down description, but it covers the basics. My friends and others that got ‘the news’ are of varying but similar backgrounds. As with several occupations in the military, they have some extensive EW training (Electronic Warfare). Which sets the stage…

    It seems that they all fall into a particular category at the moment – they’re all on shore duty (after being on sea-duty for several years… it’s called ‘payback’), and they all have at least one year left at their current duty-station. Life right now is supposed to be focused on family, training others to do what you’ve done already, and supporting those in the Navy that are currently at sea. But on Friday night, some of them got a phone call – with a twist.

    By and large, they’re being ordered to supplement the Army and Marines on the ground in Iraq. That in itself isn’t that strange, since the current trend has been to try and give the forces that have been on multiple deployments a break by rotating Air Force and Navy personnel into positions that could be easily ‘substituted’. But… here’s the twist. They’re manning up a new unit – made up of a mix of personnel, to become field combat teams in charge of detecting IED’s. Improvised Explosive Devices. WTF???

    http://mattdaniels.typepad.com.....erate.html

    It’s not enough for Bush to destroy the Army, he has to sink the Navy too?

    Fuck Georbe Bush and the fools who voted for him.

  105. 105
    ppGaz says:

    Well, that’s only half the question, now isn’t it?

    No, it’s just one example of how the question has more than one aspect. We haven’t quantified all the segments.

    This nations’ defense is first and foremost degraded by the dangerous strain the Iraq occupation is putting on the military forces.

    There are times when I am embarassed to be a member of the liberal tribe here, and this is one of them.

    First of all, the military is under civilian control. It doesn’t go off and make wars without civilian authority and direction at every turn. The military is not the reason you have this stupid war.

    Honestly, that kind of commentary is the reason why righties think liberals are nuts. And if you can’t reason this out better than that, you are nuts.

    If you want to stop the war, you go to the civilian authority, not to the goddamned recrcuiting office.

  106. 106
    Gray says:

    Richard, I linked to that story, too. And I think this shows that the defense ability of the US is seriously hampered by the strain the occupation is putting on the military. Those specialists who are now assigned to anti-insurgency operations will be critically missing if US interests have to be militarily enforced in other parts of the world, for instance, if the cold war in the Taiwan strait turns hot (what can happen very soon).

  107. 107
    Pb says:

    Gray,

    This nations’ defense is first and foremost degraded by the dangerous strain the Iraq occupation is putting on the military forces.

    Agreed.

    ppGaz,

    First of all, the military is under civilian control. It doesn’t go off and make wars without civilian authority and direction at every turn. The military is not the reason you have this stupid war.

    Agreed.

    Honestly, that kind of commentary is the reason why righties think liberals are nuts. And if you can’t reason this out better than that, you are nuts.

    Oh, the irony. I don’t see how A implies B–maybe you could reason it out for me, ppGaz. Or do you just like to attack Gray here for something that he didn’t actually say?

  108. 108
    ppGaz says:

    Jane Fonda isn’t representative for the reasonable people who support a withdrawal from Iraq.

    I didn’t say she was. You are terrible at this.

    I said that trying to interfere with the military is the kind of thing she did, and that’s why she’s hated.

    The military is the wrong target. When you stop trying to make this about you and whether you are being tarred with the wrong bush, pull your head out of your ass and look around, you will see that I am right. Or not, because I don’t see you doing that. You are too much in love with your own well-rehearsed arguments.

    IIWY, I would not try to go through the airport metal detector. Your big tin ear is going to set off the alarm.

  109. 109
    Gray says:

    ??? PpGaz, what are you talking about? You want to say that the Iraq occupation doesn’t have serious strategical consequences for the defense of the nation? Nobody argues that it isn’t a political decision by the administration, so where’s your point???

  110. 110
    ppGaz says:

    do you just like to attack Gray here for something that he didn’t actually say?

    Attacking people for things they did not say is your stock in trade, asshole.

    You and Gray are wrong about this, and all the foot stomping on earth is not going to make you right.

    Protesting a war in front of the recruiting office is stupid, and harmful to both your own cause and to the military. All your rationalizations don’t change that.

    You’re an embarassment to the cause of liberalism and an albatross around the neck of those who want to end this war. Go away, really. You are no fucking help.

  111. 111
    ppGaz says:

    I’ve stated my point, Gray, and after watching you two at work here, I am not inclined to waste my time trying to restate it to people who are bent on not hearing it.

    See my immediately previous post. If you disagree, fine, go ahead. That just means that those of us who want to end this war and get a new government have just that much more work to do. It’s not bad enough that we have to fight the Spudlicans, we also have to fight the idiots in our own camp.

  112. 112
    Gray says:

    “I didn’t say she was.”
    Just a moment, pls, Sir. You said about the opposition to recruitment becauase of ethical reasons:
    “To me, that’s what I would call the Jane Fonda approach.”

    So you really didn’t mean it the way it reads, just an annoying case of misphrasingm, right?

    “that’s why she’s hated.”
    Hmm, imho she’s hated because of posing for pictures with the Vietcong. Absolutely unpatriotic, she deserves to be criticized for that.

    “pull your head out of your ass”. Insults are no substitute for serious arguments, Pp. This really isn’t your finest hour.

  113. 113
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    Attacking people for things they did not say is your stock in trade, asshole.

    Like hell it is.

    You and Gray are wrong about this, and all the foot stomping on earth is not going to make you right.

    Do tell.

    Protesting a war in front of the recruiting office is stupid, and harmful

    I believe I’ve said that.

    All your rationalizations don’t change that.

    All my ‘rationalizations’ don’t have one goddamned thing to do with that. But now I know for a fact that attacking me for something I didn’t say–in fact I said the opposite–*is* actually your stock in trade. Suck it up.

    You’re an embarassment to the cause of liberalism and an albatross around the neck of those who want to end this war. Go away, really. You are no fucking help.

    You’re getting senile, old man.

  114. 114
    Mac Buckets says:

    George Bush IS a lying sack of shit and we shouldn’t have elcted him as president. I’m certainly sure 50,000 dead Iraqi’s think so.

    Especially the Sunni terrorist Iraqis, right? By the way, the majority of live Iraqis are pretty pleased with the new Iraq. Latest poll was that 77% of Iraqis think all the hardships of the invasion were worth it. Hate to destroy your doom-and-gloom fantasies, but…

  115. 115
    Gray says:

    “You’re an embarassment to the cause of liberalism”

    Well, and of course it’s your decision who is in the best tradition of liberalism and who isn’t? Sure…

    I’m not much interested in trying to make a point when the other side doesn’t answer but engages in isnults instead.

    I guess the readers here will make their own mind up on who’s an idiot and who makes sense.

  116. 116
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Faik Bakir, the director of the Baghdad morgue, has fled Iraq in fear of his life after reporting that more than 7,000 people have been killed by death squads in recent months, the outgoing head of the UN human rights office in Iraq has disclosed.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,1721366,00.html

    I’d say that counts as a civil war, which our troops are in the middle of.

    But some of you are more worried about Cindy Sheehan making us look bad by opposing this insanity.

    It is a disaster and every single life lost in Iraq these days is a complete waste. They are dying for nothing.

    Why?

    Because if we were serious. Truly serious we’d declare martial law and stop pretending there is a government. Impose a nationwide curfew to stop the violence now.

    Next call up everybody and send 300,000 troops over because that is what it will take to police that country.

    Bitching about Sheenhan or whining aboout defeat when we aren’t willing to do what it takes to win is stupid and a waste.

  117. 117
    ppGaz says:

    It depends on whether you think it’s more important to talk tough in a blog thread, or to win back the country?

    If it’s the former, keep at it. If it’s the latter, then drop the stupid argument, because it’s a loser.

    It costs you NOTHING to stand up for the military. Maybe we can agree on that, but in your case, I take nothing for granted.

    But if you do agree, then standing up for recruitment is a no brainer. Standing in the way of recruitment does not help your cause, it does not help the people in uniform, and it does not serve the country. You guys’ boneheaded rationalizations, notwithstanding.

    I’m right about that, and we can go around and around it all day, I don’t care.

    Every day spent with that kind of stupid activity is a day that could have been spent winning the country back. In other words, a wasted day.

  118. 118
    Richard Bottoms says:

    BTW, to our chickenhawk armchair generals, I tried re-enlisting two years ago. Too old they said.

    You love Iraq and our fighting men so much, go join up and help them.

    Cowards.

  119. 119
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Your polls are out of date, maybe you should wander around Iraq and ask people how swimmingly things are going now. I’d suggest starting in Baghdad.

  120. 120
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    It depends on whether you think it’s more important to talk tough in a blog thread, or to win back the country?

    Heh. Et tu, ppGaz?

    If it’s the former, keep at it. If it’s the latter, then drop the stupid argument, because it’s a loser.

    What argument would that be, pray tell.

    Standing in the way of recruitment does not help your cause

    I agree. In fact, I already have agreed.

    You guys’ boneheaded rationalizations, notwithstanding.

    You don’t even know what we’re saying. Quit while you’re behind. An apology would be nice, as well. Something along the lines of “sorry guys, I was totally out of line, I didn’t understand that you were arguing a totally different point, and for some reason I couldn’t read or comprehend any of your many previous posts on the matter”. Or maybe just a simple mea culpa. Take a deep breath, read through my posts, and get back to me, maybe you’ll figure it out.

  121. 121
    ppGaz says:

    Your idiotic comment about the Fonda reference puts us at odds. I did not misunderstand or misrepresent it.

    Here it is in part:

    Btw, lousy smear tactics of “guilt by association”, Pp. Jane Fonda isn’t

    You don’t GET the Fonda point, Pb. If you did, you’d back it up, not take a shot at it.

    There are two points here: One is the matter of protesting recruitment. The other is the matter of the APPEARANCE of such a thing. The Fonda reference goes to the appearance aspect, and it is easily the equal of the other point. Righties will lick their lips at the prospect of stupid, ill-advised tactics like protesting at a recruiting office to scare away voters from our cause and give you exactly the opposite result from the one you want.

    And in case you haven’t notice they’ve been successfully doing that for FORTY FUCKING YEARS and did it successfully in the last national election. Just in case you MISSED IT.

  122. 122
    ppGaz says:

    What argument would that be, pray tell.

    The one that protesting recruitment helps the troops in some indirect way. Which was oringally Gray’s, and I was talking to Gray. Whether you subscribe to it, I don’t know and don’t care.

  123. 123
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    * I didn’t mention Fonda at all.
    * I believe “you guys” was referring to me as well.
    * You’re losing it, man. Really.

  124. 124
    ppGaz says:

    read through my posts

    Sorry, I’d rather eat a worm.

  125. 125
    Richard Bottoms says:

    And by the way, you can take Jane Fonda posed with the Vietcong and stick it in your ass. It was one woman’s mistake close to 40 years ago.

    It’s her problem, not mine and last I heard she made a movie that took in $150,000,000 so I am sure she is crying all the way to the bank.

    Here’s a quarter. Call someone who cares about miss Jane Fonda.

  126. 126
    Mac Buckets says:

    Your polls are out of date

    Because you say so, right? It’s not like Iraq hasn’t seen terrorist bombings before. Until a new poll shows significant change because of the most recent violence (which won’t happen, by the way), you can’t call it out-of-date.

  127. 127
    Gray says:

    I’m losing track with all your strawman arguments, Pp.

    To get back to topic, let’s discuss the basic question, the point of disagreement:

    “It costs you NOTHING to stand up for the military.”
    “But if you do agree, then standing up for recruitment is a no brainer.”

    Standing up for the military in general isn’t equal to encouraging people to recruit now when they’ll only end up in Iraq.

    Counter statement:

    The ongoing occupation of Iraq doesn’t help in the War on Terror, but creates anti-american resentment among the population, fuels the insurgency, and therefore puts US troops unnecessarily in danger.
    If you do agree, than standing up against recruitment while US troops die without a cause in Iraq is a no brainer.

    Because
    – a temporary drop of recruitment numbers doesn’t endanger the US ability for defense
    – a temporary drop of recruitment numbers will force the Bush administration to cut down or even abandon the Iraq ocupation
    – it is unethical to send troops into a battle that is already lost and that doesn’t serve a strategical interest

    Ok, seriously now, which one of the points above is wrong or questionable? Which one is unliberal? Less emotion, more arguments pls.

  128. 128
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Until a new poll shows significant change because of the most recent violence […] you can’t call it out-of-date.

    Translation: until a new poll proves that my old poll is out-of-date, you can’t call it out of date. Man, you sure got me! Now why don’t you prove it by starting that new poll… Now get started so you can tell us how it’s really going over there Mac, inquiring minds want to know…

  129. 129
    Mac Buckets says:

    Standing up for the military in general isn’t equal to encouraging people to recruit now when they’ll only end up in Iraq.

    What about Afghanistan? Why would you try and stop people from volunteering to help find bin Laden?

  130. 130
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    read through my posts

    Sorry, I’d rather eat a worm.

    I accept your ungracious concession, then. Since you apparently don’t have the wherewithal to ascertain how wrong you were about me, I’ll just tell you. You fucked it up. Bigtime. Next time, don’t mouth off about me when you don’t know the first goddamned thing about it–I won’t be nearly so polite.

  131. 131
    Mac Buckets says:

    Now why don’t you prove it by starting that new poll… Now get started so you can tell us how it’s really going over there Mac, inquiring minds want to know…

    Is this another variation of the brilliant chickenhawk meme? If you aren’t a pollster, you can’t cite polls!

    I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the pros to do it. Until then, and absent any other data, you’ll just have to grit your teeth and accept that Iraqis are pleased with the new Iraq. Sorry to disappoint you with their happiness.

  132. 132
    Richard Bottoms says:

    This whole argument is pretty pointless. Unless e send in more troops, Iraq is finished. And political parties that lose wars generally don’t do well at the polls.

    Bush is going down and the rats are deserting the ship. Buckeley says all is lost, civil war is already happening andall the fag bashing in the world won’t save these bible thumping assholes in November.

    Jane Fonda, Cindy Sheehan, it makes no difference. You’re all fucked and you know it.

    Hell, even Right Wing Nut House is starting to raise the white flag.

    For the last couple of years, I’ve struggled to come to grips with the disconnect between having a conservative President and a conservative Congress on the one hand and a style of governance that is decidedly unconservative on the other. Record deficits – partly a result of 9/11 and funding the War on Terror but nevertheless a source of distress and puzzlement – along with a series of failures in both formulating policy and passing legislation have made it clear that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that conservatives have taken to their role as stewards of the republic.

    http://www.rightwingnuthouse.com/

    It over and it all started with Teri Schiavo. Good work Dr. Frist. Payback is a bitch.

  133. 133
    Gray says:

    “What about Afghanistan? Why would you try and stop people from volunteering to help find bin Laden?”

    Good point, but on the other hand there are reports from troops who volunteered because of Afghanistan and ended up in Iraq. Guys like Pat Tilman. You simply can’t chose where the brass will send you. And pls compare troops strengths in the Afghanistan and in the Iraq theaters…

  134. 134
    Pb says:

    Mac Buckets,

    Is this another variation of the brilliant chickenhawk meme? If you aren’t a pollster, you can’t cite polls!

    Not at all! Why, if you were in Baghdad, you could bypass ‘the filter’ entirely, talk to the people! I’ve heard bad things about what’s happening over there, but it could be all lies! Maybe they’re secretly burying mosques in candy and flowers, maybe that’s the real danger! But we won’t know without your help! I’m supporting *you* in your quest to find the most accurate and up-to-date information about what the Iraqi people think!

    I’m afraid you’ll have to wait for the pros to do it.

    …or not.

  135. 135
    ppGaz says:

    Btw, lousy smear tactics of “guilt by association”, Pp. Jane Fonda isn’t representative for the reasonable people who support a withdrawal from Iraq

    Did you or did you not say that, Pb?

    Because if you did, then here’s my response:

    You are full of shit. You don’t get it. It isn’t about “representation.” It’s about political theater, which is what protests are ALL about.

    Anything protest that can be associated with the stupid actions of a Fonda is a wrongheaded protest. That’s not a “lousy smear tactic,” it’s an acknowledgment of reality.

    If you don’t get that, then I’d prefer that you changed sides, because you are not helping the side I’m on.

    But by all means, keep insisting that I have this wrong.

    No, it’s you and Gray who are both wrong.

    Gray is wrong because he seems to think that the “ethics” of recruiting in light of the unfortunate war is an issue. Well, I disagree. I think that even if you assing it issue status, it’s minor, and doesn’t trump much more important concerns.

    You are wrong because you think the Fonda reference was out of place. No, it’s exactly in the right place, and for the right reasons. But you don’t want to hear that.

    Well, good for you. I think that makes us done here.

  136. 136
    Pb says:

    Did you or did you not say that, Pb?

    No, I didn’t. As I told you already. As you should have been able to verify for yourself. Moron.

    You are wrong because you think the Fonda reference was out of place.

    Wrong again. As I said, you don’t know a goddamned thing about what I think. Thanks for proving it yet again.

    I think that makes us done here.

    Probably so. Denial, it ain’t just a river in Egypt.

  137. 137
    ppGaz says:

    My mistake, you didn’t say it. Gray did.

    My Fonda remarks are directed at Gray, then, and you have my apology.

  138. 138
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    My Fonda remarks are directed at Gray, then, and you have my apology.

    Thank you for that.

  139. 139
    ppGaz says:

    I was too stubborn to look back at the post.

    My bad.

    I am impossible to argue with, that’s why I consistently top thepopularity charts here.

  140. 140
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    Oh, I agree, I love to watch you rant. Except when I’m on the wrong side of it, of course. :)

  141. 141
    Gray says:

    You really seem to be a bit confused today, pp.

    However, just as a reminder, my argument was:

    The ongoing occupation of Iraq doesn’t help in the War on Terror, but creates anti-american resentment among the population, fuels the insurgency, and therefore puts US troops unnecessarily in danger.
    If you do agree, than standing up against recruitment while US troops die without a cause in Iraq is a no brainer.

    Because – a temporary drop of recruitment numbers doesn’t endanger the US ability for defense – a temporary drop of recruitment numbers will force the Bush administration to cut down or even abandon the Iraq ocupation – it is unethical to send troops into a battle that is already lost and that doesn’t serve a strategical interest

    So far, you only answered on the ethics issue:
    “Gray is wrong because he seems to think that the “ethics” of recruiting in light of the unfortunate war is an issue. Well, I disagree. I think that even if you assing it issue status, it’s minor, and doesn’t trump much more important concerns.”

    Shorter pp: F*** for ethics, they only prevent us from winning elections. That’s about right? And what do you think about my other points?

    P.S: Pls stop flipflopping about Fonda. First you said something like “all recruitment protesters are like her”. Then you said, the comparison aimed only at the anti-defense crowd (and I’m not in it). Your latest turn is, it was directed at me. Hehehe! My recommendation: Fuhgedaboutit.

  142. 142
    ppGaz says:

    Shorter pp: F*** for ethics, they only prevent us from winning elections. That’s about right? And what do you think about my other points?

    Nope. Not what I said. What I said was, your ethics concern is not the only concern out there. And in my view, it does not trump the other ones. Now it’s your turn to go back and read the posts, because that’s what I said.

    Your other points? I don’t know what they are. I am only addressing this one for now. Without agreement on this one, I have no interest in the other ones.

    I will not support protests aimed at the American military in light of the Iraq war. For the reasons already stated.

    Aim the protests at the civilian authority, that’s my opinion and I am sticking to it.

    P.S: Pls stop flipflopping about Fonda. First you said something like “all recruitment protesters are like her”. Then you said, the comparison aimed only at the anti-defense crowd (and I’m not in it). Your latest turn is, it was directed at me. Hehehe! My recommendation: Fuhgedaboutit.

    Nope. Never said anything like that. I said

    Is it ethical to degrade the nation’s defense because you oppose a war?

    To me, that’s what I would call the Jane Fonda approach. Damage the most irreplaceable and important asset you have, in order to make a point.

    There are a thousand ways to protest and be activist against a war, without doing what Fonda did.

    The difference between you and me is that I know that, and you don’t. Otherwise you couldn’t have made the mistake you are making.

    However, if you want to assert that I said that protesting recruitment as a way to protest a war is a Fonda move … yes, that is correct. That’s exactly what it is, and why it’s stupid. If you don’t like that comparison, tough shit. It’s apt, and if you were paying attention you’d see that forty years of politics in this country has proven me right, up to and including the 2004 election.

  143. 143
    Gray says:

    “However, if you want to assert that I said that protesting recruitment as a way to protest a war is a Fonda move … yes, that is correct.”

    Fine. At least one point that’s clear. I stand by my view that its most important to do the ethical right thing. Never been a fan of the idea “The end justifies the means”, that’s too 21st century republican for my taste. But I don’t think wwe’ll reach an agreement about this here, so wtf. Better save the energy for fighting repubs.

    Cu 2morrow

  144. 144
    Pb says:

    Now ppGaz is right about this–protesting recruitment as a way to protest a war is, if nothing else, an incredibly politically stupid thing to do.

    My opinion on Sheehan here–to paraphrase Chris Rock–goes thusly:

    “I’m not sayin’ [she should do] it, but I understand.”

    I’m not entirely sure if Gray has actually advocated protesting at recruitment centers, although he has talked about it–and the reasoning behind it–a lot. I know I haven’t. Anyhow, there’s a big difference between helpfully making sure that potential recruits are informed, and shrilly shouting at them–which invariably someone does–and which helps no one.

    And I guarantee you that if Cindy Sheehan stages anything that looks even *vaguely* like a protest anywhere near a military recruitment center, that’s how it will be spun. There will also be “Support Our Troops” counter-protests, and much more ink wasted on all sides, while American soldiers continue to die in Iraq.

    So. It’s noble–and entirely understandable–for her to not want any more American deaths in Iraq. But protesting at a recruitment center to ‘stop’ people from enlisting would probably be one of the stupidest ways to go about doing it. However, as I said originally, if she wants to do it, I won’t stop her from doing it–that would also be wrong.

  145. 145
    Richard Bottoms says:

    “However, if you want to assert that I said that protesting recruitment as a way to protest a war is a Fonda move … yes, that is correct.”

    So waht if it is?

    It’s one woman who is only as important as you let the Republicans make her.

    Anybody remember Louis Farkkahn and the Nation of Islam? You would have thought he was a member of Congress ten years ago cause he was dragged out as the evil bogeyman of the left until, viola Republicans got control of the House & Senate.

    Then poof, just like that he ceased to such a looming threat. You’d think after 9/11 we’d be hearing about him every day.

    Suckers.

    Stop bringing a knife to a gun fight. Make them talk about their failures today and the war they are losing now. Stop enganing them about a rich actress from a bygone era.

  146. 146
    ppGaz says:

    So waht if it is?

    It’s one woman who is only as important as you let the Republicans make her.

    Nose, face, spite.

    The most important thing I said here was that there are a thousand ways to protest a war. Why pick the ones that buy you the strongest opposition for no damned good reason?

    That’s a stupid move. Don’t bring knives to gun fights?

    Don’t hand your opponents guns and ammunition when you don’t need it. Protests thrown at the military are STUPID, Richard. The military didn’t gin up the war. The civilians did.

  147. 147
    Gray says:

    “I’m not entirely sure if Gray has actually advocated protesting at recruitment centers, although he has talked about it—and the reasoning behind it—a lot. I know I haven’t. Anyhow, there’s a big difference between helpfully making sure that potential recruits are informed, and shrilly shouting at them—which invariably someone does—and which helps no one.”

    I’m really tired now but since you’re wondering about my position on the protests, Pb: You about got it.

    – I’m for (respectful) protests and information stands at recruitment centers. I rememeber a report about a disabled vet discussing with kids, that’s the right way (sry, can’t find the link)
    – I’m against any shrill message shouting and prohibiting people from entering the offices. Spectacles like the abortion clinic protests are a shame and show a disregard for the rights of other citizen.
    – I don’t think the Dem party should endorse the anti-recruitment campaign or get officially involved in it. However, those Dem lamea**es should really publish their ideas about Iraq NOW, if they don’t want to hear accusations about missing leadership again.
    – I respect Sheehan’s movement, though I don’t like her much, she’s too often over the top. Speaking at the EU isn’t a good idea imho. The Dems should make it clear that Sheehan isn’t a spokesperson for them, but that they want to prevent more parents from losing their loved ones, too.

  148. 148
    Mac Buckets says:

    The Dems should make it clear that Sheehan isn’t a spokesperson for them, but that they want to prevent more parents from losing their loved ones, too.

    Ummmm, doesn’t it go without saying that everybody on both sides of the aisle wants to prevent more parents from losing their loved ones? Does anyone really have to make an announcement to that effect?

  149. 149
    Gray says:

    “The military didn’t gin up the war. The civilians did.”

    I agree. But that’s not the point. Imho there’s a higher chance that the Iraq engagement will end because the US military is exhausted than by political pressure on Bush. I think several reports about the US forces bolster my opinion (recruitment numbers down, troops dropping out, lowering the bar for recruits and promotions, equippement wearout, majority of polls voting for withdrawal). pp and Tim seem to think fighting for a political silution is the better way. Hmm, this didn’t work the last 3 years, why should it work now? Will Bush have a change of mind? Will the pope convert to Islam?

  150. 150
    Gray says:

    Ummmm, doesn’t it go without saying that everybody on both sides of the aisle wants to prevent more parents from losing their loved ones? Does anyone really have to make an announcement to that effect?

    YES! If you don’t do it, the other side will accuse you not to care (You may call that “the ppGaz attack”). Of course this is somewhat ridiculous, but isn’t all this political theater kind of a clown show most of the times?

  151. 151
    Mac Buckets says:

    Won the first battle, ruined the victory in the aftermath.

    How’d we ruin, it, Gray — was it the elections, or the constitution? I mean, if we ruined it, doesn’t it strike you as a bit odd that a majority of Iraqis say they like the new Iraq and are hopeful for the future?

    It’s not only Death or injury, one of several risks is that 33% of Vets suffer from personality disorders. Why risk this for a battle that can’t be won?

    Even granting these unsupported assertions of yours, don’t you admit it’s just a load of assinine rhetoric to say that signing up for the military is “throwing your life away?”

    People interested in joining the forces should have access to all relevant informations regarding this decision.

    …just like the anti-abortion protesters whose fetus signs and “murderer” screams are just giving those women access to relevant information, right?

    Those recruits, moreso even than the women at the abortion clinic, are adults — give them the courtesy of assuming they are not idiots. Cindy Sheehan has nothing of value to offer them.

  152. 152
    Mac Buckets says:

    Of course this is somewhat ridiculous, but isn’t all this political theater kind of a clown show most of the times?

    Good point — I’d say about 95% of the time, since the advent of 24-hour cable news.

  153. 153

    […] To which Tim F. says: No, let’s not. I have all kinds of problems with the government but the last thing that I want to do right now is starve the military for recruits. It’s like some denigrating leftie caricature. So we want out of Iraq, great. I’m on board. Now find some way to accomplish that which doesn’t leave the military even less equipped to handle real-deal threats and set up “the left” as some sort of enemy of national service. Seriously, this has to be the most counterproductive use of energy that I’ve ever seen. […]

  154. 154
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Cindy Sheehan has nothing of value to offer them.

    Then if they are not smart enough to reject what she’s offering, perhaps they shouldn’t be carrying a rifle with real bullets in it.

    And while some lefty cohorts are quaking in their boots over the mere possibility that the Republicans will be mean to us again, George Bush’s presidency is coming apart like a wet paper sack.

    Second Dubai firm confirms U.S. review

    WASHINGTON — A second Dubai-owned company confirmed Thursday the Bush administration has launched an unusual investigation over the potential security risks of its business moves in the United States.

    Dubai International Capital LLC plans to buy a British company with plants in Groton and Farmington, Conn., and in Georgia that make precision parts used in engines for military aircraft and tanks.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/lo.....onnecticut

    The Republicans are fucking toast.

    Who cares what Cindy Sheehan does.

  155. 155
    Gray says:

    “was it the elections, or the constitution”

    Elections don’t mean much if they don’t result in a stable government. And what’s a constitution worth if a majority of the people doesn’t really endorse it? Remember, Bush’s goal was to replace Saddam’s regime with a stable, pro american democracy. Doesn’t anybody believe he succeeded? Does anybody believe this may be the outcome in the next 20 years or so? All signs point to either an Iranian style islamic democracy or civil war a la Lebanon.

    “doesn’t it strike you as a bit odd that a majority of Iraqis say they like the new Iraq and are hopeful for the future?”

    Yes. That would strike me as odd. Where’s the evidence?

    “Even granting these unsupported assertions of yours, don’t you admit it’s just a load of assinine rhetoric to say that signing up for the military is “throwing your life away?””

    Casualties and injuries are not assertions, but fact. 33% personal disorder problems among vets was reported in the press, so it’s not unsupported. And I never said that military service in Iraq is like “throwing your life away?”, I talked about risks. If you think service in Itaq is a good idea, why don’t you sign up yourself?

    “…just like the anti-abortion protesters whose fetus signs and “murderer” screams are just giving those women access to relevant information, right?”

    You suffer of dyslexia or other reading-related problems? I explecitly stated above that I don’t support this kind of protests!

    “give them the courtesy of assuming they are not idiots.”

    I didn’t assume anything like that they’re idiots. It’s YOU who seems to be afraid that many won’t sign up if they are get to know informations about the downsides of joining the army now.

  156. 156
    Gray says:

    “Doesn’t anybody believe he succeeded?”
    Of course, this is a typo! correct:
    “Does anybody believe he succeeded?”

  157. 157
    MAX HATS says:

    Wait, gray, you say U.S. troops are exacerbating the bad situation in Iraq? That may have been a somewhat plausable argument two weeks ago, but as of now pulling out would create a giant Lebannon.

    And I see you’ve been complaining about strawmen. This is funny from where I’m sitting, since your last brillaint communication to me was asking me to explain how great Iraq was going because. . .I think trying to starve the military in time of war is a bad idea.

    Gray, you’re an idiot. I’m sorry. You’re really dumb.

  158. 158
    Richard Bottoms says:

    What right is good at is sticking to their talking points. Once some outrage of the week has bubled up from the Internet or talk radio, they all join in.

    Well my talking point this week isn’t Cindy Sheehan. Fuck Cindy Sheehan if she’s a problem to us.

    My talking point is another sale of a stratgicly important entity to Dubai.

    S

    econd Dubai firm confirms U.S. review

    WASHINGTON —A second Dubai-owned company confirmed Thursday the Bush administration has launched an unusual investigation over the potential security risks of its business moves in the United States.

    Dubai International Capital LLC plans to buy a British company with plants in Groton and Farmington, Conn., and in Georgia that make precision parts used in engines for military aircraft and tanks.

    http://www.newsday.com/news/lo.....onnecticut

    Sorry if I don’t assist the right in spreading memes that injure us. Hell no.

  159. 159
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I think trying to starve the military in time of war is a bad idea.

    So let me get this straight. Protesting young men being used as connon fodder is wrose than dealing with the fact that someone you elected is an inept war leader in the first place?

    If the war was going well or had a hope in hell of being won there wouldn’t even be a discussion going on.

    Particularly since the president refuses to take the politically unpopular step of calling up even more troops to quash the rebellion in Iraq and secure victory.

    If you aren’t willing to send the amount of troops needed to win, and that means Navy Shore Patrol, Air Force MP, and everybody damn bdy that you need, then I say you have no real intention of driving to victory.

    BTW, did you know Dubai is buying up a firm that makes defense material for jet fighters and tanks?

  160. 160
    Gray says:

    “That may have been a somewhat plausable argument two weeks ago, but as of now pulling out would create a giant Lebannon.”

    Maybe, maybe not. One thing is sure: 150,000 troops can’t do much when 26 millions start a civil war. And do you remember that Reagan withdrew the marines from Beirut when the area became too hot?

    “Gray, you’re an idiot. I’m sorry. You’re really dumb.”
    Tsk tsk tsk. Go wash your mouth with soap :P

  161. 161
    ppGaz says:

    “The military didn’t gin up the war. The civilians did.”

    I agree. But that’s not the point.

    You mean, it’s not your point. But it is my point, and it is the right point.

    Don’t take part in an action that can be characterized as anti-military. That’s dumb, it’s counterproductive, it’s harmful to the military, it’s gratuitous, and it’s politically suicidal. In other words, right up your stupid alley.

    But for others who might be sentient here, it’s the wrong time and place for a protest. Protest somewhere else. Stay away from the VA hospitals, the recruitment centers, the military bases. Aim the protests at the civilian authority.

  162. 162
    Richard Bottoms says:

    But for others who might be sentient here, it’s the wrong time and place for a protest. Protest somewhere else. Stay away from the VA hospitals, the recruitment centers, the military bases. Aim the protests at the civilian authority.

    I agree. And here’s what you tell a conservative if it happens:

    That’s really a shame.

    Did you hear about the sale of a company with strategic importance being sold to Dubai.

    Fuck their talking points. Stick to ours.

    That’s what they do and in part why they are successful.

  163. 163
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Wait, gray, you say U.S. troops are exacerbating the bad situation in Iraq? That may have been a somewhat plausable argument two weeks ago, but as of now pulling out would create a giant Lebannon.

    True.

    Glad I didn’t vote for the dumbasses responsible.

  164. 164
    Richard Bottoms says:

    WFB AND OTHERS ON IRAQ [John Derbyshire]

    I have just been reading Bill Buckley’s most recent column…

    These two guys are coming at it from different viewpoints, of course. Will is the history and policy wonk, observing from afar. Peters is the old trooper, and is actually on the ground in Iraq with our soldiers. There’s a lot to be said for cool, distant objectivity, informed by history; there’s a lot to be said for being there, among people doing things, seeing and smelling the realities. Then again, distance, comfort, and having too much 20th-century history stuck in your head can warp your judgment; but so can loyalty to an institution you have loved and served all your life.

    Well, I’m with Bill Buckley and George Will. This pig’s ear is never going to be made into a silk purse, not by any methods or expenditures the American people are willing to countenance. The only questions worth asking about Iraq at this point are: How does GWB get out of this with the least damage to US interests, and to his party’s future prospects? I wish I had some answers.

    http://corner.nationalreview.c.....asp#091471

    One by one, reality sinks in.

    But hey, let’s worry about the evil Cindy Sheehan.

    BTW. Did you hear about the sale of a company with strategic importance being sold to Dubai? The company makes part for our tanks and fighter aircraft.

  165. 165
    Mac Buckets says:

    “doesn’t it strike you as a bit odd that a majority of Iraqis say they like the new Iraq and are hopeful for the future?”

    Yes. That would strike me as odd. Where’s the evidence?

    Where’s the evidence? It’s been there for two years! Do you guys not pay attention? Sigh….

    Polls of Iraqis (like the latest one here from the BBC & ABCNews) have consistently shown that, by a two/three-to-one margin, they say they are better off than before the invasion, that they are hopeful for their future, and a whopping 77% say that all their hardships have been worth it, to oust Saddam.

    The BBC summarized (link’s not working for some reason):

    More than two thirds (71%) said things were very good or quite good in their lives these days (70% in 2004) and 64% thought their lives overall would be better in a year from now.

    Money quote from the BBC:

    The BBC News website’s World Affairs correspondent, Paul Reynolds, says the survey shows a degree of optimism at variance with the usual depiction of the country as one in total chaos.

    The findings are more in line with the kind of arguments currently being deployed by US President George W Bush, he says.

    Note how stunned the media is that the Iraqis haven’t bought into their “Hellhole Iraq” narrative. “Why, these poll results don’t match the media reports at all! They sound more like what Bush has been saying! Bzzzzzrpt! Grrzzzpt! Does not compute! Does not compute!” Of course, the media will eventually decide that they just need to push more bad news, since big majorities of the Iraqis seem not to be getting the message. After all, who knows more about the plight of the Iraqis — the Iraqis or the Media?

    In light of this, you should probably withdraw your “we ruined it.” The people whose country it is certainly don’t think it’s ruined, eh?

  166. 166
    Richard Bottoms says:

    In light of this, you should probably withdraw your “we ruined it.” The people whose country it is certainly don’t think it’s ruined, eh?

    I can think of 30,000 families with dead relatives who probably disagree.

    And if only 10% of those families have contributed an angry fighter, that’s 3,000 more fighters trying to kill our troops. And if only 10% of them strap on a suicide bomb?

    Well let’s just say 300 bomb attack anywhere would get your attention.

    BTW. Did you hear about the company with strategic importance being sold to Dubai? The company makes parts for our tanks and fighter aircraft.

    The Bush administration, stung by the public outcry over the Dubai port deal, has launched a national security investigation of another Dubai-owned company set to take over plants in Georgia and Connecticut that make precision components used in engines for military aircraft and tanks.

    The administration notified congressional committees this week that its secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States is investigating the security implications of Dubai International Capital’s $1.2 billion acquisition of London-based Doncasters Group Ltd., which has subsidiaries in the United States. It is also investigating an Israeli company’s plans to buy the Maryland software security firm Sourcefire, which does business with Defense Department agencies.

    http://www.concordmonitor.com/.....013/NEWS03

  167. 167
    Richard Bottoms says:

    BTW, that bothersome McCain amendment banning torture. Seems it doesn’t apply to Gitmo and we are free to troture people there if we want.

    I think that should help with the hearts and minds thing worldwide. Don’t you?

    U.S. Cites Exception in Torture Ban
    McCain Law May Not Apply to Cuba Prison

    By Josh White and Carol D. Leonnig
    Washington Post Staff Writers
    Friday, March 3, 2006; A04

    Bush administration lawyers, fighting a claim of torture by a Guantanamo Bay detainee, yesterday argued that the new law that bans cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees in U.S. custody does not apply to people held at the military prison.

    In federal court yesterday and in legal filings, Justice Department lawyers contended that a detainee at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, cannot use legislation drafted by Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) to challenge treatment that the detainee’s lawyers described as “systematic torture.”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....nistration

    Not only are they going to get voted out of office, I suspect some of these shitheads will be going to jail.

    Eventually.

    All I can say is once you are out of office, don’t travel overseas if you were responsible for this abuse of humanity, or you might find yourself in the klink.

  168. 168
    ppGaz says:

    That’s what they do and in part why they are successful.

    Richard, see my post to the first thread on scrutator.net (wacko righty blog) this morning.

    I think you’ll agree with me that their strategy is quite effective. Question is, what do we do about it?

  169. 169
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I think you’ll agree with me that their strategy is quite effective. Question is, what do we do about it?

    Stop helping them make their case.

    How many Republicans do you hear going after Pat Robertson?

    Exactly none.

    Be we have an obligation to deal with issues like this. *whine*. Screw that, we have an obligation to fucking win and to crush our opponents.

    Fuck them. And fuck their talking points.

    You are fired up about Cindy Sheenhan, a woman with no political power, no money, and no elected office.

    Don’t be a sucker for crying outloud.

    So Sheehan stages a protest at a recruiting center. And that affects what exactly? Ignore her and talk about the fact that the rats are deserting the conservative ship becaue they know it is going down.

  170. 170
    Richard Bottoms says:

    BTW, while Tim is worrying about Cindy Sheehan, the Republicans can’t find anyone to run against Hillary Clinton.

    Hillary? Their greatest bogeyman.

    So make sure we start attacking her, because we wouldn’t want her to like win or anything.

    Understand this: There are no bad Democrats. There are no good Republicans. Politically speaking.

    With the exception of Joe Liberman, our fire should be directed at the Republicans, all the time.

    Got a moderate like Chaffee, or Snowe who helps us out now and then? Good, accept the help and then attack them on something else. The goal is to drive the Republican bible thumping nuts and their enablers from office.

    All of them. Or as many as we can.

    Stop helping them defeat us.

  171. 171
    Mac Buckets says:

    I can think of 30,000 families with dead relatives who probably disagree.

    And we assume they are represented proportionally in the poll, and roundly outnumbered. You do understand how polls work, right?

  172. 172
    Richard Bottoms says:

    And we assume they are represented proportionally in the poll, and roundly outnumbered. You do understand how polls work, right?

    Yes I do.

    But a 2 year old with her head blown apart by US troops is of more concern to me. She, and others like her are more then rehtorical talking points.

    They’re dead. Our guys killed them. Excluding the ones killed by the insurgents who are there now because president dickhead invited into them to “bring it on” but didn’t send enough troops to deal with what got brought.

    We bungled the aftermath and now we are stuck. (Actually the troops are stuck. The chickenhawks who are cheerleading are merely embarassed)

    If we leave there will be an even bigger bloodbath then the one we let happen so far. If we stay our troops die, one or two a day for how many years more?

    Mission Accomplished.

  173. 173
    MAX HATS says:

    And now I’m a republican who voted for Bush because. . .I still think protesting outside recruiting offices is bad.

    I don’t even know what to say. It’s like an inverse Freep in here.

  174. 174
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I still think protesting outside recruiting offices is bad.

    But darn if our constitution doesn’t allow it.

    All that pesky freedom.

  175. 175
    MAX HATS says:

    Yes, Richard, I am totally advocating that it be made illegal.

    Are you capable of making a single post without a strawman? You are a complete buffoon.

  176. 176
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Are you capable of making a single post without a strawman? You are a complete buffoon.

    And yet I managed to serve my country for 13 years. Unlike some warhawks I know. How is old Dickless Cheney doing these days?

    How about a burning man instead. As in liar, liar pants on fire. You know the president? Torture. Who us?

    Yes, smug, superior and totally going to flail your asses at the polls in November. The bible thumping, fag bashing, Teri Schiavo slobbering, bribe taking, inept war fighting lot of you are going down in flames, led in no small part incurious George into the wilderness.

    I don’t care if we win by 1 vote or 1 million in 2008. But this experiement in “conservatism” is over. Control of all three branches of government and can’t govern worth shit.

  177. 177
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Looks like ATTILA THE HEN is going to the Euroweenie Union to give a sppech CLUCK CLUCK CLUCK why dont she just live there? i guess its just for the publicity and the usial vultures following her around all the tme

  178. 178
    MAX HATS says:

    Richard, for gods sakes you moron, how many times do I need to spell out that I’m not a fucking republican? Are you capable of rationalizing that someone might disagree with your far left doctrinaire without actually being anywhere to the right? I worked in the Kerry campaign, I’m the quintisential Seattle liberal, elsewhere on this site I’ve written numerous anti-administration rants, and most tellingly, in this very thread I have said I didn’t vote for Bush and I’m not a republican in direct reply to you. Yes, there have been subtle hints.

    Jesus christ, you are an unimaginable buffoon.

  179. 179
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Richard, for gods sakes you moron, how many times do I need to spell out that I’m not a fucking republican?

    Neither is Joe Liberman, but he might as well be.

    So what is it I’ve said that got your panties in such a bunch?

    Let’s see:

    1. Cindy Sheehan’s protests are irrelevant.

    2. She has a perfect right to stage them. As a former American fighting man as we were called in the Army I personally served to protec her right to do it, inlike Republican chickenhawks who bleat about it.

    3. Anyone who takes the bait of the Republicans on this issue, and any other where we help savage our own is foolish and helps them.

    4. Never pass a chance to make our talking points more important than their’s. Ever.

    If you don’t, you get swiftboated like Mr. Kerry who should have kicked his detractors in the balls

    BTW, did you know that George Bush has proposed a treay with India that let’s them continue a nuclear arms build up while gaining access to new technology from the west? Furthermore, this weakens our case against Iran which doesn’t allow inspection of their military facilities because some people in the world do have a problem with double standards.

  180. 180
    Richard Bottoms says:

    And BTW, we are going to whip Republican ass in November.

  181. 181
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Perhaps this will help clarify what I mean about doing hteir job for them.

    As most of you undoubtedly already know, Jane has been holding a “Joe Klein, in his own words” contest these last few nights and they’ve come up with some doozies. It’s down to the final round and I’m sorry to see that my favorite didn’t make the cut:

    The Great Society was an utter failure because it helped to contribute to social irresponsibility at the very bottom.
    http://firedoglake.blogspot.co.....8257309404

    As with virtually everything else he has ever written, he was spouting bullshit GOP propaganda

    If there is a prize for the political scam of the 20th century, it should go to the conservatives for propagating as conventional wisdom that the Great Society programs of the 1960s were a misguided and failed social experiment that wasted taxpayers’ money.

    Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, from 1963 when Lyndon Johnson took office until 1970 as the impact of his Great Society programs were felt, the portion of Americans living below the poverty line dropped from 22.2 percent to 12.6 percent, the most dramatic decline over such a brief period in this century.

    Fuck the Republicans and their talking points, on Sheenhan and anything else. The fact that she upsats som numbskulls who were never going to vote for us anyway bothers me not one whit.

    She is only as important as you let them make her. Frankly, if Tim hadn’t posted about this so-called nig deal protest at rcruiting offices I would have never heard about it.

    Cause it’s just that important.

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] To which Tim F. says: No, let’s not. I have all kinds of problems with the government but the last thing that I want to do right now is starve the military for recruits. It’s like some denigrating leftie caricature. So we want out of Iraq, great. I’m on board. Now find some way to accomplish that which doesn’t leave the military even less equipped to handle real-deal threats and set up “the left” as some sort of enemy of national service. Seriously, this has to be the most counterproductive use of energy that I’ve ever seen. […]

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