The Futility of Anti-War Protests

At some point, this gets laughable:

The third anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq drew tens of thousands of protesters — shouting chants of “stop the war” and calling for the withdrawal of troops — in demonstrations across the globe. (Related gallery:War milestone sparks rallies)

More than 7,000 people marched through downtown Chicago in one of the nation’s largest protests, saying the war diverts money from domestic needs and demanding the U.S. pull out of Iraq. One sign read, “Bush is a category 5 disaster.”

“I’m against this war, I’m against the torture,” said protester Martha Conrad, 54. “We’re doing this for the people of Iraq.”

In Tokyo, anti-war rallies stretched into a second day, with about 800 protesters chanting “no war, stop the war!” and banging drums as they marched peacefully Sunday through downtown Tokyo toward the U.S. Embassy. A day earlier, about 2,000 rallied in Tokyo.

“The Iraq war was President Bush’s big mistake and the whole world is against him,” organizer Ayako Nishimura said. “Iraq must decide its own affairs.”

I am no Bush defender, but at some point it becomes pretty clear that these anti-war protests are little more than anti-Bush protests. While hating Bush has become far more fashionable as of late (in fact, hating Bush is so popular that the cool kids are already doing something else), these protests accomplish very little. Bus is already in the middle to low 30’s in popularity, and there really is no ‘war’ to protest, per se.

In the local news here, people were saying “I have been against the war since the beginning. This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.” Except it isn’t. At all. There really is no occupation, because occupations would imply some sort of control over the region. The insurgents are not really insurgents (or ‘freedom fighters” for you Michael Moore fans). They are terrorists who wish the country will fall deeper into chaos so that they can pursue their own aims (re-establishing the Baathist regime, instilling a theocratic regime, general mayhem- whatever they may be).

No one wants an American withdrawal from Iraq more than the soldiers on the ground, the military leadership, this administration, and nervous Republican incumbents who are scared to death about November. No one. But an American withdrawal from Iraq will no more “End the war NOW!” than these anti-war protests (all an American withdrawal will end is American involvement in the debacle), so they might as well be protesting cancer, or stubbed toes. For now, excuse me if I view these anti-war protests as little more than theatrical stunts designed to allow for some partisan sniping and to give some bored people an opportunity to show off their latest hemp tie-dye.






410 replies
  1. 1
    SomeCallMeTim says:

    Let’s see:

    Option A – “anti-war protests as theatrical stunts designed to allow for some partisan sniping”;
    Option B – war as political stunt designed to secure votes, extend an Administration’s power, and serve as a backdrop to a Toby Keith video.

    B is clearly worse than A; even cynics think the Administration and its supporters blow!

  2. 2
    ppGaz says:

    Is this a troll? Because you can’t possibly be serious, John.

    The world is paying little attention to the “protests” but it is paying a lot of attention to the reality of the war, and to the realities of American politics in light of that war.

    In light of that attention, what exactly is the point of your article? What contribution do you think it makes to this set of realities today, with the country in trouble and very unhappy with the situation? That you can still write 1974-style snark?

    Jesus. Pathetic.

  3. 3
    ppGaz says:

    In case you don’t get it, you could have shipped that article over to scrutator and posted it above a Leonidas byline, and it would have fitted right in.

    That’s how frigging lame it is.

  4. 4
    ppGaz says:

    Maybe all caps is your style?

    YOU THINK WHAT IS GOING ON IN THE WORLD AND AMERICA RIGHT NOW IS ABOUT HIPPIES? BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT YOUR USELESS POST IS ABOUT. IT’S ABOUT HIPPIES.

  5. 5
    RonB says:

    The insurgents are not really insurgents (or ‘freedom fighters” for you Michael Moore fans). They are terrorists who wish the country will fall deeper into chaos so that they can pursue their own aims (re-establishing the Baathist regime, instilling a theocratic regime, general mayhem- whatever they may be).

    This is bologna. Trying to put all the violence in Iraq under the rubric of “terrorists” is straight up misleading and is exactly the sort of thing that allows Bush and supporters to black and white this thing.

  6. 6
    anonymous says:

    I don’t think they figured out that Plam and the CIA started the war using Bush to get rid of covert WMD program at CIA and they PLANNED TO PROTEST AFTER STARTING THE WAR, so thye don’t kknow that is the type of people they’re with.

  7. 7
    John Cole says:

    PPGAZ- I am not so sure what you find so damned objectionable about this post, but your full-throated and half-witted defense of the ‘anti-war’ protests makes me more convinced I am right. They aren’t anti-war. They are against American involvement in the war, and even more than that, they are against American involvement in the war as led by Bush/Rumsfeld/evil neocon cabal.

    Withdrawing American troops is not going to stop the war.

    Ron B.- If you can come up with a better name than terrorists for the people executing people in the street, blowing up mosques, etc., please let me know what it is. I recognize that there are multiple motives for the disparate groups, but I think calling them terrorists is not all that outrageous or inaccurate.

  8. 8
    Doug says:

    I don’t think the primary purpose, or at least usefulness, of protests is to change policy. I think it’s to show like minded folks that they are not alone. It’s not so much the case now, but in earlier parts of the war if you were opposed to the war and just relied on cable news, you would have felt utterly isolated.

  9. 9
    ppGaz says:

    Well argued, John. My response convinces you you are right.

    As if you needed convincing that you were right. That’s right, everybody, it took me to convince John he was right.

    I have no respect for you John. None. If you want to stand up and defend the war, and the policy, and you can do that without resorting to your patented Mother Sheehan rhetoric, if you can actually make a case, go ahead. People might respect something like that.

    But this is just you drumming up traffic, or more likely, just getting attention to yourself, by throwing snot on your lefty commentariat.

    Good for you. Well done. Stand proud, this is your finest moment.

    Bah. You deserve a lefty boycott of your blog, and you deserve to sit here with your Stormy and Tall Dave traffic all to yourself. THEY won’t embarass you by calling you on your shit. They’ll tell you how “right” you are.

    Like I said, pathetic. You should have stayed on vacation.

  10. 10
    RonB says:

    Alright, John, fair enough, they are terrorizing the civilians of Iraq but they are far from the “terrorists” of our war on terror. I just thought it important to make that distinction that what fuels the Islamonuts who plowed into the WTC ain’t quite what’s fueling the violence in Iraq.

  11. 11
    ppGaz says:

    Withdrawing American troops is not going to stop the war.

    Oh, that’s rich. I said that to you LAST SUMMER, when you were too, uh, conflicted to even TALK about the frigging war.

    And almost a year later, the best you can do is try to gin up some hippie-bashing with a reference to tie dyes.

    Yeah, this is a lot easier than actually taking a position on the sorry state of the world and our country today, this requires no work at all.

    Homer Simpson could have written your post.

  12. 12
    John S. says:

    Cue whatever right-wigers are left inhabiting this blog to rush to John’s aid in 3…2…1…

    With so many OTHER legitimate and pressing concerns going on in the world, Cole can only manage to come up with a scathing indictment of anti-war protestors.

    We all understand how upset you are with your Republican party and the leadership of this administration, but lashing out at people who are completely irrelevant and NOT policy-makers (protestors, Michael Moore, hippies, et al.) is totally futile.

    I guess you ARE still in love with the GOP after all, since not only do you give them a pass entirely, but you boldly – and somewhat ironically – declare that nobody is more committed to ending the war than the people who started it and have kept it going.

    But DAMN those hippies and war protestors and their flagrant political stunts! Oh the outrage!

  13. 13
    capelza says:

    As the support for the war erodes…it seems kind of redundant to have an anti-war movement.

    However, John Cole, shame on you..in your Cindy Sheehan frisson your cutting a broad swath against anyone who protests. Some are idiots, some are posers, and yeah, some hate Bush (what is there NOT to hate), but some actually just hate this war.

    My libertarian step son (he laughs at hippies), who’d be a republican if they weren’t so damn disgusting to him has protested this war much to his parent’s shock and amazement. He was only 18 and it wasn’t even to pick up hippie chicks! His father had misgivings at first because of his own experiences as a soldier during that other war, but realised that it wasn’t about “baby killing soldiers” and actually was very proud of him.

    Well just one home-spun antecdote, but it isn’t all about hating Bush. As for the sign that said “Bush is a Cat 5 disaster”..do you actually disagree?

  14. 14
    Mark-NC says:

    I don’t think the primary purpose, or at least usefulness, of protests is to change policy. I think it’s to show like minded folks that they are not alone. It’s not so much the case now, but in earlier parts of the war if you were opposed to the war and just relied on cable news, you would have felt utterly isolated.

    Absolutely spot on!

    Alright, John, fair enough, they are terrorizing the civilians of Iraq but they are far from the “terrorists” of our war on terror. I just thought it important to make that distinction that what fuels the Islamonuts who plowed into the WTC ain’t quite what’s fueling the violence in Iraq.

    Also correct – in my humble opinion!

    For now, excuse me if I view these anti-war protests as little more than theatrical stunts designed to allow for some partisan sniping and to give some bored people an opportunity to show off their latest hemp tie-dye.

    True again. Bush and company couldn’t care less what the American people think, or the entire planet!

  15. 15
    demimondian says:

    You’re right, John: withdrawing the troops isn’t going to stop the war. Here’s my question to you, then: will continuing current deployment levels stop the war? Is there any evidence that there is any palatable option which would stop — or even mitigate — the war?

  16. 16
    Vlad says:

    I don’t think they’re big on tie-dye in Japan, John.

    ppGaz is right. If this is all you have to offer right now, you would’ve been better off just watching the tournament.

  17. 17
    John Cole says:

    Alright- we will try this.

    What was the point of the protests?

  18. 18
    John S. says:

    I also wonder what exactly this is supposed to mean:

    Withdrawing American troops is not going to stop the war.

    Um, so if there aren’t any American military units in Iraq, then the Iraq War won’t be over? Or are we going all-out Bushian here and just conflating the war there with the War on Terrah? In that case, your statment is technically correct.

    On the other hand, I always held to the notion that it takes two to tango or that the sound of one hand clapping is deafening silence. Perhaps in this post 9/11 world we live in those rules have changed as well?

  19. 19
    norbizness says:

    Either this is John’s way of saying “Alright, alright already! Invasion was a mistake!”, or maybe there is a segment of the country needs reminding that a trillion-dollar war which has killed tens of thousands of people, encouraged the terrorism growth industry, and likely led to civil war that can’t be stopped by a nominal government friendly with Iran was not worth it.

    After all, I think 40% of the country still believes that they’d do it all over again. What the fuck, people.

  20. 20
    John S. says:

    What was the point of the protests?

    What the hell are you asking us for? I don’t think anyone commenting here attended any of them, and even if they did, how could they speak for everyone?

    What was the point of you erecting a nice little Bush-hating, leftist, politically motivated hippie straw man to knock down?

    You know, Bush has been accused of framing debates as thus.

  21. 21
    norbizness says:

    And who knows, maybe the “anti-war” position could be preemptively applied to any plans for Iran scheduled for, say… I don’t know… immediately prior to the midterm elections? Remind me again when the big push for the Presidential authorization occurred last time?

  22. 22
    RonB says:

    What was the point of the protests?

    Making yourself heard. Solidarity. Strength in numbers to show people how big the opposition is in case they don’t know. Look, I don’t think much of the theatrics either, but I’d say a significant portion of people aren’t coming out for the free pot.

  23. 23
    The Other Steve says:

    Ok, let’s look at this another way.

    I am no Bush defender, but at some point it becomes pretty clear that these anti-war protests are little more than anti-Bush protests.

    Naw, they’re parties. Sorry to disappoint you, but protesting to some on the left is like inviting your friends over for a BBQ. It’s a nice thing to do on a weekend afternoon, invite the whole family. There’s puppets, and clowns for the kids even.

    It’s mainly the war they hate. The only reason GW Bush is the target of their chants is he’s the cause of the war.

    There really is no occupation, because occupations would imply some sort of control over the region.

    Well, not for lack of trying. I think we all recognize that the US would prefer to be in control.

    The insurgents are not really insurgents (or ‘freedom fighters” for you Michael Moore fans). They are terrorists who wish the country will fall deeper into chaos so that they can pursue their own aims (re-establishing the Baathist regime, instilling a theocratic regime, general mayhem- whatever they may be).

    I don’t get this one. What the hell do you think an insurgent is? They are someone who doesn’t like you in control… they want to be in control.

    No one. But an American withdrawal from Iraq will no more “End the war NOW!” than these anti-war protests (all an American withdrawal will end is American involvement in the debacle), so they might as well be protesting cancer, or stubbed toes.

    That’s all I really care about. It’s not my battle. It’s the Iraqis battle for self-determination. So let’s get out of there, so we stop being a target destroying our strategic interests.

    And actually I do protest stubbed toes every summer, by refusing to wear sandals.

    For now, excuse me if I view these anti-war protests as little more than theatrical stunts designed to allow for some partisan sniping and to give some bored people an opportunity to show off their latest hemp tie-dye.

    Well, that’s actually pretty much what they are.

    anti-war protests are futile, they serve no value. Nobody pays any attention to them. They’ve been overdone here in America to the point of being a cliche.

    The only value they have is the party aspect. That is, the people attending get to hang out and chit chat with others who feel as they do. This helps reinforce their psyche and makes them feel better.

    Instead of protests, they really just ought to call them a rally.

  24. 24
    Otto Man says:

    There really is no occupation, because occupations would imply some sort of control over the region.

    So, the fact that we’re constructing sixteen permanent military bases and the largest American embassy in the world means what exactly? It’s not total control, for sure, but it certainly does look like an occupation.

  25. 25
    ppGaz says:

    What was the point of the protests?

    Translation: You have no answer for my question, What was the point of this post?

    Have you ever participated in a protest, John? It’s an action thing, not a Hot Air thing. It’s people pissed off about something and picking up a sign and walking down the street. That’s it. It’s an act of defiance and just as legitimate a form of expression as some guy building a blog and then shooting his mouth off every day. It’s no different from what we are doing here, it’s just a different form of theater. One you have made it clear that you despise, and so that’s what this is about: You.

    You despise protests. You despise Sheehan. Pay attention, everybody, the world is going into the shitter, but John despises protests! Let’s all gather around and praise him for having the great courage to say that he despises protests!!

    You know what? I just watched a round table on Fox News about a half hour ago. A little right-tilted, of course, but it was at least a real discussion. It was reasoned and and honest exchange between the participants. And it was about a thousand times better than this crummy thread.

    That’s right. Fox News, a thousand times better than your thread.

    Really, you should give yourself some kind of award for today, John. Show us all how loudly you can pat yourself on the back and pretend to be better than the angst over the sorry condition of the world. After all, angst is so unseemly …. unless it’s yours, of course.

  26. 26
    Otto Man says:

    I don’t think the primary purpose, or at least usefulness, of protests is to change policy. I think it’s to show like minded folks that they are not alone.

    Agreed. I remember marching in New York in February 2003 — when it was about 10 degrees with a strong wind out — and being floored that there were about a half million people on the streets. This was when the news media was making it seem like being against the war was akin to being against electricity.

    The reason the protests were so small this weekend is that it’s clear that what they’re protesting for is now a majority position. There’s no need to hit the streets to show support for a position and the others who hold it when the polls and public opinion are on your side.

  27. 27
    capelza says:

    Otto Man I agree. I wonder if they would get bigger if the sabre rattling with Iran notches up…

    Some wingnuts I know are dancing with delight that there wasn’t a huge turnout (they are obsessing over it actually. And to tell you the truth, I wouldn’t have even known about these planned anti-war marches if the wingnuts hadn’t informed me that THE LEFT was doing it)…completely ignoring the fact that most of the country already is against the war as well.

  28. 28
    The Other Steve says:

    You despise protests. You despise Sheehan. Pay attention, everybody, the world is going into the shitter, but John despises protests! Let’s all gather around and praise him for having the great courage to say that he despises protests!!

    That’s a good point.

    It shows real courage to attack protestors. I mean, if John Cole didn’t do it, who would?

  29. 29
    chopper says:

    man, i’ve been to demonstrations like these, and i agree that they are clearly trending towards irrelevent. but a lot of that is from our society and the way the media minimizes them; 1 million people could march on washington, and the media makes it out like it was 2 thousand, and always finds the biggest crackpot to interview for the camera. used to be these sorts of things had an effect on people, but times have changed.

    that being said, it fails as a decent distraction to the problems the war has caused. ‘hey look, a bunch of dirty hippies’ just doesn’t have the don’t-look-behind-the-curtain effect it used to have.

  30. 30
    The Other Steve says:

    This was when the news media was making it seem like being against the war was akin to being against electricity.

    Worse than that.

    Being against the war in 2003 was like protesting Gravity.

  31. 31
    John Cole says:

    It shows real courage to attack protestors. I mean, if John Cole didn’t do it, who would?

    I hate all protestors. Pro-choice, anti-abortion, whatever.

  32. 32
    D. Mason says:

    I am no Bush defender…

    There was a jackass in my high school who used that very same tactic. He would say “I’m no racist” followed by some example of why he hates “niggers” so much. It would have been amusing if it weren’t so pathetic.

    If you can come up with a better name than terrorists for the people executing people in the street, blowing up mosques, etc., please let me know what it is.

    A couple of years ago they called em U.S. Soldiers. And here I was thinking you supported our troops, John, now you’re calling the things they do acts of terrorism, for shame. I guess it’s just the administration you support. Afterall what else could this post be except support for the administration? Those damn dirty hipies are helping Bush drive his approval ratings into the low 30’s, and God willing, one day into the low 20’s. Granted he doesn’t need any help, but it’s people helping people, beautiful stuff. So when you lash out against people who are serving no purpose except to spread the word about how big of a pile your chosen president is, how can anyone see it as anything besides you attempting to shield your guy?

    The proof is in the pudding. You can say that you’re tired of the GOP all you want but when you turn around and carry water for them, your true colors shine through. Though I do understand why you would want to obfuscate your fondness for the Bush junta, it’s embarrassing to cheer for a bona fide loser.

  33. 33
    The Other Steve says:

    that being said, it fails as a decent distraction to the problems the war has caused. ‘hey look, a bunch of dirty hippies’ just doesn’t have the don’t-look-behind-the-curtain effect it used to have.

    The 60’s was an intersection between several different forms of protest.

    The anti-establishment, the anti-commercialism, the anti-war. Most were anti-war, but there were a lot of anti-commercialism, and a few anti-establishment who ruined it for everybody else by planting bombs and shit.

    That’s what has made it harder today for the wingnuts. It’s just anti-war. Back then, they could claim if you were against the war, you were against America too and point to examples to prove their claim.

    Doesn’t work today.

    Oh yeah,a nd people shower more often today. Back then, the average American still only took a bath once a week or so.

  34. 34
    Bruce in Alta California says:

    Oh my boy John, you missed the point of the protest entirely.

    You see, it was a “Broad Coalition” of protesters in the true sense of the definition of broad coalition. Had the protest been organized in the Bushian sense of the term, it would have been 95% hippies, 4% grandmas and 1% groupies who were there only to try to curry favor from the hippies.

  35. 35
    ppGaz says:

    I hate all protestors. Pro-choice, anti-abortion, whatever.

    You know, that is no longer just idiosyncratic and oddly interesting.

    It’s twisted. You hate protesters?

    Unless I am missing something, there is no other public form of disapproval of anything where people can gather, display their signs, have a speech or two ….

    WTF? Public assembly is the essence of what America is supposed to be about. And you hate it?

    All due respect, that’s your problem. Why make it our problem?

  36. 36
    RonB says:

    It’s an act of defiance and just as legitimate a form of expression as some guy building a blog and then shooting his mouth off every day. It’s no different from what we are doing here, it’s just a different form of theater.

    What he said.

  37. 37
    The Other Steve says:

    I hate all protestors. Pro-choice, anti-abortion, whatever.

    I don’t hate them. I just think they’re irrelevant.

    If you can come up with a better name than terrorists for the people executing people in the street, blowing up mosques, etc., please let me know what it is. I recognize that there are multiple motives for the disparate groups, but I think calling them terrorists is not all that outrageous or inaccurate.

    That’s fine. I think my only point is you can’t claim terrorists aren’t insurgents. As if some how insurgent was a noble cause. They can be both.

    It really depends on your point of view.

    Was tar and feathering the tax collector a noble act? Or was it an act of terrorism? That’d depend, I think, on whether you were American or a British tax collector.

  38. 38
    Barbar says:

    Why don’t the protestors just get blogs like real Americans?

  39. 39
    The Other Steve says:

    WTF? Public assembly is the essence of what America is supposed to be about. And you hate it?

    Maybe these protestors instead of marching should write Op-Ed columns for the papers.

    Oh, that’s right. Newspapers only publish shit if your conservative or a Lieberman liberal. Anything different from that is regarded as too controversial. Like protesting Gravity or something.

  40. 40
    The Other Steve says:

    Why don’t the protestors just get blogs like real Americans?

    Blogs have power. It’s like David hitting Goliath with a stone.

    Or not. It depends on what meds Glenn Reynolds is on that week.

  41. 41
    The Other Steve says:

    Anyway, I gotta go be useful.

    My broader point, John. If something bugs you and it’s not harming anybody… learn to ignore it.

    That’s what I do.

  42. 42
    Steve says:

    Of course there is going to be violence in Iraq if we leave. If your agenda is that we must stay in Iraq until it is all hearts and flowers and a stable government, (1) welcome to Vietnam, (2) that day is not coming.

    Keep in mind, before the invasion, we would have been absolutely thrilled if there had been a violent revolution in Iraq. It would have been messy, but it would have been Somebody Else’s Problem, which was a-ok with us. But there are still a few people who can’t reconcile themselves to the idea of leaving the Iraqis to sort matters out for themselves. No, our military must still stay and preside over it all, even if there’s nothing to be accomplished.

    No one seriously believes that al-Zarqawi and his tiny band of al-Qaeda will be able to take over the government. It’s just a sectarian power struggle that will resolve itself just as fast without our help. But we remain out of pure stubbornness.

  43. 43
    ppGaz says:

    Well, there’s Dick Cheney on my tv screen as I write, on Face the Nation. Making a case for “things are going well in Iraq.”

    Obviously, I strongly disagree. But he’s at least making a case, point by point. Creating the basis for airing the issues. I’d love to be on the panel with him and argue with him myself.

    But as much as I have bashed Cheney here, gotta tell you, what he is doing is better than “Protesters are funny looking.” What Cheney is doing is arguing, which is what Americans are supposed to do. “Protesters are funny” is the stuff of Homer Simpson or Rush Limbaugh.

    I think we can do better here than descend to the level of Rush Limbaugh.

  44. 44
    scs says:

    to give some bored people an opportunity to show off their latest hemp tie-dye.

    That was hysterical. That’s what I’ve always wondered too.

  45. 45
    scs says:

    I think these anti-war marches are just another example of leftie hyocrisy. These marchers profess to be so concerned about the poor Iraqis we’ve harmed by invading Iraq, but the reality is we’ve saved thousands more Iraqi’s from being put into mass graves. They weren’t so concerened about those repressed Iraqi’s before the war for some reason – not a single march in their support, but now plenty – why? And what they don’t realize, but should, is if Bush pulls his troops out now, the only effect that will have is a potential to trade the 1000 US military deaths per year with probably 20,000 more Iraqi deaths per year that may result from the chaos that follows. So it seems these global marchers are much more concerned about US deaths than the deaths of Iraqis. Well, that’s nice to know – from the way they bash America, I woudn’t have guessed.

  46. 46
    ppGaz says:

    That was hysterical. That’s what I’ve always wondered too.

    There ya go, John. Mission Accomplished.

    You got the scs vote of approval.

    Clearly, the point goes to you. I congratualate the victor.

    I won’t be needed on this thread any longer. Enjoy your great triumph.

  47. 47
    Otto Man says:

    Blogs have power. It’s like David hitting Goliath with a stone.

    Or not. It depends on what meds Glenn Reynolds is on that week.

    Heh. Indeed.

  48. 48
    capelza says:

    scs Says:

    to give some bored people an opportunity to show off their latest hemp tie-dye.

    That was hysterical. That’s what I’ve always wondered too.

    This thread is dead…

  49. 49
    scs says:

    No one seriously believes that al-Zarqawi and his tiny band of al-Qaeda will be able to take over the government

    If they join up with the Baathists, they might. In case you haven’t noticed, that’s kind of what’s been going on there.

  50. 50
    scs says:

    But as much as I have bashed Cheney here, gotta tell you, what he is doing is better than “Protesters are funny looking

    It’s not that they are funny looking. It’s that they are posers.

  51. 51
    scs says:

    Well if ppgz and DougJ and clones leave the thread, that takes away 95% of the posters here. Not that that is a bad thing necessarily…

  52. 52
    The Other Steve says:

    I think these anti-war marches are just another example of leftie hyocrisy. These marchers profess to be so concerned about the poor Iraqis we’ve harmed by invading Iraq, but the reality is we’ve saved thousands more Iraqi’s from being put into mass graves.

    Yes, now they get an individual grave.

    And a casket.

    How sweet of you.

  53. 53
    ppGaz says:

    Just read this (clip from DKos) and keep thinking about how funny looking those protesters are. Because that is what is really important. Funny looking protesters. And of course, making scs laugh.

    On March 17th, the military said there was “no resistance,” and no casualties. So far, only less than 80 “insurgents” have been nabbed, and many of them were immediately released. (Though the Department of Defense in its release refers to the Iraqis as “terrorists” not “insurgents.”) Today, we learn that eight civilians, including a child, were killed in clashes between U.S. troops and gunmen in Duluiyah, part of the area targeted in the air assault campaign. It’s unclear what exactly is transpiring; there is a media blackout. However, what little information is trickling out from the operation reveals the true cost of this PR campaign.

    Operation Swarmer has caused the displacement of 700 Iraqi families. Most fled the Samara area with nothing but the clothes on their back:

    “When they started to hit our city I didn’t take anything. I just took my family and ran like hell. We don’t have anything to eat or wear,” urged Barakat Muhammad, a resident and father of five in Samarra.

    The displaced families have taken refuge in abandoned buildings in the outskirts of the city. The situation, as described by the Red Crecent, is a humanitarian crisis:

    “We have sent volunteers from the disaster department to monitor the situation and we are preparing ourselves for an emergency,” said Ferdous al-Abadi, spokesperson for the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) in Baghdad. […]

    “They need urgent help and we call on all organisations to offer them supplies and medical support as soon as possible,” Tikrit stressed.

    Those supplies include medical supplies. While the U.S. military maintains there have not been any casualties, local doctors tell a different story:

    [L]ocal doctors say that at least 35 civilians including women and children have been treated at the local hospital with injuries caused by the air-strikes. In addition, 18 bodies had been taken to the hospital since 17 March.

    “We have run out of supplies and if the operation continues we need urgent surgical materials and pain killers to offer treatment to the innocent victims,” Dr Ibraheem Mahmoud, of the emergency department at the local hospital in Samarra, said.

    An entire village displaced, innocent civilians captured or injured, and for what? Well, the DOD in its release says, they found six weapons caches including “mortar rounds, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, artillery rounds and a significant amount of other bomb-making materials for improvised explosive devices.” But Major John Callahan of the 101st Airborne Division admitted the caches “were not huge.” This operation, which may last for several more days, may well have been a massive attempt to secure the region, but the government has approached it as a coordinated offensive to turn around public opinion about the war.

  54. 54
    4jkb4ia says:

    John! Bradley 6, Pitt 0! They look sick! And your team is headed towards another blowout! Where is the justice in this?

  55. 55
    VidaLoca says:

    John,

    Late to the thread, and this seems a little like piling on at this point. But anyhow — I really don’t get this:

    I hate all protestors. Pro-choice, anti-abortion, whatever.

    You write often, and write eloquently, in protest against the anti-abortion fanatics, the “Intelligent” Design fanatics, and other subsets of fanatics that hold positions of power in the current government. That makes you a protestor. In these times it’s an honorable thing to be because if you’re not protesting some way, some how, you’re acquiescing; you’re accepting that the way things are is the way things should go in this country.

    Then you get up all crabby on a Sunday morning and write a fairly incoherent rant against some other people who are only different from you in that they’re choosing to use a different set of tactics than blogging? WTF? They’re only trying to move the ball down the field in the same direction you are.

  56. 56
    scs says:

    They weren’t so concerened about those repressed Iraqi’s before the war for some reason – not a single march in their support, but now plenty – why?

    Okay I am going to answer my own question, and explain these war protestors for you all once and for all.

    My theory is not so much that war-protestors care so much about suffering and dying people in the world – even though that is their cover story. There are people killed by the thousands in low level wars in Africa everyday and not one large, thronging, angry march in big cities around the world, that I’m aware of, is called by the various global lefties to call attention to, and protest, these senseless brutal deaths. I wouldn’t be surprised in the number of deaths in Africa, such as in Sudan, is greater than the number of deaths going on in Iraq. And not only that, but the number of deaths now in Iraq is due more to the actions of “freedom fighters” in Iraq, against not only US troops but against other Iraqi’s civilians from other religious sects. Yet, these peace marchers never hold a loud angry thronging march against Al Qaeda or Baathist terrorists, and protest their senseless killings. Why is that? I guess it doesn’t really bother them that much.

    No, what these peace lovers are REALLY angry about is not the senseless deaths, they are angry about the western “occupation of a sovereign country”, otherwise known as Iraq, In fact Krista just brought that idea of a “sovereign country” the other day. It’s anger based on geopolitical reasons, not based on any large caring for the suffering of people. And not only any country – but the big bad US. Do you think if Ethiopia invaded Eritrea any Leftie would hold an anti-war march? I doubt it. To them the “sovereignity” of Iraq, a country in where 80% of the population was brutally repressed and killed by the dictator class, is more important than trying to help these repressed people. If that weren’t the case, you would hear lefties saying- “okay, we didn’t find WMD’s there, but that’s not imporant anymore. What’s important now is to help Iraqi’s try and build a better government that respects all of it’s people, and hopefully start a better system in the Middle East. And let’s try and help them as best we can till that mission is done.” But somehow, I don’t hear that from any leftie. And they care about the people of Iraq? Let’s face it, it’s just hypocrisy.

  57. 57
    Paddy O'Shea says:

    Looks to me that while John Cole was away he learned to speak triple-talk.

    Which is an entire level up from the double-talk he used to entertain us with.

  58. 58
    Richard Bottoms says:

    What was the point of the protests?

    To let the White House know we object to being accomplices to the war so that when the next generation asks, “Did you do ANYTHING to stop this sensless military action?” we’ll be able to say yes.

    The election is months away, in the meantime our voices have been raised.

    BAGHDAD, 19 March (IRIN) – Hundreds of families have fled the city of Samarra, some 120 km northwest of the capital, Baghdad, after US coalition and Iraqi forces launched the biggest air offensive in the country since 2003.

    “We have sent volunteers from the disaster department to monitor the situation and we are preparing ourselves for an emergency,” said Ferdous al-Abadi, spokesperson for the Iraqi Red Crescent Society (IRCS) in Baghdad.

    IRCS volunteers working in the Salahuddine governorate, where Samarra is located, said more than 700 families had left the city and no one had received aid so far.

    “We have informed the IRCS’s office in the capital about the critical situation and they are going to send a convoy to the area. The main requirements are blankets, tents, food supplies, potable water and medicine,” explained Ahmed Tikrit, a volunteer for the IRCS and resident of Samarra.

    “They need urgent help and we call on all organisations to offer them supplies and medical support as soon as possible,” Tikrit stressed.

    http://www.alertnet.org/thenew.....5471ce.htm

    If after all you’ve seen about this administration’s incompetence and recklessness you still equate vocal opponets to the war as a bunch of hippies, your head is made of denser granite then George Bush’s.

    You hate all proteters. Well fortunately they don’t need your permission to go out in the streets.

    Point is the millions who protested before the war were RIGHT. Unquetionably, utterly, and completely right.

    Most importantly, whenever a supporter of this invasion, you, says everyone agreed Saddam was a threat that needed to be removed by force as we chose to do, well millions of people in the street make that a lie.

  59. 59
    4jkb4ia says:

    Jamie Dixon just called a TO at 12:08. Pitt does not have a single field goal!

  60. 60
    ppGaz says:

    You gotta love it, John. You’ve created an scs thread.

    Even if, as I suspect, you are writing the scs character, or having someone write it for you, which by the way you have never denied ….. it’s quite a feat to create an scs thread and put a finger in the eye of the opponents to the war at the same time …. a war that you yourself don’t have the balls to come right out and defend with any clear voice.

    Well played, I must say. No wonder you guys are running the country. It’s beyond clever.

  61. 61
    scs says:

    you are writing the scs character

    I think it’s pretty funny you think I’m a “charater” when you don’t even want to recognize the real “characters” that are on here, done by someone whom we call “DougJ”.

  62. 62
    Richard Bottoms says:

    The reason the protests were so small this weekend is that it’s clear that what they’re protesting for is now a majority position. There’s no need to hit the streets to show support for a position and the others who hold it when the polls and public opinion are on your side.

    Touche.

  63. 63
    DougJ says:

    John, you are missing the point of the protests. And doing so in an idiotic Bush-cultist manner that is entirely beneath you. A couple points:

    (1) It is possible to protest the war without advocating immediate withdrawl. Thinking it was a mistake to go in does not mean that you think we should leave now, or that we shouldn’t leave now for that matter.

    (2) Why should anyone believe the Bush administration that we need to stay there now? They were wrong about WMD, wrong about being greeted as liberators, wrong about the cost of the war…tell me when you want me to stop? What makes you think they are right about the value of staying there now? Do you know anything that the protesters who do advocate withdrawl don’t know?

    John, you’re a good guy and you run a nice blog, but you ought to think before you start spouting Bush cultist nonsense about war protesters. You’re better than that, as I said earlier.

  64. 64
    ppGaz says:

    I think it’s pretty funny

    Well then, another successful day. Entertaining you is what this is all about, John. Why else call your blog “Balloon-Juice?” I mean, you didn’t call it “Tomato Juice.”

  65. 65
    VidaLoca says:

    scs,

    Leaving everything else you said aside, if this is what you want

    What’s important now is to help Iraqi’s try and build a better government that respects all of it’s people, and hopefully start a better system in the Middle East. And let’s try and help them as best we can till that mission is done.

    the time is long past that our continued occupation of their country will to anything to further than end.
    Our occupation is the proximate cause of, not the solution to, the crisis there: a civil war, decades in the making, that despite our vast arrogance (but partly because of our stunning incompetence) we will be unable to avert.

  66. 66
    Andrew says:

    I hate all protestors. Pro-choice, anti-abortion, whatever.

    Now, I’m sure you mean to couch this in terms of modern hippie, liberal, feel-good do-nothing protests and that you don’t think that civil rights marches and such are quite so useless and annoying.

    However, the original post is the most bullshit thing that I’ve ever seen on this site.

    There’s no occupation?

    There are no insurgents?

    No one wants to withdraw more than the Whitehouse, Republicans in Congress, and the generals?

    There are only terrorists doing terroristy things.

    Under the guise of bitching about the futility of anti-war protest, it appears that you’re angling for an administration job as Scott McClellan’s replacement.

  67. 67
    The Other Steve says:

    It’s anger based on geopolitical reasons, not based on any large caring for the suffering of people.

    Yes, that’s right. Because really in truth, they don’t care about anybody but themselves. Unlike scs who cares about everybody.

    I’m glad that you care enough to buy Iraqi’s a casket and a tombstone. Because you know, the only thing worse than being dead is being buried in an unmarked mass grave.

  68. 68
    DougJ says:

    I just want to say one more thing. We should all applaud protesters in general, whether we agree with them or not. Publicly expressing one’s opinions is a right that not enough of us exercise. I support anti-war protesters, pro-war protesters, pro-life protesters (though I don’t think they should harass women who are getting abortions or counselling), pro-choice protesters, the million man march people, all of them, as long as they’re peaceful and they’re not harassing anybody. I know, I know, you’ll ask “what about white supremacists and the like”? I support their right to protest too, as long as they’re not trying to intimidate anyone. Better for them to make their opinions known with signs than by burning crosses.

    Once you start criticizing people for expressing their opinions, you’re pretty much saying that you don’t believe in free speech or democracy.

  69. 69
    DougJ says:

    I hate all protestors. Pro-choice, anti-abortion, whatever.

    You can’t be serious.

  70. 70

    Boy, St. Paddy’s was so good I stayed a second day.

    Is John asking why people protest?

    I think a more interesting question is what make makes Cole so crankpants about people publicly showing their displeasure about government policy?

    Should we have polls? After all, they measure people’s opinions? I mean, what the fuh?

    There is a group of about eight people in my little town, mostly middle-aged women, who get together around noon on Saturday at the biggest cross-street. They are dressed in black. There are a few signs. Ever since the war began. Would they piss John off? Who knows.

    On the third anniversary of this monstrous crime we are told by BushCo that there is a long way to go and John says that withdrawing from Iraq won’t stop the civil war we started. Damned right. We should still get out. We should vote every treasonous Republican out of office and we should have hearings on all the criminal actions of these people. We should turn Bush and Cheney and all the evidence over to the The Hague so that they can be tried as war criminals under the Geneva Convention.

    But let’s not have any demonstrations.

    Is it okay for people to cheer or boo at sporting events, John? Because in those public gathering it’s not usually about people dying.

  71. 71
    Pooh says:

    John,

    I hope the Mountaineers lose by 25 today.

  72. 72
    DougJ says:

    “I think we should just trust our president in every decision he makes and should just support that, you know, and be faithful in what happens.”

    –Britney Spears/John Cole

  73. 73

    I’m sure at this late date even John Cole realizes how pathologic his opposition to the right of assembly is and this post is merely an attempt to get a psychological insight without shelling out a co-payment.

  74. 74
    Pooh says:

    And of course, by the Cole ‘school’ of ‘argumentation’, scs agrees strongly with this post, therefore I disagree.

    PPGAZ- I am not so sure what you find so damned objectionable about this post, but your full-throated and half-witted defense of the ‘anti-war’ protests makes me more convinced I am right.

    Further

    They are against American involvement in the war, and even more than that, they are against American involvement in the war as led by Bush/Rumsfeld/evil neocon cabal.

    William F. Buckley was there?

    I guess this counts as your “I’m sorry I voted for Bush, but there are still hippies that need killing” post for the week. Your Pajaman overlords will be pleased with both the message and the traffic it generates.

    If you keep posting like this, you might even get to meet Pammy from Atlas Shrugs!

  75. 75
    ppGaz says:

    I think we’ve been had. I think Cole is trying to out-DougJ DougJ. The article was a troll, and scs is a spoof cooked up by John and Tim.

    If I’m right, gotta tip your hat to them. It’s well done.

    I think right now we are acting out a tableau John invented for his class. His students are going to take a test on this thread later in the week.

    If you can think of a more reasonable explanation for this, let me know.

  76. 76
    Jay C says:

    Jeez, what a pile-on! Seems like someone ought to stick up for poor John today…..

    Nope, it won’t be me!

    “…there really is no ‘war’ to protest, per se.”

    Just as an intellectual exercise, John: how exactly would you characterize our present involvement in Iraq: with 138,000 US troops deployed in-country – with enough of them engaged in some sort of combat activity to generate a KIA roster averaging two fatalities a day?
    Two a day.
    Every day.
    Every day for three years with (as far as the Administration seems to envision) no end in sight.

    Technicalities aside: what IS this if not “war” (or the nearest thing to it)?

    And why shouldn’t anyone who thinks this slow steady attrition of our fighting forces (not to mention the “other” casualties, and the obscenely huge expense of it) ought to be brought to an end get out in the streets and make their opinions known?

    Any suggestions as to what we should do, John? Or is just so much easier to bash away at tied-dyed strawmen?

  77. 77

    How’s Cuba doing in the baseball tournament?

  78. 78
    scs says:

    If you can think of a more reasonable explanation for this, let me know.

    Well the only one I can even think of is that people don’t all hold the same opinions you do. But… no…, no wait, that couldn’t be possible.

  79. 79
    4jkb4ia says:

    30-29, halftime. Pitt looking much more alive.

  80. 80
    4jkb4ia says:

    Cuba 3, Dominicans 1. Final will be Cuba-Japan, 8 pm (CT) tomorrow. Does this remind anyone of an Olympic gold medal game?
    Official site: http://www.worldbaseballclassic.com

  81. 81

    It wasn’t so much them dumping the tea, although that was illegal too and brought a lot of bad publicity on the movement. It was that they dressed up like Indians.

  82. 82
    Otto Man says:

    “…there really is no ‘war’ to protest, per se.”

    So what is the administration calling it these days? The Police Action against Global Violent Extremism?

    Does it only count as a war when the administration tries to justify their rush to monarchy on the grounds that “we’re at war”? But when protestors take a stand against it, what? It becomes a diplomatic intervention?

  83. 83
    4jkb4ia says:

    –“I hate all protestors”
    Protest is a constitutional right. In limited situations such as racial discrimination it can have an effect.

  84. 84
    RonB says:

    I’m sure at this late date even John Cole realizes how pathologic his opposition to the right of assembly is and this post is merely an attempt to get a psychological insight without shelling out a co-payment.

    Now THAT was funny.

  85. 85

    You know, I was concerned that John Cole’s recent illness might have been his epiphany on the road to Damascus, so to speak.

    But he’s seemed to have recovered. The surgeons didn’t have to take out the spleen.

    So we’re still going to Damascus, or Tehran, without any reconsideration.

    Whatever. Dumb, angry vitriol. That’s why I come here when I don’t want to listen to Steve Gilliard’s brand of rage.

    It’s been 72 hours without rain here. Life is good.

  86. 86
    Theseus says:

    I am no Bush defender, but at some point it becomes pretty clear that these anti-war protests are little more than anti-Bush protests.

    Well, I support the Iraq War and I still agree with Bush more than I disagree, economically and foreign policy-wise. That said, if these guys want to waste time protesting, well that’s their prerogative. I agree that’s it’s mostly about Bush AND America, at least with respect to foreign protests but that’s been the case for years now. If Bush cured cancer, he’d still be bashed and blamed for everything and anything that can and will go wrong.

    “I have been against the war since the beginning. This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.”

    Well, there you go. That statement all by itself encapsulates all that is wrong with their POV and their bullshit moral relativism. Comparing the United States of America to the frakking Soviet Union (although, somehow, the Soviet Union apparently wasn’t as bad back then when they were opposing America). If their political points are so powerful and so persuasive in and of themselves, then why the need for crude demogaguery? Why the Bush=Hitler, Bush administration=proto-fascists, Guantanamo=Gulag and other such nonsense? Why do many (though not all) on the left feel it necessary to continually bash their own country in order to make political points? Do they think it makes them more sympathetic to foreigners or is it what they truly believe? Rhetorical questions btw.

    For now, excuse me if I view these anti-war protests as little more than theatrical stunts designed to allow for some partisan sniping and to give some bored people an opportunity to show off their latest hemp tie-dye.

    Big deal. Both Dems and Republicans engage in “theatrical stunts” all the time to further their own agendas. Why shouldn’t protesters, unless they are encouraging terrorism and violence; that’s a whole other matter.

  87. 87
    Perry Como says:

    With a debt ceiling raised to $9,000,000,000,000; a war that is going to cost at least $1,000,000,000,000; worsening sectarian violence in that war with our troops caught in-between; a Federal government that supports warrantless wiretaps AND warrantless physical searches; it is good to see that someone has the vision to take on the biggest threat we face as a nation:

    Damn, dirty hippies and their picket signs.

    Paging Eric Cartmen. Hippie bashing on aisle 12.

  88. 88
    Theseus says:

    I just want to say one more thing. We should all applaud protesters in general, whether we agree with them or not. Publicly expressing one’s opinions is a right that not enough of us exercise. I support anti-war protesters, pro-war protesters, pro-life protesters (though I don’t think they should harass women who are getting abortions or counselling), pro-choice protesters, the million man march people, all of them, as long as they’re peaceful and they’re not harassing anybody. I know, I know, you’ll ask “what about white supremacists and the like”? I support their right to protest too, as long as they’re not trying to intimidate anyone. Better for them to make their opinions known with signs than by burning crosses.

    What he said exactly. You defend your ideas, by defending your ideas, through debate, arguments and yes, protests, not by shutting down counter-arguments and opposing viewpoints, whether they are sane, logical and well-reasoned or outright wacky, so long as they are done peacefully.

  89. 89
    DougJ says:

    I’m pretty sure this is a troll too. I always like it when people take my bait, so I’m trying to take John’s here. It’s just as much fun being the trollee as being the troller sometimes.

  90. 90
    Richard Bottoms says:

    I wonder what my drill sargeant would say about people who still want to give Bush the benefit of the doubt on the war?

    I know: “You people are fucking stupid.”

  91. 91
    4jkb4ia says:

    8-point Bradley lead, about 14 minutes to go. Eee!

  92. 92
    Dave Ryan says:

    We’re given a right to protest things we don’t like, and believe it or not, people don’t like this war. Sure, there are people who don’t see immediate troop withdrawl would hurt Iraq more than it already is, but that doesn’t stop them showing other people how they feel.

    Cindy Sheehan is the exception, however. She did make herself the poster-child and built herself up bigger than she really was, but that doesn’t mean all protestors are celebrity conscious maniacs, or in this case, hippies.

    I admit that some protests are formed out of theatrics and are there only for publicity shots, but protesting is a constitutional right of free speech, no matter how many people disagree with and laugh at them.

    Saying “I hated war from day 1” is a valid statement — I haven’t agreed with it since day one, but I’m not a hippy. Saying “hating bush is cool” is merely a reflection of the poll numbers, and I guess something thats a reality has to be knocked down to something of a joke. Equating the disliking of the President to nothing more than a trend just ignites the further distaste I have for partisan politics. People don’t agree with him — people need to see this. We shouldn’t just let him do whatever he wants and say nothing about it because he’s “our President”.

    If it’s ok to send these troops out to die so we don’t have to “fight the war at home” to protect our liberties, the least we should do is accept and tolerate one of them they’re fighting for to begin with.

  93. 93
    capelza says:

    Richard Bottoms…about that benefit of a doubt thing. You know, I sincerely try that every so often. In the end, I still come out with “How could they have been so fucking stupid?!”

  94. 94
    Theseus says:

    I’m pretty sure this is a troll too. I always like it when people take my bait, so I’m trying to take John’s here. It’s just as much fun being the trollee as being the troller sometimes.

    Whatever.

    You made a good point, I agreed with it. Whether you were genuine or not, I couldn’t give a shit. Anyone that offers a viewpoint other than the “conventional wisdom” offered up by the “intellectual giants” of the echo chamber you’ve managed to create here is a troll or a spoof. Do you even know who is and who isn’t real in here anymore? Again, I don’t give a rat’s ass. There are much better things one can do with one’s time than waste it playing Matrix-like games in the comments section of a political blog. Christ, grow the fuck up. As if anyone couldn’t parrot many of the ridiculous “talking points” of the loons on the left.

  95. 95
    DougJ says:

    Hey, Theseus — I didn’t mean that what I said here was a spoof! I just meant that rather than ingore John’s troll, I’d rise to the occassion and go on off it.

    My point here is that I do genuinely like John and think he just did this to foster debate. That’s all.

    I don’t play any games here at all anymore, BTW. I just like tell scs that I do.

  96. 96
    croatoan says:

    If you can come up with a better name than terrorists for the people executing people in the street, blowing up mosques, etc., please let me know what it is.

    How about Interior Ministry death squads? At least for the “people executing people in the street.”

  97. 97
    DougJ says:

    Wouldn’t you rather think that John just likes to egg us on rather than that he’s a anti-free speech nut job?

  98. 98
    4jkb4ia says:

    14-point lead…I will not post again until Pitt actually has the lead. ppGaz: “She went away again! Hooray!”

  99. 99
    Theseus says:

    I apologize for misreading you then. And again, you made an excellent point.

  100. 100

    John complains that the demonstrations aren’t so much anti-war as anti-Bush.

    At this point, what is the difference between Bush and the war, or the point of mass demonstrations to separate the two? His propagandists wedded him to the image of great protector and war hero leader. The evil little scumbag strutted his codpiece on the aircraft carrier and said the war was over. It’s three years later. It would be hard for anyone on either side of the war issue at this stage to see Bush’s (mis)conduct regarding the war as a separate issue from the war.

    I would love for John Cole to formulate a position whereby someone can be opposed to the war we are in and not the President we have.

  101. 101
    Jill says:

    If there were no protests some might have said this proves that people are actually for the war.

  102. 102

    I mean, it’s not a coincidence that we have Bush and we have a war in Iraq. It’s a twofer. You get one, you get the other.

  103. 103
    RonB says:

    I don’t play any games here at all anymore, BTW. I just like tell scs that I do.

    Yeah, you’re much too busy creating the Scrutator out of whole cloth to mess around here…

  104. 104
    Jill says:

    This is Bush’s war and no one else’s.

  105. 105
    Theseus says:

    Wouldn’t you rather think that John just likes to egg us on rather than that he’s a anti-free speech nut job?

    Sure.

    But in his defense, many protesters make it very hard to be sympathetic to them personally, even if you believe their cause is just. It’s also possible that John’s near pathological (yet comical) love-hate obsession with Sheehan for instance has clouded his views on protesters in general for the foreseable future. Although, I’m sure John didn’t object to much in the case of oh say, some of the pro-freedom marches in Lebanon or Ukraine for instance. Hot, young protester babes and all that being a teensy tiny factor, I’m sure.

  106. 106
    ppGaz says:

    I always like it when people take my bait

    Well, you must have a picture of me on your wall, then.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if you AND Cole cooked up the scs scam together.

  107. 107
    KC says:

    Protests? What protests?

  108. 108
    Jill says:

    Republicans rarely protest b/c they are for the revocation of rights, not the protection of rights. And, the pro-war crowd is rather small these days.

  109. 109
    capelza says:

    How about those Protest Warriors, eh? :)

  110. 110
    RonB says:

    I only like this Protest Warrior.

    Meow.

    She might be able to make me vote Republican and spy on my own grandmother.

  111. 111
    4jkb4ia says:

    It’s over. 4jkb4ia’s Mom(Pitt alumna): “Carl Krauser played stupid. They came back when they brought in the second unit in the first half.”

  112. 112
    ppGaz says:

    She might be able to make me vote Republican and spy on my own grandmother.

    My grandma has passed on, but yeah. Integrity has its limits.

  113. 113
    Ancient Purple says:

    Let’s recap this thread:

    1. Ancient Purple was off doing horribly liberal things like spending time with his family, so he came late to the thread.

    2. John Cole writes a post – while scratching his head – wondering why people are bothering protesting and then calls them all “anti-Bush” so the protests are irrelevant.

    3. ppGaz does a trifecta and blasts John Cole.

    4. Others chime in after recovering from the shock and awe of John’s post.

    5. John asks “what is the point of the protests.”

    6. People answer his question.

    7. John’s head explodes, he loses his mind and says he hates all protests. (Hopefully, he isn’t writing that from his office on the university campus because the irony would be so thick.)

    8. scs shows up to remind us about all the fundamentalists in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and how Anchorage, AK and Mesa, AZ are actually communist enclaves complete with orgies and people eating tofu, all because they have an arts festival once a year.

    9. scs prattles on and on while reading her latest edition of Tiger Beat magazine and chatting with her girlfriends online about boys and painting their nails and having a slumber party.

    10. Some people throw in sports scores and someone mentions the debt ceiling.

    11. Krista is no where to be found and that makes me sad.

    12. Peopple start believing that John’s original post is a troll or a spoof, just like scs is.

    13. DougJ tries to salvage the thread. (You have guts, man.)

    14. Dick Cheney reiterated this morning that his “last throes” comment was “basically accurate.”

    15. Ancient Purple pours another mimosa, keeping his fingers crossed that scs and Dick Cheney never have children together.

    More updates as they become available.

  114. 114
    John Cole says:

    Wouldn’t you rather think that John just likes to egg us on rather than that he’s a anti-free speech nut job?

    How on earth does disliking protestors make me anti-free speech. They are free to do whatever they want. I am fre to point out I can’t stand ’em. Looks like lots of free speech to me.

    John complains that the demonstrations aren’t so much anti-war as anti-Bush.

    At this point, what is the difference between Bush and the war, or the point of mass demonstrations to separate the two? His propagandists wedded him to the image of great protector and war hero leader. The evil little scumbag strutted his codpiece on the aircraft carrier and said the war was over. It’s three years later. It would be hard for anyone on either side of the war issue at this stage to see Bush’s (mis)conduct regarding the war as a separate issue from the war.

    I would love for John Cole to formulate a position whereby someone can be opposed to the war we are in and not the President we have.

    I am not so sure why many of you think I stated you can;t be against the war and not Bush, because I didn;t. What I said is that it appears to me that most of the people who are protesting are simply anti-Bush (which I really couldn;t care less if they are), and not so much anti-war. American withdrawal from the region is going to have no impact on the war, per se, as I think we all agree there is a low level civil war simmering, as well as disparate terrorist groups committing acts of violence for their own reasons. These anti-war protests are not really so much anti-war, as they are anti-American involvement, mostly galvanized by a seething hatred of Bush.

    If you think i am wrong, fine- so be it. But quit conflating things and pretending I am saying things I have not.

  115. 115
    Godzilla says:

    How on earth does disliking protestors make me anti-free speech.

    The protests are about receiving recognition for one’s opposition to the war, sort of a combat medal in the culture wars, with the war being proxy for Bush, who is in turn the avatar of conservatism, which is in turn all that is wrong with the universe in the postmodern narrative. To dislike the protesters is to disapprove of this coveted narrative, which makes you ‘conservative’, which makes you opposed to free speech, because all who are not anti-conservative oppose free speech.

    In short, you are correct: The protests are about Bush and his role as prime conservate. There is very little true opposition to the war, only opposition to Bush and anything he stands for, real or (mostly) imagined.

  116. 116
    ppGaz says:

    Why do people protest?

    Maybe because you, John Cole and others, have elected a government that has the audacity to try to skew the public information stream in their favor at every turn, to accuse the media of giving “heart” to terrorists because they have the temerity to go against the company line, to question the policies and the statements of those in power.

    Maybe America deserves a better government than is personified by this lying putrid sack of feces, and maybe going out in the street is a legitimate way to say that?

    As quoted on freerepublic.com:

    The will of the American people is the center of gravity for the war on terror, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said during a Pentagon news conference today.
    Exaggerated reporting is giving the American people a false picture of what is happening in Iraq, the secretary said. “Interestingly, all of the exaggerations seem to be on one side,” he said. “It isn’t as though there simply have been a series of random errors on both sides of issues. On the contrary, the steady stream of errors, all seem to be of a nature to inflame the situation and to give heart to the terrorists and to discourage those who hope for success in Iraq.”

    Fuck him, and fuck anybody who questions any American who stands up to these pieces of crap.

    If that shoe fits, then wear it, I don’t care who you are.

  117. 117
    Ancient Purple says:

    In short, you are correct: The protests are about Bush and his role as prime conservate. There is very little true opposition to the war, only opposition to Bush and anything he stands for, real or (mostly) imagined.

    What tripe.

    First off, Bush is no conservative by any definition that has ever been developed. He is a drunk sailor on leave. No more, no less.

    Second, there is plenty of opposition to the war. You just refuse to acknowledge it because if you did, your precious ego would be bruised because your King would end up with egg on his face.

    God forbid the American public decry the fact that we went into Iraq to find WMDs and found squat at the cost of 2000+ American lives, 17,000+ injured American soldiers and God knows how many dead Iraqi civilians.

    But don’t worry. You will casually dismiss the polls that clearly show the American public are against this war. That is, until the polls swing in your favor at which time you will trumpet them from the nearest mountain top.

  118. 118
    Godzilla says:

    Why do people protest? Maybe because you, John Cole and others, have elected a government that has the audacity to try to skew the public information stream in their favor at every turn …

    Those dastardly politicians, trying to skew public perception in their favor. You’d think they were university administrators or something!

    … to accuse the media of giving “heart” to terrorists because they have the temerity to go against the company line …

    Ah yes, those news journalists are such sweetie-pies, such high-minded transcendant cherubs incapable of partisanship. They would NEVER, EVER sabotage perception of how Iraq is going in an attempt to get politicos elected from the party they support and to whom they primarily give money. What a crazy idea.

    … to question the policies and the statements of those in power.

    Ah. Criticism of the criticizers is equivalent to wanting our press gagged. Intelligence, insight, and nuance, oh my!

    Maybe America deserves a better government than is personified by this lying putrid sack of feces, and maybe going out in the street is a legitimate way to say that?

    Lying putrid sack of feces. Shoot. Now I’m convinced. I give up. You’ve shown me the error of my ways. By the way, I thought the protests weren’t about Bush. You just blew your own theory to hell, which by the way supports others who say that protesters tend to be dim bulbs who are in way over their heads, as indicated by somebody who shoots down his own theories.

    As quoted on freerepublic.com:

    FreeRepublic? That’s like posting something from DU and calling it indicative of anything except the kooks on DU. Who cares what a bunch of adolescents and Europeans and assorted rejects have to say?

    Fuck him, and fuck anybody who questions any American who stands up to these pieces of crap.

    Translation: I’m in my early 20s, meaning I think using the word f**k gives power to my arguments, at least in the company of other 20-somethings. (By the way, I thought this wasn’t about Bush.)

    If that shoe fits, then wear it, I don’t care who you are.

    Pot, meet kettle.

  119. 119
    Jay C says:

    All right, John: you are quite correct: the commenters here tend to get a little overheated (and under-logicked) at times.

    But quit conflating things and pretending I am saying things I have not.

    OK: fair enough: but you DID say this:

    …and there really is no ‘war’ to protest, per se.

    Back to the question: if our engagement in Iraq isn’t a “war”, WTF is it?

  120. 120
    srv says:

    What was the point of the protests?

    To remind the people to never listen to jackasses like you and your ilk ever again. Because y’all have a way of continually fucking up everything y’all touch.

  121. 121
    Krista says:

    Ancient Purple – aw, I feel so loved!

    Sorry I missed all the poo-flinging this weekend. I was having a girlie weekend with my mother and sister, which entailed some lovely meals, way too much wine, some shoe shopping, and my mom almost peeing her pants in the middle of the restaurant because she was laughing so hard. Good times.

  122. 122
    ppGaz says:

    Pot, meet kettle.

    No, you dense boob. I’m not a government, trying to intimidate citizens into shutting up and buying the government line.

    Pot does not meet kettle. I am not shutting up for a government that tells me to shup up. The more they do that, the less I shut up.

    You won’t, you’ll join them and attack me. I’m an American, and I was raised to believe that the people govern this country. Not some jackoff in a suit in a big office on the Potomac.

    Like I said, you stand up for them, and not me? The fuck you. Fuck you very much. Fuck you in every possible way. I am an American precisely because I won’t put up with that kind of crap, from you or anybody else.

  123. 123
    Krista says:

    Why do people protest? Maybe because you, John Cole and others, have elected a government that has the audacity to try to skew the public information stream in their favor at every turn …

    Those dastardly politicians, trying to skew public perception in their favor. You’d think they were university administrators or something!

    That was quite a deliberate misinterpretation, wasn’t it? Public perception is not the problem here. Of course politicians use spin. It’s the nature of the beast. What we have a problem with, is that this government has deliberately given out false information. The news reports that were actually paid (but unacknowledged) PSAs – do you honestly believe that it is in any way ethical for the government to pay off a journalist to report a PR item as actual news?

    There’s no crime in the government trying to influence how the public interprets the facts. But these people have lied repeatedly. And when caught in their lies, they’ve changed their story, repeatedly. And they’ve then questioned the patriotism of anybody who dared criticize them. I have no problem with Republicans, conservatives, or whoever. This isn’t a knee-jerk thing for me. But this administration has been positively scuzzy and utterly without honour.

  124. 124
    SmilingPolitely says:

    Translation: I’m in my early 20s, meaning I think using the word f**k gives power to my arguments, at least in the company of other 20-somethings. (By the way, I thought this wasn’t about Bush.)

    You fucked that one up.

  125. 125
    Godzilla says:

    What tripe.

    Following by tropes.

    First off, Bush is no conservative by any definition that has ever been developed. He is a drunk sailor on leave. No more, no less.

    Ah. He has indeed failed to reign in spending, but he is also clearly a conservative, as indicated by his positions on social issues.

    Second, there is plenty of opposition to the war.

    The 16% of the population which self-identifies as liberal is opposed to conservatives. That is the nature of their opposition. The rest are tired of the war. That is not equivalent to opposing the war in the sense that one is opposed to its aims. Very few people except liberals want us to fail in Iraq. Most simply want it to be over.

    You just refuse to acknowledge it because if you did, your precious ego would be bruised because your King would end up with egg on his face.

    Don’t be an idiot. I voted for Bush but I am not a partisan, neither Democratic nor Republican. I am libertine, not Libertarian, meaning conservatives think I’m liberal, and liberals think I’m conservative. But I am also clearly anti-Leftover Left. I don’t like aging reactionaries and their younger derivatives of the sort who take to the streets.

    God forbid the American public decry the fact that we went into Iraq to find WMDs…

    Ah. Please point to the policy statement indicating that WMDs were the only reason for going into Iraq. Good luck. Obsessing over WMDs indicates you’re a literalist, or a partisan, or both, and probably not very bright. Reset and and try again.

    … and found squat at the cost of 2000+ American lives, 17,000+ injured American soldiers and God knows how many dead Iraqi civilians.

    See above. Now then, while those casualties are regrettable, I’d like you to indicate how you know leaving Saddam in power could not have resulted in greater casualties in some future conflict. Hopefully you understand the point.

    But don’t worry. You will casually dismiss the polls that clearly show the American public are against this war.

    No I won’t. I simply have a different interpretation of what the polls mean. Try to remember that I really do want to succeed in Iraq now that we are there. I do my damndest to extract my personal desire to be proved right with my desire to address adequately broader concerns that affect us all. Certainly I resist using the Iraq War as a proxy war for battling postmodern liberals on the domestic front.

    That is, until the polls swing in your favor at which time you will trumpet them from the nearest mountain top.

    I’m not a poll guy. Reset and try again.

  126. 126
    Johannes says:

    This place is a sewer

  127. 127
    ppGaz says:

    Okay, Godzilla the spoof-troll. Listen up.

    It’s us, the citizens, versus you, a guy who appears to be standing up for a government official that says this:

    Two thirds of the citizens are wrong. They are so foolish as to have been misled by a press that consistently errs in its reporting so as to give heart to terrorists.

    In other words, shut up and stop criticizing the government which clearly knows more than you do.

    In order to accept your “argument,” I have to believe Donald Rumsfeld.

    Sorry, asshole, like I said: I’m an American. Nobody talks to me that way, I don’t care how big his desk at the Pentagon is. I won’t be governed by that sumbitch. Period. And I won’t take any crap from anybody who defends him, and that includes John Cole, and it includes you.

  128. 128
    Godzilla says:

    No, you dense boob. I’m not a government, trying to intimidate citizens into shutting up and buying the government line.

    You’re quite convincing, and apparently quite excitable. I suspect you mostly just relish getting worked up in righteous indignation over events of the day, and consider that a substitute for the real work of actually thinking about and analyzing the broader issues of the day. Quite similar to the protesters, I might add, who are also engaging in the political equivalent of throwing a tantrum when they don’t get their way or when they are criticized.

    Pot does not meet kettle. I am not shutting up for a government that tells me to shup up. The more they do that, the less I shut up.

    Nothing a bong hit can’t fix.

    You won’t, you’ll join them and attack me. I’m an American, and I was raised to believe that the people govern this country. Not some jackoff in a suit in a big office on the Potomac.

    51% of the voting populace voted for Bush, which means you have an interesting definition of democracy. And again, I thought none of this was about Bush.

    Like I said, you stand up for them, and not me? The fuck you. Fuck you very much. Fuck you in every possible way. I am an American precisely because I won’t put up with that kind of crap, from you or anybody else.

    See comment above about throwing tantrums.

  129. 129
    Godzilla says:

    You fucked that one up.

    I’ll take your word for it.

    But then I have to ask: Why do you think I thought the person in question was in his 20s?

  130. 130
    jg says:

    Well done John. Attack the protesters, question their motives, make that the issue. Mann Coulter would be proud. Keep saying the only people protesting are liberals out to destroy the country, that’s sure to keep ass clowns like yourself who wouldn’t want to be caught dead in any situation which might make a right winger see them as siding with liberals, from actually questioning what the fuck is going on. Just keep finding ways to keep voting republican. Thats ALL the want you to do.

  131. 131
    Ancient Purple says:

    Ah. He has indeed failed to reign in spending, but he is also clearly a conservative, as indicated by his positions on social issues.

    Then he isn’t a conservative. You aren’t a conservative because you believe in SOME conservative causes. The heart of the conservative message (a la Barry Goldwater) has been sound fiscal policy and limited government. Bush is no conservative.

    The 16% of the population which self-identifies as liberal is opposed to conservatives. That is the nature of their opposition. The rest are tired of the war. That is not equivalent to opposing the war in the sense that one is opposed to its aims. Very few people except liberals want us to fail in Iraq. Most simply want it to be over.

    Right. All us lefties meet over plates of mashed yeast and alfalfa sprouts and talk about how we want the US to fail.

    You are don shuber using an alias. Or your are DougJ. The jury is still out.

    I don’t like aging reactionaries and their younger derivatives of the sort who take to the streets.

    Why do you care anyway? You already have your mind made up, so what possible difference could it make to you if people are protesting in the streets. Was your soap opera interrupted? Did your cost of groceries just spike?

    Ah. Please point to the policy statement indicating that WMDs were the only reason for going into Iraq. Good luck. Obsessing over WMDs indicates you’re a literalist, or a partisan, or both, and probably not very bright. Reset and and try again.

    I don’t have to. The selling point for the war was that Saddam had WMDs. Or are you forgetting about terms like “mushroom clouds” and the 16 words. As for not being bright, believe as you wish, but I have never said Bush was a conservative.

    See above. Now then, while those casualties are regrettable, I’d like you to indicate how you know leaving Saddam in power could not have resulted in greater casualties in some future conflict. Hopefully you understand the point.

    Yes. So regrettable. Soliders die and it is regrettable. Veterans come home and are told they have to make copays to get treatment for their injuries at the VA center and that is regrettable. Thousands and thousands of innocent civilians are dead and that is regrettable. You’re a true humanitarian. God bless you.

  132. 132
    Krista says:

    Here’s a question, then, for those who think that protesting is foolish, or wrong-headed, or akin to throwing a tantrum: if I disagree vehemently with an action being taken by my government – my government who is accountable to me, as a voting, taxpaying citizen – then what is an appropriate way to show that displeasure? Do I just grumble, and wait four long years until I can cast a vote against their party? Or, if I feel it’s important enough, do I, and other people who are angry, let them know right then and there that we do not approve?

  133. 133
    ppGaz says:

    See comment above

    I’m not interested in your comments. It’s you and Donald Rumsfeld, against the world, at this point.

    Sorry, not interested. I wouldn’t listen to you under any circumstances. You’re part of the problem, I’m interested in solutions.

    Get rid of the lying cocsuckers in the government, and then come around and pester me. Until then, get lost.

  134. 134
    jg says:

    what is an appropriate way to show that displeasure

    Is it a democrat or republican administration?

  135. 135
    Ancient Purple says:

    51% of the voting populace voted for Bush, which means you have an interesting definition of democracy. And again, I thought none of this was about Bush.

    Okay. You are without a doubt a troll.

    We are governed by the Constitution, not by the President.

  136. 136
    Pb says:

    John Cole,

    No, you didn’t say you disliked protesters–you said you *hated* them. And then you accused them of hating Bush. Projection, anyone?

    Seems to me you should get out all this aggression–go have a little hate-filled protest rally against protesters–you can organize it over on Free Republic, they do crap like that all the time. Heck, they’ve even had little we hate Cindy Sheehan rallies, so you’d fit right in! Maybe you can organize a we hate the First Amendment rally next. Or the Fourth–your choice.

    Oh, and as I mentioned before… John, do you know when the largest protests *ever* were, what they were protesting, and how many people were involved?

  137. 137
    Godzilla says:

    Two thirds of the citizens are wrong. They are so foolish as to have been misled by a press that consistently errs in its reporting so as to give heart to terrorists.

    It is quite possible that two-thirds of the citizenry are wrong in their perception of what is happening in Iraq, in the same way that the citizens were wrong in their perception during Vietnam that Tet was a military failure. I’ll leave it to you to draw comparisons between the narrative promulgated by the press post-Tet and the current conflict in Iraq.

    In other words, shut up and stop criticizing the government which clearly knows more than you do.

    That is neither what I said nor implied — that is what you WANT to be the case, thereby justifying your excitableness and righteousness, and I suspect general ignorance on just about everything. Do you know what the term ‘straw man’ means?

    In order to accept your “argument,” I have to believe Donald Rumsfeld.

    Who must always be lying because he’s Don Rumsfeld, evil neocon™ or somesuch. Convincing.

    Sorry, asshole, like I said: I’m an American. Nobody talks to me that way, I don’t care how big his desk at the Pentagon is. I won’t be governed by that sumbitch. Period. And I won’t take any crap from anybody who defends him, and that includes John Cole, and it includes you.

    How old are? That seems the most apropos question I can ask. You’re not very bright, obviously, but experience can mitigate that, which is why I ask.

  138. 138
    Pb says:

    Krista,

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

  139. 139
    ppGaz says:

    That is neither what I said nor implied

    Aw, just shut up.

    Go defend the potatohead government to somebody else. Maybe John Cole wants to talk to you, his email address is on the page, talk to him.

  140. 140
    jg says:

    You know I really do think Bush is doing a horrible job and has badly botched the war in Iraq and the war on terrorism and I’d sure like to be able to talk about that and let Bush and his administration know how I feel but DAMMIT!, those protesters are nothing but Bush hating hippies. I can’t state how I feel about Bush and the war because of them and their Bush hating ways. They de-legitimize my displeasure. If it wasn’t for the left and their Bush hating, america destroying ways me and other likeminded people could gather and protest like americans.

    Or something like that John?

  141. 141
    ppGaz says:

    It is quite possible that two-thirds of the citizenry are wrong

    The citizens own the country. They have a right to be wrong. The government does not own the country, and does not have a right to tell the citizens that they have to buy the government’s line of bullshit or else they are “giving heart to terrorists.”

    You can stand there and bitch all day, that fact is not going to change and it trumps anything you have to say.

    The government does not get to do that. If they do, they get fired. Check the polls, that is what is happening now, in slow motion.

    No less a defender of the war than Kristol, the lying lunatic neocon himself, said today on Fox that he can’t believe that Bush is not firing Donald Rumsfeld, basically for incompetance.

    You want to take up the cause of Don Rumsfeld here? Go right ahead. You’ll wear that little prick around your neck like a boat anchor.

  142. 142
    Otto Man says:

    Who must always be lying because he’s Don Rumsfeld, evil neocon™ or somesuch. Convincing.

    Look at the evidence. Remember when he said we knew exactly where the WMDs were, right around Baghdad and Tikrit? Remember when he said Shinseki’s predictions for troop needs were wildly off the mark? Remember when he said the U.S. was meeting with leaders of the Iraqi resistance?

    Given all the false and misleading claims he’s made in the past, I think it’s a rational approach to assume his default setting is to lie.

  143. 143
    Richard Bottoms says:

    Why in the fuck are we talking about hippies in 2006? They were about as real in the sixties as swingers were on Love American Style. A neat media description for something they didn’t understand.

    Well it’s almost 40 years later and I think most “hippies” are retired or dead. And BTW, what’s exactly is wrong with hating George Bush, cause Ghandi’s dead too and 100,000 dead Iraqi’s, 2300 dead soldiers, and 17,000 wounded to fight Iran’s war for them is a pretty poor claim to history

    To paraphrase NWA, “Fuck George Bush and any motherfucker who disagrees.”

  144. 144
    Godzilla says:

    You aren’t a conservative because you believe in SOME conservative causes. The heart of the conservative message (a la Barry Goldwater) has been sound fiscal policy and limited government. Bush is no conservative.

    Whatever. The Democrats (and the protesters) would beg to differ. You go on harping about this issue, believing it makes you clever and politically insightful. I’m going to move on.

    Right. All us lefties meet over plates of mashed yeast and alfalfa sprouts and talk about how we want the US to fail.

    You want to be proved right, that going into Iraq would be a disaster. In order for you to be proved right the U.S. must fail in its aims. Nothing in the universe changes that essential fact. It takes a serious, adult, and perhaps strong individual to separate out his personal desire to be proved right from his stated desire to respond appropriately to islamofascism. In short, what this really is all about is you, not Iraq. Thus my use of the adjective ‘proxy’ in a previous post.

    You are don shuber using an alias. Or your are DougJ. The jury is still out.

    I’m Godzilla. I arise from the depths and lay waste to the landscape. ;-)

    Why do you care anyway? You already have your mind made up, so what possible difference could it make to you if people are protesting in the streets. Was your soap opera interrupted? Did your cost of groceries just spike?

    Is that supposed to be clever? If that’s the best you can do you’ll have to forgive me for questioning your ability to parse out the relevant variables, analyze complicated geo-political problems, and come up with the correct response to them.

    I don’t have to. The selling point for the war was that Saddam had WMDs. Or are you forgetting about terms like “mushroom clouds” and the 16 words. As for not being bright, believe as you wish, but I have never said Bush was a conservative.

    Are you forgetting the other arguments made? Of course you aren’t. You just focus on this one aspect because it undermines the administration, which you oppose for other reasons totally unrelated to the war.

    Yes. So regrettable. Soliders die and it is regrettable. Veterans come home and are told they have to make copays to get treatment for their injuries at the VA center and that is regrettable. Thousands and thousands of innocent civilians are dead and that is regrettable. You’re a true humanitarian. God bless you.

    Ah. What a transcendant little cherub you are. Pretending you give a rat’s patootie about people you don’t know. What’s next, sympathy for Iraqis who would have died had Saddam been kept in power. Puhleaze.

    Stick to the topic at hand and stop looking for cheap opportunities to be righteous and indignant. What, are you a protester or something?

  145. 145
    dylan says:

    Godzilla…. since you don’t wan’t to be pestered with the “left’s” silly reasons to go to a war.. What is your reason? Or the president’s? Why did we go? Why are we still there?
    One can’t help but notice the well practiced and deft skill you have at stripping down every anti-war argument.
    You are not an impartial bystander in this.
    Libertine.. my ass!

  146. 146
    Godzilla says:

    We are governed by the Constitution, not by the President.

    Ah. And where in the Constitution does it say that unelected adolescent and perpetually adolescent protesters get to call the shots re:foreign policy?

    Any takers?

  147. 147
    jg says:

    Why the Bush=Hitler, Bush administration=proto-fascists, Guantanamo=Gulag and other such nonsense? Why do many (though not all) on the left feel it necessary to continually bash their own country in order to make political points?

    Maybe because they’re not bashing their own country. Maybe you’re just choosing to see it that way so you can ignore them and anything they have to say.

  148. 148
    jg says:

    Ah. And where in the Constitution does it say that unelected adolescent and perpetually adolescent protesters get to call the shots re:foreign policy?

    Any takers?

    LOL

  149. 149
    Godzilla says:

    You want to take up the cause of Don Rumsfeld here? Go right ahead. You’ll wear that little prick around your neck like a boat anchor.

    Pricks. Cunts. Fuck. Assholes. Shit. Cocksuckers. Motherfuckers.

    Yup, you and your ilk are going to convince a lot of actual adults with your articulate rhetoric, towering intellect, and obviously well thought out positions, all laid upon a foundation of righteous indignation.

    In all seriousness, who do you think you’re convincing? The iPod set might think you clever, but the iPod set are irrelevant in the body politic. Kinda like the protesters, who as someone else pointed out, probably tongue in cheek but still correct, do more harm than good.

  150. 150
    Otto Man says:

    It takes a serious, adult, and perhaps strong individual to separate out his personal desire to be proved right from his stated desire to respond appropriately to islamofascism.

    Leaving aside the point that no serious adult would ever use a ridiculous term like “islamofascism,” do you really think that the architects of this war didn’t suffer from their own personal desire to be proved right? This was nothing more than a neocon wet dream, wholly divorced from reality and completely at odds with the facts on the ground.

    Are you forgetting the other arguments made? Of course you aren’t. You just focus on this one aspect because it undermines the administration, which you oppose for other reasons totally unrelated to the war.

    I love this bit of revisionist history. Go back and look at Bush’s October 2002 speech in Cincinnati, the single most important statement of the administration’s case for war before the resolution vote. The speech is 90% focused on the administration’s false statements about Iraqi WMDs, with the other rationales thrown in at the very end as nothing more than window dressing.

    This war was, from the beginning, all about WMDs. You can move the goalposts as far away as you want, but the record doesn’t lie.

  151. 151
    ppGaz says:

    Godzilla = yet another spoofed troll.

    Christ, between John Cole and his trolling, and the spoofed trolling, this whole place is just an exercise in bullshit these days.

    Fine, if the trollers are just out to make money, let them. Free enterprise at work.

    Meanwhile, the country is crumbling around you. A failed war, a mountain of debt, a healthcare and health cost freight train coming at you, a dollar propped up by the Chinese, and we get ….. Godzilla.

    A big, slimy monster. Great metaphor for what is happening here. Really, perfect.

  152. 152
    Otto Man says:

    Yup, you and your ilk are going to convince a lot of actual adults with your articulate rhetoric, towering intellect, and obviously well thought out positions, all laid upon a foundation of righteous indignation.

    Sounds like a perfect description of the Bush White House to me.

  153. 153
    Perry Como says:

    Godzilla says:

    Ah. And where in the Constitution does it say that unelected adolescent and perpetually adolescent protesters get to call the shots re:foreign policy?

    1st Amendment. Specifically:

    the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    You’re doin’ a heckuva job, Godzilla. Some good material there.

  154. 154
    ppGaz says:

    you and your ilk

    My ilk!

    My ilk!

    Go fertilize your eggs, you stupid lizard asshole.

  155. 155
    Godzilla says:

    Leaving aside the point that no serious adult would ever use a ridiculous term like “islamofascism …”

    That is a very poor attempt at ‘turning the tables’. You’re supposed to base your statements on actual fact, which is the best way to turn the tables on someone. Only an idiot is moved by such clumsy attempts at rhetorical acuity. Reset and try again.

    … do you really think that the architects of this war didn’t suffer from their own personal desire to be proved right?

    I’m sure they want to be proved right, but the difference is that their positions have actual consequences. That tends to change how you approach problems, don’t you think? As a man of the world you’re aware of this, I’m sure. This cartoonish belief that Bush and ‘his cronies’ are somehow desperately staying in a disastrous Iraq out of stubbornness is foolishness to the nth degree. I won’t argue that the administration does not have motivation for placing a positive spin on events, but I would note that this not the same thing as proving Iraq is a disaster, any more than noting that CNN, CBS, and NPR tending to focus only on the negative proves that Iraq is a success.

    This was nothing more than a neocon wet dream, wholly divorced from reality and completely at odds with the facts on the ground.

    Stop using the term neocon. It indicates you’re not very serious. It has morphed into a useless term, an overused epithet for the dim bulb set. You should know this. And ‘wholly divorced from reality’. Right. Wholly. Completely. Totally. Irretrievably. Unquestionably. Convincing, that phrase, and wholly and completely so. Not cheap, idiotic rhetoric. Nope.

    I love this bit of revisionist history. Go back and look at Bush’s October 2002 speech … This war was, from the beginning, all about WMDs. You can move the goalposts as far away as you want, but the record doesn’t lie.

    Indeed the record doesn’t lie, which is why you don’t have a pot to piss in. ALL about WMDs? What, have you been getting your information from MTV News, or maybe der Speigel or Le Figaro? NOTHING else was every mentioned? Nothing?

    Oh, and tell me, if like the protesters you believe Bush KNEW Saddam didn’t have WMDs, or even SUSPECTED he didn’t have many WMDs, why would the administration focus on it so much?

    Must be a neocon conspiracy in support of Israel, or somesuch.

  156. 156
    Godzilla says:

    Perry Como,

    Please point to where I stated nobody has the right to protest.

    Go ahead. You seem quite intelligent.

    Oh, and please offer up your own explanation for what the phrase ‘straw man’ means.

  157. 157
    Ancient Purple says:

    Actually, I owe don shuber an apology. Even he isn’t as much a partisan hack as Godzilla.

    I am thinking it is GOP4Me at this point.

  158. 158
    Godzilla says:

    Even he isn’t as much a partisan hack as Godzilla.

    Define ‘partisan hack’.

    You need to dispense with the epiphets and learn how to make an argument.

    Now define ‘partisan hack’, and then tell me why I couldn’t use it to describe you. Go on. Dazzle me with your brilliance and education.

  159. 159
    Pb says:

    Godzilla,

    please offer up your own explanation for what the phrase ‘straw man’ means

    I’d say that you were ‘begging the question’, but you’d probably ask me for a definition of it.

    Define ‘partisan hack’

    I looked it up, it has your picture next to it in the Dictionary. But seriously man, is your Google broken? How lazy are you? Look it up yourself, quit asking other people to fill in the blank because your brain is empty.

  160. 160
    ppGaz says:

    Oookay, spoof alert. Godzilla is about as real as his mythical namesake.

    Stand down, ignore the troll.

    learn how to make an argument.

    Let’s see …. open beak and exhale flames and smoke? Swing giant tail from side to side?

    Knock over the papier-mache power plant?

  161. 161
    Godzilla says:

    ppGaz,

    Knock over the papier-mache power plant?

    Yes, I’d consider the commenters here on Balloon Juice papier-mache.

    Jeez. You guys are just way too easy to knock down. It takes two seconds to turn your amateurish rhetoric back on you.

    Reset and try again.

  162. 162
    ppGaz says:

    Reset and try again.

    Think of Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster.

  163. 163
    The Other Steve says:

    Theseus wrote:

    Well, there you go. That statement all by itself encapsulates all that is wrong with their POV and their bullshit moral relativism. Comparing the United States of America to the frakking Soviet Union (although, somehow, the Soviet Union apparently wasn’t as bad back then when they were opposing America).

    Yes, because, obviously everybody who is against the war in Iraq equates it with the Soviet Union occupying Afghanistan.

    Ahh, yes, and obviously they all loved the Soviet Union too.

    How insightful. I mean, this obviously shows clear brilliance of thought. Yes, the creation of this strawman was perhaps the most brilliant thing in this thread.

    And you wonder why nobody takes you guys seriously any more…

  164. 164
    The Other Steve says:

    Wow, is this ever pathetic…

    http://www.jerseygop.com/R_babes/index.html

  165. 165
    Otto Man says:

    Stop using the term neocon. It indicates you’re not very serious. It has morphed into a useless term, an overused epithet for the dim bulb set.

    Yeah, dim bulbs like Irving Kristol, Francis Fukuyama, George Will, Paul Gigot, Paul Weyrich, and Rich Lowry. I could go on, but Tim tells me that having more than three links will send this post to moderation. But go search “neoconservative” at Amazon.com and see what other far-left raving lunatics use the term — Irwin Seltzer, Christopher Demuth, etc. etc.

    Just because their pipe dreams have made the term an embarrassment doesn’t mean it’s a liberal invention or epithet.

    You should know this. And ‘wholly divorced from reality’. Right. Wholly. Completely. Totally. Irretrievably. Unquestionably. Convincing, that phrase, and wholly and completely so. Not cheap, idiotic rhetoric. Nope.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s awfully cute how Godzilla keeps stamping his foot after every word like a petulant child. It’s adorable!

  166. 166
    The Other Steve says:

    And Theseus, you ought to go read The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost. It’s actually an English translation of a Russian military analysis of what they did there. It breaks down into a discussion of Mujihadeen tactics and the Soviet response.

    Not that the wars are similar, but Afghanistan was the training ground for Al Qaeda, and it would be worthwhile to understand what they already know.

    I’m assuming that our Generals have already read the book. I just think two-bit war apologists ought to have some knowledge before they go around attacking others.

  167. 167
    Otto Man says:

    Stop using the term neocon. It indicates you’re not very serious. It has morphed into a useless term, an overused epithet for the dim bulb set.

    Yeah, dim bulbs like Irving Kristol, Francis Fukuyama.

  168. 168
    Otto Man says:

    Stop using the term neocon. It indicates you’re not very serious. It has morphed into a useless term, an overused epithet for the dim bulb set.

    Dim bulbs like George Will, Paul Gigot, Rich Lowry, and Paul Weyrich?

  169. 169
    The Other Steve says:

    Wow, the strawmen are in full force, today.

    Godzilla(if it’s not stupid greek names, it’s dumb japanese ones apparently. I guess American names aren’t goog enough for them) writes:

    You want to be proved right, that going into Iraq would be a disaster. In order for you to be proved right the U.S. must fail in its aims. Nothing in the universe changes that essential fact. It takes a serious, adult, and perhaps strong individual to separate out his personal desire to be proved right from his stated desire to respond appropriately to islamofascism. In short, what this really is all about is you, not Iraq. Thus my use of the adjective ‘proxy’ in a previous post.

    Isn’t it a bit past that point?

    I mean, if the wingnuts were right and Iraq was a cakewalk, we would have been out of there in June of 2003. What happened?

    Are you seriously saying that the only reason we are still over there is because the left hasn’t let us win? Maybe if they clapped harder, things would go better?

    Seriously, the only thing I would like at this point is someone to please explain the US strategic value in continuing to occupy Iraq. That’s it. Why is this so hard?

    And please, no more strawman arguments in response.

  170. 170
    DougJ says:

    There are some who say that there are too many strawmen arguments on this blog.

  171. 171
    Otto Man says:

    You should know this. And ‘wholly divorced from reality’. Right. Wholly. Completely. Totally. Irretrievably. Unquestionably. Convincing, that phrase, and wholly and completely so. Not cheap, idiotic rhetoric. Nope.

    I don’t know about the rest of you, but I think it’s awfully cute how Godzilla keeps stamping his foot after every word like a petulant child. It’s adorable!

  172. 172
    The Other Steve says:

    Stop using the term neocon. It indicates you’re not very serious. It has morphed into a useless term, an overused epithet for the dim bulb set.

    Ok, now someone is getting clearly desperate.

  173. 173
    Otto Man says:

    But seriously man, is your Google broken? How lazy are you?

    Judging by the number of Fox News talking points he spews, I’d say pretty damn lazy.

  174. 174
    Godzilla says:

    Other Steve,

    Er, the passage you cite from Theseus was in response to this statement from a protester, as noted by John:

    “I have been against the war since the beginning. This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.”

    The point John was making is that anti-war types keep conflating dissimilar conflicts with Iraq — e.g., Vietnam, Afghanistan — which is another way of saying they keep making invalid comparisons on which to base their opposition.

    Theseus was just noting that this is a result of moral relativism, i.e., an inability to make moral distinctions a-la thinking the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan is in any way even nearly similar to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    It’s not a straw man, you bumpkin, unless you consider your dear brethren protester to have offered it up.

    And you wonder why nobody takes you guys seriously any more …

    That’s just what I was thinking ….

  175. 175
    Godzilla says:

    Otto Man,

    Wow. That was convincing. I offered up that neocon has become a useless term, an overused epithet now, particularly among liberals and anti-war types, and you offer up links that are either three years old or summations of what the term MEANT (past tense).

    Which is to say you in no way refuted what I said. I never argued that it was a term that never MEANT something; I said it no longer means much, which by the way you support in one of your own cites. Why don’t you actually read some of your Googled citations and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Actually reading the articles tends to help when you’re making an argument, you know.

    Whew. Such hard work! You guys are truly a challenge.

  176. 176
    Otto Man says:

    Keep moving those goalposts, Godzilla! Go! Go! Go!

  177. 177
    DougJ says:

    Stand down, ignore the troll.

    When they stand up, we’ll stand down.

  178. 178
    srv says:

    which is another way of saying they keep making invalid comparisons on which to base their opposition.

    Calling Iraq Vietnam or Afghanistan is ALOT more accurate than y’alls tripe:

    Anti-Iraq War = Saddam lover
    AQ = Saddam
    Iraq = liberal Jeffersonian democracy
    Muslims = Fascists

  179. 179
    ppGaz says:

    summations of what the term MEANT

    That’s right, Lizard Boy. The term is so fluid. It means one thing today, and another tomorrow.

    For example, just last month, it meant a type of electrical circuit used in monster movie special effects studios.

    It was just a power supply for a FAKE LIZARD.

  180. 180
    Godzilla says:

    Calling Iraq Vietnam or Afghanistan is ALOT more accurate than y’alls tripe:

    Anti-Iraq War = Saddam lover
    AQ = Saddam
    Iraq = liberal Jeffersonian democracy
    Muslims = Fascists

    My, that was convincing. Unfortunately for you, I never stated that those who oppose the war are Saddam ‘lovers’, that Saddam is al Qaeda, the Iraq is or will ever be a liberal Jeffersonian democracy (has ANYBODY ever said that?), or that all muslims are fascists. Of those ridiculous comparisons, I only mentioned islamofascism as a phenomenon to be dealt with, which is not the same as calling all muslims fascists. Otherwise you’re attacking another straw man, and ignoring the topic at hand.

    Jeez, how old are you guys? Seriously. I’d like to know if I’m speaking with a bunch of iPod puppies. Are thee any adults on this board? I thought there were, but I’m starting to wonder ….

  181. 181
    ppGaz says:

    Jeez, how old are you guys?

    I am lizard, hear me roar.

  182. 182
    scs says:

    . scs prattles on and on while reading her latest edition of Tiger Beat magazine and chatting with her girlfriends online about boys and painting their nails and having a slumber party.

    No you idiot, it was TEEN Beat! Can’t you EVER get anything right?!?

  183. 183

    You know, I’m not sure what John Cole’s point about separating Bush and the war was, even less so after I read his explanation forty posts back. People who marched yesterday marched in ANTI-WAR demonstrations. Most of the people protesting were anti-Bush and not so much anti-war?

    Did anyone see “I want Cheney to lead us in war” signs? Or “Support the war, not the President” signs? Didn’t think so. It’s easier to personify the evil than to give full explanations of your frustration with the neocon agenda. I mean, who you gonna hang in effigy, Bush or PNAC?

    I think it’s just wishful thinking for John. The protestors don’t like the war, and they don’t like the guy who led us into it.

  184. 184
    scs says:

    15. Ancient Purple pours another mimosa, keeping his fingers crossed that scs and Dick Cheney never have children together.

    Why not? We might have a lesbian, and that should help increase your voter rolls.

  185. 185
    DougJ says:

    I’ve got it figured out now: scs is Lynne Cheney.

  186. 186
    Andrew says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but I think that this is totally hot, what with their total combined IQ of 89. Seriously, all you would have to do is tell them you’re a low level committee staffer and you’d get laid.

  187. 187
    scs says:

    scs is Lynne Cheney

    I’m her lesbian daughter.

  188. 188
    srv says:

    My, that was convincing. Unfortunately for you, I never stated that those who oppose the war are Saddam ‘lovers’, that Saddam is al Qaeda, the Iraq is or will ever be a liberal Jeffersonian democracy (has ANYBODY ever said that?),

    Ah, one protestor compares Iraq to Afghanistan, ergo your thesis on all protestors are just Bush haters and being objectively pro-terrorist.

    Gee, you must have missed the memo on the goal of establishing a liberal democracy in Iraq (see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Weekly Standard, Kagan, Fukuyama, yada, yada). Try googling GW’s 2004 inaugural address. Maybe they have a podcast version for you.

    You want to be proved right, that going into Iraq would be a disaster. In order for you to be proved right the U.S. must fail in its aims. Nothing in the universe changes that essential fact. It takes a serious, adult, and perhaps strong individual to separate out his personal desire to be proved right from his stated desire to respond appropriately to islamofascism. In short, what this really is all about is you, not Iraq.

    This is really about y’all not living in reality. Here we are, three years later, and your experiment still isn’t working out. You seem to think that Americans turned against Vietnam because of Tet, and the media’s coverage of it. You obviously weren’t concious then either, as Tet marked the point at which Americans, after having smoke blown up their asses for years by an Administration and Military leadership realized the somebody was lying to them.

    The same is true today. A majority of Americans aren’t “tired” or “fatigued” by the conflict. They realize the message is a bunch of crap, and they aren’t buying it any more. How many times does Cheney (jeez, like he must be channeling Pat Robertson) have to go off on some “last throes” comment? Why, see the smoke Rummy and Dick are trying to blow up our asses this weekend.

    You want to be proved right, that going into Iraq would be a success. In order for you to be proved right the Administration must succeed in its aims. Nothing in the universe changes that essential fact. It takes a serious, adult, and perhaps strong individual to separate out his personal desire to be proved right from his stated desire to respond inappropriately to islamofascism. In short, what this really is all about is you, not Iraq.

  189. 189
    scs says:

    So DougJ, what’s your relation to Mark Kilmer. And how is your RatherGate site going? Must keep you busy oiver there, huh. Did you ever read Scrutator by the way? That’s a good site too.

  190. 190
    ppGaz says:

    What a coincidence. DougJ is also a lesbian. At least, on the weekends.

  191. 191
    scs says:

    At least, on the weekends

    I give the wife some time off you know. Besides, I still have other ones.

  192. 192
    Gray says:

    This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.” Except it isn’t. At all. There really is no occupation, because occupations would imply some sort of control over the region.

    John, logical thinking isn’t really one of your strong points. The soviets didn’t have control over Afghanistan, as was proven by numerous TV crews reporting about the mujaheddin. The ruskys couldn’t even control foreign TV on Afghanistan’s soil, much less the insurgency. So, by your definition, soviets didn’t occupy the country? Come on, John, you have to admit this is total BS!

  193. 193
    DougJ says:

    Rathergate is going well. I’m more into Atlas Shrugged and Protein Wisdom these says though.

  194. 194
    scs says:

    Rathergate is going well. I’m more into Atlas Shrugged and Protein Wisdom these says though.

    So how often are you a writer on Rathergate? Or do you just link to it because you like the site?

  195. 195
    DougJ says:

    I send Mark some material for Rathergate about once or twice a week.

  196. 196
    CaseyL says:

    Godzilla, are you passing yourself off as one of those “adults” you mentioned?

    You, and every other Bush supporter, aren’t adults.

    Adults don’t respond to one terrorist attack by trading their autonomy, privacy, and self-respect for the illusion of safety.

    Adults don’t tolerate being lied to about a war.

    Adults don’t tolerate being treated like credulous children who’ll believe anything the liars say just because it “makes them feel” safe and powerful.

    Adults don’t support a President and Administration that consistently endanger the common welfare and the national defense for their own political and private gain.

    Adults don’t believe winning an election for President gives the winner monarchical powers to violate Constitutional law and statutory law at whim.

    Adults don’t tolerate using classified information to destroy political opponents; adults don’t tolerate surveillance programs that illegally target US citizens.

    Adults don’t support torture, indefinite detention without counsel or charges, indefinite detention even after innocence is proven, and defiance of Court order to stop doing those things.

    Adults don’t do any of that.

    Frightened children in adult bodies do.

    Frightened children in adult bodies support Bush. Frightened children in adult bodies allow themselves to be manipulated by fear, by self-serving lies, by fantasies of ultimate power.

    You’re a child. Every Bush supporter is a child: credulous, easily frightened, easily used.

    The Bush Administration is the strange man offering children candy and a circus if they’ll just get in the car and go with him.

    You, and every other Bush supporter, are the children who take the candy and get in the car – and then let yourselves be used as bait to coax other children into the car.

    Your opinions are without value because you don’t understand the slightest thing about what it means to be an American. Your opinions are without value because you’ve already shown your willingness to betray your country’s principles, turn on your fellow citizens, and give aid and comfort to those who would destroy America and put an authoritarian state in its place.

  197. 197
    scs says:

    I send Mark some material for Rathergate about once or twice a week.

    Cool. Let us know when he prints any of your stuff. We’d love to read it.

  198. 198
    Ancient Purple says:

    Why not? We might have a lesbian, and that should help increase your voter rolls.

    Right. And she can live in that liberal haven of Mesa, AZ.

  199. 199
    Laura says:

    I’m a little late to this discussion, but hemp and tie dye? Come on. Sure, there are always some granolas, but at the anti-war rallies I’ve gone to, I’ve seen a lot more soccer moms in pedal pushers and grandmas in their church clothes than any hippies (though that’s who the media prefers to profile). I’ve also see nuns, Korean war vets and suburban high school kids. There are usually even some folks with signs saying something like “Republicans for Return to Sanity” or “Republicans for Competence.” And that’s one of the great things about going to a protest – you realize how very mainstream opposition to this war is. If you sat at home and just watched CNN and Chris Matthews, you might think you’re a lone voice. Instead, you feel hopeful when run into your hair dresser or your favorite checker from the grocery store. It’s not just a bunch of radical lefties at these protests (and yes, they are more like rallies), it’s everyday people from the community. I didn’t go to any protests this weekend, but they were nice to see. I’m glad people still care enough to speak out.

  200. 200
    scs says:

    Right. And she can live in that liberal haven of Mesa, AZ.

    Right, because she wouldn’t want to move to that city with no arts scene, Anchorage.

  201. 201
    Ancient Purple says:

    Hmmm…

    After reading Casey’s post, maybe Godzilla is Jeff from Protein Wisdom. He does sound like someone who is here to scold everyone here because he has completed…

    … some graduate courses.

  202. 202
    demimondian says:

    What good will the protests do? John, if the current policy is not making things better in Iraq, then they make force a change in that policy. If the current occupation is not pacifying the country — and it isn’t — then maybe protests will give the Democrats enough spine to stand up and demand a timetable? And then, in January of next year, to pass laws which require the President to provide such a timetable?

    You know — affect policy? Like citizens in a democracy are supposed to?

  203. 203
    Godzilla says:

    Ah, one protestor compares Iraq to Afghanistan, ergo your thesis on all protestors are just Bush haters and being objectively pro-terrorist.

    Ah. The statement by this protestor is mysteriously not indicative of other protesters, who have made similar statements for three years. Mysteriously, those of us who have been paying attention to what the protesters have been saying, which is the whole point of the protests, by the way, somehow have gotten their actual political inclinations confused with other people. Guess I shouldn’t take these people at their word …. (by the way, I never implied protesters are objectively pro-terrorist.)

    Gee, you must have missed the memo on the goal of establishing a liberal democracy in Iraq (see Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Weekly Standard, Kagan, Fukuyama, yada, yada).

    Gee, you must spend all your time on liberal blogs, else you’d understand that the ‘experiment’ is still ongoing.

    This is really about y’all not living in reality. Here we are, three years later, and your experiment still isn’t working out.

    Ah. And there is a playbook establishing that a liberal democracy must be developed from scratch in three years, at the latest. After that, it’s a ‘failure’. Therefore, those of us who believe the game isn’t up yet can be characterized as ‘not living in reality’. Whew. Your powers of analysis are truly astounding.

    You seem to think that Americans turned against Vietnam because of Tet, and the media’s coverage of it.

    That’s not what I said, you ignorant bumpkin. I used Tet as an example of how the public’s perception of situations can be wrongly framed by the media. Additionally, I was speaking of the military aspect of the offensive, not its political ramifications. Geez, are you people reading impaired?

    You obviously weren’t concious then either, as Tet marked the point at which Americans, after having smoke blown up their asses for years by an Administration and Military leadership realized the somebody was lying to them.

    Whatever you say. Thanks for the ditzy Reader’s Digest version of events. I don’t know what I’d do without you. Events were somewhat more complicated, but you seem lost in a generations-old narrative, so go ahead and knock yourself out with that.

    The same is true today. A majority of Americans aren’t “tired” or “fatigued” by the conflict.

    They’re not? Wow, they must secretly be ready for more lack of resolution re:Iraq. Your view of the political landscape is … interesting. Remember what I said about basing responses on fact, not just on cheap rhetoric. Reset and try again.

    They realize the message is a bunch of crap, and they aren’t buying it any more.

    Clearly. Everybody wants to cut and run. Clearly.

    How many times does Cheney (jeez, like he must be channeling Pat Robertson) have to go off on some “last throes” comment?

    Probably as many times as he believes it necessary. He does, after all, need to counter the rampant negativity of an anti-Republican media, and one also that loves to lead with blood and gore (a politically neutral but dangerous tendency in times of war). What is the administration thinking? They should be acting like Democrats!

    Why, see the smoke Rummy and Dick are trying to blow up our asses this weekend.

    Luckily for us, the overwhelming insight and intelligence of those such as you are ready to steer us down the true path of righteousness. Wow. We’re so lucky.

  204. 204
    Ancient Purple says:

    I’m glad people still care enough to speak out.

    Speaking out against the war is TREASON!!

    TREASON I tell you!

    T-R-E-A-S-O-N

    (Not at all, of course, but I felt like channeling a rightie before dinner.)

  205. 205
    ppGaz says:

    Okay, mystery solved. Godzilla is GOP4Me.

    The bombast-with-chuckle style, the long posts and the multi-adversary replies in one post, all signatures of the GOP4 buffoonery.

    So, it’s Godzilla, the Gay Lizard. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

  206. 206
    mike says:

    John is a hopeless cynic.

    “Vanity of vanities,” says the preacher; “Vanity of vanities,all is vanity.”

  207. 207
    Godzilla says:

    CaseyL,

    In response to your long post, I’ll just quote myself:

    “The protests are about receiving recognition for one’s opposition to the war, sort of a combat medal in the culture wars, with the war being proxy for Bush, who is in turn the avatar of conservatism, which is in turn all that is wrong with the universe in the postmodern narrative.”

    Righteous grievance is a coveted role in the narrative, which I’d say pretty much sums up your post. You strike me as somebody more interested in manufacturing end-of-the-world scenarios to get upset about and save us all from than you are interested in realistically trying to get a sense of what’s actually going on, and how to address issues.

    It’s sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Sorry. That’s how I read it. I only take people seriously who have a more even-handed take on events. I have plenty of issues with the Administration, but I’d be an idiot to believe any of these End of the Universe as We Know It™ scenarios. Some of us, after all, have been around the block and have heard all this before.

  208. 208
    DougJ says:

    I think Godzilla may indeed be Jeff Goldstein.

  209. 209
    Mumon says:

    After going to the protest in Portland today, I figured the best response to your post here would be this.

    10,000 of us who went- and 58% of the Americans who say it wasn’t worth it- aren’t wrong.

  210. 210
    DougJ says:

    I sort of wanted to keep this to myself, but check this thread out at Protein Wisdom.

    See if you can figure out who is real and who is not over there. I can’t tell anymore.

  211. 211
    DougJ says:

    Godzilla is somebody from Protein Wisdom, I’m pretty sure. Whoever he is, I like his style. With Stormy and Darrell gone, we need someone like that around here.

  212. 212
    scs says:

    This is turning into an Agatha Christie novel.

  213. 213
    ppGaz says:

    Leapin’ Gay Lizards!

    My, what a swishy tail you have, ‘Zilla.

    May I call you ‘Zilla?

  214. 214
    srv says:

    Ah. The statement by this protestor is mysteriously not indicative of other protesters, who have made similar statements for three years

    Ah, first you call similar comparisons on your side ridiculous, but you’re clear and cogent vision justifies your inclinations.

    Ah. And there is a playbook establishing that a liberal democracy must be developed from scratch in three years, at the latest.

    Sheesh, first you say nobody ever claimed Iraq would become a liberal democracy, and now you say the experiment is still ongoing… You really are alot like these numbskulls in the administration, changing your rationales and logic on a dime. Tell us, please, what will it be next week?

    Whew. Your powers of analysis are truly astounding.

    Your powers of being wrong, so much of the time are even more astounding.

    Luckily for us, the overwhelming insight and intelligence of those such as you are ready to steer us down the true path of righteousness. Wow. We’re so lucky.

    You’re such a master of rhetoric and blathering on. You talk about being lost in the narrative. You can’t stop reinventing yours and let me tell you – it’s all you have to look forward to for the rest of GW’s administration. Good luck with that.

    Why don’t you go grow some balls and go back posting as “anon”, jackass? Prediction: you and your blog will disappear way before the end of GW’s final term.

  215. 215
    John Redworth says:

    Why in the fuck are we talking about hippies in 2006?

    No kidding… we need to talk more about those damned liberal pinko flappers and their bathtub gin…

  216. 216
    Pooh says:

    scs,

    Every town has an “arts scene.” Saying that Anchorage is noted for it’s art is like saying that Chicago is noted for its beaches.

    And moving beyond that, your original contention that Anchorage is ‘liberal’ is instantly risible to anyone who has ever lived here.

  217. 217
    srv says:

    anon was JeffG too.

  218. 218
    The Other Steve says:

    The point John was making is that anti-war types keep conflating dissimilar conflicts with Iraq—e.g., Vietnam, Afghanistan—which is another way of saying they keep making invalid comparisons on which to base their opposition.

    Define ‘they’. You appear to be using an awful large brush, solely for the purposes of not having to defend your ridiculous position.

    Some pro-war people make invalid comparisons of this as well, claiming it’s as important as WWII or that it’s very much like the American Revolution.

    Does that mean that all pro-war people believe that nonsense?

    Theseus was just noting that this is a result of moral relativism, i.e., an inability to make moral distinctions a-la thinking the Soviet Invasion of Afghanistan is in any way even nearly similar to the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

    Well Theseus is a lazy thinker.

    There are aspects of past wars which are applicable to any current war. There are most certainly discussions regarding tactics and strategy. There are also discussions with regards to the political mistakes made by the leaders.

    There are similarities between Alexander the Great’s invasion of Mesopotamia and Iraq today. These events were thousands of years ago. are you seriously claiming that looking at those similarities is a result of moral relativism?

    That I am somehow equating morally the America of today with Alexander the Great’s Macedonia shows moral relativism?

    Seriously, that’s your argument? Or are you just not a very good study of warfare? You’ve never read Sun Tzu and learned from it?

    I once had a wingnut tell me that there was no way Iraq could possibly be like Vietnam. When I asked why, he said.

    There’s no jungle in Iraq.

  219. 219
    srv says:

    Oh, and tell me, if like the protesters you believe Bush KNEW Saddam didn’t have WMDs, or even SUSPECTED he didn’t have many WMDs, why would the administration focus on it so much?

    Oh, and I missed that gem, with all his dribbling.

    Uh, you really don’t know much about media campaigns do you? Without the WMD “threat” under what rationale do you think Congress and the public would have gone along?

    And your ilk have been trying to revise history to say the admin didn’t focus on WMDs so much – it was really all about freedom and democracy.

    How many JeffG’s can dance on the head of a pin?

    You know how we know you could never be DougJ? Because he can at least maintain a logical thread for two or three postings…

    Please get back on the meds. If not for us, for your family. I’m sure somebody is confused enough to care about you.

  220. 220
    Pooh says:

    Interesting how “morals” are the new “facts” when it comes to relativism.

    Is Gitmo like a Gulag? In some ways yes, in some ways no.
    Is Iraq like Soviet involvement in Afghanistan? In some ways yes, in some ways no. Dismissing the question as “moral equivalency” is both incorrect in so far as very few people this side of Noam Chomsky are saying “We’re just as bad as the russians!”, and lazy as it allows us to move past unsavory similarities without addressing them.

    Is John Cole trolling us? In some ways…nah. John Cole is objectively anti-commenter.

  221. 221
    The Other Steve says:

    You know. Now that you mention it. I think you are right that Godzilla is Tawanda Goldstein.

    I see over in that thread, DougJ, that he’s linking to the posts over in this thread. The long-winded prose without any understanding of history certainly does appear to be his style.

    It’s kind of fun reading it, but it’s an awful lot like arguing with the drunk guy under the bridge.

  222. 222
    DougJ says:

    You know, to be fair, Goldstein can turn a phrase. But he could really use an editor.

    He reminds me to an almost scary degree of a would be poet friend of mine.

  223. 223
    Laura says:

    Pat Sheehan, Cindy Sheehan’s ex-husband, participated in today’s protest. He was just on my local news, along with other parents who have already lost their children to this war or who currently have children in Iraq and don’t want to lose them. They’re obviously all very pro troops (some were retired military), but they are opposed to the war. It was the first time I’ve seen Pat and heard him speak, and contrary to the rightwing nuts who celebrated his and Cindy’s divorce, his opinions are pretty much in sync with his ex-wife’s. He’s just dealing with it differently. Of course, John would mock for the mere fact that he went to a protest, but he’s pretty soft spoken. Nothing worth ridiculing.

  224. 224
    Godzilla says:

    Ah, first you call similar comparisons on your side ridiculous, but you’re clear and cogent vision justifies your inclinations.

    Is that what I did? Please provide a cite.

    Sheesh, first you say nobody ever claimed Iraq would become a liberal democracy, and now you say the experiment is still ongoing …

    Did I say ‘nobody ever claimed Iraq would become a liberal democracy’? Wow. I didn’t know I was saying so much when I said no such thing.

    You really are alot like these numbskulls in the administration, changing your rationales and logic on a dime. Tell us, please, what will it be next week?

    Pot, meet kettle.

    Your powers of being wrong, so much of the time are even more astounding.

    Ah. And all these predictions of Iraqi quagmire, none of which have actually come to fruition, as yet, can be characterized as ‘being right’. Whew.

    You’re such a master of rhetoric and blathering on. You talk about being lost in the narrative. You can’t stop reinventing yours and let me tell you – it’s all you have to look forward to for the rest of GW’s administration. Good luck with that.

    Ah. Five years ago I was reading about how the End of the Universe™ was nigh now that a Republican was elected. The End didn’t happen, but somehow, mysteriously, it’s going to happen in the next three years … LESS than three years, actually. Meanwhile, people like you wonder why people like me don’t take you seriously ….

    Why don’t you go grow some balls and go back posting as “anon”, jackass? Prediction: you and your blog will disappear way before the end of GW’s final term.

    This is funny. I’m none of the people you or others have speculated upon. Why don’t you stop worrying about that and just admit that you oppose the war only because you are an anti-conservative bigot. I’m not a fool. I’ve had these discussions before, which means I know Iraq is proxy for other issues. You will NEVER admit your wrong-headedness about Iraq because you’d therefore, since Iraq is proxy for other issues, need to admit your wrong-headedness about those other issues, which is what this really is about, which was the whole point of John’s post.

    But hell, the protests aren’t really about Bush, right?

  225. 225
    Ancient Purple says:

    Yup. Jeff Goldstein.

    Without a doubt.

  226. 226
    Laura says:

    Why don’t you stop worrying about that and just admit that you oppose the war only because you are an anti-conservative bigot.

    What’s conservative about starting an unnecessary war, running that war with exceptional incompetence, and wasting billions of dollars while stoking a civil war? Clearly, with a majority of the country against the war, it’s obvious you don’t have to be anti-conservative to feel this war is going badly and was a mistake. You merely need to be prone to having common sense.

  227. 227
    Godzilla says:

    Define ‘they’. You appear to be using an awful large brush, solely for the purposes of not having to defend your ridiculous position.

    Yes, that must be it. You got me. The protesters are in actuality PhDs, not your average knuckleheads with ill-informed notions in their head. To a man and woman, they are foreign policy experts and historians of the first order. Carrying a sign around shouting slogans transmogrifies one into an ‘expert’, and therefore into one incapable of stupid conflations about Iraq and Afghanistan. You got me.

    Some pro-war people make invalid comparisons of this as well, claiming it’s as important as WWII or that it’s very much like the American Revolution.

    True. Some people claim Elvis is still alive, as well. Your point?

    Does that mean that all pro-war people believe that nonsense?

    Oh, here’s your point, and the answer is ‘No’. I’m still waiting for you to show how your average sloganeer doesn’t make these sorts of false comparisons all the time, indeed that they’re par for the course. I mean, just read this thread. How many ridiculous, hyperbolic comments have people made about the current administration? While the administration certainly deserves a whole heaping dose of criticism, the End of the Universe is nevertheless NOT nigh, bloviations aside. Any who claim the End is Near are fools of the first order. Like the protesters.

    Well Theseus is a lazy thinker.

    Pot, meet kettle.

    There are aspects of past wars which are applicable to any current war. There are most certainly discussions regarding tactics and strategy. There are also discussions with regards to the political mistakes made by the leaders.

    Thanks, professor. Your point? First you claim protesters aren’t comparing Iraq to Afghanistan or Vietnam, then you say we must compare Iraq to Afghanistan or Vietnam. Which is it? Do you even know what you’re trying to say?

    There are similarities between Alexander the Great’s invasion of Mesopotamia and Iraq today. These events were thousands of years ago. are you seriously claiming that looking at those similarities is a result of moral relativism?

    No, I’m not claiming that looking for similarities in wars is a result of moral relativism. Reread my posts, and try to apply some critical thinking skills. Read carefully. (‘Critical thinking’ doesn’t mean ‘stringing together words in a grammatical way’.)

    Seriously, that’s your argument? Or are you just not a very good study of warfare? You’ve never read Sun Tzu and learned from it?

    Ah, another attempt at ‘turning the tables’ by throwing back my rhetorical style. Do me a favor and stick to your own style, as inadequate as it is. You just plain don’t know what you’re doing. (Sun Tzu? What, are the sloganeers military historians now?)

    I once had a wingnut tell me that there was no way Iraq could possibly be like Vietnam. When I asked why, he said. There’s no jungle in Iraq.

    That’s nice, but then, I’m not him, and neither am I a wingnut. Do you have a relevant point to make anywhere within this whole screed?

  228. 228
    Ancient Purple says:

    You will NEVER admit your wrong-headedness about Iraq

    ROTFL!

    No WMDs found. No being greeted as liberators. No flowers and candies being heaped on U.S. soldiers at every single turn. Mission Accomplised. No Al Quaeda link. The “unexpected” insurgency. Iraqi oil hasn’t paid squat for the war effort. No “last throes.”

    Yet, we are the ones who are wrong-headed on the Iraq war.

    Truly effing priceless.

  229. 229
    Laura says:

    You will NEVER admit your wrong-headedness about Iraq

    Up is down and black is white…

  230. 230
    ppGaz says:

    Godzilla is just another lounge lizard.

    Spoofapalooza.

  231. 231
    Godzilla says:

    What’s conservative about starting an unnecessary war, running that war with exceptional incompetence, and wasting billions of dollars while stoking a civil war?

    Ah. The civil war hasn’t happened, therefore a civil war is secretly happening. And the cost of this war, when measured against the 36,000 BILLIONS the U.S. economy has generated over three years, is somehow your great and grand concern. And naturally, when a very resourceful enemy expends nearly ALL its resources while managing to extend a conflict to three years but without affecting any political milestones is somehow characterized as ‘incompetent’ management of said war. Oh, and the war was unnecessary, even though you can’t know that given that the political landscape in the Mideast would have been quite different now, meaning we very well could have been fighting Saddam in Iraq regardless, which is another way of saying you need to discard that unprovable assertion.

    And you’re right, nothing you cited can be characterized as ‘conservative’ because that kind of a political term doesn’t apply to those sorts of things.

    Still, perhaps we should expend our energies protesting a war that the Iraqis and this administration are trying to end. You ignorant bumpkins don’t understand that we’re ALREADY trying to end the war. What you’re protesting, therefore, is Bush, and you protest him primarily because he’s conservative. That’s all there is to know or understand, really. The rest is a smokescreen and rhetorical flim-flam.

  232. 232

    So the civil war in Iraq is not like the civil war in Yugoslavia because there isn’t as much sand in Yugoslavia?

    By the way, Iraq isn’t like Afghanistan because there’s no oil in Afghanistan.

    Okay, they found oil in Afghanistan, but they didn’t find oil in Vietnam.

    Yet.

  233. 233
    Godzilla says:

    It isn’t enough for Bush suppoters to have tarnished our honor with Abu Gharib, Guantanimo, rendition, and torture. Now you give us a My Lai too?

    Wait a minute, did ‘Bush supporters’ perpetrate Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? Or are you arguing that those who voted for Bush support torture.

    Isn’t that a lot like saying those who are protesting the war support Saddam, or al Qaeda? Sure sounds similar to me.

  234. 234

    Not anti-war so much as anti-America and more to the point, anti-Bush

    Fellow PajamaHadeenBalloon Juice provides the sentiment perfectly:I am no Bush defender, but at some point it becomes pretty clear that these anti-war protests are little more than anti-Bush protests. While hating Bush has become far more fashionable …

  235. 235
    Enron Flynn says:

    2,318 U.S. Military deaths in Iraq.
    2,986 killed on 9/11 (Including non US citizens and 19 hijackers)…

  236. 236
    Godzilla says:

    So the civil war in Iraq is not like the civil war in Yugoslavia because there isn’t as much sand in Yugoslavia?

    No, no, according to various and sundry nincompoops on this board, the fact that there is a civil war in Yugoslavia and that there may yet be a civil war in Iraq means that there WILL definitely be a civil war in Iraq because Bush is a Republican.

    By the way, Iraq isn’t like Afghanistan because there’s no oil in Afghanistan. Okay, they found oil in Afghanistan, but they didn’t find oil in Vietnam. Yet.

    No, no, Iraq has oil, so therefore the war is about oil. Afghanistan has oil nearby, so therefore the war is about oil. If a war is ever perpetrated on a country that has no oil and is not even near any oil, it will have been perpetrated because that country WANTS oil.

    Really, haven’t you been watching Chris Matthews or CNN? ;-)

  237. 237
    CaseyL says:

    With the exception of DougJ in his various avatars, I don’t think the OTT wingnuts posting here are spoofs.

    They just really and truly are as brainwashed as they sound.

  238. 238
    Laura says:

    What you’re protesting, therefore, is Bush, and you protest him primarily because he’s conservative.

    Of course I’m protesting Bush. He’s reckless, arrogant, incompetent and dishonest. Why wouldn’t I protest that? However, other than his pandering to the religious right, there’s nothing conservative about Bush. In fact, whether or not he’s conservative has never crossed my mind when it comes to the war. It’s bizarre to me that you even make that connection.

  239. 239
    Blue Shark says:

    “I am no Bush defender”

    …Pahleeez!

  240. 240
    ppGaz says:

    The rest is a smokescreen and rhetorical flim-flam.

    Whaddya know, a talking trompe l’oeil.

    Right now, I’ve got you as a Carcharodontosaurus

    But, who’s quibbling over details?

  241. 241
    Ancient Purple says:

    No, no, according to various and sundry nincompoops on this board, the fact that there is a civil war in Yugoslavia and that there may yet be a civil war in Iraq means that there WILL definitely be a civil war in Iraq because Bush is a Republican.

    Let’s see what the former Iraqi Prime Minister has to say about that:

    But Mr Allawi told the BBC: “It is unfortunate that we are in civil war. We are losing each day as an average 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more.

    “If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is.”

    He added: “Iraq is in the middle of a crisis. Maybe we have not reached the point of no return yet. But we are moving towards this point.

    “We are in a terrible civil conflict now.”

    So, who is better at determining whether or not Iraq is in the midst of a civil war: Godzilla or a former Iraqi Prime Minister?

  242. 242
    DougJ says:

    I know John doesn’t like it when I rag on other blogs here, but I just can’t get over how dumb the threads are at Protein Wisdom. It’s really just PW that gets me these days. Scrutator and BlogsForBush have pretty reasonable comments by comparison.

    Check this out

    Reading this thread two things occured to me: since Clinton got away with perjury in a case concerning multiple cases of sexual harassment and misconduct two prominent conservatives, Martha Stewart and Scooter Libby, have been convicted and/or charged with perjury in cases were no other crime was alleged…

    Martha Stewart is a prominent conservative? No other crime was alleged in the Martha Stewart case? Sexual harrassment is a crime?

    Or maybe it’s a spoof. I know I couldn’t spoof that well.

    I’ll stop now with the PW-bashing. It’s really unbelievable what a den of asses it is over there.

  243. 243
    wickedpinto says:

    These aren’t protests, these are excuses to create an anti-american sentiment.

    Oppose the war, I have no problem with that, but if you are willing to allie yourself with ENEMIES of the American method of government? You are a traitor.

    I’m not saying anti-war protestors are traitors, I’m saying, KNOW! be as knowledgable as the troops you are insulting, when you support traitors. Code Pink? Traitors, WWP Traitors, god knows how many other of the supporters of anti-war protests, they are traitors, read the backgrounds before you support their ACTIONS! Just as you review the background of the US MILITARY before you CHOOSE to join, without consequence, review your friends before you assist them in their treason.

    Bush is taking away the rights of America? The FIRST right, he has denied is the RIGHT of the nation to call a spade a spade a charge treason. We have lost that word in our lexicon of meaning.

  244. 244
    demimondian says:

    Wait a minute, did ‘Bush supporters’ perpetrate Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo?

    I’ve no idea what Lindy England’s political leanings are. But, you know, it sure does seem to me that Guantanamo is the creation of upper-level political appointees in the Bush administration. So, yeah, you know I’d guess that Bush supporters perpetrated Guantanamo.

  245. 245
    ppGaz says:

    So, who is better at determining whether or not Iraq is in the midst of a civil war: Godzilla or a former Iraqi Prime Minister?

    Heh, can the Prime Minister match these numbers?

    I think not.

  246. 246
    Otto Man says:

    So, who is better at determining whether or not Iraq is in the midst of a civil war: Godzilla or a former Iraqi Prime Minister?

    Allawi is obviously blinded by his irrational hatred of President Bush.

  247. 247
    Ancient Purple says:

    Allawi is obviously blinded by his irrational hatred of President Bush.

    Not to mention the fact that Allawi will NEVER admit his wrong-headedness about Iraq.

  248. 248
    Otto Man says:

    Allawi may have the facts, experience, and first-hnad knowledge, but Godzilla has Blue Oyster Cult on his side:

    With a purposeful grimace and a terrible sound
    He pulls the spitting high tension wires down

    Helpless people on a subway train
    Scream bug-eyed as he looks in on them

    He picks up a bus and he throws it back down
    As he wades through the buildings toward the center of town

    Oh no, they say he’s got to go go go Godzilla
    Oh no, there goes Tokyo go go Godzilla

    History shows again and again
    How nature points up the folly of men

  249. 249
    Godzilla says:

    So, who is better at determining whether or not Iraq is in the midst of a civil war: Godzilla or a former Iraqi Prime Minister?

    So, who is better at determing whether or not Iraq is in the midst of a civil war: Ancient Purple or the Vice President of the United States.

    We can play this game forever. There is civil strife, to be sure, but that is not all-out civil war of the type you mean, with Sunnis lining up an army against the Shiites, or somesuch. Even Allawi tempered his language in the very passage you cite, calling it a ‘civil conflict’ at the end of his statement, which it undeniably is at this point.

    And to be clear: True civil war may yet happen. I’d be a fool not to acknowledge that it can happen. But call it like it is: There is not yet a civil war. Nobody gets points for being a liar.

  250. 250
    Dave Ryan says:

    I like how the party that has no power in the Government today is labelled the enemy. Why, because their viewpoints might challenge the status quo?

    Are we this doomed to an all-ruling party in our Government today that any opposition to anything is seen as the rebels threatening democracy?

    Is anyone else the least bit tired that any valid-fucking-points are reduced to terms such as ‘leftist’, ‘neo-con’? When did facts become legible only in their political association?

  251. 251
    DougJ says:

    Here’s the problem: as more and more of the world decides that they hate Bush, there will be more and more people spreading lies about him. Only 36% of Americans express approval of George Bush. That means that the other 64% are motivated purely by hatred of the president at all times. We can’t believe anything that these people say. They should not be allowed on talk shows, on Op-Ed pages, on grand juries, or on competitive reality shows such as The Apprentice or The Biggest Loser. Everything they do, everything, whether it’s claming there’s a civil war in Iraq, indicting Tom DeLay, or screwing up one of Donald Trump’s assignments, is nothing more than a way of lashing out at the president.

  252. 252
    Laura says:

    So, who is better at determing whether or not Iraq is in the midst of a civil war: Ancient Purple or the Vice President of the United States.

    No contest. Ancient Purple. I guarantee he’s been right more often than Dick. But you’re not serious? Cheney is the reason for your optimism about Iraq? Wow. You have to be a spoof.

  253. 253
    Godzilla says:

    Of course I’m protesting Bush. He’s reckless, arrogant, incompetent and dishonest. Why wouldn’t I protest that?

    You forgot to mention that Bush is a serially masturbating pedophile who likes the sight of blood and Barry Manilow records. If you’re going to fish for reinforcement amongst the knuckleheads, at least go for broke.

    However, other than his pandering to the religious right, there’s nothing conservative about Bush.

    True. He’s actually double-secretly a postmodern liberal. It’s so obvious. It’s why the liberals within the mainstream Democratic Party hate him so much, and why he nominated Roberts and Alito. CLEARLY he’s a liberal.

    In fact, whether or not he’s conservative has never crossed my mind when it comes to the war. It’s bizarre to me that you even make that connection.

    I know. To consider Bush to be a conservative is so … bizarre. What was I thinking? Only Balloon-Juice posters are aware of who he really is: An incompetent, recklessly serially masturbating arrogant dishonest pedophile who likes the sight of blood and Barry Manilow.

  254. 254
    Godzilla says:

    But, you know, it sure does seem to me that Guantanamo is the creation of upper-level political appointees in the Bush administration. So, yeah, you know I’d guess that Bush supporters perpetrated Guantanamo.

    Gotcha. So what would happen if I did a little research on the organizers of these protests. If I discover any with fairly extreme political inclinations, can I not now tar everybody who SUPPORTS the protests, not just those who participated in them, with the same labels we’d use on the organizers?

    Just checking.

    Of course, odds are you’re just being adolescent and don’t actually believe what you say you believe. Kind of like the protesters re:their reasons for opposed the Iraq War.

  255. 255
    Marc says:

    You forgot to mention that Bush is a serially masturbating pedophile who likes the sight of blood and Barry Manilow records. If you’re going to fish for reinforcement amongst the knuckleheads, at least go for broke.

    The patented mix of ignorance and arrogance, with a near-miss effort at humor. Definitely Jeff Goldstein.

  256. 256
    Ancient Purple says:

    Even Allawi tempered his language in the very passage you cite, calling it a ‘civil conflict’ at the end of his statement, which it undeniably is at this point.

    Oh, Jesus H. Christ on a cracker. Here is what Allawi said:

    It is unfortunate that we are in civil war.

    Not “we might be in a civil war.” Not “there may be civil war.” Not “we are almost in a civil war.” He said flat out “we are in civil war.”

    For all the talk you did about how people aren’t so bright, you have the reading comprehension skills of a brick.

  257. 257
    ppGaz says:

    Fred Barnes says that since there are no actual substantive issues that are going well for Republicans, they plan to change the subject:

    House Republicans, for their part, intend to seek votes on measures such as the Bush-backed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage, a bill allowing more public expression of religion, another requiring parental consent for women under 18 to get an abortion, legislation to bar all federal courts except the Supreme Court from ruling on the constitutionality of the Pledge of Allegiance, a bill to outlaw human cloning, and another that would require doctors to consider fetal pain before performing an abortion.

    Via washingtonmonthly.com

    Threads will be forthcoming explaining why our host just can’t vote Democratic …. so relax. Just go along to get along and everything will be just fine.

  258. 258
    DougJ says:

    I still say the War on Christmas will play a big role in the upcoming elections. If they invade Iran in October, they could maybe have some sob story about families of soldiers who aren’t being allowed to celebrate Christmas because of the ACLU or something like that.

  259. 259
    ppGaz says:

    I am in favor of the War on Christmas, as long as it does not involve any protests.

    The last thing we need is hippies interfering with Jesus’ birthday.

  260. 260
    Godzilla says:

    Oh, Jesus H. Christ on a cracker. Here is what Allawi said:

    Oh, Jesus H. Christ on a cracker. Here is what General Casey said: “Personally don’t believe, one, that we’re there now; two, that civil war is imminent; and, three, that it is inevitable that it will happen.”

    Not “we might be in a civil war.” Not “there may be civil war.” Not “we are almost in a civil war.” He said flat out “we are in civil war.”

    Not “they might be in a civil war. Not “there may be a civil war.” Not “they are almost in a civil war.” He said flat out “there is not in a civil war”.

    For all the talk you did about how people aren’t so bright, you have the reading comprehension skills of a brick.

    Did I not say “we can play this game forever.” I too can read AP news stories. I too can pull quotes from individuals supporting my position. I too can claim your quote is invalid because it’s a politicized statement from a politico or from someone with a vested interest in not telling the truth, or in spinning the truth.

    You can’t win, Ancient Purple, because there is not in fact a civil war yet. Why don’t you just admit you want the war to go badly, and why don’t you go further and tell us why you want the war to go badly.

  261. 261
    Laura says:

    True. He’s actually double-secretly a postmodern liberal. It’s so obvious.

    Did I say he was liberal? But he’s also not a traditional conservative. Just ask George Will. Or Bob Barr. Or Bruce Bartlett. Some of Bush’s biggest critics are conseratives. Criticism of this Administration can’t be reduced to liberalism vs. conservatism. I know that’s how Bush’s apoligists like it, all simple-minded and black and white, but it’s not reality. As far as the war, even among those who supported it to begin with, there are a lot who regret that Bush was the one who led us into it.

    I know. To consider Bush to be a conservative is so … bizarre.

    There are plenty of old time conservatives who would agree.

  262. 262
    Ancient Purple says:

    The War on Christmas is in its last throes.

  263. 263
    Laura says:

    Some of Bush’s biggest critics are conseratives

    Lots of them are conservatives, too.

  264. 264
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Um, just as a matter of interest, and with as little rhetoric as possible, may I just ask, Godzilla, what would convince you that there was indeed a civil war underway in Iraq?

    Who would have to confirm it? What would have to be reported? To what degree would events have to escalate to convince you that the country was embroiled in civil war? What would be, for you, the tipping point?

    [sitting back now, and wondering what word in my question you’re going to focus on to avoid, you know, actually addressing the question itself]

  265. 265
    Jay C says:

    Godzilla 11:23pm:

    So what would happen if I did a little research on the organizers of these protests. If I discover any with fairly extreme political inclinations, can I not now tar everybody who SUPPORTS the protests, not just those who participated in them, with the same labels we’d use on the organizers?

    Glenn Reynolds would give you a guest-blogging spot on InstaPundit??

  266. 266
    ppGaz says:

    may I just ask, Godzilla, what would convince

    You do realize that you are talking to a giant lizard?

    Think Komodo Dragon, on steroids.

  267. 267
    Laura says:

    apoligists

    apologists… can’t stop the typos – time to quit. Night all.

  268. 268
    Godzilla says:

    Um, just as a matter of interest, and with as little rhetoric as possible, may I just ask, Godzilla, what would convince you that there was indeed a civil war underway in Iraq?

    Well now, I would most definitely not define civil war to be whatever Chris Matthews says it is, or what some random dim bulbs on Balloon Juice say it is. I’d say there’s an element of scale and politics. When large segments of Iraq, in this case Sunni, Shiite, or Kurd, are at each other’s throats, then I’d say you have a civil war. That of course includes a political angle, meaning that the region’s politics — the ways in which these various groups manage their differences — would have to stop functioning completely.

    So as a matter of scale, sunni insurgents, who are not indicative of any sizeable portion of the sunni populace, attacking shiites does not constitute a civil war. Not yet. You could make an argument that regional politics has broken down, but that’s a bit weasely. As I stated, to date the insurgency hasn’t stopped a single political milestone, and while doubtless there will be some bickering and possibly delays, an Iraqi government is on its way to full functionality. In short, the trajectory is still towards viable political institutions (including the military and police), not full scale civil war.

    What would be, for you, the tipping point?

    Tipping point for what? Opposing the war? In truth, I would rather see a civil war end in Iraq, which I suspect is a foreign concept to you: Hoping things go well for the Iraqis. I haven’t reached any conclusions, but muddling through an Iraqi civil war may yet be the best option. Certainly it means nothing re:Bush because he is not running for re-election, a fact which seems lost on the gaggle of knuckleheads posting here.

  269. 269
    Mac Buckets says:

    What I said is that it appears to me that most of the people who are protesting are simply anti-Bush (which I really couldn;t care less if they are), and not so much anti-war.

    Although I will never post during March Madness games, I’m genuinely sorry I missed this thread today. Some real vein-bursting going on…funny.

    John, you’re right, of course — the protests are demonstrably “anti-REPUBLICAN-war” in the main, not “anti-war,” and one only has to look back on the last decade (I realize not many of these folks had any interest in Iraq before Florida 2000) to show it.

    Yes, these protests are silly, but it’s a good kind of silly. They have no effect on policy. They aren’t articulate, they aren’t enlightening, they aren’t interested in exchange of ideas. I believe they exist mainly to make the protester feel good about themselves, and to feel part of a larger group and less powerless, and to get some “hey, look at me!” time in the media.

    I’ve never in my life seen so many people so happy to be angry while being thoroughly unable to articulate what exactly they are angry about. Like my favorite: Most said they have always been against the war (really, even before the first casualty? How interesting…if you like hypocrisy), while most, like the woman quoted above, spun that they “are doing this for the Iraqi people.” Ooooooookay…but unless by “the Iraqi people” they mean “Ba’athist terrorists,” then these protesters are saying that they were against freeing the people they are now protesting on behalf of. Ridiculous.

    This gang is confused, off-message, hypocritical and irrelevant — but good for them for exercising their right to show their true colors. Their hackneyed rhetoric makes me proud that our troops ousted Saddam, and it makes me happy that we are supporting democracy in Iraq.

  270. 270
    Godzilla says:

    Did I say he was liberal? But he’s also not a traditional conservative.

    Well now, that wasn’t so difficult, was it? In the future just say what you mean: ‘Bush is not a traditional conservative.’ Saying he is not conservative, however, is just flat out wrong.

    Just ask George Will. Or Bob Barr. Or Bruce Bartlett.

    Whatever. I can rattle off a bunch of pundits who disagree and believe Bush is a conservative in the truest sense of the word. Maybe you should just cite your own thoughts, not theirs (although I understand you’re trying to say your point is not unheard of).

    Some of Bush’s biggest critics are conseratives. Criticism of this Administration can’t be reduced to liberalism vs. conservatism.

    True. Some of his most insightful critics, I’d argue, are conservative. The rest seem simply to be on ideological auto-pilot. The anti-war protesters, however, are liberals nearly to a man/woman. This thread is supposed to be about those people, and I suppose about people who support them. They ARE postmodern liberals, with a smattering of the kookier libertarians, I suppose, but their numbers at the protests are so few as to be irrelevant

    I know that’s how Bush’s apoligists like it, all simple-minded and black and white, but it’s not reality.

    You need to disassociate Iraq policy and the Iraq War from Bush, particularly since he isn’t up for re-election. Stop obsessing over the man. You’re supposed to be more serious about serious issues. You’re more concerned about Iraq being a referendum on Bush than you are about Iraq, which is John’s entire point, isn’t it?

    As far as the war, even among those who supported it to begin with, there are a lot who regret that Bush was the one who led us into it.

    Perhaps. Many of those who supported the Iraq Operation may now believe Bush has mismanaged the war, but that is not the same thing as believing him reckless, arrogant, or dishonest. That’s your deal, not theirs. Again, you’re Bush Deranged, and Bush Derangement is not normal except for those on the Left.

    There are plenty of old time conservatives who would agree.

    If you say so. Pat Buchanan does not represent a sizeable contingent of the ‘anti-war’ coalition. And again, wanting the war to be over is not equivalent to being anti-Bush. What’s more, you can be tired of the war and disapprove of Bush’s presidency and still not be anti-Bush. Of that you HAVE to agree, as I believe you made the very same argument earlier.

  271. 271
    Ancient Purple says:

    You can’t win, Ancient Purple, because there is not in fact a civil war yet. Why don’t you just admit you want the war to go badly, and why don’t you go further and tell us why you want the war to go badly.

    Actually, my point isn’t to win at all. This is a forum. I am not here to win. I am here to debate, to argue, to make pointed statements. At no point am I here to “win.” Only a fool would think they can “win” anything on an anonymous forum on the Internets.

    As far as wanting the war to go badly, you can believe anything you wish. Your beliefs do not have any effect on the truth, however.

  272. 272
    John Redworth says:

    Wait a minute, did ‘Bush supporters’ perpetrate Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? Or are you arguing that those who voted for Bush support torture.

    I don’t think anyone could be so careless to make such a blanket statement such as that but I will add that it seems the biggest supporters for torture and or those who attempt to dismiss the claims of torture did vote for Bush… On the flip side, the biggest people against torture and or those who attempt to blow it up even more did not vote for Bush… so where does that leave us?

    My personal opinion is that the answer lies with the idea that some of us have become so polarized on the War/Bush debates that we have forsaken true debate and discussion that does not end up in personal insults…

  273. 273
    Mickey Finn says:

    Yes it’s “laughable.” When literally millions of people around around the world took to the streets to proclaim their opposition before the US invaded Iraq in 2003, I guess that was funny, too. They turned out to be a helluva lot smarter than the Bush crime family and all their apologists. Right action needs no defense.

  274. 274

    Bus is already in the middle to low 30’s in popularity, and there really is no ‘war’ to protest, per se.

    In the local news here, people were saying “I have been against the war since the beginning. This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.” Except it isn’t. At all. There really is no occupation, because occupations would imply some sort of control over the region. The insurgents are not really insurgents (or ‘freedom fighters” for you Michael Moore fans). They are terrorists who wish the country will fall deeper into chaos so that they can pursue their own aims (re-establishing the Baathist regime, instilling a theocratic regime, general mayhem- whatever they may be).

    Wow, you really are more stupid and brainwashed than I thought.

    No war is going on, per se? There is no US occupation? The US won’t have control of certain area of Iraq permanantly? There are no legitimate insurgents, there are only terrorists and baathists?

    Please deinsert your head from the proverbial Neo-Con ass, you obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

  275. 275
    Perry Como says:

    From now on every post I make on Balloon-Juice will be a logical fallacy. Everyone else does it.

  276. 276
    Slide says:

    Well…. I don’t come around much anymore since it seems even Cole has lost interest in his blog. Must be pretty dispiriting being someone that voted for Bush twice and supported this disaster of a war. I would find “reasons” to not blog much myself if I had been so totally and comprehensively WRONG so I understand his absence. But, guess he needed to get his “hits” up as the beer blogging just wasn’t bringing in the numbers. Hence we have this total asshole post from John to make sure he revs up his dwindling readers. Pretty predictable but I guess it worked, quite a number of hits I see. Congrats John, you can now go back into the witness protection program for right wing Bush apologists.

  277. 277
    Otto Man says:

    John, you’re right, of course—the protests are demonstrably “anti-REPUBLICAN-war” in the main, not “anti-war,” and one only has to look back on the last decade (I realize not many of these folks had any interest in Iraq before Florida 2000) to show it.

    If the protestors are so opposed to Republican-led wars, then why haven’t you seen a single demonstration of note against the war in Afghanistan? That came under the leadership of a Republican president, and it’s been going on much longer than the war in Iraq. By your logic, there should be even more protests against it.

    You can keep trying to reduce liberals to your ridiculous little caricatures MacBuckets — speaking of which, where was today’s “Chimpy McHitlerBurton!!!1!!!!one!!!!11!!!!!” comment? that’s always funny — but the simple truth is most of us aren’t antiwar, or even anti-REPUBLICAN-war. We’re just anti-stupid-war.

  278. 278
    moflicky says:

    Bah. You deserve a lefty boycott of your blog, and you deserve to sit here with your Stormy and Tall Dave traffic all to yourself. THEY won’t embarass you by calling you on your shit. They’ll tell you how “right” you are.

    money where your mouth is ppGaz, I counted 35 posts since this quote.

    ppGaz: “I wish I could quit you, John Cole!”

  279. 279
    ppGaz says:

    I counted 35 posts since this quote.

    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahaha!

  280. 280
    DougJ says:

    Mac, why are you bothering with the small potatos of Iraq? You guys should be gearing up for the Christmas Protection Act, the Save The Flag Act, the Laci Peterson Act, and the Natalie Holloway Act. That’s what will help in November, not bull shit about the so-called war.

  281. 281
    Ancient Purple says:

    Mac, why are you bothering with the small potatos of Iraq? You guys should be gearing up for the Christmas Protection Act, the Save The Flag Act, the Laci Peterson Act, and the Natalie Holloway Act. That’s what will help in November, not bull shit about the so-called war.

    Not to mention the “Bring Back Terri Schiavo – She’s Not Dead Yet Act.”

  282. 282
    ppGaz says:

    Mac’s been upstaged by a guy in a lizard costume.

    This is a rough room.

  283. 283
    Slide says:

    Hypothesis: bin Laden and al Qaeda LOVE the fact that we are in Iraq. Absolutely best fuckin thing that we could have ever done for his organization.

    Just some of the reasons: Pumped up his recruitment. Turned Muslim public opinion even more against us then before. Made USA lose credibility world-wide. Damaged our relationship with long time allies. Severely damaged our ability to act militarily anywhere else. Drained us of resources that could have gone to harden targets domestically. Sopped up valuable intelligence and military resources that could have been better used focusing on his organization rather than Iraq insurgency. Created a virtual training university for terrorist tactics that we now see being utilized in Afghanistan. Demonstrating our weakness rather than strength by our inability to “win” in Iraq. Giving the terrorists huge propaganda victories by them fighting us to a draw.

    So it is quite clear for me that the War In Iraq HELPS the terrorists immeasurably. Those that protest the war understand this and are the true patriots. Those that beat the drum for this war and now make excuses for it, should get an honorary Bin Laden – Al Qaeda Decoder Ring for being such terrorist-sympathizers.

    So Cole, MacBuckets, Stormy, Darrell and the rest of your ilk, YOU are laughable if you think you are the ones “tough” on terrorism when through your naive simplistic knee-jerk militarism have done more to assist terrorism that a battalian of kafia wearing jihadists.

  284. 284
    DougJ says:

    Was just joking there, Mac. Hope you stick around here.

  285. 285
    Slide says:

    Was just joking there, Mac. Hope you stick around here

    yes, we all need a laugh from time to time.

  286. 286
    Pb says:

    Slide,

    Re: Iraq–you are so right:

    All of this is in keeping with the five-stage plan posted on the Internet in March 2005 by Al Qaeda’s main military strategist, Mohammed Makkawi, who described the third stage thus: “expand the [Iraqi] conflict throughout the region and engage the US in a long war of attrition … create a jihad Triangle of Horror starting in Afghanistan, running through Iran and Southern Iraq then via southern Turkey and south Lebanon to Syria.”

  287. 287
    Jim Allen says:

    Well, I got about halfway through this thread and had to stop.

    Congratulations, John Cole, on posting the stupidest fucking thing I’ve seen on this blog since I started reading it. If that’s the kind of shit that’s going to show up here, I might as well go over to and read Little Green Footballs and Michelle Malkin. At least I don’t expect better of them, so I won’t be disappointed.

  288. 288
    ppGaz says:

    Jim Allen will now be ridiculed for his “theatrical stunt,” I presume.

    Is that the drill, or did I miss something?

  289. 289

    […] The Futility of Anti-War Protests […]

  290. 290
    Jim Allen says:

    Jim Allen will now be ridiculed for his “theatrical stunt,” I presume.

    Is that the drill, or did I miss something?

    It will have to be for something like that. I haven’t worn anything tie-dyed since I graduated college, over three decades ago.

  291. 291
    Laura says:

    I haven’t worn anything tie-dyed since I graduated college, over three decades ago.

    I think the only time I wore tie-dye was in 1971, when we dyed t-shirts in summer rec. I was 6 years old.

    Here’s a form of Republican “protest” that really is futile. They don’t like David Gregory because he “yelled” at poor Scott McClellen, so they’ve created an internet petition to have him fired. They have a live signature count with the name of the last signer. When I first saw it, the “signer” was “Question Authority, censor Bush.” The next signer was “Cheney is an embarrassment.” Now, it’s “blame the messenger.” Pretty funny.

  292. 292
    Godzilla says:

    Hypothesis: bin Laden and al Qaeda LOVE the fact that we are in Iraq. Absolutely best fuckin thing that we could have ever done for his organization.

    If you say so. bin Laden is missing his bases in Afghanistan and (tens of?) thousands of jihadis. He would beg to differ, or at least several of his lieutenants beg to differ. You’re not going to make me post documents supporting my position are you? Surely you’re aware of them. If you’re not, then shame on you for being such an idiot.

    Just some of the reasons: Pumped up his recruitment.

    It did? Please provide proof.

    Turned Muslim public opinion even more against us then before.

    Recent polls have shown this to be false, particularly in Pakistan, where the stock of the U.S. went up after we provided earthquake assistance. It is al Qaeda which is losing support in the muslim world.

    Made USA lose credibility world-wide.

    We did? Says who? Le Figaro? CNN? Tim Russert? Something tells me you’ve never done much traveling. Trust me. Anti-Americanism was alive well before Bush and the Iraq War. And credibility is a tricky term. Why don’t you look it up before you blather about what it means to lose it.

    Damaged our relationship with long time allies.

    It did? You mean France? Germany? Canada? You remember Canada and Germany, the countries that booted the anti-war liberals and elected conservatives, who ran on platforms which included improving relations with the United States, which is another way of saying they ran on platforms promising to fix the problems the liberal governments created with the United States. France, Germany, and Canada need our support far more than we need theirs, a fact which is not lost on people in power, at least those who aren’t ideology-bound.

    Severely damaged our ability to act militarily anywhere else.

    Largely untrue, and in your case irrelevant. Since you oppose wars that have a Republican as CiC, you do not support military action anywhere, so why would it matter?

    Drained us of resources that could have gone to harden targets domestically.

    Whatever you say, professor. What, now you’re an economist and federal budget maven?

    Sopped up valuable intelligence and military resources that could have been better used focusing on his organization rather than Iraq insurgency.

    Ah. Now you’re a CIA chief, as well, or perhaps a general. Whew. Who knew it was so easy to be a genius? I didn’t know sloganeering was the best way to short circuit getting a real education and decades of reading, thinking, and synthesizing information. Whew! Let me give it a try: “No War for Oil!” Wow. That was cathartic. Who knew?

    Created a virtual training university for terrorist tactics that we now see being utilized in Afghanistan.

    If you say so. I suppose we should have dropped out of WWII when the Japanese and Germans modified their tactics, as well. Oh no!

    Demonstrating our weakness rather than strength by our inability to “win” in Iraq.

    Ah. The conflict isn’t over, therefore it’s over.

    Giving the terrorists huge propaganda victories by them fighting us to a draw.

    Ah. The conflict isn’t over, therefore it’s over.

    So it is quite clear for me that the War In Iraq HELPS the terrorists immeasurably.

    Ah. The terrorists are fighting, therefore they’re winning, therefore we need a Democrat in office, or something. Surely that will fix the problem. It certainly worked in the 1990s, and on the morning of September 11, 2001.

    Those that protest the war understand this and are the true patriots.

    Being anti-Republican or an anti-conservative bigot is not the definition of a patriot. Stop lamely tooting your own horn, bumpkin. That pig don’t fly.

    Those that beat the drum for this war and now make excuses for it, should get an honorary Bin Laden – Al Qaeda Decoder Ring for being such terrorist-sympathizers.

    That is definitely one of the more lame attempts to ‘turn the tables’. Do you people even read your own drivel before you post it? Terrorist-sympathizers? Puhleaze.

    YOU are laughable if you think you are the ones “tough” on terrorism when through your naive simplistic knee-jerk militarism have done more to assist terrorism that a battalian of kafia wearing jihadists.

    If you say so. Somehow I think people are more convinced that a General Casey is more capable of handling jihadis than a gaggle of nitwits on the streets protesting a war that we’re already trying to end. Can you be more dumb? (Don’t answer that question.)

  293. 293
    Laura says:

    Godzilla Says:

    Good grief. I take it you weren’t a communications major. Once in a while, everybody forgets the value of brevity, but I don’t think you’re capable of making a succinct point. If you actually want people to read the entirety of your posts, you might try limiting them to 500 words or less, with an emphasis on “less.”

  294. 294
    Godzilla says:

    ppGaz,

    You knucklehead. Your Johnny Salesdude ‘haha’ post blew up the thread.

    Way to go.

  295. 295
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Godzilla said:

    Well now, I would most definitely not define civil war to be whatever Chris Matthews says it is, or what some random dim bulbs on Balloon Juice say it is. I’d say there’s an element of scale and politics. When large segments of Iraq, in this case Sunni, Shiite, or Kurd, are at each other’s throats, then I’d say you have a civil war. That of course includes a political angle, meaning that the region’s politics—the ways in which these various groups manage their differences—would have to stop functioning completely.

    Quite frankly, I’d be loathe to consider Chris Matthews an authoritative source for what he himself had for breakfast, so we’re on the same page there. I appreciate your perspective on what constitutes a civil war, although I’m not sure I agree with it. Did the American civil war start only when the majority of Confederate States had contributed men to the cause, or was it when South Carolina seceded? Was it when the South seized Fort Sumter, or when the Federal government tried to take it back?

    I would agree with you that at least based on current reports there does not yet seem to be a full-scale civil war in Iraq. My impression is that neither is everything fine, and there are disturbing trends in sectarian violence that leads me to believe that it could be imminent. One of the more difficult things for me to wrap my head around is exactly what civil war in Iraq will look like, as it is not simply a “north-south” division – there will be pockets of Sunnis amidst the shiites. What could happen in those areas? Will Iran be helping with supply lines?

    In any event, I’m not exactly sure how the US with its limited manpower, or the Iraqi police force and army (who only a few weeks ago had zero battalions that could operate without US support) can turn things around throughout the country and *keep* them turned around – I’ve no doubt they can temporarily control small areas, but it seems to me that so far that control has been fleeting.

    As you’ve alluded to in your post, there are certainly political aspects to civil war that need to be addressed, and we’re not hearing a lot about what’s happening diplomatically to avert a civil war (other than parliament meeting for 30 minutes). While the trajactory for political and structural milestones appears to be forward (notwithstanding the US imposed arbitrary timetable and adherence to it even if it means imperfect execution), it hasn’t been consistently forward (viz “there are three Iraqi battalions ready, no wait, one, uh…zero).

    Tipping point for what? Opposing the war? In truth, I would rather see a civil war end in Iraq, which I suspect is a foreign concept to you: Hoping things go well for the Iraqis. I haven’t reached any conclusions, but muddling through an Iraqi civil war may yet be the best option. Certainly it means nothing re:Bush because he is not running for re-election, a fact which seems lost on the gaggle of knuckleheads posting here.

    Apologies for being unclear. I was reinforcing my initial question here. By “tipping point”, I meant what series of events would have to unfold to convince you that a civil war had taken hold of the country? What would be the ultimate event? The penultimate? That’s the “tipping point” to which I was referring.

    Your rhetorical device of assuming that anyone who thinks that Iraq is on an inexorable slide into civil war is, in fact, rooting for such an outcome is more than just intellectually dishonest, it is projection of the first order. I could easily claim that because you want to be proven right that pre-emptive invasion was justified, you are unwilling to accept reality on the ground.
    I think it’s far better to impute good faith to both sides’ arguments and have an actual debate than to pretend that people who disagree with me are rooting for people to die. Or should I point out that because you want the troops to stay that you are rooting for Americans to die? That argument contributes nothing to the conversation but rather insults resonable people, and quite frankly makes you look silly.

    Finally, it is true that people on both sides of the argument can find external quotes to support their perception of events, but I’d ask you to look at the potential motivations of the speakers. I think that we can find many examples of military commanders being overly optimistic in their *public* assessments of the Iraq situation. It’s unclear to me what stake Allawi has in lying about the situation on the ground in Iraq.
    P.S. Aside from your patronizing jibe about my not wanting there to be a civil war, I appreciate your addressing the substance of my post.

  296. 296
    Godzilla says:

    Good grief. I take it you weren’t a communications major.

    Communications major? That’s a major for ditzy sorority girls and baseball players.

    Once in a while, everybody forgets the value of brevity, but I don’t think you’re capable of making a succinct point.

    I am capable of being succinct. In this case, however, there is a method to my madness. I respond point-by-point just to show that there is an answer to these idiotic ‘arguments by list’ that so many on the Left make. Sometimes things sound impressive and convincing until you discover that there is an adequate counter-argument to EVERYTHING in the list. My last post is a perfect example. Slide throws out a list of moronic accusations and leaves it laying there, believing himself finished and utterly convincing. His tactic may work in everyday conversation – people don’t retain long lists in short-term memory, and therefore can’t address them all — but it doesn’t work in this kind of a medium, because now I can backtrack and demonstrate how he will do nothing but make lists and generally not respond to any challenge (presumably).

    Then again, I do tend to be wordy. If I stick around I promise to call you on your bullshit more succinctly. Deal?

    By the way, do you consider this a chat room, or a discussion forum?

  297. 297
    ppGaz says:

    ppGaz,

    You knucklehead. Your Johnny Salesdude ‘haha’ post blew up the thread.

    Way to go.

    Yeah, last thing we’d want to do is harm a thread hijacked by a fake lizard.

    My { slurps fly out of the air } bad.

  298. 298
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Recent polls have shown this to be false, particularly in Pakistan

    1) You do recognize that you can both be right based on whatever arbitrary timeframe you’ve chosen, don’t you? Are current opinion polls showing that support for the US now is better than it was before the invasion of Iraq? In your case, you’re asserting that public opinion was better after the aid than before the aid. That’s a surprise. Is it still below where it had been in the past?
    2) When you say “particularly in Pakistan”, don’t you really mean “only in Pakistan”? I couldn’t find any polls that showed an uptick in Muslim sentiment toward the US in any other country, although I will allow that it may be that my Google skills need improvement. Perhaps you would point me toward your source?

    ou remember Canada and Germany, the countries that booted the anti-war liberals and elected conservatives, who ran on platforms which included improving relations with the United States, which is another way of saying they ran on platforms promising to fix the problems the liberal governments created with the United States. France, Germany, and Canada need our support far more than we need theirs, a fact which is not lost on people in power, at least those who aren’t ideology-bound.

    Please. If you are ignorant of foreign government, please don’t assert as fact what is opinion, and incorrect opinion at that. Canadians did not vote *for* conservatives. In fact, they have the weakest minority government in Canadian history. They did not run on improving relations with the US, they ran against the corruption of the Liberal Party, and were not even able to gain a majority of seats. The first thing the new Prime Minister did was assert Canadian sovereignty of the Arctic territories, a slap in the face to the American Ambassador to Canada, who said that the US did not recognize such sovereignty. The current US administration is the the most unpopular in recent history in Canada. While it is true that Canada is very dependent on trade with the US (a dependency I believe is very unhealthy), so too is Canada America’s largest source of imported oil, so dependency is a two-way street.

  299. 299
    Godzilla says:

    ImJohnGalt,

    Most of your position re:civil war makes sense to me. I don’t think everything is fine in Iraq, but neither do I believe there is a civil war happening now. I poked around a little to see if I could pin down an exact definition of ‘civil war’ and it’s quite a slippery term, which tells you something, I think. Nevertheless, scale and politics are key variables. I think the reason it’s not possible to pin the term down too precisely is because every society is different. Clean divisions of North and South in the American Civil War just cannot be applicable in Iraq, whose divisions are primarily religious and only partially geographic.

    So what would it look like? Who can say for sure, but when I hear about large swaths of the Sunni populace wanting to do battle with Shiites, or vice-versa, or that many or most leaders of both groups, religious or secular, are talking about fighting, then I’ll get worried. Until then, I just don’t think there is presently the kind of support necessary to fuel a large-scale civil war of the type that will derail the political structure being put in place. Aside from insurgents and various and sundry imams, Iraqis just don’t seem interested in civil war. Why would they be?

    While the trajactory for political and structural milestones appears to be forward ,,, it hasn’t been consistently forward.

    I’ll be worried when the trajectory is primarily backwards. I won’t withdraw my support simply because there are setbacks.

    Your rhetorical device of assuming that anyone who thinks that Iraq is on an inexorable slide into civil war is, in fact, rooting for such an outcome is more than just intellectually dishonest, it is projection of the first order.

    That’s not quite what I said. I said that for those people who oppose the war to be proved right, things must in fact go badly in Iraq. That is simply the reality. That is not the same thing as saying that those who oppose the war are rooting for a bad outcome. I haven’t reviewed my posts, but I will say I probably also stated that SOME are rooting for a bad outcome, and I’ll stand by that. Some do; it’s that simple. Some of those people are on this board, in fact.

    I could easily claim that because you want to be proven right that pre-emptive invasion was justified, you are unwilling to accept reality on the ground.

    You could, but you’d need to ignore what I actually said, and demonstrated, I might add.

    I think it’s far better to impute good faith to both sides’ arguments …

    Does that apply to people in positions of power, as well, or do we assume that they are ALWAYS operating in bad faith, particularly if they are from a political party we oppose for primarily domestic reasons? And besides, should I impute good faith on individuals who use terms like ‘motherfuckers’, ‘cocksuckers’, etc., etc., etc. Have they earned the right to be given the benefit of the doubt?

    I think you know the answer.

    It’s unclear to me what stake Allawi has in lying about the situation on the ground in Iraq.

    Who knows? Exaggeration and excitableness is an Arab cultural trait, after all. I don’t say that as an insult, but it does color much of Arab rhetoric (Mother of All Battles, anyone?). Perhaps he’s just upset at the developments and wanted to forcefully make his point. Who knows? I think his statement is more an indication of the seriousness of the conflagration, not that it is now in fact a civil war. Something tells me Allawi wasn’t getting on Google and looking up the term, like I just did, or perhaps you will do.

  300. 300
    Krista says:

    Thank you, ImJohnGalt – you have it pretty much spot on. Most Canadian voters really don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut what Bush and his followers thing. We’re not anti-America, but we think that Bush is a dangerous, arrogant, and wrong-headed fool. Of course, I can’t speak for my entire country, but polls do show that a large majority of the country feels this way. And yes, we voted out the Liberals because they were corrupt. As a matter of fact, Martin standing up to Bush in regards to the WoT was a hugely popular move here. We greatly admired him not caving in to Bush’s bullying and pouting.

  301. 301

    Amazing thing.

    Girlfriend just came back from Russia. They can’t stand Bush over there. I mean, they really hate him.

    So isn’t that interesting? Here’s a President who has been pandering to the Russians, especially Putin. And they still can’t stand him.

    Could be because they think Bush is a dangerous, incompetent fool hell bent on starting a war in the Russian back yard.

  302. 302
    Godzilla says:

    Amazing thing.

    I just came back from France. They aren’t nearly as anti-Bush over there as you think.

    So isn’t that interesting? Here’s a President who hasn’t been pandering to the French, especially Chirac. And they still don’t hate as much as Le Figaro would have you believe.

    Could it be because they think islamists are dangerous fanatics hell bent on starting a war in the West?

    Wow, Other Steve, you lie so well. Do me a favor and try to remember that some of us have travelled and still travel extensively.

    You’re a liar, plain and simple.

  303. 303
    ImJohnGalt says:

    You said:

    That’s not quite what I said…but I will say I probably also stated that SOME are rooting for a bad outcome

    Earlier, you said:

    Very few people except liberals want us to fail in Iraq

    While technically you are correct, saying all liberals want us to fail in Iraq is a fairly broad indictment, and one that I would argue is a) untrue, and b) deliberately incendiary, which I suppose may be your intent.

    I won’t withdraw my support simply because there are setbacks.

    Here’s the thing. I don’t really see where anyone is asking you to withdraw your support. Unless I misunderstand the nature of our discussion, the question at hand is “what would be best for the long-term interest of the Iraqi people”. I truly believe that most people on any side of the argument make their arguments keeping in mind what they perceive are the best interests of the Iraqi people as well as the strategic interests of the US. I’m certainly not asking you to stop supporting the Iraqi people. I just am wavering on whether the long-term best interests of the Iraqi people (and for that matter, the US) are served by keeping our troops there for much longer. If all we do is delay an inevitable civil war and in the meantime more troops and civilians are killed and the post-civil-war institutions (and partitions) are delayed, is that really in anyone’s best interest? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I don’t think it’s a dishonest one.

    As for your Allawi argument, all I’d ask is by what criteria do you lend more credence to self-interested parties reports of Iraqi progress vs. people whose motivation is less transparent?

  304. 304
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Wow, Other Steve, you lie so well.

    Um, technically (and you are one to parse semantics, so I know the point isn’t lost on you) he wasn’t likely lying. He was relating an anecdote, as were you, and forming an opinion based on an anecdote.

    Too many people, left and right here think that the plural of anecdote is data, rather than just an interesting piece of information to add to the pile.

  305. 305
    canuckistani says:

    Most Canadian voters really don’t give a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut what Bush and his followers thing. We’re not anti-America, but we think that Bush is a dangerous, arrogant, and wrong-headed fool. Of course, I can’t speak for my entire country, but polls do show that a large majority of the country feels this way. And yes, we voted out the Liberals because they were corrupt. As a matter of fact, Martin standing up to Bush in regards to the WoT was a hugely popular move here. We greatly admired him not caving in to Bush’s bullying and pouting.

    Thank you, Krista. You slapped him down, so I didn’t have to.

  306. 306
    slide says:

    Godzilla. You are a moron. See, doesn’t take all that many words to get to the truth. But if you do like words then lets dissect some of your stupidity. Shall we? k

    I said:

    Hypothesis: bin Laden and al Qaeda LOVE the fact that we are in Iraq. Absolutely best fuckin thing that we could have ever done for his organization.

    Moron answered:

    If you say so. bin Laden is missing his bases in Afghanistan and (tens of?) thousands of jihadis. He would beg to differ, or at least several of his lieutenants beg to differ. You’re not going to make me post documents supporting my position are you? Surely you’re aware of them. If you’re not, then shame on you for being such an idiot.

    Yes, please post some documents to show me how the war in IRAQ has anything to do with his bases in AFGHANISTAN.

    I said:

    Turned Muslim public opinion even more against us then before.

    Moron said I was wrong. Really? Here read this for starts. Little snippet

    :”The poll results are striking,” said Shibley Telhami, of the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, who commissioned the poll. “They are striking not only because of the unprecedented degree of unfavorable opinion of the United States, but also showing the extent to which people in the region fear that war with Iraq will impact their lives negatively,” he said.

    I said:

    Made USA lose credibility world-wide.

    Moron retorts:

    We did? Says who? Le Figaro? CNN? Tim Russert? Something tells me you’ve never done much traveling. Trust me. Anti-Americanism was alive well before Bush and the Iraq War. And credibility is a tricky term. Why don’t you look it up before you blather about what it means to lose it.

    ok.. looked it up, how about this from the Christian Science Monitor or is that too liberal as well?:

    Seeds of doubt sown in Iraq over US intelligence now have countries in East Asia, including close US allies, openly doubting US intelligence about North Korea’s nuclear program. These doubts may enable North Korea to divide the US from its allies in the region and reduce the chances for a peaceful termination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

    China, a key player in the six-party talks with North Korea, has now begun to express doubts about the US allegations that North Korea has an HEU program. Chinese Embassy spokesman Sun Weide says China doesn’t know if North Korea has an HEU program. Now, quietly, South Korean officials are beginning to express the same doubts. Echoes of these doubts are being heard in Japan. Even if these countries have other reasons for differing with the US, the failure to find WMD in Iraq gives them an excuse to question the reliability of American intelligence. In turn, this makes holding a united front against North Korea more difficult for the Bush administration.

    US failure to share the location of any HEU facilities in North Korea, and its apparent refusal to share evidence of the program with South Korea, compounds doubts.

    If the US was wrong – or manipulated intelligence – in Iraq, how can it be completely trusted in North Korea?

    Thre are real consequences for this blunder of a war. I could go on and on showing how profoundly wrong Moron is but I think most of you have already determined that for yourself..

  307. 307
    Godzilla says:

    In your case, you’re asserting that public opinion was better after the aid than before the aid. That’s a surprise. Is it still below where it had been in the past?

    OK, I’ll concede the point that Muslims are not happy that we’ve removed Saddam and are battling al Qaeda if you will concede the point that al Qaeda is falling out of favor with Muslims, as well. Fair enough? I’m not quite sure why we’re supposed to make national security decisions based on the sensibilities of people in foreign countries, particularly since they don’t consider our sensibilities, but it was not I who brought it up, so I’ll let this one go. Frankly I don’t care either way. I mean, really, does any nation which is primarily non-Muslim and which has influence on the world stage poll positively in Muslim societies? (Don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical question and I think I know the answer ….)

    Please. If you are ignorant of foreign government, please don’t assert as fact what is opinion, and incorrect opinion at that. Canadians did not vote for conservatives.

    Mm. Perhaps I should have been more precise: Canadians elected a MORE conservative government. How’s that?

    In fact, they have the weakest minority government in Canadian history.

    Ah. Therefore they’re not more conservative. I suppose the fact that George W. Bush did not win the popular vote in 2000 meant that has therefore not more conservative than Clinton. Is that too obtuse? That seems to be what you’re saying.

    They did not run on improving relations with the US, they ran against the corruption of the Liberal Party, and were not even able to gain a majority of seats.

    Well, OK. I’ll admit I’m not expert on Canadian politics, but I was under the impression that Martin was perceived as having been a little too obstructionist re:relations with the United States.

    The first thing the new Prime Minister did was assert Canadian sovereignty of the Arctic territories, a slap in the face to the American Ambassador to Canada, who said that the US did not recognize such sovereignty.

    Whatever. Tempests in a teapot of the sort that nations without much influence consider important. Sorry. That’s a mouse fart in a hurricane.

    The current US administration is the the most unpopular in recent history in Canada.

    True. Then again, recent Canadian governments are probably the most unpopular in recent history in the United States, although I doubt anybody would bother to commission a poll about what Americans think of the Canadian government. Under your ‘logical’ rubric, however, and if people in the U.S. are currently unhappy with the Canadian government, should its therefore not be obliged to change its policies.

    Why must the U.S. change? Can’t I demand Canada change?

    While it is true that Canada is very dependent on trade with the US (a dependency I believe is very unhealthy), so too is Canada America’s largest source of imported oil, so dependency is a two-way street.

    If you say so. Tell you what, you keep trying to convince people that America needs Canada more than the Canada needs the United States, and see how many people you’re going to convince.

  308. 308
    ppGaz says:

    Godzilla. You are a moron.

    He’s a reptile. Large body, small brain.

    Classic varanus komodoensi republicansus.

    Fine in its native habitat, but of no use in a civilized society.

  309. 309
    Godzilla says:

    Um, technically he wasn’t likely lying. He was relating an anecdote, as were you, and forming an opinion based on an anecdote.

    I know. But these ‘everybody hates Bush’ anecdotes are usually cheap lies, an accusation I base solely upon my own anecdotal evidence.

    Too many people, left and right here think that the plural of anecdote is data, rather than just an interesting piece of information to add to the pile.

    Point taken. I, too, would prefer it if people would remain on-topic.

    That said, I’m sorry to say I now have to go. I’d like to respond to your latest post and continue this, but the real world awaits.

    Ciao

  310. 310
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Tell you what, you keep trying to convince people that America needs Canada more than the Canada needs the United States, and see how many people you’re going to convince.

    Look, I’m not trying to convince you of Canada’s importance to the US, and certainly would not imply that there is any parity in our trading, military, or diplomatic relationships. Until recently, however, Canada *was* the US’s largest trading partner (it’s China, now), so we don’t have an unsubstantial effect on your economy. According to the link, here, as recently as January of this year we accounted for more of your foreign imports of oil than any other country. And you’d care to argue that we aren’t somehow important to your economy?

    At any rate, *you* brought up Canada, not me, so forgive me if I attribute your rather blase response to my arguments to be anything other than backpedaling from your uninformed commentary.

    OK, I’ll concede the point that Muslims are not happy that we’ve removed Saddam and are battling al Qaeda if you will concede the point that al Qaeda is falling out of favor with Muslims, as well. Fair enough? I’m not quite sure why we’re supposed to make national security decisions based on the sensibilities of people in foreign countries, particularly since they don’t consider our sensibilities, but it was not I who brought it up, so I’ll let this one go.

    I will be happy to concede that among many Muslims support for Al Qaeda is on the wane, which doesn’t necessarily correlate to increased American support. That said, I agree that our foreign policy shouldn’t be subject to opinion polls in foreign countries. I do, however, assert that in diplomatic matters the opinions of foreign populations should be considered, assuming that they have the ability to affect the domestic politics of the countries with which we have diplomatic ties. Just for shits and giggles, there’s a pretty decent summary of Muslim opinions at Pew, here.

    Then again, recent Canadian governments are probably the most unpopular in recent history in the United States, although I doubt anybody would bother to commission a poll about what Americans think of the Canadian government. Under your ‘logical’ rubric, however, and if people in the U.S. are currently unhappy with the Canadian government, should its therefore not be obliged to change its policies.

    Well, given that you’re pulling that out of your ass, I’ll let that go. Quite frankly, I doubt that Americans generally think about Canada at all, other than as that cold country to the north where they say “aboot”. I don’t follow your last sentence, however. I never said that the US should change its policies based on Canadian opinion, so nice straw man there. I merely pointed out that your assertion that the conservatives were elected based on a platform of closer ties to Americans didn’t jibe with Canadian polls, and so your argument, I posited, was lacking in truthiness. For someone who has been so pedantic with other posters around exactly what it is that you’ve said, you’re pretty quick to credit to me arguments I haven’t made.

  311. 311
    LITBMueller says:

    This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.” Except it isn’t. At all. There really is no occupation, because occupations would imply some sort of control over the region.

    The level of control of the Iraqi political process, military, infrastructure, Iraqi currency, etc., by the U.S. has been absolutely massive. Mr. “I hate timetables” Bush set every timetable concerning the establishment of an Iraqi government, and our own Embassador (whose office is within the largest U.S. embassy in the world) had a strong hand in helping to shape the Iraqi constitution.

    Our troops move anywhere they want, and act at will. They have established “eduring,” i.e., “permanent,” bases in Iraq that serve a much larger strategic objective. These bases are not being “hosted” by a sovreign nation under an agreement. Instead, they are autonomous zones established by an occupier.

    So, if this is not an occupation, what is it? “Hanging out?”

    The insurgents are not really insurgents… They are terrorists who wish the country will fall deeper into chaos so that they can pursue their own aims (re-establishing the Baathist regime, instilling a theocratic regime, general mayhem- whatever they may be).

    This demonstrates a misunderstanding of the insurgency. Yes, that’s right: an insurgency. This goes beyond “terrorism,” in that many of the targets of attacks are military/security in nature, such as attacks on recruiting stations. There are aso targeted poitical assassinations, random attacks on U.S. and Iraqi security and armed forces, targeted attacks on infrastructure and the oil industry.

    This level of complexity is far beyond just terrorism. There are specific military objectives. And, your understanding of the insurgency, while fitting into a nice rhetorical box, makes little sense.

    For example, Baathists would have little interest in creating a theocratic regime. Similarly, religious fanatics would have little interest in allowing the Baathists to come back into power. Likewise, people are generally not willing to blow themselves up just for “general mayhem.”

    There must be an overarching goal, one that unites Baathists, jihadists, and others. Otherwise, you would be seeing the Sunnis tearing each other apart.

    The goal is two-fold for the insurgency: drive out the American occupiers and destroy the Shiite-dominated American government. Each of the above types of attack serve that goal. As does formenting civil war by destroying holy sites – the more people that take up arms, and the more fighting, the less likely the Americans will be willing to stay.

    If you want to destroy your enemy, it is best to have an accurate understanding of their motivations. I believe most war protestors understand this better than most people on the right, who would rather throw around rhetoric. The fact is, our continuing presence only feeds the insurency. The more we try to strike back at them, the more cities and towns we level, the more insurgents and insurgency-sympathizers we create.

    This is the nature of limited warfare. We have failed to learn our lesson from Vietnam. I’m not advocating we become butchers, but “staying the course” is doomed to fail. Trying to fight a limited war in a region that does not support your presence is doomed to fail.

    The only alternative? Get the hell out.

  312. 312
    Krista says:

    I merely pointed out that your assertion that the conservatives were elected based on a platform of closer ties to Americans didn’t jibe with Canadian polls, and so your argument, I posited, was lacking in truthiness.

    precisely. Here’s Godzilla’s original quote:

    ou remember Canada and Germany, the countries that booted the anti-war liberals and elected conservatives, who ran on platforms which included improving relations with the United States, which is another way of saying they ran on platforms promising to fix the problems the liberal governments created with the United States. France, Germany, and Canada need our support far more than we need theirs, a fact which is not lost on people in power, at least those who aren’t ideology-bound.

    I called you on it, canuckistani called you on it, ImJohnGalt called you on it. I’ts complete and utter horseshit. I really fail to see how us calling you on that aforementioned horseshit somehow translates into us telling you that the US should change it’s policies based on Canada’s opinions.

  313. 313
    Mac Buckets says:

    If the protestors are so opposed to Republican-led wars, then why haven’t you seen a single demonstration of note against the war in Afghanistan? That came under the leadership of a Republican president, and it’s been going on much longer than the war in Iraq. By your logic, there should be even more protests against it.

    Wrong. My point was never that all Republican-led wars will be protested — for a number of reasons, Afghanistan was virtually un-protestable (although the NY Sun printed their poll of a NY pre-Iraq War protest and 60% IIRC of the protesters said they were against the war in Afghanistan, too).

    but the simple truth is most of us aren’t antiwar, or even anti-REPUBLICAN-war. We’re just anti-stupid-war.

    Again, “this war is stupid” is about as articulate as the protesters get — not very enlightening. There’s not a war ever fought where you couldn’t call several aspects of it “stupid” in foresight and in hindsight. These “anti-STUPID-war” lefties would’ve had a field day in the 40’s!

    And if “stupid” wars are the left’s problem, there were a few opportunities for the lefties to protest in the 1990s, while a Democrat was in office. Yet strangely, those protests never happened. Of course, as Janeane Garofalo accidently spilled once, “it wasn’t hip” to protest Clinton’s wars — and protesters are all about hip, trendy fake outrage.

    When a Democrat is in office, this is about as stirred-up as the left gets for a unilateral, probably-illegal, “irresponsible, unethical” act of war that “only fuels the flames of hatred.” It’s a respectful protest letter. Ask yourself, why did lefties send Clinton a letter after he had bombed the Sudan, but march in the streets with “Bush=Hitler” signs before the first shot was fired in Iraq? Was the problem that Clinton doesn’t look so good with the Hitler mustache on the placards saying “Bubba Breeds Terrorists?” Or was it that Democrats really don’t care about “having their voices heard” if it might reflect badly on the Democrat in charge? What’s more likely? To me, that says pretty plainly that these folks won’t march against just ANY “Stupid War” (whatever that means) — it has to be a Republican war.

  314. 314
    chopper says:

    OK, I’ll concede the point that Muslims are not happy that we’ve removed Saddam and are battling al Qaeda if you will concede the point that al Qaeda is falling out of favor with Muslims, as well. Fair enough?

    AQ is falling out of favor with many muslims, but falling into favor with many as well. unfortunately, the invasion of iraq has pissed off a lot of otherwise indifferent muslims, so a lot of middle-of-the-road muslims are jumping ship either way.

  315. 315
    chopper says:

    When a Democrat is in office, this is about as stirred-up as the left gets for a unilateral, probably-illegal, “irresponsible, unethical” act of war that “only fuels the flames of hatred.”

    mostly because when a democrat is in office, there is a severe lack of unilateral, probably-illegal, ‘irresponsible, unethical’ acts of war that ‘only fuels the flames of hatred’ to get pissed off about. goopers are the ones with the hard-on for unilaterally invading shit.

  316. 316
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Their just looking for the usial left-wing news media to pay attention to their rediclous protests while they stll wear the 70s chicken footprint around their necks

  317. 317
    ImJohnGalt says:

    I’m sorry, but BIRDZILLA always cracks me up.

    No matter how reasonable or strident a debate we may be having, his posts always make me sit back and wonder at the miracle of the autonomic nervous system’s ability to keep people breathing regardless of other brain function. I chuckle softly to myself and carry on a little cheerier than I was before.

  318. 318
    Mac Buckets says:

    mostly because when a democrat is in office, there is a severe lack of unilateral, probably-illegal, ‘irresponsible, unethical’ acts of war that ‘only fuels the flames of hatred’ to get pissed off about.

    So you just wear your Rose-colored Donkey glasses, and ignore what’s going on when Dems are in charge? Gosh, and to think I was charging hypocrisy!

  319. 319
    ppGaz says:

    Shorter Mac: You can’t say this war is stupid because in some ways all wars are stupid. And besides, “this war is stupid” is the sum total of all objection to this war.

    So QED … you can’t criticize this war.

    Wow, Mac, you should be teaching this stuff at West Point. Or, maybe you already do? I mean, that’s fucking BRILLIANT.

    What a fucking moron.

  320. 320
    slide says:

    MacBuckets pontificating on stupidity, a subject he has an inside scoop on:

    Again, “this war is stupid” is about as articulate as the protesters get—not very enlightening. There’s not a war ever fought where you couldn’t call several aspects of it “stupid” in foresight and in hindsight. These “anti-STUPID-war” lefties would’ve had a field day in the 40’s!

    OK let me try to explain it to you. I won’t pretend to speak for everyone that is/was against this war so I’ll talk for myself. I’m NOT A PACIFIST. I’m NOT AGAINST using military force. I WAS for going to war in Afghanistan. I was a BIG supporter of Bush when he stood on the rubble heap and promised to make the terrorists “hear” us all. I am a New York law enforcment officer. I know about terrorism first hand and I was one of the first one’s that wanted to kick butt and ask questions later asswipe.

    Ok.. now that we have that out of the way, invading IRAQ was STUPID. No… STUPID doesn’t do it justice. FUCKING INCREDIBLY OUTRAGEOUSLY STUPID. Any better. In addition it was/is naive, simplistic, wrongheaded, dangerous and counter-productive. And just about everyone that is not a bush boot lick like you is coming to that realization. From the left. From the right. Even some neocons have seen the light. So for those of us that were against this war from the BEGINNING to be condescended to by the likes of you, who has been WRONG, WRONG,WRONG about every aspect of this war is really quite incredible. Face it bucket boy, as Sean Hannity USED to say, How does it feel to be on the wrong side of history?

  321. 321
    Mac Buckets says:

    So QED … you can’t criticize this war.

    That’s the most retarded thing I’ve ever heard from you, Ppg, and with your track record, that’s really saying something.

    Show where I said they can’t criticize. Go ahead — quote me. Of course they can criticize (you can’t stop a Democrat from whining any more than you can stop the sun from setting). What they can’t do is hide from the charge of being a partisan hypocrite for protesting selectively while they always let their own party slide.

    Please stop being such a loser, Ppg.

  322. 322
    ppGaz says:

    Sure, you lying moron, what did you mean by this?

    Again, “this war is stupid” is about as articulate as the protesters get—not very enlightening. There’s not a war ever fought where you couldn’t call several aspects of it “stupid” in foresight and in hindsight. These “anti-STUPID-war” lefties would’ve had a field day in the 40’s!

    And if “stupid” wars are the left’s problem, there were a few opportunities for the lefties to protest in the 1990s, while a Democrat was in office. Yet strangely, those protests never happened. Of course, as Janeane Garofalo accidently spilled once, “it wasn’t hip” to protest Clinton’s wars—and protesters are all about hip, trendy fake outrage.

    What the FUCK does that mean, Mac?

  323. 323
    slide says:

    bucket boy:

    Of course they can criticize (you can’t stop a Democrat from whining any more than you can stop the sun from setting). What they can’t do is hide from the charge of being a partisan hypocrite for protesting selectively while they always let their own party slide.

    Partisan hypcrite reality check:

    Verbatim quotes from when Clinton was committing troops to Bosnia:

    “You can support the troops but not the president.”
    —Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

    “Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years.”
    —Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

    “Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”
    —Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

    “[The] President . . . is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”
    —Sen Rick Santorum (R-PA)

    “American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy.”
    —Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

    “If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain the y have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy.”
    —Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W Bush

    “I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning . . . I didn’t think we had done enough in the diplomatic area.”
    —Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

    “I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our over-extended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”
    -Rep Tom Delay (R-TX)

    “Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”
    -Governor George W Bush (R-TX)

  324. 324
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Mac Buckets, I’m assuming your cant cuts both ways, correct?
    That is, the Republican leadership that was criticizing Clinton for “not having an exit strategy” in Bosnia (a NATO effort, rather than a unilateral pre-emptive war to “protect” America) are also hypocritical, because they’ve been cheerleading this Republican war. Just so we establish that your rules apply to both sides before we continue the discussion.

  325. 325
    Mac Buckets says:

    Ok.. now that we have that out of the way, invading IRAQ was STUPID. No… STUPID doesn’t do it justice. FUCKING INCREDIBLY OUTRAGEOUSLY STUPID. Any better.

    Nope. No better. You still haven’t said why this war was more stupid than any other.

    So for those of us that were against this war from the BEGINNING to be condescended to by the likes of you, who has been WRONG, WRONG,WRONG about every aspect of this war is really quite incredible.

    There’s no evidence of that, of course, but I’ll be a good guy, and give you another chance.

    It was wrong to depose Saddam? Really? It was wrong to remove him and his terrorist sons and their WMD programs? It was wrong to stop him supporting terrorists (I’m surprised, from someone who claims to be a law enforcement officer)? It was wrong to free the majority of Iraqis he kept under his military terror regime? It was wrong to expose the UN bribes and the Oil-For-Fraud program that killed Iraqi children while keeping Saddam in fresh palaces? It was wrong to give Iraqis the vote? It was wrong to start democratic reforms in the Middle East?

    Tell me again why I was wrong to support these things.

  326. 326
    slide says:

    Nope. No better. You still haven’t said why this war was more stupid than any other.

    What an incredibly stupid comment. I think I must have answered that question several dozen times over the last few months, most recently here in this thread at 9:52.

    Hypothesis: bin Laden and al Qaeda LOVE the fact that we are in Iraq. Absolutely best fuckin thing that we could have ever done for his organization.

    Just some of the reasons: Pumped up his recruitment. Turned Muslim public opinion even more against us then before. Made USA lose credibility world-wide. Damaged our relationship with long time allies. Severely damaged our ability to act militarily anywhere else. Drained us of resources that could have gone to harden targets domestically. Sopped up valuable intelligence and military resources that could have been better used focusing on his organization rather than Iraq insurgency. Created a virtual training university for terrorist tactics that we now see being utilized in Afghanistan. Demonstrating our weakness rather than strength by our inability to “win” in Iraq. Giving the terrorists huge propaganda victories by them fighting us to a draw.

    Stupid, stupid, stupid. Now, if you want to claim all wars are stupid, please show me all the negative consequences for the Bosnia and Kosovo military actions and we’ll compare. Ok?

  327. 327
    Theseus says:

    Maybe because they’re not bashing their own country. Maybe you’re just choosing to see it that way so you can ignore them and anything they have to say.

    I don’t ignore them. It’s one thing to compare elements in one particular war to another. That’s how we learn. But when you compare the US to the Soviet Union, or the POTUS to Adolph Hitler, which a plurality of your fellow citizens elected, then, with all due respect, you are bashing your country and the people, your fellow Americans, who chose one leader over another. It is a disgusting moral equivalence. There is simply no comparison between the two. Is all killing an act of murder? Is all killing wrong? Context is key. But ignoring it is a convenient and crudely effective way to demogogue your opponent and shut down any debate. Apparently, Bush and the GOP have been doing that for years, if all the hysteria from the left is to be believed. Doesn’t it bother you when it is your political side that may be doing the same thing? Or do the ends justify the means? Again, if your arguments are so strong and so powerful, you wouldn’t need to resort to such cheap tactics to prove your point.

    Yes, because, obviously everybody who is against the war in Iraq equates it with the Soviet Union occupying Afghanistan.

    Ahh, yes, and obviously they all loved the Soviet Union too.

    Didn’t say everybody who is against the war. I said people who have this particular POV: This is just like the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. I think I was pretty clear. And yeah, I would love to track down what some of these loons were actually saying about the Soviet Union back when Ronald Reagan was being mercilessly ridiculed for calling the Soviet Union what it was and having the temerity to claim that America would ultimately triumph. Fun times being a liberal back then as well I guess. But then again, the more “intellectually sophisticated” crowd endlessly bashed some backward doofus named Churchill as well, so. Something about his war-mongering…or something.

    How insightful. I mean, this obviously shows clear brilliance of thought. Yes, the creation of this strawman was perhaps the most brilliant thing in this thread.

    Well, the bars you guys set with all your hysterical rantings and melodrama is pretty damn high.

    And you wonder why nobody takes you guys seriously any more…

    If you mean the denizens of the enlightned BJ commentariat, well, frankly, I don’t give a damn. I lack the Jedi-like telepathic and fortune telling powers that many here seem to possess to be able to offer judgements and verdicts on this administration for instance, when it typically takes professional historians years and years after the fact to be able to judge, one way or another, the consequences and effects of a particular administration and its policies. I support the policies not the man, and it is simply too soon to be able to offer up an effective verdict. Nor does my support waver when the going gets tough. But I do know what I’m hoping for and that’s regardless of what political allegiance a particular administration belongs to. Do you?

  328. 328
    ppGaz says:

    You still haven’t said why this war was more stupid than any other.

    1) The war was based on intelligence that turned out to be wrong.
    2) The rationale for the war was a threat to the US based on a presumption of WMDs that did not exist and could not have been used outside of the region even if they did exist
    3) That rationale was based on presumed motives for use of the WMDs that were purely speculative and in retrospect made no sense.
    4) The war was sold on the basis of a connection to 911 that has not, to be charitable, been proven.
    5) The war has not made the United States safer.
    6) The war has no clear end strategy with a successful outcome
    7) The notion that a stable liberal democracy is likely in Iraq is borderline delusional. There is no reason based on history to believe that such an outcome is likely under any circumstances. Americans have been asked to believe that it’s likely mainly because a few people in Washington just keep repeating that it is.
    8) American democracy depends on a bond of trust between citizens and government. Pimping a war on weak pretenses and toward an outcome that cannot be managed or controlled or guaranteed in any way, and propping up the notion month after month and year after year in the face of evidence to the contrary, is harmful to that relationship and harmful to the process of democracy. Americans have lost faith in the war and its leadership.
    9) Insisting that boiling all of this — to say nothing of the enormous cost in money and lives – down to the word “stupid” somehow discredits the argument because all wars are somewhat stupid is the rhetorical tactic of a dishonest, ballbusting troll who is making argument for the sake of argument.

    Not only is the war stupid, your defense of it is stupid.

    As always, you suck, Mac.

  329. 329
    Jim Allen says:

    Game. Set. Match.

  330. 330
    LITBMueller says:

    Here is Number 10 for you ppGaz: The Administration did little post-war planning, which has lead to the mess we have to deal with today.

    t was wrong to depose Saddam? Really? It was wrong to remove him and his terrorist sons and their WMD programs? It was wrong to stop him supporting terrorists (I’m surprised, from someone who claims to be a law enforcement officer)? It was wrong to free the majority of Iraqis he kept under his military terror regime? It was wrong to expose the UN bribes and the Oil-For-Fraud program that killed Iraqi children while keeping Saddam in fresh palaces? It was wrong to give Iraqis the vote? It was wrong to start democratic reforms in the Middle East?

    You know, Mac, this could actually be a good argument for war with Iraq…if it was the one that was actually made!!!! The Administration did not warn us about WMD programs. They talked about actual nerve gas, bio weapons, and “mushroom clouds.”

    And, believe it or not, there were people who could see through this rhetorical bullshit. It was clear from day one that the Administration was hell bent on invading Iraq, and WMD’s were just a good excuse. Know why? Because other countries had nuclear programs and WMD programs, and other countries had ties to terrorism. But, we weren’t too worried about them.

    Nope. We just had to get Saddam.

  331. 331
    Mac Buckets says:

    They talked about actual nerve gas, bio weapons, and “mushroom clouds.”

    Actually, the Clinton Adminisration talked about those first. Were they stupid, too? Or were they lying? Just trying to bet the ground rules straight.

    And, believe it or not, there were people who could see through this rhetorical bullshit.

    I’m sorry, when exactly did those genius lefites tell Clinton and Albright that they were full of “rhetorical bullshit?” Never? Thanks for making my point.

    Nope. We just had to get Saddam.

    Which was the absolutely right thing to do, so we did it.

  332. 332
    ppGaz says:

    Which was the absolutely right thing to do, so we did it.

    No, it wasn’t. The war was sold and subscribed to in response to a supposed threat, not for regime change, and not for liberation.

    There was no threat justifying a war. Going back now and claiming that it was “the right thing to do anyway” is why the public is fed up with it. It’s the disconnect that has cost public support. It’s the lie that has cost the support.

  333. 333
    Mac Buckets says:

    Not only is the war stupid, your defense of it is stupid.

    Seroiusly, that’s all you’ve got: WMD, 9/11, and doom-and-gloom “it’ll never work?” That took you 9 bullets? It took me one line.

    I’ll just refute them in shorthand, as I’ve done this 1000 times.

    WMD — Clinton Administration. Iraq Liberation Act. “Slam Dunk.” Desert Fox. Is it stupid to believe what two administrations have been telling you for 6 years?
    9/11 — Never sold that Saddam did 9/11.
    “It’ll never work” — it already is working.

    Anyway, I’m not technically defending the war now — I’m defending the proposition that the lefty protesters are really only partisan hypocrites who would never protest a war unless a Republican were in office. I’m arguing AGAINST the proposition put out above that Democrats would protest all stupid wars, and this one is particularly stupid.

    My point is that every war in history has been fought imperfectly, and if you think that “imperfect = stupid,” then you think every war we’ve ever fought was fought “stupidly.” Every “mistake” that you posted is incredibly small potatoes compared to the mistakes of intel, execution, strategy, and result of WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam…not to mention Clinton’s war on Iraq in 1998.

  334. 334
    Perry Como says:

    Actually, the Clinton Adminisration talked about those first. Were they stupid, too?

    Yes. Next?

    I’m sorry, when exactly did those genius lefites tell Clinton and Albright that they were full of “rhetorical bullshit?” Never? Thanks for making my point.

    Tu quoque!

  335. 335
    Tim F. says:

    I must have missed the part where Clinton invaded Iraq.

  336. 336
    srv says:

    I must have missed the part where Clinton invaded Iraq.

    Hitlery’s ninjas. Still secret.

    Funny how Mac’s types believed Klinton bombed Osama to distract from Monica, ranted about Kosovo, but believe every intelligence finding the admin produced. Just b/c he played the game (Iraq Lib Act, Desert Fox), doesn’t mean it was any justification for a preventive war. And of course, don’t forget all those Frenchie and German intelligence agencies. They said it too.

    Then is must be true. The idea that “leftys” would have gone along with a Klintonian Iraq invasion is ridiculous.

    Re 9/11 and Saddam. Mac is right, there is not a single technical flaw in claiming that. But there are dozens of speeches with 9/11 and Saddam in the same sentence. And if I’m incorrect, Cheney has never retracted his Atta in Prague fantasy.

    But there’s nothing dishonest about all that, people just heard what they wanted to hear.

    Would that we could get Mac and others to make some predictions to back up their cogent reasoning skills. But they’ll never say anything any of us could measure. Here’s one for you Mac:

    There will be a Sunni/Baathist insurgency in Iraq for as long as they perceive they are a political minority.

    Which under your plan, is forever.

  337. 337
    Theseus says:

    I must have missed the part where Clinton invaded Iraq.

    Does not lobbing cruise missiles not constitute an act of war? Invasion, no. War, I think so. Jeez. I suppose you’re going to argue that the US was not technically at war with Iraq ever since the end of the First Gulf War as well. What, were the attempts to shoot down US planes trying to enforce the no flyzone that Saddam repeatedetly violated not acts of war? I must have missed the memo were President Clinton announced that the US military would engage in practice exercises with Saddam’s military.

    This is where it becomes amusing to watch a lot of you guys either conveniantly forget certain parts of recent history and/or do the mental gymnastics necessary to buttress your opinions today, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight of course and knowledge that we did not possess at the time. Context be damned. And you pretend that THAT is some kind of brilliant, deep analysis.

    It’s gonna be so damn interesting and amusing when a future Dem president has to deal with all this bullshit.

  338. 338
    Tim F. says:

    Does not lobbing cruise missiles not constitute an act of war? Invasion, no. War, I think so.

    Many things constitute an act of war. Do you seriously want to claim that every single provocation exactly equals invasion and occupation? That’s how it looks to me. You’re performing semantic contortions in defense of the mind-bendingly inane point that bombing is the same as invading. If that’s really your position then I’ll gladly put you down as just another fruit loop.

  339. 339
    Theseus says:

    Re 9/11 and Saddam. Mac is right, there is not a single technical flaw in claiming that. But there are dozens of speeches with 9/11 and Saddam in the same sentence. And if I’m incorrect, Cheney has never retracted his Atta in Prague fantasy.

    The US captured close to 2 million of Saddam’s files, notes, official documents and what not, the overwhelming majority of which have not been translated. So before you claim 100% certainty, be sure you have as much information as possible. The full story of the second Iraq War has yet to be written, in fact, not even close.

    There will be a Sunni/Baathist insurgency in Iraq for as long as they perceive they are a political minority

    Ummm, they are a political minority, as they constitute barely 20% of the population. Here’s a better prediction for your obviously superior cogent reasoning skills: There will be a Sunni/Baathist insurgency so long as they believe the benefits of this course of action outweigh the negatives.

  340. 340
    srv says:

    with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight of course and knowledge that we did not possess at the time. Context be damned. And you pretend that THAT is some kind of brilliant, deep analysis.

    The fact is, there was no evidence after ’92 that Saddam had WMD’s. You can play all the gymnastics you want, but absence of evidence is not evidence. We could also talk about all those who’ve conveniently forgotten they weren’t demanding an invasion of Iraq (and Afghanistan) in the 90’s

    But of course, it is the “leftys” who have changed values.

    It’s gonna be so damn interesting and amusing when a future Dem president has to deal with all this bullshit.

    Yes, we have no doubt that your ilk would whining non-stop by now if Kerry had been elected. Me, I’d have never thought I could vote for Hitlery, but she’s got it now. Article II, Unitary Executive Theory, NSA warrantless searches on US citizens. My god, you Bush lovers will be shitting in the streets.

  341. 341
    Theseus says:

    Many things constitute an act of war. Do you seriously want to claim that every single provocation exactly equals invasion and occupation? That’s how it looks to me. You’re performing semantic contortions in defense of the mind-bendingly inane point that bombing is the same as invading.

    Nope, but you didnt seem to have a problem equating Mac’s statement to an invasion. He didn’t say anything about invasion, he said war. Like you said Many things constitute an act of “war”. I’m just using your own logic. I mean, are you gonna sit there and tell me that Clinton’s bombimg of Kosovo and Serbia did not equal “war”. I don’t recall “invasion”, I don’t recal a direct threat to the security of the US, I don’t fricking recall how that was any of the US or friggin’ Clinton’s business. So perhaps Tim, you can define to fruity little me what exactly constitues a “war”.

  342. 342
    jg says:

    But when you compare the US to the Soviet Union, or the POTUS to Adolph Hitler, which a plurality of your fellow citizens elected, then, with all due respect, you are bashing your country and the people, your fellow Americans, who chose one leader over another.

    Again, your seeing it all wrong. Comparing Bush to Hitler is not to say he’s a monster who will kill 6 million Jews or sees himself as the leader of the master race. You choose to see it that way and if I did also I would be just as pissed as you. The comparison is apt because in both cases the rise to power had some similarities, the use of power and the fear mongering are similar.
    The comparisons of the US and the USSR when they invaded Afghanistan are apt because in their case and ours in Iraq we proceeded from a superior mindset and ignored all evidence that there would be resistance and so we have gone anout tackling that resistance incompetently. We were both blinded by our perceived need to accomplish the task.

    These points could be way off and most likely are since I’m writing off the cuff here without substantial knowledge of the subject. My point though is that we can never really have this discussion because as soon as you hear Hitler or Soviet Union you freak out. Instead of talking about the comparisons we get a verbal whipping about how much damage the left is doing to the country by bringing this shit up. We can only talk about a subject so long as the right feels comfortable discussing it. I understand how you feel. When I first here talk of US Gulags, or comparisons to Nazis or whatever I get pissed. Its a natural reflex. But then I listen to what the guy or girl actually means and the anger goes away if they actually have a point, whether I agree or not.

    You need to get past that words that turn your stomach and listen to the argument, you can’t just blow them off because you THINK they are only insulting our country. You don’t have to agree with their point when you acknowledge they have one.

  343. 343
    Tim F. says:

    Nope, but you didnt seem to have a problem equating Mac’s statement to an invasion. He didn’t say anything about invasion, he said war.

    You continue playing semantic games. Mac’s argument boils down to the statement that Clinton made misjudgments equal in magnitude to those of Bush. That argument only makes sense if Mac is arguing that Clinton acted as rashly as Bush. Otherwise he is basically saying nothing at all.

    You also misunderstand my original comment. Mac listed various acts of aggression, none of which stand fit to tie the Iraq invasion’s shoes as far as strategic blunders go. And yet he wants to sell them as comparable. They’re not. Thanks for reinforcing my point.

  344. 344
    srv says:

    The US captured close to 2 million of Saddam’s files, notes, official documents and what not, the overwhelming majority of which have not been translated

    I wonder why that is… Oh, yes, let’s wait until you are 100% disproven. Not. Again, absence of evidence is not evidence. You have no facts, as usual.

  345. 345
    Tim F. says:

    So perhaps Tim, you can define to fruity little me what exactly constitues a “war”.

    The more important question is what constitutes an “invasion and occupation.” If you agree that they’re different things then we’re square.

  346. 346
    Godzilla says:

    And you’d care to argue that we aren’t somehow important to your economy?

    Sure you’re important to our economy, but we are more important to you than you are to us. Sorry. That’s just reality. Nothing you see or hear on the CBC is going to change that essential fact.

    At any rate, you brought up Canada, not me, so forgive me if I attribute your rather blase response to my arguments to be anything other than backpedaling from your uninformed commentary.

    I’m afraid there is no such thing as ‘uninformed commentary’ in your world. If as a Canadian you can comment on American politics based solely upon what you’ve read on the Internet and seen on the CBC, I can comment on Canadian politics based solely upon what I’ve read on the Internet and seen on CNN. Sorry. Perhaps I’m wrong in my analysis – I’ve already said I’m not an expert on Canadian politics – but you’d better start listing your sources if as a foreigner you want to be given a free pass to comment on U.S. politics, U.S. politicians, and U.S. foreign policy, because to date you don’t seem particularly well informed about any of those things.

    That’s not quite fair, I realize, but then again, what ARE you doing here? The Iraq War isn’t your concern. You and your government opposed it and opted out of it. It’s our fight, and the fight of our allies. Your job is to sit on your duff and hope everything goes well. You’ve given up your right to affect Iraq policy now.

    I will be happy to concede that among many Muslims support for Al Qaeda is on the wane, which doesn’t necessarily correlate to increased American support.

    True. But it doesn’t correlate with increased Canadian or Bolivian support, either. Your point?

    That said, I agree that our foreign policy shouldn’t be subject to opinion polls in foreign countries. I do, however, assert that in diplomatic matters the opinions of foreign populations should be considered …

    File this away for a moment. You just blew your argument.

    Well, given that you’re pulling that out of your ass, I’ll let that go. Quite frankly, I doubt that Americans generally think about Canada at all, other than as that cold country to the north where they say “aboot”.

    Agreed. Americans think no more about Canadians than Canadians think about Mexicans (or Mexicans think about Canadians, for that matter). Having been extremely well traveled, I’ve always been amazed at how little people really know about the rest of the world. Not surprising, really, given that most experience it primarily through government-owned or government-subsidized media.

    I don’t follow your last sentence, however. I never said that the US should change its policies based on Canadian opinion, so nice straw man there.

    You just said above: “I do, however, assert that in diplomatic matters the opinions of foreign populations should be considered.” ‘Diplomatic matters’ is a euphemism for foreign policy.

    Is that the ‘straw man’ to which you’re referring?

    (By the way, if clearly the U.S. should not change its policies based upon Canadian opinion, then what exactly would be the point of protests against he Iraq War in places like Canada? Just asking. Remember, the protests aren’t about Bush, America, Republicans, or conservatism, at least according to some of the bigger brains in this forum, or to some of the more clever soft-spoken sophists.)

    I merely pointed out that your assertion that the conservatives were elected based on a platform of closer ties to Americans didn’t jibe with Canadian polls, and so your argument, I posited, was lacking in truthiness.

    Well, blame my sources. In the end I really don’t care about Canadian politics. Tempests in a teapot, and whatnot.

    For someone who has been so pedantic with other posters around exactly what it is that you’ve said, you’re pretty quick to credit to me arguments I haven’t made.

    If you say so. It is not I who claims foreigners should not have influence on U.S. foreign policy, followed almost immediately with a statement that foreign populations should have influence on U.S. diplomacy, which thereby affects U.S. policy. Perhaps I haven’t been ‘pedantic’ enough. Or perhaps I just need to watch some more of the CBC.

  347. 347
    jg says:

    I suppose you’re going to argue that the US was not technically at war with Iraq ever since the end of the First Gulf War as well. What, were the attempts to shoot down US planes trying to enforce the no flyzone that Saddam repeatedetly violated not acts of war?

    You’re saying we’ve been at war with Iraq since ’91? Continuously?

  348. 348
    srv says:

    So perhaps Tim, you can define to fruity little me what exactly constitues a “war”.

    How about you get the ball rolling with El Salvador, Greneda, and Panama?

    Where would Klinton get such ideas? Hmmm. I cannot fathom…

  349. 349

    […] On the third anniversary of the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, John Cole looks at the futility of anti-war protests. […]

  350. 350
    Theseus says:

    You continue playing semantic games. Mac’s argument boils down to the statement that Clinton made misjudgments equal in magnitude to those of Bush. That argument only makes sense if Mac is arguing that Clinton acted as rashly as Bush. Otherwise he is basically saying nothing at all.

    With all due respect, our starting points are different. I do think Bush has made quite a few misjudgements. But nowhere near the magnitute that you claim. I still support the Iraq War, I don’t think it was a blunder and while it may turn out to be disastrous as many of you claim it already is, I don’t think it will. It is neither as great as many of its more fervent backers would like us to believe nor as disastrous as some of Bush’s more harshest critics would like us to believe as well. It is somewhere in the middle, trugding along, slowly but surely.

    With regards to Clinton, he did what was politically feasible at the time, which is perhaps not what he would have like to do under other circumstances. It is impossible to say whether after 9-11 he would have invaded had he been in charge. You can’t know that he wouldn’t have and I can’t know the he would have. Same goes for Gore as well.

    Basically, we define misjudgements differently, from a different perspective, at least when it comes to Bush and the war. One of us is right and history will judge down the road who that was.

    You also misunderstand my original comment. Mac listed various acts of aggression, none of which stand fit to tie the Iraq invasion’s shoes as far as strategic blunders go. And yet he wants to sell them as comparable. They’re not. Thanks for reinforcing my point.

    Again, different starting point. I don’t see it as a strategic blunder. Period. I see many mistakes, miscalculations, errors in judgment with regards to the conduct of the war and occupation. But the war itself, sorry, I’m not anywhere near ready to conceed that it was a blunder.

    The more important question is what constitutes an “invasion and occupation.” If you agree that they’re different things then we’re square.

    Yeah, we’re square then.

  351. 351
    Theseus says:

    You’re saying we’ve been at war with Iraq since ‘91? Continuously?

    All due respect jg, how would you define it? What were US troops stationed in the Gulf doing all those years? Taking in the sun…

  352. 352
    jg says:

    All due respect jg, how would you define it? What were US troops stationed in the Gulf doing all those years? Taking in the sun…

    Maybe you’re right. Other than Bush declaring war I wouldn’t see any difference between this and whats gone on since 91. Kind of feels like the Cold War too. Actually that doesn’t work because during the Cold War the citizenry felt the effects of the war. With the current war, and the war of waiting that occurred from 91 to 03, only the military is at war anyway. No one has asked a single thing of me other than to fear the media and to give unquestioned authority to the president.

  353. 353
    Tim F. says:

    With all due respect, our starting points are different.

    Yes, that is clear. Let’s look at it this way. Whether or not invading and occupying a country is in-and-of-itself a bad idea, it is definitely an order of magnitude more substantial a response than engaging in a few bombing runs. It’s safe to say that few would seriously argue that point.

    With regards to Clinton, he did what was politically feasible at the time, which is perhaps not what he would have like to do under other circumstances. It is impossible to say whether after 9-11 he would have invaded had he been in charge. You can’t know that he wouldn’t have and I can’t know the he would have. Same goes for Gore as well.

    I think that you underestimate what is knowable. Two things strongly suggest what Clinton’s priorities would have been. First, he was fairly clear about the things that commanded his attention. When it comes to bad actors with WMDs North Korea got the lion’s share of attention and there’s no reason to think that 9/11 would have changed that. Absent WMDs (in every sense of the word) the al Qaeda connection seems altogether too tenuous, especially compared with neighboring states, to earn Iraq any special attention.

    The second not-insignificant point is that Clinton was not Bush. George W. made no effort to hide his disappointment in his father’s unwillingness to ‘roll into Baghdad’ and his first actions as president bore this out. His closest advisors, the infamous neocon cabal, spent the 90’s vigorously beating the Iraq drum (the books of true fruit loop Laurie Mylroie provide a good window into their thinking). The 90s stayed invasion-free because their hostility to Democrats and the unfriendly GOP leadership of Gingrich and Lott kept the PNACers marginalized until George W. chose to plant them at or near the top of most of the significant offices of the Executive branch. Put these guys in government next to Bush Junior’s revenge complex, Cheney’s desire to re-fight Vietnam and Rumsfeld’s need for decent-sized war to try out his crackpot theories and you have the textbook definition of a foregone conclusion.

  354. 354
    Theseus says:

    Yes, that is clear. Let’s look at it this way. Whether or not invading and occupying a country is in-and-of-itself a bad idea, it is definitely an order of magnitude more substantial a response than engaging in a few bombing runs. It’s safe to say that few would seriously argue that point.

    Agreed, of course. What is debatable and what we’ve been going in circles about, it seems to me, is how you characterize those responses within a larger context. And here is where you and I would, with the info that we have today, go our separate ways.

    I think that you underestimate what is knowable. Two things strongly suggest what Clinton’s priorities would have been. First, he was fairly clear about the things that commanded his attention. When it comes to bad actors with WMDs North Korea got the lion’s share of attention and there’s no reason to think that 9/11 would have changed that. Absent WMDs (in every sense of the word) the al Qaeda connection seems altogether too tenuous, especially compared with neighboring states, to earn Iraq any special attention.

    You can’t know how 9-11 would have changed President Clinton as Commander-In-Chief. And you can’t really predict how he would have responded. I’m sorry. It’s as simple as that. You can try to guess, but you can’t know. In response to a particular event, priorities shift, threat assesment’s shift, alliances change, etc as does the political environment. Clinton’s positions vis-a-vis NK, Iraq, Islamic militants and WMDs would have, I think it’s safe to say, would have shifted as a result of 9-11. How could you say with such certainty that they would not have? Are you saying that things should have gone about as business as usual? And with all due respect, we didn’t know that Iraq did not have WMDs. WE DID NOT KNOW THAT. Some guessed, guessed that maybe they didn’t have, but noone knew for sure. And we still don’t know the whole story. How can you be so absolutely certain? We did know though that the sanctions regime had or was on the verge of collapsing and the political will for tougher sanctions was absent or collapsing. We were aware of his previous history and his lack of judgment to put it midly. We knew of his hatred for the US. I can go on and on to try and put it within that context. He had no problem supporting terrorists when it suited his purpose, nor with showing off his Islamic credentials. But you guys are the ones with the crystal ball, so, what next?

    In any case, knowing what he did know at the time, and as the previous POTUS to boot, President Clinton did in fact support the Iraq War, as did many in his administration. That should say something. He could have easily disapproved and taken the temporary heat for it.

    The second not-insignificant point is that Clinton was not Bush. George W. made no effort to hide his disappointment in his father’s unwillingness to ‘roll into Baghdad’ and his first actions as president bore this out. His closest advisors, the infamous neocon cabal, spent the 90’s vigorously beating the Iraq drum (the books of true fruit loop Laurie Mylroie provide a good window into their thinking). The 90s stayed invasion-free because their hostility to Democrats and the unfriendly GOP leadership of Gingrich and Lott kept the PNACers marginalized until George W. chose to plant them at or near the top of most of the significant offices of the Executive branch. Put these guys in government next to Bush Junior’s revenge complex, Cheney’s desire to re-fight Vietnam and Rumsfeld’s need for decent-sized war to try out his crackpot theories and you have the textbook definition of a foregone conclusion.

    So, in essence, Bush was manipulated and prodded along by the Sith-like neocon “cabal” (at least you didn’t add in the infamous “Jewish lobby”) in order to fulfill his revenge fantasy against Saddam to honour his daddy and so that Cheney can exorcise his Vietnam demons and Rummy might try out some of his crackpot theories. And the men and women of the US military, pieces on the evil Rethuglican chessboard to be discarded at will. Cannon fodder. The American people, dupes, morons, complete and utter idiots, especially the deranged, theocratic, warmongering fruits that supported or continue to support the president.

    Gee, I wonder why condenscension and contempt hasn’t worked so well as Democratic tactics, especially when one considers that liberals are outnumbered by conservatives and most moderates tend to lean to the right, efforts by the present GOP to convince them otherwise notwithstanding (at least for now anyways). It seems to me that you’re better than that Tim, at least you should be. Too bad, because you seem like an awfully smart fellow.

  355. 355
    Slide says:

    Clinton? this is now about Clinton? you just gotta love the stench of desperation coming from the diehard war supporters. Their whole little world of professed logic is disintegrating all around them. Many war supporters have already jumped ship, heads hanging low quietly mumbling regretfull mea culpas for getting it so utterly wrong… others find solace in blaming the incompetence of the Bush/Rumsfeld administration and faulty execution as the problem – if only we did this, or that… and then you have the saddest group of war supporters, the pathetic stallworths that tenatiously cling to their discredited arguments in what one could only assume is a genetic inability to admit any possibility of being wrong. Unfortunately for the country, the President of the United States falls into this last category.

  356. 356
    ImJohnGalt says:

    That’s not quite fair, I realize, but then again, what ARE you doing here? The Iraq War isn’t your concern. You and your government opposed it and opted out of it. It’s our fight, and the fight of our allies. Your job is to sit on your duff and hope everything goes well. You’ve given up your right to affect Iraq policy now.

    Two words, pedant. Dual citizenship. I’m married to an American, and hold dual citizenship. Can we dispense with your puerile “A Few Good Men” Jack Nicholson ranting now? [I’m waiting for you to tell me to shut up and enjoy the protection that you provide, and waiting for you to tell me to you for providing it.]

    I paid taxes in America for 5 years before I was allowed to vote (while living in NYC, thanks very much), so how about we go back to debating on the merits. Sue me if I self-identify as a Canadian – I was born here.

    I’ll happily cite sources if you will, but even if I weren’t American (or is the argument now going to be that I wasn’t born American, I’m not a *real* American), are you seriously arguing that I can’t participate in a debate? You can’t have an opinion about the Israeli/Palestinian situation if you’re neither living is Israel or Palestine? Give me a break.

    Having been extremely well traveled, I’ve always been amazed at how little people really know about the rest of the world. Not surprising, really, given that most experience it primarily through government-owned or government-subsidized media.

    Except for you, of course. You apparently are the human Baedecker.

    Do you really want to get in a well-travelled pissing match? I’ve lived in seven different countries in the last 15 years and travelled to many times more. In my experience, people are a helluva lot more aware of the world that you give them credit for. Perhaps you’re only hanging around people with the same intolerant and narrow worldview that you seem to embrace.

    I thought you were actually interested in having a debate, and that you might want to know that perhaps your perceptions were mistaken. Apparently, you’d rather shift the debate from the substance of your argument to childish insults about a government subsidized national broadcast station and whether I have the right to have a viewpoint I’m prepared to defend. Sorry I was wrong.

  357. 357
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac’s argument boils down to the statement that Clinton made misjudgments equal in magnitude to those of Bush. That argument only makes sense if Mac is arguing that Clinton acted as rashly as Bush. Otherwise he is basically saying nothing at all.

    You missed that one by a mile, Tim. That just doesn’t logically follow at all. Firing cruise missiles vs. invading is not the “mistake” in question. Ppg (or whoever — they all sound alike) said the mistake was thinking that Saddam was a WMD threat. How can you argue that Clinton didn’t made the same exact “stupid mistake” as Bush before Bush did? They thought the exact same thing. To that extent, Bush was heavily relying on Clinton’s intel (and Clinton’s CIA director) to form his threat assessment on Saddam. “Slam dunk” was Clinton’s guy convincing a skeptical Bush that Saddam had WMD, remember.

    What Clinton — whose actions in Iraq, to his great credit, had a good heart but unfortunately no balls — did with his absolute belief in Saddam’s WMD (trying to disarm him with cruise missiles and then oust him with US-funded internal rebels) and what Bush did with his absolute belief in Saddam’s WMD (US-led invasion) are mere matters of degree, based on their personal and political personalities (and based on Clinton’s half-measures to oust Saddam having failed, of course).

    Also, whether Clinton’s “mistake” was not as bad because his plan was only a half-measure and lost no lives (well, no American lives, at least — and the never-protested-Clinton left thought Iraqi citizens’ lives were disposable when it was their guy bombing and killing them, of course) must also take into account that Desert Fox/Iraq Liberation Act failed to achieve any of Clinton’s own worthy objectives. Bush at the very least succeeded in ousting Saddam and replacing him with an elected democracy.

    An interesting question: Clinton, through the Iraq Liberation Act, funded Iraqi rebels to try to overthrow Saddam and establish a hand-picked, US-friendly government. If by some miracle, that would’ve worked (instead of just filling up more mass graves), wouldn’t Iraq have had the exact same problems in Iraq today regarding Baathist insurgents and civil war (unless, left to their own devices, the Shia would’ve just had a Stalineque purge, which would’ve been much worse)? Would the US have been called in anyway, to clean up the mess and hold together the government we brought to pass? We’ll never know, but it’s interesting…

  358. 358
    Mac Buckets says:

    Clinton? this is now about Clinton? you just gotta love the stench of desperation coming from the diehard war supporters.

    Just the part about showing the left’s hypocrisy is partially about Clinton, yes. Got a problem with that, Joe? Let me explain in small words. See, the easiest was to show the hypocrisy is to go back to the last Democrat President and show how some of the left acted totally differently to similar situations. Awww, forget it, you’ll never understand, Joe…

    And if I’ve been noting this for over three years, how is this sudden “desperation?” The position I supported won out on the day, after all.

  359. 359
    Pb says:

    ppGaz,

    It’s that time again! I’ll start:

    Protesters are not very bright;
    They hate war whenever it’s right:
    “War, what’s it good for?”
    the trendy implore–
    Ask Hitler, he’d give you a fight!

  360. 360
    Pb says:

    There once was a partisan hack,
    who went by the nickname of Mac.
    His Balloon Juice ran out,
    and he left here no doubt,
    to stop Clinton from nuking Iraq!

  361. 361
    Theseus says:

    Again, your seeing it all wrong. Comparing Bush to Hitler is not to say he’s a monster who will kill 6 million Jews or sees himself as the leader of the master race. You choose to see it that way and if I did also I would be just as pissed as you. The comparison is apt because in both cases the rise to power had some similarities, the use of power and the fear mongering are similar.

    A comparison to Hitler encompasses the whole package. You say the similarities are apt because the so-called “rise to power” is similar, the so-called “use of power”, and the “fear mongering”. This is complete and utter nonsense and cheapens the magnitude of what Hitler accomplished. All the things Hitler did, he did it to pursue a particularly disgusting and horrifying end. How the frak is Bush’s “rise to power” similar in any way to Hitler’s? Are fucking Democratic politicians in jail or dead? Lefty activists? Has he been going aroung murdering artists and intellectuals? Has he bombed the shit out of Hollywood? Are you gonna imply that his ends and Bush’s are similar too?

    “Fear mongering”, let’s see, a bunch of Islamic fanatics murder 3000 Americans in one fell swoop and what, nothing frickin changed. Suddenly, the possibility that there are human beings in this world that are driven by such blind faith, fury and hatred that they would happily murder innocents with glee and pleasure, this dawned on Americans, and they shouldn’t worry about that? They shouldn’t worry that given the opportunity, these maniacs would gladly use WMDs to murder millions if only they could. But that’s “fear mongering” and most Americans are being irrational of course.

    No, the comparison is not apt, it is piss poor and there are very little “similarities” between the two situations. I must have missed the part, along Bush’s “rise to power” when he appointed himself dictator. I guess Abu Ghraib and Guatonamo would be his version of Auswitch or Stalin’s gulags where millions where ruthlessly murdered, or perhaps the jail cells of the kelptocracies in the ME or China as well while we’re at it. No sense of proportion or perspective. How sad.

    The comparisons of the US and the USSR when they invaded Afghanistan are apt because in their case and ours in Iraq we proceeded from a superior mindset and ignored all evidence that there would be resistance and so we have gone anout tackling that resistance incompetently. We were both blinded by our perceived need to accomplish the task.

    The Soviet Union was a brutal authoritarian dictartorship, one. They invaded Afghanistan partly to open the way to Iran, for better access to Iran’s natural resources, something they have coveted for hundreds of years, more widely known in the 19th century as the “Great Game”, which was a competition with Great Britain for mastery of Cnetral and South Asia. Furthermore, unlike the Americans, the Soviets and Russians before didn’t give a rat’s ass for the Afghans, their plight or whatever. The Soviet solution was to flatten villages wholesale and/or massacre anyone that got in their way. If the Soviets were the ones who had invaded Iraq 3 years ago, there would be little of it left that would be recognizable, like Chechnya today under the Russians. I must’ve missed the part when the US indiscriminatly razed or flattened whole villages and ruthlessly murdered thousands of people in cold blood. Or the part where they seized Iraqi oil and resources for themselves and told the Iraqis to go to hell.

    My point though is that we can never really have this discussion because as soon as you hear Hitler or Soviet Union you freak out. Instead of talking about the comparisons we get a verbal whipping about how much damage the left is doing to the country by bringing this shit up. We can only talk about a subject so long as the right feels comfortable discussing it. I understand how you feel. When I first here talk of US Gulags, or comparisons to Nazis or whatever I get pissed. Its a natural reflex. But then I listen to what the guy or girl actually means and the anger goes away if they actually have a point, whether I agree or not.

    Having listened to quite a few rants about US policy, especially by “thoughtful” and well-meaning critics in Europe or Canada for instance, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions: they really do not know their history very well (their own or America’s–your multiculturalism at work) and most of the time, it’s just a cheap way to bash America and pontificate about how evil and stupid Americans are and what they “should” be doing instead.

    You need to get past that words that turn your stomach and listen to the argument, you can’t just blow them off because you THINK they are only insulting our country. You don’t have to agree with their point when you acknowledge they have one.

    An “argument” that equates the US to the Soviet Union or Bush to Hitler is not an argument worth taking seriously.

  362. 362
    chopper says:

    So you just wear your Rose-colored Donkey glasses, and ignore what’s going on when Dems are in charge? Gosh, and to think I was charging hypocrisy!

    i’m not ignoring what happens when dems are in charge, i’m just noticing things like the whole clusterfuck that is iraq happened under a gooper, not a dem. under the last dem we had bosnia. not the best war to be sure, but not a cock-up. and a NATO excercise. didn’t cost us half a trillion dollars. not based on lies, as far as i can tell. still criticized at the time (and rightfully so, its a war) but in that case by both the left who later criticized the iraq war, but also hyporcritical righties who then went on to say criticizing a republican war makes you unamerican.

  363. 363
    srv says:

    Mac continually confuses things, like that Bush was stupid because he “believed” Saddam had WMDs. Maybe ppg said something somewhere, but that is not anyone elses thesis. Bush was stupid because he thought he could control a shattered Iraq after a military intervention, for whatever evil or noble reasons you care to fantasize. GW gave up that vision when Sistani told him that there would be elections. GW has been along for the ride, hoping something good comes out since.

    I could go thru the rest, but this is the most interesting theory:

    An interesting question: Clinton, through the Iraq Liberation Act, funded Iraqi rebels to try to overthrow Saddam and establish a hand-picked, US-friendly government. If by some miracle, that would’ve worked (instead of just filling up more mass graves), wouldn’t Iraq have had the exact same problems in Iraq today regarding Baathist insurgents and civil war

    The ILA was silly republican idea that Bill took for his own. You know, he had that penchant for stealing the rights thunder and taking credit for it. Or maybe, you don’t remember reality. There was no serious effort, because we didn’t want the Kurds or Shia taking over, and we knew we could be waiting until Fidel and Saddam had a tizy and shot each other in a love spat before a Ba’aath party member would do it for us.

    Had it actually ever had a chance of happening, a Sunni would have taken over. There would be NO reason for a Sunni/Baath insurgency. There would be NO reason for the Sunni tribes to let the mythical Mr. Z run rampant against the Shia. But then we’d have to stab the Kurds and the Shia in the back AGAIN.

    So the status quo of sanctions would remain. Except those were in trouble.

    So somebody got a bright idear. And here we are today.

  364. 364
    Slide says:

    bucket boy:

    Let me explain in small words. See, the easiest was to show the hypocrisy is to go back to the last Democrat President and show how some of the left acted totally differently to similar situations.

    Yes, I agree, the left acted totally differently but that is because the Democratic administration acted totally differently than this monstrously incompetent administration you moron. The left is not up in arms because Bush said their were WMD. That is not why the right wing war hawks are abandoning the boy president in droves. That is not why Andrew Sullivan penned a column apologizing for supporting this blunder of a war. That is not why right wing columnist Tierney in the NY Times has a blistering column today evicerating this adminstrations planning and executing of the war.

    Are you really so stupid that you equate what Bush did, by putting Americans in harms way, but not planning for an insurgency at all, for not listening to his own father’s advisors on the dangers of going into Iraq, of dismissing what his top Generals were telling him about troops needed, of dismissing the detailed planning the state department did for a post invastion Iraq, in dismissing any shred of information from the CIA and other intelligence services that didn’t suit his pre-determined view of Iraq?

    There is a BIG BIG BIG BIG BIG difference in what the hated Bill Clinton did and what the saitly George Bush did with respect to Iraq. They may have both been wrong, but the actions of Bush have profoundly HURT US INTERESTS in so many ways it is hard to ennumerate them without sounding redundant. But… to bucket boy… they basically did the same thing. Ignorance and stupidity at this level is almost too much to comprehend.

  365. 365
    Tim F. says:

    Theseus,

    I think that you’re absolutely right that the broader context suggests a greater need to take Iraq seriously than many thought at the time. However, what exactly should be done encompasses many things other than invasion and occupation. Considering the singular focus that it has imposed on our armed forces I would argue that we should reserve that option for nations that pose a preeminent and inescapable threat to the nation. Nothing that we knew or thought we knew about Iraq in the 90s or post-9/11 brings it to that level. Other countries had greater WMD capacity and weaker inspection regimes (DPRK) and most nations in the middle east had more easily-demonstrated ties to anti-American terrorism.

    President Clinton did in fact support the Iraq War, as did many in his administration. That should say something. He could have easily disapproved and taken the temporary heat for it.

    I am aware of the traditional rule that, Carter notwithstanding, former presidents don’t publicly criticize sitting presidents. Did Clinton go further than that and publicly advocate for us to invade Iraq? That’s news to me. I don’t doubt you but a link would make me feel better-informed. And of course, Cohen is a Republican.

    Bush was manipulated and prodded along by the Sith-like neocon “cabal” (at least you didn’t add in the infamous “Jewish lobby”) in order to fulfill his revenge fantasy against Saddam to honour his daddy and so that Cheney can exorcise his Vietnam demons and Rummy might try out some of his crackpot theories.

    It always amazes me how people freak out over the word ‘neocon.’ It’s not as if the PNAC made its membership or its geopolitical ambitions a secret. They spent the 90s vehemently advocated for the US to spread ‘freedom’ through repeated wars of invasion and Iraq always stood as #1 on their hit list. Before 2001 they never showed a hint of ideological flexibility about their cause. If seed the top levels of the Executive branch, what do you think that they’re going to do? Push for school lunch reform? You act like mission statements repeatedly put down in public documents constitute some sort of ‘conspiracy’ about which somebody can concoct a theory.

    Regarding Bush, it doesn’t matter what sort of pejorative adjectives we append to the sentence to make it less believable, he made it perfectly clear from day one that he wanted into Iraq. The president hardly needed manipulating in that respect. I think that it is more appropriate to say that consistent with one of his most widely acknowledged defects as a leader, Bush chose to surround himself with people who validated his preconceived notions.

    About Cheney, you can take my description or leave it. He’s not a neocon but he has made no bones about his martial intentions for Iraq.

    Rumsfeld is not competent to lead our armed forces.” – Gen. Paul D. Eaton (ret.), former commander in charge of training the new Iraqi military.

    There’s no question that Rumsfeld had theories and opinion has begun to gel around a consensus that most of them were crackpot. If it offends you to think that he would root for a war to test them out, well, stuff happens.

    —Postscript: About Hitler comparisons, I agree completely. They’re lazy and usually serve no useful purpose other than to inflame. Our global history is studded with terrible leaders who’d make a more apt comparison than the big bad Nazi. For shame, Donald Rumsfeld.

  366. 366
    Slide says:

    bucket boy:

    And if I’ve been noting this for over three years, how is this sudden “desperation?” The position I supported won out on the day, after all.

    and the country is eternally grateful for that and the fact that we are now in the quagmire called Iraq.

  367. 367
    Slide says:

    I think the brilliant Glen Greenwald says it best when he talks about the Bucket boys of the world. You know, the one’s that “won the day” as bucket boy incredibly boasts.

    Until you go back and actually read what was being said at the time, you don’t really appreciate just how intense and deceitful was the propaganda and falsehoods spewing forth from every corner. People like Victor Davis Hanson and the Powerline buddies were not just wrong in what they were saying, although they were that. And it’s not just that their judgment was severely flawed, although it was.

    Far worse than that is the fact that they really were living in a world that did not exist — a fantasy world so plainly free of facts and reality that it is truly disturbing to recall that so much of the country was propagandized into believing it. Going back and reading it really creates the sensation of people who were living in a world that combines the worst elements of Disney World and Pravda. Our experts and pundits were literally describing a world that did not exist and making claims that could not have been any further removed from reality. Put simply, anyone who read them, listened to them or believed them at the time was completely misguided and misinformed about reality.

    If there were any intellectual honesty in our political dialogue, people like Hinderaker and Peters and Hanson would be disgraced into silence. The falsity of their factual claims and the monumental error of their judgments are tantamount to a surgeon who removes the wrong organ, or a lawyer who sleeps through a murder trial, or a journalist who invents facts for his stories. Certain errors are so fundamental, embarrassing and reflective of a deficiency in judgment and an lack of trustworthiness that they stay with those individuals as an albatross around their necks for many years — and rightfully so, because they are so credibility-destroying.

    .

  368. 368
    Godzilla says:

    Two words, pedant. Dual citizenship. I’m married to an American, and hold dual citizenship.

    Thanks, bumpkin. Lucky I have you to help me guess you hold dual citizenship. It’s so uncommon, particularly in my industry, and therefore such a difficult thing to assume. I also guessed that you identify more with Canada because you consider America a bit of a rube-ridden land that is a little too saturated with gun-toting Bible-thumpers, or somesuch. And believe it or not, I also guessed you lived either in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Boston, or New York. And voila, you reveal you lived in NYC and admitted you identify as a Canadian. Maybe you need to ask why those things are so obvious. (And I wonder how long it will take to prove the rest?)

    Can we dispense with your puerile “A Few Good Men” Jack Nicholson ranting now? I paid taxes in America for 5 years before I was allowed to vote (while living in NYC, thanks very much), [I’m waiting for you to tell me to shut up and enjoy the protection that you provide, and waiting for you to tell me to you for providing it.]

    Can we dispense with the ‘I paid taxes’ ranting now? You’re starting to sound like Archie Bunker. [I’m waiting for you to tell me to shut up and enjoy the magnificent insightfulness you provide because, well, because you speak two or more languages and have read Howard Zinn.]

    … so how about we go back to debating on the merits. Sue me if I self-identify as a Canadian – I was born here.

    Sure we’ll debate the merits. But don’t ever patronize me, bumpkin. You make some fairly severe errors that mere grammaticalness cannot hide, and you do not address them. I’ve already admitted that I may have been wrong re:Canadian politics, and faced up to it, but you do not admit to having made an error in stating that foreigners should not influence on U.S. policy while immediately claiming that foreigners should have influence on U.S. policy. Are those the kinds of merits you’re talking about, because right now you seem more interested in defending your own great and great Canadianness than you are to debate merits, or the flaws in your own arguments.

    …are you seriously arguing that I can’t participate in a debate? You can’t have an opinion about the Israeli/Palestinian situation if you’re neither living is Israel or Palestine? Give me a break.

    Debate you can have. Why then are you here? Many of the posters here are quite stupid and overly partisan, as stupid people are wont to be. There will be no serious debate here. Do you really think you’re going to convince me that THAT is the reason you’re here?

    Sure, and I have some swampland in Quebec to sell you ….

    Except for you, of course. You apparently are the human Baedecker.

    I’m Godzilla. I’m not human at all. ;-)

    Do you really want to get in a well-travelled pissing match? I’ve lived in seven different countries in the last 15 years and travelled to many times more. In my experience, people are a helluva lot more aware of the world that you give them credit for. Perhaps you’re only hanging around people with the same intolerant and narrow worldview that you seem to embrace.

    Sure, let’s get in a pissing match. The odds of you having actually lived in seven different countries is just about nil, unless all those countries were in Europe, because people are NOT ‘a helluva lot more aware of the world than you give them credit for.’ Only an idiot would make that remark. That people have strong opinions about America does not mean they know America, or ‘are aware of the world’, and EVERYBODY has an opinion of America. Oddly, though, most are very ignorant of even nearby countries, in the same way that Canadians are ignorant of Mexico, and most in fact have hardly traveled within their own nation, much less to other countries, even in Europe. Perhaps you’re only hanging around people who spend time in hotels reading the New York Times. That would explain the intolerant and narrow worldview that you embrace.

    I thought you were actually interested in having a debate, and that you might want to know that perhaps your perceptions were mistaken.

    Right. You’re on a forum where people call presidents cocksuckers and presidential administrations motherfuckers because it’s an environment conducive to debate?

    Apparently, you’d rather shift the debate from the substance of your argument to childish insults about a government subsidized national broadcast station and whether I have the right to have a viewpoint I’m prepared to defend. Sorry I was wrong.

    No, you’re pissed off that you do indeed get a lot of information from the CBC and that I know it’s an extremely left-wing, anti-American broadcast network. And as an, ahem, extremely well-travelled guy who’s lived in, ahem, seven nations, you should know that government-run or government-subsidized media is how the VAST majority of the world gets its information about the world, and therefore about America. In short, they are not very well informed at all. Hell, if you live on the East or West coast of the United States you are probably not very well informed about America. Do you really think Canadians know what they’re talking about? Or the French? Or the Chinese?

    But still. You go ahead and pretend you’re here to ‘debate’. Lipstick will sure work on that pig.

  369. 369
    Slide says:

    Godzilla’s words:

    Hell, if you live on the East or West coast of the United States you are probably not very well informed about America. Do you really think Canadians know what they’re talking about? Or the French? Or the Chinese?

    you know I’m not even going to say anything, I’ll just let godzilla’s brilliance speak for itself.

  370. 370
    Mac Buckets says:

    and the country is eternally grateful for that and the fact that we are now in the quagmire called Iraq.

    Thanks for admitting your “desperation” post was full of nonsensical crap. Now it can go on the heap with all your other posts.

  371. 371
    Slide says:

    yes bucket boy…. you were right, I forgot. Right about WMD. Right about Iraq oil paying for the war. Right about the number of troops needed. Right about being greeted as liberators. Right to disband the Iraq militry. Right to hire Heritage Foundation inexperienced ideologues to run the CPA. Right about getting electricity, water and oil production to new highs. Right about teaching Iran and Syria powerful lessons of US military might. Right about it going to be a cakewalk. Right about getting down to 30,000 troops by the end of 2003. Right about Niger yellow cake. Right about Atta meeting Iraq agents in Pravda. Right about the insurgency being in its last throes. Right about how Iraq will be the shining light of democracy for the entire Middle East and how all Muslim countries will demand to have the freedoms that Iraq has…..

    Lol….. yes… bucket boy quite an accomplishment to have been right so consistently. Impressive. Lol

  372. 372
    LITBMueller says:

    Mac, when did Clinton go around saying Saddam was a looming threat to our national security, and talk of mushroom coulds? The thing is, though, who gives a shit? Bush is President. Not Clinton.

    But, here is what the Bush Administration said before 9/11:

    February 7, 2001: Tenet reports to Congress, “We do not have any direct evidence that Iraq has used the period since (Operation) Desert Fox to reconstitute its WMD programs. Moreover, the automated video monitoring systems installed by the UN at known and suspect WMD facilities in Iraq are still not operating. Having lost this on-the-ground access, it is more difficult for the UN or the U.S. to accurately assess the current state of Iraq’s WMD programs.”

    February 11, 2001: Powell says on Face the Nation that the U.S. has successfully “contained” Iraq in the years since the first Gulf War. Further, he says that because of economic sanctions, Iraq is unable to obtain WMD’s. “We have been able to keep weapons from going into Iraq,” Powell states. “We have been able to keep the sanctions in place to the extent that items that might support weapons of mass destruction development have had some controls. It’s been quite a success for ten years.”

    February 12, 2001: Rumsfeld states on Fox News that “Iraq is probably not a nuclear threat at the present time. There’s no question but that its nuclear capabilities were well advanced, and much farther advanced than Western intelligence capabilities knew. And we were very fortunate that the Israelis went in some time before, and took out their nuclear capability…The president’s interested in the subject, as to how Saddam Hussein can be deterred and dissuaded from continuing to develop weapons of mass destruction.”

    February 24, 2001: In a press statement, Powell says that sanctions against Iraq had prevented the development of any weapons of mass destruction by Saddam Hussein. “Saddam Hussein has not developed any significant capacity with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbors.”

    The complete opposite of the Saddam rhetoric we became used to, don’t you think?

    Then, 9/11 happens. And this is what is said in the hours after:

    At 2:40 PM, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld tells his aides to come up with plans for striking Iraq, even though there is no evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the attacks. Rumsfeld says he wants “best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein]” – “at same time. Not only UBL.” Also writes: “Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.”

    Wolfowitz also floats the idea that Iraq, with more than 20 years of inclusion on the State Department’s terror-sponsor list, be held immediately accountable.

    In the evening, Richard Clark reminds Bush of the constraints of international law, but he yells, “I don’t care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass.”

    And, it didn’t stop there:

    Sometime in September, after the attacks, senior Pentagon officials authorize former CIA director and Defense Policy Board member James Woolsey to fly to London on a government plane, accompanied by Justice and Defense Dept. officials, on a mission to gather evidence linking Saddam Hussein to the Sept. 11 attacks. The State Dept. is initially unaware of the trip but later confirms that it did take place.

    Soon after 9/11, Libby begins routinely calling intelligence officials, high and low, to pump them for any scraps of information on Iraq.

    September 12, 2001: The “question of Iraq” is raised at a White House meeting of principals by Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz. According to Bob Woodard in Bush at War, “Wolfowitz seized the opportunity. Attacking Afghanistan would be uncertain. He worried about 100,000 American troops bogged down in mountain fighting in Afghanistan six months from then. In contrast, Iraq was a brittle, oppressive regime that might break easily. It was doable. He estimated that there was a 10 to 50 percent chance Saddam was involved in the September 11 terrorist attacks.” Secretary of State Colin Powell warns against the U.S. being seen as “playing the superpower bully” and tries to tell Bush that the behavior of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon “borders on the irrational.” Powell is “uncomfortable with random regime change.”

    According to Richard Clarke, “I left the Video Conferencing Center and there, wandering alone around the situation room, was the president. He looked like he wanted something to do. He grabbed a few of us and closed the door to the conference room. ‘Look,’ he told us, ‘I know you have a lot to do and all…but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he’s linked in any way.’ I was once again taken aback, incredulous, and it showed. ‘But, Mr. President, al Qaeda did this.’ ‘I know, I know, but…see if Saddam was involved. Just look. I want to know any shred’…‘Look into Iraq, Saddam,’ the President said testily and left us. Lisa Gordon-Hagerty stared after him with her mouth hanging open.”

    September 15, 2001: At Camp David’s Laurel Lodge, Wolfowitz argues that the U.S. should attack not Afghanistan, but rather Saddam Hussein.

    September 17, 2001: Bush a 22-page document marked “TOP SECRET” that outlines the plan for going to war in Afghanistan as part of a global campaign against terrorism. As one senior Administration official commented, the direction to the Pentagon to begin planning military options for an invasion of Iraq appears “almost as a footnote.”

    September 19-20, 2001: The Defense Policy Board, headed by Richard Perle, meets for 19 hours to discuss the ramifications of the attacks of Sept. 11. They agree on the need to turn to Iraq as soon as the initial phase of the war against Afghanistan and bin Laden and his organization is over. Both Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz take part in the meetings for part of both days. Chalabi addresses the Board and urges that they skip Afghanistan and proceed immediately with targeting Iraq.

    September 20, 2001: In a draft memo, Feith “expressed disappointment at the limited options immediately available in Afghanistan and the lack of ground options. [He] suggested instead hitting terrorists outside the Middle East in the initial offensive, perhaps deliberately selecting a non-al Qaeda target like Iraq.” Bush tells UK Prime Minister Tony Blair of the need to respond militarily with Iraq. Blair tells Bush he should not get distracted from the war on terror. Bush replies, “I agree with you Tony. We must deal with this first. But when we have dealt with Afghanistan, we must come back to Iraq.”

    That’s just the tip of a very large iceberg.

    Are you starting to feel like you’ve been cheated?

  373. 373
    Slide says:

    Pravda = Prague

  374. 374
    Slide says:

    LITBMueller excellent post. But you are wasting your time if you think the likes of bucket boy will ever let facts get in the way. The bucket boys of the world are like cultists. Brainwashed. Impervious to reason or logic. Blindly regergetating their disproven arguments. Entertaining to watch ain’t it?

  375. 375
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac continually confuses things, like that Bush was stupid because he “believed” Saddam had WMDs. Maybe ppg said something somewhere, but that is not anyone elses thesis.

    Are you kidding? Is it truly possible for an adult American to say that no one has criticized Bush for believing that Iraq had WMD, when in fact, they did not? And I’m the one who’s confused? Unbelievable. And yes, that was Ppg’s first three bullets, which is why I brought it up.

    Bush was stupid because he thought he could control a shattered Iraq after a military intervention,

    I deny your assumed premise of a “shattered” Iraq, despite the ongoing acts of violence. They’ve “controlled” the post-Saddam period enough for Iraqis to have three elections and a constitution. They’ve controlled it enough that 71% of Iraqis say their lives are good now, and by two-to-one they say their lives are better now than before the war. 77% say all their hardships were worth overthrowing Saddam. 64% say they are headed in the right direction. That just doesn’t sound like a “shattered” Iraq to me, or to the bulk of Iraqis, obviously. Of course, I keep forgetting that American lefies presume to know more about Iraq than Iraqis do — my bad.

    GW gave up that vision when Sistani told him that there would be elections. GW has been along for the ride, hoping something good comes out since.

    Which Democrat Revisionist History book is that gem from? It’s utter nonsense. Elections were always going to be the end result in Bush’s vision of Iraq — hence the term, a “democratic Iraq.” Bremer (and the UN, by the way) just differed with Ayatollah al-Sistani on how fast we would get there.

    The ILA was silly republican idea that Bill took for his own.

    Are you seriously asserting that Clinton and the 200 elected Democrats who voted for it really didn’t believe that Saddam should be ousted? Wow, talk about cynical. What else didn’t they believe in that they voted for by unanimous consent and signed into law?

    Had it actually ever had a chance of happening, a Sunni would have taken over. There would be NO reason for a Sunni/Baath insurgency. There would be NO reason for the Sunni tribes to let the mythical Mr. Z run rampant against the Shia.

    A Sunni would’ve “taken over?” That’s frankly impossible. The ILA provided that only democratic groups would be funded to overthrow Saddam (most were Kurdish, IIRC). After Saddam’s ouster there would’ve been an election, and Sunnis are a 20% minority, so they couldn’t have been guaranteed power, although the US would likely mandate Sunni participation at high levels, just as we have done. We’d be right back in the same situation as now, as I stated.

  376. 376
    Slide says:

    bucket boy’s world:

    I deny your assumed premise of a “shattered” Iraq, despite the ongoing acts of violence. They’ve “controlled” the post-Saddam period enough for Iraqis to have three elections and a constitution. They’ve controlled it enough that 71% of Iraqis say their lives are good now, and by two-to-one they say their lives are better now than before the war. 77% say all their hardships were worth overthrowing Saddam. 64% say they are headed in the right direction. That just doesn’t sound like a “shattered” Iraq to me, or to the bulk of Iraqis, obviously. Of course, I keep forgetting that American lefies presume to know more about Iraq than Iraqis do—my bad.

    reality:

    “Unseen by the outside world, silent populations are on the move, frightened people fleeing neighborhoods where their community is in a minority for safer districts.

    “There is also a growing reliance on militias because of fears that police patrols or checkpoints are in reality death squads hunting for victims.

    “Districts where Sunni and Shia lived together for decades if not centuries are being torn apart in a few days. In the al-Amel neighbourhood in west Baghdad, for instance, the two communities lived side by side until a few days ago, though Shias were in the majority. Then the Sunni started receiving envelopes pushed under their doors with a Kalashnikov bullet inside and a letter telling them to leave immediately or be killed. It added that they must take all of their goods which they could carry immediately and only return later to sell their houses.

    “The reaction was immediate. The Sunni in al-Amel started barricading their streets. Several Shia families, believed to belong to the Shia party, the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (Sciri), were murdered later the same day the threatening letters were delivered…

    “One effect of the escalating sectarian warfare is to strengthen the Sunni insurgency as their own community desperately looks to its defenses.

    “It is not as if life was not already hard enough before the latest escalation in communal violence. Three years ago, most Iraqis were glad to see the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, even if they did not like the US occupation, because they wanted normal lives. They had been living in a state of war since 1980 when the Iraqi leader invaded Iran. They then had eight years of bloody conflict followed by the invasion of Kuwait, defeat by the US-led coalition, the Shia and Kurdish uprisings of 1991 and then 12 years of UN sanctions.

    “Instead of improving, life in Baghdad has become far more dangerous than it was under Saddam Hussein. Every facet of daily living is affected.

    “In the last few days, temperatures have started to soar in Iraq and people would normally be buying summer clothes. But in the shopping district of al-Mansur last week few people were on the streets. Many shops were closed because their owners are too frightened to leave their homes.

    “But even staying in your own house carries problems. In the torrid heat of the Iraqi summer people are dependent on air conditioning to make life tolerable. But Baghdad gets only three or four hours of electricity a day. Almost everybody has a generator, large or small, depending on what they can afford. But the price of petrol, still heavily subsidised by the government, tripled before Christmas. One friend called Mohammed complained: ‘Either I wait seven or eight hours in a queue to buy the fuel or I get it on the black market. But black market fuel means that I would have to spend $7-8 a day to run my generator and I simply can’t afford that.’ Mohammed added that he had just spent 10 hours, 5 am until 3pm, queuing to buy a bottle of gas which he, like most Iraqis, use for cooking.

    “Iraqis have been compelled to find ways of going on living even in the most testing conditions but even their resolution is beginning to weaken.”

    Meanwhile, those merry souls at Fox News Your World w/ Neil Cavuto opened the show today with a segment asking if the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq should be celebrated as a national holiday there.

    Of course, it’s difficult to know how the people of Baghdad would be able to get out and celebrate their liberation when shopping for summer clothes presents mortal peril.

    bucket boy puts a lot of stock in one poll that was taken some time ago doesn’t he?

  377. 377
    Mac Buckets says:

    Mac, when did Clinton go around saying Saddam was a looming threat to our national security, and talk of mushroom coulds?

    Weren’t you listening back then?

    “If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction program.”
    President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998.

    “At the moment the U.N. inspectors were kicked out in ’98, this is the proper language: there were substantial quantities of botulinum and aflatoxin…and VX and ricin, chemical agents, unaccounted for…We also thought there were a few missiles, some warheads, and maybe a very limited amount of nuclear laboratory capacity.

    “After 9/11, let’s be fair here, if you had been President, you’d think, Well, this fellow bin Laden just turned these three airplanes full of fuel into weapons of mass destruction, right? Arguably they were super-powerful chemical weapons. Think about it that way. So, you’re sitting there as President, you’re reeling in the aftermath of this, so, yeah, you want to go get bin Laden and do Afghanistan and all that. But you also have to say, Well, my first responsibility now is to try everything possible to make sure that this terrorist network and other terrorist networks cannot reach chemical and biological weapons or small amounts of fissile material. I’ve got to do that. ”

    President Clinton on Larry King Live – Aired July 22, 2003

    ” You couldn’t responsibly ignore [the possibility that] a tyrant had these stocks. I never really thought he’d [use them]. What I was far more worried about was that he’d sell this stuff or give it away. Same thing I’ve always been worried about North Korea’s nuclear and missile capacity. I don’t expect North Korea to bomb South Korea, because they know it would be the end of their country. But if you can’t feed yourself, the temptation to sell this stuff is overwhelming. So that’s why I thought Bush did the right thing to go back. When you’re the President, and your country has just been through what we had, you want everything to be accounted for.”

    -Bill Clinton, June 2004, TIME

    “Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face.”
    Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998.

    Sound familiar?

    The complete opposite of the Saddam rhetoric we became used to, don’t you think?

    Powell and Tenet were both right and wrong there, and both were firmly on the “Slam Dunk” side in 2003, weren’t they? Rumsfeld’s statement was never contradicted by the Administration in the runup to war.

    Are you starting to feel like you’ve been cheated?

    Ousting Saddam “cheated” me? LOL! I’m afraid I don’t have that capacity for arrogance to feel any personal harm in that respect. Go right ahead if you must. I’m not ever going to feel “cheated” when a brutal, terrorist-supporting dictator with WMD programs gets overthrown in order to remove his evil and spread democracy. You’re going to have to be a much better salesman than that. Cheated! That’s rich!

  378. 378
    Mac Buckets says:

    bucket boy puts a lot of stock in one poll that was taken some time ago doesn’t he?

    Yeah, anecdotes are better than the latest polls. You’re a genius.

  379. 379
    Mac Buckets says:

    you were right, I forgot. Right about WMD. Right about Iraq oil paying for the war.

    I’m sorry, I missed the part where you showed my position on any of these things. Argument by list is always fun, especially if you get to make up both sides of the argument, innit?

  380. 380
    jg says:

    Theseus Says:

    Again, your seeing it all wrong. Comparing Bush to Hitler is not to say he’s a monster who will kill 6 million Jews or sees himself as the leader of the master race. You choose to see it that way and if I did also I would be just as pissed as you. The comparison is apt because in both cases the rise to power had some similarities, the use of power and the fear mongering are similar.

    A comparison to Hitler encompasses the whole package. You say the similarities are apt because the so-called “rise to power” is similar, the so-called “use of power”, and the “fear mongering”. This is complete and utter nonsense and cheapens the magnitude of what Hitler accomplished. All the things Hitler did, he did it to pursue a particularly disgusting and horrifying end. How the frak is Bush’s “rise to power” similar in any way to Hitler’s? Are fucking Democratic politicians in jail or dead? Lefty activists? Has he been going aroung murdering artists and intellectuals? Has he bombed the shit out of Hollywood? Are you gonna imply that his ends and Bush’s are similar too?

    “Fear mongering”, let’s see, a bunch of Islamic fanatics murder 3000 Americans in one fell swoop and what, nothing frickin changed. Suddenly, the possibility that there are human beings in this world that are driven by such blind faith, fury and hatred that they would happily murder innocents with glee and pleasure, this dawned on Americans, and they shouldn’t worry about that? They shouldn’t worry that given the opportunity, these maniacs would gladly use WMDs to murder millions if only they could. But that’s “fear mongering” and most Americans are being irrational of course.

    No, the comparison is not apt, it is piss poor and there are very little “similarities” between the two situations. I must have missed the part, along Bush’s “rise to power” when he appointed himself dictator. I guess Abu Ghraib and Guatonamo would be his version of Auswitch or Stalin’s gulags where millions where ruthlessly murdered, or perhaps the jail cells of the kelptocracies in the ME or China as well while we’re at it. No sense of proportion or perspective. How sad.

    The comparisons of the US and the USSR when they invaded Afghanistan are apt because in their case and ours in Iraq we proceeded from a superior mindset and ignored all evidence that there would be resistance and so we have gone anout tackling that resistance incompetently. We were both blinded by our perceived need to accomplish the task.

    The Soviet Union was a brutal authoritarian dictartorship, one. They invaded Afghanistan partly to open the way to Iran, for better access to Iran’s natural resources, something they have coveted for hundreds of years, more widely known in the 19th century as the “Great Game”, which was a competition with Great Britain for mastery of Cnetral and South Asia. Furthermore, unlike the Americans, the Soviets and Russians before didn’t give a rat’s ass for the Afghans, their plight or whatever. The Soviet solution was to flatten villages wholesale and/or massacre anyone that got in their way. If the Soviets were the ones who had invaded Iraq 3 years ago, there would be little of it left that would be recognizable, like Chechnya today under the Russians. I must’ve missed the part when the US indiscriminatly razed or flattened whole villages and ruthlessly murdered thousands of people in cold blood. Or the part where they seized Iraqi oil and resources for themselves and told the Iraqis to go to hell.

    My point though is that we can never really have this discussion because as soon as you hear Hitler or Soviet Union you freak out. Instead of talking about the comparisons we get a verbal whipping about how much damage the left is doing to the country by bringing this shit up. We can only talk about a subject so long as the right feels comfortable discussing it. I understand how you feel. When I first here talk of US Gulags, or comparisons to Nazis or whatever I get pissed. Its a natural reflex. But then I listen to what the guy or girl actually means and the anger goes away if they actually have a point, whether I agree or not.

    Having listened to quite a few rants about US policy, especially by “thoughtful” and well-meaning critics in Europe or Canada for instance, I’ve come to a couple of conclusions: they really do not know their history very well (their own or America’s—your multiculturalism at work) and most of the time, it’s just a cheap way to bash America and pontificate about how evil and stupid Americans are and what they “should” be doing instead.

    You need to get past that words that turn your stomach and listen to the argument, you can’t just blow them off because you THINK they are only insulting our country. You don’t have to agree with their point when you acknowledge they have one.

    An “argument” that equates the US to the Soviet Union or Bush to Hitler is not an argument worth taking seriously.

    I say the comparison is apt because there are similarities. You say its not and run down a list of differences between them. :Shrug:. There’s no hope.
    You’ve written nothing that makes me think the comparison is wrong. You think the fact that we were attacked means there isn’t any fear mongering going on, color alerts popping up at politically convenient times are not seen by you obviously (anyone seen one since the election? I bet we see them again starting in the summer).
    You point out that the Soviet Union was a brutal dictatorship as though that ends any comparison to our and their behavior in the middle east. The US isn’t a dictatorship so end of discussion. Thats something thats heard at recess, not among adults.

    You’re a follower of the Mann Coulter schoool of talking to liberals (or any opposition, they just lump them all under liberal), attack the persons credibility. Once you’ve established where they’re coming from you are free to ignore them as simply liberals braying like donkeys in the field. Teaching you how to ignore the opposition is a great way to keep people on your message. Protestants have been doing it to Catholics for years. The military does it to non-military. I’m sure we’ve all been asked ‘have you served?’ when trying to discuss military issues. Its a blowoff, as soon as you say ‘no’ what happens? They don’t talk to you anymore.
    Hang around here and watch what happens when John goes off the res for a while and starts in on Frist or someone else on the right. The right attacks him. No matter what his reasoning is for attacking a figure on the right, he went off message and gets lambasted for it. His point is irrelevant to those who are trained to not hear anything not coming from an approved source.

    Then again my point is that talking to you is a waste of time since you won’t (can’t) listen so why am I bothering?

  381. 381
    LITBMueller says:

    OK, Mac, I still disagree with you that Clinton was hyping the “danger” posed by Iraq at the same level the Bush administration did (I still don’t see any mushroom cloud references).

    But, for fun, let’s assume he did, as you claim. Then, why was Powell, Rummy and Tenet downplaying the threat posed by Iraq before 9/11?

    You don’t feel cheated by the fact that the heavy hitters in this administration had a massive hard on for Iraq even though we had been attacked by Al Qaeda? Isn’t it clear that the administration realized that Iraq was not a threat, and was more interested in attacking Iraq for political reasons (hell, Rummy was pleading for evidence that Saddam was behine 9/11!)???

    Wait. Never mind. If there weren’t people like you who are so easily deluded, then Bush would never have been elected (for the first time!) in 2004….

    Carry on!

  382. 382
    srv says:

    Are you kidding? Is it truly possible for an adult American to say that no one has criticized Bush for believing that Iraq had WMD, when in fact, they did not? And I’m the one who’s confused?

    You seem to conflate “stupid” with misleading, lying and cherry-picking the evidence. While most of us probably consider Bush himself to be a bit of a moron, we don’t give him the credit of being stupid.

    Which Democrat Revisionist History book is that gem from? It’s utter nonsense. Elections were always going to be the end result in Bush’s vision of Iraq

    As a typical Bush lover, you still seem to believe whatever George says. I don’t, and never did. And Sistani apparently didn’t either, because regional caucuses organized by CPA appointees (GW’s and Bremers idear) did not a democracy make. Nor whatever those caucuses (probably all on the CIA payroll) would come up with. You remember all those references to secular democracy Mac? Iraq wasn’t going to end up with a “democracy” under Bush, and Sistani knew that.

    Are you seriously asserting that Clinton and the 200 elected Democrats who voted for it really didn’t believe that Saddam should be ousted? Wow, talk about cynical. What else didn’t they believe in that they voted for by unanimous consent and signed into law?

    Man, you really live in another world. Just because a bunch of politicians get up and say something, it must be true. Show us what progress the ILA made with regards to anything.

    A Sunni would’ve “taken over?” That’s frankly impossible. The ILA provided that only democratic groups would be funded to overthrow Saddam (most were Kurdish, IIRC).

    They had zero chance of overthrowing Saddam. Thus, we were just spinning our wheels hoping someone in Saddams circle would take over. And yeah, the MEK is democratic. Just like the IRNC. A few of them put suits on, get on the CIA payroll, traipse around the UK and make speeches, and they’re the moral equivalents of George Washington. Sheesh.

    Me thinks you should look up what Allawi was doing in the 80’s, Mac. And check out Talabani and Barzani too. Exactly who controlled the northern truck routes that Saddams evil oil-sanctions violators used?

    HINT: It was the same guy who was taking money doled out by the ILA act. Can you spell conflict of reality?

    Mac, you really need to work on facts and not your impressions of what politicos say. They really couldn’t be more opposed.

  383. 383
    srv says:

    That’s frankly impossible.

    Oh, and that bit and elections. Mac, the Sunni are going to be running central Iraq sooner or later. You can take that to the bank. There is zero chance of Sunni/Baathists accepting minority political status in central Iraq, and maybe all of Iraq. We told you so then, we’re telling you so now.

    Why don’t you make some predictions for us if you’re so confident GW is on the right course?

  384. 384
    Theseus says:

    I think that you’re absolutely right that the broader context suggests a greater need to take Iraq seriously than many thought at the time. However, what exactly should be done encompasses many things other than invasion and occupation.

    Agreed. But I would argue that most of what we could’ve done or tried had already been done or tried. What do you think would have happened when Bush would have had to back down and withdraw the troops? How much longer would the already useless and crumbling sanction regime have held up? (Make no mistake, the US was virtually isolated, with the possible expection of Blair’s UK) Before Saddam, inevitably, resumed his weapons programs? Instead of having one maniacal dictatorship seeking nuclear weapons (Iranian Mullahcracy), we would have had to contend with two.

    Considering the singular focus that it has imposed on our armed forces I would argue that we should reserve that option for nations that pose a preeminent and inescapable threat to the nation. Nothing that we knew or thought we knew about Iraq in the 90s or post-9/11 brings it to that level. Other countries had greater WMD capacity and weaker inspection regimes (DPRK) and most nations in the middle east had more easily-demonstrated ties to anti-American terrorism.

    This is all good Tim, it’s also even better when you have the benefit of hindsight to help you craft your arguments, after the fact and assume the final word on Iraq has already been written. I said it before and I’ll say it again, we don’t know the whole story and, most likely, we won’t know it for years. There will probably be lots of things to make pro-war people like me cringe and make me question some of my assumptions. And likely, the same will hold true for the other side.

    For instance, we thought Clinton was succesful with NK, but, lo and behold, nutjobs like lil’ Kim, lie and do what they want to do regardeless. And he now has lil’ nukes. It’s funny you mention other ME nations with greater ties to terrorism. I agree, about the terrorist ties part. So, what would the solution have been? Declare war on Saudia Arabia for instance. Seize their oil? Sanctions? Give them an ultimatum re: their support for Salafist/Waahabi Islam?

    I am aware of the traditional rule that, Carter notwithstanding, former presidents don’t publicly criticize sitting presidents. Did Clinton go further than that and publicly advocate for us to invade Iraq? That’s news to me. I don’t doubt you but a link would make me feel better-informed. And of course, Cohen is a Republican.

    Here’s one anyway. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember how far he went. I’ve looked back at a couple of his quotes from 2002 and 2003. He was not as hawkish as the Bush administration was, obviously, advocating that inspectors should be given more time. But, he was also absolutely convinced that Saddam had WMDs as well. And that if he didn’t cooperate, he should face the consequences. Also, to be fair, he has tempered his support with, sometime, harsh criticism of the way the war and occupation have been handled, more so today than in the past.

    It always amazes me how people freak out over the word ‘neocon.’ It’s not as if the PNAC made its membership or its geopolitical ambitions a secret. They spent the 90s vehemently advocated for the US to spread ‘freedom’ through repeated wars of invasion and Iraq always stood as #1 on their hit list. Before 2001 they never showed a hint of ideological flexibility about their cause. If seed the top levels of the Executive branch, what do you think that they’re going to do? Push for school lunch reform? You act like mission statements repeatedly put down in public documents constitute some sort of ‘conspiracy’ about which somebody can concoct a theory.

    Perhaps because “neocon” has morphed into the bete noir, the boogieman of the left, much like “liberal” has become the boogieman of the right. You leapt to the worst possible assumptions re: their motives or intentions and overgeneralized. Come on now, taking the nation to war based on Bush’s revenge fantasy, Cheney’s Vietnam complex. Give me a friggin break Tim. The world and its people are not so black and white and not all people in positions of power are egomaniancal, self-involved, ruthless tyrants, even if they happen to be Republicans. Has it occured to you that they simply did what they believed to be in America’s best interests, or is that simply too hard to comprehend or even imagine? That they take the business and responsibility of leading a nation of 300 million people with just a bit more seriousness than you give them credit for.

    Regarding Bush, it doesn’t matter what sort of pejorative adjectives we append to the sentence to make it less believable, he made it perfectly clear from day one that he wanted into Iraq. The president hardly needed manipulating in that respect. I think that it is more appropriate to say that consistent with one of his most widely acknowledged defects as a leader, Bush chose to surround himself with people who validated his preconceived notions.

    I’ll disagree with you and reserve judgement until more of the facts come out and we have a clearer picture. I’ll just say that I don’t think any president or leader for that matter takes an issue as important as war lightly. I think you overestimate his emphasis on Iraq pre-9/11 and underestimate the degree that 9/11 fundamentally changed and affected this president and many in his administration. For instance, he may have considered Iraq a bigger threat than Clinton and gave it more priority, but absent 9-11, sorry, I don’t see him invading, regardless of what the “neocons” would have told him.

    About Cheney, you can take my description or leave it. He’s not a neocon but he has made no bones about his martial intentions for Iraq.

    “Rumsfeld is not competent to lead our armed forces.” – Gen. Paul D. Eaton (ret.), former commander in charge of training the new Iraqi military.

    There’s no question that Rumsfeld had theories and opinion has begun to gel around a consensus that most of them were crackpot. If it offends you to think that he would root for a war to test them out, well, stuff happens.

    I don’t particularly like Cheney very much and always hear the Imperial March whenever I see him. I’m not particularly very fond of Rumsfeld either and would be happy to see him go. That said, I don’t think they’re heartless ogres either, nor do I think that some of Rumsfeld’s theories are crackpot–particularly the need to put more emphasis on Special Forces and the Marines. Incidentally, there’s an interesting smackdown of that quote over here. That said, I still think Rumsfeld should go.

  385. 385
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Thanks, bumpkin.

    Heh. “Bumpkin”. Funny.

    Lucky I have you to help me guess you hold dual citizenship. It’s so uncommon, particularly in my industry, and therefore such a difficult thing to assume.

    You’re right. You had know way of knowing. I guess I was stunned because I couldn’t believe the argument that you seemed to be making. Your argument appears to be that if someone does not live in the States, then one either isn’t qualified, or shouldn’t have the right to participate in an online discussion forum.

    I’m also surprised that you made up as truth that I only get my news from the CBC and the Internet, and then pretended that meant that any opinion so formed was invalid. Firstly, “the Internet” actually comprises websites run by a great many American media companies. Did you know that the Washington Post, the Washington Times, and even The New Republic have websites? People from all over the world can access them and read the same news that people who actually live within the continental US read.

    Secondly, as a Canadian living along the US/Canadian border (as do most Canadians), we actually receive broadcast signals from the US – in fact, given the sorry state of Canadian programming, most of us grew up watching ABC, NBC, and CBS. We even get Fox News Channel now. Imagine!

    I also guessed that you identify more with Canada because you consider America a bit of a rube-ridden land that is a little too saturated with gun-toting Bible-thumpers, or somesuch.

    Um, no. As I stated, I was born here, which is why I self-identify as Canadian.

    And believe it or not, I also guessed you lived either in Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Boston, or New York.

    Well, good for you. Given how much of the US population lives in those areas, your chances were pretty good of being correct (for once).

    Sure we’ll debate the merits. But don’t ever patronize me, bumpkin.

    I’m sorry, I patronized you? Clearly, the word has lost its meaning. Much like, apparently, the word “bumpkin”.

    You make some fairly severe errors…

    I’m waiting for you to point out a second “error”. I’ll address the first below.

    Debate you can have. Why then are you here? Many of the posters here are quite stupid and overly partisan, as stupid people are wont to be. There will be no serious debate here. Do you really think you’re going to convince me that THAT is the reason you’re here?

    Perhaps you can point me toward a more reasonable forum, where people aren’t passionate about their opinions and prepared to defend them. Because I’m sure I’d love a forum populated by a bunch of people like you who engage in Clintonian parsing rather than address content, and get all pissy because someone disagreed with you.

    I’d point out the arguments currently being put forth by Theseus, srv, and Tim as indicative that some people here actually do have some valid points to make on both sides of the arguments. I feel that I occasionally learn some things here, and enjoy Tim’s beer blogging, and am looking forward to see if Mr. Cole’s opinions are indicative of other traditional conservatives in the Mid-term elections. Not sure why I need to defend participating in this blog, but if you really feel the way you do, then why are *you* here?

    Sure, let’s get in a pissing match. The odds of you having actually lived in seven different countries is just about nil, unless all those countries were in Europe, because people are NOT ‘a helluva lot more aware of the world than you give them credit for.’ Only an idiot would make that remark.

    Three in Europe, two in Oceania, and then (of course) the US and Canada. Christ on a crutch, who are you counting? Of course, if you’re talking about Americans who only watch Fox News Network and thus believe that Saddam was responsible for 9/11, or that the Feingold resolution actually says the Administration shouldn’t be wiretapping terrorists at all, well, I guess I can’t argue.

    That people have strong opinions about America does not mean they know America, or ‘are aware of the world’, and EVERYBODY has an opinion of America. Oddly, though, most are very ignorant of even nearby countries, in the same way that Canadians are ignorant of Mexico, and most in fact have hardly traveled within their own nation, much less to other countries, even in Europe. Perhaps you’re only hanging around people who spend time in hotels reading the New York Times. That would explain the intolerant and narrow worldview that you embrace.

    I’m sure that somehow it pleases you to think that you’re part of an elite cosmopolitan jet-setters’ club that knows more than the great unwashed, but that has not been my experience. However, as we said before, data is not the plural of anecdote, so I’ll allow that by your criteria people may well be ignorant. I can only say that where I’ve lived, and worked, abroad, people are not ignorant. They may not know the names of the President of every country, or who Bill Frist is by name, but most of them read a newspaper, which is the minimum I would expect of someone to not be considered “ill-informed”.

    Right. You’re on a forum where people call presidents cocksuckers and presidential administrations motherfuckers because it’s an environment conducive to debate?

    I haven’t. I can only be responsible for my own behaviour. See my quote about the other threads, above.

    No, you’re pissed off that you do indeed get a lot of information from the CBC and that I know it’s an extremely left-wing, anti-American broadcast network. And as an, ahem, extremely well-travelled guy who’s lived in, ahem, seven nations, you should know that government-run or government-subsidized media is how the VAST majority of the world gets its information about the world, and therefore about America.

    That’s just not true. I tend not to watch much television at all. And why not just come out and call me a liar if you don’t believe that I’ve lived abroad. I’m not sure what you’re saying about government-subsidized media. The BBC is a state-funded instrument of America’s allies. Do they lie too? Do corporate-owned media not have their own agenda when reporting news? How do you determine whose reporting is more credible?

    In short, they are not very well informed at all. Hell, if you live on the East or West coast of the United States you are probably not very well informed about America.

    Are you kidding me? Only people living in rural Kansas really understand America? One of the 30 independent farmers that are left in America that they gin up for a “Midwestern” perspective on a news story is more informed about single-payer health-care than people who actually have time at the end of their worksday to consume news media (and for that matter, produce it?) Whatever you say.

    As for your “gotcha”, you’re right. I was not being clear. You don’t necessarily have to care what people in other countries think about an action that doesn’t directly affec them, but that America may consider of strategic importance. However, it strikes me as prudent to care what people in a country with whom we are currently trying to engage think about us. Let me see if I can put it a different way that illustrates what I mean. I’m sure you’ll disagree, but I do see a nuanced difference.

    If the US determines that it is in its strategic interest to invade Iraq, my assumption is that they have considered what the international response may be and either don’t care about it, or have decided that the potential benefits outweigh the potential costs. In this case, I think it is short-sighted, but if the strategic goal is achieved and the costs do actually outweigh the benefits, as an American one could genuinely argue that they made the right choice. (And I realize that the true costs and benefits may not be known for decades).

    However, say that the US is negotiating a trade agreement with two countries and manages to convince one of them to sign. If the other countries are democratic societies and there is an upcoming election, it would be foolish to not consider the opinions of the “unsigned” country’s citizens about the terms of the potential trade agreement, as they would have the power to elect someone who ran against the agreement. That’s all I’m saying. Perhaps a distinction without a difference, but there it is. Caring about the *affected* citizen’s opinions should matter. Caring about the secondary countries’ opinions may or may not matter as is convenient, although not thinking about them at all may come back to bite you. (e.g. how much “coalition-building” do you think Bush will be able to engender should he decide to invade Iran?)

  386. 386
    ImJohnGalt says:

    In short, they are not very well informed at all. Hell, if you live on the East or West coast of the United States you are probably not very well informed about America.

    Apologies, I just realized that you may have meant this as separate from the set of people who are not at all informed about America.

  387. 387
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Erm, that last had a link in the preview:

    Apologies, I just realized that you may have meant this as separate from the set of people who are not at all informed about America

  388. 388
    Theseus says:

    jg,

    I’m perfectly willing to discuss and debate with anyone who has a different viewpoint that mine. While I may disagree with him for instance, Tim is probably one of my favorite bloggers. It’s the only way to learn and either improve your points or be forced to abandon them when they no longer make any sense. It gets boring rather quickly when people agree with you all the time. I’m just not willing to entertain opinions that I consider nauxious and toxic. If you can’t see how comparisons to Hitler, Stalin, Satan, the Soviet Union can be so wildly off base and inappropriate, that’s not my problem. My sense of proportion and perspective is tempered with what I consider to be a relatively healthy dose of common sense.

  389. 389
    srv says:

    For instance, we thought Clinton was succesful with NK, but, lo and behold, nutjobs like lil’ Kim, lie and do what they want to do regardeless. And he now has lil’ nukes.

    If you believe him. It was a known that they had previously processed some plutonium. What wasn’t know is their later claim that they’ve weaponized it. And by any account, Klinton was successfull in getting them put the known stockpile under monitoring.

    NK’s claim of weaponizing earlier materials and their taking the rest of the stockpile out from monitoring occurred after the “Axis-of-Evil” statement.

    It isn’t Klintons fault that Dear Leaders Foreign Policy Has Consequences.

    It’s funny you mention other ME nations with greater ties to terrorism. I agree, about the terrorist ties part. So, what would the solution have been? Declare war on Saudia Arabia for instance. Seize their oil? Sanctions? Give them an ultimatum re: their support for Salafist/Waahabi Islam?

    Perhaps we should have started with not defending them. Oil is going to flow regardless of who is in power (see Iran).

  390. 390
    jg says:

    If you can’t see how comparisons to Hitler, Stalin, Satan, the Soviet Union can be so wildly off base and inappropriate, that’s not my problem. My sense of proportion and perspective is tempered with what I consider to be a relatively healthy dose of common sense.

    You are choosing to not see the correct comparison. You are choosing to seee the worst possible comparison, the wrong one in fact yet oddly the easiest one to refute. You are letting yourself be enflamed by the language. Rather than immediately attack the guy making a Nazi comparison maybe you should ask what is driving this person to make this comparison. Is he just an idiot who doesn’t realize the obvious differences:

    How the frak is Bush’s “rise to power” similar in any way to Hitler’s? Are fucking Democratic politicians in jail or dead? Lefty activists? Has he been going aroung murdering artists and intellectuals? Has he bombed the shit out of Hollywood?

    …or is he maybe talking about the way in which both the Nazis and this administration solidified their base of support by declaring all dissenters traitors. Just one example and one that may not seem that bad but it cetainly isn’t what you’d expect from an american administration or any past government we would want to ally ourselves with. But you won’t ever see that or talk about it.
    If we compare the extremes of what Hitler did we of course won’t find similarities to Bush, but thats on the extreme. The problem is you can’t look past the extremes of the Nazis or Stalin. You won’t look past them.

    While I may disagree with him for instance, Tim is probably one of my favorite bloggers.

    That’ll go out the window if he ever uses the N word.

  391. 391
    Theseus says:

    You are choosing to not see the correct comparison. You are choosing to seee the worst possible comparison, the wrong one in fact yet oddly the easiest one to refute. You are letting yourself be enflamed by the language. Rather than immediately attack the guy making a Nazi comparison maybe you should ask what is driving this person to make this comparison. Is he just an idiot who doesn’t realize the obvious differences:

    There is some merit to that, I’ll conceed as much. The context is extremely important. It’s also possible that in most cases, and this is by experience, the worst possible comparison is the one that the user intended…which is one reason I’ve become increasingly intolerant of said comparisons.

    How would it make you feel if I said “liberals are traitors” and then proceed to explain why, how and offer up my “context”. Or perhaps: “I think liberals help AQ and terrorists”, then proceed to explain why, how, etc…How would you like those comparisons, would you be “enflamed” or would you act all rational and wait for my explanation, my deeper “meaning”…after all, I may have a “point” to make.

    …or is he maybe talking about the way in which both the Nazis and this administration solidified their base of support by declaring all dissenters traitors.

    …or maybe they had a “point” to make and if you looked by the little bitty “traitor” comment, more into the deeper meaning, you would “see” that.

    And, dude, what’s with Klinton? Is that a Klingon reference or the slimy Simpsons alien reference?

  392. 392
    jg says:

    It’s also possible that in most cases, and this is by experience, the worst possible comparison is the one that the user intended

    Isn’t that the composition fallacy? Seriously you think any of these people are comparing the Nazi extremes to this administration? I think you want to but it makes no sense. You just hate the people from the start but occasionally will subject yourself to some of the sound they make so you can say you heard from the other side and yes they are donkeys.

    How would it make you feel if I said “liberals are traitors” and then proceed to explain why, how and offer up my “context”. Or perhaps: “I think liberals help AQ and terrorists”, then proceed to explain why, how, etc…How would you like those comparisons, would you be “enflamed” or would you act all rational and wait for my explanation, my deeper “meaning”…after all, I may have a “point” to make.

    I wouldn’t get enflamed if you actually explained why you think so. I get enflamed when the bomb is dropped and the person runs away. I’m not a liberal but even I could refute every point you make as simply projection or a purposeful misunderstanding of their position. You choose to see what in intended as anti-war statements, as anti-american statements.

    There is information out there that would make you doubt the administrations goals, they don’t want you to come into contact with it. They brand the people saying it as traitors and say they are giving aid to the enemy. This wouldn’t work if that side of the argument was completely unfounded (of course the enemy is emboldened by it) but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a tactic of the right to shut up the opposition. You seem to be agreeing with the point that although there is something to what they say we can’t let them say it. Thats absurd. There is no danger to this country if a liberal speaks, the only danger is to the republican political platform. A platform built on appeals to common sense. Common sense tells you giving aid to the enemy is bad so when you hear it happening you get mad. Problem is common sense is common, everyone has it and if its the only sense appealed to people will stop there. No reason to go deeper and understand that while the enemy might find comfort in the words WHO FUCKKING CARES, the greater good will come in this country if the words are heard.

    If someone says we can’t beat them the way we’re proceeding, the enemy will take comfort obviously. But if you understand the words were meant to spur change in how we operate so we can beat them, thoroughly, does anyone really give a shit if the enemy had smiles for a week or two while we sorted some shit out? Problem is we won’t get there because the assholes in charge don’t believe in re-evaluating so instead they have people like you attack the libs for saying that we can’t win and blah, blah, blah. End result, we’re still going about our endevour the wrong way. But hey you put down those american hating libs, right?

  393. 393
    Godzilla says:

    This will be a multi-part response. (That’s mostly for you, Laura.) ;-)

    Heh. “Bumpkin”. Funny.

    Now, now. Remember, you’re interested only in debate. Perhaps an easier response: “Heh. ‘Pedant’. Funny.”.

    Your argument appears to be that if someone does not live in the States, then one either isn’t qualified, or shouldn’t have the right to participate in an online discussion forum.

    Since you stated the opinions of foreign populations should not have an effect on U.S. policy (‘diplomacy’), and since you made this statement on a thread about protests concerning U.S. policies, which includes protests in foreign countries, forgive me for assuming you believe that as a Canadian your opinions should in some manner have an effect on the U.S. citizens within this forum regarding the war (we hadn’t established your dual citizenship yet). Last I checked U.S. citizens undeniably have an effect on U.S. policy. Remember, I did say “that’s not entirely fair” (but now I’m being pedantic again). (Do me the favor of not claiming you’re here to learn. That would be a lie, and yes, I know that’s an unprovable assertion.)

    And again, it’s awfully strange ground if Canadian ‘allies’ who opposed the war because Bush is an ignorant Christian Republican from Texas now believe they get to affect any sort of policy or timetable on the war. Jesus, Canadians seem to want to risk nothing and to be given equal treatment for risking nothing.

    I’m also surprised that you made up as truth that I only get my news from the CBC and the Internet and then pretended that meant that any opinion so formed was invalid.

    Actually, the point was that if as a foreigner you could form valid opinions about the U.S. based upon the CBC and the Internet, then I could form valid opinions on Canada based upon CNN and the Internet. Was I wrong about Canada? Perhaps (certainly sloppy with terminology and phraseology). But then, so too could you be wrong about the U.S. given your similar-quality sources, so your patronizing comment that my analysis equated to a general ignorance of foreign governments was completely inappropriate. Not ‘you’re wrong about Canada’, but ‘you’re uninformed about foreign governments in general’, with the implication being I can’t know Canadian politics based on a passing analysis gleaned from sources very similar to your own. Reread what I posted. The only real errors I made were that I should have said ‘more conservative’ rather than ‘conservative’, and of course said ‘platform’ when I should have said ‘issues’ or somesuch. That’s it. You can claim that Canadian voters cared nothing about how the liberal government dealt with Washington, but do me a favor and remember that I, too, know Canadians, including my dual-citizenship boss and Best Man. Claiming relations with Washington wasn’t any sort of issue whatsoever is a flat out lie. The only question is to what degree, on which you can certainly claim I was wrong-headed, assuming you’re correct.

    Um, no. As I stated, I was born here, which is why I self-identify as Canadian.

    If you say so. As I stated, the assumptions about your presumed prejudices were guesses – assumptions — and later I wondered how long it would take to prove them. I still wonder how long it will take to prove them.

    Well, good for you. Given how much of the US population lives in those areas, your chances were pretty good of being correct (for once).

    Refutes my insinuation in no way whatsoever: That your predilections are predictable and stereotypical of expatriate Canadians who gravitate towards more liberal, anti-conservative West and East Coast conclaves. In case you think your predilections are irrelevant: What does the typical Canadian think of American Christians from Texas?

    I’m sorry, I patronized you? Clearly, the word has lost its meaning. Much like, apparently, the word “bumpkin”.

    Now you’re just being pedantic … worrying about exact meanings of words.

    You make some fairly severe errors…

    I’m waiting for you to point out a second “error”. I’ll address the first below.

    I’ll address logical and other errors in a post to follow. This is all for now. I’m glad, however, to see that you believe there can be and that there are no second errors.

  394. 394
    srv says:

    jg,

    That’s how we know they really don’t care about winning the hearts and minds, and never really did. They only care that there is some ideological victory they can stick a fork in, and barring that, someone they can blame for their failures.

    In their minds, victory hasn’t been defined down. Osama is not a threat. Mr. Z no longer significant to make the daily Pentagon press releases. We are rebuilding Iraq. We never intended to rebuild Iraq. We are safer because of Iraq. And on, and on, and on.

    And for all their brilliance, they’ll never make a measurable prediction.

  395. 395
    Theseus says:

    You just hate the people from the start but occasionally will subject yourself to some of the sound they make so you can say you heard from the other side and yes they are donkeys.

    Yeah, that’s it, I hate them from the start. You figured me out. Jeez. I don’t hate liberals, I happen to disagree with how they want to approach the threat of Islamic terrorism. Am I allowed to do that? Can I disagree? Am I allowed to criticise their positions and views or not? Or will you start bitching and moaning about that? I don’t know what’s so hard to understand– I think demonizing and demagoguing your political opponents is a waste of time, pisses off them off and leaves them less and less susceptable to persuasion and reason. You wanna use Nazi arguments, good, go for it. Knock yourself out, just don’t expect me to listen for very long or take you seriously.

    My comments concerning liberals were just an example btw. They were not intended to be serious. To be clear.

    I’m not a liberal but even I could refute every point you make as simply projection or a purposeful misunderstanding of their position.

    I see. The traitor smear is refutable, projection, purposeful misunderstanding, but, apparently, your Nazi analogy, that’s legitimate and highly relevant and presumably, irrefutable. Smears on Bush and supporters are legit, because they’re based on “truths” right, but, don’t even touch those poor sensitive liberals. Can you spell HYPOCRISY? H. Y. P. O. C. R. I. S. Y. Can you also spell WHINER? Whatever, I’m done.

  396. 396
    ImJohnGalt says:

    know Canadians, including my dual-citizenship boss and Best Man

    It’s so uncommon, particularly in my industry, and therefore such a difficult thing to assume.

    Wow, so uncommon that your Boss also holds it. What a coincidence.

  397. 397
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Refutes my insinuation in no way whatsoever: That your predilections are predictable and stereotypical of expatriate Canadians who gravitate towards more liberal, anti-conservative West and East Coast conclaves. In case you think your predilections are irrelevant: What does the typical Canadian think of American Christians from Texas?

    Depends, are we talking about Evangelicals? I think Canadians in general have very little experience with Evangelicals, and would find them strange (as many people do with things they are unfamiliar with.) As you likely know, there is not a very large Evangelical population up here. As a more secular country, I imagine (but I am only conjecturing, here) that if you asked a Canadian what they thought of American Christians from Texas they would either have no opinion at all, or assume you meant deeply religious conservatives that they would have trouble identifying with. What’s the context in which you’re asking? Are they trying to teach intelligent design in schools? Are they helping board Katrina survivors?
    It is more rare to identify oneself up here with one’s religion that it appears to be down there. Rarely would one say “I am a Nova Scotian Christian”, or more likely, “I’m a Roman Catholic Quebecois”.

    That said, I’m still not sure why what a typical Canadian thinks of American Christians from Texas is relevant. For that matter, I’m not sure why what I think a Canadian thinks indicates my prediliction for anything other than what I think a Canadian might think.

    But okay, good point. I’ll concede it.

  398. 398
    ImJohnGalt says:

    Y’know, I’ll save you some time, Godzilla.

    I’ll happily concede your “gotcha”, even. Certainly no country is obliged to give a tinker’s damn about public opinion abroad. As you’ve already pointed out, America is far more important to Canada than Canada is to America. Ultimately, however, foreign governments are beholden to their citizens (again, assuming a democracy), so if a country does something the rest of the world thinks is a bad idea, said country might expect to have a tougher row to hoe as it engages in diplomacy with other countries on other matters.

    Let’s say that there were larger turnouts in a Canadian protest, say, on softwood lumber tariff NAFTA tribunal rulings that the US government has repeatedly ignored. The domestic government might use that as a between-election indicator that they should take a harder line on other issues between the governments, or that they should introduce retaliatory tariffs. Is that not valid?

    If some people think that by demonstrating in their own country that American voters might stop for a second and consider the effect that the current administration’s actions may be having on their future diplomatic efforts abroad, well that’s their right. The protestors don’t have a right to expect America (in this case) to behave any differently as a result of their protest, and it may well be a fool’s errand, but the logic isn’t incomprehensible.
    But then, I guess that was the whole point of the thread. John hates protestors. [See how we’ve come full circle?]

  399. 399
    jg says:

    I’m not a liberal but even I could refute every point you make as simply projection or a purposeful misunderstanding of their position.

    I see. The traitor smear is refutable, projection, purposeful misunderstanding, but, apparently, your Nazi analogy, that’s legitimate and highly relevant and presumably, irrefutable.

    I certainly never said they were irrefutable, they certainly could be way off base and irrelevant. We’ll never know since as I’ve been saying you don’t engage in the discussion, you dismiss immediately, deciding on your own the actual sinister intent of the person trying to make the argument.

  400. 400
    Godzilla says:

    Perhaps you can point me toward a more reasonable forum, where people aren’t passionate about their opinions and prepared to defend them.

    This is a backhanded way of saying you forgive the foul language because the foul-mouthed are prepared to defend passionately those positions with which you agree. I don’t have too much of a problem with this, actually – if I did I wouldn’t be here — except that you claim dispassionate devotion to pure debate.

    That said, I suggest trying academic forums populated by actual historians. There are plenty of blogs, of course, on which I seldom post. Roger L. Simon has reasonable commenters, for instance, if you’re looking for something more well-known. It should take you only an hour or two to find the more reasonable sites. Actually, it should only take you about fifteen minutes.

    Because I’m sure I’d love a forum populated by a bunch of people like you who engage in Clintonian parsing rather than address content, and get all pissy because someone disagreed with you.

    Er, that’s an interesting take from someone who from a very long list of very quick refutations of Slide’s very dumb post chose to focus on a largely unimportant point about Canada, mostly because you’re Canadian. While technically that was indeed ‘addressing content’, it was very odd choice of addressable content in that Canada isn’t important re:Iraq. It was hardly something to get pissy over. But now I’m parsing again, which you seem to define as ‘calling me on my bullshit’.

    And please, do not ever try dippy ‘table-turning’ tactics like throwing in references to Clinton because you assume I’m a Republican. I voted for Clinton, twice, so puerile partisan digs like that simply don’t work on me. As I’ve said to others: Reset and try again.

    I’d point out the arguments currently being put forth by Theseus, srv, and Tim as indicative that some people here actually do have some valid points to make on both sides of the arguments.

    Indeed. But I wasn’t talking about them, as indicated by my use of the qualifier ‘many’. Not to be too pedantic, but ‘many’ is not ‘all’. Again, you can’t claim to have found and to be comfortable only on higher intellectual ground if foul-mouthed idiots are on the ground upon which you stand.

    Not sure why I need to defend participating in this blog, but if you really feel the way you do, then why are you here?

    Not sure? If I was on a blog about Canadian politics supporting positions which undermined Canadian foreign policy goals I think you’d wonder why I was on that blog. Not that you have a demonstrated history of automatically defending Canadian politics, or anything ….

    Three in Europe, two in Oceania, and then (of course) the US and Canada.

    For me, only three in Europe, assuming you also count tending bar in Greece and doing little else besides partying in London as ‘living overseas’. Where in Oceania? (And which of those gigs were tending bar?) ;-)

    Christ on a crutch, who are you counting?

    Firstly, there is a vast difference between being ‘aware’ of the world and not being particularly ‘well aware’ of the world. Read my posts. All I’m saying is that the vast majority of people are not all that aware of what’s happening in the world, opinions about America notwithstanding. Again, Canadians are basically clueless about Mexico, Mexicans are clueless about Thailand, the Thai are clueless about South Africa, etc., etc., etc. That said, who are these people who aren’t very well informed …?

    Christ on a crutch, around 800 million people in the world are illiterate. Christ on a crutch, hundreds of millions more are barely literate or inadequately literate. Christ on a crutch, there are 1.4 billion Chinese – 22% of the world’s population — who receive information almost exclusively through state-controlled and highly censured media, and therefore don’t have access to reliable information. Christ on a crutch, half the population has an IQ lower than 100. Christ on a crutch, huge swaths of people in every nation, including industrialized nations, and including those with 100+ IQs, are apolitical and simply don’t care what the rest of the world is doing. Christ on a crutch, there are untold millions in Canada, the U.S., and Britain who watch and listen to the CBC, NPR, and the BBC who believe silly things like the Iraq War is undeniably descending into civil war. Christ on a crutch, you DO realize that Europe and various and sundry party islands in Oceania are NOT the entire world, don’t you?

    Sheesh.

    Of course, if you’re talking about Americans who only watch Fox News Network and thus believe that Saddam was responsible for 9/11, or that the Feingold resolution actually says the Administration shouldn’t be wiretapping terrorists at all, well, I guess I can’t argue.

    Ah now. Remember, you’re here to discuss only, and you have no anti-American proclivities whatsoever. None.

    I’m sure that somehow it pleases you to think that you’re part of an elite cosmopolitan jet-setters’ club that knows more than the great unwashed, but that has not been my experience.

    Then you haven’t traveled much, or very well. You might try someplace outside of Europe and maybe venture beyond the big hotels or resorts.

    And for the record, I am elite, I am cosmpolitan, and I am … well, I’m not a jet-setter in the strictest sense of the word. You got me there.

    Who knew educated people could vote for Bush? That isn’t possible, is it?

    Is it?

  401. 401
    Godzilla says:

    Drat. Looks like my browser didn’t update. Sorry, ImJohnGalt, I’m still posting responses from earlier. I didn’t see your latest.

  402. 402
    Slide says:

    yawn….

  403. 403
    ImJohnGalt says:

    This is a backhanded way of saying you forgive the foul language because the foul-mouthed are prepared to defend passionately those positions with which you agree

    I’m actually thinking we might be triangulating back toward civility. How nice. I don’t forgive the foul language, I just choose to ignore it because a) it isn’t my blog, and b) I just don’t much care about it. I think that a well placed “fuck” can add emphasis to an argument, and that people who start upbraiding people for swearing on a blog look ridiculous.

    mostly because you’re Canadian

    Well, would you have cut me any less slack if I had tried to defend a point that I had *no* passing familiarity with? I responded to a point that you made that I thought was wrong. And you are indeed correct earlier that I ought to have been less general, I thought about that while I was responding, but hoped that I didn’t need to type “Of course, you may be correct about Germany, although as I recall there was a great deal of debate about who would be leading the country”. Mea culpa.

    I voted for Clinton, twice, so puerile partisan digs like that simply don’t work on me. As I’ve said to others: Reset and try again.

    Um. Okay. I was not allowed to vote yet when Clinton was president, but still think that “it depends on what your definition of ‘is’ is” is pretty stupid. Is everyone that isn’t you one-dimensional in your world?

    You can’t claim to have found and to be comfortable only on higher intellectual ground if foul-mouthed idiots are on the ground upon which you stand.

    I’ve claimed no such thing. I just like this blog, I find some of the discussions interesting. Period. I read other blogs, and when the spirit moves I participate on them too. I’m no defender of every post that sees its way to the screen here, so why pretend that I am? What’s in it for you?

    If I was on a blog about Canadian politics supporting positions which undermined Canadian foreign policy goals I think you’d wonder why I was on that blog

    Ah, but there’s the rub. You approach the argument from the perspective that that with which you do not agree is objectively pro-terrorist. I disagree. I believe there are a number of people you would refer to as “lefty” here that believe that current American policies undermine their stated goals. Even still, so what? It’s a blog. The point is to have people participate. Ideas rise or fall on their own merits, regardless of their source, but that’s a foreign concept today, I guess. Heaven forbid judges look at foreign jurisprudence in interpreting domestic laws [koff]Magna Carta[koff]. If you’re from America and want to participate in a Canadian blog and call us weenies for not joining the war, fire away. If two people agree on every issue, one of them is redundant.

    which of those gigs were tending bar?

    One year in Copenhagen. All the rest were real jobs, but none were as entertaining.

    Christ on a crutch…

    Fine. You’re right. There are a lot of illiterate people. There are a lot of people who don’t have any education. People who live under totalitarian rule, and/or people who only follow their pet domestic issues in whatever country in which they live. Does that mean we should ignore the people in the world who *aren’t* ignorant and who may have opinions based on more than what their Mullah (or Bill O’Reilly)[sorry] told them?

    and the BBC who believe silly things like the Iraq War is undeniably descending into civil war

    Ahem.

    The Bush administration’s handpicked interim Iraqi prime minister, Ayad Allawi, told the BBC on Sunday, “We are losing each day an average of 50 to 60 people throughout the country, if not more. If this is not civil war, then God knows what civil war is. Iraq is in the middle of a crisis. Maybe we have not reached the point of no return yet, but we are moving towards this point. . . . We are in a terrible civil conflict now.”

    Imagine the nerve of people actually believing that. It’s fair to disagree, but to paint the opinion as unfounded is silly.

    Remember, you’re here to discuss only, and you have no anti-American proclivities whatsoever

    Ah, so insulting these same people that you called ill-informed only a few posts before is now “Anti-American”.

    Who knew educated people could vote for Bush? That isn’t possible, is it?

    Alas, it appears it is. I kid. I know a great many smart people who voted for Bush in 2000, many who did not vote for him in 2004 (some of who could still not bring themselves to vote for Kerry), and some of those holdouts are concerned about what’s been happening in the last year.

    And don’t worry about the browser update thing. I figured that was gonna happen.

  404. 404
    Mac Buckets says:

    OK, Mac, I still disagree with you that Clinton was hyping the “danger” posed by Iraq at the same level the Bush administration did (I still don’t see any mushroom cloud references).

    Because Bill and Maddy didn’t say the words “mushroom cloud,” their references to nukes don’t count? LOL! Come back when you’re serious.

    Isn’t it clear that the administration realized that Iraq was not a threat, and was more interested in attacking Iraq for political reasons

    What you don’t remember is that the Administration never claimed that Saddam posed a serious threat to us. They decided to invade because he’d violated the UN Resolutions, which led them to believe that Saddam would become a threat if we did not act.

    If there weren’t people like you who are so easily deluded, then Bush would never have been elected (for the first time!) in 2004….

    Pretending people who disagree with you must be stupid is so much easier than thinking. Sorry, but you’ll just have to do much better to show that ousting Saddam, removing him as a future WMD threat (remember, Duelfer said he was just waiting until sanctions were over to re-launch) and a terrorist supporter, and giving Iraqis the vote was a bad decision for America.

  405. 405
    srv says:

    LOL! Come back when you’re serious.

    Mac clearly remembers – yes, it is seared into his memory how Bill and Maddy spent six months, non-stop, talking about the “danger” that Saddam posed. In every single speech and press conference… Perhaps you and Godzilla should ponder the word “hype” together.

    Pretending people who disagree with you must be stupid is so much easier than thinking.

    Up until that line, I thought you could be Angirasu to Godzilla, but me thinks he would never see you as an equal.

  406. 406
    BIRDZILLA says:

    These idiots do it for the attention they get from the liberal left-wing news media

  407. 407
    jg says:

    OK, Mac, I still disagree with you that Clinton was hyping the “danger” posed by Iraq at the same level the Bush administration did (I still don’t see any mushroom cloud references).

    Because Bill and Maddy didn’t say the words “mushroom cloud,” their references to nukes don’t count? LOL! Come back when you’re serious.

    Why is it relevant what Clinton thought ever? All the worlds ‘thinking’ on the subject of Saddams wmd stopped when the inspectors were let back in and found absolutely nothing. All this talk of ‘the whole world thought he had wmd’ ends there. After Blix came back only a small group of people still thought he had anything, most of those were americans who frankly didn’t care what the rest of the world thought. I was one of those. I was all geeked up for the war and didn’t care that France wasn’t going to help. They had other motives, good for them.

  408. 408
    Laura says:

    I don’t have the time or inclination to find the posts where Godzilla was going off on everybody as being opposed to the war simply because Bush is a conservative. But Andrew Sullivan just posted this statement from a real conservative about today’s Republican party, and since I know so many disgusted Republicans, I thought it worth sharing:

    “My mum wrote me a letter the other day and she said, ‘Son,’ – she’s 86 years old – she said, ‘Son, please don’t become a Democrat’.
    And I told my mum, I called her and I said: ‘Mum, you know what? I want my party back. I don’t want to become a Democrat. I want my party back.’
    The Republican Party that I knew, that I grew up in, a moderate party, a party that believed in fiscal discipline, a party that believed in small government, a party that had genuine conservative values. This is not a conservative leadership. This is radical leadership. I called them neo-Jacobins. They are radical. They’re not conservative. They’ve stolen my party and I would like my party back,” – Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former chief aide.

    I realize by posting this, I open myself up to being called an idiot by Godzilla. After all, he is well-traveled, elite and cosmopolitan, so anybody who disagrees with him is an idiot, not the other way around (nevermind his contention that Dick Cheney has credibility when it comes to Iraq). But for people like my own father who left the Republican party because of what it’s turned into, I sincerely hope more and more Republicans speak out about the destruction of Republican values under this president.

  409. 409
    jg says:

    Its why I left.

  410. 410
    jg says:

    Bush lied again yesterday. Said he made the decision to go to war because Saddam wouldn’t let the inspectors back in. Does he rely on the feeble media or the gullible foot soldiers when he puts forth this bullshit?

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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  3. Not anti-war so much as anti-America and more to the point, anti-Bush

    Fellow PajamaHadeenBalloon Juice provides the sentiment perfectly:I am no Bush defender, but at some point it becomes pretty clear that these anti-war protests are little more than anti-Bush protests. While hating Bush has become far more fashionable …

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