Thursday, May 22, 2008

Support Doesn't Require Retreat

Taking issue with my recent post about leftists who don't support our troops, bobn of the Liberative blog calls the point "ridiculous," arguing (footnote omitted):
Oh, OK, so what is putting 100,000+ of our troops in Iraq for questionable reasons, with not even a scintilla of a post-invasion plan, or even a definition of victory - what is that except killing troops?

Wake up - there was never a chance that this was going to end well, and there still isn't. We support our troops by getting them out of this no-win situation in the minimum amount of time.

This "not supporting the troops" meme is re-cycled McCarthyism - the right has no argument with legs, so it is (again) reduced to impugning the patriotism of its critics.
My response:
  1. Do the quotes support the proposition? Plainly. I can only speculate that bobn didn't read the collected quotes (at Right Wing News). Each is from a self-identified (including elected Democrat officials), or undoubtedly classified, liberal. All are hyperlinked to sources. And every one is profoundly anti-military. Honestly, I don't see any room for doubt on this point.


  2. Are the quoted sources isolated instances unreflective of the broader left? Hardly. The anti-military bias of the Clinton Administration was well documented. Next came the Democrats' 2004 Presidential candidate--after Naval service, John Kerry made a career out of falsely slandering soldiers, basing his foreign policy on that notion. The Democratic party has been anti-military since Vietnam; current Hill Democrat leaders don't hide it. Occasionally, leftists confront and harass servicemen in public. Then there's liberal heaven Berkeley, California. . .

    This isn't some imagined meme. It's fact.


  3. Is the Iraq conflict inherently anti-military? bobn opposed the Iraq invasion. I supported it, still do and have reason for optimism about victory and Iraqi democracy. (I note that the Iraqi government requested that we remain, and the Iraqi people are turning more positive, which surely is relevant).

    Yet, I recognize that reasonable people can disagree. And I acknowledge that it's possible to be anti-war and patriotic--so long as one doesn't claim, as bobn does, that mistakes made killing our sole accomplishment.

    What's not reasonable is bobn's argument that our continuing presence in Iraq is anti-military. The fundamental flaw in such illogic, which isn't confined to bobn, is that our soldiers aren't pathetic, put-upon infants. They are adults, and each a volunteer. They are neither dumb, thuggish, depressed nor uneducated. And the military overwhelmingly supports the Coalition's actions in Iraq. Contra bobn, the recruiting and reenlistment numbers second this point.
Conclusion: Ed Koch says history will redeem George Bush. With respect to foreign policy, I hope he's right. But even if future scholars are harsh, there can be no doubt that the modern left is broadly anti-military. And no question that it's nonsense to insist that supporting the troops requires retreat.

32 comments:

bobn said...

Wow, a whole post dedicated to dissecting me. It's better than being ignored, anyhow.

I'll attempt to rebut this in greater detail after I get off work. Sadly, my employers wouldn't appreciate me spending the time needed to do it thoroughly.

Briefly, though, not all leftists are the same. Some of us aren't haters of the military - in fact, we find the spilling of some of our finest blood for an ill-planned and more ill-executed goal a tragedy. The military is a very, very good hammer. Sadly, Iraq was not and is not a nail.

Note that I have not called our soldiers "dumb, thuggish, depressed nor uneducated" - I simply do not see how you start from my previous comments and end up there. Looks like a "straw man" argument to me.

More later.

Carl said...

bobn:

My point was that our soldiers can speak for themselves and do--and that they don't equate "supporting the troops" with withdrawing from Iraq.

OBloodyHell said...

> Note that I have not called our soldiers "dumb, thuggish, depressed nor uneducated"

No, but it is one of the standard assumptions of those who take your position, since it would be hard to defend your position even if the only attack against it was the simple, well-verified fact that most of the people actually on the scene in the place agrees:
a) progress is being made, and steadily.
b) while it's far from paradise, it's not the hell-hole it's often painted as -- at least not most of the time
c) they keep re-joining to go back... apparently they don't think it's a lost cause -- and, since it's THEIR butts on the line, It's rather absurd to whine about the deaths of soldiers who actually think that what they are doing is worthwhile. It's even more absurd to call for their removal "because you care so much" when the vast majority of them don't WANT you to cut short what they are trying (and believe themselves to be succeeding at) doing.
d) While every death is a tragedy on an individual level, the total casualties so far -- years into this war -- amount to less than many "Bad days" in most previous wars. Heck, they haven't equated to even *3* bad days for civilians. You know, like Sept. 11, 2001. Or just one day like Sept 8, 1900. So when someone calls you a "whiny-assed pansy", that's probably what they are talking about.
e) Just curious... Did you complain as much about us going into Kosovo? 'Cause we're still there... and if there was a fight, in all our history, which we had no benefit from, that would be it.
f) Tell me. Have you ever gone into the house of a friend, neighbor, or relative when they weren't there -- gone into their kitchen, and made a HUUUUGE mess -- dirty pots, pans, cookwhere, bakeware everywhere, food spatters all over the wall, burnt crap sitting in the oven, dishes overflowing the sink... made such a giant mess, and then LEFT without cleaning it up? I'll assume not. Be kind of a "dickish" thing to do, wouldn't it?. So, by what tapdancing BS do you imagine it's not JUST as dickish for the USA to go into Iraq, make a HUUUGE mess, and then leave without helping to clean it up? No, it's irrelevant if you agree or disagree with WHY we went in. We're THERE. The Mess is Made. The can o' worms is OPEN. Too late to "fix" that, even if it needed fixing in the first place. It's a done deal. Now the question is, by what absurd contortions of reasoning and "logic" do you imagine that the people of the USA don't OWE it to the Iraqis to help them clean up the mess thus made? "It's not MY mess"? OK -- whiny, but, hey -- **fine**. No one is TELLING YOU that YOU have to go and clean in up. That's what the volunteer soldiers are for. But they volunteered. And they want to continue cleaning it up, they feel it's an American obligation, even though you don't. So get the f*** out of the way and let *us* do our job.

> Wow, a whole post dedicated to dissecting me.

Actually, it's not about you at all. Sorry to burst that bubble.

It's about grounding.

It's a good idea to defend your position on a regular basis -- typically at least every month or so. This makes you consider all the reasons behind your position, to see for yourself if they are still valid and correct in a constantly changing world.

It also exposes them to the view of others, so that if there is any myopic underpinning, it will get removed, corrected, or otherwise shored up against the slings and arrows of reality.

This not only keeps your feet on the ground but makes sure that the ground hasn't moved out from under you while you were looking elsewhere.

In short, it's something The Left is massively short on. There's a reason almost all fisking occurs on Right-leaning sites.

bobn said...

Carl:

I can only speculate that bobn didn't read the collected quotes (at Right Wing News).

This is correct. The first line of your first link was on the order of "if you substitute killing for supporting...". You have every right to make that claim about the Left. I have every right to regard anybody making such a claim as a complete right-wingnut, more interested in slander than discourse. Just for grins, I did read the Right Wing News links. I will concede that 19 year old radicals in college say stupid things. That does not mean the liberals want to kill our soldiers.

You go on to say:

Are the quoted sources isolated instances unreflective of the broader left? Hardly. The anti-military bias of the Clinton Administration was well documented. However, none of the four articles you link to proves anything like that. I call BS - you know that you can link to stuff faster than we can read and dismantle it, so that is what you do. So I'm not going to slog thru the rest of your links.

I still demand that you show anywhere that I said anything like our soldiers are "dumb, thuggish, depressed nor uneducated" - your words, not mine. I never said any such thing. I would apply those words to the Bush administration, though. With the possible exception of Lyndon Johnson, Bush has been the worst war-time president ever.

Ed Koch says history will redeem George Bush. Oh, I had no idea Ed was an expert on anything foreign - or that he was clairvoyant about future analyses. What a load of crap you put out.

And now the real question - the name of your blog is No Oil For Pacifists". That's very nice. So if we are merely williung to buy oil at a price the seller is willing to sell at - that's called a "free market" where I come from - then we don;t get it. We have to be willing to engage in "pre-emptive" wars and kill people - then we get our oil. Really, you are pathetic.

Stop thinking you what I am. Stop thinking that you can speak for the whole left wing of the country. You speak for yourself, and you look pretty silly doing that.

bobn said...

.
I said:

Note that I have not called our soldiers "dumb, thuggish, depressed nor uneducated"

OBloodyHell said:

No, but it is one of the standard assumptions of those who take your position,

Well, no it's not. I take my position and it is not my standard assumption. So you're wrong at least once. In fact, nobody I know who is against the war takes that position. I haven't heard anybody take that position. So you're wrong a lot of times.

I won't bother trying to argue with all your points, though it is amusing to remember the howls from the Right about "nation building" when we went into Kosovo, given our current activities in Iraq. It's hard to build a nation when you are trying to group together people who hate eachothers guts and have been killing each other for millenia.

Maybe people on the ground are reporting that things are going swimmingly - I seem to recall the same spin in 2006, but the spin *now* is that "things are really improving - nothing like the hell-hole it was in 2006!"

You ranting about re-enlistments would be more convincing with some numbers. All I can find is vague references, with no numbers, that they are exceeding targets - pretty limp stuff, since they set the targets.


Have you ever gone into the house of a friend, neighbor, or relative when they weren't there -- gone into their kitchen, and made a HUUUUGE mess -- dirty pots, pans, cookwhere, bakeware everywhere, food spatters all over the wall, burnt crap sitting in the oven, dishes overflowing the sink... made such a giant mess, and then LEFT without cleaning it up?

No. Not only haven't I done this without cleaning up, I haven't done this at all. But thanks for the admission that we have turned Iraq into a huge steaming pile of crap. I appreciate the honesty. Just remeber - Colin Powell and numerous others conseled that *before* we did it - and the moron in Chief did it anyhow.

So, by what tapdancing BS do you imagine it's not JUST as dickish for the USA to go into Iraq, make a HUUUGE mess, and then leave without helping to clean it up?

Because it can't be cleaned up, at least not by anything we do. The military is a hammer. It is a good hammer. It is in fact
the Hammer of Thor. But Iraq is a hex nut. A hammer is the wrong tool.

In closing, the tragedy isn't just the loss of life. The tragedy is that these lives were lost in the wrong place for the wrong reason - because the neo-con thugs in the executive branch have proceeded and continue to proceed cluelessly.

And you're a jerk.

Carl said...

bobn

If you don't read my links (as you both admit and demonstrate by not reading my links giving re-enlistment numbers), I don't reply.

OBloodyHell said...

One thing I love is the total lack of consistency to their fantasy:

... poorly paid contract killers...
-- Ted Rall

...We pay the soldiers a decent wage, take care of their families, provide them with housing and medical care and vast social support systems and ship obscene amenities into the war zone for them...
-- William Arkin

...I feel nothing over the death of mercenaries. They are there to wage war for profits, screw them.
-- Markos Moulitsas Zuniga

This is because everyone who joins the military is an illiterate moron studying to be an idiot:

...Over time, however, the endless war in Iraq began to play a role in natural selection. Only idiots signed up; only idiots died....
-- Ted Rall


If a young fella has an option of having a decent career or joining the army to fight in Iraq, you can bet your life that he would not be in Iraq.
-- Charles Rangel

...the fact is if you can read, you can walk into a job later on. If you don't, then you've got, the Army, Iraq, I don't know, something like that...
-- Stephen King


Simply put, these people are ignorant and/or scum. They were born scum, and have been devolving ever since. Anyone who thinks that they aren't speaking moral trash has pretty much got to be scum, too. There is a tremendous difference between taking issue with wrongs done by members of the military (Abu Girhab, etc.) and promoting the presumption of these acts as representative of the entire military.

These people look into their own ugly little souls, see the only reasons they could find for doing anything the military does, and assume that must be why people in the military do them.

It is far more of a magnification and a reflection of their own vileness than it is reflective of anything to do with America or the U.S. Military.

'nuff said.

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OBloodyHell said...

OK, here's an article. Because I wound up fisking the hell out of Bob's comments. Sorry for the length (this is but one part), but it's needful when there's so much senseless crap flying....


> I will concede that 19 year old radicals in college say stupid things. That does not mean the liberals want to kill our soldiers.

Oh, bite me. Most of those comments were from supposedly mature adults. Is Ted Rall 19? Stephen King? Ward Churchill? Charles Rangel? This is a total BS response and you know it.

Nice try, but you don't get to tap dance around here.

This is a no tap dancing zone.

Try and tap dance around here, and we'll step on your toes in jig-time.

> I won't bother trying to argue with all your points

So much for "I'll attempt to rebut this in greater detail after I get off work." You don't do it because you CAN'T, and you damned well know it.

> However, none of the four articles you link to proves anything

Let's see, from article #2 (I'm only skimming):
Remember when some gum-snapping debutante — whose idea of a hunger strike was drinking tap water and store-bought sushi — snubbed a two-star general by telling him that she didn’t deal with people from the military?
I guess it all depends on what you mean by "proof", doesn't it? From #3:
Louis Caldera, secretary of the Army in the Clinton administration, wonders why calls for national service usually focus on projects such as building housing for poor people and tutoring inner city children, but not serving in the military.
This was inarguably true during Clinton's 8 years -- They pushed for a new "Peace Corps" -- not *any* sort of national service, which would show selflessness, but specifically non-military service. Why would you differentiate these two if it weren't for a perceived difference in acceptability?
From article #4, which is where the real issues are noted:
... the current national-security crisis may be said to have begun when President Clinton appointed an anti-military, environmental leftist Hazel O’Leary to be Secretary of Energy in charge of the nation’s nuclear-weapons labs.

I'll even grant you the first three were weak on actually, specifically demonstrating the contention (that the Clintons were anti-military, which isn't hard to argue and demonstrate, and Carl could have done better).

The fact is, though, that you don't even try and argue that (by, say, citing actual counter-examples which refute the point) -- you just pooh-pooh them all with a quick, unjustified handwave. I doubt if you even read any of the pieces beyond the first one.

This is your primary form of "argument": You handwave the statement off, rather than disputing it, then justifying that disputation.

This is cheap, evasive, and demonstrates either a factual inability on your part to actually justify your point or a lack of skill in actually doing so, either of which casts doubt on ALL your opinions in the first place -- both are equally damning as they suggest that you have a severe incompetence in rational thought formation.

If I have an opinion or claim I'm willing to express, I can cite, or find citations*, which can be used as a basis for it.

By all the signs, you can't do this -- AT ALL.

You utterly fail to do so in your entire response.

(*"find" such citations because I've read them, even if I don't recall the specifics of the source. I used their content in forming the position, then forgot the specifics as to the source of it. Note the relevance of this to making continual re-evaluation of positions important. Such info may become invalidated, the relevance "de-relevanted", and so on)

Doing that, of course, would be actual WORK, and, in fact, tough to do at all, since the claim -- that the Clintons were anti-military -- is basically an accurate statement even if 3 out of 4 of Carl's citations deal much more with general liberal bias rather than the bias of the Clintons (more, not entirely, I point out -- each has at least one statement which cites Clinton issues).

> Oh, I had no idea Ed was an expert on anything foreign - or that he was clairvoyant about future analyses.

Uh, and how is this relevant? He quotes Koch because he's got a lot of common sense (and, presumably, agrees with it, as do I) -- The reason one knows Koch has common sense, even if you don't know him well, is that it takes substantial common sense to take a city with a budget larger than many nations, teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, and bring it back to financial solvency.

He cites Koch not because he's an expert on something directly relevant, but as someone with a clear grounding in rational thought and realistic solutions to problems.

Note, once more, your poor arguing technique -- as in most other places, if you attack at all (usually, you're just handwaving) you don't attack the statement, you attack the credentials of the person making it. Only "special experts" can make claims of any validity, of course, and you get to identify which of those are worth listening to, too, don't you? ...Which I'd lay real good odds will inevitably be those whose opinions you agree with completely in the first place, and so your worldview is reinforced, regardless of how ludicrous or senseless it may be. Nice.

> Well, no it's not. I take my position and it is not my standard assumption.

Even granted this, you use this to tap dance away from the real point, which is that it's hard to argue against the desires of an all-volunteer military claiming you "care about them" while actively opposing everything they are attempting to do. It's hard to claim you care about them when you are blatantly encouraging the enemy to keep on fighting because their support "at home" is waning (not because of the failure of the military or anything -- mostly because of the shoddy, one-sided reporting on "the failures" of the military to clear the whole thing up and come home in 180 days... which Bush specifically cited wasn't going to happen before we ever went near the place).

> ... So you're wrong at least once.

Not at all -- I never once stated it as YOUR position.

Go on. Go check. Cite for me where I said it was YOUR position.

But you needed that twisting to make your handwave even vaguely effective, didn't you...?

> In fact, nobody I know who is against the war takes that position. I haven't heard anybody take that position. So you're wrong a lot of times.

Yes, and, as Pauline Kael (presumably apocryphally) said: "I can't believe Nixon won, since no one I know voted for him."

You almost certainly indicate, with this, your own bias in hearing what people around you say. It is ridiculous to claim to be even largely lefty and NOT have ANY friends who take this position.

Sorry, not buying it -- it says either you aren't listening or you aren't telling the truth. Which are you -- ignorant or lying? 'Cause it's one or the other.

> I won't bother trying to argue with all your points...

LOL, you mean you won't argue with any of them, any more than you did with Carl's.

NO TAPDANCING, PLEASE


(continued)...

.

OBloodyHell said...

Part Deux:


> Maybe people on the ground are reporting that things are going swimmingly - I seem to recall the same spin in 2006, but the spin *now* is that "things are really improving - nothing like the hell-hole it was in 2006!"

Well, let's see:
1) I'd take Michael Yon's and Michael Fumento's analyses of what the situation is and has been long before I'll accept the analysis of people who haven't been there, or if they have "been there", spent the entire time reading "sit reps" from the local Hotel Bar.
2) I definitely don't trust the analysis of people who clearly have an axe to grind, shown by:
3) The fact that they don't seem to be putting out many stories at all about Iraq, since there's rather apparently little bad news to report.

This last says one hell of a lot about the notion that it's doing better over there now than it was. "Oh, but that just goes to show how right-biased the media **really** is!! They aren't reporting how bad it actually is over there!!"

Uh. Yeah. Can I have some of those drugs you're on? They sound pretty good for when you don't want to know anything at all about the real world.

BTW, who, precisely, are "the people on the ground"? The generals in charge? The Bush Admin? The men actually doing the grunt work with their lives on the line?

Since all three are saying, for the most part, the same thing, I think it's reasonable to conclude that things there are likely to be going well -- especially given the silence of the media on the situation there. If there were bad things to report, they'd be trumpeting them from the top of the World Trade C*** --- From the top of the Empire State Building.

Of the three sources listed (excluding the media), I'd say that the men and women on the ground are the ones we can trust the most to give us the right answer. While they are certainly the most susceptible to look at things with rose colored glasses, there are simply too many of them for the multi-tour re-enlistment stats and personal comments made all too often by them to people who know them personally for them ALL to be that completely deluded.

So that answer, backed up by media silence, is that things are probably going fairly well, over there.

> ...it is amusing to remember the howls from the Right about "nation building" when we went into Kosovo... It's hard to build a nation when you are trying to group together people who hate eachothers guts and have been killing each other for millenia

And yet:
a) we are still IN KOSOVO, waaaay more than a decade later. Where's that "exit strategy" that Clinton "should have had right from the start"? Oh. Right. A Democrat doesn't get judged by the same criteria as a Republican. They have special rules. Just like they all need "special ed" classes, right?

b) I don't recall anyone suggesting we shouldn't be in Kosovo "nation building". I don't even recall this term being applied to The Nation Formerly Known As Yugoslavia (Note: Feel free to cite multiple, preferably widely known, sources for this claim if I'm actually wrong, which I doubt. *Multiple* please.).
I recall the complaints being more along the lines of "We don't have any business there at all". That, mind you, was mostly BEFORE the extent of the slaughter by Milosovec was known. Afterwards, I, and many others, had less of a problem with it, in general. For one thing, it showed that our concern for genocide was not limited to Xtians and Jews -- That we take issue with it no matter the victims' religion, race, or creed.

c) Look, either "nation building" is wrong or it's not. Are you actually attempting to argue FOR nation building -- as long as it's done by Democrats? LOL. You can't even see your own illogic here. If it's wrong, then it was damned sure wrong in Kosovo. At least with Iraq, we had reasons of our own for going in there in the first place which had nothing to do with "nation building". And we had an obligation to help pick up the pieces afterwards. So somehow, we had to "nation build". Perhaps it would have been better to split Iraq up into three nations -- one Sunni, one Shiite, and one Kurd. But the history of India and Pakistan shows, rather evidently, that that "solution" doesn't particularly solve problems very cleanly, either.
Given the highly educated and fairly cosmopolitan nature of Iraqis, I can see how it can reasonably be argued that it would work a lot better if we could get them to learn to "just get along". I can see how someone might also make the argument that, if they did do so, that it would be a much better model for the Iraqis than a "split 'em up and keep 'em apart" model would.
Additionally, it would show that Islamic peoples actually CAN learn to act (and resolve disputes) in a civilized and rational manner.

There's no argument -- this is an optimistic approach. The pessimistic approach is that, inevitably, it's going to be Us or Them. Let me put that more brutally: Genocide is unavoidable. The West's or Islam's

So, yeah, I can see why the administration decided that the optimistic approach was The Way To Go at this juncture. Pardon me if that upsets your little "EEEEeeevil Bush" meme and dumps it down the oubliette. I'm sure you'll manage to retrieve it, wipe it off, and start waving it around for all to see once again. Dems are good at that, I've noticed.

> No. Not only haven't I done this without cleaning up, I haven't done this at all.

One would hope not. And yet you continue to argue that we as a nation should do it to Iraq, without ever justifying such ill-mannered behavior.


> But thanks for the admission that we have turned Iraq into a huge steaming pile of crap.

It's called WAR you nit. We took down a NATIONAL GOVERNMENT. That inevitably makes a tremendous mess. Do you think Germany was cleared up in six months after 1945?

AUSTRIA -- yes, AUSTRIA -- was occupied, and still split up into FOUR ZONES, just like Germany was, in *1949*. Austria did not regain full autonomy until MAY 1955 -- TEN YEARS after the war was over. And this wasn't even a named part of "the Axis".

The Allied Occupation of Japan continued until SEPT *1952*.

IMPEACH TRUMAN!!!!!

Hey, We still have troops in Korea!!!

IMPEACH EISENHOWER!!!

But hey, we aren't completely out of Iraq after all of 4 years?!?! Oh, man, what a complete disaster!! Bush is an idiot!! Cheney is incompetent!!

Uhhhh, yeah.

Ok.

Hey, can we have the space shuttle back when you're done with it?

Also note: Chaos? Is New Orleans, where the CITY government collapsed, cleared up fully yet?

What? No?

IMPEACH NAGIN!!!!

:-/

Maybe clearing up problems -- especially when there are groups like, oh, Sadrists and US Democrats, who have a blatant vested interest in not having things cleared up -- isn't something that happens overnight?

.. or even within a couple years...?

Or does that blatantly obvious fact escape your genius level intellect?

Question -- if there were active groups in The Big Easy opposing the restoration of order there -- would you side with the opponents of order, or with the citizens (inarguably the larger group) who almost certainly want order restored there?

Now, does it really make any difference if those people are Iraqis or US citizens? Residents of Baghdad or New Orleans?

If they want our help, are we going to refuse to give it to them?

Are we going to refuse to do it just because the criminal bastards who want to oppress the people of the place are willing to shoot people for the power to do so?

Please cite the moral principles you're going to use to argue why we don't owe it to the Iraqis to help clean up the mess we made for our own purposes -- as long as they want us to help, and are making efforts to do so for themselves.

Otherwise, you need to just face it: You're a real piece of work*.

(* there's another word for "work", but I shan't use it... but it starts with SH and ends with T and has a vowel in it.)


> Because it can't be cleaned up, at least not by anything we do. The military is a hammer. It is a good hammer. It is in fact
the Hammer of Thor. But Iraq is a hex nut. A hammer is the wrong tool.

Not by us alone. Correct. But the military can do one thing quite well. It can hold the lid on a pressure cooker until the pressure dies down. As long as the pressure cooker is taken off the heating coil by the people who have to do it -- the Iraqis themselves.

1) Gee, with the American Left screaming, relentlessly: "Cut and Run!! Boogie OUT!!! Run Away!!!", is there really any amazement to be found in the fact that the Iraqis are reluctant to come out in support of us?
2) Given the previous example, after the Gulf War, where we had encouraged them to revolt against Saddam, and then looked the other way when Saddam crushed them (including the use of those biochem weapons he wasn't supposed to have!!), does it seem unreasonable for them to believe that we might not be willing to follow through with any promises not to stick the Iraqis holding the bag and just leave?
3) Given what happened to the Vietnamese, does it seem unreasonable for them to doubt our assurances to them that, if they work to fight the Sadrist thugs and Al Queda suicide goons, that we would stick with it until they could bring the situation under control?

What? You say that they should have popped their heads right up and said "Hey! Americans! We help you clean up the mess you made!!"

You say that they didn't have every reason to be reluctant to trust us not to screw them over completely and leave them to the tender mercies of those Sadrist thugs and Al Queda goons, after they'd clearly identified themselves to said thugs and goons by supporting us?

What you smokin', Willis?

Right. We had to suffer as a result of the actions of numerous previous Admins and Congresses (not all of them Democrats, I note), until they believed that we actually would stay and resolve it... and I'm sure they still look at us nervously every day, and pray to Allah that we don't do a Full Tilt Boogie -- as you and your ilk want to -- and f*** them straight up the ass.

The net result, so far, is that, despite MSM assurances to the contrary, our standing in the Iraqi street has gone UP, not down. Our standing amongst the more moderate Islamic populations has gone UP, not down.

Their perception of America is that we actually DO stand for something decent and good. That we don't just come in, loot the place, and leave -- which is something unknown to them in all of their history.

Further --
Al Queda is on the run. This is by their own admission. Their recruitment is down, not up. Their cadre of experienced leaders and operators is extremely depleted. Their sources of money are drying up.

The only place remaining for them to hide is the nether region between Afghanistan and Pakistan -- and that has been there since long before 9/11 -- and which, sooner or later, will need to be cleaned out.

...But only after we've gotten some stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. If we're going to clear out that nest of cockroaches, we need to be sure that there's nowhere else they can run to when we lift up the box lid they are hiding under.


(continued)...

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OBloodyHell said...

Part Troixsieme (or something like that):

I repeat your claim --
> Because it can't be cleaned up, at least not by anything we do.

YOU DON'T HAVE ANY BASIS FOR YOUR POSITION.

Your lack of awareness of re-enlistment statistics alone blatantly says you are ignorant of a large set of available data, and have been swallowing nothing but CRAP by a bunch of inarguably biased idiots and charlatans with a huge axe to grind.

The MSM ("media") have been trying to push this Vietnam War II garbage since before it even started. The moment when it didn't go utterly swimmingly ('cause, after all, several thousand deaths in five years, which is, in fact, only marginally above the peacetime deaths during the Clinton Admin, is an absolute disaster, donchaknow?), they started trumpeting that notion with the kind of joyous thundering cannonade usually reserved for Christmas time and Marching Parades.

I've heard many reporters broke multiple keyboards pounding down on the "Q" in "Quagmire" so often.

I will lay huge odds you've never visited Michael Yon's site, or read any of Fumento's writing about being in Iraq, either.

Both showed what a load of crap the media were pushing down everyone's throats in 2005 and at least most of 2006. They've done further reporting since then.

No, they didn't say things were peachy keen, hunky dory, and wunnerful. The things they said had the ring of truth to them, fit the other visible data (lack of protests, what the returning military said, etc.) and the people writing them both were putting their lives on the line, going right into combat zones with the military, to see for themselves what was happening there.


The basic point of all this is simple, even if the overarching problem is complex -- how do you determine who is telling you The Truth? How to tell whether or not someone is lying to you -- perhaps to themslves as well, so they don't even realize it's not the truth?

The answer is that you look for supporting information for a point of view.

If the media is telling you one thing, what are the people who actually are paying the price for it telling you (in this case, the military people themselves).

If the media are telling you Iraqis all hate us, that those opposing the military are "freedom fighters" and "minutemen of Iraq", then why are there no "Yanqui Go Home" protests in Iraq? Why are virtually all of the suicide bombers, at least through 2006, Not Iraqis?

It doesn't gel. The facts don't fit the MSM story. Which leads one to doubt both the trustworthiness and the validity of ANYTHING the media are telling you.

Then a "trusted source" like Dan Rather is exposed while attempting to pass off fabricated documents as "real", what does that say about ALL those "trusted sources" at the MSM?

When a major "news" outlet is revealed to have agreed to allow Saddam to censor their reporting to suit his will -- to essentially turn out "puff" pieces about the wonderous and glorious Saddam Regime -- what does that say about how much one can trust the media's reporting?

One gets to the point where one needs to openly assume that The Truth is probably 180 degrees from whatever the MSM tell you.

This is further countenanced by revelations about what they said about Russia during the 30s, and about the Soviet Union during much of the Cold War. Not only were they putting out lies --
they **knew** they were lies

And when the lies are revealed? Well, they bury the revelations on page 39 in six point type. That's if they note them at all.

How many times have they told utter lies in the past and *not* gotten caught with their pants down?


You have to doubt them, and doubt them completely. You have to grasp that they can't be trusted -- at all -- to tell the truth on any issue they have an agenda on, and that everything they say must now be taken with a liberal dose of salt -- you can only trust it if it utterly speaks AGAINST their self-evident position, or if it fits together with things you know from other, unimpeached sources... like individuals in the military (not the military admin!), or facts which don't depend on the media to tell you about (such as the aforementioned lack of Iraqi protest marches).

(continued)...

.

OBloodyHell said...

Final part (I promise):

A tale of two bad memes and a small mind that contains them.

> And now the real question - the name of your blog is No Oil For Pacifists". That's very nice. So if we are merely williung to buy oil at a price the seller is willing to sell at - that's called a "free market" where I come from - then we don;t get it. We have to be willing to engage in "pre-emptive" wars and kill people - then we get our oil. Really, you are pathetic.

Ah, me. When people whine about others supposedly twisting their words (especially when they did not) and then go and twist the words of others, there's a word for it: hypocrisy.

There's another word for it, too: Bullshit.

Meme one:
The Iraq War is a War For Oil

This whole "war for oil" meme is really one of the most spectacularly, irrationally stupid arguments fronted by any person who ever lived on the face of planet Earth.

If Iraq was about "War for Oil", then, simply put:
What are we still doing there?.

If all we wanted was to take the oil from Iraq, then, clearly, self-evidently, the easiest, most straightforward thing to do would have been to go into Iraq, take out Saddam, execute him, install our own strongman dictator, and leave.

Total time -- on the close order of six months.


But... we are still there.

We're trying to install a different type of government into a place where such a government of that type has never existed before.

We're doing things in a much harder way.

Why?

What? You say, "If it were a War for Oil, doing it that would be flat out stupid!?!" Hey, you'd be Right.

So, clearly, there's something really, really twisted and wrong about that entire meme.

It ain't a "war for oil".


Meme two:
Because America is an Imperialist State!!

Since when does the money flow OUT of an Empire into its conquered territories?

Did money flow from the UK into India?

Into South Africa?

Into the Thirteen Colonies?

What? No? You say, "That would be stupid!" Hey, once again, you'd be Right.

So, clearly, there's something really, really twisted and wrong about that entire meme.

America is not an Imperialist State.


And whenever you encounter anyone fronting either of those arguments -- you should automatically doubt their rational skills. Because those really are stupid arguments. And anyone who takes them seriously needs to spend a lot of time learning how to think.

Not what to think -- How.

And now, the small mind:
> In closing, the tragedy isn't just the loss of life. The tragedy is that these lives were lost in the wrong place for the wrong reason - because the neo-con thugs in the executive branch have proceeded and continue to proceed cluelessly.
> And you're a jerk.

To this point (i.e., prior to his "answer"), I didn't say anything about Bob personally. I assumed he was just uninformed, mistaken perhaps willfully so, but not stupid, or maliciously lying.

Note, however, two things:
a) he can't imagine the idea that the PotUS might simply be wrong, and Bob right. Bush *must* be a "thug" (note the adjectival "neo-con" slur, too -- attempting to connect neo-cons with thugs by proximity of terminology). Bush *must* be eeeevil. He must also be stupid -- A chimp, a baboon, a mindless devotee of all that is bad in human beings. This is how people on The Left perceive anyone who doesn't agree with their "feelings". His response to anything that disturbs his worldview is to call it names. Not to examine his worldview for validity. Validity doesn't count. Only how he "feels".

b) I'm a "jerk". I've not called him any names, but, of course, I've dared to disagree with him, and do so with a thoroughness and completeness that he's not capable of responding in kind... because he knows, as do Carl and I, that he's got no clue what he's talking about. He thinks that he can "feel" his way to the answers of some of the most complex problems humans face -- politics and diplomacy (probably also to some of the other exceedingly complex things, too -- like economics and climate -- but we haven't discussed Bob's ignorance of these fields yet)

Bob thinks (so to speak... I use the term loosely) apparently, that calling me a jerk vindicates himself somehow. It makes him a "better man" than me. In reality, it shows what a small, mean little person he is, that he cannot conceive of anyone actually daring to disagree with him, and not being the same kind of person he is -- a jerk.


And so we reach the end of a long reply to an idiot. You might ask why I responded to said idiot.

Certainly not for him.

He's not going to learn one thing from any of this (except, perhaps, not to troll in places where he's outgunned in a battle of wits, like, say, a petshop full of kittens).

No, I did it for

a) Myself. Keeps me grounded. Reminds me of why I have the position I have, and some, if not all, the component arguments which lead me to that position.

b) Anyone else -- especially fence sitters. You don't have to be stupid to have agreed with Bob, to this point. You do if you continue to agree with him, however... because you can see that he can't argue his position for jack shit, and I can clearly argue in favor of mine, with enough indisputable arguments that it's not trivial to identify a hole in them.

That does not mean I'm right, but, unless you can actually dispute the things I've said with reasons, you need to examine what the basis is for your own position to be substantially different, if it is.

I'd happily debate those with you. Unlike Bob, I want to see the correct answers, not choose them. One's worldview should be as valid as one can make it.

bobn said...

Carl:

Even obloodyhell admits your links on the Clintons's disdain for the military were weak. The O'Leary appointment was the most damning thing there.

Perhaps you could do what many other bloggers do, and actually quote the relevant part of the links you provide - except, of course, in this case, you can't since there weren't any - which is the point. The existence of the link appears to lend credence to your views, even thought the substance of the link does not.


Also, when are you going to admit that I never made, nor sanctioned, the "dumb, thuggish, depressed (and/or) uneducated" comments about our soldiers, and that you made it up out of thin air? You have studiously ignored that point.

bobn said...

obloodyhell:

I will begin by saying that the moral argument - that we owe it to the Iraqi people to clean up the mess that exists there as one of the results of our actions - is a very strong argument. It is one that has nagged at me. It does supercede all arguments about the pre-war ignorance and wrong-headedness displayed at the highest levels of our government. And sometimes I forget that - it is hard to forget that this whole thing was so stupidly entered into when discussing the options looking forward.

But the question remains in my mind: does our continued presense there aid in cleaning up the mess? To the extent that we can arm and train Iraqis to fight foreign terrorists, it does. In fact, it is well-argued that we have to ensure that post-war Iraq doesn't become an Al Queda caliphate. So some continued effort in Iraq is needed. That does not argue that the administrations goals or policies are correct, or that our comitment there should be endless.

To the point that we are trying to create a secular, democratic, nation there, I am fairly convinced it doesn't make sense. I don't think a country which is 60% Shia Moslem can be both secular and democratic - at least not for more than one election cycle. And I don't think that there is a nation there. There may be 2 or 3 nations there, but not one. (And this differs markedly from the examples of post-war Germnany and Japan, which were much more homogeneous.) And that being the case, our continued presence and support of the existing government is probably counter-productive. There are already disturbing stories of the Iraqi government moving militarily against it's political adversaries.

Also, I hereby admit that I confused the Right Wing News links that Carl posted with another link he posted, where it was college radicals exulting in the beheading of westerners. My error in deriding the wrong link. But it was a link Carl was using to try and say that the Left doesn't support our troops. Try to remember that 40+ percent of the electorate voted against George Bush in 2004. Are we all in favor of beheadings? No. Do we all think our soldiers are thugs? Hell no! Our soldiers are pretty damn impressive, when given a well-defined military goal.

And now some disagreements:

Yes I called you a jerk. But you said:

So when someone calls you a "whiny-assed pansy", that's probably what they are talking about.

And you said that first.



Also regarding my disdain for the name of this blog: your response is a classic "straw man" argument - you attribute to me ridiculous views so that you can knock them down, even though I do not, in fact, hold those views. I did not say that Bush went into Iraq for the oil - though he did claim that the oil would pay for the war - I believe Bush was predisposed to go to war with Iraq for other reasons - quite possibly to fix his father's failure to oust Sadam, as there are reports that Bush was hot to trot on Iraq even before 9/11.


Anyhow, all I was doing was denigrating the ill-chosen name for the blog. I still think it's a lousy name. And I don't even consider myself a pacifist. I was all for the war in Afganistan, though it's worth noting that affairs in Afganistan have degraded badly since we pulled resources from there for the war in Iraq.

As far as fisking goes, I'm just not going to do it. I haven't the energy or the motivation. I'm not going change your mind or anybody else's, probably. Take that for what you will, I still disagree with the original post and much of what you say.

All I ever meant to say, at the very start of this, was that hating the incompetent conduct of this war is utterly different from hating the soldiers. And that is undoubtedly true. Carl can find some Left-wing extremist rants in the other position, it doesn't change this fact.

Carl said...

bobn:

1) The anti-military quotes I cited were indeed "Left-wing extremist rants" but they were uttered by elected Democrats like John Murtha and Marcy Kaptur, "respected" lefty media commentators like David Broder and Markos Moulitsas Zuniga. Hardly isolated.

2) You asked for quotes; I linked articles including:

a) "Instead of marching in cadence, the administration has seemed since then to be more prone to tripping and stumbling in its dealings with the military. In one of the president's first acts in office, he called for lifting the ban on gays in the military, setting off a political storm that has yet to abate. Meanwhile, reports circulated that a general visiting the White House was snubbed by an unidentified aide. And Secretary of Defense Les Aspin is widely reported to have left military professionals profoundly unimpressed. All in all, the Clinton administration's beginnings left many in the military -- as well as their friends on Capitol Hill -- convinced that they were not stationed in a place called Hope."

b) "Remember the early days of the Clinton administration? . . . Remember when some gum-snapping debutante — whose idea of a hunger strike was drinking tap water and store-bought sushi — snubbed a two-star general by telling him that she didn’t deal with people from the military?

For a while, that event symbolized the arrogance of the Clinton administration. Not only did they not care how things were done before they arrived, they didn’t think the people already here deserved any respect."

3) Read "Buzz" Patterson's eyewitness account in Dereliction of Duty: The Eyewitness Account of How Bill Clinton Compromised America's National Security.

'nuff said.

OBloodyHell said...

> Even obloodyhell admits your links on the Clintons's disdain for the military were weak.

Yes, but
a) This was only one element of his treatise, and it was definitely mentioned in one indirectly (relating to an appointment) and another covered it without a doubt. Try actually dealing with more than one part of the treatise, attempting to use that to reject the treatise. I said he could have made his point BETTER, not that it wasn't utterly correct.
b) Refute the whole treatise. There's no question for anyone who actually was paying attention in the 90s -- The Clintons were anti-military. Not droolingly so like many lefties (Code Pink, anyone living in Berkeley, etc.), but anti-military, nonetheless.

You're still trying to tapdance.

bobn said...

Carl,

I have gone back to the Right Wing News link you provided.

Marcy Kaptur's quote is truly vile. How any thinking person can say that is beyond all understanding. I disavow any equation of bin Laden to the American Revolutionaries.

Murtha's quote is more puzzling - "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." - how do you overreact to pressure (and the pressure is unimaginable) and act in cold blood?

From the Salon article linked at RWN:

The Pennsylvania Democrat argued that part of the responsibility for the Haditha killings lay with the Pentagon leadership, who had stretched soldiers too thin. "These guys are under tremendous strain -- more strain than I can conceive of -- and this strain has caused them to crack under situations like this," Murtha said.

So, I don't know if you can count Murtha as a guy who hates our soldiers.

The Broder quote merely stated his opinion about the the Democrats. It is quite the generalization and proves little to your point.

I don't think that your quotes in a) or b) above support the idea that the Clintons despise the military. (And I am no friend to the Clintons, they are totally bought and paid for by big business and other special interests antithetical to the interest of most American citizens.) I don't understand the 'gays in the military' thing to be hatred of our soldiers, and in fact don't see that it differs from Truman allowing blacks in the military.

And b), the "some gum-snapping debutante" story - related in a Clinton-bashing article by Jonah Goldberg, with

- no other sourcing,

- no details whatsoever (such name or position of said debutante, name or position of the military person involved, [for all we know, her job really did not involve the military and she was just trying to stop the pick-up lines, though this is just speculation, too],

- the date on which this alleged incident happened,

- why this could be inferred to have anything to do with the Clintons general attitude

is a bad attempt to prove anything about the White House.


From the reviews, the Patterson book does sound damning. But Bill Clinton doesn't speak for me.

For what it's worth, the back-and-forth with obloodyhell has made me rethink the parameters of withdrawal. We owe to ourselves, to the people of Iraq, and to the soldiers who have sacrificed so much, to leave that place in a state where it does not become a total bloodbath followed by an Al-Quaeda regime.

But we owe it to our soldiers to have a real plan - an endless comitment does not accomplish that. In particular, an endless commitment lets the Iraqui government and troops off the hook.


CNN had a great report on the fighting a few weeks back. An American soldier was working with Iraqui soldiers to clear some area.

American: "Ok, now you move forward"

Iraqi: "No, it's time for lunch."

And this is with the cameras rolling.

This is going to be a long haul, indeed.

OBloodyHell said...

> Also, when are you going to admit that I never made, nor sanctioned, the "dumb, thuggish, depressed (and/or) uneducated" comments about our soldiers, and that you made it up out of thin air? You have studiously ignored that point.

WHO GIVES A F***?

***YOU*** claimed I'D said you did, too.

You have "studiously ignored that point", even after I nailed you on it.

It's an irrelevant side issue, which I'd amply corrected without him needing to.

The fact remains, it's the "standard view" from the left, and *I* provided no less than three specific examples (2:55 AM), from Rall, Rangel, and King, all readily available to you from the orignal quotes initiating this whole topic, as well, demonstrating the point beyond doubt.

You know, the one "You have studiously ignored".

Your footwork doesn't impress.

Further on this same element, you haven't dealt with my assertion, that, even though you claim not to possess such an attitude, it is difficult to justify your own avowed attitude without completely ignoring the attitudes of the military who are there -- not the political generals up top, but the underofficers, Majors and below, and the enlisted men -- who clearly don't WISH to be pulled out with the job anything less than done -- at least not currently. They feel (correctly, I'd argue, because it makes sense and fits the data) that the Iraqis want us there and are working towards adequate self-sufficiency in this regard.

> about the pre-war ignorance and wrong-headedness displayed at the highest levels of our government.

Look, as long as you grant that
a) This "ignorance" extends back to the Clinton admin (demonsstrable from Clinton admin quotes)
b) That this "ignorance" extends into Congress -- both the Dems *and* the GOP (demonstrable from pre-war quotes by numerous Congressional members of both parties)

In that light, I won't argue the point -- I don't agree with it, either, but it's moot. If the term is another ludicrous attempt to paint the Bush admin as stupid and ignorant beyond that of most people, governments, and politicians in general, then it's a complete crock.

All things occur with less than perfect knowledge of the reality. Decisions must still be made, actions must still take place (and "not acting" is an action, if you were too dense to grasp that, as seems likely)

> or that our comitment there should be endless.

Look, when you start bitching about us being in Kosovo, or in Korea, I'll take that comment seriously. Until then, it's just total BS aimed at embarassing the Bush admin, nothing less.

As far as the commitment being "endless", we already have plans for force reductions, assuming that the Iraqis take things over efficiently. It would be stupid and ludicrous to pull out people faster than they can create effective forces of their own.

It is also stupid to create "a timetable", since that announces to the opposition exactly how long they have to "hold out" and conserve their own strength for, which makes an after-exit problem almost a guarantee, with collapse a distinct likelihood.

And, since the goal is to create effective military and police forces in a place which has had neither (suppression goons and secret police don't perform those duties well) for decades, if ever, one cannor reasonably assume it can be done overnight.

Well, not rationally, anyway, but that's not exactly the strong suit of either Dems or Lefties.

> To the point that we are trying to create a secular, democratic, nation there, I am fairly convinced it doesn't make sense. I don't think a country which is 60% Shia Moslem can be both secular and democratic

a) This is sheer presumption on your part. You have nothing but your own opinion to back it up.
b) If there is an Islamic nation in the ME which can do it, it would almost certainly be Iraq -- because the people there are far less fanatical than most Islamic states.
c) You conveniently ignore one key point I made, which is that it would be far better if they CAN do it -- because it's important that Islam demonstrate that it can be part of a modern civilized society. If it cannot be rational and sociable, then that is also important data. This means that the Shiites, the Sunni, and the Kurds all have to learn to get along sufficiently that they aren't constantly getting into blood feuds. You cannot operate a rational society and constantly be worried that some asswipe is going to walk up to you in a cafe and blow your head off because of some imagined slight your great-grandfather committed against his GGF. That sort of crap wasn't quite so big a deal in the 17th century, but with modern weaponry, it engenders too much danger from insane acts... up to and including genocide by an individual (ala 12 Monkeys).
d) The USA's religious distribution is probably not dissimilar -- on the order of 60% Protestant, 25% Catholic, and the rest other denominations, Xtian and non-Xtian. Is THIS nation incapable of being secular and democratic? No? Then why are you determined to prevent us from seeing if Islam is capable of the same thing? Is it your contention that Islam cannot sit side-by-side with the rest of the world in a civilized manner? If you do, realize exactly what you are saying (I repeat, from an earlier missive: ) It means it is either Us or Them. We can destroy them, they cannot destroy us. Even if they obtain nukes, they do not have the patience to wait until they have enough to actually hurt us seriously -- they will only succeed in really, really pissing us off. We have adequate firepower to commit genocide, however. And while we don't like the idea, I have no doubt, from previous acts in this regard, that we of the West are certainly capable of it.
So, once again -- better to TRY and civilize Islam NOW, rather than be backed into a corner later and have to destroy it utterly. That would be a much darker, more evil time, and I, for one, would very much like to avoid it. I'm likely not around to be paying the real price -- our children and grandchildren, however, will be. So it would be much better to pay a smaller price now attempting to solve the problem with less misery and darkness. Islam must demonstrate that it can be civilized, that its followers can stand beside all the other creeds, races, and ideas of society without attempting needing to change them by direct force.

> So when someone calls you a "whiny-assed pansy", that's probably what they are talking about.
> And you said that first.

I did not call you one -- I said if you (or anyone) were worried about a death toll that would not make a bad battle in dozens of prior wars around the world, then someone might call you that and have adequate cause to justify it.

...Apparently you think that is a valid enough assessment that you took it personally.

A better response would have been to argue against that assessment, but, as in many other places in this dialogue, you fall short in that regard, and decided to respond childishly.

> There are already disturbing stories of the Iraqi government moving militarily against it's political adversaries

1) "its", not "it's".
2) First I've heard of it. Cite, or be called a liar. And by all means, please be sure to note if these so-called "political enemies" happen to be Sadrists or Wahabbist. This would be rather justifiable given the nature of those two creeds as inherently militant fundamentalist Islamic, and thus the bitter enemy of the existing government, inherently terroristic in nature, and utterly intractible. Making a bald-faced indictment like this without attribution is specious at best.
3) As opposed to Hillary Clinton using the FBI to collect dossiers on her husband's and her political enemies when she was First Lady?

> But it was a link Carl was using to try and say that the Left doesn't support our troops.

Which you still haven't made any real, remotely valid effort to disprove by either direct reasoning or argumentation from provided evidence.

As a group, by and large, The Left (at best) mouths the words then acts in a manner demonstrating that they don't care.

The "patron saint" of the anti-war left ignored the will of her own son and helped The Left turned his death -- in a cause he clearly believed in by re-enlisting -- into a cause which he would almost certainly not have supported when he was alive.

"Screw how he felt" -- sez they.

"What? His mother is one amongst thousands? And those thousands are diametrically opposed to what she believes? Screw how they feel, too!" -- sez they.

Quick: How many mentions have you heard of Medal of Honor winners from Iraq?

What? You haven't seen or heard much of anything in the MSM? Gee, what a surprise. They care. A *Lot*. Don't they?

In WWI and WWII, people had stars in the window to indicate how many children they had fighting. Nowadays people on The Left "Supporting the troops" rip off peoples' yellow magnetic ribbons to "show their support".

WWI had to be one of the most senseless wars in human history. literally millions died for a few hundred feet of soil. It makes even the most liberal-idiot assessment of Iraq look like sheer genius. Yet, in that time, they still grasped what "Supporting the troops" really meant.

In both wars, the death tolls were a long list in newspapers everywhere (the numbers were much, much higher, remember?) -- but they were balanced by actual news of the good done as well. Ever hear of Alvin York? This would be called "Supporting the troops".

In WWII, men like Ernie Pyle became famous writing about the day-to-day life of those in the trenches. Where is the Ernie Pyle of today? (Hint: his name is Michael Yon, and he doesn't get published in the MSMs). This would be called "Supporting the troops".

It is quite possible to take issue with the conduct of the war. This has occurred in every war from The French and Indian War onward. The current crop of critics, however, ignore critical aspects of what they do which makes the job of the soldier not just harder, but draws it out and makes it much more difficult to finalize things so that they don't HAVE to fight any more.

Time and again they show that they do not care one whit about soldiers, but seek instead to embarrass the "eeevil Bush and company". Their faux concern for the troops is just a tool to that end.

They demonstrate by this that they are scum -- Unadulterated, unjustified, and utterly without moral or merit. They'd best hope there is no God, because they will have a lot to answer for if there is.

> that hating the incompetent conduct of this war is utterly different from hating the soldiers. And that is undoubtedly true.

Correct. But, as stated above, there is a manner and a motivation which is clear and self-evident from everything The Left does, and it is clear that neither has anything to do with either of those. "Concern for the troops" is nothing but a tool to attack the hated Bush admin, nothing less. Lies will be told about what he said and did, revisions will be made about what others (on the Left) said and did, all in a perverse, and, in the end, truly evil, effort towards that goal.

This is not, by any means, limited to troops:

When The Left rails about Bush's surveillance of foreign communications while ignoring its genesis from Echelon, initiated by Bill Clinton, they demonstrate their "devotion" to The Truth. (Further, Clinton did not have 9/11 to justify his actions).

When The Left rails against Extraordinary Rendition under Bush, while failing to acknowledge that it was begun by Clinton, they demonstrate their "devotion" to The Truth. (Further, Clinton did not have 9/11 to justify his actions).

Neither of these actions were a problem when Clinton did them. They only became a problem when Bush did them. That's rather telling. Just like "Concern for the Troops", the motivation has nothing whatsoever to do with the subject. The subject is a tool to attack the Bush Admin, nothing else. The complainers don't give a rat's ass about the subject, as long as it can be used to make Bush look bad, to turn the public against him, and to create scandal and embarassment.

> As far as fisking goes, I'm just not going to do it. I haven't the energy or the motivation.

Or the capacity, by anything you've shown.

Why argue if you aren't willing to actually make your case? Instead, you appear (as seems likely) unable to make your case at all. To anyone with a brain, you lose - insert coin.

bobn said...

And while we're on the subject of not supporting our soldiers:


Bush Betrays Veterans:

In the spring of 2003, shortly after the start of the war in Iraq, the state of affairs on veterans funding in the Republican controlled House was by all accounts surprisingly hostile to veterans. The Bush administration sent to the House its proposal for cutting $844 million from veterans̢۪ health care from the 2004 budget. Over a 10-year period the cuts would total approximately $10 billion. When the proposal reached the House Budget Committee, all 18 Democrats opposed the cuts, and they proposed an amendment to restore the $844 million and add another billion for VA discretionary health care. Led by their chairman, Jim Nussle of Iowa, Republicans on the committee, in an almost perfect party-line vote, 22-19, rejected the amendment and proceeded with the Bush proposal.

The uproar that followed this partisan attempt to cut veterans̢۪ benefits in a time of war caught Republicans off guard and they quickly backed off.
...
The real issue is that while the dollar amount going to veteran's programs has increased, the increases have fallen seriously short of demand. By the VA's own account, demand for VA services has been increasing at a rate of about 15% per year while the average annual funding has increased by only 9.5%. Using these numbers, one calculates that the VA budget is about $10 billion below the level determined by demand. VA director Anthony Principi admitted in February in a House committee hearing that he had asked the Bush budget team for approval to seek an additional $1.2 billion but that his request was denied. FactCheck.org called this blunt admission by Principi a rare break with administration protocol.
...
Another troubling aspect of the Bush administration's handling of veterans is what is known as demand management: If funding is below demand, then do what is necessary to reduce demand. This is exactly what the VA has done with the program known as Veterans Outreach. This program, created by Congress in 1970, was intended to ensure that all veterans receive "timely and appropriate assistance to aid and encourage them in applying for and obtaining" federal benefits and services. To fulfill this purpose, Congress charged the VA "with the affirmative duty of seeking out eligible veterans and eligible dependents and providing them" with the federal benefits and services to which they are entitled.

In July 2002, the Department of Veterans's Affairs Deputy Secretary for Operation and Management, Laura Miller, issued a memorandum to all VA Network Directors regarding the agency's Outreach policy toward veterans. In her statement, Miller instructed all Network Directors to "ensure that no marketing activities to enroll new veterans occur within your networks." It goes on to say that "[e]ven though some sites might have local capacity all facilities are expected to abide by this policy." In effect, VA employees were specifically directed to refrain from actively recruiting more people into the VA health care system and to provide only general information.
"


There are more examples in that article of Dems voting to maintain or increase Vet benefits and Republicans along with Bush opposing it.

OBloodyHell said...

> Murtha's quote is more puzzling - "Our troops overreacted because of the pressure on them, and they killed innocent civilians in cold blood." - how do you overreact to pressure (and the pressure is unimaginable) and act in cold blood?

For one thing, Murtha was referring to specious -- and recognizably likely to be so -- claims about actions made by the troops at Haditha. Such claims have since been demonstrated to be utter and complete lies. The problem is, Murtha's comments took them to be utterly and completely true, right from the start, with no constraining "...if these claims are verified to be true..." clauses. He just assumed that modern US Troops would perform just about the most despiccable and vile acts possible for troops to perform, the wanton killing of unarmed women and children. No question, no doubt, no "wait and see". He has that little faith in our troops that he assumes them incapable of doing the job they have already, time and again, shown themselves to be willing and able to do, with a skill and expertise and professionalism that no other army in the world can match.

> So, I don't know if you can count Murtha as a guy who hates our soldiers.

...And, once more, you demonstrate so much ignorance on this topic as to render yourself too ignorant to justify even having, much less voicing, an opinion. Murtha has repeatedly made comments like the above, as well as numerous others, which show his complete lack of respect of any kind for the U.S. Military. Even a casual, occasional reading of any of numerous alternatives to the MSMs would highlight this again and again. Hint: try a search on Murtha, MRC, Military, etc.

> in fact don't see that it differs from Truman allowing blacks in the military

Truman did not "allow" blacks in the Military, they've been in the Military since the Civil War. What he did was expand their role and reduce or eliminate segregation.

Allowing/requiring gays in the military has issues which have nothing to do with blacks. It's, if anything, more synonymous with allowing women at all levels. It creates fraternization questions, billeting questions, and a host of other potential disciplinary issues. That's not to argue for or against the idea, but it's not quite as simple as the racial issue.

> is a bad attempt to prove anything about the White House.

Well, you're assuming Carl doesn't clearly remember the event in question, and presumes that you did, too. When Goldberg wrote that, it is quite possible that it was sufficiently recently in the news for someone that everyone was aware of it. That it has fallen off the radar is of limited relevance. Are you assuming *Goldberg* was lying when he wrote it? No, you're just using that vague possibility, with no effort to learn for yourself, to reject the claim. That's crap. This is the 21st century. We have this thing, it's called the Internet. You might try actually looking for information on it. A writer with the notoriety of Goldberg doesn't play with the facts. Barring express data to the contrary, he's pretty much always telling you the truth where externally verifiable facts are concerned. He's not a liberal, you know. He does grasp that there are people out there who WILL check up on anything he says. And openly call him on it.

Example: There was a TV show called "Sports Night". In the first season, there was a reference to a "scandal involving a girl working for the Boston Post in a football locker room". When re-watching it recently, I wondered what story it referred to. I typed in something like "Scandal, Football, Locker Room, Boston Post reporter". Amazingly, I got the original editorials about the event within 30 seconds of pulling up the search engine (it was a Boston Globe reporter, BTW). The Internet is an amazing repository of information. You should try it sometime.

> From the reviews, the Patterson book does sound damning. But Bill Clinton doesn't speak for me.

No one claimed he did. But he does represent a typical liberal in most of his expressions of position, both direct and indirect. Clinton is a chameleon. He finds out what the polls say, then adopts that position. As such, he closely resembles The Left and as much of The Right as he can pull off given the first part.

BTW -- here is an excellent piece from Thomas Sowell on The Lefts' version of "Supporting The Troops".

And if you want a good source of the viewpoint of the military, occasionally skim Villanous Company, the blog of a wife whose husband is(was) in Iraq.

> For what it's worth, the back-and-forth with obloodyhell has made me rethink the parameters of withdrawal. We owe to ourselves, to the people of Iraq, and to the soldiers who have sacrificed so much, to leave that place in a state where it does not become a total bloodbath followed by an Al-Quaeda regime.

And now you see the purpose of fisking. Hopefully, you really see that (aren;t just saying it), and will argue that position when faced with contrarians.

> But we owe it to our soldiers to have a real plan - an endless comitment does not accomplish that. In particular, an endless commitment lets the Iraqui government and troops off the hook.

I would not for a moment allow or suggest such a thing. I argue against the Full-Tilt Boogie attitude, only. But we may well have a presence there for many years -- decades, even -- just as we maintain a presence in Korea, for much the same reasons: To discourage the opposition (essentially, both Iran and Al-Q) from thinking it can get away with anything.

> And this is with the cameras rolling.
> This is going to be a long haul, indeed.

No dispute. And I'll point out to you: If you actually look at Bush's post-9/11 (SotU?) speeches, in addition to a number of reasons for going into Iraq, of which WMDs were but one he specifically noted that it was not going to be a "wham-bam-thank-you-ma'am" operation. That it was a long-term commitment. Certainly it should scale back substantially with time, but we are looking to shift the future of millions of people. That's not trivial. It is, however, essential to not getting backed into that genocidal corner.

Because the nation that wins that conflict, if it happens, won't be Islamic or Western -- it'll be China.

If Islam wins (somehow), China will have no scruples against wiping them out. And if the West wins (likely), they will likely be so exhausted and bitter and filled with such self-loathing reproach that China will have no problems taking over.

China has always played the long game, for all its history.

> There are more examples in that article of Dems voting to maintain or increase Vet benefits and Republicans along with Bush opposing it.

Yes, and the same is often said of education funding, funding for the indigent, etc. You approach the above with the notion that ANY increase is "good". This is where most of the Right differs with you (although, I grant, this is not always true with GOP politicians). That is a recipe for nothing but endlessly expanding the federal budget and the federal beauracracy.

There's a lot -- one hell of a lot -- of pork in any government agency -- even more so a federal agency which has existed for decades, and this includes the VA. Demand and financial support do not have to go one-to-one in otder to actually maintain the same level of service. They'll whine, complain, and moan about it... and the Dems will shout "Look! Look! See? They don't care, those nasty GOP!!"

Cite for me how much the VA was expanded under Clinton, in peacetime. Then we'll talk.

OBloodyHell said...

P.S.:

Two Myths Of The Left: Iraq Has Increased Terrorism Worldwide and Made Iran Stronger

bobn said...

Cite for me how much the VA was expanded under Clinton, in peacetime. Then we'll talk.

The article I cited noted the increased funding under Bush wrt Clinton, but went on to note, as I quoted, that funding has not kept up with demand - which has increased and will increase due to our military actions, both in Agfganistan and Iraq.

Both Democratic and Republican administrations have shorted the veterans - both their "treatments" of Gulf War Syndrome is a hideous disgrace - but the Republicans are calling on the military as never before - while bleating that Democrats don't support the troops.

You suggest that I use the Internet to research Jonah Goldberg's story - what shall I plug into Google? "gum-smapping debutante"? "I don't do military"? Rereading the Goldberg article shows that this part of it is so utterly vague that it actually defies Googling! Wonder if that is an accident? But the point I tried to make is that even if this incident happened as described, it says little or nothing about the whole rest of the Administration.

IMPEACH NAGIN!!!!


One thing we can completely agree upon, except mere impeachment doesn't go far enough for that vicious moron.


Michael Yon looks like he might make good reading. Micheal Funmento seems to be ethically challenged.

Re: nation building views before and after, see here:

"
In October 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush famously derided the concept of nation building and the suggestion that the U.S. military should take the lead in building up failed states.

“Maybe I’m missing something here,” Mr. Bush said in a debate with Democratic rival Al Gore. “I mean, are we going to have some kind of nation-building corps from America? Absolutely not.”

Almost eight years later, U.S. interagency “provincial reconstruction teams” are trying to rebuild the economy and government in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"

Also, since you asked for two, see The American Conservative:

"
Third, President George W. Bush has made Woodrow Wilson the guiding spirit of Republican foreign policy. A candidate who criticized nation building is now pursuing global social engineering. The representative of a party that once criticized foreign aid is now pushing lavish U.S. social spending abroad, demanding that it be a gift rather than a loan.
"

Not that it matters anymore. Whatever you call it we're stuck helping it along. But it is interesting to note that John McCain has stepped back from "100 years" to "2013" as his date to get us out of there. I think a medium term timetable can have some uses - and yes, I do recall saying the minimum amount of time in the post that started off this marathon - it gives the Iraquis enough time to step up to the plate (if they are ever going to) while letting them know that they better.


So, once again -- better to TRY and civilize Islam NOW, rather than be backed into a corner later and have to destroy it utterly.

And I am made a little nervous by your proposition that either we take the optimistic approach that Iraqi Muslims can be made to act sensibly, which may or may not be the case in any reasonable timeframe, or that the other alternative is genocide. Other than ensuring that it doesn't beciome Al-Quaeda Central, Iraq is not the last battle for human civilization. Iraq is not the only, or best place to "civilize Islam" and the military is not the best tool for it - beyond the extinction of Al-Qaeda as needed.

And now, I am really done with this.

Carl said...

I agree with most of the substance, if not all the scope, of OBH's reply. bobn's confusing points cannot easily be summarized, so I'll respond only to a few.

1) Yes W was against "nation building" in the 2000 campaign. But the facts changed enormously between November 7, 2000, and September 11, 2001. The policy of nation building became central to our desire to democratize the mid-East. No flip-flop: W's shift displays an agile mind that can conceive options when slavish consistency would be worse.

2) I did not claim you called our soldirs dumb, uneducated, etc. But I did note your entire argument implies that you, and maybe lefties in general, may speak for our serving military--as if they couldn't vote, or vote with their feet. (Remember, it is an all-volunteer, service.) I assume you'd never presume to speak for say, Muslims. So intead of presuming that your support of withdraw is shared by the majority of our military favors. You could post it as a poll on your blog: asking serving members to vote whether Amierica should do the Murtha bug-out; stay-the-course (for now), or gradually withdraw based on the increasing ability of Iraqi troops to keep the peace and prevent another Gulf war?" Or, more simply, ask a serving trooper or vet.

3) Re-acquaint yourself with the evil avoided when the Coalition toppled Saddam. Mass graves contain over 300,000 Iraqis Saddam disliked. And recall walking home that pre-fall day, realizing it was a new world of battle against totalitarian Muslim extremism, which could be intrude in America maybe four times a year.

Obviously, that never happened. For which we can thank W, his advisors and our military. Lefties, by contrast eschew force (absent class warfare), and so are relegated to various paper mache protesters. Which leaves confusing choices: a T-shirt saying "Rescue Darfur" worn by the driver of a new VW fitted with a bumper sticker saying "War is never the answer."

Conclusion: Except when it is. By opposing the Iraq war, and proposing to withdraw, bobn bears the consequences of his action. The choice isn't "war" vs sunshine, lollipops and candy. Free peoples were terrorized. Money from such murderous actions were being dolled out to fund terror in a third state.

OBloodyHell said...

> which has increased and will increase due to our military actions, both in Agfganistan and Iraq.

Which does nothing but restate your position and ignores the point I make, which is that there is a lot of excess crud built into the current system.

This is the government we are talking about. They expand automatically, and don't shrink, pretty much ever. If you imagine that the current VA is not a bloated abortion of a service provider, you're at best ridiculously naive. Demand up "x%" does not mean that the budget must go up "x%" in order to maintain service at adequate and proper levels. This is nothing but a recipe for endless expansion.

> the Republicans are calling on the military as never before

Uh, yeah. The modern GI is definitely more put-upon than the doughboys of WWI and WWII. Pfeh. I very much respect the modern military -- they do an incredibly effective job -- but they also have the best equipment, training, and support mechanisms in human history. To say that they are "called on" more than ever before is to reveal yet another place where you fail to grasp the reality. About the only way they are "more called on" is that the Dems will rip them a new rectal orifice if they make anything that even smells of a possible error. See "Haditha", where they didn't even err. So if anyone is "calling on them", it's the Dems, requiring of them the precision and errorlessness we require of surgeons under at least as trying circumstances as any surgeon ever operated under -- "The Fog of War".

> Re: nation building views before and after, see here:

One is about doing so under voluntary circumstances -- i.e., a place where we had nothing to do with the issues confronting the place. The current behavior is derived from accepting proper, mature responsibility for what we did for our own interests.

There's a difference, and it does not require revisionism of facts or positions. I will ack, I was thoroughly against surveillance of international communications (i.e., Echelon, etc) prior to 9/11. I have notably softened my position on that, since. There are certainly circumstances in which it may well be called for -- esp. for non-US citizens.
============================
(Side bar:
A) The Constitution is a contract between American Citizens and their government. Non-citizens are not necessarily covered by it, esp. in all aspects.
B) "Enemy Combatants" -- this is an error that the current admin is making. Historically, THESE ARE SPIES. They have no rights of any kind under the Geneva Convention, the Constitution, nor under any historical international conventions for proper treatment of same. The USA has every right to stand them up against a wall and shoot them DEAD. And if you think that German spies were not "mistreated" under FDR, you must be snorting crack. I strongly suspect that people of an earlier time would slap a lot of modern liberals upside the head and say "WTF is wrong with you?". I do believe that there are some ways the enemy combatants should be handled differently -- because it behooves us to do so (the military courts should appoint defense attorneys from the military, for example), but that is much more for the benefit of people picked up incorrectly than anyone who is actually a spy. Hang them by their balls, for all I care.
============================

Changing circumstances allow for one to change one's position. Only a fool (or a Democrat, but I repeat mayself) is unwilling or unable to reconsider a viewpoint in light of new data, and to change it if the data calls for it.

The complaints about Democrat revisionism derive not from changing positions but claiming that the current positions, often a complete about face, were the positions held all along.

Note that "waffling" is when you are clearly attempting to shift said position to match the crowd or the current poll climate... or to deny what you did entirely, or to excuse it without justification (because the real justification was because the earlier stated position won't play in Peoria)

If your position has changed, you should be able to make a clear, fairly concise, explanation of the cause of that change (it may take more to fully explain why the concise description is right, but it should be easy to state, if not fully justify).

> Micheal Funmento seems to be ethically challenged.

Uh, you don't actually do anything but point back here with that link. Feel free to clarify your argument better. I've never seen any issues with Fumento's comments, esp. about Iraq and going over there.

I've heard som crap from people trying to discredit him by claiming some funding he got 15 years ago somehow taints his reporting on a subject *now* -- as though most Greens never got any funding from a source which "tainted" them in exactly, precisely, the same way. Uh huh.

The arrogance of liberals to suggest that they can't be "tainted" by funding sources, but clearly ALL their opponents indisputably ARE is dispiccable and revolting.

> and yes, I do recall saying the minimum amount of time in the post that started off this marathon

As long as it is
a) a general target
b) a rational target (i.e., not June 2009)
c) not cast in stone
A target date is not a bad thing -- but when you say "out of there", do you mean as in, say, Korea, or actually no US Troops of any kind there?

Having bases there, with permission from the Iraqi people, is not and has never been a bad idea. Not the least for what it would mean in that we could put more pressure on the Saudis to get their shit together and stop promoting Wahhabism, since we would not be as dependent on the bases in SA, or their support in OPEC.

This is something we certainly ought to be doing. There is no question that the Saudis have a hand in Islamic Fundamentalism -- but you can't put a lot of pressure on the guys with the only ball in town you get to play with.

> And I am made a little nervous by your proposition that either we take the optimistic approach that Iraqi Muslims can be made to act sensibly, which may or may not be the case in any reasonable timeframe, or that the other alternative is genocide.

You can be made as nervous as you want to. If you see a third option which is realistic, by all means, spell it out.

"Can't we all just get along?" isn't realistic. It takes two to make peace, and it's quite evident that Islamic Fundamentalists are not interested in peace, but domination. Nothing less. It is inherent in their religion and their policies. You can no more make peace with them than Chamberlain could with the Nazis.

This is not the USSR. You cannot win with "detente". They are not motivated by higher, enlightened ideals (no matter how wrongheaded), but by a thoughtless, brainless creed which is at the heart of centuries of war and slavery, both of heart and mind. If you look at most of the non-internal struggles in societies around the world (i.e., Irish Catholics-vs-Protestants, Ceylon's Tamils-vs-Others) -- most, if not all, of the violent fights at the interface of two disparate cultures occur between Islam and 'x'.

China plays well with the USA, and played well with the USSR.

The USSR played well with the USA as well as China.

Argentina plays well with Brazil.

Islam is the culture which "doesn't play well with others".

That needs to change. And soon. The world cannot tolerate Fundamentalists with nukes. It's too destabilizing. Too unpredictable. And there's not a lot of time before that happens. Fundamentalist Islam must be marginalized, and soon.

> Iraq is not the last battle for human civilization. Iraq is not the only, or best place to "civilize Islam"

By all means, identify another place from which moderate Islam might spread. Indonesia, Malaysia, etc., would seem your best bet, but there is no sign of rationalism and toleration from that front either. Yeah, they are better than most of the ME, but that's not hard to accomplish.

Iraq was already fairly secular, even under Saddam. It has a much better education level in its populace than any other state in the ME, and, since a lot of refugees from Saddam's reign of terror have spent a lot of time in other places, the culture now has an influx of returnees who have actually seen for themselves how it works elsewhere -- have been given a taste of what freedom is like.

That provides a seed-core for the memes to spread and flourish from, which currently exists nowhere else on the planet where Islam holds sway.

The only other possible place from which to civilize Islam would be Europe -- and, as rape statistics from Scandinavia, riot statistics from France, and Free Speech rulings from England are showing, that area is going the wrong way.

-------------------
Europe is not civilizing Islam -- Islam is barbarizing Europe.
-------------------

> and the military is not the best tool for it - beyond the extinction of Al-Qaeda as needed.

Correct -- No, they aren't. The tool to achieve the result is not the military. It's the memes. You cannot force civilization's memes down someone's throat. But the military, along with the Iraqi police and military they are training, can and do provide an opportunity for seed memes to grow in where they won't be ripped out of the ground by the violent enemies of those memes, before they have had a chance to take root.

The military can certainly help people get an understanding of what justice, freedom, and liberty are all about by suppressing the violence of the enemies of those ideas. Once the ideas gain a foothold, they are powerful things -- but until they do, they can be snuffed easily.

A people, esp. those who have never known freedom, given five or ten years of it, will fight like the Devil to keep it.

You have to have never known anything else to have the kind of "so what?" malaise about it that much of America has.

That's why, for all of the "Hate America" crap the media reports on, immigration statistics are on the plus side for the USA.

Funny how all these people who "hate America" all want a Green Card so desperately. That is certainly a deep and abiding hatred, innit?




======================
----------------------
> Mass graves contain over 300,000 Iraqis Saddam disliked.

Carl, don't forget the rape rooms maintained by Uday and Osay. You know, the ones with the industrial meat grinder for the guardians of their victims to be fed to -- while alive -- as Uday and Osay took their victims.

Whatever else the Iraqis have, they can hope that the future will be better. This hope had no chance while Saddam was in power, and would only have been lessened when those sociopathic, barbaric sons took over.

P.S., you are utterly correct in your conclusion -- Lefties always look at one side of things, never the alternative. All their "decisionmaking" occurs in a vacuum, where it is "do or don't", never "this or that".

Picking the lesser or two evils is much more work than saying "Don't do evil", but it's far more often the former which the Real World presents to us.

bobn said...

Carl continues to mistate my position - I have conceded that withdrawal from Iraq will need to be done in such a way as to ensure that something stable against Al-Qaeda is left behind. (It is worth noting that Al-Qaeda in Iraq wasn't in Iraq until we went in.) But that doesn't mean that we should go for the hallucination that we are going to transform the Middle East by what we do in Iraq. And if Hussein-ruled Iraq was such a complete hell-hole that it justified our 2003 invasion, why did it not justify going the few hundred miles further in 1991 to topple him? Or to support that uprisings that Bush 41 encouraged, then stood by while the rebels were annihilated? Why did this incrfedible revelation take another 12 years to come about?

Carl also continues to insist that I disrespect our soldiers. Just not true. But when considering re-elistment rates, consider that the google search I did came up with articles where the governbemnt stated they were meeting targets but declined to give any numbers. Carl may believe that proves something - I don't.

Also consider that I've been told by several who have been in the military that ulitmately the soldiers end up fighting for their comrades, not for their generals and certainly not for some halucination in W's pea brain.

Also, if enlistment is going so swimingly, why is it that for every class of troop which doesn't have a choice in the matter (some reservists, national guard and/or retired officers belong to the military indefinitely) keep getting recycled into more and longer deployments?

Carl, your argument ulitmately comes down to "You don't agree with me so you don't support our troops" - just like Bush and with as little justification. Bush has an excuse - he's a moron. What's yours?


obloody hell accuses me of tapdancing while fairly burning up the floor. For axample:

He said: So when someone calls you a "whiny-assed pansy", that's probably what they are talking about.

and then got all hissy when I called him a jerk, and when I called him on it, said:


I did not call you one -- I said if you (or anyone) were worried about a death toll that would not make a bad battle in dozens of prior wars around the world, then someone might call you that and have adequate cause to justify it.


I call furious tapdancing.


I stated: "To the point that we are trying to create a secular, democratic, nation there, I am fairly convinced it doesn't make sense. I don't think a country which is 60% Shia Moslem can be both secular and democratic - at least not for more than one election cycle."

He replied:

The USA's religious distribution is probably not dissimilar -- on the order of 60% Protestant, 25% Catholic, and the rest other denominations, Xtian and non-Xtian.

This totally bogus comparison between various sects of Christianity and Islam boggles the mind.

My response: name one country with a majority muslim population which is not a repressive Islamic regime. And I mean now, not a thousand years ago when Islam ruled in the sciences and arts.) Would it be nice to avouid that in Iraq? Sure. Is it a reasonable expectation? I don't think so. And neither do you apparently as you go on to say:

You conveniently ignore one key point I made, which is that it would be far better if they CAN do it -- because it's important that Islam demonstrate that it can be part of a modern civilized society.

You wouldn't need to demonstrate something if it already had been done.


Andf you further say:

"Can't we all just get along?" isn't realistic. It takes two to make peace, and it's quite evident that Islamic Fundamentalists are not interested in peace, but domination. Nothing less. It is inherent in their religion and their policies. You can no more make peace with them than Chamberlain could with the Nazis.

And you further say:

We have adequate firepower to commit genocide, however.

This is not the speech of a rational human being. It is the talk of a crazy man. If you think the answer is ever genocide, you're another right wing nutcase.

bobn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bobn said...

obloodyhell:

It was wrong to call you a right wing nutcase. Your insanity defies categorization in American politics.

Though many of your characterizations of fundamentalist Islam are things I can agree with (e.g. the barbarization of Europe due to Europe's fatal and inexplicable reluctance to enforce their own laws), genocide is something we cannot consider as foreign policy or defense policy.

OBloodyHell said...

> Though many of your characterizations of fundamentalist Islam are things I can agree with (e.g. the barbarization of Europe due to Europe's fatal and inexplicable reluctance to enforce their own laws), genocide is something we cannot consider as foreign policy or defense policy.

That is your only option when your opponent is hell bent on it.

When you provide an alternative other than "But I don't liiiiiiiike it..." then we can talk.

I, personally, hate it.

Which is why I want to nip this in the bud BEFORE the only options become self-destruction or genocide.

It's people who won't grasp the situation before them that are the ones bringing on the genocide option.

This is not Nazism. It's not Japanese Imperialism. It's not Communist militancy. All those are positively benign compared to Islamic Fundamentalism.

You may not have been able to reason with the Nazis or the Japanese Imperialists, but, once you beat them, they got the message.

You could certainly reason, of a sort, with the Russian and Chinese communists. Both saw their reward here, on Earth, which made them reluctant to act in a manner we would call "insane" and start a nuclear war that would inarguably cause massive damage to any and all sides.

Islamic Fundamentalism is not restricted by rationalism at all.

They are the human equivalent of Terminators. They cannot be reasoned with, they cannot be negotiated, they will not accept a "reasonable middle ground".

They see the game as either we are subjugated or they are, and, more so, that the latter is not possible, as Allah is on their side.

Further, they see it such that any one of them that falls in the pursuit of that goal -- our subjugation -- will receive their reward in the afterlife.

In other words, they have no problem of any kind with a battle to the death.

The ramifications of that are such that either we blunt this pernicious, evil meme NOW or the alternative is genocide, either ours or theirs.

Wake UP bob. Give up the koolaid and smell the coffee.

Genocide is NOT yet the choice we have -- but if we fail utterly in Iraq, then it almost certainly will become that... because there will not be another chance to "fix" Islam within another 30 years, by which time they WILL have gotten ahold of sufficient technology to eradicate The West.

NO -- I don't like that.

What I like don't mean jack shit.

So I'm saying let's make it work NOW, if we can. Fix Islam NOW, if we can. If we're lucky and persistent and inventive, we can, perhaps, change the self-destructive course Islam is on -- because its self-destruction WILL be the end result if we fail.

If we fail, and don't eradicate them ourselves, they will eradicate us. And then China will not hesitate to polish them off (if they don't have any problems with killing more than 50 million of their own citizens, what makes you think they'll shy away from killing a couple billion Muslims?)

Again bob -- if you don't like the options, then by all means:

TELL ME EXACTLY WHAT YOU PROPOSE AND WHY IT WILL WORK.

If you can't do that, then just get the hell out of the way, shut up, and let the people actually trying to avoid getting backed into that corner GET ON WITH THE TASK.

======

P.S. "right wing"? LOL, how little you grasp. Once more you attempt to "reason" while forgetting the first rule of Logic: GIGO. I've been a libertarian for 35-odd years. But I can recognize a major threat to myself, my country, and the people around me sufficiently to point out that our options are rapidly narrowing. Government is evil. An insane government is an even greater evil. And if you can't listen to the things people like Ahminajad and co. are saying and grasp that they are both insane and evil, then you are a complete and utter fool.

If you cannot grasp that any meme which openly condones raping teenage girls, raping women, beheading people with dull blades, clitorectomies, rampant destruction when faced with an opposing idea, locking teenage girls inside of a burning building because they aren't wearing their burkhas, and all sorts of insane folderol -- if you cannot grasp that meme is inherently evil and barbaric, then you are, once more, a complete and utter fool.

There is no middle ground to be had. Where is your middle ground going to be:
"Well, you can only rape girls if they are at least 15".
"No, you can only give clitorectomies to adult women".
"No, you can only behead with a freshly sharpened sword".


What are you going to yield to them, bob?

When they come to arrest your teenage daughter because she wore a skirt to school that was an inch short, what are you going to say?

When your son comes home and sneers at his mother because she doesn't wear the proper head-dress, what are you going to say?

Figure it out, bob.

.

bobn said...

When you started talking about genocide as a an actual policy, I stopped listening. I refuse to debate with a crazy person.

Just for the record, I do believe in the right of self-defense as an absolute for individuals and nations, including war as needed. I just refuse to accept genocide as a military option.

Have a nice life.

bobn said...

Carl, heard the latest about the your happily re-enlisting GIs? Oh yeah, besides the extended and more numerous deployments of reserves and national guard, I forgot to previously mention that lowered recruitment standards the military was forced to put in place. Yesiree, everything is just great.

Anyhow today's news:

Army suicides rose last year, Pentagon says
115 troops killed themselves in 2007, the most since at least 1990


Yep, guys are just dying to go fight for W's fantasy, in a tragic manner of speaking.

OBloodyHell said...

> When you started talking about genocide as a an actual policy, I stopped listening. I refuse to debate with a crazy person.

The only crazy person is one who refuses to see that his opponent is ready to commit genocide against him and fails to grasp that he may have no other choice than to respond in kind.

Especially since he doesn't want to pay the price required to head off the necessity in the first place.

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bob, you're a moral and ethical coward.
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You don't like the idea, so you reject it without any alternative to offer.

You don't like the price required to head it off, so you reject THAT action as well.

In short, you and your ilk are actually creating the very eventuality which will cause that which you are so terrified to face as an option.

I am repulsed by that option -- probably far more than you -- because I really do grasp that we ARE capable of it -- The West, for all its good side, is just as capable of dark acts as any other group of humans -- far more so than Islam will ever get a chance to really act on it (they will have the chance to wipe out Israel, however, which you also conveniently ignore -- millions dead in just a few nuclear blasts, followed by armed attack to finish it)

I also realize what it would and will do to US, and that the only reason it WILL be chosen is because of the unavoidable stance of THEM or US of the Fundamentalists.

I'd like to avoid the hundreds of thousands, or millions, dead (and many more millions to follow) which would precipitate such carnage.

When you get your head out of the sand, bob, then you can actually make claims about how it's crazy -- because you can state, in detail, what your alternative is and why it will eliminate the requirement. Since I don't believe the alternative will exist, if the meme of Fundamentalist Islam continues to fester, a cancer on the soul of humanity, I am sure that no other functional alternative will exist.

I'd be happy to be wrong, bob. I'd still argue it's better to head it off early, at the Sudetenland, rather than wait until the tanks cross the Rhine to take issue, but that's a whole different argument.

OBloodyHell said...

> Anyhow today's news:
> Army suicides rose last year, Pentagon says 115 troops killed themselves in 2007, the most since at least 1990

Yeah, bob, once more, you cite data in a vacuum -- and at the same time also demonstrating your level of ignorance and paucity of sources -- or else you'd know the response to this one -- since it's been covered here as well as numerous other places:

There Are Three Types of People: Those Who Can Do Math, And Those Who Can't

Note the date. Over a month ago. This is recycled old news, pushed forward (just for people like you who didn't see it the first time, demonstrating the media's bias while you are at it).

...And it's just as stupidly ignorant now as it was a month ago. (but you'll have to read the above, I'm not going to rehash it for you)

In any event, bob -- repeatedly you've shown that you're ignorant & ill-informed, and you keep your head stuck in the sand when you encounter an alternative you don't like.

... Would ya like to go for Strike Three?

OBloodyHell said...

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BTW:

Even the WaPo, hardly a right-wing bastion, is getting it:


The Iraqi Upturn


With wrapper commentary from HotAir blog here.

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