The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
In regards to some of your comments in this letter, here is my response.
Your Bush Derangement Syndrome has gotten the better of you.
And stem cell research can't cure that.
Oh, and your post does not respond to anything I wrote here.
Well, it doesn't respsond directly but it does present some perspective.
"the chance to shut down an ideology of death and enslavement that threatens modern civilization"
That is the lie I spoke of in my post. If that were actually the case, we would be attacking:
Pakistan-currently harboring Osama bin Laden
Saudi Arabia-currently harboring dozens of Al Qaida cels
Somalia-the head of state there is a known Al Qaida sympahthzier.
"You are there to help a people learn what it is to be free, and to slam the door on those who wish to enslave everyone."
Really, do you think those dead children and their families feel free as a result of our doing? I speak of this "lie of freedom" throughout my post.
"...by the people you don't hear about in the newscasts or in the papers from home. Apparently we're not newsworthy"
Neither are the pictures I put up there because the "liberal" media won't show them. Whose side are they on exactly?
Saying that I suffer from BDS is a convenient out for you, and others who feel the way you do, so you don't have to take the responsibility for the actions of our government....you can just think I'm "crazy" and then you don't have to face the fact that our leader doesn't value human life or sacrafice--which was the point of both of the things we wrote.
"If that were actually the case, we would be attacking:
"Pakistan-currently harboring Osama bin Laden
"Saudi Arabia-currently harboring dozens of Al Qaida cels
"Somalia-the head of state there is a known Al Qaida sympahthzier."
This is so much horseshit and you know it. The Democratically-controlled congress wants to pull us out of IRAQ. EXPANDING the war, as you suggest, is not only politically impossible, it's logistically impossible as well.
Nor is it necessary, and you know that too. If we CAN stabilize Iraq, if we CAN defeat Islamist extremism there, then we will have made major strides towards defeating that ideology in the center of its influence.
"Really, do you think those dead children and their families feel free as a result of our doing?"
Where are the photos of the victims of Al Qaeda terrorists in Muslim-on-Muslim attacks? Oh, right, that's our fault too. They wouldn't be killing each other if we weren't there.
Tell that to the families of all the dead Fatah militants in Palestine.
Yes, Mark, innocents die in war. Innocents die of disease here at home, too. I'm sorry, but that's what reality is - that which still exists even when you don't believe in it.
"Neither are the pictures I put up there because the 'liberal' media won't show them."
Like the footage of the people jumping from the World Trade Center towers? Again, where are the photos of the child victims of Muslim-on-Muslim violence? Shouldn't we hate the people who directly, deliberately target women and children in the cold-blooded hope of media coverage? Shouldn't we hate people who actually torture and brutally murder their captives? Yes, water-boarding is bad, but drilling kneecaps, pulling fingernails, and sawing off heads is a different order of magnitude in my world.
Yes, Mark, you do suffer BDS, and I do dismiss you.
How can we stabilize Iraq when we have a group of incompetent people running the show over there...people who have a complete lack of knowledge when it comes to the region?
In addition, I'm certain that their version of stabilized is not our version of stablized.
Sure, there are photos of people who have died at the hands of Muslim extremists. They are to blame as well. But I would think it would be quite obvious that they are evil--the sick part is that the United States, a country that I have always felt is morally superior to the rest of the world, is not behaving like it.
Kevin, you have to face the fact that our country does things in the rest of the world that we have very little knowledge about..awful things that they dress up in the cloak of "freedom."
It's a good thing you have a large gun collection because you are going to need them--not only because of the "evildoers"--but also because of the rotten shit that Bush, Bush 41, and Reagan have been up to for the last twenty years.
Take a long, long look at American history. Hint: Go back a lot further than Reagan, and work your way up.
Next: How can we stabilize Iraq by leaving? And how will the victims of the evil that will fill that power vacuum feel about us then?
I don't think we can stabilize Iraq by leaving--go or stay--the various groups over there will try to kill each other regardless of what we are doing...with thousands of innocents killed as a result.
So, there are victims either way. What we can do is stabilize our own country, in particular in how eliminate terror as a tool. Incoming Prime Minister of England, Gordon Brown:
"Our foreign policy will reflect the truth that to isolate and defeat terrorist extremism now involves more than military force. It is also a struggle of ideas and ideals that in the coming years will be waged and won for hearts and minds here at home and around the world."
Remember, the UK foiled two major terrorist attacks. They did not tortue anyone. They did not invade any countries illegally. They did not blow up any innocents.
They used simple detective work. Brains. And it sounds like they are going to start using good ol fashion marketing, somethng we should take a cue from....
We can't declare ourselves morally superior and then act like the people we are fighting. We have to take the high ground, which should not be misunderstood to be weak. Rather limited military action, good police work, human intelligence, and a bunch of Karl Rove types that spend their time swift boating Osama bin laden and his ilk in the eyes of the Muslim world--these things will insure victory.
"Remember, the UK foiled two major terrorist attacks. They did not tortue anyone. They did not invade any countries illegally. They did not blow up any innocents."
The UK suffered bombings of their subway and and a bus in London. Neither you nor I know how many "major terrorist attacks" our government has foiled - we only know there haven't been any since 9/11/01. Didn't blow up any innocents? You sure about that? Are you aware of everything the British military is doing in Iraq? And, as I recall, there was an innocent young man shot to death - in error - by the police in London in the aftermath of the Tube bombings.
And, finally, "illegal invasion." Really. As I recall, Congress authorized the attack on Iraq. As I recall, the UN passed how many resolutions against Iraq? As I recall, it was the French, the Germans, and the Russians - all with known government ties to the "Food for Palaces" scandal - who blocked a UN action against Iraq. So we went with a smaller coalition, THAT INCLUDED BRITAIN.
Try wrapping your mind around REALITY, Mark. This is a WAR, carried out against us by people who view the rules of war as something to hide behind and manipulate. This is not "police work" - these people are not interested in stealing from you and me, they intend to run the world under their image of fundamentalist religious law. They are not the false boogeyman you seem to think Christian fundamentalists are, they're the real deal; people who think you should be dead because you don't believe as they say you should believe, and are more than willing to kill you, given the chance.
Ask Daniel Pearl. Ask the recent Fatah "martyrs."
This is a war for the survival of Western civilization - something I think ought to be preserved, but apparently a large contingent of Western civ believes otherwise about. For some reason a big group seems to believe that Western civilization represents the only evil on the planet, and the sooner it commits hara-kiri, the better.
Go back and re-read the piece I wrote about why we invaded Iraq. We chose that battlefield for a reason - for several good reasons, in fact. And those reasons still hold true.
We declared ourselves "morally superior" in WWII, yet we firebombed, carpet-bombed, and nuclear bombed cities full of civilians. We declared ourselves "morally superior" as we fired flamethrowers into caves full of Japanese - soldiers and civilians alike - and then sealed them up with satchel charges.
And you know what? We were morally superior. We didn't kill people in gas chambers and then incinerate their bodies in vast crematoria. We didn't capture civilian women and put them in organized brothels, calling them "comfort women." We didn't practice bayoneting and beheading on captured civilian populations for the fun of it. And we don't deliberately drop bombs on innocent children, nor deliberately drive explosive-laden vehicles into crowds of women and children out shopping and detonate them.
We kill the innocent, yes. I'm sorry, but that's one of the many downsides of war - however, there's a vast moral difference between doing it accidentally or even as a regretful necessity, and doing it with malice aforethought.
And the fact that you draw moral equivalence between the two tells me everything I need to know about you.
I think comparing WWII to our current conflict is a recipe for disaster. It's true, we did do all of those things in Japan and Germany but I think you will agree that we are in a totally different situation.
What country are we fighting? None that I can see. We are fighing an idealogy? Possibly, so we feed it more by acting like the devils they call us...great. As long as we shoot first and ask questions later--which seems to be your approach and please correct me if I am wrong--we will lose.
As it stands right now, if we continue to follow the path that you and others suggest, we are going to lose. Start talking to the people who are experts on this subject--not the mindless sychophants who support Bush--the people who have been on the ground there...Zinni, Eaton, Batiste, the strategists who are familiar with the region...think man, my God!! They are all saying the same thing--this war is destroying our military and making us less safe, not more safe.
"(Britain) did not invade any countries illegally."
No comment, Mark? And again, how can we stabilize Iraq by leaving? And how will the victims of the evil that will fill that power vacuum feel about us then?
Or by your comment "I don't think we can stabilize Iraq by leaving--go or stay--the various groups over there will try to kill each other regardless of what we are doing...with thousands of innocents killed as a result" do you mean that we should just wash our hands and watch the slaughter from a safe distance - like we're doing with Darfur? I mean, at least we won't have any more military casualties that way, right? It won't be us killing those innocents, so that makes it OK?
Debating a conservative is like....debating a conservative. You reframe the argument with question that has only answers that force the one you want an answer from to answer in a way that insures a controlled response. EX: Are you with us or with the terrorists? Answer: Neither, thank you, I prefer to think as opposed to following either side both of which are cemented in a warped belief system.
The answer Kevin is Iraq cannot be stabilized because we have helped to create a situation that is FUBAR. If we stay, it won't stabilize because the leadership you support seems to either want chaos or not know what they are doing. Or both. If we leave, Iraq won't be stabilized but what it will do is save some of our troops lives, the ones we are supposed to support, and it will save yours and mine if we re-focus our military to fight the extremists we face in a new way.
I think you need to face the fact that there are many people in the Middle East who feel that we are evil and causing their families hardship and pain. So the vaccum you speak of...will it acutally exist? There have always been times, Vietnam comes to mind, when this country has difficulty admitting error and responsibility for tragedy. This is most definetly one of those times.
I have a friend who just released a documentary called Breakdown about US Foreign Policy in the Middle East. I am going to be interviewing her, she is in Beruit right now, and putting up clips from her film on my blog. There is one up there right now. One of the things she told me when I first started talking to her was how suprised she was that people in the US know so little about what is happening in the region.
I think you should get her film. There is a clip up on my blog right now with a link on how to buy it.
"If we stay, it won't stabilize because the leadership you support seems to either want chaos or not know what they are doing. Or both. If we leave, Iraq won't be stabilized but what it will do is save some of our troops lives, the ones we are supposed to support, and it will save yours and mine if we re-focus our military to fight the extremists we face in a new way."
Ah, I see. We can't possibly stabilize Iraq. It's beyond our capability. So it's better for us to pull out our troops and let the wholesale slaughter crank up a couple orders of magnitude, in addition validating Osama Bin Laden's proposition that America can be defeated by simply killing a few (and believe it or not our casualties have been light as wars go) American soldiers. You're OK with that, because Americans will stop dying. There.
Well, emboldening the Jihadists (rather than killing them) seems to me to be a very counterproductive move.
Here's the difference between you and me, Mark: I understood going in to this that the war against Islamism was going to be as long as the Cold War, only bloodier. You seem to believe that we ought to negotiate an armistice. Failing that, you seem to believe that capturing or killing OBL will end the war.
Good fucking luck.
I suggest you give this a read. Pay particular attention to the words of Cambodian prime minister Sirik Matak at the end of the piece.
I agree with your sentiments 100%, and it is never too late. They deserve every bit of thanks under the sun.
Anyway, I would consider it an honor and a privilege if you would add my blog "The Tygrrrr Express" www.blacktygrrrr.wordpress.com to your list of linked sites if you feel the quality is high. If this request is redundant, my bad in advance.
I came across your blog through the Rottweiler's website, since I enjoy his writing.
So, I want to be sure about this. You are saying that it is an absolute certainty that if we leave, ALL of the things you say will occur?
And you base this on what happened in Southeast Asia, a completely different part of the world with its own set is issues and problems. Kevin, you are very deeply rooted in a belief system now...when very similar to the ones that the people you criticize (with good reason) hold.
First, you maintain that the people running this conflict should be trusted no matter what--even though they have been wrong about virutally everthing up until now. So even if we do stay, why on Earth would you think they are competent enough to stabilize Iraq? Based on their blemish free track record up until now? Sheesh.
Second, you assume that everything they are telling you is true. You accept, without question, their propaganda. "Believe what we are saying or all is lost" is basically what the column you sent me said.
Do you want to some perspective? Go and buy this movie.
Watch it. Tell me what you think about the perpspective it offers and then tell me if you still view our struggle in the same way.
"So, I want to be sure about this. You are saying that it is an absolute certainty that if we leave, ALL of the things you say will occur?"
I believe that if we leave we will condemn a huge number of Iraqis to the tender mercies of the monsters who do this.
Totalitarianism is the same whether its communist or islamist.
Kevin, there's not doubt in my mind that Al Qaeda are monsters. There's no doubt in my mind that there are monsters all over the world. I accept that there are people that want to do us harm for no reason.
Now, are you willing to accept our responsibility in all of this? Are you willing to look at the hell we have wrought? Kevin, please watch the film that I linked to above. You have to open your eyes to the way the US does business in the world. It really explains an awful lot. I don't agree with everything in the film--the Israel part in particular--but the testimony of troops that have been on the ground, the examination of US Economic Policy in the Third World, and the footage of our government supporting Saddam Hussein's genocide of his own people should give you a different perspective.