The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
No, we're not imperialists. If we were, there would be no campaign for hearts and minds; we'd be as giants with scythes, laying waste in wholesale swaths. We go in to liberate, to lend a hand, in limited numbers and limited engagements. We shoot only when shot at. We don't mine, we don't carpet bomb. We don't poison wells or foodstocks- we bring the water and the wheat and distribute it freely, trying to see that all who need get enough.
...but piss us off and see what a giant can do.
The libs know that we're not imperialists, just as they know Bush does not really equal Hitler. They're just childish, provocative statements designed to piss off the right. Good grief, if America suddenly did want to turn imperialist and take new land for lebensraum, who the hell could stop us? They should be on their knees every day thanking God that the Soviets did not win the Cold War.
"demonstrated the striking limitations of power for the globe's highest-tech, most destructive military machine"
Oh what a load of crap. "amazing powers of restraint" would be more accurate. We could reduce the Gaza Strip to utter rubble in a day using plain old iron bombs and artillery. No one could stop us or even slow us down. It would be a great example to the rest of the world that we're in charge. That's the Imperialist Way.
The only reason Iraq and Afghanistan are problematic is that we're being so nice. Just like Osama, this guy sees a strong horse quietly grazing and decides its a weak horse because it isn't kicking down its stall. Bad mistake.
More and more though I find myself thinking that an example or three should be made.
No, I call Bullshit on you. It doesn't matter WHY we go in. Only an empire invades a country because they don't like the government in power- not because they were attacked. The US may not exercise direct control- but it still exercises control. This war was not about liberating Iraq- it was about controlling Iraq.
The limitation of the military is not our decency- its the natural law. Force cannot eliminate ideas. And all this war is doing is killing the US from the inside out. With all the laws destroying liberty and the Constitution, the US is dying- at least the ideals of the US. The government may live on.
I've found that folks who believe their own ill founded crap to be ultimately in a self limiting situation.
As for OtherWhiteMatt:
Actually, the WHY of a thing matters a great deal. Surgeons and slashers both use scalpels.
Finding the distinction between them calls for asking "why?", doing one's homework, and avoiding the traps laid by those with an axe to grind.
It doesn't matter WHY we go in. Only an empire invades a country because they don't like the government in power- not because they were attacked.
So you've forgotten the 1991 Gulf War? That ended not in surrender, but in a cease-fire that wasn't?
We haven't invaded Iran. We haven't invaded Pakistan. We haven't invaded Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, or Egypt. We invaded Iraq - WITH REASON.
It DOES matter why we go in, and WE HAD REASON TO.
We spent about seven years rehabilitating Germany and Japan after "changing their gubmints." We fed them, clothed them, defended them, put them back on their feet, and now they are among the most prosperous and peaceful nations on the planet. That's not what an empire builder does, it's what WE do.
And, we're not done in Iraq or Afghanistan. So, don't jump to conclusions, Matt. That's Mark's territory. Wait for it, as Radar O'Reilly might say, and see how it turns out.
"We go in, liberate populations, try to build democratic structures for the good of the people living there and then we leave. Oh, and then we trade with them, to our mutual benefit"
Oh my word. This is absolutely wrong. Kevin, how do you think the US does business in the world? We go into a country, preferably a poor one, and loan them money. When they can't pay it back (which we hope they don't), we start to tell them what they should be doing, within their country and internationally. If they cooperate, we have ourselves an ally. If they don't, we bust the joint out. Everything from sending in the jackals to the army itself.
Would you care for proof?
This is from a guy who did it.
As far as Iraq goes, two things...
First, this video from our Vice President
Yep. I wholeheartedly concur.
And second, you have said on here that you trust what the troops say more than the media.
Well do you?
Mark, I once pointed out to you what we did in Germany and Japan, and your response was to the effect that you weren't competent to even discuss our history in that regard. I'm so impressed.
Yeah, and by comparing the current situation in Iraq to WWII reconstruction i.e. , I think that you pretty much shows that you are not competent to discuss our history in that regard. These are two completely different regions in the world with their own unique histories that preclue them from being compared.
Our country and our government were much different back then as well. Harry Truman, a president I believe you said you liked, was tasked in WII by FDR to put people in jail for war profiteering. He did. How do you think that would fly now? He'd be laughed at, put through the Rove slime machine, and branded a communist and/or traitor.
Our country has changed since 1945. Ike warned us about it, we didn't listen. Kennedy pissed off enough people who got used to making all that dough so he was killed. LBJ and onwards played ball and we have been happily ruining Third World Countries ever since. Read Perkins' book.
i.e The Marshall Plan...oops.
"Yeah, and by comparing the current situation in Iraq to WWII reconstruction i.e. , I think that you pretty much shows that you are not competent to discuss our history in that regard."
You don't think, you jerk your knees.
These are two completely different regions in the world with their own unique histories that preclue them from being compared."
Says who? You? Or are you just not up to it yourself?
Japan and Germany are two completely different regions in the world with their own unique histories, and comparing their histories during and after WWII is quite interesting and informative.
As Sanatayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." You tell me I shouldn't even look at it.
Where do you come up with this dreck? Do you think you're going to convince anyone of anything with it?
I see it a tad different in that we had a "rationale" for going into Iraq rather than a "reason". Similar to the rationale we had in our CIA having a hand in overthrowing the Iranian leadership to place Mohammed Reza Pahlavi in power. It didn't matter that his SAVAK tortured and assisinated the opposition, we had friendly oil. We didn't have friendly hearts and minds though and this eventually led to the mullahs taking power and the whole US embassy hostage debacle ... and so it goes, and goes, and goes ...
"And second, you have said on here that you trust what the troops say more than the media.
"Well do you?"
Yes. Yes I do.
I see your seven soldiers and call.
The Daily Standard? Isn't this the same publication that said that there would be no sectarian violence in Iraq? Yeah, they are in touch with reality.
Take a look at this.
And then their laughable interpretation of it..
What color is the sky in their world? More importantly, how many more of our armed forces have to die because an ever shrinking group of single minded incompetents can't admit when they are wrong?
Oh, on the NIE report in the first link, you can skip and just read 7-10 as the rest is all formatted mission statement stuff.
What's the matter Mark? If it doesn't show up in the NYT it isn't real? Your seven soldiers are somehow more authentic than mine? You're dismissing the message because of the source. When it comes to the New York Times, I must admit, I'm tempted to emulate you.
And the NIE? That would be the same group of intelligence agencies that - prior to the invasion - said Saddam had WMD? They were wrong then, but they're indisputably, unquestionably, incontrovertably right now, eh?
No, they're not right. It's not the whole truth and nothing but the truth...it's an assessment. If you read it, they also criticize any ideas of an immediate pull out as well. What galls me is that anything--and I mean anything--that disputes the Bush-Cheney canon is wrong. In this case, the NIE report is coming from the executive branch of government which makes it doubly bizarre.
I don't dispute your soldiers. In fact, I hold their point of view in high regard. I simply don't agree with it because, while they may be factual and truthful, they fail to take into account the myriad of factors beyond their realm of control. I thought the NYT article was the most honest account I have read. They said things I didn't agree with as well.
"I simply don't agree with it because, while they may be factual and truthful, they fail to take into account the myriad of factors beyond their realm of control."
Ditto the NYT contributors.
"I thought the NYT article was the most honest account I have read."
Since it matches your worldview, I'm not surprised.
WRT the NIE, I'll quote J.D. Johannes:
"After 5 pages of introductory material, including this statement,"Driven largely by the accelerating pace of tribal engagement and the increasing tempo of Coalition operations, developments in Iraq are unfolding more rapidly and with greater complexity today than when we completed our January NIE....."As I and many have noted, the speed of battlefield has outpaced distinguished professors published in Foreign Affairs and much commentariat.
"This NIE is catching up to conditions on the ground that were developing months ago."
Read the whole link.
"Driven largely by the accelerating pace of tribal engagement and the increasing tempo of Coalition operations, developments in Iraq are unfolding more rapidly and with greater complexity today than when we completed our January NIE....."
And that very well may be true. But you have to take into account the whole report. I have confirmation from my friend Matt, currently in Iraq, that NYT account of how attacks occur so easily is true.
You also have to consider the widely held belief that US forces are simply not good at counter insurgency.
"I do not have same memory as President Bush," said retired Army General John Johns, a Vietnam veteran who spent 12 years specializing in counter-insurgency missions. "What I learned in Vietnam is that US combat forces could not effectively conduct counter-insurgency operations. The longer we stay there (Iraq), the worse it is going to get.
You can add him to the same list that Gens Zinni, Eaton, and Batiste are all on. Put that next to the ones that say we are doing well and can win. What do you get?
I simply don't know.
So let's pull out and let Iraq devolve into a real slaughterhouse with no hope for democracy?
Sounds like a plan. "We broke it, let's run away!"
More and more these days, I think a viable solution eludes us. I think all of the choices are awful and the one we should pick is probably the least awful. Sounds pessimistic, I know, but the question now becomes which one is the least awful?
"What galls me is that anything--and I mean anything--that disputes the Bush-Cheney canon is wrong."
Mark, go look in a mirror. The inverse of that statement describes you:
"What thrills me is that anything--and I mean anything--that disputes the Bush-Cheney canon is right."
"The limitation of the military is not our decency- its the natural law."
So why weren't the cites of Kabul, Baghdad and Tehran glowing glass craters the morning of 12 September 2001? What "natural law" placed them beyond the reach of Peacekeepers, Tridents and B-2s?
DJ, it's simply not true. When Bush starts behaving with thoughtful intelligence and intelectual curiosity, then I will respect him. I highly doubt that will happen. It's not the man-or men--it's their actions.
As long as we are on the topic of thoughtful intelligence, I will attempt to answer Randy's question. Sure, we could turn all the cities into craters, although Kabul already is kind of a crater so that might be a moot point. The struggle we are in, however, will not be won until we realize that it is a fight that simply can't be won militarily. People in this country have trouble with this fact because we like to blow things up. It's cool. Of course the military is going to be involved somehow but we are fighting a mindset that most of us know very little about and the effective tool for combatting that is not a tank.
We need to learn..educate ourselves on that part of the world...understand why terror is used as a tactic. More importantly, we need to change our foreign and economic policies that create this sentiment. Eliminate any excuse they have to go after us until all they are left with is their ultra psychotic belief in Sharia law on Earth. The world will see them for the maniacs they are and all of us--all civilized people--will effectively make them irrelevant.
We start doing these things and we start down the path to victory.
"When Bush starts behaving with thoughtful intelligence and intelectual curiosity, then I will respect him. I highly doubt that will happen. It's not the man-or men--it's their actions."
He has, long ago, and he still does. We've shown it to you time and again, but you can't see it.
That's why we accuse you of cognitive dissonance. You're a case study, as I noted elsewhere. Note also that it's a characteristic of those who suffer from it that they can't detect it in themselves. You've got it bad, dude.
"More importantly, we need to change our foreign and economic policies that create this sentiment."
This sentiment was created about thirteen centuries ago. The only things that have changed are: 1) they have something we want, need, and are willing to pay for; 2) communications, worldwide, are damned nearly instantaneous, so they can be heard; 3) they have access to powerful weapons, in quantity; and, 4) they have proved that they can, and will, use those weapons against us, and for the stated purpose of killing us all.
"Eliminate any excuse they have to go after us until all they are left with is their ultra psychotic belief in Sharia law on Earth.
This is called appeasement. Look up "Chamberlain, Neville". Read.
"The world will see them for the maniacs they are ..."
The world already sees them for the maniacs they are, except for the one and a half billion who are them.
"... and all of us--all civilized people--will effectively make them irrelevant."
Um, how, exactly? One and a half billion maniacs, sitting on top of most of the world's remaining oil, with weapons, willpower, and hate, and unopposed militarily by anyone, will be made "irrelevant" by what mechanism?
Dude, you have nothing to offer but platitudes. You've reached the bottom of the hole. Why do you keep digging?
Markadelphia, I wasn't advocating a nuclear strike in retailiation for 9/11, I was simply pointing out that is was the "decency" or our country and our leadership that prevented that response, not any natuaral or military limitation on our ability.
I have no doubt that if our leadership were on the same moral level of our enemies, or for that matter any of the majority of the leadrship in the Mid-East and other parts of the world (NK, PRC, Venezuala, and, sadly, Russia under that Ne Kulturny Chekist Putin), those strikes would have occured.
As far as changing our Foreign and economic polices, while we certainly could be doing a better job,and "winning hearts and minds" is a good thing, at a certain level we cannot change those polices to satisfy our enemies unless we want to lower our society into the same tribal, authoritarian, poverty stricken hell holes they represent.
In short, much of the "hate" is really envy and greed, combined with the use of us as a scapegoat by 3rd world "leaders" to distract their populations from the real causes of their misery: Corrupt, statist or theocratic governments with command economies and that reagard their people as subjects, not citizens.
We can not eliminate that without losing that which has made the US an economic and military superpower, and, for all it's faults and mistakes, the best society man has so far developed in it's entire history.
"He has, long ago, and he still does. We've shown it to you time and again, but you can't see it."
No, he hasn't. Cogintive dissonance-physician heal thyself.
Both of you need to start listening to people like John Perkins. There are things our country does that are just awful that we never see.
DJ, I am not advocating appeasement. In your world of absolute black and whites, I'm sure it seems to you like that's what it is. We have to be tough and smart and right now we aren't being either.
"Both of you need to start listening to people like John Perkins."
I never heard of him before, and just a little research on the web leaves me totaly underwhelmed.
As a former Intel professional myself, his claim to have worked with and under the direction of NSA, and the types of ops he worked, totally destroy his credibility to me.
"I am not advocating appeasement."
appeasement n. the policy of granting concessions to potential enemies to maintain peace
Your statement was:
"Eliminate any excuse they have to go after us until all they are left with is their ultra psychotic belief in Sharia law on Earth."
Another way of saying that is:
"Grant these enemies any concessions necessary such they have no excuse not to be peaceful except their ultra psychotic belief in Sharia law on Earth."
Yup, you advocate appeasement, and, not surprisingly, you can't recognise it as such. Moreover, the notion that appeasement is possible of people who are possessed by "ultra psychotic belief in Sharia law on Earth" is wishful thinking at best and suicidal at worst.
But DJ, as long as we continue to behave amorally we give Al Qaeda the power they need to marshall their forces and create sympathy in the Arab World. By amorally I mean our third world econmoic policies, our criminal relationship with Saudi Arabia and the UAE as well as attacking countries that don't attack us.
Take away this amoral behavior and it erodes their support. We had that support after 9-11. The world was on our side and your boy pissed it all away.
I recently advocated bombing the tribal areas of Pakistan, where the bad guys actually are-currently plotting another attack on the homeland. Golly, what a peacenik I am....
I recently advocated bombing the tribal areas of Pakistan, where the bad guys actually are-currently plotting another attack on the homeland. Golly, what a peacenik I am...."
And we showed, in some detail, what a fool you were when you advocated it. Golly, what a fool you still are ...
Will you still call me a fool if there is another attack on our soil that originated from Pakistan?
Yes, if you can't prove it was aided, abetted, or supported by Musharraf's government.
Remember - we're fighting an ideology, not a government? I believe you've said that yourself in here on occasion.
"Will you still call me a fool if there is another attack on our soil that originated from Pakistan?"
Yes, and for lots of reasons. You are imminently qualified.
I once asked you the following question: How many people will have to die as a result of attacks carried out in this country by militant islamic terrorists before you would agree that the President, as Head of State and as Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States, should wage war on those militant islamic terrorists, wherever they are, until the threat no longer exists. I hinted that any response what was not a number was also not an answer.
You explicitly refused to answer my question, stating that responding with a number was an implicit acknowledgment that such was an appropriate response by the President to such acts, and that you made no such acknowledgement. The meaning of your response was crystal clear; you would not agree that the proper reponse of the President to attacks in this country was to defend the country, i.e. to make war on those who attack us, no matter how many people died in those attacks.
In the almost six years since 9/11, no one has died from any such attack in this country. Yet only this morning, after complaining that this country behaved "amorally" by "attacking countries that don't attack us", you advocated, for the second time, that the President order the Armed Forces of the United States to attack and invade a friendly country, indeed a country that has never attacked us.
This is why you are "dismissed" by Kevin and by me, Mark. What passes for "thinking" on your part is overwhelmingly illogical, irrational, hypocritical, inconsistent, and self-contradictory. You are either dumber than a sack of hammers, or you are being contrary for the sake of being contrary, engaging in argument for the sake of argument. Either way, I don't see that you have anything to say that is worth hearing.
I once stated that you merited a grade of F, teacher, and you haven't improved one iota since then.
The reason why I refused to answer the question is that I, unlike other spineless turds in this country, will not fall victim to classic conservative double speak and language manipulation, which is what you unsuccessfully tried to accomplish with your question. Actually, it made me laugh--in the same way Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh make me laugh when they ask people their "propaganda" questions.
If you want to think that by not responding to your question that I would not want the president to defend our country, then you are sadly mistaken. I refuse to be put in your weakly constructed box of what constitutes national defense and what doesn't.
As far as Pakistan goes, if you knew anything about that country (obviously not) then you would know that the Waziristan region is out of the control of Musharaf. It is generally a lawless region run by tribes who are sympathetic to Al Qaeda. If we attacked them, I would hope that it would be with the assistance of Musharaf. If he was reluctant, then I would hope that we get his approval to go it alone. He has no juridstiction in that region so would we necessarily be attacking Pakistan? No. Besides, we've already done it a couple of times anyway and I don't remember hearing much of a protest from him.
I hope you realize, DJ, that Al Qaeda essentially has the same operational capabilities they did on Sep 10, 2001..it's just a few hundred miles away now. This has happened because our current president does not, in fact, care about the defense of this nation.
I think part of the reason why you are so cheesed is because I have pointed out the hypocrisys of our current leadership. Usually that type of thing doesn't sit well with the folks who support them--the folks hat look at the world in absolute black and white. Isn't there a word for that? Two words actually that descirbe a certain condition that I continually get accused of having ?
This will be in two parts.
"If you want to think that by not responding to your question that I would not want the president to defend our country, then you are sadly mistaken. I refuse to be put in your weakly constructed box of what constitutes national defense and what doesn't."
It isn't a box, it isn't a trick question, and it isn't a test of your, or anyone else's patriotism. As I explained once before, it is a legitimate question that has been faced by every President this country has ever had. That you don't understand it says nothing of your patriotism, or whether or not you would want the President to defend our country, rather it says a great deal of your understanding of his job and the threat we face.
As I explained before, the correct answer, indeed "my" answer, is zero.
I'm gonna explain why that is the case, and I'm going to do it via references to history. I understand that you really can't handle that approach, but, well, shit; a teacher should be more open to learning from history, now shouldn't he?
Consider what happened on December 7, 1941. Japan attacked U.S. military forces on sovereign U.S. territory in Hawaii. Between 2,500 and 3,000 people were killed, some of them civilians. Attacks by Japan continued apace at places like Wake, Gaum, and the Phillipines.
The threat Japan posed was real, large, and demonstrated against us.
Consider what happened on December 11, 1941. Germany declared war on the United States. Germany did not attack U.S. military forces or territory for a long time. To be fair, there were attacks upon and by U.S. naval convoy escorts in the North Atlantic, but both sides were under orders to not do so.
The threat Germany posed was real and large, and demonstrated, but they were not yet in action against us.
Now consider what happened from late 1945 to 1989. Lots of saber rattling went on, didn't it? The threat the Soviet Union posed was real and huge, but it was not demonstrated against us.
Now, consider what the President did in each case.
The response by President Roosevelt was to make war on Japan and Germany. Why? Because the threats were real, were large, the probability of Japan making war on us was demonstrated to be 100%, and the probability of Germany making war on us was estimated to approach 100%. (That last is a mathematical term; go look it up.)
The responses by Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, and Bush Sr. were not to make war on the Soviet Union. Why? Because although the threat was real, and it was huge, the probability of the Soviet Union making war on us was estimated to be low. The risk we would face by trying to eliminate the risk they posed was greater than the risk they posed. Those estimates turned out to be correct, thanks in great measure to the deterrent effects of Mutual Assured Destruction. (Go ahead, dive off onto a tangent and make silly remarks about it all you wish. Just remember to point out that it worked then, and still does.)
OK, with that context in mind, reconsider my statement above: The correct answer, indeed "my" answer, is zero.
Compare Japan with Germany. Both justified war, but the body count was high with Japan and zero with Germany.
Compare Germany with the Soviet Union. Germany justified war, but the Soviet Union didn't, even though the body count was zero with both.
Do you get it yet?
The question ain't about body counts. The question is about the threat the enemy poses, and the probability that he'll try to make good that threat. That's why the answer is zero.
Now, switch gears a bit.
The President takes the following oath when he assumes office, per Article II, Section 1 of the Constitution:
"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
His number one job, his primary duty he voluntarily assumes when he takes that oath, per the Constitution, is to defend the country.
Now, look at the events of 9/11.
Islamic terrorists made war on this country by flying three airplanes into very high value targets therein, and by attempting to fly the fourth into the White House. These were not "crimes", these were acts of war.
The threat posed by Islamic terrorists was thus demonstrated to be real, to be huge, and there was no reason whatever to believe that such acts would not continue unless they were opposed.
Do you understand that so far, or hss all this history just overwhelmed you?
Okay, three parts.
George W. Bush has learned a few things about history, demonstrably so. You haven't. He has applied that knowledge to the present and has acted accordingly, and he has acted properly.
Here is part of his statement the day after 9/11:
" The deliberate and deadly attacks, which were carried out yesterday against our country, were more than acts of terror.
They were acts of war.
This will require our country to unite in steadfast determination and resolve.
Freedom and democracy are under attack.
The American people need to know we're facing a different enemy than we have ever faced.
This enemy hides in shadows and has no regard for human life.
This is an enemy who preys on innocent and unsuspecting people, then runs for cover, but it won't be able to run for cover forever.
This is an enemy that tries to hide, but it won't be able to hide forever.
This is an enemy that thinks its harbours are safe, but they won't be safe forever.
This enemy attacked not just our people but all freedom-loving people everywhere in the world."
And what was his proposed future for dealing with this threat?
He proposed a "war on terrorism" (his words) that "will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated," which is "a task that does not end."
Did you get that? it is "a task that does not end." We're a few years into that task, and all the goddamned Dimocrats can think of is getting out, in furtherance of votes, and you state of him that
"our current president does not, in fact, care about the defense of this nation."
So, what did he do?
Step 1 was to invade Afganistan, remove the gubmint thereof, which actively and enthusiastically supported al Qaeda, support and encourage an elected gubmint therein, and attack al Qaeda and others therein. This is in keeping with his stated (and, in my opinion, quite justified) refusal to differentiate between the terrorists and the countries that give them safe harbor. Afghanistan was such a country.
Step 2 was to invade Iraq, remove the gubmint thereof, which actively used and pursued further WMD's, including nuclear weapons, support and encourage an elected gubmint therein, and attack terrorists therein. This is fully in accord with U.N. resolutions authorizing said invasion which Iraq had agreed, in writing, to abide by. This, too, is in keeping with his stated (and, in my opinion, quite justified) refusal to differentiate between the terrorists and the countries that give them safe harbor. Iraq was such a country.
And, quite importantly, his actions were authorized by Congress, a large majority of which, including a whole shitload of Dimocrats, agreed with his assessment of the situation, the threats posed by Afghanistan and Iraq, and his proposed remedies.
Oops. That shouldn't have been all bold. Dang ... (Fixed - Ed.)
Now, you tell us you woulda done it differently.
You wouldn't have invaded Iraq, because they hadn't attacked us and so we are "amoral" (your word) for having done so. You would, however, invade Pakistan, who also hasn't attacked us, and "amorality" be damned, huh? You "would hope that it would be with the assistance of Musharaf", but if not, then you would "hope that we get his approval to go it alone", but if not, then you would just do it anyway, with the bald statement that it wouldn't be "attacking Pakistan" to invade and/or bomb a sovereign nation.
I point out, yet again, that Pakistan is a nation that is now, and always has been, quite friendly to this country. We need all the sympathy we can get in Arab countries such as Pakistan, now don't we?
Let's examine this approach of yours just a wee bit, shall we?
You complain that our "amorality" in attacking a country that hasn't attacked us gives support to al Qaeda and allows them to create sympathy in the Arab world. But, you urge that we attack an Arab country that hasn't attacked us, indeed that is friendly to us, because it wouldn't really be attacking "them", and to fucking hell with amorality and any sympathy that al Qaeda might be able to create therefrom in the Arab world.
And you don't see the inconsistency, the illogic, the irrationality, the hypocrisy, or the self-contradiction that you exhibit personally in this one notion alone?
"I think part of the reason why you are so cheesed is because I have pointed out the hypocrisys of our current leadership."
No, you don't think. You jerk your knees, as I stated before.
The reason I am "cheesed" (if that term is accurate) is that you insult our intelligence with your blather. Your statement
"...because our current president does not, in fact, care about the defense of this nation"
is a perfect example of why. Our President is conducting in a war on two fronts, despite opposition, because, according to you, he doesn't, in fact, care about the defense of this nation.
You do not understand the term credibility, and that you have none here, and most of all, you don't understand why. You haven't a clue.
Don't hold back, DJ. Tell him what you really think. ;)
"Do you understand that so far, or hss all this history just overwhelmed you?"
Yes, I do understand. Using your logic, then, President Bush has NOT in fact responded appropiately to the act of war that was committed to us on Sept 11th, 2001. Al Qaeda is still around, stronger than ever, with its two leaders still alive and well. In WWII, we brought down Hitler, Mussolini, and Japan in 3 years. Almost 6 years and where are we with Al Qaeda? Oh yes, that's right. We are fighting them in Iraq because that's Bush has told us is the right thing to do. Iraq didn't attack us. Al Qaeda did. We know where Al Qaeda is now, in Pakistan, and you are saying we do...what?...nothing?
Your rose colored version of what happened in Afgahinstan is laughable. Why don't you check out how "committed" we were in Afghanistan.
Gary Berntsen is not a "Dimocrat" or looney liberal. He was there at Tora Bora. He was left with his ass hanging out in the wind...
From day one, the Bush Administration wanted to go into Iraq. It was all about money and oil. I have shown you time and again evidence of this and refuse to accept it. If Bush had finished the job in Afghanistan, not allowed Al Qaeda to reconstitute in Pakistan, went after the countries where Al Qaeda actually has operatives, worked with local law enforcement in Europe to disrupt terrorist organizations there, and maybe picked up a book or two on the region, then yes, I would say he was defending our country.
Since you posted three responses to me, I will as well. From John Lehman, Secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration:
"for reasons that remain unclear to Berntsen (and, indeed, to this reviewer), the Bush administration or Franks decided to depend instead on local Afghan warlords rather than put U.S. forces on the ground to block bin Laden's escape. The CIA and Berntsen, who had many years of experience with these militiamen, warned that relying on them, with their many personal agendas and family and tribal ties, would mean letting al Qaeda's leader cross easily into Pakistan. Ignoring their counsel was a huge blunder -- one we continue to pay for as we are taunted by bin Laden, who remains alive and well, probably in the mountains of Pakistan, continuing to inspire jihadists worldwide and helping organize the increasing counterattacks on the fragile democratic government in Kabul. Berntsen did his best to try to get bin Laden; many in Washington have yet to do theirs."
"You do not understand the term credibility, and that you have none here, and most of all, you don't understand why. You haven't a clue."
If that's the case, then the following people also have no credibility with you.
Gen Paul Eaton, who said that the "President Bush and the current Republicans are the worst thing to happen to the armed forces in our country's history."
Gen John Batiste: "Mr. President, you have placed our nation in peril."
Now, let's place your version of Iraq next to someone else's.
DJ: "Step 2 was to invade Iraq, remove the gubmint thereof, which actively used and pursued further WMD's, including nuclear weapons, support and encourage an elected gubmint therein, and attack terrorists therein. This is fully in accord with U.N. resolutions authorizing said invasion which Iraq had agreed, in writing, to abide by. This, too, is in keeping with his stated (and, in my opinion, quite justified) refusal to differentiate between the terrorists and the countries that give them safe harbor. Iraq was such a country."
Gen Anthony Zinni, 30 year veteran of US Marine Corps (aka knows more than you do), on Iraq:
1. The war planners "misjudged the success of containment" - the existing policy of trade sanctions and maintaining troops in the area.
2. The "strategy was flawed" - the strategy being that invading, occupying, and setting up a new government in Iraq would help solve the broader conflicts in the Middle East. Zinni said "couldn't believe what I was hearing about the benefits of this strategic move."
3. The Bush administration "had to create a false rationale for going in to get public support." Zinni said that "the books were cooked, in my mind. The intelligence (that supported the claims made to support the need for war) was not there."
4. The war planners failed "to internationalize the effort," by gaining the support of allies or unambiguously gaining UN endorsement of an invasion.
5. The "fifth mistake was that we underestimated the task." Zinni clarified this in his speech to mean the broader task of creating a free, democratic, and functional Iraq.
6. The sixth mistake was "propping up and trusting the exiles." The exiles Zinni refers to are groups like the Iraqi National Congress and its controversial leader Ahmed Chalabi.
7. Zinni criticized the "lack of planning" for the post-war stablization and reconstruction of Iraq.
8. "The eighth problem was the insufficiency of military forces on the ground." Zinni, in his former position, had devised a battle plan for conquering and occupying Iraq in the 1990s, which featured far more troops, as did alternative plans presented to Donald Rumsfeld before the war. The extra troops were needed to "freeze the security situation because we knew the chaos that would result once we uprooted an authoritarian regime like Saddam's."
9. "The ninth problem has been the ad hoc organization we threw in there." Zinni criticises what he views as the lack of staff, skills, experience, and clear structure in the Coalition Provisional Authority.
10. According to Zinni, "that ad hoc organization has failed", "leading to the tenth mistake, and that's a series of bad decisions on the ground". These bad decisions include the excessive zeal in "de-Baathification," removing people only peripherally involved in the Baath Party who were Baathists purely to be permitted to conduct their profession or business, the decision to disband the Iraqi army.
And you say that I suffer from cognitive dissonance? Go ahead, dude, try to refute Zinni's points. I will be awaiting them with bated breath.
"And you say that I suffer from cognitive dissonance?"
Yup. And as I stated before, it's the nature of people who do that they don't recognise it in themselves, and you don't.
The quotes of others that you provide are their opinions, and there is a lot of merit to them. I won't discuss them here for the simple reason that your quoting them in response to my comments entirely misses the points that I made therein. Regardless of whether or not their opinions have merit, they are irrelevant to the comments I made.
I'll make the points again, short and sweet. I'll even number them so you can tell them apart.
1) Calling our actions "amoral" for having invaded a country that had not attacked us, and then only three sentences later calling for us to attack another country that has not attacked us, indeed a country that is friendly to us, even stating that it wouldn't really be attacking them, is as clear an example of illogical argument, of irrational argument, of inconsistent reasoning, of hypocrisy (pretending to be what you are not, namely arguing for "moral" behavior that by your own standards isn't "moral"), and self-contradictory argument, as I have ever read. You did it twice.
2) Stating as a fact, which you did, that the President "does not ... care about the defense of this nation" is the most blitheringly obvious example of cognitive dissonance I have yet seen. There is no possible way that you could know such as being a fact, given that you can't read the man's mind. You are simply so blinded by ideology, the craven ideology of Bush Derangement Syndrome, that you can't admit that making war simultaneously on two fronts is clear evidence of defense of this nation, and is clear evidence of care about the defense of this nation. The point is not the quality of it, the point is the fact of it.
3) My comments did not defend how well President Bush did anything in response to 9/11. Such was not their purpose. My comments defended that he responded to 9/11 to defend this nation, that he is now defending this nation, this his continued defense of this nation is clear evidence that he cares about the defense of this nation, and that his response was clearly justified in light of historical precedent and international law. Not surprisingly, you missed this point completely.
These three points are not about what those other people think, they are about what you claim to think, and about how deranged your thinking is concerning them. In your typical manner, you missed them entirely and tried to change the subject to what other people think of something else.
You seem to be trying desperately to be taken seriously. What I suspect that you have spent a lifetime not understanding is that insulting our intelligence repeatedly by making such blitheringly stupid statements as I have detailed above is a certain way to prevent it. That you continue to escalate such behavior in search of that goal is cognitive dissonance. Your M.O. is, as Kevin so eloquently puts it, "Do it again, only harder!"
1. Pakistan is harboring Al Qaeda, albeit not willingly, but they still are. We need to stop them from carrying out future attacks on our soil. Do you agree or not?
2. He isn't defending this country. If he did, do you think we would be debating Afghanistan/Pakistan now? No. His mind was on Iraq long before 9-11. I've offered you evidence. You don't agree. Oh well.
3. He did respond, at first, and I was with him. Then he said bin Laden "didn't matter" and that he "didn't spend that much time thinking about him." I saw this live, without the interference of media interpretation. This is where he lost me because I could tell that he didn't care about finishing the job-he was onto Iraq, with the will of evil men behind him. All of his ACTIONS since that time have been in contrary to the threat our country faces.
DJ, I think I’ve figured out why you and I disagree so much. Correct me if I’m wrong but here’s how I see it. I look at war, with all of its horrors, and wonder why it has to happen. Some of the time I recognize that it is necessary, given that there is evil in the world and one must defend themselves or their country. Most of the time, however (and this is historically accurate) wars occur because men are greedy. Sure, they dress it up in a cloak of patriotism but in the end it all comes down to one thing: money. In fact, one could argue that even the “just” wars like WWII or Afghanistan were about money as well, not ideology. And that’s where you come in.
You see every conflict as being necessary to the safety of our country. You believe, based on your posts, every time the US goes to war it is for the altruistic notion of “defending” our country. What we are defending is the right for the extremely wealthy people in this country to continue to make money. That is why “communism” is evil, you see, because more people have more money…no no no…we can’t have that. That would mean more people have more power, right? You have bought the propaganda-hook, line, and sinker.
Now that doesn’t mean that I subscribe to previous visions of socialism or communism that have been demonstrated elsewhere in the world. They too have proved to be equally as corrupt and…well…downright evil. So, I guess what I’m wondering is this: what is it going to take for you to NOT believe that EVERY time the US is involved in a conflict, it is for “freedom.”
You are being lied to, DJ, and it certainly is not by me.
OK, I'll chime in at this point.
"His mind was on Iraq long before 9-11. I've offered you evidence."
We agree that "his mind was on Iraq long before," and I've written an essay on why I believe that was the case, and why I believe he was right to be. However, you've convinced yourself that it was All About the Oiiiiiiilllllll!!!! and there's nothing I or anyone else can do to dissuade you from that belief.
I blame Bush Derangement Syndrome.
"That is why 'communism' is evil, you see, because more people have more money…no no no…we can’t have that.
"More people have more money"???
Haven't studied communism at all, have you? Or are you one of those who believes that communism would work if only somebody "really tried it"? Or only if the right people were in charge?
"Now that doesn’t mean that I subscribe to previous visions of socialism or communism that have been demonstrated elsewhere in the world."
It would appear so, given your own words.
Communism is evil because communism is predicated on a flawed ideology - that somebody is smart enough to be successful at centrally planning an economy, and that human beings are trustworthy enough to be given the absolute power necessary for such centralized planning.
I strongly recommend you pick up a copy of F.A. Hayek's The Road to Serfdom.
"However, you've convinced yourself that it was All About the Oiiiiiiilllllll!!!! and there's nothing I or anyone else can do to dissuade you from that belief."
Well, actually President Bush Convinced me in May of 2001.
It's a long document but the one key point that comes out of it is increased reliance on Gulf Oil. The fact that Iraq's oil value had switched from dollars to the Euros really was a bad thing for the folks that put Bush-Cheney in power. It's quite obvious.
Now if Bush had stood up before Congress, as President Carter did, and say that we need to protect our oil interests in the Middle East so we can all survive, then I would've had a heckuva lot more respect for him and you, I and DJ would not be having this debate because I would basically have nothing. Instead, he dressed it up in a bunch of crap that wasn't true and exploited a real danger, Al Qaeda, as a means to his (and pals) end.
I rest my case.
No comment on the topic of communism? That's not like you!
Well, I am trying to respect the fact that my comments should be more short and not these long diatribes that eat up Haloscan...
"Well, I am trying to respect the fact that my comments should be more short and not these long diatribes that eat up Haloscan..."
Care to explain this one, then? Timestamped "08.30.07 - 11:42AM"?
Oh! Avoidance by means of humor! You really should include the smiley faces when you do that. ;)
Well, you might have me on that one :) but if I put up two that long then that would really be stretching it!
Oh, please, indulge yourself! ;)
Let me think on it tonight...I have been up to my arse in religion up top...but I will put up something...especially if DJ is still around...:)
This'll be two parts again. Verbose bastard, aren't I?
"Correct me if I’m wrong but here’s how I see it. I look at war, with all of its horrors, and wonder why it has to happen. Some of the time I recognize that it is necessary, given that there is evil in the world and one must defend themselves or their country."
Well, it's damned nice of you to finally admit it.
"Most of the time, however (and this is historically accurate) wars occur because men are greedy."
Yup, I think that's true. But don't confuse why any particular war was started with why any particular country became involved in it.
Consider a little bit of that same old history again, WW II in particular.
Japan began it in the East by invading various part of China, followed by attacks on the United States (to keep us at bay for a while, in hopes we'd sue for peace), followed by attacks on Australia (to keep them at bay for a while, so they couldn't help us), and attacks on the Philippines, and on Dutch East India (for oil). Sounds sorta like "greed", doesn't it?
Germany began it in the West by invading Poland, which it did for the stated goal of "living room in the east". "Lebensraum", I think is the German word for it. It continued with attacks on the Soviet Union, for the same reason. Again, sounds sorta like "greed", doesn't it?
So, you are correct, so far. WW II began because certain men were greedy.
But why did the United States become involved? Because Japan attacked the United States and, four days later, Germany declared war on the United States. Our involvement sounds sorta like "defense", doesn't it? Well, that is exactly what it was. We didn't have any real choice in the matter.
If we had stayed out, and if we had not supported the Soviet Union (which required military convoys and escorts that we could not have provided if we had stayed neutral), then Britain would have gone under, the Soviet Union would likely have sued for peace, everyone in Europe would be speaking German as a first language, and the whole Pacific Ocean would be a Japanese Lake. Sounds sorta like "defense of freedom", doesn't it? Well, that's exactly what it was.
"In fact, one could argue that even the “just” wars like WWII or Afghanistan were about money as well, not ideology. And that’s where you come in."
You're diving off into the weeds again. Every war has multiple participants, and so multiple points from which to view it. For Germany and Japan, it was about real estate and resources, but for US, it was about defense, demonstrably so. And that is where I come in. I look for all those viewpoints, but I'm most interested in the viewpoint from the country where I live, naturally so.
"You see every conflict as being necessary to the safety of our country. You believe, based on your posts, every time the US goes to war it is for the altruistic notion of “defending” our country."
No, and again, you are jumping to conclusions. If you want to know what I believe, ask me, as I've suggested to you many times before.
For examples, the conflicts in Viet Nam and Korea were not necessary to the safety of our country. Want proof? We lost in Viet Nam, which is now all communist, and we have an armistice in Korea, which is still divided as it was when the conflict began, and yet we are still free, last time I checked.
Again, I look at each one individually and on its own merits.
And, going to war for the defense of the country is the opposite of "altruistic", indeed it is quite selfish, properly so.
"What we are defending is the right for the extremely wealthy people in this country to continue to make money."
Yup, that is true. But that is not all, and this is where you dive off into the weeds most strongly.
What we are defending is the future of this country, which is a place where everyone has the right to work and to make money, such that they can continue to do so. You name only a small aspect of it and, characteristically of you, claim it as the whole thing. I take a much broader view. When someone flies airplanes into buildings, particularly the Pentagon, and states publicly that this is only the beginning, I take them seriously, and wealthy people earning money is not the focus of any of my response.
"You are being lied to, DJ, and it certainly is not by me."
Ain't interested. Read on.
"So, I guess what I’m wondering is this: what is it going to take for you to NOT believe that EVERY time the US is involved in a conflict, it is for “freedom.”
Well, it takes nothing at all. Fact is, I don't believe that every time the U.S. is involved in a conflict, it is for "freedom". I never have. You jump to the conclusion that I do because doing so is your habit and because this conclusion fits your preconceived notions.
Fact is, this country has been in lots of conflicts, many of which had nothing to do with "freedom". Try reading A Country Made By War by Geoffrey Perret. It is fascinating. As its back cover states, "Since 1775 no nation has had as much experience of war as the United States -- nine major wars in nine generations." There were lots of reasons for the conflicts this country has been involved in, some of which had nothing to do with freedom.
OK, here's part two.
Now, switching gears a bit, you persist in not understanding what this exchange has been about, or why I have landed on your pointed little head with both feet and a hammer.
Many moons ago, I suggested to you that your opinions would stand a much better chance of being considered on merit if you didn't submerge them in manure. You have shown no signs of understanding that, and, with rare exceptions, you haven't improved. Here lately, you've emptied the septic tank all over the front lawn.
Consider it via another metaphor. People will dig for diamonds, if: 1) the probability of finding a diamond is high enough to make the search worthwhile; 2) the value of any diamond they might expect to find is high enough to make the find worthwhile; and, 3) the search doesn't involve digging through acres of shit. With you, the first two are seldom considered because you lay on shit like a feedlot.
By far, the greatest amount of cognitive dissonance that you exhibit here is in that regard. For example, you recently spouted your usual political hot air, which may or may not be worth considering, but you submerged it in three huge piles of shit that I repeatedly hammered flat. The complaint wasn't about the hot air, it was about the shit.
And make no mistake about it -- the last three piles you laid on are the purest crapola I have read in a long, long time.
I suspect (but freely admit that such is only speculation, based on what I read here) that you are quite often at loggerheads with people around you. I suspect that you think of them as fools because they won't adopt your point of view or even admit that you have one, but you don't see that they think so strongly of you as a fool for treating them as fools that they don't even consider the merit of your opinions. You never get a chance to fill in the hole in the road because you continually erect a roadblock between you and the hole.
It doesn't work here any more than it works there, and each day, you try it again, only harder. We see it day after day after day. You don't see it at all.
I'm not interested in your opinions because I refuse to wade through the manure you drown them in to find out what they are. Whether or not they have merit is a question I don't even ask. It just isn't worth the effort, and I'm tired of absorbing the insults to my intelligence that you dish out.
Do you want decent consideration from others? Then give decent consideration to others. Do you want them to think you are intelligent? Then don't treat them as if they were fools. Leave the manure in the feedlot.
"but I will put up something...especially if DJ is still around..."
Well, I'm quite pleased to dash your hopes. It's nothing personal, mind you, rather it is dire necessity. Saturday is opening day of dove season and, come Saturday morning, I expect to be shucking shells and shagging birds (and most certainly more of the former than the latter). It's been a long, wet spring and summer (51 inches of rain so far this year), and it's time to get into the fields. 'Twixt now and then, I have things to do. The fields I'll be in don't have internet access, and I wouldn't use it even if they did.
Oh, and incidentally, my last posts were divided into multiple parts because Haloscan would not accept them otherwise. There were too many characters and/or too many carraige returns. I'm like that.
"Oh, and incidentally, my last posts were divided into multiple parts because Haloscan would not accept them otherwise. There were too many characters and/or too many carraige returns. I'm like that."
Odd. So am I.
YOU need a BLOG!
I completely agree with you in regards to WWII. We had to fight and this was a war that American business did NOT want to fight because of the money they were making in Germany. This was true good vs. evil and good won. My grandfather served in the Pacific theater from 1942-1945, so I know this to be true.
I also agree with you on Vietanm and Korea. Glad to see you think that way. It seems we divide on Iraq and the Middle East (excluding Afghanistan where we agree).