The Smallest Minority on earth is the individual. Those who deny individual rights cannot claim to be defenders of minorities. - Ayn Rand
And, I'm sorry to say, the entire pack of Democrat hopefuls for the Oval Office next year are promising Iraqis that lone helicopter on the roof again...
How DARE you question them!!!!
I know. The huge upswing in violence in the run up to the '04 and '06 elections show that our enemies understand our press all too well.
"Rack up the body count, they'll leave!"
Luckily, we've managed to hold on and maybe - maybe - establish a functional state (in a fraction of the time it took us to do the same in for example, Germany or Japan)... that will hold on.
But it's considered unsporting to note what our enemies report and analyze our behavior to be.
But, you and I forget, they're the "reality-based party", who "understand other cultures". So I guess we're just wrong.
I'm not sure which assumption is worse: that our domestic opposition is actually seeking to damage the country for partisan advantage, or that they are well-meaning but too self-centered and oblivious of the world around them to see the effects of their behavior.
At least in the first case we can be assured of their competence and (bounded) rationality.
Remember the old truth:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely."
So, how corrupting is the prospect of power, especially of absolute power? How corrupting is the prospect of the biggest legal ego trip the world has to offer?
So, I guess all of the pain, death, and misery we have caused in Iraq is "better" than what Saddam did? Ah, the vanity of jingoism.
And his point about Moore is way off as is the norm...
Mastiff: When two explanations, one involving malice and one involving stupidity, seem equally plausible, assume stupidity.
I actually agree with the leftist assumption that many if not most Americans rarely are able to think clearly beyond their own little worlds. Where I depart with the leftists is with their opinion that this affliction is unique to Americans, rather than being the most common human condition in general.
So, I guess all of the pain, death, and misery we have caused in Iraq is "better" than what Saddam did?
Do you place all the IEDs, VBIEDs, and all the other murders of civilians carried out by Al Qaeda et al. in Iraq as "pain, death, and misery we have caused"? Wouldn't surprise me.
And Moore? On the mark. X-ring.
The Iraqis who have risen up against the occupation are not "insurgents" or "terrorists" or "The Enemy." They are the REVOLUTION, the Minutemen, and their numbers will grow -- and they will win. - Michael Moore
Again, Mark, what would have (logically) happened had we done as the Democrats insisted and pulled out? As every viable Democrat candidate currently advises (though I think Hillary is lying - as usual.)
"Do you place all the IEDs, VBIEDs, and all the other murders of civilians carried out by Al Qaeda et al. in Iraq as "pain, death, and misery we have caused"?"
No, but again we come back to the tricky issue of responsibility again. The United States government, specifically the Bush administration, is partially responsible for the deaths of many innocents in Iraq. Sectarian violence and Al Qaeda are also responsible. Since I think the war was completely uncalled for and we should have been focused on Afghanistan/Pakistan (currently in a state that can best be described as whirring out of control), I say that, in some ways, we are no better than Saddam. In fact, wasn't he our buddy when he was doing all that killin'?
"what would have (logically) happened had we done as the Democrats insisted and pulled out? As every viable Democrat candidate currently advises (though I think Hillary is lying - as usual.)?"
Well, it's funny you ask that. Because I was thinking about this the other day. The Bush Administration would have us believe that the (latest in a series) reason why we went to Iraq was so we could attract Al Qaeda and fight them there so we don't have to fight them here. Let's assume that this is true.
Now, I think most everyone can agree that Al Qaeda was not in Iraq before we got there. So, wouldn't it stand to reason that if we re-deployed troops to Afghanistan, as the Democrats think we should, to really go after Al Qaeda, that they would follow us again? They want to fight us. If we weren't in Iraq, they would have to go Afghanistan to keep recruitment up and their propaganda machine rolling.
Ah, but no! If we leave, they will take over Iraq. How exactly will they accomplish that? Who will support them in their endeavors? The Shi'a have killed many of the Sunnis and are being helped by Iran.
Basically, I think Bush Co just makes it up as they go along and people just believe whatever they say.
Mark, you seem to believe that we can do nothing but wrong by acting, but cause no aftershock by leaving.
I cannot fathom that logical disconnect.
Regardless of the rightness of invading Iraq, we're there. We, as a nation, have committed to an action, with the stated purpose (no matter how the Left pooh-poohs it) of leaving Iraq with a stable, democratic form of government.
If we give up on that promise, then we will have proven to be Bin Laden's "weak horse."
Civilization requires the active cooperation of the majority of a society. Anarchy requires the willing brutality of a relatively small portion. The U.S. military currently provides what stability Iraq has, with the Iraqi Police and armed forces coming up to speed pretty rapidly, if Michael Yon and Michael Totten are correct in their observations.
But if we pull out, a major portion of the Iraqi population will lose confidence, and anarchy is the most likely result.
You know who rules over an anarchy?
The meanest, craziest, most heavily armed MFers.
Basically, I think the Left has stopped thinking and just opposes anything coming out of the Bush administration as a knee-jerk reflex.
"You know who rules over an anarchy?"
"...the Left has stopped thinking..."
"If we give up on that promise, then we will have proven to be Bin Laden's "weak horse."
Since when are we, The United States of Kiss My Fucking Ass, defined by what a mass murderering psychotic thinks? Or what his followers think? I believe you have stated, and rightfully so, that the derangement of the Islamist is beyond cure. It doesn't matter what we do-they will still try to define us as being weak/evil/the great satan or whatever dumb ass thing they come up with.
Our goal should be the elimination of those who would use terror as a weapon and I think that Iraq has nothing to do with that at all. There are places, both physical and mental, that do. Let's go there and get it done.
"But if we pull out, a major portion of the Iraqi population will lose confidence, and anarchy is the most likely result. You know who rules over an anarchy? The meanest, craziest, most heavily armed MFers. Guess who?"
Again, though, I submit they will follow us. And I'd like to see some data on how heavily armed Al Qaeda is in Iraq as of Jan 10, 2008 compared to say, Pakistan currently, for example.
"the Left has stopped thinking"
It's true, there are some people on the Left that have stopped thinking. Many, however, have spent a great deal of time consulting with the Pentagon and our intelligence agencies and have pretty detailed plans on how to address the problem of radical Islam.
It's funny because the real problem is that the right has stopped listening. Their mantra is THIS IS THE ONLY WAY AND THERE IS NO OTHER, which is odd because that's pretty much the same mantra as Al Qaeda.
In the end, Kevin, the question is: do you want to win? The answer is yes, of course, and, other than Bush Co and followers (a definite minority btw), most experience people (military, intelligence, diplomats) agree that this is NOT the way to win. And, contrary to the douche bag conservative pundit machine, they actually have a plan.
Since when are we, The United States of Kiss My Fucking Ass, defined by what a mass murderering psychotic thinks? Or what his followers think?
Mark, we're defined in the minds of people to whom the idea of strapping a bomb to their bodies and blowing themselves to 72 Virgins seems like a right intelligent thing to do.
Except when they see all their friends doing it, but the Great Satan is still there.
Sooner or later the brighter ones start thinking that Jihad thing might not be such a good idea after all.
But if the neolithic goatherds in Semtex Underoos manage to make the Great Satan retreat?
Hey, it worked! Pajama party!!
The opposition has a plan or plans? These would be the same people who said that the Surge would/did/had failed, right? Any of them have a plan that doesn't involve abandoning Iraq to the tender mercies of people who like to shorten their opponents by a head? 'Cause I'd really like to hear 'em.
Or are these sooper sekrit plans like John Kerry said he had when he ran for President last time? I was really hoping he was going to let America in on that even though he lost. Being a Senator and all that, I really thought he wanted us to win and for Iraq to be a free and safe nation.
Here's a scoop for you Mark: Everybody "knows" how to lose. The winning part is a lot tougher.
"I actually agree with the leftist assumption that many if not most Americans rarely are able to think clearly beyond their own little worlds. Where I depart with the leftists is with their opinion that this affliction is unique to Americans, rather than being the most common human condition in general."
Damned right. So, it's time for yet another Heinlein quote:
"Most people can't think, most of the remainder won't think, the small fraction who do think mostly can't do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion in the long run, these are the only people who count."
DJ, I agree with the Heinlein quote. The tiny fraction are the ones who should be running our government but they aren't because the rest of the pie...the non thinkers...don't understand the language they are speaking.
I suspect, though, that you and I would differ on who these thinkers are :))