Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Baghdad Bob Is Still in Business!

New York Times shock columnist, Bob Herbert, has taken up the cause and tactics of Saddam’s ex-communications director, Baghdad Bob. In a March 19th column, Bob revealed that the ACLU is initiating a lawsuit against Donald Rumsfeld. Their client is an Iraqi named Arkan Mohammed Ali. Ali claims to have been: stabbed, shocked, beaten, hooded, striped naked, urinated on, and buried alive. The ACLU joins seven other former detainees and the Human Rights First group in the suit. They claim that Secretary Rumsfeld personally authorized unlawful interrogation techniques. Herbert excoriates Rumsfeld without evidence and surely without proof. He vaguely references “a myriad [of] newspaper and magazine articles”, none of which he quotes, he mentions “U.S. government reports”, none of which he sites, and “such reputable groups as the International Committee of the Red Cross”. He does not tell us what the supposed authorities have to say about Rumsfeld, nor does he explain why he might consider the International Committee of the Red Cross a reputable group.

It is disheartening to me that Baghdad Bob “II” refuses to give Donald Rumsfeld; a man who has done more than most to protect Mr. Herbert and the ACLU’s freedoms; the same “innocent until proven guilty” defense they demanded for Michael Jackson and the terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay. Realizing that any half-baked or vengeful idiot can shark up a lawyer to file a law suit; I challenge the motivation of these litigants and their propagandists in the “Media”. Their motivation is to condemn the administration, the Secretary of Defense, and our military. Once again, filled with “Bush hate”, they inspire the assault on America.

I maintain that Donald Rumsfeld has done a great deal to protect and spread the blessings of freedom thoughout the world. Remember when and where it was that our military failed. Under Bill Clinton, our troops were driven, tail between their legs, from Mogadishu; America stood by while at least half a million Rwandans were hacked to death by machetes; it took 250,000 murders in the former Yugoslavia before Clinton, concerned for his legacy, took action. When a bunch of drunken hoods turned back the US Marine Corps in Haiti, Bin Laden made his decision. Bin Laden believed that the cowards in charge of America’s government during the Clinton adminitration were representative of all Americans. Hence he set in motion the bombing of our embassies in Africa, our ships in the Red Sea, and our citizens in New York and Washington D.C. But on 9/11 the enemies of American found out there was a different administration in power. A very important part of that administration was and is Donald Rumsfeld.

Whenever I hear groups like the ACLU, the International Red Cross, Human Rights First, or their lackeys in the media attacking Rumsfeld, I recall the claims they made in the days before the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. With eager confidence they told us that America would be defeated by the Taliban; after all the left’s heroes – the USSR - had been. It was interesting to note at the time that the "News" Magazine articles predicting the defeat of America in Afghanistan came out on the stands after the surrender of the Taliban. Victory in Afghanistan came so quickly that the Media "know-it-alls" couldn’t even pull their fraudulent stories in time to print reports of America’s success. Perhaps you remember the left’s predictions that America's army in Iraq would be bogged down and slaughtered along the banks of the Euphrates. The left predicted 20,000 American deaths in the days before our troops were thrown back into the sea. It never happened – so the enemies of American have had to cook up new definitions of failure, new exaggerated disasters, to support their design of embarrassing America. Rather than showing America’s military and its leaders the respect and gratitude they are due, the ACLU, the Human Rights First group, and the New York Times set about to use the courts to raise yet another false screen of stomach-turning propaganda to shame the United States in the eyes of the world.

I might not know everything about America's War on Terror, but if the world the ACLU and Baghdad Bob II hope for comes to be, none of us will be here to discuss it.

48 comments:

A_Shadow said...

Funny, at that mention I seem to remember my Sophmore World History teacher bringing up that very topic on the defeat of the Soviets. I remember that part because he cited Brittain's similar defeat. But I don't remember if that was a prediction or a warning...

Anyways, always fun to see things like that going on. Never willing to give up when horribly defeated. I'd admire it if it weren't so misguided in this case.

But I haven't had much faith in the "rights" groups lately. Too many double standards and approaching things far too militantly. The whole "let us spread our rights by the sword" thing turns me away from it as a whole. Of course they don't actually kill anyone, but the pursuit of your means and ends by the sole use of harsh language and
EVERY SINGLE lawsuit that you can imagine doesn't send me a very good image of your group. If all I ever hear about it is that the group is suing someone or issuing something to the news about how bad someone else is. It should make you wonder.

Dahr Jamail said...

Stories from Fallujah

These are the stories that will continue to emerge from the rubble of Fallujah for years. No, for generations…

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the doctor sits with me in a hotel room in Amman, where he is now a refugee. He’d spoken about what he saw in Fallujah in the UK, and now is under threat by the US military if he returns to Iraq.

“I started speaking about what happened in Fallujah during both sieges in order to raise awareness, and the Americans raided my house three times,” he says, talking so fast I can barely keep up. He is driven to tell what he’s witnessed, and as a doctor working inside Fallujah, he has video and photographic proof of all that he tells me.

“I entered Fallujah with a British medical and humanitarian convoy at the end of December, and stayed until the end of January,” he explains, “But I was in Fallujah before that to work with people and see what their needs were, so I was in there since the beginning of December.”

When I ask him to explain what he saw when he first entered Fallujah in December he says it was like a tsunami struck the city.

“Fallujah is surrounded by refugee camps where people are living in tents and old cars,” he explains, “It reminded me of Palestinian refugees. I saw children coughing because of the cold, and there are no medicines. Most everyone left their houses with nothing, and no money, so how can they live depending only on humanitarian aid?”

The doctors says that in one refugee camp in the northern area of Fallujah there were 1,200 students living in seven tents.

“The disaster caused by this siege is so much worse than the first one, which I witnessed first hand,” he says, and then tells me he’ll use one story as an example.

“One story is of a young girl who is 16 years old,” he says of one of the testimonies he video taped recently, “She stayed for three days with the bodies of her family who were killed in their home. When the soldiers entered she was in her home with her father, mother, 12 year-old brother and two sisters. She watched the soldiers enter and shoot her mother and father directly, without saying anything.”

The girl managed to hide behind the refrigerator with her brother and witnessed the war crimes first-hand.

“They beat her two sisters, then shot them in the head,” he said. After this her brother was enraged and ran at the soldiers while shouting at them, so they shot him dead.

“She continued hiding after the soldiers left and stayed with her sisters because they were bleeding, but still alive. She was too afraid to call for help because she feared the soldiers would come back and kill her as well. She stayed for three days, with no water and no food. Eventually one of the American snipers saw her and took her to the hospital,” he added before reminding me again that he had all of her testimony documented on film.

He briefly told me of another story he documented of a mother who was in her home during the siege. “On the fifth day of the siege her home was bombed, and the roof fell on her son, cutting his legs off,” he says while using his hands to make cutting motions on his legs, “For hours she couldn’t go outside because they announced that anyone going in the street would be shot. So all she could do was wrap his legs and watch him die before her eyes.”

He pauses for a few deep breaths, then continues, “All I can say is that Fallujah is like it was struck by a tsunami. There weren’t many families in there after the siege, but they had absolutely nothing. The suffering was beyond what you can imagine. When the Americans finally let us in people were fighting just for a blanket.”

“One of my colleagues, Dr. Saleh Alsawi, he was speaking so angrily about them. He was in the main hospital when they raided it at the beginning of the seige. They entered the theater room when they were working on a patient…he was there because he’s an anesthesiologist. They entered with their boots on, beat the doctors and took them out, leaving the patient on the table to die.”

This story has already been reported in the Arab media.

The doctor tells me of the bombing of the Hay Nazal clinic during the first week of the siege.

“This contained all the foreign aid and medical instruments we had. All the US military commanders knew this, because we told them about it so they wouldn’t bomb it. But this was one of the clinics bombed, and in the first week of the siege they bombed it two times.”

He then adds, “Of course they targeted all our ambulances and doctors. Everyone knows this.”

The doctor tells me he and some other doctors are trying to sue the US military for the following incident, for which he has the testimonial evidence on tape.

It is a story I was told by several refugees in Baghdad as well…at the end of last November while the siege was still in progress.

“During the second week of the siege they entered and announced that all the families have to leave their homes and meet at an intersection in the street while carrying a white flag. They gave them 72 hours to leave and after that they would be considered an enemy,” he says.

“We documented this story with video-a family of 12, including a relative and his oldest child who was 7 years old. They heard this instruction, so they left with all their food and money they could carry, and white flags. When they reached the intersection where the families were accumulating, they heard someone shouting ‘Now!’ in English, and shooting started everywhere.”

The family was all carrying white flags, as instructed, according to the young man who gave his testimony. Yet he watched his mother and father shot by snipers-his mother in the head and his father shot in the heart. His two aunts were shot, then his brother was shot in the neck. The man stated that when he raised himself from the ground to shout for help, he was shot in the side.

“After some hours he raised his arm for help and they shot his arm,” continues the doctor, “So after awhile he raised his hand and they shot his hand.”

A six year-old boy of the family was standing over the bodies of his parents, crying, and he too was then shot.

“Anyone who raised up was shot,” adds the doctor, then added again that he had photographs of the dead as well as photos of the gunshot wounds of the survivors.

“Once it grew dark some of them along with this man who spoke with me, with his child and sister-in-law and sister managed to crawl away after it got dark. They crawled to a building and stayed for 8 days. They had one cup of water and gave it to the child. They used cooking oil to put on their wounds which were of course infected, and found some roots and dates to eat.”

He stops here. His eyes look around the room as cars pass by outside on wet streets…water hissing under their tires.

He left Fallujah at the end of January, so I ask him what it was like when he left recently.

“Now maybe 25% of the people have returned, but there are still no doctors. The hatred now of Fallujans against every American is incredible, and you cannot blame them. The humiliation at the checkpoints is only making people even angrier,” he tells me.

“I’ve been there, and I saw that anyone who even turns their head is threatened and hit by both American and Iraqi soldiers alike…one man did this, and when the Iraqi soldier tried to humiliate him, the man took a gun of a nearby soldier and killed two ING, so then of course he was shot.”

The doctor tells me they are keeping people in the line for several hours at a time, in addition to the US military making propaganda films of the situation.

“And I’ve seen them use the media-and on January 2nd at the north checkpoint in the north part of Fallujah, they were giving people $200 per family to return to Fallujah so they can film them in the line…when actually, at that time, nobody was returning to Fallujah,” he says. It reminds me of the story my colleague told me of what he saw in January. At that time a CNN crew was escorted in by the military to film street cleaners that were brought in as props, and soldiers handing out candy to children.

“You must understand the hatred that has been caused…it has gotten more difficult for Iraqis, including myself, to make the distinction between the American government and the American people,” he tells me.

His story is like countless others.

“My cousin was a poor man in Fallujah,” he explains, “He walked from his house to work and back, while living with his wife and five daughters. In July of 2003, American soldiers entered his house and woke them all up. They drug them into the main room of the house, and executed my cousin in front of his family. Then they simply left.”

He pauses then holds up his hands and asks, “Now, how are these people going to feel about Americans?”

Anonymous said...

The posters on this Blog site have no sympathies for these collateral damage victims/martys for Democracy -- it was all used up for Terry Schiavo -- her life was much more significant!

What is more, it's all untrue anyway, because I say so.

"If it were up to me, I'd kill the Americans and drink their blood."
-Jilan Hassan 14

I wonder if he voted in the election? I vote that he be the next collateral damage victim volunteer!

Ares said...

Ok, I just have a few questions.

Where, Mr. Jamail, is your proof for all this?

Why would our soldiers do these things if it would gain them nothing?

How can, as you say, 1200 students live in seven tents? I think that exaggeration is as bad as a downright lie.

Also, isn't it convienient that none of these people can be questioned about their testimony, if they really exist.

Why would our soldiers attack a hospital, when we know full well that they could help us? It simply makes no sense.

If they anti-American feelings in Fallujah are so strong, why did we have such success in the elections and why have all reports been that it is only giving up?

Who exactly is killing the Iraqis now, besides as you state the Americans?

And last of all, for now at least, what prompted you to come onto this blog to spread your propaganda?

Personally, I am very much disinclined to believe that our soldeirs would commit such atrocities. They have nothing to gain from it. And I thought that Lysis' original blog said something about propaganda in the news, huh, funny. It looks to me like we have a Bahgdad Bob the third to me. I want to challenge the truthfullness of your post.

Well, if it seems like I have been a little disorganized, I apologize. I am just a little bit flabergasted that someone would post such lies.

-Ares

Lysis said...

It is an honor to have Dahar Jamail in the Agora. I have spent several hours going over some of the materials available on Dahar Jamail’s Iraq Dispatches. I must admit that I found the arguments disturbing and thought provoking, however I am not ready to abandon my position. As I alluded to above, the world is full of those “who lie in wait to deceive”. If “Jamail” is not such a one, I hope he will be patient with me.

I read the “Newtopia” article. What an exciting life! However, I feel the argument the article contains are out of date and, like most of “Jamail’s” stuff, has shown to be inaccurate by subsequent events. While purporting to bring us the truth kept from us by our government, I find his reports questionable because of the agenda they contain. For example:

1. He continually refers to the Bush administration as the Bush “regime” and openly claims that a majority of the people of the US are in opposition to it. D.J. should spend some more time investigating Americans, perhaps counting ballots from the 2004 election..

2. D.J. calls Allawi and the interim government puppets installed by the US. The interim government was sanctioned by the U.N and is fulfilling its obligation to the Iraqi people by putting itself out of business.

3. D.J. refers to the January Election in Iraq as a joke. I would remind him that 8,000,000 free Iraqis participated in the joke. Their courage and determination to be free in the face of murders, insurgents and terrorists, not American liberation forces, is no laughing matter.

4. D.J. really tips his hand by questioning the legitimacy of the 2000 US election. This bogus argument puts in question the credibility of all his evidence.

5. D.J. alludes to American desire to maintain an endless occupation. This is an utterly specious claim, and fails to recognize the enormous expense and sacrifice of American efforts to liberate and build Iraq and get out. D.J. constantly eludes to the 1,500 + American service men and women who have died in Iraq but refuses to recognize what they have been struggling to do while serving in Iraq. These precious heroes did not die hunting humans in some “blood sport” as D.J. suggests. They have been desperately attempting to bring the wealth and resources of Iraq to the benefit of the Iraqi people; something Saddam and his thugs never even tried to do.

6. D.J claims that the number of Iraqis killed exceeds 100,000. This number has never been substantiated. It has been made up and repeated again and again like the environmental activists’ hundred species a day extinction rate. It has no basis in fact and D. J.’s observations of machine gun fire and bombed out houses do not substantiate it.

7. D. J.’s efforts to tie this conflict to Vietnam are further proof of his agenda. I suggest he read the “No More Vietnam” posts on this web log for a little insight. For now, let me point out that the result of US withdrawal from Vietnam was 3,000,000 DOCUMENTED deaths and a Vietnam still under murderous slavery.

8. D. J.’s only independently documented “atrocity” is the sexual harassment perpetrated at Abu Ghraib. These atrocities were under investigation by the U.S. military long before the pictures hit the press, and the American military is prosecuting and punishing the perpetrators.

I have looked at the terrible pictures amassed on “Jamail’s” web page. I would not recommend this to anyone else. They were truly moving, disturbing, and unbearable to look at – but I missed the 400,000 Iraqi corpses piled up by Saddam. I feel justified in pointing out to D.J that the mounting deaths in Iraq today are the work of the daily terrorists attacks which the Iraqi army, police, and American military forces risk and give their lives to stop.

Here are some questions I would ask D. J. to answer if he really is taking the time to read and post on our humble log.

1. What does the US or the Bush Administration have to gain from this “invasion and occupation” of Iraq?

2. Who is it that is attacking the infrastructure of Iraq? Who blows up the oil lines, sabotages the power plants and damages the water distribution systems? Who is murdering innocents daily in the streets and mosques? Don’t you have any condemnation for the terrorists who murder “their own”?

3. Why are American and other coalition people daily risking their lives to rebuild Iraq?

4. What does the fact that 8,000,000 Iraqis risked their lives to vote tell us about their attitude toward democracy? You say a joke - I say a longing to be free!

D. J. continually compare the situation in Iraq to a Tsunami. I am reminded of the hundreds of thousands who were supposed to die of disease through US neglect in the weeks following the floods. Even as the US sent its troops and treasure to South East Asia, her enemies sought to belittle and decry America’s efforts. It is easy to attack the U.S. It is easy to invent and perpetuate slanders and accusations. I sympathize with D. J. in his struggle to get out the truth, if that is what he is really trying to do. I submit the above criticisms as explanations for my skepticism. I also know many who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and others who served honorably in Vietnam, Korea, and WWII. In every case America proved the nobility of its cause by the actions of its warriors and the generosity of its people in victory and defeat. I am not inclined to accept “Jamail’s” claims. In the face of such carefully crafted and confidently presented material one is tempted to be cowed; but keep in mind that while ignorance is the enemy of truth, so is deceit. If I am ignorant – I have invited instruction. If what D.J. has to tell is really true then it does not need to fear my skepticism or my questions. I agree with D.J. that in the end the truth will come out. I fought a long and seemingly fruitless battle against those who extolled Communism. I was vindicated in the end. I hope the same will be the case in this terrible conflict with terror. While this is my hope I stand more eager to know the truth than to be right.

A note to Anonymous – In the Agora we are capable of having compassion for all who suffer from evil; whether they are murdered by terrorism or by judicial inaction.

A_Shadow said...

I leave for a few hours and we all decide to have a party, eh?

In typical fashion I'm a little late to add anything super credible to what's already been stated. But a few points that I carried from the beginning that weren't covered in the end:

He's a refugee in Annan? So he's Iraqi? What would an Iraqi know about a tsunami? I mean, no offense, but did he also visit the drowned shores of asia? That to me speaks of a coach, and a poor one. Very few of us around today have seen a tsunami that's as destructive as he's comparing the war to. And the second to last one happened in Alaska, as far as I know.

The really cool thing for me, in the bitter irony that twists this type of argument, is how soldiers slaughtered that poor girl's family, and then an American sniper found her and took her to the hospital. Even more neat to me is the lack of description of the soldiers. Nothing in that entire section dictates the affiliation of any of the "soldiers" except that she was rescued by an American Sniper. Hmm... On one hand we have the implication that Americans killed her family (without saying it outright) and on the other hand an American Sniper saved her... Kinda wierd how you can doublespeak like that in the same breath...

Anonymous: Go back to sleep. Really. It doesn't matter because you say so? Collateral damage volunteer? I can only hope and assume that it's not you, Blowhard, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Sorry to be a bit heartless, but collateral damage happens. So do deaths in the military. Does that make it more or less just to fight? Would you have prefered Bush Jr. and Saddam just box? Or maybe play a game of chess instead? Collateral damage is tragic, yes, but it doesn't make the war not worth fighting. It's a hard line to draw. We've killed a couple of thousand, and surrendered tens of thousands in the last year. Saddam's killed tens of thousands of his own people in the last years... Choices.

I'm sorry it happens, I wish it could be avoided, give us time. That's the whole aim in developing "smart" munitions. We only want to kill the bad guys. It's not like we've carpet bombed their cities.

Ares said...

Shadow,
Thank you for puting what I was trying to in words far better than I could. You said exactly what I was thinking in my mind with the whole tsumani thing.
Anyway, thanks again, I'm with you on this one.
Ares

Anonymous said...

Blowhard here . . .
Shadow:
I'll go back to sleep when you wake up! (Yah, I know neither will happen)

". . . but collateral damage happens . . "

I find your "s*** happens" attitude/comments about collateral damage to be particularly objectionable/noxious/sophomoric.
I guess it is ALWAYS "s*** happens" until it is your s*** it is happening to. Only when it is YOUR nearest and dearest -- of which it is clear you know nothing -- then can you make your claims about the necessity of the "greater good".
Do not make your "moral" claims when it happens to someone else. It IS life . . . it IS innocence . . . it IS a tragedy, and there is no BUT that can equivocate ANYTHING after that.

Shadow's comments about doctors' expertise would have some credibilty if he could avoid charges of hypocrisy by openly proclaiming, here at the Agora, that he has not been treated/nor will seek treatment by a physician when he is ill. Have you ever broken a bone? -- been hopitalized? Were the faith healers all that effective? Time to tell the truth! Time to "wake up."

Shadow challenges the sources and citations of other posters, but NEVER has any citations of his own.

Lysis, at least pretends to have sources, but never provides the EXACT language of the original (I am sure he knows how to do this).
Lysis requires empirical evidence, but provides precious little himself. His style is to allude to and comment on some "original" document or statement, but to NEVER provide the original text citations, . . . others might reach "nonLysis" conclusions without his "guidance" and commentary -- sorry, can't be trusted with empiracle evidence.

Some empirical evidence Lysis needs to consider:

George Bush had been President of the United States some eight months when 9-11 happened. (Lysis keeps forgetting this FACT when he attributes blame) I guess now it's time for the Colteresque "Clinton made me do it" equivacations/apology. But, after all that -- the fact remains.
-Time for Lysis to admit where the "Buck" really stops.

Does the Agora compassion extend to innocents that are murdered/killed/collateralized (choose your equivocation) by American soldiers? Isn't it curious that Lysis left these people out of the Agora campassion?
Perhaps Lysis believes that no such vicitims exist. Will Lysis proclaim to the Agora that no innocent life has been taken by American soldiers? He seems to know what the numbers aren't, perhaps he can tell what the numbers are! And don't forget the citation.

Fiianlly, Ares is shocked by the "spread of propaganda" at the Agora. Rather like walking into a Bordello and being shocked at seeing so many whores.

Ares said...

I don't know about you, but I for one have never seen Blowhard cite anything anywhere. How interesting that he should condemn "us" for not doing the self-same thing.

As for George W. being president for eight months when 9/11 happened, wasn't it Clinton who let bin Laden go? Wasn't it the Saudi's that had bin Laden and asked if Clinton wanted him and Clinton said, "No, not really."?
Choke on that FACT.

Also, I believe that Lysis said that we in the Agora have compassion for ALL people who suffer from evil? What exactly does that say to you, Blowhard?

Isn't it interesting that Blowhard would try to damn Lysis because he "used no empirical evidence" but he himself used none (or perhaps one measly line)?

And finally, Blowhard, I suppose that I should not be so surprised that propaganda is spread here, what is it that you have been doing all this time? Stupid me.

-Ares

BlackWind said...

I cite my stuff. Can I condemn you guys? Haha jk

Just a quick note because I have to run to work. YOu do not have to live through a tsunami to know how bad it is. I have never experienced a tsunami/tornado/Firestorm of meteors, but I am pretty sure I can relate to those as negative things.

Also, as to why soldiers would treat prisoners poorly, even when they have nothing to extract:

The military is a very subservient organization. A lot of the people on the bottom will do just about anything to have some command over others. Just how human nature is.

Ironically, I have no sources for this, because I have to leave. I promise better, more thought out posts later.

-TheBlackWind

Ares said...

Perhaps we could all associate a tsunami with a bad thing, but the point is that an Iraqi would probably not use that as their first analogy when describing something horrible. They would more likely use something like a sand storm, something that they can themselves relate to. That is why it smacks of a coach, because that is something that Americans would be able to identify with because of the recent tsunami. Like I said before, isn't it convienient that these people cannot be provided to be cross-examined about their "testimony" if they exist at all.

-Ares

Lysis said...

Blowhard – First of all, I think collateral damage, which is a sanitized word for innocent people killed in the heat of battle, is a terrible reality of war. I think that is what Shadow meant by saying “it happens”. It is terrible when it does! It is terrible that wars happen at all. Here is a scenario to consider. A murderer has your family held hostage and is systematically killing your children one by one. The police, in a heroic attempt to stop the slaughter, burst into your home and accidentally kill one of your children in the cross fire. However, they are able to save you and the rest of your family. Would you want that police man, the person who risked his life to save you and yours, to be accused of murder? That child’s death would be horrible – worthy of our sympathy – and no doubt responsible for much suffering to the policeman. Should we do away with police forces through out our nation, because some have made mistakes? Should we turn the world over to the murderers because there is “collateral damage” in combating them? I say no! Should we be cold and indifferent to the innocent who die in rescue attempts? I say no. What we should do is place the balm where it belongs, on the murderers, not on the “peace officers” who risk everything to serve our happiness. Innocents, tragically killed by Coalition soldiers, are victims of Saddam and those who seek to perpetuate his monstrous reign. Once again I stress that those being killed in Iraq today are being killed by terrorists! That’s a fact – the terrorists proudly claim credit for their murders day after day.

One reason I have trouble with the “blame America crowd” is that not long ago one could here from folks like D.J., that American sanctions against Saddam were starving 50,000 children to death. Now we know that the deadly deprivations were caused by a combination of the misdeeds of Saddam and the corruption of the U.N. Where are the endless attacks on them from the “compassionate crowd”? It seems that this crowd is only interested in attacking America, not in protecting the innocent.

Still to Blowhard – When 9/11 happened Bush did something. He destroyed the Taliban that had supported the terrorists and drove the terrorist into caves from which they have not yet crept. One cannot separate the flow of history into convenient chunks. “This happened on Bush’s watch so it was his fault”; that’s nonsense. The truth is that it was Clinton that dropped the ball and Bush that picked it up!

Finally, Blowhard - No I don’t have numbers. Neither do you nor D.J. The difference is that I don’t make them up in order to try and sway others through deceit. That is what I call propaganda.

Blackwind – I don’t know who you know in the military. I know many military people – I grew up surrounded by them. I studied with them to become one of them, and I am honored to call many my friends. None of them are subservient to anything but justice. You should review the oath sworn by our warriors. They swear NOT to obey unjust orders! They know right from wrong! They are citizen soldiers who risk their lives and futures for our safety and to save the innocent through out the world.

Let me tell you a story. Years ago I was teaching Japanese at the LDS Language Training Mission in Hawaii. I was also studying at the Church College of Hawaii. My Japanese professor was Kajiyama Sensei. This wonderful man had been a boy in Hiroshima when the A Bomb was dropped on it. He told us of that terrible day. He told us how he found his mother at the hospital the day after the bomb was dropped. The hospital was one of the few buildings still standing in the city and for solid blocks in each direction the wounded and suffering were mobbing it, trying to get help. He found his mother at the hospital. She was so horribly swollen from the burns on her body that he only recognized her by her words. His mother died that day. Surely he had reason to hate America. For years he had been taught that when the Americans came they would eat the children. The Japanese propaganda machine had convinced the people of Japan that the Americans were monsters who would enslave, molest, torture, and murder the Japanese people. They were told it would be better to die, to disappear as a people, than to come under American dominance. He told us how terrified he was when he saw Americans for the first time, and how kind and helpful they proved to be. In a matter of weeks he and all the Japanese he knew came to understand that the Americans were treating them far better than their own rulers and military forces had ever done. Kajiyama Sensei told us how he came to love America and Americans. He came to realize that the war was an evil his government had forced upon the people of Japan. The Japanese found it possible to believe that they would be treated with brutality because that is how the Japanese had treated the people they had conquered. The facts of history speak clearly against the accusations made by D.J. and his cronies. Some years later Kajiyama Sensei saw some young American on a train. As they seemed to be on the train at the same time each day, he started riding the train at that time so he could see them. One day they spoke to him. They were Mormon Missionaries and he went on to joint their church. While I was in Hawaii, Kajiyama Sensei became an American Citizen. I was in charge of decorating the party cake with dozens of little American flags. My point in this rambling and sentimental narrative: my friend and teacher had been taught a lie. He had been told that America and Americans were evil. He discovered the truth and became an American himself. I lived in Japan for almost two years; meeting and speaking with people all day every day. In that entire time, a time that was at the height of the Vietnam War, I only met one Japanese who told me he held a grudge against America because of the war. I came to know hundreds who loved and appreciated the United States of America for the justice and generosity they had shown to the people of Japan.

As I said above; time will tell. History will once more reveal the truth. Fact may be hard to find, but lies can be recognized. Mike Moore concocted a disingenuous movie that made him famous and $100 million bucks. John Kerry invented atrocities in Vietnam and got himself into the U.S. Congress, the U. S. Senate, and almost got himself elected president. In the process he did great harm to America and the world. We have become used to those who invent the most convincing and pernicious falsehoods to promote their agendas. Can you blame us for being skeptical?

A_Shadow said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Dan Simpson said...

I am only posting to say that the story of Kajiyama Sensei is beautiful

Anonymous said...

Oh, crap, Blowhard finally got something right, the world must be coming to an end!

Anonymous said...

Just a thought, but since it seems like no one is talking very much, perhaps we should head away from this tangent and go back to the original post by Lysis. But far be it from me to dictate where we have to go.

Lysis said...

For those of you who are interested, there have been some very interesting posts by Joe Licentia and support_trondheim_bomb on the posting titled “Native Son”. I have done my best to answer their excellent arguments on that earlier posting and hope you might enjoy reading this sharing of idea. It seems to relate to this discussion as well.

A_Shadow said...

Yes, perhaps, but let me throw back my two cents into this pond. I wrote this the other night, as you can tell from the deleted post, but it is entirely too lengthy and not nearly as concise as it should be:

Lysis, it's good to see a vote of confidence pulled before I could
properly react. You pulled the words right out of my thoughts as I
read your responses.

My “shit happens” attitude is exactly what it is. The sun rises and
sets. Cars crash and claim thousands of lives yearly. What goes up
must come down. And there is collateral damage in war. People die. I'm
sorry that seems a little bit negative for you and your expected
sympathies. But that's because you're looking at the numbers of deaths
and ignoring the important issues: we don't carpet bomb (something
you'd find the Nazis doing, but not the Americans), we provide
humanitarian aid to rebuild the countries, we put our soldiers in
embattled cities to route out the problem - not to mass murder. You
want to prove me that Fallujah is under siege by mass murdering
Americans? Show me the MOAB being dropped on them, the carpet bombings
or a nuclear weapon. I will not listen to you tell me that American
hit teams are running amok on the streets shooting up families and
listen to you in the same breath tell me that an American SNIPER (not
just a grunt, someone that shouldn't even be close enough to ever
touch the person) saved that little girls life. You and I both know
that is bullshit. There's no reason in the world you could give me for
such a double standard in any “regime”. Death happens in war, yes I find
it very tragic, but telling me what I value more is bullshit. I would
send our soldiers there until we had none left if it needed be,
because it is right. You know it, we know it, and you fight it.
Machiavelli would shake his head and wonder at us for our tactics.
Tactically we should bomb Fallujah into rubble. As it still stands, I
can't see that we have. Tactically, we should kill EVERY MAN, WOMAN
AND CHILD. Tales from the first Gulf War
have brought back the horrors of toddlers handed grenades to detonate
in the presence of American soldiers. We don't do that. We eliminate
the insurgents and give humanitarian aid. You spend ten minutes in
Fallujah and then judge what our soldiers are doing.

You are always judging without evidence, and this time you've crossed a bit of
a line. I'd so love to meet you in real life you coward, how you can
question the validity of my own values and statements without knowing
a thing about me. As a matter of fact, I avoid the doctor like the
plague. As much of the "good" that they're doing, I see much of it as
worse off than if I were in the hands of a Witch Doctor. You look at
70% of Americans with ADD and tell me that something isn't up.
Something's up when 70% of your population has the same condition.
100% of us need water to live. We should medicate that as well? And on
a point of reference to speak particularly on that of Terri Schiavo
and the feeding tube issue. I would never want to be on LIFE SUPPORT.
If I had my plan, half jokingly I would tell you that I would want to
die thereabouts 40. I don't plan on dying for most of my life. I don't
need to see my kidneys fail and my hips erode to understand what it is
to live. The other end of that joke is that the world will end at
least 3 times by then, ask an astronomer – read a scientific journal. But this isn't about me and my situation. It is about her right to live and that only ONE person "knew" what she wanted. Why didn't she ever talk about this with her family? I have told my wishes to plenty of my friends. Would I think it selfish if they kept me alive? HELL NO. The
reason for my wishes is because I serve no purpose like that. I am hopeless and helpless. To me living without living is meaningless. That would be me being selfish, me in a bubble world. But would I do that if my family needed me? Would I want to die if it would tear out my mother's heart? HELL NO.

Do not put words in my mouth and condemn me as a liar. If you want to
get into something that deep, it needs be done in person. But I'm
hardly going to let you cower on the other side of that computer
screen with a smug look of satisfaction thinking you have me in a
debate that you truly know nothing about. The ultimate answers about
my life come from me or God. And since I don't believe you or anyone
else here has a direct line with the latter fellow, there's nothing
left I need to hear from you about that.

As for your empirical evidence, where is it? I saw you, in typical
fashion, posting something. Wow, whoopdie-doo. Throw some confetti.
Where's the source link? Author? Anything? Even when you quote or add
poetry you give no credit to the author. Where in here did I need
credit a source other than my self or other than someone else here? I
quoted the article that was posted here. That's your evidence, I used
it against you. I quoted myself as the foremost expert on the field of study at hand: the field of study of myself. Would you care to contest that topic? Where did I quote any information that I need a reference to?

Bush was in office for 8 months. Was that before or after the African
embassy bombings? What did Bush do in 8 months that contributed to
that sort of attack that was 9-11? Clinton was in office for 8 YEARS. Last I
checked, and you could dispute it if you want...: Bin Laden attacked
America. Not Bush. Not "Bush's Regime". He attacked America and her
symbol of economic power: the Twin Towers. Funny thing, he did that
early in the 90's as well. Clinton had 8 YEARS to try and catch him
for the bombings of the embassies at least. What did he do in
response? Anyone awake then? He launched cruise missiles:

"Pentagon sources confirmed to CNN that the attacks were made with
cruise missiles, not aircraft. The missiles were fired from ships in
the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. The simultaneous attacks took place
about 1:30 p.m. EDT (1730 GMT).

In a brief comment made before his departure, the president said,
"Today, we have struck back."

The president said he ordered the strike against bin Laden and his
compatriots because of "compelling information they were planning
additional terrorist attacks against our citizens and others with the
inevitable collateral casualties and .. seeking to acquire chemical
weapons and other dangerous weapons." "

That was gold, love the language: “compatriots”…. Simultaneously proving the effectiveness of Clinton - cruise missiles? Throwing rocks at a neighboring country... – and showing that they knew then, by his own mouth, that Bin Laden proved
to be a continuing threat. Damn, he's giving me the same information
that Bush did when he told me that we were going to war... Sources
anyone? Here's where you can read it in context:
http://www.cnn.com/US/9808/20/us.strikes.01/

Now I have posted something that needs be quoted. See the difference?

Now let's try another for you. Something that you in your poetics might understand: http://www.bartleby.com/103/7.html

I'm merely posting the link this time so as to cut the length of this post. I'm sure someone who reads as much poetry and
literature as you would recognize Invictus.

As for Blackwind: Of course we could all relate to some natural
disaster or war as being negative things. But would you equate the
Iraq war with the Tsunami in Asia? I surely wouldn't. I wouldn't
equate it to a tornado or anything on that scale. Something tells me
in my heart of hearts that the 300,000 people from the December
Tsunami is a bit more than we've lost on both sides of the war in Iraq
(300,000 is a rounding of the numbers confirmed dead and reported
missing as of Feb. 22. That's a total from more than 11 countries as
recounted here:
http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/28/tsunami.deaths/index.html)

Try not to drowned in all of that information there, Blowhard.

Anonymous said...

Blowhard here . . .
Lysis:
""This happened on Bush's watch so it is his fault'; that's nonsense"

Who are you quoting Lysis? Certainly not me! I know it makes things easier to quote what I didn't say and then ignore what I did say.

I do believe that two years of campaigning against the Clinton foreign policy should have made Bush "Perfectly" aware of what he wanted to improve about it. No substantive changes were made in eight months because Bush chose to ignore the warnings coming from his own intelligence community and go with the status quo (CNN May 18). You cannot point to anything Bush & Co effectively did, because his policies did not avoid 9/11.

Therefore, I think it is no more "nonsense" to believe that, "This happened on Bush's watch so it IS his fault."! as it is to believe, "This happened on Bush's watch so it ISN'T his fault". . . as you choose to do.

-I do not believe either. Bush has his SHARE of the blame, and it is dishonest to pretend otherwise.

If Lysis doesn't have "numbers" then how does he know what numbers ARE made up?
When will the Lysis'"dispensation" of the true numbers happen?

On the hypothetical example:
Innocence that is murdered because it was weighed on a scale of expediency and the "greater good" is an argument of a relativist. EVERY immoral act is justifiable on some relativistic scale beause intentions, good or bad, have so little to do with ABSOLUTES that must be preconceived. Morality is something that should guide behavior, because the subsequent outcomes of behavior are unknowable. Moral absolutes must come before actions -- to do otherwise is to get into the relativistic "weighing game" that Lysis et al seem to favor.

Shadow:
"How I love the smell of Napalm in the morning."
Not to mention the testosterone!

After the last posting, perhaps Shadow should be increased in "rank" to . . . Twilight Zone. Yes, General Twilight Zone.

Lysis said...

First of all, what happened on 9/11 was the fault of Osama Bin Laden and his gang of terrorist murderers. Why they dared to attack America is what I think Blowhard should consider. It happened because Bin Laden had been convinced that he could cowl America. Why did he believe that? Because when Americans were killed in Somalia, Bill Clinton did nothing but run. Not to be out done by a gang of petty African warlords Ben Laden decided to take his "piece" of American in a big way and so started his attacks. His goal – to drive America out of his Islamic Empire. No mater what Bin Laden did to America, Clinton did nothing. Bin Laden just kept upping the stakes. Had Clinton or Gore been President on 9/11 there is a good chance that nothing significant would have been done. However, as I stated above, with Bush on the job, things did happen. And now, Ben Laden is in the cave, Saddam is in the jail and the world is a much safer place!!

Once more to make it clear – the attacks on America were the work of the terrorists. Clinton’s doing nothing made them worse. Bush’s actions have stopped them for now and hopefully forever. Perhaps Bush did not act as aggressively as some of his wise advisors recommended, but you cannot fault his actions now. If more attacks come; they too will be the fault of the terrorists who cowardly attack the weak and innocent in the hope of inciting terror and disloyalty.

As for numbers, I don’t know anyone who has accurate numbers. And as I said before, making them up would be just as dishonest for me to do as it is for those who oppose the war. The important thing is that American soldiers are not targeting innocent Iraqis and the terrorists are!

I do not try to rationalize the murder of any innocents. What I did point out is that the death of innocents caused while fighting to defend all innocent people is the fault of those who are attacking not those who are defending. That was my point with my “peace officer/murderer” example. Please consider it. Place the blame for the deaths in Iraq, however many their may have been, where they belong – on Saddam, his murdering henchmen, and his terrorist allies. There is a right and a wrong here – to pretend otherwise is the true relativism.

A_Shadow said...

Not to come to the aid of Clinton, but in defense of the American public, I don't think they would have allowed anyone to just sit by and let 9-11 happen. I think we all wanted them to pay, it was just a wonder that it took a month to do it. I know many of my friends wanted to run out and nuke them... Not to say I didn't blame them, I just knew the ramifications...

Bin Laden made the same mistake that was made in World War 2 by the Japanese. He's paying for it to the same degree that they did. The paralells that I could run with that are astounding. The two wars fought in the same country. The second one started because America looked weak. It goes on... But apparently someone didn't pay any attention to history, I guess this was a lesson worth repeating... Hopefully everyone has learned it for the rest of time, because the death tolls speak for all the stupidity of making the same decision to attack the "sleeping giant" twice.

Anonymous said...

Interesting Discussion. I am now going to cut and paste a portion of a current article in one of my least favorite sources, The Washington Post, that is germain to this discussion.

"Actors in the Insurgency Are Reluctant TV Stars
Terror Suspects Grilled, Mocked on Hit Iraqi Show

By Caryle Murphy and Khalid Saffar
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 5, 2005; Page A18

BAGHDAD -- Iraq's hottest new television program is a reality show. But the players are not there by choice. And they don't win big bucks, a new spouse or a dream job.

Instead, all the characters on "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" are captured suspected insurgents. And for more than a month, they have been riveting viewers with tales of how they killed, kidnapped, raped or beheaded other Iraqis, usually for a few hundred dollars per victim.

Iraqis gather at a shop in Baghdad's Sadr City to watch "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice," shown nightly on state-run al-Iraqiya television. (Karim Kadim -- AP)

Seated before an Iraqi flag, the dejected and cowed prisoners answer questions from an off-camera inquisitor who mocks their behavior. Some sport bruised faces and black eyes. Far from appearing to be confident heroes battling U.S. occupation, they come across as gangsters.

"I watch the show every night, and I wait for it patiently, because it is very revealing," said Abdul Kareem Abdulla, 42, a Baghdad shop owner. "For the first time, we saw those who claim to be jihadists as simple $50 murderers who would do everything in the name of Islam. Our religion is too lofty, noble and humane to have such thugs and killers. I wish they would hang them now, and in the same place where they did their crimes. They should never be given any mercy."

Broadcast on al-Iraqiya, the state-run network set up by the U.S. occupation authority in 2003, "Terrorism in the Hands of Justice" has become one of most effective arrows in the government's counterinsurgency propaganda quiver.

"It has shown the Iraqi people the reality of those insurgents, [that] they are criminals, killers, murderers, thieves," Interior Minister Falah Naqib said last week.

Sabah Kadhim, an Interior Ministry spokesman, added, "The last few weeks have been incredible in terms of tips coming in from the public."

Officials launched the program, Kadhim said, after realizing that Iraqis did not believe that insurgents were being arrested. "Talking to people in the street, they say, 'Is it really true? . . . Why don't you show it?' " he recalled. "The demand for this came from the people."

The bruised faces and the death of at least one prisoner after his appearance on the show have raised questions about the men's treatment in custody. Kadhim denied the prisoners were being abused. "There is absolutely no motive for us to torture them," he said.

In recent reports, the State Department and Human Rights Watch have criticized the use of torture by Iraqi police.

"In light of our recent findings about the prevalence of torture in Iraqi prisons," said Joe Stork, a Washington-based spokesman for Human Rights Watch, "we have serious concerns that these confessions were not also coerced and that the Iraqi authorities failed to provide essential due process protections."

"Televised confessions are almost always suspect," Stork added. "Recent examples in Iran and Saudi Arabia clearly involved a high level of coercion and degrading treatment."

Such concerns have not dimmed the program's popularity.

"We had not planned for the tapes, but suddenly we had what you might call a scoop," said al-Iraqiya's Baghdad station director, Ahmed Yasseri. As a result, he said, "we have overtaken the other stations. These tapes have captured the attention of Iraqis."


Interesting to have Iraqis find out the truth. I know that one person's truth is another person's propoganda.

Killing for money is killing for money. Our soldiers get paid, and their soldiers get paid. What is the difference?

Values. Jihad to the interviewees was a $50 payout. A choice. A value. Joining the military is a choice. A value.

Justice is a value that through history rises to the top.

Our arguing conservative and liberal ideas is interesting but over time they pale in comparison to the absolute human need for justice. It is the definition of that justice is that motivates the fighters to kill. Money, religion,freedom, whatever it is to you, will motivate you if you have a choice. If you don't have a choice. The value is survival.

Anonymous said...

Blowhard here . . .
Lysis:
". . .I only met one Japanese who told me he held a grudge against America for the war."

March 10, 2005 was the 60th anniversary of one of the great forgotten atrocities of world world war 2: the fire-bombiong of Tokyo which killed over 100,000 people.
The aim was to cause maximim carnage in an overcrowded city of flimsy wooden buildings; an estimated 100,000 people were 'scorched boiled and baked to death,' in the words of the attack's architect, General Curtis LeMay. It was then the single largest mass killing of World War II, dwarfing even the destruction of the German city of Dresden on Feb. 13, 1945.
The bombing incinerated over 15 kilometers of central Tokyo, left over a million homeless and opened the curtain on an orgy of destruction in the final months of the Pacific War that included dozens of similar raids on Japanese cities and culminated in the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August. When the droning of bombers finally stopped on August 15, 1945, nearly 70 cities had been reduced to rubble and well over half a million people, mostly civilians, were dead. LeMay reportedly said: "If we had lost the war we would have been tried as war criminals."

Robert McNamara, a former statistician who helped plan the Tokyo Hiroshima and Nagasaki raids,went on the become US Defense Secretary (1960-68)(Nixon must have told us about him) during the war against Vietnam, where he authorized carpet bombing of vast swathes of the country with incendiries and Agent Orange. In last years documentary The Fog of War, McNamara ponders the morality of victor's justice, saying: "Was there a rule then to say that you shouldn't bomb, shoulddn't kill, shouldn't burn to death one hundred thousand civilians in a single night?"
The legacy of the March 10 raid though is what it bequeathed to the rest of the century: the trumping of political and moral arguments against mass civilian slaughter by military technicians and rationalists (relativists)

As historian Mark Selden wrote: "Elimination of the distinction between combatant and non-combatant would shape all subsequent wars from Korea to Vietnam to the Gulf War etc.

Saotome Katsumoto says his greatest fear as an old man is forgetting. "All the people who experienced Dresden, Auschwitz and Tokyo are getting older. Today is a turning point in history and the following generations will have to depend on the accounts that the past generation left. Young people are not being taught about what happened and that is dangerous. Countries that learn from the past don't repeat it. That's why Germany and France didn't take the same course as the US in Iraq I think."

There is one more for Lysis' poll -- plus a half million more who might still vote against "collateralization"

"Forced into confinement by the United States, 5,766 Nisei ultimately renounced their American citizenship."

Has Lysis NEVER talked with a Japanese internment camp prisoner? -- I have -- considering there were several such camps in Utah this is/was not such a hard thing to do. . . . and not one felt that his/her internment was abusive???
I can appreciate the anecdotal personal example for what it is; I cannot agree with the generalizations it purports to make. I am afraid it is just more Lysis' overgeneralizing.

"There IS a right and wrong here, and to pretend otherwise is the TRUE relativism"
The "situational" rationalizations expressed in the greater/good rationalizations of collaterlization are OBVIOUSLY a relativistic position. Whether you choose to admit it, or ignore it, or distract from it with another "red herring", the logic and the moral truth is with "Thou shalt not kill!" There is no moral BUT or HOWEVER after that.

Anonymous said...

Citations are:
www.zmag.org
www.infoplease.com

A_Shadow said...

http://tvtokyo.com/Burning.html

To quote blackwind: "Knowlege is power." Read it. It gives a bit more insight to Blowhard's un-credited evidence. At least he quoted the speakers this time.

Here's another with a number even lower. The point is not that the numbers matter, it's that Blowhard's evidence is every bit as anecdotal and subject to inconsistencies. The official records have it a bit different from even what the general thought: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20050313x1.htm

Blowhard, what are you fishing for? You want us to rationalise away what happened in WW2? Or are you using that as justification for ridding Iraq of American troops? Should the sins of the forefathers be visited upon their children? Should I be held responsible for those that tarred and feathered toris back in the days of revolution?

What they did there was tactically sound. Everyone knows of the cliche: "All's fair in love and war." Machievelli would have looked at that and smiled for its tactical genius. But yeah, it's wrong. So I ask you again what it is you're looking for.

The world was facing utter destruction should the Axis win. I guess I'll let you make the choices next time: kill the murderers or let them rampage. Yes, it's still killing, but you're faced with the greater goods here. Even the Japanese weren't surprised by the coming firebombings and nuclear weapons. What they were surprised by was the rehabilitation and recouperation of their country. Like every good officer that takes a life, there is much regret. We sought to make amends for our actions, and to keep it from ever happening again.

Are you trying to break Americans of an image of infalibility? Are you so perfect as to not have any flaws yourself? To dictate to everyone else what is right and wrong: "How can you tell your brother to remove the splinter from his eye when you won't remove the log from your own?"

C'mon man. Prove a point. No one denies that those things happened. I don't think anyone wouldn't turn their stomache at the burning deaths of 100,000+ people... ALIVE... But I suppose that's all inexcusable when looking at the 6 million Jews that were killed and the countless Chinese. We definately shouldn't have entered into the war to bring justice to those that killed our servicemen, women and civillians in Pearl Harbor and the Pacific Islands. We definately should have just let England and the rest of the world fall under the flag of the Nazis so that the Jews, homosexuals, and so many others may be systematically exterminated.

The tough thing about combating evil for justice is that you risk turning evil yourself. After hunting a monster for so long, so singlemindeldly, people begin to wonder who the monster is... But show me where the line is drawn. If I had to kill one person, or 100,000 people to have stopped that war, I just might. Yes, I'd be committing murder, but maybe it'd be worth it to save my kids, my wife, even you.

You think about that. Tell me if you'd rather have seen the firebombing of New York, L.A., Seattle, Sacremento, Salt Lake City, Prague, London, Paris... It goes on. Every city not under their control from the get go was taken. Billions of lives were at stake. It was wrong to take those 100,000 lives. But everyone: Japanese, American, German, English, you and me knows that it had to be done.

Give up another option before you start condemning something that ultimately saved lives. I'm sure that if we just gave Hitler Czecloslovakia... Poland... England... He'll be satisfied. Right? That's what happened... Right?

A_Shadow said...

Well I guess I'll take back about half of the comment on not putting forth the articles. But since running a search in infoplease is coming up with plenty of articles... I'd be curious as to the ones that you used specifically.

Mine are curtosy of running a search via Google. But the source is quoted, not how I got there.

It's a technicality, for sure. But I take joy in using your sources against you.

Anonymous said...

Blowhard here . . .
Shadow:
"We don't carpet bomb (something you'd find the Nazis doing, but not the Americans) . . . not to mass murder.
Shadow: (next posting)
"C'mon man. Prove a point. NO ONE DENIES THAT THESE THINGS HAPPENED." (caps my own)

Point made.

An example, not my own, to illustrate the difference between the "absolute" moral position and the "relativist" greater/good collateralization positiion that Lysis chooses to defend -- And I think it is a fair hypothetical that Lysis should respond to. (A warning to Shadow that he might want to stop reading here -- it is what he calls "literature". But regretably not poetry.

"Imagine that you are creating a fabric of human destiny with the object of making men and women happy in the end; giving them peace and rest at last. But, that it was essential and inevitable to torture to death only one tiny creature (ie; to collateralize a young innocent child's life) And to found that edifice, that wonderful new world on that child's unavenged tears? Would you consent to being the architect on these conditions? Tell me, and tell the truth!
-Fyodor Dostoevski

Lysis said...

To Blowhard – as for Dostoevsky – I have often heard this quote used by opponents of abortion. I first point out that - (i.e. collateralize a young innocent child’s life) – are not Dostoevsky’s words. As I have already demonstrated in my own words: if in the act of trying to save a child and his family from a murderer that child is ACCIDENTLY (a key aspect of collateral damage) killed; I would lament it forever, and I would blame the murderer! Let’s leave this argument for the “right to life” (anti abortion) crowd were it belongs. Collateral damage is not - the essential and inevitable torturing to death of any tiny creature.

Let’s accept that the fire bombing of Tokyo and Dresden, and the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were unjust and unnecessary acts. [I don’t agree, but Dannyboy2 has presented some strong arguments.] American has learned important lessons since WWII – even since Vietnam. America spends great treasure and precious blood to minimize collateral damage.

Blowhard, your arguments on moral equivalency are the oldest game in the Relativist’s book. Check out Marx! There is no equivalency between the attacks against the Japanese mainland in efforts to bring an end to World War II and the Rape of Nanking. There is no moral equivalency between the one Japanese American shot at Topaz Internment camp and the thousands of Americans and Filipinos who died on the Batan Death March. Many Japanese, Italian, and German POW’s begged for the privilege of staying in America after the war. Many Japanese Americans who were force to leave the West coast during WWII now farm and live in Box Elder County, Utah – were I grew up. I have talked to them; I had the privilege of having one as a scout leader when I was a boy. They did not hate America! I do not excuse the unjust internment of American citizens during the war, but compare Topaz to the “Maruta” - Human Logs – Chinese and Korean civilians and American POW’s strapped to concentric circles of posts in the center of which the Japanese detonated explosives to test chemical weapons. They wanted to test how long it took wounded human beings to die from their wounds and the effects of the explosions.

It is telling that Blowhard, D.J. and the other critics of the liberation of Iraq must either concoct phony atrocities or go back to long past wars to find them. Like Ward Churchill, they rely on the unreasonable mathematics of moral equivalency to try to justify atrocities against the innocent victims of terrorist murderers. The Japanese made the mistake of judging American actions by what they did themselves to those they conquered. They were wrong, Blowhard, and so are you.

To Anonymous who is not Blowhard – Thanks for the great post! “Terrorism in the Hands of Justice” looks like a wonderful TV show to me. I have to admit that I really enjoyed Sandy Berger’s (Clinton Advisor and John Kerry’s Secretary apparent) public apologizing for stealing documents from the National Archives. He stole these documents because they told the truth about Clinton’s culpability in the 9/11 attack. It was great fun to here Berger confess to crimes that may well have given aid and support to the very terrorists now forced to confess their murders on Iraqi TV. I have given my arguments as to why there are differences between those who kill for power, money, or religious fanaticism and those who fight to defend life, liberty, and freedom. You have the right to disagree.

A_Shadow said...

Correction Blowhard. We firebombed them. Gave them hell on earth. It's a different type of conventional warfare. A technicality to be sure.

But again you're seen equivocating the modern US (U.S., you and me and Lysis and most, if not all, of those reading this) with the generals that made the decisions there in the past. So your stance, confirmed by your attacks and your evidence is that you should have the children pay for their fathers crimes. Exactly the opposite opproach here in the U.S. Yeah, I'm going to get another earful of your "colateralization" argument. But we aren't subjugating countless generations because of WW2. We let the French do that in the first war, which led to the second war. We rebuild, we have the technology, to make them faster, richer, freer and better off than before. (I know the 6 million dollar man is a bit over done, but it just fit).

WE (used in the present tense) do not carpet bomb. I suppose in your genealogoy your never the descendant of a murderer, rapist, or thief? Should we put you on trial for what your ancestors did?

That's where you're totally off base and won't admit it. You equivocate America's past with it's present. I would dare you prove that Bush is anything like Roosevelt, Churchill or Truman. Their different people making different decisions in different times.

So I guess here's to another unanswered question, the second time asked: Would you hold me responsible for the tarring of Tories that happened during the revolution? Should I hold you the same?

You don't answer because the answer is obvious. Of course not. That makes no sense.

I suppose in the essence of how you put it, you did make a point: we firebombed the hell out of Tokyo, but it was as much a military target as the others. I forget whether it was Nagasaki or Hiroshima, but one of the two held the headquarters for third navy in Japan. Military target, as military as if Germany or Japan had been able to bomb in Utah where we were making weapons.

But then I take back to the necessity of it. We didn't have guided and "smart" weapons now. I think that if we did, we would have used them. I guess it's up to you to prove that one wrong. It's always the ideal to just kill the lead guy, but after we've botched that in the past, we won't condone assassinations either. Something I wish we'd reconsider... But there's that. Yes, it's wrong. Tactically advantageous.

And Blowhard, maybe you need to look over your definitions again. You're trying to peg us with Relativist beliefs which you think would humiliate us because we believe in absolute truth. Remember? That's the definition. We believe in A (that's one, uno, single) truth. Not in that whoever rights it down has written truth. We don't deny that the innocents that die in war are tragic events, so what's your point?

Not much of one. As always, keep thrusting until someone gives up. Ignore the mortal wounds that land on you, ignore the arguments of justice and truth, just keep hitting the wall with your fists. It'll give in won't it?

Ares said...

Lysis,
Just one minor and trivial correction: "(I don't agree, but Dannyboy2 has presented some strong arguments)"

Unless there are some comments that I haven't read on some other post, Dannyboy2 hasn't been posting for some time. Sorry, just a trivial thing, but that's how I am, picking these type of things out.

As for Shadow, keep up the good fight. I think between you and Lysis, you just about have Blowhard in a corner.

Lysis said...

Sorry Ares:

I forget you have not been with us all along.

Dammyboy2’s excellent comments were placed in the log back on Nov. 19th, 04. The title of the post was “Athena and Ares #2”. The debate continued over into the next post: “One Man’s Terrorist Is Another Man’s Patriot, Not” posted Nov. 23rd, 04. Although Dannyboy’s points were passionate; I’m afraid he lost the argument – but then you can read it for yourself if you choose.

A_Shadow said...

Thank you very much for that, Lysis. That was the period in which I wasn't as active in the Agora, either. I was just getting active about the time of "No more Vietnams."

I think DannyBoy summed it up best right here:

"I have to agree with the author of the books definition of terrorism. Whenever civilians are targeted (note targeted, not counting collateral damage) in order to crush their resolve, or to change their support for a political position, it is terrorism. Fire bombings of Dresden, and the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not justifiable.

Before I get bombarded with disagreements let me point out. The ONLY reason that these two things did not destroy the United States as a people who held the moral authority was the unprecedented outpouring of aid and rebuilding that flooded those two countries. Because of the Marshall plan, and the incredible aid that flooded into Japan after the war, the U.S. not only did not lose their moral authority, they cemented the fact that as a country we would stand on high ground.

But the bomb itself, not justifiable."

It's essentially the direction that I was headed. I just couldn't seem to get any grace into what I was saying.

Apollo said...

In the time it took me to read a fraction of that, the whole thing had at least doubled so I gave up. I am just going to post on random stuff from now on and hopefully I will catch on.

Apollo said...

One more thing. Dahr Jamail- What the heck is wrong with you??? I visited your home page and saw your pictures (against the advise of Lysis). What buisiness do you have in keeping those pictures??? They are digusting and how do you know that they are what they are supposed to be. If you came by the pictures with the info attached, I would say you have been shovelled a low grade of tortoise crap! If you put that info by assumption, well shame on you my friend. Another question. Why do you not have the pictures of Iraqis celebrating, not because of killings to Americans, but the celebrations where they pulled down the statues of Hussein, Bin Ladin, and the others like them. Why don't you have pictures of the enourmous success that the elections had? Is it because you can not decieve us by saying that it is because of the Americans "meesing things up again"? I wish you to see both sides and the whole stories. I would also offer a wakeup call to you that Hussein and Bin Ladin caused this whole war. In war there are casualties. We, in the greater picture, have done an immeasurable good for the people in Iraq and Afghanistan. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, that is if you are not to stuck up with smoking on the images you have been falsly accusing the U.S. soldiers of.

Apollo

A_Shadow said...

There's definately an anti-American slant. But there was one gallery that dealt with the elections. They came out to the streets in protest when Bremer announced he wanted to postpone it. You be the judge of why they did that.

Yes, it's tragic to see all of those dead, but the most horrific weren't labeled as U.S. inflicted casaulties. Of course will all of the burns and the charring, I would have to have assumed they died in one of the many roadside and car bombings.

But frequent finger pointing at "heavy handed" U.S. treatment of Iraqis. The most common grievance were the road blocks. I find that most horrible for villages, when their roads are blocked. But in all seriousness, I don't see that as heavy handed. There weren't any reference to U.S. hit teams though, just claims that so-and-so was shot by an American. The ones that bothered me the most were the claims that the dead were just dragged out behind tanks. I'm kind of doubting that for good reasons. Go ahead and force that issue, Blowhard.

I loved the parts involving the littering of Iraq's landscape with tanks killed with Depleted Uraniam Shells. One of the photos even labeled a tank as irradiated. Wonder how that happened with DU. But the thing that got me most was that the tanks from the first war are still out there. I guess that's just one of his "show the color of war" pictures.

Ares said...

Lysis,
Thank you for the clarification.

Anonymous said...

Blowhard here . . .

Moral equivalency arguments?
No such arguments have been made on MY part. Please do me the courtesy of quoting back the argument.

I know I have used the term (repeatedly)"greater/good argument as a description of Lysis' et al "moral justification" for collateralization.

I think you "got lost" in the examples (Toyko bombing and internment camps). The two examples were offered as a RESPONSE to a Shadow comment that was made and addressed in my previous posting, and the Japanese internment camp example was a response to Lysis' claims of having encountered "only one" Japanese that wasn't friendly. . . Both examples were empirical and cited and direct factual contradictions of the previous statements/arguments;(especially consider the empirical statement that 5,766 Japanese gave up their cititzenship for what they felt was American abuse -- I smell grudge don't you?) all of which Lysis'et al choose to ignore.
The Japanese examples were OBVIOUSLY tied to these previous contentions BECAUSE OF Lysis' DIRECT QUOTATION THAT BEGINS THE POST! I do not/have not/will not argue for moral equivalency -- only someone seeking to justify the greater/good of collateralization and still try to "hang on" to some kind of moral prerogative would.(I would not describe it as a "game" in the relativist's book, but rather a "cheap trick" that I certainly am not guilty of.)
What kind of "game" is it to misconstrue my arguments and then tar and feather me with the likes of Ward Churchill?! Have you found me rushing to his defense? or are you resorting to personal ad hominem "cheap tricks".

Once again -- respond to the argument that:
Collateralization is a policy that is not justifiable by ABSOLUTE morality.
Political expediency -- the greater good for the greater number and utility arguments
are ALL relativistic arguments because they are situational ethics that are subject to "post hoc" interpretations. Absolute morality is determined BEFORE the action; relativistic morality is determined after the action.

Shadow:
My examples were meant to respond to reckless generalizations that I have identified of yours and Lysis'.
You choose to attack moral equivalency argumments that only a very poor debater or and idiot would make. Your natural inclination to disagree with everything I post is ok, but please pay attention to what is really argued. Truthfully, I would better understand if you and Lysis would quote directly from my posting -- 90% of the time I do not know what it is that you are addressing?

Lysis said...

Blowhard – You are perhaps right. I tend to be argumentative and defensive; it’s part of my charm. In the context of the post I made these conclusions:

1. The ACLU, New York Times, Bob Herbert and crew were accusing, with lies, Donald Rumsfeld and the U. S. military of torture and other atrocities in Iraq.

2. Anonymous – not you – suggested that those of us in the Agora had no compassion for “innocents” killed in the war.

3. D. J., in his post and on his webpage, attempts to convince us that American troops are committing endless atrocities in Iraq. D.J.’s intention with these posts is to dishearten Americans in their support of the war, vilify President Bush, and give aid and comfort to the Saddamists and the terrorists.

4. I challenge D. J.’s premise that the U.S. is evil, and point out that the real evil in Iraq was and is Saddam and the terrorists. I point out that those Iraqi “innocents” that have died are the victims of Saddam and the terrorists not the U.S. and Allied forces that risk life and limb to save them from these monsters.

5. Shadow points out “Sorry to be a bit heartless, but collateral damage happens.”

7. You, Blowhard, castigate Shadow with a paragraph on “S*** happens” and question the justice of America’s efforts in Iraq with. - “it IS life . . . it IS innocent . . . it IS tragedy and there is no BUT that can equivocate ANYTHING after that.”

8. I disagree – I think there is a “but”. (Blowhard – this is where I came to feel we had an issue to debate.) I answer by pointing out that such “collateral” victims are the fault of Saddam and the terrorists not the Americans. I point out that the Japanese people I know understood that although Americans killed “innocent” Japanese, the Japanese people blamed their military not the US for these deaths. My point is that D. J. and you should accept that the Iraqi people see this too.

9. You, Blowhard, bring in the 1000,000 people killed in the Tokyo fire storm and mention Dresden. Through a quote from General LeMay you call Americans “war criminals”. You point out that McNamara authorized carpet bombing in Vietnam and you quote Mark Selden suggesting that the distinction between combatant and non combatant [a distinction which has never existed – something Selden would know if he were a historian in fact and not in name only.] has been eliminated. You through in something about the internment of Japanese Americans, at least suggesting that the U. S. was committing intentional atrocities. This all comes back to D. J.’s faulty premise – That the U. S. is evil for destroying Iraq.

10. I answer you, D. J. Bob Herbert, and the ACLU by insisting that there is a difference between what and why American has done in war as opposed to the true atrocities of Japanese, Communists, and terrorists. Here I challenge what I perceive to be the effort of all those noted above, including you blowhard, to claim that since innocents have suffered from U. S. efforts to save them the U. S. “peace officers” are as guilty as the criminals. I call this an appeal to moral equivalency and say you are all wrong. All the deaths are tragic, but American actions in WWII, Vietnam, and Iraq are totally different that those of Japan, the Communists, and the Saddam and his terrorists.

These were the steps through which I saw the argument pass, and by which I came to feel that you were trying to condemn the efforts of America to liberate Iraq by comparing our present actions to the tragedies of past wars and the brutalities of past and present monsters. I stand firm in my position that American actions in Iraq, as with American actions in Vietnam and WWII are justifiable, even necessary, and the attendant suffering is the fault of Saddam and the terrorists. If we agree on these points, I am very gratified.

A_Shadow said...

I've avoided posting my piece on account of not wanting to steal Lysis' thunder. I just wished to call Blowhard out. I sure hope that you're busy, Blowhard, because otherwise this sounds like you giving up...

Apollo said...

I just noticed that DB2 posted a while ago. Keep up the good work, Dannyboy, I was starting to miss you.

Apollo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Apollo said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Apollo said...

Sorry about that, I just accidentally hit login and publish a couple too many times.

how to cook salmon said...

Hi Lysis
I never realised that so many different types of blog would show up if I did a search on something like how to cook lobster tail. I'm still not sure how well Baghdad Bob Is Still in Business! fits into that category, but I've enjoyed visiting :0) Adios Amigo.

how to cook artichokes said...

I wish I could understand how doing a search for how to cook prime rib got me to Baghdad Bob Is Still in Business!. Not that I mind, you understand Lysis. It's just that I don't think it's exactly what I was looking for :0)

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Health Blog said...

The whole "let us spread our rights by the sword" thing turns me away from it as a whole.