Saturday, November 26, 2005

Two Ways of Rewriting History

In the midst of the Great Civil War, the war to determine if a Nation conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal, could long endure; President Abraham Lincoln faced the bitter attack of the Democrat Party. The Democrats put forward General George Brinton McClellan to run against Lincoln, and built their platform around a plank demanding an end to the war; a war which Democrats labeled a failure. Let’s talk about rewriting history. What if the Democrats had won that election? Where would the world be today if this nation, under God . . . a government of the people, by the people, and for the people, had perished from the earth?

The Democrats of 1864 were far more interested in gaining control of the White House and the Congress than they were in ending slavery and preserving the United States of America. It seems that party’s motivations and practices have changed little in the past one and a half centuries.

In the midst of so much rewriting of history, I thought it appropriate to take a journey back to the un-rewritten pages of history to seek perspective and truth. On February 26, 2003 – less than a month before a Coalition of thirty-five nations, lead by the United States, launched Operation Iraqi Freedom; President Bush outlined the reasons for removing Saddam Hessian from power in Iraq. He not only dealt with the reasons for going to war but clearly outlined the difficulty of the task ahead. The selective memory of those who now claim that the President lied about the reasons for and difficulty of the war requires us to deal with the truths in this call to action.

Reasons for War:

1. Because 9/11 has made the United States a battlefield in the Great War of the 21st Century.

2. Because the greatest danger is an outlaw regime arming with Weapons of Mass Destruction. (I point out that the Doffer report has clearly stated that Saddam had in place monies, technologies, and desires to reconstitute the weapons he had used in the past and to develop nuclear weapons.)

3. Because the Iraqi dictator was building Weapons of Mass Destruction. (This was a position held by the UN, all nations with established intelligence organizations, the Democrats and Republicans in congress, the military, the CIA, and even Joe Wilson.)

4. Because Saddam had close ties with terror. (Not 9/11 but with terror – Saddam was running terror training camps, giving money to families of suicide bombers, and providing refuge to al Queda terrorists escaping from Afghanistan.)

5. Because a free Iraq would help to insure the long term safety and security of the world.

6. Because it was necessary to stop Saddam’s regime from spreading discord and violence in the Middle East.

7. Because the liberation of Iraq will allow the power of freedom to transform a region – bringing hope and progress to millions.

8. Because a free and peaceful Iraq will provide the liberty Americans believe in and the security it needs.

9. Because Iraqis live in scarcity and fear in a police state maintained by secret police and torture chambers, and terror. The lives of Iraqis mean little to Saddam, but they do matter to the U.S.

10. Because free nations do not breed ideologies of murder.

11. Because the liberation of Iraq will serve as an inspiration to other peoples suffering under regimes maintained by murder and terror that if they fight they can do so with hope of success.

12. Because the Iraqi people desire to be safe from brutality and oppression.

13. Because the liberation of Iraq will begin a new stage of Middle East peace. (And it has – yesterday the new Palestinian government took over control of its own national border for the first time.)

14. Because ending Saddam’s regime will cut off a wealthy patron that pays for terrorist training and offers rewards to families of suicide bombers.

15. Because the liberation of Iraq will serve as a warning to others not to support terror.

16. Because the removal of Saddam will encourage Palestinians to abandon terror.

17. Because removal of the Saddam regime will enable support for a Palestinian state.

18. Because freedom in Iraq will break the old patterns of hate.

19. Because victory over terror, war, and murder will bring peace.

20. Because following through on the commitments of the UN will make the UN a viable organization. (Not one steeped in oil and blood money)

21. Because the defeat of a murderous dictator and outlaw regime will signal other out- laws that they cannot ignore the will of the civilized world.

22. Because only such a significant change can end Middle East violence and its world wide effects.

President Bush spoke of the difficulty of the war long before it began:

1. It will be difficult to bring stability and unity to that part of the world, but any future will be better than the present.

2. It will be difficult not to allow one Dictator to replace another.

3. It will be difficult to rebuild a nation devastated by a generation of brutalization by a dictator.

4. “It will be difficult to help freedom take hold in a country that has known three decades of dictatorship, secret police, internal divisions, and war.”

5. “It will be difficult to cultivate liberty and peace in the Middle East, after so many generations of strife."

President Bush invokes the memories of Lincoln’s battle against slavery, of Roosevelt’s and Truman’s battle against Fascism and Japanese Militarism, of Reagan’s battle against Communism when he ends his pre-war address by claiming, “Yet, the security of our nation and the hope of millions depend on us, and Americans do not turn away from duties because they are hard. We have met great tests in other times, and we will meet the tests of our time.”

The Democrat political party is now willing to ignore and jeopardize all these important reasons and valuable goals, to give up the difficult fight for a better future of the world, in their disingenuous screaming of “Bush Lied; People Died”. Their only goal is to damage President Bush and gain political power for themselves. In one hundred and forty-one years the goals of the Democrats have not changed.

If Lincoln’s enemies had had their way, two antagonistic nations, one slave and one free, would have battled out the nineteenth and twentieth centuries; warring for territory and power; destroying each other while the monsters in Europe gobbled up the world in Communism, Fascism, and genocide. Slavery would have dragged on into another century of injustice brewing “a fire in the night” that would have dwarfed the “first” civil war in its terror and destructive might.

Now, we must ask ourselves, what if Saddam Hussein’s power would have remained unchecked in ambition and hate. Even John Kerry, who was one of the leaders of the anti- war movement of the 60’s and 70’s that led to the murder and enslavement of millions in South East Asia, cannot bear to contemplate that terror. Yet, to gain power the Democrats are willing to endanger us all, and set the world back into the hand of terrorists and terror states. Let’s remember history – not rewrite it for the momentary expedience of the Democrat political party.

124 comments:

Anonymous said...

1. The 21st Century is only four years old, don't you think it is a little early to make the pronouncement that this is the "Great War of the 21st Century?" If so, shouldn't it be more horrible than the other wars of the 21st century, like that in Sudan which has killed and brutalized millions already, or that in the Congo where hundreds of the thousands have raped, burned, murdered and even cannabalized, or how about the wars we are still fighting from the last century, like the one against HIV or good old fashioned racism? Or is the only thing that makes a war "Great" in your estimation the one that affects Americans?

Also, if America is the battlefield in the war then why has the Bush administration opposed the screening of cargo that goes into commercial passenger jets, left major ports guarded by volunteer senior citizen brigades, insisted on being able to torture virtually anyone they suspect including our own citizens!? Why has Bush left the homefront, in offices whose job it is to protect us from disasters, staffed by incompetent, political cronies!? IT IS A CRIME!

2. In the last two years Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, and even Japan have declared they are either currently possess are pursuing or are intent to pursue nuclear energies that will give them ability to create nuclear weapons. Bush's utter failure to respond to this dynamic international situation has meant that North Korea now has nuclear weapons. Other untold nations are developing nuclear programs in secret as was discovered when Lybia astounded Bush by saying that it had a remarkably advanced nuclear program. There are a lot of enemies to chase after in this heroic fight to keep the world nuke free as Mr. Bush pledged to do. Are you suggesting we have to send our sons and daughters to occupy those countries now as well? "Because the greatest danger is an outlaw regime arming with Weapons of Mass Destruction."

The truth is that we have known about "outlaw regimes" possesing weapons of mass destruction for a long, long, long time. (Syria has hundreds of tons of chemical weapons as does Iran and most of the former Soviet states in Asia among others.) None of those states faced invasion, but none of those states tried to "kill [his] Dad" either. Oh, and none of them are as oil rich and developed as Iraq.

3. If, as you say, everyone really believed that Saddam was building these weapons, then why did they all get it right at the United Nations and we get it so wrong? Because, in fact, their developed intelligence organizations doubted the evidence. The U.S. doubted the evidence! Colin Powel doubted the evidence WHEN HE READ IT TO THEM!! And the only thing Joe Wilson said publiclly was that Bush lied when he said Saddam tried to obtain yellowcake from Nigeria. At least we know Joe Wilson was correct, Bush did lie.

4. The CIA released documents last month showing that by the end of 2002 they did not believe that Saddam's government was harboring Al-Queda from Afganistan, also that if indeed Ayman Al-Zarqawi was in Iraq at that time, he was there unknown to the Iraqi government. That he had most likely been smuggled into the country under an assumed identity. They also reported that the source of "terror training camps" in Iraq was unreliable and probably making up stories that his interrogators wanted to hear! The CIA knew this before thousands died! They report to the President, why did he lie to us about it and why do you keep spreading those lies Lysis?

5. America, and the world, is not safer today than it was before the Iraq invasion. More Americans are at risk today because of the failures of this government to police outlaw regimes like North Korea, pursue lasting, constitutionaly acceptable, and not racially motivated security measures at home, provide for the needs of citizens in health care and education that would bring real security at home, and because of unilateral action in Iraq, and because the terrorists that really did pose a threat to the U.S. ARE STILL OUT THERE!! Bush has forced this country's eyes off the ball! We are stuck cleaning up his personal mess in Iraq and not focusing on where real threats come from.

6. It is good we are stopping Iraq violence from spilling over into other parts of the middle east like, say, suicide bombers at wedding parties in Jordan, or hostage takers and assassins in foreign compounds and oil offices in Saudi Arabia. Iraq is not a pillar of stability in the Middle East, it is just the opposite and all long range military and political estimates for the country project that it will continue to be instable if not a civil war zone. To say anything else is to be misleading and wilfully blind. Wolfowitz was wrong, Cheney was wrong, Rumsfeld was wrong, Bush was wrong, and you are wrong.

7. Iraq is now the largest live fire terrorist training camp in the world. Generations of young people are learning the craft of terrorism in Iraq against civilians and U.S. troops and that training will transform the Middle East for years to come. This will bring terrorism to millions for years to come. Iraq has become a magnet for people who want to engage in terrorism.
The people around the world that saw Bush's unilateralism as an attack on Islamic people have already acted out against who they see as the oppressive regime as shown by the bombings in London in July and the statements of those zealots and others captured.

8. The peace and security that America needs has been destroyed by going to war with Iraq. America is more at risk today because of the personal Bush invasion of Iraq than before the personal invasion. Because of the people flocking to Iraq to be trained in terrorist tactics, and because of the deep anymosity that was created by this devastating war America will continue to be at risk for years and years. Bush and his personal vendetta settling has put the U.S. and its citizens in harms way. He should not be forgiven for that when he should have, and he did know better. Everyone else got it right. Why did he get it so wrong?

9. In the BBC World News today you can read a statement given by former prime minister, Iyad Allawi, hand picked by the Bush administration to be the first prime minister of Iraq, about the state of Iraq since the U.S. "liberation." He says, "abuses are as bad today as they were under Saddam Hussein." "Militias are operating within the Shia-led government, torturing and killing in secret bunkers," he said. "Militias have infiltrated the police, and warned that their influence could spread throughout the government. "The disease infecting [the interior ministry] will become contagious and spread to all ministries and structures of Iraq's government". He also warned of the danger of Iraq disintegrating in chaos. "Iraq is the centrepiece of this region," he said. "If things keep going wrong, neither Europe nor the United States will be safe." Well, mission accomplished Mr. Bush, and Lysis. Good thing we went to Iraq to make it a safer place. I'll bet those being wrongly tortured by our CIA in secret prisons in Eastern Europe and by Iraqi militias in secret Iraq bunkers would like to thank you for giving them a a free and rich Iraq.

10. Free nations have spotless records on human rights abuses and never breed the types of situations we saw at Abu Graib prison in Iraq, or secret prison facilities in Eastern Europe, or officially sanctioned torture practices for use by its military and own secret "Delta force." The fact is, even the freest of nations breed murderous ideologies. The U.S. has been guilty of great massacres and attrocities going back to the Westward expansion of the country. The U.S. is using white phosophorus offensively that ignites human flesh on contact. The U.S. has committed gut-wrenching attrocities during the occupation of Iraq and will be guilty of committing more. That is the nature of war and why we should have been so very wary before going off on Bush's personal crusade. This claim is made too easily and without great reflection. Some of the greatest dictators of the Western world were voted into power. At least Bush in 2003 could not make that claim!

11. Will the U.S. military machine go in and support the people of Tunisia, the people of Sudan, the people of Zimbabwe, the people of North Korea, the people of Egypt, the people of Iran, the people in Turkmenistan? The list of oppressed people with the only chance of success in a struggle against their government is with U.S. military help is very long one. Was Bush serious when he promised to help these people? The answer is no. It sounds good but the truth is Bush cares little for them. Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld haven't written books about them and there is no oil under their feet.

12. Iraqi people desire to be safe from brutality and free from a brutal U.S. occupation. The U.S. has killed more civilians in its military campaign than all of the daily insurgent terrorist attacks. The Iraqi's living in a village with terrorist insurgents have just as much to fear from the terrorists than they do being abducted taken to prison and undocumented during a night time forced house search by U.S. guards looking for the insurgents. The U.S. is adding to the sense of Iraqi insecurity and is drawing the ire of a people who truly want to be free.

13. The new stage of Middle East Peace is being written in the secret atomic bunkers in Iran, in the assasinations sponsored by Syria, in the terrorist training done "hands-on" in Iraq. It is being written at gun point by the masked hitmen of the Shiite militias and criminal gangs that execute families face down in ditches outside of Basra. There is a chance that the Middle East will change but it will certainly not be by the hand of one of the most hated men on the planet, George W. Bush through his personal crusades.

14. The wealthiest patrons of Middle East terrorism is the American car owner! We deserve better leadership than an oil-men cronies in the hip pocket of global oil running this country! We deserve a president who takes the environment seriously, who will SERIOUSLY fund and explore alternative energy resources and who will not continue to let this country be held hostage by terrorist regimes who are the patron saints and family members of murderers in the Middle East!!! Bush and his christmas card buddy, Babar Bush, and his V.P. DICK cheney are not worthy of this country.

15. Iran continues to support terrorists in Iraq even after what President Bush promised us has failed! Iran sends in explosives and arms and shaped charge training. Why weren't they discouraged from supporting terrorism. Syria continues to allow foreign fighters to stream over the boarders into Iraq! Thugs and Taliban are sheltered in the provinces of Afghanistan. Pakistan lets Osam and Ayman live the life of Riley in Wazirastan. Cuba is STILL on the list of terroist supporters. Columbia is still harboring terrorist paramilitaries. Is it real to believe that our bumbling in Iraq is making these countries change their ways? Of course it is not!

16. Prosperity in Palestine, free and transparent government in Palestine, the death of Yasser Arafat are the things that will convince Palestians to abandon terrorism. No one was blowing themselves on Israeli busses to glory Saddam Hussein.

17. Before Bush ever became President Israel was on record saying that it supported a Palestinian state. Saudi Arabia agreed to recognize Israel as a state if the Camp David talks between Barak and Arafat had succeeded. Support for the Palestinian state was never contingent on Saddam's removal. Do not cloud the issue Lysis. We know that Bush cannot help it, he has a hard enough time speaking straight, but we expect more from the founder of this forum!

18.


I cannot go on... My blood pressure won't take it. We shouldn't go on like this. Americans and Iraqi's shouldn't take it.

Suffice it to say that Bush's policies in Iraq as just like your attempt to draw a parrallel between the Republican party of Lincoln and that of today, concieved in failure, born in failure, ONE BIG FAILURE!

It is not bad to admit this. Then we can work on fixing it togehter.

Lysis said...

Democrats are invested in American losing the war in Iraq. Joe Biden, who is running for President, wrote last week that “the U.S. has already lost the War in Iraq.” If saying it made it so, Joe; Osama would have done away with the U.S. long ago. There are so many who are desperate to re-write History; and now our Anonymous friend joins their quest.

Thanks for the great opportunity to clarify. I will attempt a point by point refutation of Anonymous’ comments, but will only reference them in short. Please refer to his own posting to check my rectitude.

Point #1 – On the wars of the 21st century: The War on Terror is more of a threat to the entire world than the murders in Sudan and Congo, no more tragic, but more world threatening. I do not hear the murderers in Congo or Sudan calling for “Death to American and the West”. The world seeks to deal with those problems the UN, with American support and funding, seeks to mitigate those evils. Are you suggesting that since the US can’t deal with all the evil in the world at once we should deal with none? What a typical response from someone just trying to find fault and not offer solutions. As for the war on AIDS, President Bush has sent more support to Africa – where the battle must now be fought - than any other Administration. Such an act would have given Clinton a real legacy, the media and the Democrats choose to ignore this great act or world leadership. Go figure – I wonder what their agenda is?

Anonymous goes on in “point one” to question the countries efforts to combat terrorist attacks at port and borders. To these accusation I offer two responses – 1) Bush has kept us safe for five years against a powerful and suicidally dedicated enemy. 2) The Patriot Act – which alleviates the need for torture by allowing law enforcement to act to prevent terror while still remaining under the control of the courts and the law. No one is being tortured Anonymous. Your unsubstantiated claim IS A CRIME!

Point #2 – Relating to other states that are developing nuclear energies and the ability to create nuclear weapons: I suppose the Democrats do nothing, or “earn Nobel Prizes for accepting lies”, strategy would be more effective? NOT! President Bush is pushing the UN in Iran and the Six Nation Summit with North Korea. If these nations get to the stage Saddam reached – they now know what to expect. Remember, Saddam’s was the outlaw regime who thumbed his nose at a dozen UN resolutions. As for the WMDs of Syria, Iran, and the former Soviet states; they have not used their weapons against victims, foreign or domestic. Saddam did, and would have again; there is a difference even Anonymous can see if willing to look.

Points #3 and #4 - On when Joe Wilson did and didn’t lie and on CIA documents showing what they did and did not believe and when: It was a bipartisan Congressional Committee, not President Bush, that found that Joe Wilson was a liar. As for CIA evidence, Anonymous is cherry picking. There is plenty documentation on the other side. I am gratified by Anonymous’ new found confidence in the CIA and I will remind him that it was the head of the CIA that sat before Congress and said that the fact that Saddam was developing weapons of mass destruction was a, “SLAM DUNK”. But we don’t need the CIA on this. We all saw the terror training camps, and Saddam gloating at making payments to terrorists. When Anonymous says Saddam didn’t support terror, Anonymous is perpetuating a lie; when Anonymous says that either President Bush or I lie when we remember the truth, it is Anonymous that is mistaken.

Remember Anonymous – the entire posting above, with its 27 points, is to demonstrate that WMD was only one reason for freeing Iraq.

Point #5 – On America not being safer, and provided for domestically because of actions of the Bush Administration: The assertion of safety of lack of safety is impossible to prove either way. Perhaps the world would be safer had the allies not taken down Hitler? But I say reason support the removal of Saddam as it did the removal of Hitler. Even now, North Korea is bargaining desperately to get out of its nuclear program and is under the thumb of China. Iran is soon to face UN sanctions or shape up. As for American taking care of its citizens; we have the best economy in our history, thanks to the Bush tax cuts and the ambition and effort of the American people. The best way to deal with poverty is to provide jobs and consumer confidence. President Bush has been successful at both. The Democrats seeing disaster as their only hope lie about the condition of the American economy and the welfare of its people. Not even Hurricane Katrina could give the Democrats the boost they needed, so they must fabricate disaster in the face of fact. This domestic dishonesty is instructive when evaluation their stance on the war.

Point #6 – Concerning world wide violence: Here Anonymous only shows how world wide the problem of terrorism is. He supports Bush’s determination to battle terror anywhere, including Iraq. Just because there are incidents of violence elsewhere is no reason to abandon the central front. This is the goal of the terrorist, and evidently the Democrats and Anonymous. The real way to reduce terror is, as President Bush has demonstrated, to spread freedom. As the President said, “any course the people of Iraq choose for themselves will be better than Saddam.” Wolfowitz was right, Cheney was right, Rumsfeld was right, Bush was right, and, Anonymous, you are wrong.

Point #7 – Claiming that Iraq has become a magnet for people who want to engage in terrorism: I say that magnets are great at picking up trash. Seven Hundred terrorists were picked up in the magnet last week. Let’s see which trainings will prevail, the ones in Democracy, or those in terror. I join the President in confidence in the power of Freedom. Anonymous and the Democrats team up with the terrorists. Please remember that 9/11 and all the attacks under Clinton were before the liberation of Iraq. They were inspired by Clinton’s retreats not Bush’s courage. We know this because the terrorists have told us what motivated their attacks on us. Now Anonymous and the Democrats would drag us back to the position of a punching bag to terror.

Point #8 - includes the silly claim that Bush attacked Iraq to avenge his father: This is a lie right out of Saddam’s mouth. Why did Bush I need any avenging against Saddam? He beat the bozo in one hundred hours. By perpetuation the “urban myth” that the war is some kind of personal vendetta, you Anonymous, have gotten it wrong.

Point #9 – About the BBC’s Allawi story and secret CIA torture prisons: I am suspect of the motivations of Allawi and the BBC and question strongly the context of his statement. The point is that the mission is not complete. Leaving it half done would be the height of stupidity. Again, Anonymous has no proof or justification for claiming torture is taking place in CIA prisons. Maybe they are just trying to get the intelligence right this time. No American agency is allowed to torture, you should know this Anonymous before you buy into the propaganda of those who do torture and who lie about America.

Point #10 – On civil rights abuses of free people: There is no comparison between the stupidity at Abu Graib and the torture chambers of Saddam or the brutalities of the atrocities of the terrorists. Remember also, that the criminals of Abu Graib were put on trial and punished. [As interestingly enough, so will Saddam and many terrorists be, though not by themselves.] It is instructive that Anonymous must go back to the Indian Wars of the 19th Century to find examples of sanctioned atrocities done by the US military. Anonymous has not given a single example of a “gut wrenching” atrocity in Iraq, and to place any significance on imagined atrocities yet to come, shows how desperate the Anonymous position has become.

Point #11 – On the US military providing help for other peoples in need aid: I am confident the US will help those seeking freedom, as will the example of a free Iraq. As President Bush has said, when people stand up for the right they will not, (do not) stand alone. The examples of a free Japan, a free Germany, a free France, a free Britain, and a free (insert you former Soviet Slave State) inspire hope world wide. Iraq will be another step in the direction of world wide freedom and peace.

Point #12 – On the Iraqi people wishing to be free of US “occupation”: Realize that 80% of Iraqis have gone no record as wanting continued US presence in Iraq; until they can deal with the monsters which enslaved them for generations and still murder them now. Anonymous’ claim that US military actions have killed more civilians than the terrorists is totally unsupported by facts. It is a lie, but even if it were true, would it justify the continued murder of the people by terrorists and Saddamites. Anonymous’ logic would have left the Jews and other peoples of Europe to the Nazis because of the deaths at Dresden. Anonymous assertion concerning “night time” searches for terrorists is the cry of the bully caught by justice. He screams, “They do it to!” A bald-faced terrorist lie and the desperate propaganda of the Democrat Party eager for power at any cost.

Point #13 – Claiming that terror is increasing because of the liberation of Iraq: All the monsters and monstrous acts Anonymous discuss were far more effective before the nations of Afghanistan and Iraq were liberated. That terrorists will continue to fight is to be expected; that they will win is only the hope of the Democrats seeking power. The Middle East has already changed. The tyrants are in retreat, and the terrorists on the run. Anonymous, the Democrats, and their masters in the Media would take us back to the days when al Quida controlled whole countries and the billions of dollars Saddam bribed out of the UN were going to develop weapons and warriors.

Pont #14 – Where Anonymous discusses oil: Anonymous, your lack of understanding of the value of oil to produce the energy necessary to feed the world and drive the world economy is as obvious as the ignorance of the environmental fanatics that hold the Democrat Party hostage over opening oil exploration in Alaska.

Point #15 – About were terrorists new find refuge: Anonymous, I marvel that you consider Osama’s cave the “life of Riley”, but it has become pretty obvious that you will say, or at least repeat, anything to advance your cause, the defeat of America.

Points #15 and #16 – On Palestine and peace in the Middle East: Anonymous, if you think government in Palestine is free and transparent, you are indeed naive. That democratic government replaced Yasser instead of terrorists as far more to do with US willingness to combat tyrants and terror than a change of heart among Palestinian militants. That Israel and the Palestinian government have seen the level of US commitment to ending terror has been the driving force toward peace. As for all of the Democrat legacy seeking at Camp David; isn’t it wonderful that with President Bush’s and real US support the Israelis have finally been able to do what, in the past, they could only talk about. The removal of Saddam’s support and the commitment of US power to the area were essential in the advance of Mid East peace. This is exactly what Bush claimed would happen, and in this case history has born out his faith.

Thank you Anonymous for putting your point in so easily refuted a form. I look forward to your attempts to rebut. I am confident that more argument will reveal more truth.

Thank God that the party of Lincoln did not fail in the 1860’s and I have hope that it will not fail in the 21st century. Failure is after all, the province of the Democrats.

Take good care of your blood pressure Anonymous. What would we do without you?

A_Shadow said...

Sorry Lysis, and all. It seems that we penned our responses at the same time. My eyes are weary from reading the first batch, and unfortunately I will settle with that for now. I shall return to read the rest when my eyes can take it again.

As written in response to the first post:

Wow, such venom. I think that's what's always gotten to me about having these debates with everyday people, you can't seem to seperate your emotions from the debate. Not to say that I haven't found myself red in the face, but must every point be personal with you? I've never swayed a sound mind with hate, and have never seen truth spread well with the sword. I don't see it ever having worked here, so you must persist in trying?

Inocent until proven guilty always comes to mind in these debates. After all, it's the presiding mantra of our legal system. I find it odd with so much evidence of Bush's follies and lies, the the Democrats and others that oppose him can't bring themselves to indict him directly. I've heard whisperings that it's happening, but that's all it is, whisperings. Has it ever struck you as odd that your cause wouldn't be quite such a conspiracy if there was more than a shred of proof? After all, something as vile as invading a country on lies should be rather easy to prove. As we didn't actually invade Iraq illegally, or under false reasons, I hold that we did it (we as the American nation, of course) exactly as it was put forth. As memory holds, there was a U.N. resolution that made certain demands and promises of retribution. I remember that being in place, I remember that passing in the U.N., and I remember that being the reason that we went. All other reasons aside, from opposition or from support of the cause, we upheld the U.N. resolution when others wouldn't. We went in legally when they didn't want to for fear of us uncovering their corruption. That's not a conspiracy theory, that's documentable proof that the Oil for Food program was used by many nations for fraud and corruption.

Now I think I shall try to respond by points, I'm actually quite glad to see this system used (though I don't often do it myself, it makes for a neater response and easier way to track).

1 - This one doesn't really need responding to, it's not something that will make or break an entire ideology, but if you must force the issue, there is a response. I just don't feel anything would be gained there and now.

2 - This one always comes up as a point of contention with some of the more cunning opposition, I think. I find it interesting because in trying to bring up the point that the American military machine hasn't also gone after "so and so", they end up advocating further military upheaval in other regions of the world. I think the point is brought up to make the point that "if we don't go after 'so and so', we shouldn't have gone after 'whoever the argument is on the behalf of'". It's a silly notion really. As the cause is and was just for going into Iraq, should it happen that way with any other country, we indeed should progress with action. So by raising the argument you are raising a call for war on other nations. Furthermore, half of the nations in your list are more or less on good terms with our lovely nation. There's no point to raise general grief in an area that sanctions and diplomacy will do just fine. Or do you feel that we should have need to invade Japan, again...? Iraq was under no such constrictions. Saddam will and would do whatever came to his fancy, Venezuala and Japan, for instance, might reconsider doing something of the such if and when the whole U.N. was made to come down on them. Saudi Arabia would also not likely respond the way we might hope to sanctions, thus they continue to perform their programs. N. Korea is a little bit of both. I still feel that we may have to enter there much the same as Iraq, but if China is able to convince them not to, then we should be fine, but only for a time. Remember, we often tried with Saddam to diplomatically disarm and control his WMDs, or have you forgotten about the U.N. weapons analysts that were kicked out, how many times?

Knowing about regimes posessing weapons is all well and good, but I think we can all concede that the violent and forcefull removal of weapons from all of the countries with them would never in a million years prove successful. I don't think we're trying to remove the weapons from all countries, at least not at this stage, right now our focus (as it should be) is the removal of big guns from small brained persons, or at least the removal of the most devistating weapons from those that are most likely to use them. Would it be nice to see a weaponless world? Absolutely. When you come up with a plan that works and heads towards the ends of absolute disarmament, you will be the saviour of us all.

3 - Not really anything to respond to. "They" "got it right". "We" "got it wrong". I would assume that "it" is still the focus of your entire argument, but since there is no hard reference to what "it" is and what "they" got right, I shall hesitate to assume. After all, we all know what happens when you assume something.

4 - More documentation. I can run logical threads around and through these sorts of arguments, making it frustrating as sin to bring them up, but I hope we can all realize that the president has access to, but does not read, every brief that just so happens to be published by someone, somewhere, under his administration. Your own parents don't read and know about EVERYTHING that you do. They only know what you let them know. Keep in mind that he's one man trying to help to lead a country of 300+ million people. I don't excuse anything for him, but you find it reasonable that he would only act on the stronger and more documented evidence? Who cares what the CIA "believes"? And it's all well and good that "a month ago" they published this report, but when was it penned? Was there a doubt before or after the war? Rather important questions. If I come out with a report in two months time saying that I know who Deepthroat is, why should that be important? It's old news and they're publishing it after we already know.

5 - Let us focus on the real threats abroad - out of our handy deck of 52 important Al Qaida officers, how many are actually still abroad? I don't know the answer to that, so it's likely more than I would conjecture, but the real point there is that there are far less now, then when we started with. I think you and most other people fail to realize just what kind of fight this is. This isn't something where we can run around and find people wearing the same clothes, or carrying membership badges, that let us find them on sight. Sorry, no "Hi my terrorist name is...". But we are doing it, we are taking care of them as they crop up. It's not fool proof and it never will be as there is no definition of a terrorist that allows us to profile. So asking for such a profile isn't ever going to fulfill a satisfactory response. If we had a way to profile that, it would have been done and this issue would have been history. We are able to track them through certain other means, but none are foolproof and it's a fool's mission to demand such from them. In essence, I don't think we've lost track of "the ball" (whatever you might be referencing there as there are many to choose from in this juggling match) by anything that Bush might have outright caused. The only thing that diverts the American nations public eye is the thing that fills it most, the media. Perhaps it's Bush's fault that for weeks at a time we can only find M.J. on the news instead of our healthcare or social security updates. Maybe, truly, the American people aren't nearly as worried about it as either they should be, or you would hope them to be.

6 - It is unstable, I don't think there ever was a claim that it is stable, I believe the claim was that without Saddam, it will have the ability (potential?) to become more so. With Saddam, there was a status quo that until he or we moved, it was maintained. We disrupted that by removing him. If you know anything about equilibriums, when you disrupt it, there is a general sense of "chaos" until it rights itself again. Time will vary with each case, but it will inevitably reach that point again. I'm not advocating "hey! it'll fix itself!", I'm simply saying that given the time and work that we are and will continue to allocate to it, it will become one with the club of nations represented by Germany and Japan of western billed reconstruction. The phrase "Rome was not built in a day." comes to mind.

7 - Acted out on the oppressing regime by bombing London? I understand that they are our allies, but I don't think that made the subways there the exact target. Terrorists will attack whatever they feel is unguarded and will hit the news the fastest. It is indeed a live fire exorcise for terrorists, but would you rather us have given them that "opportunity" and run? Would we be better off then? Or if we pursued this to our ends to roost them finally and for all? Which holds more wisdom in your scenario? Why anger them, "train them" as you suggest, and then run? Then we really have created a monster to unleash on the world. If they percieve us as the oppressor, that's where other forms of alteration come in. I'm not saying that they will all change their minds, but because they hate us now doesn't mean the situation is hopeless and we should withdraw. Where's the wisdom in that?

8 - I believe that this is just a repeat of number 5, but it brought a new point to my mind. How safe do you feel America was on 9-10-2001?

How safe do you feel we are today? Do you think that the world abroad is more or less blood thirsty for the lives of Americans before or after they had access to 200 stories of steel, concrete and the lives of thousands of our CIVILLIANS? Or would it have been better to shrug off the attacks of 9/11 and say "Meh, no biggie." whilst they plan the next and the next attacks? Are we safer fighting the enemy in Iraq? Is the world safer fighting the enemy in Iraq, instead of fighting them in London proper, in New York streets and in L.A.? The fighting is contained to military targets of the coalition nations by and large. There are some civillian deaths, but does that mean that they are wholly ineffective? Does that mean that they haven't been saving millions of Americans, yours and my brothers and sisters, by their sacrifice overseas?

9 - Is that worse then it was before? Were ther or were there not torturings before? Who was stopping those then? We aim to stop them now. If you want to bring up the whole "Mission Accomplished" theme again, I can concede that I don't believe it was done in the most sound of mind. But I could also make arguments for it. The man says that all of this is happening, but you don't find it the least bit odd that he knows what's going on in "secret" bunkers? That he knows who's and what's being tortured under ground "behind enemy lines" while he makes this statement? We are aiming towards stopping all of this, there is indeed much less, and hardly sanctioned by the prevailing government, beatings and torturings occuring today. You jump to an aweful lot of conclusions by concluding what he means by "abuse". I see that a lot in the counter arguments of the times. Anything that concievably could be construed as a negative or a counterpoint is taken and then taken to the extremes of absurdity in the hopes that the would be victim isn't paying any attention or awake at all.

10 - I'm sorry that I must break my current composure and let this slip through: "What the hell are you talking about?" comes to mind. "The secret Delta Force"? "White phosphorus igniting human flesh"? I shake my head at general dismay. Delta Force is a rather well known branch of the U.S. Army. You might recognize them from such Clinton era issues as the incidents in Somalia surrounding the shooting down of several U.S. Black Hawk helicopters. I'm sure you've gotten such "good" history as provided by "Black Hawk Down".

As for white phosphorus, it's used in Flash Bangs. We use them at home as well as abroad for the soul reason that they are non-lethal. We use them as distractions, blinding and deafaning booms, not burnings of flesh and weapons of torture. While I don't deny the possibility that it could have burned someone, that's not exactly a feasible way for it to have worked (perhaps with the exception of it landing on someone) and regardless anything of that scenario would be a freak accident at worst. What in the world are you aiming at here?

"This claim is made too easily and without great reflection." Your own words betray you indeed.

11 - Again, I think after 11 points of the same arguments thrown about to and fro, I can't help but shake my head...

Do you actually give a rat's ass about what's going on in those countries? What's good for the goose is good for the gander. You make a long list of injustices that you believe that Bush should, could, or will have the responsibility to fix, and because he hasn't, he's a wicked man.

We have been pouring aide into countries for years, we have nearly been single-handedly been feeding N. Korea with food that we deliver as much as we have been feeding much of Africa. None of these things are actually done by dictate of, or on the behalf of, Mr. Bush. What is the point in bringing this argument up? There are injustices in the world, that's always a concession, Bush is working towards ending as many as he can. Yet you will fault him for being one man? You will fault him for not doing enough? Who are you people to sit at home and claim such things? Where have you enlisted civilly or militarily to end the oppression in other nations? Yet you will point fingers of blame at Bush and how he hasn't put the entire world under his thumb to stop oppression, ultimately filing the argument also that he is doing just that - holding the world under his thumb as a tyrant. Would you decide what the ultimate goals are? You especially, anonymous. You can't call for Bush to invade dozens of countries and then turn around and label him a Tyrant for it, can you? Do you really have the ability to perform such doublespeak and double-standards?

12 - Where is your proof of this? There are thousands more Iraqi civillians dead then U.S. soldiers. I'll be the first to throw that into the mix, but they have been killed by insurgents. I missed on the news where U.S. soldiers rolled tanks into weddings or used their fighters and helicopters to level entire cities. What I did catch on the news in the last two years was Iraqis blowing up other iraqis. A thousand people died on a collapsed bridge because someone in the crowd announced that there was a suicide bomber in their midst, not because they shouted "OMFG! Teh Americans are comingz!1" Whatever news source you pulled that out of... I actually wonder if there is a credible source that you pull any of this information out of. Certainly you quoted the BBC at one point, but I guarantee that the BBC didn't post anything as foolish as your claims here.

13 -

I think I'm sick of your lies and belittlements far sooner then you tired of thinking them up.

I'm sure I missed something that needs responding to, but allow Lysis to pick that up. My eyes are tired of reading such blatant B.S. repeated over and over on the page.

Cute how your rapped up theme was "Just admit your wrong already so we can fix your idiot mistakes."

Let's take that point if you would, if you're big enough to handle it. With 17 points (numbered, it's much lower then that) of what's wrong with the situation. Can you bring even 5 points that are feasible and would solve the issue in your eyes?

Let's start there, oh wise one. We have 17 points listed as to what's wrong. What can you do to fix any of them? In the spirit of problem solving, it's not enough to pose a question and not an answer. It's not enough to raise a problem and not a solution. So let us hear some of the solutions that we can work towards in the spirit of peace and prosperity. Certainly you must have some ideas to fix the issues, you did raise them as your own.

Or is it as I fear that you're another nameless one that will attempt to raise hell and then run? Do you throw out garbage in the street and run before you're caught in your crime?

Time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Are you willing to admit that something is wrong with the situation? You have to admit that things are not going as planned in Iraq, or that it was a very, very bad plan, or both! You have to think that things can be better. You have to start fixing it at the beginning. You have to admit that we are in over our heads, that Iraq has made us weaker as a nation rather than stronger. It has decreased our standing in the world, it has thrown away the lives of thousands for what? To destabilize a country, to train terrorists, to spread hate, to settle an old score, to take away imaginary weapons from an imaginary threat to the U.S.? Why could every other nation see this coming and we could not? Why do you still want to stay the same failing course? Yes, admit that you are wrong, that we were wrong, that are following the wrong path now, and then let's work together to fix the problems we have made for ourselves and to snuff out the real threats to America's homefront.

Anonymous said...

We may not have all of the answers now but that is because we are so busy fighting eachother. Half of us, like Lysis, keep going on with our heads in the sand as though this was the best of all possible worlds. Really believing in that makes us as foolish as the young Candide. To admit that things can be better, that they should be better, that we can make them better if we are willing to explore new options, new leadership, new ways to fixing a problem we have wrestled with for two years with no end in sight, that is where we need to start.

I see that things are not going well and I am not the only one. If you refuse to admit even a small truth in that then you are guilty of the biggest sin a search for truth and that is a failure to be reasonable. I think more people, even here among the Rush Limbaugh fans, think things are not going well - poll numbers suggest a majority of the country so there must be at least one person in this forum that agrees with me.

If you thik that our effort in Iraq is not going well right now, that it could be better, that we should talk about other options, what ever they are but that we SHOULD talk about them, let me know! Say something. Say anything. There is a war on and people are dying because we were too afraid to talk before and because dissention with how things are being conducted now is too often called traitorous.

I want the same thing as you, the best possible world for us to live in. I just don't think that we are making that in Iraq with the way Bush has led us to war and the way Bush is making us fight that war now. And I think any attempt to rewrite the history of how we have so gloriously made the world a better place in the last two years is real dishonesty.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous,

With all sincerity, and no condescension intended, I appreciate your last post on more than one level. You have clearly stated your objections. We also haven’t wasted time debating about the rules of the debate rather than the debate itself.

That being said, your response is most troubling to me. I won’t cover your objections point-by-point, which have been addressed quite articulately by both Lysis and Shadow.
However, based on your suggestion that North Korea’s nuclear capabilities are President Bush’s blunder, (I guess you’ve forgotten about both the Carter and Clinton administrations), your suggestion that the U.N. had it right (I guess you’ve forgotten that both France and Russia were on the take), and your suggestion that the “magnet” we have created in the Middle East is bad (I guess you’d rather have our enemies practicing on our soil) I can only come to two conclusions, as follows:

Either you are woefully uninformed and have not been watching world events unfold over the last ten years or you are consumed with what you perceive to be as the “entitlement” of the Democrats, control of the government.

I don’t think you are uninformed. You are probably quite intelligent. I think you still can’t swallow President Bush’s Electoral College victory in the 2002 election. Quoted from your point #10 - “Some of the greatest dictators of the Western world were voted into power. At least Bush in 2003 could not make that claim!”

Get over it! We can go back and have that debate again if you want. It is right out of the PLAYBOOK. It is a great example of what I hate the most about the Democrats. Forget about my differing positions on abortion, the War, Capital Punishment, etc. The whole tact of the Democratic Party has become “if we call the truth a lie long enough the people will forget the truth and believe the lie!”

As to your last post and the suggestion for some sort of positive dialogue, with one condition I am all for it! It is, however, rather idealistic. There can be no calling the truth a lie! You know that will never happen in Washington! Do you think it could happen here?

I might add, that though I think you are informed, I don’t think the leadership of the Democratic Party (Harry Reid, Howard Dean, etc.) is. I think the mainstream media also sees that. My point? I used to believe the Democrats controlled the media. I was wrong! The mainstream media controls the Democrats!

About ten years ago I heard the statement, “perception is reality.” I don’t buy it. No matter what people have believed, the earth has always been round!

However, perception can control actions. The earth WAS round; no one explored the possibility because of the FALSE fear of falling off the edge.

The Democrats may win. The War in Iraq may fail (pretty sad for anyone to be on that side of the argument in my view). I hope that is not the outcome. If it is, it won’t be because the Democrats are on the side of truth. It will be because the media convinced the people of America to act independently of the truth.

lysis_verus said...

Agorafolk~
I have to ditto all of what Anon has said. Shadow, Anon is not being *personal* any more than Lysis or you or I writes *personally*~ but I'll get to that later...

Coupla Things: Lysis prefaces this whole post with a revision of history. The confederate government never desired to conquer and hold US terrritory. The invasion of PA was a ploy to get behind the Army of the Potomac and push for PEACE and you know it. WHY ELSE WERE ALL OTHER MAJOR BATTLES FOUGHT ON CONFEDERATE SOIL LYSIS? You misrepresent millions of people with no voice to counter your Yankee-Puritan-Federalist-cum-Whig-cum-Republican slander. Shame on you Lysis. Since these individuals are all DEAD I will speak for my beloved Robert E. Lee and the rest: Theirs was an Independance movement, much like the original US. The war was fought over commerce/economics and self-government vs. centralized government. Lincon's much vaunted Getty'sburg Address was just so much Hot Air/Political Fluff. To suggest otherwise denotates a very skewed (non-objective) view of history. The Confederacy lost, the Yankee's won. Why can't you let that go? Must you sully the memories of Americans and Patriots who died in cause they truly believed in? Honestly, Lysis your smarmy opportunism is rather disconcerting. But why should that suprise me?
Now, Lysis vilifies the Democrat Party as though it is Al-Queda itself. I just love how you lay the 'enslavement of Southeast Asia' at John Kerry's feet. He was a twentysomething attorney in Boston at the time we pulled out. Shouldn't you lay that blame on YOUR MAN NIXON? Please. Get Real Lysis. You must be living in some hepped up Cheneyesque Fantasy world where we were 'greeted as liberators' and the Iraq insurgents are in their 'last throes' LAST MAY. Har Har. And I'm neither a Democrat nor a southerner.

OK, You want 'personal' Shadow? I will correct some of your misinformation in a 'personal' way. Now, this is an example of a 'personal attack' don't try this at home or get all bent out of shape 'n pouty 'n stuff m'kay? kay:

"Shadow~
If you used a bit of your self-vaunted 'intellect' for research/study you'd discover that evidence has recently come to light that the Delta Force conducts/guards torture transport missions to 'secret' US gulag archipelligo type torture prisions. ALSO you'd discover that the US military used explosive white phosphorus *bombs* in the attack on Fallujah last year, not flash-bang grenades. That is documented and confirmed (but justified) by Pentagon sources. Extract your cranuim from your rectal cavity before you launch your weak-tea personal attacks next time. BTW I believe I've had to remind you this before Shadow~ Just because you haven't heard some bit of info or another, it doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true. It just means you are ignorant. Try to *Deal* in cold cool reality, baby. That's where you'll find the smart people you long so desperately to join you poseur. ~Shadow Verus"

Thanks all for making my evening a trifle more enjoyable.
~Lysis Verus

Aeneas said...

Lysis,

Once again, an excellent post.

I do wish you would do something about the fact that your posts get cut off on the right margin.

Anonymous,

The only thing I am willing to admit is, or in this case "was" wrong with the situation, assuming you are refering to the general issue of the U.S. in Irag, is the manner in which the U.S. went into Irag and conducted Operation Iraqi Freedom at the very beginning of the conflict. Namely, I regret that the Coalition Forces did not do more to secure and protect key Iraqi museums, which were ultimately looted during the chaos of the conflict. Some of the artifacts that were lost were more than priceless, they were world historical treasures. Other than that, no regrets. Going into Iraq to destroy Saddam's regieme was the right thing to do and has made the world a better/safer place.

My conclusion is based on some simple facts:

(1) Saddam had repeatedly attacted neighbouring countries; (I NOTE THAT N. KOREA AND IRAN HAVE NOT RECIENTLY ATTACKED THEIR NEIGHBOURS).
(2) Saddam had and has used WMD's, even against his own people;
(3) Saddam had been given a chance to get his act together after the 1st Gulf War, but had repeatedly violated the terms of the Gulf War cease-fire;
(4) Saddam had repeatedly violated U.N. Security Council Resolutions;
(5) Saddam had committed genocide against his own people;
(6) Saddam was in the process of reconstituting his WMD program;
(7) Saddam attempted to assassinate the President of the United States; (AND YES, I MOST CERTAINLY DO CONSIDER THIS AN ACT OF WAR AGAINST THE U.S. BECAUSE IT WAS AN OFFICAL IRAQ ACTION).

My conclusions:
(1) Get rid of Saddam before he gets us or an ally!!! (Mission accomplished).
(2) As far as N. Korea and Iran goes = the facts dictate we give diplomacy more time to work; (Mission in progress).

An extrapolated conclusion:

Anonymous, the fact that you would argue that the U.S. is failing to do a better job to "police" N. Korea in the same breath that you are arguing that the U.S. should not be in Iraq strikes me as very trite. If the U.S. had done more to "police" N. Korea or Iran and did not go into Iraq, I believe that you would have argued that the U.S. has failed to better police Iraq, which is a far more imminent threat based on intelligence and Sadaam's continuing behavior rather than North Korea who hasn't attacked it's neighbor since the end of the Korean conflict.

Finally, my thoughts on the issue of current conditions in Iraq are simple. I would not characterize the situation as not going well. I would characterize the situation as being difficult. One should remember that one of the last attacks against U.S. interests in Japan after World War II was more than nine years after the official end of the war. We should be patient with the difficult situation in Iraq. Decrying the situation a failure after only two years effort seems rash. Give it more than two years. Don't be in such a hurry to write write the history.

Anonymous said...

Verus,

You can untwist your panties, or tightie whities, or boxer briefs, or whatever. Though I am sure Lysis will illuminate, the Democrats he was refering to were not Confederate Democrats, they were Union Democrats. Now, this doesn't further the debate at all, but I could endure it silently.

Anonymous said...

It is the best possible of all worlds . . . Think critically! Aeneas, your ONLY concern about the U.S. in Iraq was that we did not save the Iraqi National Museum from being looted? Were you anywhere near planet Earth when 60 Minutes exposed Abu Graib? Don't you feel even a little bit of remorse for the thousands that left fearing for their lives all over Iraq because Shiite militias, execution squads and murderous thugs are left unchecked since there were never enough U.S. soldiers to keep the peace? Are you so uncaring as to never once be upset by the civilians that died in their homes hiding from gunfire and killed by U.S. "smart" bombs? Do you not care that U.S. Whitehouse officials in Iraq (Robert J. Stein, Jr.) have been arrested for taking bribes to sell out Iraq? Is callousness, corruption, and want for blood so much a part of your character that you cannot even say that you regret that so many people lost EVERYTHING in the lawlessness that was allowed to rule Iraq after the Bagdhad invasion where YOUR precious world heritage was stolen? Well, at least you are willing to say that something, however small it is, went wrong. I suppose there is some hope for you yet.

As for North Korea not attacking its neighbors recently you mave missed:

The systematic kidnapping of children, Japanese and South Korean Nationals throughout the seventies and eighties. These people were taken to North Korea and forced to work training North Korean spies.

The 1997 North Korean submarine carried North Korean special forces that was the first point of a sabotage squad that was the first of wave of guerilla attacks to be carried out in South Korea. After the capture of the beached submarine and crew as it landed in South Korea and discovery and exposure of the attack plan limited a full scale guerilla offensive.

The Yellow Sea Battle of 2002 where two North Korean destroyers were set ablaze and four South Korean sailors killed when the North Korean navy invaded South Korean waters but thought better of it after one boat was sank.

The fact that North Korea does have a verifiable nuclear weapons program and does actually have nuclear weapons!! North Korea also has a delivery system that our own Pentagon can estimates can be used to reach the U.S. over the Pacific!

The continued narco-state activities in North Korea. The creation and trafficking of meth emphetamine that comprises nearly %100 of the Japanese market. The state sponsored counterfieting. The assasination attempts and threats against former citizens, now citizens of other countries.

You did miss these and other acts of North Korea against its neighbors. And to suggest that North Korea has not used its weapons on its own citizens to keep the Dear Leader in charge is reprehensible! Will you stop at no level of insensitivity and self delusionment just to be on the side of the Republicans!? Is it that important to be on the same side as the "party of Lincoln?" Isn't it more important to be right? Can you just acknowledge that we might be able to change tactics to make things better in Iraq now??

Also, your points about the reasons for taking out Saddam are blatant lies repeated again and again when the undeniable truth we know now is that Saddam WAS NOT RECONSTITUTING HIS WMD PROGRAM! We can use heinsight to see that truth now!! Stop saying it like it was true. THERE WERE NO WMD'S IN IRAQ! We went there for made up reasons so Bushco could settle their own personal vendettas. If all of the reasons they and Lysis say we went there for were true, there were so many other countries we could have gone to first who were as deserving and more, but we did not and we did not because it was not personal in those countries but only personal to Bushco in Iraq. Now we need to recognize that, and we need to fix the situation Bushco broke there.

If anyone would want to rebuild a city in the right way it must be you Aeneas.

Lysis said...

Anonymous – I am in agreement with Aeneas on this one. SUPRIZE!!!!! What you, Anonymous, do is to confuse difficulty with failure. The Democrats insist that the war is a failure because things “went wrong”, and then define “went wrong” as were ever things have been difficult. That is like saying that when a policeman shouts, “stop or I’ll shoot”, and the criminal turns to fire a gun, that something went wrong. What kind of war do you want Anonymous, one were there is no danger, where enemies play according to a set of rules? Aeneas gives you a legitimate mistake, and you first mock it, and then pile on with a bunch of difficulties and claim that they are wrongs committed by the American Military. Aeneas gives you evidence of where things went in accordance with a very good plan in Iraq, and you dredge up Abu Graib; as if that crime was the plan of the American Military. You point to some misconduct by a, now arrested, American officials, and infer that that constitutes the failure of a plan that brought a nation from tyranny to democracy in three years. Come on Anonymous! You saying that America is less safe does not make it so, the fact that terrorists who threatened continuous attacks on and the ultimate destruction of America have been forced to fight and loose, is proof that it is your claim of decline in American safety that is not so. It is those who love power more than their country that are destabilizing America. Aeneas gave his reason for claiming success, the removal of Saddam, you Anonymous counter with a list of problems, implying that since the war has not gone with out difficulty it is a failure.
Support for the war is not eroded by truth, but by the constant barrage of propaganda ginned up to weaken this Administration. America stays the course because victory will come at the end of it, and giving in will bring defeat. Defeat is the only hope for the Democrats, so they concoct it where honest observation cannot find it. Anonymous, you demand those fighting the war admit things went wrong so your party can grab power. As I pointed out above, the Civil War is the perfect example of this willingness to place party politics over the welfare of the Nation. When things got tough, the Democrats, in the North, declared a failure – that things were being miss handled and had gone wrong and called for “Peace”. They did not do this because the North was actually losing the war, but because losing the war was the only way they could gain power. Had America heeded them, the disaster would have had eternal consequences. In the case of Vietnam, America headed those who placed politics above victory and millions died and millions more are yet enslaved. Jimmy Carter, that Great Democrat, was willing to through the towel in on the Cold War, retreat behind our borders, turn over Latin American to the Soviet Union and its Cuban henchmen, and await the death of America in malaise and defeatism. Thank God for Ronald Reagan. No wonder Americans choose Reagan as the Greatest American. We must learn from history, that when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and those who whine and want to quit are all to often short sighted and self motivated.

Anonymous, your comments on North Korean acts of insanity and dastardliness are instructive. They do not however rise to the level of across the border invasions with tens of thousands of troops, tanks, and poison gas. That Japan and South Korea, backed by the US and the world community, are isolating and controlling the misbehavior of North Korea is comforting, but you point to a just concern. Are you then implying that because North Korea is dangerous, we should have allowed Saddam to go on murdering hundreds of thousands? Are you suggesting that because Communism everywhere it is found leads to starvation and terror killing of the people of the nation the communists rule, we should allow a rouge regime to continue to develop WMD and rob and murder? By the way, the constant harping that there were no WMD found in Iraq does not deny the fact that Saddam was planning to build such weapons and to share them. The entire strategy of preemptive war is to preempt the development of monster power. Here your arguments only prove the success of the war!

Anonymous, I notice that neither you nor Lysis Verus take on Rumpole. I also agree with him.

Lysis Verus: The Confederate Government desired to defeat the United States. That was their goal, and the Democrats were willing to let them accomplish it in order to gain control of the government in the North. The “half a loaf (nation) is better than none strategy is very similar to the divisive tactics employed by the Democrats seeking power today.

LV, your finding Lincoln hot air and fluff, helps me understand your opinion of George W Bush. The truth has been kinder to Lincoln than you admit, and the truth of history will demonstrate the greatness of Bush II as well. It is also interesting to me that you find it in your heart to love Robert E. Lee, a man who has been responsible for more battle field deaths of Americans than any person in history. That he fought for slavery against freedom lead to the death of hundreds of thousands of Northern Soldiers; that he continued to fight after he was defeated, lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Southern ones. (Fighting on after being defeated is an error that Lee shared with Hitler, Tojo, Saddam, and now the Saddamites and terrorists in Iraq.) Realize that the powers in the South, sought independence to allow them to maintain slavery. They fought for a commercial and economic system based on maintaining the vast majority of white in poverty and all blacks in slavery. The powers of the South, that dragged a nation into its most costly war, fought for self government, states rights, to maintain slavery in the face of the universal right of freedom for all men upon which America was founded. Realize these facts: The slaves were freed, the nation preserved – those who died and killed to perpetuate slavery and destroy the union were at best fools, at worst traitors; never Patriots.

As for Kerry, his movement, and its ultimate effect on Vietnam: two suggestions, 1) consider it is John Kerry who is honored by the Communists at their “victory” memorial, 2) take up Dannyboy’s challenge and compare Vietnam to Iraq. I would love to see that!

As to the use of white phosphorus, you miss represent. Yes, white phosphorus, an incendiary, was used at Fallujah. The misrepresentation presented in the press was that this was a use, by the US, of chemical weapons prohibited by the Geneva Convention. The truth is that phosphorus, while a terrible weapon, is none the less a “legal” one. To misrepresent the facts in an attempt to sully America’s war effort is just another proof of the depths to which those determined to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory will go.
Lysis Verus, your scolding Shadow for getting his facts wrong, while intentionally misrepresenting one, is beneath you!

Lysis Verus: I too am grateful for an enjoyable and instructive discussion.

Aeneas: everything shows up on my computer. Maybe someone with some computer know-how could enlighten one or the other of us on how to fix the problem you mention.

Anonymous said...

Is it really a challenge? Just off the top of my head: public opinion turned against both wars, there was no clear victory for either war, the troops were not supported adequately in either war, none of the current administration served in either war - unless you count the hard time Bush put in on mountain bike in the dry forest course outside Beijing with Chinese Olympic team as "field service." If you can't see these similarities then do not use the term "buff" in describing your critical history skills.

Let me more in depth than any glib call for such a comparison in the most last week called for or wanted.

Soldiers have long been subjected to invidious generational comparison. It's a military rite of passage for new recruits to hear from old hands that everything from boot camp to combat was tougher before they arrived. The late '90s coronation of the "Greatest Generation"—which left many Korean War and Vietnam War veterans scratching their heads—is only the most visible cultural example.

Generational contrasts are implicit today when casualties in Iraq are referred to as light, either on their own or in comparison to Vietnam. The Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, for example, last July downplayed the intensity of the Iraq war on this basis, arguing that "it would take over 73 years for U.S. forces to incur the level of combat deaths suffered in the Vietnam war."

But a comparative analysis of U.S. casualty statistics from Iraq tells a different story. After factoring in medical, doctrinal, and technological improvements, infantry duty in Iraq circa 2004 comes out just as intense as infantry duty in Vietnam circa 1966—and in some cases more lethal. Even discrete engagements, such as the battle of Hue City in 1968 and the battles for Fallujah in 2004, tell a similar tale: Today's grunts are patrolling a battlefield every bit as deadly as the crucible their fathers faced in Southeast Asia.

Economists like to quote statistics in "constant dollars," where they factor in historical inflation rates to produce statistics that allow for side-by-side comparison. Warfare is more complex than macroeconomics, but it is possible to produce a similar "apples to apples" comparison for casualties across conflicts. In a recent article for the New England Journal of Medicine, Atul Gawande (a former Slate contributor) concluded that improvements to military medicine since Vietnam have dramatically reduced the rate at which U.S. troops die of wounds sustained in combat. The argument follows a 2002 study that tied improvements in U.S. civilian trauma medicine to the nation's declining murder rate. While firearm assaults in the United States were rising, the murder rate was falling, largely because penetration wounds that proved fatal 30 years ago were now survivable. Thus, today's murder rate was artificially depressed in comparison to the 1960s.

Gawande applied the same methodology to U.S. casualty statistics in previous wars, arriving at a "lethality of wounds" rate for each conflict. In World War II, 30 percent of wounds proved deadly. In Korea, Vietnam, and the first Gulf War, this rate hovered between 24 percent and 25 percent. But due to better medical technology, doctrinal changes that push surgical teams closer to the front lines, and individual armor protection for soldiers, this rate has dropped to 10 percent for Operation Iraqi Freedom for all wounds. For serious wounds that keep a soldier away from duty for more than 72 hours, the mortality rate is now 16 percent. Simply, a soldier was nearly 1.5 times more likely to die from his wounds in Vietnam than in Iraq today.

This disparity between the "lethal wound" rates has profound implications. Analogy is a powerful tool for perspective, and Vietnam still reverberates, but the numbers must reflect the actual risks. In 1966, for example, 5,008 U.S. servicemen were killed in action in Vietnam. Another 1,045 died of "non-hostile" wounds (17 percent of the total fatalities). Since Jan. 1, 2004, 754 U.S. servicemen and -women have been killed in action in Iraq, and 142 more soldiers died in "non-hostile" mishaps (16 percent of the fatalities, similar to Vietnam). Applying Vietnam's lethality rate (25 percent) to the total number of soldiers killed in action in Iraq this year, however, brings the 2004 KIA total to 1,131.

The scale can be further balanced. In 1966, U.S. troops in Vietnam numbered 385,000. In 2004, the figure in Iraq has averaged roughly 142,000. Comparing the burden shouldered by individual soldiers in both conflicts raises the 2004 "constant casualty" figure in Iraq to 3,065 KIA. Further, casualties in Iraq fall more heavily on those performing infantry missions. Riflemen—as well as tankers and artillerymen who operate in provisional infantry units in Iraq—bear a much higher proportion of the risk than they did in Vietnam. In Vietnam, helicopter pilots and their crews accounted for nearly 5 percent of those killed in action. In Iraq in 2004, this figure was less than 3 percent. In Vietnam, jet pilots accounted for nearly 4 percent of U.S. KIAs. In 2004, the United States did not lose a single jet to enemy action in Iraq. When pilots and aircrews are removed from the equation, 4,602 ground-based soldiers died during 1966 in Vietnam, compared to 2,975 in Iraq during 2004.

Perhaps a more significant change is the marriage of technology with doctrinal changes. In World War II, Korea, and Vietnam, attrition warfare dominated infantry operations. Today's commanders fight differently, first shaping the battlefield with air power and artillery, then committing ground troops to attack enemies weakened by these barrages or bypassing them altogether.

But some situations defy the effects of technology and force infantrymen to fight much the way they did 30 years ago. In urban areas, most significantly, buildings hide Iraqi insurgents from aerial observation and protect them from incoming ordnance. Cities also make it easy for small bands of insurgents to hide among the civilians. In Fallujah, the Iraqi insurgents who burrowed into the city had to be pried out by American infantry—just as the Marines did when they fought to retake Hue City in 1968.

The Hue comparison is illuminating. In Hue, three Marine battalions (roughly 3,000 men) plunged into a vicious house-to-house fight with 12,000 North Vietnamese, ultimately routing them after suffering harsh losses. In April 2004, three Marine battalions attacked several thousand terrorists in Fallujah and were days away from taking the city when the White House called off the attack. In November, three new Marine battalions joined two Army mechanized infantry battalions in a sweeping attack to retake the city. They succeeded, although outbreaks of fighting continue. While the North Vietnamese fought a coordinated defensive battle for Hue City until they were annihilated, the terrorists in Fallujah fought in small packs, hiding among the tens of thousands of structures in the "city of mosques." In the three-week battle for Hue, 147 Marines were killed and 857 wounded. In the twin battles for Fallujah, more than 104 soldiers and Marines have been killed and more than 1,100 wounded in a battle that will continue to take lives, like the three Marines who encountered yet another pocket of fighters last week.

Hue and Fallujah provide one of the best generational comparisons of combat because both battles unfolded similarly. Without controlling for any of the advances in medical technology, medical evacuation, body armor, or military technology, U.S. losses in Fallujah almost equal those of Hue. If you factor in the improvements in medical technology alone, then the fight for Fallujah was just as costly (or maybe more so) as that for Hue, as measured by the number of mortal wounds sustained by U.S. troops.

That today's fighting in Iraq, by these calculations, may actually be more lethal than the street fighting in Vietnam should not be taken lightly. Vietnam was marked by long periods of well-fought, sustained combat but little perceptible gain. Volunteers outnumbered conscripts by a 9-1 ratio in the units that saw combat during the war's early days in 1966, and at first they enjoyed the support of a country that believed in their cause. But as the burden widened and deepened, and conscripts did more of the fighting and dying, the country's faith evaporated. Today's burden is not wide, but it is deep. Communities such as Oceanside, Calif., home to Camp Pendleton and the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, have suffered tremendous loss during this war—nearly one-quarter of U.S. combat dead in 2004 were stationed at Camp Pendleton. Military leaders should be mindful of this fact: To send infantrymen on their third rotations to Iraq this spring is akin to assigning a trooper three tours in Vietnam: harsh in 1966 and a total absurdity by 1968.

Critics of the war may use this analysis as one more piece of ammunition to attack the effort; some supporters may continue to refer to casualties as "light," noting that typically tens of thousands of Americans must die in war before domestic support crumbles. Both miss the point. The casualty statistics make clear that our nation is involved in a war whose intensity on the ground matches that of previous American wars. Indeed, the proportional burden on the infantryman is at its highest level since World War I. With next year's budget soon to be drafted, it is time for Washington to finally address their needs accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Now may we again address the main point of your post Lysis, that there were other reasons than WMD to invade Iraq I think you said it was. That is a good thing because there were no WMD's found in Iraq. There were none. If there were other reasons we should examine if the U.S. has met its duty in accomplishing those goals. My original post argues well that the U.S. has not and has made many of those things worse or the same as they were before U.S. occupation. I am not the only one that believes this and more and more are coming to my side and wanting to talk about how we can better meet goals in Iraq that Iraqi's and Americans, and the whole international community deserves.

When I point out that there were others guilty of the accusations Bush made against Saddam it is to say that there must have been more, something we were not explicitly told that drove us to invade and occupy Iraq and not to foolishly call for a world wide take over. Our hands are full enough in Iraq. You must recognize that. You must also suspect that the something more we were not explicitly told was Bushco's personal obsession with Saddam, was Haliburton's blood-thirsty greed for the oil riches beneath the sand, was Rumsfeld's desire to show-case his own brand of Mid-western toughness in a sleeker more agile military that has probably fought its last war under those tactical guidlines. There were many noble things said before the invasion but very few of them have turned out to be true.

Don't keep your head in the sand. Don't confuse the issue by ascribing epiteths and extreme measures to those who dissent with you. Admit, as more and more are starting to do, that Bush's personal, unilateral crusade, is failing before any more in Iraq pay the excruciating price of his maddening failure, before it is too late and we have to pay the bloody price for his and your stubborness here at home.

We both want the same thing and you freeze out more and more people who can help us in our cause when you accuse them of trying to "destroy America" because they won't accept everything you say, because they won't worship at the altar of Bush as you do. Put down your false idols. Open your eyes for the first time in a long time. Come back to the fold. Our strength is in working together.

Anonymous said...

If you wish to investigate the information that is the foundation for the posts above (about that war where the enemy did not wear uniforms, was hard to pick out from a civilian population, and where a huge section of the occupied people did not want the Americans there - see Pentagon Military projection 2005, vast majority of Iraqi insurgents are native Iraqi's; see also Iraqi summit in Egypt last week official Iraqi government recognition of a right of resistance to U.S. occupation by Iraqi insurgents, call for U.S. troops to set timeline for withdrawal and warning this will be last year troops allowed to stay - and where most Americans cannot name what we are fighting for and do not think whatever it is it is worth it (am I talking about Iraq or Vietnam history buffs?) then check the reporting of L.A. Times Nov. 3, 2005, Owen West, Philip Carter, London Daily Telegraph Oct. 31, 2005, Pentagon Casualty Estimates October, 2005, CNN Oct. 31, 2005, BBC Oct. 29, 2005, IraqiBodyCount.org, among hundreds others. Or just ask the person sitting next to you. More than half of Americans now believe we were lied to, are being lied, and need to rethink how we are going about the war in Iraq.

P.S. Note that if you are living in Utah you may have to get on a plane to find someone who is next you that will accept these reports.


We can do better.

mostly just listening said...

Wow Anonymous, your points, while showing so much time and effort still leave me wanting. I wish you would address Rumpole's argument. It is concise, clear, and very thought provoking. All this horror you spew about, all of this can't you see we have already lost mantra, is first and foremost exactly what Aeneas accuses you of, too eager to write the end before it is over, and secondly, exactly what Rumpole argues, created by the press (the L.A. Times? Give me a break.) and by the left playbook. It seems that they have told the info. long enough, that even an intelligent individual like you has bought it hook, line, and sinker. There are definately problems with how Iraq has been conducted, and there are daily re-thinks on what to do there (not by Bushco but by the military brass whose job it is to make Iraq a success). You overreach greatly in declaring it an all out disaster.

You say we all want the same things and lets work together? From where I sit and read, you are every bit as guilty as you claim Lysis to be in refusing to work with those who won't agree with you and leave their "false idols" to worship at your altar of Bush hating conspiracy. You are so demeaning to any who suggest the situation differently than you (in any measure) that to hear your claim of get your head on strait and follow me to the light and we can fix together is laughable.

Lysis (and Aeneas for that matter) have you dead to rights on the Korean matter. All of those facts were eye opening. Thank you. Still, however, are you saying that we should therefore invade Korea? I don't think so. Are you saying that because North Korea is bad, we shouldn't have invaded Iraq? Or are you taking a page from Democratic talking points and arguing that any level of difficulty somewhere else in the world somehow makes Iraq not worth it forgetting entirely that the situations are different in so many different ways including the exhaustion of other methods (diplomatic for one). Are you really arguing that leaving Sadaam Hussein in power is o.k. because Kim Jueng Il is bad too? You've made some seriously great points Anonymous, but this isn't one of them.

Finally, would you please at least consider Lysis' repeated call to examine the Dulfur report. No WMDs in Iraq does not equal Sadaam not trying to reconstitute his WMD program nor does the fact that he didn't buy yellow cake but was only looking into it make Joe Wilson a saint and anyone willing to at least question him an ostrich. It would be great if it were always all or none, but I am afraid the situations we come here to discuss are a little more complicated than that.

On a completely different note, what is Lysis Verus trying to claim by calling him/herself Lysis Verus? Are you saying you are the true Lysis? How odd, since you are so very often at loggerheads with Lysis and how since being Lysis (the true or not) means nothing. In fact, unless I am mistaken, Lysis is the dialogue of Plato in which the group involved discusses what friendship is. Are you the true friend Verus?

Dan Simpson said...

Let me get this first comment out of the way before I get to good ol Anonymous.

LV, I would be interested to know why you call the Gettysburg address so much fluff and hot air. Is it because you don't think Lincoln believed what he said, or do you not think he governed by those ideals?

Oh, and I am curious. If Montana declared independence, would the troops/forces who went in to restore order be fighting on U.S. soil, or in the independent country of Montana?

Anonymous, I appreciate you answering my question, though why you continue to have to make personal jabs with each of your points. Anyway, I will have to continue to disagree with you here.

First, I think that the way that you use statistics, while perhaps useful in some presentation, does not really respond to the issue. However you manipulate the numbers KIA is a definable and definate number. Even if the statistics said that a relative number of 10,000 troops have died in this war, it would not be true. There have been a specific number, and medicine and technology do not change how many people have died.

Public opinion. Here is a good point. There is a good portion of the U.S. that does not like the fact that we are in Iraq. Then there is another sizable portion that thinks that there have been lies, or doesn't agree with how Bush is handling the war, that DO NOT say they want us out of Iraq. I believe the most recent polls (if we are trusting polls) show that the majority of Americans still support the war, even if they do question aspects of how it is being handled.

No clear victory. Here I think you are really wrong. The possiblity of clear victory was in Vietnam, but that whole thing was bungled badly. One of the major problems was that the government that was supported in South Vietnam was not strong, nor well supported within its own country.

Where I see a big difference here is that there has been a government set up that has overwhelming public support. The people of Iraq have shown their desire to self-rule. I will jump here to one of your other points because I believe it applies. You talk about the government of Iraq wanting a time-table.

I see this as a good thing. If our goal is a free and independent Iraq why would we want to be in there forever? I don't know if others agree with this, as I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh, nor do I ascribe to a party line (this is not meant as a dig at anyone, merely establishing my own foundational stances, which are my own).

I see it as a good thing that the government of Iraq is asserting itself. I had not heard that they would demand we leave at the end of 2006, you are the first person I have heard say that. If that is so, I have to question the intelligence of that demand, but I support the Iraqi governments ability to make it and hope that they can have adequately trained forces by that time.

The fact that they have a government that will be stable when we leave is the clear victory. We don't have to have made their country some sort of paradisiacal glory to have won. After we leave there may still be violence. But there is violence in every country. They will have a democracy. They may have rocky times, it may take decades for them to be fully stable, but name one democracy that didn't take a long time to stabalize.

You make the claim that the troops were not adequately supported in either war. I assume you mean materially, as you already made the point about public opinion. I have heard this in relation to armor on vehicles, and personal armor from some. Though this argument really hasn't come up in recent months. I see this two ways. First, I know soldiers personally who say this is not true. And yet I have heard soldiers in the media say it is. Though it doesn't make it untrue, I have troubles when a reporter gets a soldier to ask this question in a press conference.

If by inadequate you mean there is technology that the front line soldier has not been given, then you are right, but then you would be right in any war, ever. Some technology is not cost effective, some makes no sense to put there, and some is in the process of being put there. One can never be completely up on technology because it changes so much. Even if every piece of equipment had been newly produced the day before we went to Iraq (which would make no sense to do) It would have counterparts that were better today.

This is not to say that some things could have and should have been better, or higher priority. But I do not agree with it being the same as in the Vietnam war.

As far as serving in the military, I know that Kennedy did, Vietnam was during his administration, though I assume you are only talking about the Nixon admin, though the only reason I could see for limiting it to that would be partisanship. I really don't know which individuals in the three main administrations covering Vietnam served. But more importantly I don't think it matters whether or not a president or his cabinet served, U.S. Grant served, and he was arguably the worst president ever.

As to your second post. You are right in part. It is hard to distinguish the enemy from civilians. As far as a huge section of the populace not wanting us there. I believe you are twisting statistics to help your argument. The fact that a majority of insurgents are Iraqi, does not mean that a majority of Iraqi's are insurgents. That is faulty logic.

If the vast numbers of people that you claim did not want us there existed, then we would be dying in much greater numbers. The elections would not have been successful, and the government would not be supported. We would not have hundreds of thousands of people volunteering to risk there lives to become the Iraqi peacekeeping force (police whatever you want to call them).

Again, I don't think the Iraqi government actions are a bad sign, nor do I think they show a disdain for U.S. involvement, but show a natural and desireable progression of what we should want out of Iraq.

Again, I think dislike for Bush, and wanting out of Iraq are two different things. So are thinking there were lies and wanting out. I don't think there are many people, besides Dennis Kucinich, who want us 'out now'.

You also don't find many who think what we are doing is wrong. Nor do they think that our soldiers are baby killers, both sentiments from Vietnam era protestors.

Dislike of the President is one thing, attitudes concerning the war are another. And I maintain, that public opinion concerning this war is very different from Vietnam.

Luckily I don't need your acceptance to be confident in my own historical knowledge. To head off any snotty things you may say in your response, I don't care what you think about me personally, but would appreciate to continue this debate.

Anonymous said...

Robert McNamara's List:

(When Colon Powell writes his "truthful" memoirs I think he will make the SAME comparisons)

*Viet Nam and Iraqi war similarities!*

We misjudged then -- and we have since -- the geopolitical intentions of our adversaries . . . .We totally misjudged the political forces within the country.

We viewed the people and leaders of South VietNam in terms of our own experience . . .We totally misjudged the political forces within the country.

We underestimated the power of nationalism to motivate a people to fight and die for their beliefs and values.

Our judgments of friend and foe alike reflected our profound ignorance of the history, culture, and politics of the people in the area, and the personalities and habits of their leaders.

We failed then -- and have since --to recognize the limitations of modern, high-technology military equipment, forces and doctrine. . . . We failed as well to adapt our military tactics to the task of winning the hearts and minds of people from a totally different culture.

We failed to draw Congress and the American people into a full and frank discussion and debate of the pros and cons of a large-scale military involvement . . .before we initiated action.

After the action got under way and unanticipated events forced us off our planned course . . . we did not fully explain what was happening and why we were doing what we did.

We did not recognize that neither our people nor our leaders are omniscient. Our judgement of what is in another people's or country's best interest should be put to the test of open discussion in international forums. We do not have the God-given right to shape every nation in our image or as we choose.

We did not hold to the principal that U.S. military action . . .should be carried out only in conjunction with multinational forces supported fully (and not merely cosmetically) by the international communtity.

We failed to recognize that in international affairs, as in other aspects of life, there may be problems from which there are no immediate solutions . . . At times, we may have to live with an imperfect, untidy world.

Underlying many of these errors lay our failure to organize the top echelons of the executive branch to deal with the extraordinarily complex range of political and military issues.

McNamara, rendered the following opinion of the Iraqi invasion, "We're misusing our influence. It's just wrong what we're doing. It's morally wrong, it's politically wrong, it's economically wrong."

Lysis finds it totally objectionable to compare the Iraqi war/wars to VietNam, but has no problem at all comparing Iraq to the American Civil War??? Go figure.

Lysis: Such an unconscionable use of "history" to serve a blighted political hegemony is not ethics or truth!!!!

President Bush is NO Abraham Lincoln, either!!!!

PS
The Hyena fricasee of Robert McNamera may now comence.

lysis_verus said...

DB2~
You answered my points with your questions. Though he is now a demi-god (like FDR) in the pagan pantheon of the American Civic Religion~ Lincoln was a political opportunitst who is quoted as saying that his goal was to preserve the central govt. at all costs, slave or free or part of each. Note that the Emancipation Proclamation didn't apply to the 'border states' He blantantly and continuously disrgarded the Constitution in the process of the war but that's probaby OK with you since he was Republican and it is from the Republicans from which all Blessings Flow.

BTW 'Kool Aid Drinker' is an epithet I use to imply slavish blind obedience to a cult leader or cult like ideology al la the Jim Jones suicide cult in the 70's. The method of suicide was poisoned Kool Aid. In this case I mean intellectual or spiritual suicide. I apply the pejorative to all blind followers who justfiy the actions of their leaders 'NO MATTER WHAT' Examples: Partisan Dems and Reps (statists all), Commies, Evangelicals, Militant Feminists, Jesse Jackson/Al Sharpton followers, Naderites, Mormons, Ayn Rand groupies, Bill O'Reilly/Sean Hannity fans etc. In short people (like you and many Agorafolk) who swallow any party line (with hook and sinker). Just like Inner-Party members in '1984'.

Do states have a right to seceed? Yes, a legal right, since they have to petition for entrance to the Union in order to join. Duh. But can they get away with it? No, at least not in the 1860's as evidenced by the crushing defeat of the Confederate States in the Civil War.

BTW your proto-republicans (the Federalists) proposed secession of the Northeast during Mr. Madision's War (War of 1812). No one denied that the right to do so existed.

Today I doubt the American public has the stomach for a bloody conquest and occupation of a break-away state. Unlikely, but a fun discussion nontheless.

Wasn't the original USA a break-away from the British Empire? They certainly had less of a legal right to secession than had the CSA or Montana right now.

Talk about re-writing history~ you have to know some history first!
~Shadow Verus

Anonymous said...

High five Anonymous! I love that movie and I find your culinary recommendations as witty as some here may find them delicious.

Anyone suggesting that I should read the Duelfer report should take it on themselves to read the report first. Before the andenda was added in March the report contained more than 50,000 pages. I would point to one of the KEY FINDINGS near the end of the report on the methodological analisys of pre-war intelligence. Its title is about the shortcomings of the intelligence gathering process and the asset interviewing process that was cherry picked by the administration to make a biased case for war. If you would like the short version then I point you directly to Charles Deulfer's testimony to congress when he submitted his report. The headline to the Washington Post article covering the testimony on Oct. 7, 2004 reads: "U.S. 'Almost all Wrong,' and then goes onto to quote Mr. Duelfer, who Bush handpicked for the job, when says Saddam's ability and desire for WMD's had "significantly decayed" since 1991 and that there was absolutely "no credible evidence of efforts to restart the program." Deulfer's other conclusions, as delivered to congress, were that Saddam never motivated by any desire to strike the U.S. with banned weapons. The report also notes: "The former regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam" tasked to take this up once sanctions ended. Funny, the report was so in depth it also makes mention of Saddam's favorite book, "Old Man and the Sea."

Again, I do not raise the point that Saddam's corrupt regime was like so many others to say that Saddam should have been left alone, that any dictator should have been left, or to argue the U.S. must invade the world, and certainly not as Lysis' sinister claims go in tones more cunning than any beast of the field can make, to destroy America. I raise the parellels between the lies Bush told to motivate us to invade Iraq and other merciless police states to show THERE WERE OTHER REASONS BUSH WHIPPED US INTO IRAQ THEN THE PATRIOTICAL MASQUERADE OF LIES HE FED US!! We were sold a war, an easy war, a heroic war for truth and justice, so that Haliburton could develob the Mosul oil fields, Exxon/Mobil could take the half of the Kuwaiti/Iraq shared and underdeveloped source, so that Bush could finish what has been the greatest bane to his father's presidency, so that we now suffer on their behalf.

Rumpole, Aeneas do not live in denial, we will have to work hard to make this war right, to change the perception to be in line with the truth, to make the others see. The first battle must be won here for the minds and hearts of Americans who will decide how this war is going to be fought and how it is going to end in success or failure. Your wanting success so much will not conjure it from thin air. We have to ask the tough questions here at home, from the people that led to us war with a failed notion of what is right and a failed plan for how to get to it. Believing this war is going fine will not change that fact that we are letting ourselves down, the Iraqi's down, our gaurd down. We can do better!!

It is good that you have the courage to stand alone DannyBoy, you may need it. An ABC poll reported last week shows 60% of Americans do not think the war in Iraq is worth it and 64% think Bush is handling poorly. NBC/Wallstreet Journal national poll for Nov. 27 found 57% of Americans do not think the war will end favorably, 53% want the troops to leave according to a time line set now. The U.S. Senate just voted 98 - 0 for the President to explain real progress in Iraq. Do not just sit there stalwart and confident that nothing bad is happening or that we cannot do better. WE CAN DO BETTER! History is made by the people that live it. Start making history, question the reasons that we really went to war, question if we are following the best path now, let's work together to find a way to make things right again and restore America's good name before it is completely squandered by lying, conniving, evil men who do not want you to look behind the curtain. And don't do it for politics, don't be threatened by that name calling, do it because it is right.

If you see already that I have made good points then look at them again. Maybe, there is hope, you can find more that you we will agree on.

Anonymous said...

Kool-Aid drinkers of the world REVOLT!

mostly just listening said...

Anonymous, this doesn't change your argument but tsk tsk all the same. You, who seem so careful about your sources of information, who give the impression that you are so careful so as to be better and more informed than anyone else willing to profer an opinion, quote the Washington Post on Duelfer (the page one story I might add) that issued the following correction.

An Oct. 7 article and the lead Page One headline incorrectly attributed a quotation to Charles A. Duelfer, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq. The statement, "We were almost all wrong," was made by Duelfer's predecessor, David Kay, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Jan. 28.


Now, like I said, that doesn't change your argument, but if you are going to let everyone else have it about their information or lack there of, I would point out that you aren't exactly careful about yours and have a small tendency to cherry pick.

The Duelfer report did say that Iraq's weapon plan had dwindled since 1991 and that there seemed no clear plan for how to get it back up on its feet once sanctions were lifted. It did however note:

Hussein, the report concluded, "aspired to develop a nuclear capability" and intended to work on rebuilding chemical and biological weapons after persuading the United Nations to lift sanctions. (your Wash Post article)

This goes back to Lysis' contention about the corrupt individuals in Sadaam's pocket. Duelfer showed the world that Sadaam didn't have the capability that world intelligence thought he did at one point. It also indicated that the man was driven in that direction, and history has shown that Hussein tended to materialize most of what he was driven to achieve.

Among the most diplomatically explosive revelations was that Hussein had established a worldwide network of companies and countries, most of them U.S. allies, that secretly helped Iraq generate $11 billion in illegal income and locate, finance and import banned services and technologies. Among those named are officials or companies from Belarus, China, Lebanon, France, Indonesia, Jordan, Poland, Russia, Turkey, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
Duelfer said one of Hussein's main strategic goals was to persuade the United Nations to lift economic sanctions, which had devastated the country's economy and, along with U.N. inspections, had forced him to stop weapons programs. Even as Hussein became more adept at bypassing the sanctions, he worked to erode international support for them.
(Washington Post again)

There are a lot of questions that should be asked Anonymous, but you are so hell bent on proving Bush lied us into war that you aren't willing to ask the right ones. You are obviously intelligent. You've certainly knocked me down a few notches and made me think a little more, but I am so tired of intelligent people screaming about a lie. The bulk of the world thought Hussein was dangerous. Most of our intelligence wasn't even U.S. intelligence. You are right. We found out the intelligence was bad. That does not make Bush the malicious evil hang wringing plotter and LIAR that you claim. It seems such an easy concept to grasp. You frustrate me with your inability to even consider it.

You quote McNamara. He knows something about lying ourselves into a war. Still, even his quotes that you shared, show us what questions we ought to be asking. Anonymous, it isn't about asking questions until Bush admits something. The situation is what it is. The questions to be asked are what do we need to do to not create another Vietnam, to better inform the people, to have an open dialogue about the war (from your McNamara piece)? Fortuately, Lysis is willing to probe some of that. If we could leave the bumper sticker realm of Bush Lied, People Died, I think some really great thinking could happen here.

Dan Simpson said...

Sometimes I have to wonder if you read the post before you respond LV, you too anonymous.

I am not sure what point you made LV that you think I didn't know in history. Did you think I didn't know Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus, or that he ignored the Supreme Court? Did you think I was unaware of the ramifications of the Emancipation Proclamation, or Lincolns ultimate goal of preserving the Union. Do you want to explain how Thomas Paine wrote Common Sense, or that Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence as well.

Please, just because you list off some elementary history does not mean you have taught, nor does it mean that those who don't make a list themselves do not know it. I asked why you had made the statement about Lincoln and the Gettysburg address so that I could debate them. You see, I like to know my opponents points rather than merely guessing, or making them up as I go. It makes it harder to proclaim myself a winner, but in the end it is more enlightening.

A few points you seem to miss. I am not a Republican.

It has been years since I have accepted a party label. I do not agree enough with the party to affiliate myself with it. I have pointed that out, but you seem to have missed it as you make several snarky republican jabs at me.

I am curious what you base the state's legal right to secede on. (and yes, I did know that the south was not the first place it was discussed.) Where does this 'legal right' come from?

So I am curious, in what way do I swallow a party line 'hook line and sinker'. Since I don't swallow any party line.

I think this is a perfect example of what seems to be your argumentations biggest flaw, wild labeling without any basis. You put all 'agoraites' in the same boat, yet I have argued against Lysis as much as agreed with him, that goes with most of the other people here. I also don't subscribe to any political party.

And though I know you said it probably to get a rise out of someone, I am Mormon, and frankly, if you knew anything about it, you would know that your definition for 'kool aid drinker' and mormon are not compatible.

But then, you have probably talked to or argued with a Mormon, or even a couple of Mormon's and feel like you know what all mormon's are like.

Stay away from the broad brush strokes, they work when painting, but not so well in debate.

And anonymous, if you think that I said that there are no problems in Iraq, and nothing can be done better, you would be well served to re-read my post.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out that I did not attribute the quote of "We were almost completely wrong" to Charles Duelfer but quoted it only as the headline to the article. I am glad that you were able to find it and that you are still looking for the truth, your mind not made up yet 'Listening.' Your name is apt.

As it goes, Bush did lie, thousands of people have died because of it. His intelligence, which he cited as credible in his 2003 State of the Union was deemed uncredible some eight months before, documents released by the Defense Department and CIA show. There main sources, al-Libi and "Curveball" were not reliable enough for us to send covert operatives into action where there lives would be at risk over to check out - no one met with either of these major informants - but it was reliable enough to quote to the American people from the highest pulpit of U.S. public office, the Presidency while addressing the Congress and Supreme Court and even more importantly, the millions at home who he knew then he would soon ask to die for what he was saying.

My bumper sticker interest in the debate goes beyond that though and extends into a recognition that it is not too late to fix this situation. It is not too late to redeem the mistakes of those that have put us in this situation. But the first step is meeting in the middle. I have made no calls except to work together, to consider all options, to admit that we can do better. When you admit that to yourself then you can start looking for how to better and what to do better, and then the debate will really begin.

Lysis said...

Anonymous – I am somewhat let down. All you can come up with in a comparison and contrast between Vietnam and Iraq is the way we count casualties. Your post on McNamara is instructive but does not give us any reason to abandon Iraq; in fact it serves just the opposite purpose by pointing the way to success in Iraq and reminding us of the causes of failure in Vietnam.

In your first post you then call as evidence of the rectitude of your position the “growing numbers” that you claim support it. This is a logical fallacy known as IRELEVENT EVIDENCE. Rumpole has already explained this by pointing out that no matter how many people believed the world to be flat; it did not make it so. Indeed if enough Americans buy into the Democrat position, we may well lose the war. As you and McNamara have pointed out, it worked for the Democrats and the Communists in Vietnam.

A question about your claims about Bush’s motivation: Is Halliburton an oil company? Instruct me. Even if Halliburton is an oil company, your oil argument is silly. Bush could have bought all the oil his buddies could handle for the cost of the war; we might even have been able to finance and invasion of Alaska.

Your calling on all of us to admit failure, while providing no support for that claim, and ignoring many proofs to the contrary, seems pointless to me. What would such an admission bring? Peace? Sadly, no! What you really hope for, by demanding such a fallacious admission, is to gain more Democrat seats in the Congress.

To the “New Anonymous” - Thanks for your excellent points, and for the help with spelling Dulfur. As usual our friends on the” left” have created a moving target of arguments. Defeated in one skirmish; they slip to another position from which to fire their blanks. Annoying – but I think we can stay the course.

Dannyboy – I am happy to leave the heavy lifting in this particular dustup to you. I agree with you; Bush agrees with you, the leaders of the administration agree with you – we should leave as soon as possible. This has always been the Bush plan, to leave Iraq the moment American forces can. Our troops were never an army of occupation, they have always been liberators, and were greeted as such!!

Now Anonymous, I want to get to McNamara, who was Secretary of Defense under Democrats, Kennedy and Johnson. So actually eating him would be more like an elephant eating a coconut – but still I agree with many aspects of his points that you present. Anonymous, you miss represent me when you say I want to avoid a comparison of Iraq to Vietnam. I want to prevent a repeat of the failures of Vietnam in Iraq and for many a posting in this log and plead with readers and thinkers alike to understand the Vietnam War and the disaster our retreat brought on the world. As Richard Nixon said, “In Vietnam, we tried and failed in a just cause. NO MORE VIETNAMS can mean we will not try again. It should mean we will not fail again.” I plead with you Anonymous to take Dannyboy’s advice and read Nixon’s book, or at least the summery of it I posted in the Agora last year.

So on to the McNamara points:

McNamara claims America misjudged the geopolitical interests of our adversaries. He is wrong here. The goals of Ho and his Communist thugs were the enslavement of the Vietnamese people. That they live in slavery today is proof that we knew the truth about the goals of our adversaries and had not misjudged them. The collapse of the USSR and of Communism in China show the fight can be won. As to McNamara’s claim that America misjudged political forces, he is right! Americans believed that their politicians would put their freedom and the freedom of other peoples before the accumulation of political power. Here, in the case of Vietnam, America was sadly mistaken. Many who mislead us then are misleading us now, including McNamara, Kennedy, and Kerry. If the US follows them now, as too many did then; we will see the repeat of the disaster of Vietnam; perhaps with even more devastating reproductions. Remember, for all their hate and determination, the foreign communists never pulled off an attack on America; Islamic radicalism has already done so.

McNamara claims we viewed the people of Vietnam in terms of our own experience. If by this he means that we believed that they also sought freedom and self government, he is right again. In this the people of Vietnam and Iraq are like us. That they dream of freedom and self government is proved by the fact that only murder and terror can keep the tyrants in Vietnam in place and only murder and terror could maintain Saddam’s reign, and murder and terror are the only hope of those who would remove the freedom and self-determination of the Iraqi people today. The Communists lied about their goals of Vietnamese Nationalism as evidenced by the fact that no nation remains Communist of its own free will. Just check out North Korea. No nation remains under Islamic Fanaticism without endless murder and coercion. Just check out Iran! Nations, given the chance, choose to be free, as evidenced by the fall of Communism from Cambodia to East Germany, from El Salvador to Estonia. Ho and his successors maintained power by terror not patriotism. Here McNamara misreads history. Perhaps to cover his own guilt for failing the people of South East Asia when he had the chance to procure their liberty and protect their lives.

As to McNamara’s claim that Americans have an ignorance of History: the acceptance of many, including Anonymous, of the media and Democrat propaganda set on derailing another just cause for political points is proof that McNamara is right here.

McNamara claims that we must learn to win the hearts and minds of the people. What we need to do is win the security of the people to be able to live as their heart’s and mind’s desire. That far more South Vietnamese died fighting for the freedom of that people, and that they fought on for over a year once the US Congress withdrew promised help of political reasons, is proof that the heart of that people were set on freedom. Remove the terror of the Communist masters and they would choose freedom today. It is the same in Iraq. These people have braved murder and threats that would keep most Americans locked in their basements to cast their votes for liberty. How can Democrats ignore the courage of these hearts and minds?

McNamara calls for open discussion among the American people. How could I more eagerly demonstrate my support of this? It was the mainstream media that preempted truthful discourse during Vietnam, and they strive to do so again. Their constant anti Bush propaganda, recited by rote even here in this discussion, is proof of their pervasive power. But this time things may well be different. There are now other voices and therefore hope in a different outcome.

On the multinational support called for by McNamara: Remember that America went to war with a coalition of willing supporters. Those who refused to go have now been reveled as self-interested bribe takers. This to their shame forever. Let’s not follow them by accepting the direction suggested by those politicians also driven by selfish goals to abandon the fight for freedom. It is gratifying to hear that the King of Jordan has led his nation into a declaration of war against the terrorist enemies of Iraq. May we take inspiration from his courage and not succumb to the coward’s call of those seeking to control us by concocted statistics.

As for McNamara’s concerns about the actions of the Executive Branch, American is much better off here than in Vietnam. Bush II is far more like Lincoln that he is like LBJ or Nixon. So far, Congress has had the wisdom to keep its hand off the war! Bravo to the Warner amendment in the Senate, and the courageous 403 to 3 vote of support for the President in the House. This is a significant difference between the Democrat controlled Congress of the 60’s and 70’s.

To make the difference between the War in Iraq and the Defeat in Vietnam, it is the duty of those of us on the home front to seek the truth and not given in to the disinformation and dissembling of those whose only hope for power is American defeat and the return of Iraq to the hands of murders and terrorists. We must not let the political ambitions of Biden and Kerry jeopardize the freedom of the world and the lives of millions. Come join us in this great cause!!!

I remain eager to compare the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. I am eager for all to learn the lessons of history.

Lysis Verus - A comparison between the Revolutionary War against the tyranny of Britain and the Civil war against those who sought to maintain slavery would make for an interesting discussion as well. You know little of Lincoln if you consider him tolerant of slavery. Would he have avoided the Civil war if possible? Surely, but the slave states made his wishes moot by launching mass murder to maintain monumental injustice. Realize that the “powers of the South” know full well Lincoln’s intentions concerning slavery and so succeeded upon his election. They realized that war was the only way to maintain their mastery!

Anonymous when you put words in Bush’s mouth you are as disingenuous as you are when you put them in Dulfur’s. You are right that wishing for success will not conjure it. It must be earned as American proven in the Civil War, World War II, and the first gulf war. What frightens me is that lies about the war and its successes might well conjure defeat as they did in Vietnam. I reiterate that the Vietnam War, as with this war, was just. That did not prevent the unjust from triumphing. I agree with you Anonymous; the Kool-Aid drinkers should revolt – I am waiting for you to set the example to the others.

To “Just Listening” – thank you for your information. You are a breath of fresh air into our discussion. I am impressed and appreciative of the effort you spend on the behalf of truth. I am sure our various other readers, for and against this struggle, are equally appreciative of your efforts. I am saddened that in the face of your reason, Anonymous went back to his bumper sticker. At least Anonymous is still talking and thinking. In this case I choose to believe that where there is LIGHT there is hope.

Dannyboy – Having felt both sides of your views I concur not only with your claim of independence by with the thrust of your latest post; let’s continue to debate with zeal but keep the comments real.

Anonymous said...

Lysis, I am let down too. Our debate has moved on, we are looking to the future, won't you join us? Did you make this post only to dwell in the past or to consider the best outcomes for Iraq? Were you disingenuous when you told me your post was to show that there were other reasons than WMD that Bush sent us to war? Why will you not talk about those now? It is you, unable to respond appropriately to the charges against how we are fighting this war, who have changed the subject. I have provided proof, repeatedly, in quotes, numbers, reporting, government evaluations, not grandstanding and trumpeted speeches. Are you content to leave the heavy lifting to others because the load is more than you can bear? I expected more of a fight and not a quiet surrender to the night. The argument you leave me with is from Rumpole that "I am right because I know I am, no matter what, and that makes the world well-rounded for me and my arguments to live in." Your head is in the sand.

Your devotion to Bushism prevents you from even making the simplest acknowledgements of the arguments made against how we have fought this war. There is nothing you would change at all? You would do EVERYTHING the same again? I cannot believe it. I don't think that you can either and you are a fool if you did.

Using the "political" and "opportunist" mockery for anyone that dares to criticize is a tired trick. Don't you have anything else in your bag? I have sided with no party or position but been firmly against the idea that this IS the best possible world. You want to ignore that and resort to name calling then perhaps it is better you go into the night. Perhaps when you wake up this will have been a terrible dream and Nixon will still be in the Whitehouse. A suggestion though, when you want to compare Iraq to Vietnam you may consider not comparing Iraq to the U.S. Civil War in original blog next time. Detours like that can be annoying.

I am still concerned with putting right what has been done wrong in Iraq and making the American effort better.

Anonymous said...

As aside,

While you are throwing the towel in Lysis, here is another guantlet you threw down and walked away from. It is a boast/post you made in last week's blog. Your words were,

"this morning I eagerly scrolled down to your post expecting live fire about the Vietnam/Iraqi comparison, or a detailed list of Democratic solutions to problems facing our country, or at least a proven bit of wrong doing by anyone in the Bush Administration – or to give you a wider range, any Republican office holder."

Ask and you have received. I give you the Right Honorable Republican Representative Randy "Duke" Cunningham. Guilty. Asked by U.S. District Judge Larry Burns if he had accepted cash and gifts and then tried to influence the Defense Department on behalf of the donors, Cunningham said, "Yes, your honor."

And the best part of it is this was not even tied to the Abramov shenanigans to which I was alluding.
There will be more congressmen indicted on bribery very soon and you can bet that a lot of them are going to be Republicans and some are going to be too close for comfort to the administration.

Conceed at least this point Lysis, there has been a sitting Republican convicted of a crime. You are beat here. I found The Onion's Nov. 23 article on the subject provided the best insight on the current rotteness in the state of D.C. The article, "Topeka Mayor Now Highest-Ranking Non-Indicted Republican Official" is short and sweet and definitely worth the read for anyone who takes the party line as Gospel.

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

This is it then Anonymous; complete capitulation? I have to admit it, you really live up to the “lose at any cost” mentality of your “sources” of inspiration in the media. You say, “Our Debate has moved on.”; a not to clever way of saying “I’m running away”.

How “we” are FIGHTING the war was never the subject, just you last position to pop off from. The majority of the rest of us have laid out and defended the need to bring freedom to an enslaved people, to end murder and oppression, to bring tyrants to justice and to warn other tyrants of the consequences of such behavior, to establishment a democracy in the midst of tyrannical terror supporters, and bring the War on Terror to the terrorists. It was President Bush that presented the reasons for this war, and in this discussion, while you were searching for hiding places; even his stated need to prevent Saddam from developing weapons of mass destruction has been proven a valid claim.

Where are these “proofs provided repeatedly?” Show me one and prove me a liar. SHOW where you have posted one valid quote, provable number, honest report, or applicable government evaluation relating to the justice orAC injustice of the War to Liberate Iraq.

Dannyboy will explain the link between the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq to you, or not, his choice. I have told you were to go for the truth. You are too busy swallowing Chris Mathews’ Hardball to ruminate on the facts.

As for the comparison of Democrats deserting their country in 1864 to the behavior of the Democrats in 2005, it is a masterful match; if I do say so myself. Don’t scold me if the truth hurts.

Lysis said...

Anonymous: I just read your latest post. So you’ve found another hiding place where you can dodge the issue. Impressive, keep your head down! To your discovery of a crooked Republican, may I say, better late than never!!! Maybe in a week you’ll come up with some reason not to have liberated Iraq. I’m not holding my breath.

Anonymous said...

Willful blindness is your most endearing quality Lysis and why I am a sucker for the Agora. Your outrageous refusal to read the posts, the posts on the Duelfer report for example, which you asked me to look at, showed that SADDAM WAS NOT RECONSTITUTING ANY WMD PROGRAM! Pull your head out of the sand, get it out of your ears! Saying it again and again will not change the fact that it is just not true! And thousands have already died because of stubborness like this!! You have got to budge. Mistakes were made. The evidence is overwhelming and you are trying to rewrite it all with your endearing willful blindness. I will not let you do it. You are wrong Lysis and I have shown you how already. Go back and read the posts. Read my first post, read the interview from Bush's own pick for the first Prime Minister of Iraq. You cannot just dismiss anything that is not accomodated in your well-rounded world because it does not fit your notion of how things really are. Things really are the way some of the people there are reporting them to be, worse! Just as bad as under Saddam! Recognize that we were not given all of the reasons for the failing Iraqi invasion. See the pure incompetence that administration has conducted every part of this effort through, from ignoring Gen. Shinseki's warnings to ignoring allies concerns to ignorning the very intelligence reports they ordered to ignoring commanders who said we were not taking enough soldiers. For fun, read just the last post. You are wrong. It is plain to see. Just give it the common sense test, "have things gone how we were told they would? Have things gone to plan? Would anyone in their right mind describe things as rosey in Iraq?" Of course not. Then ask if things can be better, if we don't deserve better, if the Iraqi's don't deserve better, if we weren't promised better. There is not politics in my statement that we can fix this if we work together. Say it to yourself, and let's move on to start making this better in every way imagineable. Stop retreating into the past Lysis. Let's go forward and build a better future in Iraq.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous,

“Mostly just listening” has very articulately framed my objections to your position. However, even at risk of being a little redundant I would like to contribute a little more.

Your plea to Aeneas and me was passionate. “Do not live in denial, we will have to work hard to make this war right, to change the perception to be in line with the truth.”

Didn’t you really mean “we will have to work hard to make this war right, to change the TRUTH to be in line with the PERCEPTION?”

Mostly’s example of your selective dispersal of information from the Duelfer Report is simply one more demonstration of incomplete, out of context, or inaccurate material to support your position. If he had been a politician, Darwin might have referred to this process as “Natural Selection”. I’ll refer to it as trying to change the TRUTH to be in line with the PERCEPTION.

P.S. – I wrote this comment before reading your two most recent posts. After devouring every tasty morsel, I must ask the key question that only the readers of the Agora can answer. Will those two posts be referred to in the annals of blogdom as the “ANONYMOUS HYENA GUTS FRICASSE?”

A_Shadow said...

Being as there were nearly 30 comments overnight, I'll respond to them as I'm able. Hopefully my meager responses will prove for something:

Anonymous again writes:


"Are you willing to admit that something is wrong with the situation? You have to admit that things are not going as planned in Iraq, or that it was a very, very bad plan, or both! You have to think that things can be better."

Have to admit that something is wrong? Wrong with what, exactly? Is it that your gut tells you that something is wrong? Or something else? I admitted that something was wrong when we invaded Iraq. That something is what we set out to fix. Am I running around with my eyes closed and ears plugged saying "La La! Everything is fine!"? Certainly not. Of course things can always be better, things need improvements, but how does that equate to the corruption of the current administration and policy. There is ALWAYS room for improvement. That's a given, a common theme in all of reality that the best isn't. What's the goal in bringing that up?

As for the plan, I thought it was a common theme of attack with people on the negative side of the current administration to boast that there is no plan, or was no plan. No matter. If you know anything about plans, especially military planning, you should know that they are apt and necessarily required to change. A quote comes to mind: "Battle plans rarely survive the first engagement with the enemy."

I'm sure there are variations on the theme, but the gist of it is still true. Only a foolish general holds to a plan until he's conquered. You always need to adapt and "change" your plan to succeed.

" You have to start fixing it at the beginning. You have to admit that we are in over our heads, that Iraq has made us weaker as a nation rather than stronger. It has decreased our standing in the world, it has thrown away the lives of thousands for what? To destabilize a country, to train terrorists, to spread hate, to settle an old score, to take away imaginary weapons from an imaginary threat to the U.S.? Why could every other nation see this coming and we could not? Why do you still want to stay the same failing course? Yes, admit that you are wrong, that we were wrong, that are following the wrong path now, and then let's work together to fix the problems we have made for ourselves and to snuff out the real threats to America's homefront"

Again, for someone so much on the other side of the "front" on this issue, I find the theme of "repent your evils all ye sinners" to be a little much.

Fixing it from the beginning. Ironically I think we should start there. For all of your "repent sinners!" talk, what exactly should we fix, and how do we go about doing it? You would obviously have us withdraw from the midst of Iraq, and then what? Should we get on our knees and beg that the terrorists forgive us?

What is your goal here? I think it should be obvious that appeasement of any kind has not, will not, and could not, EVER, work. It didn't stop Hitler, and it certainly didn't save the Twin Towers from becoming the largest burial mound in recorded history.

What did the world see coming? When I look at what the members of the UN saw coming I see empty bank accounts and a blown scandal. Wierd... That's about the only thing "the others" could have seen coming. I see that the Russians, Germans, and French (among others) realized that they were going to be out BILLIONS of dollars in scandalous money and ill gotten gain. If anyone had a financial reason behind their stance on the war it would have been those member nations with something to lose.

The problems at home? The Medicare and Social Security? Granted those are more home grown enemies that we have, but to be honest, I've never seen a convincing case on how or why this is a problem. As I understand the system, it's rather solid considering the arguments that I've heard of it failing. But I suppose I'm lending you arguments that I would use if I held your views. I'd hardly want to taint your creativity with that of my own. That's no fun. So, I believe the ping pong ball is on your side of the table if you should so choose to serve.

(Again, sorry folks if I'm on my own thread and bandwidth here. I don't want to sound like a robot, but there's not a whole lot of time for so many dozens of comments these days. I shall make ammends for this later.)

A_Shadow said...

""Shadow~
If you used a bit of your self-vaunted 'intellect' for research/study you'd discover that evidence has recently come to light that the Delta Force conducts/guards torture transport missions to 'secret' US gulag archipelligo type torture prisions. ALSO you'd discover that the US military used explosive white phosphorus *bombs* in the attack on Fallujah last year, not flash-bang grenades. That is documented and confirmed (but justified) by Pentagon sources. Extract your cranuim from your rectal cavity before you launch your weak-tea personal attacks next time. BTW I believe I've had to remind you this before Shadow~ Just because you haven't heard some bit of info or another, it doesn't necessarily mean it isn't true. It just means you are ignorant. Try to *Deal* in cold cool reality, baby. That's where you'll find the smart people you long so desperately to join you poseur. ~Shadow Verus"

Thanks all for making my evening a trifle more enjoyable.
~Lysis Verus "

Just one more: touche.

Very funny indeed. I think that's about the second most enjoyable post I've read in response here at the Agora. The first being the one that named our friend "blowhard". I actually laughed aloud at that one...

Ah, no worries. I don't take any harm in it. You want to scream that it does exist, great. If I haven't read something, not a shocker, but if you'd like to educate, then do so.

I don't understand how you think you can run around calling people all sorts of manner of "idiot", "arrogant" and other foolish names? Do you?

I'm sure I posed the question before, and will again: what does this solve?

You're hardly going to sway me with "You're wrong so pull your head out of your rear!". This is why I'm so demanding of facts. You boast the luxury of reading of "secrets" of the Pentagon. If you know you have read it, and know that I haven't had the luxury, what really is the harm in sharing it?

Or is it that you need to stop pulling your facts out of your rear end? Really. It's quite simple. In any sense and circumstance, I have never seen a mind swayed with even the most remote of belittlement as nearly as I have seen lives changed with facts and experience.

C'mon. You're so bright. Share the wealth!

Lysis said...

As it is obvious that explanations are doing you no good Anonymous I will present one for the sake of others following the debate. (A very spirited one which I am enjoying greatly, thank you.)

Our new instructor, call him mostly listening explained that your quote on the Deulfer report was a later repudiated misstatement by your media source. “Listening” then went one to explain that the Deulfer report concluded that Saddam “aspired to develop a nuclear capability and intended to rebuild chemical and biological weapons.” Point to . . .

Your quotes from the BBC and Allawi were dismissed above. Read the logic and either refute it or concede the point. Two, love.

Neither you nor Shinseki provide anything but hollow RETHORIC to support an advantage to more troops. Myers won the war in four weeks. More troops may well have gotten in the way. Myers, the general commanding on the ground, said he had all the troops he needed. Three, love – first game to me!

On your final comments we do agree. We need to move forward and make things better in Iraq. Staying the course to victory in spite of difficulties is the only route to success. Unfortunately for us all, success in Iraq is the last thing the Democrats want to see. Hence their constant demands for admissions of failure, their endless determination to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. This was the thrust of my post and you have not challenged it in anyway.

Anonymous – shall we finish the match?

Anonymous said...

No rest for those who would set things right, but I see there was no rest for the wicked either.

Thank you Rumpole for grouping your concerns with those of "Listening." I hope that you too will listen and begin to rethink. Also, I am quite sure that what I wrote in my post about changing your perception is exactly what I meant. I wish you would see the truth.

Thank you Shadow for agreeing with me that things could have been better. It is the first step to asking how we can make things better for to get there you must admit that things can be better. This is an important discussion that we should have in America now while we are in danger of creating a failed state in Iraq.

Lysis, please note what "Listening" did say.

An Oct. 7 article and the lead Page One headline incorrectly attributed a quotation to Charles A. Duelfer, the chief U.S. weapons inspector in Iraq. The statement, "We were almost all wrong," was made by Duelfer's predecessor, David Kay, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Jan. 28.

NOW, LIKE I SAID, THIS DOES NOT CHANGE YOUR ARGUMENT, but if you are going to let everyone else have it about their information or lack there of, I would point out that you aren't exactly careful about yours and have a small tendency to cherry pick.

The Duelfer report did say that Iraq's weapon plan had dwindled since 1991 and that there seemed no clear plan for how to get it back up on its feet once sanctions were lifted. It did however note:

Hussein, the report concluded, "aspired to develop a nuclear capability" and intended to work on rebuilding chemical and biological weapons after persuading the United Nations to lift sanctions. (your Wash Post article)


Lysis, please note my response.


I would like to point out that I did not attribute the quote of "We were almost completely wrong" to Charles Duelfer but quoted it only as the headline to the article. I am glad that you were able to find it and that you are still looking for the truth.


Lysis, please read my original post for what must be the first time:


(Anyone suggesting that I should read the Duelfer report should take it on themselves to read the report first. Before the andenda was added in March the report contained more than 50,000 pages. I would point to one of the KEY FINDINGS near the end of the report on the methodological analisys of pre-war intelligence. Its title is about the shortcomings of the intelligence gathering process and the asset interviewing process that was cherry picked by the administration to make a biased case for war. If you would like the short version then I point you directly to Charles Deulfer's testimony to congress when he submitted his report. The headline to the Washington Post article covering the testimony on Oct. 7, 2004 reads: "U.S. 'Almost all Wrong,' and then goes onto to quote Mr. Duelfer, who Bush handpicked for the job, when says Saddam's ability and desire for WMD's had "significantly decayed" since 1991 and that there was absolutely "no credible evidence of efforts to restart the program." Deulfer's other conclusions, as delivered to congress, were that Saddam never motivated by any desire to strike the U.S. with banned weapons. The report also notes: "The former regime had no formal written strategy or plan for the revival of WMD after sanctions. Neither was there an identifiable group of WMD policy makers or planners separate from Saddam" tasked to take this up once sanctions ended.)


Lysis, what I have said is the Duelfer report. It still stands and it is a direct quote from Mr. Duelfer's own testimony. "Listening" has not countered what I have said because to do so would be to counter the Duelfer report. "Listening" has only added to it. It does not matter that Saddam aspired for weapons when the conclusion was that he could not have any, did not have any, and had "no desire to use banned weapons against the U.S." Please take care to counter your biasis when reading the posts in the Agora Lysis, it can lead to embarassing premature pronouncements of victory. The issue of what country's companies were making money illegaly under the Oil-For-Food-Program is inconsequential to the fact that the Deulfer report found absolutely no credible evidence by Saddam to restart the WMD program! Do not confuse this issue it is important. There were no, were never after, and still will not be found any WMD's in Iraq after the U.N. inspections and dismantling.


Lysis, the BBC interview - and London Observer now - with Alawi, Bush's own pick for the first Prime Minister of Iraq is still saying "abuses are as bad today as they were under Saddam Hussein." "Militias are operating within the Shia-led government, torturing and killing in secret bunkers," he said. "Militias have infiltrated the police, and warned that their influence could spread throughout the government. "The disease infecting [the interior ministry] will become contagious and spread to all ministries and structures of Iraq's government". He also warned of the danger of Iraq disintegrating in chaos. "Iraq is the centrepiece of this region," he said. "If things keep going wrong, neither Europe nor the United States will be safe."

Your counter to these statements is "I am suspect of the motivations of Allawi and the BBC and question strongly the context of his statement." This is not a refutation. You may be as suspicious as you like but it does not make the point any less valid. How much effort did you put into varifying the context of this statement to allieve your concern Lysis, or is simply castagating it as not up to your well-rounded standards proof enough to justify your "suspicious" thoughts that the speech is false? You are too full of yourself Lysis. The speech is not false and the accusations are not lite. They are direct testimony, from Bush's own point man, that things are not going well in Iraq and that the U.S. should change how it manages business there.

Without a real refutation but only mere "suspicions" this graphic illustration of just how bad the U.S. mismanagement of the war in Iraq is stands!

Your final laughable point that Myers won the war in four weeks is outrageous! Remember when Bush stood on the deck of the flight crew in front of a large star-spangled banner that read "Mission Accomplished?" More troops have died since the moment Meyers "won" the war then have during that brief race to Baghdad. Do you really think the war is over? Then why are we still launching major combat operations and seeing so many U.S. soldiers die? Meyers did not win the war. They are still fighting the war there everyday in Baghdad, in Falujah, Mosul, in the Anbar province, and here at home with callous, blind and stubborn Bush worshipers who refuse to admit that we could have done it better and who attack and try to destroy anyone who dares to say now that we still can and ought to do better.

You have won no points Lysis. You are losing in more ways than you realize, and you are taking all of us down with you.

Anonymous said...

Lysis, can you see the end coming for your kind with your head in the sand?

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

I will admit to one error in my post above; which by the way, your restating of formerly debunked arguments does not touch. The error was that it was Tommy Franks who commanded “on the ground.” Myers was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs.

Thinking of General Franks reminded me of the projections of the Democrats and the media before both the wars that Franks (and the wonderful American military he commanded) WON for America.

Before the liberation of Afghanistan the Media and their stooges, the Democrats, insisted that as the Afghans had defeated the Soviet Union, the world’s greatest superpower, they would have little trouble defeating the United States. They predicted quagmire, another Vietnam, and the collapse of America. How Tommy Franks (and the wonderful American military he commanded) disappointed them!! As Franks positioned his forces to liberate Iraq, the same cabal of Democrats and their Media masters predicted twenty thousand American forces killed in the battle for Baghdad, and a humiliating retreat of Coalition forces back down the Euphrates and into the sea. How Franks and the Coalition forces disappointed them. Having failed to obtain the defeat of America they needed to capture America, the Media monster, its pet political party in tow, has set about redefining defeat to match their agenda.

Face it Anonymous. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan in blood and horror, murdering and enslaving at will, and sheltering al Qaeda – now they are gone and the people of Afghanistan have choose democracy and peace. That is not defeat! Saddam ruled Iraq with blood and horror, bribing his way to his dream of WMDs and the unassailable power they would bring, he now sits in the dock and the people of Iraq will choose an elected democratic government by which to rule themselves within a month. That is not defeat!

Anonymous – Aeneas has already sent you to check the pages of history, where you seem so loathe to go. Years passed before the last Japanese “insurgent” was forced out of the fight. It took a generation to stamp out Confederate insurgents after the Union Victory in the Civil war. The truth remains unchallenged by Democrat propaganda and media spin. The threat of Saddam is gone; the future of Iraq is the choice of Freedom. To redefine these facts as defeat as the Democrats have tried to do is the height of perfidy; in the terms of our game – bad form!

Anonymous said...

You say, "Before the liberation of Afghanistan the Media and their stooges, the Democrats, insisted that as the Afghans had defeated the Soviet Union, the world’s greatest superpower, they would have little trouble defeating the United States." Where!? What media organization made this prediction!? What elected Democrat made this prediction!!?? Give us names, dates, articles Lysis. Your word is only as strong as opinion without evidence. And I tire of your foul and hot blustering winds, from which orifice they blow is anyone's guess.

Is the blog now to investigate the war of Afghanistan Lysis? Do make up your mind. My primary concern is still in the crucial American effort in Iraq. You would be wise not abandon the fight there anymore, though you have already lost the political debate.

You still ignore my evidence. You still stand by your rejections based on mere suspicion. Your refutation is only as strong as opinion then, the opinion of a high-school history teacher, a biased Republican. There is still only room in your well-rounded world for those who agree with you and none for those who do not. You still have your head in the sand while day by day the world moves on in its effort to solve the problems made and ignored by people like you. Everyday new evidence of incompetence and mistakes emerge and the gathering tide of it threatens to wash you away in insignificance. Just look at what the news brings today.

Today, Nov. 29, the New York Times reports front page on state sponsored terrorists in Iraq that U.S. knows of and cannot stop. Take the time to read this post Lysis. People are dying because of your ignorance. The article, "Sunnies Accuse Iraqi Military of Kidnappings and Slayings," shows how "evidence has begun to mount suggesting that the Iraqi forces are carrying out executions in predominantly Sunni neighborhoods. . . . Sunni men have been found dead in ditches and fields, with bullet holes in their temples, acid burns on their skin, and holes in their bodies apparently made by electric drills. . . . American officials, who are overseeing the training of the Iraqi Army and the police, acknowledge that police officers and Iraqi soldiers, and the militias with which they are associated, may indeed be carrying out killings." The article also quotes Ayad Allawi, Lysis, the person Bush felt comfortable making the first Prime Minister of Iraq but of whom you are suspect. It seems his accusations that Iraq is the same now under U.S. occupation as it was under Saddam will not go away no matter how little you think of him.

The article continues through Sunni neighborhoods where whole families have been shot in the head, hands handcuffed behind their backs, burned, mamed and left in the ditches for the dogs. "The government is trying to terrorize and dominate the Sunni people." This is your free, un-enslaved American trophy of democracy Lysis? You may be tempted to think this is isolated and random violence, but before you do you should know "[t]he chief suspects, according to Sunni leaders, human rights workers and a well-connected American official here, are current and former members of the Badr Brigade. . . a principal part of the current government. . . . 'The difference between the Ministry of the Interior and the Badr Brigade has become very blurry.'" Community leaders wonder "How did these killers get police uniforms?' . . . How was it that they were operating freely after curfew? That they had police cars?" This is the government our current course of action is empowering.

The most damning piece of evidence of just how failed Bush's policy in Iraq is the continued daily torturing of Iraqi citizens under U.S. occupiers' noses. "In a secret bunker discovered earlier this month in an Interior Ministry building in Baghdad, American and Iraqi officials acknowledged that some of the mostly Sunni inmates appeared to have been tortured." This sickening revelation should be enough evidence for anyone that things are not what you mislead them to be.

You should think more of how to fix the problem, to make the situation better as people like me are doing. "One worry, expressed repeatedly by Americans and Iraqis here, is that an abrupt pullout of American troops could clear the way for a sectarian war." But I have not called for an abrupt pull out, and no one else in this blog has either, only you in your name calling raise this possibility which I categorically reject. You would do well to stop crying wolf about this and ascribing extreme positions to your opponents before you get the reputation of a liar.

There is more evidence of misconduct and failing policy in Iraq that threatens to sweep you into insignificance Lysis.

Today, Nov. 29, the L.A. Times runs a similar story to that of the NYTimes detailing the acid burned corpses, the drilled bodies, the crushed skulls and noting that "U.S. officials have long been concerned about extrajudicial killings in Iraq, but until recently they have refrained from calling violent elements within the police force 'death squads'. . . But U.S. military advisors in Iraq say the term is apt, and the Interior Ministry's inspector general concurs that extrajudicial killings are being carried out by ministry forces." This is who runs your shining city on the hill Lysis, death squads, government sponsored death squads. With just a modicam of competence people must wonder if this could have been, should have been avoided.

Today, Nov. 29, the AP reports again on what Bush knew when pointing to the Defense Intelligence Agency's February 2002 report on lying informants. The Defense Department's own report on the main sources of pre-2003 invasion information - al-Libi and "Curveball" - "fabricators." The report found "Curveball" was an out of control alcoholic who would say anything. That did not stop Bush from referring to those same sources eight months later as credible in his 2003 State of the Union where he made the case for American pre-emptive war. Bush knew the evidence was not credible and he lied about its soundness to send America to war. Thousands have since died and it begs whether the information should have been used more carefully? Whether someone else could not use the information we gather more carefully? Whether America deserves a more truthful President?

Doubt that Bush knew about the evidence?

Today, Nov. 29, NBC news found someone who worked for the Whitehouse speaking about just how incompetent this administration's policies in Iraq have been. Lawrence Wilkerson, former top aide to Colin Powell, recalls how arguments during the Iraq war focused on how "'the president of the United States is all-powerful' and the Geneva Conventions irrelevant." Also, that the president was “too aloof, too distant from the details” of postwar planning. Underlings exploited Bush’s detachment and made poor decisions, Wilkerson said. He speaks of how he and Mr. Powell argued that torture pracitces in the war on terror were occuring and he battles between them (sometimes including Rice) and Cheney and Rumsfeld. "Abuse of prisoners, and even the deaths of some who had been interrogated in Afghanistan and elsewhere, have bruised the U.S. image abroad and undermined support for the Iraq war" and Wilkerson and Powell were making that argument throughout there tenure. This is the best the U.S. can do in prosecuting its war for freedom and justice?

Wilkerson said Powell now generally believes it was a good idea to remove Saddam from power but may not agree with either the timing or execution of the war. Imagine that if in your well-rounded world Lysis, objecting to how the war is being fought and thinking that it can be fought better.

Wilkerson says of Powell, “What he seems to be saying to me now is the president failed to discipline the process the way he should have and that the president is ultimately responsible for this whole mess.” Who else would be responsible?

He said he has almost, but not quite, concluded that Cheney and others in the administration deliberately ignored evidence of bad intelligence and looked only at what supported their case for war. When you are that close to the decision making process and you have seen all of the evidence and yet see irrational and incompetent choices being made you are forced to wonder at the motivations of the people making them.

Doubt Wilkerson's claims of U.S. torture of detainees? Today, Nov. 29, the U.S. issues a statement that it needs more time to respond to EU questions about secret prisons holding undocumented detainees in Eastern Europe. Today, German Chancellor Angele Merkel announces open debate for how hard she should push for answers in her visit with George Bush.

Feeling the pressure to confess something Lysis? President Bush is feeling the growing tide of evidence against his succesful management of the war effort. Today, Nov. 29, CNN's Dana Bash reports that Whitehouse officials are being forced to make a timeline for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq that the President will announce by the end of this week. It is too late Mr. Bush. Fixing this problem is too important to be trusted to such a proven liar and icompetent, "aloof" Commander in Chief. History is made by those who live it today, and those of us living in these times are increasingly relegating you and your kind Mr. Bush to insignificance. You will certainly NEVER be remembered in the same breath as Abraham Lincoln.

The tide is growing against you Lysis, and all of the hot, opinionated blustering you spew forth will not hold it back.

Are you still suspicious? Do you still think that everyone in the world has it wrong? Do you still think death squads running Iraq equals the best possible of worlds, the best example of freedom unmatched since the U.S. reconstruction of Japan? Do you still think efforts are going to plan? Do you still think we are leading by precedent running our own unchecked secret prisons in Europe? Don't you think you could be wrong? Don't you think maybe, just maybe we can do a better job together than Bush is doing now? Can't we do better!? Don't wait for the translation to the Republican party-line denial; ANSWER THE QUESTION!

lysis_verus said...

Shadow~

Since you are incapable or unwilling to do your own thinking or research, I'll help:

From the BBC~
The Pentagon's admission - despite earlier denials - that US troops used white phosphorus as a weapon in Falluja last year is more than a public relations issue - it has opened up a debate about the use of this weapon in modern warfare.
Full Story~

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4442988.stm

I stand by my earlier statement. Do please pull you head out...

Verus

P. Maclean said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
P. Maclean said...

Whew! Bill isn't the only one who can be accused of long-windedness Lysis. I needed a stiff drink halfway through the post to keep going. After I finished I reckoned you had a few too, just to make to the end I mean.

The why and the how of the United States' invasion in Iraq is as complex and slippierer to untangle than a knot of frogs. It makes about as much sense too. I watch the news some and talk about it at the bar more, where, maybe you can witness, the spirit has always made us wiser, but I haven't found a satisfactory answer yet. Your summary of the long and the short of it - not so much the short but definitely the long - included Professor Lysis.

No matter how you got there it seems to me it has put a tarnish on the American family silver handed down for generations.

You compare critics of this Iraq war to those of the Civil War. Predicting the future is kind of like when you are at the top of the mountain and can see for miles but the weather can change any minute. It is dangerous business, and many Civil War critics found that out. (Check out the published predictions of Arthur Fremantle made three months before Appomattox.)

The Union won that war thank goodness. The critics were wrong. But I think it is worth noting that some of the darkest chapters of American history were written during the Southern Reconstruction by Capetbaggers and the cancerous legacy of Jim Crowe that was planted and nourished by Northern occupation. I think there is a cautionary historical lesson in your use of the Civil War after all Professor Lysis. You see, the spirit did make me wiser. I'll have to take this new insight with me to share with my fellow parishoners at the bar.

America is trying to clean house in Iraq but it hasn't gotten to the polishing yet. It's still possible the family silver will sparkle again. It better or soon we are all going to wish we could go back and change history.

Anonymous said...

We can do better than the current path our leadership has us on in the fight against terrorism Lysis, and here is more proof. Today, Nov. 29, Congressional Report (since Republicans control congress you surely cannot suspect their politics) "U.S. Lacks Plan To Curb Terror Funds." Eric Lichtblau reports the government's efforts to help foreign nations cut off the supply of money to terrorists, a critical goal for the Bush administration, have been stymied by infighting among American agencies, leadership problems and insufficient financing, says the new Congressional report. "[T]he U.S. government lacks an integrated strategy" to train foreign countries and provide them with technical assistance to shore up their financial and law enforcement systems against terrorist financing, according to the report prepared by the Government Accountability Office.

The findings produced sharp dissent from American government officials, who said Congressional auditors overstated the bureaucratic problems in curbing terrorist financing overseas and the level of dissension between agencies. They described the intergovernmental effort to cut off the flow of terrorist money as one of the hallmarks of the Bush administration's campaign to fight terrorism since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Is it possible EVERYONE is biased Lysis? Is it possible that The GAO, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Senate, the AP, the BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, the NYTimes, the LA TIMES, Charles Duelfer, Collin Powell, Larry Wilkerson, John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Jack Murtha, Ayad Allawi, Gen. Shinseki, Joe Wilson, all traditional U.S. allies but the U.K., the United Nations, the CIA Estimates for long term stability in Iraq, U.S. government officials in Iraq, U.S. military trainors in Iraq, the Iraqi Interior Ministry, International Aid organizations in Iraq, Sunnis living in terror in Iraq, Iraqbodycount.org, the growing number of Americans at home who have decided we were misled into war are wrong and we cannot fight this war better than Bush has managed OR is it just possible that maybe you are the one who is biased and that you are the one who is wrong when you say that we couldn't do any better than we are now?

Your denial drives your arguments more and more to the extreme. You can do better.

Anonymous said...

The tide is sweeping you away.

Anonymous said...

Please Anonymous (the alter):

Lighten up a little on ol' Lysis --But beware his MOAB BLOCKBUSTER REBUTTAL that cowers even the best into willing submission!

He'll download another Bush speech from the past and spend hours at the Agora blog parsing every sentence for the "less enlightened" of the Agorites.

Now THAT'S torture!!!!

Anonymous said...

A long time ago, in a universe far away there was a topic, "Two Ways To Rewriting History." Lysis created another Analogy for the edification of Agorites everywhere. This time he compared dissenting Democrats opposed to Lincoln and the CivilWar to dissenting Democrats opposed to Bush and the Iraqi war.
Lysis hypothesized that if the dissenting Dem's of Lincoln's time had won the election, then the war would have been lost and Armegeddon would have commenced in 1864/65. Continuing in this "what if" fantasy world, Lysis argues NOW that Democratic dissenters against Bush's Iraqi war could, if successful, bring about Armegeddon version 2005/06.

Wow! This kind of "hypotheticalized" history is a distortion inside an illusion inside a delusion.

But, that is not my point -- What went unsaid in Lysis' historical allusion was how Lincoln stifled the dissent of his time by suspending the writ of habeas corpus;(yes Dan I know you know) indiscriminantly arresting dissenters of ALL kinds, and confining many in the holds of discarded and deteriorating ships in various ports around Washington D.C. for the duration of the war --This policy was extended even to threats against the Supreme Court itself!

Now, if we are to cross apply Lincoln's handling of dissent during the Civil War to GWB and the Iraqi war, is Lysis implying that the responses to Democratic dissent should be the same NOW?

Is this the FINAL SOLUTION that satisfies Lysis' contempt for Democrats and dissent????
Or was this just ANOTHER wild historical fantasy lurking in his subconscious!!!!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here,

Anonymous,

I have just plowed through the longwinded arguments on both sides of the question.

The answer you have given many times is "we can do better".

For sake of argument I will say "sure we can do better." My question for you is simple....

"How"?

Enough of the carping on both sides. Lives are being lost. Billions are being spent.

I don't give a rip if you think that Bush lied. It was the United States' intelligence that he spoke of in the State of the Union, not his own. It was all of ours. So if he lied, we all lied. Was the evaluation of the data correct... Hindsight is 20/20.

So give it all up and tell us How you or the antiwar, antiBush, antiwhatever group of independent thinkers are going to give us what we deserve as a country.

Something Better.

Dr. Dean says that he doesn't have to tell us what the Democrats will do to make things better.

I hope you are more forthcomming than he is.

This is a question of credibility. Not the credibility of your source. But your credibility. Once again, it is one thing to point out a problem. Any idiot can do that. It's another thing to solve it.

Please show us how we can "do better".

I think you will catch more "Independent Thinkers" from a proactive approach rather than a "you lied" approach.

We all await your response.

Anonymous said...

GREAT POST Anonymous! Spot on in your evaluation of the inner workings of Lysis' mind.

Agoraites, did you know that one of the charges that Saddam Hussein is facing in his trial is for dropping White Phosphorous on Kurdish rebels in 1991? It's true. Also, the United States restricted the use of incendiaries like white phosphorus after Vietnam, and in 1983, an international convention banned its use against civilians and civilian objects.

Did you also know that Italian television reported that American forces used it in Falluja last year against insurgents. At first, the Pentagon said the chemical had been used only to illuminate the battlefield, but had to backpedal when it turned out that one of the Army's own publications talked about using white phosphorus against insurgent positions, a practice well known enough to have one of those unsettling military nicknames: "shake and bake." You may have found this information if you followed up on Versus' entreaties.

You may also have found that the Pentagon has said white phosphorus was never aimed at civilians in Iraq, but there are lingering reports of civilian victims and the battle of Fallujah was fought in an urban setting jam packed with civilians and civilian objects. The military can't say whether the reports are true and does not intend to investigate them. (New York Times reporting, today.) "The United States should be leading the world, not dragging its feet, when it comes to this sort of issue - because it's right and because all of us, including Americans, are safer in a world in which certain forms of conduct are regarded as too inhumane even for war. That is why torture should be banned in American prisons."

Agoraites, that is why we can do better than those that are "leading" us in this war now. This is why we have to let our concerns be heard. We can put America back on the path of leading by example towards what is right. Saying so should not make us the target of slanted persecution and blind hate. Listen to these charges against Saddam and look at what we are doing. Have our leaders turned us into what we set out to destroy?

Anonymous said...

Not yet. We CAN do better!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic, if you were truly concerned about the lives being lost and the billions being spent then you wouldn't take on this serious problem "for the sake of argument." You are not the first one to pose this question in this blog, that was Shadow, and my answer to you is much as it was to him. I don't have all of the answers but this conversation of how to do better is one we need to be having in this country - and free of being called traitors for doing it! We should consider all of the options and we should work together to find the ones that work, not off gallavanting ahead, fingers in our ears, on a personal crusade threatening to lock up any who voice concern. I add to my answer as well that your request that I "tell" you what to do to make this better represents a fundamental misunderstanding of the process I am calling for and is a reflection of the policy that put us in this mess. The solution will be one we come to together.

To be able to really ask how do we do better you have to first admit that things really can be better. Then the truly important debates can begin. I look forward to having that debate, perhaps here in the Agora, when everyone is ready. If you are impatient to participate, the time draws nigh in other forums.

I think your post shows other misunderstandings of the current situation as well. You think the evidence Bush sighted in the '03 State of the Union was the "our" intelligence, the U.S.'s intelligence. "If he lied we lied." The facts are something else entirely. The "evidence" Bush cited in his '03 State of the Union was his and Cheney's wishful thinking for a shopping list that included knocking off Iraq. The U.S. intelligence, it turns out as we have seen now from declassified CIA reports, DIA reports and Joe Wilson's famous story, was just the opposite.

Finally, if "any idiot can point out a problem" as you say, imagine how poor Lysis and the others who are still standing with your heads in the sand and holding fast to the Bush party line must feel. They must feel like they are being swept away as the tide of evidence to their contrary takes their fanaticism into oblivion.

Lysis said...

Anonymous – What a barrage! I have sought diligently though all the smoke and bang seeking for any live rounds actually fired. As you say, I am just a high school teacher and therefore my time, like my intellect, is limited. Here’s what I got: 1) Sunnies are accusing the Iraqi military of killing and torturing them. 2) The Iraqi government has secret torture bunkers. 3) The L.A. Times says there are death squads in Iraq, 4) Congress says that a spy named Curveball was not to be trusted. 5) Lawrence Wilkerson, ex-advisor to the ex-Secretary of State says people at the White House talked mean about his boss, 6) Leaked CIA stuff says there are secret US prisons for terrorists in Europe, 7) Bush is about to set out a time line for withdrawal, and 8) The New York Post claims that terrorist funds are not curbed.

If I missed any I am sure Anonymous will remind me in a future post, being most practiced in repeating previously posted arguments.

I thought to spend the evening researching each point in turn; to meet Rumpole’s standards of documentation. But then would I find time to parse Bush’s upcoming speech???? But thank goodness Joe Lieberman, that’s right the former Democrat Vice Presidential candidate, and one Democrat I would be proud to vote for, saved me the trouble of deflecting Anonymous’ “SOUND AND FURRY” with a deadly broadside of leaden truth!

Don’t worry I’ll come back and deal with Anonymous B Bs after Joe clears the field:

After posting here I’m off to buy a copy of today’s Washington Post so I can own this wonderful editorial. I suggest all Agorites do the same, but in the mean time here is my parsed up version.

Lieberman points out that he has just returned from his fourth trip to Iraq in the past seventeen months and, “can report real progress there. . . More needs to be done, but the Iraqi people are in reach of a watershed transformation from the primitive killing tyranny of Saddam to modern, self-governing, self-securing nationhood . . . unless the great American military that has given them and us this unexpected opportunity is prematurely withdrawn.”

Lieberman asserts that progress is visible and practical.

1. In North and South [Iraq] are largely free of terrorism.

2. Much more electric power and other public services are available than under Saddam.

3. There is great economic vitality.

4. There is progress in the triangle of terror.

5. There are cars in the streets, satellite dishes on many roofs, and millions of cell phones.

6. Sunni candidates are campaigning for seats in the National assembly.

7. In the midst of terror, with American help, people work toward a functioning society and a military able to protect it.

Lieberman goes on to explain the truth of the situation. There are 27 million Iraqis who seek freedom against 10 thousand terrorist who must now fight or see their cause set back.

Lieberman goes on to list other Bush called for goals as being accomplished:

1. Iraqis and Palestinians are in the midst of robust national elections.

2. Lebanon has risen up in proud self-determination.

3. Kawaities, Egyptians, and Saudis are opening their governments to their people.

Lieberman points out that none of these changes would have happened without the Coalition forces led by the US.

He then points to progress that American sacrifice and service will bring to Iraq:

1. 2/3 of Iraqis say they are better off than under Saddam.

2. 82% are confident life will be even better in a year.

3. America has a clear plan and strategy for victory. (Says Lieberman)

4. 1/3 of the 100,000 member Iraqi military are already capable of leading the fight [for freedom] by themselves.

5. The number of self leadership capable Iraqi forces will double next year.

6. U.S. draw down in Iraq to be allowed by self-sufficiency will begin in 2006 and a much smaller US presence will be required by 07.

7. Provincial Reconstruction Teams are coming into place to deal with waist and crime.

8. There will be success for the Clear, Hold, and Build strategy.

Anonymous - I must Admit I was a bit concerned to see a former advisor of a former secretary of state rat out the Bush White house as a place where differing opinions are expressed openly. (That was sarcasm) But Anonymous you must be beside yourself that the former sane standard bearer of the Democrat Party has just declared success in Iraq. (That was gloating)

You ask if I think “The GAO. Defense Intelligence Agency, Senate, AP, BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, Wall Street Journal, NY Times, Charles Duelfer, Collin, Powell, Larry Wilkerson, John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Jack Murtha, Ayad Allawi, Gen Shinseki, Joe Wilson, ect. ect. are all wrong. No, I don’t think they all are, but I think Anonymous is misrepresenting them, and so OBVIOUSLY does Joe Lieberman.

To Anonymous’ points:

1. Sunnies are accusing the Iraqi military of killing and torturing them. The Sunnies used to be the Iraqi military. Their credibility here is at least suspect. If crimes are committed by the new Iraqi military those responsible, as those responsible for crimes in the American Military will be punished. That is the way civilized and democratic states deal with the rouges in their military. Check out the trials of the fools at Abu Graib. When crimes happen they must be punished. Who reported on or punished the crimes of Saddam’s Sunni military? No one! It reminds me of Saddam’s complaining yesterday that he had to walk up the stairs to the dock. Things have changed!!!

2. Iraqi government has secret torture bunkers. We know that they were there because the US Army uncovered them and liberated them. We also know that the “torture” victims could show for their, albeit unjust, abuse was a few burses and empty stomachs. In Saddam’s day, so missed by those who attack the liberation of Iraq, they would have been filling up mass graves.

3. L.A. times says there are death squads in Iraq. Does it report that they were organized by VP Cheney or just imply that? After generations of oppression it is sadly to be expected that some misguided fools among the former oppressed will miss behave and murder. Even the French and Italians did that in the past. Not just the Reign of Terror in France, but reprisals against Nazi collaborators etc. was common even in Norway. But the trials at Nuremburg and the benefits of liberty ended the bitterness and vigilante justice.

4. Congress says that a spy named Curveball was not to be trusted. Well, what’s your point? There has been no denial of the fact that the intelligence was not perfect. Sounds like Congress follows Anonymous example of reiterating previously presented information to see if it will take the second time.

5. Lawrence Wilkerson EX etc. says people at the White house were mean to Collin Powell. I haven’t heard the same from his boss. Seems like if Powell was dissed he might be upset himself, instead he continues to support the Liberation of Iraq. How far down the pile does one have to dig to find a disgruntled employ or bitter former anyone?

6) CIA leak says there are secret prisons in Europe. Not very secret are they. I wonder what they do there, so does the leaker, because there has been nothing but speculation about torture. I guess when your grasping at straws speculation is as good as it gets.

7) Bush is about to set a date certain for withdrawal from Iraq. Well he says he’s not – so does Rumsfeld. I guess by tomorrow we’ll finally know who is lying.

8) The N Y Times claims that terror funds are not curbed. Tell that to all the fund raisers who are sitting in jail thanks to the Patriot Act. Do terrorists still get support? Sure they do – and the verbal support of the “cut and run” crowd is as valuable to them as the pennies scrapped up by “Muslim Charities”. I’ll tell you two sources of funds that have dried up. The Taliban and Saddam.

Finally, thank you Anonymous for reminding us of the original thrust of this posting. Seems that history tells us that the Constitution protected the nation from Lincoln’s attempts to suspend the law, and that Lincoln defended the Constitution. The only thing the Democrats who seek power by declaring defeat have to fear from me is the light of truth.

Ball in your court!

Anonymous said...

Do you even read the posts Lysis? Your retention is so flawed and littered with misrepresentations you might want to take notes, if you are actually reading the posts. I do not believe you do, at least not in full.

Find my parsing of your post in parenthesis. ( )

Here’s what I got (More like, Here's what you didn't get):

1) Sunnies are accusing the Iraqi military of killing and torturing them. (Read the post, The Iraqi Interior Ministry, U.S. Officials in Iraq, International Aid Organizations, U.S. Trainors of Iraq police forces say the Iraqi military IS killing and torturing Sunni's in underground prison inside Iraq government buildings!)

2) The Iraqi government has secret torture bunkers. (You don't even try to defend this because you cannot. It is a fact and it is just like it was under Saddam. How is that for progress?)

3) The L.A. Times says there are death squads in Iraq, (Read the post, U.S. Military Planners and the Iraqi Interior Ministry! say there are Death Squads in Iraq.)

4) Congress says that a spy named Curveball was not to be trusted. (The Defense Department and the CIA said the sources were not be trusted 8 MONTHS BEFORE BUSH DECIDED TO TRUST THEM! Do you just make up whatever you want like because that is the way it appears Lysis.)

5) Lawrence Wilkerson, ex-advisor to the ex-Secretary of State says people at the White House talked mean about his boss. (Lawrence Wilkerson, TOP AIDE to Colin Powell, says Bush was INCOMPETENT and not even running the war in Iraq bordering on not even knowing there was one going on. He also says Cheney likely lied to the public in making his case for war. You do not counter any of this charges because you cannot. You are bankrupt for apologies for Bush's homicidally reckless blundering.)

6) Leaked CIA stuff says there are secret US prisons for terrorists in Europe, (You give more speculation but never address whether this actually the way the U.S. should be conducting the war or if it should be doing better. If you would be honest, and it must be hard judging from your misrepresentations here, you know we should not be torturing anyone in secret prisons in the name of justice.)

7) Bush is about to set out a time line for withdrawal, (The Whitehouse, responding to growing pressure at home and in congress has forced Aides to start drafting a timeline for withdrawal.)

and 8) The New York Post claims that terrorist funds are not curbed. (A BLATANT LIE! The non partisan Government Accounting Office, GAO, issued a report to congress showing the Bush Whitehouse had failed to curb terrorist funding due to a LACK OF LEADERSHIP.)


I recommend you read each post three times from now on Lysis, and take notes before you even think about responding. You embarass yourself.

Your first idea of sitting down and researching your claims in full was better one Lysis. We are still waiting for the evidence to back up most of your claims that you make and throw away like tissues, always another one worthy of snot pops up to take the place of the last.

You still have not answered the questions I have asked but only counter with suspicious opinions. "I think Anonymous misrepresents them." Show us where Lysis, or accept them for the truths that they are and stop your extreme denials. Agree that we can do a better job than the muck up that Bush has made of the situation.

As for the opinion of Honorable Mr. Lieberman I am heartened to see the situation in Iraq is not lost yet. I have never said that it was, only that, considering the tidal waive of evidence here provided against your notion that everything is going rosey, things can be a lot better. And they should be better! Lieberman should not have to report that 1/3 of the Iraqi military is ready to go, this should be taken for granted. There was a functioning military in Iraq before DICK cheney in another incompetent act of bravado, ordred them disbanded. Last week of course, the administration pleaded for them to come back.

You should also be aware that Lieberman is on a whirlwind trip covering a few days where he is being escorted everywhere by a huge U.S. military convoy seeing what the Generals have been ordered by their boss to show. His chances of encountering one of the Iraqi death squads or underground prisons or acid burned corpses are very small. The testimonials of the Iraqi's that actually live there, that I provided in the posts above, are not in conflict with any of Joe's observations but I believe do carry more weight.

Finally, Lysis, I am having trouble varifying your claim that Lieberman did write an op-ed for the Post today. In your next post will you be so kind as to give us the URL (or anyone for that matter) so that we can read his words ourselves. I am afraid to say that your posts are so egregiously inaccurate that I cannot trust them.

mostly just listening said...

Vegimatic. You are very reasonable. Far more so than Anonymous even though he throws out many many news sources. I am glad that Lysis brought up Lieberman, because it goes to the heart of the logic of this whole thing.

Anonymous, Lysis is right. You throw so many things around, it is hard to determine what evidence you are claiming proves what. One thing is for sure, you keep citing Joe Wilson's and the CIA's and the DIA's reports to show Bush lied. The CIA briefed the white house on the Wilson information and the evidence that intelligence was flawed almost two months AFTER the State of the Union. Seriously though, you do realize when you are calmed down that the President doesn't give Congress their intelligence right? They get it straight from the source. Furthermore, in our post Vietnam post Watergate environment where the tendency to trust the government (especially the President) about anything as important as reasons for going to war is slim to none, it takes far more convincing than what you've offered to demonstrate any malicious intent here. Too many people in too many positions could have countered the information (members of the Clinton administration, many individual Senators and Members of House, members of the CIA or of the DOD are only a few I suppose) President Bush gave. Why oh why are we only hearing about "lying" in the last year? (Don't answer that really. You have given your explanations on this almost ad nauseum) It just isn't a reasonable conclusion Anonymous, and Colin Powell's aide arguing against Iraq and the course being taken therein isn't proof of a lie. It is evidence of the worthy argument we all keep verging on but don't get to mostly because, like vegimatic said, you don't give any hows. We can do better. O.k. I'll buy that even given Lieberman's statements, but when given the chance to enter a debate about how, you offer two things, a claim that first Bush has to admit he lied and second the argument about white phosphorus. (o.k. there was a whole lot in there about death and suffering of Sunnis in Iraq).

Lysis has dealt so well with the Sunni thing that I don't want to, which is just a well, as I just don't have the time you all seem to have to both do the research I like to and to keep up with the arguments on this post.

Let me just add on the Lieberman issue, that Joe Lieberman has no obvious reason to say he has seen progress if he has not. He would not have lost anything by a claim of the opposite if he felt that were the case. It is something very worthy of looking into and considering as he is in a better position than most if not all contributors here to say what the real deal in Iraq is.

By the way, your post this morning from the New York Times and the L.A. Times (again, the L.A. Times, give me a break) actually goes to Rumpole's argument. (Sorry Rumpole. I found it very compelling and have done a lot of thinking about it.) Some of the media has looked for the things that make this conflict like Vietnam. There have been quite a few stories as of late about Sunni vs. Sunni violence as well. I don't think these samples given this morning are a very round picture of reality. I will consider them but do my own research. The media is playing its own tune here. They are creating a public perseption situation where we see only terrible things happening to Iraqis and then marvel at what on Earth Joe Liberman could be talking about when he says he sees progress.

Not to beat a dead horse or anything, but it does matter that Saddam had clear intentions of starting up a biological and chemical weapons program once sanctions ended. It matters, because he was very much in the process of ending those sanctions. There may not have been a lab and scientists at the ready (thus an existing plan), but don't underestimate him or that part of the Duelfer report. The man gave no reason not to believe that if he intended to do it, he would accomplish it any way he could. The Bush policy seems to have become that if a credible threat is seen (even potential) do what you have to to get rid of it before it materializes. You may not agree with that Anonymous. There is nothing wrong with that. It is frustrating when positions seem to change. It smacks of disingenuousness. It is my opinion that in the case of Bush it is more a difficulty in communicating well, but that is my opinion. However, to say it doesn't matter, I just can't agree with that. I know we were all done discussing the Duelfer report, but what can I say? I like to look into things, and I can't seem to keep up with you all. Hence, the mostly just listening.

mostly just listening said...

Anonymous, missed your last post while typing. You do Lieberman a disservice and you insult the intelligence of militery leaders. He makes a whirl wind trip so he can't really know as much as you do? He is briefed by sources with more info. than we could likely get our hands on. Also, this is his 4th trip to Iraq in 17 months. He takes his investigating pretty seriously.

Furthermore, the military is only going to show hin what's rosy? This is the same military willing to criticize the Sec. of Defense during a press conference and the same Pentagon you have repeatedly told us has criticized the Pres. and his chosen path in Iraq? The military has civility and respect for their boss, but they have a duty to Lieberman as well.

Thanks for the better explanation of your arguments.

oh and by the way, you would, I think, know a little bit about suspicious opinions. You do keep the posts straight though. I'll give you that. I personally do have to keep notes.

Silver Lining said...

Lieberman's op-ed piece was published in the Wall Street Journal I believe. I am sure tomorrow, many papers will carry copies. If you want a URL, you can link to it through www.opinionjournal.com
http://www.opinionjournal.com/

If I might also suggest a Washington Post op-ed from today. It is by Fred Hiatt and is titled the Politics of War. It is illuminating and well worth the read.

Silver Lining said...

The Fred Hiatt piece is a couple of weeks old. I didn't want to leave the impression that it is from today's edition. If you want to read it, you will have to google it.

Anonymous said...

Some points of clarification 'Listening,' Congress does not get its intelligence information straight from the source. Most congressmen do not have the security clearance to get the information provided to the President in his daily intelligence briefing. Senator Pat Roberts has been vocal about this point in the last weeks. Congress only gets intelligence directly from a source like an informant during hearings. Also, no national intelligence review was ordered before the Iraqi invasion that would have gethered all information together into one report that could have been submitted to Congress.

The Joe Wilson report was submitted to the U.S. government in early March of 2002. Joe Wilson was debriefed four seperate times by government agencies, the CIA, the Niamey embassy staff in Nigeria, the Ambassador in Niamey, and the State Department Affrican Affairs Bureau, generating four separate reports of what he didn't find in Africa. One report was sent as a specific answer report from the CIA to the Vice President DICK cheney's office eight months before Bush said there was credible evidence of Saddam's yellowcake horse trading. Can we please try and keep this straight.

And lastly, feel free to ignore the reports of terrorism of Sunnis, the pleas from Alawi, the admissions of the Iraqi Interior Ministry, the estimations of the U.S. government officials involved there. After all, you don't live there, what do you have to worry about if they are telling the truth or not? As for me, all of these families crying, all of these officials reporting reminds me of an addage, where there is smoke there is fire.

There is so much information to throw at you because there is so much evidence that what I am saying is true.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Silver Lining for clearing up another of Lysis' many factual errors.

mostly just listening said...

Anonymous, don't be condescending. I stated why I was "ignoring" the Sunni thing (Lysis' answer sufficed). Self-righteousness doesn't suit you.

Joe Wilson was deposed several times, but the CIA briefing to the White House re: the intelligence being faulty was almost 2 months after the State of Union Address.

No, congressmen don't have the same clearance as the Pres., but they do get daily briefs of their own as do Ambassadors. Clinton had a clearance every bit as high as Bush. What I am saying is that not one of these sources came forward immediately after
Bush gave his speech. It makes the claim of a lie so incredible to me. It just doesn't logically make any sense Anonymous that no one would have come forward right away and that they would have all voted for the war unless Vegimatic is right. I especially think so in the case of Senator Clinton, but I suppose that falls within the category of suspicious opinion. What I am saying doesn't mean the intelligence was true Anonymous. It simply means the President isn't an insideous malicious plotter who was intentionally deceptive. He may not have gotten it right Anonymous, but admit it, if he were plotting in secret rooms in this day and age, it seems thunderously unlikely he could have pulled it off with so much support especially in a climate in which he was already so hated.

You seem mostly reasonable Anonymous, but on this we will just have to differ I guess.

Rumpole said...

Anonymous and All,

Two clear choices:

“We will have to work hard . . . to change the PERCEPTION to be in line with the TRUTH.”

Or is it –

“We will have to work hard . . . to change the TRUTH to be in line with the PERCEPTION.”

The proliferation of seemingly new information at the Agora today has caused me to shudder with envy! Even if I were capable of such a Clintonesque description I could never have more clearly or articulately pointed out to the readers at the Agora what you have today!

SOUND AND FURY, SIGNIFIYING NOTHING! What a fine example take right out of the PLAYBOOK! Do you thing if you post it all again it will have an even greater impact? Like the Democrats (and I’m not saying you are one), do you believe that if you say it long enough and loud enough it will become true?

I must also clearly state my gratitude. You have also provided all at the Agora with a marvelous opportunity. Take the time to compare/contrast Lieberman (Wall Street Journal) with Anonymous. Which is the truth? Which is the perception?

Lieberman has my vote to be the next President! Do you realize what he risked for the truth? He risked everything! It’s going to really be interesting to see how his party reacts to him now! What do you think, Anonymous?

P.S. – I have some odds and ends that have been bothering me. These notes and questions will seem a little disjoint, so humor me.

1. 1. You chastised Aeneas as follows: “were you anywhere near earth when 60 Minutes exposed Abu Graib?” Abu Graib was wrong and tragic. That being said, 60 Minutes is a source of information for you? 60 Minutes with Connie Chung? 60 Minutes with Dan Rather? Ed Bradley? Anonymous, you need to get some better sources!
2. Joe Lieberman is from Connecticut. I know, you already know that. But did you know that Connecticut’s per capita enlistment is lower than Utah’s? I think you do! But wait, that’s not what you said! You said Utah’s was the lowest! And there is more! Utah was #47. I didn’t bring it up before because it seemed petty. Now I’m in the petty mode. Don’t embellish your statistics to drive home a point, Anonymous. The truth will eventually rise.
3. Finally, “The AP, the BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, the LA Times” (yes, I have selected the news agencies out of your list), Let’s see who picks up the Lieberman story, and let’s see how long it takes. It could be quite telling.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rumpole,

Please do not compare me to Joe Lieberman, I am not worthy. Instead, compare the sources that I have cited to in my arguments with Joe Lieberman. Source after source, story after story, and one opinion; where does the reality lie? It must be betwixt the two. There is a lot of weight pulling on one side. No matter, the reports are not in contrast with my claim. We can still do better. In fact, Joe Lieberman says so in op-ed. I invite you to read it yourself and not take Lysis' word for it. They won't change his word for Iraqi Dinars these days.

On your odds and ends:

Oddly, 60 Minutes was the source that broke the Abu Graib story. I am sorry this disappoints you but you cannot rewrite history, and that is the end of that.

Recruitment numbers in Utah do not concern me. (Recruitment overall is another story.) I am afraid you have confused me for another Anonymous. We look a lot alike.

Do let's wait and see what television news agency decides to run with a written editorial from Joe Lieberman that presents no new news. It will be telling indeed. Anyone care to wager it will be Fox news?

I enjoyed your post Rumpole. (Seriously.)

Anonymous said...

You should keep up your blog so we can read more about you there.

Anonymous said...

One last point Rumpole:

Our contest was over before it began. You selected the news agencies and the winner was decided. The Wall Street Journal will be the first to carry the story since that is where it cam from. Can we start again but you deselect WSJ this time?

Rumpole said...

Mostly,

I appreciate your kind words. I have also given quite a bit of thought to the “Democrats running the media”, vs. the “media running the Democrats”.

Frankly, I don’t think the Democrats are organized enough or unified enough to drive an agenda through the media. For example, when Clinton won the Whitehouse, he never won with a majority; further, the plurality that he put together was made up of minority groups and special interest groups. As much as I dislike him, credit him for pulling that group together.

But I digress. My point is that as an institution, the media is far more organized. It has to be. It can only survive by making a profit. In my estimation, the majority of its employees come from the coalition of the Democratic Party. That being said they are only more than happy to promote their own agenda, especially if it sells.

The eye opener for me as to who is running whom has been recent. I don’t have specifics, it just seems that the Democrats of late pick up their talking points from the media rather than the other way around. Very few Democrats come up with original thoughts. Even the words they speak seem to be identical.

I can only guess, but I think Anonymous is probably reading, so I need to emphasize that in this case I am not a conspiracy theorist. I don’t think the institutional media as a group sat down to drive an agenda. I do think they all know what has historically sold (before the competition of the alternate media) so they follow the historical model. I also think that the industry moguls are human, and are more than willing to promote their own agenda where possible.

The most interesting thing about the whole dynamic to me is in the political landscape. In my view, we no longer live in a two party system. There are three entities now, the Republicans, the Democrats, and the Media. It can be debated which has the most power.

I’m interested in your thoughts.

Anonymous,

An aside – I left the WSJ in the list after much consideration. I didn't want to misquote. I realize that it may be a little unrealistic to expect competing media to run with someone else’s story. But it has happened. If the media were unbiased and without profit motive, if the media really wants to shed light on both sides of the issue, it doesn't matter, does it?

Silver Lining said...

For some enlightening info. on WMD intelligence, Joe Wilson, and whether Bush lied, please look here. (http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-boot2nov02,0,6326316.column?coll=la-news-comment-opinions)

I even chose the L.A. Times as it is on Anonymous' list of sources.

Lysis said...

Anonymous - To the eight points above: You reiterate, I re-expose.

1. Sunnies are accusing – I’m glad to know that the good guys: Iraqi Interior Minister, US officials, and Iraqi police trainers are on the case. Sounds like the New Iraqi Government can handle this problem. Thanks, Anonymous, for clarifying.

2. Iraqi torture bunkers – Answer this question. Who reviled the bunkers, opened them, and is taking steps to punish those who were operating them? Yes, right again, the good guys, the American Army and the new Iraqi government.

3. Death Squads Bad – Agreed; the good guys are on it!

4. Curveball – We all accept Curveball was a dud. Was Collin Powell? He said a lot about WMDs. Was Curveball his only source? How about the Germans, the UN, the British, the Clinton Administration. My guess is that Bush just didn’t realize how important Curveball was. (That was sarcasm.) Dig a little deeper, Anonymous, maybe you can find an EX somebody to say he was lying too.

5. Tell Wilkerson to talk it to Powell. Maybe General Powell, who I would also vote for as President – since Bush can’t run again, didn’t get it that the man who he supported, and still supports, George Bush was incompetent. And with Wilkerson right there to straiten him out all the time. Go figure!!! (Also sarcasm)

6. On the Secret CIA prisons – I know we should not be torturing. I know Bush has given that order not to torture, I know there have been laws on the books for decades mandating hard prison time for anyone who does, and I know you have NO proof sanctioned torture has ever occurred.

7. On the Bush time line – Bush has always had a time line for withdrawal. It is the same as Lieberman’s, when the job is done.

8. On curbing money to terrorists: I gave you two irrefutable examples of curbing. Go tell that to the GAO.

NOW LE’T GE BACK TO THE FACTS OF THIS POST:

As in 1864, so in 2005, the Democrats have invested their success in America’s defeat. Nothing anyone has said in this long and exciting exchange of ideas has changed these facts. Joe Lieberman, in order to tell the truth, has been forced to derail his party’s strategy. That’s courage, and that is why I wish he led that party; not those who seek poser over peace and political gain over freedom!

Lysis said...

Thanks Silver Lining for the source. I will read it tomorrow; it might take me till then to type in the address. Thanks for going to that trouble.

Anonymous said...

Lysis what did I say? Read the posts three times, and take notes. You didn't even go back for a second look after you got it wrong did you? You know how I can tell? Because you are still getting it wrong. You should go straight to the source to get your information, I could understand, but there is no compulsion in you to be thurough or accurate, and any argument you make will be hamstrung by this crucial flaw. This late in the game and you are still so far behind. I really did expect better. But hey, so did the Iraqi's that were "liberated" and the Americans that voted for Bush!

1. In the article on Sunni's being terrorized the U.S. acknowledges there is nothing they can do about it. They are stuck training the killers because they do not have the resources to sort them out. The Iraqi Interior Ministry, you know, the ones you called the "good guys," the ones who set up the secret torture rooms in their basement and admit the kidnappings, are not concerned with stopping violence only with the brutal score settling and awful kidnappings. You would know this if you read the article. No cowboys wearing white hats are leading the rescue of those poor souls being held and beaten to bloody pulps in the countless other torture rooms across Iraq. How many are saying there last prayers right now? Where are the good guys to save them?

2. You tell ANOTHER BLATANT LIE FROM the lips of he who speaks more cunning than any beast of the field, Lysis! If you had read the article at all you know that ABSOLUTLEY NO ONE IS BEING HELD RESPONSIBLE. Half of the Interior Ministry is in denial, likely because they support the secret torture. They have learned well from their professors of the Dark Arts in the Bush Whitehouse. Don't the Iraqi's deserve better and couldn't we have given it to them? Yes they do!!

3. Again, I admonish you to look before you leap. Here, you have gone shooting your mouth off, wide open and unaware that you have leapt straight into the open septic tank you have made of your position. There is no investigation of who exactly the members of these Death Squads are because there isn't the personel or the intelligence on the American side or the willingness on the Shiite Iraqi. This would be apparent IF YOU HAD READ THE ARTICLE. But if it makes you feel better at night to imagine that the good guys are on the case then go ahead, you don't live there, what do you care if Sunnis are being terrorized? Not at all apparently since you don't even bother to read a couple of articles about their horrible condition, or even admit for the tiniest bit that things could be better for them. Shame on you in your comfortable bed at home tonight Lysis while families in Iraq go to bed not knowing if they will live to see the light of day.

4. If you have been following the "debate" you know that Powell relied on many sources but the two big ones were Curveball, who we knew was a dud, al-Libi, who we know was a dud and there was the beleagured report on what wasn't found in Nigeria. It never stopped Bush from quoting the faulty intelligence again and again though and it isn't stopping you either. "We can't wait for the smoking that may come in the form of a mushroom cloud." Oops, according to Charles Duelfer we could. Couldn't we have done better with our intelligence before hand? And does such a catastrophic blunder and inside account of how intelligence was used inspire confidence in how the administration selectively uses intelligence now? What we are fighting for now is too important to leave in the hands of criminally negligent again.

5. The gist of Mr. Wilkerson's interview were the direct policy actions and the planning - or rather lack thereof - that he took part in as top aid in the State Department and his own first hand account of the Bush administrations handling of the war. Again, you are unable to see that because you are unable to get past the name calling of anyone who criticizes. Pull your head out of the sand.

6. Who needs the proof of sanctioned torture when DICK cheney is doing the full court press in Congress to stop them from enforcing laws against it!? If our CIA interagators are not torturing people - and there is a lot of evidence for that in the files of the many known detainees who died during interogation from blunt force trauma to the head, body, and suffocation from being chained up in the "Palestinian Cross" - then why is DICK cheney lobbying to have a special exception for the CIA in proposed legislation to make all U.S. interrogators abide by humane treatment laws and U.S. Military handbook guidelines? You want us to believe he is putting up this fuss for the fun of it Lysis? His actions speak for themselves, and so do the U.S. secret prisons. Nothing good is going on there if we are trying to hide it from the world.

7. Bush's timeline for withdrawal will ultimately be set by the American people.

8. Are you trying to say that the GAO is lying when they say the administration is failing in stopping terroris funding Lysis? Your own words in your original response do you the most damage on this point Lysis. "Do terrorists still get support? Sure they do." There are millions of sponsors around the world spending hundreds of millions of dollars but their is a process they follow and countries, properly trained, staffed can disrupt these processes and deny terrorist funding. The U.S. is failing in this goal to disrupt these processes because what the GAO cites as A LACK OF LEADERSHIP. The GAO is not lying though you would like to believe it.

There is a long list of reports piling up for the next day already, each showing how things are going poorly in Iraq. But everyday our corrupt leaders pursue their failed policies there will be headlines that will remind us of how much better it could be with competent leaders in charge. You can't keep denying it Lysis. At least move on to a meta debate as Rumpole has on why the media reports the way it does. Because you can't keep saying they are all wrong without sounding even more absurd then you do now. It is a tide of truth that will wash over you everyday and drown your stubborn words with blood and tears of a people who deserve better.

There are no cowboys riding to their rescue at the end of this picture.

Anonymous said...

One quote I couldn't help slipping in quickly. It is from Fox news talking about the new wave of mass kidnappings that are striking Iraq. Towards the end of the article it talks about the progress that has been made and how "since May, abductions have fallen off considerably, mainly because many Western groups left Iraq." Well, that is progress for ya'! Why do you think they reported that Rumpole?

Anonymous said...

Game over again Rumpole. Dana Bash reports for CNN tonight on the pull out plan Bush will unveil Wednesday, a declassified document that will show Bush's plan for victory (to combat public opinion polls), on a CNN public opinion now showing %60 of Americans do not think Iraq was worth it (what a disservice to those who were sent to die our "leaders" have brought us to), and finally, on Joe Lieberman's visit to Iraq! The report was made even before we made our wager and so it is was over before it began again! How does this inform your meditations on mainstream media? If it helps, the report was quick, sighted Joe's observations of progress and also his observations that things could be better.

Dan Simpson said...

Anonymous, I really only have one point to make here (and if some of the things I mention were not written by you, that is the danger you take in not labeling your posts).

Your mantra is that things can be better and that we all need to discuss it. You then say we cannot actually discuss it until we get a consensus that things can be better. You then say that even if Bush wanted to try to improve things it is too late, WE must do it he cannot. You then reiterate that things can be better.

Here is my problem with your mantra. It does nothing to help the situation that you are going on about.

Lets talk specifics. I think that we should and could be training faster. It seems that we may not be using all of the available resources for training Iraqi security forces. (No I cannot quote sources, as I honestly do not desire to use my time in such research) I remember hearing that some countries had offered to train forces and had been turned down. I personally don't agree with this philosophy.

I think we could work quicker to get the infrastructure of Iraq up and running. There was a long running argument that we were not getting clean water or electricity into large portions of Iraq. I am glad that Lieberman says that that problem is on the steady decline, but I think it probably could have been done quicker (this is an opinion, as I don't really know all of the problems involved in trying to rebuild/build from scratch a decent infrastructure in a long debilitated country.

These are just two off of the top of my head.

If torture and rampant killing are going on in Iraq, they should by all means be stopped. Every effort possible should be put into it. I don't think anyone disagrees with this.

The problem anonymous, is that your whole agenda is backward looking. Everything you mention is in the past (not that problems in the past should be ignored, nor should people be allowed to get away with egregious behavior).

If you TRULY believe that we can do better, why is Bush exempt from that. If, as a nation and a society, we can discuss this why can't the executive take the useful portions of the outcome and put them into practice.

I know, you will say that Bush won't, but how would you know. What constructive criticism has been given. What is constructive about saying that Bush has homicidal tendencies? What aid to the cause is there in screaming about who knew what when?

If someone wants an investigation, by all means investigate away (though I believe that has already been done to death). But such an investigation should not be tied into current Iraqi policy.

These are truly two different arguments. We are already in Iraq, the outcome of whether or not Bush lied cannot affect whether we are there. So, save the lying propaganda for the lying debate. Then talk about realistic, constructive, helpful ideas in the we are in Iraq, what is the best way to do it while we are there debate.

To fill the second debate with diatribes about the first one makes neither debate useful or productive.

You continually chant, WE CAN DO BETTER, now lets take the first step. Do not wait until all can admit Bush lied. Do not wait until all rally behind your banner and say 'lead us anonymous, we hear your cry'. You say you have no answers. Well, you obviously have plenty of time to research, if doing better is your clarion call, put your efforts into coming up with ideas for that.

Remember, mere critics contribute nothing. Constructive criticism is the key. Hate Bush all you want, but until viable ideas are put on the table, you have offered no alternative.

Obstructing Bush's agenda for Iraq will not lead Iraq to a better place. You cannot say that road is wrong, pointing down Bush's path, without pointing out a new road. Surely standing still would be worse by far.

Show us a new road, or at least talk about ideas for a new road.

This, I think, has been the biggest downfall of the opposition of the war. I don't think all of them are horrible, I think many may be doing what they think is right. They err greatly, however, in this anti-Bush society.

If any major political leader were to come out with a viable, reasonable, thought out plan, it would, in all liklihood, be discussed and perhaps integrated into the current ideas. Right now, it seems, that the opposition is so hell bent on making sure that nothing good comes from Bush's ideas and actions, that they will not give alternatives that may help the overall plan succeed, but instead will wait for a grinding halt, then try to pick up the pieces.

WE CAN DO BETTER, but not while the preceding phrase is the most that anyone contributes to the debate.

Lysis said...

Anonymous - get some sleep! Having said that; let me thank you for your diligence and for your posts. I will not rehash the eight points your position seems to have ground down to. I think they have been adequately “re-exposed” above. However you do deserve some clarification on point #8. I did not mean to say the GAO lied. I wanted to point out that neither they nor you are giving the whole story. Both the GAO and you have agendas on this point; theirs, to encourage greater leadership; yours, to attack President Bush. Neither fully addresses the issue of funding to terror.

I think Silver Linings suggested article from the L A Times deserves much comment. It is very instructive as to the weight of Anonymous entire string. I hope I got the paper right this time. I don’t want Anonymous rejecting the content because of my botching the citation!

Max Boot points to the holes in Wilson’s credibility.

1. Wilson lied when he originally denied his wife got him sent to Niger. Having showed him to be a liar there, the Senate Intelligence Committee shows Wilson to further lie in his condemnation of the Bush Administration position on WMD by showing that:

2. Wilson actually provided fresh details about a 1999 meeting between Iraqi officials and Niger’s PM and :

3. The Senate Intelligence Committee found that Bush’s “sixteen words” in his State of the Union Address were not a lie, but well founded; bases in part on Wilson’s own report.

It seems to me that Wilson has attempted to do what Rumpole has indicated as a play book action, repeated here in the Agora by “some”: of repeating a lie over and over again until “some” start to accept it as truth.

Max Boot then goes on to quote – Oh my Gadfiry, how can this be? Lawrence Wilkerson!!!! Wilkerson supports the Bush position on pre war intelligence, “Lawrence Wilkerson . . . [who] between bouts of trashing the administration . . . said on Oct 19 that ‘the consensus of the intelligence community was over whelming’ that ‘Hussein was building illicit weapons.’ This policy was endorsed by ‘the French, the Germans, the British’ . . . [the French] even offered ‘proof positive’ that Hussein was buying aluminum tubes ‘for centrifuges’.

Would you call that hoisted on your own petard, Anonymous?

Enough of this: What I would like Anonymous to have done was to defend McNamara as an OPPONENT of the Bush policy, or attack Lieberman as a DEFENDER of the Bush policy. Perhaps he can find someone to so his heavy lifting. Speaking of which:

Dannyboy – both your comment and your exhortation are powerful, and I accept the chastisement along with Anonymous. I hope the speech Bush delivered today, and the 34 page “plan for victory” in Iraq, posted on the White House Web Page, will answer the desire you expressed, the need the world has, for a real WAY TO DO BETTER.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic here,

Thank you DannyBoy. I have been taught my whole life that either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem.

Lysis, my WWII political history is a little rusty. Did the Republicans during the war give FDR the same hate toward him and his policies? What about Truman?

It did happen during Vietnam. Not from a party per se but from the peace movement that later "felt bad" about how they treated our troops. Those actions are the basis for the "I support the Troops but not the War mantra.

Anonymous, thank you for being honest. I knew you had no solutions before I asked the question. If you did, as an American you would put it forward for the benefit of all.

I will stick my neck out here but whatever side of the argument, left or right that answers "How" we can do better will be put into the White House and the Congress in 2008 in a Landslide.

As an American who has lived through almost as many National Election cycles as Lysis :-) I have observed a real "What have you done for me lately?" voting trend.

Why did Nixon win a second term? In my view it was "progress" in Vietnam.

So what I am suggesting is the what happens in the war is very political. And judging from the majority of National Elections that I have lived through if the "Progressives" actually come up with something pragmatically progressive to have us "do better" they will win, hands down.

The "hate Bush" strategy won't work in the end. Americans who vote are very pragmatic. (Why Clinton got a second term, Economic Boom)

That is why Anonymous, I really don't give a rip about the who did what and the he said, she said. Who lied and who didn't.

What most voting Americans who don't drink Kool-Aid (which is the majority)is the "How" to do better.

DannyBoy is right. I will not blindly follow your venomon towards Bush, just like I will not blindly cheer for everything Bush does.

So present Ideas on both sides, that is where the "truth" lies.

In reality, we are all relative absolutists.

What we believe is absolute, and what the other person belives is relative.

Oh I listened to Bush's speech today, no timeline, so much for the source.

Anonymous said...

Danny Boy, I appreciate your post but I think you underestimate just how pervasive the campaign is against anyone who criticizes the current state of affairs in Iraq. You need only look at the litany of "un-American," "Opportunist," "Power Hungry," "Freedom Hating," "Cowardice," venomous names that have been hurled by Lysis and others at me in this blog. Because of my words I have been accused here, among other things, of wanting to "destroy America!," "boot licking Saddam," "keep the Nazi's in power!," "lose the war deliberately," "with my words alone aiding the terrorists who fight against the U.S. more than anyone who donates money to buy bombs for suicide bombers!!" I am sorry Danny Boy, but this is not the free climate where "any major political leader were to come out with a viable, reasonable, thought out plan, it would, in all liklihood, be discussed and perhaps integrated into the current ideas," as you say. It is instead a very hostile environment where anyone who speaks their mind freely risks being labelled a coward and written off for helping the terrorists; this even goes for those who have spent their whole lives fighting for this country and who gave so much even of their own bodies!

I do not identify myself in these posts for good and considered reason.

I appreciate your candor and daring in wanting to explore new ideas now. I am trying to convince others that this is in fact, what we should have been doing from the very beginning. It is a sad thing that so many are only now beginning to awaken to the possibility of another course.

My constant criticism of Bush's lying ways are also made for good reason that relate directly to the discussion you invite us to have: we cannot trust Bush to be honest with us on how to proceed. He is interested only in staying the course of his failed personal policy. If we are going to talk about how to move forward we have to be completely honest and we have to be able to trust those who will implement our decisions to work with dilligence and competence. Bush has done everything in his conduct to Iraq so far to be the archtype of one who should not be charged with this duty.

Alas, and it pains me and everyone else who lives at his mercy in Iraq so, there may be no other alternative but the incompetent nincompoop for some time. I am forced to agree with you Danny Boy, working with this administration should not, for necessity sake, be discounted from how to begin to make things better. I have said that all options should be on the table and this should be too. It is, barring some miraculous happening, likely to be the only option we do have. So I then plead with you, DEMAND BETTER. If you agree things can be better then lets demand better of the ones who are spectacularly failing us and the Iraqi civilians.

We can do better, and we should have better, lets demand it!

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic, this is the first of approximately four Potemkin addresses Bush is giving to lay out his "plan" for Iraq. He is giving more this week and he will be adding to what he said today then. Give the source time. If the instant poll numbers come in tonight showing no change in public opinion Bush will need a bit more time to work and knead the vagueries "troops come home when Iraqi Army is ready" into a more definite date. You did hear him say troops can probably start coming back hom in 2006 right? Watch that probably start to change to a definitely very soon.

Dan Simpson said...

Anonymous, you have made no change. Your words are the same. Please, as you entreat Lysis to, listen to the exact point of my post.

Calls to DEMAND BETTER, and DO BETTER, do nothing. They are completely useless. They are without merit and may even be harmful, if they are not accompanied by WAYS that we can do better.

As has been mentioned anyone can point at a problem.

You claim there is a big bully that is keeping people from discussing the problem, I agree, but it isn't the one you are talking about.

Truly helpful discussion is blasted because it is not wholely critical of current practice.

You have recieved much criticism and attack in this blog, it is true, but lets examine why.

You have, from the beginning (at least of this post), reiterated the same argument over and over. You claim that you are trying to question, and are being oppressed by the 'man' i.e. Lysis, Bush, the administration, etc. and that this can only end if we DEMAND BETTER, and begin to question, and call for change.

Let me tell you what I believe is the fundamental flaw in this. You are not being silenced. I know this may take a little fire out of you bluster, but you are allowed (and on this blog encouraged) to say whatever.

What bothers some of us (aside from those who just flat disagree with your position on Bush etc.) is that you do not seem to be listening to the responses we give.

You call on us to do something. I accept the call, I do not think that apathy is the road to success, any situation can be improved by focusing on what is delinquent and then trying to correct it.

The problem is that that is the only thing you see, you then say, thanks for agreeing, and ignore the rest of our responses.

You must have an alternative, or your cry for change is meritless. Please discontinue your cry of DEMANDING, and WE CAN DO BETTER. Of course you have the right to say it, I would never try to stifle that, but it is getting really old. By all means if you have something new to contribute, an idea, a plan, even a couple of opinions on how something can be improved, please share them.

That would be useful dialogue.

Anonymous said...

Oh Danny Boy, come back, come back to me. We are so close and the summer is nearly over.

I have consistently said that it will be the dialogue that is useful. It is the process of freely examining how we can make the situation better that will let us do better. And since I have been making the same claim over and over it is good remember that I have consistently called that we take part in that together, all of us. The founder of this conversation still stonewalls and goes to insane extreme of denying that anything, ANYTHING can be better. What kind of a constructive discussion do I have with people like that? The one we are having now. This conversation where I try to get them to admit their failings, if their ego will allow it, so we can work on making them better.

Also, it is not my call that we should do better that has put me at the center of this uproar, it is my attack of Bush and the religon of Bushism.

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic.

Dialog has not changed. Hate of Bush has not changed. No new Ideas. Nothing constructive.

No credibility.

Anonymous said...

On the contrary, you are thinking! And you have already accepted, even for only the sake of argument, that things could be better! It's a start.

Dan Simpson said...

Please do not assume that it is your work that has made me, or others accept that things could be better.

I, and I am sure the rest, knew that before you began. That is not a victory, because you acheived nothing.

I do not believe, though if you can find it, please quote him, that Lysis has EVER claimed that NOTHING could be better in Iraq. If he believes that than we would be in disagreement.

What he has been consistently disagreeing with you about are your attacks on Bush, and your claims of lies, death squads, et. al.

Saying that YOUR claims aren't true is not the same as making the claim that nothing could be better.

Again, do not call me to your cause, because you have none. If you had a cause you would have a plan. If you had ideas for bettering the situation, I would discuss them and decide whether or not I agreed.

You have no ideas, discussion is not an idea for change, it is a tool used in the process of change.

If you have no ideas, if you have no suggestions, if you have nothing but criticism, you have nothing to offer.

You will never change anything for the better with only criticism.

You say, "It is the process of freely examining how we can make the situation better that will let us do better."

This is a true statement, much like, applying direct pressure will help stop heavy bleeding.

The problem is that you are looking at a wound and continuing to exclaim, everyone, together our application of direct pressure can staunch this wound.

What you need to do now is actually get involved in the activity. Start discussing how we can improve things, you have yet to do that.

Realizing that someone is bleeding is a start, you are right, but you need to start applying some pressure here.

Offer an idea

Anonymous said...

Vegimatic Here

Anonymous, you could do better. In fact we deserve better. I think you are lying! Yes, you are lying. In fact we should start "anonymous hating" Because everything you do is wrong. I would quote you the facts, but we have already done that.

WE DESERVE BETTER!!!!!

How could you do better? We have suggested over and over. Please read our posts three times and take notes! You are not reading what we are writing.

For the sake of argument is just that. You have only won me over that you are not thinking and have no credibility. Just through observation I see the independence in the thinking and analysis of the "Lysis group".

You need to learn to think. Good luck and God Bless you. Oh sorry that was not polically correct. But I don't drink that color of Kool-aid, so I don't care.

Anonymous,YOU are engaging in mental masturbation. Please, by all means, enjoy yourself.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous the other posts:
"It(the Agora) is instead a very hostile environment where anyone who speaks their mind freely risks being labled a coward and written off for helping the terrorists; this even goes for those who have spent their whole lives fighting for this country and who gave so much even of their own bodies!"

In Cobra country a mongoose was born who didn't want to fight cobras or anything else. The word spread from mongoose to mongoose that there was a mongoose who didn't want to fight cobras. If he didn't want to fight anything else, it was his own business, but it was the DUTY of every mongooose to kill cobras or be killed by cobras.
"Why?" asked the peacelike mongoose, and the word went around that the strange new mongoose was not only pro-cobra and anti-mongoose but intellectually curious and against the IDEALS and TRADITIONS of mongooosism.
"He is crazy," cried the young mongoose's father.
"He is sick," said his mother.
"HE IS A COWARD," shouted his brothers.
"He is a mongoosexual," whispered his sisters.
Strangers who had never laid eyes on the peacelike mongoose remembered that they had seen him crawling on his stomach, or trying on cobra hoods, or plotting the violent overthrow of Mongoosia.
"I AM TRYING TO USE REASON AND INTELLIGENCE," said the strange new mongoose.
"Reason is sex-sevenths of treason," said one of his neighbors.
"Intelligence is what the ENEMY uses," said another.
Finally, the rumor spread that the mongoose had venom in his sting, like a cobra, and he was tried, convicted by a show of paws, and condemned to banishment.

MORAL: Ashes to ashes, and clay to clay, if the enemy doesn't get you your own folks may.
-Courtesy of James Thurber

Anon:
When posting at the Agora, take note.

Dan Posts:

Anonymous,"Show us a new road, or at least talk about ideas for a new road."

First things first Dan.
FIRST get out of the car that you've driven into the ditch. SECOND Check to make sure that you're still OK. THIRD Stick out your thumb and hope to hell someone will come along to HELP get you out of the predicament you've made for yourself -- No, your thumb not your middle finger!!!!
OR
Spend a few more months/years in the ditch crying "Show me a better road."

Dan Simpson said...

But the problem is you are sitting in the car saying, "this car is in a ditch, can't everyone see this car is in a ditch, why won't you admit this car is in a ditch, I need everyone to come together and say it with me this car is in a ditch, why won't you believe this car is in a ditch."

I say, get out of the freaking ditch already. You don't need others to agree you are in a ditch. Get off your butt and get out of the freaking ditch.

Lysis said...

Banished from Mongoosia for pro Cobra leanings; our hero began his lonely journey into exile. Suddenly he heard a rustle in the grass. There, rising before him, was a real live cobra; as beautiful as he always knew it would be! He waved at the cobra. “Hello my friend”, he cried. “I have long told the world how beautiful you are and how you are no threat to our kind.” The Cobra smiled a friendly cobra smile, bit the pacigoose (that’s pacifist mongoose for those of you in Rio Linda) on the head and swallowed him down tail first. Mmmmmm, though the cobra, I wonder if there are anymore of these tasty fools around?

Rumpole said...

Anonymous (the one I need to apologize to, not the other one),

Sorry about the unfounded accusation on the draft statistics. The problem is that I’ll probably do it again at some point. You DO all look alike. And based on the number of Anonymous comments, there seem to be so many of you!

Also, congratulations to CNN for doing its job. I admit I am genuinely surprised!

I do think, however, the President again demonstrated he doesn’t listen to polls. In the words of Dingy Harry (there you go, another Rush reference) the President “recycled his tired rhetoric of ‘stay the course’ . . .” Verus, if you want a REAL EXAMPLE of a “MORMON KOOL-AID DRINKER” look no further than to Harry Reid.

Anonymous, your comment to DannyBoy is telling. “I appreciate your candor and daring in wanting to explore new ideas now. I am trying to convince others that this in fact, (is) what we should have been doing from the very beginning.”

Apparently, then, it is not a matter of a better way now? It was a flawed premise from the beginning? Anonymous, if I may, QUIT PLAYING THE MIND GAMES. They are beneath you!

I am completely aware of all the information you have posted. PLEASE, DON’T POST IT AGAIN. That being said, it appears to me that you do not understand this enemy!

Here, for sake of argument (that is for you, vegimatic), I’ll go up against that big bully Lysis and toss out an alternative course. How about Diplomacy? We should have sat right down and talked! Sure, that would have worked. Sadaam, Osama, Yasser, all those guys are reasonable! Certainly they would have listened!

You are correct. That was SARCASM! I was DISINGENUOS when I offered an alternative. I didn’t really mean it!

You do not understand this enemy. You do not understand the stakes. The enemy we are fighting is fundamentally different than any enemy we have faced before. He would just as soon shoot you as look at you! To him you are an infidel! He gains his glory by killing both you and himself! To this enemy diplomacy (capitulation) is weakness! Ask the Spaniards. Ask the French!


The smartest thing President Bush did was to take the fight to the terrorists. I realize the next step here would be to post all the information that attempts to demonstrate no connection between Iraq and Al-Quaida. Then my response would be that all that evidence also suggests Iraq became the “magnet”. I hope we can avoid all of that, because in the end we will both end up in the same place we are. What I suggest here only is to understand this enemy.

That is, in part, the basis for which I find my contention that the War in Iraq as strategically prudent. Prudent enough to sacrifice the lives of America’s Best. My sincere gratitude goes to all those who have died in America’s service.

Anonymous, put away the childish games. You have taken baby steps! You have stated a position! Now how about a solution!

Lysis said...

ALTERNITEVE ENDING TO MONGOOSE STORY: especially for the Anonymous who is not the other Anonymous.

The beautiful cobra struck, instinctively the mongoose jumped aside. The cobra struck again and again, the mongoose was growing weary. A life of ease, provided by his fellows sacrifice, had left him weak and he was getting fagged out. He could not last. At that moment, an American Marine stepped out of the bushes and smashed the cobra on the head. He cradled the little mongoose in his arms and took him back to the Marine boot camp; were our little hero made up for lost time and set out to make the world a safer place for all his fellows.

Anonymous said...

"You are correct. That was SARCASM! I was DISINGENUOS when I offered an alternative."

*Sigh* So much trouble still ahead Candide.

Lysis said...

Here are some points from President Bush’s speech today. If you really want to know the truth about how the war is going, if you are really interested in a plan for moving forward, please read or listen to this speech. If you choose not to, you not only have your head in the sand – you do not really want to know the solutions all here have claimed to be seeking. If you say “same old same old,” and are among those who say there is no plan – then you are not being honest.

Here is President Bush’s presentation of his overall strategy and twenty key ideas from this great speech.

ON THE OVER ALL STRATIGY:

“Our strategy in Iraq has three elements.

1. “On the political side, we know that free societies are peaceful societies, so we’re helping the Iraqis build a free society with inclusive democratic institutions that will protect the interest of all Iraqis.”

2. “On the security side, coalition and Iraqi security forces are on the offensive against the enemy, cleaning out areas controlled by the terrorists and Saddam loyalists, leaving Iraqi forces to hold territory taken from the enemy, and following up with targeted reconstruction to help Iraqis rebuild their lives.”

3. And on the economic side, we’re helping the Iraqis rebuild their infrastructure, reform their economy, and build the prosperity that will give all Iraqis a stake in a free and peaceful Iraq.”

PRESIDENT BUSH THEN SPEAKS SPECIFICALLY TO THE TRAINING OF IRAQI SECURITY FORCES AND THE EFFECT OF THIS TRAINING:

1. “Iraqi forces are earning the trust of their country men – who are willing to help them in the fight against the enemy. “

2. “And as the Iraqi forces grow more capable, they are increasingly taking the lead in the fight against the terrorists.”

3. “Iraqi forces have made real progress. At this time last year, there were only a handful of Iraqi battalions ready for combat. Now, there are over 120 Iraqi Army and police combat battalions in the fight against the terrorists. . . . Of these, about 80 Iraqi battalions are fighting side-by-side with coalition forces, and about 40 others are taking the lead in the fight.”

4. “The progress of the Iraqi forces is especially clear when the recent anti-terrorist operations in Tal Afar are compared with last year’s assault in Fallujah. In Fallujah, the assault was led by nine coalition battalions made up primarily of United States Marine and Army – with six Iraqi battalions supporting them. . . This year in Tal Afar, it was a very different story. The assault was primarily led by Iraqi security forces – 11 Iraqi battalions, backed by five coalition battalions providing support. Many Iraqi units conducted their own anti-terrorist operations and controlled their own battle space – hunting for enemy fighters and securing neighborhoods block-by-block.”

5. “At this moment, over 30 Iraqi Army battalions have assumed primary control of their own areas of responsibility. In Baghdad, Iraqi battalions have taken over major sectors of the capital – including some of the city’s toughest neighborhoods.”

6. “Our coalition has handed over roughly 90 square miles of the Baghdad province to Iraqi security forces. . . We’re also transferring forward operations to Iraqi control. Over a dozen bases in Iraq have been handed over to the Iraqi government . . .”

7. “Progress by the Iraqi security forces has come, in part, because we learned from our earlier experiences and made changes in the way we help train Iraqi troops.”

a. “All Iraqi Army recruits receive about the same length of basic training as new recruits in the U.S. Army . . .”

b. “Iraq has now six basic police academies, and one in Jordan, that together produce over 3,500 new police officers every ten weeks . . . getting live-fire training with the AK 47s.”

8. “When the training effort began, nearly all the trainers came from coalition countries. Today, the vast majority of Iraqi police and army recruits are being taught by Iraqi instructors.”

9. “More than 60 influential Sunni clerics issued a fatwa calling on young Sunnis to join the Iraqi security forces, “for the sake of preserving the souls, property, and honor” of the Iraqi people.”

10. “. . . a national depot has been established north of Baghdad. . . Iraqis now have a small Air Force, that recently conducted its first combat airlift operations. . .The new Iraqi Navy is now helping protect the vital ports of Basra and Umm Qasr. And Iraqi military intelligence school has been established to produce skilled Iraqi intelligence analysts and collectors.”

11. “Iraqi soldiers take pride in their progress. An Iraqi first lieutenant named Shoqutt describe the transformation of his unit this way. “I really thing we’ve turned the corner here. At first, the whole country didn’t take us seriously. Now things are different.””

12. “General Marty Dempsy is the commander of the Multination Security Transition Command. Here’s what he says about the transformation of the Iraqi security forces: “it’s beyond description. They are far better equipped, far better trained” than they once were.”

13. “As the Iraqi security forces stand up, the confidence of the Iraqi people is growing – and Iraqis are providing the vital intelligence needed to track down the terrorists. And as the Iraqi security forces stand up, coalition forces can stand down . . .”

14. “WE WILL STAY AS LONG AS NECESSARY TO COMPLETE THE MISSION. IF OUR MILITARY LEADERS TELL ME WE NEED MORE TROOPS, I WILL SEND THEM.”

15. “As the Iraqi forces gain experience and the political process advances, we will be able to decrease our troop levels in Iraq without losing our capability to defeat the terrorists”.

16. “Many advocating an artificial timetable for withdrawing our troops are sincere – but I believe they’re sincerely wrong. Pulling our troops out before they’ve achieved their purpose is not a plan for victory. . . And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists’ tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder – and invite new attacks on America. . . I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your Commander-in-Chief.”

17. “Iraqis have gone from living under the boot of a brutal tyrant, to liberation, free elections, and a democratic constitution – and in 15 days they will go to the polls to elect a fully constitutional government that will lead them for the next four years.”

18. “Our strategy in Iraq is clear, our tactics are flexible and dynamic; we have changed them as conditions required and they are bringing us victory against the brutal enemy.”

19. “VICTORY WILL COME WHEN THE TERRORISTS AND SADDAMISTS CAN NO LONGER THREATEN IRAQ’S DEMOCRACY, WHEN THE IRAQI SECURITY FORCES CAN PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY OF THEIR OWN CITIZENS, AND WHEN IRAQ IS NOT A SAFE HAVEN FOR TERRORISTS TO PLOT NEW ATTACKS ON OUR NATION.”

20. “Freedom’s victory in that country will inspire democratic reformers from Damascus to Tehran, and spread hope across a troubled region, and lift a terrible threat from the lives of our citizens.”



I will end as President Bush did; with a story of great power and beauty. Share it with all who will listen.

“One of those fallen heroes is a Marine Corporal named Jeff Starr, who was killed fighting the terrorists in Ramadi earlier this year. After he died, a letter was found on his laptop computer. Here’s what he wrote, he said. “If you’re reading this, then I’ve died in Iraq. I don’t regret going. Everybody dies, but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq. It’s not to me. I’m here helping these people, so they can live the way we live. Not [to] have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.”

Anonymous said...

Some help over here? Please, the car is stuck in the ditch. I think together we can push it out. Anyone? No?

Anonymous I love your posts! They are always entertaining, creative, and above all illuminating! Did everyone read the post on Lysis' secret wish to lock up war critics in the bellies of rusty, leaking ships at sea?

Rumpole, open your mind. The world is full of millions of colors to paint a picture why must you cast in the black and white of running or staying, being with us or against us? Even Bush recognized the follies of that line of reasoning, and that is saying something about your reasoning!

Since you have decided to abandon the facts altogether Lysis - it fits your speeking style so much better - and speek in platitudes alone perhaps you would like to rename the blog to attract short fiction fans. I suppose since what is at the very heart of this blog topic is what the President said you could argue that you have already done that.

For example, your bolded point #19 from Bush's Potemkin Address:

“VICTORY WILL COME WHEN THE TERRORISTS AND SADDAMISTS CAN NO LONGER THREATEN IRAQ’S DEMOCRACY, WHEN THE IRAQI SECURITY FORCES CAN PROVIDE FOR THE SAFETY OF THEIR OWN CITIZENS, AND WHEN IRAQ IS NOT A SAFE HAVEN FOR TERRORISTS TO PLOT NEW ATTACKS ON OUR NATION.”

What was the last attack that terrorists from Iraq carried out on the U.S.? And if we are so concerned about stopping terrorists anywhere from plotting attacks on the U.S. why do we continue to let the perpetrators of the greatest terrorist attacks in our history plot, disperse money, and spew propaganda from Wazirastan? Huff and puff but you cannot blow the truth down. This President is battling terror that threatens the U.S. in Iraq as much as Syria threatens U.S. stability, the next item on his shopping list. Truthfully, I think Syria did present more of a threat than Iraq. At least they DO have WMD's.

Here are just quick few highlits of my own from the address today, for those that will listen of course:

"In the Cold War, freedom defeated the ideology of communism and led to a democratic movement that freed the nations of Eastern and Central Europe from Soviet domination. And today these nations are allies in the war on terror." - We fought the cold war so that the Ukraine and Georgia could live for the next fifteen years under brutal dictatorships!? So that Turkmenistan could revert to crushing Stalinism and Kyrgystan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan could retain their WMD's under totalinarianism with impunity!? Why are we in Iraq again!!? Well, at least we know what Bush's idea of victory over an evil ideology is.


"Some critics dismiss this progress and point to the fact that only one Iraqi battalion has achieved complete independence from the coalition. To achieve complete independence, an Iraqi battalion must do more than fight the enemy on its own. It must also have the ability to provide its own support elements, including logistics, airlift, intelligence, and command and control through their ministries. . . . As a matter of fact, there are some battalions from NATO militaries that would not be able to meet this standard." - Yeah, but just one? Gen. George Casey, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, told Congress a month and a half ago that represents about 700 men! Two years, thousands dead, ghastly amounts of money spent and just men have been trained and are capable of fighting! Republican Senator Susan Collins of the Armed Services committee said it best: "It doesn't feel like progress when we hear today that there is only one Iraqi battalion [700 people] fully capable."


"Last year, the area around Baghdad's Haifa Street was so thick with terrorists it had earned the nickname Purple Heart Boulevard. Then Iraqi forces took responsibility for this dangerous neighborhood, and attacks are now down." - Was it the U.S. presence on that street that was the cause for those attacks? It sounds like Bush is trying to say the U.S. presence is creating insurgent attacks.


"With coalition help, Iraqis have established schools for their Iraqi military services: an Iraqi military academy, a noncommissioned officer academy, a military police school, a bomb disposal school," - training in how to hide secret prisons beneath schools, and schooling in the very latest JOD approved torturous interrogation techniques from DICK cheney himself.


As well, President Bush's mvoing story about Jessica Lynch was very inspiring. Thank you for recalling it for us.


I would end with a message of hope but you know what it is I want to say by now. When will you accept it?

Lysis said...

To another new Anonymous:

Successes of the “Cold War”; a short list:
1. Unified, free, Germany
2. Freedom for Poland
3. Freedom for the Czech Republic
4. Freedom for Slovakia
5. Freedom for Hungry
6. Freedom for Bulgaria
7. Freedom for Romania
8. Freedom for South Korea
9. Independence and freedom for Latvia
10. Independence and freedom for Estonia
11. Independence and freedom for Lithuania
12. Independence for and freedom in most of the rest of the Soviet Republics, including some improvement even in Russia. You claim brutal dictator ships in Ukraine and Georgia. First give us some statistic. Don’t brush me off on this – I really would like to know. And then, please compare them to what was going on under Communism!
13. The closing of the Gulags.
14. Reduction of the threat of global thermal nuclear war.
15. Increased trade with a vibrant and economically expanding New Europe.
16. Democracies, with one exception, from pole to pole in the Western Hemisphere.

Failures in the Cold war:

1. Vietnam remains in slavery and poverty, full of torture prisons and devoid of human and civil rights. (Point: this is the last time we ran away from a people fighting for their freedom and begging for and deserving of our help)

2. Yugoslavia – But now US troops keep the peace their and are giving freedom a chance. We will see a better life for that people after millennia of horror, nothing more horrible than the years under Clinton when the US stood by and watched from the edges. (Note when Clinton finally sent aid to Yugoslavia, it was the conservatives in congress and the nation that supported him)

3. North Korea – the wonders of Communism embodied. There our lack of resolve to liberate a people places millions in starvation, slavery, and death and set a ticking time bomb of disaster yet to come. Perhaps we could have done no better for Korea, but we can do better for Iraq and all that part of the world, if we will stay the course.

4. Cuba – Poverty, complete lack of civil rights, prisons full of political prisoners, Oh yea, and lots of enthusiastic visiting American neo-Libs.

I would go on – but I really don’t have the time to deal with such foolish arguments. Any thoughtful reader can fill in the blanks. Ask the peoples liberated from Communism if they would go back! They are as determined as the people of Iraq to move forward in the face of all obstacles to have the life “we have.” You are so desperate for defeat you would go back and undo the down fall of Communism just so you could have more reasons for American failure. These silly statements, nostalgic for Stalin, are just like the rest of your thoughts – two dement ional and gleaned from some anti-Bush, web site.

The #19 was a quote from President Bush, not, I am sorry to say, from me. Your dismissive attitude is proof of you closed mind and predetermined stance. You are determined to accept nothing but defeat. Your attitude is the very one THIS POST set out to reveal. Thank you for so brilliantly demonstrating the “destroy American, Iraq, even freedom, if it gets my party power “mind” set.

Dan Simpson said...

Anonymous, this is your most telling post to date.

You stand for the premise that the world is not better with the Soviet Union and the Iron Block countries free.

Now, of course you can make a list of countries that have severe problems, I'll give you that. You have to remember we are talking about places where there was no freedom, well, ever. To look at it now and say, 'see, democracy doesn't work there, they aren't better off.'

How about a different list. East Germany, Romania, Poland, Bulgaria, The Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Or better yet, how about Hungary who has wanted freedom since the end of WWII. Who begged the U.S. to help and was told to revolt by Eisenhower, then trampled under by the Soveit tanks. I am pretty sure that they would tell you they are better off.

Did you even see the wall coming down in Berlin? Can you really question that change and whether or not it is for the better?

I wonder if you are able to admit that you were wrong. You have long claimed that the people of Iraq do not want us there. If 60 prominent clerics have called on Sunnis to support the new Iraqi government and join the security forces, what does that tell you?

You say that the terrorists in Iraq are not terrorists that have attacked us, but wait, aren't you one of the people who claims that we have created a magnet for terrorists all over the world to go to Iraq? So, we are fighting terrorists from across the globe. And correct me if I am wrong, but Al-Zarqawi (sp) is Jordanian, and a member of Al-Qaeda.

I have a challenge for you Anonymous. I have listed at least two things that I think could have gone, or could currently be going better in Iraq.

You want us to come together and come up with a better plan for the future, but can you come up with even one thing in Iraq that you think is good, or has gone well? Or are you so blinded with hating Bush, that you cannot see anything good in the current Iraq situation.

Anonymous said...

Lysis, I am sorry you did not catch the meaning of the deeper examination of Bush's Potemkin address. It was that his picture painting of the outcome of the cold war - just like picture painting of the war in Iraq - was not completely honest. Democracy did not prevail in every post Soviet Republic, or have you forgotten the ethnic cleansing and concentration camps of Bonsia already? A large number of post Soviet Republics are still waiting for democracy sixteen years after the end of Cold War. Bush gave one of them a huge money recently so that we could build a military base there. The corrupt leaders of Uzbekistan used those U.S. dollars to buy arms for their secret police which they used to massacre hundreds of innocent citizens wanting real freedom this last May. These are the very states that claims have thrown off their Soviet oppressors to fight for freedom in the coalition of the willing. His statement was dishonest or at least misleading. Your devotion to Bushism does not allow you to see that but to instead immediately strike out at anyone trying to speak the truth.

Their are other countries still suffering, not all of them, but the history is more complex than just a complete and shining victory. Ask the people of Azerbaijan who just finished last week what the international monitors labeled a "sham election." That doesn't stop the Bush administration from dealing with their government. They have oil and gas to sell and in February of this year signed a mulibillion dollar deal with the Unocal consortium to provide it. What will U.S. dollars buy for the "free" citizens this time? Look into why the "Rose Revolution" was necessary in Tblisi. It was to remove the same dictators from power that had continued to rule right through the end of the Cold War. Examine the total control government of Turmenistan where the entire economy is basically the wallet of the President Nyazov. (Note to Lysis, the title of "President" does not mean he leads a democracy.) Our President was not completely honest when he intoned that all of the former republics, including the ones that were part of the "Coalition of the Willing," were free and fighting for freedom. He has a hard time ever being completely honest.

You are the history teacher Lysis. Why don't you know this?

How does your response to my criticism of your point #19 change my point in any way? No terrorists in Iraq have ever attacked the U.S. and never posed a threat to U.S. stability. Further, I never attributed the quote to you. Only Bush could say something so stupid.

Continue your name calling Lysis. Keep harping that criticism is equal to desire for the destruction of America. People are starting to see through you...

By the way, what has happened to your bravado? Touche! Ball in your court! Shall we finish the match! Has the wind been knocked from your sails? Try bellowing some of that hot, foul air you good at. It seems to be all you have left.

Anonymous said...

Danny Boy you make an excellent point. We should start offering sollutions and having this discussion. Will you join me in calling on Lysis to make the next blog "What we can do better in Iraq?"

And do please read my post carefully, it is nuanced and set in the absolutes of the prayer chants of the Bushism. The victory of the cold war has brought greater hope to most who were living under the Soviet Union. But the victory of the Cold War was not complete and many were actually left out of it completely. It was a great fight that we left unfinished. And apparently, Bush has nothing but praise for the situation as we see in his setting some of those despots on a pedastal in Potemkin Address of yesterday.

In the meantime, did anyone see these stories call into question again this President's dedication to freedom.

"U.S. Covertly Pays to Run Stories in Iraqi Press"
(By Mark Mazzetti and Borzou Daragahi, Washington, Nov. 29) "The military's effort to disseminate propaganda in the Iraqi media is taking place even as U.S. officials are pledging to promote democratic principles, political transparency and freedom of speech in a country emerging from decades of dictatorship and corruption.

It comes as the State Department is training Iraqi reporters in basic journalism skills and Western media ethics, including one workshop titled 'The Role of Press in a Democratic Society.'"

I'm having a hard time deciding if this more "1984"ish or just what Bushism really thinks that is the stuff that "freedom" is made of. Government control of media, these are the things we came to Iraq to stop right. See Lysis' original post - number 7 among others - if you doubt it. Does anyone wonder the Bushism devotees could be doing this kind of thing in America? Oh wait! Remember this?

"The Bush administration has come under criticism for distributing video and news stories in the United States without identifying the federal government as their source and for paying American journalists to promote administration policies, practices the Government Accountability Office has labeled 'covert propaganda.'" (Darn that GAO right Lysis!)

"U.S. law forbids the military from carrying out psychological operations or planting propaganda through American media outlets. Yet SEVERAL OFFICIALS SAID that given the globalization of media driven by the Internet and the 24-hour news cycle, the PENTAGON'S EFFORTS WERE CARRIED OUT WITH THE KNOWLEDGE THAT COVERAGE IN THE FOREIGN PRESS INEVITABLY BLEEDS INTO WESTERN MEDIA AND INFLUENCES COVERAGE IN U.S. NEWS OUTLETS." You are being lied to.

And I have been waiting for this story to show up int the U.S. Press for a while now. Maybe some of you are aware of it already.

Newsweek, Dec. 1: "The Case of the Secret Memo"
"The White House denies plans to bomb Al-Jazeera [headquarters in Qatar]. But a warning sent out to British newspaper editors has given the controversy a fresh twist."

"The document allegedly recounts a threat last year by Bush to bomb the head office of the Arabic TV news channel Al-Jazeera. . . . U.K. authorities consider the memo, described as minutes or a transcript of an April 16, 2004, White House meeting between Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, so diplomatically sensitive that Blair’s attorney general last week warned U.K. media by e-mail that they could face prosecution under the country's draconian Official Secrets Act if they reported on its contents. . . . Bush administration officials initially dismissed the memo’s allegations about Bush’s threat against Al-Jazeera as “outlandish.” U.S. officials later suggested that if Bush did talk with Blair about bombing Al-Jazeera, the president was only joking. Asked directly today about Bush's purported threat to bomb Al-Jazeera, White House press secretary Scott McClellan said: "Any such notion that we would engage in that kind of activity is just absurd." McLellan did not respond to follow-up questions as to whether Bush actually said what the memo says he did.
But a senior official at 10 Downing Street, Blair’s official residence, who insisted on anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject, recently seemed to give credence to the Al-Jazeera threat. The official told NEWSWEEK London Bureau chief Stryker McGuire: 'I don't think Tony Blair thought it was a joke.'"

WHAT IS GOING ON!?

Remember the charges Saddam faces for using white phosphorous on Kurdish rebels and our troops using them on Iraqi ones. Now this!

Bushism keeps taking us closer to what we hate. Leave it behind before it destroys us all!! Can't we do better!?

Anonymous said...

A correction to the second paragraph of my last post: "It is nuanced and NOT set in the absolutes of the Bushist thugs."

Lysis said...

Anonymous, having been presented with Lieberman’s and Bush’s plans for victory, the much for called for “Plan of Action” you want to go back to playing games? You know you are getting almost as good at declaring victory as you are at crying defeat.

I must admit; I thought you had left the field. Thanks for putting on your “uniform”. Now that you have, notice that both I and Dannyboy just hit homeruns over your, “I wish we’d have lost the cold war” pitch.

As you have demonstrated, it is only in the fantasy games of the Democrats were wars can be fought without cost. It is only in the “let’s pretend conflicts” of university class rooms and neo-Lib think tanks where every thing works out according to one’s one sided plan. In the real world, real heroes, meet with the turning and twisting of fortune, the challenges of the field, and stay the course to victory.

As for our “game”: Lieberman, Bush, and I have just thrown three fair pitches right over the plate; since you didn’t take a swing I guess you’re out. Stick to cheer leading Anonymous. Your “squad” is much better at yelling than at hitting the ball.

Anonymous said...

I am still enjoying the debate Lysis. I take GREAT pleasure in taking issue with almost everything you say - like your completely unfounded and wrong accusation that I am gleaning anything from an anti-Bush web site. This pleasure is not only because the things you say are SO wrong and devoid of reality but because the stubborn people of the world are so much fun to poke and prod.

One thing I thought would be a fun digression for the Agora, since you seem to be drifting, would be a closer examination of your characterization of NATO's involvement in Yugoslavia. You say, "[N]ow US troops keep the peace their and are giving freedom a chance. . . nothing more horrible than the years under Clinton when the US stood by and watched from the edges. (Note when Clinton finally sent aid to Yugoslavia, it was the conservatives in congress and the nation that supported him.) Is that true? Well, here, courtesey of CNN, is a triple blast from the past! Two articles (1999, 1995) and a poll from 1999. Archives elsewhere would give me the same information but it was easiest to use CNN.

I know it is very long post, I'm sorry, but I think it is always fun to go back and read news from the past. It's like being in history class - you can identify with that!



"SENATE (Republican controlled then too) LIKELY TO TABLE KOSOVO RESOLUTION"

May 3, 1999
Web posted at: 7:05 p.m. EDT (2305 GMT)

WASHINGTON -- Instead of debating a resolution that would give President Bill Clinton congressional authorization to use all means necessary to win the current battle in Yugoslavia, the Senate spent Monday debating a move. . . to table, and effectively kill, the measure.

The resolution's chief sponsor, Sen. John McCain, openly complained Monday about the parliamentary manuever to table the motion. "Apparently, the hard facts of war need not inconvenience the Senate at this time. And the solemn duties that war imposes on us can be postponed indefinitely," the Arizona Republican said with sarcasm.

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Mississippi) said Sunday that he would try to put off the resolution for a "week or 10 days," saying "the timing is not exactly right" for what could become a bitter debate about the Clinton Administration's Kosovo policy.

A full Senate vote on the move to table the resolution was pushed back to Tuesday morning to allow more senators the opportunity to speak on the issue. "You cannot cut senators off who are asking to speak on matters of this magnitude," Lott said.

McCain, a candidate for the 2000 GOP presidential nomination (Oh the promise of what could have been...), was one of the earliest voices to say that the U.S. must win this military action.

His proposal would have authorized the president "to use all necessary force and other means, in concert with United States allies, to accomplish United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization objectives."

The administration did not request this authorization from Congress, and with the support of Lott to table was sure to succeed.

But what Monday's speeches showed was that while a majority of senators do not wish to debate the issue at this time, their reasons are varied.

With U.S. forces already involved in NATO airstrikes on Serbian targets in Yugoslavia and Kosovo, many Republicans have grudgingly given their support to the Clinton Administration. But some senators still oppose the action and want the U.S. to withdraw from the conflict in Yugoslavia. Others are against the introduction of ground forces.

"It has yet to be adequately demonstrated to Congress or the American people that it is our vital national interests that has drawn us into this conflict. In fact, I would say, we have stumbled into this conflict, we have slipped into this war," said Sen. Tim Hutchinson (R-Arkansas).

The only senator of Serb descent, George Voinovich (R-Ohio), was even more critical of the mission.
"The time has come, Mr. President, where NATO needs to get off its high horse, restrain its ego and instead of trying to save face over a major foreign policy blunder, start thinking about saving lives," Voinovich said. "It is time to stop the bombing and put everyone's effort into finding a diplomatic solution that will quickly result in removal of ... Serbian troops in Kosovo."

Some senators from both sides of the political aisle worry that McCain's resolution is too broad.

Sen. Robert Byrd (D-West Virginia) warned: "With this language the Senate is effectively bowing out of the Kosovo debate and ceding all authority to the executive branch."

Several senators argued the move is premature. And still others complained that Clinton played the polls when he ruled out ground troops in the first place and are unwilling to back this president on anything.

"Some of us in Congress are so distrustful of the president that we feel obliged to damage the office in order to restrain the current occupant," McCain said. "Both sides have lost the ability to tell the office from the man. Publicly and repeatedly ruling out ground troops may be smart politics according to the President's pollster. But it is inexcusably irresponsible leadership."

Tabling the measure would also put some distance between a possible Senate vote and two votes in the House of Representatives last week in which the GOP-led body agreed to limit Clinton's authority to introduce ground forces into the Kosovo and refused to endorse the NATO airstrikes.

(Republican Candy Crowley contributed to that report)


CNN POLL: May 3, 1999

Do you favor or oppose the United States being a part of NATO air and missile attacks against Serbian military targets in Yugoslavia?

Favor 58%
Oppose 36
Strongly favor 41%
Not strongly favor 17
Not strongly oppose 9
Strongly oppose 27

If a peace agreement is worked out between the Yugoslavian Serbs and Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority would you favor or oppose sending U.S. ground troops along with troops from other countries to serve as peacekeepers in the region?

Favor 67%
Oppose 31%

Are you confident or somewhat confident in Bill Clinton as a military leader?

Now 1998
Yes 56% 61%
No 44 36

Well, the people got it right. Americans were on the side of that war, like you said Lysis.



"CLINTON FACES TOUGH SELL ON BOSNIA MISSION"
Congress plans hearings on U.S. deployment

November 21, 1995
Web posted at: 10:20 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- With the ink on a preliminary agreement between the three Bosnian warring factions barely dry, President Clinton is now faced with the challenge of convincing a reluctant Congress that American troops should be part of the NATO peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.

For Clinton, deploying 20,000 US troops as part of a 60,000-member NATO force could be militarily and politically risky -- and a potential nightmare on the eve of U.S. presidential elections. But Clinton said the United States has no choice.

"Without us, the hard-won peace would be lost," he said Tuesday. "The war would resume, the slaughter of innocents would begin again. And the conflict that has claimed so many lives could spread like poison throughout the battle region."

Although the president on Tuesday renewed his pledge to send U.S. ground troops to the former Yugoslav Republic, he held that there would be "no complete deployment" until Congress is heard from on the issue.

On Friday, the Republican-controlled House voted 243-171 to pass a measure that would deny funding for the placement of U.S. troops to Bosnia without Congressional approval. The Senate is expected to vote on the measure soon.

Since the Vietnam war, there has been a running dispute between presidential administrations and Congress over who controls the deployment of troops in war conditions.

The White House has said Clinton has the right to commit troops with or without Congressional approval, but Clinton personally is non-committal on what he will do if Congress refuses to support the plan.

"I am satisfied that the NATO implementation plan is clear, and that the risks to our troops are minimized," he said. "Now American leadership, together with our allies, is needed to make this peace real and enduring. Our values, our interests, and our leadership all over the world are at stake."

Gingrich says he has 'an open mind'

Just before announcing the peace agreement, Clinton spoke to House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole on the telephone. Their support will be critical to shaping Congressional opinion. Some members have already vowed to withhold monetary support for a U.S. deployment.

Gingrich struck a conciliatory note Tuesday, saying he viewed the deployment of U.S. ground troops "skeptically, but with an open mind." He promised Congressional hearings on the peace accord next week.

"I would not today be prepared to vote yes," Gingrich said, "but I would discourage any member from automatically voting no, and let's see what the facts are before a decision is made."

Dole said the president had still not made a case to Congress for U.S. troop involvement. He also said he hoped the peace agreement did more than simply paper over differences in the Balkans.

"At long last American leadership is being exercised. I only hope that it is being exercised in the pursuit of the right objectives," Dole said.

Secretary of State Warren Christopher (there was a real statesmen), who has played a key role in the Dayton, Ohio, peace talks, said a national debate on the deployment of troops was bound to follow. But he urged Americans to remember the "stark, terrible images of the last four years of people dying, freezing, people hungry, people in camps (in Bosnia)."

"These are the things we should have in our mind when we engage on this national debate which will determine whether the United States continues to play its leadership role in the world," Christopher said.

Rep. Lee Hamilton, a Democrat on the House International Relations Committee, said that if America did not participate in the peace enforcement on Bosnian ground, it was likely that NATO would be "seriously weakened" or collapse.


Well, how does that jive with your version of history Lysis? Is one out of three not bad? It looks like Clinton was on the right side of the debate. What were those Republicans doing dragging their feet? Trying to destroy America!?

What was it you said earlier here in the Agora? "Let’s continue to debate with zeal but keep the comments real." Good advice!

Anonymous said...

Oh there you go again Lysis. Accussing me of trying to destroy America because I point out that some of the former Soviet states who are now part of the "Coalition of the Willing" are still dictatorships and should not be praised by our President.

Winning the Cold War was one of the great achievments of U.S. foreign policy. It is a fight we should be continuing today by pressuring those dictatorships to reform and become democratic, not showering them with glory as examples of the defenders of freedom in front of our future American military commaders and viewers at home. We can do better than that.

Now get back to the debate on Iraq, unless you want to take a minute to read those humilating news articles above about the Bosnian conflict.

And why don't you respond to the earlier news stories I posted? Pretty indefensible, even for a hardcore Bushie like you, huh?

Lysis said...

Anonymous, I too am enjoying and learning from our exchange. I must admit this is what I have always been after here in the Agora, and am grateful for your efforts. I apologize for the “anti-Bush website” accusation. You must admit that your positions and theirs are so similar it is easy to get confused. I’ll take your word on it and give you the point, also the one were I posted Washington Post instead of Wall Street Journal. Come on, they both start with my favorite letter, W. Still, it would elevate the debate a little if you would point out some errors in my positions rather than in my prose.

Anonymous – I’ve finally have figured out your game – bowling. You’re a pin setter. You set um up I knock um down. It is fun, thank you.

Lets go to the setup just above. The May 3, 99 debate on the Kosovo Resolution.

Point: The resolution was sponsored by a “Republican”.

Point: “many Republicans grudgingly gave their support to the Clinton Administration.” Anonymous, except for the Great Senator Joe Lieberman, where is even grudging support for even the war, let alone the Administration?

Point: I suppose you would have wanted the US to go to war without debate in the Senate. . . Or are you arguing positions you don’t believe in an attempt to score points?

Point: It was Robert Byrd, Democrat, who warned, “With this language the Senate is effectively bowing out of the Kosovo debate and ceding all authority to the executive branch.”

Point: The resolution was passed by the Republicans in the Senate, Kosovo was saved, the war was won and you and Byrd can share a dish of crow.

Point: “Gingrich struck a conciliatory note Tuesday saying he viewed deployment of U.S. troops “skeptically,” but with an open mind.” God, I wish Pelosi, or your Anonymous, would try that view.

Point: Gingrich went on to support Clinton in Yugoslavia, because the cause was just. And he, and the party he lead at the time, are more interested in justice than in political gain. We are fighting in a just cause in Iraq; when will Pelosi show support?

Looks like I get the strike this time!!!

The other pins you set above – the ones about the media coverage. When foreign and American Main Stream Media outlets lie, miss-report, speculate, and morph the news to their own ends you believe with glee. When your country attempts to counter lies with truth you cry foul. Those “pins” have already toppled of their own accord in the agora. No game there!

You brought up the Cold War, or did you forget whose serve it was. Anyway, thanks for the concession.


To go back to the original theme of this post. Democrats are behaving differently than the Republicans did during the Clinton Administration. Democrats are willing to attack their country, its allies, its military, and its president in order to get into office. To seize power. They are no different than the Democrats of 1864 who were willing to abandon the fight to free the slaves and to preserve the Union for political gain.

Lysis said...

Oh I’m sorry. I forgot to Quote Robert Dole from the Senate debate above:

“At long last American leadership is being exercised. [Referring to Clinton’s poltoornish foreign policy that left one million dead in Rwanda] I only hope that it is being exercised in the pursuit of right objectives.” said Dole.

Dole’s hopes were fulfilled! What are Kerry or Kennedy hoping for? American Defeat. It is their only hope!

Let’s call that a spare. Set um up!!!!

Anonymous said...

Point: You said, "Note when Clinton finally sent aid to Yugoslavia, it was the conservatives in congress and the nation that supported him."

Counter point: On November 17, 1995 the Republican dominated congress passed a bill preventing any funding of then President Clinton's military assistance to NATO or to Bosnia. Ten days later Bill sent the assistance anyways. The "open minded" Newt Gingrich and Bob Dole were still "thinking about it."

Conclusion: When Clinton sent the aid the conservatives did not suport him. Your history is again incorrect. I think you just bowled a gutter ball.

And please do not minimalize criticism of you and the central point of this blog to syntax alone. I have provided more than enough evidence and argument to question this President's "dedication" to freedom, his honesty (of which he has none, or is it that he has no shame in trying to convince us he is honest all the while killing thousands of innocents because of his lying), and his conduct of this war. Along the way it has been my eternal delight to cast the same doubts - as many must do now - on your own veracity, even mindedness, but surely not your good humor, best evidenced in continued support of such ludicrous positions in the face of overwhelming evidence.

Since you provide no counter evidence to the assertions of the myriad news stories on the incompetence and malevolancy of Bush's handling of the war above we must assume that you agree with all of them but are afraid to say it. If only you had the facts on your side.

You've bowled another gutterball Lysis. Next frame.

And since you may be leaving this topic for another blog soon - so typical of Bushies like you to live jobs half finished - may I reiterate my call for the topic "What we can do better in Iraq?" Many adoring Agorites have demanded it. You know in your heart of hearts that such an opinionated soul like yourself would like to tackle it. I am sure that we can all post at constructive length about it. Come on Lysis, just do it.

Lysis said...

The “point” is that Republicans supported the war in Kosovo and the Democrats are not supporting the war in Iraq. The point is that in spite of your claims to the contrary the twenty two reasons posted at the head of this string show why we went to war and the discussion which has followed, including comments from many Agorites and Joe Lieberman and President Bush are self-evident in their rectitude. Democrats have invested their future in the defeat of America. Their last winning season was the desertion of Vietnam, they dream of those glory days again. There are new players in the game this time. I have hope that America and the world will have victory over terrorist murderers and Religious Fanatics bent on destroying the West and dominating the soul of mankind (their stated goal).

As for future posts in the Agora, your suggestions are always welcome. Though I suggest you have been given ample chance to comment of “how we can do better in Iraq” in this discussion and ditched the game.

Speaking on sports analogies, if I were talking boxing; I’d say you’re on the ropes.

Anonymous said...

You want Republican quotes on the President at that war? Here you go! (From The Smoking Gun & Crooks and Liars).

Here's what Republicans said about Clinton and Kosovo:

Why did they second-guess our commitment to freedom from genocide and demand that we cut and run?

"President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation's armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy."

-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

"No goal, no objective, not until we have those things and a compelling case is made, then I say, back out of it, because innocent people are going to die for nothing. That's why I'm against it."

-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/5/99

"American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy."

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy."

-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of presidential candidate George W. Bush


"I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning...I didn't think we had done enough in the diplomatic area."

-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)


"You think Vietnam was bad? Vietnam is nothing next to involvement in Kosovo."

-Tony Snow, Fox News 3/24/99


"Well, I just think it's a bad idea. What's going to happen is they're going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years"

-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)


"I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarifiedrules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


"Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?"

-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99


"Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is."

-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)


"This is President Clinton's war, and when he falls flat on his face, that's his problem."

-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

"The two powers that have ICBMs that can reach the United States are Russia and China. Here we go in. We're taking on not just Milosevic. We can't just say, 'that little guy, we can whip him.' We have these two other powers that have missiles that can reach us, and we have zero defense thanks to this president."

-Senator James Inhofe (R-OK)


"You can support the troops but not the president"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)


"My job as majority leader is be supportive of our troops, try to have input as decisions are made and to look at those decisions after they're made ... not to march in lock step with everything the president decides to do."

-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)


"For us to call this a victory and to commend the President of the United States as the Commander in Chief showing great leadership in Operation Allied Force is a farce"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly."

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"Clinton's bombing campaign has caused all of these problems to explode"

-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

"America has no vital interest in whose flag flies over Kosovo's capital, and no right to attack and kill Serb soldiers fighting on their own soil to preserve the territorial integrity of their own country"

-Pat Buchanan (R)

"This has been an unmitigated disaster ... Ask the Chinese embassy. Ask all the people in Belgrade that we've killed. Ask the refugees that we've killed. Ask the people in nursing homes. Ask the people in hospitals."

-Representative Joe Scarborough (R-FL)


"It is a remarkable spectacle to see the Clinton Administration and NATO taking over from the Soviet Union the role of sponsoring "wars of national liberation."

-Representative Helen Chenoweth (R-ID)



Oh boy, stop, stop, it's too much. "Democrats are behaving differently than the Republicans did during the Clinton Administration. " Ha-ha-ha!! You slay me Lysis, you do, ha! "They are no different than the Democrats of 1864." Oh, that's rich! You are too much sometimes. You should file your blog under humor.

Dan Simpson said...

I am curious anonymous. Do you think that the Republicans were doing the right thing then, or are the democrats doing the wrong thing now?

I realize you like to skip my questions and challenges to just talk to Lysis, but for once, it would be nice of you to try to answer all the points sent at you.

Anonymous said...

Lysis:
You must think "cheerleading" yourself to victory helps. OK I'll spring a dollar for Pom-Poms if you think they will distract from your "weak tea" argumentation.

However,
For debates I have attended, a qualified impartial judge makes out the ballot, not one of the contestants. I know you think this behavior is "gamesmanship" and fun, but it is simply bad manners and detracts from what has been an ALL- TIME memorable encounter at the Agora!!!!

Lysis said...

“Welcome to my parlor,” said the spider to the fly.

First let me point out that your “cherry picked” comments pulled out of context by no less, (I don’t think you could get any less) of an authority than Smoking Guns, Crooks, and Liars do not change the fact that Republicans and Conservatives supported the war to liberate Kosovo and Democrats and Liberals are not supporting the war to liberate Iraq.

Now to reiterate Dannyboy’s excellent point; he is a pretty fierce Spider too:

I would like to begin this match by pointing out that I, like most Conservatives, supported all U.S. and NATO actions in The Former Yugoslavia. I stood by the U.S. when we mistakenly bombed the Chinese embassy; a mistake that did not invalidate the war. I was for action long before Clinton was shamed into it, and am grateful for the Republican resolution and Republican Statesmen who stood up to the political pressure and did the right thing.

POINT BY POINT:

1. Santorum has a point. Both Clinton and Bush needed to inform the nation. I have posted two, of many, informative speeches by President Bush in this very discussion. Santorum was right on Clinton and the same applies to Bush. What’s your point? You have none.

2. Sean Hannity was wrong. Did he ever admit it? I proudly state I disagreed with Hannity then and the entire mainstream media now. But Hannity did not speak for Conservatives, then or now. Are you ready to say the same about Michael Moore? Hannity was not representative of the right’s position on Kosovo, so what is your point? Nothing!

3. Karen Hughes spoke then as she does now; the truth. So does George Bush. This is not an attack unless Clinton failed to provide an achievable goal and exit strategy. Bush has provided an achievable goal and an exit strategy. (By the way we still have troops in Kosovo, do you still support the war there?) Bush was right then, he is right now. He applied the same standard to himself, hardly partisan. What’s your point? You haven’t got one.

4. Senator Lott had “doubts AT FIRST” Shouldn’t we all. He obviously supported Kosovo in spite of his early questions, will Kennedy change to support Iraq. I doubt it, not politic! Where’s the point? No where.

5. Who is Tony Snow? I disagreed with him on Vietnam, he was surely wrong on Kosovo. Since the Republican Majority supported the war, he surely doesn’t speak for them on either count. That’s your job – to show the Republican Party attacked Clinton’s war for political reasons. Snow spoke a wrong opinion, does Chris Mathews, who is just as wrong, speak for you? What your point? There isn’t one.

6. Joe Scarborough – Isn’t he on MSNBC? Anyway he was right. We are going on ten years in Kosovo now. Was he against the war? No! What’s your point? There isn’t one.

7. Tom Delay is right here for Kosovo and for Iraq. The difference is Bush provided all of Tom’s demands before the war. Read the original post above. Since the demand applies to Bush as well as Clinton, it could hardly be partisan. What’s your point? You don’t have one.

8. I agree with Shaun. Moms and Dads need that explanation. Once again the demand is non partisan! President Bush has provided the explanation. See my quote at the end of the post on his speech above. He expected no more of Clinton. What’s your point? You haven’t got one.

9. George Bush hasn’t changed a bit. Read his exit strategy from Iraq above. (And remember we are still fighting Clinton’s war.) Bush applied the same standard to himself as he did to Clinton. Not a partisan attack if it is a standard he has lived up to. What’s your point? None.

10. Lugar’s a jerk. I wish I could vote against him. Anyone who wants a President to fail at a war deserves to be dumped out of the senate. Did Lugar change his tune? I don’t think he represented the Republicans in mass. Is he out of office yet? Remember Byrd’s attack on Clinton’s “power grab”? Did he speak for the Democrats? Is he out of office yet? Byrd cancels Lugar – no point either side.

11. Inhofe was right. Does that mean he wanted us to loose in Kosovo? I don’t see that. Where’s the point, I can’t see that either.


12. You can support the troops but not the President. I’m sure Tom Delay did. Does Nancy Pelosi? But for finding a partisan diss on Clinton’s war you get the point. I’m waiting for your attack on Pelosi.

13. Bush has not asked for lock step support, just to stop the ling. That was Lott’s point. Where’s yours? It doesn’t exist.

14. Stopping the killing by Milosevic and his thugs was a great Victory for Clinton and America. Delay is dead wrong here. Stopping Saddam’s thug murders was a great victory for Bush. I think any politicians who deny this is wrong. Point well made!

15. Delay is right here, weather speaking about Clinton or Bush. Which was he speaking of? Who bombed for ill-defined reasons? What is your point? You have none.

16. You get another point with Delay here. Who’s side is this guy on. I condemn him for his partisan drivel. Will you do the same to Pelosi? That would make a point. But you earned one here.

17. Pat Buchanan. I thought he was a Democrat. He says the same thing about Bush and Iraq. Still wrong on both sides. This point is moot.

18. Chenweth’s comment – She’s right, it is remarkable indeed. Difference is the U. S. does liberate, the U.S.S. R. enslaved. I agree for Clinton, do you, Anonymouses agree for Bush? Chenoweth is hardly the conservative movement, but she was a mistaken Republican. I’ll give you the point here; double it if you’ll say the same about any Democrat that makes an equally politically motivated statement on Bush.

Let’s tally up. Confident your next post will castigate any Democrat who questions the justice of the War in Iraq, you get two there, one for 16, one for 14, and one for 12. That’s five for Anonymous. One moot and nothing on the Lugar/Byrd debacle, that leaves twelve for Lysis.

I hope you like “parlor games”!

Note: I will post another log soon, but don't go away; I can handle two games at once.

Anonymous said...

Tony Snow is a conservative radio talk show host and the current host of Fox News Saturday morning. He used to host Fox News Sunday with Brit Hume before he left to do his radio show and Chris Wallace took over. He also used to be a speech writer for the former President Bush.

More to the point, he has also stated he was wrong about the Vietnam/Kosovo comparison. (Quote was taken out of context though as it referenced how long we would have to be involved in Kosovo to succeed).

Dan Simpson said...

I am seriously waiting anonymous. Are you going to answer my question?

WE at the agora DESERVE BETTER

Anonymous said...

Danny Boy, what is left to answer? Lysis has explained in detail that Republicans were not attacking the President then. Clearly then, the Democrats are not attacking the President now. If you need more explanation than that, and how could anyone with even a small bit of sense not see the proposterousnous of Lysis' elaborately constructed position, it must be because you didn't buy his tap dancing around the issue.

I am not wed to the Republican line, unlike others, or the Democrat line and so have no problem in condemning those Republican attack dogs who, as John McCain correctly said, "are so distrustful of the president that [they] feel obliged to damage the office in order to restrain the current occupant," and Democratic critics today who would do the same. I think all of the Republican quotes that I posted earlier were motivated by hate of Clinton rather than genuine concern for U.S. foreign policy and we have the luxury of hindsight in making that evaluation. I think some Democrats today say some stupid things as well. But I do not think, and this is crucial to the very heart of our week long debate, that ALL criticism, or ANY of the criticism given by ANY elected official in Congress today is tantamount to treason or motivated by a desire to destroy America. This is a line that divides reasonable minds and blinded fanatics.

Hey Rumpole, what did you think of George Voinovich's argument against trying to stop the blood thirsty, genocidal death squads of Serbia when he said, "It is time to stop the bombing and put everyone's effort into finding a diplomatic solution?" I mention it because his words reminded me of your suggested alternative yesterday: disingenuous and sarcastic! I think that puts you both in the same camp of party line attack dogs!

Lysis, so happy you wanted to tally the score. Let's take stock. I criticized what the President said in 2003, what he has done since, whether he has kept his promises, and you have tried to defend. We have here now a summary of our arguments at the very end. Get your pencil ready and start taking score. Synthesis is in the form from our original posts:

1. The 20th century is a long time, I think America will have a brighter tomorrow than our conduct in Iraq right now. Your response that Bush has kept us safe for five years is in contrast to poll after poll that shows Americans today feel less safe than they did before Bush took us on his personal crusade. You never even try to explain why Bush has lobbied against screening cargo luggage on passenger flights or the fact it staffs political cronies like Mike Brown near the top of Homeland Security. The battlefield Bush is concerned with was never the U.S. but was always Iraq. His own former cabinet members, Paul O'Niel among them, have said this was Bush's goal from day one on the job.

Conclusion: Bush was disingenious with you.

2. Bush was concerned only with his personal crusade in Iraq and not outlaw regimes with WMD's. If he was concerned he would have taken tougher stances against the many outlaw regimes we have known had WMD's for a long time. You respond "if any of those regimes get to the Saddam did they know what to expect." My dear Lysis, North Korea developed the nuclear weapons it has, made the bombs, tested the rockets, while Bush was President. Are you suggesting we are about to invade North Korea? Add this to the pile of evidence in the argument that you have zero comprehension of current world politics. By the way, every rogue regime that has WMD's now is beyond where Saddam was at since HE HAD NO WMD's!

Conclusion: This was a flimsy excuse for Bush's personal crusade.

3. & 4. Nobody believed that there was credible evidence of WMD's, evidence worth risking thousands of lives for, except DICK cheney. I cite reports from the CIA, DIA, Joe Wilson, the Duelfer Reports conclusions and its criticism of intelligence gathering before the war and Colin Powell's own disbelief when Bush forced him into the U.N. You reply that Joe Wilson and CIA are lying now. I show that all four of Joe Wilson's reports and the special report to the V.P.'s office were ignored. Do you think the DIA and Collin Powell are lying too? How about Charles Duelfer? And you never adequatly explain why our allies, who saw the same evidence, remained skeptical. It is because they were not motivated by a personal crusade but by the facts.

Conclusion: Bush's bias made him ignore any U.S. intelligence that did not support his personal crusade.

5. America is less safe today than before the war in Iraq. Our military is stretched and not focused on the terrorists 9/11 who are STILL at large. Homeland Security is staffed by imbeciles like Mike Brown who judge horses and contribute to Bush's campaign. You reply "The assertion of safety of lack of safety is impossible to prove either way," and go on to praise Bush's tax cuts? In fact, America will be a lot safer if we capture Osama bin Laden.

Conclusion: Bush's personal crusade has stretched America and made us less safe (and poorer).

6. Iraq has become a pillar of INstability in the Middle East spreading terror to Jordan and Saudi Arabia and drawing terrorist and training from Syria and Iran. Your response is that this shows how world wide the problem of terrorism is and that the fight cannot be abandoned now. Irrelevant.

Conclusion: Bush's personal crusade has made the Middle East less safe.

7. Bush's personal crusade in Iraq is transforming the Middle East into a terrorist training camp and is transforming a generation of Muslims into haters of the Western world. You do not deny this. Your only defense is that it makes it easier to find the terrorists. Where are they? Where is Osama bin Laden, where is Ayman al-Zawarhi, where is Ayman al-Zarqawi? And why didn't Scotland Yard pick up the terrorists before they killed in July, or the Spanish stop the bombings on 3/11? Or the attacks in Bali? And on, and on. Your Bush dedication blinds you to the fact that training terrorists anywhere is a bad thing and a poor trade-off for hoping to catch them up with a "magnet."

Conclusion: Fighting "them" there instead of here is not a valid strategy since "they" get their training there and attack everywhere.

8. The U.S. invasion of Iraq, for many reasons stated already, has made the U.S. less safe. I reiterate Republican Senator Susan Collins of the Armed Services committee's words: "It doesn't feel like progress when we hear today that there is only one Iraqi battalion [700 people] fully capable." After two years, thousands dead, ghastly amounts of money spent, we are no safer and have only 700 trained Iraqi soldiers to show for Bush's Herculain effort. Your original rebuttal does not deny this at all.

Conclusion: Bush's personal crusade has put America in harm's way.

9. Bush's pick to be the first prime minister of Iraq gives several interviews saying Iraq under U.S. occupation suffers the same human rights violations that existed under Saddam. Your only comment which is not refutation is that you are suspicious of the man. I give you admissions from the Iraq Interior Ministry that they have abducted and abused Iraqi citizens. I point to secret torture chambers and torture victims found by coalition forces. I provide U.S. military officials who say Death Squads are operating in the cities. I give you quotes from Iraqi citizens who say they are living in terror. You give an editorial from Joe Lieberman that says on his visit things were great. I am sure the truth can accomodate both. Lieberman's visit was great, things can be improved just as he said, and life is no different for many Iraqis under U.S. occupation than it was under Saddam.

Conclusion: Despite Bush's promises, liberation for many Iraqis is still a dream and life is a terrible nightmare.

10. Democratic nations are emperically capable of murderous ideologies and practices. The U.S. runs secret torture prisons around the world where it puts undocumented and abducted detainees in what it calls "justice." The U.S. created Abu Graib. The free nation of the U.S. has committed massacres and human rights tragedies in its past. Many dictators of the Western world have been voted into power. You respond that I have to go back to the genocide against native Americans to find an example of a free nation with a murderous ideology. You prove my point.

Conclusion: Bush ignores the complex facts in favor of a shining lie to sell his personal crusade.

11. Bush's statement that America will stand with those who stand for their freedom IS A BALD FACE LIE. You express your confidence that "Iraq will be another step in the direction of world wide freedom and peace." I say it will be a halting step and point to Bush's celebration of dictatorships and tyrants who are part of the "Coalition of the Willing" in his Wednesday Potemkin Address. Those tyrants slaughtered hundreds in the streets while Bush praised them for their help in fighting for freedom in Iraq. You viciously, and foolishly attack me for trying to refight the Cold War. You are ignorant of the history and the facts and a true believer of any garbage Bush shovels.

Conclusion: Bush has a selective dedication to freedom. Further, Bush's notion of freedom is closer to the ideology of Big Brother than Thomas Jefferson. The unaddressed evidence of disinformation and press tampering in the articles here illustrates his deceptive use of state controlled press stories and lethal targeting of civilian reporters that do not report favorably. Bush is no champion of freedom.

12. The U.S. occupation is adding to the sense of Iraqi insecurity and is drawing the ire of a people who truly want to be free. President Bush acknowledges this distressing trend when he is forced to appologize for Abu Graib and even descibes it in his Wednesday Potemkin Address "Last year, the area around Baghdad's Haifa Street was so thick with terrorists it had earned the nickname Purple Heart Boulevard. Then Iraqi forces took responsibility for this dangerous neighborhood, and attacks are now down." You deny any American trangressions in Iraq. You outrageously call this criticism akin to Nazi propaganda. You never get any closer to the truth.

Conclusion: The current management of U.S. involvement has created human rights abuses and draws insurgent attacks.

13. The new stage of Middle East Peace is being written in the secret atomic bunkers in Iran, at gun point by the masked hitmen of the Shiite militias. You claim I "would take us back to the days when al Quida controlled whole countries and the billions of dollars Saddam bribed out of the UN were going to develop weapons and warriors." I have NEVER called for the preposterous notion of restoring Saddam or said that he being gone was not good. I have ALWAYS made the case that we can do better in rebuilding Iraq and prosecuting the war than Bush is having us do. I give example of example of how we are failing to produce the kind of free Iraq that Bush promised. I give more in the vain hope you pull your head out of the sand and acknowledge we are failing in many places:

From last night's NBC Nightly News "BASRA, IRAQ: MODEL CITY OR POLICE STATE?"

Shiite militias tied to Iran control the government

Dec. 1: Basra, Iraq, seems like a model postwar city — bustling streets, very few bombings or attacks. But a closer look finds that Shiite fundamentalists, with private armies, run the city. . . . Shiite fundamentalist politicians now govern Basra and are using their private armies to run the city. They have banned alcohol, forced more women to veil and kidnapped and killed reporters. . . . 'The militias and the police work closely together to protect the people,' an officer said. 'And the militias,' he said, 'have better intelligence than we do.' . . . The people of Basra tell us the central government has very little authority here. They say that the militias are in charge and that the police are helping them. Even the police chief says he doesn't trust 60 percent of his force."

I would not restore Saddam but I would not allow fundamentalist, TERRORIST organizations to take over the government either.

Conclusion: Bush's policy is creating a terrorist state in parts of Iraq and not the free nation he promised.

14. Bush and his LACK OF LEADERSHIP failed to meet this goal of cutting off terrorist funding says an UNBIASED GAO report to Congress. You dismiss it saying Bush has cut off a huge source of terrorist funding. Unfortunately, Al-Queda still exists and is funding terrorism around the world. I point out that our dependence on foreign oil is the largest contribution to our terrorist enemies. Your confused response is that I "lack of understanding of the value of oil to produce the energy necessary to feed the world and drive the world economy." This does not change the fact that Bush has failed to excercise leadership in cutting off terrorist funding through policy (GAO) and by creating alternative energy sources.

Conclusion: Bush has failed to meet another promise he made about his personal crusade in Iraq.

15. Bush's promise that terrorist sponsors will dry up after the invasion has been an embarassment for him. Iran and Syria continue to fund, train and supply insurgents in Iraq. The evidence of Iranian ties to militias like the Badr brigade that control much of the official Iraqi offices is incontravertible. Your weak defense is that Osama bin Laden is probably very uncomfortable in Wazirastan. "Osama’s cave [is not] the 'life of Riley,'” you say. You also never deny that terrorist support still occurs in Sudan, Cuba, Columbia, Chad, Afghanistan, and on and on and on.

Conclusion: Bush's desperate hope that terrorist sponsorship would dry up has fallen flat.

16. Peace in Palestine will come from open and transparent government, economic opportunity, and the natural death of Yasser Arafat, not war in Iraq. You contend "[t]hat democratic government replaced Yasser instead of terrorists [h]as far more to do with US willingness to combat tyrants and terror than a change of heart among Palestinian militants." You must admit that the ending of Arafat's Presidency did have something to do with his dying.

Conclusion: The U.S. invasion of Iraq has done nothing to advance peace between Israel and Palenstine.

17. Support for the Palestinian state was never contingent on Saddam's removal. Before Bush ever became President Israel was on record saying that it supported a Palestinian state. Saudi Arabia agreed to recognize Israel as a state if the Camp David talks. You cannot rewrite or revise this history and you did not even try. You never even attemp to support Bush's grand lie.

Conclusion: Bush misleads to use America for his personal crusade in Iraq.

Bush has been dishonest in almost every way he has conducted this war. He has destroyed many of the freedoms he claims to hold dear. He has endorsed the torture of detainees, allowed death squads to infiltrate the new government, and praised dictators all of the time professing something else to the American people. He has called for the trial of Saddam Hussein for committing some of the same exact crimes with white phosphorous that he has approved our military to commit. As the Commander in Chief he bares that responsibility personally. He has suspended civil liberties and threatened to bomb independent civilian news organizations in seperate countries for broadcasting unfavorable news (something that required the intervention of an Ally head of government to avert). He has suffered near complete failure to accomplish with dignity and honor the reasons he set out for this war. He has failed in his promise made so long ago to restore those values to the office. Despite what you may think there is no hidden wish to destroy America in these observations. There is only a belief that the history should be told as it is.

Throughout our debate Lysis, you have constantly tried to rewrite and revise history about why Bush took America to war and how Bush has conducted the war over the last two years. I have stayed on your case offering facts and argument to counter your opinions and preaching. When you reject the facts then in the end all you have left is your opinion. There are many ways to rewrite history but despite your greatest efforts and opinion there is only one way that Bush will remembered in it: A FAILURE.

Now take your pencil and put your favorite letter in my column.


I will look forward to your next blog now Lysis, with the sincere hope that you will provide us with a dedicated forum to exploring what can be done to make the effort in Iraq better and not to attacking each other.




.

Dan Simpson said...

I only want to touch on one of your points here anonymous. But I don't have much confidence that you will pay attention. You are still not answering my question, but are saying, "see, Lysis is dancing." I believe my question was directed at you.

Do you believe that the republicans were wrong then (you have stated you think their comments came from hatred), and do you think the democrats are wrong now. You put a really mild, some democrats have said some things that are stupid.

I wonder, do you think anyone in the leadership of the democratic party right now has said anything as nice or supportive as your quote of Gingrich's when he said he was going into the whole thing with an open mind?

Anyway, back to your point that I wanted to comment on.

You say that the war in Iraq has destabilized the Middle East and made it less safe.

These are the things I have seen in the Middle East in the last few years.

A rally of 800,000 people in Lebanon calling for freedom and liberty. Lets really think about that. 800,000 people in a country whose population is 3.8 million. That is 21%. Imagine approximately 60 million people converging on Washington D.C. demonstrating for ANYTHING.

Something is happening to spur such progression.

Israel and Palestine FINALLY got together to speak. Did YOU think you would ever see Israel pull completely out of the Gaza Strip? I sure didn't. What is the change, what is different now then any of the multitude of times that there were 'peace accords' in the past?

Iraq held free elections. Iraq actually has a constitution written by a coalition of elected Iraqis. Ignore Bush for a moment. Completetly take Bush out of the equation. Do you not see the incredible progress that this is? Do you not see how amazing this can be for the middle east as a whole? Iraqis will, in only a few short days, be electing a government to rule for the next four years.

Of course there are still problems, of course there is violence, no one disputes that there is work to be done to make everything what it needs to be. Reread Lysis' posts, he doesn't dispute that there are problems (though he does dispute some of your claims as unfounded), he merely has faith that the current plan will lead to their resolution.

If you don't, then instead of claiming that the middle east is worse (frankly one of the least true things I have ever heard or read), then talk about what you think would speed up the process of solving the current problems.

To recap:

800,000 Lebanese calling for the overthrow of the oppresive Syrian stranglehold of Lebanese politics.

Palestinians policing their own fanatic killers, and Israeli troops enforcing evacuation and turn over decisions.

Jordanians training Iraqi police.

One man no longer with the power to offer five figure bonus' to the families of suicide bombers.

80% of the Iraqi populace that has now voted in elections deciding if they want a constitution written by the men that they appointed to do so.

The Middle East is light years ahead of where it was only a few short years ago. There is still much progress to be made, but you see the one critical component that hasn't been there is now there.

The PEOPLE of the Middle East are at the forefront of the change.

As long as others dictated to them there was digging in of heels and little to no progress. Just look at the long list of failed Israel-Palestinian peace agreements.

But the people are doing it now. You claim that the evil Bush and the sadistic Cheney are running everything, but you are ignoring the progress made by the people themselves.

You are completely wrong about the middle east. I don't know if you will admit it, but you are. The Middle East is without question better off now then before.

Some may give Bush great credit for this, some may not (you can debate that all you want), but the underlying premise is that the people and countries of the Middle East as a whole are much, much better.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy (Rhymes with Pie. Because there are soooo many of you),

Just a couple of quick notes. I’m late already. You seem bright, so I know you know this, but indulge me anyway. When I ask you to “TELL US WHO YOU REALLY ARE” I am speaking metaphorically. I don’t in the least bit care about your personal identity. I do care, however, to know that my agreements and/or criticisms are being addressed to the individual who owns them. Label your “Anonymous”.

Note #2. I don’t like DannyBoy’s car analogy. I don’t even think we’re in a ditch, so I see no need to pull the car out. I do, however, agree with DannyBoy’s call for a proactive, solution-oriented post. I look forward to many open and honest political discussions with you. I will happily talk to you about Serbia. But I need to know that the openness and honesty will be reciprocated. Let’s talk. It will happen as soon as you are willing.

Tell me what you would have done differently. Tell me what you would do now. Don’t respond with some tripe about it being Lysis’ post so he ought to take the lead. He already has. We all have. We’ve all had to endure the “NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION”. I don’t speak for anyone else at the Agora. As for me, however, I am ready to move the discussion to a different phase with you. It will happen when you are willing.

Note #3. Quite generalizing. I’m in line with “party attack dogs?” Define what a “party attack dog” is and I will truthfully tell you if I fall into that category. If I do, I will proudly admit it. Until then, don’t throw every thing and every individual who may disagree with you into one big barrel. It is easy and convenient, but it isn’t accurate.

As you have seen (and in polar opposition to yourself – still waiting for a better SOLUTION), I am not afraid to put my opinion out there. The attempt to goad by suggesting something like – “now I get it, you must be one of those” is way beneath you.

Am I wrong? Anxiously waiting!

Lysis said...

Anonymous, I am wedded to nothing but the truth. I glad you have accepted the stupidity of “some Democrats”. I will say that “some” is all Democrats and all Republicans who place politics over victory in just conflicts; such as the one America is now involved in in Iraq.

All we need to do now is listen to how many Democrats are more interested in defeating “Bush” than are interested in defeating terrorists and you will see where the stupid ones are.

To your conclusions: How you arrived at them; all will have to judge:

1. Give up polls – they change from day to day, enabled by ignorance and motivated by those called stupid by both of us above. Count the terror attacks on America since 9/11 + remember how scared All Americans were before President Bush took world wide action = the truth about this conclusion.

2. There are many monsters with WMDs. There was only one who had used and pledged to use them again; now he is gone. Conclusion?

3 & 4 are rehash of 2. Check response above.

5. You make this up, and it is also answered under “conclusion” one’s response. What the game now” Ping-pong?

6. All the nations mentioned here are moving toward democracy, and self-government. I guess that makes them unstable. Hallelujah!!!

7. We’re at war. To bad the enemy won’t play nice. Check out the “Myth of the Mongoose” above. As for training the terrorists: they managed to get some pretty devastating training before. It did them good when that attacked on 9/11, not so much good in Afghanistan, and will only do them good in Iraq if they can scare us away. Bush says they will not.

8. Your stance on Iraq Defense Forces is out of date. Check out the assessments of this week by Lieberman and Bush. Keep up!!

9. 2/3 of Iraqis disagree with you. In two weeks they will vote for their own government. We need to continue to help this progress, not pretend it is not there for political reason and desert them when they most needs our support.

10. You have no proof of torture in U.S. anything. You are making this up or accepting the word of America’s enemies. Once again all can take comfort that Anonymous had to go back to the Indian Wars to find examples of democratic atrocities.

11. Your nostalgia for the wonderful world of Communism speaks for itself. Go tell the Iraqi people they were better off under Saddam.

12. We liberated Iraq, never occupied it. Talk to the French, the Germans, the Japanese, the Italians, and many more about American “occupation”. They and we can testify to your miss-read of this situation, and therefore your miss-drawn conclusion.

13. Again – Compare the worst a freely speaking, law protected, anti-Bush press can find in Iraq today to Saddam’s day. Your arguments seem silly in the light of truth. It’s like your comparisons of Eastern Europe today to Eastern Europe under Stalin. If you think the terrorists have taken over Iraq; wait till the elections on the 15th. This conclusion will prove as baseless as your claim that Bush was going to announce an exit date on last Wednesday.

14. Cutting terrorist funding? – I’m am glad to see the GAO fulfill its purpose in advising the government and I am happy to see President Bush become a better leader. Your “conclusion” that he is not a great leader is made vacuous by the success of his administration in every aspect. There are problems, a great leader faces them and over comes. Today’s economic report show the results of Bush’s leadership in cutting taxes, the new democracies in west Asia show the effectiveness of his world leadership.

15. The funds are drying; check out President Bush’s documented statistics in his speech of last month; parsed and posted for your convenience here in the Agora.

16. The end of Arafat had everything to do with his dying. The success of so much of what has come after has been greatly aided by President Bush’s policies. Your “conclusion” is a leap from logic in to partisan vitriol.

17. Camp David did nothing to end fighting in Palestine. In fact after Camp David fighting was much increased, as were acts of terror. As democracy has taken root in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Middle East has finally moved toward resolution.

And so, Anonymous, you play on. Your pins, as well as you pants, down, your conclusions debunked, your motives reveled. You MOTIVATION – pulling down Bush at any cost. I guess it’s too late for you to get a job with the McClellan campaign.
I have a debate tournament I am working at for the next two days. I’ll be back on Sunday. Anonymous, if you come up with something new please post; there are many here who will help you out. If you just want to rehash – just reread this post.

Vegimatic – Sorry I didn’t answer your question about the level of support the Republicans gave the War and even Roosevelt during WWII. Please check out Wendell Willkie, (sp) who ran against Roosevelt mid war. He forbad his party from using war difficulties to attack the Administration. I would point out that the two Generals who fought WWII for Roosevelt were both Republicans; Eisenhower, who became the next Republican President, and McArthur, who nominated Eisenhower for the job at the Republican convention. Too bad McClellan could not have benefited from their example. I am sure they did from his.

Dannyboy and Rumpole – thanks for giving some “leadership”, some backed up logic and reason, and some statistics to my dance. You see, Anonymy, there are plenty of people who want to help.

Dan Simpson said...

Rumpole,

To clarify the ditch metaphor was anonymous' I merely pointed out the major flaw of his focus on the ditch, instead of trying to get out.

My point was that if he felt we were in a ditch, pointing at the ditch and shouting, "DITCH" doesn't do anything to get out of said ditch.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Rumpole Posts:

"Label your 'Anonymous'".

I DO -- you just never pay enough attention. Your head is so much in the "playbook" you pay no attention to what's REALLY there!!!! -- talk about perception and reality

*Why don't you exorcise it and have a CIVIL dialogue -- I don't mean take it for a walk, however.

Anonymous said...

Dan:
As the author of the "ditch" analogy/metaphor I would like to add further comment.

An analogy was useful to help make a point.
The issue, which Dan readily grasps, is whether the "U.S." IS in the ditch or not. To contend NOT, I think, is to ignore what is readily obvious to most everyone (even the President chose to clarify his positions . . . er minor alterations of the predetermined course, or however you want to spin it). But pretending we're not in the ditch is to WEAKEN the U.S. position, because it eliminates the resolve to find SOLUTIONS to problems that need SOLUTIONS RIGHT NOW!!!!

If I were Lysis I would then extend my analysis to his typical doomsday scenario, and condemn your cowardly liberal/Democratic offering of assistance to terrorism -- but I wont because it's just DUMB!!!!

Rather, as I said then and and as I say now; if you're in DENIAL NOW, six months/a year from now it will only get/be worse!!!!

Dan Simpson said...

Anonymous, you really don't pay attention do you.

I don't think the issue is whether or not the U.S. is in a ditch. I think the issue is are we going to discuss how to make problems we percieve better, or are we going to argue about whether or not there is a ditch, and whether or not we are in it.

You continue to ignore my question, however, I am curious how many posts you will put up before you answer it.

Lets forget the ditch, and all of the metaphors and speak directly. (this is not to say metaphors are useless, or that they are bad for debate, they have just been WAY overused here. I have lost count of how many metaphors are flying around in this thread)

The U.S. is doing the right thing by being in Iraq. Some of the choices made in the execution of the war I haven't agreed with. Some of them I have. The goal is right, and worthwhile. Even if Bush lied to get us there what we are doing is right, helpful, and will end up making massive changes for the better not only for Iraq, but for the Middle East as a whole.

I DO believe that discussing how we can improve what we are doing is useful and very productive. To that end, I have no problem admitting that there have been mistakes, and in hindsight, some things could have gone/been done better.

I do NOT think that anything that has been said by Anonymous aids in the discussion of improving the situation as he has repeatedly refused to enter that discussion but has instead stubbornly clung to arguing whether or not Bush lied, and how much does Dick Cheney like to eat Muslim babies (a use of hyperbole intended to point out the ridiculousness of your statements like "Iraqis have received lessons on how to torture innocent civilians from Cheney himself")

Both LV, and anonymous have claimed that I follow a party line, or swallow things 'hook line and sinker' that the republican leadership doles out.

I do neither. But it seems anonymous that you are too concerned with attacking the current administration to be bothered with the petty ideas of HOW to improve what many see as an improvable situation in a worthwhile conflict.

Rumpole said...

Anonymy,

I'm ready to have a civil dialog anytime. Why don't you begin? What are your SOLUTIONS?

DannyBoy,

Sorry about wrongfully attributing the metaphor.

ananda travel agency singapore said...

Hey Fellow, you have a top-notch blog here!
If you have a moment, please have a look at my ananda travel agency singapore site.
Good luck!

Dr. Health said...

It seems that party’s motivations and practices have
changed little in the past one and a half centuries.

Anonymous said...

Spot on with this write-up, I absolutely think this
web site needs a great deal more attention. I'll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the info!

Feel free to visit my site :: visit home page

Anonymous said...

Its like you read my mind! You appear to understand
a lot approximately this, such as you wrote the ebook in
it or something. I feel that you just could do with a few p.
c. to force the message home a little bit, however instead of that,
this is great blog. An excellent read. I will certainly be back.


Visit my page; Annatel.net

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I enjoy reading through your article post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.


Feel free to visit my web page ... play minecraft free

Anonymous said...

My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right.

This post actually made my day. You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

Here is my homepage; play full version of minecraft free

Anonymous said...

I've been exploring for a little bit for any high quality articles or blog posts on this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this site. Reading this information So i am satisfied to convey that I have an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most definitely will make certain to do not put out of your mind this site and provides it a glance on a relentless basis.

Here is my page; how to get Free psn cards

Anonymous said...

tramadol online tramadol overnight cod delivery - tramadol withdrawal anxiety