Monday, October 16, 2006

Down With the Death Star

The most frightening of all the *Star Wars’* villains was Governor Tarkin. In the first movie he commanded the Death Star and “held Vader’s leash”. He was not afraid of the Emperor or the Empire or any of those Jedi types. He clearly stated that each governor would rule their own sector and when asked how order would be maintained without the imperil bureaucracy he coldly answered that “fear of this battle station will keep the systems in line.” Tarkin coldly destroyed the entire planet of Alderaan. No other monster, robot concoction, or clone, no matter how powerful in the force, ever did anything like that. What was most terrifying about Tarkin was that his power was “real”, something we could all identify with; not levitated debris or leaping, light saber wielding ninjas with inordinately high counts of some “bug” living in their blood. Tarkin’s power came simply from his intellect and his willingness to kill anyone who stood in his way.

This past weekend I found myself discussing Kim Jong Il’s threat to the world. The question came around to why his people support him. Some Fox News reporter recently sneaked into North Korea and returned to report that the people there seem to genuinely support the little dictator. Of course she was never out of sight and earshot of a minder sent by Kim to watch her and any Korean who might speak to her. I do not believe that the people of North Korea would tolerate Kim Jong Il for half a day if it weren’t for the machine gun totting thugs that benefit from his power and keep him in power by fear.

I am aware that at some level the “true believers” might buy into some of the lies. Perhaps they, like Winston Smith in *1984*, really have come to love Big Brother, but it is only after torture and fear have destroyed reason.

The thugs that keep the monsters in power do so for their own benefit. They are like the Praetorian guards of Rome. Once the Emperor turned on them, he found himself dead and his replacement bribing his way into power; not with the senate or the people, but with the thugs.

It has been the same throughout history:

Robespierre tricked the French people into giving him power, but he had to murder 40,000 innocents to keep it – and when he became too weird for his thugs they marched him off the “temple mount” and up to the guillotine.

Lenin pretended to serve the people, but when the fact of the failure of Communism become so painfully clear that the party turned against him, he kept his power by murder and terror.

Stalin followed Lenin to power in the USSR, not by merit or the love of his comrades but by murder, and kept his power through a reign of terror. When his thugs felt threatened they saw him murdered. His successors, those who recoiled from killing, fell. Brezhnev hung on by threatening to kill the world and refilling the gulags.

Hitler lied his way to power, but he kept himself there by fear. In the end, when he had shot and poisoned himself to hell, Hitler’s “loyal” followers danced in the bunker.


Mao murdered his way into power and kept it through the most devastating and terrifying slaughter in history. Fear, not love or belief in the little red book kept the “system in line”.

If Saddam’s Iraq or bin Laden’s Caliphate could stir the least moment of loyalty, there would be no need for mass murder, bombs, and endless terror.

Now we come to Kim Jong Il, pretending to command the loyalty of the starving and miserable peoples of North Korea. They may well be ignorant of any other way of life, but it is the tanks and guns of the thugs, not the propaganda or the promises that keeps this mini monster in power.

I saw the first *Star Wars* eighteen times in theaters. Remember, it played for more than a year, and there were no video tape rentals in those days. Once the movie left the theater your chance of ever seeing it again was next to nil. None of us doubted the justice of the “galactic rebels”. We didn’t need the three “episodes” still in Lucas’ head, we automatically knew who to justly fight. Any power that must be maintained by murder must be rebelled against. Our reason teaches us that.

The peoples of China, Iran, North Korea, Vietnam, and Cuba, along with others, wait for the instant they can defy the monster and in a blaze of joy bring down the “Death Star”.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ahmed Chalabi is that you? Wolfowitz, are you steering U.S. foreign policy from the Pentagon again, you little rascal?... Screwball!?

We should be very cautious when making decisions about how a people or culture will react when we understand so little about them. The U.S. has no formal relations with either North Korea, or Iran and it is very difficult to measure political attitudes of 20% of the world's population in China when they are not allowed to speak freely. (It is entirely plausible that a majority of the people in China are content with their government and their own rapid rise in quality of life.) Formulating a foreign policy based on the latest Hollywood blockbuster's idea of what life is like "over there" is likely to end in a blaze of ingloriousness.

Some of the complexities that are often painted over in the movie version, where all of the good guys wear white and bad guys black so the audience knows who to cheer for:

The 2005 presidential election in Iran saw seven candidates run. It was the closest election yet in Iran and required a runnoff between current president Ahmadinejad and the newly moderate Rhafsanjani. In both rounds of voting slightly less than 60% of eligible voters went to the polls to choose their government. The pro-western reformist candidate finished fifth among the seven candidates, and was eliminated in the first round.

Every U.S. intelligence estimate of the North Korean has found that their devotion to their Dear Leader is true. South Korea runs special education centers for Northern defectors. The defectors often suffer from a paralysis caused by culture shock. They are completely obvlivious to the happenings outside of the North and what they do know is directly out of Orwell's 1984. They attend basic history and culture classes in addition to job training. The stays are long and the reckoning difficult - not quite the instant realization and rejoicing that occured in Berlin, 1989 let alone the end of "Return of the Jedi."

China has lifted more people above the poverty line in the last twenty years than any other country in the world. It overtook Britain as the world's fifth largest economy this year. There are millions who still suffer from extreme poverty. But the growing economic opportunities in China are a sign of changing times and growing freedoms, the government ceding more control to the indiviual who, for the most part, is likely to more interested in having a comfortable home than fighting for the right to read Yahoo! news or to stop the government from reading their Yahoo! mail. Doubt me? How many people are marching in Washington this week to stop the U.S. government from reading their Yahoo! mail?

Finally, there are the painful events of recent foreign policy history to teach us the importance of planning ahead and gathering wide, reliable intelligence. Movies cannot substitute for intense analysis and historical understanding that can only come from honest investigation. But I understand the appeal. We all want to be greeted as liberators. Everyone likes a happy ending, that is why we go to the movies: to escape reality.

Lysis said...

Flaccid;

We’ve heard all these arguments before, by the Pro-Slavery crowd. “It is entirely possible that the majority of Black Africans are content in slavery, I mean look how much better off they are on the plantation than in those little mud huts in the jungle.” (Note to Child – the sentence above in quotes is satirical.) I’m sure you can find piles of evidence, mostly compiled by the KKK that attests to the culture shock suffered by the newly freed slaves in the South.

All seven of the Candidates for Iranian President were hand picked by the mullahs. The President of Iran has no real power anyway, he is a toy president completely controlled by the theocracy. The one they’ve got now is nothing more than a mouth. They had elections in the USSR too you know. Shoot Saddam won his last election by 100% of the 100% voter turnout. Isn’t it interesting how the slaves always choose the master in the popularity contests? I’ll bet the folks down in the shanties supported the master too, as long as the shadow of the whipping post and the lynching tree covered them. Comparing an Iranian electron to an American one, to any vote where there is free choice and self determination, is ludicrous.

The totalitarian Communist regime in China murdered more people to get and keep its power than any other regime in history. The present economic success of China came only when the “Red Masters”; fearing their hungry thugs; gave up their control of the economy (ending the lie of Communism) and let the wealth of Democracies like Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, and the United States flow to their impoverished people. The result of economic improvement in China will be the rising desire for freedom, the same natural impulse of all human beings crushed under the tanks on Tiananmen Square. Time will tell if the Death Star in Beijing will blats or blow.

Current history shows that the same impulses the thrilled American movie goers at the end of a decade of failure and malaise, the same energy that swept Carter out and brought Ronald Reagan to the White House, the same love of freedom that brought the Soviet Empire tumbling down; can be recognized in art or in reality by all human beings regardless of their skin color, their religion, or their ethnic roots. Freedom appeals to all peoples. Claiming some difference in human nature dictated by geography or race is the fantasy. A terrible nightmare maintained by murder and fear.

Cameron said...

For the record, Storm Troopers wore white, Imperial Gaurd wore red, Darth Vader wore black, and the rebels wore mostly browns and greys.

There is an interesting article today about Saddam Hussein's trial. It deals with the "military offensive" against the Kurds in 1988. Hundreds of thousands of people were killed. One 78 year old witness in the trial said that his wife and 32 relatives disappeared during the "offensive". His wife's body was found in a mass grave after Saddam's ouster in 2003.

Saddam's response to the accusations that he killed hundreds of thousands of people?

"This will only serve the separation," Saddam said, referring to the deepening division among Iraqis as shown by the rising death toll in the insurgency and sectarian fighting.

"The Zionists are the only ones who will benefit from the differences among Iraqis," Saddam added.

Cameron said...

More from the trial:

"The prosecution says about 180,000 people, mostly civilians, died in the offensive, codenamed Operation Anfal. If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to death by hanging.

On Monday, gunmen killed Imad al-Faroon, the brother of the chief prosecutor in the trial. The assailants burst into his home and shot him to death in front of his wife, government official Ali al-Lami said.

Al-Faroon's slaying came less than three weeks after the fatal shooting of a brother-in-law of a judge in the trial."

Lysis said...

Cameron;

Excellent points. Here we see the irrationality, and contradiction to be found at the core of all powers that must be maintained by terror. If Saddam cared for the unity of Iraq he would confess his sins and accept the noose. It will be instructive to see if Saddam calls on his thugs to give up the murders of innocents to save his nation from division and the Zionists.

Anonymous said...

MM
Kerry published HIS plan long ago -- why not take five minutes from your daily Hannity three hours and read it on the web -- then you can stop posting lies about the non-existence of his plan.

Bush has tried to adopt much of the Kerry plan, however the problem is that when Bush NOW makes international overtures for assitance, no one wants to deal with his incompetence and deceit.

A successful plan in Iraq must begin with exorcising a President who cannot get anything done internationally and who has lost the trust and respect of the world community, and who antagonizes long time allys to score cheap partisan rhetoric at home.

ANY plan will fail if such a person is its architect.

Hillary would not be my first choice, but even Hillary has more international credence and respect than Bush!!!!

Why not PLAN for a little FRIEND BUILDING and cultivate TRUST to compliment the NATION BUILDING in Iraq.

MM, you think the UN is not the answer?

In the present world it is the ONLY answer -- if you believe any answers at all.

Certainly WAR is not the answer!!!!

Anonymous said...

MM,

James Baker is about to make John Murtha look like a PROPHET! There is no magic involved though. It just took someone like Murtha who actually LISTENS to the military!!

truth to power said...

If the UN is the answer, then what in the world is the question?

"How can a tin-horn dictator expand his localized corruption into an international disgrace?"

"What can the Muslim world use to manipulate the free world into denouncing Israeli self-defense as 'terrorism'?"

"What do you call an organization that seeks to grant evil repressive regimes quasi-legal authority over sovereign liberal democracies?"

Lysis said...

Child;

Nice to see you speaking out on your own for a change; I guess you got tired of lurking under Flaccid’s flat shadow.

Please post Kerry’s plan. Your claiming he had one is no more effective than his claiming he had one. The Democrats only plan is to leave the world open to the terrorists and tyrants. Murtha would cut and run, and Clinton would start paying Kim Il to build nukes. We’ve been there before; it brought us 9/11 and nuclear bombs in the hands of a cartoon character. Why go back to failure? As vice President Cheney has recently reiterated, if the United States will not defend freedom no one will. Reason must be defended or it will be consumed by fear.

Your childish goal is to get ride of Bush no matter the cost, thus you pump the neo-lib talking points and dissemble and deceive. Meanwhile you speak hope to the tyrants that maintain their power by terror. It’s obvious they have you running scared. A perusal of your “plan” will vindicate the murderous methods of the monsters and buoy their depravity. Who’s buying the fiction now?

MindMechanic said...

Anon...you are being disengenuous if not intentionally dishonest. Kerrys own supporters were frustrated by Kerry's lack of definition and vision.
Kerry's never...NEVER...cited his 'plan' for the few things he wanted to accomplish. The NYT took him to task. His own staff took him to task. Because of his lack of anything resembling a plan he lost what most democrats believed was the most sure fire in the bag election in modern history.

He wanted to bring other nations in. Fine...but other nations have never wanted anything to do with Iraq. France, Germany, and Russia ALL were found to be shipping Iraq banned weapons and siphoning money in the oil for food scandal. SAYING you would do something is not a PLAN on HOW to do something.

Do you NOT understand that?

Kerry said he would (and this is a FUNNY one) "provide security for UN troops to oversee upcoming elections." What makes that so funny? 1-Providing troops to protect UN troops. You dont find that laughable? 2-With the Iraqi security forces already trained by the US the elections went off without a hitch.

Kerry said he would 'de-haliburtonize Iraq. OK...and use...who? Why do you think Clinton used Haliburton to rebuild Serbia?

The answer isnt diabolical. Haliburton was the only bidder in the 90s (You know...Clintons time) for the IDIQ (Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity) contract used to rebuild entire cities. No other business in the world is structured to rebuild entire cities.

So...Kerry, who did the typical liberal gig and demonized Haliburton, wanted to involve more Iraqis. OK...pop quiz...who do you think Haliurton is employing in Iraq to rebuild the city?

Thats it. The Kerry master plan.

Thats why he lost.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...you mean THIS comment by Baker?

"We've taken nothing off the table and we've put nothing on the table. The report hasn't even been written"

All the comments I saw from Baker said the same thing Bush has been saying all along. Iraq is a tough battle...it isnt going to be a quick fix...etc.

Heres the thing...and please...feel free to check back as far as you want...my comments have been consistent. Our...OUR...yours, mine, ALL of us...is that we have become a nation with a king and a court of jesters. I have never rubber stamp supported Bush, but I do believe HAVING a plan and committing to it even when it is tough going is preferable to the democrat plan which is non-existent or retreat.

I personally WANT to see congress engage. Why is it so inconceivable for democrats and republicans to work together to pass LEGISLATION that works for the good of the country. And that INCLUDES a united plan for Iraq.

Anonymous said...

A plan is not nearly so important as the
IMPLEMENTOR of the plan!!!!

MM's bogus fixation on "PLANS" has little "real world" relevance -- what U.S. foreign policy needs is not a NEW PLAN, but a new IMPLEMENTOR of the plan.

Anyone who has held a position of leadership and decision-making knows that "a plan" is mere window dressing for the actual day to day decisions that REAL WORLD IMPLEMENTATION requires -- implementation is where the rubber meets the road, not with the damn fool "PLAN".

A flawed Plan in the hands of a great leader becomes effective policy; an air-tight plan can become a national disaster with INCOMPETENT implementation!!!!

A plan is OK until the first un-planed eventuality occurs -- then what? Repair the plan or stick with the old plan that has now been made irrelevant by circumstances? Cut and Run (what a crude oversimplification of what can sometimes prove a very intelligent use of resources) OR Stay the Course (which sometimes simply reveals belligerence and an anally rigid and inflexibile neurosis)

A successful policy in Iraq requires the day to day ministrations of GREAT LEADERSHIP -- that's why we see failure and disaster and will CONTINUE to see failure and disaster in Iraq!!!!

60 died yesterday!!!!

Lies.is.us:
Your internet works the same as mine -- look up Kerry's plan and stop making claims based on deceit.

MM found the plan, even though he does not apologize for his previous false claims.

Running all the Neg. UN cards you want just ignores my Comparative Advantage arguments. You can't win a debate if you can't stay on topic!!!!

Yes, I agree that it's not a debate if you don't make valid arguments.

Cameron said...

Anon, you crack me up. Are you saying that "stay the course" is ok, just as long as it's a democrat that is saying it?

truth to power said...

"what U.S. foreign policy needs is not a NEW PLAN, but a new IMPLEMENTOR of the plan."

A telling remark!

Around 1970 Isaac Asimov speculated that the hippies would all get crew cuts if Nixon would just make the supreme sacrifice and grow long hair. And there were plenty of Republicans who opposed things like NAFTA just because Clinton supported them.

For the extreme Bush-haters, it's not what he says, how he says it, what he does, nor how he does it. It's just the fact that he's George W. Bush.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...its not that you arent smart enough to get it...you just choose not to.

Ever been on a trip? They 'idea' is "I want to take an African safari". Thats an idea...not a plan.

The 'plan' is, OK...I need to research the trip options, secure funding, contact travel agents, arrange for transportation, lodging, etc. I need to create a list of equipment and supplies and then follow through witht he purchasing of said equipment and supplies. Pack. Take car of transportation to and from airport. Get someone to feed the horses, etc.

At the end of the day my plan provides for successful completion of the idea.

Kerry never had a plan. Democrats dont have a plan. You know that. You just refuse to admit it.

People are saying Bush doesnt have a plan. Bush has stated his goals anjd plan from the outset. Eliminate Hussein. Establish an interim govt. Help the Iraqi people establish a government. Help the Iraqi people choose their direction. Train Iraqi military and security forces. Turn over control to Iraqi government.

There have been agressive steps put in place all along the way. Its hard work...no one ever suggested it wouldnt be.

I think its hillarious that you say that my expectation of a 'plan' before we choose an alternate course of action is in your words 'bogus'. Not shocking...because your side of the aisle simply is devoid of ideas and plans and you STILL keep electing them. But it IS hillarious nontheless.

Cameron said...

Another day of trial, another horrific telling of Saddam Hussein's atrocities:

Speaking from behind a curtain to conceal his identity for fear of reprisal, the first witness said he was in a group of detainees who thought they were being taken to another detention center during the military offensive that Saddam's government waged against the Kurds in northern Iraq in 1988. But their convoy of trucks stopped in the desert.

"It was dark when they brought a group of people (prisoners) in front of the vehicle. The drivers got out of our vehicles and turned on the headlights."

Some prisoners tried to grab an automatic rifle from a guard, but they failed because they were "so weak," he said.

He said the soldiers opened fire, spraying the prisoners with bullets.

"It was really unbelievable, the number of people being killed like this. A detainee called Anwar recited the Islamic prayers before death and asked for forgiveness," the man testified.

"I ran and fell into a ditch. It was full of bodies. I fell on a body. It was still alive. It was his last breath," he said.

He was lightly wounded. He took off his clothes in the ditch, thinking he was more likely to blend into the color of the sand if he were naked. He then began running again.

"As I was running, I saw many pits, I saw many mounds, and I saw lots of people who had been shot," he said. "The desert was full of mounds that had people buried underneath."

The witness said he took refuge with some Kurds who lived near the massacre site, and traveled north. For 15 years, he lived in hiding, moving frequently, until Saddam was overthrown in 2003.



Why do the keep calling it a "military offensive"?

Anonymous said...

CAM
Does Democrat equal great leader?

Because GWB is NOT, does not mean all Dems. ARE.

That would be an absurd non-sequitur.

You shouldn't be "cracked up", you should be EMBARRASSED for reaching such an unwarranted conclusion about what was posted!!!!

Cameron said...

Ok then, let me rephrase. Is "stay the course" fine, just so long as President Bush is not the one advocating it?

Cameron said...

BTW, you still crack me up...

Lysis said...

Child;

Kerry never had a play. The Democrats have not got any plan except hate Bush. As Mindmechanic has pointed out, your claiming Kerry has a plan on a web site is no more legitimate than his claiming to have put one there. The point is that whatever a plan may be, this lie is not a plan.


Last night I watched the “torchlight” parades in North Korea; celebrating their “successful” nuclear test. Like others when they can’t produce, they just claim they have. Kerry – Kim it’s all the same. Anyway, as I watched the spectacle, I thought to myself, I’ve seen this all before. Oh, it’s just Hitler and his Nazis, but then - no; that’s not all! I realized. It’s the neo-libs marching, carrying a torch for their favorite dictator, Islamic fanatic or Stalinist dweeb, celebrating their imagined successes and showing their unconditional surrender to fear.

What is becoming painfully obvious is that the terror mongers have already frightened the majority of the neo-libs into submission. When the Mullahs come to rule America they will find it peopled with eager supporters, ready to drop their Clinton in 08 banners and march lock step in the mindless parade that fear demands as proof of submission.

Lysis said...

Cameron;

Thanks for the updates on Saddam’s trial. I can only hope that Saddam’s terror campaign in Iraq does not foreshadow our own eventual demise once the “Cut and Run” crowd finds there is no where left to run but into the desert full of graves.

Anonymous said...

MM et al:
You seem hpnotized and somehow comforted by by the mindless repetition of the incantation of "stay the course" -- it seems to me to be the "one trick pony" of Republicans with regards to Iraq.

10 U.S. servicemen died today and 60 Iraqis.

The problem with "stay the course" is it does not admit for ANY KIND OF COURSE CORRECTION.

By this criterion there is NO WAY to trouble-shoot or correct problems that invariably arise with plans, because corrections are viewed as political DISLOYALTY, and the "thought police" will turn in such a person as a "liberal" who advocates "cut and run"!!!!

Loyalty to the plan, loyalty to the plan, loyalty to the plan -- that's ALL that is possible. It is impossible for such adherents to EVER KNOW or DETERMINE if the plan is flawed or a BAD PLAN or simply needs a tune-up -- to entertain such notions is "THOUGHT CRIME" the severest infraction of disloyalty against Big Brother!!!!

MM would NEVER KNOW if GWB's Iraqi policy were a bad policy or how to fix it -- like most Agorites he's too busy chanting!!!! -- while good Americans die.

Anonymous said...

The place that doesn't EXIST and is NEVER written about by Conservatives at the Agora is that PLACE, the INFINITE dimesion, that exists BETWEEN "Stay the Course" and "Cut and Run".

Conservatives will testify that no such place exists, only because such "dualistic" limitations have blighted and destroyed their imagination and capacity to problem solve in a REAL WORLD.

EITHER -- OR is much too limited!!!!

Lysis said...

Child;

The greatest flaw, albeit not the only one, in your analysis of “Stay the Course” is the presumption that the Bush plan is failing. It is not!

It is to history, where we know the outcome of plans and policies, which we must turn to see the truth. We have seen in our own Revolution, from Valley Forge to York Town, in the War of 1812, from the burning of Washington to the victory at New Orleans, from our own Civil War, from Sumter to Appomattox, in WW I from Marne to Marne, in WW II from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay; victory comes from not giving up when the going gets hard. The reason our enemies kill us is to get us to surrender.

It is hard to fathom the kind of war you want to fight. A war were only the “bad guys” die. I have been faulted for comparing the real idiot in North Korea to the fictional monster on the Death Star, but you live entirely in a world of make believe where hard things are done without pain just because your success.

I have students like you, who imagine themselves passing the class without any effort to learn. When they fail, it is “all my” fault. I have had employees like you, who imagine their job done but never do it, and then rail against me when they are given the boot.

Our enemies have a plan. Kill Americans, soldiers on the battle field or civilians in their offices and homes, and America will surrender to us. Osama believe this to be true, he tried it in Mogadishu, it worked; at our embassies in Africa, it worked; against our ships at sea, it worked; and finally against our homeland. There he failed. And what was the difference? He faced George Bush and Osama was driven to a cave to die. Had a Clinton or a Gore been in office in 2001 bin Laden would have cowed our nation to its knees. The “cut and run” chant of the neo-libs is ample proof of that. Of course you don’t like to here “cut and run”; it is the truth that hurts.

The Bush plan is working. Osama is dead, or as good as dead. His terrorist thugs die in far greater numbers than American soldiers in this war. The American homeland remains safe, our intelligence, provided informants by our victorious soldiers, has blocked near a score of attacks intended to dwarf 9/11. Al Qaeda has lost face and credibility everywhere in the world, except in the neo-lib spin media and neo-lib talking points. It is odd that the terrorists’ most “effective” weapon is suicide and American politics. You call that success? Saddam, who sought to use WMD to dominate the world, now waits for the noose. The Taliban, who once ruled a country, now struggle to mount sporadic attacks. The North Korean dicto-child, who fantasize at becoming master of a world nuclear power, is reduced to a dud and a joke, shorn of all international support and credibility.

Your talking points tell you to recite “Bush is a failure”, just like they told you that Kerry had a plan, that the economy is in the tank, that global warming would drive super hurricanes against Florida, that where 25,000 dead in New Orleans, and that the Democrats will sweep the elections of 2006. None of these fabrications has any foundation in truth. You are the chanter; you are already marching lockstep in the dictator’s cause.

I am forced to wonder whether it is hate or fear that blinds you?

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

Child;

The greatest flaw, albeit not the only one, in your analysis of “Stay the Course” is the presumption that the Bush plan is failing. It is not!

It is to history, where we know the outcome of plans and policies, which we must turn to see the truth. We have seen in our own Revolution, from Valley Forge to York Town, in the War of 1812, from the burning of Washington to the victory at New Orleans, from our own Civil War, from Sumter to Appomattox, in WW I from Marne to Marne, in WW II from Pearl Harbor to Tokyo Bay; victory comes from not giving up when the going gets hard. The reason our enemies kill us is to get us to surrender.

It is hard to fathom the kind of war you want to fight. A war were only the “bad guys” die. I have been faulted for comparing the real idiot in North Korea to the fictional monster on the Death Star, but you live entirely in a world of make believe where hard things are done without pain just because you wish it so.

I have students like you, who imagine themselves passing the class without any effort to learn. When they fail, it is “all my” fault. I have had employees like you, who imagine their job done but never do it, and then rail against me when they are given the boot.

Our enemies have a plan. Kill Americans, soldiers on the battle field or civilians in their offices and homes, and America will surrender to us. Osama believe this to be true, he tried it in Mogadishu, it worked; at our embassies in Africa, it worked; against our ships at sea, it worked; and finally against our homeland. There he failed. And what was the difference? He faced George Bush and Osama was driven to a cave to die. Had a Clinton or a Gore been in office in 2001 bin Laden would have cowed our nation to its knees. The “cut and run” chant of the neo-libs is ample proof of that. Of course you don’t like to here “cut and run”; it is the truth that hurts.

The Bush plan is working. Osama is dead, or as good as dead. His terrorist thugs die in far greater numbers than American soldiers in this war. The American homeland remains safe, our intelligence, provided informants by our victorious soldiers, has blocked near a score of attacks intended to dwarf 9/11. Al Qaeda has lost face and credibility everywhere in the world, except in the neo-lib spin media and neo-lib talking points. It is odd that the terrorists’ most “effective” weapon is suicide and American politics. You call that success? Saddam, who sought to use WMD to dominate the world, now waits for the noose. The Taliban, who once ruled a country, now struggle to mount sporadic attacks. The North Korean dicto-child, who fantasize at becoming master of a world nuclear power, is reduced to a dud and a joke, shorn of all international support and credibility.

Your talking points tell you to recite “Bush is a failure”, just like they told you that Kerry had a plan, that the economy is in the tank, that global warming would drive super hurricanes against Florida, that where 25,000 dead in New Orleans, and that the Democrats will sweep the elections of 2006. None of these fabrications has any foundation in truth. You are the chanter; you are already marching lockstep in the dictator’s cause.

I am forced to wonder whether it is hate or fear that blinds you?

truth to power said...

When I started posting here I was anonymous, too, but I didn't take long to figure out that was confusing. Please, anonymy, can you pick some consistent identities?

It's really hard to reconcile, for example, these two statements:

"MM's bogus fixation on "PLANS" has little "real world" relevance -- what U.S. foreign policy needs is not a NEW PLAN, but a new IMPLEMENTOR of the plan."

"Loyalty to the plan, loyalty to the plan, loyalty to the plan -- that's ALL that is possible. It is impossible for such adherents to EVER KNOW or DETERMINE if the plan is flawed or a BAD PLAN or simply needs a tune-up..."

Who knows whether these were posted by different people, or by competing personalities within the same Anonymous psyche?

"The place that doesn't EXIST and is NEVER written about by Conservatives at the Agora is that PLACE, the INFINITE dimesion, that exists BETWEEN "Stay the Course" and "Cut and Run"."

Everybody keeps asking you for your opinion of what ought to be done, but we still don't know. What is your great idea that is neither "Stay the Course" nor "Cut and Run"?

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

"You seem hpnotized and somehow comforted by by the mindless repetition of the incantation of "stay the course"

Hogwash and blatant lie. What I HAVE said is "show me a viable alternative that secures the safety and security of Iraq and America and we'll talk." All you have is cut and run. THAT is NOT a viable alternative.

I have repeatedly stated MY difference of opinion with regard to the mission in Iraq. My position is that stage 1 and 2 have been complied with, stage 3 and 4 (training and turning over tasking to the Iraqis) is ongoing.
Stage 5 from my mission perspective is for the military to hunt and kill terrorists in Iraq.

You keep mentioning "stay the course" like its a bad thing. I cant imagine you are oblivious to history. We "stayed the course" and saw success in Germany. Today we "stay the course" in Bosnia.

"The problem with "stay the course" is it does not admit for ANY KIND OF COURSE CORRECTION"

Hogwash. Just identify the course correction YOU want to see travel. The administration and the military is CONSTANTLY altering mission parameters and is training Iraqis and looking for more effective means to win. Your side has ONE option...get out. And you think that is a GOOD idea.

Stay the course means win the war against terror and terrorism. We have the right people in the right place fighting it. there are no other options but to continue to fight terrorists, here, and abroad.

MindMechanic said...

The place that doesn't EXIST and is NEVER written about by Conservatives at the Agora is that PLACE, the INFINITE dimesion, that exists BETWEEN "Stay the Course" and "Cut and Run".


Good lord Anon...YOU are the one that cant identify ANYTHING that resembles an option somewhere in between the two.

I presonally have posted my alternate course here NUMEROUS times. And I have literally BEGGED you to give some sort of alternative course as well. You NEVER HAVE.

The liberals you are so fond of...what is there "alternate course"? I mean seriously...give me a viable alternative course of action that still works for successful mission completion and I am all for discussing it.

The ONLY democrats with the guts to speak on iraq (and I HAVE said that though I disagree with them I at least admire their integrity) are people like Murtha and Feingold.

Oh...and now the new faux radical Kerry. But lets remember...Kerry voted before before he voted agin. He supported before he didnt. He said Iraq had WMDs when Clinton was president and says now they never did. So really...he hardly counts.

Anonymous said...

Lies.is us:

Just more of the "Either Or" -- attack the EITHER, celebrate the OR. ALL black or ALL white -- is all you seem capable of.

The point of MY post, however, was about the infinity BETWEEN the EITHER and the OR that you DIDN'T address, that you NEVER address, in your eagerness to bash once more, for the amusement of the "homeboys"-- it can't be the edification -- the DUALISTIC opposite of all you personally abhore -- is it just a diversionary tactic or what?

Your last post is the definitve example of the point I've made today about the LAZINESS, arrogance and self-indulgence of DUALISTIC thinking.

Some students are lazy because they are overly secure with their ANSWERS -- no questions, just answers!!!!

You object to me describing Bush's Iraq policy as a failure.

It is significant that Lies.is.us could NEVER imagine a cost in lives or treasure GREAT ENOUGH to EVER conclude the same.

That is what I call living in a dangerous, neurotic, dualistic fiction!!!!

Anonymous said...

MM:
Dittos for a ditto-head.

Anonymous said...

For you consideration,

Today John D. Negroponte, U.S. Director of National Intelligence, said in a statement: “Analysis of air samples collected on Oct. 11, 2006, detected radioactive debris which confirms that North Korea conducted an underground nuclear explosion in the vicinity of P’unggye on Oct. 9, 2006.”

Lysis, please check the source of your post "definitive tests that now indicate that Kim’s nuclear test was a hoax." It may be that you are hearing and believing half-truths, or worse, deliberate lies.

(I hope you will be big enough to not imply that Mr. Negroponte is a "little dictator" - as you did President Carter - for telling the truth.)

Lysis, you seem to have missed this in last week's post - I cannot imagine that you would ignore facts.

I am posting this a third time since you inexplicably removed it from this string earlier.

Anonymous said...

Director Negroponte's statement was from October 15 - three days ago.

Cameron said...

Iran is now making waves.

"The West accuses Iran of seeking to enrich uranium to build atomic bombs, but Tehran insists it only wants to master the technology to make fuel for nuclear power plants.

Iran's chief nuclear negotiator told European states on Wednesday they would be the losers if they joined the United States to push through a U.N. Security Council resolution punishing Tehran for its nuclear program.

Ali Larijani's comments to the semi-official Mehr News Agency came a day after the European Union backed limited U.N. sanctions against Iran for not halting uranium enrichment, a condition for starting talks on an atomic incentives package.

"If the other side (the EU) yields to American pressure, it is natural that the situation will become radical. The world will not end but it will affect all our cooperation, in which I think the other side will lose more," Larijani said

Cameron said...

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council -- the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France -- plus Germany have offered Iran political and economic incentives on condition Tehran first stopped enrichment.



Well, at least we did try to bribe them first...

Lysis said...

Flaccid Child;

We all await your middle of the road proposal. I suggest you check out Neville Chamberlain’s plans for “peace in our time”. They seem to suit your goals, however if you have anything better I would be glad to hear it.

As far as Kim’s “nuclear test”; I am glad to see that evidence of a “nuclear
event” has been found. This only proves what I have always maintained: Kim’s bomb was either a hoax or a dud. It has now been proven to have been a dud and his continuing to call it a great success and forcing his slaves into the street to celebrate are ample proof that he is perpetrating a hoax.

I did accidentally remove your post. My explanation accompanies my apology. I had, as you will see, posted at the same time. I reread my post, found a place that was unclear, corrected it, reposted, and then removed the post above. I believed it to be mine. I am sorry and I am grateful that you took the trouble to repost your comment. Though I disagree with your positions I am always grateful that you take the time to share your positions with us. Again, I hope you will accept my explanation and my humble apology.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...your frequent references to conservative radio personalities couldnt be more comical. I think Limbaugh is a caricature of personality...a radio persona that is created. I dont listen to him or Hannity, or any of the others.

My trucks 6 stack Bose system is loaded with compliation CDs. Thats about all I listen when except the occasional Bluesville on the XM and the two local sports talk shows. We dont get radio reception in the office and my iPod shuffles 14 gigs of a mix that includes some of just about every style of music out there.

Nope...no talk shows, conservative or liberal, thanks.

I did give Amerileft and Ameriright a short run prior to the elections but I really dont see value in listening to the leftist programs and their spewed hatred and the right programs with their accompanying "ditto" callers.

It is kind of funny to me how many liberals I know that for all their hatred and scorn of the conservative talking heads they alwasy seem to know what was said on their programs. Which explains why their listenership is so high.

Now...if there were a program that provided balanced discussion and debate I might add that to my speed dial.

MindMechanic said...

I dont think there is any mystery or diabolical scheming with regard to the North Korean test. For days following the test, different media outlets reported that there was such little impact that it had to be either a failure or at best a very minor and insignificant test. It was reported that it was "probably" just a TNT explosion. Turns out there is some signs of radiation.

Its all immaterial. North Korea has announced their intent. Me...I think we give the UN 30 days to impose sanctions and restrictions and to enforce them or we deal with it.

Additionally, every day I would be reminding the world what France and Germany said they would do with Iran and North Korea.

Dan Simpson said...

MM

You are one patient individual. You have successfully been put into Anon's "all Bush all the time" crowd, despite the things you actually write and propose.

Anon.

I am curious. You speak as if there is no discussion or revisiting of the plan in Iraq. I am curious, are you really a White House insider and that's why you stay anonymous? No, I don't think so. Do you think that every other administration has, or should, come out the the public and let them know every time a debate, discussion, or other team meeting has happened in which alternatives and fixes have been discussed.

Do you REALLY believe that there has never been such a discussion in this white house? REALLY?

I am curious. Are you ever going to speak to ANY of MM's statements?

He has asked you about Bosnia. Your response: . . . . .

He has given you ample opportunity to offer what problems you see and possible alternatives (You can read back on this blog a year ago, I tried this tack, MM, you will NEVER get an answer.)

Your constant responses to MM are. You are so blind, such a bushfollower. That is not an answer to anything.

I'll go for broke here.

Anon. Here is a question, though I don't really expect an actual answer.

You continue to say the policy is failing. You continue to say this plan is broken.

What would show success in your eyes? Lysis continues to say it is a success. You continue to say it isn't.

You quote individuals who point to problems. Lysis quotes individuals who proclaim we are going in the right direction. You deride his guys, he derides yours.

So. What, to you, would show success. You say that 'cut and run' is too simplistic. So, I assume, that for success we wouldn't have to be out of Iraq today.

Would there have to be 20% fewer deaths. 50% fewer deaths. No deaths on a daily basis?

Is it something that can't be quantified by numbers? Would you just have to FEEL success?

Would every individual in Iraq have to renounce the violence? Would Sunni's and Shiite's have to pray together?

So, I wonder. What would have to happen for you to see success?

I see success. And I see failure.

I see success in the work that is done by the U.S. Military, government, rebuilding. I see many, many successes.

I see failure in that the people of Iraq have shown that they want a Constitution, and freedom. But, as a whole, they have yet to show that they are truly willing to fight to retain it.

MM's words have been true all along. Freedom is not something that we can give them. They must take it, and then, they must defend it. There will ALWAYS be people who wish to take it from them, they must learn that if they truly want it. They must rise up and be willing to fight, die, and kill for it.

Is there something that we could do, or could have done, better to help them with that realization? I don't know. I don't know how you convince people that THEY need to take the responsibility for their own freedom.

You act as if there are so many things that you KNOW. You know that the Bush administration never looks at its plan and revises, or makes changes, or brainstorms about the situation to see if there ARE viable changes that can be made.

You assume so much, and it really seems to come down to just a hatred of Bush. So, if you would really like to show how we are all blind idiots. Answer MM's questions. Answer mine. Show how we are wrong, instead of just saying we are, followed by three or four exclamation points.

MindMechanic said...

Dan...

If I didnt have hope that someday we might actually have real discussion I wouldnt bother posting here on any blog. I guess its sort of a little bit like the Iraqi mission. Frustrating, but not futile. Not necessarily hopeful, but at the same time not necessarily hopeless.

Some other things have struck me while reading your post...

On a national scale, THIS is the debate. Dems dont talk about the economy, about the success of tax cuts, about the constant growth of the markets, of the retirement opportunities and income levels that are continuing to be enhanced daily by this economy, etc. They dont talk about anything unless it is race based, hate filled, or empty rhetoric.

Most importantly, on ANY topic, they have NO solutions. Zero.

What we know is that a democrat win will mean more taxes and bailing out of Iraq. They will pay off Kim to keep quiet, and they wont even care if he doesnt allow them to monitor or even stop weapons development as long as he isnt public about it. Like the French the democrats will talk tough about Iran and then when Iran continues in defiance, they will change their song to one taht says, well...maye Iran isnt so bad...its probably going to be used for peaceful purposes.

Thats it. Thats all they have when it comes to 'leadership.' Tax the wealthy, create racial division, appeal to their voter base. Keep the poor just poor enough to keep them dependent. Speak softly and carry a wet noodle.

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

Something else came to mind...something I really hadnt considered before.

I think we would all agree that Iraqi citizens will have to take responsibility if they ever want peace freedom and democracy in their country. I think we all can get that what we can do is offer them an opportunity.

What got me thinking was actually 'hearing' Dans words and then applying it to experiences I have had in many middle eastern countries. See...many middle easterners, especially the oil rich nations, have this mindset that work is beneath them. Sorry...just speaking the truth. I am not even talking about the rich, I am talking about many arabs in general. Working with the Saudi military what you see is even their lowest ranking individuals often not bothering to lift a finger and sitting back while the contractors did all the work.

There is a term TCN which stands for Third Country National. It is a descritpive term but also a derogitory term.

TCN applies to all the Indonesians, Phillipinos, Pakistanis and yes, US citizens that go to those countries and get paid (very well based on each countries standards...US contractors score big while Pakistanis get paid relatively dirt poor wages, but compared to what they make in Pakistan it is like a kings ransom) to do jobs that are beneath them.
This isnt a blanket indictment of ALL Arabs, but my experience is that it is a majority. I can give examples that would make you sait back and scratch your head in amazement.

So...it makes me wonder...

I wonder if the Iraqi citizens just need to be made aware of the mindset and equally and forcefully be made aware that this is the one job that NO ONE can do for them.

I think our message to them should be direct. We will stay in Iraq 1-as long as we are welcome by their government and 2-as long as we can continue to effectively fight the terrorists. What we WONT do is be responsible for their security. Thats up to them.

You have the tools, you have the talent. What is at stake is your very peace and freedom. Get busy.

Cameron said...

"We should be very cautious when making decisions about how a people or culture will react when we understand so little about them... "

Anon started this comment thread with this warning. I think it fits somewhere in what has just been written. If the Iraqi people for whatever reason choose not to fight for democracy themselves, and the whole thing devolves even further, does that mean we should not have given them the chance? Or would it simply mean that we didn't do a good enough job in giving them that chance?

Anonymous said...

You guys have a REAL discussion confused with something like a pep-rally for Mary Kay Cosmetics or a 'holy ghost filled' Evangelical camp meeting for everyone to shout down the devil.

That's not what I do.

I don't dislike Bush as much as YOU loath Bill and Hillary!!!!

Interpersonally I kind of like the guy. However, I think he allows himself to be "handled" and has become a puppet for people and powers I TRULY loath.

This is a vast oversimplification, and I know I'll regret posting it.

I have coached and been coached for many many years, in a variety of sports and activities. ALL Coaches begin with optimism and PLANS for a good season. With very few and minor differences the GOALS are all much the same from team to team.

I have never put much energy or stock in PLANS, even though PLANS are necessary, they can quickly turn into impediments if they are not held at arms length.

Yes, MM I do know coaches whose PLANS become a BIBLE of preconceptions -- for them there is chaos without a detailed PLAN of action.

But, as Virginia Wolfe said, "It has a certain syrup, but doesn't pour".

With EXACTLY the SAME PLAYBOOK some coaches can inspire others to do what would seem impossible in the beginning -- even throw out the game PLAN.

But, some coaches do everything they CAN to charge their "troops" with morale, and all that happens is dissension and defeat. Blame the players, blame the fans, but there is NOTHING more miserable than being on a such a team.

It becomes so OBVIOUS to everyone that the coach should lose his job!!!!

MindMechanic said...

Why am I NOT suprised?

The headlines right now are SCREAMING "Bush compares Iraq to VietNam"

Hogwash. What he said was that if we allow the terrorists to win in Iraq it could very well BECOME VietNam.

But of course, most people will see the headline and not bather to read what was actually said.

WASHINGTON, October 19, 2006 - President Bush said in a one-on-one interview with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos that a newspaper column comparing the current fighting in Iraq to the 1968 Tet offensive in Vietnam, which was widely seen as the turning point in that war, might be accurate.

Stephanopoulos asked whether the president agreed with the opinion of columnist Tom Friedman, who wrote in The New York Times that the situation in Iraq may be equivalent to the Tet offensive in Vietnam almost 40 years ago.
"He could be right," the president said, before adding, "There's certainly a stepped-up level of violence, and we're heading into an election."

"George, my gut tells me that they have all along been trying to inflict enough damage that we'd leave," Bush said. "And the leaders of al Qaeda have made that very clear. Look, here's how I view it. First of all, al Qaeda is still very active in Iraq. They are dangerous. They are lethal. They are trying to not only kill American troops, but they're trying to foment sectarian violence. They believe that if they can create enough chaos, the American people will grow sick and tired of the Iraqi effort and will cause government to withdraw."

MindMechanic said...

Cameron,

We defeated Saddam Hussein and ousted a regime that can easily be compared to Hitlers. Because we created the power vacuum we have an obligation to provide them the opportunity to fill it in the most healthy way possible. But ultimately...what they do with it is what they will have to live with.

MindMechanic said...

Anon...

"You guys have a REAL discussion confused with something like a pep-rally for Mary Kay Cosmetics or a 'holy ghost filled' Evangelical camp meeting for everyone to shout down the devil."

That you can even type that without your fingers falling off is amazing. Anon...Yu are the ONLY ONE here that refuses to engage in actual discussion. Everytime you post you paint everyone here with the same bursh, yet I have seen at different times virtually everyone else here exchangin in dialogue and often disagreeing. I have seen others here calling Lysis to task on occasion for histrionics. YOU (or whoever is typically representative of the anon collective) are the one that
is incapable of engaging in a conversation.

And BTW I make that clarification because there IS an anon that dares to be different and a ctually posts intelligent and well thought out arguments. And I relish his posts every time, even when I dont agree with all of them.

I don't dislike Bush as much as YOU loath Bill and Hillary!!!!

In point of fact i do not like Bill OR Hillary but I have to be honest...I dont expect anything more from them. Bill is who he is...he has always been Bubba. I dont know how or why anyone would expect different of him.

What I LOATHE are the people that are blindly loyal to their party that put them both in their positions of power. I despise people that blast republicans for sexual related indiscretions and then excuse and justify or just plain ignore rape, sexual assault, indecent exposure, and molestation.

Interpersonally I kind of like the guy. However, I think he allows himself to be "handled" and has become a puppet for people and powers I TRULY loath.

This is the silliest argument yet. Bush has stood on HIS principles and values whether others agree with him or not. See...this is exactly what I am talking about. All day long he is accused by you and others from the left of Cowboy mentality, going it alone, not listening to others, on and on and on. Yet, when the rhetoric flies, he is stupid, a puppet, easily manipulated. Or alternately evil, diabolical, a twisted mad genious.

Ridiculous. Like him or not Bush represents something the left cant recognize. A LEADER that doesnt take his cue's from the blowing winds of political fortune.

Anonymous said...

Cameron:
If it were YOU to die to give Iraqis a CHANCE at Democracy, would it be worth the price to YOU?

Though not ABSOLETELY TRUE, I find SOME degree of truth in the observation that "The acts of the person acting are performed upon him who is previously disposed to suffer them."

How to "save" people who are previously disposed to suffer tyranny and oppression is indeed a difficul chore -- I would say impossible!!!!

Anonymous said...

Cicero says:

I am going to change the subject a little and ask:

Is blind faith a virtue?

I have been reading a great book titled "The Closing of the Western Mind: The Rise of Faith and The Fall of Reason" by Charles Freeman.

He asks this question and I feel that it is very legit in ant application in thr Agora.

truth to power said...

"How to "save" people who are previously disposed to suffer tyranny and oppression is indeed a difficul chore -- I would say impossible!!!!"

I suppose someone could think this were impossible if it had never ever been done before. But what's your excuse for this weird notion?

The very first example that comes to mind is Japan. But it's not the only one.

To Cicero: No, blind faith is not a virtue. This is sort of a straw man. I've never heard any person of faith advocate blind faith. Indeed, the phrase seems to be used only by the anti-religious.

Lysis said...

Dannyboy;

You hurt my feelings, and misrepresented my position. Come on comparing me to Flaccid is a little too much “fair and balancing”. You say:

“You [speaking to Flaccid] quote individuals who point to problems. Lysis quotes individuals who proclaim we are going in the right direction. You deride his guys, he derides yours.”

What guys am I quoting? And if I am quoting guys, isn’t that what presenting evidence is all about. I guess I could just quote myself:

“The Bush plan is working. Osama is dead, or as good as dead. His terrorist thugs die in far greater numbers than American soldiers in this war. The American homeland remains safe, our intelligence, provided informants by our victorious soldiers, has blocked near a score of attacks intended to dwarf 9/11. Al Qaeda has lost face and credibility everywhere in the world, except in the neo-lib spin media and neo-lib talking points. It is odd that the terrorists’ most “effective” weapon is suicide and American politics. You call that success? Saddam, who sought to use WMD to dominate the world, now waits for the noose. The Taliban, who once ruled a country, now struggle to mount sporadic attacks. The North Korean dicto-child, who fantasizes at becoming master of a world nuclear power, is reduced to a dud and a joke, shorn of all international support and credibility.”

Rather than pointing out that all I do is say, “we are going in the right direction”, why not show where my “evidence” of success fails. To just insult it without evidence or argument is a rather “limp” indictment.

Mindmechanic;

Don’t underestimate the Iraqi people’s commitment to freedom. They are fighting and dieing in far greater numbers than anyone else in this struggle. Reevaluating their commitment to reason whiled their streets flow with the blood of their heroes seems rather detached to me. I wonder; if fanatics would have murdered George Washington’s brothers, bombed Independence Hall, and sawn the heads off of patriots in the on Boston Commons, if you would have suggested the founders reconsidered their Declaration?


Cameron;

You comment was right on and beat me to the punch, but I will answer you question:

We have not failed in giving them the chance for freedom, yet. The calls for failure are political. Sadly that will not make it any less a disaster for the freedom loving people of Iraq, for America, or for the world, should America choose to cut and run.

Child:

Feel free to hate President Bush as much as you want. It is a silly reason for attacking your country and deserting the world to terror. As for your coaching skills, I rather see the “didn’t get to be the coach” criticizing the guy winning the games because you would rather be calling the shoots.

Mindmechanic;

I have been comparing the war against Terror to the war in Vietnam from day one. The war in Vietnam was just and necessary, America won the war in Vietnam and brought the promise of freedom to the people of South Vietnam; then for political reasons we deserted the allies who had fought and bleed in far greater numbers that we had, and cutting them off from our support, watched as they struggled on for years against the North fully supported by the USSR. After their defeat, enslavement and slaughter we salved our consciences at by pretending they were never worthy or our support in the first place.

As for Stephanopoulos’ sound bits out of context; reasoning people understand how those forced by fear to disregard reason are ready to follow the steps of our failed policies under Carter and leave the world open to the assault of the monsters. This time there may be no Ronald Reagan to save the world.

Cicero;

If Faith, Blind Faith or other wise, destroys reason it is no virtue. The blind faith of the Islamic fanatics is as evil as the blind faith of the witch hangers at Salem. Faith is the natural extension of reason, not its replacement.

Truth to Power;

I would argue that what the free peoples of Japan, and Germany, and India, and Eastern Europe, and Southern Utah prove is that there is no such thing as people disposed to suffer tyranny.

MindMechanic said...

Anon
"With EXACTLY the SAME PLAYBOOK some coaches can inspire others to do what would seem impossible in the beginning -- even throw out the game PLAN.

It becomes so OBVIOUS to everyone that the coach should lose his job!!!!"

not to be redundant...but you equate the concept "win the game" with a "game plan." I do not.

Democrats do not have a game plan.

Now...as to your second statement...hey...by all means...fire the coach. The coach's term will be up in another two years and he wont be re-hired. Lets just make sure for ALL of our sake we dont hire someone that doesnt know the difference between rhetoric and a game plan.

Ive said it beofre so it shouldnt be shocking to hear it again...in 1996 I was disheartened by our choices for president. I was again in 2000. Bush was not my idea of a great candidate, let alone president. Gore was a nightmare. I will admit that I admire Bush for his apparent committment to his values. Considering who previously held the chair, it was probably easy to look good in comparison.

In 2004 I was willing to consider a change of presidency. Unfortunately our options were...well...no option at all. The libertarians always put up a loser, the reform party sold their soul to the devil, The Greens are a joke, and the dems put forward a candidate who hadnt dont anything in 26 years of congressional service to site in his campaign. Kerry has proven his (lack of) worth. THATS why the dems lost. because their candidate was so DISMAL.

I honestly HOPE for better in 2008. People tout Hillary as a candidate for pres and I have to ask...why? What has she done as a senator to deserve consideration? I have yet to talk to a liberal that can answer that question.

McCain also is not my ideal guy but at least he has a proven record of action as a senator.

I hope some real "best and brightest" candidates surface and we are left with a viable and real choice. I am NOT holding my breath.

MindMechanic said...

Cicero...Blind faith? No. But faith is IMO.

And again...it depends on the subject.

Blind faith in a provable is silly. Blind faith in a political party is suicidal.

Scientists take things on blind faith all the time and we are then taught them as proven or givens. Sometimes they are proven wrong.

I think the only area where I allow for 'faith' is in God. Because I CAN NOT 'know' then it is for me to choose or not choose faith. By doing so I have allowed for certain experiences that reinforce my faith.

MindMechanic said...

Lysis...

I dont underestimate the people of Iraq but I do have a concern. I get that many (most?) live in fear that if they speak up or out that their family will be targeted. At the same time...I suspect that if we (or rather MOST Americans) were faced with a similar situation we would be battleing the oppressors ourselves.

Part of this is the mentality of the oppressed. They lived in fear of Saddam and his brutal forces and now they live in fear of terrorists.

maybe they just need to be shown just how powerful they actually are.

As to the Viet Nam scenario...

I liken the Gulf War to WW2. the scenarios are identical...

1-We toppled an oppresive regime and government creating a power vaccuum that had to be carefully filled.
2-We had a clear startegic goal for victory and prosecuted the war to completion
3-We engaged in the process of helping the people of both countries to establish their government and create a viable and stable economy

In WW2 history has proven the success of our commit to win and to the German people. In Iraq...its too early to tell.

Where the comparison is valid w/ VietNam is in the political turmoil and actions of the left.

I fear that if we abandon Iraq as we did VietNam we will see body counts similar to what we saw in Indochina.

MindMechanic said...

I am curious...

Frmr Representative Foley stated that he had been molested as a child and that has impacted him. Thats an absolutely true statement-his behavior is typical of abused children, especially those abused by male role models.

Now we have the priest coming forward and confessing.

Without excusing or justifying Foley's behavior, does this revelation provide anyone better understanding and less judgement of the man?

truth to power said...

My heart bleeds for every victim of abuse. These are despicable acts which will be justly dealt with someday. Jesus said something about a millstone.

But two wrongs don't make a right. I do not believe that a man loses his free will and responsibility for his actions because he was harmed as a child. Not all abuse victims become abusers. Most choose to rise above their awful experiences.

Once a man has demonstrated that he will use this excuse to harm other children, I don't know how we can ever trust him again. It's just not worth the risk.

Anonymous said...

The GOAL is WHAT-ever is proposed to be accomplished.
The PLAN is HOW to accomplish the proposal.

Winning games is a WHAT not a HOW!

Defeating terrorism is a WHAT not a HOW.

On a scale of 1 to 10, one being ultra-liberal and 10 being reactionary conservative, MM is a 9.5 and Lies.is.us is a 12, while Dan is a 6-7 because of "corruption" acquired at the U of U, but is quikly reverting back to type -- soon to be restored to his former 9.5. glory. TTP is a 7-8, but scratch the surface and he starts having "visions" of 10+!!!!!

There is DIVERSITY!?!?

Not so that anyone but a raving conservative purist would notice --(Were there 25 or 30 deck chairs on the Titanic????) One thing that is true about the conservative pack at the Agora is that if you "Run with the wolves" you had better soon start HOWLING like them.

MM prefers the "good" anonymous over the "dark side of the force" anonymous?

If I were him I would too.

MM, I feel your pain!!!!

Lies.is.us:
I didn't understand the garbled comment about my coaching analogy. I am sure you had something insulting in mind, but just couldn't spit it out.

ET AL:
The "previously disposed to suffer them" quotation was not understood at all.

Democracy is not a springtime thing -- in the words of George Will, "You can't make a Democracy anymore than you can make an Orchid."

Helping others achieve is a value that I can wholehartedly support. However, there are SOME who quickly turn HELPING into an enabeling process that creates greater weakness, instead of greater indpendence and strength.

We have all seen the Help me! Help me! baby birds who have learned to CON A LOT of help from unchastened idealists who think they can create "back-bones" out of pon-pons and wheelchairs.

Eventually the question lingers . . . 'From so many year of tyranny and oppression, why didn't YOU rise up and overthrow the bastards????'

I am merely a 4-5, but quickly distancing myself from BOTH looney ends.

Lysis said...

Mindmechanic;

It is curious to me that you believe that Iranians who face real bullets and bombs should be bolder than the Anonomy in this forum who face nothing but the truth. Flaccid and his students are ample proof that Americans are willing to chuck freedom for security.

What is their justification for mental oppression?

As for the confessions of Foley’s molester, and Foley’s “vindication”: First – I have yet to see evidence that Foley sexually molested anyone, but if he did – he cannot blame his crimes on some act that befuddled him in his youth. We must all be responsible for our own actions. He knows right from wrong, and is obliged to act accordingly no mater what ghosts haunt his past.

Truth to power;

It is rather that past wrongs do not make present wrongs right.

Child;

You seem willing to label others positions, but sadly incapable of presenting anything to support your own. I am not surprised you could not understand my comment about you coaching analogy. I wonder that you understood your own. Let me try again. Do your best – perhaps have Flaccid read it out loud to you. You are condemning “the coach”, in spite of his victories, because you want to be the coach and are not. The neo-libs condemn Bush because they want his power. They will condemn the President no matter what he does – because they want his job. Where he anti-war, they would be for it.

Now even helping people find freedom has become enabling spoiled birds to you. You neo-libs are willing to take any tack to regain power.

MindMechanic said...

Wow, anon...how absolutely bigoted of you to pronounce a judgement on someone you dont know.

You base your judgement based on...what a stream of conversations regarding the war on terror?

NOT that I object to the conservative tag. I am. But it would probably shock you to hear my position on most social situations and on ALL government.

MindMechanic said...

And BTW...I just prefer the anon that actiually has the capacity to communicate.

MindMechanic said...

Dont get me wrong...I am not suggesting anything excuses or justifies Foleys behaviors. I DO have a greater understanding and empathy for the individual now. His response is not right...its not justified, but it IS typical.

His personality and decisions were being formed the day it first happened. He has been affected by it every day. A lot of people react a lot worse. Molestation is a tragic thing.

And AGAIN...I am not defending him.

Anonymous said...

I quite like reading Anonymous' posts. They are very insightful and witty. And best of all, they actually bare resemblence to the world we live in (unlike so many others).

My compliments Anonymous on daily shaking so many up and confronting them on their rib-tickling claims of independence. Keep posting, I will keep dutifully reading.

MindMechanic said...

"Anonymous said...
The GOAL is WHAT-ever is proposed to be accomplished.
The PLAN is HOW to accomplish the proposal.

Winning games is a WHAT not a HOW!

Defeating terrorism is a WHAT not a HOW"

Do I take this to mean you are finally coming to your senses?

Kerry had whats...he didnt have hows. The democrats today have whats. They do NOT have hows. Their only known how (one that is guaranteed to be enacted) is to raise taxes.

Everyone talks of the Bush Social Security plan. The Bush education plan. The Bush foreign policy. The Bush economic policy.

Notice...even though Clinton ctied social security as an impending disaster, he did nothing to try and solve it. The democrats have offered no solutions.

Education is the same story.

Heck, even Al Gores favorite cause of the day shows the democrats true mettle. Kyota was signed during the Clinton administration and in 4 years never so much as went up for a vote. Democrats in congress passed legislation blocking Kyoto. As'important' as they believe it to be, all they ever gave it was rhetoric.

And to BOTH sides discredit...isnt it CONGRESSES job to have all these plans?

Cameron said...

"How to "save" people who are previously disposed to suffer tyranny and oppression is indeed a difficul chore -- I would say impossible!!!!"

Anon, I will assume that what you mean by "previously disposed" is that after generations of being oppressed, it can be difficult for people to exercise new-found freedom, and not that some people are just born incapable of being free.

But, does that mean that we shouldn't try to help oppressed people to have freedom? Because it could be hard?

Take out all the partisan BS, and what you have in Iraq is a dictator that killed at least hundreds of thousands of people. Diplomacy and sanctions failed to overthrow him. His people were oppressed and lived in fear for decades. To me, that alone is a good enough reason to actively seek his overthrow.

Anonymous said...

No!
The helping is great. Did I just post my concerns about helping and enabeling?

The "impossible" was my indictment of the situation with "HELPING" as it now stands in Iraq -- I do not see a solution there.

The situation has not been, "to help or not", but NOW the dilemma is with when helping becomes deleterious and dangerous to the forces of assistance.

No Agorites seem to want to deal with that OBVIOUS eventuality because they don't want to peel off the fake "S" they imagine stenciled on America's chest.

Lysis said...

Last night on O’Reilly they were talking about Sting Ray attacks. In case you’re not aware, there have been two high level sting ray attacks in the last few weeks. First, Steve Irwin was killed and then this week an 81 year old fisherman was attacked in his boat when one of the “monsters” leaped out of the water and nailed him through the chest. O’Reilly brought in a PHD to discuss possible cause of the spike in attacks. Her answer – Global Warming.

It was a good chuckle, but also a moment for thought. It seems that all things evil have explanations in neo-libs crusades. Murder in Iraq is caused by Bush’s failure, sexual perversion caused by the Republican controlled Congress, Korean dud testing caused by U.S. arrogance, and now swarms of deadly sting ray warriors patrol the seas ready to reek vengeance on global warming humans.

By the way, I hear Kim Il is apologizing to the world for his dud. The typical way of the relativist. If you can’t inspire fear, why not gin up a little sympathy. Maybe he would have better luck seeking a treaty with the killer rays; they seem more successful in their attacks.

Cameron said...

Anon,

I was under the impression that you were against freeing Iraq from the beginning. My mistake, I apologize for confusing the issue.

So how do we avoid making the Iraqis too dependant upon us and our military for protection? I suppose by helping them create their own government, military, and police force, and training them to do what our military is doing. When they are sufficiently trained and capable, we back away. Sort of like teaching a child to ride a bike.

Anonymous said...

MM:
Caldwell's comments, which came during his weekly briefing for reporters here, were a rare public admission that an American strategy in Iraq HASN'T WORKED.

Caldwell sounded despondent as he acknowledged the death toll. He said U.S. officials were reassessing the assumptions they'd made before implementing the Baghdad security PLAN.

WE'RE ASKING OURSELVES IF THE CONDITIONS UNDER WHICH IT WAS FIRST DEVISED AND PLANNED STILL EXIST TODAY OR HAVE THE CONDITIONS CHANGED AND THERFORE A MODIFICATION TO THE *PLAN* NEEDS TO BE MADE.
TROUBLE IS THAT WE HAVE NO PLAN B CURRENTLY IN PLACE.

CALDWELL DIDN'T SAY HOW AMERICAN OFFICIALS MIGHT ADJUST THEIR PLANS, PLANS, PLANS!!!!

The reason that there is no Plan B alternative is bacause any alternative was "stillborn" by the "STAY THE COURSE" insanity of the Administration and Republicans.

No Combat leader can trouble-shoot, reassess, or readjust the PLAN in Iraq without potentially being charged with cowardice and disloyalty by the "stay the course" hacks and pimps back home.

Major General William Caldwell is an American HERO!!!!

Lysis said...

Poor Flaccid, can’t tell the difference between a PLAN and a COURSE.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter if I can or not.

CALDWELL says the PLAN is a FAILURE and the U.S. doesn't have a PLAN B.

His words not mine.

Poor U.S. soldiers and war dead -- to have died for a war strategy that our own Generals describe as a FAILURE only to "stay the course" some more while MM and
Lies.is.us fiddle with rhetoric!!!!

MindMechanic said...

No Combat leader can trouble-shoot, reassess, or readjust the PLAN in Iraq without potentially being charged with cowardice and disloyalty by the "stay the course" hacks and pimps back home.

This argument is just plain silly. "Stay the course" means conitnue combating terrorism. It means win. It does not mean NOT adjusting strategy and changing plans.

Plans, troop strengths, strategic allocation, deployment, integration with Iraqi forces, those things have been changing and modifying since day one.

Stay the course means win the war. Where plans need to be altered DO IT.

And do I have to say it again? CONTRARY to the current plans I have said for the how many umpteenth time now that MY vision of the mission is NOT identical or in lock step with the current administration plans. For what it is worth, which is nothing because my vision does not affect policy, I have repeatedly said here that the securing of the Iraqi people should be turned OVER TO the Iraqi people. Our forces should be pursueing terrorists. Not running security patrols.

Which is certainly a different 'plan' but one that is meant to stay the course.

You have to be INTENTIONALLY dense because I know you arent that stupid.

MindMechanic said...

I believe that no matter startegy we employ, there will be US casualties. We are fight terrorists. If we had an enemy to engage in a straight up knockdown war, we would win hands down. We dont. That doesnt mean we just stop fighting because it is difficult. The military understands that even if you do not.

We are battling terrorists. We cant stop fighting them.

Wait...seriously...you arent suggesting that, are you?

Lysis said...

The course is to victory over terrorism. From the first day President Bush has told us that the battle will be long and hard. He has always said 1) we will give the field commanders what ever they ask for, and 2) WE will adapt to field conditions as necessary. Now the neo-libs try to define the President’s conscientious course a failure. The hypocrisy of the Flaccid cut and run crew is that they question the way things are going, point to flaws and needs for revision, and then when flaws are fixed and revisions made they claim overall failure and want to run for cover. There is no cover but victory.

For fear of over exciting Rumpole – let me give a sports analogy. The foot ball game is long, there will be many plays and adaptations to meet the strengths and exploit the weaknesses of the other team. The first time the quarter back call for a new play or the coach directs one, Flaccid would call the game and leave the stands. And of course march into the Principals office and demand the coaching job for himself.

Dan Simpson said...

No big surprise. I ask a list of questions, anonomy responds with talking about the opposition, not the discussion.

Lysis, I wasn't comparing the strength of your position with anonomy. I was pointing to the back and forth. Anonomy is locked into responding to you, you then respond to him. All side questions and comments are, for the most part, ignored by anonomy.

I was just trying to insert a few questions in the misplaced hope that one of the anonomy would have the intellectual integrity to answer them.

Instead I got labeled with a 6-7 (only acquired under duress at the U apparently. Oddly enough my world view is a mix of my religion, my mission, my work with the boy scouts, my study in Anthropology and History, and my law school at the U).

Well, like I told MM. I don't really expect anything different.