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Friday, May 19, 2006

United 93

This week was a week to look back. Earlier this week I saw the film of the jet crashing into the Pentagon.

This link was available online today. The World Trade Center.

Tonight my wife and I went to see United 93. It seems likely that every adult in the theatre either cried or worked hard to hold back tears. Then there was the other emotion. Grim faces marched out of the darkness, determined, moved.

I struggled with great sorrow and then came the anger. My fists clenched in rage at the evil of what took place on 9/11. It was Pearl Harbor of the 21st century, only far more treacherous.

At this moment I have contempt for every Islamofascist who walks the planet, a living representation of evil. I have contempt for every weak-kneed and unprincipled American pacifist like John Murtha who has been a sentinent being during the time of 9/11 and yet does not have the cojones to put love of country over political purpose. I have contempt for every false religion that uses a word like "god" to justify terrorism.

I walked out of the theatre having shed tears, and feeling like I wanted to rip the head off of something. It is what you call righteous anger. I did not come home ready to blog. I was reminded of an important truth that had begun to fade into the background.

We were attacked, and we are at war. The enemy does not use normal tactics of warfare. Like a wild dog, the only reason he isn't savagely lunging at our heels right now is that he is busily trying to protect his own backside. We are at war in the heart of the Terrorist world, the center of Islam, fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq with weapons and in other countries like Iran with ideas. Islam once nearly overran Europe and it has the same goal as always: world domination. Today's Nevil Chamberlains have not yet learned their history lesson. You cannot negotiate with evil. You cannot appease it, either. It is a fight to the death for them. Literally.

I will go back to discussing some points of the Bible tomorrow. But I tell you this: Christians do not seek to take over governance of the world and subjugate the people to religious law. They are not taught to be bloodthirsty killers before they are old enough to drive. They are not taught that the murder of innocents will get them into a paradise of fulfilled lusts. There is no comparison between Mohammed and Christ. If you think so, to borrow the phrase of an Aussie friend, then you are a 'bloody idiot!'

51 comments:

highboy said...

Yeah, I saw the trailer for Oliver Stone's World Trade Center movie and just the trailer tore me up. I don't think I have the stomach to watch either movie, especially United 93. That plane went down not even 2 hours from my home and I knew 3 people who were killed in the crash.

Anonymous said...

" I have contempt for every weak-kneed and unprincipled American pacifist like John Murtha who has been a sentinent being during the time of 9/11 and yet does not have the cojones to put love of country over political purpose. "

Of course, it's also possible that he is putting love of country over (the Administration's) political purpose, or political purpose over political purpose.

Neither Saddam or Iraq had anything to do with 9/11. Not only has the Iraq war drained manpower and resources that could have been targeted at destroying terrorist organizations, our actions, both actual and imagined, have probably done more to create new terrorist recruits - or at least terrorist sympathy - than that spindly-ass bastard bin Laden could have done in a century. It hasn't been confirmed that a few of our soldiers finally did what I've been dreading for over three years and killed innocent men, women and children in cold blood, as will eventually happen whenever soldiers are placed in this kind of position. Maybe something else happened. But it doesn't matter. Lots and lots of young men - and women - have just learned a lesson, and that is: America will invade Middle Eastern countries without provocation, and kill Muslim women and children as they kneel in fear, trying to pray.


Great.

-Dan S.

loboinok said...

"America will invade Middle Eastern countries without provocation, and kill Muslim women and children as they kneel in fear, trying to pray."

Murtha couldn't have said it better himself.

Liberalism really is a disease!

Anonymous said...

And language is a virus . . .

I'm not sure I understand your point, Lobionok. Is my statement above the actual truth? Well, not exactly. Certainly many Americans believed that Saddam's Iraq was a real and urgent threat to America, while some felt his (all too real) atrocities made the war, however mistaken in its own terms, nevertheless an moral imperative. The Administration? Well, I don't expect we'll know for certain all that was in their heads until a few decades pass, if ever (although there's always the chance of investigatory revelations). I see a range of likely possibilities, from
a) a disasterous combination of incompetence, fear, and groupthink led the Administration to mislead the American people (and partly themselves) out of perceived necessity, and also to mess up the postwar response so badly as to perhaps ruin any hope for a reasonably peaceful and more or less democratic Iraq,
to z) where key figures behaved in a wholly oportunistic and anti-democratic manner.

What happened in Haditha? As mentioned above, I don't know for sure. But momentarily averting ones eyes from the actual event, the perception that American troops savagely gunned down women and children (an all-too-possible event in wartime, and one for which justice demands exhaustive investigation and public knowledge) in a tremendous defeat in the war for hearts and minds, as they say. The idea that the inhuman enemy is killing 'our' women and especially children is a mainstay of war propaganda from the 'Huns' marching across Belgium with babies on their bayonets to Iraqi troops tossing babies from incubators (neither of which, in this case, actually seem to have happened, as far as I know.

But whatever happened, it's also entirely predictable. You put soldiers in a distant, very foreign country, surrounded by a strange people speaking a strange tongue, without nearly enough support, where their comrades are constantly being killed by nameless, faceless enemies who are almost never found, and could be anybody, and keep telling them that 'those people' - broadly undefined, have commited horrible atrocities against the homeland and want to destroy us, and . . . well, it's just like lighting a fuse. If we're not to blame for this Haditha, just wait long enough, and I have little doubt we will for the next one. And for what cause?

And catchphrases won't make that go away.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

" Today's Nevil Chamberlains have not yet learned their history lesson. You cannot negotiate with evil. You cannot appease it, either. It is a fight to the death for them. Literally."

Perhaps, but this raises a very important question, which is: who is 'them'? Who are the evil people? I don't think we can negotiate with or appease Al Qaeda, or similar terrorist groups (and if we could, it would be a horrible mistake), and therefore all our energies should be dedicated towards destroying these organizations and neutralizing its members. Why we've been mired down in Iraq and talking about a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Iran (as opposed to the absolute certainty of swift and terrible retribution if they built some nukes and dared to use them) . . .I dunno. Perhaps you can explain?

-Dan S.

highboy said...

Excuse me Dan, but as someone who served in Bosnian, (not Iraq, to be sure, but still) your assumptions that troops in this position will eventually kill innocent people appalls me. What are you basing this on? Vietnam? This is nothing like Vietnam, unless you compare the total lack of support for the war by Americans who have no clue what they are talking about. Anyone with common sense knows that going after Bin Laden may help you sleep better but it doesn't even put a dent in terrorism. Capturing a murderous lunatic like Saddam however, certainly will. People who feel the war in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism need to ask themselves why terrorists from all over the Middle East are attacking our troops there. BECAUSE WE PUT A CRATER IN THE MIDDLE OF THEIR GAMEPLAN. Let us not forget the mass amounts of sarin gas agents, enriched uranium, chemical weapons stashes that have been removed. I'm sure Saddam would have left us alone with all of that. Go after all the Bin Ladens all you want. Al Quada is in shambles, as is the Taliban. But taking out one terrorist will only give rise to another. Going after the murderous regimes (like Iraq)that control the Middle East and literally breed these terrorists is the only way to fight terror.

creeper said...

"People who feel the war in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism need to ask themselves why terrorists from all over the Middle East are attacking our troops there."

Opportunism.

radar said...

" It hasn't been confirmed that a few of our soldiers finally did what I've been dreading for over three years and killed innocent men, women and children in cold blood, as will eventually happen whenever soldiers are placed in this kind of position. Maybe something else happened. But it doesn't matter. Lots and lots of young men - and women - have just learned a lesson, and that is: America will invade Middle Eastern countries without provocation , and kill Muslim women and children as they kneel in fear, trying to pray."

It hasn't been confirmed, but you have tried and convicted them already???!

You don't think 9/11 constituted provocation????!

When Islamofascists are killing innocent men, women and children every single day in Iraq but you never say a word, but get upset over an incident that may or may not have happened, I wonder where your heart and mind are at.

radar said...

By the way, for all you Neville Chamberlains out there, yesterday was a big day in Iraq. The provisional government began operations. The Iraqi people are taking steps to govern themselves. They have to deal with the militia problem, for one thing. They have to reach an accord between disparate groups (Sunni, Shiia, Kurds) to find a direction for the government. Their immigration problem (terrorists and weaponry pouring over the border from Iran and Syria) dwarfs ours for immediate impact.

Iraq has problems, but we have given the people of Iraq a chance while taking away a major base of terrorist operations. The same is true in Afghanistan.

Dan S, when you ask what to do about Iran, the first thing is to finish the job in Iraq and Afghanistan. Iran's biggest problem is being surrounded by democratic societies peopled by free men and women of the same heritage. This encourages the freedom-seeking people of Iran to work to overthrow the current regime. Before you say that such a thing is impossible, look at a map of Europe now and thirty years ago. What happened to the Soviet Union, where did it go?

I think we have depended upon Israel to do our dirty work for us previously but this time they are not going to handle Iran, they expect us to do it. The UN is less than a joke, it will do nothing, Iran is paying off security council members to ensure inaction. I know we could use non-nuclear weaponry to destroy what facilities we know about in Iran, using missile and air strikes. I also know it would require nuclear weapons to destroy some of the more heavily bunkered and buried facilities. No doubt we are better off making the surrounding countryside less Islamofascist and more democratic so as to encourage the rebellion within.

No one should expect the democratic Iraq to look like the USA. The cultural heritage and recent history of the region means that if it winds up anything like Turkey we should be pleased. There is a chance it will fall into the hands of Sharia Law and become more Iran-like. We cannot guarantee success. Germany is an example. The Kaiser-led country that fomented WWI was replaced by the Hitler and his minions who gave us WWII and yet now Germany is a democratic nation.

At least now the Al-Quaeda and similar organizations are being faced up and killed overseas rather than flying airplanes into buildings here at home. Now the leadership of terrorist organizations are throwing their resources into Iraq and blowing up Iraqis while being chased down and captured or killed thousands of miles away from here. All so the Neville Chamberlains will have the freedom to cry about Iraq and wiretaps and so on from the comfort of their cozy homes.

Anonymous said...

Dan S., mostly quoting, says:

[highboy]"Excuse me Dan, but as someone who served in Bosnia"

Thank you.

"your assumptions that troops in this position will eventually kill innocent people appalls me. "
Appalls me, too.

"What are you basing this on? Vietnam? "

Let me quote maha at the Mahablog:

"I’m fond of reading about history, including military history. Incidents like those described by Yaseen and Safa happen in war. Exactly one century ago, in 1906, troops under the command of Gen. Leonard Wood massacred at least 900 (reported at the time as 600) Filipino Muslims on the island of Jolo. The dead included women and children, killed indiscriminately. Anti-imperlialists published pamphlets and distributed a photograph of the carnage.

The Filipinos of Jolo, fleeing gunfire, took shelter in the crater of a dormant volcano.

"The Americans rigged a block and tackle to hoist their artillery up the last 300 feet, and, as the Moros fled over the lip, the Americans opened a barrage into the 50-foot-deep crater. With orders from Wood to “kill or capture the six hundred,” the American forces descended into the crater in an ever-shrinking circle. Wood wrote, “The action resulted in the extinction of a band of outlaws.” Fifteen Americans were killed in the fighting; all six hundred Moros died."

Mark Twain’s comments on the episode are here.

There have been other massacres by U.S. troops, such as Wounded Knee in 1890 and My Lai in 1968. In fact, the history of warfare around the world, through history, is riddled with accounts of atrocities. We who have not been at war might like to imagine that such acts are aberrations or only committed by our enemies, not us. But I suspect we are being naive.

Two centuries ago, the historians tell us, wars in western society were mostly fought in discrete battles by soldiers in pretty uniforms. Battles were horrific — mostly bayonet work, close up and bloody — but most of the time battles would last a day or two, and the soldiers had days or weeks or months of relative safety until the next battle. But since the dawn of trench warfare — by most accounts, Grant’s siege of Petersburg, Va., 1864-65 — soldiers in war face unrelenting stress for days, weeks, months on end. And in these days of “asymmetrical warfare,” when combatants blend in with civilians and death can come even at the hands of children, the stress must be a great deal more than the human nervous system was designed to bear."


[go there for links]


" going after Bin Laden may help you sleep better but it doesn't even put a dent in terrorism. Capturing a murderous lunatic like Saddam however, certainly will"

more maha:

"On Thursday, September 13, 2001, I walked to Times Square, where much construction was underway. The construction workers had festooned their hard hats with American flags, and they had hung huge signs from the highest scaffolding calling for vengeance on Osama bin Laden. Osama bin Laden. Not Saddam Hussein, but Osama bin Laden.

I wonder what those guys would have said then had they known their president would, within a few short months, pull resources away from the hunt for bin Laden and instead bring the might of the United States military against another Middle Eastern bad guy who had had nothing to do with the attacks and who was no threat to the United States? And that, nearly six years later, bin Laden would still be free? What would they have said if someone predicted the President and his party would exploit the attacks shamefully for political advantage while doing next to nothing to make the United States better prepared for terrorist attacks? On that day, they would not have listened to such talk.

Well, folks, they’re listening to it now. Because that’s what happened. It isn’t New Yorkers who have forgotten what happened on September 11. It’s the brainwashed, wingnut, kill-the-Islamofascist Right who have forgotten what happened on September 11.

Righties simultaneously slam New Yorkers for being liberal wusses and soft on terrorism. But they are shocked when New Yorkers refuse to sit and listen politely to someone they associate with the escape of bin Laden and the exploitation of the September 11 dead."


"People who feel the war in Iraq has nothing to do with terrorism need to ask themselves why terrorists from all over the Middle East are attacking our troops there."

1) Because we so nicely sent a bunch of our boys (and girls) right to their region, saving them the money for the plane ticket

2) Because some people, some proto-terrorists, others not, have been mobilized or radicalized by the U.S. occupation, and traveled to Iraq to fight for their fellow Muslims/Arabs/etc.

3) Because many to most of them are not actually anti-American terrorists - they're terrorists, but domestic ones (=Iraq, in this case), although they are also anti-American. Whether Baathist dead-enders, or more or less regular Iraqis seeking revenge, trying to drive out the American occupiers, seeking to cause chaos and death for stupid ethnic/sectarian feuds . . . whatever.

If I was a terrorist, you know what I'd do? I'd enjoy the sound of America spending enormous sums, having its soldiers slowly but steadily killed or wounded, having its image in the Muslim world get even worse, creating terrorist sympathizers or even brand new terrorists left and right, as I planned some horrific attack not on heavily armed soldiers, but innocent civilians in America, who might be better defended if some of the money being poured into Iraq (rather like water into a colander, since most of it seems to be tricking out elsewhere) was actually used over here.

Now, sure, I always hope that we attract the attention of only the stupid terrorists. But I don't count on it.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

"Going after the murderous regimes (like Iraq)that control the Middle East and literally breed these terrorists is the only way to fight terror"

How many of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi?

Are we going to overthrow all of the Middle East?

Even though many of these countries have somewhat to very bad governments that don't treat their people well - what do you think will be the effect of the U.S. invading and overthrowing their (however crappy) government?

It's hilarious to think back to just after 9/11, when some of us liberals, for whatever odd reason, were able to put aside the shock and horror and pain and anger and say, this is a horrible, unforgivable atrocity, but we can't just blindly strike out, we have to look at the root causes - which, some suggested, may have included prior U.S. intervention in the area. I remember the warm reception we got from you guys (whether y'all personally I have no idea). Such terms of endearment - traitors, the blame-America-first crowd, America-haters, and more!

What happened? You guys got played. You got conned. Or rather, you got neo-conned. Those are the guys who cooked up a lot of this baloney, after all, and you know about the neocons, right? No, not the Jewish thing - yes, some of them are, but whatever. You know what they used to be, if not personally, then in terms of the movement? Lefties. Far lefties. Pie in the sky utopian lefties. Except when they turned against communism (agreed, good move), they ended up taking on a wholehearted embrace of power, including military power, so now they're crazy lefties who don't mind killing stuff (for a good cause, of course). Lefties with guns, man. And not high on pot, either, but on power.

So they came up with this beautiful, utopian scheme about how taking out Iraq would 'drain the swamp', how the road to Jerusalem ran through Baghdad and there would be peace in the Middle East and no more terrorists - some of their little dreams have to be seen to be believed, maybe later . . .

Except they should have been paying attention when some of their former co-ideologists were protesting American intervention, or when the 'blame America first' crowd was digging through that sordid history.

Cause man - invading countries and overthrowing their leaders (whether outright or through covert support) very rarely turns out well.

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

"It hasn't been confirmed, but you have tried and convicted them already???!"

No. As I said, we don't know what happened. I am talking about the effect on public opiinion in the region, and the possible consequences. As I said: "Lots and lots of young men - and women - have just learned a lesson,"
It doesn't matter if it's the wrong lesson. We prove that it didn't go down that way, who of them will believe us.

You don't think 9/11 constituted provocation????!
If you punch me, and then I take a swing and slug Highboy, does that make any sense?

One more time:
Iraq. (As far as we can tell). Had. Nothing. To. Do. With. 9/11.


When Islamofascists are killing innocent men, women and children every single day in Iraq but you never say a word, but get upset over an incident that may or may not have happened, I wonder where your heart and mind are at.

Alll these deaths are horrible. But you don't see a difference between an Islamofascist killing innocent men, women and children, and our soldiers possibly killing innocent men, women and children?

" The provisional government began operations. The Iraqi people are taking steps to govern themselves. "

Let's hope it works, that something good can be salvaged.

"Iraq has problems, but we have given the people of Iraq a chance while taking away a major base of terrorist operations. The same is true in Afghanistan."
Iraq was not a major base of terrorist operations (with the exception of the general no-fly zone region, and we could have taken Zarqawi out. Didn't bother.

Afghanistan, yes. Except the Taliban are still around. If we hadn't skipped over to Iraq like ADHD kids with the biggest military on earth, we could have done a much better job.

-Dan S.

highboy said...

Your quote from Maha proves nothing, except someone agrees with you. That is not grounds for believing what you believe.

"I wonder what those guys would have said then had they known their president would, within a few short months, pull resources away from the hunt for bin Laden and instead bring the might of the United States military against another Middle Eastern bad guy who had had nothing to do with the attacks and who was no threat to the United States?"

What he meant to say, I'm sure, is that Bush pulled resources away after wiping out nearly all of Bin Laden's men. A gun is not a threat without any bullets. As to Saddam not being a threat: the enriched uranium, chemical weapons agents, say otherwise. Of course I realize liberals believe Saddam would have left us alone because he loves the U.S. so much. He broke international law. Period.

"1) Because we so nicely sent a bunch of our boys (and girls) right to their region, saving them the money for the plane ticket"

Nice spin. However, it rings little truth. It actually has more to do with the terrorists not having a place to hang their hat, most of their leaders dead, and the desperate hope that if they keep attacking we will pull out so they can continue their jyhad against Israel and the U.S. next.

"If I was a terrorist, you know what I'd do? I'd enjoy the sound of America spending enormous sums, having its soldiers slowly but steadily killed or wounded, having its image in the Muslim world get even worse, creating terrorist sympathizers or even brand new terrorists left and right, as I planned some horrific attack not on heavily armed soldiers, but innocent civilians in America, who might be better defended if some of the money being poured into Iraq (rather like water into a colander, since most of it seems to be tricking out elsewhere) was actually used over here."

All of which would happen in the event Bin Laden is captured or killed anyway.

"How many of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi?

Are we going to overthrow all of the Middle East?"

None, and why not? Because it costs money? I don't care. Better spending my money on making the world safe than whatever latest social program liberals construct. Much better spent than dumping it into the U.N, who only opposed the war for fear of our finding out about their oil for food scandals and gang rape in third world countries. Kill Bin Laden if you want to, another will take his place, because they live in a world where ruthless Muslim dictators starve, oppress, kill, torture, and also brainswash their citizens, while pointing the finger at the evil wealthy Americans.

"but we can't just blindly strike out, we have to look at the root causes - which, some suggested, may have included prior U.S. intervention in the area."

And we didn't. We've wiped out nearly all of Al Quada and the Taliban, have terrorists on the run, and removed the Hitler of the 21st century from power. A successful campaign so far in my book.

"Such terms of endearment - traitors, the blame-America-first crowd, America-haters, and more"

Exactly right. Go over seas and get shot at for the red white and blue, come back to see a dummy dressed as a GI set on fire from a street light at your local college and tell me how patriotic you'd view it.

"What happened? You guys got played. You got conned. Or rather, you got neo-conned."

Absolutely. By the crooked Democratic party and the U.N. If you have an issue with Bin Laden still on the loose, you may want to blame Clinton, who let him go four times, not Bush. Bush has done more against terrorism than any President yet.

"So they came up with this beautiful, utopian scheme about how taking out Iraq would 'drain the swamp', how the road to Jerusalem ran through Baghdad and there would be peace in the Middle East and no more terrorists - some of their little dreams have to be seen to be believed, maybe later . . ."

We've seen it now, liberals just refuse to acknowledge our many victories.

"Cause man - invading countries and overthrowing their leaders (whether outright or through covert support) very rarely turns out well."

Worked out nicely in WW2. Working out nicely here. The war in Iraq only last 21 days. The insuregeny actually will probably decline greatly if we do bomb Iran. (Not nuclear)

Amy Proctor said...

Radar, Democrats are slick. They practiced their appropriate waiting period until America was far enough away from 9/11 to begin attacking the President on everything from the war in Iraq, the military, NSA program, even Katrina (a NATURAL disaster! Hello!). This is one of the reasons everyone should see this movie, to remind us of 1) our enemy 2) how evil our enemies are 3) how determined our enemies are and 4) why we should never forget. The news footage of 9/11 should be shown once a month on the 11th an hour during prime time to serve as a reminder of what happened and to remember the victims.

I took my 13 year old daughter to see Flight 93 and I'm glad I did. So was she.

Dan, "Neither Saddam or Iraq had anything to do with 9/11"? Is that a fact? Explain THIS. This was found while my hubby was serving in Iraq with the 82nd ABN. Or how about THIS? (Saddam offered asylum to Bin Laden to escape US capture) Or:

LT GEN McInereny said about the Saddam documents:
"I just reviewed this additional release of documents. This release continues to confirm that Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda were in contact with Iraq intelligence for sanctuary, training, and plans for acts of terrorism against the US and in the US. This just supports the 12 hours of tapes we heard of Saddam Hussein's that discussed using proxies (Al Qaeda) to attack the US with WMD i.e. nuclear or biological. The latest release has pictures of Zarqawi while he was in Iraq prior to our liberation. It is obvious that he was living there as a sanctuary after he left Afghanistan."

Khidhir Hamza, who said on April 2, 2001 in an interview with the Middle East Quarterly, "I Can Forsee Saddam Controlling the Middle East" , is the highest-ranking Iraqi scientist ever to defect and live to tell about it. He escaped from Iraq in August 1994, and is the author of Saddam’s Bombmaker. In an October 2001 interview with CNN , Hamza said:

CNN: Do you believe there is any link between Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein? If so, should the U.S. resume attacks on Iraq in the name of stopping terrorism?

HAMZA: I think there are several links between Osama and Saddam. The Iraqi ambassador in Turkey, Hajazi, visited Afghanistan, and met with Osama and his associates. He’s a powerful figure in Iraq. There are several reported meetings between him and Osama’s associates. Osama was sighted in an Iraqi hotel in 1996, by the lawyer for Arkan, the Serbian leader. [Regarding] the reported sighting by the Czech intelligence of Mohammed Atta, and the Iraqi intelligence agent — to do this meeting, Atta had to drive from Germany and Czechoslovakia, a long drive, meet him, and go back. Which means it was an important meeting for supplies, coordination. It couldn’t have been by accident.

Many other meetings were reported between Osama associates and Iraqi intelligence. There are reports by Iraqi defectors of bin Laden’s people being trained in Iraqi terrorist camps. They are credible stories, because they don’t contradict each other. They confirm each other in types of training, places, the people trained. In a covert operation like this, you don’t expect much more information. There will be no smoking gun. All sightings confirm a multi-layered coordination between Saddam and bin Laden, in terms of training, support, and supplies. That could have included anthrax."

Hmmmmm....

Amy Proctor said...

One of your liberal posters asked:

How many of the 9/11 hijackers were Iraqi?

I don't know, but how many were from Afghanistan? None? We're they all Saudis? And oddly, we aren't at war with Saudi Arabia.

Anonymous said...

Amy -

", even Katrina (a NATURAL disaster! Hello!)"
Nobody blames Bush for the existence of Hurricane Katrina, not even the most unhinged of us lefties. What's at issue is the administration's failure to prepare and then respond appropriately, due in part to it staffing FEMA with un- or poorly-qualified cronies.

This sort of thing was a major issue, say, over a hundred years ago. One would have thought that the principle of staffing important federal agencies with highly qualified and experienced people would be a given, but apparently not. I mean, c'mon - quick: a) what major job did Michael 'Heckuva Job" Brown have before becoming FEMA director? (answer at bottom of post, if necessary).

"Explain THIS"
Well, I know that anti-American propaganda films involving 9/11 footage put out by the Chinese gov't were a big hit. Doesn't mean the Chinese were involved.

For what it's worth, wikipedia's page on Saddam and al-Qaeda.

" (Saddam offered asylum to Bin Laden to escape US capture) "
Basically, Saddam wanted to poke us in the eye, metaphorically speaking - offering refuge to the guy who had pulled off the worst terrorist attack so far against Saddam's hated enemy.

"LT GEN McInereny said about the Saddam documents: "

The Pentagon said about the Saddam documents that is has made "no determination regarding the authenticity of the documents, validity or factual accuracy."

However, we do actually know that Zarqawi was in Iraq after the war in Afghanistan, and before he seems to have allied in al-Qaeda - indeed, we were in position to attempt to kill him, but nobody gave the ok, allegedly because it would have made it harder to get allies to join us against Iraq. He may have been treated in Baghdad, possibly with or without Saddam's regime knowing - it all seems perhaps genuinely unclear - and then carried out anti-Kurdish activities as a member or leader of Ansar al-Islam in Northern Iraq.

"Khidhir Hamza"'s credibility, especially for more recent events, is uncertain.

" [Regarding] the reported sighting by the Czech intelligence of Mohammed Atta"
it is now considered to be false. Almost all this 'evidence' - scattered reports of meetings and such - has not held up. We made an enormous effort to find a clear operational link between Saddam and al-Qaeda, and proof that Saddam was involved in 9/11. Nada. Saddam's regime and al-Qaeda seem to have flirted a bit, basically some time ago, but nothing seems to have ever come of it. The 9/11 Commission, the CIA, etc., etc., etc,. - they all agree - there's no evidence Saddam was involved in 9/11. Even Bush said ", Bush sought to distance himself from the allegation of any link. He said: "First, just if I might correct a misperception, I don’t think we ever said — at least I know I didn’t say that there was a direct connection between September the 11th and Saddam Hussein."

Now, no evidence doesn't mean he wasn't, granted. But if you choose to believe this was so, you're basing your belief on at best a hunch (and quite possibly rightwing propaganda and some very slick rhetoric.)

"S. This was found while my hubby was serving in Iraq with the 82nd ABN."
I hope he is back home and safe . Without knowing the man, I deeply respect his service to our country. It is an immense outrage that our government would throw him in harm's way for a shoddy collection of lies and half-baked justifications. This doesn't detract from the meaning of his actions - instead, it's all on the adminstration, on the people who had, on a whole, "other priorities" when they had a chance to serve, yet showed no hestitation to send other people's children, siblings, spouses, parents off to risk death for a nonsensical war. If in the end something - some stable, maybe even somewhat democratic government - can be salvaged from this, it will be due to the immense bravery and undending work both of our troops and of the Iraqi people, not these ambulatory splashes of bird droppings in Washington that have somehow managed to convince about a third of our nation that they deserve support rather than tar and feathers.

-Dan S.

highboy said...

"It is an immense outrage that our government would throw him in harm's way for a shoddy collection of lies and half-baked justifications."

What lies would those be? Do you have evidence that Congress doesn't? Maybe you should give it to them to speed up the impeachment process. I also have to hear a response regarding the mass amounts of sarin gass and 1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium found in Iraq. Anything used to kill lots of people is a WMD in my book. The president should just say so.

loboinok said...

"We must stop Saddam from ever again jeopardizing the stability and security of his neighbors with weapons of mass destruction." - Madeline Albright - February 1, 1998

"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them. That is our bottom line." - Bill Clinton - February 4, 1998

"Look, we have exhausted virtually all our diplomatic effort to get the Iraqis to comply with their own agreements and with international law. Given that, what other option is there but to force them to do so? That's what they're saying. This is the key question. And the answer is we don't have another option. We have got to force them to comply militarily." - Bill Clinton - February 11, 1998

"We Have To Defend Our Future From These Predators Of The 21st Century. They Feed On The Free Flow Of Information And Technology. They Actually Take Advantage Of The Freer Movement Of People, Information And Ideas. And They Will Be All The More Lethal If We Allow Them To Build Arsenals Of Nuclear, Chemical And Biological Weapons And The Missiles To Deliver Them. We Simply Cannot Allow That To Happen. There Is No More Clear Example Of This Threat Than Saddam Hussein's Iraq. His Regime Threatens The Safety Of His People, The Stability Of His Region And The Security Of All The Rest Of Us." - Bill Clinton - February 17, 1998

"In the next century, the community of nations may see more and more the very kind of threat Iraq poses now - a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction ready to use them or provide them to terrorists, drug traffickers or organized criminals who travel the world among us unnoticed. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program." - Bill Clinton - February 17, 1998

"He [Saddam Hussein] will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983." - Sandy Berger - February 18, 1998

loboinok said...

"We have evidence of meetings between Iraqi officials and leaders of al Qaeda, and testimony that Iraqi agents helped train al Qaeda operatives to use chemical and biological weapons. We also know that al Qaeda leaders have been, and are now, harbored in Iraq. Having reached the conclusion I have about the clear and present danger Saddam represents to the U.S., I want to give the president a limited but strong mandate to act against Saddam." - Joe Lieberman - October 7, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members... It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons." - Hillary Clinton - October 10, 2002

"Iraq both poses a continuing threat to the national security of the United States and international peace and security in the Persian Gulf region and remains in material and unacceptable breach of its international obligations by, among other things, continuing to possess and develop a significant chemical and biological weapons capability, actively seeking a nuclear weapons capability, and supporting and harboring terrorist organizations." - Hillary Clinton - February 5, 2003


"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process." - Nancy Pelosi - December 16, 1998

"This December will mark three years since United Nations inspectors last visited Iraq. There is no doubt that since that time, Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to refine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer- range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies." - Bob Graham, Joe Lieberman, Harold Ford, Tom Lantos & other Democrats in letter - December 6, 2001

"I mean, we have three different countries that, while they all present serious problems for the United States - they're dictatorships, they're involved in the development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction - you know, the most imminent, clear and present threat to our country is not the same from those three countries. I think Iraq is the most serious and imminent threat to our country." - John Edwards - February 24, 2002

"If we wait for the [Iraq] danger to become clear, it could be too late." - Joseph Biden - September 4, 2002

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein's regime is a serious danger, that he is a tyrant, and that his pursuit of lethal weapons of mass destruction cannot be tolerated. He must be disarmed." - Ted Kennedy - September 27, 2002


All these people are now talking like you Dan S.

What changed?

Anonymous said...

"All these people are now talking like you Dan S.

What changed?"

If all the quotes are accurate, everything from post 9/11 indicates that these specific Democrats (a) trusted the administration to either tell the truth or present and interpret evidence sensibly (silly, silly Dems!) b) jumped on the bandwagon for political reasons, c) were simply but perhaps not unreasonably mistaken, d) some of these statements are not in themselves unreasonable .. . and e) what changed? No WMDs in any meaningful sense, no creepy super drone planes or almost-there nuke program, etc., etc., etc., and continued evidence of Administration incompetence and bad faith. Admitting you messed up is not a sin. A habitual refusal to do so - especially to oneself - is a big problem, however.

Clinton-era quotes - later.

______
The whole Iraq-9/11 thing seems to have been used mostly as a way to whip up public sentiment and not, ultimately, as an actual cause for war. The publicly stated reason at the time was WMDS, which has not panned out. The less publicized reason, iirc, was the whole root causes neocon hippydippy silliness.

Now, there's no question that the administration and its supporters behaved in a extremely irresponsible manner. When people try to sell you a war by telling you that it is guaranteed to be cakewalk-flowers-go home, that's a sign that something is amiss. It's like going to the doctor and being told that the operation has no risks whatsoever, let's do it right now! At best it suggests recklessness. The administration also clearly went about the whole affair in a bizarrely incompetent manner. MIstakes happen, nobody's perfect, but these guys come across sounding like fools. (Grabbing something I just read - see Misjudgments Marred U.S. Plans for Iraqi Police in the NY Times today.) The only explanations I can imagine involve the administration's culture of groupthink, wishful thinking, etc., and a lack of interest in the practical matters of governing.

Highboy is basically right. The extent to which they knowingly lied, as opposed to fooling themselves out of gross incompetence and bad practice, is unknown. We know of one or a few? claims which were continually used even as the government's experts begged them to stop, saying, no, we disproved this - but the case I'm thinking of was after the war, although it fits in with a general pattern of sticking fingers in ears to avoid unwanted news, and many others that were touted as certain despite our intelligence folks going nonono, that's not at all certain.

My guess is that in the end it will mostly be a matter of ridiculous incompetence and irresponsibility - lots of little lies and cut corners and misrepresentations and generalized Enron-ism, rather than a clearcut 'Oh, we know for sure Iraq is not a meaningful and urgent threat, but we're going to make up a big lie because it's politically and strategically useful.' That last seems pretty unlikely. I hope.

-Dan S.

highboy said...

"Now, there's no question that the administration and its supporters behaved in a extremely irresponsible manner. When people try to sell you a war by telling you that it is guaranteed to be cakewalk-flowers-go home, that's a sign that something is amiss."

It was a cake-walk. It lasted 21 days and was a brilliant campaign. You're talking about the insurgency, which has been feeding off of liberal propaganda since it started.

"If all the quotes are accurate, everything from post 9/11 indicates that these specific Democrats (a) trusted the administration to either tell the truth or present and interpret evidence sensibly (silly, silly Dems!)"

Oh, yes, they were all just duped by the administration. Hey, Dan, a lot of those quotes were made before Bush even took office.

"and e) what changed? No WMDs in any meaningful sense,"

Other than the sarin gas so you're half right.

"although it fits in with a general pattern of sticking fingers in ears to avoid unwanted news,"

Which is exactly what Clinton did with Bin Laden and Saddam both for 8 years, even after the first WTC bombing.

loboinok said...

Dan S.,

This is from an Italian New Service...

http://www.adnki.com/index_2Level.php?cat=Terrorism&loid=8.0.169852178&par=0

and one from a private citizen...

http://iraqdocs.blogspot.com/

loboinok said...

Italian News Service

radar said...

Some great dialogue here! Thanks for those links, Lobo!

In truth, we probably won the war in Iraq too fast to decimate a lot of the troops that are now still a thorn in our side as militia loyal to disruptive groups. But Iraq is taking on the responsibility for their own governance and this is moving along.

If you know your history, you know that Germany was a very messy situation for years after WWII was officially over. There were radicals, mostly Nazis, who killed and injured troops and civilians and made the transition period difficult. We invested large sums of money to rebuild Europe and spent time and lives in doing so. It was, as it turns out, worthwhile even though these days many European nations hardly can be considered allies.

Iraq can be a tide-turner in the war against Islamofascism. Anyone who is willing to think past the talking points of appeasing chickenhawks should be able to see this. If Iraq stands, Iran and Syria will be heading for a fall!

loboinok said...

"There were radicals, mostly Nazis, who killed and injured troops and civilians and made the transition period difficult."

Yes, there were, many were Nazi teens.

The biggest change in how war is conducted was when they piped it into our homes during 'Nam'.

Many people do not have the stomache for the realities of war. Couple that with the communist/socialist propaganda that was fed to our College professors and students, who also happen to be voters and you get what we got in the 60's and 70's.

Sadly, that is what is shaping up today. A fair part of the population that do not realize that if they win what they want... they lose it all.

Anonymous said...

"That Germany was a very messy situation for years after WWII was officially over. There were radicals, mostly Nazis, who killed and injured troops and civilians and made the transition period difficult. "

Actually, I think this didn't happen - perhaps to an extremely limited extent immediately after the war. Folks in the adminstration - Rummy, I think - brought it up as a defense, and iirc it got kinda trashed. But I'll check, perhaps I'm wrong.

Later, though. Dr's appointment now.
I hate needles : ( I really do. : (

Hey, blogger says 'jayob'!
-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

"Couple that with the communist/socialist propaganda that was fed to our College professors and students,"

Like civil rights?

-Dan S.

Anonymous said...

" Germany was a very messy situation for years after WWII was officially over."

According to MediaMatters.org, which gathers up a bunch of stuff re: postWWII German 'Werewolf' guerillas, it seems as if there were very rare, scattered attacks, mostly just as the war was ending and a bit later. Apparently we're not even sure if any of these were actually committed by the Werewolves per se, or just random Germans, although it does seem plausible enough. It doesn't sound at all like the situation in Iraq these last few years.

You might feel that the site is biased (darn facts, wth their liberal bias again!), but I don't have time right now to dig up more. Maybe later.

_____
"Many people do not have the stomache for the realities of war."

If I may ask a question: have you seen combat?

-Dan S.

loboinok said...

"If I may ask a question: have you seen combat?"

No, I haven't.

I left the Marine Corps in '71' and joined the Army as a 4th Infantry Gunner.(tanks)
The Army was suffering a bit of a shortage on Drill Instructors and I was asked to train troops at Ft. Wood, which I did until my discharge in late '74'.

I have studied the history of warfare and have seen photos and footage of war casualties and what various armaments will do to the human body and environment.

Back then, part of training included Prisoner-of-War training and what to expect and how to conduct yourself if captured.

highboy said...

"If I may ask a question: have you seen combat?"

Yes, though not as intense as those troops in Iraq. Why?

"Couple that with the communist/socialist propaganda that was fed to our College professors and students,"

Like civil rights?"

Or the opposite.

"Apparently we're not even sure if any of these were actually committed by the Werewolves per se, or just random Germans, although it does seem plausible enough. It doesn't sound at all like the situation in Iraq these last few years."

Probably because the anti-war sentiment in our country was next to nothing, and we weren't at war with terrorists who feed off of liberals "Our troops can't win" ideology. Terrorists in Iraq have repeatedly stated that the lack of support for the Vietnam war in America was particularly noteworthy, and that if they kept up the insurgency, eventually America will pull out, as it did then.

Anonymous said...

" If Iraq stands, Iran and Syria will be heading for a fall!"

The democracy version of the Domino Theory?

Would be nice. It's not inherently impossible, but it's a fairly optimistic take, starting with a fairly optimistic premise (that Iraq has a decent chance of standing - which would be nice, maybe if, embarking on this crazy war, the folks in charge had actually listened to advice and done a bit of planning? That's the trouble with thinking in a bubble.).

Of course, other possibilities include Iraq ending up as a sort of client state or close ally of Iran in a new axis of Islamic fundamentalist governments, Syria (or Egypt) coming under fundamentalist influence as radical organizations are empowered by Iraq-related unrest, Iraq collapsing in chaos and pulling in other countries in the region, becoming another terrorist-nurturing failed state . . .

If we had just had competent folks running the government, instead of these dreamweavers, thinktank refugees, Nixon leftovers, and failed businessmen . . .

Anyway, the U.S. didn't sign onto this bizarre
War of Idealistic Social Emperimentation, they signed on to the 'War to keep Saddam from giving nukes to terrorists,' a war that turned out to be based on cherrypicked info, Chalabi, and Curveball. (And forgeries, and etc. . . .).

That's what's going on - not the dreaded loss of morale (symptoms - weak stomachs, feeble nerves), but a fed-up public that was misled as to why and promised a cakewalk, chocolate and flowers, and home before bed. (Yes, the part of the war with the regime's armed military was done lickity-split. The part of the war with the insurgency, which was entirely predictable (and in fact was entirely predicted) as a possiblity, has taken a wee bit longer . .)

" terrorists who feed off of liberals "Our troops can't win" ideology."

Interesting. So about 2/3 of the U.S. population is liberal?

ABC News/Washington Post Poll. May 11-15, 2006.

"Do you approve or disapprove of the way Bush is handling the situation in Iraq?"
32 Approve 66 Disapprove

"All in all, considering the costs to the United States versus the benefits to the United States, do you think the war with Iraq was worth fighting, or not"
37/62

""Again thinking about the goals versus the costs of the war, so far in your opinion has there been an acceptable or unacceptable number of U.S. military casualties in Iraq?""
22/76 (!)

""Considering everything, do you think the United States did the right thing in going to war with Iraq, or do you think it was a mistake?"
40/59

This site has a number of polls, makes interesting reading.

The public's not with you.

The problem, of course, is that pulling out of Iraq, while saving American lives, seems likely to be disasterous to the region and prob. long term security, while staying - well, ditto, except more Americans die.

I have no clue what we should do, but like a majority of Americans, I certainly don't trust the clown troupe in power to be able to pull it off (and neither to they, actually - Bush sorta admitted as much, by stating that he's handing it off to the next poor sucker in the White House . . .

"ichselep, " blogger sez - sounds positively Lovecraftian
-Dan S.

A Hermit said...

Wow, I missed some fun here, didn't I?

My neighbours are fighting and dieing in Afghanistan because W took his eye off the ball.

George Bush has given Osama bin Laden everything he wanted and more. September 11 was designed to draw American forces into a debilitating guerilla war in Afghnistan in the hopes of doing to the USA what was done to the USSR.

This was doomed to failure, because th eact so shocked the rest of the world that everyone joined the fight on America's side.

Since then the Bush administration has alienated most of America's allies and bogged American forces down in a needless war in Iraq, where the Jihadists may well be more successful than they could ever have been in Afghanistan.

Heckuve job, Georgie...

A Hermit said...

"hristians do not seek to take over governance of the world and subjugate the people to religious law. They are not taught to be bloodthirsty killers before they are old enough to drive. They are not taught that the murder of innocents will get them into a paradise of fulfilled lusts."

Depends which Christians you're talking to; check out Rushdoony's DOminionist philosophy, the Lord's Resistance Army in Uganda or the Baptist funded National Liberation Front of Tripura in northern India (in case the IRA or the Sebian and Croation nationalists aren't obvious enough examples for you).

Sincerely

An Equal Opportunity Hermit

A Hermit said...

By the way, the young woman who made this clip got death threats (and rape threats) from offended Christians.

A Righteous Hermit

Anonymous said...

"Probably because the anti-war sentiment in our country was next to nothing, and we weren't at war with terrorists who feed off of liberals "Our troops can't win" ideology."

Ah yes, it's all the fault of the liberals and the liberal media (in other words, SHUT UP! - a retread of the Vietnam-era accusation that it was the hippies and the media ('piped it into our homes,' etc.) that lost us the war, which is a revamped version of right-wing Cold War conspiracy theories (None Dare Call It Treason, the betrayal at Yalta, losing China, MacArthur's martyrdom, etc.). The classic version, of course, is the stab-in-the-back legend of post-WWI Germany, in which the seemingly inexplicable defeat of a nation supposedly on the verge of victory was 'explained' by reference to how the 'November criminals' betrayed the nation.

Like all good lies (and, for example, The DaVinci Code), the modern version has a grain of truth, for these kinds of battles are fought with the aim of wearing down the enemy until public weariness and opposition leads them to finally leave - and it tends to work. And think - what would you have us do? Stifle all dissent? Besides tossing out the freedoms 'they' supposedly hate us for, we've all seen what happens to enterprises large and small when questioning and criticism are out of the picture - stupid misjudgements, groupthink, etc. Mislead the public with a inaccurately rosy picture? Bad in so many ways. 'Stay the course' no matter what? Well, even if this or that insurgency counts on public opinion, that doesn't mean public opinion is necessary wrong, no matter how unfortunate the action. Would you support having a large number of American troops fighting and dying in Iraq a decade from now? (And for what?) (This is why bothering to convince the public with good reasons to go to war, rather than misleading them (intentionally, through incompetence, whetever), is so important.

Anyway, there's an interesting article in the new Harper's - "Stabbed In The Back!: The Past and Future of a Right-Wing Myth" (advertised on the cover as "Iraq Lost, the Right Begins the Search for Traitors") - not online, sadly, at least not yet. I might quote a bit later.

As I see it, Radar, Highboy, Loboinok - you've expressed very well your view of what is going on, and it is a stirring, optimistic, determined one. Unfortunately, everything seems to indicate that it's a propaganda film rather than a newsreel. You've been misled, fed propaganda that already filtered and distored facts, and equipped with a mental framework that lets you do that yourself. Perhaps at some point y'all will wake up, and man, will you be mad!

Another possibility is that you won't, even in the face of one or another kind of disaster, and, already innoculated with this meme of betrayal by everyone from Rove to O'Reilly , will only be able to understand seemingly otherwise inexplicable
catastrophes as a result of domestic treason.

I'm hoping you guys wake up.

"Heckuve job, Georgie..."

That's part of the stupid tragedy of it all - a good leader might have truly rallied the nation, united the country and given it some grand and meaingful real-world goal, building on global support to do great things.

Instead we get this pointless squandering of everything. It's a whole government of Michael Browns.

Heckuve job, indeed.

" They are not taught that the murder of innocents will get them into a paradise of fulfilled lusts."

Or white raisins.

Dan S.

IAMB said...

Highboy, you keep bringing up the "1.77 metric tons of enriched uranium"... over and over again.

I'm guessing you probably don't have any knowledge or experience in the nuclear field. Fortunately, one of the main focuses of my university's research department is nuclear. Hell, we even built our own collider and accelerator center about ten years ago, but that's beside the point.

The point is, and pay careful attention to this: low-enriched uranium is useless in weapons (and not so good in some reactors; it's used in light water and research reactors). Weapons-grade stuff is usually 85% or more U235. Low-enriched (the stuff found in Iraq) is less than 20%. A really "primitive" nuclear weapon still requires 20% or more.

This stuff wasn't for a weapon, or if it was, Saddam was years away from being able to make one. It takes quite a few steps to get fissile material, and they simply didn't have the equipment to make it.

Iran, on the other hand, might just pull it off one of these years (but it'll still take a while).

Anyway, call it what you like, but no tonnage of low-enriched uranium is a "WMD"... it's just fuel... and without the right processing equipment, that's all it'll ever be (until it's depleted in a reactor... then you can make pretty effective antitank bullets out of it).

radar said...

Hey hermit, I watched the clip.

Lots of Iraqis, mainly kids, who appear to have been killed and wounded by terrorists. It also appears that the pictures in hospitals are of Iraqis being treated by Americans. So terrorists attack them, we treat them, and some liblooney chick makes a video saying that peace takes courage. Talk about a slab of baloney!

I have been in the military, I have been shot at (but it was not Vietnam) and at least one member of my family going back four generations have seen some kind of action in the military. Who had courage, me and my relatives or the guys who fled to Canada to evade the draft?

Who had courage, the coalition forces who invaded Iraq (under the UN threats/promises, not on our own) or the French and Russians and Germans who, as it turned out, were being paid by Saddam?

I do not know where to begin with the completely idiotic idea that refusing to defend yourself or your ideals is either moral or courageous. I compared this kind of thinking to Neville Chamberlain. Do liberals know history at all, or care?

The canard that we took forces away from locating Osama to fight in Iraq is another good one. We were already in Afghanistan and still are, by the way. My son went there, served there, fought there, and I can tell you we are not just helping the Afghanis get their government together, we are still hunting Taliban and related terrorists there.

It was Clinton who let Osama go time and time again. In fairness, I don't think he understood what kind of threat Bin Laden would be to our country or he would not have been so cavalier with the opportunity to put Bin Laden out of business. It remains true nonetheless.

~~~~~~~~

Katrina? Don't make me laugh! Ray Nagin, the incompetent idiot, has been re-elected! The guy who wouldn't evacuate, wouldn't mobilize busses to help evacuate and wouldn't leave his hotel to deal with the situation. Yeah, he was a big part of the problem. Mayor of New Orleans....wow.

The governor who didn't want the President's help and for 24 hours refused government aid, Kathleen Blanco, also deserves much of the 'credit' for the disaster response. While the feds offered all sorts of things, she twiddled her thumbs, afraid to give up any power in the process of accepting aid. That 24 hours allowed a lot of suffering and perhaps a few deaths as well.

But the truth comes out eventually. Louisiana (with Democrats in charge) pissed away much of the money allocated to build the levees to other projects, leaving the levees shoddily constructed and very vulnerable. When Katrina hit New Orleans, it was no longer a Cat 5 hurricane and it is uncertain it was a full Cat 4 at landfall and yet those levees failed anyway!

FEMA was unprepared for the events surrounding Katrina. Yet, isn't it odd that every other state that was impacted reacted quickly with government aid while Louisiana twiddled its thumbs and cried? Now Mississippi is rebuilding quickly and New Orleans is still in large part a wreck.....and Nagin is reelected. Hey, Louisiana? You get what you deserve in this case. Oh, and that congressman who misallocated trucks to rescue stuff from his house, Jefferson? Good news, he will be in jail so you cannot re-elect him!

FEMA still has thousands of trailers sitting in an Arkansas airport and I think they would be better used providing housing for the displaced along the coast. Bureaucracy almost always slows down processes that should move quickly. It required Katrina to teach FEMA an awful lot about what they were already supposed to know. I hope they have learned.

The people of New Orleans apparently are clueless about why things went so badly. Nagin may be an incompetent manager, but he is one heck of a politician! Actually, that is a hallmark of Louisiana politics.

~~~~~~~~~

But, anyway. The Iraqis have a government now and we are going to slowly stand down from our presence in Iraq. If Iraq becomes and remains a democracy in the Middle East then all these traitorous John Murtha types will recant. Just as they have recanted the kinds of comments (loboinok listed a bunch of them) made beforehand when they were in agreement with taking down Saddam. Yep, they were before it before they were against it!

radar said...

"That's part of the stupid tragedy of it all - a good leader might have truly rallied the nation, united the country and given it some grand and meaingful real-world goal, building on global support to do great things."

You will eat those words when Iraq is standing as a democracy amid the Islamoterrorist states.

What do you think 'great things' would be? Handcuffing the economy by kowtowing to Kyoto? Selling military technology to the Chinese? Submitting our citizens to the world court? Allowing Afghanistan to remain an 18th century home to brigands and drug dealers, a place where a woman has no more standing than a dog?

I respectfully submit that the liberal movement in this country doesn't have a clue as to what 'great things' might be. I give you Al (the sky is falling!) Gore and John (what should I believe today?) Kerry. Compared to them, I would much rather have George W Bush.

loboinok said...

"Ah yes, it's all the fault of the liberals and the liberal media (in other words, SHUT UP! - a retread of the Vietnam-era accusation that it was the hippies and the media ('piped it into our homes,' etc.)"

Other than geography, the war in Viet Nam was not waged much differently than past wars EXCEPT for the media presense and reporting.

One of the better examples that I can give you, is the 1968 Tet Offensive.

Regardless of how the MSM spun it, the Tet Offensive was a military disaster for the NVC. (North Vietnamese Communists)

If a victory is gauged buy how many of the "enemy" is killed and how much "ground" is gained, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong failed miserably in their attacks.

The NVA and VC had relied on a "People's Uprising" to carry them to victory... it didn't happen.
They did exactly what the American military wanted them to do. They massed in large formations that were incredibly vulnerable to the awesome fire support the U.S. Military was able to bring to bear on them in a coordinated and devastating manner.

The NVA and VC attacked only ARVN installations with the exception of the US Embassy in Saigon. Despite reports to the contrary by all major television news networks and the print media, the VC sapper team of 15 men never entered the chancery building and all 15 VC were dead within 6 hours of the attack. They caused no damage to any property and managed to kill 4 US Army MPs, and one Marine guard. The South Vietnamese Police tasked with guarding the Embassy fled at the first sound of gunfire.

The NVA/VC launched major attacks on Saigon, Hue, Quang Tri City, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Qui Nhon, Kontum City, Ban Me Thout, My Tho, Can Tho, and Ben Tre. With the exception of the old imperial city of Hue, the NVA/VC were forced to retreat within 24 hours of the beginning of the offensive. In the process they suffered devastating losses among the southern VC cadres.

In the first week of the attack the NVA/VC lost 32,204 confirmed killed, and 5,803 captured. US losses were 1,015 KHA, while ARVN losses were 2,819 killed. ARVN losses were higher because the NVA/VC, reluctant to enter into a set-piece battle with US forces, attacked targets defended almost exclusively by South Vietnamese troops.

Only the news media seemed to believe that in some way the Communists had achieved a "victory". To put this in perspective, the news media would have reported the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's last ditch attempt to stop the allied forces in Europe, as a "disaster" for the Allies. They would have said that "despite Allied efforts, the enemy still has the means to mount a major offensive, and therefore the war in Europe is unwinnable". Sound goofy? Well, that is exactly what Walter Cronkite said on national TV after the 1968 Tet offensive.

See if you can find a photo in a book or in the NYT's archives that depict dead American soldiers in WWII.
In Vietnam however the media were free to go wherever they wanted and film and photograph whatever they wanted. Despite this the overwhelming majority of the media never left the comfort of Saigon. The film clips of Morley Safer, Charles Kuralt, Dan"Fake but Accurate" Rather and others which seem to depict raging firefights in the background are very likely staged events. If you look closely at these film clips you will notice that the people in the background are acting rather nonchalant for people in a firefight. Only the reporter seems to be crouching low to avoid being "hit". Keep in mind that by carefully composing a scene, a camerman can make a small crowd of people look like a mob of thousands. So too can a couple of people firing M-16s be made to appear as if a firefight is in progress.

A trick Senator Kerry picked up while there. Kerry carried a videocamera into battle and shot alot of footage, but strangly enough, didn't seem to get any footage to substantiate his claims of the "atrocities" committed against Viet Nam and testified to, in Congress.

A Hermit said...

"Lots of Iraqis, mainly kids, who appear to have been killed and wounded by terrorists."

Actually I recognize quite a few of those photos; most of them are the aftermath of Coalition bombing raids (which have caused most of the civilian casualties in Iraq).

"some liblooney chick makes a video saying that peace takes courage."

And your fellow Christians send the fifteen year old girl death threats and promises to rape her. Did she deserve that?

"Who had courage, me and my relatives or the guys who fled to Canada to evade the draft?"

Courage takes different forms. I'd say they all had more courage than a spoiled frat boy who used his family's influence to jump the line into tsafe homeland assaignment, like Bush did, or got a doctor to write him a note saying he couldn't serve `cause of the boil on his ass, like Rush Limbaugh.

Defying authority and teh prevailing winds of war fever does take courage, Radar. You may not agree, but don't make the mistake of confusing dissent with cowardice.

"I do not know where to begin with the completely idiotic idea that refusing to defend yourself or your ideals is either moral or courageous."

Who's suggesting it is? If your ideals lead you to belief that the war your country is embarking on is ill advised, uneccessary and potentially ruinous shouldn't you speak up? Only a coward would stay silent.

"The canard that we took forces away from locating Osama to fight in Iraq is another good one. We were already in Afghanistan and still are, by the way."

And so are my neighbours at the Canadian Forces base just down the road. We were first in line to defend you and we're still there. But Bush withdraw the special forces operators who making real headway in Afghanistan and sent them after a chimera in Iraq. Afghanistan is still a mess because your president didn't have the stones to stick it out in a meaningful way. Winning the military engagement was only the first step.

"It was Clinton who let Osama go time and time again."

Clinton tried to take Osama out after the embassy bombings and teh neocons and Republicans right called him a "war criminal" and accused him of "wagging the dog".

Bush could have taken zaqarwi out in the coalition protected no fly zone before the invasion of Iraq, but he chose not to. He could have gone after bin Laden in the spring of 2001 after the Clinton initiated ivestigation into the Cole bombing led to clear proof of Al Qaeda's involvement; he could have chosen to go back to Washington and put the nation on alert in August 2001 after receiving a brief entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Attack in the US", but he stayed on vacation instead.

Not everything in America is the fault of Bill Clinton. Blaming him for Bush's failures in pathetic (he has plenty of his own, but nothing compared to Bush).

I'd love to see you call Murtha, a former Marine DI, a coward and a traitor to his face...now that would take some courage. Spouting off on a blog? Not so much...

A Hermit said...

Invading Iraq was a gift to Osama Bin Laden and the Islamist extemists. Their goals are the elimnation of secular Arab governments (like Saddam's) and the recruiting of more religious fanatics. Mission accomplished on both scores.

The purpose of the Sept. 11 attack was to draw American forces into a guerilla war in Afghanistan in the hope of doing to the US what they did to the USSR. Well, it wasn't go in gso well for terrorists in Afghanistan, but then the Bush administration decided to go after Iraq and Osama got his wish; an isolated America wasting treasure and lives in a low level assynmetrical conflict which will last a decade or more. And reprieve in Afhanistan, with the Taliban resurgent and the appearance of tactics imported from Iraq like the car bombings and suicide attacks which had never been used in Afghanistan before. Tactics which are now killing my countrymen and women.

Oh, and comparisons to WWII and Chamberlain in this context are only made by people ignorant of history. Real warriors, like Zinni and Shinseki knew better. Too bad none of those draft avoiders in the Bush White House had enough respect for real soldiers to listen to them.

Anonymous said...

"You will eat those words when Iraq is standing as a democracy amid the Islamoterrorist states. "

I'd be happy to, if it means something of lasting value came out of this mess. But I wouldn't be able to do it all that sincerely because it would be mostly in spite of the Administration, which has bungled things so badly that this outcome seems more and more uncertain. Nevertheless, it's something good people all over the political spectrum hope for.

"Regardless of how the MSM spun it, the Tet Offensive was a military disaster for the NVC."
Yep. In terms of battles won, they sucked. But they kept fighting. How many more names should have ended up on that wall?

I wouldn't say media coverage didn't play a role - that would be absurd - but what you're missing is the effect of the disillusionment, etc., as the public realized the truth of what was going on.

"Who had courage, me and my relatives or the guys who fled to Canada to evade the draft?"

Don't forget the (few) folks who didn't go to Vietnam or Canada, but (willingly) to prison. I'm pretty impressed with them.

Living in the state founded by Quakers, I'd have to agree with Hermit that there are different kinds of courage.

"Handcuffing the economy by kowtowing to Kyoto"
Just because you're pretty far inland and fairly north . . .!

Certainly, we should be taking a leading role in confronting global warming. It's really embarrassing, what we're doing - in a way, it's almost being the country on the block that harbors terrorists.

"Allowing Afghanistan to remain an 18th century home to brigands and drug dealers, a place where a woman has no more standing than a dog?"

In the end, I think most possible administrations would have invaded Afghanistan. Of course, the humanitarian and feminist folks were yelling about the Taliban pretty much since they gained power, with nobody listening. It was pretty funny to watch how suddenly, once it was useful, there was all this concern . .. .

And while definitely better, things aren't all that great, yet, and might end up going back. Another Bush legacy.

" Do liberals know history at all, or care?"

Yes. But we take very different lessons from it, and in some cases even know a fairly different history. And it goes beyond history, into entirely different ideas of what this country is and should be. In some ways it's like we're speaking entirely different langauges. Take that "traitorous John Murtha types" comment. Why on earth are they traitorous? If anything, I would think they're patriots, even if I disagreed with them. If a Democrat is elected in '08 and decides to immediately pull the remaining U.S. troops out of the barely-finished superbases, embassy-roof style, as things really start falling apart - if that is how it goes - and you think that's very much the wrong thing to do, and would hurt the country, you'd speak up, right? And you would be right to do so - perhaps objectively wrong, but given what you'd believe, it would be both a right and a duty.

"It was Clinton who let Osama go time and time again."

As Hermit pointed out, at least he tried! Yes, he failed (not by much, though), but at least he was doing his job.

radar said...

Murtha can read blogs if he will. I am among thousands who both consider him and have called him a "weak-kneed and treasonous pacifist" for his words and actions in recent years. I would not denigrate his very honorable service, however. I will take on Murtha and Ted Rall individually or in tandem if necessary, but if in tandem I may call on my buddy Mark and we will make it a tag-team event. Go ahead and email him a link to my post and see what he has to say for himself.

Who are the "draft-avoiders" in the White House? Seems to me the President served as an officer and the war effort has been overseen by the military commanders.

As to Bin Laden, we keep trying to go after him and keep missing him. He is a clever opponent who lives a life constantly on the move to evade capture. It has caused him to be far less effective as a terrorist, thankfully.

highboy said...

Wow! This turned into quite a scrap while I was at work! Thanks for joining in guys!

"If we had just had competent folks running the government, instead of these dreamweavers, thinktank refugees, Nixon leftovers, and failed businessmen . . ."

And replaced them with Carters, Clintons, or Kerry's? Please.

"My neighbours are fighting and dieing in Afghanistan because W took his eye off the ball."

No, your neighors are dying because you have one of the most undertrained militaries in the world, with some of the lowest troop morale I've ever seen. And why should they? You guys should count yourselves lucky you can even recruit half of what you do. I've never seen a country more disrespectful toward its own military than Canada. The fact that you no longer lower the flag when a soldier dies pisses me off, especially the logic behind it? Its inconvenient to lower the flag because of so many Canadians dying? How convenient is it for them to get their heads blown off? I actually listened to an entire township scoff on Rememberance Day last year (in a church no less) and guess how many people showed up for the Rememberance Day service downtown? Maybe 5, and that was only to hear a speaker compare your military to welfare with a uniform. I actually had the honor and privelage of working with Canadian troops in my time in Bosnia and they were good, honorable soldiers who don't deserve the amount of disrespect they get from your goverment and your citizens. Train them, give them some equipment, and SUPPORT THEM!!!! Then we'll talk. Don't blame MY president because of your countries screw-ups!

"
Like all good lies (and, for example, The DaVinci Code), the modern version has a grain of truth, for these kinds of battles are fought with the aim of wearing down the enemy until public weariness and opposition leads them to finally leave - and it tends to work. And think - what would you have us do? Stifle all dissent?"

No. Just know what you are talking about before you do. Any American that feels the world was better when Saddam was in power need their heads checked. You'd rather have us take our resources and spend time looking through mountains and caves for Bin Laden while Saddam is gassing thousands of innocent men women and children with weapons that I'm just sure he wouldn't use on us, because he likes the U.S so much. And Dan, I'm not talking about dissent the way you present it. I don't think you're un-American and I respect your opinion.

"Unfortunately, everything seems to indicate that it's a propaganda film rather than a newsreel."

According to liberal propaganda, sure. If you think I'd trust people who advocate the death of 1.3 million babies a year with the news you're nuts.

"Afghanistan is still a mess because your president didn't have the stones to stick it out in a meaningful way. Winning the military engagement was only the first step."

You mean my president had the grapes to do what your country nor any country did not: go after the big dogs.

"Clinton tried to take Osama out after the embassy bombings and teh neocons and Republicans right called him a "war criminal" and accused him of "wagging the dog"."

Because they wanted him to go to war. He wouldn't. I was in the military when it happened. He turned every sub in the region around and sent them home.

"I'd love to see you call Murtha, a former Marine DI, a coward and a traitor to his face."

I have, alongside my brother who is a political consultant. We're from PA. Last summer we screamed at him from ten feet away in Johnstown and we'll do it again. He's a politician out for votes. Unfortunately, he won't get them.

"Anyway, call it what you like, but no tonnage of low-enriched uranium is a "WMD".."

And you actually believe Saddam wasn't enriching this for a nuke? I'd rather not wait until we get nuked to do something about it. Even laying that aside, sarin gas is certainly a WMD, unless you don't feel a weapon that is used to kill a lot of people is a WMD.

By the way, you libs who argue that we should be going after Bin Laden? I'll give you the same answer Clinton gave us when we asked him to go after Saddam: He's too smart. He has body doubles. We'll never find him.
















"they signed on to the 'War to keep Saddam from giving nukes to terrorists,' a war that turned out to be based on cherrypicked info, Chalabi, and Curveball. (And forgeries, and etc. . . .)."

All of which was supplied and agree upon by Congress, Interpol, The French Surete', etc...

"The part of the war with the insurgency, which was entirely predictable (and in fact was entirely predicted) as a possiblity, has taken a wee bit longer . .)"

Because of screaming libs who go on live T.V and tell the world our troops can't win. Al Jazeera notwithstanding. Again, terrorists feed off of anti-war propaganda.

"Interesting. So about 2/3 of the U.S. population is liberal?"

No. 2/3 of the U.S population have CNN, NBC, PBS, and ABC telling them all of the failures in Iraq, while only Fox News will actually listen to the military analysts, and the Generals actually on the ground over there. Its amazing how Fox News can interview a Gunnery Sergeant and hear how well things are going, when same time, different channel, Howard Dean complaining about our troops inability to win. And don't read me a poll and expect me to take it seriously. According to polls, Kerry should have won the last election.

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

And you actually believe Saddam wasn't enriching this for a nuke? I'd rather not wait until we get nuked to do something about it.

No, I don't. I suspect he would be one day, but he didn't have the facilities or the capabilities to do so at present... and it would take years for him to get everything. Do you actually think, with the way we're pressuring Iran (who, incidentally, is far closer to enriching uranium to weapons-grade yet is still anywhere from 3 to 10 years away from the goal at best), that we'd let Saddam just build a centrifuge facility? Sorry, but you can't hide one of those in mobile labs. He'd be better off, if he really wanted nukes, to buy them from Ukraine or Pakistan... and I don't think that would have worked out so well for him.

Even laying that aside, sarin gas is certainly a WMD, unless you don't feel a weapon that is used to kill a lot of people is a WMD.

I never disputed that sarin qualifies, since I definitely agree that it does (Stop the presses! You and I agree on something!). Notice that I didn't take issue with the gas deal. I only urged you to get your facts straight on nukes. Fair enough?

highboy said...

"I only urged you to get your facts straight on nukes. Fair enough?"

Hey, fair enough. By the way, for the record, though I don't think invadig Iraq was a mistake, I have always felt that Libya and Iran should have come first.

IAMB said...

I have always felt that Libya and Iran should have come first.

Word on that one. Lybia... so so. Iran? Definitely.

Curiosity: where do you get your info on sarin from? The WaPo article you linked to earlier talked about unnamed chemicals and facilities that post-dated Saddam's regime. Forgive me if you've already posted something about that. I don't scroll through the political posts very often.

Amy... no insult here at all, but that picture looks, at first blush, like one of the poorer photoshop jobs I've ever seen. If it's not, I apologize, but the colors are all wrong, as are other details. Really, I mean no insult. It's just that I've seen one too many fakes (not necessarily having to do with the war) recently (that one DaveScot posted over at Dembski's place yesterday was a doozy).

Radar: sorry to hear that the bug is kicking your ass again. I apologize on behalf of all of my microbial friends. They just don't behave so well sometimes... and it's hard to reason with something that doesn't have ears. Hope you get feeling better soon. Email me about the dinosaur thing. We can put it off for another week if you need. That would probably be better for me anyway. Have a shooting competition from Friday till Monday so posting will be light, if not entirely nonexistent.

loboinok said...

"By the way, the young woman who made this clip got death threats (and rape threats) from offended Christians."

My first response is... "Depends which Christians you're talking to/ about;"

Secondly, just what does this clip say to you a hermit?

Thirdly, I heard they were nominated for a "Nobel Peace" prize

Anonymous said...

"And replaced them with Carters, Clintons, or Kerry's? Please."

Well, if you insist! : )
Carter's a good man, but wasn't a very effective President. Clinton is not my favorite, for various reasons, but he was a good president - and engaged, whereas the present occupant of the office appears to be pretty disengaged. Kerry - well, we don't know how he would have done, but he's a pretty competent senator, and helped start the Iran-Contra investigation way back when. Not somebody I would cringe from having in the White House, unless I had ingested too many GOP smears and Swift Boat lies . . . purple heart bandaids, indeed . . .

"No. Just know what you are talking about before you do"
Hey, I can't argue with that! (and I can't say I've never seen people on my side doing so - very annoying!

"Any American that feels the world was better when Saddam was in power need their heads checked."

Look, I've never heard anybody say Saddam was good. In fact, what got numerous' liberals to sign onto the war was the humanitarian argument. But: yes, Saddam's out of power - yay! But Iraq risks becoming an even more unstable sinkhole - boo! I was never a fan of the Kirkpatrick doctrine - yeah, they're authoritarian dictators, but they're our authoritarian dictators - part of a general approach that Bush has rightfully criticized - but going all the way into agressive interventionalism seems like a really bad idea. There are lots of really crappy regimes that treat their people pretty badly. Invading places left and right sounds great, except it doesn't, if you think about if for a second. Beside the more practical problems, it means we're essentially crapping on the idea of a equally binding framework of international law. 'We're going to invade because they're bad! - Don't like it? Try and stop us?' Unfortunately, there's a good deal of tolerance for this on the right - I won't say among conservatives.

Yes, Saddam was pretty bad. Does that alone give us the right to invade a country and overthrow its leaders? Certainly there's a level of bloodsoaked depravity where action - including military action - is a moral imperative. Was this it?

" You'd rather have us take our resources and spend time looking through mountains and caves for Bin Laden while Saddam is gassing thousands of innocent men women and children . . ."

I want to see bin Laden put on trial and locked away to molder in prison, an helpless and decrepit object of ridicule. But more specifically I would like to see our resources being used to neuter anti-American terrorist networks, as a massive military, criminal, and hearts-and-minds project. Iraq seems to do little to support this goal, not only consuming resources at an astonishing pace, but probably also making matters worse.

And for what it's worth, I don't think Saddam was gassing thousands of people at the time we decided to go to war. He did that already, first with our support and assistance, and later when we let the post-Gulf War uprising get slaughtered. His regime was committing all sorts of other atrocities, of course.

" I don't think you're un-American and I respect your opinion. "
Thank you : ) Very civilized, good to hear.

"According to liberal propaganda, sure"
You say liberal propaganda, I say reality. We'll see.

"go after the big dogs."
Saddam was more like one of those really annoying yappy dogs that tries to savage your ankle. China's a big dog.

"Because they wanted him to go to war. He wouldn't."
Really? That's an odd reaction - you have to explain this more.

"Last summer we screamed at him from ten feet away in Johnstown and we'll do it again. "
No free speech zone? Refreshing. I remember when our whole country used to be a free speech zone . .

"Because of screaming libs who go on live T.V and tell the world our troops can't win. . . .Again, terrorists feed off of anti-war propaganda. "

Actually, I always thought they were trying to point out how badly things had gone and were going wrong, so they could be fixed, one way or another. Denial - not just a river in that country near Sudan, which which we're oddly not bothering about so much. . .

"No. 2/3 of the U.S population have CNN, NBC, PBS, and ABC telling them all of the failures in Iraq, while only Fox News will actually listen to the military analysts,

Actually, there was a poll some time ago that seemed to link belief in things known to be false - 9/11 hijackers Iraqi, Saddam proven to have ordered 9/11, etc.) with watching Fox News, as opposed to mainstream media. The whole correlation/causation issue is always tricky, but in this case . . .

I'll go dig it up, maybe . .

" . . . and the Generals actually on the ground over there. Its amazing how Fox News can interview a Gunnery Sergeant and hear how well things are going,"

It is amazing. Can you think of another explanation - or at least a more complicated situation?

Honestly, things are not going well. You don't see that? I won't say there are no signs of progress, but . . .

When a lie becomes truth, anybody trying to tell you the truth becomes a liar. Or something.

" I have always felt that Libya and Iran should have come first."

Libya?! The administration just restored full diplomatic relations with Libya, and is taking them off the list of terrorist sponsors! Why do you want to attack them? (Not that they're so great, at all, but . . .) And Iran? It was groping towards reform not long ago; our actions may have helped the hardliners shut that down, but the potential is there. I don't think attacking them would have the results you're hoping for . . .

-Dan S.

highboy said...

"Carter's a good man, but wasn't a very effective President."

Selling out Iran to the Muslim regimes? I'd say you're being generous.

"Clinton is not my favorite, for various reasons, but he was a good president"

Before or after pardongate, Whitewater, stealing furniture, taking credit for the 7 out of ten bills that made our economy great, (the 7 that actually Newt was responsible for)and lets not forget committing perjury. Yep. Sounds like a great President.

". Not somebody I would cringe from having in the White House, unless I had ingested too many GOP smears and Swift Boat lies . . . purple heart bandaids, indeed . . ."

Or Kerry's own mouth. I always liked the part of the debate with Bush where he accused Bush of really not being true to his faith, and even quoted Scripture, James famous "faith without works" verse. Then 10 minutes later said his own faith said abortion was wrong, but that it wasn't his place to do anything about it. Where's your works to go with that faith Kerry? Then turns around and votes against the partial birth abortion ban, essentially saying abortion is wrong but he sees nothing wrong with cracking the back of a baby's head open like an eggshell or stabbing it with scissors on the way out of the womb. By the way, for all the liberals, a question: if partial birth abortion doesn't exist, why did the Dems vote against it? Out of disdain for the GOP?

"We're going to invade because they're bad"

No, for the second time, we invaded Iraq because they broke international law. Or are we just suppose to rely on the U.N.'s "That's very bad Saddam, but try and cooperate before the U.S. invades you and finds out about our oil for food scandal and all the gang rape our peace keepers commit in third world countries."

"But more specifically I would like to see our resources being used to neuter anti-American terrorist networks,"

That was an awesome way of putting it. One of the reasons you are the coolest guys to disagree with.

"And for what it's worth, I don't think Saddam was gassing thousands of people at the time we decided to go to war. He did that already, first with our support and assistance, and later when we let the post-Gulf War uprising get slaughtered. His regime was committing all sorts of other atrocities, of course."

So in other words, too late, nothing we can do about it now, huh?

"Saddam was more like one of those really annoying yappy dogs that tries to savage your ankle. China's a big dog."

I agree.

"Actually, I always thought they were trying to point out how badly things had gone and were going wrong, so they could be fixed, one way or another."

No, the words of the LEADER of the Dem party were "our troops can't win."

"Actually, there was a poll some time ago that seemed to link belief in things known to be false - 9/11 hijackers Iraqi, Saddam proven to have ordered 9/11, etc.) with watching Fox News, as opposed to mainstream media."

Another poll, Dan?

"Libya?! The administration just restored full diplomatic relations with Libya,"

I know, and it irritates the crap out of me. Try to keep in mind, I'm not defending Bush. (much to liberal in his second term) I'm defending the war in Iraq.

"Why do you want to attack them?"

Because they still rent out training camps to terrorists of literally every sort. They have only recently stopped renting out space and training to the I.R.A. Libya is where most of these terrorists become qualified to use AK-47's and 74's, Russian Makarov 2 round burst pistols, explosives, and even learn how to operate Anti-Personel T-34 tanks. (Not really a discreet way of terrorism, but still...)

"t was groping towards reform not long ago; our actions may have helped the hardliners shut that down, but the potential is there"

Potential? The guy keeps giving the entire world the finger when it comes to making nukes.