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This is a big weekend for anti-war activists.

As Saddam gives bloviating speeches about our troops facing suicide at the gates of Iraq, thousands will gather across this great land of ours, getting naked for peace, waving cardboard signs and chanting 30 year old slogans.

They want liberation without war. I ask them, how do you suppose we do that? Walk up to the palace and say "come out with your hands up?" It should be apprarent from Saddam's speech yesterday that he will not go down without a fight. I think exile is out of the question, as is any peaceful means of negotiation.

And what of those empty warheads from yesterday? They were empty, you say. Yes, they were. But I'll bet you your "war is not the answer" shirt that they weren't going to be empty for long.

So as the anti-war protesters stand out there this weekend, talking about the oooiilll and making impassioned pleas to solve everything over a few drinks with Saddam, Christopher Hitchens would like them to think about a few things:

Have you, or your friends, recently employed the slogan "No War for Oil"? If so, did you listen to what you were saying? Do you mean that oil isn't worth fighting for, or that oil resources aren't worth protecting? Do you recall that Saddam Hussein ignited the oilfields of Kuwait when he was in retreat, and flooded the local waterways with fire and pollution? (Should I patronize the potluckistas, and ask them to look up the pictures of poisoned birds and marine animals from that year?) Are you indifferent to the possibility that such a man might be able to irradiate the oilfields next time? OF COURSE it's about oil, stupid.

And on he goes. If you are one of those "potluck peacenicks" you should really read the essay. It's an eye opener. But I won't hold my breath. Those of you that are in line to parade around in your birthday suit or quote Noam Chomsky this weekend are never the kind to look at all sides of an issue. Nor are you ever the kind to think there's another view besides yours.

Of course in this country, unlike Iraq, you have the right to gather in large groups and chant and protest and call your own government all the silly names you like.

While you are waving your signs and giving the finger to the cops, someone in Iraq is being tortured for speaking out.

While you are parading around naked because you want to be "vulnerable for peace," a woman is being stoned because her head wasn't covered properly.

While you are indoctrinating your children into the anti-war movement, Iraqi children are starving to death in dank prisons because their parents were deemed a threat to Saddam's regime.

Think about that. What exactly are you opposing? What do you think can be accomplished in Iraq without military action? Do you think the children in those prisons are thanking you for telling the U.S. to stay away from their country? Do you think the brilliant women who are scrubbing floors instead of finding cures for diseases thank you for keeping the troops at bay? Do you think the men who are being dipped in vats of acid for opposing Saddam's views thank you for passing anti-war resolutions?

Think again.

When you're having your anti-capitalist program this weekend, think about how much money the anti-war movement spends on ads.

When you are off to Iraq to become a human shield, think of who exactly you are defending and how you are spitting in the faces of the neighbors, family members and citizens of this country who defend your right to public displays of anti-Americanisms.

Enjoy your weekend. I hope it rains.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference think:

» When I was a young hippy... from The Church of the Blinding White Light of Stupidity
I started this rant in Michele's comments and decided to bring it over here and finish it... Ah... the memories... [Read More]



Due to the risk of leakage, chemical rounds are alway kept empty until just before firing.

Bloviate...is this the new 'mot du jour' in blogging now?

Sure i heard it somewhere before (ahem)...

It's an awful ugly word tho, just the sound 'n all. Probably best left where it is, really...

It's a real word, Crimson Cow -- if a slang term, it's been around for at least a few decades:

blo·vi·ate -- intr.v. Slang blo·vi·at·ed, blo·vi·at·ing, blo·vi·ates
To discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner: “the rural Babbitt who bloviates about ‘progress’ and ‘growth’” (George Rebeck).

[Mock-Latinate formation, from blow1.]

blovi·ation n.

(From Dictionary.com)

You know, I think it is very easy and convenient for people to look at and agree with the side of peace. But peace without struggle has never worked in the history or mankind. Any kind of peace that has been beneficial has been earned by blood and suffering. To me, a peace in the middle east, any middle eastern country is worth the price we may pay. Yes, it's about oil. Of COURSE it is about oil. Oil is extremely important to us. Without that middle eastern oil, the demonstrators wouldn't be able to get to those demonstrations! But it is also about people. Liberating people from a madman. He IS mad, and he IS evil and anyone who doesn't realize that is lying to themselves.

Not all young people are anti war either. I'm 16 and in HS, and if this war would go one a long time, I would probably be drafted or asked to serve. And I would if possible.

Well said, Michele. Very well said, indeed.

So...empty warheads are OK? Hmmm.

Say! Do the Brady people know this?

"Potluck Peaceniks" LOL! So many wonderful images come to mind.

Zander, I'm saying this again for the first time. You will not be drafted. Why you ask? Because there is no draft we have a volunteer army. Also to get into the volunteer army you have to be elite both physically and mentally. Those qualified for enlistment are sharp enough to realize there is no draft.

Michele, how did you feel about this prior to the gulf war? Has anything changed from 91 to now that makes us think the outcome will be more favorable? I don't know the answers. I hope that Iraq will be better off after we're done this time. What is the outcome that everyone thinks we're going to see from all this? And what outcomes will make this NOT worthwhile?

While there's no rain in the forecast, tomorrow in all likelyhood will be one of the coldest days of the year here in DC. Hope that affords some small degree of satisfaction.

Well written Michele.

Although, after listening to a lot of discussion on Saudi Arabia, a lot of our arguments don't hold water. The same types of things happen in Saudi Arabia as in Iraq, as far as human rights, and yet, we won't go against SA because we need them as allies. I realize there are more reasons to go after Iraq, based on what Saddam's up to, but throwing the human rights arguemnts into it, when we don't go after other countries who do the same thing, tends to invalidate our whole argument.

You are SO off my reads list.

While you are indoctrinating your children into the anti-war movement, Iraqi children are starving to death in dank prisons because their parents were deemed a threat to Saddam's regime.

Honestly. Since when did The Administration give a fuck? Same shit in North Korea, and we're about to give them aid. Same shit in Egypt, in China (a huge trade partner of the US), and in Saudi Arabia. Same shit in Guatemala, El Salvador, and Chile during the 1980's and early 90's, and they were given millions of US $ in aid to fund well-documented death squads that protected United Fruit's sweatshop practices. Saddam's no hero, but the least the Administration can do is be honest the reasons for it's push for war now.

Gee Patty, how will I ever go on? If you can't handle a person with an opposing opinion to yours I don't want to be on you reads list anyhow.

Jesuschristonapogostick people, open that mind up of yours to realize your way isn't the only way.

Here's what the Idiotarians have planned in the 'Lou tomorrow (no naked protesters, alas--it's in the 20s and likely to snow). Still, it's nice to see they have their priorities straight: capitalism bad, Iraq good.
Anti-war Solidarity Rally
12:00pm Friday 18 January
Contact: Michael Schaefer, Committee Against the U$ Empire

Soulard Market (south entryway)
Transport: Broadway & Lafayette, south of downtown St. Louis
a rally in solidarity with the ANSWER-sponsored rally in DC the same weekend. We will stress: 1) that the U$ gov't is the greatest threat, not Iraq, and 2) must be resisted.

This will be an unpermitted rally in a busy location. There are a lot of people at Soulard Market on Saturdays, people from all walks of life, mostly lower income and foreign born, exactly the people who are victimized by capitalism and national chauvinism.

We encourage the participation of all individuals and groups as long as you are respectful of all forms of resistance (we don't need any "peacekeepers" within the anti-war movement; the state has their own cops). We will have a bullhorn, and all will be allowed to speak against no only the looming war against Iraq and how to resist it, but against state and capitalist repression in all its forms.

We encourage the distribution of literature, homemade signs, etc. Please bring ideas/plans on how to resist!

While you are waving your signs and giving the finger to the cops, someone in Iraq is being tortured for speaking out.

While you are parading around naked because you want to be "vulnerable for peace," a woman is being stoned because her head wasn't covered properly.

Continuing in the thread of what Tracy and adampsyche said...Michele, earlier in the post you quoted Christopher Hitchens as saying, "OF COURSE it's about oil." I agree. But I think that's the very point of a lot of people who are anti-war.

Will going to war and overthrowing Saddam change the way that women and oppositionists (for example) are treated? Suppose, for a moment, that if we upset Saddam's regime that we installed a secular republican government like ours and they were not dominated by fundamental Islamic rules any longer. Those things you mentioned will still go on in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, etc. But we aren't proposing war with those countries.

This war is about oil, it's not about correcting human injustices like those you mentioned. So I wonder, Michele, why precicely you are PRO-war. Do you think that by war we'll be able to correct these injustices?

And as for Patty...I disagree with most of your politics, Michele, which is exactly why I like your blog. There're too many damned liberals on the internet. ;D

I'll post more on this later, as it is lunchtime, but I do want to say that I am not PRO WAR, in the sense that I think war is a great thing. I am just a person who thinks that appeasement and negotiations will not work and sometimes military action is the only way to go.

It is NOT all about the OIL. It may be part of it, but I truly believe that a big part of it is about preserving freedom - and that includes freedom from tyranical dicatators who think the whole world should behave like them and they will shove nuclear warheads up your ass if you don't.

Now I'm sure Saddam was just going to fill those warheads up with margaritas and fire them off at Israel as a party invitation. Nothing to get upset about.

Saddam has demonstrated that if he can get WMDs, he will use them, even on his own people. Additionally he supports terrorist groups that would have demonstrated that they'd love to use WMDs on us if only they could get their hands on them. Removing Saddam from power before he can develop WMDs just makes sense. Seriously, would you rather wait until he can practice the same level of brinksmanship that North Korea has been demonstrating of late?

Is oil a factor? Sure, though not nearly as big a factor as people seem to think. We import more oil from South America and Russia, these days, than the middle east.

Another factor that a lot of people seem to be overlooking is that there was a third nation in Bush's Axis of Evil, Iran, and it just happens to be bordered by both Iraq and Afghanistan. With friendly governments installed on either side of it, the US could pressure Iran for some reforms that would help stabilize the whole region.

War is a brutal thing and it shouldn't be entered into lightly but sometimes it is a necessity.

freedom from tyranical dicatators who think the whole world should behave like them and they will shove nuclear warheads up your ass if you don't.

Not to be snarky, Michele, and all due respect, but that sentence more accurately depicts the US than Iraq. We're the ones at their borders. We're the ones who are threatening force, and we're the ones who thumb our noses at the U.N. just as much as Iraq does. Iraq has not been a direct threat to us, never has been, and the job that the Bush Administration has done to convince the public that they are has got to be one of the most amazing feats of public relations in modern history.

Freedom is worth fighting for, but there are many other battles that can be fought here at home that affect all of us.

This war is about oil, it's not about correcting human injustices like those you mentioned. So I wonder, Michele, why precicely you are PRO-war. Do you think that by war we'll be able to correct these injustices

Katie -

I need to address your above comment. Michele's posted an answer to your direct query, but I take issue with the underlying idea that if, by war, we don't make everything 100% better, then there's no point in even trying, especially if the motive isn't "pure;" meaning, in this case, untainted by oil.

Yeah, the war is about oil, but that's not all. I believe that our intervention will result in more lives being improved than destroyed. I believe that a free civil society is always better than a dictatorship, and that we stand a really good chance of helping the Iraqi people attain one over the long haul IF they want one--the operative idea being that they will have the power to determine their own fate.

Finally, I believe that it is wrong, if not just plain evil, to look a dangerous, oppressive regime in the face--when you have the means to do something about it--and do nothing because you're afraid that things may not get better for the civilians involved or because the greatest sin in the world is hypocrisy. It's not.

And as for the idea (I'm not addressing you specifically here, Katie, btw) that "there's evil people all over everywhere! How come we're not doing anything about them?" It's because we don't want to be the world's cop, preferring stability over "all war all the time," and thereby having to hold our noses and deal with despicable folks. Again, if you think hypocrisy is the ultimate evil, what would you do? How would you enforce treaties that were broken? How would you reconcile the atrocities you KNOW are happening with your desire for a morally pure foreign policy?

Adampsyche, I disagree that they're not a direct threat to us. Chemical weapons and biological warfare might start in Iraq, or whever Saddam uses them, but those thinsg have a tendency to spread. It DOES affect us if he has them (which it seems he does, even if he's good at hiding them), and it's certain that he'll use them. From that perspective, he IS a threat.

At the same time, I think our government uses the human rights and environmental issues as a cover for the true purpose, which is to protect the oil, which we're vastly dependent on. I mean, great if we resolve the human rights issues, but like I said, we're not out there threatening Saudi Arabia, or any of the other countries where women have no rights.

In due course, Adam & Tracy, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan will fall in line. BTW, how much Iraqi oil do we import? None, that's how much. BTW, are you two part of the protest about drilling in ANWR? I suspect you are, which makes your "all about oil" stance hypocritical.

Is it too obvious to point out that nekkid protest marches are the epitome of "showing your ass"?

Iran is on the brink of an internal revolution - once Saddam is out of the picture it won't take long before Iran changes.

Saudi Arabia is basically untouchable until Saddam is out of the picture. But they are very politically savvy - expect them to voluntarily fall right into line once we prove we are serious about reprisals for gov'ts encouraging terrorism.

Once we get into Iraq and expose what's there the anti-war protesters are going to look uncomfortably similar to Jane Fonda touring the Viet Cong POW camps and reporting that they are not so bad after all.

History will show right and wrong here, no doubt at all.

Larry, step off dude. I'm not about to go parade naked for peace. I'm not against the war in Iraq, but if you think it's not mainly about oil, I think you're seriously mistaken. That, sir, is MY OPINION. I don't believe I said a thing about oil drilling in Alaska, so please don't put words in my mouth (or michele's blog, as the case may be).

Sorry, not buying the Rubik's cube theory. Move one and the rest fall in line? I doubt it.

This is something I wrote earlier today, very similar to this post. I just thought I would share it.......

As we mark the twelfth anniversary of the beginning of the Gulf War, many freedom-loving people take to the streets to protest war. Especially this year, with another war with Iraq looming in the future. “Give peace a chance” you say. Peace for whom? The Iraqis? War is a horrible thing. But so is living in Iraq. “Prove Iraq has WMD” Is that proof going to come in a 12,000 page declaration, or is it going to come as a chemical warhead fired on Israel?
So as protesters take to the streets to protest, let a few things linger in their minds. As you line up in your peace parade, protesting the policy of the U. S. may you be reminded of the policy in Iraq, where protesters are dipped in vats of acid for expressing an opinion. As you drink you bottled water, remember the children eating dirt to fill their stomachs in the streets outside of one of many presidential palaces. As you take off your clothes to make yourself “vulnerable for peace” remember the Iraqi women who are stoned because their faces aren’t properly covered, and children who have never had shoes. As you shout profanity at the police, think of the Iraqi solider who was punished for disrespect by having his throat slow cut in front of his family, as they watched him drown in his own blood.
Ironically, these protests are coming in large numbers on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend. He dedicated his life for civil rights for ALL American people, regardless of skin color or religion or anything else. Yet we take this day off from work to rally for the oppression of those unfortunate people who suffer under a dictatorship that would just as soon gas the people in the streets as feed them. - Rick

No offense, Rick, but did you write that before or after reading Michele's piece? Because it sounds a lot like what she wrote.

I actually started writing it last evening, we must have searched for the same information. I thought it was very odd to see the results myself, thats why I posted mine.

Actually, I didn't really search for any information besides scanning my brain for thoughts already there.

I searched for the different torture methods that are used and then went from there. The use of mice as a means of torture is by far the worst I had ever heard of. Placing a metal bowl upside down on the accused person's stomach, which contains live mice. Heating the metal bowl to a point where the mice feel the heat and burrow into the innards of the person being punished. It just makes me absolutely sick, to think this type of treatment of any human is acceptable and this war is all about "oil". Rick

I searched for the different torture methods that are used and then went from there. The use of mice as a means of torture is by far the worst I had ever heard of. Placing a metal bowl upside down on the accused person's stomach, which contains live mice. Heating the metal bowl to a point where the mice feel the heat and burrow into the innards of the person being punished. It just makes me absolutely sick, to think this type of treatment of any human is acceptable and this war is all about "oil". Rick

The war is not something that will go away with the cleansing of Iraq -- the Bush Administration has made this very clear. What we're facing is an era of ideological war against a series of 'unfriendly regimes'; yesterday it was Afghanistan, today it's Iraq, tomorrow it will be someone else.

This was all pretty clearly outlined in Rebuilding America's Defenses, a report drawn up by Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Elliott Abrams, Jeb Bush, and Lewis Libby's neo-conservative think tank Project for the New American Century. The report "pinpoints [Iraq], North Korea, Libya, Syria and Iran as dangerous regimes and says their existence justifies the creation of a 'world-wide command-and-control system.'" Not surprisingly, this report closely follows the Pentagon's Defense Planning Guidance of 1992 that Cheney drafted as Secretary of Defense. Note, that report, which asserted "the need to establish permanent U.S. dominance over virtually all of Eurasia," was so controversial that it had to be completely rewritten. With so many of those contributers in high places in the Bush ranks today, it seems clear that these documents will become the center of a movement toward Pax Americana.

Those who argue for or against this war in particular are missing the point, as we have entered a paradigm shift in US foreign policy. This 'war' is really just a single battle in the Administration's quest for global military dominance.

In other words, Tracy, I think you've been misled into believing that we don't want to be the world's cop, preferring stability over "all war all the time..." And that, I think is part of what Adam is referring to when he claims that the war in Iraq is a miracle of PR. No doubt in a year we will be hearing the same types of 'one-time only' claims against whomever has the misfortune of being the baddie of the day. Will you be so easily convinced when the Bush Administration trots out their next 'serious threat to US security'?

You can justify the war on the Taliban by invoking 9/11 and human rights issues; you can justify the war on Iraq by citing that nation's non-compliance with the UN Security Council...But can you justify the US war to expand its influence against the rest of the world? Because that's what you're really seeing right now.

And that, I think, is worth protesting.

I am avoiding downtown SF tomorrow just like I'm avoiding the Oakland 580 corridor starting now (geezus phuck that's gonna be one hell of a tailgate party). I went to protests when I was a kid; nowadays I vote. Also I own a car. Call me pointy-headed, sure, but don't call me a hypocrite.

I was just looking for a link I heard about on the radio this morning, where you can download signs for instant consumer-style protesting. Didn't find it. Found this instead.

Something that troubles me in all the highfallutin "that kid is sooooo ill informed, pfeh" stuff in here: did no one notice that there's a bill in Congress, right now, to reinstate the draft? Bonus points if you notice it's a lefty thing. Interesting times, what?

Ok, where did anybody get the idea that I'm protesting anything?

My only point is that this war IS to a great extent about the oil, and anybody who doesn't believe that is deluding themselves.

And no, I don't see us ever going after Saudi Arabia, no matter what.


Disclaimer: That comment was in no way a slam against drivers of big SUV's, whom as we all know, are friends of the terrorists.


(/end sarcasm)

So you must be one of the poor, illiterate who voted for the little idiot. SAD!!

Sometimes I wonder if the antiwar movement should be called ‘That 60’s show’ – it’s so much nostalgia. Those Sims peace signs that Jessica linked to are cute - the Woodstock sticker, the red white and blue peace sign. I've heard some of the recommended ‘peace’ chants (hey, ho, hey ho, this racist war has got to go) – you can almost smell the patchouli incense.

I guess it must have been a lot of fun, the sense of comraderie, the vegetarian potluck suppers – but suppose this 60’s revival does more than sell a few love beads? Suppose it’s successful, and Saddam remains in power, and continues to abuse his people? I wonder if these nostalgic ‘activists’ will be happy to take full responsibility for that outcome.

Go to a peace rally and punch the lead peacer in the mouth.....If her counters with aggression simply tell him that is a example on how life actually works. People respond to threats and acts of aggression the same way as countries do....except we cant launch a nuke at people we dont like. Not that its a bad idea.

That does it......Meet me at the In-n-Out Burger in North Hollywood on Camrose tomorrow at noon for a war rally.....I am going to do my part.

Ah... the memories... sleeping in Rock Creek Park... chanting on the mall... standing in the reflecting pool between the Washington and Lincoln monuments, naked, with a Wonderbread bag full of joints, protesting the Vietnam war... drinking wine and smoking pot, feeling all buzzy and superior... screwing with hippy chicks and talking about how we were changing the world as we relaxed in the warm afterglow...

Then waking up to the reeducation camps, the Mekong river jammed with bodies, so many that they floated across the sea to wash up on the shores of the Phillipines... Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge... millions of innocent dead...


I was clueless about how you stop bad people from doing bad things. Kind words and reasoned responses are wasted on sociopaths. You have to kill them to stop them.

Make no mistake, Saddam, et al are certifiably crazy and before you go branding our government with the same diagnoses, have you ever dealt with a paraniod schizophrenic?

Me "Hello."
PS "If you ever say that about my Mom again, I'll kill you!"
Me "Huh?"

All the folks who want an easy way out are welcome to go stand in front of these psycos and hope that makes a difference They don't have the right to drag me and mine into the path of destruction. I will support turning the middle east into a sea of glass before I will allow them to do the same to us. Just as they refuse to allow Israel the right to exist in any way, shape or form ("We will push the jews into the sea") they will pick at the western world until they destroy us.

This isn't about the oil. It isn't about harmless differences of philosophy between Islamofacists and the western world. If they were Amish we would just walk away.

They are not Amish (No Shit!), they will not stop till the rest of the world is under their thumb, all women are subjugated, everyone prays five time a day while facing Mecca and the local imam calls every tune. They have shown that nothing less will satisfy them.

So, go be a shield for peace, protest to your hearts content. Wander around in your self-induced buzz of moral superiority, looking down on those armed forces schmucks who will try to make sure that no one kills you.

The defense department buys body bags in lots of a thousand.

IF (if) you believe Desert Storm was justified, how can you possibly think 12 years' violation of cease-fire agreements doesn't validate RESUMPTION of hostilities?

Tracy: Please accept my humble apology. Of course it's about oil, just very little.

Ryan: "This 'war' is really just a single battle in the Administration's quest for global military dominance." Wake up, dude
the quest is over. Has been for at least 1o years. The Bush "junta" crap is like lots of other conspiracy theories; empty. Imagine where we'd be today if Bush hadn't "stolen" the election? I shudder about how algorebot might have reacted, after consulting pollsters to find out what he "believed". I'm just happy as a clam that Bush has Rummy, Cheney, Wolfowitz, even Powell.

Change is coming to the region. For everyone who says that because we're not correcting injustice in other places it's wrong attempt it in Iraq, I ask you to open your eyes.

One of the things keeping the Islamists in power in Iran is fear of resumed hostilities by Iraq. It's taken a decade, but the people in Iran are finally at the point where they feel they can oppose an oppressive regime.

Change is always better if it comes from the inside. I don't believe we'll be invading Iran any time soon. We won't have to.

SA has long been problematic. It produces Oil, it's relatively friendly, but it's human rights record is horrible. It's like dealing with Satan to buy bread.

Before you go criticizing this administration for what it's doing now, perhaps we should be criticizing what the previous administrations for what they didn't do.

I suppose the real question I'm asking is "If we caused or supported problems before, then when is it time to fix it? When is it time to correct the past support of dictators? Or do we have a duty to be guilty and apologetic for as long as the nation exists?"

You have to start somewhere. Trying to start everywhere at once is a recipe for failure. Iraq is a weak point in the wall that is Arab Islamist government. Let's find a starting point and start chipping away.

The Bush "junta" crap is like lots of other conspiracy theories; empty.

Larry: The Bush 'junta' would only be a conspiracy theory if those involved hadn't made their intentions so brutally clear. I suggest you read 'Rebuilding America's Defenses' and compare it to the Administration's policy on Iraq, North Korea, and Iran. That the 'axis of evil' speech even happened is entirely refective of the influence of this document on our foreign policy.

I ask again . . . What will you do or say in a year when the PR machine rolls out against another regime in Cheney and Wolfy's playbook? Will you swallow hook, line, and sinker the way so many have against this dangerous and horrible man in Iraq? Will you still believe it's a convenient string of isolated incidents?

Ryan: I don't swallow. j/k. My OPINION, to which I'm entitled, is that a clearly articulated policy of national defense (one of the FEW legitimate functions of the federal government) does not a constitute a conspiracy. The fact that this policy, in its origin, seems to have been clairvoyant in anticipating our needs doesn't invalidate it, either. Can you really, really believe, in light of recent events, that the "axis of evil" is not evil? I guess our differnces lie in the fact that I agree with the policy (lil queasy about preemption) and you don't.

We are the only nation in the world capable of defending ourselves. We are RELUCTANTLY willing to to help defend the rest of the free world. Would you prefer for us to be on the short side of this equation? I say it's a good goddamned thing for the planet that it's us, not anyone else.


If there is a junta, why are you still breathing?

If you really believed the crap sprouting from your fingers you would be hiding in a closet somewhere, waiting for the death squad to arrive.

Or, maybe you do believe it but are very brave.

Then again, it might just be that you believe it and are too stupid to realize that, if it were true, you are endangering yourself by expressing your ideas in public.

Just wondering... inquiring minds want to know... how you manage to avoid starving.

Ryan, you appear to have forgotten that we elect the president every four years in this country -- and the president can't serve more than two terms. Bush is up for reelection in less than two years, so even if your somewhat-paranoid fantasies are true, he won't have time to accomplish the dastardly deeds you so much fear. People will notice, and they'll hum his ass out so fast it will surprise you.

Unless you actually want to insist that the voters in the US are too stupid, too gullible, too unobservant to figure out what's going on? But you (and your close circle of friends, no doubt) are just a bit more elite, educated, and too intelligent to fall for this trickery?

Let me give you some insight. I was born when Truman was president; I saw Eisenhower elected twice, Kennedy elected and assassinated, Johnson escalate and bobble the Vietnam War; I watched Nixon "honorably end" that war and open relations with China, then take himself down with hubris; I watched Ford bumble along, Carter embarrass the whole nation, and (astonished) watched Reagan the actor do amazingly well; I watched Bush Senior pull his punches, Clinton sound great but act dispicably, and now see Bush Junior rallying the nation around a serious purpose.

By my count, the Presidency has traded back and forth between Democrat and Republican, pretty regularly; ignoring the Kennedy-Johnson and Nixon-Ford handoffs (both only eight years and two elections long), the Reagan-Bush I back-to-back wins represent the only case of consecutive election of two different presidents from the same party, and the only period of a dozen years when one party controlled the presidency in the last half-century...

Do you understand where I'm going with this? Please tell me, clearly and unambiguously, just how the hell you suppose this nefarious scheme might be carried out in such an environment? And while you're doing that, please pay attention to the fates of the plans of each of the Presidents I've named -- and how many of those plans were reversed immediately when the "regime" changed.

I suspect a little bit of age will give you more insight into reality. It should certainly allow you to see how gross a supposition you're making, with your "Bush junta" ravings.

For the record, I didn't begin, nor do I endorse the 'Bush junta' label. I merely adopted it to conveniently oppose someone else's argument. Also, as I said above, I don't consider Cheney et al's defense policy a conspiracy, though I do think they're being dishonest in their campaign for war in Iraq and any subsequent wars that may follow. And finally, I'm not disillusioned enough to think that by 'uncovering the truth' [read: sarcasm] I'm going to be labeled an 'enemy combatant,' or something equally as ridiculous.

All I'm trying to point out is that plans for US intervention in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea, and Iran were suggested by members of the Bush Administration long before they took office. That some of these plans existed as early as 1992 leads me to believe that the Administration's suggestion these regimes pose an 'immediate threat' to US security is slightly disingenuous.

As for Troy: the Reagan administration saw some of the most despicable acts of corruption and human rights violations happen under its watch, and in many cases with its help. Yet, we saw him elected twice (and his Veep elected once), despite outrageous claims levied against him and his cabinet. Now many of those figures (including two convicted felons) have found their way into powerful positions in the Bush administration.

Reagan was successful for two reasons, I would argue: 1) because he was portrayed as an understanding, down-to-earth real-world figure, and 2) because his administration instilled a certain amount of fear into the populace -- fear of nuclear war, fear of the 'evil empire,' fear of the Arabs and Latin Americans we were forever entangled with. Is it any surprise that Bush the Second and his Cold Warriors are pulling pages from the same playbook? Will you truly be surprised if they're just as successful?

Thanks for clarifying that, Ryan -- you apparently do believe that voters in the US are too stupid, too gullible, and too unobservant to figure out what's going on... just as I suspected you might.

It should be noted that not everyone shares your opinions about the Reagan administration; that includes me, and I certainly didn't vote for Reagan nor either Bush. I just try to recognize reality when I see it.

Also, please tell me who the "convicted felons" in Bush's administration are? Every time I hear this accusation, it turns out not to be true...

Convicted felons of the Bush Administration include

1) Elliot Abrams, National Security Council staff chief for Democracy, Human Rights, and International Operations (hah!): Beloved by right-wingers who hail him as both a hero for his championship of the Nicaraguan contras during the 1980s, Abrams first gained prominence as a leading neo-conservative when he served as Reagan's Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights in the early 1980s and then as Assistant Secretary for Inter-American Affairs.

In both positions, he clashed frequently and angrily with mainstream church groups and human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, who often accused him of covering up horrendous abuses committed by U.S.-backed governments, such as El Salvador and Guatemala, and rebel forces, such as the Contras and Angola's Unita, while, at the same time, exaggerating abuses by U.S. foes.

He was indicted by the Iran-Contra special prosecutor for giving false testimony about his role in illicitly raising money for the Contras but pleaded guilty to two lesser offenses of withholding information to Congress in order to avoid a trial and a possible jail term. He was pardoned by President George H.W. Bush along with a number of other Iran-Contra defendants in 1992. [source]

2. John Poindexter, director of the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Information Awareness Office: Indicted March 16, 1988, on seven felony charges. After standing trial on five charges, Poindexter was found guilty April 7, 1990, on all counts: conspiracy (obstruction of inquiries and proceedings, false statements, falsification, destruction and removal of documents); two counts of obstruction of Congress and two counts of false statements. U.S. District Judge Harold H. Greene sentenced Poindexter June 11, 1990, to six months in prison on each count, to be served concurrently. A three-judge appeals panel on November 15, 1991, reversed the convictions on the ground that Poindexter's immunized testimony may have influenced the trial testimony of witnesses. The Supreme Court on December 7, 1992, declined to review the case. In 1993, the indictment was dismissed on the motion of Independent Counsel. [source]

Also, are you seriously suggesting that human rights violations were not systematically ignored, or even sponsored, by the Reagan/Bush I administrations? Or are you just saying it's ok if they were committed by regimes that matched our ideology?

Elliot Abrams was not convicted of felony charges; he plead guilty to two misdemeanor charges. He was also pardoned by Bush 41, and therefore the conviction has been erased.

John Poindexter was convicted, but his conviction was overturned on appeal, the Supreme court refused to hear the next appeal, and the Independent Counsel eventually recommended dismissing the indictment -- which was done. Therefore the first conviction doesn't count, and he is not a "convicted felon".

I abhor Poindexter, and have no use at all for Abrams; but if you want to prove your points, using falsified information is not the way to do it. Why do I claim it was falsified? Because your own source for the Poindexter claim tells exactly what I have just said. Neither man is a "felony criminal".

Human rights violations are ignored all the time. I don't see the Reagan/Bush 41 administrations as being unusual in that regard. As for sponsoring them: give me proof. And do a better job of it this time.