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dear, dear hesiod

[via Jay]

Well, thank you Hesiod. Your armchair pyschoanalysis of me (and others who have the same views as me) was a wonderful display of audacious mind-reading.

TIME FOR IRAQ-WAR LIARS TO STEP UP TO THE PLATE: Do you REALLY care about human rights and deposing a "brutal dictator, or are you just lying your pathetic asses off about it to cover up for your otherwise bankrupt political and moral ideology?

Have you considered becoming an FBI profiler, perhaps? You seem to know exactly what people are thinking and feeling. Why, you can figure my ulterior motives with such tenacity, it's almost frightening! And how you can figure out what my moral ideology is just from my pro-war stance is simply astounding!

The bottom line is, you don't care about human rights abuses. You never cared about human rights abuses. And you never WILL care about human rights abuses...in Iraq, or anywhere else.

It's a figleaf. A beard. A phony affectation of human concern...solely adopted for rhetorical purposes. [And Lord knows, it's never manifested itself with respect to the majority of Palestinians, among others].

My fig leaf is off, Hesiod. My beard is shaved. You found me out. I surrender to your Ted Rall-like rhetoric.

If you'll give me one more chance, I swear that I will never lie to you again because now I see the destructive power of a lie; they're stronger than the truth. Cause I'm a liar, yeah I'm a liar.

Thanks for the chuckle, Hesiod.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference dear, dear hesiod:

» Attacking Bloggers from damnum absque injuria
Recently, I was wondering why I did not mind taking a dig at Kevin Drum for his silly attacks on Instapundit. Then I felt much the same way after reading Michele's mini-fisking of Hesiod's attempt at psychoanalyzing her and everyone... [Read More]


To Hesiod:
The bottom line is, you don't care about American soldiers. You never cared about American soldiers. And you never WILL care about American soldiers...in Iraq, or anywhere else.
It's a figleaf. A beard. A phony affectation of human concern...solely adopted for rhetorical purposes.

I notie you didn't actually DISAGREE with my point.

And, you're welcome to comment on your heartfelt concern for human rights in Uzbekistan here.

Any suggested remedy from you short of a full-scale invasion to depose Karimov will prove my point.

(Went through the comment section at Hesiod's little blog)

Wow... this Hesiod is such a venomous little tyke.

Oh dear, he might wander in here, see this and cry "BUT THE REPUBLICANS DO IT TOOO!!!" Which will force me to find some Republicans who will jump off a bridge...

"Anything short of full-scale invasion"?!

Should I search your little blog and see if you've whinged about there being a shortage of troops in Iraq, Hesiod?

I notice you didn't DISAGREE with md's point either, just threw in the "full-scale invasion" comment. Does that mean you don't CARE about American soldiers, oh Counter-Pointing One?

I knew it! You weren't fooling any of us. You are now exposed as the reincarnation of Eva Braun. Based on your posts I can tell that you are in serious need of professional help (or re-education camp).

I am worried and concerned about you and anyone else of your "irrational" ilk. (Irrational, BTW, is defined as anything that doesn't conform to my point of view.)
You'd probably sell your children and go off on a spending spree in Vegas, if you could.

Relative Motion

Tender Hesiod, blesséd Hesiod
Solicitous of rejection.
Lest all the freedom loving
Fail to hew to his projection.

Caring Hesiod, anxious Hesiod—
Guards static nations’ fetters.
Where covered women sweep mud floors,
Or men are fed to shredders.

Shrill, accusing, angry Hesiod
Behind, whilst hope draws nearer.
His shrinking shrieking, doppler’d down,
Receding in the mirror.

Damn, Hesiod, you had to make me go serious:

Let's turn it around, hypocrite. What's your solution for handling the human rights problems in:
Haiti (which the US is responsible for putting a dictator in power)

We don't have the military power to invade all these countries right now, but I'd be all for going after them once we get Afganistan and Iraq to come up to the enviable standards of the US in democracy AND human rights of the people in the minority

Wow, the Right-winger comebacks have about as much substance as President Bush talking about how he cares about the plight of the lower-class.

Don't know if you were addressing me or Michele in your comment above. If it was me, then... The intent of my post wasn't to address the merits of your claim. The intent of my post was to show how pointless it is to set up a straw man and then knock it down. Maybe there are some who favored the war in Iraq who don't care about human rights abuses -- I haven't met one. For many, it was one of many reasons to go in. If one is not ideologically pure, and has several reasons for favoring an option, including gasp national interest, does that make one of the reasons a "phony affectation of human concern?"

You have some tangible evidence that he doesn't, wenesmeg, or are you just talking out of your ass?

I love the old "you cant depose one ruthless dictator unless you depose them all" argument. I'll try to type this really, really slow so you can understand: 9 ruthless dictators in the world are better than 10. The notion that if you don't solve EVERY problem then you shouldn't solve ANY is just.... well, fucking stupid.

People still pay attention to Hesiod?

I still haven't seen anyone address the basic premise (albeit one obscured by his bombastic tone) of Hesiod's post: That if supporters of Bush's Iraq policy cared as much as they claim to about human rights abuses, they should have cared about those abuses when we were allied with Hussein (they were well documented then) and they should care about human rights abuses by other regimes that we not only tolerate but support (and should have cared in the past when regimes we supported committed such abuse).

It's a valid question. To anyone who's reading this, I ask: How genuine is this supposed concern for human rights that you're avowing? Have you had a demonstrable, consistent interest in human rights issues when they are not used as a justification for Bush's policies? If compelling evidence of human rights abuses contradicted a Bush administration policy--like if we supported a new tyrant the way we once supported Hussein--would you be willing to question his motivations? I sincerely want to know, so please answer sincerely.

And by the way, I come from a military family and I opposed the war in Iraq. I think our standards should be a lot higher when it comes to what we will risk the lives of our service people for. There's nothing fig leafy or hypocritical about it--I care too much about my family members and people like them to want to see them severely endangered for what, to me, is not sufficient reason. And I know a lot of people in the military who feel the same way, no matter how their duty compels them to act.

Iraq differs for a couple of reasons. Notably, non-military reasons (up to and including promoting a local revolt) were tried and all failed miserably (in the case of the revolt, with disastrous consequences).

Further, as the most visible public example of opposing the US and getting away with it, taking out Hussein hard serves as an example that boosts the credibility of future threats of force, which in turn makes force less likely to be needed.

As for supporters of the Iraq war questioning Bush's support of tyrants with abysmal human rights records, I've got a two word answer: Saudi Arabia. Even National Review has gone after Bush on his record of sucking up to the Sauds, as have more centrist bloggers than I can name.

Look: military force is a useful, but risky solution.... it is no more a universal panacea than any other potential solution to a problem, and the costs and risks make it one we should be hesitant to use.

As for Hesiod's point... let's say you had the opportunity to give a homeless person a home and a job. Would you fail to do it just because you couldn't help any other homeless people? Does helping just that one guy and not helping the others mean your concern for the homeless is somehow phony?

The US can only help so many without overextending itself to the point all the jobs are done improperly. I don't want to see Iraq and Afghanistan left as screwed up as Haiti was.


1. In the 1980s (when we "allied" with Hussein) the major threat in the Persian Gulf region was Iran. Saddam provided a buffer there against Iran. In other words, he was the lesser of two evils.

2. There was no single reason to get rid of Saddam, there were a lot of reasons: WMD threat, support of terrorism, the UN resolutions, human rights, etc. Steven den Beste recently covered them very well at his site.

3. The US can't be everywhere and help everyone at the same time. The war on terror is going to take a long time and we're going to have to pick our battles.

4. There's a political side to this as well, the President (regardless of who he is), has to gather support for sustained military action. What are the potential costs at home and abroad in regards to lives lost, money spent, political capital used? What are the gains? Is it worth it? Would I like to see us intervene in Liberia or the Congo? It depends - would it do any good or would it just make us feel better? Can we do it? Our forces are spread rather thin right now.

Coming from a military family myself (my father lost over 25% of his squadron over North Vietnam, Viet Cong controlled areas and, worse yet, terrorist attacks at Dan Nang AFB) and being in the military myself (although never under hostile fire; though a cold war "warrior" being in nuclear submarines fencing with the Soviets in the Arctic), I feel I can easily answer Susan's question:

Humanitarian concerns was just one of the critical reasons why we attacked Iraq. North Korea IS a very good parallel for the REASONS for war, but we must consider the costs along with the benefits. It's why I agreed with Grenada, Panama and Somalia, but not Kosovo... I was semi-wrong in the second-to-last one and completely wrong in the last one. I've got friends with families that are (and will be) risking their lives for these endeavours. We HATE war. but, we wouldn't do (did), if it wasn't for the greater good AND for the national security of our nation.... Look I could take up more of Michele's comment space on this issue, but if you, Susan, from a military family don't get this concept, Email me and I'll be glad to debate. If you don't, I'll assume you have no intent on seeing the other side (which is an acceptable response also), so I don't waste any more time trying to have you understand my point of view.

Let me make sure I'm following Susan's logic: Since a previous administration had a brief alliance with some bad people almost 20 years ago, the current administration should refrain from doing the right thing in the here and now.

Yeah, I think I get it.

Or something.

I have found that there is one important idea to keep in mind when deciding whether to engage someone in rational discourse: namely, Plato's idea of a "congenial soul."

By that, he meant an interlocuter whose goals are yours: the pursuit of truth. When engaging in the noble human pursuit of truth, it is most important that all parties in the discussion intend the achievement of that truth. A "congenial soul" is not inextricably bound up in an ideology, nor does he or she have as a primary focus the belittlement, humiliation, or intellectual domination of those with opposing viewpoints. The congenial souls' focus is on discovering the truth of a thing, as best it can be determined in good faith.

In my opinion, Hesiod is not a congenial soul. His goal seems to be cleverness and wordplay, and the rhetorical humiliation of his ideological opponents. His arguments are structured to provoke not further progress towards truth, but conflict.

As such, he is best ignored.

I couldn't resist picking Hesiod apart, bit by bit.

An unintended consequence of Susan's argument is that it's okay to be a pro-invasion conservative, as long as you're under 30.

Hesiod's kind of a nut. And usually it's best not to get into long arguments with kooks. Michele's mockery was on target.

Apparently, Hesiod hasn't really thought out the idea that in foreign policy, you have to pick and choose your battles. You have finite resources. Yes, it would be nice to save the Uzbekis. Hell, it would be nice to save everyone. So how does that translate to hypocrisy because we saved some, but not all?

Isn't the natural outgrowth of Hesiod's assumptions about conservatives the belief that nobody cares about human rights whatsoever? I mean, American liberals based interventions in Bosnia, Haiti, and Kosovo on human rights, but since they didn't simultaneously favor intervening in Sierra Leone, Burma, and China, then it's obvious that liberals don't care about human rights at all. Heh

He's an absurd, sad little man, innit he?

Oh, Michele. You answered Fartboy. Don't you know he just throws that shit out there because he's like the kid who always sat in the back of the room in high school making fart noises to attract attention?

Geez. It's like the Beetlejuice thing. Don't say his name three times or you'll NEVER get rid of him.

If I ever start a blog I'll link to Hesiod under the heading "Overqualified to be an idiotarian"

The other analogy that can be made about that utterly infuriating argument "we can't depose one brutal dictator by force unless we're ready to depose them all" is this:

A team of firefighters in front of a burning building see movement at a window and realize there's a person inside. Instead of going and rescuing this person, they decide to investigate the rest of the building and determine if others are trapped inside. Then they decide if all can be saved. If all the people inside can't be saved, they take no action at all.

'Cause at least they are being "fair" and "consistent."


I know it's late in the post here, but I just wanted to make a comment. When you said:

"...if supporters of Bush's Iraq policy cared as much as they claim to about human rights abuses, they should have cared about those abuses when we were allied with Hussein..."

you made a valid point. We SHOULD have cared. And we f*ucked up in the past. But ask yourself: Is it better to be consistently wrong (i.e. leave Saddam in power because we failed to do anything about his human rights abuses in the past) or to be inconsistently right (i.e. we know what he's done, we failed in the past, but now we're doing something about it)?
Although it's now a moot point, what do you think is the better - if not more moral - course of action?

I guarantee that some day in the future when we don't need Saudi oil (be it because of another source, or discovering a viable alternate energy source) their asses will be taken to task for harboring and funding terrorist scum. It would be great to off every 2 bit dictator on earth, but the reality is we will do what's in the USA's best interest first. For the reality-challenged who rant and rave about how evil that is, the fact is that to behave any other way would be national suicide. For far too long socialist bleeding heart morons have tried to make the US play by a different set of rules than anyone else (any rants about imperialistic France oppressing the Ivory Coast? Anyone??) and too many of our politicians have obliged at the expense of our citizens. Bitch, piss, and moan, Hesiod, if you must to try and sate some kind of misplaced guilt for not being born into poverty and oppression. If you're waiting for me to give a crap, bring a book... it's going to be a long wait.

I haven't read Hesiod's entry, but from the excerpts, it seems to be, as a conservative, that he is raising some good points. (Yes, I know that he is a liberal.) I have been covering the issue of war from a traditional conservative perspective on my recent and past blog entries; right now, however, I am one of the guest bloggers at 'Deux Ego.' My last entry there (currently second from the top, or go here for the entry) covers the 'bleeding heart,' statist, left-wing logic that many people are [quite unfortunately] now using to justify this war. In that entry, I only briefly go over this topic, but I link to four of my previous blog or comment posts on this issue. As I pointed out in those, it is so incredibly frustrating to see how many people, even those who are regarded as 'conservative,' are retrospectively reversing rationales, and making these flawed, left-wing arguments in favor of this war. As I've said before (see the last paragraph of that comment entry), many of those who have spent time in Iraq, working to help the people there, are the ones who have been so adamantly opposing this war. They are the ones who truly care about the innocents of Iraq, unlike many of the insincere pro-war pundits and chickenhawks, many of whom appear to be exploiting the suffering of the Iraqi people in an attempt to wipe the egg off of there faces.

Sorry. But your claims that you care about the Iraqi people are as phony as a three dollar bill.

Here's the gist of my argument:

I. You all wanted to invade Iraq.

II. You all stated [along with the administration] a laundry list of "reasons," for doing so [almost none of which were the actual reasons, as I'll explain below].

III. These included, in order of magnitude:

A. Saddam had active, deployable chemical and probably biological weapons, and would have nuclear WEAPONS within a realtively short period of time.

B. He provided active support to "terrorists," although you and the adminsitration were careful NOT to explain which "terrorists" he was actively supporting [hint: They attack ISRAEL, not the United States].

C. You argued that he had "links" to Al Qaeda, which have since proven to be very weak and ephemeral. [Compared to, say, the univaded countries of Saudi Arabia and Iran].

IV. After the bg three [which all turned out to be a hyped beyond all belief], you actually stated some things about Saddam Hussein that were less false...moving into true. These were:

A. Saddam posed a "threat" to his neighbors. That was, marginaly correct, although since his conventional forces were hollow, undertrained, and unmotivated, and the United States and Britain had air supremacy, were watching him like a hawk, and could wipe out any attempt he made to mess with his "neighbors," it was vastly overhyped as well.

Unless, of course, you count the possibility he might have given WMD's to anti-Israeli terrorists to use.

B. He defied the United Nations. True enough, except if that were the only criteria for invading a country and deposing its leadership...then George W. Bush [and Ariel Sharon] would be in some serious trouble.

C. He was a brutal dictator who committed human rights violationsof a massive scale. That's obviously true, and the ONE argument in favor of the invasion that no one disputed.

Where does that leave us? Well...it leaves us with the FACT that the ONLY pre-war argument for invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein that turned out to be remotely accurate was the fact that he was brutalizing the Iraqi people.

Therein lies my point.

Because all the other reasons turned out to be a bunch of nonsense, or massively hyped beyong recognition, rational and honest people who based their support for the war on THOSE things would now be rethinking such support and asking serious questions about this war.

You aren't doing that, of course.

So...what is the motivation for still supporting this war?

It's pretty clear that POLITICS and OTHER reasons [unstated both before and after the war] are what is truly motivating you. Here's why:

You are clinging to and HYPING the ONE 100% TRUE complaint about Saddam as JUSTIFICATION for this war.

There is a big problem with that argument, however.

That means you are essentially saying that you would have supported this war, if Saddam's human rights abuses were the ONLY ARGUMENT BUSH MADE FOR INVADING IRAQ!

Unfortunately for you, your veracity can easily be tested.

If, for example, you are not advocating an immediate invasion of other brutal regimes around the world, solely for the purpose of "liberating" the oppressed inhabitants of those countries, your claim is proven false.

It means that "human rights abuses" are NOT enough for you to advocate invading a country and deposing its brutal regime.

And, since you can't seriously argue any longer that Saddam had WMD's, and was a threat to his neighbors, or had ties to Al Qaeda...you can't claim that all thsese things in combination with his human rights record were your motivations.

IV. Everything else has been eliminated, so what are your TRUE reasons for supporting the war NOW?

A. Politics. You want to prop up Bush.

B. Protecting Israel. That's why a large percentage of Neocons supported the war. It had little or nothing to do with protecting the United States.

C. Iraq is some extremely strategic and valuable real estate. It borders Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, Syria, Turkey and, most especially, Iran.

You get to put pressure on all those countries to toe the U.S. line, and protect Israel's flank to boot.

D. Iraq has lot's and lot's of oil. And putting 100,000 U.S. troops there for a decade or more, will put the United States in effective control over the plurality [or even majority] of the World's petroleum reserves.

1. Plus, U.S. oil companies [and big GOP donors] get some lucrative oil contracts as a side benefit.

The logic is pretty clear, as well as the evidence.

So...stop LYING and claiming that Saddam's human rights abuses are a justification for the war in Iraq. We all know you are lying.

You totally miss the real reason for the invasion of Iraq. You do so I think because in light of that reason, the invasion and aftermath is not only a complete tactical success, but a huge strategic success and that is not acceptable to you. The reasons were presented to the American people clearly in the months after 9/11. Rediced to the essentials - if a nation supports international terrorism, they are our enemy and we will pre-emptively remove them as a threat. Our strategic interests transcend whether a country focuses it's support to just terrorism against Israel. Doesn't matter. It is a world war and international terrorism will be eliminated or reduced to inconsequenctial levels just as fascism and communism were.

I'll be a little pre-emptive here myself. You and many who share your views will immediately present the fact that Saudi Arabia and Iran present a more danger to the US directly than Iraq did. That just revealsl your inability to grasp the strategic concerns.

You have a tendency to tell those who don't accept your reasoning exactly what their reasons for doing so are. You toss out the tired oil, fascism, and McCarthism memes as some sort of proof positive that your reduction of the reasons for the Iraqi invasion is correct. You don't support your own reasoning with anything more than your conviction that it must be so because it's the Neocon way.

You spent a lot of time on the comment above and essentally it serves only to expose just how little you understand the war we are in, the strategies for prosecuting that war, and the tactics required to do so successfully.

Just to follow up;

I just looked at your blog and the entry there similar to the one above. It contains a little more and reinforces my point. The post is essentially the same as the comment above, but tacks on your justification for your charges at the end. It is the justifications that reinforce my point. You haven't a clue about strategy,

Sorry, don't know why the comment posted itself in midstream.
...about strategy, the war on terror, or why Iraq was attacked when it was. To you, and you say this openly, Iraq is all about US imperialism and controlling oil. You even toss in the tired canards about Cheney and his oil connections. It totally escapes you that we are involved in a world war we did not start.

So...stop LYING and claiming that Saddam's human rights abuses are a justification for the war in Iraq. We all know you are lying.

Who's this 'we', Inquisitor Hesiod?


umm.. strategy? or stategery?

"If a nation supports international terrorism" post-9/11, we must attack them?

All terrorism is terrorism, regardless of what country is made the target?

And you believe that?

Those are blanket generalizations that reveal that it is you who is unable to handle nuance or complexity, or even begin to grasp strategy.

Your feeble attempt at preemption of the Saudi Arabian and Iranian examples are laughable. You don't even provide a response--just an ad hominem attack that Hesiod "just doesn't get it."

Essentially--your strategy is: We must wage a preemptive world war on any form of international terror*

  • ...unless the supporters of terror are our allies, unless the supporters of terror sell us oil or have no large oil reserves to sell, unless the supporters of terror actually have WMDs, unless the supporters of terror actually have a warfighting capability.

Or in other words--the asterisk might as well just read "... unless it's not a country named 'Iraq'".

If it's a complex world, stop invoking simplistic "strategy" or "world war" imagery to bolster your case. It's a fig leaf.

Rather than refute my argument, commuter, you actually reinforce it with your "its about terrorism," defense.

It's YOU who appears to be utterly clueless about the true motivations behind this war, not I.

I take that back, you are probably reflecting Dubyah's narrow, simpleminded reasoning, But, not that of the intelligent people around him who dreamed up this whole escapade.

They have world empire, strategic security against China and Europe, and protecting Israel's flank as their primary concerns.

And, why would they want terrorism against U.S. interests to STOP?

They get nothing but political and ideological benefits from such terrorism.

It creates a reason to justify and continue with their enterprise.

It also cements politcal support at home, and allows a crackdown on dissenters.

And, one cannot seriously argue that invading Iraq, and making the U.S. a big fat target for more terrorist attacks [and creating a boon to Al Qaeda's recruiting efforts] actually makes us SAFER from terrorism.

That's laughable on its face.

Excuses. I thought you conservatives were the responsibility people, but all we get are excuses. No reasons, no well thought out justifications, just pathetic, childish excuses.

Your man said Iraq was an immenent threat, that it had documented ties to terrorism. He lied and now he, and you, give us excuses while soldiers die for your lies.

Wimps. Cowards. And lame excuses for Americans.

If you got that from my post, you didn't read it very well.

Take this statement;
"Essentially--your strategy is: We must wage a preemptive world war on any form of international terror*

Yes, we are are involved in a world war on international terrorism and regimes that support it. Our strategy for 30 years has been response to specific threats coming from specific terrorist organizations on a piecemeal basis. Our strategy since 9/11 has been to pre-emptively attack the regimes that support those organizations.

  • ...unless the supporters of terror are our allies, unless the supporters of terror sell us oil or have no large oil reserves to sell, unless the supporters of terror actually have WMDs, unless the supporters of terror actually have a warfighting capability.

Or in other words--the asterisk might as well just read "... unless it's not a country named 'Iraq'".

Now this statement is not true when you tack it on to your first sentence. I did not say it. It is your interpretation of what the strategy is. In my opinion it shows a complete denial of geo-political and economic realities, What you are saying here is that Iraq was invaded for oil or because it was the least dangerous course. There may be some truth about the danger part, but only as a component of the overall strategy.

The charge that I don't understand nuance and complexity is laughable. The nuance you refer to is made up. Opinion. Nothing more than your denial of what was said in the months after 9/11 in favor of an explanantion in sync with your own political beliefs. Nuance is not creating motives that agree with your beliefs. As far as complexity, I made it clear that I was reducing the strategy in the war on terror to a simple statement.

As far as I can see from your comment, you do no more than reinforce mine. The ad hominem chrage is specious also. I addressed hesiod's message and the reasons for what he said. I did not assault the messenger. Look up the phrase ad hominem.

you say I'm clueless about the war when I have taken the policy statements of the months after 9/11, applied them to interpreting the initiatives that have taken place since then, used a little common sense to interpret their chronology in terms of a global strategy.

What I base my interpretation on is open source so to speak. You reject this in favor of an interpretation based on motives that you subscribe to the administration with no more substantiation than the fact that you don't like them.

Logical reasoning does not always lead one to the right or even the only conclusions. Reasoning based on opinion in turned based on nothing more than personally held beliefs will only get you to the right or a reasonable conclusion by chance alone. And if you get there by chance once time out of many, it does not validate the process.

Your comment in this thread and the post on your site does not come to conclusions based on any logical progression that I can see. It's nothing more than assigning motivations that can't be substantiated to events as you choose and then concluding that based on this, you must be correct.

This hesiod, is a strawman argument, a logical fallacy. You structure your argument by creating easily refutable counter positions and contend that refuting these counter positions not only validates your conclusion, but that anyone disputing your conclusions must subscribe to the counter positions that you set up yourself.

Commuter is, once again, lying.

He can cite all the "open source" comments he wants, but actions speak louder than Bush administration rhetoric in this case.

All the ACTIONS of the Bush administration prove I am correct, and you are not.

They more or less abandoned Afghanistan to the Taliban, shifted resources away from fighting Al Qaeda into the Iraq theater, had little or no plan for post war reconstruction of iraq, and are handling Iran and North Korea with kid gloves, relative to how they treated Iraq.

"Fighting terrorism," is the excuse. Not the true motivations for their actions.

And, moreover, there's plenty of evidence backing up my argument, from before Bush took power.

The PNAC documents being the most obvious example.

They were gunning for Saddam Hussein long before September 11.

In fact, I think they would have launched an invasion of Iraq on some trumed up charge or another in Bush's second term [if he managed to win election in 2004] even if 9/11 had never happened.

Of course, without 9/11...he would have been destroyed in the 2004 election, and the GOP would have been unceremoniously swept out of power with him.

Well, like I told you on your site last week, you never seem to support your claims with anything more than your own partisan resolution of events. You won't begin to change over the derision that your rhetoric exposes you to until you realize that.

Logic counts first last and always when you're trying to convince someone that a position is sound. That's a fundamental principle of debate. Torturing logic beyond recognition to support a point doesn't convince anyone not already holding the same position.

There's a lot of room for debate over the application of the WOT policies. As long as you can't approach it with any logic, you make yourself irrelevant to that debate.

If it pleases you to preach that every event should be interpreted as evidence that the rationale behind the current administration's policies are what you say they are rather than what they say they are, then do so. But don't expect any respect from anyone who places logic over rhetoric and facts over cant.

BTW: Accusations of lying seem to come out of you far too often. You don't support a contention that someone is lying by simply restating the position that they disagree with without any more support than you originally offered - that it's your opinion. Afganistan is going well, as is Iraq. You can't stand the fact that they are, so spin away hesiod.

Apologies to Michelle. I stopped visiting hesiod's site because I really do consider him to be a pretentious fool. He was not worth talking to there any more than he is here, and I'll waste no more of my time or your bandwidth on him.

America has been under attack for the past twenty-four years and very little was done to address the situation, until now.

Ruthless dictators have been living quite the good life and allowed to commit any attrocious acts they wanted for the past twenty-four years, until now.

Jimmy Carter is gone and he can no longer dole out the deceptive drug "peace at any price" You know, the "I feel your pain, here is a flower, America is the cause of all the world's problems so, let's have a tea party and talk this thing out" mentality. After twenty-four years of cold-blooded murder perpetuated by radical Islamic terrorist, the "tea party" is over and "flower power" is dead. After all the attacks against our people over the past twenty-four years, all you can think about is oil.

Time to pull your head out of the oil!

Where is your proof that Saddam does NOT have WMD's despite the evidence which is leading all roads to Rome?

Furthermore, if a dictator like Saddam can profit from the United Nations' generous donations and use them to starve his own people, what gives you the impression that he would NOT want to profit from his hobby of WMD's by capitalizing on the endeavors of radical Islamic fascsist terrorist who surround his country? You provided the list. Despite their hatred for one another, they had one thing in common, their hatred for the free world.

Saddam was able to get away with so much shit because he knew people with ideology like yours would there to defend him. After all, it was the same ideology that kept Hilter in power. "ovens, what ovens?'
The dictator Kim Jong Il probably thought the same way, until now.

One question: do the anti-Hesiod's agree that it was OK to invade Iraq even if the reasons promoted by the Administration - principally that Saddam represented a threat that could not be allowed to stand and that there were links to Al-Qaida - were fundamentally bogus?

When considering your answer please remember that NO-ONE was ever asked to support the invasion of Iraq principally on the grounds that Saddam Hussein was a ghastly, brutal dictator.

Also, when composing your answer, please include an explanation of how the invasion and its associated costs (before and after) makes us more secure.



Hey there. Can I get you to clarify this:

It is a world war and international terrorism will be eliminated or reduced to inconsequenctial levels just as fascism and communism were.

I have problems. "International terrorism" is not like fascism or communism, most obviously, because fascism & communism could historically always be tied to particular states (even if not necessarily theoretically in the latter case). But anyway you sort of knew where you stood with these two -isms.

We don't with "international terrorism." Heck, even the term is kind of telling, insofar as it reveals we're putting new wine in old bottles. "Traditional" or older-style terrorism (ie the IRA) has usually been tied to nationalism. If not, it's been at least traceable to a particular nation (ie the Red Brigades-Soviet Union). The 3 main Palestinian groups fit this older model by & large, because they're roughly speaking geographically or ethnically centered.

Al Qaeda isn't. The frightening thing about AQ is that it's tied to no particular state, only a highly amorphous Islamicism, and that its goals are so amorphous that they have no "end" (unlike say the IRAs).

Thus, here are my problems with the WOT. First, given my analysis, the term is way too abstract. I think what we mean is an war on AQ. The term International T mostly serves to lump crucially different groups together. And you can't make war on an abstraction (or the war on drugs would be over). Second, while the Afghan campaign could be justified insofar as removing a base for AQ is a good idea, the Iraqi war to me just misrecognizes the true threat: Iraq was not a state base for AQ, and the resultant multistate chaos of this war actually IMHO serves AQ's interests more than ours. Why? Because no matter how you slice it, what we did will be seen to their likely recruits as imperialism--the great -ism you left out.

IMHO a much better approach would be the one taken towards international crime syndicates, namely better police coordination between states. That will actually make us safer.

Anyway, this post is too long, and this comments utility is too tiny to type much longer....


Communism, facsism and terrorism have nothing to do with states, they are ideologies. One does not need to have a "state" in order to believe, all one needs is belief in the ideology.

If the end result of this so-called "imperialism" is the liberation and education of females in Afghanistan, then I am all for this "ism". This applies to Iraqi females as well.

I believe in feminism, in what "state" can this "ism" be found.

Damn right about the comment utility. I can't distinquish between a comma and period. Still, one uses the tools one is given.

The short answer is that you are neglecting, (or perhaps I neglected to place more emphasis on it), the part of my position that says ' reduced to inconsequenctial levels'. The longer but by no means complete answer is that since international terrorism is not integrally tied to a state, it probably cannot be defeated entirely. But it can be reduced as a threat significantly by removing state SUPPORT of terrorism. That's the key to the US' overt strategy in the WOT. That's why we went into Afghanistan and Iraq, and why I believe that in the future Saudi Arabia and Iran will be neutralized as states supporting terror also. The Den Beste essay that recently raised so much controversy on some blogs says more about the underlying covert strategy driving the war and is a better synopsis than I could come up with to address what you say about Al Q and radical or fundamental Islam. I think he's right. Both because of the sequencing of tactical initiatives and the way events are playing out. I also think he's correct in saying that it has to stay as the underlying strategy - it can't be articulated as policy and certainly not as geo-politics until it becomes self-evident. The underlying strategy that Den Beste outlines posits a defensible analysis of what the strategy is to deal with the forces that provide Al Q et al with recruits and support in the long term, but removing regimes that provide the logistical support for Al Q and similair organizations is just as vital and deals with a factor far more dangerous in the short term.

It's not about oil except to the extent that oil supplies must be considered as a geo-economic factor in the war. We can't move against the Saudis until alternative supplies are secure and that is probably true of Iran also. It's not about US imperialism given the initiatives to support Iraqi democratic reforms.

I'm really confused by "the other Susan" trying to blame human rights violations on Jimmy Carter (who is by no means blameless: South America, anyone?). Wasn't it the Reagan and first two years of Bush I that supported Hussein (and the ayatollahs in Iran)? Wasn't it these same administrations that also supported for murderous Latin American dictatorships? Haven't both parties been rather enthusiastic (and continue to be so) in their support of "good relations" with China? Neither Democrats or Republicans are clean when it comes to human rights, so this shouldn't be read as a "blame Republicans" post; it's more of a "credit where credit's due post."

The other Susan

How in the world is fascism an ideology unconnected with the state? And how was communism an ideology not connected with taking over the state apparatus? And you mentioned imperialism. I mentioned colonialism. And if we want to seriously discuss the realities of the parts of the world we're discussing, how can colonialism be left out?

And I'll go along with you about feminism, but there is a mighty big "if" there: my criticism of the WOT is that I think there's too many good intentions and too much hype, not enough realistic prognostication or indeed reconstruction. The Taliban is resurgent in Afghanistan. How is this good?


Well, OK. I disagree with the Den Beste essay, though, because IMHO it lacks historical depth & political precision. I think DB ascribes far too much cohesion to the "Arab/Muslim" world; I actually think the DB policy, if seriously pursued, will do more to unite the "A/M" world than it is already, by giving some very disparate "A/M" groups a common enemy--us. Not good. The shorter version of my thesis is that AQ is being made out in some ways to be more than it is--by that I mean it's more like an ideologized mob than a casus belli for a clash of East vs. West.

I don't entirely agree with Den Beste in all the particulars either. But I do agree with it in toto. I don't think DB's essay depends on any particular level of political cohesion in the Islamic world. It does depend on cohesion in terms of the theocratic hold on secular institutions being the norm across the Muslim world. The dictatorships introduce another level above the mullahs, but as Den Beste points out, simply redirect the Islamic precepts of control over secular institutions against external boogymen. If your population can be made to see those boogymen as a greater affront to the precepts of Islam than the home grown type, you can redirect any resultant anger. There are exceptions and successful Islamic nations but they serve to illustrate his point, not refute ie. Those nations that are successful became so by disconnecting theology from secular institutions.

At any rate, it's not Den Beste that is at issue here. It is whether the Iraqi invasion serves the purposes of a policy born of national interest or the personal interests of the administration at one level, and the neocons at another level. I believe it to be the first and that the evidence if reviewed without a partisan spin supports that.

There's a lot that Bush has done in the WOT and on domestic issues that leave me standing outside his camp. If the democrats (or republicans for that matter), come up with a candiate with better approaches to some of these issues, I will be listening very closely. But it won't be Dean as long as he continues to evoke the Iraq invasion being as unjustified as his core issue.

I think it is inevitable that we will be attacked again and very likely more than once sooner or later. Removing its logistical support cripples terrorism but does not make it extinct as I said earlier. Some of the democratic candidates seem to realize this. Dean does not and I believe it will be sooner rather than later with him in the oval office.

Appeasing terrorists has never worked. Pre-emptively attacking their logistical base seems to.

The validity of the overthrow is seperate from the validity of the Bush administration's arguments for war. It is entirely possible for them to do something that is good, that ends up being a net good, but to do so using methods that may be grounds for their dismissal.

Let's see what we know about Saddam.... He deliberately murders thousands of his own citizens; he supports terrorists; he has attempted to gain WMDs and in the past and shown willingness to use any WMDs he gets his hands on; he has twice invaded his neighbours.

Further, containing Saddam required the presence of U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia; and the presence of those troops is (according to bin Laden) one of if not the primary grudge that al Qaida had against the U.S.

Further still, invading Iraq (unlike Zimbabwe, say) is justified under international law by repeated violations of the treaty of Gulf War I; invading other countries is not as easily justifiable.

Finally, while the U.S. is not responsible for Uzbekistan (say), the U.S. is arguably responsible in part for Saddam (and for not removing him in Gulf War I), and this in turn makes U.S. intervention in Iraq more necessary.

Look: in real life, there seldom is a solitary factor that goes into decisions, even when there is a primary factor.

I'm glad we can move past DB, because he is prolix, & I frankly don't have the time to dismantle the essay like it ought to be--in my opinion, of course. But I will say that I think DB & the general argument is generally faulty for leaving out deeper historicval trends, esp. colonialism and thus the interaction of East/West, Secular/Islamic, and for that reason the proposed remedy is faulty.

I did not support the Iraqi intervention--for a lot of reasons, which I think are not invalid. I did think the admin was being less than honest with us, for instance. But anyway--let's look forward. I do think better police-level international cooperation and intelligence to thwart AQ is imperative, & whatever the reasons we're in iraq, we're there now, & we'd best not mess up.

Off line for tonight!