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Winds of Black Hate

I was interviewed a few days ago by a gentleman from the University of North Carolina who was doing research on blogs and politics. We got to talking about the great divide between the left* and the right and I repeated to him a point I made some time last year: The left no longer have causes. They have anti-causes. Being anti-everything makes for bitterness and anger, and it is increasingly evident that all of those negative vibes the left has been surrounding themselves with have gotten in the way of clear thinking and reason. Back in the days when I was more of a liberal, the left stood for things. They were about clean air, protecting freedoms and getting along with the rest of the world. Somewhere along the line, their Kool-aid was injected with venom and they swallowed it in huge gulps, then asked for more. You can practically hear the liquid hate sloshing around in their bellies as they walk past you. They don't care about the world anymore. They only care about their one, single agenda: hating and ridding the world of George W. Bush. These people aren't really for John Kerry. They wouldn't care if he were Atilla the Hun or Jeffrey Dahmer; they crusade for him simply because he's not George Bush. They secretly - and some not so secretly - rub their hands in glee every time a soldier is killed in Iraq or a bomb goes off somewhere and al Qaida is blamed. Another notch in their anti-George belt. They gloat about death, smirking over dead bodies and chanting their catch phrase of "I told you so." Mostly, they blame. It seems that their number one priority is to take anything that goes wrong in the entire world and figure out a way to blame it on George Bush or the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. I imagine the key leaders of the movement sit in some dank basement, drinking chai tea, listening to old Peter, Paul and Mary albums and connecting the transparent dots. Of course, yesterday's bombings in Madrid are the fault of George and the Underground Republican Coalition to Benefit from Death and Destruction. After all, that same group was responsible for 9/11, right? They are the same people who killed Paul Wellstone, the same people who looted the Iraqi museums, the same people who got Ted Rall's comic pulled from the New York Times. Busy people, these coaltion guys. Must be thousands of them in order to pull of such grand schemes. Many months ago, I had a pleasant email exchange with the infamous Latuff of Indymedia fame. I tried to see his point of view. I tried to put my mind where his was, to understand why he hated so much, why he was so callous about the deaths of young children. I eventually agreed to disagree with him, but we never spoke again after those few emails. Nor do I think I ever will. I no longer want a glimpse into the mind of someone who creates something like this: [click for bigger] Oh, he wasn't the only one. Check the usual places, the usual faces. Somehow, someway, this is all Bush's fault and, mark the words of the left, Bush is going to profit off of this. That's their mantra. Whether or not the attacks yesterday were brough to you by al Qaida or ETA, it doesn't change the fact that 200 people are dead. In the end, it doesn't really matter who packed those suitcases with dynamite, who placed them on the trains, who planted the van with the Quran near the bombing site. All that matters is we come together, pool our resources, hold hands in the fight against terrorism. Well, that's not going to happen. Not when the left views our own leaders as terrorists. Not when they refuse to believe there are bad guys in the world who don't live in that big white house on Pennsylvania Avenue. al-Qaida is coming to get us. Again. Make no bones about it, the wheels are already in motion and spinning fast. And that's why it sickens me to see people protest the money spent on the war on terror. There was a women at the protests yesterday, wrapped in an American flag and holding up a sign that said "Afordable Housing for the Homeless." Another had a sign that said "Feed them, don't bomb them." A young, earnest couple that looked like Woodstock refugees discussed root causes with a young, earnest reporter who drank their words like - well, like Kool-aid. Of course, they wouldn't want to kill us if we just had a heart for their plight and understood their motives. They just want peace, too! Right. Who knew that killing hundreds of civilians on their way to work was a peace process? That's something I don't want to understand. Ever. So, who benefits from these attacks? Who reaps the most rewards as a result of people dying and families being torn apart? Who stands to make the most ground in their underlying motives when innocent people get blown to bits? The left. That's who. They take each death as another reason to celebrate their hatred for Bush. They take each bomb, each explosion, each crashed airplane as a sign that they are right. Bush Lied, People Died, is how their saying goes. For every other casualty of war or terrorism (which really are one and the same), their theories and twisted lies get bigger and their voices get louder. bq. "We bring the good news to Muslims of the world that the expected 'Winds of Black Death' strike against America is now in its final stage...90 percent (ready) and God willing near." That's what yesterday's alleged letter from al Qaida read. Yet the left keep opposing the war on terror. They oppose our intolerance for radical Muslims. And all their bitter opposition sounds like cheers to to our enemies. I stand next to these people and I can sense the negativity. They sweat hatred. You can smell it. It smells like sulfur that hangs in the air when a match is been struck. You can feel it, too, like you can feel your hair stand up on the back of your neck when lightning is just about to strike. On a day when 200 people lay dead, stuffed into black body bags, waiting to be identified by relatives, a group of people stood outside an event where the president was and demanded we pull out of Iraq. They demanded that we understand Islam better. They demanded that we abolish Homeland Security and stop funding the war on terror. They have no causes. They just have an agenda of subtraction. And every single thing they go on chanting about is based in selfishness. That and their hatred for Bush. Such a deep, vile hatred that they will do anything - even crusade for a man they don't find dignified in any way - just to rid the White House of their perceived enemy. It's a sad state of affairs, really. I think of that boy from last night, standing there holding the flag so defiantly, so proudly. I wonder what was going through his mind as he listened to those protesters calling his president a murderer. I wonder how, if at all, yesterday will shape his future. I wonder if we have a future. What is going to be left of us if an appeaser is voted into the White House just because he wasn't George Bush? I hope I never find out. Update 1: See also here. Update2: I moved the disclaimer up here because some people had a hard time with that "continue reading" link. Go figure. *Disclaimer (in order to avoid the usual parade of comments and emails) When I say "the left" I mean those who tend towards the farther end of the political line. I don't use the term "liberal" or "Democrat" as disparaging remarks - I use those words when I want to address the relatively sane people left of center. So when I use the term "the left" it generally means the tin foil crowd.

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Comments

Beautiful. This post should be required reading at the beginning of any political discussion on the Internet.

Excellent.

Steel yourself. The hits will be coming from those who lack reading comprehension. As if you didn't know.

Yeah, 'cause it would be just awful to elect somebody into the White House who allowed a terrorist attack on our soil.

Oh, wait.

If it happened in '01 it's not Bush's fault. If it happens in '05, and Kerry's in office, it'll be because he's a damn dirty appeaser.

Way to call anybody not on the right side of the center line a terrorist supporter. And you talk about "sensing the negativity, sweating hatred." Pot, kettle, all that.

"So, who benefits from these attacks? Who reaps the most rewards as a result of people dying and families being torn apart? Who stands to make the most ground in their underlying motives when innocent people get blown to bits?

The left. That's who."

You make a compelling argument, but then you write stupid things like these.

You're starting to sound like Ann Coulter.

You are spot on Michele.

Amen, girl. Glad to know Long Island still has some thinkers.

Vince, instead of calling it stupid, why not intelligently refute it? From where I sit, it's pretty damned accurate, but I'd love to be wrong.
................

RKB said:
If it happened in '01 it's not Bush's fault. If it happens in '05, and Kerry's in office, it'll be because he's a damn dirty appeaser.

Not necessarily. It'll quite likely be, at least partially, because Bush, 2+ years after 9/11, has failed to secure our borders, our airports, and our seaports. Of course, if Kerry gets into office and implements a strategy of appeasement and stops going after those who seek to murder us, then he'll share the blame.

Hmmm. If you genuinely feel that all the left have is hate, then a hate filled screed is probably not the best way of expressing it. You run the risk of coming across as, you know, hypocritical.

I should clarify, Dave: If it happened in '01 it's not Bush's fault. If it happens in '05, and Kerry's in office, it'll be because KERRY is a damn dirty appeaser. Bush wields the +4 Invincible Shield of Protection. Good things are because of his strong leadership, bad things are somebody else's fault.

What Vince quoted is also the passage that pissed me off. Let's have a little fun, shall we?
So, who benefits from these attacks? Who reaps the most rewards as a result of people dying and families being torn apart? Who stands to make the most ground in their underlying motives when innocent people get blown to bits?

The right. That's who.

The blacks. That's who.

The Jews. That's who.

Single mothers. That's who.

The poor. That's who.

Disclaimers and definitions of "left" notwithstanding, it's nice to be in such a position of intellectual authority to be able to know exactly how the tortured deaths of innocent civilians BENEFITS any group of Americans, fringe or otherwise.

Looks like it benefited Michele, too. She got to write this nice angry post about how much the left hates life and liberty. She gets all the pats on the back, all the rightons, all the attagirls.

Pundits on the right benefit because this once again demonstrates how the left is weak, how they WANT to lose the war on terror. We don't need any facts, here people, it's just so OBVIOUS.

People in New York benefit because it proves once again that their suffering was the biggest of all, right, only two hundred died in Madrid while thousands died on 9/11. Right?

Point is that NOBODY FUCKING BENEFITS FROM RANDOM, SENSELESS, TERRORIST ATTACKS. Any suggestion otherwise makes me fucking sick.

Way to call anybody not on the right side of the center line a terrorist supporter. And you talk about "sensing the negativity, sweating hatred." Pot, kettle, all that.

Well, Robert, this post wasn't about the right. It was about the left.

Robert, tell that to your fellow lefties, then. They are the ones going around claiming that the RIGHT benefits from the war in Iraq, from terrorism, etc.

a hate filled screed is probably not the best way of expressing it.

If you think this screed was hate-filled, you don't get out much. Go check the Democratic Underground or Indymedia, where they continually wish death on those who oppose them.

Dave, I said Michele made some compelling arguments. She's correct that Al-Qaeda wants to stike again. She's correct that some people cheer with glee when terror strikes; however, it's on both extremes of the political spectrum. You don't think some extreme right winger doesn't relish the thought to capitalize politically on another terrorist attack? Hell, it'll give Bush some more footage for his re-election ads. When she mentions that lefties get a boost from terrorism, why is it that Bush's popularity went through the roof when 9/11 happened? I'm not saying Bush wanted 9/11 to happen, but politically he profited from it more than anything else he's done, whether he wanted to or not.

It's her 'the left benefits from terrorism and can't wait for it to happen again' histrionics that reduce her to another bleating Ann Coulter wannabe. But I'm enjoying the show, so carry on.

It's notable that the people arguing with Michele aren't actually refuting her arguments. This is always, in my experience, a strong indicator that one's detractors have no intellectual response.

What she sees is what I see even among friends of mine. Every failure and setback and problem the fault of Bush, every positive thing twisted into a negative or credited to some other source.

It's ridiculous, and it's hateful, and it's awful to watch.

Robert, tell that to your fellow lefties, then. They are the ones going around claiming that the RIGHT benefits from the war in Iraq, from terrorism, etc.

Bugs me that anybody does it. Fortunately, none of my left-leaning friends have made those kinds of claims, so I'll just need to continue to shake my head in wonder at those that do.

Robert, did you read my disclaimer?

*Disclaimer (in order to avoid the usual parade of comments and emails) When I say "the left" I mean those who tend towards the farther end of the political line. I don't use the term "liberal" or "Democrat" as disparaging remarks - I use those words when I want to address the relatively sane people left of center. So when I use the term "the left" it generally means the tin foil crowd.

I'm not talking about your run of the mill liberal here.

If it happened in '01 it's not Bush's fault. If it happens in '05, and Kerry's in office, it'll be because he's a damn dirty appeaser.

This comparison fails to note something very important. We were not at war on September 10th - or, more accurately, we were at war and we didn't know it.

There is more than enough blame to go around for why 9/11 was allowed to happen in the first place, and GWB shares in that, as does Clinton, as does the FBI...etc. etc. But once it did happen, something changed, fundamentally. We did not have an excuse, any longer, to plead ignorance.

Here in 2004, we know we are at war. Our next president has to take this fact seriously. Everything depends on it. Bush, for all his many flaws, does take it seriously. Many people who have never voted for a Republican president simply don't trust Kerry to think the same way.

The "opposition to Bush" can air ads on national television claiming Bush lied when many of their leaders saw the same intelligence he did and came to the same conclusions. Then they can even have advertising contests where a large number of entries compare him to the most vile leader in history. Kerry can stand before a crowd and declare Bush a liar, thief and a cheat. The same Kerry who will be nominated, not because he besat represents the Democrats of America, but because he represents their best hope to beat Bush. I have even seen is said that there is hope that Osama bin Laden goes free at least until after Bush gets defeated, not to mention sentiments of dispair in the "Bush will probably get a boost now" response to Saddam Hussein's capture. Somewhere, and I'm sure it will be found, someone will point to Spain as "See, Bush isn't making progress against terror."

The Democratic campaign this election is one of vengeance and hatred. You can not point to one single thing they are FOR. They can't even be FOR a no-brainer issue like gay marriage. Their entire platform is "Remove the evil Bush". Kerry can't even offer much that he would have done different than Bush if he had been President the last four years.

Michele merely pointed that out and I think she is spot on. If it hurts your feelings that she has said this about your party, maybe you should look to do something about it.

I prefer the term "Angry Left" for the folks you describe, Michelle.

There are lots of traditional Democrats who share your (and my) shock and revulsion at the terrorist attacks. Not everyone who opposes Dubya rejoices in them, as you acknowledge.

Dean's candidacy certainly drove Kerry into the Angry Left camp, however. There's a real chance he'll stay there — indeed, he began his political career there in the early 1970s, and I think it's where he's most comfortable, all his ponderous self-contradictory nuance notwithstanding — but at best for the country and the world, Kerry might wander back in the general direction of reality to reach the point of Clintonian lofty rhetoric and actual ineffectualness. If he does, then the portion of the Left that's not part of the Angry Left will have to decide whether they're satisfied with that, or whether instead they want a President who actually will lead the world's Coalition of the Willing against the War on Terror. If perhaps one in four or five of the non-Angry Left conclude that the country can't afford to risk a return to Clintonism regardless of their other disagreements with Dubya, that should be enough to turn a close election into a comfortable re-election.

RKB, you said, "Point is that NOBODY FUCKING BENEFITS FROM RANDOM, SENSELESS, TERRORIST ATTACKS. Any suggestion otherwise makes me fucking sick."

The attacks aren't random.

----

Winds of Black Death?

Sounds like it's time for a poll.

Chem
Bio
Plane into a reactor?
What happens if there's an attack on a day w/no wind?
--

Michele, with that portion of the left being anti-everything, sounds like they've been thwarted as parents. Aack, those, kids! How did I raise a pro-lifer???

"Bush benefitted from 9/11"

OK, why has he benefitted from 9/11? Because he stood on the smoking grave of 3,000 people who's only crime was going to work and saying "....and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear from all of us soon." then followed through? Showed some defiance and resolve in the face of the worst thing that's ever happened on our soil? And is now following through on it?

Good heavens, we don't want someone with conviction, who actually believes in something, actually responded to a horror with the full strength of a people who (mostly) don't want to see their countrymen jumping out of fiery, 110-story buildings ever again. If this is bad, put me with the sinners........

I agree with Michele that it's little more than a hatred of the 'criminal moron Bush', who will probably be linked to JFK's death soon. These people would vote for a plate of spaghetti over Bush - though I do believe that said entree would be a better president than Sen. Kerry. They'd howl in bitter disagreement if Bush said so much as "The earth is round." Give us a little more than 'Bush lied', and let's hear how Sen. Kerry will 'seek to understand' a group whose heavenly reward is secured by dying while killing others in God's name. Remember, 50,000 people worked in those buildings every day. That was their goal - to kill in that magnitude.

What do you do to understand that? What's the agenda when everyone sits down around a table? All we get is 'this is the most crooked (whatever he said) I've ever seen', under his breath, thinking the microphone's off. Talk about reasoned discourse. Well, let's have some then.

You don't think that whatever group is planning to do the exact same thing shortly before our election in November, and what such an event would do to our psyche, aside from handing Sen. Kerry the election? Are we permitted to do anything we can both at home and overseas to prevent it? Or will we have deserved that, too. They only have to get lucky once, and you can't tell me that people aren't hoping it happens just like that.

[calming down now]

WG

The problem with defining "the left" in such a way is a way that I would not want to see applied to "the right" to include the other tinfoil guys who keep an eye out for black helicopters circling their homemade bunkers. I don't agree that because marginal nutbars like Rall think all sort of appalling things about Bush, that this ifnroms us as to how to decide who to vote for. I think most people with an iota of brainpower could not care less what Ted Rall thinks, if the rubbing of two sticks together in his skull can be called thinking. Will the real root causes of terrorism, also known as our "allies" in Saudia Arabia and Pakistan be called to task in the near future? Like Michele, I worry we as a society are not paying enough attention to terrorism right now. I may not agree with all of her conclusions but I wish more had her passion or level of interest.

Jerry, the problem is those "marginal nutbars" vote. And they are increasing in numbers.

Michele,

Great post. But this is a fact, now, isn't it? Everything is reported (and seen by a large part of the world) as a more-or-less justified reaction to Bush.

I'm trying to 'get to the next level' and think about how we deal with that reality.

Michele,

Gotta admit that the first two times I read through your post I missed the disclaimer. Didn't notice the * at the top, and your last sentence was so conclusive, I didn't think there was anything else to read.

I generally try to avoid any of the tin-foil sites, on either side of the political bell curve, because I tend to find more anger there than anything else, which usually tends to just piss me off, this vicious angry spiral.

So I completely understand where you're coming from on this one, but would be curious how many of the people that support what you've written here, or quote passages, won't include the same disclaimer. To many, I'm guessing, "the left" means just that.

This is why Michelle is an A-list blogger and I'm not. She just put quite eloquently into words what I've been TRYING to say for a year.

I have (had?) friends, good friends, smart friends including PHDs who shake with their hatred for Bush, and the 'stolen election'. When I got called up to active duty, I listened to one of them talk about how poetically just it would be if , having voted for W, I were to die in "Bushs' little war". You're right, they are against everything. I know there are good principled voices on the left though I may disagree with a lot of their policy ideas....but they aren't the ones running the show over there now.

If Lieberman or another sane principled Dem had gotten it I probably would have voted for them, there is much that I dissagree with Bush on, but he is principled and he takes the war SERIOUSLY, he's even pushing space and alternate energy....and Kerry is.....the product of a primary process designed to root out anyone not a moonbat or just plain sleazy. :(

Thank You MIchelle you've nailed it again....(and I for one read your disclaimer).

Great post. The fight against terrorism is also a war against the behavior that allows terrorism to thrive - appeasement.

The people who hope to benefit from the terrorist attacks are the terrorists themselves. They hope to hold whole nations hostage with their threats and their slaughter. The extreme left’s job is to help them, by doing their usual hostage/Stockholm syndrome routine, sympathizing with the terrorists, screaming ‘give them what they want!’. They resist the government's efforts to help them, they downplay the fascism and hate that motivates the terrorists in an effort to defend their captors. These willing hostages are the audience that al Qaeda and other terror groups play to.

Usually terror groups try the bargain basement approach of making tapes and threats (where did the idea for ‘'Winds of Black Death’ come from? When I hear it I see some Islamist version of the Blazing Saddles campfire scene, a mujahideen typing the email out on his ipod as his gassy comrades eat hummus with extra chickpeas and garlic).

It doesn’t take many attacks to get the left to bleat. It’s not just the extreme left that plays along. The extreme right also gets into the act. White supremacists and Muslim supremacists often share a stage.

" I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend your right to say it, with my life."

--Voltaire

Don't always agree with what you say or how you say it but living in a democracy should allow people to say what they want and if you disagree to respond. Seems in the last few years there have been less and less people who stop listen and then respond. Nowadays its seems more like say what you want and then slam the other side before they can respond. I'm glad at least that on this site people still allow for the open discussion of ideas.

In any even TGIF.

*Event

Your disclaimer was damning with faint praise, Michele ("relatively sane people left of center" - gosh, thanks) and doesn't make any clear distinction as to whom you're talking about. Oppose Bush's re-election? Moonbat traitor! Don't think he's doing such a smash-up job of keeping us "safe"? Terrorist lover! Care too much about things besides the war on terrorism, such as the economy and what's happening to our jobs and wages, and think he and his administration are just a wee bit disingenuous as to how they go about running the country? Stinkin' Bush hater! And so it goes.

The reality is, "The Left" - by which I'm gonna assume for the sake of argument means shrill, humorless Marxist hippies or ignorant, irrational, black-clad college kids who like to smash things - have no power. They don't make laws, run the media, influence foreign policy, or make even a dent in the polls. No one listens to them. No one likes them. They're as obnoxious and as worth taking seriously as the Right (by which I mean the Right right, not the right Right, or the Right of right center right). Your vague labeling makes it easy to demonize just about anyone who disagrees with or crosses you, but does little for the pursuit of reasoned discourse.

Maybe I'm in the minority, but none of this screeching back and forth about the war as an election issue makes any sense to me.

Personally, I'm on the fence about the war. I understand it, and agree with some aspects of it in principle, but at the same time I'm not real happy with the manner in which "evidence" was presented to justify it. Basically, I'm caught in a dilemma between the Machiavellian method and the moral method.

As a campaign issue, I don't get it. The Democratic party's current stigma as appeasers seems to come from the Carter administration, but if you go any further back than that every major war in the 20th century was started (and most finished) by a Democrat (Wilson, FDR, Truman, Kennedy/Johnson). If the issue is Kerry's opposition to Vietnam as evidence that he'd be an appeaser, you're entitled to your opinion, but I haven't heard a rational argument yet on the topic of whether or not Kerry would've done his job properly if he had been in Bush's shoes.

That being said, I am vehemently in favor of anybody but Bush, and it has very little to do with what's going on in Iraq. In my relatively short span of time on this earth, I've grown (I think understandably) attached to those rights that distinguish us from the rest of the world. You might even say that they make this country the greatest one in the world (I fully admit bias to those who are not US citizens.)

To be fair, my actual beef isn't with Bush himself, but members of his administration. Specifically, John Ashcroft comes to mind. Here's a man that has simultaneously pushed the boundaries of what's acceptable legal practice to the point where he or his lackeys are regularly appearing at Supreme Court sessions where civil liberties are being thrown into question, and convinced members of Congress that it's a good idea to make new laws that limit our rights or otherwise fly in the face of the Constitution. Bush seems like he'd be a fairly earnest and generally nice guy if you invited him over to your place for dinner, but the fact of his inaction against Ashcroft, either by removal, censure, or even a quick phone call with a request that he chill out with the pissing on our rights bit, means that he has failed to uphold his oath of office. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and say that he probably meant it when he said it the first time, but given a second inauguration, it would be an outright lie.

Just because he's doing his best to defend the country doesn't mean he's defending the Constitution. The oath of office doesn't say anything about defending the country.

The left is against Bush, yeah and what's funny is that the right always tries to pin everything on President Clinton.

"They secretly - and some not so secretly - rub their hands in glee every time a soldier is killed in Iraq or a bomb goes off somewhere and al Qaida is blamed."

where is your proof of that? I don't know anybody who does that. Back that up or retract it.

Excellent observations, and well-written Michele, thanks.

I can corroborate Dean's comments from my experiences - it's just "get him out". It makes me feel the same way I did when I heard the same flavor of extreme/angry right ranting about Clinton...

Matt, I appreciate your perspective on the value of liberty, hell, I share it. But how about some perspective on the 'Ashcroft threat to liberty', ok? We haven't rounded up tens of thousands of Muslims and sent them to internment camps. We certainly did that to Japanese Americans and residents (and if you don't think that wasn't racially motivated, check and see how the Italian American and German American numbers stacked up).

Lincoln suspended writs of habeus corpus during the Civil War.

So far I'd contend under the circumstances, we've been kept a reasonable balance.

Great post Michele. (As always)

As to who is going to gain from this attack, I don't know. I know it will not be the terrorist. I have faith that Anzar will lead his people forward and help to heal the wounds of this tragedy. I have faith that Blair and all of England will be there to lend strong and unwavering support. And I believe that Bush will be right beside our friends and allies in their time of need.

I do think that both candidates for President will try to use this attack to better their own positions. I would expect nothing less. The question will be how. If Kerry responds by shrill accusations and blame, he will profit nothing.

This is a moment for each to prove what type leader they can be, to show the path we should take. I know who I think will do better.

Also RKB and Vince, when a popular radio personality can call Bush and all Republicans the "American Taliban" and nobody, and I mean nobody on the Left disagrees or even complains, you make Michele's arguments for her.

"American Taliban"

Prominent right wing radio personalities have called anyone who has disagreed with them everything but the Taliban.

How many times have Rush et al called feminists "Nazis" and lefties "Communists"? Those 2 groups have killed way more people than the Taliban and nary a peep from the right about that. BIOKIYAR, I suppose.

That's for making my arguments, buddy. Cheers!

"American Taliban"

Prominent right wing radio personalities have called anyone who has disagreed with them everything but the Taliban.

How many times have Rush et al called feminists "Nazis" and lefties "Communists"? Those 2 groups have killed way more people than the Taliban and nary a peep from the right about that. BIOKIYAR, I suppose.

That's for making my arguments, buddy. Cheers!

The far left and the far right are separated only by a very thin line. That line gets thinner every day.

This is a useful collection of quotes for those that think "The Left" are the only ones using nasty language.

http://www.truthout.org/docs_04/031104A.shtml

Here is a nice one from 2001:

--

Chelsea is a Clinton. She bears the taint; and though not prosecutable in law, in custom and nature the taint cannot be ignored. All the great despotisms of the past - I'm not arguing for despotism as a principle, but they sure knew how to deal with potential trouble - recognized that the families of objectionable citizens were a continuing threat. In Stalin's penal code it was a crime to be the wife or child of an 'enemy of the people.' The Nazis used the same principle, which they called Sippenhaft, 'clan liability.' In Imperial China, enemies of the state were punished 'to the ninth degree': that is, everyone in the offender's own generation would be killed and everyone related via four generations up, to the great-great-grandparents, and four generations down, to the great-great-grandchildren, would also be killed."

     - John Derbyshire, National Review, 02-15-01
--

I don't think that little disclaimer at the end makes up for statements like "So, who benefits from these attacks? Who reaps the most rewards as a result of people dying and families being torn apart? Who stands to make the most ground in their underlying motives when innocent people get blown to bits?"

It's the old "I'm sorry if you took my words the wrong way" argument.

Bush did benefit from 9/11. His poll ratings soared after it happened. He has also talked of being chosen by the grace of God to lead at that moment.

One more item. You are not simply disagreeing with people here. You are not arguing on positions. You are making ad hominem attacks:

"I stand next to these people and I can sense the negativity. They sweat hatred. You can smell it. It smells like sulfur that hangs in the air when a match is been struck. You can feel it, too, like you can feel your hair stand up on the back of your neck when lightning is just about to strike."

It is wrong to de-humanize your opponents. I dislike what the Bush administration stands for and its policies, but I do not use this kind of language to describe them, or people like you that support them.

See, Robert, you already give me too much credit for even knowing which "popular radio personality" you're talking about, or having ever heard that phrase associated with the Bush Administration. Source, please?

So how do I make Michele's argument for her when I don't actually know WTF you're talking about?

And I'm sorry, but you're seriously getting upset about what a freaking radio personality has to say about the administration? Spin the dial, dude. That's what it's there for. I'm sure there's somebody else out there that makes equally outrageous statements that you support.

Barry, like I've said several times today, this post was about the left, not the right. If you do a little searching on this site, you will find that I pretty much despise Derbyshire as much as I despise Robert Fisk.

And how the hell did I de-humanize my opponents with that description? I'm sorry, but they were nasty, rude, beligerent and shouting out incredibly hateful things.

I'm just waiting for a bomb to go off in grand central while I'm going to work...

This f*****g sucks

Michele, your basic point is absolutely correct. The (far) left at a minimum harrummphs with righteousness every time US soldiers die or innocent civilians die from terror. They despise a USA that will stand up for itself. That's why they hate Bush so viscerally. They mocked him at first, then they found he had backbone and their condescension has turned to hate. It really sucks when someone you feel completely superior to flat out whips your ass. What they really want is a USA completely devoid of backbone, subservient to the rest of the world.

I think the negativity of the left has always been there, it's just that now, this negativity finds itself out of power, and increasingly out of relevence. Hence the bitter hate.

Matt? Are talking about The Patriot Act?

You do know, don't you, that Reno wanted to implement it? Most of it comes from Clinton's administration.

"The far left and the far right are separated only by a very thin line. That line gets thinner every day."

Er... what?

Lefties aren't commies?

Or, what separates socialists and commies? What are commies for that socialists aren't? 'Cos I'm looking at Old Europe right now and can't figure it out.

Could have fooled me. The American University experience at this point in time gives a lot of examples.

One of my leftist acquaintances said, upon hearing about the terrorist attack in Spain, "this will help Bush." I almost came unglued. "Who gives a f if it does? Which do you care more about? Living or politics?

Sandy P. is proving my point excellently. Thanks, sweets!

Michelle:
Your post does make good points, and I realize when you say 'the left', you're specifically referring to the tin-foil hatmen. However, I think posts like yours serve to further divide us.

I was a Dean fan. I thought he spoke from the heart, and I loved the man for how he tried to make politics more honest. For the 3 days after we caught Sadamm, Dean said nothing negative. He didn't want to politicize it. Later on he said he felt we still weren't safer, but I felt he did all that he could to unite us as a nation. Obviously someone called this 'waffling', but I saw it as a man not willing to browbeat what was a good thing. I agree the primary process routinely gets rid of anyone who isn't a sleezeball.

What I'm getting at is that, I feel we need more middle-of-the-road discourse, because otherwise leaning-left people will feel alienated from the leaning-right people who make comments such as those that you have here that alienate people. Even worse, what if other leaning-right people didn't see your disclaimer, and start building up anger towards 'the left', the generic left, the left who in their mind could be leaning or extreme but are still 'the left'.

It makes for polarization, and it makes for increasing hostility. Obviously this isn't your fault alone. I've seen it at countless blogs. A leaning-left blog that attracts more left-wingers and then gets pulled off to the left. Then all the center and leaning-right people leave the blog because it's just become vitriolic, and they go to a leaning-right blog that's been similarly currupted, but they're more likely to stay there.

Once we're divided like this, it's easier to dehumanize your opponents. It's easier to not open discourse with them and instead call them 'those crazy leftists' or 'hippies' as one of the commenters children did here the other day. Again the extreme-left is just as guilty as the extreme-right. I just hope the rest of us can refuse the pull to degrade into stuff like that and not buy into either side's vicious rhetoric.

I'm too verbose. I'll shush now.

[They were about clean air, protecting freedoms and getting along with the rest of the world. ]

We still are. We're just not verbalizing it very well I guess. We see Bush as destroying all of these things. A clean air act that says carbon dioxide isn't a polutant anymore. A healthy forests act that allows more trees to be cut down. Executive order after executive order that trim down on environmental rights.

I admit we SEEM like we have anti-causes. And I'm not sure who to blame for that. Surely the candidates to some degree bear much of the blame. They're not effectively pushing their message out there. I know Dean was just seen as 'angry' all the time, and anti-everything, but if you ever heard the man speak, he offered forward-looking heartfelt desire for change, to plug the holes in our system.

I guess we just see the antithesis to our causes on the podium right now, and rather than form a coherent message, we're just lashing out. It doesn't make me extremely happy that the left isn't doing a good job pushing our issues. But by the same token, it doesn't make me extremely happy that the man who had the best chance of doing it was character-assassinated by Kerry and Gephardt either.

Well...after reading that I'm glad I'm an independent, erh, wait. No I'm a registered Democrat. Does that make me part of the moonbat leftism that you decry in this article?

I mean, I want Bush out of the office. Can't stand him and his fakeness, his policies and his programs, his seemingly utter lack of intelligence and ability to speak.

I like his foreign policy, thats bout it.

Does that make me a terrible lefty who prays for deaths in Iraq? Ummm, nope. Can't say it does. Actually, I know quite a few in the left who AREN'T like that. Yes, we want Bush out of the office and all for various reasons. I don't WANT to vote for Kerry though, I see him as more of the same, just another Bush but worse in some respects.

Frankly, the American political scene sucks. You get the same crappy candidates who don't do anything. Period. Then you get the left and the right slagging each other and making enough scenes that one can't help but sit back and cry.

Boz, I can name two right now. One is that Columbia professor who wished for a million Mogadishus. Another is a guy who posts on a message board I read: used to go by MG, now LibGhost, but his name is Gary Martin. He posted a wish that Saddam Hussein would kick American ass right before the invasion.

I bet that if I went to DU or indymedia I could find more.

YOU need to apologize to Michele, forthwith and post haste.

Ken:
While I don't agree with Gary Martin, we must remember that it was Bush the former who came up with the October Surprise. I know some people who hope for recurring October attacks AGAINST the US. I know others who expect us to catch Bin Laden in October. Politics today is degrading. Everything is becoming political. This is VERY dangerous.

Bush the former and the October Surprise made American soldiers stay hostage longer, and funneled aid and arms to make it so, in the hopes that the 'swing voters' would swing away from Carter. This is the kind of stuff WE CANNOT HAVE in America. It really disgusts me that anyone, Democrat or Republican, would do stuff like this.

Kerry is no better. He's on both sides of every issue. He and Bush are both aristocrats, skull and bones members, and while I'm not wearing a tin-foil hat at the moment, I know that that group is just a close-knit family-style group who look out for their own.

Yes, the left is hate filled.

But that's nothing new. It was always hate filled. Read David Horowitz's book RADICAL SON, where he talks about his parents politics. Read J. L. Talmon's THE RISE OF TOTALITARIAN DEMOCRACY, which dissects Rousseau and the movements that sprang from him.

The left has always been about hatred of Western society, and the desire to destroy it. The difference between then and now is that now the hate isn't as easily concealed.

Michele - File this under "Why do I love this woman?" Terry

What an unmitigated bunch of bullshit. I've never cheered for the death of a soldier, never clapped my hands in glee at other people's deaths, never wasted my time wishing for more in the world to go wrong so that George Bush looks worse.

He's doing a fine job of stepping in his own shit and doesn't need any help.

You want to talk about hate? What about the religious right hating and frothing about the possibility of gay marriage? What about the religious fury about the possibility of allowing a woman to choose to keep or abort her pregnancy?

The far left may be about hate, I don't know, I'm not out there and don't really care. And there's no way any of you can deny that the right doesn't have the exact same haters. People with a single issue that they've built their world upon and no way, no how can it be touched.

By the way, your disclaimer is bullshit too. If you want to talk about the extreme left, then use those terms, reducing it to The Left means you're stereotyping all based on the actions of a very small few. Its logically invalid and you knew that people would forget about the disclaimer and just see The Left after a sentence or two.

The far left and the far right are separated only by a very thin line. That line gets thinner every day.
Posted by: michele at March 12, 2004 11:49 AM

The most intelligent thing you've written today.

Umm, Johnny? If a woman wants control of her body, then maybe she should control it, be proactive instead of reactive. That also involves listening to your cycle.

WHEEE! This should be fun.

-- A healthy forests act that allows more trees to be cut down--

Take heart, a few more San Diegos and we won't have that problem.

Personally, I've had 3 trees cut down on my property and am gunning for 2 more. At this point in time, my husband and I split the difference, I get 1.

You're welcome Vince, but I'm waiting for your nuance.

Spell it out, I really am interested. But use as many 1-syllable words as possible, I'm not an elite.

Republican Motto: Either your with us or your going to a detention camp.

So sad how you group "the left" in such a way. The RNC would be proud.

"where is your proof of that? I don't know anybody who does that. Back that up or retract it."

See Fisk during the war; See Ted Rall; See Nat Latuff; See John Pilger recently discussing American, British and Australian soldiers as legitimate targets; go to IndyMedia.

It's alll tere Boz. Right or Left does not equal good person by the nature of their political persuasion. Extremeists would like that and you will ifnd plenty at either FreeRepublic or DemocraticUnderground. But to claim this doesn't exist if burying your head in the sand.

I was talking to your average SF, spiritual flake, artist, buddist, mystic the other day... He wasn't the sort who cares about politics, but he bought it all - GWB was directly reponsible for the 9/11 attacks, and they were all faked with explosives in the world trade center etc.

I talked respectfully and sensibly and at one point, when he realized that he wasn't convincing me, he just told me to shut up and leave... and couldn't hold that pose, having to reason to take in the first place.

There's something strange about the minds of people who've never faced much of reality and thought they always knew who their enemies are (Christians, capitalists). They don't want to understand what's going on, they just want the world to match what they already believe. No effort to understand, no moral compromises - they just want an effortless blessing from God, and to never have to think again.

Ok, Johnny. Let's take your brilliance step by step:
I've never cheered for the death of a soldier, never clapped my hands in glee at other people's deaths, never wasted my time wishing for more in the world to go wrong so that George Bush looks worse.

Then I'm not talking about you, am I?

You want to talk about hate? What about the religious right hating and frothing about the possibility of gay marriage? What about the religious fury about the possibility of allowing a woman to choose to keep or abort her pregnancy?

Ok, let me spell this out again for all of you who keep bringing up the right. I'll keep it as simple as possible because it seems you have a hard time understanding complex ideas:

This is not a post about the right. It's about the left. I don't have to qualify everything I write about the left by making reference to what the right is doing. Just because I didn't say I don't like the far right either, does not mean that I do. Drop the moral equivalence bullshit. It makes you look dumb.

And there's no way any of you can deny that the right doesn't have the exact same haters.

Show me where I implied that.

By the way, your disclaimer is bullshit too....Its logically invalid and you knew that people would forget about the disclaimer and just see The Left after a sentence or two.

Logically invalid? Or just hard for you to understand? In my eyes, there is the left, liberals and Democrats. Three separate entitites. The left is what I refer to here.

I knew people would forget about the disclaimer? Really, I give my readers much more credit than that.

Actually, the October Surprise was investigated clear up to the wisdom teeth.
Nothing showed Bush.
Nothing.
Somebody is hoping we forgot that.

So, Drew, after 2-1/2 years, where are the concentration camps? Where will they be built?
Or do you expect them to be built if W wins the election?

OR, do you consider yourself in a concentration camp because people are finally challenging your opinion? Sometimes I get the impression that some people consider themselves in a concentration camp when told "No."

October surprise was investigated and cleared the first time ;) Since then more development, lots more, has happened, that points Bush all over. It just doesn't get reported much because it's not 'news', the same way greg palast's stuff never makes it into the US papers.

Also, Michelle, I don't know the difference between your 'the left', 'liberals' and 'democrats'. It SEEMS like democrats are the more centered version, but as for the other two I have no idea which means what. You say 'the left' means the extremes, but I know others who use liberal to mean the extremes. Language is a funny thing... it only communicates if other people know what you're talking about.

I just try to use the word 'extreme' whenever possible :-/ I do kind of agree with the other fellow though... by just saying 'the left' it does sound more generic, and sparks a bit of a defensive outburst in me.

"Who will profit from the bomb attacks just days before the elections?"

I'd like to comment that anyone EXCEPT Aznar will profit from these bombings. In the first place because of the obviuos confusion created by the terrorits. PP (Aznars political party) has made a great job at weakening ETA but if people want vengeance they will vote PSOE (left-wing and greatest competitor to presidency) knowing that they were accused for dirty war against the terrorists. In the worst case this doesn't weaken nor strengthen Aznar.

In the second place if Al-Qaeda is finally confirmed to be the responding organization for the bombings it will most probably mean the inevitable defeat of PP at the elections, obviously because they are the people to blame for getting Spain in this useless war and supporting Bush. The goverment is trying at all costs to deny any conection of the bombings with Al-Qaeda because they know the devastating effects this will have on such proximate elections (March 14, this sunday).

I hope I've thrown some light upon the subject, if you believe I am wrong at any point please let me know. Please excuse my english, I am not a native Englsih speaker.

"Back in the days when I was more of a liberal, the left stood for things..."

Those whose opinions have altered since 9/11, whose stance has become more rightward, seem to share this idea, that the left has somehow changed, that it'sbecome more shrill, that it's gotten wacky.

It hasn't. It was always like that. All it's 'caring' was then, as it is now, masked grabbing at power. Need clean air? Set up a bureau, regulate, confiscate, criminalize. Fresh water? Forests? Legislate. People too fat? Criminalize McDonalds, legislate regular exercise.

The left is about consolidating state power so we can be saved from ourselves.

You didn't notice before because you didn't run afoul of it.

Sandy, you've never made a mistake? You've never done something you regretted? Not once? Wow, must be nice being so perfect.

People are fallible. Forcing a woman to live with her mistake for the rest of her life is not only stupid, its cruel. To the woman and to the child and to society at large. What possible good lesson can be taught here?

Michele, okay, so instead of attempting validate your lame little disclaimer you level a personal attack against my intelligence not once but twice? Okay, let me qualify my statement, I have a degree in philosophy with a focus on logic, symbolic mostly but I've dissected hundreds of arguments so yeah, I do have a modicum of experience and expertise when I say your disclaimer is crap.

The left is not your entity to define. Disclaiming it to mean the tin foil crowd is a copout. You use The Left because you know that there are a huge number of people that will agree with you in spite of your disclaimer. If you wanted to be accurate and fair and unbiased and unbiasing then you would call them The Tinfoil Hat Left or something to denote their difference from the rest of the Left.

And right, you're not talking about me, you're talking about some phantom freaks who get off on death so they can blame it on Bush. How many of them are there? How many have you interviewed? Where's the basis for your wild accusations? I mean, come on now, cheering for GI deaths is, effectively, traitorous behaviour. At the very least, its stupidly myopic, the soldiers in Iraq are doing a job, I commend them for being able to do it under such terribly circumstances. Being able to hate the war but still support our boys over there isn't too tough a concept for you to grasp, is it?

You know what, what's the point? You stay on your comfortable little side, I'll stay where I am. And the country shall continue to be split in two by intolerance and the inability to see eye to eye. Or heck, at this point, to even speak the same language.

Johnny:

Huh?

Johnny -

You say:

And right, you're not talking about me, you're talking about some phantom freaks who get off on death so they can blame it on Bush. How many of them are there? How many have you interviewed? Where's the basis for your wild accusations?

Johnny you may have a degree in philosophy with a focus on symbolic logic, but your web skills are lacking.

Michele put up a ‘post’. Embedded within this post are ‘links’ and graphics. If you move the cursor over the links and click on them, the magic of html will take you to a page with the information that the ‘link’ referred to.

Michele has helpfully linked to the bases for her accusations. There is the the 'infamous Latuff of Indymedia fame', and his accompanying graphic. There are the helpful ‘links’ contained within this paragraph:

“Of course, yesterday's bombings in Madrid are the fault of George and the Underground Republican Coalition to Benefit from Death and Destruction. After all, that same group was responsible for 9/11, right? They are the same people who killed Paul Wellstone, the same people who looted the Iraqi museums, the same people who got Ted Rall's comic pulled from the New York Times. Busy people, these coaltion guys. Must be thousands of them in order to pull of such grand schemes.”

There’s also this paragraph (links also provided):

"Oh, he wasn't the only one. Check the usual places, the usual faces. Somehow, someway, this is all Bush's fault and, mark the words of the left, Bush is going to profit off of this. That's their mantra."

These are the freaks she’s talking about. This should be obvious after the first reading of the article, so the disclaimer was unnecessary. I assumed that she included it for people whose reading comprehension wasn’t up to par.

Maybe the country isn't divided between left and right. Maybe it's divided between those who can read and understand new ideas, and those whose response to new information is a perpetual 'huh?'

Johnny Huh?---Are you going to be posting your SAT scores next?

Your indignation is understandable. It's difficult to know what to call the kind of people Michele's talking about. They are of the Left, of course (that is, the loudest of them are), but how much of the Left are they? I don't know, and so it bothers me to tar an unknown number of people with this brush.

If you wanted to be accurate and fair and unbiased and unbiasing then you would call them The Tinfoil Hat Left... Right. And then you would dismiss Michele's point as rantings against a very small group of people who communicate mainly by trying to sell grubby xeroxed manifestos on street corners. "Oh, them. Yes, they're annoying, but they're hardly a political force, are they? Don't you have anything better to gripe about?"

I mean, come on now, cheering for GI deaths is, effectively, traitorous behaviour.

Oh, goody, a concrete example. Do you mean to say that cheering for GI deaths would be a definite mark of the tinfoil left? Is your contention that no serious person would do something like that? Great, then what about people like Ted Rall, Michael Moore, John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Nicholas "million Mogadishus" De Genova, and every idiot who ever carried a "We Support Our Troops When They Shoot Their Officers" banner?

How many such people do there have to be before we can stop dismissing them as just a fringe group of nutters?

Being able to hate the war but still support our boys over there isn't too tough a concept for you to grasp, is it?

In which logic class do you learn to convince by condescension?

Johnny, Johnny.

Michele, okay, so instead of attempting validate your lame little disclaimer you level a personal attack against my intelligence not once but twice?

Hey, you called my words bullshit and invalid. Okay, let me qualify my statement, I have a degree in philosophy with a focus on logic, symbolic mostly but I've dissected hundreds of arguments so yeah, I do have a modicum of experience and expertise when I say your disclaimer is crap.

A degree in philosophy doesn't give you the knowledge of what's inside someone's head. Your philosophy expertise does not impress or give you any credence in this area.

The left is not your entity to define. Disclaiming it to mean the tin foil crowd is a copout. You use The Left because you know that there are a huge number of people that will agree with you in spite of your disclaimer.

Yep, that's what I'm here for, Johnny. So I can just have people sit here and agree with me. I'm looking for some kind of hack that will allow me to open my comments only to those who think like me, to make the effort complete. And calling my disclaimer a copout is bullshit, Johnny. You're pretty much telling me my opinion is wrong.

If you wanted to be accurate and fair and unbiased and unbiasing then you would call them The Tinfoil Hat Left or something to denote their difference from the rest of the Left.

What rest of the left? They are the left, as described in my bullshit, illogical disclaimer that you obviously didn't grasp. They are different from everyday Democrats and Liberals in my eyes. But hey, who am I to tell you what I think?

And right, you're not talking about me, you're talking about some phantom freaks who get off on death so they can blame it on Bush. How many of them are there? How many have you interviewed? Where's the basis for your wild accusations?

See Mary's response about that whole "clicking on links" thing.

Being able to hate the war but still support our boys over there isn't too tough a concept for you to grasp, is it?

And how hard is for you to grasp that I'm not talking about the people who support the troops?

You know what, what's the point? You stay on your comfortable little side, I'll stay where I am. And the country shall continue to be split in two by intolerance and the inability to see eye to eye. Or heck, at this point, to even speak the same language.

Maybe when you begin to read for comprehension we can have some kind of rational debate. Until then, perhaps you should rethink your idea to study logic.

Michele posted on 12/6/04:

If I have wronged anyone in this way in the past, I am sorry for it. I've been directing my anger at the wrong people. The best thing for me to do is exactly what I've been doing - writing about everything except the Freepers and DU'ers and the Ted Ralls and Ann Coulters. They bring out the worst in me and I probably unleashed that worst at some bloggers who did not deserve it.

You're right. This does bring out the worst in you. And looking through your archives, you used to be consumed with the same kind of "hatred" for this administration that you now routinely condemn others for. I also could make the assumption that you are utilizing the death of 200 poor souls as a political/editorial weapon to aim at your adversaries and that you're as guilty as Latuff for shameless opportunism. But I won't.

Love,
A "reasonably sane" liberal

I also could make the assumption that you are utilizing the death of 200 poor souls as a political/editorial weapon to aim at your adversaries and that you're as guilty as Latuff for shameless opportunism. But I won't.

Good thing you won't, because you would be way off base.

If this is something I write about often, I hardly would call it shameless opportunism.

And this post was more about the protesters I encountered last night and not so much about Spain.

Unlike Latuff, I've never shown depraved indifference to the deaths of innocent people. I've never gloated about suicide bombers blowing up buses filled with young students. That's opportunism. Pissing and moaning about the tin foil hat crowd is hardly being opportunistic about the deaths of 200 innocent people. For you to even suggest that just shows me that you don't know how else to refute anything I've written.

Reasonably sane liberal, perhaps. Reasonable? No.

Oh good, Mary can level a tired little insult. Good for you. And some sarcasm too? Did you just get up to the S's in your book?

The reason I posted my degree is because Michele questioned my ability to comprehend her disclaimer. My education and experience does do just that. It matters not in the least that you can overlook it or that Michele says it doesn't matter. Logic is logic, the words mean things, your premises don't add up to a supportable conclusion.

Michele, gee thanks for the reasoned and thought provoking response. I'll take your well intentioned advice to heart and go get a job at a gas station so I don't get out of my depth. Or maybe I'll continue to think the way I do because, to my eyes, I'm right and you're wrong and using a straw man fallacy to prop up so you chop it down and stand proudly over its carcass.

And anyway, I called your WORDS bullshit and invalid, not you. I've read you many times before and have found you to be an intelligent and considerate person. I've no intention of denigrating your character, only your argument here. See the difference?

I'm not calling you bullshit, I'm calling this lame propped up fringe element post bullshit. Every political demographic is going to have its share of nutjobs who screech wildly. The right has them, the left, the up, the down. All of them.

Angie, condescension? No, I learned that by reading Rightie sites that deride any even vaguely liberal thought put forth as being unutterably stupid. But thanks for checking.

And no, I have no intention of validating your claim that anyone cheering for GI deaths is a tinfoil hat wearing lefty. Guess what? There are righties that are counting the deaths and using them as a justification for more draconian counter measures and more war money. And guess who owns the companies making obscene profits from this war, oh my goodness, righties! Oooh, they couldn't be hoping for a longer war, could they? No, that would be unethical and we all know that big business is all fundamentally based on ethical standards that are never, ever, ever breached.

My point is that anyone who's actually made happy by death has some pretty serious problems. And yes, that applies to both sides of the spectrum. I wouldn't suffer the presence of someone who took pleasure in the needless deaths of our soldiers.

cool....you all have spent all day arguing about people arguing.

seriously, get more exercise and drink less caffeinated beverages.

hell, it's friday night...please, for the children---break out the cocktails.

Michele,

I think your disclaimer turns your original post into a tautology. Paraphrased as, "The left are a bunch of evil, crazy, mean-spirited, negativistic freaks who lack any positive agenda and ascribe everything that goes wrong in the world to the auspices of some non-existent conspiracy headed by George W. Bush and his handlers. PS: when I say 'the left', I only mean to refer to evil, crazy, mean-spirited, negativistic freaks who lack any positive agenda and ascribe everything that goes wrong in the world to the auspices of some non-existent conspiracy headed by George W. Bush and his handlers."

Then you respond to all retorts with variations on, "If you're not an evil, crazy, mean-spirited, negativistic freak who lacks any positive agenda and ascribes everything that goes wrong in the world to the auspices of some non-existent conspiracy headed by George W. Bush and his handlers-- then I wasn't talking about you!"

Frankly, I'm surprised so many people are willing to argue with you about this. It's one of the cheapest rhetorical tricks in the book; a classic circular argument. And if Johnny Huh?'s flash degree didn't teach him to spot a tautology, I think he should probably ask for his money back. Though I'm equally surprised and, honestly, a little horrified that so many people are patting you on the back for your "excellent" post.

I mean, come on people. If this is really the kind of thing that turns your crank, I have a lovely suit of clothes to sell you— but only really smart people can see it.

However, getting back to you Michele.

I do take issue with your post. If I were to say, for example, that Christians are a bunch of zealous, repressed, queer-hate'n, knuckle-dragging, sister-fucking, Bible-thumping loonies who ascribe everything that goes wrong in the world to the auspices of some non-existent "enemy" called Satan and his pack of evil followers, and then add that when I say "Christians" I'm only talking about, you know, those Christians— it would be utterly disingenuous of me to then insist that I am not impugning, say, Catholics with that comment. Certainly I never said anything about Catholics, and I qualified my statement to exclude Catholics. But common usage of the word "Christian" includes Catholics, and a person would have to be a stone idiot not to know that. Or, alternatively, a lying sack— to pretend that they can arbitrarily redefine a word and thereby remove all its connotations.

Personally, I think you're a lying sack. But, like you said, it's impossible to know what was going on in your head, or what you intended when you wrote this post. You could very well be a stone idiot.

Additionally, however, I take issue with your post because it's a cheap shot. It's a straw man argument. You go after the lunatic moonbat fringe of the left and then redefine "the left" to mean "lunatic moonbat fringe". Congratulations! You've beaten the left! But you haven't addressed any of the rational intelligent reasons for being opposed to "the war on terror" that are promulgated on the left. And there are many. Evidently they belong exclusively to "Liberals" and "Democrats" in your world view. But there are plenty of rational people who consider themselves leftists, exclusive of Liberals and Democrats. You haven't addressed any of their points.

Michele, you have a beef with a small minority and make a decent, although patchwork, commentary. But your intro paragraph is problematic with the "" and lumps all those on the Left as "tin hat conspiracists" with a logically assumed comparison to the "sane Right". If you wanted to make this a commentary about "the left (please see disclaimer)" then why did you set up the post as a comparison with your first sentence:

I was interviewed a few days ago by a gentleman from the University of North Carolina who was doing research on blogs and politics. We got to talking about the great divide between the left* and the right...

Disclaimer or not, the intro makes it out that you're comparing Left to Right where most would assume the generally accepted definition is:

Left = Liberal = Democrat and
Right = Conservative = Republican.

Instead you substituted your own definition of Left and ran with it. I'm curious why you don't change the "Left" label to something less general or vague? Or change the intro to state the fact that you have a beef with a small minority known as the "tin hat left" or "the conspiracy theorists"?

Your post wreaks of agenda. This is how I read it:

Left = Tin Hat = Cheering for Death = Insane = Democrat = Kerry = love terrorists
>
Right = Sane = Republican = Bush = fight terrorists

[The Left] were about clean air, protecting freedoms and getting along with the rest of the world.

The left is still about all these things, but again, you've provided your own convenient definition of the left lumping all those on the left as the "tin hat crowd" and ignoring the vast majority of those that do believe in these policies. I'm sure back in the day when you were more liberal there were "tin hat" folks spouting conspiracy as well, but you didn't consider yourself aligned with them, much the same as people commenting here are stating that they are on the left, but not aligned with those with more extreme views. Again, your disclaimer is problematic at best.

And it's offensive that you suggest people are celebrating with glee for these deaths. It's interesting that you don't present any links in that section. But then you'd say they're just doing it in secret. Well, that's a stereotype. And even if you had them, it's an unfair generalization.

So that link to Latuff wasn't enough? Did you read any of the entries I linked to? Have you read anything any Robert Fisk or Democratic Underground, which I linked to?

Hell, I could do search on my own site alone and come up with a hundred quotes that support my position.

The reason I don't use another name for the left (Like tinfoil hat crowd or moonbats) is because when I did in the past, my arguments were dismissed as invalid because I was using a disparaging word to describe the left. So now I try to NOT call them stupid names and look what I get.

Once again, just because I didn't rail against the Republicans this time doesn't mean I think they get off scott free. I've done my share of lambasting the far right as well. Today, I was talking about the (far) left.

And who the hell cares if they are a minority or not? You think just because there aren't millions of them that I should find their actions excusable? Unfortunately, they are the ones who get all the press. The cameras were all over them at the protests yesterday, ignoring those who were supporting the president. If they have the right to stand there and shout their inane slogans, I have the right - on my own website - to shout my own stupid slogans right back at them.

You know what, what's the point? You stay on your comfortable little side, I'll stay where I am. And the country shall continue to be split in two by intolerance and the inability to see eye to eye. Or heck, at this point, to even speak the same language.

Well, of course, I agree w/you, but how come my side is always the side that has to be "tolerant" of your side? How come your side can't be "tolerant" of my side?

But the point is also that we're not supposed to see eye-to-eye. Because we're different.

People are fallible. Forcing a woman to live with her mistake for the rest of her life is not only stupid, its cruel. To the woman and to the child and to society at large. What possible good lesson can be taught here?

30 years ago I would have agreed w/you. NOW, w/the multitudes of information, birth control, womens' movement of personal responsibility, no.

The odd thing is what is the age group making most of the mistakes? Is it teenagers, which I can understand with all the crap on TV and certain cultural leanings. Or is it the 30-40-somethings who've been at it for 15++ years and should know better? 1 mistake fine, but 4? 5? 6? Which does happen?

And the woman can always put up her "mistake" for adoption.

I find it interesting that there's never been any post-abortion stress/trauma studies. I wonder what we'd find out? There will always be people like Steinham who won't give it a thought. Yet there are people who've lived w/mistake 1 - getting pregnant and mistake 2 - aborting it for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, you'll never find out what type of person you are until you've gone thru it. For the record, I have not. There's more than enough baggage in my life for me, I'm glad I didn't add that to my load at any age.

Females spend an inordinate amount of time choosing what goes on their bodies, but nary a moment's notice what/who goes in their bodies and when. Again, being in control is also being in control of your body. It's also part of self-esteem, and now we can get into the whole ball of divorce/fatherless girls and what studies are showing. But now I'm going down to be w/my mistake.

Logic is logic, the words mean things, your premises don't add up to a supportable conclusion

My conclusion was “the country isn't divided between left and right. Maybe it's divided between those who can read and understand new ideas, and those whose response to new information is a perpetual 'huh?'”

That conclusion is supportable by Virginia Postrel in her book The Future and its Enemies.

The premise is that the ‘enemies of the future’ are reactionaries and stasists. The stasists search for "a regulated, engineered world." They are the extremes of the right and the left whose response to new ideas and information is a perpetual ‘huh’?

Do you agree with Postrel? You said that Michele’s “The far left and the far right are separated only by a very thin line. That line gets thinner every day.” were words of wisdom.

Are you reactionary, Johnny huh? You say ‘I learned that by reading Rightie sites that deride any even vaguely liberal thought put forth as being unutterably stupid”

Reactionary=reactionary, as, in your own words, logic=logic. (that is SO profound)

You support my conclusion. Words do mean things! Thanks for the philosophy lesson. When you paid thousands for that degree, you sure got your money’s worth.

I have the right - on my own website - to shout my own stupid slogans right back at them.

Ah yes, the "I have a right to be stupid on my own website!" argument.

Well, hell. I'm sold. You go right ahead.

You know, this is the first time I've been here. I just hopped a link in from Rambling Rhodes. I've heard of you though. Supposedly very centered and articulate.

Maybe I should come back when you're feeling better.

Read through the last half of the ranting against Michele, and I still haven't seen a reasoned argument against her comments, unless you are willing to ignore her posts, including the added comment that this whole thing was about extreme left goobers at a rally. Not even a decent backhand from Doctor Logic or New Guy Who Hopes Michele Feels Better Soon. (that was mighty persuasive...I almost went looking for your point).

Hell folks, she's pissed me off about stuff. As I have her. Occasionally we agree. Sometimes not. It ain't personal, it's ideas and politics and dialogue. We still argue nice.

So Dave. I'm sorry, but I'm not clear on what you're asking for here. Should I be arguing that the left isn't what Michele said it is? That'd be kind of pointless, since she claims to have redefined the word to mean what she thinks it means. So, I mean, she doesn't really make any points. She's basically just elaborating on her own idiomatic definition of "left".

Now, I did argue against the wisdom and appropriateness of redefining a word commonly used to describe half of the political spectrum to mean, in its new usage, "Stupid asshole." But evidently you don't find that an interesting thread.

But hey— if there's some sublime point to Michele's post that's not really coming through to me, I'd be obliged if you'd spell it out for me. 'Cause all I see is a circular argument that wouldn't even be worth discussing if it weren't so inflammatory.

awwww Josh....I don't remember her saying you were a stupid asshole. Did you get that impression somehow?

She never claimed to describe half the political spectrum, unless you have your feelings hurt and you just want to insist that's what she meant.

Near as I can tell, it was that sometimes, people on the extreme left, can be jerks.

As for my request, it was that you be civil. Examples of incivility include insulting those who agreed with her and saying she must not feel well because of her views. Lying sack. Stone idiot. That help?

But, but, but Josh, a lot of people don't have the problem redefining the word "marriage" even if it is by the courts. So, what's one more?

---

J, the left is not all about protecting freedoms, only the freedoms it thinks are important. My 2nd Amendment right has been under attack for over 100 years. I can't eat, drink or smoke. In some places, laws are trying to be passed that I can't smoke in my own home!

If it's nobody's bus what goes on in my bedroom, it's nobody's bus if I smoke there, either. Unless it's the drug of choice dictated to us by the left.

Michele, I might have to agree w/him here The left is not your entity to define.

Only because they're doing such a good job defining themselves.

Maybe that's the issue. We're just putting it into words? Taking subjective (the perfect world idea) and using their words, whims, causes to define them objectively? It's very hard taking an idea and putting it into words, I know I don't have to tell you that. Plus, they now have 40 years of turning their subjective ideas into reality. Maybe the problem is now that a lot of theory is in practice and not exactly turning out as they hoped (but boy, did it look good on paper!)and they're a teeny, tiny bit thwarted?

Who has the nerve to use my name? Everyone knows there is only one Vince (aka the constitution rules).

Girlfriend, Michelle, you are completely Meshugina with this article/post.

So now society is pressuring me to get married. Ain't that a kick in the pants?

I, too, missed the disclaimer the first time through, but since it comports with my general definition of "the left", it wasn't necessary to my understanding of what you were trying to say.

Anger is not an agenda, and if most of the things Mr. Bush has done to-date had been done by a Democrat, all would be right with the political world. He's surely not a classic conservative, and he spends and imposes tariffs like a Democrat. As it turns out, he also engages in war without UN sanction like a Democrat, and I'm fine with that.

There's an underlying hypocrisy in the more shrill comments of both the extreme left and extreme right; I ignore the extreme right (because everyone else does, and thus, they're really irrelevant) and I read the positions of the extreme left (because they're not ignored as they should be) with wonderment. The continuation play of the base reason for hating Bush, the completely mythical "stolen election", is beyond contempt, and is all by itself a disqualifying argument for the loonier left wing. The claims that all things are being done incorrectly (war, economy, trade, healthcare) are not DQs, but they are cause for chuckles, since those making most complaints are on the record as having supported them when votes were counted.

In short, part of what we're seeing might be the mirror image of the implosion of Britain's Tories, when their agenda was wholesale co-opted by Labour, under the estimable Mr. Blair.

One quibble, though - the contention that the left benefits from further terror is misguided. If, as I think you meant, these events give them other things to complain about, my comment would be that they don't need actual events in order to complain. And while there ARE those who appear to actively root against the US, to the point of glee upon death and destruction, my sincere hope is that they remain within the vast minority of disaffected losers.

Refute McHeilHell's 'arguments'?

First, she would have to express a categorical position that could actually be defined as an argument, supported by a solid foundation of fact, rather than mere opinion or conjecture.

There's nothing in anything I read by her that resmembles anything other than narcissistic, self-centered solipsism.

It is like a 'arguing' with the assertions of a spoiled child throwing a tantrum.

Adjust your tinfoil hats and do something useful instead:

Join the "Fresh (produce) Revolution."

imPEACH the Omni-Potentate (any fresh produce will suffice).

http://newjersey.indymedia.org/newswire/display/10869/index.php

I don't remember her saying you were a stupid asshole

Did I say that? No, I did not.

She never claimed to describe half the political spectrum,

Did I say that either? No.

saying she must not feel well because of her views.

I also didn't say this. And I'm detecting a pattern here.
What I implied was that I didn't find her presentation centered or articulate. I did not associate her views with my suggestion that she wasn't feeling well. I associated the poor construction of her post with the my suggestion that she wasn't feeling well.

And, Sandy P:

But, but, but Josh, a lot of people don't have the problem redefining the word "marriage" even if

Sandy, what does that have to do with the price of tea in China?
But whatever. I'll visit your strange homeworld for long enough to point out that "lots of people" have some license to redefine a word, while "Michele" all by her lonesome has somewhat less authority on issues of common usage.

"feed them, don't bomb them."

Curious. Islamists are a rather well fed bunch who originate from the middle classes of oil rich countries like Saudi Arabia. They don't hate because they are oppressed, they hate because they are pampered, spoilt and probably incredibly bored.

Al Qaeda is essentially a playpen for privileged Muslims in the same way that Baader Meinhof was a summer camp for rich, alienated Germans.

The poverty equals terrorism theory so beloved by the left is a an example of wishful projection and nothing else.

Malaysia [which calls itself an Islamic state despite 40% of the populace being non muslim] has become incredibly wealthy over the past few decades. It has also become more Islamised, intolerant and chauvinistic.

Possibly your best post ever, and so true.

Michele, thank you for a great post.

The Jackassery doesn't stop at being mean; it's reduced the left to sheer stupidity. The meme, "It's a BushRove trick to get Aznar re-elected next week" has gained traction.

Thing is, Aznar isn't running. He is stepping down.

The rabid left rejoinder, of course, is "Okay, fine, but it means that his political clout will be greatly enhanced for the next four days..."

Certainly I never said anything about Catholics, and I qualified my statement to exclude Catholics. But common usage of the word "Christian" includes Catholics, and a person would have to be a stone idiot not to know that

Actually, many people worldwide, including many in the US, don't regard Catholics as Christians.

You'd know that, Joshua, if you had contact with a variety of people. And if you do know it, and still used it, Then you are the "lying sack."

I don't know philosphy, and I've never been on a debate team, so I don't know how to classify an obviously false statement that is used to support an argument. Is there a term, Josh?

Thank you for saying some of the things that need to be said. As always, it is interesting to read the comments of the Kool-aid Krowd who squall, puke, and fuss, trying to distract, misdirect, and befuddle. They are intellectual pickpockets, bumping, shuffling, diverting, hoping to direct attention away from the central point, from the truth, to the morass, the tar pit, the swamp. The haters do not have to achieve anything to succeed, other than immobilizing us. They are our own suicide-bombers... aiding and abetting those who would destroy the last, best hope of earth, destroying us, but themselves along with us...
They truly frighten me... with their hate, their willingness to use the forms of intelligent conversation to subvert communication, their reckless, evil energy. BUT this is STILL America and we do not countenance, respect, or give a place at the table to these perverters... we hold true to the ideals which make us one nation, one people, whatever our petty disagreements...
America is no stranger to the haters in our midst. Despite our home-grown anti-Semites of the 30s and 40s and post-war communist sympathizers, we beat the shit out of the Nazi fascists and the communist totalitarians and we will beat the shit out of the Islamo-fascists and their ilk.
In the meantime...
With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in...

Michele, lots of good points here, but there are a few dischordant notes as well. First, you are spot-on when you said that the left is now anti-everything, and that they evidence far too much glee when US soldiers die in Iraq. They see those incidents as helping their cause.

However, the big events, like 9-11, Bali, and now Madrid do not help the left. This should be obvious. First of all it highlights the danger we all face, and second, it demonstrates what fatheaded idiots the left all are. Remember Katha Pollitt's absurd column about her battle with her teenage daughter, who wanted to fly an American flag from the living room window? Or the goofballs who wanted to talk about "chickens coming home to roost"? America took one look at that and said, these people are crazy!
But really it should not be surprising that the Left to a certain extent roots for tragedy and suffering. A time of great suffering in this country was the Depression; not coincidentally it was also a great time to be a leftist. They yearn for really bad times because that is when the voters are willing to listen to drastic steps, which are all the left has to offer.

"It just doesn't get reported much because it's not 'news', the same way greg palast's stuff never makes it into the US papers." -- RAWB

Yeah? Art Bell's stories don't get picked up by the major media either. Funny that...

I'm sorry Michele. You're sure to lose another "close friend" today. And that will just make your case.

Hey Michele, great essay. How about we call the left* the "THC": the Tinfoil Hat Crowd. Not only accurate, but a cute play on, well, you know. . .

I guess this was your YEAAAAAAAAAAGH! moment.
Now that you've gotten that out, don't you feel better?
I think us liberal folk listened to the reactionaries a little too much and let Bush win ...WAIT, Bush DIDN'T WIN THE VOTE....oh right, it was a majority: 5-4. What the hell was that decision- something like "We agree that every vote should be counted, but we should still put an artificial time limit on it even after it was paused by injunctions"
That's where the anger that had been simmering since the Ken Starr blowjob update really started to cook.
Yes, I'm angry, and I have good reason to be. Thank you Dean for letting me realize it's ok to feel angry when you've been cheated, lied to and used as a revenue source for rich people who need our money more than my fellow working poor.

Dear Michelle,

Nice post, but unfortunately you're wasting your time, energy, and breath responding to your responders.

The left has become racist, facist, cowardly, and dishonest---in a word, corrupt. Inviting and attempting "rational discussion" with such individuals, for whom truth and falsehood are mere tactics, can be amusing, like poking a stick at an anthill, but little else.

The left has dug its own grave, let them lie in it. I include those whom you charitably exclude through your disclaimer, also. They may not personally exhibit the pathologies rampant on the left, but they are more than willing to share a podium with those that do, and provide them apologetics, respect, "understanding," and affirmation.

The only thing that needs to be done regarding the left in this country, and the coterie of autocratic thugs around the world with whom they ally themselves, is to defeat them. The right owes them nothing, and they deserve nothing but contempt. Defeat them on the battlefield; defeat them at the ballot box; engage them only with power and grind their heads into the dust.

Cheers, Philip

The Islamic terrorists have arrogated to themselves the right to hold the West responsible for all their ills.Much of the left support that right unaware that they are the enemy also.Terrorist atrocities don't kill according to voting patterns they just kill.Self loathers might feel that they desrve to be punished for some mythical offence to the Third World and if they don't wise up soon they will be.The Jihadis don't want anything from us, they want us dead.

Well, Josh, then it's OK, if a lot of people do it. Like I said, Michele's not defining them, they're defining themselves and have been doing so for about 40 years now. All she and other have been doing for the past 2-1/2 years is pointing it out.

It's not just words, Josh, it's actions.

I really don't understand why you're going after Michele. She's not the first to point it out, she won't be the last, but maybe she's pointed it out in a more thoughtful, lucid, rational way?

Nice rhetoric Josh - you neglected the insults. Which was the basis of my initial request. Be civil.

But your last post was civil, so thank you.

And every single thing they go on chanting about is based in selfishness

Uh, Michele... As a selfish b*st*rd, I take some offense to that...

Seriously though, these people aren't selfish and I dare say not even self-absorbed. They are fixed on GWB, the big Neo-Con Conspiracy like Bizarro-World groupies who hate their designated teen idol at orgasmic levels. Indeed, I sometimes wonder if their most screaming/screeding members remember to brush their teeth.

But you DID hit the nail on the head earlier. These people are so Anti-* that their genuine creativity has atrophied. (If I hear "The People United Will Never Be Defeated" again, I'll die of boredom - they can't even come up with fresh and clever chants anymore.) All that is left for some of them (e.g., the Latuffs of the world) is to rip down what others build. This type is not limited to the anti-war crowd of course. They're under more rocks than you'd like to turn over from the anti-globalists to the “New” anti-Semites (sorry “Politically Correct Globalized Internalized Anti-Zionists”™). Bona-Fide Liberals should put as much space between themselves and these nihilists as possible.

I too have wondered what makes these people tick. In hopes that humans are somewaht rationale, I have wondered what explaination could be provided. I have come up with an interesting theory.

I think that these people believe that by doing nothing we can maintain the status quo of yesterday. They were comfortable and they were happy yesterday. If they give up a little understanding and sympathy, they will stay in that state. They can spare a little of this because it doesn't require any sacrifice. They don't worry about the hidden change vectors. They do worry about GWBush because he has very open changes in mind for the world. He will disrupt thier comfort, people in the Middle East will not.

They believe that people in the Middle East have always hated us and we were still comfortable. But now, Bush will arouse the Arab street. The status quo of yesterday is now gone.

There are a lot of leftist ideas that this explains. Foreign policy - the UN is an organization that maintains the status quo. Rent control - I have mine now and I don't want the rules to change. NIMBY, I have my utilities now and I don't need any more. California (my state) hasn't allowed a gas refinery to be built in 35 years. The hidden vectors of population growth are ignored. Social Security - the system is working now, I don't want it changed.

Its easier to ignore the hidden vectors of change than try to deal with them. Even when something is broken, they try to ignore it. That was their reaction to Sept 11. To attempt to fix something is to recognize the need for change.

Ditto what Philip said. The Left has shown it's colors consistently since the '60's; angry, mean, full of hatred for anyone who disagrees with them, duplicitious, conniving, and above all - wrong! They - ironically - have placed themselves in the position of supporting fascist dictatorships around the world and they do it under the guise of "multiculturalism" which is nothing but a buzz word for damning Western civilization. Their heroes are Michael Moore, Noam Chomsky, Robert Fisk, Robert Scheer...need I say more? There is no talent in those names, only vitriolic hatred for anyone who dares march out of step to their jackbooted rhetoric.

The Left - like cowards - die many, many times before their deaths. Liars, fools, and sniveling idiots make up their numbers while the rest of the world laughs at them.

"I pity the poor sons of bitches, I really do."

it sickens me to see people protest the money spent on the war on terror.

You dipshit. Nobody is against fighting, or spending money on fighting, al-Qaida, not even "the tin foil crowd". The "left" is for using every resource we have finding and killing any enemy terrorists that threaten America.

Iraq was not such an enemy, and nor did they have any terrorists. Despite these facts, this is where the bulk of our fight money is going.

Fools.

The left includes quite a large proportion of otherwise literate, intelligent, and well educated people. Yet these same people have a remarkable tendency to believe the most bizarre and convoluted conspiracy theories involving conservatives. There's a very simple reason why. They hate Bush and conservatives, and neocons, and, well, for the most part they pretty much hate America (not entirely, probably, but enough). And in so doing they cheer on the bad guys. But they can't accept being quite that evil so they jump at the slightest allegation that transfers all the blame to their objects of scorn. Because if everything isn't the fault of Dubya and the Neocons then they might bear just a teensy bit of responsbility for holding even slightly favorable views on so many appalling acts of terrorism, tyranny, butchery, oppression, racism, fascism, (this could go on for a while), etc.

Well, dipshit, I guess those people I talk to who think the money spent in Afghanistan could be better spent on things like educating people about Islam are a figment of my imagination.

Iraq didn't have terrorists? Man, I'm not even going to touch that one.

I refute michele's argument by my very existence. I'm about as far left as I think Michele might imagination, and yet I have none of the characteristics, none of the venom, none of the hatred that she has decided I have.

Sorry, Michele. I've come back here to experience your kinder, gentler writing, and I'm seeing the same old leftie strawman bashing. It just seems like you are doing the blaming. You are inventing this group of people who use tragedy to forward their agenda, and in doing so, YOU are forwarding YOUR agenda. It doesn't make any sense.

Funny, while the circumstances are certainly different, I've read a juxtaposed liberal version of rants like this supporting Bill Clinton back in 1998/1999. Sorry Michele, not very original, insightful or even meaningful. You see the situation only in the clouded eyes of one who is afraid their cause is slipping away and is trying desperately to fan the flames of a base.

Oh and if the American people don't elect GW, it doesn't mean we are for terrorism and won't do anything about it. In other words, there just might be more than one way to skin a cat. In fact you might be able to do it without trampling on the Constitution, pissing off allies or lying to get your political agendas.

Finally, this election is not just about the WoT. It's about encompassing foreign policy philosophy and numerous domestic issues that face the American society in the 21st Century.

Next time when you want to lump a certain segment of the American political structure into a rant, you might want to either focus on a more defined adversary or broaden your reasoning beyond a single issue.

But that wouldn't help your cause, would it?

You are inventing this group of people who use tragedy to forward their agenda

Inventing? Hardly. They are out there. I've talked to them, I've read their writings, I've seen there signs and read their comics.

You see the situation only in the clouded eyes of one who is afraid their cause is slipping away and is trying desperately to fan the flames of a base.

My cause is the war on terror. Unfortunately, my cause will not slip away any time soon. I wish it would. As far as fanning flames, that's not something I usually engage in.

And Dru, I tried to be kindler and gentler. But I kept getting prodded back into this grind again. I don't like being angry like this. It's not the way I prefer to live my life. But I've been provoked and I've reacted. Make of it what you will.

Hey, Michele. I'm all for righteous anger and indignation and pissing and moaning and speaking your mind. I absolutely support your right to do that. But when you paint with a broad brush by saying "The left" rather than citing specific examples of people in that group, you are just spewing hatred. Even if you specify the "FAR LEFT" you are still brushing right over me and lots and lots of other people who don't deserve that hatred.

Just my two cents, continuing old conversations.

Sandy P,
It's the young punk gunfighter out to make a name for himself syndrome.

The usual tactic attack the argument but avoid making any practical suggestions.

The problem with the left in these times is that they can't explain what they would have done if they, rather than GWB, were in office. What course of action in response to irrational, shadowy, evil terrorism that could strike seeminglly anyone, anytime, is leftist? The challenge for the left is to convince Americans that long-term peace requires a different approach than what is being taking by Dubya et al -- and they're pretty silent on what that course action would be. Personally, I'm not convinced that Dubya's strategy is right, but his opponents are silent on alternatives.

Excellent post. As a number of the comment illistrate, the fundamental problem is that the Left continues to see the war on terror as a strictly politial exercise. The point, to them, is not who kills who, which innocents are slaughtered, but rather how they can use the events to regain political power. It's not real, just an opportunity to advance the cause. Everything else is secondary. Kerry and the dumbasses at the DNC have bought into it wholeheartedly, to their detriment.

Keep up the good work and ignore the juvenile comments.

RE: the left is "anti"

the left as simply "anti-" is not my meme.

I do NOT think it explains much at all.

you know what is my meme: the left is bad because the left is based primarily on
"moral relativism/post-modernism".

this explains their behavior and ideology better, if not best.

they are "PRO" enemies of the USA because we are strong and our enemies are weak; they believe all values are either "subjective and/or cultural", so they believe that all culture conflicts are MERE power plays, and they always side with the underdog - when Israel was the underdog the left sided with Israel (b4 1967).

This explains why the left argues that "you cannot impose democracy or freedom" because they do not see these values as innately human and the birthright of all humans , but merely as western falsehoods.

This explains why they argue that "Bush is a simpleton who is too stupid to know that there is no such thing as evil, and when Bush says that 'there is evil and it is bad' he proves himself to be a religious fanatic."

And the left's "pomo-moral relativism" is why they favor the "nuanced" hedging of Kerry and the French: Like the convoluted language of the semiotic/Marxist/psychoanalytical obscurantist philosophers they beatify, they love overly complex, abstruse, analogical/metaphorical and "poetic" ambiguities (feeling that life is really too complex for any human to grasp it any other way), and declaim empiricism as stupid.

Moral relativism is the handmaiden of evil because it disarms people of their ability to counter evil;
When "do what thou wilt" is the whole of the law, and when people do what is right in their own eyes ---
they do evil. To do good, to be just ands fair one must consider how ones values, ands actions effect others, and what would the implication of their universalization: what woul happen if EVERYONE felt/behaved in such-and-such a way.
Doing this requires "getting out of one's self" - it requires that we: consider others - our neighbors - to be as important as ourselves; to love the other as we love ourselves; to NOT do unto others as we would NOT have others do unto us.

Which demonstrates why, if we all bombed innocent third parties to get our way, then the whole human world vanishes.

That is why sane people cannot tolerate terror: it is nihilism.

BUT: "pomo/moral relativists" have no basis for fighting nihilism. That is why the "pomo/m.r." left is lost, useless, annoying, WRONG.

Thirty years ago it was Ho and the black pajama crowd. Before that it was Adolph and the brown shirts. Today it's Osama and the turbins.

In neither case is it possible to understand those who rejoice in bloodshed, whether Left or Right, because it is that horror that feeds their hatred, born of envy, that someone else should have the power they so cowardly relinguished.

It is the habit of each extreme to wrap its bitterness in sacred robes, to shield themselves from their own inhumanity as they inflict it on everybody else. So how is it possible then, to understand those bitter slaves, who, feeling powerless, demand we all be slaves ourselves?

Shall the beatings continue until morale improves? Or shall we liberate the slaves in bloodshed, as they would have it, and grant them the honor of their cause, however unjust, that they too shall receive exactly what they deliver?

If it is justice they demand, then it is justice they shall have. For until they feel the blade themselves, there can be no understanding. The alternative is worse.

We appeased Stalin, and Russia became a gulag. We appeased Castro, and Cuba became a junkyard.
We appeased Ho, and Vietnam became a graveyard. The victories of the Left, angry or serene, are a testament to man's inhumanity to man we are asked to only "understand." But Hitler we defeated and only now begins to rise again for all our "understanding."

The lesson is not Osama, militant Islam, or terrorism and its acolytes we must oppose, but what follows if we do not. For if we "stop the war" to appease those who slaughter the innocent, if we embrace cowardice for some faint hope of "peace," what fate awaits us but that which we have seen before?

The irony is today the Right is spending blood and fortune to achieve the very ideals the Left once upon a time expounded, but for all its "understanding," never had the guts to deliver. Now raises up their one-sided hue and cry to reveal that which pains them most, that they are not for peace and justice afterall, but for tyranny and power wrapped up in sacred robes.

I remember a few years back feeling the same way about the bitter, angry rightwingers, who were exaggerating every little negative feature they could find of Clinton, his wife, Gore... Now they don't have to focus on it, cuz their tiresome complaining ended up persuading people to put the current idiot into office.

So I think part of it is just that the party in power is salient, they're the ones making the decisions, and the party out-of-power is almost obligated to complain.

As you know, I disagree with the constant amplification of paranoia regarding terror attacks. I disagree with it because I think it makes us behave stupidly, in a time when we should be rational about an enemy that wants to do us harm. For instance, the obvious way to "make flying safer" is to ensure that every passenger is perfectly helpless and unable to defend himself or herself -- take away anything that would be a weapon, down to the nail-clippers. But the old "When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns" thing still applies. A dedicated bad-guy will get on the plane with a weapon, and then he'll have total power over everybody else. It doesn't make sense.

Similarly with our freedoms and our well-tuned system of justice. Cracking down on individual liberties isn't making anyone safer. Locking people up without legal representation does not make it easier to get information out of them. We had a pretty good method for getting the facts out in the open, it worked, it's dumb to tamper with it.

I just think we need to use our heads. The threat is real, and the intuitive reaction is to panic and run for cover. But we need to handle it in the long run, we need to adapt our free society so that we have security from this new kind of enemy, not just panicked reactions.

I count myself as a member of the anybody-but-Bush community, because I don't see clarity of mind, I don't see vision, I don't see the federal government adopting policies that make us safer in the long run. Yes, I'm angry, I feel swept along by a current I can't fight, probably just how the Gingrich rightwingers felt when Clinton was calling the shots.

Dave,

Securing the borders is defence. Defence doesn't win wars.

I think taking out the mad mullahs of Iran needs to get priority in the ME.

Taking out Korea couldn't hurt either.

"The liberals will be gassed during Term II. The showers and ovens will run 24/7 till America is free of Liberalism."

"All Praise To Lord Bush!"
If you really believe that Ralphy Boy aren't you taking a risk posting this? NSA boogie men probably tapping your computer as you write.

O'DANNY BOY,

The left has a very old problem that came way before pomo.

Envy, greed, sloth, avarice.

Some very old vices.

Peter, ignore Ralphie Boy. I've been deleting his posts.

Censorship is alive and well.

Kill liberals by the millions!

Endless war!

Peter, ignore Ralphie Boy. I've been deleting his posts.

It's not censorship, Ralphie. It's just weeding out the idiots. Like you.

LIBERALISM IS A CANCER ON AMERICA!

WE MUST DEFEND AMERICA FROM ENEMIES EXTERNAL AND INTERNAL!

TERM II - DEATH TO LIBERALS

PASS,

It is some kind of rule that liberties must be restricted in war time. It may do some good. Maybe not. What the real purpose is to remind you that the government is on the job.

Personally I liked Clinton. A lot of men got a real boost out of his presidency. "If it's good enugh for the President...."

Any way I do not feel powerless. I try to do my part to bring down the Iranian theocracy. It is within my power to help and I do.

If I can help to make it happen without calling in the 101st that would be good. Course if they want to join in I have no complaints.

I have a list of countries that need some re-arranging.

China is emerging as a world power. We will need a lot of democratic states in the world to balance it if it remains the China we now know.

Bush's policy of bringing more representative governments into the world is a good one.

The response to Bush's use of the military for the job is to beat him to it.

So PASS, how is your effort to bring democratic limited government to Syria coming?

this guy understands

Dave,

Securing the borders is defence. Defence doesn't win wars.

I think taking out the mad mullahs of Iran needs to get priority in the ME.

Taking out Korea couldn't hurt either.

THIS GUY GETS IT! WE MUST WASTE CHINA!

China is emerging as a world power. We will need a lot of democratic states in the world to balance it if it remains the China we now know.

THIS GUY HAD THE BALLS TO EXPLAIN WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE!

EVERY GOOD AMERICAN SHOULD BE FORCED TO READ THIS BOOK COVER TO COVER!

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0465027261/qid=1079214078/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/002-2933204-7448008?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Hey Ralphie:

THIS GUY DIDN'T FORGET!

Thirty years ago it was Ho and the black pajama crowd. Before that it was Adolph and the brown shirts. Today it's Osama and the turbins.

AFTER OSAMA IS PUBLICLY HANGED WE MUST GO AFTER LIBERALS.

DAMN RIGHT!

Sandy P,
It's the young punk gunfighter out to make a name for himself syndrome.

The usual tactic attack the argument but avoid making any practical suggestions.

Posted by: Peter UK at March 13, 2004 01:47 PM

So PASS, how is your effort to bring democratic limited government to Syria coming? M., my concern is to bring democratic government back to the US. Governing Syria is the Syrians' problem, I don't presume to know how they should live their lives.

O'DANNY BOY,

Nice Crowley refrence. Funny thing is that I followed that path and came to a different conclusion.

The key is not the doing. Every one must do. The key is in finding one's true will. It may be that murder comes from a false will. AC kind of hinted at this but wrote in a way that if you wanted to misunderstand you could. Clever fellow.

Have you ever noticed that the absolute first thing a lefty-liberal does when challenged is a "tu quoque" attack?

i.e. "You say that the left is hateful... but the right is even more hateful!"

"The left supports terror? The right supports terror too!"

"We hate Bush? Well, you hated Clinton!"

This is an almost universal tactic on messageboards and comment threads - they never actually try to prove the original argument wrong, they just try to change the subject and accuse their opponent of being a "hypocrite" (which is the ONLY sin, so far as a lefty is concerened).

Dave in Texas,

We have rounded up hundreds of thousands of users of the wrong drugs and done better than send them to camps. We have prisons.

Course it is un-noticeable and un-mentionable since it is a bipartisan effort.

PASS,

Unfortunately with cheap WMDs and similarly cheap delivery systems what you propose is not workable.

Cannon these days have a greater than 12 mile limit.

Delivery systems need be no more sophisticated than a human with a three kilo package.

The philosophy you expound is a great one for 1776. For 2004 it is a little dated. Even in '76 some Americans thought it was thheir job to export republican government to the world. They felt even then that a republic alone in a world of despots was not viable.

So I raise my glass. "Down with despots".

===================================

Well any way I can see why Syria is none of your business. Course that leaves it to Bush and his gang. Probably what you really wanted all along. Let Bush do it his way then complain.

My point was that the ones who are out of power tend to be angry. Somebody here will argue with you about Syria, I'll bet. I'm an American, interested in the land I love.

PASS,

I'm an American interested in protecting the land I love from Ashcroft and Islamic fascists with toxic packages.

Isolationism is workable when weapons of mass destruction are large and travel between continents takes weeks.

That era ended when biowarfare labs could be built inside a cargo container and the product ogf such a lab could be delivered in hours.

Different conditions different rules. i.e. successful organisms adapt to their environment.

Besides this is not our first run in with the jihadis. That supreme isolationist Jefferson got involved with Libya 200 years ago.

I don't think it is Bush's fault.

I think it is the jihadis.

Speaking of Syria:

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/spages/404210.html

UNREST IN SYRIA:

Syrian security forces killed dozens of people and injured hundred during violent clashes over the weekend, in the north of the country, according to reports that reached Haaretz on Saturday. According to the reports, by relatives of witnesses, the violence started during a soccer game and later spread to demonstrations throughout the Kurdish regions in the country.

Stay tuned.

From instapundit.

I didn't say anything about isolationism, sheesh. I'm talking about a strong defense, and a strong offense. If somebody means to do us harm, we oughta eliminate them, or at least stop them from doing anything. Not isolationism, where'dya get that?

And I didn't blame Bush for 9/11, as you seem to imply ("I don't think it is Bush's fault. / I think it is the jihadis."). Seems to me we know who did that. Our response to the terrorists though has been ... tepid, weak, unsuccessful.

Well you've talked about what the left is up to, now let's talk about what the right is up to. The right in this country hates blacks, Jews, and homosexuals. The right in this country worships Adolf Hitler. The right in this country are violent racists. The right in this country want to turn America into a facist nation, in the sense of Nazi Germany.*

*Disclaimer: When I say "the right" I mean those who tend towards the farther end of the political line. I don't use the term "conservative" or "Republican" as disparaging remarks - I use those words when I want to address the relatively sane people right of center. So when I use the term "the right" it generally means neo-Nazi skinheads.

Gee, isn't arguing fun when you get to redefine words anytime you want?

"The problem with the left in these times is that they can't explain what they would have done if they, rather than GWB, were in office. What course of action in response to irrational, shadowy, evil terrorism"
http://www.time.com/time/daily/special/asbombing/clintonwash.html

Why is it that so many have not been paying attention for the last two years or more? Here is the situation in summary form. Those still wondering what is going on are encouraged to read David Pryce-Jones' book "The Closed Circle" and Bernard Lewis' two most recent books "What Went Wrong" and "The Crisis of Islam". Now:

1. Islamist terrorism arises from the dysfunctional political culture of the Arab/Muslim world, particularly from among the Arabs and Iranians.

2. To prevent future terrorist attacks, seeking basically unlimited goals this terrorism must be torn out by the roots, lest it become the characteristic method of making war in the 21st century, including nuclear war.

3. To do that requires the reform of the dysfunctional political culture mentioned above. It must be replaced by something more consensual and less prone to fanatical stupidity and conspiracism.

4. To effect this reform the best place to start is Iraq. Arabists have long looked there as the place where modernization of the Arab world has the best chance. This modernization has been prevented by the universal rule of tyrants in the Arab world, the biggest of whom was Saddam Hussein.

5. Reform starts in Iraq and to do that Saddam had to go, aside from several other reasons for taking him out, which I won't go into at this time. That is what the Bush Administration is doing.

On another note, the three biggest terrorist supporting states are Iran, Syria, and the Wahhabist Entity. We now have an American army in the central position between them, able to threaten each of them whenever necessary to "persuade" their governments to cease their support of terrorism, until they can be taken down by the spreading revolution of consensual government in the region. For those who do not understand the concept of the central position in strategy, I recommend a study of the campaigns of Napoleon Bonaparte.

Bush is a lot smarter and more sophisticated than his uncomprehending critics are.

If being against what is happening in Camp X ray means I don't have a cause.. then well, I hope that I don't have to depend on the likes of you to defend my freedoms!

btw

they have released a few of those, as Rumsfeld called them, "hardest of the hard core" terrorists

but you probably can't bring yourself to read their accounts

http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0,13743,1169178,00.html

Thanks for that link BW. These stories seem to validate the one in the Mirror the other day: My Hell in Camp X-Ray

From these stories it seems to me we should cease pretending to be decent folk. There really isn't much more to say.

Reasons to doubtful

This is the Guardian/Observer which is rabidly left wing.

They have a claim for compensation coming up.

They would say that wouldn't they if they had been fighting with the Taliban?

A Sun journalist would give evidence that he saw one of them on the battlefield.

The reasons they give for being in Afghanistan are at variance with other reports.For example one said he went on a computer course,another that he went for a wife,and another that he just wandered in.

This is designed to stop you feeling like decent folk.

Max Clifford is in there somewhere,this is a big money story.There's the interviews,the exclusive newspaper stories,television appearances,maybe even a book.

Peter, I am not especially believing their story about why they were in Afghanistan. It sounds fishy to me, and I won't be surprised when they turn out to be sympathetic to the Taliban. You seem to be in the UK, what connection do you see between these two British articles, both of which talk about some of the same brutal tactics at Guantanamo? Do you think the people being interviewed cooked up their stories together? Do these two papers have something in common that we in the US don't understand?

This is designed to stop you feeling like decent folk.

you are sooo right Peter.. We should just ignore this...

I mean, obviously these dudes were chained to the floor for two years for a good reason.. we are the good guys after all. I mean if we were really torturing people the way these terrorists say we do.. then we would have a hard time convincing the world that the mullah's are wrong to call us the great satan! I mean seriously, I gotta stop reading anything that is left wing.. you got me there!! I gota keep reading the pro bush line otherwise I might start thinking that we are gonna lose the war on terror!!!

I don't see why we just didn't kill those guys? releasing them was a bad idea..

What's the big attraction?

I had to check out 'smell victory'...couldn't resist adding a stupid comment of my own.

In my opinion, this blog in particular, but blogs in general, are a manifestation of an enormous exhibitionistic conceit.

Diaries used to be something people expressed their confessions to privately, and usually kept them under lock and key. Not so here, but I understand the attraction of reading other people's private minds; it's a bit like rubber-necking a traffic accident for a glimpse of gore, or whatever it is that motivates voyeurism.

I am convinced that almost anyone can tap into the stream of consciousness that flows through their head, the endless river, the babbling brook of the 'everymind,' but that doesn't make it worthy opinion, literature or journalism....

But, geeze, it sure seems to draw a crowd...almost like a traveling carnival 'Feak' side-show.

Look at me! Watch me stick a 6-inch nail in my nostril! Hey, I am double-jointed!

Seen one tattooed woman, ya seen 'em all...

Hey, Pass The Gas and BW:

Do you REALLY think that the US hired strippers to torment the muslims in camp x-ray?

Do you believe that -
"One said an American girl had smeared menstrual blood across his face in an act of humiliation."
- this actually happened?

Do you have the slightest bit of suspicion that a man who belongs to a completely psychotic terrorist organization might be making his testimony up?

Or are you so blinded by your all-consuming hate of Bush that you'll believe anything that could hurt him?

Pass the Gas.
The Guardian is extremely anti-American,and very left wing,check out Peter Briffa for comments.This paper will publish anything that damages the US.

The Mirror, well it is in a circulation war with the Sun,the Express,Mail one of them will be signing the exclusive story.

Max Clifford is one of the UKs most prominent publicists,specialising in notorious subjects,the sleazier the better.

BW,Don't get snarky kid, just because they let you stay up and play with the computer.

Have anything you want read to you but do engage your critical faculties(ask your mother what that means)
Statements like this need to be looked at carefully.Women are very sensitive about menstruation and the action he claims also degrades the woman

"One said an American girl had smeared menstrual blood across his face in an act of humiliation."

Even strippers have self respect and note he claims it is an "American" woman.

The sight of a naked female isn't going to shock this kid, he's from Tipton, a town in England,there are pictures of naked women all over.He will have gone to school with girls who wear the clothes which leave little to the imagination,especially at weekend,they are teenagers after all.
Anyway why be shocked at a sight they are willing to martyr themselves to get 72 of.

Amendment V

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Amendment VI

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

That's what's wrong, OK!

After his death, Osama bin Laden went to paradise.

He was greeted by George Washington, who slapped him across the face and yelled angrily, "How dare you attack the nation I helped conceive!" Then Patrick Henry punched Osama in the nose and James Madison kicked him in the groin. Bin Laden was subjected to similar beatings from John Randolph, James Monroe, Thomas Jefferson and 66 other early Americans.

As he writhed in pain on the ground, an angel appeared. Bin Laden groaned, "This is not what I was promised!"

The angel replied, "I told you there would be 72 Virginians waiting for you! What did you think I said?"

It was Aznar's government that said, before investigating, that it was ETA not al Qaeda, that was responsible for the Madrid bombings. Did you rant about that politicization of the bombings? I thought not.

The terrorist attacks on NYC and Madrid are, indeed, terrible atrocities.

When I read about them I can immediately understand better what it feels like be -- or to see my friends, neighbors and children become -- the 'collateral' damage of a well-orchestrated and methodical, 'democratic' bombing raid on an Afghani, Iraqi or Yugolsavian city, town or village.

The obviously superior moral, ideological and rational justification of one method over another is instantly clarified.

***

AN EXERCISE IN COMPARATIVE HISTORICAL ATROCITIES
Us vs Them

Firebombing of German civilians

http://www.spectrummagazine.org/church/features/020128osborn2.html
War, Fate, Freedom, Remnant [2 of 5]
By Ronald E. Osborn

On September 11, 1944, Allied forces conducted a bombing raid on the city of Darmstadt, Germany. The incendiary bombs used in the attack came together in a conflagration so intense it created a firestorm nearly one mile high. At its center, the temperature was approximately 2000° F, and it sucked the oxygen out of the air with the force of a hurricane. People hiding in underground shelters died primarily from suffocation. People fleeing through the streets found that the surfaces of the roads had melted, creating a trap of molten asphalt that stuck to their feet and then hands as they tried to break free. They died screaming on their hands and knees, the fire turning them into so many human candles. Almost twelve thousand noncombatants were killed that night in Darmstadt alone.

Yet Darmstadt was only one city among many in a relentless Allied campaign. Anne-Lies Schmidt described the aftermath of a similar attack on Hamburg, code named "Operation Gomorrah," more than one year before:

Women and children were so charred as to be unrecognizable; those that had died through lack of oxygen were half charred and recognizable. Their brains tumbled from their burst temples and their insides from the soft parts under their ribs. How terribly must these people have died. The smallest children lay like fried eels on the pavement. Even in death they showed signs of how they must have suffered-their hands and arms stretched out as if to protect themselves from the pitiless heat.

That single raid on Hamburg killed approximately forty thousand civilians, including both of Schmidt’s parents. In total, it is estimated that more than half a million German civilians were killed as a direct result of British and American bombing.

What must be absolutely clear about these deaths is the well-documented but largely ignored fact that they were absolutely intentional. These were not unfortunate casualties in a campaign against German military targets: from as early as July, 1943, on, they were the targets. The saturation bombing of German cities did not include the burning of children as an unavoidable "double effect" of "Just War"; burning children was the precise strategy of Allied planners.

Churchill's intention to gas German civilians

http://www.spectrummagazine.org/church/features/020128osborn3.html
War, Fate, Freedom, Remnant [Page 3 of 5]
By Ronald E. Osborn

So began the routine bombardment of noncombatants. Yet soon Churchill was calling for still greater innovations in violence. "I should be prepared to do anything that might hit the Germans in a murderous place," he wrote to his Chiefs of Staff in July, 1944:

I may certainly have to ask you to support me in using poison gas. We could drench the cities of the Ruhr and many other cities in Germany in such a way that most of the population would require constant medical attention. . . . It is absurd to consider morality on this topic when everybody used it in the last war without a word of complaint from the moralists or the Church. On the other hand, in the last war the bombing of open cities was regarded as forbidden. Now everybody does it as a matter of course. It is simply a question of fashion changing, as she does between long and short skirts for women.

In the end, the Allies were unable to devise a feasible plan for chemical war, but not for lack of will or trying. They were hampered, in Churchill’s words, by "that particular set of psalm-singing uniformed defeatists," and by logistical considerations within the military. "I cannot make headway against the parsons and the warriors at the same time," he lamented.6

The aerial campaign against civilian populations meanwhile proceeded without dissent. What feeble resistance there was to the policy of "total war" was kept to a minimum through pressure tactics and facile slogans. This will end the war sooner. This will save lives. We must take retribution. We must punish the aggressor.

There were, it should be noted, a surprisingly high number of RAF pilots and crews who objected to the terroristic annihilation of defenseless noncombatants now required of them. But the military took severe disciplinary action against these individuals, court-martialing and imprisoning them to prevent their strange ideas from spreading through the ranks. The official reason given for their punishment was "LMF"—lack of moral fiber.

***

Firebombing of Japanese civilians

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=O4VQSECGWMOMMCRBAELCFEY?type=reutersEdge&storyID=4008914

Originally: Reuters (Link may be stale)

NEW INSIGHTS

Although McNamara has spoken with the media thousands of times, Morris managed to unearth some revelations, beginning with McNamara's discussion of his little-known work during World War II with super-hawk Gen. Curtis LeMay, whom he served as an aide. Before the dropping of the atom bombs, they orchestrated the firebombing of 67 Japanese cities with B-29s, killing almost a million civilians, including 100,000 in Tokyo in one night.

***

Interesting. So the issue is not of being better, but of being stronger.

In that case, I recommend we just drop the rhetoric about the opposition being terrorists and our side favoring freedom. We're brutal barbarians, and so are they, and the only question seems to be -- whose desire for survival is stronger?

Guttersnipe,
You missed some off the list so to what are you comparing them to..
The Policy of bombing civilians was adopted by the Germans during the Spanish Civil War when they bomded Guerenica.THere's a leftist icon for you.
German bombing of Britain's major cities right up until the Allies over ran the V1 and V2 sites. Do look up Hitler's policy on V (Vengence) weapons.

There were derelict bomg sites for decades after where the Lufwaffe razed our cities.They also bombed me as an infant in 1943 as I lay in the air raid shelter.They even took out Coventry Cathedral.

The death camps in Eastern Europe where the Germans had their industrial scale death camps.Millions died.

The Invasion of Russia where the Germans slaghtered millions.

A Europe that was under the jackboot for half a decade.

U boats sinking hundreds of civilian merchant ships.

Whether Churchill had a plan to gas the Germans,both side used gas in WWI, so not have that option to deter the opposition would be foolish.

However the Germans did gas the jews,the homosexuals,the gypsies,the communists and exterminated the mentally ill and the disabled as a matter of state policy.

Any military action can be criticised with 20/20 hindsight and no actual responsiblity to take action.One can parade ones principles and moral superiority when nobody is ever going to ask you to take a decision of this magnitude

The Japanese Rape of Nanking in 1937 saw the slaughter of over 40,000 civilians and thousands of women raped.

The Japanese treated Allied soldiers like slaves and thousands died of starvation,disease,torture and execution.Countless thousands more of the people of the far East perished the same way,unsung and unknown.See the Burma Railroad.

The Allies had to take some action that would convince the Japanese they were beaten.If you doubt the tenacity of the Imperial Japanese Army study two battles Okinawa and Iwojima and these were only two outlying islands.

There is some evidence that military technology was transfered by the dying Third Reich to its ally Japan.

Of course brutal means have to be employed to defeat regimes that employ the doctrine of total war,but to attribute a moral equivalence between Western Democratic States and totalitarian regimes is a form of moral psychopathy that is a characteristic of those totalitarian regimes.

Pass the gas.
Thought you might be interested in the first reaction of the Guardian to the Madrid outrage.

Saturday, March 13 Peter Briffa Public Interest .com

"Two hundred people are murdered in Madrid, and nobody has admitted responsibility. The Guardian, however, knows who ought to:

"Mr Bush squandered the huge wave of international sympathy which the victims of September 11 should rightly continue to receive, as Sidney Blumenthal argued in these columns. He has divided Europe at a historic time of expansion and imposed greater strains on the transatlantic military alliance than ever a Soviet general sitting in Moscow at the height of the cold war could have done. Mr Bush has made his "war" a personal and a partisan one, when the response to al-Qaida should be neither".

Before the dead are cold in the ground or anyone has been arrested they know!These people have a Humanity Deficit.

Pass the gas.
Thought you might be interested in the first reaction of the Guardian to the Madrid outrage.

Saturday, March 13 Peter Briffa Public Interest .com

"Two hundred people are murdered in Madrid, and nobody has admitted responsibility. The Guardian, however, knows who ought to:

"Mr Bush squandered the huge wave of international sympathy which the victims of September 11 should rightly continue to receive, as Sidney Blumenthal argued in these columns. He has divided Europe at a historic time of expansion and imposed greater strains on the transatlantic military alliance than ever a Soviet general sitting in Moscow at the height of the cold war could have done. Mr Bush has made his "war" a personal and a partisan one, when the response to al-Qaida should be neither".

Before the dead are cold in the ground or anyone has been arrested they know!These people have a Humanity Deficit.

guttersnipe:

What did I just say about tu quoque attacks? Thanks for proving me exactly right, asshole.

Mmm, OK, the Guardian's biased... So, do the Guardian and the Mirror talk to each other? How did their interviews turn up the same information, from different people? Same question, asked a different way: Do you think the US tortured prisoners at Guantanamo?

Their lawyers will communicate so will their publicists.Singly the stories are worth £100,000 apiece,collectively possibly £1,000,000,perhaps a ghost written book .

There isn't a chance on this Earth that their lawyers would let them speak to the press without getting the story straight and being there themselves, even if there was no money involved.They will get public money in the form of legal aid to sue Britain and America for damages.The worse the experience the bigger the damages.There is of course the possibility that if the case becomes high peofile that countercharges could never be brought on the grounds that they couldn't get a fair trial.

Newspapers the World over share wire services and sources, often interviews have journalists from all the papers there.If the stories are identical it is probably a press release.

You have to remember that the National papers are all based in London,it is a very close knit community and editors are constantly trying to steal a march on competitors. Expect a spoiler to come out of a rival newspaper.But none of them would spoil their own newspaper selling story by questioning its veracity.
And this is the Guardian!
http://www.guardian.co.uk/guantanamo/story/0%2C13743%2C1166464%2C00.html
Just check Max Clifford on Google.What you are seeing here is a well oiled machine going into action,whatever the truth was it will be buried under legalese and spin-doctoring.
As for torture why would they need to,they were three punk kids not hardened fanatics,they are out because they have told everthing they know.

Where does that leave people like myself who have an intense hatred for the left and the right?

Is there gonna be a blog raging out against us darn ineffective neutral people who refuse to choose a side? :-)

Brian, I think you will find that people are a lot more willing to label other people as "the left" or "the right," than to label themselves. It's really just a kind of name you can call somebody.

The only thing you can do is try to stay reasonable, and probably piss everybody off.

M. Simon.

WTF? Drug users in prisons? Where did you want to pin that on Ashcroft? The topic was Ashcroft is undermining the Constitution, as is the Patriot Act. Get back on topic please.

Guttersnipe.

Firebombings and two nuclear weapons were used to break the will of the Germans and the Japanese to continue fighting. I happen to believe it was justified, however that ain't the argument du jour.

Your moral equivalence argument doesn't hold up under the scrutiny of the horrors inflicted upon the world by Nazi Germany and militarist Japan. Bad enough. But you really lose it when you try to link our actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Dude, if we wanted to turn them into a self-lighting parking lot, we could have done it. Instead, Americans have shed blood to AVOID the catastrophies against civilians that you want to hold up against WWII and say "these are the same".

I don't see your connection.

Hussein Massawi, former leader of Hezbollah, "We are not fighting so that you will offer us something. We are fighting to eliminate you."
Left or right we are all grist to the mill.

The choice is not who is right or who is wrong.
Who has moral authority and who has not.
The choice is who will live and who will die.

We have been there twice before in the last century.Just as before the rationalisers and the appeasers thought that the threat could be bought off or did not exist until the opportunity to avert disaster was gone.

The choice is not who is right or who is wrong.
Who has moral authority and who has not.
The choice is who will live and who will die.

Or, as I said, above: So the issue is not of being better, but of being stronger.

I think we oughta just drop the pretense of being "right," and just commit ourselves to staying alive, if that's what we need to do. We can do something like promise ourselves we'll "return" to being a free society, or we'll "return" to reason, after the war on terror is won.

Something like that...

Oh we are stronger,you might not believe it but so far the kid gloves have been kept on.However it is a case of will, if your opponent has total belief in the rightness of his cause and we do not, we will lose.

If we keep saying we have no moral authority we are as bad or worse than our opponent,that opponent will say "I agree,that is why we must destroy you".

Of course we have a free society,compare it with the alternative,Iran,Syria,Saudi Arabia,et al.

Well, you can't have "total belief in the rightness of your cause" when your leaders are lying to you, your soldiers are torturing people who have not been accused of any crime, your government is bugging international diplomats, you're arresting people without charging them with anything and without access to a lawyer, etc.

Your point is correct that we can't "keep saying we have no moral authority." Unfortunately, though, we will have trouble backing that up, if we, for instance, invade countries that did not threaten us, under false pretenses, or do things such as are reported in these two British articles, regarding mistreatment of captives in Afghanistan and Guantanamo.

So I think we should just abandon the "moral authority" angle, and just tell the world, "don't even look at us wrong or we'll blow the shit out of you, like we did in Iraq. It's not that we're any better than you sorry fuckers, we just get a little pissed off when you blow up our buildings. And you don't want to piss us off."

See, people would understand that. This facade of "moral authority" makes us hypocrites. You can't be a bully and claim to be fair at the same time.

When I say "the left" I mean those who tend towards the farther end of the political line. I don't use the term "liberal" or "Democrat" as disparaging remarks - I use those words when I want to address the relatively sane people left of center. So when I use the term "the left" it generally means the tin foil crowd.

What a crock of crap. When I say 'the right' I only mean to characterize everyone not like me as a cook.

The rest of your reasoning makes this bit of trash look good by comparison.

I love it, everyone who questions Bush is in the 'tin foil hat' crowd. Everyone who points out the world has not been made safer by an invasion of Iraq is bathing in the blood of 200 dead "I told you so's".

Jeez, everything the tin foil hat crowd is for, is really just an illusion. They aren't for clean air, they are against pollution. See!! Those lefties are so against everything!!

And you think this helps you understand someone else's position? Personally, all it seems you are trying to do is stereotype and denigrate.

But what can one expect from 'the right' (By which I mean all of Falwell's worshippers. Why are you posting and not blowing up abortion clinins?)

See, stupid ass reasoning. There's a reason 'the right' is generally considered uneducated (or often just ignorant [See: Bush re: global warming, nation building]).

The usual tactic attack the argument but avoid making any practical suggestions.

Peter UK: The usual tactic attack the person but avoid addressing any of his points.

As far as "practicsl suggestions": did you happen to notice that the whole point of my comment was that Michele doesn't actually present any arguments? There's no thesis. Nothing to suggest a "practical" alternative to?

Apparently not.

Wow...talk about projection. A post that is full of intensely personalized hatred and fear of your fellow Americans, and then you accuse the left of "hatred". FYI, I was against the war in Iraq. I was against it because I take September 11th seriously. Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11; I thought we should save our resources for someone who did. If you want to argue that the left is not taking 9/11 seriously, perhaps you should start by showing that George Bush is. I see him as settling scores with old enemies of his family and the pro-Israeli right rather than pursuing Al Qaeda's actual sources of strength. After Afghanistan (a good invasion, although any President, Democratic or Republican, would have done it) I see him spending his time alienating people who could help us and pursuing those who did not harm us.

FYI on the subject of hatred: I listen to right-wing talk radio all the time and regularly hear suggestions that Hilary Clinton is a traitor who should be hanged. Never heard any of my left-wing friends suggest hanging Bush, just working to vote him out next November. Guess that makes us "traitors" too, huh?

ANYHOW, for all you right-wing dictator favorers, the result of the Spanish election should give you something to chew on for awhile.

Like maybe the majority disagrees with your ignorant approach to dealing with terror.

Sieg McHeilHell!

You right-wing cranks had better start looking for a new job...

http://radiofreeusa.net/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=2409&mode=thread&order=0&thold=0
ELIZABETH NASH
Independent

MADRID -- Spain's Socialists won a sensational victory in yesterday's general elections, in a vote that confounded the polls and inflicted a huge punishment on the Popular Party government for supporting the war in Iraq.

Voters believed that José Maria Aznar's support for President George Bush had put Spain in the front line as a target for Islamist radicals, and directly produced the devastating terrorist attacks in Madrid on Thursday. Additional discontent was caused by the strong suspicion that Mr Aznar's government was hiding information pointing to al-Qaida's possible involvement, through fear that it would rebound against it in the poll.

José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who will become Spain's new Prime Minister, won 43 per cent of the vote, which gives him 164 seats in the 350-seat chamber. He can count on the support of other left-wing or regional parties, enabling him to form a government without holding a majority of seats.

He said last night: "Today Spaniards have spoken with a massive voice. They have said they want a government of change. Thank you for this confidence."

One of the main planks of Mr Zapatero's platform was his promise to bring home the 1,300 Spanish troops now serving with the coalition in Iraq. This is a position supported by all the other parties in opposition to the Popular Party.

After acknowledging his victory, Mr Zapatero called for a minute's silence, reflecting the grief and shock that overwhelmed the nation after the bomb attacks. "I think of all those lives broken by terror," he said. He was flanked by the scarlet and gold Spanish flag, draped with the black ribbon of mourning, and the starred blue EU flag, presenting an image that elegantly marked a distance from the previous government's fervent pro-Americanism.

***

Great, great essay Michele. Funny how the lefties posting here are outraged at the examples used and claim that you are defaming the moderate left by lumping them in with the far left. How many of those leftists were, then, outraged by Kerry's recent 'liars and thieves' smear of Republicans. How many griping about your essay can point to posts where they compalined about Kerry. Or Al Gore's "betrayal" claim or Clarks' or Max Cleland's overt anti-patriotism charges. Actaully, Michele is too nice. As Morton Kondracke and other moderates have noted, mainstream Democrats have gotten quite vicious.

So, Eat Crow / Buzz-Off (funny how those names sound like He-Man villains), the correct answer is to always capitulate, no matter what?
Enjoy your thousand years of blood and explosions.

Wow, there have been some pretty interesting and relevant points made on both sides of the issue.

Joshua, I was moving towards the tautology with out really spelling out as clearly as you have. But thanks for pointing it out.

I've no issue with anyone lambasting any other group but that group should be pretty clearly defined in unique terminology. And really, my main issue with Michele's post (which DOES make some good points that I do agree with) was that it addresses a small subset of the entire group known as the left but does so in the terminology of the entire group. And if you want to pursue the straw man argument then be prepared to defend it.

Sandy P, ok, so now its a question of education? If a woman knows enough about her body then she should never allow herself to get pregnant unless she wants too? What if the condom breaks? What if she simply forgets her pill? You're actually saying that she should have to deal with that mistake forever? Or give up the baby for adoption? Are there not enough unwanted children in the world? Why add to the problem when a simple abortion can solve the problem all the way around? Because of your religious beliefs that she may or may not subscibe to?

That's like saying I shouldn't watch football on Sundays because thats when you think I should be in church without giving any regard to what my belief system is.

Why do you feel the need and right to dictate what any other person does with their body?

And what about an abortion in the event of a rape pregnancy? Are they okay or should the woman be forced to endure nine months of constant reminders of her assault too?

Dugger, the liars and thieves smear? Hmm, you mean the snippet that Kerry mentioned as he was removing his mic?

Um, that wasn't leveled at Republicans, it was leveled at Bush. Why? Well let's see, he is a liar (see early post 9/11 speeches and his promise to never use the imagery for political gain and then last week's election campaign ads with Bush trying to work the sympathy angle with video from 9/11) and he is a thief (see Presidential election 2000 for more about this or would you have preferred corrupt to thief?).

I wasn't outraged by it at all, in fact, though it was a true statement, I don't give it any relevance at all. It was an aside, much like Bush commenting to Cheney in 2000 that some speaker was an asshole, remember that?

As for being outraged at being lumped in with the extremists, you're damned right! I have every right to be pissed off when I'm unfairly lumped into the wrong group. Just like you'd have every right to be pissed off if I called you a pedophile because you're a man and some men have been and are pedophiles. One doesn't mean you are necessarily the other and, for reasoned argumentation, groups need to be clearly defined.

Cmon Johnny,

The harsheness of your rhetoric proves Michele's point exactly. You have called the president a liar and a thief in a thread wherein leftists are complaining about too harsh rhetoric being used against them. You know what the real problem is? You probably have no clue that what you said is harsh and untrue.

BTW you said it was about Bush only - not Republicans, right? Well, "liars and thieves" would be plural, right? Bush is singular, right?
Now what conclusions can we draw from that?

Cue Jeopardy music.

Dude, give it up. I'm a leftist and I'm filled with peace and love. For you and all people. Although wasn't it just last year we were told the left was too peacenciky and let-all-get-alongy? Now we're too hateful. I can't keep up. Perhaps I mis-read all that venom oozing from the Clinton-haters?

Jiminy crewcuts, everybody. Maybe we should stop blaming each other for the attacks and start blaming the terrorists.

Attacks will be attempted in 2005 or whenever regardless of who is in office. We know this because people who successfully killed before have publicly and repeatedly stated their intentions of doing so again. I see no reason to think they're just pulling our leg.

The president may make a difference in how successful those attacks are, but not in whether they're tried.

Dugger, you're splitting hairs. Calling Bush a liar and a thief is harsh rhetoric? Is the worst expletive you know "Shucks"? Come on. My words were about as tame as they can get.

And extending Kerry's statements to all of Republicandoom because he said it plurally is completely unreasonable. Maybe he intended to call the Bush administration liars and thieves? Maybe he was just talking about the Bush family itself? Maybe he was talking about Bush and his alter-ego, Shrubbie? The point is that you can't generalize from the statement to mean that he was attacking all Republicans.

What is harsh and untrue about calling Bush a liar? He's lied time and again, do you really need more proof of that? Calling him a thief is also neither harsh nor untrue, he stole the 2000 election, the fact that you're unwilling to see that is just further proof to me that we're not even speaking the same language.

Calling somebody what they are is neither harsh nor untrue.

Demonstrate where I was unduly harsh in my last comment so I can gain some insight.

Johnny,

Again you make Michele's point perfectly. Calling somebody a liar is itself harsh. It may not be to you, but it is to most people. And if you call somebody a liar, you should have hardcore evidence that it is really a lie: not a disagreement, not a misstatement, not a mispeak. So far zero verifiable lies have been documented against Bush. Zero. And the thief part is worse. You seem to be saying not that the harsh rhetoric that Michele alludes to isn't there, but that it is (a) true or (b) not all that important. Tell me where you know, reasonably provably, that Bush lied. Just to let you know, I have asked this question of many and none have documented a lie. The biggie used to be imminent threat and then WMDs. Neither have panned out. (hint: the problem is the word lie - that involves provable intent - 9/10s time).

Dugger, um sorry but Bush saying he wouldn't use 9/11 for his re-election campaign and then doing precisely that is, in fact, word and deed, a lie.

He categorically swore that he wouldn't use any imagery from 9/11 for his re-election and yet he just did.

Need more? Check out BushWatch for many, many more examples of Bush's lying. Let me save you some time, "President Bush proclaimed that a report by leading economists concluded that the economy would grow by 3.3 percent in 2003 if his tax cut proposals were adopted. No such report exists." Gordan Livingston, 06.03.03

Simply ignoring the tremendous body of evidence that Bush has lied and continues to lie doesn't make it go away, no matter how much you want it to.

And using ignorance as defense against lying is ridiculous for a man with the CIA and FBI at his disposal, if he doesn't have quality intelligence information then he shouldn't be going on national TV and speaking like he has some kind of authority.

Calling someone what they are may be harsh as you say but its not untrue. And sometimes, the truth hurts. And here, the truth is that Bush is a liar.

Truth isn't about opinion Johnny. Prove he lied.

Dave, how many lies do you need to see?

“U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein
had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable
of delivering chemical agents.”
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
# found to date? --- 0

“We have also discovered through intelligence
that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
# of aerial vehicles capable of dispersing chemical or biological weapons -- 0

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003

The documents were known by Bush at that time to be forged and not credible.

"We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in."
Bush Press Conference 7/14/2003
Fact: UN inspectors were in Iraq from December 2002 to March 2003.

“I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access, a [report] came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were [six months away from developing a weapon]. I don't know what more [evidence] we need.” (Bush speaking at a news conference Sept. 7 with Tony Blair)

As Joseph Curl reported three weeks later in the conservative Washington Times, there was no such IAEA report: “In October 1998, just before Saddam kicked U.N. weapons inspectors out of Iraq [actually, they were withdrawn], the IAEA laid out a case opposite of Mr. Bush’s Sept. 7 declaration: ‘There are no indications that there remains in Iraq any physical capability for the production of weapon-usable nuclear material of any practical significance,’ IAEA Director-General Mohammed Elbaradei wrote in a report to U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan” ( http://www.washtimes.com/national/20020927-500715.htm). To this day, the administration has yet to produce a convincing explanation for Bush’s bogus assertion.

Here, go and read some more for yourself, http://www.scoop.co.nz/mason/stories/HL0302/S00061.htm
http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17923, or hey, maybe you should get the book, The Five Biggest Lies Bush Told Us About Iraq or this article in Salon.com comparing Bush Lies to Clinton Lies, http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2003/07/24/clinton/

The difference? Clinton lied about getting a blowjob, Bush lied and invaded a freaking country.

And that's it, I'm done trying to convince any of you that Bush is a liar. If you're unwilling to accept the facts then there's no helping you.

Michele, thanks for the games.

It is impossible to prove a thing through lack of evidence. So, for example, the mere fact that I can't prove that Dave from Texas and I had hot animal sex in a pickup truck last night doesn't mean that Dave and I weren't getting it on.

In order to disprove the statement "Dave and Joshua had hot animal sex last night", one would need to offer positive proof: Dave and Joshua were several thousand miles apart last night. Hot animal sex requires physical proximity. Therefore Dave and Joshua did not have hot animal sex last night. Even here, there have to be some givens; terms have to be defined and the scope of the argument has to be established.

Otherwise, it is effectively impossible to prove a negative.

Attempting to prove a thing through lack of evidence constitutes a logical fallacy called the "Appeal to Ignorance".

This works for Bush on the WMD question. It is impossible to prove that there were no WMDs in Iraq at the time of the invasion, so it's possible he was telling the truth when he said that there was "no doubt that Iraq continues to possess and conceal the some of the most lethal weapons ever devised". He could well have had sure evidence of WMDs. The fact that he hasn't produced any sure evidence doesn't mean he doesn't have any.

However.

A reasonable person can make assumptions. So, for example, I could say that there can be no doubt that Dave from Texas continues to harbor and conceal a long-term sexual attraction for, and sexual involvement with, sheep. And, you know, good luck "proving" that Dave has never had sex with a sheep. But a reasonable person can assume that Dave has probably never had sex with a sheep. Such an assumption is not based on positive proof. But one can consider the source (a guy who doesn't really know Dave, and is actively opposing him in a political argument), and one can also consider the fact that Dave is in Texas where, legend has it, they're actively hostile to sheep in favor of cattle (as suggested by the legendary Droopy cartoon). And also, one can just consider Dave. I mean really: does this man strike you as a sheep-fucker? I think not.

But such circumstantial evidence does not constitute proof, as such.

Personally, I think Bush intentionally misled the American public about the strength of the evidence for the presence of WMDs in Iraq. I initially believed this for circumstantial reasons: it seemed to me that if the Bush administration had "no doubt that Saddam Hussein now has weapons of mass destruction" in August of 2002 that the U.S. military should have no trouble locating those weapons during an invasion in 2003. Evidence of their existence that left "no doubt" of their existence should have provided some substantive clue as to their location.

As events unfolded, evidence from the intelligence community and additional circumstantial evidence (Iraq not using any of these weapons to defend itself during the invasion, reports from various inspectors, etc.) strengthened my belief that the Bush administration had intentionally misled the public on this matter. That the really blazing distortions were generally doled out by Ari Fleischer doesn't really mean much to me in terms of protecting Bush from liability. The president tacitly endorses everything his press secretary says. If Fleischer got something as important as the existence of WMDs wrong during a press conference, I would expect the White House to offer a retraction. Failure to do so constitutes a deliberate distortion of the truth, in my opinion.

Dave from Texas is will, of course, come to his own conclusions. Lacking a signed letter from Bush stating explicitly that he lied or the actual discovery of WMDs in Iraq (and in both cases, there would obviously be a concern over forgery), there's no positive proof one way or the other. But if Dave honestly thinks that Bush wasn't running a line of bullshit around WMDs, I'd suggest he stop smoking crack immediately. Seriously.

I could suggest you both blow me, but then I have this thing for sheep.

Johnny is expressing his opinion about what Bush knew (Bush knew!) or didn't regarding (see the list). Each example is supposed to demonstrate 'he is a liar'. That hasn't been demonstrated; we simply have a difference of opinion about it.

The US wasn't the only nation who expressed serious concerns about Iraqi WMDs - the list includes France, Germany, and Russia. It's been demonstrated (at least in the public record) that WMDs existed at some time in Iraq. What should reasonable people conclude from that?

No Dave, I'm not expressing my opinion, I'm expressing the opinions of many, many people who see with their eyes open and not covered in GOP wool.

And why would you reduce your argument to a slander against me? Does that mean you're giving up and recognizing that, oh my god, it is possible and extremely probable that Bush fed you a line of crap and you slurped it right up?

Dave, you're either unwilling to admit that Bush lied for personal reasons or you're just truly incredibly ignorant and too stupid to put two and two together. Bush lied about lots of things, he continues to lie to this day.

A difference of opinion is fine in a vacuum, but there is no vacuum here, there are irrefutable facts. Want more? Go and read The Other Lies of George Bush.

Oh yeah, other nations were concerned about WMDs in Iraq, concern isn't leading the charge into battle and removing Saddam though, is it? And yes, WMD's did exist in Iraq at one time because WE, the United States sold them to Iraq. Its also been demonstrated with pretty reasonable certainty that most of the world was once covered in ice, so what? Does that mean you should be able to find some ice cubes in the Sahara?

You're barely making any coherent points. Is this the best you can do? Keep trotting out the opinion versus fact argument? It didn't work originally and won't work now. Admit that Bush lied or continue to live with your head in the sand, it makes no difference to me.

"To call the forty-third President of the United States a prevaricator is not an exercise of opinion, not an inflammatory talk-radio device. Rather, it is backed up by an all-too-extensive record of self-serving falsifications. While politicians are often derided as liars, this charge should be particularly stinging for Bush. During the campaign of 2000, he pitched himself as a candidate who could "restore" honor and integrity to an Oval Office stained by the misdeeds and falsehoods of his predecessor. To brand Bush a liar is to negate what he and his supporters declared was his most basic and most important qualification for the job." - David Corn Sept. 25, 2003, excerpted from The Lies of George W. Bush: Mastering the Politics of Deception.

JOHNNY,

I saw not one lie in that dribble you posted. Everybody and his brother from both parties and many nations agreed Saddam had WMD. If Bush is lying, so is every major political figure in the world.

I did notice how you inserted comments into those quotes without sourcing one accusation. Typical.

You are the exact kind of trash Michelle is describing in her post. Blinded by ugly, black hatred for a man you never met. Sad, really. What is it like to hate to the point that it makes you stupid?

You've proven that a lot of people think he's a liar. You haven't proven he is one. Quoting a book titled "Bush is a Liar" is less than compelling.

(just checking, didn't you say earlier you didn't care anymore what I thought)?

By "expressed concerns" I meant they all believed Iraq had em. I didn't suggest for a moment there was agreement between the US and France on what to do about it. I endorse our response. France doesn't. Big deal.

Arms sales to Iraq. Yeah, from 1983 to 1988 the US sold arms to Iraq. They were fighting a war. Iran. Remember them? Here's a source: Stockholm International Peace Institute report on conventional weapons sold to Iraq.

http://projects.sipri.se/armstrade/atirq_data.html

I can't prove their numbers, but historically they haven't been to kind to the US. Gives em some credibility.

Please note the ranking of the US on the list. Below Brazil. Brazil for crying out loud. Note the top 3. Russia, France, China. Shocking.

SIPRI doesn't report WMD sales (funny, nobody keeps those invoices), but even if they did, I'm willing to stipulate that because of the Iran Iraq war the US could have sold some. Along with Russia, China, France, UK, Brazil..etc. Cause they were fighting a war with Iran.

But if this helps, I am sure that the only nuclear reactor ever built in Iraq was French.

I have no personal stake in whether Bush lied or not. Neither am I stupid. All you offer up is "Bush is a liar", and you call it a fact.

So, in conclusion, blow me.

Joshua Sch: I have yet to accuse you of being a right wing anything. And as far as the Middle East, I've been doing some studying of my own. I won't claim to be an expert, and my energies are split between the Middle East and some economics stuff I'm interested in (not to mention my job), but if you're trying to play the "this little liberal stuck his head in the sand, this little liberal went to college," game with me, you're barking up the wrong tree.

As far as "right-wing circle jerk" goes, what I was referring to very specifically was the high proportion of Michele's readers who seem to be, using Michele's nomenclature, FAR right. Every time she posts about the need to back Bush's foreign policy there's a chorus of voices telling her what a genius she is. When someone argues with her these same people jump in (allowed, obviously—I'm not suggesting it shouldn't be) with a lot of very sloppy debating and a lot of vicious bullshit ("Rachel Corrie can burn in hell for all I care"). Some of these people, notably Dave from Texas, are actually capable of much clearer reasoning on the finer points, but they don't start with that. There's a kind of "home court advantage" attitude that seems to suggest that, since they're in a forum that is "theirs" they can just spout off whatever pops into their heads, throw together shabby proofs and dismiss other opinions out of hand.

I think that kind of behavior is self-enforcing. People take sides. Then they take the approval of their compatriots as an indication that they're winning a debate, even when they're really just shouting someone down. Dull group-think. Intellectual masturbation, where new points are hardly ever interjected and old ideas are endlessly regurgitated and reinforced: a great big circle jerk.

Personally, I come to blogs like this to keep myself sharp. Specifically, I come to blogs like this to wear down my own tendencies toward the mindless Bush hatred that can be so easy to get caught up in when you live in a liberal town like Seattle and have a lot of lefty friends. I am not in favor of Bush's foreign policy, and I am strongly against his domestic policy. But I like to think that debating with people like Ryan Rhodes and, I hope, some people here will make me better able to articulate my reasons for that.

Frankly, I can't imagine why someone would read a politics blog where they mostly agree with the author. What the hell is the point of that?

Heh (sheepish laugh). Wrong comment string.

hey, at least you didn't say 'blow me' in the other string

Could somebody please explain to me what 'the tin-foil crowd' means? I seem to be missing exactly who it is that Michele is slandering.
As to the vicious 'left-wing' rhetoric Michele quotes I'm glad she added the qualifier (albeit right at the bottom) that she didn't mean moderates. Otherwise I could quite easily have taken her whole posting as using the rhetoric of an extreme few to smear a much larger group.
I'm sure if I wrote a posting quoting say, Rush Limbaugh or Anne Coulter and talking about the right* then it wouldn't be much appreciated.
So Michele's posting proves there are nutbars on "the left" yippee. I knew that already.
To argue that US deaths in Uraq are not Bush's
'fault' ignores the fact that he made the decision to send them there. Who actually physically killed them matters little. Or are you going to say that Lincoln wasn't responsible for the deaths of Union soldiers in the Civil War?
As CiC it certainly is Bush's responsibility. The point is that in making the decision as CiC to invade Iraq, Bush decided that any deaths were 'worth it'. Given the results of the invasion so far, one has to seriously question his decision.
As to whether he lied, there seems ample evidence that he did. Given that all politicians lie or 'dissemble' then saying 'Bush is a liar' is useless. We have then have to examine his every word AND ACTION for motive. As far as I can see, Bush's actions have ultimately served to benefit a very very small group of people. I love how Republicans who voted for Bush manage to overlook the fact that he is a fat cat rich bastard seving the interests of other fat cat rich bastards. How many Republican voters are actually rich fat cats? A very small percentage.
How many Republican voters are better off when the corporates are exporting jobs? When 42% of Amercians don't have health insurance? When Bush dismantles environmental laws? When the deficit balloons?
Shallow rhetoric on both sides only serves to obscure a whole bunch of problems that ALL US politicians are trying to sweep under the mat.

Okay, I'm attempting restraint, trying to rise above the wee petty arrows of contempt from idiots like Questioneer and Dave in Texas.

Disregarding presented evidence doesn't make it go away. You're both eyes wide shut fools and I see no reason to waste any more of time on either of you.

If either of you wants to engage in a rational argument then I'd be happy to throw down with you. But resorting to petty insults is lame (and yes, I catch the irony of saying that and having called you both fools).

Bush lied, he continues to lie.

Let me make this point one more time (and I'll go slow especially for you Dave).

George Bush said, on the record, that he would not (repeat that NOT) use the 9/11 tragedy to his political benefit.

Last week, he aired a re-election ad with footage from the WTC site.

Show me how that ISN'T a lie? Or don't. It no longer matters and I'm done with this thread. Enjoy your narrow and hateful little lives.

Johnny, you see no reason to waste more time?

and yet, it happened!

anyway, thanks for going slow.

Bush said he would not use the 9/11 tragedy to political benefit.

It is your opinion that the image of (I dunno, which one, firefighters taking a body out of the rubble?) is using 9/11 imagery for political gain.

I call that "running on your record". It happened on his watch, he's doing something about it. You don't like it. I have no problem with it. A difference of opinion.

I suppose FDR ran his '44 campaign on his domestic agenda. Wait, no, he didn't.

The difference is, I see it as a war. You see it differently. Fine.

That does not mean Bush lied.

Keep trying though, lovely parting gifts for all contestants. You present no evidence, I have nothing to refute.

Johnny, the problem I have with all your doo doo is the slander of "liar". That means something to me. Maybe it does to you, I can't tell, because you don't treat it seriously. You just toss it around. If I'm going to call a man a "liar", I'm going to defend the charge with a fact. Not an opinion, not a difference of opinion, not an unsupported assertion.

So support something. You didn't address a single issue I put on the table in my last post.

book named "Bush = Liar" objective?

France,Germany,Russia, rest of the damned world stated they believed Iraq had WMDs? silence.

Who sold weapons? nada.

Who tried to give em a fission factory? more nada.

I can't throw down with you cause you don't throw anything.

Dave, I have to disagree with you on the whole "Bush and 9/11 imagery" thing.

I mean, if Roosevelt had said ahead of time that he was not going to use any imagery from WWII to run for reelection in '44 and then went ahead and did it, I daresay that'd make him a liar. It'd also make him kind of a fool for having said he wouldn't use that imagery, but it'd definitely make him a liar.

As far as "running on your record", that firefighter would have been digging those people out of the rubble if Mickey Mouse had been president of the United States. It has absolutely nothing to do with George W. Bush.

Running on his record would be showing those people toppling the statue of Saddam Hussein.

Though, just to be snippy, I also have to point out that running on his record would be showing, oh, I don't know, an Iraqi civilian digging their dead family members out of the rubble of a house that's been hit with a cluster bomb.

I didn't concede that Bush said it, although I can see from my post it appears that way.

Not my point. I expressed an opinion - the use of that imagery is perfectly appropriate for political discourse, that I believe Bush agrees with that - and neither of us (if he made this commitment) see this as breaking it.

I mean, come on. A voice over says "when we were attacked" and it moves on. It is a reminder that this happened to us, and merely tables the question of whether you the voter will agree that our response is right or not.

If Mickey Mouse were President he would have used it to. You would be a fool not to, as you rightly point out.

I'll give you this, I'm sure FDR's opponents said the same stuff. Distasteful. Not showing respect for the victims families. Using the office for political gain...

I'll bet you a paycheck he never referred to Pearl Harbor as a "tragedy". It was always an attack.

And you're right, it was snippy of you to suggest his record means you gotta show footage of Iraqi civilians digging dead family members out of the rubble. But if you want to go there, let's not half-ass it. Show 20 years of barbaric cruelty from Saddam and his thugs. How about Halabja?

If your point is we should never have attacked, then you have to hold up the result. Sanctions that were starving their people. All the brutality and suffering of a Fascist state.

But if your point is that in the course of changing all that, innocents died, ok, true. They did. What was our motive? Did we want them to die? Kill them on purpose? Did we screw up?

You tell me. I don't think you are prepared to say that American soldiers or aircrews purposely targeted civilians.

I'm wondering when Bush said he wouldn't use 9/11 imagery. I have only heard Democrat-types say it. I'm not saying he didn't, I am saying I would like proof. I've found that many on the looney left lie to prove their points, as we'll see shortly.
As for the looney left being a fringe, Howard Dean was the frontrunner in the race for the Democratic nominee for President of the United States.
That's not fringe.
As for Johnny Huh's list, those are some pretty thin lies.
“U.S. intelligence indicates that Saddam Hussein
had upwards of 30,000 munitions capable
of delivering chemical agents.”
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003
# found to date? --- 0

Note the words, "Capable of". I see that your reading comprehension skills are pretty poor, but try to understand what that phrase means.

These shells didn't have a blister agent, but they could have contained (or, were capable of containing) a chemical agent. here's another link that says the same thing.
So at least some have been found and we haven't looked at all the 300+ weapons dumps in the country, so you lied, or were you just mistaken? By your definition, you lied.

“We have also discovered through intelligence
that Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003

Here's a good link, from 1998

I guess Bush got into his time machine to lie in 1998? Or are you mistaken or lying? Again, by your definition, you Johnny huh are a liar.

"The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa."
State of the Union Address – 1/28/2003The documents were known by Bush at that time to be forged and not credible.

The British still stand by this. As a matter of fact, Andrew Gilligan, who wrote that Tony Blair 'sexed up' intelligence reports like this quit and many of his bosses had to resign because they were shown to be liars. So once again, by your definition Johnny huh, you are a liar.

"We gave him a chance to allow the inspectors in, and he wouldn't let them in."
Bush Press Conference 7/14/2003
Fact: UN inspectors were in Iraq from December 2002 to March 2003.

Yes, and why were they let in? Because Bush stationed troops on the border. After Saddam didn't allow them in for years. This is your closest example to a lie.

“I would remind you that when the inspectors first went into Iraq and were denied — finally denied access, a [report] came out of the Atomic — the IAEA that they were [six months away from developing a weapon]. I don't know what more [evidence] we need.” (Bush speaking at a news conference Sept. 7 with Tony Blair)

How is this a lie? He was talking about after the first Gulf War

I'll give you a quote
It was only after the Gulf War that the IAEA found that Iraq had a nuclear weapons program of staggering proportions and was within 6 months of having a nuclear weapon. In fact the IAEA was essentially asleep at the wheel from 1974 until 1991, and despite four years of post-Gulf War inspections, the IAEA still did not understand the true scope of the Iraqi nuclear program until a nuclear scientist defected in 1995.

So Johnny Huh, take your lies and peddle them elsewhere.
Actually, I changed my mind. People like you prove that the post that started all this is true.
Thanks.

Veeshir, I haven't heard that quote attributed to Bush either (and as I tried to say, I can't imagine why he would). I don't think the ads violate anything, but I've said, that's my opinion.

But hell, if it would make Johnny happy, I'd concede that whole damn ad thing just to get him to address the rest of the points!

You're begging the question a little, but I'll play.

Did we want them to die? Kill them on purpose? (snip) You tell me. I don't think you are prepared to say that American soldiers or aircrews purposely targeted civilians.

I think American soldiers and aircrews take calculated risks. In some cases the calculation will be: 100% chance of civilian casualties. If the target has enough military significance, then they drop the bomb or fire the missile or whatever.

So, to answer your question: yes, I think U.S. and coalition forces killed civilians on purpose.

I don't particularly fault them for that. Fighting in populated areas will kill civilians. That's a reality of combat. But there is still, at some point, a decision: this anti-aircraft battery is worth the lives of X number of unarmed civilians. There will be consequences to that kind of thinking. It's disingenuous to suggest otherwise.

If your point is we should never have attacked

That isn't my point.

Then what was your point?

I had one, but I started combing my hair different so now it's kind of hard to see.

Har.

But seriously folks—

My point was that, if he said he wouldn't do it and did, that would make him a liar. That was the whole point. But then I got to wondering when he said he wouldn't use the imagery, and what I found was this:

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=18039

The Associated Press reported that in Jan 2003, Bush said, "I have no ambition whatosever to use this [9/11] as a political issue."

Does using 9/11 as a political issue now mean he lied?

Not necessarily. He may not have had any ambition whatsoever in January 2003 and acquired some by the following March. So it doesn't necessarily make him a liar.

It does make him one tasteless motherfucker, but that's a different issue.

However, this does raise an interesting point about George W. Bush: he hardly ever says anything. I mean, one of the upshots of his use of dramatic terms like "evildoers" and "terrible weapons" is that they don't really mean anything specific. Obviously he's not the only one who does this. Most politicians engage in prevarications of one sort or another. But it does make "When did he actually say that exact thing?" kind of a cheap shot.

And, just as a matter of opinion, I think the decision to go to war should be based on facts. If the president has to resort to a lot of hyperbole, guesswork, and misdirection whenever he talks about the war, something's wrong. Obfuscation on budget issues, while disappointing, is somewhat to be expected. When we're talking about dropping bombs, I want to be told exactly why in very clear language; not, "We smote the evildoers!"

I still don't see a link. I see a vague reference to something he supposedly said in 1/2003 and a link to alternet, hardly a non-biased site.
I would be surprised if he said exactly that. I would like to see the quote, in context. I've tried to find it before, but I can't.
Until I see it I won't believe that the people whose lies I've documented above are now telling me the truth.
He might have said something but I sincerely doubt that he said that he would never mention 9/11 at all.

That somebody would take the defining moment of his presidency and say he won't use it to be re-elected would not be too swift. I understand you think he's a lying moron, but don't expect me to believe it too.
Of course it's not stopping the Dems from using 9/11 for political gain.
"What did he know and when?"
The shenanigans about the 9/11 council.
Parading Democratic/anti-war activist relatives of 911 victims out without disclosing their agenda.

So, out of all that crap you have one statement that isn't really defined (the inspectors not being there, they weren't until we had built up a large force and Saddam was still playing games such as not allowing the scientists to be interviewed outside of Iraq) and one quote either fabricated or, more likely IMO, taken out of context.

Pardon me for being less than enthusiastic about your points and for wholeheartedly agreeing with the point made in the post that started this all.

But hey, keep up the hatred, smears and lies. They're doing wonders for Bush's poll numbers.

Veeshir: You must not have tried very hard. It took me about three minutes to find a fuller quote predating the commercials.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1778681.stm

Well no wonder I didn't know what you were talking about Joshua - you changed the subject. I thought we were talking about U.S. and coalition forces killing civilians on purpose. So let's address that if we could. If we didn't give a damn about civilian casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan, we would have bombed them indiscriminately until they were all dead. If we really felt like targeting civilians to get rid of an antiaircraft battery, we wouldn't have 500 dead American soldiers. We absolutely have the capability.

On the ads, I think you make a better case when you just skip to your next to last paragraph. The statement "I have no ambition to use this (9-11) as a political issue" is so ambiguous (and has no context around it) you can fall on either side of the argument. I gave my opinion on it in several posts...I just don't get why everyone's panties are bunched up over it (unless you hate Bush, disagree with Bush but can't make a point, receive funding from left-wing sponsors that hate Bush who pay you to scream to the media about these awful, tasteless ads, or think he's a tasteless motherfucker).

THAT I understand.

I hear you when you say you want good reasons for bombing, at least to the extent that it is very clear to me because I agree with the goals and objectives, and you disagree. Fine. It's just disagreement about the war. I respect that you take it seriously (like I do calling someone a liar).

And we're in heated disagreement over whether the war was the right thing to do. Ok. Where I lose respect for that argument, is where people who mean "I disagree with this war" instead say "He lied! He lied!! He lied!!!"

It implies they would support the war if we found a botulism factory. It is not a serious argument, it is dishonest. No serious person believed Hussein didn't have WMDs over the past 2 decades. No serious person believed he just tidied it all up, shut em down, put them away, tore up the manuals, declared that now and forever more, "we will never ever ever do that again. Really".

As far as the use of 9-11 in a political ad, no one seems to want to take on the most relevant example (that I can think of) regarding a wartime President. Was FDR a "tasteless motherfucker" for putting his face on a campaign button with the words "Remember Pearl Harbor"? Eisenhower (Leadership in War. Leadership in Peace)? Clinton? Lincoln?

That somebody would take the defining moment of his presidency and say he won't use it to be re-elected would not be too swift. I understand you think he's a lying moron, but don't expect me to believe it too.

I have yet to actually accuse him of lying. I do think he's a liar, but that's a character judgement more than a statement of fact.

I don't have specific examples and, to some extent, don't really find them to be relevant. Johnny seems to want to find a smoking gun of Bush's bullshit; something he can point to and say, "That! Right there! He said one thing and did something else! Or he did something and later lied about it!" Personally, I couldn't care less. As far as I'm concerned, if the president suggests that he knows for a fact that there are WMDs in Iraq and then stands quietly by while the press makes inaccurate assumptions based on his vague wording (and this is true of the non-connection between AQ and Iraq as well), as far as I'm concerned, he's a liar.

As I said before, I expect pols to lie about some things. But when there are bombs falling, I expect full and forthright cooperation from my government and Bush has done nothing but fake and dodge his way through this entire affair. You don't think so? Fine.

And by the way:

Until I see it I won't believe that the people whose lies I've documented above

Are you maybe confusing me with Johnny? Because you have yet to document a single one of my lies. I mean, I've told a shitload of lies in my day, and as far as I know you have yet to document any of them. But if you plan on doing so at some future date, I'd suggest the one about having once eaten gorilla meat at a specialty restaurant in San Diego. That was always one of my favorites.

But hey, keep up the hatred, smears and lies

Dude. Take a deep breath. Count to ten.

don't tell him about the goat.

ha! and you thought it was a sheep.

The quote.

"I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue. There is no daylight between the executive and the legislative branches," he said.

The context. A $48 billion increase in defense spending.

All of it.

US President George W Bush has announced plans for a $48bn increase in defence spending to fight the war on terror.

The increase - of nearly 15% - will be the largest rise in US military spending in 20 years, he said in a speech to military reserve officers.

It will include salary increases for military personnel as well as money to buy the latest precision weapons, missile defences, unmanned vehicles and hi-tech equipment for ground troops.

He said that his proposals were non-partisan, stating that there were no differences between the White House and Congress on the issue.

"I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue. There is no daylight between the executive and the legislative branches," he said.

"I have a responsibility to prepare the nation for all that lies ahead," he said.

Well no wonder I didn't know what you were talking about Joshua - you changed the subject. I thought we were talking about U.S. and coalition forces killing civilians on purpose. So let's address that if we could. If we didn't give a damn about civilian casualties in Iraq or Afghanistan, we would have bombed them indiscriminately until they were all dead. If we really felt like targeting civilians to get rid of an antiaircraft battery, we wouldn't have 500 dead American soldiers. We absolutely have the capability.

I didn't say U.S. and coalition forces didn't give a damn about civilian casualties. I said I believe that they knowingly inflict civilian casualties as a consequence of hitting military targets. I don't think that's where most civilian casualties come from. But I think it happens. I disagree that we have the capability to hit military targets in an urban environment without killing civilians. When civilians are killed, I think it's done with full awareness that it might happen-- and sometimes even full awareness that it is likely or inevitable.

Re: "tasteless motherfucker"
I think there's a difference between putting your face on a button and using pictures of a smoking pile of rubble full of the dead and wounded. Again, my opinion. But there it is.

and adding the words "Remember Pearl Harbor"? That doesn't involve images of smoking ruins? Please.

Dave: "words" vs. "actual moving color photographs"

Come on, man. Saying "asshole" and showing one are two different things.

for 2.3 seconds?

Yes! My god! Have you ever looked directly at an asshole? 2.3 seconds is 2.2 seconds too long.

But seriously: 2.3 seconds is a long time in Commercial Land.

And here I fall back on the dictionary defense: taste is, by definition, personal.

I think it was tasteless. Tasteless on the scale of "tasteless motherfucker" tasteless. Somewhere between "wearing pink and red together" and "taking off your pants during a funeral" tasteless. IMHO.

Sometimes I grieve for the proctologist.

Hey, we're talking about our opinions now. No yelling, no ranting. Even when you say "I think Bush is dishonest", you're telling me how the facts play to you. I have no problem with that. I'm just telling you how it comes across to me. I don't think you're an asshole or a ranter, or a left wing nutjob. I'd like to think you could say the same about me.

Indeed I could.

Joshua, I was talking to Johnny huh.
I did like the link you provided, it proved my point. The quote was taken out of context, actually, it was provided a context that had nothing to do with what he said.

He said that his proposals were non-partisan, stating that there were no differences between the White House and Congress on the issue. "I have no ambition whatsoever to use this as a political issue. There is no daylight between the executive and the legislative branches," he said.

Actually, it also proved Michele's point.

I was referring to what I had written about the 'lies' as characterized by that hate Bush site that Johnny huh provided.

You don't really have good reading comprehension skills. You provided a link that you appeared to think disproved what I had written yet it proved it. You read a post by me that was pretty obviously written in response to Johnny huh, that even named him in it, and you respond as if I had mentioned you.
And my favorite liberal line, "They are all liars". That seems to prove something. As you said, it's what they lie about.
You appear to try to say, "Bush lied, people died" without actually saying it.
I need some proof that he lied. As yet I have seen none. I'm not saying he hasn't lied, I just want to see what he lied about. If it was about what he had for breakfast, then I don't really give a crap. You seem to think he lied about Iraq. Yet he was saying the exact same things as pretty much everybody in the world.
Why was he the liar and they get a pass? Look at what Clinton said in 1998 before he bombed Iraq and look at what every prominent Democrat said at the time. If you didn't know who said it you would swear it was Bush and congressional Republicans. The difference? Bush meant it. We all knew Clinton didn't.

You provided a link that you appeared to think disproved what I had written

What evidence, pray, makes it "appear" that I thought that link disproved what you had written? The only statement I made one way or the other about that quote was this one:

My point was that, if he said he wouldn't do it and did, that would make him a liar. That was the whole point. But then I got to wondering when he said he wouldn't use the imagery, and what I found was this:

See that word "But"? What that word means is that I didn't think the quote, even without context, actually proved the point that it was being used to advance.

Then you said you hadn't been able to find a link with fuller context. So I spent about three minutes looking for one and posted the link when I found it.

I basically agree with you that the quote doesn't mean what many on "the left" are saying it means. But, frankly, I think you're such an asshole I wasn't willing to come right out and say so-- partly because I suspected you would then turn around and say something to the affect of "See! See! This proves that the left are nothing but a bunch of liars!"

But here's the thing: like Johnny, I'm part of "the left". But while Johnny may be inclined to take quotes and run with them, I, generally, am not. When someone accuses Bush of an actual lie, I want to see the quote. I want to see the whole interview. I want to know exactly what he said and in what context he said it. This has nothing to do with any skepticism on my part about Bush being a liar; it's simply a question of credibility. I like to qualify my accusations very carefully. Johnny does himself, and the rest of the left, more harm than good by failing to check sources. I try to avoid contributing to that kind of thing.

But-- and I want to be clear about this --I don't like you. I don't like the way you jump to conclusions. I don't like the way you pleaded ignorance about the source of the quote or your refusal to do a better job researching sources. I thought your link on the unmanned jet program failed to prove your point. Johnny and I do not get along over-well either, and I think his tendency to use a priori arguments undermines his points; but you're Johnny's mirror on the right. So I'm hostile toward you. But you want to be careful about saying I don't understand you: it's possible to understand you perfectly well and still not agree with you or like you. And here again, just so there's no confusion: I don't expect you to care that I don't like you. But if I don't jump in and agree with you when you're right about something, it's probably got more to do with me not liking you than it has to do with me being one of those people on the left who supposedly lies all the time.

Even so: I went and found a better link about that quote, and I posted it. I daresay that's more than you would have done in my place. Oh, wait, it is more than you did.

And as far as my "reading comprehension skills" go (a slam you've used twice in rapid succession, by the way: projecting maybe just a little?):

You say: You read a post by me that was pretty obviously written in response to Johnny huh, that even named him in it, and you respond as if I had mentioned you.

A of all, in the post that begins I still don't see... and ends ...Bush's poll numbers., you don't mention Johnny by name once. The comment of mine in which I asked if you were confusing me with Johnny quoted exclusively from your comment described above.

B of all, while you didn't mention Johnny by name, you did mention a link to alternet, which I posted. The fact that you mentioned the alternet link and then spun the rest of your comment off the quote led me to believe the comment was aimed at me. If it wasn't that's fine. But if you want to go taking shots at my "reading comprehension", you'd better get your facts straight.

Boy oh boy do I not like you.

Gotta admit V, he has integrity.

Joshua,
You are pretty funny. You admit I was right but you also admit you refused to admit it before. Once again, proving Michele's point.

As for your reading comprehension skills, These quotes are in the post you responded to:

As for Johnny Huh's list, those are some pretty thin lies. So Johnny Huh, take your lies and peddle them elsewhere.

So I did mention that it was to Johnny huh specifically.

As for your quote, the "but" doesn't appear to mean that you don't agree with it, you just decided to check out the quote and gave me proof that I was right without admitting I was right. Thereby implying that I was wrong.
Notice that in my refutation of the lies I give partial credit. If I had found a lie I would have given full credit.

You don't like my link to intelligence on unmanned drones from 1998? Well too bad. It shows that Bush wasn't the only one to say that. It also shows that people were saying it in 1998, or, 2+ years before Bush was President.

I also notice that you ignore any other of my points except to dismiss them out of hand. Again, another point in the original post. Are you actually Karl Rove trying to discredit the left? He couldn't do a better job. I bet you own stock in Haliburton.
As for the rest of your ad hominem attack, I've noticed, and that was one of the points of the whole post that started this, lefties can't argue facts. I pointed out that you have poor reading comprehension skills, as your response proves.
So, as I said to Johnny huh earlier and now will say directly to you, Joshua, keep up the hate, smears and lies, it does more for my side than anything I could possibly do.
Nitwit.

Oops, I didn't include my name in the previous post.
Sorry Dave, I can't admit that after he admitted that he refused to admit I was right before.
He was also wrong about another thing, I don't like being like by intellectually dishonest people so I do care what he thinks of me.
I take a point of pride in being disliked by people I wouldn't want as a friend.

Veeshir, is English by any chance your second language?

Wow, deja vu', another lefty asking me that question. Ok Joshua, I'll bite.
Why do you ask that?

Because I was very clear about which post of yours I had responded to, and it wasn't the one you quoted from ("As for Johnny Huh's list..."). Because I told you I agreed with you about what the Bush quote meant and you insisted I had somehow lied and "proved michelle's point" about the left.

In other words, I said "A" and you responded with, "See! See! You said B! You're a liar!"

Based on this behavior, I'm guessing that

1. You're deliberately pretending not to understand me
2. You're a raging idiot, or
3. English is your second language

Options one and two basically make you a write-off. There's no point in continuing dialogue with you in those cases. So I asked about option three: if it's a language barrier, then I can try to work through that.

Of course, there still might not be any point, but I'd be willing to try.

How about guess 4, I made an honest mistake in going back to look at what I had last written.
So I guess you were right in that my post was directed toward you, Johnny huh ran off with his tail between his legs.

I still hold to the rest of what I wrote, you focused only on where I made a mistake. How about you answer any of the other questions I have asked you?

You are a purposely obtuse lefty in that you ignore the rest of what I wrote.

I will recap, you still refused to admit I was right until after had I rubbed your nose in it, even though you said that you knew before that I was right.
You wrote this
"I don't like the way you pleaded ignorance about the source of the quote or your refusal to do a better job researching sources."

I did do a search and didn't find a quote by Bush saying he wouldn't use 9/11. You provided me a link that didn't say that and then accused me of intellectual dishonesty for not finding that link. Then said that you agreed that your link didn't show Bush's supposed quote. So I didn't do a good enough job because I didn't find a link that had no relevance? I also didn't provide links saying that Bush likes puppies. Should I have done that as well? Have you yet found a link showing that he said that? I would guess no as I'm sure you would have rubbed my nose in it if you had.

You obviously hate GWB, you call him names and a liar without showing any lies. You impugn his character without showing any validation. I personally characterize that as hate (irrational antipathy), lies (you call him a liar without proof, you claim that he said stuff that you can't prove he said), and smears (your lies paint him in an unfavorable light).

So, as I said, keep up the hate, lies and smears.

I'll have to assume you are actually Karl Rove in disguise. Keep up the good work Karl Joshua Rove.

So it's number two then.

Once again proving the point of the original post. I'm through with you.
Good luck with the hate thing.

You linked to one of my articles in a dismissive way - as if I claimed Bush piloted all the planes on 9/11 rather than simply refused to do his #1 job - keeping Americans safe. See: http://www.mikehersh.com/Is_Bush_to_blame_for_911.shtml

Thanks to your attention, I reread and reposted that article from TWO years ago which several former Bush Administration official have now corroborated.

At this point, only the most hateful and delusional Bush lovers could claim questioning Bush's and his administration's several monumental failures leading up to 9/11 is "hate."

After 9/11, almost all of us rallied to support Bush. When we learned his laziness led to the disaster and watched him dishonestly divert our efforts from against al Qaeda in a rush to attack Iraq, we realized this was the same ol' Bush - misleading in every sense of the word.

Don't lie about and hate us for telling the truth about Bush and his lies and hate. Don't lump us in with the terrorists Bush ignored before 9/11 and quickly forgot about in his lust for blood and oil in Iraq.

See:
http://www.mikehersh.com/Bush_does_not_deserve_another_second_chance.shtml

Angry Left?

I think a lot of right-wingers are projecting their own feelings of anger onto Leftists. I deal with a couple of online fora, and the only time I really get upset is when I have to play moderator and remove vile racist hate speech, usually against arabs. (By hate speech, I mean things like "sand n----r".)

I get the feeling that underlying all this anger, on both the left and right, is fear and confusion.

The escape from this fear is the feeling of certainty. On the right, people find certainty by killing terrorists, both the actual terrorists, and those who are merely suspected. On the left, people find certainty by pinning all the blame on Bush.

The real truth is not so neat. There are terrorists on the rise, and blaming the neocons and Bush doesn't deal with terrorism. Bush did screw up royally; he "drank the kool aid" about WMDs, PNAC, neocon thinking, etc.; he's not a good president. (Many of the conservatives I know aren't going to vote for Bush.)

The real solution to the problem is also not so neat. De-escalating a violent situation is difficult. It's like taking apart a house of cards without having it collapse.

I appreciate your *Disclaimer:

"When I say 'the left' I mean those who tend towards the farther end of the political line. I don't use the term 'liberal' or 'Democrat' as disparaging remarks - I use those words when I want to address the relatively sane people left of center. So when I use the term 'the left' it generally means the tin foil crowd."

I too have dealt with the kooks on the left as well as the far more empowered if no less nutty loons of the right. Still, since you linked to my article, I wonder why you'd associate me with "the tin foil crowd."

Yes, I oppose Bush's illegal policies dating back to the illegitimate tactics which installed him to the outrages we've analyzed at my website. Still, our analysis is fair and sound. There's nothing "tin foil" about our proof Bush screwed up and let our enemies kill 3000+ Americans on 9/11.

.....commies n nazi's n nare'do'well fags, drink up me hearties, yo ho!

we pillage n plunder n rifles n loot! drink up me hearties yo ho!

because socialism is such a dang hoot, drink up me eharties yo ho!

YO HO YO HO a lefties life for me!

we kindle n char, inflame n ignite, drink up me pinko's yo ho!

we burn up davidians we're really a fright! drink up me hearties yo ho!

I don't know if leftists are angry as much as uninformed. I recently helped out in a poll of college students. Surprisingly they were all voting for Kerry. The question was " name one thing John Kerry stands for that makes you want to vote for him?" In other words, give me a reason to vote to Kerry. There was never one single answer that defined anything about John Kerry. The most popular answer by far was " we need to get Bush out of office". Angry? probably not, just mislead.