« Speak of the Devil | Main | Jesus, Snails and Me »

Do They Hear What I Hear?

[cCick images for full size. All images from various Indymedia sites or Yahoo News] M20 is what they are calling it; a day that anti-war folk around the world will head out to the streets to protest the "occupation" of Iraq during this "illegal" war that "Imperialistic" America has waged upon the poor, put upon men that helped Saddam rule over Iraq with an iron fist. One year later and they are still protesting, still comparing Bush to Hitler, still yelling about oil. They are still calling for the troops to be immediately pulled out of Iraq. They are still shouting out their insults and cursing at George Bush, still blocking traffic, chanting in the streets and holding up signs that detail all the ways in which America suck, all the while complaining about John Ashcroft taking their liberties and freedoms away from them and turning America into a police state. They always fail to see the irony in that. Today was no different than all the other days these people gathered en masse(and I use that term loosely) to protest the war. What war is that? The war in Iraq, of course. Why do you look so confused? Oh, yes. You're right. That is an Israeli flag on that lovely banner there. Does anyone else see something slightly askew with comparing Israelis with Nazis, or is it just me? So what's going down in the land down under? Well, in New Zealand they're putting flags on the barbie. Mmm....roasted flags. These people don't even have enough balls to hold a burning flag in their hands, they have to use a bucket? The protesters of the 60's laugh at you! Now here's an interesting ant-war protest. Free Saddam. It occurs to me here t hat the only kind of person who would want Saddam free is a terrorist, or "militant" or even "freedom fighter" in anti-war speak. Having this guy at your protest is like having a ringer on your baseball team. Should he really count as a real protester? Aren't these people for peace? Because it seems to me that anyone who wants the Iraqi leaders free is not exactly preaching peace, if you know what I mean.
Oh, look. More fun with Israeli flags. Now, last I checked Israel wasn't taking part in the war in Iraq, so methinks that, once again, the anti-war organizations are just fronts for Arafat's money laundering schemes. Kidding! Really, just a little anit-war humor there. Now this has got to be my favorite. The sign says: U.S., The Barrier to World Peace. In what Twilight Zone type world do you have live in to think that the United States is stopping peace from happening? Let me get this straight; the anti-war crowd wants us to pull our troops out of Iraq, thus sending that country back into the stone age, resulting in the deaths and torture of thousands of innocent Iraqis and giving no chance for a democratic society to grow, but we're the ones who are putting a stop to peace. They guard the homes of terrorists, teach Palestinian children how to hate America and defend the actions of Arafat's bullies, but America is somehow a barrier to peace. They want to free Mumia, they idolize Che, they hate cops and they ignore the plight of the people in Iran and Syria while fretting about political prisoners in Gitmo, but America is the barrier to world peace. Makes my head hurt just thinking about it. I wonder if these people (the turnout ranged from several million to one gazillion depending on who you ask) know anything about the last year in Iraq besides what they read on Indymedia. Maybe they should take a look. I wonder if, when they purport to be speaking for all the soldiers in Iraq, they have bothered to talk to any soldiers who are proud of what they have done and what they are doing. Have they talked to real Iraqi people? Not the ones who have been in America for years and seem to have forgotten their fears with their newfound freedoms, not the Iraqis who want Saddam back in power, but the Iraqis who are still there, striving to make their homeland a place to be proud of? Do they know there are real, existing Iraqis who actually like George Bush, like America and are grateful for what the coalition forces are doing for them? Of course not. If they did, this is what they would hear:
It’s very cozy and comfortable to drink the tea in the morning, getting out of your first-class houses, driving your fancy cars, speaking loudly against your governments, criticizing your prime ministers and presidents, saying “ I want this thing”, “ I don’t agree on this decision”, “ I hate Blair and Bush”…..etc. Look you coddled pampered people… why don’t you want us to do what you’re doing now ? why don’t you want us to live like you ? Are you idiots? Selfish? Or what ? You ‘protestors’ I’m sure you didn’t use your mind when you got out of your houses.. just let me tell you something: when you want to refuse something or say that’s wrong, first of all you should study the whole case and discuss it thoroughly before saying it’s wrong, and when you say it’s wrong, GIVE A PROPOSAL to solve the case, now when you said “ No war….” What is the right thing to do to get rid of Saddam and build democratic countries in the region? Tell me … Otherwise, when you don’t know ANYTHING about Iraq and Iraqis do you know what to do? JUST SHUT UP and stay at home.
Or they would hear this: Thanks to the friends of the free, democratic and prosperous Iraq and down to the terrorists and the hypocrites and their ideologies. Or this:
A heart felt greetings to the heroes of this brave and just operation who never spare an effort to help us and listen to us. God bless the souls of those heroes who died during this operation. That was not a war but a salvation and a wonderful dream and unbelievable dream coming true.
But what would an anti-war, anti-George Bush, anti-America protester want to hear that for? The truth would just kill their blurry little causes.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Do They Hear What I Hear?:

» Sloganeering from protein wisdom
Writing in Reason, D.C. free-lancer Howard Mortman provides the following list of actual slogans he saw scribbled on signs at the D.C. "peace" rally. My translations appear in italics. All Our Leaders Are Corporate Whores Down With Capitalism (But Up... [Read More]

» What are they protesting again? from Inoperable Terran
Michele Fisks a whole bunch of protestors. Hundreds of them vs. a blogger from Long Island? Hardly seems fair, does it? For them...... [Read More]

» What Good Timing from The American Mind
Thank God, I'm on vacation. Because I don't feel the need to comment on the crud spewed by the anti-war/anti-Bush/anti-Israel/anti-America [Read More]

» Anything But Peace from dcthornton.com
The "peace" protests took place worldwide yesterday, boasting turnouts in the thousands. As usual, they weren't anti-war or anti-terrorist.... [Read More]

» Always remember to read the comments from Random Nuclear Strikes
Michele has a great post on the anti-war types over at A Small Victory. One of her commenters, Evil Otto, goes to the trouble of posting a large number of pre-Bush II quotes about Saddam and WMD’s: “One way or... [Read More]

» Whattaya mean, Tabloid "News"blog?!? from Who Tends the Fires
... oh wait, we are! Nebber mind. ;] "Yes and Scotland Yard was trying hard, they sent a dude with a calling card, he said, do what you like, but don't do it here Well I jumped up, turnedaround, spit... [Read More]

» A QUESTION from JunkYardBlog
What would the world be like if this guy ruled it? Another question: Who do you think he's voting for in November? A third question: If his views are so far out of the leftist mainstream, why are there so... [Read More]

Comments

If there is any criticism of the West that is valid it is that we are too tolerant of our children -- especially the older ones.

I think the war was a bad idea. I think the result of having Saddam out of power is wonderful, and anyone who is sane agrees.

But I don't think it was necessarily worth the cost.

I think the war was a bad idea. I think the result of having Saddam out of power is wonderful, and anyone who is sane agrees.

What you're basically saying is that you wanted Saddam out of power, so long as the US and her allies didn't actually have to do anything violent to achieve that result.

I'm sorry, but I've come to the conclusion that if someone was against this war, then by default they would rather have Saddam in power. Unfair of me, I know, but that's the way I feel. Saddam would still be in power if you had gotten your way.

But I don't think it was necessarily worth the cost.

That's a cop-out. You're trying to have it both ways.

Now we are just waiting for the upcoming removal of the Baathists in Syria (which probably has some of the Iraqi WMD) and even possibly Iran. Both nations need serious intervention once Iraq is on a firmer footing!

I am so tired of these damned protestors too. Someone should make a banner and put on the PA flag and highlight it that THAT is a terrorist flag!

I'm not sure I agree with Wolfangel, but there's nothing even slightly incoherent or cop-out-ish in his comment. To say that a result is a good one is not to say that it's good no matter what the cost. And the cost of our efforts in Iraq have been (and continue to be) pretty significant. Importantly, one may also agree with the goal of eliminating the Baathist regime but disagree with the particular way that it has been done. So, even if removing Saddam was well worth massive outlays of fiscal and human capital, maybe this particular 'plan' has not been the best way of doing so.

Otto's 'if you opposed this war then you're basically pro-Saddam' line is pretty silly, though. Here's a thought-experiment: think of anything else that we could have done with that $100 billion -- such as ending the Mugabe regime; saving Medicare; or, for that matter, spending it actually fighting terrorism -- is it fair for me to say of those who supported the war that they would rather keep Mugabe in power, destroy Medicare, and/or not do anything about terrorism? Obviously not. That's why it's silly to employ such a line against those who do not support the war.

None of this should be taken as support for the lunatic fringe that has manifested around the world today, like the nutjobs with the swastika/Israeli flag. They make the flip side of Otto's mistake: they think that the positive outcomes of a war could never be worth its costs. Otto and the Euroidiots are, it seems, united in their unwillingness to think critically about matters of war & peace.

Why are you bitching about the "cost," Wolfangel? It's not like you had to pay any of it. I'll bet some soldiers -- and many Iraqis -- wish they had nothing to worry about but graduate school difficulties. (Yes, I visited your blog.)

War protesters are good for one thing and one thing only:
Photoshopping.

I did my own protest round-up today and as soon as it was up I wondered why I had bothered. Why do any of us bother anymore trying to reason with this fucking scum? Just wish them well and pray that they don't breed.

All I want to know is, which evil dictator is next on the hit list? If we're going to be the worlds policeman, then methinks it's time to roll up our sleeves and get busy. Unless of course, it's all about making a few rich fascists even richer. Which of course, it isn't. cough Halliburton cough No, couldn't be that. It's all about the freedom and democracy, and stepping up to the plate for the little guy, the defenseless, the downtrodden. Thats why we sent all those thousands of troops to Haiti, to North Korea, to Burma...right? What's that I hear? We ARE getting some boys together to go down to, where's that? Venezuela? Ahh, yes, that ought to get rid of the tired old "blood for oil" argument once and for all...

I have a rule of thumb: anyone who mentions Halliburton has no argument and can be ignored. It just keeps working...

Otto's 'if you opposed this war then you're basically pro-Saddam' line is pretty silly, though.

You're right, it is silly, but you might want to note that that's not what I said. I said that if you were against the war, you would rather have Saddam in power. That's NOT the same as being "pro-Saddam." What Wolfangel is doing is attempting to have it both ways. So are you.

Here's a thought-experiment: think of anything else that we could have done with that $100 billion -- such as ending the Mugabe regime;

So $100 billion will automatically end whatever regime we don't like? Cool! Hell, I'd like to throw 100 billion at Syria and Iran, while we're at it. And how would we go about getting rid of Mugabe? What if he isn't willing to go? Would you support military action to get rid of him? If so, we're right back where we started.

saving Medicare;

$100 billion will not save Medicare because the problem with Medicare is structural, not financial. It would serve as a band-aid, nothing more. And you're assuming I'd WANT to save Medicare. I mean, I'm an evil and nasty conservative, after all.

or, for that matter, spending it actually fighting terrorism

Y'know, I never get tired of that old chestnut, no matter how many dozen times I see it.

-- is it fair for me to say of those who supported the war that they would rather keep Mugabe in power, destroy Medicare, and/or not do anything about terrorism? Obviously not.

Except that you merely throw out some random ideas of what that money could be spent on. There is no direct link between any of those issues and the $100 billion except what you try to make. You simply assume that the money would fix whatever problem you list.

There is, however, a logical link between no-Iraq-war and Saddam-still-in-power. The Iraq war "fixed" the Saddam Hussein problem. He is no longer in power.

That's why it's silly to employ such a line against those who do not support the war.

Sorry, no. I'm still of the opinion that those who opposed the war must, by default, accept the fact that if they had been victorious Saddam would still be murdering and opporessing his people. Mass graves would continue to be filled. The rape rooms would still operate, the torture chambers would continue to be used.

How many years, hell, how many decades would America be forced to keep an action-ready military force on the border of Iraq, just to deal with Saddam? After the old man died, it was likely that one of his even-more-psychotic sons would take over. In the meantime, the forces on Saudi soil would continue to generate ill-will for decades. They would continue to cost billions per year. The sanctions would continue to hurt the Iraqi people, but not Saddam. Eventually, though, they would be lifted (Russia and France had been pushing for this for years). Saddam could have restarted his WMD programs and been chemical capable in a few years, just like before the Gulf War. He could rebuild his shattered military into the largest force in the region, just like before, and could have used those forces to threaten his neighbors.

Is that what you want? No? Then tell me, how would YOU have dealt with Saddam without spending money and lives. I'm all ears.

All I want to know is, which evil dictator is next on the hit list? If we're going to be the worlds policeman, then methinks it's time to roll up our sleeves and get busy.

Thanks for the encouragement, Kenny. I've been meaning to get to Iran, Syria, and North Korea, but I was afraid you peace pussies my chain yourselves to my tank treads. It's not that I mind making proto-fascist hamburgers out of you peace pussies -- just that it's such a bother to clean up afterwards. But hey, now that you're on our side, how about making us a few papier mache Kim Jong-Ils so we'll have something to pull down when we get to Pyongyang. Better yet, bring yourself.

Y'know, whenever someone mentions Halliburton the first thing I do is ask them what Halliburton does.

Nine times out of ten, they don't know. They've just heard the name tossed around and decided to incorporate it into their (cough) arguments.

Oh, and Kenny, I don't think you know what a fascist is.

I have a rule of thumb: anyone who mentions Halliburton has no argument and can be ignored. It just keeps working...

Oh...my...god...I am IN AWE of your obvious intellectual superiority, and hereby vow to NEVER AGAIN mention Halliburton. How could I, after being shut down in such a comprehensive manner. What an intelligent, well-thought out, well-reasoned argument.
By the way, "ignoring" my post would have required you to, ahem, NOT actually respond to it, Dr. Einstein.

I have a rule of thumb: anyone who mentions Halliburton has no argument and can be ignored. It just keeps working...

Oh...my...god...I am IN AWE of your obvious intellectual superiority, and hereby vow to NEVER AGAIN mention Halliburton. How could I, after being shut down in such a comprehensive manner. What an intelligent, well-thought out, well-reasoned argument.
By the way, "ignoring" my post would have required you to, ahem, NOT actually respond to it, Dr. Einstein.

American War Machine:

Heh heh heh. Good post.

Personally, the next time some idiot says "Well, why aren't you going after fill-in-name-of-evil-dictator-here," I'd love to see Bush say, "You're right. We'll do it. Thanks for the advice."

I can just imagine the whining of the left... "NO! You can't do THAT!"

Patience, Kenny, Rome wasn't built in a day.

Instead of asking what Halliburton does, you should ask how long do you think the bidding process would take and what were the Iraqi people and our soldiers supposed to do in the meantime?

After all, they're pumping at pre-war and I think 1990 - pre-war levels in less than 1 year.

And they're making money hand over fist which they need.

Or, you could say who were they supposed to hire, Coke? What experience do they have repairing oil wells?

"You killed Kenny! You bastards!" Snork!

Otto, all I'm appealing to is the very common-sense notion of opportunity costs. There are many, many, many good things that we can try to achieve in this world, and we have only very finite resources to attempt any of it. If you think -- as you do, and I do -- that military action may be a legitimate means for achieving some those goals, but we only have the military resources to pursue at most one of them at a time, we can still ask: why this one? why this one now? and why this one in this way? The obviously right way to think about any such decision is in terms of bang-for-the-buck -- however much money we think we can spend helping out the world, let's spend it in a way that maximally does so. Invading Iran may well have been a good idea -- it certainly makes more sense than turning Iraq into a theocratic state of its own (as we may well be on the way to doing) -- why isn't it being discussed? E.g., is the good produced by overthrowing Saddam more than the good produced by doing Afghanistan's reconstruction right? Since our own domestic security is a 'good' here as well, we can also ask questions like, is the good produced by overthrowing Saddam more than the good produced by investing the money in port security? Or in much-needed equipment for first-responders? Or for much-needed reinventing of our intelligence apparatus? Etc., etc., etc. I'm not saying that the answer to any of these questions is obviously 'no'. I'm just saying that such questions make sense, and intelligent & well-meaning people may disagree about the answers to them. You seem to feel otherwise, that the questions either didn't make sense or were obviously, without need of argument, to be answered as if there is no even conceivable way the money (and manpower) could not have been better spent in other ways.

Btw, with the possible exception of the PRC, is there any 'regime we don't like' that we couldn't get rid of for 100 billion dollars' worth of military action? I would think that 100 billion bucks of US DOD could take out pretty much anyone we'd like. But your comment seemed to imply that this wasn't true.

Great, great post. I'm adding your blog to my 'must read' list.

-- however much money we think we can spend helping out the world, let's spend it in a way that maximally does so. --

Or how much money have we spent these past 60 years and how come we haven't gotten the bang for the buck and maybe it's time to cut back sending cash to our allies or at least make them pay back the Marshall Plan.

--

Kind of OT, about EU spending money, found this on dailypundit:

Police arrested a leading investigative journalist yesterday on the orders of the European Union, seizing his computers, address books and archive of files in a move that stunned Euro-MPs.

Hans-Martin Tillack, the Brussels correspondent for Germany's Stern magazine, said he was held for 10 hours without access to a lawyer by the Belgian police after his office and home were raided by six officers.

"They asked me to tell them who my sources were. I replied that was something I would never do. Now they have all my sensitive files, so I suppose they'll find out anyway," he said last night.

"The police said I was lucky I wasn't in Burma or central Africa, where journalists get the real treatment," he added.

---

This poor guy would get better treatment at GTMO.

Just got home from counter-protesting with about two dozen other people. This was in San Francisco. I'm tired and my feet hurt, and I don't think we did all that much good.

We talked to a few reasonable people who were actually trying to see our point. We got yelled at by some people who weren't reasonable at all. I got called a "fucking bitch" by a kid with a bandana over his face. Then they walked behind us and banged me on the head with their banners for about a block and a half (they're only non-violent to your face). One of our guys let himself be interviewed by a stuffed animal. I think it was supposed to be a mad cow. I burned out around 3 p.m., and told one very nice lady that I'd be happy to give her my e-mail or phone number and talk with her at length, but right then I was tired and thinking only of my aching feet. Which is absolutely true. She didn't ask for my address, of course.

Protest Warriors needs to work on its signs. The irony got missed, and we managed to seriously irritate some poor state worker who used to be in the army (I think - she had something on her keychain, but my eyes are so bad I couldn't see it), and she left thinking we were with the protestors. Ouch.

So there were a few of us fighting the good fight. Could we please see a few more of you? We've let the silly lefties dominate the streets for the last year, and it's past time some more of us got out there.

Do Something for Iraq.

"This weekend in many major cities across the world the anti-war movement will be marching to call for troops out of Iraq now. As opinion polls show very clearly such a demand is against the wishes of the Iraqi people.

Those of us who wish to see Iraq become a successful democracy tend to get angry when we see these protests, knowing that they will be beamed into Iraqi homes via satellite television, we wonder what Iraqi democrats think when they see the banners and slogans on these marches.

In the past at Harry's Place we have channelled our opposition to these marches by producing our 'virtual counter demonstrations' to challenge the propaganda of the 'anti-war' protests.

But this time we have decided to do things differently and we think more positively.

From today until Monday we will be providing links to campaigns, projects and charities that are directly helping Iraqi people - either in material terms or other forms of solidarity aimed at assisting the strengthening of democracy, civil society and human rights.

Our four day campaign is called Do Something For Iraq and we are urging all our readers to follow the links that will be provided in the coming days and choose at least one campaign or cause to support. We also welcome your suggestions of what we should be linking to - please send your ideas via email (on the top left corner 'Dear Harry').

Some of the links will be to charities that are doing good work that needs supporting financially - its time to put our money where our mouths are.

Other links will be to Iraq related websites, projects or campaigns who would welcome an email or other message of support from people in Britain, Europe, Australia, the USA or wherever you are.

If you run a weblog or website yourself we are also asking you to join in this campaign on your own site. Either simply let your readers know about what is happening here or produce your own Do Something posts and let us know about them.

It is not good enough just to criticise the protestors (although we will still be doing some of that!) but those of us who think differently should also act differently.

There are now thousands of blog readers who have shown a great deal of interest in what is happening in Iraq. Let's try and channel that into practical solidarity."

Kenny doesn't know jack shit about fascists or Halliburton. He's just repeating things he's heard other moonbats say because he thinks it makes him sound informed. What a jackass.

Re: Halliburton.

You all have left off half of it's corporate name.

Halliburton, the company formerly headed by VP Cheney.

Funny, I never see Sen E. Kennedy, responsible for the death of a young woman.

or Sen E Kennedy, Harvard University, hired someone to take a test for him.

You are right folks. Using Halliburton as a code word tells us a lot about the user.

Not true, Dave. I know plenty about both fascism and Halliburton. I even know what a fasces is, without having to look it up. And I actually do know what Halliburton does (also w/o having to look it up). And, no, I am not going to make some lame, unfunny left-wing joke about their what they do.
But I will call you a retard for repeating the same tired counter-argument every right-winger makes when they hear the word "Halliburton".
Retard.

Ya know, Bill Clinton gave Halliburton several juicy no-bid contracts too. Please explain how His Billness is in charge of the Vast Warmongering Right-Wing Conspiracy.

Hey, Ted, you forgot -
President Bush, AWOL from the National Guard

All I want to know is, which evil dictator is next on the hit list?

Kenny, I am more concerned about what target is next on the terrorists' hit list.

New Zealanders are bbqing the American flag?

Huh. Wonder if they purchased them with money pumped into their economy by New Line and the years spent there by the hundreds of people associated with the production of LOTR.

They are still encouraging tourism, right?

I thought so.

WARNING LONG POST

Michele …since you hit a topic that hits a nerve with me and I took the time to extract and condensed the following for I thought I would post it here as history is just repeating itself…

Why I'm a Neo-Con
By a Formerly Stubborn Liberal Man

…I was very angry with the election results of 2000. For over 2 years I talked about how George Bush stole the election. Everything after that election became illegitimate to me. Al Gore won the popular vote for heavens sake!

...For a period of time I felt a bipartisan spirit after 911, I believe most of us did. 911 brought great personal loss. My wife is from New Jersey, and I, as stated earlier, from the Nations Capital. I saw the whole event live on the television. We live 4 miles from the pentagon. My brother actually witnessed the plane from Interstate 395 fly into the pentagon. My wife’s Father and many of our relatives work in New York City. We lost family and friends at both places

…Then we had the mid-term elections. What happened to that bipartisan spirit after 911? George Bush and the Republicans only exploited it. Look at what the Republicans did to Max Cleland, a triple amputee Vietnam Vet! My God, Homeland Security was Senator Lieberman’s idea! Now George Bush was taking that Democratic idea, taking credit for it and using it against the very same Democrats who called for it. This guy is stealing everything! In my heart I felt that the Democrats should have been the ones to gain ground in the midterms because Al Gore should be President and he and the Democrats should have led the effort to free Afghanistan. Certainly Al Gore would have done just as well. This damn President Bush was just perpetually stealing what should have rightfully been the Democrats. I felt that the Democrats were being supportive of President Bush in the “War on Terror”, but I really resented him gaining politically from it. Now he was stealing good will and using that good will to undo every good thing that Bill Clinton had done. He was plundering the economy, especially with the tax cuts for the rich, he is running up the deficits, he patronizes minorities, he patronizes the Jews, and he is not fooling me!...

MARCH TO WAR

With this I decided to participate in the movement against the war in Iraq. I accepted the argument that this was a distraction in the War on Terror. Sadaam Hussein had nothing to do with 911! No proven link! By now I was so pissed off and angry at George Bush, the very thought of five more years of seeing the smirk on the face of that moron made me sick!

...There was a peace march scheduled for Jan 18th 2003…my Mother in Law talked me into taking my son and two daughters (all teenagers). I had assisted my parent’s in campaigning for McGovern when I was 12, so what the heck! The fallout from this still affects me, such a disaster!

THE DISASTER

…We went to march and what did we find? Anarchists walking around looking for trouble acting like hooligans and hoodlums, anti-globalization freaks campaigning against capitalism the “plunderers of the world”, a sign of President Bush morphed into Adolf Hitler reads “Don’t let history repeat itself!”, My God! Adolf Hitler, Bush the Nazi? Signs blaming the U.S., signs blaming Israel, signs calling for Israel to Disarm (THAT IS SUICIDE!!!), sexual references to a woman’s anatomy when referring to the president’s name, signs making the war an environmental issue, of course no blood for oil, Death to the U.S., and Death to Israel! This is a peace march? The only two countries to blame here were the United States and Israel. My God! This isn’t Europe! This is the Nations Capitol! Not one sign decrying the plight of the Iraqis under the rule of Sadaam Hussein, only the casualties that they claimed we were about to inflict upon them. Plenty of good will for the Palestinians though. The utter vulgarity and behavior of the people, this was no peace march! I could go on, but you get the picture. Sure 80% of the people weren’t that extreme, but they allowed these people to feel welcome. I would have expected no worse from the KKK. My God! What if the Republican’s had organized such a showing! These very same so-called peaceniks would march, cry “racism”, “fascist pigs”, and wave signs of President Bush dressed up as a Nazi looking like Hitler. Wait a minute! They were already doing that! Hey geniuses, I bet you find that clever Hitler sign real handy. An all-purpose George Bush morphed into Hitler sign. KISS MY ASS! Do you know what that does to me? I lost family to that fascist bastard. My wife’s whole family was literally wiped off this planet by that bastard! We lost family in the WTC and we lost friends in the Pentagon, and you demean all them with such thoughtless trivialization. GO TO HELL all of you! All of a sudden the no blood for oil slogan I had accepted at earlier times began to take on new meaning. HORSESHIT! And the speeches! They had the same effect as the shrill music of a freaky horror flick, it just intensified the horror. I had to leave, and we left!

On the way home my oldest daughter was crying, my younger daughter tried to console her but also started crying (mostly because her sister was upset), and I was seething but kept my composure. My son seemed to handle it reasonably well but you never know, he is kind of a chip off the old block and compartmentalizes. I later mentioned this (the content of some of the signs and some peoples behavior) to one of my friends who had attended, though not with us, and he said, “Oh really, I didn’t really notice much of that, besides that would be just minority element anyway!” What! My God! How could one not much notice! A minority element? Worse, how could one not care? We are not talking about a little trash here. We are talking about deadly poison! I WAS THERE GODDAMMIT! Where is our party soul? Where is it? ANYBODY! I have truly hit bottom.

CHILDREN, TEACH YOUR PARENTS WELL

My oldest daughter is in the 11th grade and has a group of friends, religious, almost all of whom are Christian. She chose these friends because she finds their behavior to be more agreeable to hers than that of other kids. For her it is more ethical and moral rather than religious. They are committed to maintaining standards, and have self imposed boundaries such as, maintaining honor roll status and not being sexually active, etc... They support and help each other achieve and maintain these standards (as a father I find this quite comforting!). These kids have a tendency to do things as a group. They know she is Jewish and respect that. She has since gotten more of her Jewish friends to join in with them. The interesting thing is that the Jewish kids are Democrats and most of the Christian kids are Republicans. They discuss these issues in a very civil way. I know these kids, they are great kids. One evening after the anti-war march my daughter and I were talking. It was then she hit me with the following brick. “Dad, do you know why I was so upset the other day?” “Yes, well maybe a little.” I replied. She then said “Because most of my friends support the war”. She then said trying to control her emotions, “I have to defend them, they would defend me.” I then had a long heart felt conversation with her (very personal). I learned that this so-called anti-war march had caused both of us to have a reaction that triggered something of much deeper significance than what had occurred that day alone. My daughter related some experiences she had being associated with this group, and how she felt about things politically. I realized that she really didn’t really feel much different than me, but she was coming from a very different perspective. She asked me, “If President Bush were a Democrat, would you still be against it?” You know I had always taught my children that right is right, and wrong is wrong. It doesn’t matter where you find it! No doubt about it, feelings and emotions had been directing my reasoning for far too long! Sure I could take facts mangled by emotion and make what I think is a justified position, but the answer to this question was in fact a no-brainer. But what was now obvious to me was my daughter was sympathetic with the Pro-War crowd, and was the day of the March. We talked about it, and I heard just as many humanitarian reasons as security destruction reasons. If from this point forward you notice a change in the temperament of what I am writing, it is because this is where the story begins to really change. It is said that 911 changed the world and changed everybody, especially in the U.S., and it certainly has. But unfortunately it hasn’t changed some of us the way that it should have. You can read my story above and see that it took more than 911 to change me, a lot of people are still stuck were I was. In both post election and post 911 I was angry, but my anger led to nothing productive because it fully directed my reasoning. The anti-war march was my third shot at dealing with my emotionally directed reasoning. At this point I could have told the whole world to go to hell, but this is to be without hope, a dead end! I can’t tell the whole world to go to hell. Thank God my daughter had helped me realize this. I was able to temper my experience with that of my daughters and start with a new commitment and a different attitude in seeking for solutions to my dilemma.

THAT’S WHAT FRIENDS ARE FOR

Early in the summer (2003) I received a call from an old childhood friend. We were members of the same synagogue went to the same schools and had been close. He now lives in California. He is a trial lawyer, and was coming to Washington D.C. and wondered if we might spend some time together. Of course! We hadn’t seen each other in person since early 2000. He came and we talked about good old times, but also about 911, our losses and our lives. It was a great moment. It was a solemn moment. At some point I asked him, “What are you here for, is there a trial lawyer convention?” He answered “No, I work for the Justice Department now.” I asked “The Justice Department?” Then added “Isn’t that a major pay cut?” He replied “Oh yeah, more than you want to know!” I then asked “Why did you do that?” He said, “One word, 911!” I was dumbfounded. He went on to explain that he felt that if he could find a way to give his talents and skills to helping in the War on Terror without abandoning his family responsibilities, he would do it, and this was his way. “Well what do you do?” I asked. He replied, “It is pretty simple. Our job is to follow the money (terrorists), seek evidence and then if possible prosecute, sometimes we can’t prosecute, but the information is useful.” HOW COOL IS THAT! It made me think about Kevin and Pat Tillman, both with professional sport careers. Pat Tillman turned down a 3.6 million dollar contract. They enlisted in the Army. They have since earned their place with the elite Rangers and both went to serve in “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, no “chicken-hawks” here. My friend was also doing what he could, God bless him! Man was I shocked. We also talked politics and I asked him what he thought about the recall, and who he supported. I was shocked again! He said he was voting yes for the recall, and that he was probably supporting Arnold Schwarzenegger. Is my world totally upside down? I asked, “Why, in the world would you want a Republican to win?” He replied “Because I’m a Republican, that why!”. My Jewish trial lawyer friend turned Republican. WHAT’S WITH THAT! We campaigned for Mondale. We campaigned for Carter. I’m not here to recount his story only mine. BUT WOW! I’m just grateful that he didn’t tell me this 6 month earlier! He explained how he came to his conclusions. This is when I came to a realization of what I needed to do. Not that it will take me to the same conclusion as him. With my daughter I learned the importance of not allowing my emotions to direct my reasoning. With my friend I learned the importance of self analysis, now to put it all together…

Guys I’ll leave it there I had other opportunities to have my mind enlightened but would just repeat from earlier…

It is said that 911 changed the world and changed everybody, especially in the U.S., and it certainly has. But unfortunately it hasn’t changed some of us the way that it should have. You can read my story above and see that it took more than 911 to change me, a lot of people are still stuck were I was.

I takes more to change some than others, I guess it was enough for me. People now know why Samuel comments on websites like this and not the Democratic Underground.

Kenny, I am more concerned about what target is next on the terrorists' hit list.

Hmm, that sounds dangerously REACTIVE, rather than PROACTIVE, to me. I thought the whole point of Iraq2 was to strike at the terrorists BEFORE they strike at us.

Huh. Wonder if they purchased them with money pumped into their economy by New Line and the years spent there by the hundreds of people associated with the production of LOTR.

They are still encouraging tourism, right?

I thought so

Umm, I guess you're not all that familiar with the Land of the Long White Cloud Trish. Firstly, worrying about the Kiwi economy is kind of like stressing about those crucial Rhode Island votes in the Electoral College. Secondly, and I freely admit that I could be wrong on this, but New Zealands is a sheep-based economy. I believe the tourism is just a happy bonus.

Far fuckin' out, Michele - Good job telling it like it is. It all makes my head hurt too. What a bunch of jerkoffs, the anti-war people are.

Otto, all I'm appealing to is the very common-sense notion of opportunity costs.

Fair enough. Sorry if I jumped to the conclusion that you were simply anti-war... believe me, that's most of what I've been dealing with lately.

There are many, many, many good things that we can try to achieve in this world, and we have only very finite resources to attempt any of it. If you think -- as you do, and I do -- that military action may be a legitimate means for achieving some those goals, but we only have the military resources to pursue at most one of them at a time, we can still ask: why this one? why this one now? and why this one in this way?

(Better sit down. This is going to take a while.)

Well, we'd been "containing" Saddam Hussein for 12+ years. He showed no signs of falling from power, no signs of turning around his behavior or becoming any less of a threat. Sanctions were failing (really, had already failed), there were no inspectors in the country (until Bush ordered a massive military buildup in preparation for possible invasion, and Saddam suddenly allowed them back in), and Saddam continued to starve his own people while taking advantage of UN programs like "Oil for Food." He tortured his people, murdered them at will, raped them, and tossed them into mass graves at will.

In addition, Saddam's financial support of Palestinian terrorists helped to destabilize an already terrible situation. He provided aid to other terrorists such as Abu Nidal, had training camps in his country, and had contacts with numerous terrorist organizations, including al Qaeda. (Note: I am not saying Hussein had anything to do with 9/11. He did have contacts with the group, though.)

In the past, Hussein had invaded two of his neighbors, launched scuds at Israel, used chemical weapons on both his own people and his enemies, and in general been a bug up our asses for quite a while. He had violated the Gulf War cease fire and over a dozen UN resolutions (not that I'm a big fan of UN resolutions or anything, but there was already a legal justification for the war even before Res. 1441.)

After 9/11, it was obvious that things had to change. Al Qaeda was a symptom, not the disease. The disease was Muslim fundamentalism and Arab nationalism. If Al Qaeda were destroyed, there were still other terrorist groups out there, and too many governments supporting them. Too many Muslims viewed the US as a paper tiger and Saddam as some sort of hero for standing up to the US, regardless of his crimes. They needed to be taught that the US could and would deal with them, no matter what the rest of the world thought, if they became a danger to us. It was time for Saddam to go, while he was still weak, before sanctions ended and the US lost the ability to contain him, before he could rebuild his military. One of the basic lessons of war is that you strike your enemy when he is weak.

Without 9/11, it is doubtful Bush would have been able to gather the political capital needed to do this. It opened (some) people's eyes to the danger that we faced.

The obviously right way to think about any such decision is in terms of bang-for-the-buck -- however much money we think we can spend helping out the world, let's spend it in a way that maximally does so. Invading Iran may well have been a good idea

In the end, it was the only way to remove Hussein from power while maintaining at least some control of the situation. It might have been cheaper, for example, to arm the Kurds and opposition groups outside Iraq and let 'em go, but that would have started a civil war (which would probably STILL be going on), with no way for the US to influence the outcome except in the most general ways. Financial pressure did nothing to Hussein, containment was a joke, and ignoring the situation would mean that eventually Hussein would get his hands on WMDs, even if he didn't have them already.

-- it certainly makes more sense than turning Iraq into a theocratic state of its own (as we may well be on the way to doing)

Wait a second... in what way are "we" turning Iraq into a theocratic state?

-- why isn't it being discussed? E.g., is the good produced by overthrowing Saddam more than the good produced by doing Afghanistan's reconstruction right?

Afghanistan is not Iraq, and Iraq is not Afghanistan. Afghanistan has never had a stable government, is not a relatively secular society, and has never been modern. It has, for most of its history, been ruled by tribal chiefs and warlords. Different places, different strategies. Iraq has been, despite the ravages of Hussein, a much more modern, secular, and open society than almost any other Arab country. In short, if we were going to introduce democracy, there was no better place than Iraq to do so. We have a finite amount of money and have to choose the most bang for our buck, so to speak.

As for Afghanistan, sad to say but if we can at least keep them from civil war and Taliban-style rule we'll be doing them as much of a favor as we realistically can, and more than anybody has done them in a long time. The money we poured into Iraq could jumpstart democracy in the Middle East. We're already seeing signs of it in Iran, next door.

Since our own domestic security is a 'good' here as well, we can also ask questions like, is the good produced by overthrowing Saddam more than the good produced by investing the money in port security? Or in much-needed equipment for first-responders? Or for much-needed reinventing of our intelligence apparatus? Etc., etc., etc.

I agree that MUCH more money needs to be spent on all these, but in the end that's not the answer. It's a short term solution at best. We will NEVER be able to stop all terrorism and remain an open and free society. I mean, look at the money we've poured down the rathole called the "Drug War," and look at the results. The terrorists only have to be lucky once... our security has to be lucky every time. In the end, they WILL get through. Long term, we need to reform the M.E. if we want this to stop. There are no guarantees that this is going to work, except that democracy, when it takes root, tends to spread.

I'm not saying that the answer to any of these questions is obviously 'no'. I'm just saying that such questions make sense, and intelligent & well-meaning people may disagree about the answers to them.

True.

You seem to feel otherwise, that the questions either didn't make sense or were obviously, without need of argument, to be answered as if there is no even conceivable way the money (and manpower) could not have been better spent in other ways.

Understand... in the grand scheme of things, $100 billion is chump change to the government. The new prescription drug benefit is going to cost many times more than that alone. I don't like Bush's out-of-control spending, but we can afford it, especially if in the long term it makes us safer.

Btw, with the possible exception of the PRC, is there any 'regime we don't like' that we couldn't get rid of for 100 billion dollars' worth of military action? I would think that 100 billion bucks of US DOD could take out pretty much anyone we'd like. But your comment seemed to imply that this wasn't true.

You didn't say militarily. You simply said "end." $100 Billion worth of military action would take care of most enemies, but not all (China, for example). Even so, many of our enemies are beyond easy military action (if one can use the term), such as North Korea. Sure, we could take them out, but South Korea would pay the price. It's not simply about getting rid of dictators and enemies, as much as I'd love to see Kim Jon Il's greasy head decorating a pike in front of the White House. It's about picking the battles that give you the most benefit. What Bush and Co. are doing is a long term strategy (or "strategery"); it's more like the Cold War, which took over 40 years to win and flared up in sveral smaller "hot wars." Compared to the amount of money and lives the US and its allies spent to win that, this war has been almost pathetically easy so far. It's just starting, though.

Understand, Iraq was not the war; it was only a battle.

Samuel:

GREAT post! I'd love to see that published.

Kenny:

You claim you know what fascism is but you refer to "rich fascists" above.

That tells me you don't know what it is. Read Samuel's post. He lost family to TRUE fascists. I have pictures of my dad's army unit at the Mauthhausen concentration camp, which they helped liberate. Stacks of skeletal bodies everywhere. That is fascism.

Kenny, you wouldn't know a fascist if he shoved you into an oven.

Otto,

Great post. Over at Roger Simons there is another great post 6:27Pst under Breaking with Old Ideas, Part Deux, that should be read.

Both that one and yours are worthy of publication somewhere.

anybody wanna bet a paycheck on who funded and organized the event?

Otto,
Exceptional post.
I would like to exchange additional thoughts regarding your post with the objective of writing a paper.
Do you have a blog?

Ever notice that the peace types always want to knock off a murderous dictator? Just never the one we are knocking off?
If we were knocking off young Assad they'd be screaming 'why not Saddam?' If we were knocking off the Mullahs of Iran it'd be why not Assad?
Here's why Saddam and why now...
Otto mentioned the cost of keeping considerable forces in the area to keep him in his box. Over the years that's as expensive as the war is.
Reason two: we had a ready built cause for the war, the constant violations of the cease-fire agreement. A state of war already existed.
Reason three. We needed the reletively easy victory, in a war against multiple oponents you never go after the strongest one first, the weaker opponents will savage your vulnerable rear areas and flanks.
Reason four: Iraq was the target we could get to from land bases. Amphibious operations are about the most dangerous military moves you can make.
Reason five: We now have heavy forces on land invasion routes to the three most often mentioned places we SHOULD have invaded instead, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.As a matter of fact, there is some possibility that the mere presence of the most capable fighting force in the world on those borders may force the changes without the need for an invasion. I'm not betting the farm on it but the possibility is there.
Reason six: The oil. Yes, the evil oil. We cannot apply too much pressure on either Saudi Arabia or Iran without a serious threat to thw world's economy. Not our's, the world's. If those two countries closed off the spigot, we'd hurt for maybe a year, then the new drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, off the Pacific Coast and in Alaska would easily replace the mideast oil and our economy would boom with the domestic spending on drilling, pipelines and refineries. There'd be so much money around we'd have to shovel it out of the way just to walk down the damned sidewalk.
The rest of the world? Asia would starve. Africa would starve. Europe would have a damned rough time. The Iraqi oil fields will go a long way toward allieviating this problem in case we can't force the changes without invading. Without the Iraqi oil the death toll from the economic dislocation would probably result in most of a couple of hundred million dead in Africa and Asia.
Now there are a half dozen other reasons, the fifty thousand dollar bounty Saddam gave to the surviving family of a splodeydope that killed Americans and the twentyfive thousand dollar bounty on Israelies comes to mind.
It would be nice if we could knock out all the dictators in the world at once. It ain't going to happen with an Army composed of only ten active-duty divisions. We've got to pick them off one at a time and with each sonofabitch we go after the Kennys of the world will be hollering that it's the wrong sonofabitch.
We either change the dynamic or, sooner or later, the bad guys are going to get their hands on some serious biowar or a nuke or three. If that happens the probable answer will be nuclear genocide, the American public would demand it. That's what Bush is trying to avoid.
Sorry for using up so much of your bandwidth, Michele. This stuff ought to be obvious.

Sytrek:

Thanks, but I can't claim credit for the thoughts. What I wrote was more like a book report based on the tons of stuff I've read about it. Specifically, "The Threatening Storm" by Ken Pollack, and of course the awesome writing of Stephen den Beste over at the "USS Clueless" blog, who said it better than I could have. If you're interested in the paper, he's the one to contact.

No, I don't have a blog. Too much like work. ;-) I usually just hang around in other people's blogs and savage the trolls who show up...

Hey Otto, no such thing as a rich fascist, eh? I guess all those dude over at IG Farben and Krupps, were poor as churchmice...and thats so wonderful, that you have pictures of your dads army unit at Mauthausen. I have pictures of relatives THAT I'LL NEVER GET TO MEET, because they died at Dora. And I WOULD know a fascist if I saw one...and I did...in fact, I'm responding to one RIGHT NOW.
Fascist idiot...

Sorry, I forgot to add my name to the last post...no such thing as a rich fascist...what kind of an idiot would even say such a thing? "True" fascists? What, only Gremans vintage '38-'45 can be "true" fascists?
I actually thought that some of you had some type of intelligence. Ye gods...

Kenny,

I'm not worried about the New Zealand economy at all - I'm glad the tourist trade has boomed and all those U.S. dollars are flowing freely over there.

I take it that's you, Kenny? Whatever, kid. If you can call someone who you disagree with on a blog's comments a fascist, then the word has no meaning to you. You've also managed to Godwin yourself right out of relevancy (err, not that you were ever relevant in the first place). Look at the other posts in this thread, how well written they are, how (even when we disagree) there's a level of intelligent dialog going on.

Then compare what you've written. Pointless, trollish, and stupid.

Then kill yourself. In any case, I'm going to ignore you from now on. Go find someone else to pay attention to you, little boy.

Thank you, Otto, for your thoughtful answer. There are numerous places where we would not see eye-to-eye, I think, perhaps primarily in terms of the other associated costs with going to war in the particular way that we did (i.e., in a way that, because we so completely pissed off so many countries that, like it or not, we need as allies in the more general war on terror; in a way that, because it was done in such an artificially accelerated manner, puts Iraq seriously at risk into devolving into general civil war, or a Shia theocracy, or perhaps a general civil war that results in a Shia theocracy). But our differences would really be a matter of some divergent gut judgment calls, and not, I think, anything deeply fundamental about what we want to see happen in the middle east & what needs to happen to fight the threat of terrorism effectively.

It's easy to lose sight of those shared fundamentals in the sea of bile that we all end up swimming these days. What we really disagree on are not the what questions -- what we would like to see happen in the world -- but the how questions -- how can we best get to that result. Our fundamental agreements here, I would stress to all present, are ones shared by basically all mainstream conservatives and liberals, and as such distinguish all of us from both the frothing 'kill all towelheads' types on the far right, and the idiotic knee-jerk peaceniks of the far left featured in M's post.

Agreed, JW.

YES! I win!
Fascist.

Otto's and my last posts 'crossed' in the comments, so I'm basically talking about his 10:11pm post. But I agree with him that there's just little point in tolerating trollishness, whether it's basically on your 'side' or not. It just divides us, when those of us willing to engage in rational discourse -- even, admittedly, sometimes very snarky, sarcastic, and/or wickedly pointed rational discourse ;-) -- need to stay as united as we can manage.

A further thought regarding the answer to the questions:
Why Iraq?
Why now?
that supplements the exceptional posts above.

It is always important to look at today's events in the context of both recent and past history.
By doing so we can then say:

The 1991 war with Iraq never ended.

Some authors have referred to what they call "the slow war with Iraq" during the 1990's.
links below:

http://www.strategypage.com/onpoint/articles/20031008.asp
http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20031002-084021-9016r.htm
http://www.strategypage.com/onpoint/articles/20030122.asp

The fact that this slow war practically dissapeared from the news pages (with the exception of a few cruise missiles that made the news) did not mean that it did not happen.
From the following link dated from 2001
http://www.uiowa.edu/~ipiraq/news1.shtml
we find the following

"It was mid-March when Shepherd left on the first mission of his 90-day stay here, and if the angle of his ascent was not a reminder of the risks, then he was soon to get another. After coursing an hour or so northward across the unbroken and featureless Saudi desertscape, he entered Iraqi airspace with other members of the 493rd Fighter Squadron.
Off his wing, Iraqi antiaircraft fire blossomed, flowers of light during a post-midnight expedition. He said he was slow to realize he was under attack for the first time.
"It struck me: This is for real, this is really it," he said.
In the decade since the Gulf War ended, the sight of antiaircraft fire and exploding surface-to-air missiles have become part of the routine for pilots enforcing the no-fly zone. And particularly since December 1998, when Iraqi air defense batteries began more aggressively trying to shoot down U.S. or British planes, coalition forces have been shooting back -- more than 200 times since early 1999."


Note that this article is from BEFORE the so-called second war with Iraq. The fact is that hostilities never stopped. There was a state of limited war between the U.S. and Iraq that lasted for over 10 years. Bill Clinton and the U.S. Congress realized that the situation was unsustainable and passed and signed into law the
Iraq Liberation Act of 1998
http://www.iraqwatch.org/government/US/Legislation/ILA.htm
that made the OFFICIAL policy of the U.S. Government to

"It should be the policy of the United States to support efforts to remove the regime headed by Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq and to promote the emergence of a democratic government to replace that regime."

Thus, we had ongoing military action for about 10 years, against a regime for which official U.S. bypartisan U.S. policy had been defined as to actively support its removal, that actively supported terrorism in Israel and other places, and that all intelligence reports indicated that it either had WMD or was seeking to obtain them.

Then, 9/11 happened.

I would be interested in potential alternate courses of actions to the one taken that take into consideration all of the factors above.

Personally, the next time some idiot says "Well, why aren't you going after fill-in-name-of-evil-dictator-here," I'd love to see Bush say, "You're right. We'll do it. Thanks for the advice."

A couple of weeks ago I posted a brief "In My World' ripoff with a Bush - Kerry debate, in which Bush responds to Kerry's mention of Vietnam with an offer to joing forces, go back to Southeast Asia and finish the job.

Think about it - with Kerry's record of fighting in a war, and Bush's record of actually winning them...

Korea, Nam and Iraq.

All unfinished business and biting us in the ass.

Samuel, welcome to the dark side.

I counter-protested like a motherfucker last year, but now I dont bother. They have sunk into self-parody even more than before, so I leave them to their petards.

While they make giant puppets and burn Israeli flags I will practice surviving an ambush with my reserve unit, or do my volunteer hours with the Phoenix Fire Dept.

We'll see who actually makes a difference.

Interesting photo of protesters in New Zealand burning the flag. However it does show the perils of simply assuming that a photo tells all you need to know.
First of all,no-one in NZ really gives a toss if you burn our national flag. It is only a piece of cloth after all, and we are a democracy. A year ago though,a flag was burned during protests against the war on Iraq (and don't ask me what burning a NZ flag has to do with protesting against the US, I can't see any point either) and the person who burned the flag was convicted and fined. This was the first time anyone has ever been convicted under this law. To many NZers that is regarded as a total over-reaction by the authorities, because the vast majority of NZers don't really regard burning the flag as any kind of personal threat or as being anti-NZ or whatever, and besides, getting so uptight about a flag looks suspiciously like the ra-ra-ra kind of patriotism that makes us worried about the motives of the so-called 'patriots'.
So, the flag burning itself was protest against a perceived government over-reaction.
The protest was against the NZ government in trying to have a bob each way, in that the govt supported sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s which lead to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, and yet now we have sent military engineers to rebuild Iraq in a humanitarian mission. In addition the NZ govt refused to send troops to support the initial invasion because it regarded the invasion as violation of international law. Sending troops to Iraq now to help America clean up a mess of its own making is seen as rather hypocritical, to say the least.


I should add to the above post, if it isn't clear, that the protesters in NZ were burning NZ flags.

Despite being against this war, I was not pro-Saddam. I am furthermore not anti-war. It is probably the case that to get Saddam out, a war had to be fought. But it could have been a different one, and for different reasons. The war was not, initially, about saving the Iraqi people. This is a good goal, but it wasn't the goal.

My blog is not my entire life. From the posts I have put there, you know mostly about my life as a graduate student, but not my life as a whole. Nor have I ever said "And by the way, it's worse than being in the army where there's a risk of being killed!"

You can disagree with me. But I can still see what costs have been in this war, what the results were and the stated goals were, and feel that, although it's good that Saddam was taken out of power, there would have been better ways to do it.

You can disagree with me. But I can still see what costs have been in this war, what the results were and the stated goals were, and feel that, although it's good that Saddam was taken out of power, there would have been better ways to do it.

OK, what are they? I mean, you say that a war probably would have been needed to oust Saddam, but you provide no ideas about what shape that war might have taken.

My problem with the invasion of Iraq was the rationale that was used to justify it beforehand- the evil Boogey Man of WMD. Well, guess what, y'all? It appears there never were any, and the Bush Administration knew this. Of course, ex post facto, the rationale has been changed to "liberating Iraq". Imagine that; lying about it, getting your way, and then changing the justification after the fact to cover your tracks.

Yes, liberating Iraq is a good thing. No thinking person could dispute that removing Saddam Hussein was a bad thing. Still, is it too much to expect that our President tell us the truth? And wasn't the previous President impeached for lying? At least no one died when Bill Clinton lied....

The problem with the BUSH LIED argument is this:

“People can quarrel with whether we should have more troops in Afghanistan or internationalize Iraq or whatever, but it is incontestable that on the day I left office, there were unaccounted for stocks of biological and chemical weapons.”

Bill Clinton on Larry King Live Reported on CNN.COM. Wednesday, July 23, 2003
http://www.cnn.com/2003/ALLPOLITICS/07/23/clinton.iraq.sotu/index.html

Hey! Kenny hit the trifecta!

Halliburton
Bush was AWOL
Anyone who disagrees = fascist

Funny how those calling Halliburton "War Profiteers" never seem to mention that the "anti-war profiteers" made far more money off of keeping Saddam in power than Halliburton will make off of the reconstruction. Or how certain countries cough*France*cough were more than willing to support Saddam and protect him, while hundreds of thousands of Iraqis died, just so they could bolster their flagging leftist economies with ill-gotten oil money.

Halliburton: getting rich while reconstructing Iraq

France: getting rich protecting Saddam

Since the entire Iraq2 war gets painted with the "it's all about oil and Halliburton", it seems only fair that the entire anti-war effort gets painted by the stench of supporting Hussein and keeping him in power for profit, n' cest pas?

And the old "I supported getting rid of Saddam, but not the way we did it" argument - that is a vacuous and intellectually disingenuous argument. Fine, tell me how you WOULD have done it, and why your way is better. Then explain the logistics and realities of getting it done. I find people that say this usually resort to "I don't have specifics, I just KNOW there had to be a better way" when pressed. Yeah, maybe the giant alien space monkeys now stationed is a secret base on the dark side of the moon could have swooped down and spirited all of the bad men away without the loss of a single innocent life. Too bad they won't answer any of our encoded messages pleading for help.

My problem with the invasion of Iraq was the rationale that was used to justify it beforehand- the evil Boogey Man of WMD.

WMDs were ONE of the rationales used, but by no means the only one, and you know it. Jack, did you read my post above? The facts are that Saddam had WMDs in the past. He had used WMDs in the past. However, there had been no inspections for four years, until the United States massed a huge force on Saddam's border and was threatening invasion. Suddenly, inspectors were allowed back in, but even Hans Blix (who opposed invasion) said that Iraq wasn't cooperating as they were required to. We could not sustain an invasion-level force on Iraq's borders indefinitely, Jack. If we pulled them out, what are the odds we'd EVER get permission from neighboring states to rebuild the force? And the second those forces were gone and the threat of invasion had passed, Saddam would have ceased even the limited cooperation with inspectors that he had given. This is nothing new, Jack. It was a pattern of behavior.

Whether the WMD stockpiles existed or not was, in the end, irrelevant, because (and this is important, so you might want to make a note of it) Iraq was not complying.

In any case, this constant "WMDs! WMDs! WMDs!" chorus from the left is tiresome, because that's not really the issue. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain, eh, Jack?

Well, guess what, y'all? It appears there never were any, and the Bush Administration knew this.

Oh, really? Allow me to post a few quotes:

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

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
-President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
-Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
-Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs." Letter to President Clinton, signed by:
-Sens. Carl Levin, Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

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

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
-Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by:
-Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,) and others, Dec 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and th! e means of delivering them."
-Sen. Carl Levin (d, MI), Sept. 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
-Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."
-Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing weapons of mass destruction."
-Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
-Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real and grave threat to our security."
-Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years ... We also should remember we have always underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
-Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do"
-Rep. Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

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

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
-Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."
-Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003

If Bush lied, Jack, then so did each and every one of those people. You say Bush "knew" there were no WMDs, but apparently these people believed the same damned thing. In any case, whether or not Saddam had actual stockpiles of these weapons, he retained the means of production and the information required to do so, meaning production could have been restarted the moment sanctions were lifted.

Of course, ex post facto, the rationale has been changed to "liberating Iraq".

Has it EVER occured to you that there can be more than one rationale for a war?

Imagine that; lying about it, getting your way, and then changing the justification after the fact to cover your tracks.

Since Bush never said that WMDs were the sole reason for going into Iraq, this is meaningless.

Yes, liberating Iraq is a good thing. No thinking person could dispute that removing Saddam Hussein was a bad thing.

Y'know, I'm sick and tired of hearing this. It's like a reflexive throat-clearing from some people before they tell you how they really feel. Save it, Jack.

Still, is it too much to expect that our President tell us the truth?

cough You're kidding, right? YES, Jack, it's too much to ask. Politicians lie, Jack. Welcome to the real world.

And wasn't the previous President impeached for lying?

...under oath.

At least no one died when Bill Clinton lied....

Unless you count that time when Clinton ordered the bombing of Iraq on the very day he was being impeached (for lying under oath, Jack). I'm sure no one died then. But, hey, don't let that stop you from repeating that tired old "Bush lied; people died" meme. It fits nicely on a bumper sticker, and that's really what's important.

Face facts, Jack, if Bush lied, then so did virtually everyone else, even those Democrats opposing invasion. You act like intelligence gathering is some sort of magic, that we can look in our crystal balls and see absolutely whether or not Saddam had the stockpiles or not. It's a hit and miss game, and there aren't any guarentees. Life is often that way.

Too bad they won't answer any of our encoded messages pleading for help.

Ah, but the space monkeys did answer and promised to take away all the bad men. The Bushitler administration covered it up so the could drain Iraq dry of its oil for Halliburton and their Zionist masters, and sell the skulls of Iraqi children as ashtrays.

Otto,

Now that you have posted the statements of the Democrats for the War, I wonder how many of the anti bush people will respond to that.

My guess is that they will ignore EVERY quote from a Democrat making the case for regime change in Iraq. I have never heard one anti war wuss comment on the 1998 regime change position of the Clinton Administration. Not one.

NZJOHN

Well said. The US certainly would not want NZ to help clean up a mess of its own making.

I am not a lawyer. Assume that you are or have some knowledge of law since you quote "international law' as a reason not to go along with the immoral, illegal unilateral invasion. Please enlighten me on the law or laws and their applicability.

"Protest Warriors needs to work on its signs. The irony got missed, and we managed to seriously irritate some poor state worker who used to be in the army (I think - she had something on her keychain, but my eyes are so bad I couldn't see it), and she left thinking we were with the protestors. Ouch."

I was with PW in NYC, and agree about the signs, and so did several other of us.

We got called CIA agents, racists, fascists, and more. But you'll see it in the videos when they get edited and posted.

Well one useful thing came out all the protests, especially the one in London. At least now we know how rubbish the House of Commons security can be in the end. We also found out that the cops who have orders to shoot to kill anyone breaking into the HoC don't follow orders.

"Now that you have posted the statements of the Democrats for the War, I wonder how many of the anti bush people will respond to that."

Well, one obvious disanalogy here is that many of those quotes are ones where the individuals in question were assuming that the intelligence coming out from the Bush WH was more-or-less reliable. So I don't know why the fact that Hillary Clinton et al. made the mistake of believing this president should be held against them at this stage. That's the difference between lying and merely stating a falsehood: it's only lying if you have good reason to think that what you are saying is false. But I actually don't think that Bush was lying -- I think that he sincerely believed that Saddam had WMDs. So I don't blame him for lying (not in this instance). But I do very, very, very much blame him for corrupting the intelligence process in such a way so as to avoid even the possibility of coming into contact with information that might have told him otherwise. (See the most recent post, on the Clarke revelations, at talkingpointsmemo on this one.) One of the things that Blair emphasized in his recent speech defending the war on Iraq was that it was fundamentally a judgment call. I think he's right about that. All the more reason to want to make sure that your administration has decent judgment in the first place, and moreover isn't as interested in stacking the deck as this one is (as has been in evidence with its entire science policy, for example).

But anyway, I think that the most of the objections coming from mainstream liberals was to going to war per se, but to the way in which the administration took us to war. That's why you didn't see many mainstream liberals coming out four-square against the war -- that was primarily a matter of the loopy fringy types like those recently featured here at ASV. Look at the rest of the John Kerry speech from 1/23/03 that you quoted -- it's available at
http://www.gwu.edu/~action/2004/issues/kerr012303spfp.html
and you'll see a really forceful statement of just what this administration did, and continues to do, wrong. Here are some nice bits:

"I believe the Bush Administration's blustering unilateralism is wrong, and even dangerous, for our country. In practice, it has meant alienating our long-time friends and allies, alarming potential foes and spreading anti-Americanism around the world.

Too often they've forgotten that energetic global leadership is a strategic imperative for America, not a favor we do for other countries. Leading the world's most advanced democracies isn't mushy multilateralism -- it amplifies America's voice and extends our reach. Working through global institutions doesn't tie our hands -- it invests US aims with greater legitimacy and dampens the fear and resentment that our preponderant power sometimes inspires in others."

and

"...the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real, but it is not new. It has been with us since the end of the Persian Gulf War. Regrettably the current Administration failed to take the opportunity to bring this issue to the United Nations two years ago or immediately after September 11th, when we had such unity of spirit with our allies. When it finally did speak, it was with hasty war talk instead of a coherent call for Iraqi disarmament. And that made it possible for other Arab regimes to shift their focus to the perils of war for themselves rather than keeping the focus on the perils posed by Saddam's deadly arsenal. Indeed, for a time, the Administration's unilateralism, in effect, elevated Saddam in the eyes of his neighbors to a level he never would have achieved on his own, undermining America's standing with most of the coalition partners which had joined us in repelling the invasion of Kuwait a decade ago."

For those of you who think that Kerry is some squishy peacenik, I recommend that you read, as they say, the whole thing.

Now, as I said, there are serious judgment calls here. Kerry (and many mainstream liberals) thought that the situation in Iraq did not call for absolutely immediate action -- and neither, it is clear, did the Bush administration, since it's not like they started actually calling for an invasion until well after 9/11, and remember that Bush campaigned against nation-building. So our line was, basically, if we're going to do this, then let's not just do it quick -- let's do it right. And if you care about the long-term goals of growing democracies in the middle east, and ending the temptation to terror that plagues so much of that part of the world, then Bush administration has done things, it seems to us, rather badly wrong. But only time will tell whether the risks & costs of waiting and building a proper coalition & a serious, sincere case for invasion were better or worse than the risks & costs in going in quick, on the cheap, and more-or-less alone.

I don't have time to comment on your whole post tonight, JW, but please check the dates on the quotes I posted. Many of them are from BEFORE Bush took office. Remember that it was also the Clinton administration's policy to bring about regime change in Iraq; Clinton even signed a law saying so in 1998.

Otto, you're absolutely right about some of the quotes coming from during the Clinton administration -- that's why I only said "many of the quotes" -- but please note part of the point of the second half of my (insanely long) post is that I & most mainstream liberals agreed with 'regime change' as a policy goal for Iraq.

Also, what Clinton or anyone else in the 90s said is somewhat beside the point of the charge that this administration corrupted the intelligence process (which, again, I take to be a different charge than the charge that the president lied about Iraq). Whether other folks had, 5 years earlier, made a particular set of claims about the state of WMD in Iraq does not change the responsibilities of the current officeholder. It's the responsibility of the guy in the big chair in the oval office to do everything he can to make sure that he is getting the best intelligence that he can get, in making his most momentous decisions (like whether & how to invade another country). And it's becoming all the clearer every day that Bush simply skipped out on that responsibility. That is a large part of why I just don't trust him. Not because he's dishonest, but because he's basically not interested in finding out the truth in the first place.

A simple question:

If we are to believe that Bush lied about WMD (not simply followed bad or inadequate intelligence) and thus knew or strongly suspected that there were no WMD in Iraq (or so few as to be largely irrelevant) then what was the master plan for AFTER we invaded, concquered and found none of the WMD? I mean, wouldn't it be fairly obvious to just about everyone that predicating your invasion on something that you KNEW TO BE UNTRUE (which is, after all, what the moonbats are saying) was going to be inconvenient at best, once the war was over and you didn't find any WMD? Unless you really believe that these folks are reasonably stupid, there is simply no logical basis for arguing that they would lie knowing that their lies would inevitably be discovered....

Sorry, the intelligence was bad and/or we haven't found the WMD yet... Any wagers on which is true?

Scott, Stop it! you make too much sense. We can't have any of that rational thought process stuff going on. Most human beings are incapable of that. It's too confusing and too uncomfortable.

And you know what they say, "You can lead a horses-ass to water, but you can't make him think."