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The Links

al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein. PLO. Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Abu Sayyaf Group. Taliban. Hamas. It is not necessary to have a paper trail of arms sales and monetary exchanges to link these groups together. It is not necessary, to most thinking people, to have a solid, tangible piece of proof to know that these groups are all working under the same umbrella. Oh, not a formal umbrella, with a name and office to work out of. But it's there nonetheless, a common bond that links all these terrorists and wannabe martyrs together. It's called annihilation and it's aimed at you. Well, not if you're Muslim (and if you are you should really think about going hardcore, because I don't think these guys care much for moderates). As long as you belong to the Jew-hating, America-hating, freedom fearing 12th century bastardization of the religion of peace, you're safe. Well, not really. Because if you live in America or maybe even Britian or Italy, they aren't going to take the time to round up all the Muslims before they blow up a disco or nursery school. Maybe if they're hijacking a plane, or storming the Olympics, they'll take the time to pick out the Jews and Americans. But when it comes to grenades and metal-filled bombs, time is of the essence and you're pretty much out of luck. They are all one in the same just for the fact that they are our enemy. Oh, there's those little things, like combined jihads, or Saddam giving payment to families of suicide bombers. There's the great desire to Israel washed into the sea and the Satanic entity that is America bow before Allah and face Mecca. Their most common trait is hatred. If that's not enough to link these groups together, then you are asking too much. In these eyes, Saddam is forever linked to bin Laden who is forever linked to Arafat and so on and so on until you've formed a nice little circle jerk of terrorists. They run in the same circles, they play the same games, they want the same prize. That makes them connected. How can you not get it? How can you not see that the war on terrorism is in full swing and our enemies are joining hands to form a larger, stronger coalition against us? Much like the lefties who defend them, they are blurring their issues until the only clear thing about what they stand for is they hate us. It's only a matter of time until their links are formalized and they give themselves a clever name, like United Terrorist Network and hell, maybe they'll even incorporate or apply for tax-free status as a charitable organization. They'll have stationery made up and a president (bin Laden) and a vice-President (Arafat) and have meetings and secret handshakes and all-day workshops like Effective Suicide Belt Making or Teaching Your Children to Die for Your Cause 101. You know what else binds them? They all gloated about 9/11. Every one of them thought we deserved it, looked at al-Qaeda as heroes for the new millennium. I don't need any other proof that they are all linked other than they all want me dead. We are at war. Stop sleeping with the enemy. Please. ______________________________________________ Elsewhere: It's a small terrorist world, after all. A complete compendium of Yassin kills. Survival Strategies in a Barroom Brawl

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» The Links from Nobody asked me, but...
al Qaeda. Saddam Hussein. PLO. Islamic Jihad. Hezbollah. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade. Abu Sayyaf Group. Taliban. Hamas. .... I don't need any other proof that they are all linked other than they all want me dead. We are at war. Stop sleeping with the ... [Read More]

» Common Sense and No Wonder from Babalu Blog
I don't need any other proof that they are all linked other than they all want me dead. We are at war. Stop sleeping with the enemy. Please. Thanks Michele. Once again, perfectly said.... [Read More]

» Reality Check from Inoperable Terran
Michele's writing one, including a link to this outstanding Wretchard post on EUrope's unworkable foreign policy.... [Read More]

» Terrorism's Big Tent from Brutal Hugs

Michelle over at A Small Victory has recently posted a lot about the terror fight having two sides. On the "With us" side are the victims and targets of terror anywhere in the world...

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Comments

I agree,but,hell I'm in the choir.Facts don't mean much to those who love being boofed by the enemy.

Another great post.

I suppose you read Lilecks today (if you have not, do so)

The big glee over at Salon and DU and the Kerry blogs is Richard Clark being interviewed by his financial backers on CBS. They think they have scored a huge victory over their archenemy The Bushitler, little do they realize that at least half the audience dismissed the man entirely once they learned he was a lecturer at the Kennedy School.

We are at war. Stop sleeping with the enemy. Please.

Good lord. Are you still trying to reason with these people?

You truly are a glass-half-full kind of gal.

"It is not necessary to have a paper trail of arms sales and monetary exchanges to link these groups together. It is not necessary, to most thinking people, to have a solid, tangible piece of proof to know that these groups are all working under the same umbrella."

Michele, you know I love you and that I am a thinking person, and that we arrived at our different places on the political spectrum by similar means, but before I see my tax dollars spent to pursue and punish people, I think it should be based on more than a gut feeling on the part of the people with the bigger guns.

According to Richard Clarke, former top terrorism advisor to the president, he attempted to warn Bush before 9/11 about the potential of a terrible threat from Al Quaeda and was brushed aside. Then after 9/11, Bush was desperate for a way to link the attack to Iraq. Whether such "proof" had to be fabricated was apparently immaterial.

The world can't function this way. We can't say, "He looked like he was gonna hit me so I hit him first." Before the mighty US war machine is unleased against a group or nation, we need to have some kind of real proof to back up our allegations, or we undermine everything that our own society is all about. Our pursuit of "justice" begins to look an awful lot like the Shi'ites pursuing "justice" against the Sunis.

D

Well put Michele...

Four words of linkage:

Abbu Abbas in Baghdad.

Any questions?

"...12th century bastardization of the religion of peace..."

The word 'Islam' translates from the Arabic as 'submission'. Is it really possible to bastardize a religion of submission?

Dang it, forgot to fill out the name and address fields in the post above. Doesn't make a difference, I guess, save that no one respects an anonymous poster.

D,

You state that "We can't say, "He looked like he was gonna hit me so I hit him first." in relation to the terrorist.

How many times do we allow someone to hit us before we are allowed to react? 1? 5? 10? Let me know what that number is.

Why would we think Iraq might be part of an attack on America?

Since we had been in a state of suspended war (cause that is what a cease fire is) with Iraq for 11 years,
since Iraq had ties to the group that bombed the World Trade Center in 93, since Iraq had tried to assassinate a President,
since Iraq was in violation of it's cease fire agreement,
since Iraq had direct ties to many terrorist groups, including direct payments to families of suicide bombers,
since Saddam was moving to prove his religious convictions (building the world's largest mosque & writing a Koran with his own blood,)
since Iraq was providing safe haven to terrorist
and since Iraq was firing on our air force as they did daily patrols of the no fly zones.

It was not “he looked like he was going to hit us.” It was more like “lets finish this fight before we get hurt!”

See the difference?

Michele, you’re really on a roll here. With the No Fear post and this one, you have the right to rest on your laurels.

D. – there was a paper trail leading from Saddam to Hamas, there’s a paper trail leading from Saudi Arabia to every Islamist paramilitary organization in the world, there’s a paper trail leading from Iran to Hizbollah. What more proof do you need?

After the October 4 homicide bombing in Haifa that killed 19 people, Sharon launched an airstrike against a terrorist training camp inside Syrian territory.

Not coincidentally, after those bombs dropped in Damascus, there was a sudden lack of terrorist action in Kashmir. The Indian government found that development to be ‘intriguing’.

These terror supporting states have been waging their current jihad against the rest of the world for years. Yes, it is interconnected, terrorism is the weapon they use now, and pretending that it doesn’t exist is not going to make it go away.

Can you imagine how much more screwed we'd all be without the net right now? What if more of us were still dependent on the "major" TV networks like in the bad old days?

Thank God for those of you who've taken the time to put these sites up and keep them running.

Dough forthcoming.

If I had no hope I would say it is useless to argue with people like D who have their mind made us and use the facts to fit in the way they want to hear it. I do get discouraged at those who have eyes to see and will not see, but...
I've read so many blogs of those who are of a liberal bent and they DO see. I do have hope, not all will figure it out but some will and they are going to be more and more in the majority. So, keep it up use logic on them, and more power to you Michele.

Read today's Belmont Club too: http://belmontclub.blogspot.com/2004_03_01_belmontclub_archive.html#107993193241974131

Michele, the only quibble I might have with your post is that being a member of the Ummah doesn't necessarily mean that you will be safe. These murderers aren't as picky as that.

Rob M -- don't forget the jetliner fuselage at the terrorist training camp in Iraq. Anyone who claims our intel people didn't know about Salman Pak before 9/11 is out of his...

I was about to say "mind" but the word just doesn't apply.

The 'war' started when?
It will end when?

Dear Judson:

The war started, or at least officially became a "hot" war, on Sept. 11, 2001. If you can't see that, then it's extremely sad to think I share the same air you breathe. The war will end when it ends, but I'm guessing sometime around the time when the Western world doesn't wake up with the specter of international terrorism threatening to kill every disbelieving infidel. That may take awhile, but I'm amazingly patient about such things where my life is concerned.

Now, on you way, little troll. Of you go.

How can you not get it? How can you not see that the war on terrorism is in full swing and our enemies are joining hands to form a larger, stronger coalition against us? Much like the lefties who defend them, they are blurring their issues until the only clear thing about what they stand for is they hate us.

And we moved beautifully to confirm every paranoid theory about US designs on the Middle East by invading Iraq. We ignored the truth, distorted the reports of experts (experts since the Reagan administration, no less) and beat the drum for war in Iraq no matter what. Then we designated our invasion of a nation that had no military means to hurt us as the War on Terror and informed the world that we could not wait because the smoking gun might well be a mushroom cloud... and we know how well that turned out.

Here's an idea: stop making enemies for us. We were at least on track in Afghanistan. We had the support of the greater portion of the world community, we were close to grabbing up Al-Qaida, we had reduced the Taliban to beggars in their homeland. Now we're rushing to play catch-up there while hiring mercenaries in Iraq because we can't sustain this attempt to fight a war on multiple fronts at once and in multiple styles at once.

We are at war. Pick a strategy. Alienating the world and attacking without provocation is not going to win us anything.

How can you not get it? How can you not see that by lying to the world about our motives and being seen as warmongers unwilling to let reality enter into our actions, we become isolated and without allies? I don't need any other proof than the steady attrition of those nations willing to be seen as our supporters, who believe us when we say that we want to end terror instead of seizing power.

Stop creating our enemies. Please.

And we moved beautifully to confirm every paranoid theory about US designs on the Middle East by invading Iraq.

Really? We've started stealing Iraqi oil by the tankerfull while killing tens of thousands of civilians in indiscriminate carpet bombings while installing a Saddam-lite puppet dictatorship? You mean those theories?

We ignored the truth, distorted the reports of experts (experts since the Reagan administration, no less)

Hmm. OK, I honestly don't know where you're going with this. "Truth?" What, that he had no WMD stockpiles? And what's this about "experts since the Reagan adminiatration" bit? He had WMDs during the Reagan administration, Matthew. We know this because he used them. (Cue the inevitable "but we sold them to Iraq" argument. I'll wait here while you type it.)

and beat the drum for war in Iraq no matter what.

Right. That's why we went to the UN, that's why we went through the whole "inspection" fiasco, just so we could go to war anyway. Seems like a lot of effort for a little result.

Then we designated our invasion of a nation that had no military means to hurt us

Ah, so now the criteria is "military" means of hurting us. Let's see, Iraq was shooting at our planes. They had invaded one of our allies, rolled their military to the border of another twice, and attempted the assassination of a former US President and the leader of a neighboring country.

Nope, no threat there.

as the War on Terror and informed the world that we could not wait because the smoking gun might well be a mushroom cloud... and we know how well that turned out.

Ah, I see. So we should wait until we have 100% absolute evidence that a nation/group has WMDs and is going to attack before we act? After all, I'm sure they'll inform us before they attack; they're good that way. And, of course, we all know that intelligence services are 100% right at all times and never make mistakes.

Sounds like an excellent strategy to me. You should teach at West Point, Matt.

Here's an idea: stop making enemies for us.

Here's an idea for you, Matt: WAKE UP AND SEE THE WORLD FOR WHAT IT IS. We already have enemies, and Saddam Hussein was one of them. What you're basically saying is that if we hadn't gone after one of our enemies, we wouldn't make others. It doesn't work that way. Hell, Israel killed the (spiritual, cough) leader of Hamas, and Hamas immediately vowed to punish the US. Do you think they are waiting for evidence whether or not the US was involved before they strike? There is a sickness in the Middle East, Matt, and they are going to hate us no matter what. If we go into Iraq, they'll hate us for that. If we don't go, they'll blame us for sanctions and hate us. If we support Israel in any way, they'll hate us. The only way to stop them from hating us is to do exactly what they say. Are you cool with that? I'm not.

If you don't believe me, go to MEMRI and start digging through their extensive library of files translating the hate-filled propaganda spewing out of the Middle East. Come back here when you're informed about the Nazi-like propaganda that is being cranked out of the Middle East on a daily basis. Then tell me we're "making enemies."

We were at least on track in Afghanistan. We had the support of the greater portion of the world community, we were close to grabbing up Al-Qaida, we had reduced the Taliban to beggars in their homeland.

All of which is still true. Well, the first isn't, but, quite frankly, I don't care. I'm honestly not interested in those nations whose support for America is so shallow. You act like "world opinion" should be our yardstick for deciding whether or not to do something that is in our interest.

Now we're rushing to play catch-up there while hiring mercenaries in Iraq because we can't sustain this attempt to fight a war on multiple fronts at once and in multiple styles at once.

Do you even know what is going on in Afghanistan? I assure you that the US is quite capable of walking and chewing gum at the same time. Do I need to remind you that we conquered Iraq in three weeks? I don't know if you know much about military history, but that is astounding. Now, one year later, a government is being set up, a constitution has been ratified and a permanent one is in the works, elections and power transfer is being planned. Is any of this getting through to you?

Manoman, I'd have LOVED to see people like you during WW2. "Why are we bothering with Hitler? He didn't attack us! He's no military threat to us! Germany isn't stable, and it's been a whole YEAR!"

We are at war. Pick a strategy. Alienating the world and attacking without provocation is not going to win us anything.

A strategy has been picked, Matt. YOU just don't like it. Well, if you write President Bush, I'm sure he'll include you in his next high-level staff meeting. He's good that way.

How can you not get it?

Right. We're the ones not getting it? You mean, "You don't agree with me." Say that instead.

How can you not see that by lying to the world about our motives and being seen as warmongers unwilling to let reality enter into our actions, we become isolated and without allies?

Except that we have allies. Jeezus, I am sick of this bullshit lie that we're isolated. Do you want the list of countries participating, Matt? People like you, when they speak of a lack of allies, always mean the same thing: France and Germany.

I don't need any other proof than the steady attrition

Yep.

ONE nation drops support after its people are slaughtered by terrorists. One.

I guess that's steady attrition...

of those nations willing to be seen as our supporters, who believe us when we say that we want to end terror instead of seizing power.

Do you think in terms of soundbites, Matt? I mean, the world is a complicated place, but here you've boiled it down to a few simple, easy to remember memes that can be spewed out without a moment's thought. "Seizing power?" Do you honestly believe this crap? Yes, we're "seizing power." By setting up elections. By getting the Iraqi infrastructure up again. By allowing protests against us even in Iraq. By setting up a democratic government. By introducing freedom of the press and freedom of speech, things Iraq has never had.

Stop creating our enemies. Please.

This is breathtaking. Absolutely breathtaking. Naivete' on this level always astounds me, although I know it shouldn't. Muslims were dancing in the streets and passing out candy as the towers fell, and you think we're "creating enemies" by freeing 25 million muslims from tyranny and helping them to set up the first representative government in Arab history. Brilliant. Thank you, Sheryl Crow.

I always seem to come to the party during the last song. What do you people DO all day? Kidding.

I'd like to take a slight departure from the usual "comment/rebuttal" here if I may. I think that many of you who support Bush and the War believe that those of us who don't are all pacifistic zealots who believe there's a peaceful solution to every situation. It's just plain not so.

Michelle, in this post you basicly said, "The connection is that they all hate us, therefore we're justified in bombing them at will."

It's well established that America is the Big Dog in the global community. Our benevolence and diplomacy over the past 60 years or so had made us more powerful friends than enemies. Those friendships are being severely tested by the posture of the current administration.

Exactly how is it that you believe that by playing the "bully on the playground" we're going to achieve any long-term benefits?

I have my own opinions about Bush and the allegations that are stacking up againt him, but my interest in this topic isn't really political.

How long can we continue to defy the UN? How long do you expect the rest of the world to put up with our arrogant, defiant behavior?

This issue is much larger than just tossing a few hundred thousand bombs into the desert. It's about more than hundreds of Billions of dollars that would've been better spent elsewhere. It's bigger than the hundreds of American Troops who've sacrificed themselves in Iraq.

We cannot just go around arbitrarily attacking other countries because they don't like us, or we don't like their leader.

I can think of several enemies I've made over the course of my life. All of them grew to hate me on a similar level. For one it might have been because I disagreed politically. For another, maybe he was just embarrased because I beat him at Pool in front of his girlfriend. The point is, they both wanted to do me harm, but for totally seperate reasons. The GOP conservative who wanted to shut me up is unlikely to join forces with the Liberal Barfly. In a very simplified way, this describes the differences between Saddam and bin Laden. Bin Laden hates us, but he hates Saddam too. AQ was formed to fight the powerful, not Democracy.

Try to look at the issue from as many sides as you can think of. I understand the reasoning behind the preemptive posture of the administration, "fuck them afore they fuck you"... I get it.

How long before we throw a preemptive Nuke?

After all... North Korea seems to be getting a little cheeky. Maybe we should use them as an example, huh? Show the world what happens when these little-punk countries try to hone-in on our turf?

Yeah... let's model our foreign policy on the Mafia. Seems to be working for them, right? Well, yeah... I know, they're notorious for turning on each other and doing whatever it takes to gain power. But the Big Dog has never been taken down, right? Right? No? Fuck. Well... maybe just for now. While it feels right. We can go back to building alliances when it's more convenient.

We are the most powerful single country in the world, that's true. But if we piss off enough of the less powerful ones (read: the UN) we will quickly become outgunned by a true "Coalition".

For the record: I would love nothing more than to have a front row seat at the execution of these assholes. My point is - staging a pissing contest is not the way to get there.

Imagine for a moment that we reversed the troop allocations for Afghanistan and Iraq a year ago. The personell, ordinance and funding. Admittedly, Hussein would still be in power. Can't argue with that. But would the Taliban be returning to power? Would AQ have dozens of new training camps? Would the Madrid bombings have occured? With thousands of troops on the Kuwait/Iraq border, sanctions still in effect and inspections continueing ... what could Saddam have accomplished over the past 12 months?

These are the questions I have. I believe we needed to kick some serious ass. I just think Bush picked the one that was easier to identify to the American people. The guy who tried to kill Bush's Dad. The guy who gassed his own people. The guy who invaded his neighbors.

NOT the guy who attacked innocent American citizens. HELLO!

One last thing: On an earlier post someone was accused of "hit and run" posting. I'd hate to be included in that crowd just because I'm not here as often as I might like. Email responses would be welcome.

Okay... one more. I come here rather than to like-minded sites because I don't need to hear my own thoughts regurgitated. How many of the Bushites on ASV regularly visit Anti-Bush sites?

Thanks again for a wonderful, thought-provoking forum, Michelle.

Very well said. Amen.

Evil Otto, you're my hero.
Kevin E., go back and read read Evil Otto's message, since you clearly did not.

Hello Evil Otto. Nice name for a Warmonger. Intreresting that you're not willing to back up your mouth by including your email address.

I guess my first question to you is your definition of "conquer". I found 3 definitions in one search. None of which apply to the situation in Iraq:

1. To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms.

2. To gain or secure control of by or as if by force of arms

3. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.

We have not achieved any of these definitions in 12 months. Over 500 American troops have been killed. It seems as though I hear about at least 2 deaths per day. Now the civilian Americans are being targeted. It seems to me that a "conquered" nation would, by definition be unable to support insurgent killers. So, either we HAVEN'T conquered Iraq, or we have but our post-war planning was so shabby that we've allowed terrorists to run amock.

Either way, our people are being killed every day in the country you claim to have conquered.

And a few thousand miles away from your "conquered" country the bastards who attacked us are rebuilding.

Throw all the partisan B.S behind it you want: the War is only just begun. For us to claim victory, I think we have to start killing the people who attacked us.

Small detail, I know. Important to me though.

I wonder, Mr. Otto .... can I call you Evil? Great. Evil, I wonder if you've visited PNAC's website. Or the White House website. Both of which clearly document that Bush II has been pining for an excuse to invade Iraq since 1992.

Stop making this a partisan issue. Stop the knee-jerk defending of bad policy.

Germany and France are NOT the only countries who disagree with America's current posture toward the Middle East. There's this little group of countries called the United Nations who are kinda pissed at us. Along with a big chunk of the rest of the world.

I know it makes people named "Evil" feel important to think that they're untouchable and immune. Unfortunately, your wake-up call might come in the form of a nuclear weapon if America continues our current global posture.

I strongly encourage you to look at the big picture. A small victory (removing a waning dictator) might feel good, but a real victory (global disarmament) will be orgasmic. Granted, it'll take a lot longer, but the best orgasms always do.

Toren: Otto posted his comment while I was writing mine. I was responding to his while you posted yours.

Kevin E. - Let’s face it, 9/11 was proof that our benevolence and diplomacy over the past 60 years was worth jack sh*t. A group of wealthy (mostly Saudi) men, financed by members of the Saudi government and other wealthy Saudis, slaughtered thousands of Americans in an unprovoked act of war.

Gee, they were our allies. They drink Coca-Cola.

Our other allies (ie. the French) hated us so much that they were willing to support the Hutu extremist movement that led to the Rwandan massacre. German support of Saddam exceeded ours exponentially. What happened to all of that benevolence and soft diplomacy?

Tell us how our ‘arrogance and defiance’ provoked those Saudis. How did our arrogance cause the French to encourage genocide? What cruelties did we inflict on them? Were we sending them too much money? Too little? Did we build too many Starbucks and McDonalds? Was it the Kyoto treaty? What, oh what did we do to make those homicidal freaks hate us?

You know so much about terrorism. Tell us what you know about the difference between the Wahhabis and the Salafis. Which Saudi leaders have contributed millions to al Qaeda and which allow the money to flow. How many billions of dollars do the Saudis and other Islamist nations spend on terrorism – 1 billion – 2 billion. More?

Saudi funding of terrorism around the world has been reduced by less than 4% since 9/11. They intend to keep funding terrorism, and the only thing that will stop them is a serious lack of cash.

Your plan to hunt down Osama and be nice to everyone in the hopes that they won’t kill us has already been tried. It failed two and a half years ago. Some people have already managed to figure that out, but here you are, proof that there are a lot of slow learners out there.

Kevin, I'd like to go through your whole post, but even I have limits as to how much time I can spend typing away here. Besides, I've posted on many of the questions you ask in this thread, so retyping them would be a waste of time. Also, go to the "Stategic Overview" link I posted in my response to Matt.

I just want to touch on a few points.

How long can we continue to defy the UN?

I was unaware that the UN was the legally elected world government. It is not, Kevin. Of course, the fact that Iraq "defied" the UN for twelve years doesn't bother you?

Y'see, I'm trying to understand your reasoning... if the US goes to the UN and gets a resolution passed invoking serious consequences if Iraq does not comply with OTHER UN resolutions, and then the US invades Iraq and removes the government that was defying those resolutions... then it's the US that's "defying" the UN?

My head hurts.

Resolution 1441. Read it. It was unanimous.

How long do you expect the rest of the world to put up with our arrogant, defiant behavior?

Wow. Just wow.

OK, first of all, there IS no "rest of the world." There are merely other countries. Some were for this war. Some were against. The way you say it, you seem to think that the entire planet is united against the horrible and evil US.

That. Simply. Isn't. So. Not even remotely.

After reading your post, kevin, I really do have a headache. It's not just you. I feel like I've been banging my head against a frikkin' brick wall for months. It never makes a damned bit of difference, because I have to explain it again, and again, and again. Half the time, when I post links, they're not even read and the response is "well, you're a warmonger," or language to that effect.

I'm tired, Kevin, and it's probably not fair that I'm taking it out on you. If you're really serious about finding out what this war is about, then follow those links I provided. I can give you more if you'd like.

This war is not about Al Qaeda. It is not about Iraq. It is about reshaping the Middle East, so we don't have to go through this for the rest of our lives and our children's lives.

Holy shit. I posted my response while Kevin was posting his. And, what does he immediately do? He calls me a "warmonger."

Kevin, get bent. You're an idiot.

Kevin,

Glad you could join in.

The only issue I'd take with you concerns the UN. The Wilsonian ideal of global cooperation and negotiation just doesn't exist there.

Perhaps it was flawed from the outset. The Cold War set the stage, two global powers, with the rest of the world choosing sides. Post Cold War, UN resolutions are rarely aligned with the interests of the US. So the question that begs to be asked is, are the policies of the US oppressive to the rest of the world?

I see the examples of post WWII recovery im Europe and Asia, and the support of liberty and democracy on the globe as evidence that refutes that position.

I see evidence that categorically supports maintaining the 'status quo' in Iraq as beneficial to France and Germany (and Russia and China).

I could throw in the growing Muslim populations in these countries, but I've made my point. France is no longer interested in what's best for my country. When they have a financial interest in oppressing Iraq, ignoring global terrorism, and then go rattling the saber with the People's Republic of China at Taiwan, I start to think they don't consider themselves an ally any longer.

Neither do I consider them an ally.

I have heard we squandered the goodwill of nations like France. How can you squander what you never had? DeGaulle started kicking dirt at us a mere 5 years after the end of the war that oppressed his people for 5 years.

We will engender good will by protecting ourselves and others, by destroying those who wish us harm, and promoting liberty for those who are oppressed.

That is the big picture.

Sorry Otto... timing is everything, isn't it?
I just read your "headache" post and will check out the links.

My head hurts, too.

I wasn't trying to imply that the whole world is against the U.S. Only that a sustained ambivalence toward global opinion will be irrevocable.

I simply don't have the time to address every item you mentioned in your reply right now, but I would be very interested to discuss it with you further. I'm pretty sure that my name in highlighted in blue. Please email me if you'd like to discuss this.

I'm sorry I can't keep the pace. I love this place.

I'm trying to look at the long term.

Highlighted in red, I mean.

DAVE: Very well said.. thank you.

Cooperation is difficult, to be sure. I don't claim to have the answer.

Isn't it worth striving for though? I guess that's my biggest point.

Bombs and guns only beget bigger bombs and guns. We have the biggest, everyone knows that.

Obviously you realize that France and Germany lease some of the largest oil fields in Iraq. We decided to deny them their rights to that oil. With all your rhetoric against Saudi Arabia... we've been pretty chummy with them too.

Is it POSSIBLE that if we'd agreed to allow France and Germany to maintain their Oil Imports, they might have supported the invasion? We'll never know, because we decided it was up to us.

That's the arrogance I'm talking about.

.

I like to think that months of appealing to the UN (and France, and Germany) prior to the invasion, and giving Saddam a last minute appeal to leave and avoid a war, was ample demonstration of our willingness to find a way to cooperate. It's certainly possible that had we agreed to let them maintain their oil interests, they'd have gone along (morally questionable for both us and them). If we were loading up our tankers with Iraqi oil, I would call our actions supremely arrogant.

But I agree with you, it is worth trying. I think for the very reason you point out - to avoid the perception of arrogance. Had we ignored UNR1142, and the Security Council, you'd have me saying "this is arrogant".

We might just disagree about when to say "it isn't working".

I think you understand that I'm calling Germany and France to task over their policies, which were oppresive to Iraqis. To help them, we could 1) reduce sanctions (and unfetter Saddam) or 2) remove Saddam. I think 2 was a better choice.

I don't recall my rhetoric regarding Saudi, but I do admit our co-dependency regarding Saudi Arabia has contributed to the problem (as it did in Iran 20 years ago). That's why I believe changing the face of the Mid East is the end game. I agreed with Bush when he said that 60 years of buying off despots is a failed policy.

Thanks for a great post, Mary. I've decided to stay up, headache and all, and give Kevin's profound stupidity the fisking it TRULY deserves. Michele, I apologize for using up so much bandwidth, but this guy has managed to do what so few others have... he's pissed me off.

Hello Evil Otto. Nice name for a Warmonger.

Thanks, Kevin. Of course, I wouldn't expect you to know the 80s video game reference where I get my name, so I expect you think I took it because I see myself as "evil."

In your case, though, I'm gonna be evil. See, I didn't have you figured as such a walking cliche'. "Warmonger?" C'mon... that's the best you can do?

Intreresting that you're not willing to back up your mouth by including your email address.

Heh heh heh. First, Kev, I used to include my e-mail address in my posts. Until a excrement-for-brained leftist like you (who I was debating with) decided it would be fun to sign me up for every damned mailing list he could think of out of some petty sense of revenge. So, sorry, no dice.

Second, exactly what does my posting or not posting an e-mail address have to do with what I wrote? Either refute my arguments or don't, but don't pretend that list an e-mail address somehow makes what I've written not valid.

I guess my first question to you is your definition of "conquer". I found 3 definitions in one search. None of which apply to the situation in Iraq:

Oh, great. He's going to quote a dictionary at me. I'm in for a fun ride.

1. To defeat or subdue by force, especially by force of arms.

Umm... we DId this in Iraq. We conquered Iraq. Our military went in, defeated theirs, and captured or killed most of their leaders.

Weren't you watching the news? I know MTV didn't cover it except during their brief "news" segments, but it really happened.

2. To gain or secure control of by or as if by force of arms

Did that too. Oh, granted, there are still some old Saddam loyalists, foreign terrorists, and the like, but for all intents and purposes we have control of Iraq.

3. To overcome or surmount by physical, mental, or moral force.

All of the above.

We have not achieved any of these definitions in 12 months.

??? What in Hell, Michigan are you TALKING about?

Over 500 American troops have been killed. It seems as though I hear about at least 2 deaths per day.

Kevin, you are utterly ignorant of history. Why don't you start educating yourself by looking at casualty rates of previous wars. Here's a hint: during some of them, in the toughest battles, we lost 500 soldiers or more A DAY. We lost 33,000 in Korea. 47,000 in Vietnam. 292,000 in World War 2.

Do you have a CLUE about these numbers? I mean, from what you've posted, it seems like you expect American military action to be casualty-free. War doesn't work that way.

Now the civilian Americans are being targeted.

And you haven't given the slightest thought as to why, have you, Kevin.

It seems to me that a "conquered" nation would, by definition be unable to support insurgent killers.

Terribly sorry reality isn't fitting your dictionary definition of what the word means. That's not my problem, Kev. Nobody promised this would be easy.

So, either we HAVEN'T conquered Iraq, or we have but our post-war planning was so shabby that we've allowed terrorists to run amock.

Is Saddam still in power? Nope. Was his military defeated? yep.

Sounds pretty conquered to me.

Y'know something, though, Kev, THIS is exactly why I've grown tired of arguing with bumper-sticker-quoters like yourself. I mean, you've spent all this time arguing over one goddam word I wrote. You haven't even really touched on anything else. One. Word. You've quoted a dictionary at me. You've quibbled over useage. What you HAVEN'T done, so far, is give me any reason to believe that you're not just another half-wit leftist who spouts back what he's been told, thinking to get an easy win in a debate.

Either way, our people are being killed every day in the country you claim to have conquered.

I'm done arguing over the definition of a word with you, loser. Let's move on, shall we?

And a few thousand miles away from your "conquered" country the bastards who attacked us are rebuilding.

Where? Afghanistan? That's funny, I seem to have just spent time watching a news report about US-assisted Pakistani operations against Al Qaeda. There's even suspicions that the REAL brains behind AQ might be dead. Too soon to tell, I'll grant you, and both governments are giving the usual denials, but we'll see.

That's rebuilding, eh? Geez, and you take me to task for ONE word. Kevin, you say AQ is rebuilding.

PROVE. IT. Provide links that I can check out. You've made claims, now back them up or back the fuck off.

Throw all the partisan B.S behind it you want:
Ah, the old "you're partisan" argument. Last refuge of the fool.

the War is only just begun. For us to claim victory, I think we have to start killing the people who attacked us.

You're a dumbass. I know, I know, you're aware of that. Al Qaeda (read this, Kevin, it's important) IS NOT THE WAR. They are a symptom, not the disease. The disease is the combination of fundamentalist Islam and Arab nationalism that has turned the mideast into a hellhole. Even if we dealt completely with AQ tomorrow, there would still be other groups out ther planning. I mean, do you even read the God damned news?!?!? Hamas is gunning for us now. "The people who attacked us" are the merest tip of a nasty iceberg, but if it were up to people like you we'd deal with them (how easy you make it sound) and then, we'd be done. the war would be over. The problem solved.

Until another nutcase muslim group decided to to Al Qaeda. Then we'd deal with them.

Lather. Rinse. Repeat. And repeat and repeat and repeat. Each time, America or our allies would be attacked. Each time, we'd respond. A nasty, endless cycle. That's the future you're calling for, Kevy-baby.

OR we can take a chance. Attempt to intrduce democracy into the mideast. Water the soil, hope it takes root. The Iraq war has shown results already. Libya has given up it's WMD program. Iran (the biggest support of terrorism) is on the verge of a new revolution, this time against the mullahs.

Small detail, I know. Important to me though.

I find myself caring less and less what's important to you, Kev.

I wonder, Mr. Otto .... can I call you Evil?

Sure. If I can call you "dipshit," I guess you can call me "Evil."

Great. Evil, I wonder if you've visited PNAC's website. Or the White House website. Both of which clearly document that Bush II has been pining for an excuse to invade Iraq since 1992.

1992. Wow. Considering that Bush wasn't even in office in 1992, that's a neat trick. He must have known he was going to be president, and known that Iraq was still doing to be a problem eleven years later.

My...GOD. Bush can see the future!!! HE'S A WITCH!!! BURN HIM!!!

Stop making this a partisan issue. Stop the knee-jerk defending of bad policy.

Stop wasting my time with pointless, shallow, and undocumented arguments that I've heard a thousand times before.

Germany and France are NOT the only countries who disagree with America's current posture toward the Middle East. There's this little group of countries called the United Nations who are kinda pissed at us.

F*ck them. I couldn't care less what that bureaucratic collection of dictator-loving diplomats thinks. Get this, Kev, and get it well: THEY ARE NOT THE WORLD GOVERNMENT.

Along with a big chunk of the rest of the world.

They'll get over it.

I know it makes people named "Evil" feel important to think that they're untouchable and immune.

Now, here, you've lost me. What the hell are you even talking about?

Unfortunately, your wake-up call might come in the form of a nuclear weapon if America continues our current global posture.

Wow. This is stupidity on a whole new level. So... someone might NUKE us because they don't like us?

I strongly encourage you to look at the big picture.

This is rich. Mr. "defeat Al Qaeda" is telling me to look at the big picture.

I am, Kevy-poo. It's a far bigger picture than you're looking at, and it involves caring about more than whether a few fair-weather friends and psychotic kleptocratic dictatorships don't like us.

A small victory (removing a waning dictator) might feel good, but a real victory (global disarmament)

"Global disarmament?" What are you talking about, Kevin?

will be orgasmic. Granted, it'll take a lot longer, but the best orgasms always do.

Stop thinking with your dick.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've wasted far too much time with you. Grow up and take your head out of the sand, Kevin. It's time you understood what the war we're in is really about.

Sorry, Kev, we're not playing nice any more. You cut loose with the "warmonger" label without knowing the slightest thing about me or my positions except what I'd written in ONE post to Matthew. You wasted my time arguing about a dictionary definition.

You people are ridiculous. Every last one of you, on all "sides" of the argument. I wish you could see how you're all so utterly guilty of exactly what you accuse the others of (which reminds me, I wish you'd all grow up with the name-calling... "dipshit," "idiot") I want to laugh until I realize that this is just a microcosm of the political spectrum today - liberals vs. conservatives and anti-war vs. pro-war, sometimes overlapping, sometimes not. One would think that all of you who are so "obviously" intelligent would have much better things to be doing with your valuable time.

You're so scared of terrorism? Go spend some time with your kids and quit wasting away at your computers, arguing with people who will never agree and being reduced to 3rd grade level name calling.

You think the war was completely unnecessary and that pro-war people are mindless zealots? Fine, but don't waste your time arguing with them.

THIS is why 9/11 was a success for the terrorists. There's enough fucking hate in the world already, no need for you to have it towards your fellow Americans and say things like "it's extremely sad to think I share the same air you breathe."

Terrorism is hate, both part of the same synergy that spreads like wildfire. The Middle East doesn't own the rights to hatred, and some of you would see that if you only looked in the mirror.

Evil Otto - (wonder if we're distantly related):

Great job shooting down "Kevvy-poo"'s (nice touch, by the way) [insert derrogatory adjective here] post. I used to deal with his kind misguided sound bite-infested arguments on daily basis. I just got sick of being called a warmongering nazi b*tch that I just don't talk about it anymore. It's a little disturbing to check my mental list of totally off-limits topics of discussion and see that it has grown. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

Now go take an Excedrin and get some rest.

Michele - excellent post as usual - I'm in awe of you and the commentors who so eloquently put into words sentiments that I believe in, but am too wimpy to vocalize/post.

Sam,

You forgot to chant "Kumbayah".

Evil Otto – that was an excellent Fisk. People like Kevin are hopelessly attached to old ideas that didn't work. It's like they're arguing that everyone should still be using Apple Lisas – and they’re shocked when people disagree.

Sam - Sorry if debate harshes your mellow. Discussing political issues is just something people do from time to time. If it upsets you, don’t read the comments section of a political post.

"Their most common trait is hatred."

Their most common trait? What about yours? Guess the liberals are right, you are just like the terrorists after all!

WOW!

Otto, I CAN agree with you on one thing. I had no business throwing the "warmonger" title at you considering that it was the first time I'd seen your name. You got me there. Must say I didn't consider that you'd take it to strongly. You're not playing nice anymore? That's cool, but I'm gonna try. Because I contributed to your low opinion of me by directly attacking you, rather than staying on-topic. Bad form on my part.

I can assure you that my wishing you'd posted your email address was not to clog your inbox with mailing list spam. It was partly that I thought it might be preferable to others at ASV if we didn't rail against each other in long, ranting posts. More importantly it was because I don't have a ton of time to spend here, and didn't want to be confused with the "hit and run" posters I've heard refered to here before if I seemed to not answer a point. As a matter of fact, the only reason I'm here now is that I had a feeling you might have more to say.

The time issue contributed to my abridged post. The one you saw as concentrating on your use of the word conquer.

BTW... what 80's video game is "Evil Otto" from? I've been racking my brain since I read your post, and I can't come up with it. At least email me THAT info.

Don't get me wrong, I don't come here in search of friendship. But I don't come here to push peoples buttons and make enemies either. I come here because it's the only way to learn the other side of the arguement, and it's boring as hell to be told "you're right" all the time. Preaching to the choir is highly overrated. I've found most of the people who come to ASV to be thought-full and considerate. That's why I come back. Had I not started the mudslinging, I'm fairly sure I wouldn't be "Kevvy-poo" now.

Oddly enough, I think there are several points we agree on. You mentioned in your first post to me:

"This war is not about Al Qaeda. It is not about Iraq. It is about reshaping the Middle East..."

I happen to agree with you on that. My problem is the guise under which this war was begun, and the reversal of priorities in the waging of the war. AQ is a much more imminent threat than Iraq was. All I'm suggesting is that had we reversed the allocations to Afghanistan and Iraq, more would have been accomplished in defense of America. The Taliban IS rebuilding in Afghanistan, Otto. That's Defense Dept. info. AQ HAS restructured since our first strong strike. Would this have happened anyway? Maybe, but I doubt it. I'm not running solely on hind-sight here, I felt this way a year ago when we invaded Iraq. It's not that I wanted Hussein to retain control, or that I think it was a mistake to squash the prick like the bug that he is. I'm just as happy as you are that we got the bastard. I'm glad his sons are dead. I'm glad his army has been dessimated. I'm proud that our troops are the ones who accomplished that.

So, it isn't the fact that we're fighting a war that I and many of the other "Leftees" have a problem with. It's the policies and procedures of Bush II's administration.

I need to tread carefully here, because you believe:

"there IS no "rest of the world." There are merely other countries."

My belief is that there are many countries out there who we've had strong alliances in the past. Countries whom we've helped to achieve great power and prominence in the International community.

You used the example that Iraq defied the UN, which therefore (in your opinion) justifies the US going in alone. While I understand your thinking, I think it's more a "2 wrongs don't make a right" thing. Shit, there I go quoting bumper stickers again.

What I mean is: we rushed it. A rush-job is never as thourough and clean as a well-planned one. Many of us believed so at the time, and so far, we've been proven right.

I'm not interested in belaboring the WMD issue or the fact that the open borders are allowing terrorists to flow into Iraq at an unprecedented rate, but they're both germaine to this discussion. I don't doubt that there was intelligence information to support the WMD issue. The thing is: it was questionable intel at best. This is NOT hindsight. The CIA said so at the time. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/et al ignored that fact and used the intel as justification to invade Iraq.

Don't misunderstand me here, I'm just as happy as you are that we slammed Iraq. They just went about it the wrong WAY. From the beginning it was off-track.

I notice that you twisted my assertion that Bush has had it in for Saddam for 12 years into his being clairvoyant. Nicely done. I should have been more clear. When Cheney was Secretary of Defense in 1992 he drafted his Defense Policy Guidance (DPG). According to PNAC, the 1992 DPG:

"provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests."

I suppose to you this sounds like a great plan. On a certain level I would agree. I love this country and feel like any one who disagrees with our principles of freedom and unity must have a screw loose. But the idea of having a policy that is centered on preeminence, stifling the growth of other countries and attempting to control the will of the world to our beliefs is arrogant and selfish. We simply can't FORCE the "other coutries" to believe as we do. Not only is it wrong, it's unrealistic.

From - October 4, 2002 issue of Executive Intelligence Review:

"Their long wait came to an end on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, when two hijacked commercial airliners slammed into the World Trade Center towers in Manhattan and a third into the Pentagon outside Washington.”

"And the timing could not have been more ideal. Dick Cheney had already become the most powerful vice president in U.S. history, while the draft's two authors, Wolfowitz and Libby, were now Deputy Defense Secretary and Cheney's chief of staff and national security adviser, respectively."

While I admit the verbiage used (ie: their long wait finally came to an end) is a bit inflammatory, the facts are there. Supported several times since the invasion of Iraq. Most recently by Richard Clark. The guy worked for more GOP presidents than he did Democrats. How much more proof do you need? Do you really think he's put himself on the line simply because his buddy works for Kerry? Come on. He's never been partisan in 30 years of government service. Why start now?

For some reason, when I piss people (read "Rightees")off they become unable to answer questions. I would like to restate a couple of them to you now, in hope that you've calmed down a little.

What would another country have to do to justify the US going nuclear?

At what point does world opinion effect US policy?

Are we the "bully on the playground" in your mind?

Thanks for reading. Please email responses, I don't know when I'll be back to this thread. I have no interest in sending you SPAM, and wouldn't know how if I wanted to.

Sources:

www.newamericancentury.org/

www.whitehouse.gov/nsc/nss.html

www.larouchepub.com/other/2002/2938_lar_cheney_resign.html