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Sometimes, Anti-War means Anti-Peace

The discussions about Fallujah have convinced me of something I've suspected all along: The hardcore anti-war people are incredibly selfish. Allow me to explain. As soon as the media released the pictures of the horror that happened in Fallujah, the anti-war crowd reacted with their two basic answers to everything: Iraqis hate us, and bring the troops home now. It's a factual error to state that the Iraqis hate us. Much as the left hates when all Muslims or Arabs are lumped together under one terrorist roof, it is disingenuous of the same people to put all Iraqis together in one big lump. All Iraqis don't hate "us," but the people of the Sunni Triangle certainly do. I think I explained that one in a clear fashion the other day. You could always ask Iraqis what they think. They are very easy to find. For instance, we have Ali: bq. What happened in Fallujah yesterday, when foreigner contractors were killed and disfigured, was more than I could take. I felt extremely angry, disgusted frustrated and desperate. If you read the rest of Ali's post, you'll see that he does not hate the U.S. or it's forces or the coalition. He is, however, disgusted with the people of Fallujah who committed those horrible acts. If you've read the blogs of any anti-war folks over the past few days, you would get the impression that the Fallujans were speaking for all Iraqis when they murdered, burned and hung those civilian employees. The broad statement that Iraqis hate us bothers me less than the pull the troops out mantra those same people are screaming everyday. Here's what I would like those very people to tell me: What do you expect to happen if the coalition forces just up and left Iraq right now? Don't bother straining yourself thinking about it; I know it's hard for you to see past your own needs. I'll tell you what will happen. Iraq would revert back to a rogue nation. Any Iraqis who worked for or sided with the coalition will be killed. Possibly tortured, first. Their families will be killed. The schools and hospitals that have been built in the past year will become storage rooms for weapons and meeting places for terrorists. The women who are enjoying their new found freedom to have careers and come out from under their veils will once again be sentenced to house duty; that is, staying home, staying veiled, being treated as as an object of disdain by men more powerful than them. The children who were finally learning something besides the doctrines of Saddam will have their new textbooks ripped from them. The country once again will be ruled by fear and wracked with violence. In other words, Iraq will go back to being what it was in March of 2003: A place of terror, corruption, torture, death and oppression where only those who are beholden to evilness will rule. All hopes of democracy and freedom will be crushed. Those dreams of a constitution, good schools, a bright future - they will all be shot down. It will be as if we gave them hope and then pulled it out from under them. Do you realize that when you call for the troops to be pulled out immediately you are calling for the demons to rise once again in Iraq? The people in Fallujah who dragged those corpses through town and hung them from a bridge are the people who will rule the day if the troops leave. Is that what you want? Or do you care? Witness this comment left on this blog by this person: And I support the troops. I support them coming home alive. I support them disobeying orders. I support them shooting at their higher-ups rather than Iraqis. I support them rebeling and making it impossible for the U.S. to wage war or occupy nations. Such noble sentiments. It seems to be that the humanitarian thing to do - and I know that most anti-war people consider themselves humanitarians. So it leaves me to ask a very obvious question: Do you actually care about the people of Iraq? From where I sit, I'd have to say no. Looking at the anti-war movement and everyone in the ABB camp, it looks to me as if they are putting their interests first. Actually, it's only one interest, one goal, and that is to be able to wave their victory sign when the troops leave Iraq in a mess or when Bush is defeated. The hell with the consequences, full speed ahead. You are waging war against the wrong people. Bush is not your enemy. We are not your enemy. To place blame on every wrong in the world on Bush, on Republicans, on Halliburton, on the 2000 election or on Americans as a whole (arrogance, evil capitalism, etc.) is a grave error of judgment. I'd like to see the lot of you blame the atrocity in Fallujah on the actual people who conducted it. I'd like to see you place the blame for 9/11 on Islamic jihadists, and not Bush or Clinton or some moral affront to the religion of Islam. In looking for enemies to rail against, you have looked in the wrong places. I've said this many times before and it bears repeating: the very people that you think you are defending hate you as much as they hate me. They will not care if you are in the crowd when one of their bombs go off. So tell me, all of you. Do you think we should really pull the troops out now? If so, what do you propose to do about what will happen when Iraq sinks back into a pit of terror and torture? Or have you thought that far ahead? As much as you may think my views are wrong, at least they are not borne out of selfishness. I want terrorism to stop. I want people who committ acts of terror to be held responsible. I want all people to experience the freedom that I do. I want Iraqis to have that life they've only dreamed of, yet they are closer now to acheiving than ever before. So who is the smug one, then? I would think it's the person who considers their own agenda so important that they would sacrifice the well-being of the citizens of another country to acheive that goal. Troops home. Bush gone. That's certainly not a world I want to live in, nor would I wish that on anyone else. But, hey. That's just me. I have this crazy thing about thinking of the consequences of my action. Why don't you all go to Ali's blog and tell him what you think? Tell him you want to leave him and his family stranded, left to the rule of the Sunni Triangle terrorists. Don't forget to tell him why. I'm sure he'll understand when you tell him that you just want Bush to fail. Perhaps you should go ask Firas the same questions. No, don't bother, they've already been addressed:
I was about to publish a new article to the website when I noticed about the attack in Faloja. So I stopped and couldnít do any thing till this morning, honestly because I was so shamed and didnít know what to say, I even didnít want to open my website today so I wont read any comments about it, I was afraid that people would think that all Iraqis are savages. But let me tell you this, the people who stood there even to watch whatís going on are not human. Itís really difficult to describe what I felt, but I will try. I felt anger, disgust, terror, depressed, pain in stomach, and even guilt, I am sure I wasnít thinking clear so I waited a while before I left back home. But Now I know that I want to tell the world that me and the Iraqi people I know and those whom I saw since yesterday all shamed of what happened and refuse it and want to do something to stop things like that. Of course we need the help of the coalition to do so but we will do our best.
I should leave you with the words of Ali: bq. We have suffered enough to get our freedom, thanks to our friends who sacrificed much to achieve their peace and ours, and we canít turn back and we will never accept slavery again. No, better to die free than live as slaves for our fears. And you want to deny him that? That is the height of smug selfishness.

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Comments

You are so American it makes me proud to be one too!
As long as folks like you are out there, LOUDLY, I have hope.

I just read what Kos had to say about the Fallujah killings and I think I'm going to go vomit, now.

Reveling in death is a sign of a very sick mind. War is something we do because we have to, to preserve our freedom or create freedom where there is none. Nobody enjoys it, and we certainly aren't there because we're bloodthirsty.

Just a little OT: Another thing that chaps my ass is the Far Left's (the loony guys, okay, not the average liberal - I don't want to get into a discussion about who is a Far Lefty and who is not) description of the Blackwater guys as mercenaries. That is a LIE. The Blackwater guys are not over there to fight Iraqis! They are over there to provide SECURITY to things like food convoys and the rebuilding of infrastructure, so that the military can concentrate on the fighting part. They are there to keep the bad guys from killing the people who are trying to rebuild Iraq. That's not a mercenary. Look it up.

Anyway, great post - as usual. And if Ali reads this, I hope he knows that most Americans understand that the majority of Iraqis abhor those actions as much as we do. Ali, honey, it ain't your fault. Believe me, we understand the concept of being painted with a broad brush by a vocal and violent minority.

Like Kos. Asshole.

A very fine post, Michele. Thank you.

My son is in Iraq right now. He had just returned from a mission to Fallujah a short time before this happened. Here's what he wrote me about the trip:

A recent article in Stars and Stripes talked about a HMMWV that was hit by an IED, injuring one soldier from the 459th TC. We talked to a few people from that unit on one of our missions and found out that when the device was detonated, there were a large number (20-30) of Iraqi civilians around. To me, this says that the insurgency in Iraq is indeed not being organized by the people of this country, but by outside, "imported" terrorists. Just thought you might find that interesting. Apparently, they're also trying to pay the Iraqis to attack us. One of our guys talked to a local teenager who admitted he'd been approached with an offer of $1,000 American to throw pipebombs at convoys. A sign of progress: he refused. Most of these people really do support us here. They wave at us as we pass. They blow kisses. They give us thumbs up. This is not a pointless exercise, whether you agree with the reason it started or not.

My son is 21 years old and sees with more clarity than all the far left put together.

Kos is a mental and moral vacuum. Your post, Michele, speaks the truth: Kos and his ilk among the "ant-war" camp care nothing for humanity; they are clouded by and motivated entirley by hatred. That is never good. Becasue of this, they have long been hysterical.

Kos is a mental and moral vacuum. Your post, Michele, speaks the truth: Kos and his ilk among the "ant-war" camp care nothing for humanity; they are clouded by and motivated entirley by hatred. That is never good. Becasue of this, they have long been hysterical.

I'm not sure that "selfish" is really a valid descriptor. If you can conflate the hard pacifist left with the socialist movement (and I do), you have to give a wave at least to their stated premise that the war is a net detriment to Iraq and the US. I don't believe that but that is the argument. The thread at Kos shows the anti-capitalist (which I would call, "anti-freedom)sentiment that seems all pervasive in this ranting splinter. Misled and malign they certainly are but selfish? Not on their own terms nor in a literal sense.

To the anti-Bush people, ANYTHING is better than a Bush engineered victory, no matter the cost. If a nuke goes off in Los Angeles (where I'm at) means a Bush victory, then it is worth it.

You've hit the nail on the head Michele. It's a witches brew of hate America, hate liberty, and confuse or delude yourself into thinking that quitting and leaving somehow benefits the Iraqis.

It is a morally vacuous position.

My Dad was part of the occupation forces in Germany after WWII. He said that most of the German populace was very friendly and grateful, but he and his friends still got plenty of dirty looks and when they went out they went in groups and well-armed.

Even monsters like Hitler and Saddam had their adherents. But the atrocities in Fallujah shouldn't be taken as representative of all Iraqis any more than violence against Allied forces in occupied Germany meant that the average German wanted Hitler back.

Excellent, Michele. I so appreciate your clarity. Ray, thanks for the input re: your son's letter about 'imported' terrorists. They work in wily ways. I appreciate your son's contibution, send him my best regards.

Nice work. Even if you were against the war, you can't possibly support turning tail now and pretend that you're doing anything other than settling political scores at the expense of human lives and to the great detriment of American credibility.

I just saw the Kos thing myself . . . what a hateful, bitter little man. He should talk to those of us who were there on September 11 and ask if we think this is all like a f^!&%ing video game.

Turns out one of the guys was on that USA show "Combat Missions" and later was in the sinfully fun Fox series "Man vs. Beast" where he raced a chimp on an obstacle course.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20040402/news_1n2scott.html

I'll do that, Willow. Thank you.

Funny that you on this popular weblog you addressed your challenge to the anti war folks and got no responses from them...

Your post was too well reasoned and too long for them I think. The anti war crowd dwindled down to the idiots a long time ago I think.

The modern left's "selfishness" is something I've been trying to wrap my brain around for a while. Especially since it seems to go against their movement's history. I mean, say what you will about the 20th Century Left, but if nothing else, they were anti-Fascist, right? I think I might have figured out a few things.

1. This one's kinda obvious, but their primary motivation these days is hate - hatred of the various evil Republican-Corporate-Fascist conspiracies that control their destinies in their imaginations.

2. Strangely, given the way they talk, modern American leftists are incredibly parochial. Events outside America are important to them only insofar as they can be used as weapons in domestic politics (e.g., Kyoto rhetoric.) People outside America (and especially people in the Third World), they seem to de facto treat as if they aren't quite "real." They're suppliers of the Left's "authentic" wall hangings and knick-knacks and World Music, but leftists seldom seem much interested in world history, or how people live, or how they might be helped to live better lives. Or at least they never think about this stuff with any intellectual seriousness - rummaging around for usable weapons against the evil Republicans is about the extent of their interest.

This is the point that's kinda subtle and surprising, since lefties generally seem to be so multicultural and all. But to take an example: my brother attends a church that's basically a non-judgemental congregation of painfully nice, upper-middle-class lefties. (Why, exactly, I don't know, but he himself is quite sane.) After 9/11, he somehow became pegged as an "expert" on religious terrorism (mainly because he reads history books, including ones that aren't written as lefty agitprop, I guess.) So they asked him to give a talk and discussion on the subject.

Which he did, after taking the task seriously and reading up on it - the real "root causes" of terrorism. His basic conclusion was one he figured might not be too popular among this crowd - that since their movements are generally based on magical thinking, they're fundamentally irrational, and in the short to medium term, the only way to deal with them is to kill them. But the funny thing is that his audience didn't even address this - neither to support or denounce the idea. Instead, the whole discussion degenerated into self-parodic random babble about how 9/11 "made me feel."

It's a really strange mindset, hard to get a handle on, but one of the lessons I really took from that is that most lefties aren't really interested in the world at large, and are in fact every bit as insular and parochial as the stereotypical uneducated small-town rural hicks they disdain.

This is the one that gets me:

DRUBLOOD (from yesterday): Think. I mean, seriously...think about it. People don't just do that shit without reason. Don't you think it would be in our best interest to figure out WHY it's happening before we make more threats and introduce more violence to an already violent and volatile situation?

The people doing this have stated, repeatedly, emphatically, in every forum to which they can get access, why they are doing this. It's not a question. They've told us why they're doing this.

But... what the Islamists say doesn't register, it doesn't match, because the Lefties only have two categories of people: Capitalist Imperialist Oppressors, and Oppressed Proletariat. Sometimes the Oppressed Proletariat rises in arms against the Capitalist Imperialist Oppressors, in which case they are Revolutionaries or Freedom Fighters. The simple fact that the intent, baldly stated, of the Islamists is to create a theocratic empire in which individual self-expression is ruthlessly suppressed -- that they are, in fact, precisely what the Manifesto describes as "reactionaries," the enemy of Progressives -- just doesn't register.

They're not leftists. A leftist would gag. They're running dogs of reactionary imperialism. Marx would spit on them. Even the damned Fabians would sneer.

Regards,
Ric

[I]t leaves me to ask a very obvious question: Do you actually care about the people of Iraq?

From where I sit, I'd have to say no.

Gosh, seems like only yesterday you were talking about the "righteousness of those who make their own halos."

Oh, that's right -- it was only yesterday.

Projecting just a little, are we...?

Good post, Suzanne, especially the part about the left not taking foreign affairs seriously except insofar as they influence domestic politics.

I have come to believe that today's leftists have more in common with yesterday's fascists than with yesterday's leftists. (a)Dislike of science, technology, and reason itself, (b)Nature-worship of an unwholesome kind, ©Romanticization of violence, (d)Belief that one's race and gender are the defining aspects of one's being.

In 1948, Aldous Huxley wrote: "The Marxist calls himself scientific and to this claim the Fascist adds another: he is the poet--the scientific poet--of a new mythology." Clearly, today's leftists, who hail largely from the 'humanities' departments of universities, fall mostly into the second category.

More of the Huxley quote here, for anyone who's interested.

http://photoncourier.blogspot.com/2003_08_01_photoncourier_archive.html#106225974394490413

If you've read the blogs of any anti-war folks over the past few days, you would get the impression that the Fallujans were speaking for all Iraqis when they murdered, burned and hung those civilian employees.

And because the press emphasizes the position of the anti-Bush/anti-war faction, it gives the impression that they speak for the majority of Americans....encouraging the terrorists all the more.

We need to hear more about the kinds of things that Ray's son described in his letter - that should be front-page news. Instead, the far left's agenda of 'close the gate, lock the key and let's worry about our own problems....they can take care of themselves just fine' continues to be promoted.

It's an outrage.

I hope the Kos thing gets a bit more attention in the coming days. Just a few days ago, he was hanging out with a couple former presidents and a presidential hopeful, along with Atrios. Not exactly the sort of people I'd want to be in the same room with if I were John Kerry. ah well

Kos changed the links around on his site, so that bloggers that were linking to the original post now link to his "explanation". And he refers to the original post as "some diary comments somewhere". Great guy.

Projecting just a little, are we...?

No Thlayli, she's using logic.

If you are calling for things that will bring misery to the Iraqis, it's logical to assume that you don't
care about the Iraqi people, as she said.

I should have said, "If you are calling for things that will bring misery to the Iraqis, it's logical to conclude that you don'tcare about the Iraqi people, as she said".

Michelle,

Your post perfectly complements Ali's.
Great job!

No Thlayli, she's using logic.

Whether she's "using logic" is besides the point. The point is she's climbing on the same kind of high horse she was bitching about yesterday.

Ali's blog was wonderful. It should be read in full and forwarded to your friends.

Iraq has more of an educated middle class than most of the other Arab states.(Ali is an example). And they are the targets of the mob which is manipulated by the fundamentalists and Baathists. Reading Ali's blog you can see the fear factor. And that is why we are there. Maybe, just maybe, the Ali's of Iraq will have a voice and a part of building a functioning society.

What Michele is talking about doesn't seem like projecting to me. Exactly what did you want her to say, Thlayli? "Oh, those lefties are desecrating the dead and calling them names, and I have no right to call 'em on it"? Projecting works both ways, you know.

Struck a nerve, did she, Thlayli? Oh well, don't worry your pretty little hippy head about it. Go back to tending your marijuana plants or listening to your Phish albums or pretending to read Chomsky books whatever it is losers like you do instead of something useful. As usual, the sensible people, who know the definitions of "projection" and "logic," will take care of the world. We'll try not to get any freedom on your shoes. (Now, I predict that Thlayli will write that I am an example of another Smug Person, unlike himself who Really Cares About Humanity.)

Hmmmm. Reading through these comments, I have only this to say:

Deafening silence from the peanut gallery.

But then, what did you expect, Michele? Why should the moonbats learn to argue when they've always found their hysteria and "righteous indignation" to be more than sufficient?

Michelle, thanks for a reasoned response to the many (far too many) cheerleaders for the rape rooms here. I find it hard to believe that I am reading blogs from people who say they support soldiers, then with the same breath say that they want us defeated. There is no defeat here except through our death. An no surrender possible that won't result in many more American civilians dying in the near future. I cannot, will not, understand why someone, who has never been beaten by a mutaawa, or seen the mass graves here, or the abject poverty just outside the wall of an opulent palace, tries to explain to me how horrible I am, or what a mindless automaton I am working for Halliburton. 20 year old soldiers in my unit, on their second tour here in the middle east, probably know more about this country and the people than all the anti-American undergrads at all the ivy league colleges put together. Add to that unholy pile all the Chomskyite professors too. It still wouldn't match the knowledge that comes from being here, helping people dig their long-lost relatives out of a mass grave, seeing a prison built exclusively for preschoolers, seeing every single day someone who looks like your daughter back home go by and give a little smile.
Your response is much more readable than any response I may have. I can only say "Fuck you, you leftist socialist scumbag whores" so many times before it loses it's meaning.

Diggs that prison for preschoolers thing caused a little flurry of counter propaganda in our media.

It was interesting, some Saddam apologist wrote a piece that claimed to debunk the original report, but something about it seemed strange to me:

1. the original report had lots of concrete details while the "debunking" had only claims.

2. the "debunker" claimed that the prison was really a perfectly wonderful orphanage completely ignoring the fact that families showed up to claim their "orphans".

Huh, "orphans" with families who where relieved to have them back? He must have been using some obscure definition of the word orphan of which I was not previously aware.

Of course, as far as the indimedia fans are concerned, the story was mere war propaganda and has been debunked. Just don't look too hard at that debunking.

Thlayli, I understand now. Michele isn't allowed to point out obvious truths when that truth makes you look bad.

Got it.

Joshua,

Ever notice how logic tends to make folks like Thlayli shrink away? Kind of like holding up a cross to Count Dracula.

"Curses! Not logic again. Not reasoned arguement."

Facts are stubborn things, aren't they?

Your rant was reposted over at www.debategate.com/3DHS/, where I initially responded with the following:

"'As soon as the media released the pictures of the horror that happened in Fallujah, the anti-war crowd reacted with their two basic answers to everything: Iraqis hate us, and bring the troops home now.'

That's about as far as I got with that one. I think it's fair to say I'm as against this war as anyone, and I have never held either of those positions. Perhaps people aren't as simplistic as this person seems to think they are."

Apparently that wasn't good enough for some, so I expounded a bit further in a later post:

"Then for the record:

'As soon as the media released the pictures of the horror that happened in Fallujah, the anti-war crowd reacted with their two basic answers to everything: Iraqis hate us, and bring the troops home now.'

First, when I did travel around the Middle East (and much of the rest of the world), I took every opportunity I could to get out and meet the people, to see what each country had to offer, and to experience as much of the local culture as I could. Everywhere I went (except the Soviet bloc, where it might get them in trouble), the people were open and friendly, even when they knew I was American. I found over the years that people everywhere are pretty much the same - get away from the government folks and the official party line, and the average person wants pretty much the same things we want: a roof over their head, food for their family, an opportunity to improve their and their children's lot in life, etc. Even in Iran just prior to the overthrow of the Shah, away from Teheran, the people were basically friendly. I have no reason to believe this has changed over the years.

Second, my opposition to this war is based on the fact that we went in under false pretenses. Bush's legacy will be that he got us into it based on (pick one) lies or erroneous information that he didn't bother to check out well enough before he committed to invasion. In my not so humble opinion, we should have taken the time to finish the job in Afghanistan first, leaving the people there better off than we found them, with a viable government of their choice in place, before we went stomping around looking to get mired down somewhere else. Now we have our troops spread thin over both countries, with the job far from complete in either one, and no foreseeable end in sight. I don't see the solution as pulling out now - we're stuck, gored by Bush's shortsightedness. The best we can do now is carry on and try to straighten out the mess we've made, apparently without help, since Bushco has managed to piss off most of the countries that could have assisted us.

Let's jump ahead now...

'Do you actually care about the people of Iraq?

From where I sit, I'd have to say no.'

And again, you would be wrong. I care about them, but they were getting along well enough, for the moment, while we were trying to take care of unfinished business in Afghanistan. Sure, Saddam was a tyrant, and his people may eventually be better off that he is gone, but I feel we could have done the job better if we had finished job 1 before starting job 2. That would have allowed us to more fully concentrate on doing both jobs right.

Skipping right along...

'To place blame on every wrong in the world on Bush, on Republicans, on Halliburton, on the 2000 election or on Americans as a whole (arrogance, evil capitalism, etc.) is a grave error of judgment.'

The blame I put on Bush and his cohorts is not thinking their actions through. Damn, isn't that the very thing you were preaching about earlier?

Moving right along...

'So tell me, all of you. Do you think we should really pull the troops out now? If so, what do you propose to do about what will happen when Iraq sinks back into a pit of terror and torture? Or have you thought that far ahead?'

Ooh, ooh, there's that thinking ahead thing again...It's a little late to be carping on that to Bush now, he pulled the trigger already, we have to live with it.

And this...

'But, hey. That's just me. I have this crazy thing about thinking of the consequences of my action.'

Then maybe you ought to take this up with Dubya. He could use a lesson or two in that area.

Hope that clears it up for ya."

Fallujah - On one very simple level, this is a crime and should be punished. No politics, nothing. Even in war, there are crimes and this is one.

It is very sad though to think that cameras and copycat Somalia - Black Hawk Downers, could commit a crime so awful and base, but to do it with forethought, with a sort of "we'll be so bad the Americans will flee" confidence. What a sad choice these people made.

This makes me hawkish. Retribution should be mighty and swift. Martial law imposed.

Let's not forget the Sheik who aligns with Hamas and Hezbollah. Arrest him? I would.

I do believe fundamentally that the majority of 'normal people' and yes there are normal people in Iraq, desire peace. To have a job, raise their family, send their kids to school so they can have a better life. But they are used to being bullied. And so the majority is too quiet. This majority needs to fight for its own country and, with our help, dispel, lock up, or jail these killers that threaten them.