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What next?

Yes, I've taken a deep breath and collected my thoughts, thank you for asking. Seeing this video has put many things in perspective for me. I am pissed at the soldiers who committed abuses because we don't do that. At least, we aren't supposed to. What they did was terrible because it derailed our war efforts. But this. This is different. This is in-your-face terrorism. And you can bet your ass we won't get an apology for it. I just had this ugly thought while I was sitting in my car waiting for my son to get out of school. The last two weeks have cemented whatever line there was between the left and the right. Abu Ghraib has become the definitive dividing point and the break is irreparable. I had my first political fight with my best friend this morning. We've been friends for fourteen years and have had differing politics since day one, but we've debated, talked, and discussed and never fought. Today, we fought. We raised our voices. We had an angry edge to our words. The bell rang and I watched the kids stream out of the school. Sorry, kids. We fucked the place up for you. This makes me physically sick. I don't know how some people can sit back and say it doesn't matter. It does. Am I part of it. Yes, of course I am. I'm not going to deny that. America is broken and we all had something to do with it. When's the best time to kick a man? When he's down, of course. Watch your back, America. My post 9/11 wariness is back and it tells me that kick is coming. Yea, I've been wrong before. Doesn't make the fear any less real. It's just harder to take knowing what a tremendous part we all played in tearing this country apart, and that we will continue to do it because to not fight for what you think is right and against what you think is wrong is not in our nature. Where do we go from here? I'm serious. Someone answer this for me. How the hell do we get ourselves back together again? [By the way, Hannity.com is showing the video. Not that anyone really wants to see it, but I understand the point he is making by having it available.]


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference What next?:

» Outrage over the beheading of this... from Drink this...
Patiently waiting (but not holding breathe) for outrage coverage of outrage to pop up over this... Video Shows Beheading of American in Iraq AP - May 11, 2004 CAIRO, Egypt - A video posted Tuesday on an Islamic militant Web [Read More]

» An eye for an eye? from c0llision.org
A video posted on an Al-Qaeda website is showing the beheading of an American civilian in Iraq: The video showed five men wearing headscarves and black ski masks, standing over a bound man in an orange jumpsuit - similar to... [Read More]

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I'm upset. No, let me clarify that. I'm really upset. I'm not sure what triggered it exactly. I think it's been accummulating over some time. There were whispers of it in this post and this one. But now I'm truly upset. I think the decapitation of an A... [Read More]

» Nick Berg Beheading Video from Rooftop Report
I don't really have the energy to write about this full incident because, (a) I have seen the video and it isn't pleasant, (b) I have heard the audio and it is awful, and (3) the way people are actually [Read More]

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So the boyfriend rented The Fog of War last night. He had the decency to watch it alone while I was working; thus was I spared excessive exposure to that carp-lipped gasbag. But at one point I walked through the... [Read More]

» Nick Berg Beheading Video from Rooftop Report
Check out today's Morning Bang. I don't really have the energy to write about the full incident because, (a) I have seen the video and it isn't pleasant, (b) I have heard the audio and it is awful, and (3)... [Read More]


"But this. This is different. This is in-your-face terrorism. And you can bet your ass we won't get an apology for it."

Who's going to apologize for it? The guys who did it? I don't give a damn if they apologize, I want them tried and executed. Do they have a commanding officer? Let's execute him too. Let's go all the way to the top and execute each one in turn, I'd say that's the best apology.

America is still young enough to remember what force of will and intellect brought her forth, her 'spirit', her force.

About 25% of the population has no idea what it is to be American.They could never fathom the truly great history this country has-a history all about the individual citizen, not government.

Will we succeed unifying again? Of course.Force of habit.

I share your pessimism, Michele, and your fears. I just see no end to terrorism, even if we succeed 100% in Iraq. Technology has simply made it too easy for a small number of terrorist to kill thousands of people at a time, if not destory an entire area with a dirty bomb.

As for America, I just don't know. I try very hard to keep in mind that the majority of people in this country simply live their lives and pay more attention to American Idol than the nightly news, much less cable news. Are we really that divided? Although I do agree that most people fail to realize that we do have an enemy - terrorists - and they do want us all dead. I'm surpirsed the sentiments that followed 9/11 didn't last. I'm not sure why it didn't.

I'm not sure. I'm really not. Maybe I'm just depressed right now, but I imagine a 9/11-magnitude attack on us, and I see a significant fraction of America saying "See what Bush did!"

I guess it's easier to hate something that isn't (much of a) threat than hating something that wants to make you dead. Weird thought.

Be determined to win in November. Remember, if John Kerry gets elected there will be more Nick Bergs, more WTCs, more terrorism. This is all about the election now.

This is their idea of revenge. Revenge for our vengeance for their vengeance for our previous vengence. Ad naseum, et cetera, blah blah blah.

That we're (generally) right and they're (almost completely) wrong doesn't matter.

The only difference is the "justification". Otherwise, it's revenge for vengeance for whatever.

Expect more of the same.

Let's elect a president that promises to be a uniter and not a divider...oh sh*t we did that already.

Seriously though, it seems to me from my small corner of the world that the only success we've had with bring about democracy is to introduce some prosperity. When I was a kid I was horrified that we did nothing while China ran over democratic demonstrators with tanks. We look at all the excuses for attacking Iraq and they match up against China. We know they have WMDs, they can put them in f*ing orbit, they have a horrible human rights record, but we have increased our import of Chinese goods (I think Walmart imports about 10% of Chinese products in the US). It's obvious why neither Republicans or Democrats wanted to do anything with China...they don't have oil, they have cheap labor.
But low and behold...things are slowly getting better over there. Same with Vietnam. As a country prospers and its people become educated and hooked into the work, democracy gets a foothold.
The war in Iraq is tearing things apart and introducing more chaos. Getting rid of Saddam will help, but what next. Yeah we're trying to rebuild, but every time there's a fire fight it makes things worse for both sides. What's next? The only similar situation I have to draw a conclusion from is Vietnam, and it's not pretty.

We've been divided worse than this. Excluding the part that was um....teporarily not participating, the US was sharply divided during the Civil War, there were class riots, race riot,s draft riots and the north was almost evenly split between those who wanted to continue the fight and those who did not. This doesn't even count the part of the nation that was actively fighting to be out of the whole arraingement.

Reconstruction was not a happy time either.

As to getting us back together, I don't think we have really been as unified as many think except during WW2 when the Republicans basically ceded to the other party because we were at war....the left, can't do that as politics is their religion to a large extent.

We have always been devided on any number of issues....the monopoly of leftist outlook in the media for the last 40 years or so has made it seem like there was more consensus than there was. Now that our side (I'm a rightie:) has a voice, there is a spirited debate again it is messy and it is intense, but that is the nature of a Republic....especially during an election year

I agree with you that this is likely to encourage our foreign enemies, but that can't be helped...they consider debate to be a form of weakness, it is not, it is how we bit check ourselves and keep from being so assured of our rightness that we behead people, fly planes into buildings or other such stupidity as evolves from an intellectual echo-chamber.

I think the only way we're going to regain something like national unity is if the Left gets some major "shock therapy," sufficient to break through the mass delusions they've generated and recycled within their insulated bell jar environment.

My optimistic side says this may happen after the major electoral landslide defeat that I think/hope the Democrats are headed for, and it'll finally sink in just how out of touch with the rest of the country they are.

My pessimistic side says it's gonna take the loss of a city to wake them up, and that we're gonna get that. It'll turn out that control of Big Media really is still all that matters, and the electorate will be fooled into believing the Left's lies, and Kerry will be elected, and we'll go back to a Clintonian "muddling through" strategy while focusing on the "real, important" things like doling out free prescription drugs to important voting blocs by the shovelfull. And then, in 3-6 years, it'll happen, and we'll wake up to learn that they destroyed Newark, or Charleston, or Miami with a nuclear weapon. And then we'll finally get the unity we need, but at a terrible, terrible price.

"But this. This is different. This is in-your-face terrorism. And you can bet your ass we won't get an apology for it."

Why not? Because it is Islamic dogma that remains unrecognizable by the increasing hordes of leftist-university-brainwashed dhimmis-in-denial!

As a Pole about Socialism. Ask a Jew raised in the Muslim world about Arabs. Ask a Sudanese black Christian about Arabs.

Michele, until you can safely wear your boobie-cleavage shirt down the streets of Mecca as a tourist, as you could in Tel Aviv or anywhere in the lefty-and-media-reviled Bible Belt, the world isn't safe. (I'm not sure if I'd go so far as to defend wearing a loathsome Red Sox cap, though.)

More and more, as I write in CIA and State Department and Abu Ghraib, I think the diplomatic corps and Clinton-castrated CIA are trying to create chaos to deflect from their responsibility for the decades of intelligence failures. It's going to suck rotten eggs to get off the Saudi gravy train.

Personally, I am fighting the urge to become just like them and call for the annihilation of all radical islamists. I am sick. After watching that video, I feel exactly the way I did on the morning of 9/11. One death or 3000, their only crime was that they were American and some jackasses have it in their heads that because one American is a dumbass, we all are. What makes Americans better than these terrorists is the fact that we won't call for the death of ALL muslims for the crimes of these five. But I swear I have to keep looking at my flag to remind myself of that.

I've been having similar thoughts a lot lately, and have posted them a few times on my blog. But in short, I think it is going to take something worse than 9/11 - or several somethings - for the left to realize that there really is a war on and that we need to stop the partisan bickering and fight it. It terrifies me and it makes me incalculably sad when I think about it, but I'm afraid it will be the case. I fear there's not enough will in our country or in the world to fight terrorism. If the next big attack does not come soon (and I am by no means wishing that it does), the war on terrorism will die a slow death for now, and the sickness will continue to fester till eventually the next big attack does come. Maybe then we'll be able to come together as a nation - for real this time. Or maybe the next big attack will come soon, people will blame Bush, and as a nation we'll all stick our heads in the sand and wait for the next big attack. I don't know what to expect. But like you, I'm depressed and frightened by the prospects.

Your questions deserve more than a comment here, but that never stopped me before :), so why not give it a sound bite shot...

1. Where do we go from here? We stay the course. Keep at it. Never give up. Read Chief Wiggles. (Dare I say it? Oh what the hell, why not: pray.

OK, that word just scared off all the moonbats. To continue, yep, I said pray. Don't expect a response, a voice, a sign, don't expect anything from it. Just do it like chewing sugarless gum (it cleans your teeth). And, to quote my mom, Because I Said So.

2. How do we get ourselves back together again? We don't. You don't want that. OK, maybe you do want to get back together with your friend, but that's so easy I won't insult you with advice about it. Now, as for America getting back together again, when were we ever together? I can't remember America marching in goose-step unison for anything. Or even being more than ~60% united for more than a few minutes.

That's OK. In fact, that's what we're fighting for: freedom and pluralism in all things. Our soldiers fight for Michael Moore, Bill Moyers, CBS, and even Ted Rall as much as for the Iraqis and for me. And they fight for my right to tell Ted Rall to go fuck himself. It's too complicated for most lefties, but it's true.

No, we will never eliminate terrorism from the face of the earth. That's why it's a mistake to call this a war on "terror". Might as well have a war on Scotch tape ™. No, this is a war against fascist zealots.

And there's no such thing as a good fascist zealot.

A different Bill is an ostrich-dhimmi-to-be.

Why isn't it reasonable to assume that if the Muslim world can't cough up a hairball of anti-jihad protests from their 1.5 billion, then they, dogmatically, really DO support the goals of the jihadists?

There is no way the Nazi SS could have forced the German citizenry into creating a system of death camps WITHOUT the tacit agreement of those primed-for-genocide citizens.

The Muslim world is quantifiably far more primed for genocide than the Nazis ever were.

Dresden and Hiroshima and Nagasaki were highly moral events as they brought the war to an end.

Read Victor Davis Hanson's The Soul of Battle and learn that brief, unflinchingly brutal war SAVES LIVES of both us and the enemy.

Until there are marches of Muslims for Israel and Muslims against Dhimmitude, your not wanting to "be like them" will only result in you or your progeny being subjugated as Europe increasingly is becoming.

The "shire folk" of Lord of the Rings didn't want their role, but it was theirs. Note why the leftists hated that movie so much. Shirking the ugly work of defending freedom means a worse world plunged back into a new Sharia-dominated dark ages.

No, you don't get the option to be "pure". I think it was Hanson who this week said something to the effect of "the pure is the enemy of the good."

Grow up, people. We need 10 steps forward even if there are 2 or 3 steps back. Learn from the mistakes and MOVE ON but don't quit from making further progress because of the fear of making more mistakes.

Apply a utilitarian calculus.

I agree. Leftists should watch the video. This could be their son being beheaded. We must root out these animals. The link on Hannity didn't work. I got a link on my blog that shows the actual beheading. I'm very upset and more resolved than ever we must win this war. We will never surrender.

Until there are marches of Muslims for Israel and Muslims against Dhimmitude, your not wanting to "be like them" will only result in you or your progeny being subjugated as Europe increasingly is becoming.


I've been looking for these. Don't hold your breath.

Michele, those on the extreme left and the extreme right love the polarization that's been ongoing in American society for some time. They love it because it greatly assists them in their efforts to enforce their simplistic, black-and-white view of the world on everyone else. Any attempts to see complexity or shades of gray on either side are met with thundering denouncement along the lines of "You sir, are guilty of giving aid and comfort to the enemy!!!"

I do believe George Bush has helped to worsen the level of incivility in American politics, but the process of polarization had been underway long before he took office - long before 9/11. I don't know why this is happening, and I can't claim to know how to reverse the process. What I do know is, I'm sick and tired of all the fighting. Unfortunately, whether Kerry or Bush wins this election, the devolution of our political culture seems certain to continue for the foreseeable future...


You state: "George Bush has helped to worsen the level of incivility in American politics".

Please explain how you come to that conclusion. That totally confuses me.

I dont want to be a wise guy here, but things like this happen every day in the wider ME, the murder is just not broadcasted every time.

we nead to be a little tougher, cause the islamofascists do such and similar enormities regularly to other muslims (particularly women) and if the ostentation of their cruelty frightens us, we can and will get it from them day by day by day by day, no big deal for them or their supporters who are nihilistic assholes anyway.

lets bemoan our victims, but then retaliate fittingly and let THEM fear US before they perish and do no more harm.

being evil does not make them superior, its sad but we will have to get used to such terror and harden our hearts, before we can wipe this pest off the face of the earth

The thing about Bush, he does not operate on the premise that we have been victimized he operates on the premise that we were attacked.

Humiliation is not torture, beheading is torture.

What will eventually bring us together again, in a word survival.


Be careful that you don't let your world be defined by right and left.

A while back, you wanted me to participate in the Command Post chat during Bush's press conference because "it gets boring when we're all on the same side".

I hope that this note reminds you that there are those on the "other" side who are careful, introspective thinkers. I am more left-wing than right-wing, though I'm a lot closer to center than the folks that you complain about. I have serious questions about why we're in Iraq to start with, and whether or not we were lied to. On the other hand, I am totally behind the war on terror in general - which has moved into Iraq.

You get to define the side that you're on. You don't get to define the side that others are on. However, if you concentrate on the differences, you CREATE "sides". If you want your life to be a battle, go ahead and be an extremist. If you want a more quiet life, accentuate the positive in your daily life.

I hope Nick Berg's parents get an apology from John F*ing Kerry, who posted the Iraqi prison misconduct on his site in order to raise money. I hope they get an apology from all the howlers on both sides of the aisles who claimed we were "covering up" something. I hope they get an apology from everyone, including John F*ing Kerry who spouted the "Freedom of Speech" protections for the airing of these photos. And an apology from the idiot who thought it was a good idea to even TAKE the pics in the first place.

I hope they get an apology from a weak-kneed Republican leadership that STILL hasn't learned how to be in POWER, and how to USE it to an advantage.

And I just wish that GWB would grow a bigger pair, sit the entire joint sessions of Congress down, and have a well-publicized "come to Jesus" meeting with both parties..and the entire nation: A healthy dose of STFU for all concerned is just what is needed. Just dammit!!

It makes me long for the stale and vapid coverage of Michael Jackson/Kobe Bryant/Gay Marriage/Martha Stewart/American Idol/Steroids/Friends/Frasier/ad nauseum...and even the Bush Lied! memes.

syn - not to spoil your moral high ground or anything, but if you read the report, "humiliation" is the least of the detailed prison "abuse".

I'd say that spending our time trying to decide which evil thing is more evil than which other evil thing is not a productive exercise. It's just disgusting, and what it leads to is we start out with Ted Rall hearing about the prison torture, dancing a jig and going "See, I told you so! We win!" Then an American gets his head chopped off and we get someone from the other side going "Hey! Hey leftists! See this video! Proves I'm right! I win!"

Then we can go even further. Is it more evil to celebrate American soldiers commiting acts of brutality and torture, or the beheading of an American? Is it evil to say one is evil while making some insane justification for the other? We can keep it up until the next atrocity!

The harder question, which Michele is asking and everyone is ducking is: what could we do to bring the country together. Well, I have a modest proposal, which would never happen, not in a million years, but here it is: the partisan bums step aside and we have election 2004: Joe Lieberman vs John McCain.

Soli, the difference is, virtually everybody is calling for the idiots in the prison to be punished appropriately, and not everybody is saying the scum who murdered Nick Berg should be punished appropriately.

I can understand the disaffection you have with both ends of the political spectrum, but I think it's inherently unfair to say they're both wrong for the same reason, to the same degree, or for similar selfishness. There's a qualitative difference between the two ends of that spectrum, and you're closer to the right end than the left. And for good reason.

The Left is not only willing to see us kicked in the teeth, humbled and killed, they're eager for it if it will forward their political goals. The right end of the spectrum, as (let's say) typified by Limbaugh, despite a certain cynical calculation in its thinking at times, would never gleefully titter about the murder of US citizens or soldiers, regardless of any perceived political benefit they may expect to get from it.

Remember: we had plenty of opportunities to see our fellow citizens killed during the Clinton years. And I never, not once, heard the Right cynically exhibit schadenfreude with respect to America. It was Clinton himself who used to stack bodies like cordwood, from Oklahoma City to Ron Brown, to provide himself a platform from which he could viscerally attack his domestic opponents.

The Right may screw up from time to time. Forget our brains in fits of anger and wishes for revenge. We may even engage in our own brand of cynical political calculus. But our loyalties to America, and what she means to us all, never waver.

Distinctly unlike The Left.

How can anybody find it beneficial to "unify" with those people? What gain? Their goal is to see America diminished and at the end of the UN's leash. That's not my goal. That idea is inimical to my idea of what's good for my country.

No. Unless they're ready to change their mind on such things, unity will have to take a back seat to preservation of the country in spite of The Left's best efforts to leave us exposed. Sometimes in life there are people who will not be reasoned with. Some of those people strap bombs to themselves. Some post asinine messages at the democratic underground.

So. Ken. You know none of that stuff is true, right? I mean, you're just trying to stir up a lot of negative sentiments. I get that. But you know in some part of your mind that all that stuff you just wrote about the Left not having any loyalty to the United States and wanting to "diminish" the United States is really just a bunch of gray propaganda that can only stand because it's too vague to be argued. Right?

Hey MikeR... Hillsabitch said there's a "vast right wing conspiracy" and her priapic hubby, the impeached President, was getting a hummer while decimating humint and appeasing tyrants.

I must have forgotten to pay my membership dues because I'm not getting my VRWC mailings.

Better Dead than Dhimmicrat.

This country will not be "united" until the boomers are senile, dead or can take no for an answer.

Even during WWII, it was not united. 10% did not agree w/it.

Not to get too much into the muck here, but President Bush has contributed to the partisanship by acting as if he's only president of half the country. As far as Bush is concerned, everyone to the left of him can go screw themselves - which is a level of partisan dislike none of his predecessors engaged in no matter how much folks on my side of the aisle may have disliked them (Clinton, Bush I, Reagan). It's quite distasteful.

"Soli, the difference is, virtually everybody is calling for the idiots in the prison to be punished appropriately, and not everybody is saying the scum who murdered Nick Berg should be punished appropriately."

- Chad


Chad, if you were in the opposite party, you'd say the exact opposite. At least the leftist wanks have the intellectual (dis)honesty to quote something like Limbaugh's fraternity comparision or some other windbag hate monger talking about how the prisoners "deserved it" before prattling off the silly sentiment.

Well, guess what. You're wrong. Everyone who's not a twat or a shill is horrified and disgusted at both events. We both know you could go find some Rall-ish retard to quote on this (I'm sure someone could point you to the DU if you'll settle for a patsy 'net troll) but your overall point is simply bunk.

I wish I could answer your question, Michele. Really. But I can't. If 9/11 cannot keep us unified, what can? Destruction of an entire city? More than one city? What will it take before people realize there's a war on and we have to unite? Judging from some of the comments here, I'm not sanguine about the possibilities.

I guess I'm feeling just a despondent as you are. Sorry. Time to go do some drinking.

Michele - this why people were saying that in the grander scheme of things, what happened at Abu Ghraib was not "all that bad." Yeah, they had their heads covered, their wangs uncovered.

They still have both.

It is BS to think that this is because of Abu Ghraib - it is because that is who the enemy is. What precipitated Daniel Pearl's murder? Was there some too tough op-ed in the WSJ? If you've trolled the depths of the internet, you've seen the same thing, only a Russian done by Chechens.

They used to run propaganda films (not all propaganda is bad) during WWII entitled "This is the enemy." Maybe we need to do it again.

John, we fought two (2) proxy wars with China, Korea and Vietnam. All that was in the space of 20 years. And of course any direct war with China then would have resulted in an all out war with the Soviet Union. Because the USSR had the bomb since the 50s that would have meant nuclear war. Yes, we could have avoided that by invading China and the USSR in 1945-1949 period, but we were a little tired from something. In the early 80s Reagan began to wage an economic war with the USSR. This was a smashing success. Since then we have waged a similar war with China with the effects you have mentioned. We could do this because of one factor. M.A.D. (If you don't know what that stands for, it is not a magazine, go look it up) We could count on China not attacking the US mainland.

911 took away the option of changing the Middle East slowly by using our economic powers. Do you think we could wait another 20 or 30 years before changes took hold? I can't imagine the horrors or the cost of that approach. And I mean cost in terms of human lives.

We are at war with an ideology. It took us 3 generations to defeat communism. It took us 2 generations and 2 World Wars to defeat fascism. We have been fighting Radical Islam (RI) for a generation already, only we were never active about it.

The war in Afghanistan purchased us some time. We had to take the war to RI's home turf, the Middle East. Iraq is not and was not the heart of RI. But Iraq was and is our door to the Middle East. Through this war in Iraq we can move this battle to RI's home turf.

Some people in this country don’t think we need a war against RI. Of course many did not think we needed to fight in WWI or WWII. And many more thought we were on the wrong side of the war against communism. We were divided then. We had great divides even into the late 80s over communism. In fact, until the total collapse of a governmental system, many people thought we were about to lose. Then they gave credit to the “choice” to reform the Soviet system.

Michele wants to know how to come together. Simple, we win or we lose and then we move on. If we win, we do what America has done for 150 years. We salute our enemies and help them rebuild. We forgive and get to work. We did it after our Civil War. We did it after WWII. We did it for the parts of Korea we help free. We have done that for the old USSR.

We will come together in victory and the world will be better for it.

We will come together in defeat and I shudder to think what the lasting effect will be.

(Michele, sorry for the length of this. That video got my dander up.)

Michele, you are the duchess of noble sentiments. I fear political arguments with my friends; worse, as a conservative reporter for a daily newspaper, Im vastly outnumbered!

that said, unity is an asinine concept in the days of Mike Moore, and tragically, the right's behavior in the Lewinsky matter. Much of this nation despises each other politically and we all know it.

case in point, the ongoing careers of Oliver Wills or Ann Coulter.

My emotions tell me we need leadership; specifically, individual(s) willing to impose severe cost-benefit issues upon those perpetrating such acts.

but, and here is a big "but, there is absolutley nothing we can do about this. Nor is there anything we will do about this. And many, many of us know this.

Because the war is not some standard left/right hassle...think Crossfire writ very, very large.

This is quite literally the clash of civilizations. This is much bigger than America and our stupid 2 year-4 year election cycle worries.

This is about how we define ourselves; more specifically, it is about whether the world can live with the religion we call Islam.Or at the very least, whether we can live with the political expressions of it.

Nick Berg is bad; the fact that the slaughter of a pregnant woman and her 4 kids was cause for celebtration and hero-worship in Palestine is far more telling. Write those deeds larger, on a societal scale, and you'll see what Im talking about.

I have a deep psychological commitment to the freedom of religion, it is who I am as an American. But I do not beleive that a war with Islam is avoidable.

they will force a them or us moment in the next ten years. My guess: the Mullahs nukes are but an accelerant.


Did you know you can be an apologist by omission? Maybe you should go read the Teguba report before you make more erroneous assumptions.

The day that I feel it to be prudent to lock up every single Muslim or Islamist in America because their "bretheren" beheaded an innocent man is the day the terrorists have won over my heart, mind, and soul. I am an American, and I believe in the principles on which this nation was founded. I will gladly volunteer myself to be the next beheaded before I would ever want a single innocent person to suffer for what these men have done. What good does it do to fight for principles when you ignore them during the fight?
Stay the course. What the facsist fear is not our guns...it's our ideas.

soli - yes, I've read it. From the link you gave, the abuses therein:

a. (S) Punching, slapping, and kicking detainees; jumping on their naked feet;
b. (S) Videotaping and photographing naked male and female detainees;

c. (S) Forcibly arranging detainees in various sexually explicit positions for photographing;

d. (S) Forcing detainees to remove their clothing and keeping them naked for several days at a time;

e. (S) Forcing naked male detainees to wear women’s underwear;

f. (S) Forcing groups of male detainees to masturbate themselves while being photographed and videotaped;

g. (S) Arranging naked male detainees in a pile and then jumping on them;

h. (S) Positioning a naked detainee on a MRE Box, with a sandbag on his head, and attaching wires to his fingers, toes, and penis to simulate electric torture;

i. (S) Writing “I am a Rapest” (sic) on the leg of a detainee alleged to have forcibly raped a 15-year old fellow detainee, and then photographing him naked;

j. (S) Placing a dog chain or strap around a naked detainee’s neck and having a female Soldier pose for a picture;

k. (S) A male MP guard having sex with a female detainee;

l. (S) Using military working dogs (without muzzles) to intimidate and frighten detainees, and in at least one case biting and severely injuring a detainee;

m. (S) Taking photographs of dead Iraqi detainees.


So am I missing the part where they cut the heads off?

I'm told that there was a CNN segment this afternoon in which the reporter asked, in substance: "What was he doing there? Was it for money?"

Did anyone see this--if so, could you confirm more precisely what was said?

This seems to be a persistent liberal meme...any civilian in Iraq is doing it for money (unlike those noble newscasters who work for free.)

I don't know, Michele. When I first heard this story, what ran through my head was Kipling's [i]The Grave of the Hundred Head[/i], one of his most blood-thirsty battle poems. Down that path lies a world of the dead, though, so I should recommend [i]Hymn Before Action[/i] instead.

I like the new look, and congrats to your son's team!

Blaster -

"Yeah, they had their heads covered, their wangs uncovered."

Seems to leave out a whole lot, you might notice, as compared to your 2nd comment. According to Senator Hagel there are also investigations of possible wrongful or negligent death as well.

Soli - don't get me started on Hagel.

But, yes, we have investigated and prosecuted US personnel for wrongful or negligent death of Iraqi and Afghan prisoners - but not at Abu Ghraib. We will continue to. But notice that hasn't gotten the hackles up of the whole wide world.

No, what got everyone's knickers twisted was the naked photos, the grinning hillbillies pointing and laughing.

So expand my flip comment on a blog to a full, enveloping listing of what we found was done wrong and are punishing people for. And what do you have? People still with their heads attached. No notes sent along with the pictures saying, hey, mama, look what we are doing to your little boy. Or are going to do.

So you can call me an apologist all you want. People on our side did some bad things, and we will punish them for it. But the bad things that they did - in the grander scheme of things - are really not so bad, are they?

Which would you choose? A chick with a dog chain or decapitation?

Inquiring minds want to know.

ADB: The refusal to police and inform on their own is aiding and abetting. It's that simple. They hear the sermons in their American mosques. The radicals FAR outnumber those who can live with others. They aren't even TRYING to stop the Jihad, ergo they are guilty.

The parallel is that Germans and Italians VOLUNTEERED to kill their cousins in Europe in WWII. Why aren't we getting anti-Jihadist Muslims enlisting in our armed services?

To them, Muslim blood is thicker than the US Constitution.

The Muslims aren't here to become Americans, Bill. They're here to make America part of Dar al Islam. Ask any religious Muslim.

The so-called "moderates" are simply willing to wait a century or two to burn the Constitution you wouldn't defend.

Europe is dying, unwilling to wake up in the face of the hordes of Jihad. Read a little Orianna Fallaci.

my quick 2c --

we on "the left" hold george bush and his administration responsible for all of this.

without GWB, a dem administration would have continued their focus on terrorist cells as the previous administration had done, would have kept funding available for intelligence agencies and would probably have listened to them when they warned of these attacks. they probably would even have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

and the world would still have respect for america now.


with GWB, we:

- ignored the warnings of the previous administration right from the get go,
- focused on the wrong things,
- ignored warnings from the intelligence community, didn't see any danger looming...

- used 9/11 as a pretext to call dissenters unpatriotic,
- as a pretext to debase the constitution with the patriot act,
- as a pretext to invade iraq using lies,
- awarded non-competitive contracts to his buddies' companies (who went on to overcharge by millions),
- detained hundreds without due process, set up geneva convention-free jails,
- lost the support and respect of the world,
- turned iraq from a locked-down dictorship into a hotbed of terrorism, - spent it's way to the biggest deficit of ALL TIME,
- and disengenously failed to include any military spending on their 2005 budget document.

all of this has decreased america's security. who the hell keeps poking a hornet's nest and is surprised when the hornet's attack?

sure - these fundie sickos were out there before, but there were of an order of magnitude less. we seem to have managed the unmanageable -- to unite most islamist fundamentalists against us. that will always be GWB's claim to fame for me.

get bush out. he's failed. don't be too proud to get someone else in who may do a better job.

i'm not here to tell anyone else they're wrong. i just wanted to give my POV.

The video is also here. All images linked may be fairly graphic.


I know how to html this, just some blogs find that offensive.

"Who the hell keeps poking a hornet's nest and is surprised when the hornets attack?"

A man who's decided that a hornet nest in his living room is one nest too many, and intends to remove it before they spread to the rest of the house. As opposed to his moronic roommates who want to give the hornets a stern talking-to and wait for them to see the light and move out voluntarily. He probably isn't all that surprised, either, despite the whinging of his frightened and annoying roommates.

I've had it. I've been pretty patient to this point but my patience is gone.

If we're not going to fight the war that's been declared on us, I want to know.

Of course Oliver, that's why Ted wrote the Education Bill.

I heard that from a 60's boomer a couple of weeks ago. Told him what I wrote above. Until the boomers are senile, dead or can take no for an answer, this country will be divided.

I have spent far too long watching how the other side wants us to get along. They'd be delighted to agree to everything as long as they're running it. Then there would be no problem, because for the last 50 years, the pubbies kept their mouths shut. Our ® elected officials still do, but now we have other venues to ge the word out.

mark -

i believe they call that a preemtive hornet's nest attack. ;-)

except the hornets from that particular nest weren't bugging you.

but you were told that the nest hid weapons of mass destruction. so what could you do? you had to go after it? right? after all -- the wasp in charge once gassed his own people with flyspray you sold him!

but after you cut it open, there were no weapons there. your number one reason for attacking was proven false and you've only succeeded in attracting 10x as many wasps to the area all willing to take a crack at you.


So, prof, what are you saying?

I shouldn't send my hubby outside tomorrow night to spray between the shutters and my siding?

I should just leave them alone?

well sandy,

it depends on whether you want to go on bashing my analogy or actually addressing the points i laid out.



Okay, that's it. If nothing else, this incident should make the sides real clear to everyone. Peope who apologise for terrorism or who play politics with this incident to try to (re)gain political office ARE ON THE OTHER SIDE.
Prof: keep on lying. First, EVERY intelligence briefing from EVERY country EXCEPT those from a (provably) bribed child molester and a man who certified Iraq as clean the FIRST time (remember, right before Saddam gassed all those Kurds? no, of course not) agreed that Iraq DID have a WMD program and that it WAS dangerous. The Iraqi Foreign Minister in London threatened to gas American troops, in fact.
Nice to know that, if it comes to a choice between believing Scott 'Short Eyes' Ritter and believing the intel communities of England, France, Germany, Israel and the US (among others, INCLUDING IRAQ)... your side believes the bribed molester. Figures.

Second, I don't remember any Bush speech where he says the only reason we went into Iraq was WMD's. I DO remember something about over ten years of violated UN resolutions, the last one calling for use of force. I also remember something about support of terrorism. Of course, it does not suprise me that someone on your side would deliberately forget that little detail too.

Third, you say "the hornets" weren't bugging us. So, paying huge amounts of money for acts of terrorism, including at least one that killed Americans does not bug you?
Again, not very suprising.

As I said, it is past time to pick sides. I- and the majority of the U.S.- are on one. You are on the other.

To us, the enemy is the people who cut off heads and those who enable them.
To you- and Oliver, and others here- the real enemy is George Bush.

>Nice to know that, if it comes to a
>choice between believing Scott 'Short
>Eyes' Ritter and believing the intel
>communities of England, France, Germany,
>Israel and the US

why didn't any of them accompany us into this quagmire then?

>Second, I don't remember any Bush
>speech where he says the only reason
>we went into Iraq was WMD's.

it's time look up the lyrics to that song "short memory" i believe.

>As I said, it is past time to pick
>sides. I- and the majority of the U.S.
>are on one. You are on the other.

wow. you are teh r0x0r patriot, d00d.

I can't help but wonder if we will be the author of our own destruction.

You're right - this country is broken. I find myself getting totally PISSED OFF at people who are against the war, against what our men and women are fighting for. It pisses me off even more when people blame everything on President Bush.

I've arrived at a point in my life where I just feel like conservatives take the moral high ground, while the liberals take the back door.


it's funny the tools governments use against its people.

if you oppose the war, then you're automatically painted as against the troops and you hate america.

it's hateful and it's not what this country is all about.


without GWB, a dem administration would have continued their focus on terrorist cells as the previous administration had done, would have kept funding available for intelligence agencies and would probably have listened to them when they warned of these attacks. they probably would even have prevented the 9/11 attacks.

Prof -
Are you kidding? I can to some extent deal with the liberal insistance that Iraq was a distraction from the WOT. I respectfully disagree, but I can see where reasonable minds can differ on the matter. But do you honestly believe that without Bush terrorism would not be a problem? How many times have terrorists attacked us before? How many times did Al-Qaeda specifically attack us on Clinton's watch? The 1st WTC bombing, the Cole, The embassy bombings in Africa - and what did Clinton do? Did any of his actions prevent the Al-Qaeda cell that carried out 9/11 from stationing itself within the US, as early as 1999, I believe? You're arguing the ridiculous Richard Clarke argument that the Clinton administration took terrorism oh-so-seriously, when it should be clear from his actions that he did not. I don't believe for one second that terrorism was a huge priority for Clinton. Neither do I believe that terrorism was a huge priority for Bush before 9/11. It should be painfully obvious that it wasn't a priority for anyone - Bush, Clinton, or the nation - before 9/11, and anyone who tries to argue otherwise is blinded by excessive partisanship. 9/11 happened because of exactly the kind of thinking that you and the rest of the left are still engaging in - the thinking that if we simply ignore terrorism and only kill the hornets when they actually land on us and sting us, to use your analogy, then it would never become a great threat. The whole nation was guilty of that before 9/11 and it sickens me that the left would still have us return to that way of thinking, that means of dealing (or not dealing) with the problem. 3000 people died on 9/11. How many more people have to die for the left to realize that these people are out to destroy us? 30,000? 300,000? Left alone, these sickos were just gaining in strength and boldness. Who the hell keeps poking a hornet's nest and is surprised when the hornets attack? The analogy doesn't really work. The hornets were attacking before we started poking it! And the idea is not to poke it now - the idea is to destroy it.


it's already in the public record that terrorism was taken OFF the list completely by the incoming repub administration.

ashcroft's first act was to cut all spending for domestic terrorism investigations, translators, etc..

rice's speech to be delivered on 9/11 on the security risks facing the nation barely mentioned terrorism, and Al-Q'aeda not at all.

just a few examples of how seriously they took terrorism.

i'm not saying that terrorism wouldn't be a problem with a dem whitehouse, but i am saying that the clinton administration seemed to take it more seriously if you look not at their words, but at their actions, specifically, where they spent their money.

that's not partisan. it's fact.


prof, you are living proof that the Left is on the enemy side in this war. Hope you like your friends.

Master -

Why thank you for putting it in perspective for me. I see the light now! Being raped by prison guards and mauled by attack dogs is simply a trifle, on the level of a little light S&M, just the thing to make a conservative's weekday. Why it's simply impossible to deplore these acts because the enemy chops off heads. I just need to be a little less evil than the other guy and then I am good and you will apologize for me? That's just ... that's just ... arrrrgh, quick someone give me some more koolaid!!!@

Prof -

See, here's the problem. The point is not who took terrorism more seriously before 9/11. Even if I concede that Bush did not take terrorism seriously at all and Clinton did, that does not change my fundamental point. Which is that no one, not Bush, not Clinton, took it seriously enough. That should be obvious. The budget numbers don't really matter if the will is not there. We spend money on all sorts of useless things that no one in Washington is committed to, because they're not important. Whatever the budget numbers say about either administration, the will was not there to fight terrorism before 9/11. Period.

The point is where the will resides now. Say what you want about Bush. Say he's f***ed up the war on terror entirely. But he has the will to fight it. The Democratic party as a whole categorically does not. As you illustrate perfectly, the Democrats would rather blame Bush for everything than present a solution of their own. Even if it were all Bush's fault, the problem now belongs to all of us. If Kerry wins in November, he needs to have a plan for what to do next. Because let me tell you, bin Laden doesn't care whether you vote for Bush or for Kerry. He doesn't care whether you supported the war in Iraq or not. When he attacks us the next time, it will be just as indiscriminate as the last. If the problem belongs to all of us, the solution must belong to all of us. Rather than assigning blame, we as a nation need to debate what to do now, not what we should have done yesterday, a year ago or two years ago. Examining past mistakes is instructive to a point, but it does not relieve one of the responsibility of coming up with a plan for the future. So what's the plan?

I want you to solve my problem, prof.

What should I do?

Or as Nicole writes, "What's the plan?"

BTW, budgetwise - corp taxes to the Treasury are up $30-40 BILLION. Now if they can reform medicare and pass tort reform....

if you oppose the war, then you're automatically painted as against the troops and you hate america.

Possibly because of Nam?? There is some recorded history there. And some are still making it.

why didn't any of them accompany us into this quagmire then?

England did. However, Europe via frogistan has been in a soft war w/us for decades.

As to quagmire, are you paying attention to news coming out of Najaf and Fallujah?

The Iraqis are starting to step up to the plate. Things are calmer there.

...How the hell do we get ourselves back together again?..

This is harsh, but someone (either Democrat or Republican) has to LOSE and LOSE BIG on Nov. 2. You are dealing with (on one side) a political party not used to being on the losing end of power in American society and another side who just recently (within the last 10 years) obtained politcial preeminence and is not willing to give that up, especially when they are leading a war.

Like the GWOT, half-measures just prolong the aggravation and pain.

How many anti-American terrorists are there? Not people that sympathize, not people that might donate money, but the sort of people willing to travel across countries (even to this one) to commit acts of violence and fear, to lay down their lives if necessary?

Five thousand? Ten thousand? I'd be surprised if it was as many as ten thousand. Let's think about this a bit...

What are they going to do? Come screaming across a land-bridge? Sneak five or ten thousand jihadists in through INS?

Yeah, they can pull off the occasional attack on US soil. So can our own nutcases, and I don't see anyone so scared of the militia movement that they're threatening to nuke anyone who posses a really strict view of the Constitution.

Yeah, terrorists can frighten us. Yeah, they can kill us. But we're a nation of almost three hundred million people. We don't live next door to them, we weren't -- until Iraq -- occupying their country, providing them easy targets.

Yet Kevin Drum points out two columnists calling for massive bombardments, even to nuclear weapons, of our "enemies".

What danger? 10,000 people against 300,000,000? Are we so craven that a mere 10,000 people scare us shitless? We faced down the Soviet Union for decades when they had enough weaponry to wipe everyone off the planet several times over. When did we become such cowards?

Yeah, the thought of Al Qaeda with nuclear or biological or chemical weaponry is frightening. But nuking Iraq isn't going to fix that. Securing Russia's nuclear stockpile, investing in human intelligence...that would help. Port security, that would help.

Al Qaeda can't kill us. But I'm beginning to wonder if they can get us to kill ourselves.

Yeah, let's all do our job in November! Only war can fix this problem.

Let's forget the partisan bickering and look at something here- what is the best way to reduce American lives from being lost- pull out of Iraq. The longer we stay the more foreign fighters will come in (young men who have no future and nothing better to do than hate), and the Iraqis themselves will eventually join them en masse. The prison abuse photos are a great recruitment for Al-Qaida, and yes of course the decapitation was far worse, but we are supposed to be there (Iraq) as helpers of the Iraqi people.

Al-Qaida makes no pretense of taking the moral high ground besides saying that we are evil and they are following the will of Allah. But they make no pretense of saying that their actions are done for the good of Americans. We came into Iraq supposedly to free the people (since we couldn't find any WMD's), and now we commit actions like that. No good can come of this situation. If all soldiers were well educated and wise, then possibly the invasion of Iraq could have been positive. As it is, let's be honest, our grunts are usually not the best and the brightest, (and I don't fault them for that they do not have the advantages I and others have had), and while they may be brave, they lack the tact and sensitivity required to lead a successful liberation.

At this point, we are at a crossroads in Iraq. We can either leave and let the people of Iraq handle things the way they want to, or we must terrify them so deeply that they will be cowered into submission. (ie a Hiroshima type event).

Which option do you prefer- because what we're doing right now isn't working.


Wow just saw the video, what can i say. Well let me start with this, being a NYC police officer and having been present for the aftermath of 911, the video invoked memories of that day. Anger, resentment, hopelessness of a situation, you name it I felt it. Yet anger and the need to get even, the most primitive of all emotions tends to be the main feelings I feel. America must understand that we are now fighting a religious war, this is not a war about sadaam hussein anymore, not a terrorist war (we have been fighting that since the 70's, it was just bought to our shores on 911) this america is a religious war between Islamic fundamentalists and the Christian world. Many people will argue this fact yet many scholars agree. In no way or shape do I advocate taking up arms against law abiding muslims, but i urge that america wake up to the fact that the ideals taught to you as a child were not the same as those taught to the muslim world. Increasingly the muslim world teaches its young to hate America and all that it stands for. It is ingrained in them from childbirth, after all you would have to be taught much hatred to blow yourself up for a cause woulndt you. The USA has such a presence in the mideast due to the oil that is vital to our economy, everyone knows that. As the noose of the "Friendly Arab Regimes" tightens we will see much more discontent in the mideast and much higher gas prices. This will further entangle us into a web that will only cost the lives of more Americans. And the longer and more involved in the mid east we are the stronger the hate for the USA will become. If you are sickened by the video it is only a taste of what is to come. All I can say is wake up America wake up to what is going on, we are not liked anywhere anymore, after all you would think that bailing out France after two world wars would get us a little support in Iraq. Americans must stick together and come up with alternative means to make this country more self sufficient. Than and only than can we really take our gloves off and fight dirty like the Islamic fundamentalists fight. However, being that NYC cop and seeing how apathetic people are, I feel that only another catostrophip attack will bring to light what is really going on.

Nick Berg ws a sacrifice the u.s government. Elections are coming up and this video will make people angry and support Bush and the war on terrorism. Nick Berg was handed over to the iraqi's by your own fucking army. What is the life of one man to get votes? Open your eyes people......nick Berg was a sacrifice.

R.I.P Nick Berg

I saw the video and was terrified. The guys who did this are monsters. We need to remember that none of this would have happened if Bush didn't get us into a war we didn't need to be in. Saddam was not much of a muslim and in fact has repressed any one whom he deemed to be preaching islamic values. Bush is responsible for the deaths of over 9000 iraqis who didn't hate anyone, didn't know or care about Nick Berg or any other American. Bush has managed to make the whole world our enemies. I bet you if we leave these people alone, stop supporting the dictators that run their countries, they will leave us alone.

To whom it may concern:
I think that the war that we are living through is not only affecting the families that they serve but also the ones who see the murders on the tv like with nick Berg i think that was uncalled for the iraqis to send to the parents and make them watch it. Well i think that the war should be ended pretty soon here ladies and gentlemen.
Thank you for listening to my opinions.