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Resolve: My Response to Bill Whittle's Latest

Words mean things. There were words I heard last night and words I read this morning and while they express two completely different sentiments, they both acted as agents of power. What I heard was this: Michael Moore arrogantly claiming that he made his latest film in the hopes that those American soldiers who died in the Iraq war have not died in vain. What I read was this: Bill Whittle laying it all out on the line with incredible clarity. Combined, those words had an incredible impact on my current mind set. For a few months now, I've held onto the thin, fraying line of kinship between myself and some anti-war, anti-America friends and fellow bloggers. Bill Whittle has effectively sliced the last wisp of rope that held these two disparate ends together. I am, without any shred of doubt, firmly planted on the side of America. That's not say I wasn't on America's side before. But I still had these little pebbles of doubt kicking around in my sneakers. Are we losing Fallujah? Are we losing the war for hearts and minds? Are we every going to get out of Iraq? Will Abu Ghraib be the end of the war for us? Am I being too hard on Islam? Every time I walked closer to grabbing onto the U.S. flag and holding on for dear life, the pebbles would dig into my soles, reminders of the questions that lingered. As I watched people applaud Michael Moore's words last night and then took a stroll around the internet to see who else was applauding him, I had to ask myself: do I want any remaining association I have with these people? Do I really care what someone who thinks Michael Moore is a deliverer of truth and justice thinks of my ideology? I thought about these things all night and I suppose my dream manifested some of the ideas rattling my brain. The first thing I did when I woke up today was read Bill Whittle's latest essays. And a funny thing happened. My sense of despair is gone, replaced by hope. My visions of failure are gone, replaced by dreams of victory; victory not only for us in this war, but victory for the people of Iraq. I took the bait, Bill. I took the bait and wanted to flatten Fallujah and eradicate every last one of those bastards and move on. And now, I release myself from that hook they caught me with. I am not that easily swayed by the words of others. I read Bill's essays at 5am. I thought about his words while I did the dishes, did the laundry, walked to the store. I thought about them as I sat outside, watching the birds and listening to their chatter. I thought about them while I snapped pictures of the mist rising through the trees. And then I went back to the computer and read them again. I have faith now that we know what we are doing. I have faith that we - and our allies and the people we are fighting with and for - will come out of this victorious. Sadly, I also know that there are some people who will never, ever see any kind of victory, no matter how bold and obvious that victory is. But those are the people on the other end of the line I just cut. Good riddance. Please call me if you ever decide to think this thing through, to look at the world from a standpoint of what is good for the world at large, not just for yourself or your causes. We must have patience. We must accept the losses we will suffer and know that we will suffer more. We must be prepared to lose battles in our attempt to win the war. That is part of what I got from Bill's words. Resolve. We must have resolve. And part of having this resolve requires me to slam the door on those little demons of doubt that approach me every day, sent by people who want to hypnotize me into thinking we are in phase Doom of the war on terror. Look into my eyes, watch the circles spin, spin, spin.....wedding party.....prison torture.....hearts and minds..... Don't bother anymore. I have a repellant for those hypnotic demons now and it is called Resolve. I know Bill's essays were very long and contained at least 100 sentences of potential pull quotes, but I'm going to go with this one: Americans eat disasters and crap hand grenades. And I got your quagmire right here. We will not turn our backs on the people of Iraq. We will not cave into the raving moonbats. We will not hand our faith and hope over to John Kerry, I firmly believe that. And we will not let lying kooks like Michael Moore dictate our foreign policy. If we did that, we would all be kneeling towards Mecca eventually. Over the past few months, I have been playing a tug-of-war with myself. The game pits my old, pre 9/11 self with the person I am today. In the middle of the two of us is the bottomless canyon, into which the loser will fall and never, ever emerge. My current self has been tugging hard, nearly winning a few times, only to be pulled back my old self who is buoyed at the end of the rope by nagging doubts, among other things. Those doubts are heavy, indeed and are what have kept the game both competitive and still running. I had two people join me in my game last night. They tied themselves to my end, anchored themselves right onto my rope and did a giant heave ho. Bill Whittle and Michael Moore working together. Unfortunately for Moore, his mealy mouthed histrionics caused him to score an own goal. Imagine his surprise to find himself tethered to the likes of Bill Whittle and Charles Johnson and Daniel Henninger. It took just one heave and one ho for the rope to go slack as my former self went head over heels into the pit. The little demons of doubt are surely standing around wondering what happened. They'll stare at me, standing tall in my new resolve and they'll think twice about every trying to knock on my door again. That person is gone, baby, gone. You can go through my archives all you like and point out the things I used to say, but I'll just point to bottomless canyon and say, that person you are looking for is on a very long trip to oblivion. We are at war. Wars are made up of battles. If you want to know why it's important to keep fighting those battles even when we lose some, go read Strength. Read it if you want to know just how important this war is. Read it if you have any doubts as to why it's important to fight radical Islam. Read it if you want to know the cost of appeasing our enemies, and especially if you're still not quite sure just who are enemy is (hint, it's not us). And if for some reason you still don't see what I see, then I guess we are just looking at the same story from different sides of that canyon. It is my utmost belief that you, my friend, are standing on the wrong side. Thank you, Bill, for being an anchor just when I needed one.

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Comments

Well put, Michele. I've been feeling tired, frustrated, and burned out by the sheer nastiness of those on the other side. Bill's essay has helped defeat those feelings, right at the time I needed it most.

high fives

"...the sheer nastiness of those on the other side"?? Please; it must be tough wearing that mantle of sainthood. Of course, it certainly is easier than trying to figure out how a man can lie, cheat, and steal his way into office, and then lie to the American public to get a war that has contributed NOTHING to the war against terror.

It's been said that Americans get exactly the quality of leadership we deserve. A look at the current occupant of the White House should be enough to prove that theory.

Is this the type of leadership you think this country deserves? If you're not mad as hell, you're not paying attention.

Yes, I'm also mad as hell that Maureen Dowd is considered worthy of space in a major newspaper, so we're in agreement.

Speaking as an independant-minded conservative, I really hate to see an excellent essay (speaking both of Michele's post and the Whittle link) marred by completely unsupported partisan cheapshots.

"We will not turn our backs on the people of Iraq. We will not cave into the raving moonbats. We will not hand our faith and hope over to John Kerry, I firmly believe that. And we will not let lying kooks like Michael Moore dictate our foreign policy."

In what alternate reality does this Kerry comment have anything to do with the rest!? I'm serious, I have searched high and low. If you could show me any support showing that 1) Kerry plans to turn his back on the Iraq people, or 2) Kerry will cave to raving moonbats, or 3) Kerry will let Michael Moore, then I could support President Bush as the lesser of two evils.

However, as things stand now: I want a president who is going to win this war, I want a president who is going to be fiscally conservative, and I want a president who will not try to write Jerry Falwell's misconception of Christianity into the constitution. President Bush only supports the first and, in my opinion, he hasn't even been impressive on that front. John Kerry hits the first and third, and with a Democratic president, the Republican congress might remember that they aren't there just to shovel our money at him.

For me, it's the Kerry quote (I don't have a link, but it should be easy enough to find, and was all public and on the record and everything) about how he views the war on terror as a function of law enforcement, not an actual war.

It's telling, and devastating, IMO, that the Democratic candidate for the presidency doesn't realize or believe that there's a real war on.

Yeah, I agree that Kerry's unlikely to just make Michael Moore Secretary of State and immediately surrender. But he pretty clearly would revert our policy to a Clintonian "muddling through," with no strategy for victory because, in his mind, we're not in a war, so how can it be won?

Is Maureen Dowd the best source you can link to?

In an interview with Tim Russert, Kerry outline the type of leadership he wants in this war, "Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the UN and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world."

That's probably the best course of action, considering the UN's effectiveness and credibility.

Actually, this "mantle of sainthood" fits quite nicely, thank you.

David C,

I don't really see any nice way to say this, so I'm going to be blunt. I find your line of argument to be on par with the "War on Terror? How can you declare war on a feeling?" prattle that the moonbats spout.

"It's telling, and devastating, IMO, that the Democratic candidate for the presidency doesn't realize or believe that there's a real war on."

Please, don't insult my intelligence. Everyone knows there's a war, a real war. There's actually 3 wars: the war on terror, the war in Afganistan, and the war in Iraq (the latter 2 falling under the reach of the first). Both major candidates are well aware (I don't know about Nader, but even he probably knows this).

Deltabravo,

I notice you didn't mention the policy of the other major candidate, President Bush, which is to get the UN involved. That's probably the best course of action, considering they both agree on it.

Jack,

Letís see, (looks at calendar) seems to be 2004. Youíre still living in 2000. Care to catch up with the rest of the world?

Sure, get them involved, but not give them a commanding role in protecting our interests. That is the only response Kerry has to "war." He doesn't talk about the war on terror. He doesn't speak to the cause of liberty in the middle east. Kerry lacks vision.

I don't wish to debate semantics here, but terror is, in one sense, a "feeling," but in this sense, clearly short for terrorism. How would you classify terrorism? That arguement is futile.

Though we call Iraq a war, it is actually a battle in the war on terror. This war on terror is the real war. It is the war that Kerry fails to effectively address. Bush's vision in the war on terror is consistent and clear.

Kerry desires a more powerful UN--that too, is consistent and clear.

Soli,
Granted, I used a bit of shorthand. Basically, as I see it, there are two basic viewpoints on the war:

1. The war on terror is a global war. Afghanistan and Iraq are two fronts in that war, among many others in various stages of "hot" and "cold."

2. The war on terror is a finite and limited war, and legitimately probably confined only to Afghanistan, and maybe a few law enforcement actions elsewhere. The war in Iraq is a dangerous "adventure" that diverts resources from the "real" war on terror.

From everything I've seen, Kerry seems to subscribe to theory 2, which (in somewhat exaggerated shorthand, I'll grant) is just as dangerous as not realizing there's a war on.

I agree with you Michele, Bill has once again put inot words what a lot of us needed to hear.
I wish he was a writer for the GWB team.

Aww, Jack, are you all pissed off that I wrote that? Good. I stand by it.

David C,

Actually, I would say the "law enforcement" argument about the war on terror is exactly the opposite of what you suggest. It speaks to the decentralized nature of global terrorism. Police action allows for a much broader scope, while military action is extremely limited. If we had advanced warning and were able to launch a preemtive strike on September 10, wiping out both Iraq and Afganistan in an instant, we would not have gotten the hijackers or the public transportation bombers in Spain.

Both Presidnt Bush and John Kerry agree on this. We need to go get the terrorists no matter where they hide using whatever works, both military and police actions when appropriate. Above Deltabravo commented that Kerry isn't running around talking about the war, and said it showed a lack of vision. Actually, it shows a lack of different vision, which is just to say that when Kerry talks about the war, he's talking about how he can do a better job of implementing the policy. He thinks he can make a better appeal for UN involvement, etc.

As for the status of the war in Iraq as part of the "real" war, both sides agree that it is now, and both sides agree that there were significant intelligence failures involved in getting us there. Both sides even, just recently, finally came to agreement that Chalabi is not our friend. It's like a huge agreement fest.

I think you've been spending way too much time reading in moonbat land. You're talking about the John Kerry the moonbats wish they had, without remembering that moonbats are delusional. The DU is not the underground movement of the Democratic party, it's a forum for net trolls to comfort each other while they're coming down from acid trips.

I'm having trouble seeking the involvement of an organization who does not appreciate the nature of the threat against the world. But I'm willing to listen to more arguments about why that is in the best interests of all nations.

That aside, I really appreciate Bill Whittle's perspective right now. It's time to buck up, and remember we are in a real fight.

When the UN starts condemning Islamic fascism, I'm ready for their engagement.

Soli...you say: "If we had advanced warning and were able to launch a preemtive strike on September 10, wiping out both Iraq and Afganistan in an instant, we would not have gotten the hijackers.." First of all, there are no mainstream conservatives or republicans who have called for "wiping out" either of these countries. Second, suppose a pre-emptive attack on the Taliban had been launched at some earlier date. Might this not have prevented the 9/11 attacks? After all, not everything in the world can be done instantaneously. And aren't you glad that Afghanistan--an entire country--isn't still available as a terrorist base?

That John Kerry has not publicly, and unequivocally renounced Senator "Moore In A Suit" Kennedy speaks volumes.

He wouldn't cut and run. Tha'ts the lesser of two evils. John Kerry is the consumate reactionary politician - witness the flip flops and the twisted rationale to explain them - John Kerry would respond to another major attack on America with nukes - just to prove his detractors wrong.

Say what you will about Bush, and his tactics will no doubt be questioned for the next 50 years - but he is not a willow who swings in the political wind, bending to polls to keep his political ass alive.

Soli - " want a president who is going to be fiscally conservative, and I want a president who will not try to write Jerry Falwell's misconception of Christianity into the constitution."

Soli how do you suppose Bush will try to accomplish this? As I understand the process it takes the American people to amend the Constitution. And the Senate. And the House.

I would think Bush making a statement that a Amendment dealing with marriage is needed, is a far, far cry from the reality of it happening. The American People make that decision not the Pres.

BTW: Your down to only 1 of your 3 reasons. And as far as shoveling any money, you need to do a little research on Kerry's support for, and pork spending for the Boston "Big Dig" project. Kerry's shovels is just as big and just as active as the rest.

Kate,

Yes, President Bush and John Kerry both look at public opinion polls before they make some decisions. You see, we have a representative democracy, which means sometimes our leaders care about what we think. Multiple choice question: the following administration spent nearly 1 million USD on polls during it's first year in office: A) Clinton administration, B) Bush administration.

I'm sure you all cynically picked B, which makes you correct. About $1 million. Clinton was a big spender too, about 1/2 that. Do the names Jan van Lohuizen (polls) or Fred Steeper (focus groups) mean anything to you? I suggest you google for it.

In fact, if you listen to any of President Bush's speechs, any 2 syllable word or phrase that he repeats more than once polled high (or low if it's something he doesn't like ... see "Death Tax"). There's nothing wrong with that. In particular, it cuts down enourmously on miscommunication. That's one of the big reasons why Bush always has the clear message you like.

Likewise, your assumption that President Bush doesn't change his posistions is completely unsupported by the facts. I am thankful for this, because anyone who doesn't change their mind on some issues can only be considered clinically insane.

As for your nuclear theory, I can only say your tinfoil headpiece should block out the radiation.

Marc,

I suggest you read what I said. First off, I never suggested in any way that Kerry will not try to pork barrel. In fact, I basically said he would, but I hoped that the Republican congress would remember that they are supposed to be for smaller government. Since you are so fond of knowing where things happen, you are no doubt already aware that Congress controls the purse strings.

As for point number 3, I said I want a president that won't try. The federal marriage amendment is the least of the amendments that he supports (there are lots). In proceedural terms, the president has absolutely nothing to do with amending the constitution.

So, I'm not down any reasons at all.

I agree with Soli on the three things I'm looking for in a candidate. However, seeing as Kerry proposes even more spending than Bush, Bush wins slightly in that category. The social issues... sure, I think the right's position is largely BS, but seeing as though we're becoming more socially liberal despite a GOP dominated Congress and White House, I'm not too concerned on that front.

It comes down to the WoT and, while the positions may sound similar on paper, the attitude toward the war is far different. Bush sees it as a conflict that we must fight, and we will fight, regardless of whether France, Germany, and the rest fall into line. Kerry's attitude is much more toward the multilateral, UN-backed action. Sure, both feel that in the extreme, America has the right to act unilaterally. It's a difference of degree--would we act unlaterally after 3,000 deaths? After 100,000? Granted, I'm simplifying, but I personally feel that we must fight our enemies now, and keep fighting, until we win. Kerry's opinion seems to be more that we should fight, but with less resolve (bad term, but still...).

And Kerry's position on our military is worse still. He has said that most soldiers perpetrated abuses in Vietnam, a redculous claim that he made just to advance his own pacifist (back then) agenda. Somebody who uses the US Armed Forces, who are dying for us, as a political tool to advance their own agenda doesn't deserve command of this country.

(And if anybody's going to say that that's what Bush is doing, you're a piece of shit and you can go screw yourself with a broom handle. That's not even worth refuting. If nobody's thinking that, then I apologize, but I hear stuff like that all too much.)

Thanks for the pointer to this article Michele. I'm about 1/3 of the way through the article. The most profound, hitting the truth of the matter statement for me so far is this one:
There was no issuance of demands prior to 9/11. 9/11 was not a response to acts taken by the United States government. 9/11 was never about what we have done. 9/11 was an attack on Who. We. Are.

Bob,

President Bush's plan has larger deficits then Kerry's. Also, we have only to look at the last 3 years to see how President Bush's spending balloons far beyond anything he proposes (See: the massive new drug entitlement, give congress a number they will pass a bill with, then correct the number later.) No doubt you have also noticed, as I have, that almost all President Bush's op researched campaign advertisting bashes Kerry for voting against various spending bills and/or supporting lower cost alternatives.

"And Kerry's position on our military is worse still. He has said that most soldiers perpetrated abuses in Vietnam, a redculous claim that he made just to advance his own pacifist (back then) agenda."

In his own words:

John Kerry, 1971: "I would like to talk, representing all those veterans, and say that several months ago in Detroit, we had an investigation at which over 150 honorably discharged and many very highly decorated veterans testified to war crimes committed in Southeast Asia, not isolated incidents but crimes committed on a day-to-day basis with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command."

No doubt you are aware, Bob, of the extreme hyperbole it takes to suggest that 150 soldiers + chain of command is a number that represents "most" of our soldiers in Vietnam. Kerry is talking about the confessions in the Winter Soldier Investigation, which we can dismiss now, but which were widely believed at the time, and about My Lai. He was not making new accusations, and he was not confessing to or suggesting additional war crimes committed by himself or the veterans group he represented. He has since apologized for these remarks.

As for the "pacifist agenda", even McNamara has finally admitted that Vietnam was a cluster. I agree about the broom thing, but I'd expand it to include anyone who believes that of John Kerry too.

From his interview w/ Russert:

(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4772030/)

"Within weeks of being inaugurated, I will return to the U.N. and I will literally, formally rejoin the community of nations and turn over a proud new chapter in America's relationship with the world...."

That's my point about the way that Kerry would pursue the war, and I believe it is the wrong way to go about it.

"There are all kinds of atrocities and I would have to say that, yes, yes, I committed the same kind of atrocities as thousands of other soldiers have committed in that I took part in shootings in free-fire zones."

Thousands, not hundreds. And while he, in 2003, said that "atrocities" was a "bad word", he stood by the rest of what he said. How you not say that going up in front of Congress or the American people or whatever and say that thousands of our soldiers were war criminals was not stabbing the men in the field in the back?

As far as pacifist agenda, it was irrelevant as to whether or not he thought we should pull out of Vietnam. The fact is that he was attacking these people out there risking his life for him trying to get the pols to pull out of Vietnam. Not saying that "we shouldn't be there because there's no national interest," but saying we shouldn't be there because our soldiers are war criminals.

"MR. RUSSERT: But, Senator, when you testified before the Senate, you talked about some of the hearings you had observed at the winter soldiers meeting and you said that people had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and on and on. A lot of those stories have been discredited, and in hindsight was your testimony..."

I'm not saying that he feels the same way now, or would act in the same way. But, while he tries to distance himself somewhat from these remarks, he still sticks to a lot of it. Maybe it's just pandering, but maybe not. I'm not willing to take that chance.

And as far as fiscally... sure, Bush would run larger deficits. I'm not talking about deficits, but spending. If Kerry would tax everybody to finance his spending vs. Bush spending and not taxing, I wouldn't like either. I'm not for balanced budgets so much as for LESS GOVERNMENT SPENDING ON SOCIAL PROGRAMS.

And much of the criticism has been of Kerry voting against more military spending. I consider that a lot different and a lot more important than Medicare spending or whatever. Sure, Bush passed a huge entitlement. I don't like it. But the Dems wanted to spend more.

  • Looks over preceeding coments with vast bemusement *

Good for you Michele. Welcome to my world. ;]

Umm... coming from a cynical old wolf like me, that's not a great endorsement is it? Oh well. ;]

Re the Bush vs Kerry vs Moonbats debate: I'm not a Bush fan, but I detest Kerry. I'll stick with the asshole we know until something better comes along.

Not just "different", ie: "Not Bush", but Better. That leaves Kerry way the hell out of the picture. Hell, Kerry's not even in the frame on that one, much less the picture.

If someone has a problem with that, wellll... save it for someone who cares. I've never been the person that Michele just gave the heave and ho to. ;}

How is fighting in Iraq going to win the War on Terror, which Iraq has nothing to do with? How will killing people however deprave end terrorism? If some psycho released a strain of small pox on the population would we be at war or would it be an extremely sick criminal act? Can I oppose some wars and not hate America? Can I be grateful for what it offers and not agree with its leaders?

Bob,

What is this Dems always want to spend more canard? Dems often want to spend less, because they pay for what they spend. The Republican drug proposal was less because the numbers were a fantasy. Go look at how they revised them after it was passed. The thing about balancing a budget, is that it's much harder to pass new spending bills if they show the real cost and/or include a tax increase to pay for them. President Bush has been growing the government like crazy (faster than anyone since LBJ on non-defense discretionary spending), and he's doing it by borrowing, which includes long term hidden costs.

I'm not going to argue this further with you. All you have to do is take one look at any budget bill in the last 20 years, and check the party affiliation of the president who signed it. You can get the data straight from Cato. They also have the wonderful gap between President Bush's proposals and actual spending. You did know that he always campaigns only on the low-balled proposal, and not what he actually ends up signing, right?

As for "Free Fire" zones, the second the enemy starts sending little kids with hidden grenades at the troops, perfectly predicable and extremely unpleasant things are going to happen. I really don't think anyone in 1971 was shocked to hear that the war wasn't pretty. You want to pretend it didn't happen, that's find with me, but I'm got a bone to pick with this blame the messanger attitude.

Wittel's essay was great. None of the ideas was new to me so it didn't change my mind at all (I was already on the same side as you). But I did think that the analogy about allergies was a good one. I've been baffled from the start why it is that American liberals can't recognize the hatred, bigotry and bloodlust wafting off of the Islamic middle east.

Right now I think we ARE winning the hearts and minds of every liberal dissident in the middle east. GWB is a hero to them, yet somehow our own "liberals" are the worst enemy of oppressed people in the Islamic world. It's the ultimate irony.

But I'm a little more pessimistic about America. The brain dead shallow media may win. Kerry could win. Even the Republican party could drop the ball and go back to Kissenger style, morality-free foreign policy. The long term danger is NOT clear to most Americans and the vision of the sacrifices it takes to attempt to create a safe world are clear to very few. And the willingness to accept any long term, risky policy is not wide...

We could end up with a good policy long term, if Bush gets lucky for long enough (in both this term and a next on), just through dumb momentum.

Maybe 100 years from now we'll find out that while we were fighing with blood and sweat, the Saudis are fighting by bribing the western media with a million here and there... Or the blindness could be all our own. But the fight at home is the one that's in jepardy.

MilesDavis:

Iraq is a member of the Axis of Evil, but I think Iran is the HQ of state-sponsored terrorism.

Michele: Thanks for informing me about Bill's new post. You said: "Read it if you have any doubts as to why it's important to fight radical Islam." My take on the importance of this fight is described in my post, THE BATTLE OF IDEAS: REASON VERSUS FAITH.

Here is an excerpt:

"We don't have to change the religion of Islam. What we should do is to challenge Islam (and other religions) in the ideological battle field, and continuously to spread better ideas."

The Axis of Evil was just a list of nations that Bush's speechwriters picked that have bad relationships with the United States. Granted they are all authoritarian but they still were not aligned directly with Al Queda, especially North Korea, heh he had to cover the Commies too I guess.

"Right now I think we ARE winning the hearts and minds of every liberal dissident in the middle east. GWB is a hero to them, yet somehow our own "liberals" are the worst enemy of oppressed people in the Islamic world. It's the ultimate irony"

I'm a liberal and I know I am not an enemy of the oppressed, that statement is biased and narrowminded. What if I assume your a conservative who loves Walmart, oh your an enemy of the oppressed Asian workers. Its not irony, its a stupid assumption. I guess the conservatives of Iraq hate America, oh irony, bleh.

Heh I worry about America too, I worry fear and distrust will allow George Bush to win the election and extend the war on terror with more pre emptive wars. He'll ask discrimnation to be written into the constitution and throw away the enviroment to benefit his oil friends, whom his cabinet basically consists of. He will not doing anything about free trade while America loses millions of jobs and countries that don't have enviromental or worker's rights benefit from it. The deficit won't go away and tax cuts that only benefit the rich will stay. Kerry supports civil unions, will deal with foreign policy sanely rather than go on adventures that have little to do with our actual problem, will think of workers when it comes to free trade, and will repeal tax cuts that are allowing the wealthy to further invest in other countries for profit.

Being a friend or enemy of oppressed people depends on what you do for them not on how you feel for them.

Nice try, though.

Of course I'm a liberal 9/11 Republican just like Michele, I voted Green in the last election (and the one before that).

No right winger would have called Arab dissidents are liberals.

Anyway Bush is hated by all of the totalitarians in the middle east. Bleh to you too.

Editing error, you know where you change part of sentence and forget to change the rest?

Of course I meant to write "No right winger would have called Arab dissidents liberals."

Anyway, I'm not really arguing with you Miles. You clearly have no idea what "the actual problem" is, and I'm not your teacher and I don't have a few months handy to educate you...

That's the real problem. People are ignorant and have not will to be figuring things out.

No please enlighten me. I come here to view differing opinions, why not explain concisely explain what the real problem is.

Oh and I don't think you even infered that being a friend or foe of the oppressed depends on your actions and not your opinions in your original comment. Thats just something you added to cover your bases. At least I implied it, if a person loves Walmart they must be buying products from it and helping to sustain their sweatshops. If I don't do anything then I am neither friend nor enemy.

Because I've done this too many times, I'm exhausted. It takes at least 8000 words.

I should have kept a directory of every time I've had this arguement so that I don't have to do it over and over... I should get my own web page.

But no, I'm not going to spend the next three hours trying to write something for you that you'll probably shrug off anyway...

Nor am I going to spend the next hour trying to dig through blog archives for past arguments. I use a cell phone for my connection. It isn't fast.

Sorry Dude, you're on your own. Start looking for translations of arabic news papers. It's a shame that Arabic newspapsers started censoring their translations after 9/11 - so translations are all toned down these days. You need to find out what's being taught in schools, what people are saying (and not saying) what's being preached in mosques, of the way Muslims think. You need to know what the dissdents say, and get a feeling for how amazingly issolated the dissidents really are (in most countries). It also helps to know the detail and the strategic details too. Stuff liberals are too busy tsking over to really understand.

If you really get what's going on in the middle east you'll realize that for the sake of our own long term survival we've got to reform the place. All reasonable assumptions about people don't apply the the middle east. They don't respect life, and not only do they not think of nonmulsims as being worthy of life (well they actually don't think woman are particularly worthy), but they also think God has it in for nonmuslims - that there's pretty much a duty to God to hate us and (some think) kill us.

Hell, Israel's main problem are scriptures that say things like God won't come back and bring judgement day until they kill the Jews. All the Jews. There was a survey of Morroco mentioned on the news today - 97% of Morrocans "have a negative opinion of Jews".

I seem to remember Osama having 90+ approval rating in some countries a year after 9/11. When everyone knew he did it.

Hamas is awfully popular in Egypt... And their now dead "religious leader" said they'd keep fighting, not till there's a Palestinian state, not till Israel is destroyed, but till the flag of Islam flies over the whole universe.

Here come the marching bombs...

Anyway, the governments are weak dictatorships that need enemies and need to repel dangerous ideas about freedom. The main opposition are Islamist totalitarians who think God wants them to kill infidels - and who also need to repel dangerous ideas about freedom.

They've created socities that are by some measures the most closed in the world. Think about this, Arabic has a billion speakers and Hebrew has maybe 8 million, yet more books are translated into Hebrew each year than have been translated into Arabic in all of history. Greek beats Arabic by 6 to one. That's religiously mandated xenophobia at work.

They are religoiusly required to contribute to Islamic charities (which are not allowed to help nonmulsims by the way - the religion forbids, unless there are no poor Muslims left). But the Islamists intpret this as there is a requirement for Muslims to contribute to holy war!

So anyway that's how Muslims make war. They get contributions from all over (some from governments under the table) but it's not necessarily official.

And the money goes to things like blowing up cafes in Israel. The terrorist charities compete for popularity that way. The more Jews killed, the more showey the explosion, the more popular they are.

Wait until they get their hands on big weapons and go after big targets like US!

If we don't break these societies open they will eventually bring WMD terrorism to us. They want to, they really do.

Sounds crazy? They're fucking crazy. Four countries around Israel were using 2nd grade math books that start with the problem "I have 5 Jews, I kill 3 of them, how many Jews are left to kill?"

Syrian grade school books teach that to want peace is to be a traitor. And Syria is a secular state. You don't want to know what Saudi books teach!

The damn Saudis. That govenment surrendured to the Islamists in the late 70's. They put religious policemen in charge. The princes didn't care, the religious police don't come in their palaces.

Its such a scary place that I read that parents are freighted of their indoctrinated children - and these parents were taught pretty horrible stuff themselves.

Why didn't we invade Saudi Arabia - well what do we do with a place where the populace are indoctrinated in such hatred that they're worse than their rulers? Oh and that country has Islam's number 1 holy sites. One of which is a city where Mahammoud had 100% of the male inhabitants put to death (and one woman). Some say that it was tribe of Jews put to death if that helps you get a feel for why they might want "to do" the Israels. What would Mahamoud do?

Anyway now that we've made it easier for Iraqis to pump oil, we can put pressure on the Saudis without risking losing the rest of our economy...

But consider that the last downturn happened because of 9/11. When they explode the next few dirty bombs, what's going to be left of our economy I wonder?

That's just the tip of the problem. Imagine what its going to be like when AQ or their friends have a steady supply of WMDs.

Oh damn it. I can't write a good paper like this, just typing... I'm ending this here. I hope I've given you a direction to look. It's important to understand what people are saying and how they're thinking. Id didn't include any examples because as I said, no one is paying to put together educational materials. If you want to learn, then take the effort to go out there and do research.

Oh and I don't think you even infered that being a friend or foe of the oppressed depends on your actions and not your opinions in your original comment.

Bush's wars have free tens of millions of people from oppression (50?).

I imagine that Kerry would have freed no one.

Miles, what do sweatshops and Islamic fascism have to do with one another?

Soli --

Why did the Democrats vote against Bush's Medicare proposal? Because it was too little for them. They wanted to expand the role of the government more than Bush did.

The New Deal, the Great Society... both massive entitlement programs begun under Deomcratic presidents.

Now, some fiscally conservative Republicans also voted against the proposal, because they didn't want to create another massive program that we were going to all have to pay for. They were, in my mind, in the right. But the simple fact is that I could trust Kerry no more with the budget, and probably less. Deficits include long-term costs, you say -- but so do tax increases.

The oddly amusing thing is that we both agree on the general principle. I don't like Bush's fiscal policy, you don't like Bush's fiscal policy. But I'm not voting on fiscal policy.

Regarding Kerry in 1971, sure he wasn't telling anybody anything they didn't know. But that doesn't alter the fact that he did the best he could to paint the armed services of this nation in a bad light. There's no getting around that. Sure, they were shooting little kids who were trying to kill them... fine by me. So why did Kerry try to get everybody to think that our troops were a bunch of murdering rapists? And why should I trust him now, when he hasn't repudiated his stance?

Nobody is saying Bush is the perfect man for the job. But I see him as a far better choice than Kerry.

And, furthermore Soli, Kerry will, given the opportunity, cut and run from Iraq as soon as possible. His entire public life has been a rehearsal for it. This article describes probably the closest he has come to saying so outright: I'll pull the troops out: Kerry

Bob,

Like I said, look at the numbers at Cato. If you want even more numbers, look at what "red" states get from the gov't vs "blue" states. President Bush has abandoned all pretense of fiscal responsibility. It's ridiculous to assume he will somehow shape up in a second term. You're right, John Kerry is a porker. The difference is, congress will not pass his proposals and he will counter by vetoing their pork. That's the only potential for fiscal responsibility.

As for your comments on Kerry's post-vietnam anti-war activism, first of, I don't know that many people who really want to try to make the case that Vietnam was a war we should have kept up. If you want to do that, go for it, but it's ridiculous to take it as a given when such a huge portion of the population disagrees with you. Second, you're just spouting the same tripe that a certain swift boat captain that came after Kerry is well paid to spout. Again, Kerry was going before a panel to testify about the ... oh nevermind, I've already said it twice and it's clear that you're not willing to look at the facts.

It'd be funny if Rumsfeld turned into a Democrat and ran for President some day. I can just imagine what you would say about his sworn Abu Garib testimony.

Reid,

Linking an article that says Kerry is committed to holding troops in Iraq longer than President Bush wants to is hardly the way to make a case that Kerry is the one to cut and run. Oh, except the article didn't bother to point out President Bush's position and you don't know what it is (except "Stay the Course", a phrase which polled well, but is otherwise lacking in depth). Darn liberul media!

Soli you're so snotty that you and John Kerry were MADE for each other.

Let no one stand in the way of true romance.

It's so beautiful. Sniff.

Kerry is the presumptive nominee of the opposition party who spent the first part of his campaign trying to appeal to the anti-war vote. Trying to present him as waging a more effective war and showing more resolve now is flat out sophistry. Kerry can't even dare to show that kind of resolve because he'd lose his base. Kerry's not going to win on the "I want someone who will fight this war better" vote, despite the three or four people who passionately believe he will. He's running for the "Meh, I'm sick of this mess and I didn't think it was a good idea in the first place" vote.

Kerry would have absolutely no responsibility to stay the course in Iraq. Anything that goes wrong there from now on will be blamed on Bush whether he is re-elected or not. The fact that Kerry is trying to tilt to the center now by trying to be "Bush-lite" on foreign policy isn't believable. Despite the three or four people who really, really, really want to believe it. But even that is mostly because they just don't like Bush and they want any alternative they can get.

Sortelli,

The majority of the anti-war voters still want us to win, now that we're there.

Joshua,

Pot to Kettle: Blllllllllllllllllacccck!!!

Ummm, Soli, I think maybe you read a different article than the one I posted. And, as I said (and you conveniently ignored), we do not need a single article to know what Kerry would do. His entire life is testimony to what he would do. And, that would be to cut and run.

Why are you so bothered by that? Isn't it what you and your craven, bedwetting fellow liberals want?

And, incidentally, it is "l-i-b-e-r-a-l". You really should do a spell check before you post. Otherwise, people will draw the natural conclusion that you are ignorant without even needing to read your entire post to confirm it.

Reid,

Oh did I ignore one little point in your argument? I will correct:

"His entire life is testimony to what he would do."

Exactly! Silver star, bronze star, 3 purple hearts. Comes home, becomes a leader, becomes a statesman in the Senate, finally runs for president. His entire life is a testimony to what he would do. WIN.

I've already said exactly what I want in a president:

1) Win the war
2) Fiscal responsibility
3) Stop trying to write Pat Robertson's version of Christianity into the constitution.

Read your article again. Kerry promised to win the war in Iraq by 2009, whatever it takes. That's the whole article. Take your anti-American defeatist BS back to France where it belongs.

Yeah, Soli, Senator Kerry promises a lot of things. Let's see, war hero? In theater for 4 months, discharged due to minor cuts and abrasions. Laudable that he went to war? Yes. War hero. Un-uh.

Comes home, hobnobs with Jane Fondle's crowd, throws somebody's medals or ribbons or something over the White House fence, leads radical anti-war group, prime advocate for unilateral withdrawal from Vietnam leading to deaths of millions and communist takeover of Vietnam.

The article says he will pull troops out no matter what in 4 years. This man would "WIN"? Excuse me while I chuckle mirthlessly.

Reid,

About the "scratches" ... been reading urban legends, eh? Tisk!

Also, about the ribbons over the wall. He threw his ribbons over the wall. He also threw ribbons for several disabled veterans who couldn't do it themselves. It's got to take some real nerve to insult a man for helping disabled veterans. I am impressed!

Plus you want to argue that we should have stayed in Vietnam? Even McNamara has finally agreed that Vietnam was a mistake. Just because the Iraq war is justifiable doesn't mean every war is.

As for winning the war by 2009, you'd have to compare that to President Bush's policy to have a real idea what that means.

Soli - I think you need to read your reference more carefully:

On the first purple heart:

The "stinging piece of heat" Kerry felt in his arm had been caused by a piece of shrapnel, a wound for which he was awarded a Purple Heart. The injury was not serious — Brinkley notes that Kerry went on a regular Swift boat patrol the next day with a bandage on his arm, and the Boston Globe quoted William Schachte, who oversaw the mission and went on to become a rear admiral, as recalling that "It was not a very serious wound at all."

On the second purple heart:

Brinkley noted that, as in the previous case, "Kerry's wound was not serious enough to require time off from duty."

On the third purple heart:

"Walking wounded," as Kerry put it. A shrapnel wound in his left arm gave Kerry pain for years. Kerry declined a request from the Globe to sign a waiver authorizing the release of military documents that are covered under the Privacy Act and that might shed more light on the extent of the treatment Kerry needed as a result of the wounds.

I just bet you were one of those goobers screaming for Bush to release his ANG records, huh Soli? How about getting after Kerry to release his medical records?

Thank you for proving my point about "minor cuts and abrasions".

Now he's throwing disabled veterans' ribbons. Oh, that's rich (snort, chuckle). I'll have to add that to the list.

We had Vietnam won Soli. They were knuckling under at the peace conferences. We lost to ourselves when we unilaterally withdrew, consigning millions to brutal death in SE Asia and rendering the sacrifice of 55,000 US servicemen in vain.

Vietnam was atrociously fought by, among other, MaNamara. There is no excuse for a war like that to last so long and cost so many young Americans' lives. But, that's what you get when you put the Democrats in charge (don't even try to claim the mantle of Truman and FDR - if today's Democrats had been in charge then, those of us who were still alive would all be speaking German).

John Kerry would cut and run so fast, the desert dust wouldn't settle for weeks. Bank on it.

Kerry service unimpressive

Roy Hoffmann, Kerry's squadron commander, described Kerry's departure contemptuously: "He just simply bugged out, and any military man knows what I'm talking about." At no time, Kerry says now, did he, anyone in his unit or anyone to his knowledge, rape, torture or murder anyone. He was never involved in nor did he witness a war crime.

Lifelong civilians seem impressed with tales of Kerry's derring-do. But as a combat veteran, I see nothing remarkable in Kerry's "Vietnam experience." I flew gunships for a year and saw more action in a week than Kerry saw during his entire, abbreviated tour of duty.

From any perspective, it was fairly typical and, given its duration, particularly unimpressive, at least until Kerry arrived home and began his scorched-earth campaign for publicity and political office.

Before the ink on his discharge was dry, Kerry assumed the role of anti-war radical and traveled the country denouncing the rest of us as war criminals, telling the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 22, 1971, that we "personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal range of war and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."

Reid,

I think you should read the reference I cited more closely, especially the sections you just quoted. For President Bush's records, I have never cared so I hope you didn't bet too much.

"We had Vietnam won!" That is so you. Don't ever stop man, don't ever stop.

Reid,

Maybe you should look up what Kerry's commander wrote about him at the time. It's sorta funny how 30 years later he wants to go back and completely contradict everything he ever wrote in the record. How far can we really trust a man who's claiming he lied on every performance evaluation he wrote for his men? All the way, apparently! As long as he keeps saying stuff we like, that is.

He couldn't possibly have a political motivation now that he didn't back then. I'm sure the passage of time has simply sharpened his mind! Yes, yes, that's the ticket!

"That is so you. Don't ever stop man, don't ever stop."

I can only conclude that either 1) you are too young to have witnessed the events during the Vietnam years or 2) too stupid to have understood what was going on. Based on our conversation thus far, I think these are equally probable.

I don't really need Kerry's commander to tell me Kerry has no spine. His entire Senate career is a profile in spinelessness. His performance in the Presidential race thus far has been a constant scramble to attach himself to the latest poll driven stance on every issue while fudging his previous contradictory positions.

The man is a brainless, spineless wimp. And, so are his supporters. And, they (you?) are itching to cut and run as soon as they can snooker the people into putting him into the White House. Got help us, we can't afford a Jimmy Carter redux at this critical point in history.