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Ask an Honest Question, Get an Honest Answer

Bill O'Reilly blew that "fight" with Michael Moore. Moore kept hammering home one topic: "So you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that," demanded Moore. To which O'Reilly kept replying that he would send himself. What I would have said if asked that question is this: bq. It would not be my choice to sacrifice my child, you idiot. No parent makes that choice for their child. You can enlist in the army when you are 18 years old, an adult. An adult who makes his or her own choices. When you ask if I would sacrifice my child, you make it sound as if parents all across the U.S. are rounding up their young children and boarding them on planes bound for Iraq against their will. Maybe even dropping down them down a live volcano to plead with the Gods to bring peace to Iraq.
Asking me if I would sacrifice my own child is disengenous, Mr. Moore. Now if you were to ask me how I would feel if my grown child were to freely and of his own will enlist in the army during this war, I would tell you that I would be proud of him for wanting to serve his country, join the process of bringing peace and democracy to another land and combat terrorism. I would be damn proud. Yes, I would be scared that he would never come back, but it would be my son making the sacrifice, Mr. Moore, not me. Ask an honest question the next time and I'll be able to give you an honest answer. But that's just me.

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Ask an Honest Question, Get an Honest Answer:

» ANSWERING MICHAEL MOORE from Michelle Malkin
A number of bloggers have come up with excellent responses to Michael Moore's question to Bill O'Reilly, "Would you sacrifice your son to secure Fallujah?" Here are two of my favorites: "No parent makes that choice for their child. You... [Read More]

» O'Reilly Vs. Moore from Freedom Blog
I watched it last night, and the video is available (and the transcript too)... I recommend watching it (here). Both held their own, and it was even a little comical. So, yeah go and take a look. And for all of you still on dial-up, unable to watch ... [Read More]

» Michael Moore on O'Reilly (UPDATED) from The Young Curmudgeon
God this awful. Michael Moore is such an asshole. He has a smarmy, annoying way of speaking. He's dancing, ducking, bobbing, and weaving. He won't answer a question. He keeps changing the subject. He makes bizarre rhetorical leaps. He finds [Read More]

» OK, We'll Call it a Draw from Game the World
Evidently I was not the only judge on the panel for the O'Reilly/Moore debate. Michelle at A Small Victory has rendered her verdict in Ask an Honest Question, Get an Honest Answer. Her judgement: O'Reilly blew it with his non-answer to Moore's "Would y... [Read More]

» Sacrifice from Arguing with signposts...
Michele reminds me of something I literally screamed at the screen when I watched the streaming replay of the Bill O'Reilly-Michael Moore interview: You can't sacrifice your children! I wish O'Reilly had said that.... [Read More]

» More on Moore v. O'Reilly from View From the Center
Michele has a great response to Moore's fallacious question to O'Reilly on sacraficing his children. She picks up the same theme that I did, just a bit more effectively... [Read More]

Comments

Derbyshire nails it with this post:

http://www.nationalreview.com/thecorner/04_07_25_corner-archive.asp#036763

Moore has odd and repulsive ideas about treating families collectively. He seems to think we could have kept all the Bin Ladens as prisoners after 9/11 just for being relatives of the perpetrator. Since when is being related to a criminal (or terrorist or mass-murderer) a crime? (I read somewhere that Hitler's nephew is a perfectly law-abiding U.S. citizen who lives on Long Island and of course changed his name long ago. I don't see any problem with that. Do you? Does Moore?)

My son chose to enlist. I did not send him. My son thinks Moore is a sack of crap, BTW.

BO could have also added that it's MM's buddies,the freedom fighters,that employ the child sacrifice tactic.

What?!? Michael Moore asked an intellectually dishonest question in public debate?? I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!!

But your answer is right on the money, Michele. Michael Moore's whole career as a filmmaker and Leftist agitator is an excercise in intellectual dishonesty, and I wish to God the Left would start calling him on it. Fat chance.

Somebody needs to deliver this steaming pile of hog manure his comeuppance.

Apparently Bill O'Reilly was not up to the job.

The greatest rebuke for M.M. I can think of at this point would be the reelection of President George W. Bush.

After that, in my opinion, it would be fitting if M.M. choked on a chicken bone while sitting on the toilet.

I'm a long-time Repub;lican, but I loved the movie F911 and can't believe that W has let this party down so much.

I liked that Moore only agreed to the interview if they promised not to edit it. Kind of like a pickpocket telling you to keep your hands where he can see them.

Moore's question is honest. As a veteran I agree with much of what he has to say. The above response makes me wonder if the writer is even a parent. Nothing on this web site changes my overall positive view of Moore.

Michael Moore is a lying liar who tells lies, to borrow a phrase from another worthless pinko.

Oh, and Curt, excellent choice of words there. Fat chance, indeed. Obese, even.

No, Moore's question wasn't honest. He is arguing about whether the Iraq war was just or not- that has NOTHING to do with O'Reilly's (or anyone else's) willingness to "sacrifice children". Having said that, the above post is perhaps the best way to answer a terrible question.

I was watching Moore ask that question over and over and OVER again,,,and I actually thought O'Reilly squirmed when he hedged and said he'd send himself. I was sitting there thinking, "Am I the only one who thinks he just literally blew his opportunity here???"

I guess I wasn't. Thanks for point it out. I'm so disappointed in O'Reilly.

At one time BOR was ok - now he is too busy hocking tote bags and bumper stickers to spend the time to prepare adequately for interviews.

He had a big fat juicy target and he blew it - big time.

Sacrifice... as in putting the child on an altar and killing them?

I thought we stopped that kind of thing with Abraham and Isaac.

Well, at the very least, I'd have to say that Moore was impolite.

After all, when someone knows all the answers, asking them hard questions is bad manners.

But, then, Moore has made a decent career out of such impoliteness, so I suppose he'll just have to bear the opprobrium.

Kimberly, Moore's question was not honest. It was the equivalent of asking "have you stopped beating your wife yet"? There is no way to answer it without being wrong.

I like Michele's answer. Wish O'Reilly had used it.

That's the point, exactly, Michele.

I saw a Jessica Lynch interview a while back (by a terrible interviewer). One of his questions to her was "If you'd known that this would happen, would you still have signed up to serve?"

What a silly question. The interviewer's and Michael Moore's.

We don't live in such a certain world -- we never know ahead of time that the loss of one specific life in defense (or pursuit) of something will preserve (or achieve) that thing.

All we know is that there are some things that are risky. The question is about taking a risk, not about certain death.

And - as you pointed out - the question is about adults, not children.

What I found most amusing was this great, effusive concern for children coming from someone who not only has no children (let alone a wife), but from someone who obviously hasn't spent more than a nanosecond thinking about someone other than himself.

Good comments, Michele - you nailed it. Although shipping my kids to Iraq does make for an excellent empty threat. ("Sarah down the street didn't want to go to sleep either, honey. You know where she is now? Fallujah.")

I'd ask Moore if he was prepared to give up his millions, his posh life style, and his freebies to DNC events, since John Kerry thinks he doesn't pay his fair share in taxes.

BTW...what did Moore pay in taxes? Well, we will never know since he can claim he is a private citizen and doesn't have to reveal that info. Convenent eh? Become a political player and never have to be held accountable.

For my kids...both the adult one already in the Navy and the soon to be adult ones (thank god, sanity is on the horizon)...threatening to send them to Iraq would really make Iraqis hate us. Well, me at least.
Of course, I could tell my kids their Xbox is in Fallujah and the place would be leveled next week.

Michele,
I really wish you had faced off with Michael Moore. I was reading the transcript of O'Reilly's interview and I was so frustrated that he did not answer as you did above. I really wish Moore would debate Michael Medved. He would make Moore look silly. Thanks.

Moore's question is honest.
</blockquote.

No more honest than "So you would sacrifice your child to secure:"

Paris
Manilla
Port-au-Prince
Mogadishu
Sarajevo
Mitrovica
Kabul
Nyala
Beirut

And of course, we're not sacrificing children- we don't use children in our army.

Sorry. I did above post wrong. My name is Dan and I was commenting on the paragragh at top of page. Thanks

Great answer Michele. I might offer this one:

Your question regarding how I would feel as a father “sacrificing” my son to Fallujah totally turns on its head what we as a country seek in our leadership. He is my son. I am completely, emotionally wrapped up in him as any parent is in his or her child. I place my son’s life above everyone and everything. I wouldn’t want him to die for anything and would go to any length, whether logical or even right, to prevent that from happening. I wouldn’t want him to die “for Fallujah” today; I wouldn’t have wanted him to die for Normandy sixty years ago. But that is the perspective of a father, not a leader. That is an understandable emotional stance of a parent, but it is unacceptably insufficient as a quality of leadership. We expect our platoon commanders to treat their platoon as their soldiers, not as their children. Likewise, we expect the commander-in-chief, the President, to lead this country and make military determinations to best safeguard America and the free world, even if it means “sacrificing” our brave men and women in uniform. Would I want my child to be sacrificed? Hell no, but I would be proud and honored if he thought it important enough to make that sacrifice for his country and free men everywhere.

He should have asked Bill O'Reilly, would you try to talk your son or daughter out of joining the military, today? After knowing what we know today. I am talking with Iraq. Afghanistan was very justified. But was Iraq? I have hindsight on my side now, and I don't know if it was worth it.

O'Reilly should have shot back "Alright, let's hold Ron Reagan Jr. accountable for everything Ronald Reagan did... let's also pretend that Ronald was able to force Ron Jr. to be a Republican."

My son walked into Ft. Benning on September 11, 2002 exactly one year to the day after the terrorist attacks, and four days after his 18th birthday. He did so to become an Army infantryman, an 11-Bravo, to serve on the "Tip of the Spear," because he knew there was an important job to be done. It isn't my preference for him to serve in either Iraq or Afghanistan, nor is it his. But he understands the importance of what our forces are doing there; so do his buddies, and so do all the great Americans who are in our armed forces protecting us. Just like Bill O'Reilly and every other soldier's parent, I would gladly serve in his place, but that isn't the way it works. And he and I both know that he would never let me. This is something that Michael Moore can never understand. ps to Michael - we both spent alot of time in Flint, Michigan - how did we turn out so differently?

While I think Moore was being asininely clever in continually asking about sacrificing children (and wrong - nice comeback Michele) and O'Reilly didn't let the spin stop, to think of war as being worth it in terms of human life is an incorrect and morally repugnant premise. One which you can always argue, and often is, that it doesn't justify it. But if those 900 soldiers (not children) making the sacrifice ended up stopping the ability of Sadaam to help finance another terrorist attack which would kill children, would it be worth it?

Nobody is happy seeing their child or spouse go into harm's way, but most are still proud of them.

Everyone has some level of NIMBY (or 'not my kid') sentiment, even when they know that something must be done and somebody is going to have to go do it.

No military parent or wife is 'sacrificing' their loved one when they wave goodbye at the airport. Moore's question is dishonest as hell.

Ask any firefighter's parent, "Would you sacrifice your child to save that burning warehouseover there?"

OK, I'm rambling.... I'm gonna send Moore a big box of chocolates in the hopes that it speeds him to a fatal heart attack.

I was going to vote democrat--but now that democrats have embraced that propagandist Michael Moore, that lying pile of crap--I will vote against the democrats. And that decision stands for at least the next 3 years until I see a change in direction in the democratic party.

Did Bill O'Reilly serve in the military, when he was the right age to do so? He is so willing now, when he knows there is not a chance in hell, that he will have too. Just wondering.

This is all diverting us from the real issue:

Why won't bush admit he made a mistake by sending us to war for deceitful reasons?

This country's policies are dictated by executive of corporations like Halliburton & Lockhead Martin, not by citizens like you and me. That's what's unpartiotic.

O'Reilly is a fool, I'm sorry. M.M. is really poor at debate and O'Reilly was stumped.

I think it is really funny...REALLY funny that you guys feel so threatened that you need to start a website to combat M.M.--it gives him more credibility.

Just ignore him--he is a ignorant fool like rush.

But to start a website...you are the reason people see his movie.

Cathy,

My son assures me that Iraq was worth it. The majority of Iraqis are very happy to be free from Saddam and his lovely friends. There is real progress over there despite what we all hear from the "mainstream" media.

That said, would I change places with him? Willingly if I could. But, as you say above, there's no chance in hell of that. So I do what I can to support the troops. I support things like Operation Give, too.

Moore is a foul propagandist. He is also anti-American. Look up his quotes to the foreign press. The fact that he was sitting with Carter shows what's really wrong with the Democratic party. To paraphrase, all they need is hate.

Cathy-

It's funny the way that doesn't matter- how it doesn't make Moore's question any more potent, or for that matter, relevant. Besides, we could ask the same question of Michael Moore, and yet you don't? Kind of double standard, even if it mattered, don't you think?

The bottom line is, we saw just how bad Moore's debate skills were last night. The man refused to acknowledge verifiable facts- such as Bush didn't lie. Instead of saying "Bill, he did lie, and this is how", he said "nope, he lied- he didn't tell the truth". As I said today on my blog:

"Now, forget the fact that he didn't know it wasn't true- Moore says plenty of things that "aren't true" in his film- knowing that they aren't. There's no way you can tell me that Moore wasn't aware they were changing the "Pantagraph" headline.

This is just one of many egregious falsehoods in the film, and it stands to reason that if Moore thinks that it is okay that he tell lies knowing they aren't true, that it would be permissable to make an error in judgement about WMD information. (Note Moore doesn't talk about the WMD's the UN said were shipped out of Iraq before/during the war, nor does he mention the 2 tons of Uranium we flew out of the country last month. Or the sarin shells, or the mustard gas...).

Moore also forgets that the Bush administration did make the humanitarian liberation (O'Reilly's "brutal dictator") a large part of the case for war. During the State of the Union speech in which Bush uttered those (now vindicated) 16 words about Uranium and Niger, he also uttered the words "rape rooms" and "torture chambers". Moore forgets this too."

Does O'Reilly's willingness to serve or to "send his children" have anything to do with the morality of the Iraq war? No.

O'Reilly, despite not being at his best, soundly defeated Moore.

I think the real point Moore was trying to make was that if the younger generation of the Bush's, Frist's, Cheney's, etc of the world were the ones doing the fighting, we wouldn't be so eager to fight and die in wars.

Most people currently in the military wouldn't have gone there if it weren't for financial reasons. The greedy rich are profiting off the working class soldiers.

I have two sons in the military. They both know what Bush has done for the military on a day to day basis. Do any of you know that back during the Clinton days most of our military lived under poverty conditions? There was little or no support for the men and women who were enlisted?
George Bush has made their daily lives better, and as a parent of a child going to Iraq, I personally have seen the differences in the treatment and respect our soldiers receive, including their families.
Ask the military personnel what they think of Michael Moore. I believe the word leech would be a polite interpretation of their response.

"Most people currently in the military wouldn't have gone there if it weren't for financial reasons. "

As a reservist who is going to take a hefty paycut when I go in a few weeks, I am calling BS on that statement. I'd make more money delivering pizzas.

Please do not treat enlistees like naive children. Most of us know exactly what we are doing and why.

Beth, you are wrong. Rather badly. This is the new standard meme. Our soldiers are the weak minded and the poor. Not true. I'd invite you to try to tell that to my son (4.0 GPA in college and already making a good living when he enlisted). donna is correct - except maybe about the leech thing. They would use 'way less complimentary words.

James, at the risk of feeding the trolls, you really need to stop with the memes. Please see:

http://www.factcheck.org/article.aspx?docID=182

Britton,
In response to your comment, "Please do not treat enlistees like naive children. Most of us know exactly what we are doing and why.", you are exactly right. You protect and fight for people like me to express our opinions and live in a free society.

We have a responsibility to you, and the rest of the soldiers, to not send you into a dangerous situation unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. The President's decisions and consequently, this unnecessary war, are an inslut to people like you who are willing to make such a great sacrifice for your country and its citizens.

Perhaps in war time, workers should be paid wages, executives of defense companies get a salary, the company itself makes no profit?

Why is defense a profit-oriented system? Thats what baffles me. Sure... we have work that needs to be done. We need to make shells. We need to build roads, rebuild schools, etc etc etc.

Why should any corporation make a profit off of this? War profiteering is honestly the most disgusting aspect of the world to me, because not only does it rape America of her tax dollars, it redirects it to those who don't need it. It also encourages shoddy quality work.

There was profiteering when we marched the Indians of Georgia westward... and to get a bigger profit, they crammed as many indians onto carriages as possible and gave very little care for the trip. That would be more acceptable if it was the government saving money, but it wasn't... the government spent no less... the corporation just made more.

Tonight, I go to see MM in Crawford... not to see the man really, but to see if it turns into a battle ;) Screening in a giant parking lot in Bush's home town... I'm bringing a camara :-D

We have a responsibility to you, and the rest of the soldiers, to not send you into a dangerous situation unless ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY. The President's decisions and consequently, this unnecessary war, are an inslut to people like you who are willing to make such a great sacrifice for your country and its citizens

Gee, Beth, you mean the military intervention that John Kerry and John Edwards voted for? Hundreds of thousands in mass graves not enough? Repeated violations of UNSC resolutions not enough? What is enough reason? What makes it absolutely necessary to you?

this sounds a lot like this book:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/190259357X/qid=1091042486/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/104-5878481-1479106?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

Rawb,

The very simple answer is that we actually want to have competent and successful people design our weapons of war.

If you think that giving people a profit motive to create equipment that performs well (as decided by the people who award the contracts) "encourages shoddy work" then you haven't paid much attention to economics. What encourages shoddy work is when good work earns no better reward than shoddy work. And that is the typical situation in state-owned and operated enterprises. The notion that making a profit in the defense industry constitutes "war profiteering" and "raping America of her tax dollars" presupposes that a state-owned or non-profit defense industry would deliver more for less. There is no indication that this is true. In fact, every indication points towards its falsehood.

Anyway, what's wrong with making a profit? Why is it that people like Michael Moore should be permitted to make millions of dollars manufacturing propaganda for our enemies but nobody should be allowed to make a dime manufacturing bullets to kill our enemies?

Oh Lordy, the tinfoil hat crowd is at it again...

Doesn't it hurt your teeth (james, cathy and others) when you start chewing on that foil?

Bush went into Iraq for deceitful reasons!
Spoken by people who obviously missed the 1st Gulf War, the Iraq Liberation act of 1998, UN resolution 1441 and the Congressional vote authorizing war against Iraq. :::Yawn:::

Soldiers are suckered into the military because of economics I find this deliciously ironic and not a really good figleaf for the real motivations behind such demogoguery because I'm old enough to remember the arguments against the draft during the 'nam era.

And of course, let's not mention that the military has, on average now, some of the best educated, most diverse demographics of the US. (and pssst... let's forget Pat Tillman, too!)

I do understand the new shrillness of some Democrats..after seeing Michael al-Moor in the President's box, listening to "foreign policy" advice from the failed, Jhimmi Carter and enduring a 20-minute non-sequitur from Thareeeza. You gotta keep beating the same discredited meme's in order to coverup the sheer bankruptcy of any future plans for this country.

Rawb

Can you be honest here? Why are you equating profit with profiteering?

I keep getting the impression from your postings you have an infatuation with anarchism.

No collectivist society has ever advanced humanity.

Regarding the necessity of Iraq, it would have been good, right, and necessary even if Hussein had not been an ally of Islamofascist terrorists (and for those who doubt, look up Richard Clarke and Sandy Burger's (since for some reason, dishonest, backstabbing publicity hounds and men who stuff classified documents in their underwear seem to have more credibility with the left than more honest and sober individuals) fears that Bin Ladin would "boogie to Bagdad.")

Hussein clearly identified himself as an individual who sought control over the region--an enemy of stability and peace--in 1991. He has not abided by the terms of the peace that was reached. He continued to seek and to attempt to gain access to WMDs (that much is not in doubt--whether he succeeded and what he did with the ones he used to have is.) He attempted to have a former president of the US assassinated. His soldiers fired upon our pilots as they patrolled the no fly zone on a daily basis. He stonewalled, threatened, and obstructed the weapons inspectors. Any one of those would have been sufficient reason to remove him from power.

The post 1991 attempts to isolate Iraq were failing. Before 9/11, the French, Russians, and other members of the so-called international community were proposing dropping the sanctions imposed on Iraq. We now know that they were bought and paid for with kickbacks from the Oil-for-Food program. That was not a viable long-term plan. Long-term, we only had two choices: let him out of his cage and hope that he wouldn't help our enemies or hurt us too much or remove him from power.

There is also the humanitarian case against Saddam Hussein made most forcibly and repeatedly by Tony Blair but also made quite regularly by President Bush as well. While there are certainly many brutal dictators in the world from Kim Jong Il to Robert Mugabe and Fidel Castro, Saddam Hussein was the one we had the best other reasons to go after. (And, unlike Kim Jong Il, he couldn't nuke our ally's capitol yet).

We chose to remove Saddam Hussein from power and I still believe it was the right choice. It was certainly preferable to having the sanctions and no-fly zones break down in another 3-4 years when the French no longer felt obliged to pretend to care about the rest of the world and to have Hussein then slaughter the Kurds in the North, rebuild his WMDs and support terrorists all the while. That was the alternative.

BUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRY BUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRYBUSH LIED NO BLOOD FOR OIL VOTE KERRY YOU FASCIST GREEDY CHICKENHAWKS YOU FASCIST GREEDY CHICKENHAWKS YOU FASCIST GREEDY CHICKENHAWKS YOU FASCIST GREEDY CHICKENHAWKS YOU FASCIST GREEDY CHICKENHAWKS ENRON ENRON ENRON
ENRON ENRON ENRON ENRON ENRON
ENRON NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR NO WAR

Oh Michele!

Clean up in the troll aisle!

MM = fat jackass; but you have to admit he on occassion approaches a good point. The question he asked was ghey, but the bush he was beating around (were we duped into a war? should we be there? who's paying the price?) is a good one.

Were we duped? It's still up in the air, and that's as good as saying yes. Going to war shouldn't be a grey area, back and forth situation. Something this heavy should feel almost unanimously right or wrong.

Should we be there? The costs of this war are sunk, that is to say, the lives lost, money spent, supplies used, shouldn't weigh on the decision. An economic naturalist would say we probably need to leave, but most people can't think like that. Besides, the Iraqi's might be able to get a democracy out of this.

Who's paying the price? Immediately, the enlisted and their families. Someone said that enlistees were the military's brightest, which is in short, untrue. If you've got a college GPA of 4.0, you're probably not enlisting; you're going to OCS (which puts you a good distance from the frontlines). And it's true, that low-ranking enlisted personnell have never even been middle class. Hell, when I lived in NoVa in the early nineties I new E's that got food stamps. Clinton didn't make them poor, Bush ain't makin' them rich (as a matter of fact, he wants to cut benefits and wages). We pay the price to, the middle and upper middle class political pundits and blogging philosophers. Most of us live thinking our status quo isn't threatened. These are the people who pay the ultimate price, but then again, maybe ignorance is a small fee to pay for bliss.

Another lucid and useful comment from the far left.

Love that line, Darleen!

Michael Moore was willing to debate Bill O'Reilly, because he knew O'Reilly agreed with him on Iraq and, in retrospect, showed it in his "debate." What we will not see is Moore debating someone who supports the Iraq intervention. Moore got a pass and he knows it. The problem is that he will use this to his advantage by saying that he took on the media.

Shank,

My son did enlist - with a 4.0 GPA. Although I have suspected that they would want him to go to OCS, he is not at this time. He is on the ground in Iraq as an E-4.
He enlisted in the Army Reserve knowing he would be going into Iraq. (His specialty guaranteed that).

And overthrow the chimp speaks with the same amount of skill and evidence as most of the anti-bushees.

What's with the sudden moonbat infestation here, btw? Seems a little thicker than usual....

Hey Shank,
Just to let you know, I am a member of an honor society fraternity in college. I had a 3.6 GPA and surprise surprise, I enlisted. And just to let you know, I am from an upper middle class family. As for Officers being far from the front lines, how about the pilots who fly right into the enemy, how about platoon officers who are right next to their soldiers in battle.
Bush isn't making us any richer... thats funny, We all got raises in January, did Clinton ever give the military a raise? Bush has given us benfits that Clinton wouldn't. To let you know, the one who wants to cut the wages of the military is Kerry, NOT Bush. Bush has also made sure that the military is properly equipped, I didn't have to buy any of my uniforms, like others have in past administrations.
P.S. I have a brother in Iraq who is there by choice and thinks Michael Moore is an idiot.

900 American deaths (not sure if that is a real or "no blood for oil" count, but I'll go with it) in Iraq is a lot. It took a lot more to liberate France. Even more than that to liberate American slaves.

I know what freedom is. I know what life in America is like. If the deal is that my son MUST die for millions of people to get just a taste of what my daily life is...I will cry, I will wonder why him, but I will be ever so proud to read his name on the monument those newly freed will surely erect in his honor.

One day, Iraq will build a monument. Those 900+ names will be on it. And everyone who ever knew those 900 people will be proud of them and will know the sacrifice was worth it.

I do not embrace Michael Moore's ideology. I just think that Michael Moore's question to Bill O'reilly was a fair question and Bill answered it poorly. That is the question would you send your child to Fallujah, meaning if Bill was president would he make the decision of war if it meant his child might end up in a place like Fallujah. Bill answered he would go. So in other words it comes to down too, what has been echoed throughout this land for generations.,"We should have the leaders of the countries suit up and fight each other." It would have saved alot of lives if Osama and Bush or Clinton would have had a duel. Same thing with Bush and Saddam. Have a good old duke it out fest or duel.

Cathy: The whole premise from Moore is crap and there for full of shit.

1) The President is not your Dad. Grow up.

2) We have a volunteer army, the soldiers are their of their own choice - they follow their duty as per the chain of command as given by the US Constitution. Their duty is in Iraq, so they bravely go there.

3) Our soliders are not children. So fuck you if you think that.

4) You are a naive child. The role of the President is to enforce the Law. Congress (as reprentatives of the US People) decided Saddam should go. As CIC, the Prez enforced their mandate.

I'm a Moore fan (more or less) and an O'Reilly detractor, but I think Michelle's proposed response is more or less entirely appropriate. Unfortunately for him, Moore sends O'Reilly into such a blind sputtering rage that he can't think straight and come up with the obvious rejoinder to a stupid question.

What I would like to know is why so many people here think that it is a valid argument against Michael Moore's opinions to say that he's fat. That just about sums up the level of debate about this topic to me.

Michael Moore is a media personality who lives off of you idiots whining about him. He is only important because you make him so. Get over it!

I don't see, really, why everyone is so hipped on Moore. He isn't that compelling a character. After all, as he himself has admitted that the funniest lines in his film are those of George W. Bush.

Des, I've been on this thread a lot today, and I don't recall anyone using the term fat on Moore. I certainly did not.

Bill O'Reilly stuttered and stammered.. he muttered under his breath that he would go himself after asked 2 times with no answer. Talk about Spin. The question is.. "Would you want your son or daughter to go to Fallujah and die for that cause?"

Tell me the honest truth.. If Saddam was still in power, would he have been able to kill 900 plus members of our military, our young men and women? Would he have been able to stir up such hatred for the United States as George Bush and his Bullying policies have???

After 9/11 the United States were truly United and George Bush and his cronies took advantage of that..Do you want to know why people are angry with George W? Because he duped us, because his buddies and his father's buddies are all the richer for it and nothing has been accomplished. Don't tell me that we are safer now than we were 4 years ago.. I think that we are in more danger because there will be more anger and resentment against the U.S. and our military is engaged in a war that we will not win.

How will you feel in 6 months when Iraq spits in our face, kicks us out of their country.. after we spent 100 BILLION dollars and lost 1000 plus lives in the process?

What a waste.. what a waste of lives, money and a waste of the good will that was formed with the world after we were hit by the worst terrorist act in history.

I remember 9/11, but the world will only remember how George Bush responded.. how he took advantage of all of us.

I have a son in the military, and I don't think President Bush is my father, and I support our troops 100%. I send care packages and letters to soldiers other than just my son, and I am very proud of my sons service. I just thought that Bill O'Reilly answered that one question poorly, that is all. I don't believe that Pesident Bush lied to us. I think Michael Moore spins things to suit his own philosophies. I am not a Michael Moore fan. I saw the question put to Bill O'Reilly as being a fair question and Bill answered it poorly. Hey, I would go to Fallujah, if they would let me, other than send my son. I am a parent, it is instinct to want to protect your children. Enough said from Me.

As a parent I would fear another four more years of Bush moreso than four years of Kerry.

"If Saddam was still in power, would he have been able to kill 900 plus members of our military, our young men and women?"

Yes, he'd just stretch it out over a longer timeframe. He tried on a daily basis for a decade. Ever hear of the USS Stark, or the daily missile attacks in the no-fly zones?

How about the murderers he gave aid and shelter to, both before and after they killed our troops? Abu Nidal ring a bell? Abu Abbas?

He is responsible for the deaths of both GIs and civilians. The job of a GI is to stand between civilians and death, and not just our own. I'm more than happy to risk my butt to put tyrants out of business. Milosevic, Hussein, any of them, even if they didn't directly threaten my own little patch of the world.

Sure, most of those 900 GIs would be alive at the moment if they'd stayed home. So would scores of dead firefighters and cops if they'd decided not to do their job. In either case, the end result would be far more death and destruction.

In the real world, somebody is going to die. How about letting those that choose to risk it do so for the sake of everyone else.

And Bill O'Reilly hasn't been asking for this sort of thing for years and years and years? He just met someone who was less afraid of looking like an ass on camera than himself.

And that in itself is kind of a beautiful thing, I think. A first.

Pompous Right Wing Jerkoff, meet Frothing Left Wing Jerkoff. You two were maaaaaaaaaade for each other.

Bill O'Reilly stuttered and stammered.. he muttered under his breath that he would go himself after asked 2 times with no answer. Talk about Spin.

Moore's question itself was meaningless, an attempt to divert the issue. O'Reilly did a lousy job in the interview, and let himself be sidetracked, but that doesn't mean the question is a good one.

The question is.. "Would you want your son or daughter to go to Fallujah and die for that cause?"

What part of "volunteer military" don't you understand? They're not children, they are ADULTS who volunteer. And the President sometimes has to send them into harms way.

Tell me the honest truth..

The honest truth... or just us agreeing with you?

If Saddam was still in power, would he have been able to kill 900 plus members of our military, our young men and women?

If he could have done so, then YES. Y'know, we could keep those young men and women that you care so deeply about in the military safe and secure if we never sent them anywhere to do anything. That seems to be what you are saying.

Would he have been able to stir up such hatred for the United States as George Bush and his Bullying policies have???

Wow, that's not a loaded question. "Bullying policies?!?" Give. Me. A. Break.

First, fuck the world's "hatred." Our national interest is more important than whether or not France, Germany, and Russia like us or not. Second, the "hatred" is by no means a universal thing. Third, many of those countries who "hate" us were in bed with Saddam.

In the immortal words of Kos, "screw them."

After 9/11 the United States were truly United

Do you honestly think that was going to last in any event? The unity that is brought about by a crisis is a temporary situtaion.

and George Bush and his cronies took advantage of that..

Y'know, as a general rule I don't take anyone seriously who uses the word "cronies."

Do you want to know why people are angry with George W?

Oh, please tell us...

Because he duped us, because his buddies and his father's buddies are all the richer for it and nothing has been accomplished.

Cue the conspiracy theories. Yes, it's all about Bush's buddies and dad. Why don't you just start screaming "HalliburtonHalliburtonHalliburton" at the top of your lungs? It'd make more sense.

As for "nothing" being accomplished, that's funny, I thought we rid a nation of 25 million of a fascist dictator responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. I thought we dealt with an avowed enemy of the United States, one who had already dragged us into one war, who was supporting terrorist organizations, who had failed to cooperate with the terms of a cease fire he had agreed to to end that war (you DO know what a "cease fire" is, right?)

Hey, I like your idea better though. Why bother looking too deeply into things when you can just rant about conspiracies to enrich the President's buddies.

Geez, you must think George Bush is a cartoon supervillain.

Don't tell me that we are safer now than we were 4 years ago..

We're not "safer." WE ARE AT WAR. And not just with al Qaeda. Accept that fact, or don't. It doesn't change anything.

I think that we are in more danger because there will be more anger and resentment against the U.S. and our military is engaged in a war that we will not win.

Thanks, Nostradamus. "Will not win." And why not? Is our enemy more dangerous, or smarter, or deadlier, than enemies we've faced in the past? Then why can't we win?

I think you just don't WANT to win. Oh, I know you think you do, but you don't. Not really. You don't want to do the things that are going to result in a LONG TERM victory. Not a shutdown of al Qaeda... that's, in the grand scheme of things, peanuts. They're a terrorist group, and terrorist groups change, form, die, reform. We will not win this war by playing defense. We will not win by going after terrorist groups (and the nations that support them) after they hit us. We will win by attacking BEFORE they attack us. We will win by introducing democratic ideals into the Middle East and trying to get them to take root. And that might mean invading a country or two.

How will you feel in 6 months when Iraq spits in our face, kicks us out of their country..

Are you going to be back here in six months apologizing if that doesn't happen? I doubt it. I've been hearing the same doom and gloom garbage since the end of the war. Forecasting the worst is easy when no one calls you on it.

If you honestly believe that they're going to "kick us out," you don't know how things work. First, the leaders of Iraq NEED us, and are going to need us for quite a while. Second, I have no doubt they've been told that no such thing will happen regardless. If the new german government had told us to leave in 1946 or 1947, we would have told them to shove it up their lederhosen.

after we spent 100 BILLION dollars and lost 1000 plus lives in the process?

I love the fact that suddenly the left in this country is screaming about the government spending money. Have we finally found a government program they're not interested in?

You wave that 1000 number around as if it's some kind of magic talisman to ward off evil. Would Iraq have been worth it if there were only 10 losses? 100? To you, probably not. I guess it's OK to use the military so long as no one dies. We've lost fewer troops in Iraq in over a year than we did on some DAYS in WW2. That thousand number you keep invoking is ONE THIRD the number of civilians we lost on 9/11.

But hey, it's a nice round number you can pound into the heads of anyone who disagrees with your views, right? And in the end, isn't that all that really counts?

What a waste.. what a waste of lives, money and a waste of the good will that was formed with the world after we were hit by the worst terrorist act in history.

James Taranto had a great quote: "If the world only loves Americans when we are dying, they can go to hell."

What this whole Iraq War showed me is that many of our allies, the ones that supposedly have such "good will" towards us, don't really care.

I remember 9/11, but the world will only remember how George Bush responded.. how he took advantage of all of us.

If the rest of "the world" is pissed off at us for liberating 25 million people from a tyrant, fuck them. I personally don't want the good will of people like that.

Fascinating thread. Better than sixty comments comparing windbags with enough hot air between them to power a small city. This is like talking about which Stooge contributed the most to cinema or who your favorite member of Blink182 is.

Thank you, Big Brother. I was too tired to fisk him.

I think you're missing the point of Michele's post, Al.

I personally don't care for O'Reilly, BTW. Detest Moore, though.

I was pretty irate at Michael Moore's insinuation that soldiers are children. I am not a child, nor any of the other men and women that I fight alongside. Certainly, those brave men and women who died in Iraq are not children in my mind but rather warriors and heroes who deserve the utmost respect.

I'm just one guy in a professional Army. War is our expertise, and we're honored to fight for our country. So Michael Moore, shut up and let us do our job.

Who's paying the price? Immediately, the enlisted and their families. Someone said that enlistees were the military's brightest, which is in short, untrue. If you've got a college GPA of 4.0, you're probably not enlisting; you're going to OCS (which puts you a good distance from the frontlines). And it's true, that low-ranking enlisted personnell have never even been middle class. Hell, when I lived in NoVa in the early nineties I new E's that got food stamps. Clinton didn't make them poor, Bush ain't makin' them rich (as a matter of fact, he wants to cut benefits and wages). We pay the price to, the middle and upper middle class political pundits and blogging philosophers. Most of us live thinking our status quo isn't threatened. These are the people who pay the ultimate price, but then again, maybe ignorance is a small fee to pay for bliss

The ignorance is on your part.

Beginning 1/2001 the average military base pay increase was 6.9 ..the largest pay increase for the military in more than 20 years. BAH (housing)has also increased substantially in the last 3 years. Since then pay increases have brought military pay to less than a 5 gap between comparable military and civilian jobs with comparable seniority.

No, we aren't getting rich, my husband is part of the military for reasons entirely unrelated to pay. He is past active duty and is currently deployed with his NG unit...he took a substantial pay cut when he deployed. But the pay differences in the Army between the 90's and the 2000's are substantial and appreciated.

Education levels: The general education level in the military actually is higher than it is in the general population. Reading comprehension levels are higher, the percentage of high school and college graduates is higher.

My husband is an "E" as you referred to them, he's enlisted. He's an 11 Bravo, which means that not only is he enlisted, but he's a grunt. He would usually be referred to as "front lines", but there IS no front line in this war, we are all at risk.

He's also college educated, Presidents honor roll.. I have a folder full of evaluation reports and career counseling reports sitting in my filing cabinet with OCS written all over them, OCS is NOT his thing, he feels his place is with his soldiers, he does not want to be behind a desk, he does not want to be inside the wire.

As for Bush "wanting to cut their pay and benefits" Research the whole story. Hostile fire pay WAS 150. per month before OED, that pay was raised temporarily (which was the only way congress would approve it) to 225. per month. It was reapproved last year, and permanantly approved this year. The Pentagon wanted to REVAMP the way it was paid. You see, it depends on what kind of orders you are under as to what kind of additional pay you receive. People who were mobilized under certain orders are all receiving hostile fire pay, whether they are in a zone where there is no chance that they will ever see hostile fire..or not. They wanted to revamp the system so those who were actually under hostile fire, were the ones who actually received hostile fire pay.

The Army pay system is outdated, it needs to be revamped..ask anyone who has been mobilized with the Guard or Reserve.

Benefits? Again, the administration temporarily cut out all office copays for those of us under tricare. My family is under Tricare Prime remote. We see our own family Doctors, I pay no premiums, I pay no deductibles for office visits or procedures, I pay 3-9 dollars for prescriptions if I fill them at a private pharmacy and 0 if I fill them on base. Again, it was set up like this temporarily, but it's been extended every year for the last 3 years.

I now have life insurance under SGLI at a premium with my health I couldn't touch in the private sector, and there are proposals for my husbands benefit to increase in 2005.

I have a book full of other benefits as well..all available online if you are interested in looking.

Veterans benefits? No, they don't receive as much as they request every year, they NEVER do. But this admisinistration has given larger veterans benefit increases than any other recent administration. When the news screams "benefit cuts", it usually means that it's a cut from the amount requested, not a cut in the amount actually being provided in the budget.

Are our pay and benefits perfect? Nope, is ANYTHING run by a huge bureacracy perfect? Nope.

Is military life easy? Nope. Is it easy being the wife of someone who is deployed? nope. But it was my husbands choice..a choice he first made when he was 18 years old, and continues to make at 36. (with a couple years break in between)His parents didn't make the choice for him, I didn't make that choice for him, it's a choice he makes on his own every single time he raises his right hand...a choice that many don't even begin to understand.

Thank you Tink. We are all seperate from one another with different views and choices, but one thing is for sure, whatever choice a military family member makes, we will support them. It may not be a choice we like, but we will support them. It isn't easy sometimes, but we will always support them.

You know, I'm so tired of "the world hates us...waa waa waa" refrain, and the snippy, nose-in-air we're better than you comments from the DNC we hate Republicans fest in Boston about getting that "world love" back...

Hello?!? America is not in somesort of effing beauty contest.

I do not want the "love" of Sudan, Libya, Arafat, Hamas and other totalitarian, anti-women, anti-HUMAN seething hordes. I am proud that they hate us and don't lose sleep over it.

Good god, will Dems try and butch up? This ain't running for Prom Queen!

Or, he could have asked Moore - would you risk your life to free millions of Iraqis from a harsh and brutal dictator? Would you risk your life to end the rape, mutilation, and torture of hundreds of Iraqis each year by Saddam's thugs?

To Chris
"Because he duped us, because his buddies and his father's buddies are all the richer for it and nothing has been accomplished."
First of all ..nothing has been accomplished? Perhaps you should start corresponding to the soldiers who are in Iraq and ask them if they feel the same way, or to the Iraqi people they see on a daily basis. Secondly perhaps you should do a little research on the democratic candidates financials. Are you aware that 72% of the candidates wife's companies were overseas? That his billionaire wife has not yet filed her tax return and doesnt intend to until after the election? Why not? First of all I had to have my return in by April 15, and even if I had gotten an extension would have had to had it done by August, but she doesnt have to until it wont be an issue? That most of her money is tied up in foundations? Therefore she is not taxed on that money which earns interest again which is not taxed?
Who is getting rich? Please tell me.
As for the rhetoric of being scared of four more years of Bush...
my son is in Iraq...at least I know Bush wont tolerate bs...and isnt afraid to stand up to the terrorists. This gives me certain comfort. And keep in mind that the main stream press doesnt tell the real story of what its like there. My son is very happy doing what he is doing and feels a certain peace at knowing hes helping make someones life a bit better. I will have many sleepless nights if Kerry gets in ...I still havent seen him stand for anything without backing off. We need a leader with a backbone during this most important of times. Do your research and see if you find all the contradictions in Kerrys words as I have.

No-one was sacrificed to secure Fallujah.

Soldiers were sent to secure the town. Some of them were killed by the enemy.

Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton, Halliburton!

Just kidding.

Honestly, of course the war in Iraq is worth it. It's worth it to have removed someone who used WMD's on his own people. It's worth it to prevent the torture, rape, and death of thousands and thousands of people. It's worth it to overthrow a regime where feeding people into plastic shredders is considered supporting the local government. I don't want a government like that anywhere in the world. You don't want it either.

This is a chance for the Middle East to put to rest the lie that they'll never be able to have a democracy because of their history or their culture. It's a chance for them to show the world that people are better off, and are better people when they are governing themselves.

Worth it? Absolutely. If my daughter (now five) decides when she's older to join the military, and she's killed freeing people from oppression, tyranny, and despotism, then I'll be proud as hell of her and her choice. End of story.

If MM was really sincere about wanting what was best for this country, and sincere in wanting Bush out of office, wouldn't his movie have been free and he wouldn't have made at last count, well over 100 million from it?
There is no excuse for making that kind of money. We all know he wants Bush out.
He's admitted it. He has also admitted that his film is biased, and designed to stop Bush from being reelected. If he was doing this out of the goodness of his heart, for the benefit of the country, why is he collecting money for what he says is a public service on his part?
Bottom line? Who would Bin Laden or Hussein vote for?

To set a few things straight...
First, you can join
the military at 17 (not 18 like people have been saying). However, you need a parent's permission at that age, so, for everybody saying that the parents have no say in it --- well you are only half correct.
Second, the military has seen a drastic decrease in the level of education in the enlisted ranks over the past few years. I wish I could link the various Navy Times articles about this, but I cannot. This has been due (as the Navy sees it) to lowered requirements for enlistment (scores on military placement tests), and also allowing people in from programs like "go to jail or join the military." Enlistment is down from previous years. It was up after 9/11, but started decreasing when the media began covering the deaths in Afganistan and Iraq. This is a typical cycle in history, but now the Armed services are desperate for new recruits.

We 'sacrificed' over 1,000 Marines in one military campaign in WWII: Tarawa.

Which was quickly dubbed 'Terrible Tarawa' and with good reason. Tarawa lasted 3 weeks, if I remember correctly, and cost over 1,000 lives.

We just lost 400 soldiers in a invasive war in which we took over a country larger than California, and then lost another 600 in a year long occupation. In Iraq war, it took us over a year to equal the casualties of one military campaign from WWII.

Moore's premise for his question is that Fallujah is not worth ANYBODY'S dying for. Or you might be a hard-hearted Republican who wouldn't mind other people's kids dying to liberate that city but not your precious Johnny.

So Moore is saying those who support the liberation of Iraq, and the taking of Fallujah, are supporting OTHER PEOPLE'S KID'S dying for an objective they will not sacrifice for themselves.

What Moore is focusing on is that anybody's kid who has been 'sacrificed' taking Fallujah or any part of Iraq has died for nothing.

He's basically saying "Would you sacrifice your child for this worthless cause?"

Brian

Jim,

Yes, you can join the military at 17 with parental permission. But it takes the enlisteee to sign on the dotted line and raise their right hand.

As to the rest, I respectfully disagree.
1. Education
http://www.defenselink.mil/prhome/poprep2002/index.htm

"Population representation in the military"

There is a section dedicated to education. How the military stacks up against the general population. The military consistantly rates higer.

This report is for fiscal 2002, but the NYT did an article late 2003, which held these findings still remain true.

2. enlistement rates. I can't address the Navy, but per the Army Times, May 17 2004.

"Army recruiting on track
Army recruiting through the second quarter of fiscal 2004 is running slightly ahead of schedule, despite a surprise increase in the active-component mission early this year.

Statistics provided by Army Accessions Command show that through the end of March, 41, 467 young people had enlisted in the Regular Army, and another 9,449 in the Army Reserve. The totals place those components at just over 100 percent of the midyear missions of 41,352 for the Regular Army and 9,398 for the Reserve.

Lt. Gen. Dennis Cavin, commander of Accessions Command, said the active-component campaign could be 1,000 to 2,000 ahead of schedule, but that officials regulate the flow to stay in sync with training-base capabilities. “We really don’t like to run more than 100 ahead of mission,” he said in an April 26 interview.

The active-component mission for 2004 recently was expanded to support the phased 30,000-soldier increase over the next three years. The annual mission that had been 72,000 is now 77,000. Recruiting officials predict they will end the year on Sept. 30 with 77,156.

The Army Reserve mission is 21,200, but officials predict the year-end total will be 21,302, despite tough slogging, because of a downturn in the number of prior-service candidates available for Reserve enlistment.

The soldiers who have enlisted so far this year are of high caliber — 99.7 percent of them scored in top categories (I-IIIB) of the Armed Force Qualification Test. Only 0.3 percent of the enlistees are in Category IV, the lowest acceptable rating."

the article can be found here for subscribers: http://www.armytimes.com/archivepaper.php?f=0-ARMYPAPER-2897289.php

I've seen numerous articles and charts which break down reenlistment rates as well, which have been consistantly AHEAD of goals since 2000, thus lowering the numbers needed in new recruits, and despite the fact that they are enlarging the Army by 30,000 personel over the next 3 years.

ASVAB scores :
http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/asvabscorechg.htm

The scoring actually just got more difficult as of 7/1/04.

As to "join the military or go to jail" I haven't even heard that mentioned in years. I was unable to find any reference to it on Google or in the Army Times. Considering that waviers are required if you have too many traffic tickets, I'm really having a hard time with this one. Could you provide a link for that please, because I'd really be interested in learning more about this.

Moore was implying that bush is the one who was making the decision for everybody and that if bush was sending his own child, he might have thought twice about making that decision.

If a parent was sending their child, they would certainly put more thought and care into the decision.

O'Reilly did blow the "fight" with Michael Moore, but it wasn't because of that. He was also smart enough to realize that was an honest question, unlike the author of the above statement.

I love how Michael Moore who has called George Bush a liar (regarding the 'yellowcake' issue) and a thief (re: The 2000 election) has allied himself with John Kerry...a man who has as his closest advisors a proven liar (Wilson) and a confirmed thief (Berger).

This is the most telling comment and generally what I hear from Republicans... its that redneck mentality

Big Brother said, "If the rest of "the world" is pissed off at us for liberating 25 million people from a tyrant, fuck them. I personally don't want the good will of people like that."

That isn't why the world is pissed off.. and go ahead and say fuck them... that is why there are terrorists out there. Not that you would care, you have been brainwashed by the conservative agenda. Brainwashed by a man that calls himself a Christian, but only tries to prove it when it comes to Abortion, Stem Cell research and gay marriage. Actions speak louder than words Mr. Bush!

Where did less government go Mr. Bush? What happened to giving the States more authority to make decisions? Where did our surplus go?

We need a change.. and Right Here is someone that is going to vote for John Kerry. If you don't want to listen to why.. tell me to fuck off.. that's fine.

But, there are a lot of us...

There are a lot of Republicans that won't admit it.. but they feel the same way.

O'Reilly didn't answer that question because, as he said the night after the Moore interview, he thought it was a stupid question, and just wanted to move beyond it. He should have answered it as above, but he wasn't really focused on that because, as I said, he thought it was a stupid question. Bill's main objective in the interview was to prove, for the viewers, that Moore is a crazed propagandist who, even when confronted with facts, cannot bring himself to even consider another opinion. If you watch the video of the interview (now available at foxnews.com) it's plain that Moore was completely outclassed by O'Reilly. I don't think that it's fair to say that O'Reilly "blew" the fight. He answered one of Moore's questions poorly, but Moore was unable to reply to any of Bill's facts. Final Score: Bill-4, Moore-1/2

The president who represents the people of the United States, does in fact order young men and women to sacrifice their lives.

And an 18-year old "man" might voluntarily join the army and be willing to have his commanders order him to risk his life for his country and values.

But he does so trusting that they will make not make such demands lightly and only do so when they are absolutely necessary.

So, Moore isn't completely off-base. Even if he words his point in an odd way, he is merely trying to make it personal. If you support the war and the decisions of the president you have to accept the full personal impact of what that means.

And, I believe that many people would be willing to send their sons into battle for a good cause. And so would Moore because he's no pacificist.

Chris

OOoo... the "redneck" charge! We cringe in collective shame and horror! Yes yes, you've found us out, we "don't care" why "they hate us" (and I notice you didn't care to elucidate us to the real reasons). Careful, now, I'm going to quote this redneck
There are many ways to philosophically divide Americans. Liberal-conservative and religious-secular are two obvious ways. But there is another, no less significant, division: Those who are ashamed of America for being hated and those who wear this hatred as a badge of honor.

I am in the latter group.

I understand such hatred. I am a Jew, a member of the most consistently and deeply hated people in world history. ....

Either America is evil and hatred of it is merited, or America is a decent country and the haters are evil.

The correct explanation is so obvious that only one who already hates America or who is simply morally confused would choose the first.

To assess the veracity of this, all one need do is compare America -- a country that has liberated more people from tyranny than any other, and which has been a place of refuge, tolerance and opportunity for more people from more backgrounds than any other in history -- with those who hate America.

Hmmm... and it seems you know what it means to be a better Christian than GW. Care to enlighten us to why you think GW cannot claim to be a Christian?

Sure, you can tell me why you want to vote for Kerry, but I will ask you, watch this video and tell me just how do you trust Kerry to ever actually mean what he says?

Where did less government go Mr. Bush?

A valid question.

What happened to giving the States more authority to make decisions?

I guess this is in reference to his support of a constitutional amendment that these same states have to ratify, and does not force anything upon any state.

Where did our surplus go?

It vanished into thin air... the same thin air it was pulled out of.

You make references to "redneck" mentality, and accuse others of being brainwashed, but you've got those DNC talking points down pretty well. I'm inclined to make a comment about conversation between a kettle and a pot.

Why is man in scare quotes? If an 18 year old isn't a man, when does a person become a man? 21? 24? some other arbitrary age?

And, I believe that many people would be willing to send their sons into battle for a good cause. And so would Moore because he's no pacificist.

What has Moore said to suggest "he's no pacifist"? He opposed the Afghan war as well.

Adam,
Any time an interviewer ends up answering questions, he has lost control of the interview and is already on his way to losing "the fight." The fact that O'Reilly answered the question poorly sealed his fate.

re:Chris...Where did less government go Mr. Bush?

The democrats say they want less government, but the whole issue on stem cell research is centered on Bush not opening the money gates from the government for the research. Some has been approved but with boundaries. Stem cell research does go on in this country, funded by the private sector. It is allowed. And so far the embroyonic research has not been as fruitful as was hoped. Truth is the research is going on in this country and no one has stopped it.
So if you want less government, why make the governments reluctance to fund this an issue? Which way do you want it?
Oh just like saying on one issue Bush rushed in...re the war, but then saying he didnt act fast enough re 9/11. I get confused wondering what exactly it is you want ...having it both ways perhaps?

O'Reily was hopeless in that interview which is a great pity. Moore would be so easy to skewer if the person inteviewing him were half way competent. I suspect that Moore knew O'Reily would bugger it up and not do the job. I have always thought O'Reily is an arse and this just proves it.

What I find rather amusing is the fact that the left and the Dems are now the isolationist ones. They used to prattle on about how Republicans were becoming neo-isolationist. Nothing new here, of course, after all it was that great Democratic hero FDR who sat on his arse and stayed out of WWII until 1941.

For anyone that is believing the RNC spin on Kerry or Edwards...

This is from www.daileyhowler.com

"NOT THAT LIBERAL: Do pundits ever tell the truth? When Kerry picked Edwards to be his VP, the RNC pimped a pleasing tale—Kerry and Edwards were the first- and fourth-most liberal members of the Senate. Mainstream pundits—always pleased to showcase their skills at recitation—have endlessly passed on the claim.
Tuesday morning, on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, Jonah Goldberg joined the crowd. A caller insisted that Kerry was not the Senate’s most liberal member. Goldberg praised the National Journal, which he correctly cited as the source of the claim:

GOLDBERG: Oh, I didn’t know that your judgment of who’s a liberal was the standard by which the entire media establishment should then hew. The fact is, is that we rely on certain nonpartisan sources—and partisan sources—to determine these sorts of things. The fact is, National Journal—which is indisputably one of the most respected journalistic operations going on in Washington—they’re the ones who have been calling [Kerry] the most liberal senator in Washington.
Our advice? If Goldberg is so impressed by the Journal, maybe he ought to try reading it. On July 10, the Journal’s Richard E. Cohen (not the Post columnist) tried to explain the pleasing facts which so many scribes have been peddling. Are Kerry and Edwards really first and fourth most liberal? That rating is based on calendar year 2003, when both senators—campaigning for the White House—missed large numbers of the 62 votes the Journal used for its tabulations. (Kerry missed 37 of the 62 votes; Edwards missed 22.) Writing in the rag Goldberg loves, Cohen laid out the big picture:
COHEN: The bigger picture presents a more nuanced view of the two senators on the Democratic presidential ticket. Since joining the Senate in 1985, Kerry has compiled a “lifetime average” composite liberal score of 85.7 in NJ's vote ratings. Ten other current senators have a lifetime composite liberal score that is higher than Kerry’S. (See NJ, 3/6/04, p. 679.) Meanwhile, Edwards, who first joined the Senate in 1999, has a lifetime composite liberal score of 75.7, a number that puts him in the moderate wing of his party.
“The bigger picture presents a more nuanced view?” Richard E. Cohen, repeat after us: In fact, the bigger picture shows that Kerry and Edwards are not first and fourth most liberal! In fact, ten current senators have more liberal lifetime voting records than Kerry. And how crazily liberal is Edwards? Here are the Journal’s annual rankings since he arrived in the Senate:
John Edwards:
1999: 31st most liberal senator
2000: 19th most liberal senator
2001: 35th most liberal senator
2002: 40th most liberal senator
2003: 4th most liberal senator
When pundits call Edwards the “fourth most liberal,” they are cherry-picking his rank from one year—a year in which he missed more than a third of the votes used to make the tabulations.
But none of this will stop mainstream pundits from reciting the RNC’s treasured tale. Pundits like to be good little boys, and they especially like to recite. For example, here was Bob Novak on yesterday’s Crossfire. James Carville dozed and snored as the propaganda was pimped once again:

NOVAK: Senator Pryor, you’re a moderate, just about in the middle of the Senate ideologically. Your ticket is the most liberal member of the Senate, Kerry, the fourth most liberal, Edwards. Do you check your principles at the door when you support a ticket like that?
Civics books tell your children that the press exists to keep them informed. So where can American children go to learn the truth about their “press corps?” And where can American voters go for real facts about Kerry/Edwards?
SPINNING THAT VOTE: Then there’s the reigning star of the Boston Convention—Kerry’s vote on that $87 billion to fund the troops in Iraq. Before we watch the Hardball gang clown about the vote last night, let’s look in once again on Joe Klein, writing a pseudo-psychiatric profile of Kerry in this week’s Time.

Poor Joe! He “has a theory” about Kerry’s personality—in his piece, the doctor is very much IN—but he still can’t figure out that vote on the $87 billion. He’s tried, but it’s over his head. Here’s the first of several references to the troubling vote:

KLEIN: Kerry is an oddly elusive character for a national politician. There are nagging questions about his steadiness, especially on issues located at the jittery intersection of politics and policy. His contradictory votes on Iraq—giving the President the authority to go to war, then voting against the $87 billion supplemental appropriation to pay for the occupation—have been at the heart of the Republican attacks against him this year.
Klein’s recitation is perfect; Kerry’s votes were “contradictory.” But if that’s true, what can we say about President Bush? After all, Bush decided to go to war in Iraq, then threatened to veto the $87 billion bill to funds the troops, helping bring it down to defeat the first time the Senate voted on it. Was that conduct “contradictory” too? This must be the most obvious question on earth, but typists like Klein aren’t going to raise it. Lazy, inept and deeply programmed, Manchurian typists—typists like Klein—only produce Approved Press Corps Scripts. When Kerry votes against one form of the $87 billion bill, that is puzzling, disturbing, “contradictory.” When Bush helps defeat another form of the bill, that is ignored, never mentioned, quite acceptable. Readers, it’s all about typing up Approved Scripts, then heading off to swish cocktail parties where other flunkies tell Joe Klein how brilliant and savvy he is.
Yes, President Bush initiated a war, then worked to defeat the spending bill that would have supported the troops! There was, of course, nothing wrong with that conduct; Bush favored a different form of the bill, and he was working to pass it. But guess what? Kerry also favored certain forms of the bill, and if the Senate had voted with him on his “no” vote, they would have been forced to craft a new bill that might have been more to his liking. There was never a chance—never a chance—that the troops weren’t going to be funded. Klein, of course, understands that full well. But then, Klein also loves his God. Like the rest of his hapless cohort, he bows to the great God of Scripts.

And yes, let’s face it, all over the press, your Pundit Corps works off hard scripts. You can call them Stepford; you can call them Manchurian; but you surely can’t call them unreliable. Once a Press Corps Script is approved, they’ll recite that script to the death. Which leads us to Chris Matthews’ simpering gang on MSNBC last night. When Howard Fineman mentioned that $87 billion, the panel swung into Full Clowning Mode (see Wednesday’s night’s 10 o’clock hour). Laughing hard and misserving the public, they happily rattled the script:

JOE SCARBOROUGH: That’s John Kerry’s big weakness. We’re going to see the clip time and again where he—they’re going to show that clip time and again where he said, “I voted for it the first time, before I voted against it.”
MATTHEWS: How do you explain that quote? “I voted for the money to support the troops before I voted against it?” I don’t know what that means!

ANDREA MITCHELL: It’s nuanced!

[Raucous group laughter]

SCARBOROUGH: Ha! Ha! It’s nuanced!

MATTHEWS: It’s very nuanced!

SCARBOROUGH: That’s a great way to spin it!

FINEMAN: [Kerry] was trying actually to be mordantly funny and comment on the process, but it’s impossible to explain it away.

But of course, it isn’t impossible to explain Kerry’s vote; explaining the vote is blindingly simple. Here we go: There were two different bills to fund the troops, and John Kerry—just like George Bush—supported one bill and opposed the other! How hard is that to explain? But Matthews’ panel raucously laughed as they enjoyed their pleasing script. “What was he trying to say, Mr. Mayor?” Scarborough said to hapless, inept Willie Brown, former San Francisco mayor. Brown was there as a Democrat pol, but he gave a ridiculous, uninformed “explanation,” further misleading MSNBC viewers. And all the panel continued to laugh as Matthews went to a break.
Readers, have you ever seen a panel on ESPN treat a football game with such disrespect? Sports writers take their subject seriously, but your national national “press corps” clowns and laughs as they make a joke of another White House election, the thing they seem to do best.

APPLE PIE: At the Times, hapless Johnny Apple knows the script too. How does an earth-born human being manage to get this inept?

APPLE: Mr. Kerry's Vietnam heroism may be a much easier sell than his views on the war in Iraq, if only because it is more clear-cut. Having cast several votes on several aspects of the current conflict, he is easy to portray as a straddler, a flip-flopper or a hair-splitter. Having said he would have taken a more international approach to the Iraqi problem, he finds Mr. Bush moving the same way.
Readers, did you follow the logic? According to Apple, Bush is moving in Kerry’s direction—but Kerry is somehow the flipper, the straddler! Johnny Apple knows the script. And he’s too fat and lazy not to type it.
SEQUEL—EXPLAINING SUCH VOTES CAN BE EASY: It’s easy to explain votes like Kerry’s—as long as it’s in an Official Press Script. Later last night, after Edwards spoke, Tom Brokaw was talking about former Georgia senator Max Cleland. In 2002, Cleland was defeated for re-election, in part because of a vote he cast against creation of the Homeland Security Department. Of course, Cleland favored creation of such a department—but he favored one form of the bill to create the department, and he opposed another. Did Brokaw find that “impossible to explain?” Did he lie, as Matthews did, saying, “I don’t know what that means?” Of course not! The corps is Officially Sympathetic to Cleland, so here’s the script Brokaw rattled off as he spoke with Senator Zell Miller:

BROKAW: Tomorrow night, John Kerry will be introduced by one of your former colleagues, Max Cleland, who was the senator from Georgia with you when you were both in that chamber. He was defeated, of course. Republicans ran ads against him because in the initial stages he voted against the Homeland Security bill because he had some questions about the funding for it. Do you think Max Cleland, who was gravely wounded in Vietnam, was treated fairly by the Republicans?
Note how pundits discuss a pol they favor. Brokaw explained Max Cleland’s vote—the very thing Matthews’ panel refused to do for Kerry. After all, Kerry voted against the bill at issue because he had some questions about the funding for it. But—lying in the face of his viewers—Matthews said he didn’t know what Kerry could have meant by his now-famous statement, and Fineman said the statement is impossible to explain. Each of these statements is utterly bogus, as Brokaw so deftly showed us. It’s easy to explain a vote like Kerry’s—depending on what’s in the script.
SMILE-A-WHILE: How inept is your national press corps? The doctor was IN as Klein typed his personality profile of Kerry. Why is Kerry so weirdly aloof? It can all be explained, Klein says. Eureka! The doctor had figured it out. Kerry’s just “ a proper Bostonian:”

KLEIN: Eventually Kerry did mention [his sister] Diana's situation in some speeches but only after his sister began to talk about it publicly. That confirmed something I had long suspected: Kerry is a very proper Bostonian. His apparent aloofness is actually an antique form of New England propriety. His reluctance to wear his religious faith on his sleeve is part of this ethos, as is his formal, hortatory Sunday-sermon speaking style. A strong sense of honor comes with the territory, a discomfort with swagger and braggadocio. “I once was with Kerry watching Bob Dole on television,” recalls David Wade, an aide who is usually found in Kerry's immediate proximity. “Someone was asking Dole about how he was wounded in World War II. Dole wouldn't do it. He said, 'You just don't talk about those things.’” Kerry, who was wounded three times in Vietnam, nodded his head vigorously, as Wade remembers, and said, “That's how it is.”
Did you follow the reasoning there? You can tell that Kerry is a “proper Bostonian” because he reacts to things in the same way as Dole—Dole, who grew up in Russell, Kansas! Yes, that is what this paragraph says, and no, you can’t parse the nonsense away. But so what? Klein typed it up, then handed it in. An editor thought it made good, solid sense. Then he and Klein went to a party.

That isn't why the world is pissed off.. and go ahead and say fuck them...

I think I did already.

What, wasn't I clear on that?

that is why there are terrorists out there.

Oh, really? That's an interesting statement... and here I thought there were terrorists out there because we supported Israel, wouldn't convert to their twisted idea of a faith, allowed our women to work and show their ankles and talk and drive, and dared to stand in the way of their efforts at turning the middle east into a Taliban-style theocracy.

Silly me.

Not that you would care, you have been brainwashed by the conservative agenda.

"See?!? See?!? You don't believe me! You're brainwashed!"

It's those conservative mind control rays, Chris. I don't have a tinfoil hat yet that will block them.

Brainwashed by a man that calls himself a Christian, but only tries to prove it when it comes to Abortion, Stem Cell research and gay marriage.

Wow, that subject change just about snapped my neck.

1) I'm not a christian. I don't care about Bush's position on ANY of the above subjects.
2) Bush has shown that he's willing to fight the war on terror the way it needs to be fough: offensively. Not by waiting around to be attacked before responding. Not by waiting for the UN to allow us to act.
3) Bush spends too much government money... Kerry plans on spending MORE.

Chris, if the only way you think you can counter what I say is by accusing me of being brainwashed, you've already lost the argument. You have nothing for me. I'm going to vote for Bush not because I agree with him on every issue (I don't, not by a longshot), but because he has more in common with my beliefs than John Kerry, by far. Because I trust him more than John Kerry.

I chose to vote for him in 2000, and I choose to vote for him in 2004. You've given me no reason to question that decision. In fact, it's posts like yours that drive me further along.

Actions speak louder than words Mr. Bush!

You've got that right. Oh, not for the reasons you think, Chris.

re: bbiggs32....He said, 'You just don't talk about those things.’” Kerry, who was wounded three times in Vietnam, nodded his head vigorously, as Wade remembers, and said, “That's how it is.”
Oh please ..or is this that flipper mentality again....if he was so modest about his exploits in nam ..why oh why did he actually go back and film re-enactments of them...why oh why does he have so much footage of his time there that he personally took, even going so far as to mock interview himself? and why did some of his fellow soldiers remark that Kerry would be sent back to the states not because of his medals but because he finally had enough footage for his future campaigns? not talk about it indeed.

We as AMERICANS must come to terms with whats really happening here. It's not about Bill O' or Michael M. It's not about left or right. It's about securing our future! We started in Afghanistan but we didn't finish. And when we were finished we needed to go knocking on the Saudis door next, not Iraq (At least not yet). Don't be fooled for one second that the guys at the top didn't know this. We need to be angry as hell that they aren't getting it right, for what ever reason. We need to stand together and demand that they get it RIGHT! and stop pointing fingers, which is Unpatriotic to say the least. I say the American people need to inform themselves and stop allowing the different media do it for them. It's in our countries best interest that we get this right, for us and our children.

[As to "join the military or go to jail" I haven't even heard that mentioned in years. ]

That's because it doesn't exist anymore. You have to get a waiver to join if you have misdemeanors, and no way are felons getting in.

Offering a defendant a choice between bootcamp or jail is explicitly forbidden, for both the judiciary and the military.

Neocon 101

Some basic questions answered.

What do neoconservatives believe?
"Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.

Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster.

Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security.

What are the roots of neoconservative beliefs?
The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and 70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left's social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union's fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America's defense spending and its role in the world.

Unlike their predecessors, most younger neocons never experienced being left of center. They've always been "Reagan" Republicans.

What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative?

Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored détente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s.

Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But most conservatives express greater reservations about military intervention and so-called nation building. Neocons share no such reluctance. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, view this as an overzealous dream with nightmarish consequences.

How have neoconservatives influenced US foreign policy?

Finding a kindred spirit in President Reagan, neocons greatly influenced US foreign policy in the 1980s.

But in the 1990s, neocon cries failed to spur much action. Outside of Reaganite think tanks and Israel's right-wing Likud Party, their calls for regime change in Iraq were deemed provocative and extremist by the political mainstream. With a few notable exceptions, such as President Bill Clinton's decision to launch isolated strikes at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, their talk of preemptive military action was largely dismissed as overkill.

Despite being muted by a president who called for restraint and humility in foreign affairs, neocons used the 1990s to hone their message and craft their blueprint for American power. Their forward thinking and long-time ties to Republican circles helped many neocons win key posts in the Bush administration.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 moved much of the Bush administration closer than ever to neoconservative foreign policy. Only days after 9/11, one of the top neoconservative think tanks in Washington, the Project for a New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Bush calling for regime change in Iraq. Before long, Bush, who campaigned in 2000 against nation building and excessive military intervention overseas, also began calling for regime change in Iraq. In a highly significant nod to neocon influence, Bush chose the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the venue for a key February 2003 speech in which he declared that a US victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace." AEI – the de facto headquarters for neconservative policy – had been calling for democratization of the Arab world for more than a decade.

What does a neoconservative dream world look like?

Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats. They believe that the US has a responsibility to act as a "benevolent global hegemon." In this capacity, the US would maintain an empire of sorts by helping to create democratic, economically liberal governments in place of "failed states" or oppressive regimes they deem threatening to the US or its interests. In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be democratized in the belief that this would eliminate a prime breeding ground for terrorists. This approach, they claim, is not only best for the US; it is best for the world. In their view, the world can only achieve peace through strong US leadership backed with credible force, not weak treaties to be disrespected by tyrants.

Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.

I have been a conservative my entire life, but I always look very hard at politicians. I spent my 20 years in the Marine Corps in the intelligence field, and we are ALL professional skeptics. Based on my 44 years of association with them, I have found this one simple truth: With the Democrats in this country, it is the Democratic party first, and America a distant second. In other words, what is good for the Democrats is good for America. WRONG ANSWER AGAIN AND STILL. Most of the Republicans I have met and know look at it in the opposite way; what is good for America is good for Republicans. A warning for the Democrats in America, there is a new breed of Republican surfacing who will take the battle to you using your own tactics against you, and WE WILL KICK YOUR ASSES. Peaceful coexistence did not work because when we took the moral high road, you continued your slimy methods and we got screwed. I don't like you, I don't trust you, and I will not peacefully coexist with you any further. You will not or cannot see past the propaganda your party spews forth for your mindless digestion. Kind of like the Nazi party and its methods. Let the better (not best, they are all politicians) man win. And it isn't the two leftists you dolts are running. While I don't totally trust Bush (he is a politician after all) Kerry and Edwards scare the shit out of me, because they are unscrupulous, disloyal, and capable of anything. With lunatics like Michael Moore as your propagandists, it should make things even more obvious to those undecided people out there to get off their self absorbed asses and participate in the process, or shut the hell up when they get whammied up the ass.

All in the Neocon family.

Contrary to appearances, the neoconservatives do not represent a political movement, but a small, exclusive club with incestuous familial and personel connections.

What do William Kristol, Norman Podhoretz, Elliot Abrams, and Robert Kagan have in common? Yes, they are all die-hard hawks who have gained control of U.S. foreign policy since the 9/11 attacks. But they are also part of one big neoconservative family -- an extended clan of spouses, children, and friends who have known each other for generations.

Neoconservatives are former liberals (which explains the "neo" prefix) who advocate an aggressive unilateralist vision of U.S. global supremacy, which includes a close strategic alliance with Israel. Let's start with one of the founding fathers of the extended neocon clan: Irving Kristol. His extensive resume includes waging culture wars for the CIA against the Soviet Union in the early years of the Cold War and calling for an American "imperial" role during the Vietnam War. Papa Kristol, who has been credited with defining the major themes of neoconservative thought, is married to Gertrude Himmelfarb, a neoconservative powerhouse on her own. Her studies of the Victorian era in Britain helped inspire the men who sold Bush on the idea of "compassionate conservatism."

The son of this proud couple is none other that William Kristol, the crown prince of the neoconservative clique and editor of the Rupert Murdoch-owned Weekly Standard. In 1997, he founded the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a front group which cemented the powerful alliance between right-wing Republicans like Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld, Christian and Catholic Right leaders like Gary Bauer and William Bennett, and the neocons behind a platform of global U.S. military dominance.

Irving Kristol's most prominent disciple is Richard Perle, who was until Thursday the Defense Policy Board chairman, is also a "resident scholar" at the American Enterprise Institute, which is housed in the same building as PNAC. Perle himself married into neocon royalty when he wed the daughter of his professor at the University of Chicago, the late Alfred Wohlstetter -- the man who helped both his son-in-law and his fellow student Paul Wolfowitz get their start in Washington more than 30 years ago.

Perle's own protege is Douglas Feith, who is now Wolfowitz's deputy for policy and is widely known for his right-wing Likud position. And why not? His father, Philadelphia businessman and philanthropist Dalck Feith, was once a follower of the great revisionist Zionist leader, Vladimir Jabotinsky, in his native Poland back in the 1930s. The two Feiths were honored together in 1997 by the right-wing Zionist Organization of America (ZOA).

The AEI has long been a major nexus for such inter-familial relationships. A long-time collaborator with Perle, Michael Ledeen is married to Barbara Ledeen, a founder and director of the anti-feminist Independent Women's Forum (IWF), who is currently a major player in the Republican leadership on Capitol Hill. Richard Perle, Douglas Feith, and another neo-con power couple -- David and Meyrav Wurmser -- co-authored a 1996 memorandum for Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu outlining how to break the Oslo peace process and invade Iraq as the first step to transforming the Middle East.

Though she doesn't focus much on foreign-policy issues, Lynne Cheney also hangs her hat at AEI. Her husband Dick Cheney recently chose Victoria Nuland to become his next deputy national security adviser. Nuland, as it turns out, is married to Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol's main comrade-in-arms and the co-founder of PNAC.

Bob's father, Donald Kagan, is a Yale historian who converted from a liberal Democrat to a staunch neocon in the 1970s. On the eve of the 2000 presidential elections, Donald and his other son, Frederick, published "While America Sleeps," a clarion call to increase defense spending. Since then, the three Kagan men have written reams of columns warning that the currently ballooning Pentagon budget is simply not enough to fund the much-desired vision of U.S. global supremacy.

And which infamous ex-Reaganite do the Kagans and another leading neocon family have in common? None other than Iran-contra veteran Elliott Abrams.

Now the director of Near Eastern Affairs in Bush's National Security Council, Abrams worked closely with Bob Kagan back in the Reagan era. He is also the son-in-law of Norman Podhoretz, long-time editor of the influential conservative Jewish publication Commentary, and his wife, Midge Decter, a fearsome polemicist in her own right.

Podhoretz, like Kristol Sr., helped invent neo-conservatism in the late 1960s. He and Decter created a formidable political team as leaders of the Committee on the Present Danger in 1980, when they worked with Donald Rumsfeld to pound the last nail into the coffin of detente and promote the rise of Ronald Reagan. In addition to being Abrams' father-in-law, Norman Podhoretz is also the father of John Podhoretz, a columnist for the Murdoch-owned New York Post and frequent guest on the Murdoch-owned Fox News channel.

As editor of Commentary, Norman offered writing space to rising stars of the neocon movement for more than 30 years. His proteges include former U.N. ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick and Richard Pipes, who was Ronald Reagan's top advisor on the "Evil Empire," as the president liked to call the Soviet Union. His son, Daniel Pipes, has also made a career out of battling "evil," which in his case is Islam. And to tie it all up neatly, in 2002, Podhoretz received the highest honor bestowed by the AEI: the Irving Kristol award.

This list of intricate, overlapping connections is hardly exhaustive or perhaps even surprising. But it helps reveal an important fact. Contrary to appearances, the neocons do not constitute a powerful mass political movement. They are instead a small, tighly-knit clan whose incestuous familial and personal connections, both within and outside the Bush administration, have allowed them grab control of the future of American foreign policy.

I love this debate and I have to apologize for the redneck comment. It's just that when I hear people have that attitude.. you're either with us or your are against us.. or even worse.. when someone says.. if they don't agree then "fuck them" I cringe.

Hey Big Brother, didn't George Bush run on the campaign in 2000 that he believed in a smaller govt.? Didn't he want the states to have MORE power? That is.. unless the States do something that he doesn't approve of, such as gay marriage. I live in a State where that would never be approved, but I bet that in California, eventually the people would vote to allow it. George Bush goes against his word for smaller govt. and against what the people may or may not want by saying that he will change the Constitution of the United States to ensure that the States can't do something that he doesn't believe in. That is crazy.

Do you want to know why I am really upset? Because I supported this Iraq war. I listened to my leaders and thought that there was a real threat.. and now all I get from those same leaders is that the information was bad. So... was it a mistake to invade.. no.. because believe it or not.. we have other motives... and don't give me that crap about freeing the Iraqi people from tyranical dictator.. because if that was the reason we invaded Iraq, I wouldn't have supported it.. and neither would the American people. Would you have voted to spend 100 billion people and lose 1000 american lives to free the Iraqi people? Be honest with yourself.. If you answered yes... then what Country in the middle east is next? Why are we not invading North Korea? Where do we go from here...on our great crusade?

Iran, Syria,Saudi Arabia, Egypt?

Maybe BOR was caught off guard by this idiot's inane question. He argued nothing really. He said the same thing over and over. He sounded like my 7 year old and his friend.
Billy: "Mom, he hit me"
Johnny: "No, I didn't"
Billy: "Mom, he hit me"
Billy: "Mom, he hit me"
Billy: "Mom, he hit me"

Micheal Moore is what he is. Sure some of his arguments are wrong facts or twisted, but he does bring up valid points of interests. I never supported the war in Iraq, early on I knew this war was for one thing. Big business and oil. I never saw Iraq being of threat to us. During 911 you all may remember the Iraqis dancing in the streets. It was extremely shameful behavour of a sovergn nation. But this does not justify the us invading them.

MM asked the question that all powerful men should have asked. Is this war a justified war that I would allow my kid to fight and die in? If they would have done the homework (including the senate) we would have not given the bad decision much more thought.

Today, Iraq is a mess, and Bin Ladin gets away with murdering 3000(!) of our citizens by living in western Pakistan. It's a shame our president and staff can't seem to muster any balls to go after them now. Fuck Iraq lets pull out now, and finish the real job in Pakistan!!!

Good luck to you Repugs, but I'm voting for the other guy.... Poor decisions and bad policies should not get rewarded.

Hey Big Brother, didn't George Bush run on the campaign in 2000 that he believed in a smaller govt.? Didn't he want the states to have MORE power?

He most certainly did. That is, when he wasn't himself promising prescription drug coverage or similar bloated government programs.

What's your point, Chris? I know exactly what George bush is. I know that he isn't going to cut anything. I also know that not only will John Kerry spend MORE that Bush, I don't trust his will to fight the war we're currently in. if given the choice between a big spender who will fight and a bigger one who may not, I'll take the first.

That is.. unless the States do something that he doesn't approve of, such as gay marriage.
Chris, I DON'T CARE ABOUT GAY MARRIAGE. Not even a little. I don't care if gays can get married, and I don't care if they can't. A candidate's position on that issue is irrelevant to me.

I live in a State where that would never be approved, but I bet that in California, eventually the people would vote to allow it. George Bush goes against his word for smaller govt. and against what the people may or may not want by saying that he will change the Constitution of the United States to ensure that the States can't do something that he doesn't believe in. That is crazy.

Do you know how the Constitution is actually changed? George Bush doesn't have the power to do it, whatever you might think. He can say "I'm against gay marriage," he can even say he'd support an amendment, but that does not mean it's actually going to happen.

Do you want to know why I am really upset? Because I supported this Iraq war. I listened to my leaders and thought that there was a real threat..

And you called ME "brainwashed?" Wow. Chris, I supported Iraq not because of anything Bush said, but because I had done my own research and decided that it was needed. For twelve years we had kept troops on Iraq's border, kept sanctions in place, enforced no-fly zones, argued over inspections, dropped air strikes on Iraq, and to what effect? What did we have to show for it? Hussein was still in power. Do I need to remind you that there hadn't been inspections for four years before the build-up to the war started and Hussein was threatened into the half-assed compliance he eventually agreed to?

How long was this to last, Chris? The Iraqi people were suffering and dying under sanctions, suffering and dying under Hussein's regime, the US was required to keep troops on the holy soil of Islam in order to keep Hussein in check.

THAT is the reason I supported war, Chris. Not because of anything Bush said. By the time he had started his push for the war, I had already made up my mind.

and now all I get from those same leaders is that the information was bad.

If you're assuming that WMDs were the sole reason we went in, then yes, the information was bad. If the only evidence that you will accept is a large blatant stockpile left by Hussein, then yes, the information was bad. If you assume that Hussein spent those four inspection-free years getting rid of his WMDs and then not bothering to give any evidence he had done so...

You get the point.

So was it a mistake to invade.. no.. because believe it or not.. we have other motives... and don't give me that crap about freeing the Iraqi people from tyranical dictator.. because if that was the reason we invaded Iraq, I wouldn't have supported it..
What you or I chose as our reasons to support the invasion is irrelevant. For me, it was about removing an avowed enemy of the US who acted as a consistent destabilizing force in the ME, and it was about freeing the Iraqi people. Whatever the exact reasons for the invasion, we DID free Iraq from Hussein.

and neither would the American people.

Umm, YOU don't speak for the American people. Neither do I. Don't assume you know what they would and would not support.

Would you have voted to spend 100 billion people and lose 1000 american lives to free the Iraqi people? Be honest with yourself..

For just those reasons? No. If the nation had also shown itself to be a repeated threat to us and our allies in the region, then YES. Hmm... I think Iraq qualified. Let's see... Hussein had invaded two of his neighbors, attempted to assassinate a former US president, failed to live up to the terms of a cease fire (and a cease fire means that, if one party fails to live up to its end, the war begins again), was sheltering terrorists, had terrorist training camps within the borders of Iraq, was funding Palestian suicide bombers and their families (at the exact time we were trying to get both sides to sit down to the table), had illegally ejected UN weapons inspectors, was repressing and slaughtering his own people, was...

Want me to keep going? I could.

You remind me of people who, when asked to name what caused the American Civil War, simply say "slavery." Human rights may be ONE issue, but it is by no means the only one. You're looking for one cause, Chris. That's not the way it happened. There were multiple causes for the Iraq war, and trying to pin me down to one issue is disingenous, because for me it was NEVER about just human rights.

If you answered yes... then what Country in the middle east is next?

Why do you assume that we would use the same "strategery" for every country? Different problems, different solutions. We might have to invade other countries in the region in the future, but I'm not Nostradamus. I can't predict the future. If Bush says we have to invade another country, I will do exactly what I did before: look up the evidence for myself, and decide for myself whether or not I would support it.

Why are we not invading North Korea?

Do you honestly want an answer, or is this just the usual shell game I get from the anti-war types?

Where do we go from here...on our great crusade?

Wherever we have to, Chris. Wherever we have to.

Iran, Syria,Saudi Arabia, Egypt?

If it calls for it, yes.

But what would I know? I'm brainwashed.

Good luck to you Repugs, but I'm voting for the other guy....

No kidding. I kind of figured that out as soon as I saw the word "repugs."

And good plan, BTW, pull out of Iraq, leave it to collapse, and invade ANOTHER country to get one man. You should teach at West Point.

To which any thinking would respond to your idiotic screed: "So what. You're tellling me you're supporting an idiot who lied to put your freely enlisting child in harm's way? What kind of a parent are you? With your support of Lieutenant Deserter, you'd sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that."

And it's spelled disingenuous, idiot, next time you want to duck an issue.

Moore is saying that it's sad we've lost 900+ GI's, thousands wounded, and untold numbers of Iraqi civilians killed. No argument. However, balance that against the possible number of lives lost in another terrorist act on US soil, and the continued terrorism Saddam inflicted on his own people.

Could Saddam have helped Al-Quida infict another 911? Use your common sense, Saddam would have done ANYTHING to get back at the US for the first Gulf War. He was sponsoring terrorism in Palestine for goodness sake! Taking Saddam out makes the US, Iraq, and the world a lot safer!

Yankee,

When I want your opinion, I'll read it in your entrails. Now be quiet. Grownups are talking.

Duck an issue? Ah, yes: NewSpeak for won't answer the question the way you want them to.

Btw: nice use of the "hah! he made a spelling flame what a poopoo head" method of rebuttal. It definitely showed the true weight of your intellect.

Oh, and Yankee, I'm terribly sorry I left out a frikkin' "u" in one word of my post. I mean that. I just feel HORRIBLE about it. Thank God almighty you were there to show me the error of my ways. In fact, I am going to pray right now, giving thanks to the Lord that a poster on a blog found that spelling mistake and informed me about it, because now I can die in peace.

Lets stick to issues...Kerry...
Last night Edwards promised two tax credits that Bush already had implemented. The $1000 child credit and the college tax credit. Edwards said up to $4000 for college, and thats for the first child. Under the present tax codes, there are two tiers of tax relief for college tuition. But brought about since Bush took office.
Then he said they will bring together the "two" United States. Dang ..thought was only one I lived in and how does he propose to do that? With the do as I say not as I do mentality? Neither Edwards nor Kerry's billionaire wife have yet to file their income taxes. and the "outspoken" (i see her as im a billionaire therefore better than you and can say and do as I please) wife will not file hers til after the election. Why and how is this? What is she afraid to show us? That she probably pays little taxes? All of the rhetoric being fed can be rebutted by simply looking at their personal financial practices. Take a look where Ter-A-sa's companies manufacture. But didnt they say they would provide relief to bring more jobs and stop farming out manufacturing to other countries?
If Kerry cant convince his own wifes companies to do this ..how in the world will he convince others?
And oooo the poor man ...he mortgaged his home..which by the way was bought with wifeys money...to finance his campaign. A sacrifice...maybe if he wasnt sure he would be able to afford the mortgage payments ..but please. And why did he have to mortgage the house? Because the wife made her money unavailable to him for his campaign. If she has so little belief in him that she wont even put a faction of her vast fortune behind him, why should I?

Re: Donna...

first, dont believe everything you hear off drudge...he has an agenda and ABC news has rated his information 38% correct. Way to be feed. Good job. If you would do a little research, you would find that the author of the book was a hired gun by Nixon to talk bad about Kerry in the late 60's. Now he wants to profit off that information.

Second, that was hardly the point of the article. The point was to show all you fools how spun that $87 billion dollor "flip-flop" voting argument is, so often posited by repubs. In addition, it shows how rediculous the 1st and 4th most liberal labels placed on kerry/edwards are. Its based one choosen year, and incomplete numbers at that. The funny thing is, the flip-flopping argument seems to be the only thing the republicans have. Or maybe they attack his war record--hmmmm. Its not even worth typing the counter-argument.

Re: Donna...

first, dont believe everything you hear off drudge...he has an agenda and ABC news has rated his information 38% correct. Way to be feed. Good job. If you would do a little research, you would find that the author of the book was a hired gun by Nixon to talk bad about Kerry in the late 60's. Now he wants to profit off that information.

Second, that was hardly the point of the article. The point was to show all you fools how spun that $87 billion dollor "flip-flop" voting argument is, so often posited by repubs. In addition, it shows how rediculous the 1st and 4th most liberal labels placed on kerry/edwards are. Its based one choosen year, and incomplete numbers at that. The funny thing is, the flip-flopping argument seems to be the only thing the republicans have. Or maybe they attack his war record--hmmmm. Its not even worth typing the counter-argument.

re: donna

Please point me to those code sections mentioned above regarding the tax credits Bush implemented. Im a tax lawyer. This will be interesting.

Moore is more of a patriot than any of you will ever be. Aside from fighting for you country, the next greatest thing you can do in our democracy is question it.

If you don't believe that, then I feel sorry for you and you should go live in a dictatorship where the rules and relegion might not necessarily match your own.

Hem and haw all you wish, the fact remains that he is asking questions that have a higher meaning...that NEED to be asked. Do you understand that? Do you really? He asks questions that make you think. I know you want to think don't you?

Think about the question. He's trying to make a point, albiet in a roundabout way. It's mind-numbing how you fail to see the bigger picture intent of that and all of his questions. I fear for the future of this country if we continue to stay ignorant and blinded.

By the way, I'm a republican and I do see the higher meaning. I do get the point. All you have to do is really think without all the partisan agenda and all of the venom you've built up for this guy or that guy or that party. Try it.

Moore is wrong. Bush didn't lie, he just ain't gots the smarts to filter down the hogwash his warmongering advisors fed him. Too bad, but aint his fault that he's a dimwit. If ya ask me, I'd tell ya this whole mess wouldn't have happened if Gore were President...

"Moore is more of a patriot than any of you will ever be. Aside from fighting for you country, the next greatest thing you can do in our democracy is question it."

Doesn't follow. If someone chooses to disagree with Moore, and then puts that opinion forward, they are speaking out. Questioning, just as he is. Ergo, they are just as much of a patriot. If you can't see this, you're the one missing the "big picture."

Now I shall be a Patriot, and put forward my opinion:

I believe Michael Moore to be a muckraker, and I don't care for his opinions. Admittedly, this is largely due to the manner in which he presents them. Perhaps I would find his opinions more compelling if they were presented in a more logical and reasonable manner.

Reading through a transcript of the debate, I found his answers and questions to be misleading, distracting to the matter at hand, and full of false logic.

Here is an example:

Try to put the actual issue at hand to the side for a moment, and concentrate simply on the logic of the first question.

It is entirely reasonable for someone to say something that isn't true without lying. "Lying" naturally implies falsehood, of course, but it also implies ill intent. To "lie" means not simply to utter a falsehood, but to put it forward knowing it is false. In effect, to knowingly cover up or distort the Truth.

Let's provide a negative example to illustrate the point.. in fact, let's reverse the situation to make it clear.

Let's say that Mr. Moore, in his film, had put forward an assertion that he had on good authority from multiple resources to be true, such as "BUSH LIKES CHOCOLATE." To further this example, let us assume that later, after the assertion has been made, it comes to light that the assertion was incorrect, that in fact "BUSH DOES NOT LIKE CHOCOLATE."

Would Mr. Moore be considered a liar?

No, he would not. Why not? Because he made this assertion under the misconception that it was true. That doesn't make his statement a LIE, it makes his statement WRONG. He would only be a "liar" if he knew it was wrong at the time the assertion was made. That's the definition of lying.

Clearly, there is a difference between BEING WRONG and LYING. I find it sad that we would need to even spell out such a distinction. If it seems like I am belabouring the point, I am. That is because any child knows the difference between LYING and being WRONG and yet even on this forum we have people continuing to not see the difference.

Moore clearly knows this difference, as well. He knows that by all accounts, all of the research points to the fact that Bush honestly believed the intelligence he was being provided by Russia, Britain, and his own advisors. Ergo, Bush was not lying. Naive, perhaps. Guilty of bad judgement, yes. Lying? No.

Moore must see this, and yet he remains unwilling to retract his accusation that Bush lied. I can only imagine that this steadfast refusal to bend under the weight of logic is purely political.

From his very first answer, then, I see that Moore is more interested in casting allegations than finding truth. God bless him, it's his right, and probably makes him a patriot. I'll excercise my right to not listen.

Second, and this is my problem with the rhetoric of the DNC, which I have watched over the last three days. Michael Moore is the poster child, in my opinion, of divisive opinions. He has an amazing talent for being able to polarize opinions. That's fine, for as I've said, I can simply elect not to listen.

However as a party, the democrats cannot have it both ways. You cannot embrace such a polarizing speaker and at the same time try and convince me that your opponents are uniquely and completely responsible for the lack of unity in our country. You cannot tell me that the Republican party is responsible for the environment of "hate and division" while Michael Moore, who used the Academy-Awards as his political public to decry the President of the United States, who created a propaganda film with the most vocal (or at least, profitable) "US VERSUS THEM" message in the history of documentary cinema, is standing on stage beside you.

I am not a republican. I am not a democrat. I am just an American, and I really wish for once we had a candidate -- and a party -- that I really could believe in.

SM

re: logic...

I understand your argument spidermonkey, however, M.M. is simply not articulate enough to get across what he is saying.

I think you can equate being wrong and lying...

There is a theory in the legal world..."should have known". In law, should have known is tantamount to INTENT. M.M. was arguing that if Bush did not know, he should have known.

Refer to his statement regarding "a 7-year-old child could get away with that." M.M. is implying such wanton negligence on the part of our president, that we impute knowledge. If we impute the knowledge, then he lied.

Its a fair argument. Moore is ust too sloppy to articulate it.

re: logic...

I understand your argument spidermonkey, however, M.M. is simply not articulate enough to get across what he is saying.

I think you can equate being wrong and lying...

There is a theory in the legal world..."should have known". In law, should have known is tantamount to INTENT. M.M. was arguing that if Bush did not know, he should have known.

Refer to his statement regarding "a 7-year-old child could get away with that." M.M. is implying such wanton negligence on the part of our president, that we impute knowledge. If we impute the knowledge, then he lied.

Its a fair argument. Moore is ust too sloppy to articulate it.

WAKE UP PEOPLE, READ THIS TO LEARN WHO IS CONTROLLING YOUR FOREIGN POLICY! WOLFOWITZ, PERLE, FEITH, LIBBY, ABRAMS ARE ALL NEOCONSERVATIVES AND ALL repulicans should beware of who they are really supporting when they support the president!

Neocon 101

Some basic questions answered.

What do neoconservatives believe?
"Neocons" believe that the United States should not be ashamed to use its unrivaled power – forcefully if necessary – to promote its values around the world. Some even speak of the need to cultivate a US empire. Neoconservatives believe modern threats facing the US can no longer be reliably contained and therefore must be prevented, sometimes through preemptive military action.

Most neocons believe that the US has allowed dangers to gather by not spending enough on defense and not confronting threats aggressively enough. One such threat, they contend, was Saddam Hussein and his pursuit of weapons of mass destruction. Since the 1991 Gulf War, neocons relentlessly advocated Mr. Hussein's ouster.

Most neocons share unwavering support for Israel, which they see as crucial to US military sufficiency in a volatile region. They also see Israel as a key outpost of democracy in a region ruled by despots. Believing that authoritarianism and theocracy have allowed anti-Americanism to flourish in the Middle East, neocons advocate the democratic transformation of the region, starting with Iraq. They also believe the US is unnecessarily hampered by multilateral institutions, which they do not trust to effectively neutralize threats to global security.

What are the roots of neoconservative beliefs?
The original neocons were a small group of mostly Jewish liberal intellectuals who, in the 1960s and 70s, grew disenchanted with what they saw as the American left's social excesses and reluctance to spend adequately on defense. Many of these neocons worked in the 1970s for Democratic Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson, a staunch anti-communist. By the 1980s, most neocons had become Republicans, finding in President Ronald Reagan an avenue for their aggressive approach of confronting the Soviet Union with bold rhetoric and steep hikes in military spending. After the Soviet Union's fall, the neocons decried what they saw as American complacency. In the 1990s, they warned of the dangers of reducing both America's defense spending and its role in the world.

Unlike their predecessors, most younger neocons never experienced being left of center. They've always been "Reagan" Republicans.

What is the difference between a neoconservative and a conservative?

Liberals first applied the "neo" prefix to their comrades who broke ranks to become more conservative in the 1960s and 70s. The defectors remained more liberal on some domestic policy issues. But foreign policy stands have always defined neoconservatism. Where other conservatives favored détente and containment of the Soviet Union, neocons pushed direct confrontation, which became their raison d'etre during the 1970s and 80s.

Today, both conservatives and neocons favor a robust US military. But most conservatives express greater reservations about military intervention and so-called nation building. Neocons share no such reluctance. The post 9/11-campaigns against regimes in Afghanistan and Iraq demonstrate that the neocons are not afraid to force regime change and reshape hostile states in the American image. Neocons believe the US must do to whatever it takes to end state-supported terrorism. For most, this means an aggressive push for democracy in the Middle East. Even after 9/11, many other conservatives, particularly in the isolationist wing, view this as an overzealous dream with nightmarish consequences.

How have neoconservatives influenced US foreign policy?

Finding a kindred spirit in President Reagan, neocons greatly influenced US foreign policy in the 1980s.

But in the 1990s, neocon cries failed to spur much action. Outside of Reaganite think tanks and Israel's right-wing Likud Party, their calls for regime change in Iraq were deemed provocative and extremist by the political mainstream. With a few notable exceptions, such as President Bill Clinton's decision to launch isolated strikes at suspected terrorist targets in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998, their talk of preemptive military action was largely dismissed as overkill.

Despite being muted by a president who called for restraint and humility in foreign affairs, neocons used the 1990s to hone their message and craft their blueprint for American power. Their forward thinking and long-time ties to Republican circles helped many neocons win key posts in the Bush administration.

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 moved much of the Bush administration closer than ever to neoconservative foreign policy. Only days after 9/11, one of the top neoconservative think tanks in Washington, the Project for a New American Century, wrote an open letter to President Bush calling for regime change in Iraq. Before long, Bush, who campaigned in 2000 against nation building and excessive military intervention overseas, also began calling for regime change in Iraq. In a highly significant nod to neocon influence, Bush chose the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) as the venue for a key February 2003 speech in which he declared that a US victory in Iraq "could begin a new stage for Middle Eastern peace." AEI – the de facto headquarters for neconservative policy – had been calling for democratization of the Arab world for more than a decade.

What does a neoconservative dream world look like?

Neocons envision a world in which the United States is the unchallenged superpower, immune to threats. They believe that the US has a responsibility to act as a "benevolent global hegemon." In this capacity, the US would maintain an empire of sorts by helping to create democratic, economically liberal governments in place of "failed states" or oppressive regimes they deem threatening to the US or its interests. In the neocon dream world the entire Middle East would be democratized in the belief that this would eliminate a prime breeding ground for terrorists. This approach, they claim, is not only best for the US; it is best for the world. In their view, the world can only achieve peace through strong US leadership backed with credible force, not weak treaties to be disrespected by tyrants.

Any regime that is outwardly hostile to the US and could pose a threat would be confronted aggressively, not "appeased" or merely contained. The US military would be reconfigured around the world to allow for greater flexibility and quicker deployment to hot spots in the Middle East, as well as Central and Southeast Asia. The US would spend more on defense, particularly for high-tech, precision weaponry that could be used in preemptive strikes. It would work through multilateral institutions such as the United Nations when possible, but must never be constrained from acting in its best interests whenever necessary.

Why is it that all I hear from Bush supporters is defense of George Bush and attacks on John Kerry?

From the www.dailyhowler.com:

Just for fun, here’s the opening paragraph of David Firestone’s 10/22/03 New York Times report. Firestone was discussing a Bush veto threat in the fight about that $87 billion:

FIRESTONE: The White House threatened Tuesday to veto its own spending bill for Iraq and Afghanistan if Congress made reconstruction aid a loan, taking its most forceful stand on the issue even as more lawmakers supported a reimbursement by Iraq
Say what? The White House threatened to veto its own spending bill? If the press corps wanted to be deeply stupid, they could say that Bush opposed funding the troops. And they could say something else—that he flip-flopped!

BBiggs,

I don't equate SHOULD HAVE KNOWN with LYING.

One speaks to competence, the other to morality.

Arguing that he 'should have known' is really pushing for something different than intent -- it's arguing negligence. Now don't get me wrong, I think the argument for negligence on a President to leads us into War can be good as bad as the argument for impropriety. It may even be a stronger case -- but it's a different argument.

Michael Moore is holding fast to his claim about immorality because it makes a good sound byte, nothing more. There simply isn't support for his allegation that Bush lied.

I could at least respect him if he had held onto this assertion by refuted the contrary evidence put forward:

If he had said "I think those committees are wrong, Bush covered his tracks too well" then now we're back to logic. He granting us that LYING is different than being WRONG, but saying that his assertion remains correct in spite of the evidence to the contrary. Or if he had said "Bush used his influence to force those committees to back him up" then again, he's refuting the contrary evidence but keeping the debate logical.

My problem is that he abandonded logic by trying not to prove that Bush WAS a liar, but by arguing about the definition of "to lie" and doing so in a way that obfuscates the truth.

To Joseph, your question of "Why is it that all I hear from Bush supporters is defense of George Bush and attacks on John Kerry?" one could just as easily ask "Why is it that all I hear from Kerry supporters is defense of Kerry and attacks on Bush?"

My answer to either question is this: because they are supporters, that's why!

If your assumption is that this is one sided, however, in that I think you are incorrect. As someone in the middle who is sick of it from both sides, NO SIDE is being honest when they accuse the other of single-handedly "dividing the party."

SM

Something that no one seems to have noticed was this,

Micheal Moore claims that the Germans, with Japan, attacked Pearl Harbor.

I have yet to read anything that backs up that position. According to what I have read, the Japanese acted independently. It seems to be more of MM's revising of history. This is coming from the same interview where Moore indicated that he would have preempted Hitler's rise to power somehow. Of course, how he planned on doing that without military intervention is anyones geuss. Then the question would be, "Mr. Moore, would you send your children to secure Berlin?"

O'Reilly missed another great opportunity with this statement.

bbigs32:
"... M.M. is simply not articulate enough to get across what he is saying."

That's a terrifying thought: a less-than-articulate person convincing thousands of people, including several highly-placed Democrats, that he knows the real reasons the U.S. went to war with Iraq. That's a pretty strong condemnation of the general level of intelligence of the American public. Are you sure you're not just putting intellectual words in his mouth?

YankeeDoodle:
"... sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah? I want to hear you say that."

While reading this thread I noticed several parents do just that, but it seems you need to hear it again, so here goes. My daughter, my only child, whom I love more than my own life, is only eight, but if she were eighteen and chose to enlist and do battle in Fallujah, this is how I would react: I would cry (in private) and be sick with worry, but on the day she left to report for duty [ever think why it's called 'duty'?], I would smile and cry (in public) and be so proud of her I could burst. And by the way, M.M.'s use of the word 'sacrifice' is so loaded and connotative of an evil choice -- do you think he perhaps did that for a reason? Hmmmm.

spider..im sorry, I disagree.

Perhaps completing my thought will make it more clear.

GWB should have known. He either 1) lied, or was 2) wilfully blind, which is, a lie.

When you know that you are not asking the right questions or intentionally not asking those questions--you should have known the truth = you knew it. This is intent and knowledge and you will be treated as misrepresenting a fact you knew was correct.

When you can find the truth out about something, and you dont because either you are negligent and know you're not trying, or you dont want to know the truth, any future representations as to the veracity of a statement regarding that subject is a lie.

Thats what he was implying. There is nothing disingenious about that.

DWBILL

Maybe I am, but the other half of this country thinks GWB has done a good job as president--and thats a stronger condemnation of this Nation's intelligence. :)

MM raised some valid questions--some of them are crazy. I think alot of people, not necessarily you DBill, are scared because some of those questions made them forget about thier blind patriotism for a min, and they realize that there are alot of suspicious things going on.

To put some more words in MM's mouth, when he was asking about sacrificing your child, he was more specifically asking the question--"are the secondary reasons (i.e. big bad evil dictator)you give to support the IRAQ war really enough?" This is evident because MM then talks about "30 other evil dictators". It simply supports that argument--because we are lacking WMD's, are the other reasons that neocons give to support the war enough for all the losses? Whether you agree with that argument or not, its a valid point.

MM is poor at debate, but he knows how to make affective movies. Don't forget, both parties have thier spinners. Neocons have Fox news, Libs have MM. I only get worried when things are out of balance.

What im worried about now? where to get real news. John Stewart, ironically, is the only person out there lately that tells it like it is.

Oh, of course. After all, only idiots would not see the majesty of bbiggs32's viewpoint.

I was only pointing out some things that were asked are valid questions. Im not sure if i said my viewpoint was correct. But thanks for attacking me!

bbigs32:
"When you know that you are not asking the right questions or intentionally not asking those questions -- you should have known the truth = you knew it."

I have to ask, is this just your opinion on what Bush was thinking at the time or do you have actual documentation of his decision process? It's easy to look back and say, "He should have....", but that doesn't prove less-than-honest intent. Even now, ninety years later, we look back at the captain of the Titanic and say, "He should have....", but we can't prove he was deliberately negligent or willfully blind to the dangers. Everyone has an opinion, but few people make the effort to qualify their statements as such.

Bbiggs, you just illustrated my point with Michael Moore. If he thought that Bush was lying -- bold face lying, obfuscating the truth, pressuring people to give him false information, whatever -- he shouldn't have to "imply" it, he should say it, simply: "Bush forced those people to say what he wanted to hear." He doesn't seem like the kind of guy to withhold his opinion, so why withhold the accusation? Don't imply, just say it.

Instead, he debated the definition of 'lying'. That makes me believe that his point is weak, and he knows it, and that he cannot defend it legitimately. That's how it came across to me, anyway -- he was holding onto a position he couldn't really defend regardless of the underlying logic.

Now you're point, on the other hand, is quite the opposite. You've said told me quite specifically that you believe that President Bush lied willfully by "asking the wrong questions." He knew that Iraq did not have a single WMD, that Iraq was not seeking them, and that he told the American people and the world that Iraq was as a justification for going to War, and that all evidence to the contrary (the recent hearings, the statements by Russian and British intelligence, etc) have been tampered with in some way to support this fact.

Personally, honestly, I think that's doing a disservice to all of the people on the 911 committee, the people of British and Russian and American intelligence, because the assumption therein is that they are too weak to say something the U.S. President's does not want to hear -- but that said, I respect your opinion.

I respect it because it is a valid and logical argument; I don't agree with you, but at least what you're saying makes sense given a different interpretation of the facts than my own.

I wish Michael Moore had the guts to say the same thing. He didn't.

I found it very interesting to go back and read the transcript of the debate. While they seemed relatively equal on video, the transcript played out differently. From a debate standpoint, Moore's answers seemed very much to fall outside of normal protocol -- he made jokes, he repeated the same question for dramatic emphasis, he asked questions for emotional impact. From an entertainment standpoint, watching it, I give Moore solid points. Reading it late, I have to give O'Reilley's the win from a debate standpoint.

And, again, I'm not a decided voter, here. The last time I voted it was for Clinton, because I saw him speak in person and I felt like he connected with the people on such a personal level, I was simply compelled to follow.

I'm the undecided voter both sides are trying so desperately to woo. I wish they were doing a better job.

SM

SM,

Maybe this only makes sense to me because Im off in my own little world :)

but,

If you look at MM's initial argument, or demonstration if you will. When he said (paraphrasing) "what if I told you there is nobody behind me." Bill said, but there is. MM said "well i didnt know that till i turned around". This was not merely suggesting GWB was negligent, imo. He was suggesting the type of willful blindness that I was talking about above. GWB either asked the wrong questions, or, as MM suggested, never asked them. Now you can view that as negligent, or it can be seen another way--if you intentionally dont ask a question or ask the wrong one, then make a statement that you know the truth, thats a lie. That is what I posit MM's argument is--he just sucks at articulating it, like me. Yes, MM could have turned around and learned the truth, but if his own facts, or in GWB's case, the facts he was feed from Neo-cons, suggest a better result, he could make the argument that he didnt know. But its still a lie. I dont know what else you can call it.

Now whether you agree that this is what GWB did, is another story. I am simply trying to explain why I think MM was being consitent, just not articulating it. He is talking about a very nuanced lie, and he has the oratory skills of a 7th grader.

I have seen many reports that suggest Wolfowitz, Rummy, and the gang have been pushing for years to take Iraq. They saw the American Unity after 9/11 as an opportunity. Whether GWB willfully neglected to investigate whether his cronies were telling him the truth or not, he was either negligent or lied. The UN agreed after Powell made a powerful case.

Maybe he didnt know and maybe he gave it all he could. It would be much easier to swallow if he gave a formal apology. Instead he has flip-flopped on the iraq-al queda connection. Im sorry, but i think that after reviewing the quotes, one cannot suggest with a straight face that they were not at least trying to draw the connection in peoples minds. Then they argue the gassing of kurds--Sadam is a horrible man--no kidding. But again, this goes to MM's point, which I thought was a good question--why Iraq instead of the 30 other brutal dictatorships in the world? It is legitimate to ask that in light of 1) thier oil (cliche but valid), 2) the fact that GWB I failed to take him out, and 3) the fact that we put him into power.

Look I dont know if any of those things had anything to do with it. But it looks funny--and to ask the question is legitimate. MAybe drawing conclusions and arguing GWB I and II had something to do with 9/11 is wacko--and I think that this argument is silly. But some of these other connections do bring to light valid, legitimate questions. And that is what a turd like MM is here for. He is here to piss people off. And he pisses me off. But he has also made me think.

I agree. I read the transcript off drudge before the show and really thought O'Reilly won. Then I saw the show and gave it to MM.

/rant on
I dont have alot of respect for either man because of their spin, but I think they both often raise tough questions. And I think those questions are what alot of people here cannot respect. I wish O'reilly would stop calling himself fair and balanced, and I wish MM would stop thinking hes onto some great conspiracy.
/rant off

Ray,

You stated that Moore's question was not honest as it was "the equivalent of asking "have you stopped beating your wife yet"? There is no way to answer it without being wrong."

Its not the answer that will always be wrong its the act - there is a big difference!

You then talk about justifying the war against Iraq because of the following "Hundreds of thousands in mass graves not enough? Repeated violations of UNSC resolutions not enough? What is enough reason? What makes it absolutely necessary to you?"

Your dam right, if I lived under such a brutal dictator I would want to be liberated. But no mass graves have been found, yet. Secondly, Israel for example, and I have no doubt countless other countries have violated more UN resolutions than Iraq, Thirdly the USA would have violated more UN resloutions than anyone else if it didn't "reserve the right to act unilateral" bullsh*t everytime it didn't like what it was asked to do by the UN, which I believe is the very essence of what we call democracy!

Last of all I would want to know why it took so bloody long for the USA and my country Britain to decided that the mass murder of Kurds etc was actually important? Have you ever asked yourself why now?

Michele you said that if your "grown child were to freely and of his own will enlist in the army during this war, I would tell you that I would be proud of him for wanting to serve his country, join the process of bringing peace and democracy to another land and combat terrorism. I would be damn proud."

I too would be proud if my son wanted to serve his country, bring peace and democracy to another land, and combat terrorism. I think most people including MM would be, but if he enlisted in this war I could not be proud. The very fact that my government and your government went to war on differing perspectives says it all.

Pride is my grandad's fighting for the freedom of Europe against the fascist NAZI's. Pride isn't following your leaders and your flag blindly.

I just want to add my 2 cents:

When I saw the debate I thought the same thing as Michele. The question was stupid. I joined the Navy when I was 17 and yes, my parents had to sign to allow me to join, but I made the decision entirely on my own. Not only did I contact the recruiter myself and invite him to my parents' home to talk them into signing for me, I also did what every ADULT does when they join the military by their own volition: I signed on the dotted line and I raised my right hand and took this oath (not once, but twice):

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.

Simply put: No president "sacrifices children" for anything. Adults join the military and they know full and well what they are vounteering for before they ever set foot in boot camp. If you don't want to join, you don't have to. Once you do, you are obligated to answer the call of your country (set forth by the president and congress), whatever that may be, whether you personally agree with it or not. Enough said.
-Miranda

Michael Moore who?

The answer at the top of the page is the exact same thing I thought when MM asked Bill O that question. I couldn't understand why Bill did not pick up on this simple answer. I think he really dropped the ball on that one. I'm glad to find out so many of us had the same response.

It seems to me that most of you missed the underlying point of Michael Moore's question to O'Reilly. Moore was not asking if O'Reilly would get up and go enlist his child to fight in the war. That is a shallow interpretation and completely misses the point on many levels. Rather, the point of the question was that if O'Reilly would not agree to send his own child to fight in Iraq, then what makes him think it's justifiable for the President (or anyone else) to send other people's children to do so? If you support the war and would willingly send your own child to the front lines (were you in the position to do so), then your views seem to be consistent. However, O'Reilly, a self-avowed proponent of the war, refused to answer the question essentially saying that he would not send his own child. That being the case, O'Reilly has no business supporting a war for which he would make no real sacrifices to win.

Mike,

I think you are missing the point that others are trying to make:
The president did not send ANYONE to the front lines who did not already volunteer to do so by joining the military in the first place.

If what you are saying Michael Moore really meant was "If you were president and your son/daughter had joined the military and you knew that they would be sent to Iraq if you (along with congress) decided to go to war, would you still choose to send the troops to Iraq?" Then that would be a fine (though very hypothetical) question. But that's not what he asked. His question had a negative slant and implied many things. Bill O'Riley did answer the question, he said that he would send himself. If that statement does not say that he would make real sacrifices then I don't know what would. The point is that he can not speak for his child on this issue. No parent does, their adult children make the decision to be members of the armed forces on their own, knowing that they could go to war at any time during their enlistment.

-Miranda

Miranda,

I understand that those who join the military do so voluntarily, knowing full well that if called upon they may be required to fight. I also agree that Bill O'Reilly "sending himself" to war is a sacrifice (though I believe his comment on that to be disingenuous). But that still misses what I believe to be Moore's point.

Moore's question is not an attack meant to make O'Reilly look stupid or to spin the issue his way. It is more of a test to uncover conflicting values. What it does is expose a sort of hypocrisy that people like O'Reilly tend to display openly but perhaps unknowingly. If you are going to pledge your support to an idea and attempt to persuade others of the truth of that idea (in this case, that our presence in Iraq is just and our intended goal and the means we are using to achieve that goal are also just), you cannot do so with a passive disconnection to the realities and consequences that idea entails. In other words, if you are going to publicly agree with and champion the pretenses of the war and the means we are using to achieve victory there, then you yourself need to be confident that were you in the sole position of authority to be calling the shots, you would make the same choices. Otherwise, what you are doing is laying claim to an ideology you really do not believe in.

Thus, when Michael Moore asks Bill O'Reilly if he would send his own child to secure Fallujah and O'Reilly can only reply that he would send himself, Moore succeeds in showing that what Bill O'Reilly says we should do and what Bill O'Reilly would actually do are two different things. On one hand he supports the President's decision to use troops (our children) in Iraq, yet on the other hand, when pressed whether he would be for sending his own child there, assuming for the sake of argument that his child was enlisted in the military, he clearly indicates through his lack of a direct response to Moore's question that he would not, implying that he would conduct the war differently. It appears that O'Reilly only supports the war so long as he has no personal stake in it. This is hypocrisy, fair and square.

I should note that I do not necessarily agree with Michael Moore's politics as he is often himself subject to the same criticism he deals to others. However, I think he hit the nail on the head in his interview with O'Reilly. As the saying goes: If you can't walk the walk, don't talk the talk.

Mike

I'm still not following you, does that meant that the only people who can support the war are people who have children serving in Iraq? Bill O'Riley's children are not in the military so that question was NOT fair to ask him. Now, could he have answered "If my child chose to join the military, and If I was president, I would still support the war in Iraq, knowing my child would go to the front lines"? Yes, of course he could have, but what does that answer prove? Nothing because it's so stupid and hypothetical. It certainly doesn't prove whether or not he would "walk the walk". And so, even if Moore's question was meant the way you say, it still proves nothing, no matter how Bill O'Riley answers it.

Michael Moore had plenty of time to prepare his question. There is no underlying meaning...it is worded exactly the way he wished. Using terms like 'sacrifice' and 'children' are typical of what he does - distort the issue with inaccuracies. Moore is not such a poor speaker he couldn't ask "Would you send the troops to Fallujah if your son or daughter was in the military?" It is entirely intentional.

Miranda

You said that once you joined the army "you are obligated to answer the call of your country (set forth by the president and congress), whatever that may be, whether you personally agree with it or not. Enough said."

That sort of sentiment is exactly the reason we had WW2 - hundreds of thousands of Germans blindly following their leader.

You role as a soldier is not to abandon all your principles and sense of what is right and wrong.

To devote your life to your country has many honourable points and I have no doubt that the majority of those in the military join up wanting to defend their country, and the justness and freedom that they associate with it.

However your leaders can be wrong, and should be challenged when they are, Hitler was wrong and left unchallenged for far to long.

Is "the call of your country whatever that may be, whether you personally agree with it or not. Enough said." worth 50 million lives, thats how many people died in WW2?

As I said before, the question is posed as a test of values. The "underlying meaning" is that it is hypocritical to expect others to do for you what you are unwilling to do for them. The terms Moore used to frame the question are secondary. A reasonable person can see through them and grasp the larger issue at work. In fact, Spoon, you framed the issue better than I could have done when you pointed out that Moore should have asked "Would you send the troops to Fallujah if your son or daughter was in the military?" That is a much better question but I believe O'Reilly still would have answered the same way.

Not to get overly philosophical but lets perform a little thought experiment here. Suppose Moore and O'Reilly were discussing a proposed income tax hike that would affect only those who make under $60,000 a year. Moore has publicly come out against it and O'Reilly has publicly vowed his support for it. During the discussion Moore asks O'Reilly whether he would still be for the tax hike if he were the one making under $60,000 a year. O'Reilly would respond (following the logic he used during the real debate with Moore) that he would not, but perhaps suggest that he would be for a hike in the sales tax. Were I to witness this discussion occur I would seriously begin doubting the motives behind O'Reilly's comments. He is for a tax increase when it does not affect him directly, but against it when it does. This is analogous to his position with respect to his comments about sending himself to war instead of his children. O'Reilly has no personal interest at stake in the war so he is free to be a proponent of sending other people's children (and mother's, father's, grandparent's, etc.) to their potential death. Yet, when questioned about what he would do were he to actually have a personal stake in the war, O'Reilly changes his position and avoids the question by claiming he would send himself. Earlier it was objected that O'Reilly going to war himself is, in fact, a personal stake. However, this changes the content of the argument and is unrelated to what Moore and O'Reilly were discussing.

Whether you agree with Moore's politics or not his question to O'Reilly IS a valid question (though admittedly poorly worded). Sometimes stupid people say smart things and rejecting the value of Moore's question simply because you dislike his politics or his person is counter productive. I like O'Reilly (most of the time) and I think he is a more reasonable and intellectually honest a person than Michael Moore. But, that being said, I still maintain that Moore exposed hypocrisy in O'Reilly's position.

Mike,

I'm absolutely amazed by your ability to read these two people's minds ...

Actually I'm amazed by how much you seem to think you can without allowing for other possibilities.

To illustrate, "the question is posed as a test of values". That is your opinion and while it may be accurate you don't present it as opinion and the best I can tell, you don't seem to regard it as such.

Here's my opinion on the question:

MM framed the question precisely the way he did to elicit an emotional response in the audience, not as a values test for Bill. MM understands that as humans our initial response to stimuli is emotional. It is only after time and energy spent in thought that we can have a rational response. My belief is that MM phrases his statements and questions so that the natural emotional response will be weighted in his favor. He seems do to so hoping that if he keeps at it, enough emotional responses will tip the scales.

This tactic also works since there's a good chance a large portion of the audience will never go back and spend the time and energy to rationally analyze the question, especially after they have already had an emotional response to it. For MM to have phrased the question as he did, indicates to me that he felt that phrased otherwise 1) Bill may have answered more directly and not to Moore's benefit and/or 2) he didn't want the audience to be emotionally neutral as it wouldn't suppress rational evaluation.

Again, even though you admit its just your opinion that "I believe O'Reilly still would have answered the same way" you don't admit that its just your opinion as to why he would. By this I'm refering to the statment "following the logic he used during the real debate with Moore", this supposes you know what his logic was. Again I have a different opinion on what his logic was:

"So you would sacrifice your child to secure Fallujah?"

When I first read the question my initial thoughts were that he was asking "if you knew that one death, the death of your child would end the killing and fighting in Fallujah would you have your child killed?"

Now, if that is how Bill received the question, how does his answer appear? I would probably answer the same way he did, i.e. if it would take only one death, and I had to choose who was to die, let that death be mine instead of someone else's. If that was indeed Bill's logic then your supposition on how he'd answer a different question is baseless.

That is why I have to whole-heartedly disagree with you in that the terms Moore used to frame the question are not at all secondary and as to why I believe it is not a reasonable question. Sloppily (in my opinion intentionally so) phrasing the question allows for so many differnt readings as to increase the chances some will see it Moore's way.

Keep in mind he used the word sacrifice, that is a term of certainty, most other phrasings would imply risk, in which case you have to analyze the risk. Its quite a different question to ask someone a question based on a 1% chance vs. a 100% chance.

Sacrifice also implies involvement in the death either directly or indirectly which is very disingenuous. Bill could no more sacrifice his child than he could sacrifice me to bring about that end. By using that word, Moore (intentionally?) put the question in the realm of the impossible especially given the implication that somehow magically that would secure Fallujah. Someone being posed the question with a limited time frame to answer could easily be consciously or subconsciously influenced by the impossiblity of the scenario thus affecting their answer.

But Moore also seemed to be careful to avoid making it appear too impossible lest it be dismissed as purely hypothetical. In other words, the other phrasings of the question as presented in this forum are potential interpretations and ones people would gravitate to since those versions are more reasonable and have been brought up elsewhere. If Moore would have asked the question the way I phrased it, everyone would see it as a silly question, but by phrasing it as he did he subtly introduced these muddying factors while making it appear to some to be a legitimate question.

Are you beginning to see how wrong the question is? If Moore had asked the question in a more neutral and less loaded way he wouldn't have gotten the response he was after. If he had expressed the subtexts that his chosen words imply then the question would have been discarded as obviously silly.

Whether consciously or its just how he does things, Moore appears to me to have been very clever in how he phrased the question to get the effect he wanted. It apparently worked on you and others.

Now, as to the question other's have posed (as interpretations of Moore's question) as to whether as a leader, someone would still choose to go to war if doing so risked their own child. I consider this to be disingenious as well. The implication is that with more at stake they'd be more likely to make the right decision -- this presupposes that the mistake is in deciding to go to war when we shouldn't. I'm equally concerned with the other side of the coin, someone in power deciding not to go to war when we should and the effect that putting their child at risk would have on them to make that bad decision.

The fact that we are in a war seems to legitimize the question, but I don't think it does. The basic claim is that we cannot trust our leaders to make the right decision without a personal cost but yet these same untrustworthy leaders are expected to make the right decision when it does cost them? If our leaders are as hypocritical as Moore seems to think they are, I'm glad more of them don't have children at risk as I do not want them putting their children's safety above national security.

This is where Moore was really successfull in sidetracking the discussion, the question is whether going into Iraq was the right thing to do, yes or no, period. Questioning if the decision makers would have done otherwise if personal costs were high is just avoiding the issue.

So, in my opinion, not only was Moore wrong in asking an invalid question, he was wrong in bringing up the topic at all.

The first thing that struck me as I watched that
train wreck of an interview was this: M.M. is actually doing an interview? He must have finally found someone more stupid than himself... No that's not possible, but I have to admit Forehead Boy is ALMOST as mind-numbingly idiotic as M.M.
When a man touts his TV show as a "no spin zone" and then allows a question like that to be asked, not once, but several times without once challenging it's premise, you know you are in the presence of a classic 24 karat media moron.

But I'm not complaining. For I know that if the celebrated creator of "Fat and Hype 911" had detected any brain wave activity whatsoever in his prospective interviewer, not only would he have refused the invitation, but he probably would have sued B.O. just for asking.

Anyway, I have to run. I've got to drop off my toddler at boot camp. Yes It's a great sacrifice, but we all have to do our part for God, Country, and Haliburton.

(another chris)

I don't think that MM's question was the best question to ask, and I can see how you feel that it was asked to illcit an emotional reaction, however I don't think MM is that skilled an interviewer to have actually have "spun" for this type of answer.

I rather think it was a question asked by someone who believes passionatly that the war in Iraq was unjustified. On that point I also agree with you that the real question should be based on the validity of the war, though I don't think MM purposelly tried to side-track this issue. I say this because having seen what I have and learnt what I have about this war (I live in Britain - I think our media is slightly more world orientated than the US media. It has more or less been shown here that the British Government sold us rumours as facts and "sexed up" ) I can't think of a stronger argueement than that based on the "justification for war" to show how fraudulant you government is.

Perhaps if as many people devoted as much time to scrutanizing what your government told you as they have done to one question asked by one person then we might all be the better for it.

Matt,

I also live in the UK, and have no doubt that our media, like that of anywhere else in the world has an agenda. Just because the most sizable part of your media intake happens to be of the 'Iraq bad, Americans bad, UN, EU good' 'side' of things makes it no more truthful and balanced than if you were only to read the Sun (although I dont actually know what The Sun's view is on this matter, I'm just going from previous editorials which seemed overly simplistic, and intensly nationalistic).

Basically, what I'm saying is that who are you to question others (seemingly) thorough analysis of the motives of their president, when you blindly spit out Guardian editorials?

Dan

Was it through the analysis of the President that I passed judgement, I am sure I bothered to read every comment on here, and it was that that I analysed.

Perhaps you could also point me to the Guardian editorial that I spat out? Perhaps I made it seem as though all that I had learnt was from the media and all that I had "spat out" was taken from the media via a third party ie the journalist. This is not the case. Perhaps you should look into the legalities of the whole thing, its not necessarly a case of what is balanced reporting, of course everyone has a potential agenda.