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The Whack Job south of the border chirps again
Posted by: McQ on Saturday, November 11, 2006

That amazing "democracy", known as the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, had a little something to say about the recent events. First from El Presidente Hugo "I smell sulfur" Chavez:
In a speech Tuesday, Chávez criticized the decision of an Iraqi court to sentence former dictator Saddam Hussein to the death penalty. ''If sentencing is to be done,'' Chávez said, ``the first one to be given the most severe sentence this planet has to offer should be the president of the United States, if we're talking about genocidal presidents.''
Now anyone who doesn't believe that Chavez is actually voicing the belief of a good portion of the world, step forward. While it may bear no resemblance to reality, it feels great to say it, and Hugo, in his own small way, likes to feel great.

Of course, never content with the status quo, he stretches the envelope and wanders into tin foil hat territory:
But in its fourth paragraph, it calls on the U.S. Congress to ``demand that the government of President Bush explain the self-inflicted attack on the World Trade Center and its victims, the supposed aircraft that crashed into the Pentagon and the links between the bin Laden family and the Bush family.''
Well there ya go.

Not to be out done, the rubber-stamp legislature joined the chorus:
The resolution, drafted by the deputy chairman of the Foreign Affairs Commission, Carlos Escarrá, was passed unanimously by the 167-member assembly, all of them Chávez supporters after an opposition boycott of elections last December.

Both Chávez and Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro have referred several times in the past to suspicions that the 9/11 attacks were planned by the Bush administration, and have called for an inquiry.

But this appears to be the first time that the term ''self-inflicted attack'' has been used without qualification.

Asked how the legislature had reached that conclusion, Escarrá said that ''evidence and testimonies'' had emerged in the United States and that ''for the rest of the world, there is no longer any question'' that 9/11 was not an al Qaeda attack.
Some are probably thinking that this is where the "Twilight Zone" music begins to fade in. Not me ... I'm thinking more "Looney Tunes".

And while Bush had no coat-tails here, adversarially he has some mega coat-tails:
Chávez insists that it is Bush, rather than the main opposition contender, Manuel Rosales, who is his true adversary in the Dec. 3 presidential election. The opposition, he argues, is merely puppets of the United States.
Well at least he has some entertainment value until Venezuelans get tired of him and we find him floating down some river face down counting fish.
 
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In a speech Tuesday, Chávez criticized the decision of an Iraqi court to sentence former dictator Saddam Hussein to the death penalty. ’’If sentencing is to be done,’’ Chávez said, ``the first one to be given the most severe sentence this planet has to offer should be the president of the United States, if we’re talking about genocidal presidents.’’
Now anyone who doesn’t believe that Chavez is actually voicing the belief of a good portion of the world, step forward. While it may bear no resemblance to reality, it feels great to say it, and Hugo, in his own small way, likes to feel great.
Are you sure that’s what you want to say?

 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Are you sure that’s what you want to say?
Uh, yes.

Chavez. Non-aligned nations. Lockstep.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Chavez has outwitted the Americans numerous times, including the attempted coup against him (and if you wonder why he’s got so much animosity towards the US, who wouldn’t after someone tries to overthrow your government)? It may make one feel superior to call him a ’whack job,’ but he represents and funds a movement in Latin America that most recently spread to Nicaragua, and is further eroding American influence. He also has to be pretty smart to stay one step ahead of the Americans so often — if he really were a whack job, he’d be irrelevant.

I really think a lot of Americans don’t understand the weakened position of the US on the world stage at this point. The strength of Chavez is part of it; the arrogance of power demonstrated in recently years by the US reinforces it, even with people and states who should be closer to us. At least it looks like the failed foreign policy ideologues are being replaced by realists in Bush’s cabinet. But how much damage has already been done?

After all, the US did launch a war of aggression, hundreds of thousands have been killed and the region destabilized. I suspect when history is written, the claim that the Bush Administration committed war crimes will be taken very seriously. There is no honor in a war of aggression that continues while the leaders accept more death and destruction only in hopes of finding a face saving way out. I don’t think Americans yet grasp the amount of shame this fiasco will cause the nation.

Don’t say you weren’t warned...FOUR YEARS AGO!
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It may make one feel superior to call him a ’whack job,’
Well, I said I’d ignore him, but this is too much. It’s a perfect testiment to Erb’s genius that he doesn’t consider the statement that 9/11 was done by Americans as whacky.

Continue "educating" us all you want. Your repeated bursts of idiocy tell us all we need to know.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Well, I said I’d ignore him, but this is too much.
Actually this is precisely why you ignore him.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
if he really were a whack job, he’d be irrelevant.
If this was true, we could ignore Kim and North Korea but ....

I think you need another analogy, my friend.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Of course, Hugo Chavez is completely innocent of ’arrogance of power’ himself. The guy’s a fat poser.
 
Written By: SJC
URL: http://
Actually this is precisely why you ignore him.
*chuckle*

Cover your ears and go ’nananananana’

You guys live in your own little niche world, and it’s amusing to see how you bolster each other. But the fact is reality is showing your world view to be wrong.

Ignore reality. After all, it’s easier to ignore what can educate you, rather than to question your biases. "The world is a cage for your impotent rage, but don’t let it get to you." (Neil Peart, "Neurotica" from the Roll the Bones CD by Rush)

Your loss.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Well, I said I’d ignore him, but this is too much. It’s a perfect testiment to Erb’s genius that he doesn’t consider the statement that 9/11 was done by Americans as whacky.
No, it’s propaganda by Chavez. I’m sure he knows it isn’t true. But that’s the point — a guy like this is able to play the American government, and shape Latin American politics. You gotta be pretty smart to be able to pull that off (or else the American government is pretty inept).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
After all, the US did launch a war of aggression, hundreds of thousands have been killed and the region destabilized.
A war of aggression? Man, here I am thinking we haven’t had one those in 130 years or so... but according to erb, we’re having one now.
After all, it’s easier to ignore what can educate you, rather than to question your biases.
Physician, heal thy self. Or at least get a clue.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
You guys live in your own little niche world, and it’s amusing to see how you bolster each other.
Amazing how much you sound like MK everyday.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Heh ... the guy from Moose U telling us we live in a niche world?

LOL!
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
After all, the US did launch a war of aggression
Really.

You have claimed that Japan was not the aggressor in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 since Russia had violated a treaty requirement to get out of Manchuria.

But when the US invades Iraq after Iraq has violated a cease-fire agreement for 12 years, you arrive at a different conclusion.

Which is precisely what I would have expected from you.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://
Amazing how Chavez sounds like a goodly portion of the Democrat party.

Erb, I always thought you were a poseur, and you confirm it by referencing Rush.

Sheesh.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Heh ... the guy from Moose U telling us we live in a niche world?
Hey come on now. It’s not like political science departments are notorious incubators of leftwing groupthink or anything. Oh wait...
"The world is a cage for your impotent rage, but don’t let it get to you." (Neil Peart, "Neurotica" from the Roll the Bones CD by Rush)
Oh well, if Rush says something it must be true.
 
Written By: Jordan
URL: http://
You have claimed that Japan was not the aggressor in the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 since Russia had violated a treaty requirement to get out of Manchuria.
No. Someone claimed that Prussia really was the aggressor because it goaded France to declaring war. I said that by that logic Russia could be considered the aggressor against Japan. Clearly I claimed France was the aggressor so I don’t buy that logic. Read more carefully.

Clearly the US invaded Iraq in a war of aggression. Iraq had been disarmed, was not a threat to the outside world, and unable to control its own territory. This wasn’t to defend freedom, or defend America, it was blatant aggression. We are learning a difficult lesson. Some of us predicted it and have been proven correct, others have been proven wrong and are left trying to rationalize and avoid admitting error by attacking the tactics and saying "it could have been different." That’s rather pathetic, but denial of reality is par for the course for many people. Reality bites. But hey, you can be in a state of denial if you want in meaningless web debates ;-)

(By the way, Rush is a Canadian rock band, not a pill popping overweight blowhard)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sorry, anybody quoting Rush lyrics to make a point about US foreign relations cannot be taken seriously. Besides you sound like a broken record of bad Democratic memes.....it’s all Bush’s fault, America sucks, we’re so unpopular, etc.
 
Written By: David Quick
URL: http://
Clearly the US invaded Iraq in a war of aggression. Iraq had been disarmed, was not a threat to the outside world, and unable to control its own territory. This wasn’t to defend freedom, or defend America, it was blatant aggression.
No. We had manifold cassus belli, any one of which was sufficient reason to remove Saddam Hussein’s governemnt.

His giving the appearance of attempting to regain WMD’s—concerning which appearance, if he was play acting too well, that is his fault.

His retention, even if unwitting and by bad bookeeping, of chemical WMDs from the 1991 war leaves the armistice that fighting undone, and we can pickup where we left off.

His support of the Palestinian suicide bomber campaign was ongoing aggression which could be best and freely terminated by war against him.

I can go on.

The irrefutable fact is that we were not and are not engaged in a war of aggression against Iraq.

If you think our actions in Iraq are a war of aggression, then you do not know what one is.

Also, if you think we have lost the war in Iraq, you are wrong.

If you think we will lose the war in Iraq, there is only one way you can conceivably be correct, and that is if we leave too soon.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Kennedy ’s war cost the US 58,000 soldiers and 3,000,000 Vietnamese .... he overthrows countries right and left , and now lefties are uncomfortable about Iraq .... who cares about them ..... Oil is what we want ..... Chavez is/was never a CIA asset , only an asset of the Democratic party .... he works for Nancy Pelosi .... it’s true
 
Written By: Con Spiracy
URL: http://
Chavez is a CHIMP

CHIMP

CHIMP


CHIMP
 
Written By: Rumsfeld
URL: http://
(By the way, Rush is a Canadian rock band, not a pill popping overweight blowhard)
OOOOOH. he’s regurgitated the John Kerry/Paul Begala talking point almost verbatim! There’s that University trained critical thinking at work!

But you left out the point about how Rush the Canadian rock band s*cks, poseur.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Iraq had been disarmed, was not a threat to the outside world, and unable to control its own territory
Mr. Erb:

Identify the following:
Oil for food

Explain just what it was, and why it puts the lie to your above statement.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
Sorry, anybody quoting Rush lyrics to make a point about US foreign relations
The lyric quoted had nothing to do with any point I made about US foreign relations. Go re-read the post. (Territories would be better to quote for foreign relations anyway).

Nor have I ever said "it’s all Bush’s fault." The Bush administration had a Kennedy-esque ’grand design,’ a vision of reshaping the Mideast. It failed, as I was convinced it would (and were many others, especially experts in the Mideast). It looks like Bush is shifting gears and bringing in a lot of his fathers’ advisors. If he takes the path it looks like he might take, he’ll deserve some praise.
Kennedy ’s war cost the US 58,000 soldiers and 3,000,000 Vietnamese .... he overthrows countries right and left , and now lefties are uncomfortable about Iraq ....
Bush’s foreign policy vision is similar to Kennedy’s. Kennedy was a lousy President in foreign policy, in my opinion.

His giving the appearance of attempting to regain WMD’s—concerning which appearance, if he was play acting too well, that is his fault.
The "appearance of WMD" is enough to justify killing thousands of innocents? Absurd. Moreover, there were weapons inspectors on the ground, and contrary to popular myth, many European leaders doubted the claims of foreign policy, Jacques Chirac said he didn’t see any evidence in favor of WMD. He was right.
His retention, even if unwitting and by bad bookeeping, of chemical WMDs from the 1991 war leaves the armistice that fighting undone, and we can pickup where we left off.
Destroy lives, kill thousands of innocents, tear a country apart...all because some old useless ammo might still be sitting in a warehouse somewhere? Tell that to the families who have lost children, to the orphans, the widows, and people who have had their lives destroyed. Why do you think 60% of Iraqis think it’s OK to shoot Americans?

The Saudis gave more support to Palestinian suicide bombers, but they’re our allies, that’s hardly a cause for mass killing. Tom’s rambly list of feeble attempts to rationalize this fiasco reeks of desperation.

You can stay in denial of reality for a long time, redefining things to fit your belief system, rather than seriously questioning your biases. That’s OK, but when you think of all the real people who have had lives and families destroyed in Iraq because of our political choices — the human cost of this fiasco — that kind of justification appears to lack a sense of humanity. But maybe you see having a sense of humanity as a weakness.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Iraq had been disarmed, was not a threat to the outside world, and unable to control its own territory
Mr. Erb:

Identify the following:
Oil for food

Explain just what it was, and why it puts the lie to your above statement.
If you think Iraq was a threat when their army almost completely destroyed, they couldn’t control much of their country, and their neighbors stronger than they were. If you think they were a threat despite having no WMD caches or active programs, then YOU have to make a case that they were a threat. The reason you don’t is because you can’t.

(If you want to discuss the merits of various rock bands we probably should meet in a music newsgroup, such as ’alt.music.rush.’ ;-)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The "appearance of WMD" is enough to justify killing thousands of innocents? Absurd.
Scott, read for comprehension. Saddam Hussein was a man who had shown his willingness to use WMD to kill both combatants and civilians. Because we believed he was reconstituting his weapons programs—and really, why wouldn’t we believe that a man like Hussein was attempting just such a thing, given his clear record?—it did justify punitive action. He was not supposed to have said weapons under international law precisely because he had used them in the past to commit war crimes.

As for what justifies killing thousands of innocents, let’s get something straight: we don’t try to justify killing innocent people. The United States has done perhaps more than any other country in the history of the world to avoid killing civilians; our rules of engagement are obscenely strict to the point of endangering our soldiers in combat, because we place the onerous burden of being a diplomat on our soldiers’ shoulders, in addition to asking that they be the finest military the world’s ever seen.
What we do try to justify is a war that we regret will involve the deaths of innocent civilians and our own servicemen and -women. Justifying a war as a whole involves calculating in much more than the immediate human cost; you have to look at all the costs of all the opportunities you could have taken, over a long period of time. If you tried to make the calculation of whether dropping two atomic bombs on Japan was justified in late 1945, looking only at the innocent people killed and without taking into account how the Soviets responded, and what Japan became as a result of the way the Americans finished the war, and what the other options were for forcing Japan to surrender, you’d be using a terribly narrow set of measurements, wouldn’t you say?
Moreover, there were weapons inspectors on the ground, and contrary to popular myth, many European leaders doubted the claims of foreign policy, Jacques Chirac said he didn’t see any evidence in favor of WMD. He was right.
Chirac also had several billion reasons to turn a blind eye to whatever evidence did exist. Advocates of the war weren’t shy about saying so, so why are you still on this point?

And the weapons inspectors? 250 people to inspect a country the size of California, where the government has had over four years to hide their weapons without said inspections? And considering the allegations that there were mobile weapons labs?
And given that Saddam did not have records of the dismantling of his WMD stockpiles, were we supposed to just take his word that he had destroyed it all? Especially when we had wide discrepancies between what the UN thought he had in the way of weapons, and what Saddam was willing to report he had? This led Hans Blix to report to the President of the Security Council that one finding of a bunker, containing weapons that Saddam should not have had at a given time, could be "the tip of the iceberg."

When you’ve got a known supporter of terrorism who may have access to large quantities of anthrax or even moderate quantities of VX, a responsible leader develops a sense of urgency that doesn’t wait for the rarely competent UN. What if Bush and Blair waited a few months for those 250 inspectors to keep traipsing around the Iraqi countryside looking for weapons that, like certain fighter jets, could be buried somewhere in the desert? What if, during that little shell game that Iraq always played throughout the 90s, we woke up one morning to find that Palestinian terrorists had set off a few RX-400 bombs full of VX in the middle of Tel Aviv?
The very possibility of such a thing, which Saddam did nothing to attempt to dispel, made it urgent. Now, if Saddam had come clean about disarming himself, and made it clear he was hoping to strike a deal, the Coalition would have been in a very difficult position, but it’s quite possible he could have pursued several courses of action that did not involve thousands of his countrymen dying.

He could have come clean.
He could have announced he was leaving Iraq and putting someone else in charge, in exchange for immunity for previous war crimes.
He could have elected not to encourage a guerrilla/terrorist struggle in Iraq by scattering weapons across the countryside, because those kinds of conflicts always results in high civilian casualties.
The Saudis gave more support to Palestinian suicide bombers, but they’re our allies, that’s hardly a cause for mass killing.
When the Saudi government’s behavior indicates they may put WMDs in the hands of Palestinian terrorists, or threaten their neighbors with missiles, or serially disobey a standing cease-fire, or engage in ethnic cleansing in their country, or attempt to assassinate an American government official, that will indeed be a cause for killing. Right now, though, they’re maintaining their position only because they’re cooperating in helping us kill other villains in the region. Anyone who has a problem with using one bad guy to kill other bad guys, because taking them all down at once typically is much more difficult (and, yes, bloody), please come forward.
You can stay in denial of reality for a long time, redefining things to fit your belief system, rather than seriously questioning your biases.
Pot, kettle, black.
Try actually listening to your opponents. I’ve spent years debating seriously and civilly with everyone from avowed fascists to avowed communists to anarcho-capitalists. I’ve read so much news and so many policy briefs and so many blogs that I couldn’t possibly name all the sources if you gave me a week to try to track them all down. I’ve debated just about every aspect of the Iraq War. I’ve changed my mind on many issues great and small, though usually only after a great deal of debate getting down to very small details. I force my opponents to prove me wrong, and they do from time to time.

But because I disagree with you, you’ll resort to believing that I just haven’t "seriously questioned my biases." Do you have any idea how arrogant that sounds, Scott?
That’s OK, but when you think of all the real people who have had lives and families destroyed in Iraq because of our political choices — the human cost of this fiasco — that kind of justification appears to lack a sense of humanity. But maybe you see having a sense of humanity as a weakness.
I have no patience for moralizing, condescending tactics like this, Scott. Don’t presume that your opponents in any debate are evil, incapable of empathy, or otherwise flawed in character. That’s not a viable substitute for having a real argument.

The more likely scenario is that you’re debating with people who believed and continue to believe that we had no good options for dealing with Iraq, that whatever actions we took had terrible costs attached to them. There’s more to any war than the immediate cost in blood to all sides, and while we can debate the larger issues at hand, like what the best options for all involved parties were before this war began, I won’t bother with you if you aren’t honestly seeking that debate. If you begin with the assumption that your opponents are self-deluded or evil rather than misinformed, you’re not looking for debate when you type here; you’re just trying to feed your self-righteousness.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
If you think Iraq was a threat when their army almost completely destroyed, they couldn’t control much of their country, and their neighbors stronger than they were. If you think they were a threat despite having no WMD caches or active programs, then YOU have to make a case that they were a threat. The reason you don’t is because you can’t.
Saddam was bribing nations via the oil for food bribery program to get the sanctions lifted, at which time he would’ve started up his WMD programs again.

Sounds like a real threat to me.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
PS- Saddam was also representing as if he had WMD and since he had used them in the past, so that is also justified. His bluff got called and now he’s going to swing for it. Too bad for him. The absence of WMD atockpiles doesn’t detract 1 single iota from the fact that a good thing has been done here, it was done for good and proper reasons (including many many more than the 1 you choose to harp on) and given another opportunity, I’d hope this country would do it again.

Saddam had to go, he’s gone and now he’ll never get or use WMD again.
 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
By the way, Rush is a Canadian rock band, not a pill popping overweight blowhard
My, my. How the mighty have fallen.

Previous Erb:
But, I guess, that wouldn’t be as emotionally satisfying. Better to throw an insult at someone who thinks differently than you.
and
But when someone...calls names, it suggests maybe the reason for your anger is deep down you know I have a point, but you just don’t want to bring yourself to admit it.
and
the level of your insults show that deep down, you know I’m right.
According to "Erb Logic," Scott has admitted that he knows deep down Rush Limbaugh is right on the issues. Man, that’s gotta hurt!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Okay, another poster of long diatrabes I can safely ignore.

Thanks Scott.
Ya know, it might help if we were kids just off the blueberry truck from Machias, but, alas, you’re dealing with an pretty well educated adult audience.
 
Written By: Looker
URL: http://
Ya know, it might help if we were kids just off the blueberry truck from Machias
Hey looker - you a down easter? I was just up in that neck of the woods visiting my Dad, who is, by the way, in the blueberry business. Gardner Lake if you know the area :)

but, alas, you’re dealing with an pretty well educated adult audience.
In a word, hellyeah! Hey Ornery... that was one of the classiest dress downs I’ve seen. Nice work. Thanks for putting into words what I’m sure many of us felt but didn’t have the time/knowledge/frame of mind to do.
 
Written By: meagain
URL: http://
Scott, read for comprehension. Saddam Hussein was a man who had shown his willingness to use WMD to kill both combatants and civilians. Because we believed he was reconstituting his weapons programs—and really, why wouldn’t we believe that a man like Hussein was attempting just such a thing, given his clear record?—it did justify punitive action. He was not supposed to have said weapons under international law precisely because he had used them in the past to commit war crimes.
Your argument is because Saddam used chemical weapons against Iran and the Kurds that, even though he was disarmed, weapons inspectors were on the ground and his regime weakened to the point of not even controlling his own country, the "appearance" of WMD in the minds of a few American officials makes it OK to take actions that kills tens of thousands of innocent people. Pathetic. You should be one of those Iraqi innocents killed because the US was in a rush to war without the proof.

You seem to want to rationalize away the death of innocents by asserting that somehow we "calculate" the cost. But your rambly rationalization really shows that you don’t give a hoot about innocents, it’s all about power, machismo, the sense of military strength, and other irrational things.

Chirac had a financial reason to support the war. The US thought he would since his support would get him repayment of loans and lucrative contracts. The US made it clear that if they did not support the war, sanctions would not be removed and France wouldn’t see the money. It’s a damned lie to say France opposed the war out of economic interests; if they followed their economic interests they would have supported the US — they understood how foolish the war was and Chirac looks far better than Bush on Iraq.
And the weapons inspectors? 250 people to inspect a country the size of California, where the government has had over four years to hide their weapons without said inspections? And considering the allegations that there were mobile weapons labs?
And given that Saddam did not have records of the dismantling of his WMD stockpiles, were we supposed to just take his word that he had destroyed it all? Especially when we had wide discrepancies between what the UN thought he had in the way of weapons, and what Saddam was willing to report he had? This led Hans Blix to report to the President of the Security Council that one finding of a bunker, containing weapons that Saddam should not have had at a given time, could be "the tip of the iceberg."
You are rationalizing war and mass killing and destruction of a country because you can imagine something bad happening, and you can set up scenarios where such an imagined reality could be plausible. But with the weapons inspectors on the ground he had to keep anything he had hidden. And there was no evidence indictating a real threat. War should be the last resort, the ultima ratio, when everything else has been tried and there is no alternative. It is organized mass murder, something that should only be done when absolutely necessary. The US tried it as a policy tool, an amoral — even immoral — approach abstracting humanity down to political argumentation.

You reap what you sow. That’s what we’re learning now. We have engaged in a deadly war of aggression, and we’re paying the price in life (though a much lower price than our victims) and dollars. I think we’re just starting to see the cost — and you’ll find it harder and harder to rationalize this war of aggression as time goes on.

The attempt to say Saddam — a secular Baathist who was enemies of Islamic extremists — somehow was more a ’supporter of terrorism’ than the Saudis or other leaders is simply shrill non-sense. You’re just playing propaganda games, trying to justify the unjustifiable.

Look: history has proven your path wrong. It’s lead to a weakened United States — we are neither feared nor respected now — a divided country (though Bush’s dad’s team may actually lead to some real change — much like a realist Nixon-Kissinger path had to rescue the idealistic Kennedy-Johnson path), and a lot of death and destruction because of our choices.

But luckily the American people are rejecting that kind of militarism. We should not be using power offensively and aggressively to try to shape the world towards our perspective; that’s contrary to our values. Once we find our values again, we’ll recover from this mess.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Saddam was bribing nations via the oil for food bribery program to get the sanctions lifted, at which time he would’ve started up his WMD programs again.

Sounds like a real threat to me.
No, it’s an imagined threat. He was trying to do X, and IF he had done X, then MAYBE he might have done Y. It’s imagined threats of what might be if something else comes to pass.

You don’t start killing people for that kind of rationale. At least ethical people don’t. But sometimes I think a lot of you really don’t think about the human side of war; I think to many of you it’s all the politics, power, and strategy. But the least you can do is admit that the war critics who predicted this kind of fiasco in 2003 were right, and those who said that oil revenues would pay for reconstruction, the US would get nice contracts for the ’coalition of the willing,’ and the US would create a stable pro-American democracy that would alter politics in the region were dead wrong. 60% of Iraqis think it’s OK to kill Americans.

At least admit the obvious. Then maybe we can find common ground on figuring out the path forward.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
According to "Erb Logic," Scott has admitted that he knows deep down Rush Limbaugh is right on the issues. Man, that’s gotta hurt!
I haven’t even mentioned Rush Limbaugh in this thread.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I haven’t even mentioned Rush Limbaugh in this thread.
On a previous thread you tried to claim you had "repeatedly" stated a skeptical opinion about Hersh, when in fact you had repeatedly stated the opposite. Additionally, you claimed that American forces had killed more civilians than combatants in wars starting with WWI.

Now you stupidly claim that you haven’t mentioned Rush Limbaugh in this thread.

You cannot help but lie, can you? Is it due to a mental disability, or is it due to chemical dependency? Either way, it’s unbecoming of a supposed educator.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
On a previous thread you tried to claim you had "repeatedly" stated a skeptical opinion about Hersh, when in fact you had repeatedly stated the opposite. Additionally, you claimed that American forces had killed more civilians than combatants in wars starting with WWI.

Now you stupidly claim that you haven’t mentioned Rush Limbaugh in this thread.

You cannot help but lie, can you? Is it due to a mental disability, or is it due to chemical dependency? Either way, it’s unbecoming of a supposed educator.
Methinks thou doth protest too much.

Where did I say I repeatedly stated a skeptical opinion on Hersh? Quite the opposite, I claimed from the start I am convinced he is one of the most important journalists around, and I trust his reporting. I don’t know if a qualitative statement like ’the most murderous army’ is correct — or even what he means by it (recent past, ever in history, etc.). I certainly wouldn’t say that I think every qualitative judgement he makes is accurate, I wouldn’t say that about anyone! But he’s a great reporter.

As to Limbaugh, gee, you don’t seem to have much of a sense of humor, do you? I guess the election and how things are going in Iraq have you guys in a foul mood, everyone’s reacting to things angrily (which I admit I find a bit amusing). I wrote: "Rush is a rock band, not a pill popping blowhard." Now, you may assume the latter is about Limbaugh, but I never wrote anything about Limbaugh. Of course, that was who I was thinking about, but I was having fun, trying to get someone to quote it back to me (which you, alas, did not do) so I could write, "gee, I guess you assumed that pill popping blowhard had to mean Rush Limbaugh — that’s understandable."

I can understand the lack of humor or even attempt to really have a conversation. Things are going very bad for those who thought Iraq would or could be a success, and I’m rubbing your noses in it and saying "history has proven me right and you wrong." Who wouldn’t be put off by that kind of talk? I’ll only point out that I’m responding to trash talk on this thread — inane insults without even an attempt to address my argument or position.

That’s OK too — this is a fun way to poke and prod at a perspective that is not my own, and see how you guys think. You certainly don’t take dissenting opinions well, do you?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
No, it’s an imagined threat. He was trying to do X, and IF he had done X, then MAYBE he might have done Y. It’s imagined threats of what might be if something else comes to pass
Umm......no. It’s a REAL threat. He WAS doing X, not trying to do X. WHEN he had done X, he WOULD have done Y, since he’d done it in the past and killed Z people, whom you conveniently forget. He’d also invaded countries A and B in case you forgot. And just for good measure, he harbored terrorists 1 and 2 and paid families of suicide bomber 3.

If I threaten to acquire a gun and shoot you, you rightly dismiss it as an empty threat. If a known killer threatens to get a gun and shoot you Scott...well, are you going to be so quick to dismiss it as an imagined threat? I know I sure wouldn’t.
But the least you can do is admit that the war critics who predicted this kind of fiasco in 2003 were right
Why should I? Nestled in between the dire predictions of 1 million Iraqis dead, the fearsome siege of Saddamgrad we were sure to see, the ecological disasters sure to follow, the hundreds of thousands of refugees etc etc etc. some opponents may have stumbled on 1 correct one? Nah, no thanks. Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then.

I think a lot of you really don’t think about the human side of war; I think to many of you it’s all the politics, power, and strategy
How do I put this tactfully.....go f*ck yourself and your condescending attitude. Nancy Pelosi and the left certainly don’t think of war in the human side...to her it’s merely a "problem". Oh well, maybe the left should’ve thought about the human side of war when they got their way on Vietnam and condemned millions to death. No thanks Scott, I’ll be damned if I ever let myself be talked down to by someone like you.
Then maybe we can find common ground on figuring out the path forward.
There is no, and can be no common ground with someone like you. Your whole diatribe is boiled down to a simple sentance: "Admit you were wrong, agree with me, and then implement my solution."

Unless you’d like to tell me what you mean by "work together"?

 
Written By: Shark
URL: http://
".....go f*ck yourself and your condescending attitude"

There you go, proof that you are a hostile, ignorant right-wing yahoo who cannot have a grownup conversation with a nice, intelligent, well-educated and well-meaning advocate of peace and the brotherhood of all mankind. He is not condescending, he is just morally superior to us uncaring, brutish war-mongers.

 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
meagain -
Hey Ornery... that was one of the classiest dress downs I’ve seen. Nice work. Thanks for putting into words what I’m sure many of us felt but didn’t have the time/knowledge/frame of mind to do.
Thanks. I do what I can.
-=-=-=-=-=-=-
Scott -

I was reading your post and considering responding right up until I got to the part where you said,
Pathetic. You should be one of those Iraqi innocents killed because the US was in a rush to war without the proof.
*click* I officially have no reason to debate with you anymore. People who are interested in the truth make it clear by showing respect for those with whom they disagree. If and when you’re ready to debate with me civilly, send me an email saying so and I’ll start paying attention to your posts again.
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Where did I say I repeatedly stated a skeptical opinion on Hersh?
I’m going to assume you know what the word "skeptical" means. Here’s what you stated after many posts:
I’ve stated very clearly more than once in this thread that I don’t know if Hersh’s qualitative judgment is accurate.
Yet you did NOT repeatedly state anything of the kind. I gave you a whole list of things you DID state, however. Like usual, you will now back off of the things you wrote. Pathetic.

Your sad attempts to make points are proven lies in multiple threads. You’re not worth any more effort. Go and continue your lies to your classes. They’ll wake up eventually.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I’m going to assume you know what the word "skeptical" means.
I enjoy the work of Pierre Bayle and Blaise Pascal.

Here’s what you stated after many posts:

I’ve stated very clearly more than once in this thread that I don’t know if Hersh’s qualitative judgment is accurate.

Yet you did NOT repeatedly state anything of the kind. I gave you a whole list of things you DID state, however. Like usual, you will now back off of the things you wrote. Pathetic.
You’re simply not telling the truth. I did say I didn’t know if his qualitative judgement about ’most murderous’ was accurate a number of times. Yet I also stated I trusted him as a reporter and in fact have numerous times assigned his work. You’re trying to play word games over inconsequential matters and you’re losing. But I suppose that’s easier for you than actually trying to discuss policy, eh?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I did say I didn’t know if his qualitative judgement about ’most murderous’ was accurate a number of times.
Provide the quotes. It should be easy for a smart guy like you who doesn’t lie.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Yet I also stated I trusted him as a reporter and in fact have numerous times assigned his work.
What about his work on JFK? What do you think of that? I can name a dozen instances (like the JFK reporting) of where Hersh was utterly out of his mind on his reporting because he let his biases lead him to a story that was not reflected by reality. Hersh is a brilliant, completely undependable, faith based writer. Read and believe him at your peril.

But I think you are infected with some of the same. Sorta seems faith based. hmmmm.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Pathetic. You should be one of those Iraqi innocents killed because the US was in a rush to war without the proof.
*click* I officially have no reason to debate with you anymore. People who are interested in the truth make it clear by showing respect for those with whom they disagree. If and when you’re ready to debate with me civilly, send me an email saying so and I’ll start paying attention to your posts again
(I thought I posted this, but it has yet to appear):

I was wrong to make that statement, I got caught up in the emotion of the issue and let my polemical rhetoric go out of control. I was wrong to make that statement, and I apologize.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Unless you’d like to tell me what you mean by "work together"?
Look, I can match you guys in the flame game. Insults are hurled at me, I take a condescending tone, you guys get madder and hurl more insults, I claim I was right about the war and you should agree with me, etc.

So yeah, we’re playing games. It’s amusing as far it goes, but it generates more heat than light (guess where I got that metaphor).

I don’t take any of it personally — I do get upset that it appears to me that talk is of strategy and power and not a lot of emphasis is on the human side (indeed, that’s a criticism I make about political science as well — the desire to be rational leads to an emphasis on abstract theory that doesn’t adequately entertain the true human costs of a conflict or a situation). But overall, I’m just having fun and responding in kind to insults and attacks.

But I’ll throw that all away and engage in a real debate about the policy if one wants. My strategy is tit for tat, though I’m probably as guilty as I think you are of imagining the opponent as someone more obstinate and caricatured than he or she really is.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Provide the quotes. It should be easy for a smart guy like you who doesn’t lie.
*crickets*
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
No, it’s propaganda by Chavez. I’m sure he knows it isn’t true.
It’s stupid propaganda if that’s the case, as in aimed at stupid people.
But that’s the point — a guy like this is able to play the American government, and shape Latin American politics. You gotta be pretty smart to be able to pull that off (or else the American government is pretty inept).


Oh bull. Latin America is low on our radar screen. Chavez is a second rate punk banking on the fact that we won’t act to take him out.
Where did I say I repeatedly stated a skeptical opinion on Hersh? Quite the opposite, I claimed from the start I am convinced he is one of the most important journalists around, and I trust his reporting.
Yeah. McQ raises good points about Hersh’s claims, and you reply with debate skills that would earn a freshman a "D".
Clearly the US invaded Iraq in a war of aggression. Iraq had been disarmed, was not a threat to the outside world, and unable to control its own territory. This wasn’t to defend freedom, or defend America, it was blatant aggression. We are learning a difficult lesson. Some of us predicted it and have been proven correct, others have been proven wrong and are left trying to rationalize and avoid admitting error by attacking the tactics and saying "it could have been different." That’s rather pathetic, but denial of reality is par for the course for many people. Reality bites. But hey, you can be in a state of denial if you want in meaningless web debates ;-)
Scott, if you are "right" about the invasion, it’s just by accident. You clearly don’t grasp the bigger picture.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Hersh is a brilliant, completely undependable, faith based writer. Read and believe him at your peril.
Speaking of which, any more news on the "video"?

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Speaking of which, any more news on the "video"?
Hersh told a version of this story 1 1/2 years ago and mentioned that the digital pictures/video (he uses both terms) were taken a year before that (i.e. we’re 2 1/2 years past when the event was photographed).

See target="new">Democracy Now!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Scott, if you are "right" about the invasion, it’s just by accident. You clearly don’t grasp the bigger picture.
Oh, come on, you can develop a better insult than that! I mean, if you’re going to flame, be creative and interesting!

Provide the quotes. It should be easy for a smart guy like you who doesn’t lie.
If anyone cares about your accusations, they can read the thread. I certainly am not going to spend my time cutting and pasting old quotes to satisfy someone who clearly has a personal grudge.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I certainly am not going to spend my time cutting and pasting old quotes
They don’t exist and you’re a liar. I guess the truth hurts, doesn’t it?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
They don’t exist and you’re a liar. I guess the truth hurts, doesn’t it?
Not to Erb. He has no concept of truth. What you have just gone through is almost a formula for him. This is exactly what you can expect, with few variations, anytime you get beyond the glib posturing and vacuous boilerplate he seems to think marks him as an expert on what he comments upon.

There’s simply nothing under all of that nonsense.

Nada. Zip. Zero.

Eventually he resorts to the "no I didn’t" or the "I didn’t say that" defense. And as you stare incredulously at the words he says he didn’t say, you wonder if it is you who are misreading something. You’re not. And you’ve finally proven to yourself that the guy is simply unabashed about telling lies and that he’s so arrogant that he doesn’t figure you have the acumen to catch him in them. Amazing.

Trust me ... he’s not worth the effort of showing others what he really is because it doesn’t embarrass him and most have to learn it for themselves (they have to go through the same process of disbelief you’ve suffered through because, honestly, most have never seen anyone as blatant as Erb).

You’ve discovered it, Ornery has discovered it, as have others. What bothers people is this guy is actually a professor at a university. They figure there has to be some redeeming value somewhere and if they root around hard enough they’ll find it.

Nope. There’s no there there, JWG. None.

Just pray for the kids in his classes.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Hersh told a version of this story 1 1/2 years ago and mentioned that the digital pictures/video (he uses both terms) were taken a year before that (i.e. we’re 2 1/2 years past when the event was photographed).
OK then, is he lying? Or is he withholding proof of American attrocities?

Of course, he is a trusted journalist. And as we know, they never ever lie. Bloggers need to realize they are in way over their heads when they try to take on journalists.
Trust me ... he’s not worth the effort of showing others what he really is because it doesn’t embarrass him and most have to learn it for themselves
There were a few like that on talk.politics.guns; gun control advocates who would continue repeating the same lies. Take ’em down in one thread, and they would spout the same thing in another.

The Hersh video thread was quite instructive; you presented a reasonable critique, and instead of responding with an argument with merit, Scott tries to change the subject. His only defense of Hersh is an appeal to authority.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
You’ve discovered it, Ornery has discovered it, as have others
It’s scary how accurately you described my feelings about the "Erb Logic." You really nailed it. I’m trying to work my way into the acceptance stage, but it’s not easy. I appreciate your help through this difficult and trying time!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Not to Erb. He has no concept of truth. What you have just gone through is almost a formula for him. This is exactly what you can expect, with few variations, anytime you get beyond the glib posturing and vacuous boilerplate he seems to think marks him as an expert on what he comments upon.

There’s simply nothing under all of that nonsense.

Nada. Zip. Zero.
No concept of truth?! Your insults are a bit over the top (and hence are easy to chuckle about — you’re wearing your frustration on your sleeve).
You’ve discovered it, Ornery has discovered it, as have others. What bothers people is this guy is actually a professor at a university. They figure there has to be some redeeming value somewhere and if they root around hard enough they’ll find it.

Nope. There’s no there there, JWG. None.

Just pray for the kids in his classes.
You are big on the insults, but short on content. And, of course, your insults are so over the top that they can’t be taken seriously.

But that’s OK, I’ll make it a point to continue dispensing my wisdom on this nice little blog ;-)

But if you ever decide to put away the insults and discuss a clear question I don’t carry grudges or take any of this personally. Believe it or not, my goal is the truth — which is why my opinions have shifted over the years after listening to people of diverse opinions, including people like you. Despite your animosity towards me, my views on a lot of issues have been affected by arguments you and other ’libertarians’ have made. But, while I’ll continue to be willing to debate, and even if you insult me, nonetheless take your posts seriously and perhaps learn from them, somehow I think you’ll find excuses not to actually talk about things. You’ll insult me to rationalize it, but the fact is I think you’re uncomfortable with people who have a perspective different from yours and who can forcefully and intelligently defend it. Better to ridicule and insult them, otherwise you might have to confront errors in your own thinking.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
The Hersh video thread was quite instructive; you presented a reasonable critique, and instead of responding with an argument with merit, Scott tries to change the subject. His only defense of Hersh is an appeal to authority.
Since we don’t have access to the sources he has, it’s a matter of trusting a journalist with a track record.

You try to somehow say that my general acceptance of Hersh’s reporting (his book Chain of Command is a must read) must mean that I think everything he says is accurate. But your denial of his claims is based on peronsal attacks against him — essentially you have decided, it appears to me, that you don’t like his claims so you are looking for every reason possible to try to discredit his reporting by attacking him. I find that kind of approach anti-rational.

However, early in this thread you went from wanting to talk about the issue to some kind of attempt to attack me, even though you can’t prove any of your charges (and they all seem pretty lame or peripheral). One thing that probably shouldn’t surprise is how often people turn to attacking others in response to opinions which they dislike. Blaise Pascal had a point.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Just pray for the kids in his classes."

Amen.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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