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MoveOn.org should be ashamed. And so should the NYT. (updated)
Posted by: McQ on Monday, September 10, 2007

The left seethes and froths at the mouth if you characterize their dissent in such a way which they feel questions their patriotism.

Question: How would you characterize this ad by MoveOn.org?

There are few times in my life that I've seen anything this deliberately despicable and vile put out by a political organization. Words simply fail me.

The perpetrators of this execrable ad should be ashamed of themselves. The depth of hate necessary to attempt this sort of character assassination is both irrational and toxic. The organization which put this together deserves only derision and scorn. And they should understand that I do question their patriotism. This is way over the line and is anti-American by any measure or metric.

MoveOn.org should apologize immediately for this despicable attempt to destroy the reputation of one of the nation's finest soldiers and leaders. And the NY Times should be equally ashamed for accepting such an advertisement, not that it surprises me, particularly, that they did.

Of course we won't hear squat from either of them, but as far as I'm concerned, they're birds of a feather.

MoveOn.org has been an anti-American organization from day 1 and have finally done something which should make it obvious, even to their apologists. How else do you characterize an organization that would do this but as a bunch of cowards? Cowards who hide behind their organization and this disgusting ad in order to attack a man whose briefcase they aren't worthy to carry. And the NY Times is nothing more than a fellow-traveler. With Pinch Sulzberger at the helm they've become a mere shadow of their former self and they have little hope of every again regaining their credibility or audience as long as he remains. There's a reason beyond technological change that the NYT audience continues to shrink.

Congrats MoveOn/NYT. You've defined a new low in American politics. Unfortunately, given how clueless both organizations seem to be, they're most likely proud of what they've done. And that would come as no surprise either.

UPDATE: Beldar sets up a question:
I know there are mature, thoughtful, and patriotic Americans who will listen to and consider what Gen. Petraeus says this week, and who will nevertheless find it unpersuasive, or judge his testimony to lack credibility, or will accept it in part and yet reject the conclusions that the Bush-43 Administration will urge based upon it.
Then asks:
So my question to those mature, thoughtful, and patriotic Americans, and especially Democrats, who end up not being persuaded by Gen. Petraeus' testimony is this:

Will you condemn and disassociate yourself from MoveOn.org's scandalous character assassination? Or will you associate yourself with them, including their "Petraeus —> Betray Us" wordplay, a juvenile antic of which any moderately self-respecting third-grader would be ashamed?
I, like Beldar, understand and have no problem with those who listen, consider and then reject the conclusions of Gen. Petreaus. Obviously those who listen and consider it will be giving Petreaus the courtesy and opportunity to give his side of the story. That's all for which he or anyone can ask.

The question Beldar asks, however, is a legitimate one. And if we can, for once, forgo the "we'll do it if you do it about this", whatever 'this' may be, just accept my assurance that if something on the other side is as odious as this ad, yes, I'd publicly reject it.

Do you agree this is over the line? Do you agree this should be condemned in the strongest terms possible.

If not (and yes, we understand the free speech argument, but that doesn't shield them from criticism or condemnation), why not?

UPDATE II: Michael Wade at A Second Hand Conjecture issues a challenge:
So, I’ll throw down the gaunlet here and challenge you scumbags calling Petraeus a traitor to back up your assertions. I also call upon Congress to issue subpoenas for the testimony of those making such accusations, forcing them to support their allegations in an open session before both Houses. If you truly believe that Gen. Petraeus is a traitor to this country, and you have the evidence to back up that assertion, then it is incumbent upon you to take that evidence public. If the assertions are true, after all, the American people need to know that their troops are being led by a treasonous bastard. And if they are false, then you are nothing but wretched charlatans who should beg the forgiveness of the very country you so take for granted in full view of her citizens and representatives.

Anybody?
 
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Comments
Had this ad come after Petraeus’ testimony, one could have figured it to be a different point of view, but coming before shows it to be cheap political theater.

The name of Donald Segretti can now be reabilitated, having now given up the "dirty tricks" title.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
They know he’s going to have a good report. Even the MSM has been reporting increasingly good things from Iraq. So they have to discredit it.

Someone called it "premature Iraqulation". Too funny.

When, in fact, if they’d listen to his testimony as he gives it and ask questions and act objective, this gives them the perfect opportunity to adjust their rhetoric without losing face.

Not that those who demand that Iraq be a disaster and lost and just worse and worse are interested in anything else, no matter how often they lie and claim they’d *like* us to win. I saw a comment today saying that (the commentator) hoped that the Republicans get everything they want and actually win in 2008 *just so* there will be no question that everything is their fault and can’t be blamed on something the Democrats made the Republicans do.

Hey, I can live with that.
 
Written By: Synova
URL: http://synova.blogspot.com
I have been wondering when and who would use this obvious pun on Petraeus’s name. It’s still sad and disgusting. Discretion is also the better part of humor.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
//MoveOn.org should apologize immediately//

Yeah, I’ll win the lottery before that happens.
 
Written By: LASunsett
URL: http://poli-yy.blogspot.com
The ad is disgraceful. None of this is Gen. Petraeus’ fault. The blame lies entirely with the civilian leadership.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
None of this is Gen. Petraeus’ fault
None of what?
He hasn’t given his testimony yet.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I love it. The Kos-Nutroots are actually putting the congressional Dems in a position where they’re going to have to defend the man they’re subtly trying to discredit. Can’t anyone here play this game?

The wind is blowing- Pres. Bush is going to have his way on this one, will the nutroots finally make the break with the Dems over this issue? This could actually be the 1st sign of it since it has becomes obvious to everyone that Reid and Pelosi don’t actually care a whit about ending the war anytime soon.

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Yes, next thing you know those evil Democrats will start wearing purple band-aids to mock Petraeus’s service, or starting "David Petraeus Veterans For Truth."

In other words, the fact that Petraeus lied about progress in Iraq in 2004 in order to help Bush get re-elected, and the fact that he’s now claiming that Iraq violence is down even though this too is a lie, is no more off-limits than John Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia.
 
Written By: Plank Tonne
URL: http://
This is what happens when the adults leave the studio and the kids get to playing with the computers.

Voila - we find a syrupy waffle in the DVD player, used toilet paper in the printer.

It’s pretty low, but in truth, I can’t say I’m surprised at the level of venom. It’s not even about being right or wrong about Iraq, it’s just another display of BDS.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
In other words, the fact that Petraeus lied about progress in Iraq in 2004 in order to help Bush get re-elected
Got any proof there sparky?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
the fact that Petraeus lied about progress in Iraq in 2004 in order to help Bush get re-elected,
So what does it mean when he didn’t do what you say he did...
Some of Petraeus’s critics will argue, as they already have, that he wrote an oped in the fall of 2004 that was too optimistic about the training of Iraqi Security Forces then — and too closely timed to the American elections that November. To them, that suggests he was and is acting as an agent of White House spin. That oped may in retrospect have been somewhat too optimistic; I was wrong then myself in believing that a very vigorous training program we had created for the Iraqis would suffice to create a professional, dependable force. In the end, sectarian tensions proved too great, culminating as they did in the December 2005 parliamentary elections that rewarded parties built around sectarian identity, as well as the February 2006 Samarra mosque bombings. The security forces then faltered under the weight of Sunni-Shia hatred and mistrust dispute their improved technical proficiency.

However, a possible misjudgment on this matter hardly shows Petraeus to be a spinmeister. If anything, it shows him to be human.
Op-ed in the paper vs testimony to Congress...

Yep, same difference I guess...

Facts... Inconvenient when they don’t match what you want them to say. Or is an author at the Brookings Institute not objective enough?
On the violence, in keeping with a Saturday New York Times article by Michael Gordon that reflects current DoD data on the country, Petraeus will argue that the overall situation has improved substantially this year. He will be right to do so, based on virtually any primary-source data I have seen (in my capacity as co-author of Brookings’s “Iraq Index”). Depending on which category of violence one emphasizes, and which starting and end points one uses for the comparison, most categories of killings are down 20 to 50-percent since the surge began. This is true for overall civilian fatalities from all causes, including victims of extrajudicial killings (basically reprisal assassinations), murders, and for the most part, car- and truck-bombing victims.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
UPDATE: Harry Reid is distancing himself from the MoveOn.org Ad.
 
Written By: Jimmy the Dhimmi
URL: http://mooreisfatduhimstoopidilikeanncoulterandchickenfries.ytmnd.com/
An author at the Brookings institute who is a longtime war/surge apologist and an old college buddy of Petraeus? Amazingly, that’s not objective enough.

In 2004, just before the election, Petraeus wrote a high-profile op-ed full of false claims about "progress" in Iraq. O’Hanlon expects us to believe that this was a good faith mistake. Sure.

And O’Hanlon cites no hard numbers on declining violence, since the military refuses to release its data or methodology. Actual data, like the data I linked to above, shows that Iraq has gotten worse, not better, and the recent poll of Iraqis backs this up (70% think the surge has made things worse).

So, to review: Petraeus has a history of making false claims in order to help Bush and keep America in a war which we cannot "win." But hands off this great man, and stick to slandering Jack Murtha or Jim Webb instead. All Democratic servicemen are traitors.
 
Written By: Plank Tonne
URL: http://
It’s always cute when people like Plank Tonne parrot the talking points almost exclusively.

Plankton indeed. Next time sign yourself as S. Heep

 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
An author at the Brookings institute who is a longtime war/surge apologist and an old college buddy of Petraeus? Amazingly, that’s not objective enough.
sigh

Genetic Fallacy.

If the author is telling the truth, does it really matter that he’s an old college buddy of Patraeus? And if he’s incorrect, would any of his past positions somehow make his words correct?

Make an argument against what he said, not against his objectivity.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://steverino.journalspace.com/
Given the quickness some people in these blogs hurl insults and accusations, it seems ironic that they are so touchy about one silly name twist by a highly partisan organization. It’s par for the course in the political world these days, it’s similar to accusations made against Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, etc. IOW, if you’re going to dish it out, you have to take it. If it’s OK when your side goes on the personal attack, then don’t expect shame from the other side when they do the same kind of thing.

That said, I generally look forward to Gen. Petraeus report (and that of Ambassador Crocker) because I think Petraeus is a competent and honest leader, I trust him more than I trust the politicians. And, in any event, when all the spin is done by all sides, reality cannot be denied. If the ’surge’ ultimately means limited tactical successes but no overall improvement in situation in terms of security and/or political improvements, then it will be seen as a failure. If the US is able to leave Iraq as a stable, functioning polity, it will be seen as a success. I see failure as far more likely, but at this point there is too much uncertainty in the data, too much reliance on antecdotes, geographically limited examples, and speculation to really know for sure what to make of things. And, since the ’surge’ is sure to continue at least through late March, I doubt this debate is going to do much except find each side positioning themselves for the next election.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Seems to me that the IBC numbers show a trending DOWNWARD, since the surge began.



Well, Gen. Petraeus has made his recommendations, and they seem very reasonable to me.

Code Pink is making fools of themselves, and getting physically hauled out of the chamber. Sounded like they were speaking in tongues.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
it’s similar to accusations made against Reid, Pelosi, Murtha,
It is? I’m not from Missouri doc, but show me a similar add in the NYT and we’ll consider the statement valid.

And speaking of people I don’t think can be honestly objective.
You’ve got a whole lot or yourself vested in the failure of the American policies in Iraq at this point.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Oh, one interesting thing about Gen. Petraeus’ testimony, he stated that 2 US intelligence agencies reviewed the methodology they were using to collect the statistics for their reporting, and found that it was sound, and consistent.
Congrats MoveOn/NYT. You’ve defined a new low in American politics.
I actually disagree with this statement. If you look at the muckraking that’s gone on in the past, including during the Civil War, this attempt is amateurish at best.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
including during the Civil War
Interesting you should mention that conflict, when the standards being applied to the Bush administration would have have the Union suing for peace around 1863 or sooner.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
Erb, you were doing so well when you wrote:
I generally look forward to Gen. Petraeus report (and that of Ambassador Crocker) because I think Petraeus is a competent and honest leader, I trust him more than I trust the politicians.
And then you had to put a twist in the converstaion with:
It’s par for the course in the political world these days, it’s similar to accusations made against Reid, Pelosi, Murtha, etc.
So I would like to reiterate a question posed by another commentor:
. . . show me a similar add in the NYT and we’ll consider the statement valid.
A full page ad in the NYT?!? Come on, Erb. What you may have read on the pages of this and other blogs does not even come close to the hatchet job being done on Petraeus by the MoveOn cretins. And as far as:
Given the quickness some people in these blogs hurl insults and accusations, it seems ironic that they are so touchy about one silly name twist by a highly partisan organization.
I served 24 years in the US military and I can tell you I would be calling a lawyer for a defamation of character lawsuit about now if it was my name that was being shot to hell, with the further stipulation that all monetary proceeds from any successful lawsuit be donated entirely to charity - except for the cost of a single beer.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
The first time I heard "Gen. Betray Us" was from neoconish commenters who were unhappy about his emphasis in hearts and minds and were still beating the stay the course drum.

Anyway Beldar is being a twit and so is Michael Wade. Is saying "You’ve betrayed us identical to accusing a person of treason? Obviously not. Betrayal in the abstract is not an accusation of criminal treason. So the "challenge" is so much claptrap. But at least it gives you something to talk about other than the fact that we reached another deadline and we can’t tell that we’re winning yet.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Is saying "You’ve betrayed us identical to accusing a person of treason? Obviously not. Betrayal in the abstract is not an accusation of criminal treason. So the "challenge" is so much claptrap. But at least it gives you something to talk about other than the fact that we reached another deadline and we can’t tell that we’re winning yet.
What "betrayal in the abstract"?

They’re accusing him of lying/distorting in order to achieve a political goal (helping Bush) regardless of the actual truth of the matter.

From this very thread:
In other words, the fact that Petraeus lied about progress in Iraq in 2004 in order to help Bush get re-elected, and the fact that he’s now claiming that Iraq violence is down even though this too is a lie, is no more off-limits than John Kerry’s Christmas in Cambodia.


If that’s not criminal treason, then what is it?
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Union suing for peace around 1863 or sooner.
They were around then too -

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copperheads_(politics)


Different year, different war, same old party.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
So only insults in ad form in the NYT counts? That’s silly.

Defamation of character? Such a law suit wouldn’t have a chance. I doubt this hurts Petraeus a bit. Sure, some people may be calling him a traitor or attacking his credibility, but his job isn’t going to be put in jeopardy by that, and I’m sure he’s smart enough to realize that the insults of others are meaningless if he believes in himself.

I, for one, will try to refrain from insults of public figures (or commentators in blogs) of all sides and focus on arguments. I’ve seen Jimmy Carter called a traitor by some, now Petraeus by others...I think that people who hurl insults and feel a need to attack others personally say more about themselves than they do about the people they are attacking. I put this kind of attack on Petraeus at the same level as attacks made by some against Jimmy Carter. I reject both, whether the insult comes from the left or the right.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Defamation of character? Such a law suit wouldn’t have a chance.
So you are a lawyer/judge, also? But then again, I never said it would have a chance. But it sure would be fun to find out.
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
So only insults in ad form in the NYT counts? That’s silly.
No, Doctor, the scope of my posting something silly and/or false and degrading about you on a web log would not be construed by you as the same as my taking out a nasty & subjective full page add about you in the Bangor Daily News or the Kennebec Journal.

MoveOn is a national organization, with a wide audience & the NYT is a major American Newspaper. BOTH take actions on behalf of the Democractic Party, sometmes in league with them, sometimes not.
It’s not just the insult Doctor, it’s also very much the venue and the parties involved.

We both understand the difference in scope here, please don’t dissemble, you’re smarter than that.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://

They’re accusing him of lying/distorting in order to achieve a political goal (helping Bush) regardless of the actual truth of the matter.

If that’s not criminal treason, then what is it?
It’s politics.

Politicians — of both parties — lie and distort in order to achieve political goals; this is not news. Petraeus is, at least in part, a politician, and he does what politicians do.

The idea that it’s an accusation of treason to point out that he’s lying to achieve political goals is just silly. Are you accusing Wesley Clark of treason if you say he’s lying/distorting about the war?
 
Written By: Plank Tonne
URL: http://
Would you really let a silly "name play" bother you? If Petraeus did that, not only would he suddenly be the subject of ridicule for being so touchy that he was trying legal action, but it would delight moveon.org, because it would make their ad suddenly much more visible. They’d be interviewed, get a lot of free publicity, and probably donations. They’d probably like the acknowledgment from Petraeus that their play on words bothered him. They do this sort of thing in part to arouse the kind of reaction some of you are giving it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I don’t like using a word play on someone’s name to make a political point — or any point, for that matter. I just think it’s childish and arbitrary, and smacks of 3rd grade playground idiocy.

Having said that, the substance of the ad is absolutely legitimate. Yet you don’t address the text of the ad at all. So I’ll ask you: Aside from the stupid title, do you object to the ad itself? I don’t mean do you disagree, because I know you do — but do you find the language or the manner of expression objectionable in and of itself.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
As to Saint Jimmah, yes, we savage him regularly here for his irresponsible statements (how’s the President for life Hugo Chavez thing working for you these days?)

When that comes to the attention of the national media, and the nation, in the form of full page adds, show me.
Would you really let a silly "name play" bother you? If Petraeus did that, not only would he suddenly be the subject of ridicule for being so touchy that he was trying legal action,
I don’t know, you’re a public figure, you be the judge. I can start taking up the collection now for the local add about you in one of Maine’s larger newspapers.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
LOL! You wear your frustration on your sleeve, looker. You know I’ve caught a number of you in a hypocritical stance ("OK if done to their side, but a horrid shameful thing if done to ours"). Admit it.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
They’re accusing him of lying/distorting in order to achieve a political goal (helping Bush) regardless of the actual truth of the matter.

If that’s not criminal treason, then what is it?
It’s politics.
I feel sad for you.
Are you accusing Wesley Clark of treason if you say he’s lying/distorting about the war?
Wesley Clark isn’t in charge of anything more important than his butler, so the point really isn’t valid
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Having said that, the substance of the ad is absolutely legitimate.
Is it? Good heavens you people are as childish as the people who created the add, all the while claiming you’d never stoop so low.
Every independent report on the ground situation in Iraq shows that the surge strategy has failed. Yet the General claims a reduction in violence. That’s because, according to the New York Times, the Pentagon has adopted a bizarre formula for keeping tabs on violence. For example, deaths by car bombs don’t count. The Washington Post reported that assassinations only count if you’re shot in the back of the head — not the front. According to the Associated Press, there have been more civilian deaths and more American soldier deaths in the past three months than in any other summer we’ve been there. We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.Most importantly, General Petraeus will not admit what everyone knows: Iraq is mired in an unwinnable religious civil war. We may hear of a plan to withdraw a few thousand American troops. But we won’t hear what Americans are
desperate to hear: a timetable for withdrawing all our troops. General Petraeus has actually said American troops will need to stay in Iraq for as long as ten years.
Today, before Congress and before the American people, General Petraeus is likely to become General Betray Us.
Cooking the Books for the White House
Why don’t you start by supporting the substance of the things I highlighted since you want to discuss the substance of the add. Note those are the things I tend to doubt. I’d find it entirely plausible (though not fully explained of course, because I think there’s cherry picking going on) that the facts I didn’t hightlight have some substance. I understand how reports are done, and that cuts both ways since I think the add is fair represenstation of exactly the sort of thing MoveOn is accusing the General of, fudging the facts.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I think we usually show those in uniform, the guys with their asses on the line for us, a little more respect. Carter, Clark, Kerry, those guys insinuated themselves into politics and declared themselves fair game. You can argue that Petraeus has done the same thing, but that would be a stupid argument.

No, you guys support the troops when they’re fragging their officers. The officers may be forgiven if they don’t feel the love.
 
Written By: spongeworthy
URL: http://
The first time I heard "Gen. Betray Us" was from neoconish commenters who were unhappy about his emphasis in hearts and minds and were still beating the stay the course drum.
Link please. I’ll call out those a$$holes as well.
Anyway Beldar is being a twit and so is Michael Wade.
Oh really?
Is saying "You’ve betrayed us identical to accusing a person of treason? Obviously not. Betrayal in the abstract is not an accusation of criminal treason. So the "challenge" is so much claptrap. But at least it gives you something to talk about other than the fact that we reached another deadline and we can’t tell that we’re winning yet.
Petraeus is the leader of our troops in Iraq. He is the point man for all our efforts there. That is his job. If he is "betraying" us, how on Earth is he doing so? From your simple-minded explanation it would seem that MoveOn.org, et al., think that lying equals betrayal. So then you think they are just a bunch of idiots then? I’m not inclined to disagree, but I’m also less than certain that is what they mean.

Accusing an acting General of betrayal in the midst of a war is accusing him of treason, plain and simple. If they’re going to make the accussation, they should have the guts to back it up. In public and under questioning. Otherwise they should apologize profusely.
Defamation of character? Such a law suit wouldn’t have a chance.
Wrong. It would stand much more than a chance, and I’d bet that it would even last the first few rounds of summary proceedings, just long enough to force the libelers to prove they have a defense. Uttering false accusations about someone in public, even someone famous (if done maliciously with intent to harm) is defamation. When the libelous statements are made so as to impugn one’s professional character or integrity, most jurisdictions that I’m aware of designate that defamation per se, which places the burden of proof on the libeler.

I went into this here.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
LOL! You wear your frustration on your sleeve, looker. You know I’ve caught a number of you in a hypocritical stance ("OK if done to their side, but a horrid shameful thing if done to ours"). Admit it.
Speaking of admit it. Heh – that’s the most interesting reaction I’ve ever gotten from you doc, must have hit a nerve. I’m not frustrated Doc, I’m actually kinda disappointed because occasionally I agree with you, although I find your interpretation of some portions of history to be mumbojumbo.
Still, I don’t just disagree with your posting automatically when I see your name.
You know I’ve caught a number of you in a hypocritical stance ("OK if done to their side, but a horrid shameful thing if done to ours").
I’m addressing you as me, not as some little robot monkey you seem to have me pegged for, part of this ’number of (us) you’". I’m not sure who this ‘number of you’ refers to in your response, but this is a pretty eclectic bunch. I wasn’t aware we had an "us" team. If I’m supposed to be part of it, I didn’t get my talking points.

And, to the point, you’ve just attempted to steer the conversation in another direction. It means you know the difference we’re discussing here, you can continue to pretend you don’t, but it doesn’t do you much credit. It’s easy to admit this add goes beyond the pale, I would have thought you’d be man enough to do so since it costs you nothing. You maintain you’re not partisan in this.

By the way, your other points, about the surge continuing, and doing nothing more than setting up grounds for use (positive or negative) in the election, is correct. Wow.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
They’re accusing him of lying/distorting in order to achieve a political goal (helping Bush) regardless of the actual truth of the matter.
Well, since the Whitehouse announced that they were writing his report for him, it’s not really an accusation, nor does it come from his detractors.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.

This statement is true. Baghdad is almost entirely Shia now. Most of the Sunni population has been murdered or have fled following warnings that they would be murdered if they did not. It’s also true that U.S. military leaders, which includes Gen. Petraeus, have pointed to reduced killings in Baghdad without noting the reason: there is no one left to kill.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
I’m addressing you as me, not as some little robot monkey you seem to have me pegged for, part of this ’number of (us) you’". I’m not sure who this ‘number of you’ refers to in your response, but this is a pretty eclectic bunch. I wasn’t aware we had an "us" team. If I’m supposed to be part of it, I didn’t get my talking points.
Put it this way: people get on my case when I criticize attacks on Jimmy Carter or other prominent figures, when the attacks seem overly personal and insulting. I’m essentially noting that the cause for my reaction in those cases is similar to the cause for the reaction people have about the "betray us" by many here: it’s an unfair, petty and personal attack. My hope would be that people would say, "yeah, I guess if I don’t like it when it’s done to people I support and look up to, I should probably be hesitant to do it myself to those on the other side." Because, frankly, I think most people on all sides of this and other issues are well intended and generally honest, but all produce soundbites or statements that can be turned against them in various ways.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
since the Whitehouse announced that they were writing his report for him
I suppose you missed the parts of the Democratic Congress’ law that demands the WH write the report, and not that the General does it?

They were pointed out here, among other places.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
Doc,
The only distinction I asked you to recognize was the difference between taking an add out in the NYT, and posting that I think Jimmah Cahtah is a doo-doo head here on QandO.

or Nancy Pelosi, or Jack Murtha, all of whom, at one time or another, I personally, have typed unkind things about, right here on these electronic pages.

NYT <> QandO, regardless of my basic disdain for the current incarnation of the former, and appreciation of the latter, worlds apart in circulation, visibility, and influence.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
This statement is true. Baghdad is almost entirely Shia now.
Link please for validation, this is the internet.

In real life I’m Bonny Prince Charlie, what you doubt me?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Well, since the Whitehouse announced that they were writing his report for him, it’s not really an accusation, nor does it come from his detractors.
Retief, since the White House was required by law to write the report, and General Petraeus was required by law to appear before Congress and discuss the report, then he’s not having someone "write the report for him". He’s doing exactly what he’s supposed to, by laws written by YOUR Democrat Congress. McQ has discussed this previously over multiple posts, the most recent one being here.

Idiot.
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
Oops. Tom beat me to it.

Retief, you’re still an idiot.
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
Tom Perkins and Warrior Needs Food Badly,

In what way does the mandate of the law change the fact that Petraeus is not coming to report on the progress of the surge but to offer testimony in support of Bush’s version of progress? In what way does the mandate of the law make all you "Iraq War Forevah" cheerleaders’ suggestions that we need to give the surge a chance and just wait to hear Petraeus’ report in September less laughable? In what way is his testimony more reliable than Colin Powell’s in front of the UN?

Is playing partisan shill really "supporting and defending the constitution"? Does that sound like "well and faithfully discharge the duties" of his office to you?

Surely you haven’t forgotten that McQ has spent the last couple of months telling us how Petraeus’ credibility was being attack by dastardly democrats because Petraeus was the one whose credibility was going to be behind the report in September that the Surge was going swimmingly. Even you two can understand that if the Bush claims progress the world yawns but if Petraeus claims progress people will pay attention. Making that claim not really his makes it much less convincing and less powerful. Like I said it’s not his detractors that are accusing him of toeing the Bush line, it is those who are sure we’re going to find a pony in Iraq eventually who have been trying to pretend that he isn’t.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Michael W. Here’s a link purely for completeness sake. A blackfive commenter who felt that a march to the sea approach was a better idea.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Michael W. Here’s a link purely for completeness sake. A blackfive commenter who felt that a march to the sea approach was a better idea.
So the first time you personally heard the smear was from some old coot being soundly thrashed for his ridiculous statements in a thread at Blackfive? Seeing as the earliest reference I can find is to a DKos commenter in April (and it only gets worse after that), and judging from the fact that it was MoveOn.org who took out a full page ad in the NYT to make its slander, I’m not so sure the comparison is just.

But good for you for backing up at least one thing you had to say today.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Well sure MichaelW, when Petraeus is being cited by lefty’s to support the idea that we’d need three times the troops to run a counterinsurgency in Iraq, then the righties call him Betrayus. Now that he’s singing the Whitehouse’s six-more-months song, lefty’s are the ones saying it. I’m sure he’s heard it before.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
If it’s early cites you’re looking for, a commenter on a Tapped thread in March suggests that Petraeus’ troops called him Betray-us because he was such a self-promoter. But I hadn’t seen that one until I went hunting for the Blackfive one I remembered.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
This statement is true. Baghdad is almost entirely Shia now. Most of the Sunni population has been murdered or have fled following warnings that they would be murdered if they did not. It’s also true that U.S. military leaders, which includes Gen. Petraeus, have pointed to reduced killings in Baghdad without noting the reason: there is no one left to kill.
Charles Krauthammer notes this and sees it as something with a bright side: that Iraq has self-partitioned and that will make it easier to deal with. And, while it may be preverse to see a bright side to mass violence, I’ve thought for awhile that partition is really the only feasible solution for Iraq — and as I said before, for an anti-interventionist critic of the war like me to agree with Krauthammer is rare. But where Krauthammer says this is a better result than having Saddam still in charge, I look at the cost in lives, violence, and instability for Iraqis and find such a claim untenable. Still, I think we’re seeing an end in sight — the surge will be ambiguous, lack of political progress will lead to a partition (perhaps with a very weak central government) and ultimately we’ll deal with regional powers to allow a stable withdrawal.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Link please for validation, this is the internet.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20546328/site/newsweek/page/0/
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
What’s with all the venom directed towards the Times? Mike Wade, how exactly can a libertarian condemn the NYTimes - a newspaper - for the content that appears in one of its advertisements?

Should newspapers begin refusing to publish political advertisements that make assertions those newspapers do not agree with? How does that fit into a free media? It would be ideological censorship.

The NYT allows right-wing nutjobs to make wild accusations against people on its advertising space with regularity. Why is this different?

From Reason:

Kazan, a former communist, cooperated with HUAC and defended his position in a New York Times advertisement that called on liberals to take a stand against communism.

http://www.rtis.com/nat/pol/rush/fair.htm

Rush Limbaugh’s NYT ad responding to his critics.

http://www.prwatch.org/spin/2007/06/

A full-page New York Times advertisement announcing the deal is headlined "This is our drop," a phrase that Coke has trademarked.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-reviews/A2C9NKO4GS6UHU?ie=UTF8

MEK supporters placed a full-page advertisement in the New York Times on January 15, 2003 thanking 150 members of Congress who signed the Iran Statement.


http://www.wccftech.com/files/Dawn-Appendix-D.pdf

The Information Minister in Nawaz Sharif government, was blamed for turning
a deaf ear to New York Times advertisement on Pakistan’s being a rogue
army.


http://www.talk2action.org/story/2006/6/20/161851/677/Front_Page/The_Catholic_Right_Part_Five_The_Everyday_Implications_of_Theocracy

As recently as June 7, 2006, the League placed an advertisement in The New York Times . Besides misrepresenting the age range of the majority of victims—describing 81% of the victims as "postpubescent," "male," and "not little kids"—almost as if that makes the abuses less heinous, the League attempted to change to the focus of the Church’s responsibility by comparing its track record to other institutions.

This is six examples of controversial political statements - by no means universally liberal ones, either - in NYTimes ads. It happens all the time. And it shouldn’t be any different than it is.

You can blame Moveon for a tone-deaf ad - I don’t endorse the ad, i immediately associate it with Republican tone and tactics, which I don’t like - but it’s illogical, unprincipled and politically expedient to blame the NYTimes for posting it. They shouldn’t be in the business of censoring ads based on ideological conformity. That’s another reprehensible right-wing tactic.

Q should come to his senses and apologize to the NYTimes for suggesting that the Times has done anything wrong here. Not that I expect that, either.

Hey, does this mean Fox News should stop calling people traitors? http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,48970,00.html

Hey, I see an ad here on Q & O for Ann Coulter, who accused liberals of treason as the title of one of her best-selling books. Hey, is this a record low standard for Q and O?




 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
To expect consistency of principle from this place, of course...
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
What’s with all the venom directed towards the Times? Mike Wade, how exactly can a libertarian condemn the NYTimes - a newspaper - for the content that appears in one of its advertisements?
Why don’t you read the whole post for a change, ’nost?
(and yes, we understand the free speech argument, but that doesn’t shield them from criticism or condemnation),
When you manage that, I’ll read the rest of your comment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
To expect consistency of principle from this place, of course...
Of course. It’s about like expecting a complete (and comprehensive) reading from you, huh?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I read the whole post. Why, exactly, Q, should the NYTimes refuse to publish an ad from Moveon with a controversial political opinion? Don’t you defend your own right to publish ads that contain political opinion? Don’t you also assert that those opinions are not your opinions?

Do you censor your ads based on their political content?

If you don’t think the NYT should have censored this ad, what exactly is your problem with their behavior?

If you do think they should have censored it, why? And how does that comport with allowing civil society the freedom to ... yes, make insults? Even of public figures? Is America benefited when it becomes impossible to publicly call public figures nasty names?

Your post seems to criticize the NYT for accepting the ad, but you fail to lay out why that’s what a newspaper should not do, or how Q and O is therefore ok to run Ann Coulter ads.

I won’t "set aside" the "freedom of speech" argument. I expect you to rebut the freedom of speech argument.
 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Bonus question: a lot of left-wing sites think that the Pentagon, which Petraeus’ consent, is presenting inaccurate and misleading information on important metrics on events in Baghdad between January and July.

If a government agency and/or top military commanders presented inaccurate, misleading, or deliberately incorrect data on the consequences of a policy while trying to convince the American people of the value of that policy, could that not be logically said to constitute a "betrayal" of the American public?

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
Best reaction I’ve read so far.



 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
glasnost:

I shouldn’t even be addressing you aftrr you burned me the last time I stuck up for you here at QandO, but are you really this dumb? You don’t understand the difference between your examples and libeling an acting General in a time of war? If you can’t grasp that simple concept that you really are lost.

And BTW, did you even read the Fox News link? They didn’t call anyone a traitor.

You should probably keep your yap shut until you can deal with the issues presented in an intellectully honest manner.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The leftists are out in force to defend the new indefensible slur. You can tell this is bad news for them, because they won’t shut up.

You know sometimes you really have to stop what you’re doing and face the facts. The left has failed to end the war, no one agrees with them, their approval rating is lower than the president’s. It’s time to just stop. Maybe disband the democrat party.

Trying to claim that a moveon.org ad is "entirely factual" (it isn’t) and "proves that the general in charge of our war strategy has betrayed us" reeks of desperation. It’s really time for the anti-war crowd to just quit. Every time they try and defend their position they just dig themselves deeper into a hole and make more normally uncaring people hate them.

For the sake of logic, I feel the need to answer the one biggest attack against our military by the leftist goons posting here:
We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.

This statement is true. Baghdad is almost entirely Shia now. Most of the Sunni population has been murdered or have fled following warnings that they would be murdered if they did not.
According to the link provided:
According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has more than doubled to 1.1 million since the beginning of the year, nearly 200,000 of those in Baghdad governorate alone.
These are called refugees. Usually serious people do not preface the situation with refugees as being "ethnically cleansed" or that there’s "no one left to kill." You especially don’t pay the New York Times to run a full page ad using that kind of description. Especially when you are using it as an excuse to cast doubt on someone who you want to paint as being a "dishonest betrayer of our country/military/whatever."

Besides being in very bad taste and lacking class (as in the kind of person who couldn’t be trusted with a care package or holding a door open) it’s very unfair to someone who hasn’t yet gotten the chance to testify before the ad was placed in the NYT.

Did I mention everything? :(
 
Written By: jows
URL: http://
The ad is disgraceful. None of this is Gen. Petraeus’ fault. The blame lies entirely with the civilian leadership.
None of what?
The fact that U.S. foreign policy has been so grotesquely mismanaged that we now find ourselves allying with and arming people from the same dictatorial regime we went to war to remove — people who have been attacking Americans soliders for 4 years, people who actively oppose the "central" government we installed (and purportedly support) — in order to provide a counterweight to the Iranian hegemony we have unleashed. . . . Among other things.
 
Written By: David Shaughnessy
URL: http://
I read the whole post. Why, exactly, Q, should the NYTimes refuse to publish an ad from Moveon with a controversial political opinion?


Apparently the difference between a "controversial political ad and and overt personal attack are beyond you and apparently the NYT as well.
Don’t you defend your own right to publish ads that contain political opinion?


Again the difference between "opinion" and "personal attack" seem to elude you.
Don’t you also assert that those opinions are not your opinions?
Not when they’re overt personal attacks, no?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
If a government agency and/or top military commanders presented inaccurate, misleading, or deliberately incorrect data on the consequences of a policy while trying to convince the American people of the value of that policy, could that not be logically said to constitute a "betrayal" of the American public?
Bonus answer ... just point out the inconsistencies, mistakes or misleading data. Is that so hard? Is it necessary to make it a personal attack?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I wish the anti-war Left would learn some new form of discourse that goes beyond calling everyone they disagree with a Nazi and/or a liar.

They don’t seem to understand that they would have a better chance of persuading people if they would present serious arguments in a serious manner. (Hint: Lose the tiaras).

If you think that some of Petraeus’ stats are wrong you will get a lot further by describing what you believe to be the flaws in his methodology than by calling him a traitor (which simply offends anyone with any sense of decency), or by chanting in unison that he is a liar before he has even presented his case.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
The fact that U.S. foreign policy has been so grotesquely mismanaged that we now find ourselves allying with and arming people from the same dictatorial regime we went to war to remove — people who have been attacking Americans soliders for 4 years, people who actively oppose the "central" government we installed (and purportedly support) — in order to provide a counterweight to the Iranian hegemony we have unleashed. . . . Among other things.
Yes — attacking Petraeus for the strategic mistakes of the Administration is grossly unfair. It is fair to question the information; every organization, including the Pentagon, has incentive to focus on an interpretation of data positive to their interests. Moreover, there is an organizational bias (Graham Allison notes it with ’where you stand depends on where you sit’) which means that there could be serious questions about data without Petraeus or the Pentagon intentionally misleading.

Edmund Burke wrote in 1790 that the French revolution was doomed to fail because in trying to create a system based on pure reason, the revolutionaries ignored the power of culture and tradition — you can’t simply impose a ’better’ system of government if it doesn’t connect and compliment the existing culture and set of traditions. Burke was right about the French revolution, and Iraq is just the most recent example of that kind of error. The more things change...
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Isn’t treason giving aid and comfort to the enemy? And isn’t the enemy supposed to be the jihadis? So anyone who gives aid and comfort to the jihadis, like Adam Gadahn, is a traitor, correct?

I assume we agree on those points.

Applying them to reality leads to certain conclusions. Among them, that Gen. Petraeus can properly be called a traitor. So can Bush and anyone else who helped initiate and continue the war in Iraq.

And if you can not see why that is so—why the war in Iraq is an enormous benefit to the jihadi cause and an enormous negative to the anti-jihadi cause, and one which the Bush administration chose to start despite its obvious impacts on the conflict with the jihadis—then you are merely confessing your own ignorance and lack of understanding of the matter.
 
Written By: kishnevi
URL: http://
And if you can not see why that is so—why the war in Iraq is an enormous benefit to the jihadi cause and an enormous negative to the anti-jihadi cause, and one which the Bush administration chose to start despite its obvious impacts on the conflict with the jihadis—then you are merely confessing your own ignorance and lack of understanding of the matter.
Of course Iraq benefits the jihadi cause, hurts reformers in the Islamic world, and was a big error. But treason requires volition, and I think the Administration really was fooled by their illusions in 2002/03. Also, while the war helps the Jihadists, we are there now, and how we end this fiasco is important. Perhaps it would be best to end it as quickly as possible, but I believe that the intention of Petraeus and others is to do so in a way as to minimize turmoil. In that sense, their intent is again such that it cannot be labeled treason.

(In my blog today — and more briefly in a comment above — I note how a conservative philosopher’s insights 217 years ago should have helped us see that invading Iraq and trying to install a new government would be folly. Politicians in the halls of power tend to think in terms of short term power calculus, and don’t really contemplate the lessons of hisotry — or even know about them.)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Boris Erb writes:
Of course Iraq benefits the jihadi cause, hurts reformers in the Islamic world, and was a big error.
Iraq has been a killing field for the elimination of jihadis, is the basis of reform in the Middle East, and is the only significant geopolitical response to the problems of the Middle East and to Islamic terrorism since WWII.

It is the most significant thing to happen there, in terms of coming to grips with modernity, since Kemal Ataturk created modern Turkey out of the ruins of the Ottoman Empire after WWI.

It’s the most significant undertaking by the U.S. in terms of changing a political reality since the occupations of Japan and Germany, two murderous, suicidal, insane societies each with a thousand times the violence at their disposal than what we face in Iraq.

And what we are doing in Iraq is crucial not just to the future of that country and the region, but to the United States, and to the rest of the world.

 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Reader named "jows": For the sake of logic, I feel the need to answer the one biggest attack against our military by the leftist goons posting here:

From MoveOn ad: We’ll hear of neighborhoods where violence has decreased. But we won’t hear that those neighborhoods have been ethnically cleansed.

Me: This statement is true. Baghdad is almost entirely Shia now. Most of the Sunni population has been murdered or have fled following warnings that they would be murdered if they did not.

Reader named "jows":According to the link provided:
According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has more than doubled to 1.1 million since the beginning of the year, nearly 200,000 of those in Baghdad governorate alone.
These are called refugees. Usually serious people do not preface the situation with refugees as being "ethnically cleansed" or that there’s "no one left to kill."

Me: It helps to quote the entire relevant section. Provides the context:
Thousands of other Sunnis like Kamal have been cleared out of the western half of Baghdad, which they once dominated, in recent months. The surge of U.S. troops—meant in part to halt the sectarian cleansing of the Iraqi capital—has hardly stemmed the problem. The number of Iraqi civilians killed in July was slightly higher than in February, when the surge began. According to the Iraqi Red Crescent, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has more than doubled to 1.1 million since the beginning of the year, nearly 200,000 of those in Baghdad governorate alone. ...
In other words, the Sunnis who were "cleared out" of Baghdad (these are the Sunnis who fled because they knew they would be killed if they didn’t) became part of the ever-growing internally displaced population in Iraq. They are refugees because they fled their homes and neighborhoods to avoid being killed by Shiite militias.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
Burke was right about the French revolution, and Iraq is just the most recent example of that kind of error.
Wow, that’s quite a comparison, Boris. That must have come from an impulse to co-opt Edmund Burke to your cause.

What is happening in Iraq is nothing like the French Revolution.

When we occupied Japan and helped them reform their society do you think that was like the French Revolution, too?

You have got to believe that you can get away with nonsense like this because you get away with standing up and spouting it in front of classrooms filled with kids who are essentially historically illiterate and have no way of knowing how impossibly ignorant you are.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Cathy writes:
Baghdad is almost entirely Shia now. Most of the Sunni population has been murdered or have fled following warnings that they would be murdered if they did not.
That’s not what your own cite from MSNBC/Newsweek says:
"If you look at pre-February 2006, there were only a couple of areas in the city that were unambiguously Shia," says a U.S. official in Baghdad who is familiar with the issue but is not authorized to speak on the record. "That’s definitely not the case anymore." The official says that "the majority, more than half" of Baghdad’s neighborhoods are now Shiite-dominated,
"More than half" is not "almost entirely."

And there’s nothing unusual in a shift of population like this, the expulsion of Germans from the Sudetanland after WWII being an immediate example. Shi’a outnumber Sunni more than 3 to 1 in Iraq, and there was bound to be some payback once the Sunni minority, which ruled the country for so long, was suddenly no longer in power. A lot of the problems in Iraq in the aftermath of regime change were precisely related to that, with Ba’athist remnants unwilling to accept that they were no longer a privileged class.

The Shi’a were, in fact, fairly well-restrained at first, until repeated acts of terrorism against them resulted in some rather determined push-back. But once things settle down and everyone gets adjusted to the new political balance, things should relax because there’s considerable intermarriage between these two groups and that should help iron out some of the sharper edges.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
In other words, the Sunnis who were "cleared out" of Baghdad (these are the Sunnis who fled because they knew they would be killed if they didn’t) became part of the ever-growing internally displaced population in Iraq. They are refugees because they fled their homes and neighborhoods to avoid being killed by Shiite militias.
It was refreshing to hear in Ambassador Crocker’s testimony today that he acknowledged the ethnic cleansing in Baghdad (going from 65% Sunni to 75% Shi’ite) and other parts of Iraq, and put as a measure of success both stopping that flow, and in fact getting people to return. That is a clear measure of something we can look at moving forward. If that fails, then partition is probably the only viable answer.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Jimminy Christmas - do you clowns understand the standard definition for ethnic cleansing?
It’s not forcing people who aren’t like you to move out of your neighborhoods.
As a watered down phrase for G-E-N-O-C-I-D-E it already sucked, don’t water it down further to imply it’s simply a form of geographical displacement.

Stop misusing the feel good code phrases of the UN.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
aftrr you burned me the last time I stuck up for you here at QandO,

huh?

You don’t understand the difference between your examples and libeling an acting General in a time of war?
Bonus answer ... just point out the inconsistencies, mistakes or misleading data. Is that so hard? Is it necessary to make it a personal attack?
You know, that what I... personally would have done. I think that’s what the NYTimes... itself... pretty much does. But you’re conflating MoveOn’s responsbility for publishing the ad, with a ficticious responsibility on NYT’s part to censor ad publishing.

There’s no reason to ever censor the political content of advertisements. This ought to be a simple, easy-to-understand libertarian principle, especially from people who complain about things like the Fairness Doctrine.

Either that, or if you want to start censoring the political content of advertisements - and there’s no difference between self-censorship and enforced censorship - then there’s a lot of Republican c*ap waiting to be censored.

If you’d settled for condemning the Moveon ad, you’d have been reasonable and fair.

If NYT is ready for the dustbin, are you going to stop citing their articles?

 
Written By: glasnost
URL: http://
You know, that what I... personally would have done. I think that’s what the NYTimes... itself... pretty much does. But you’re conflating MoveOn’s responsbility for publishing the ad, with a ficticious responsibility on NYT’s part to censor ad publishing.
It is a "fictitious responsibility" it exercises everyday unless you can point to a fact which says they will run any ad anyone produces and pays for.

They make decisions like that everyday. So they do have a responsbility which they exercise all the time and they chose to publish this for whatever reason.

Because they did, I choose to condemn them for a poor decision and for publishing a slanderous piece of trash.

If that causes you gastric upset, tough.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"More than half" is not "almost entirely."

The article also says, "In places like Amel, pockets of Sunnis live in fear, surrounded by a sea of Shiites. In most of the remaining Sunni neighborhoods, residents are trapped behind great concrete barricades for their own protection."

Baghdad used to be majority Sunni; now it’s majority Shia and what Sunnis remain live in a state of daily terror surround by high concrete walls. This did not happen by Shia ringing doorbells and politely asking Sunni residents to hand over their apartments and leave.

If telling me that "more than half" is not "almost entirely" makes you feel better about thousands of Sunni Baghdadis being murdered or expelled from their city, that’s something I cannot change or control. If you can justify or excuse cold-blooded mass murder by calling it "some payback," then that is what you are going to do.

The fact remains, however, that it is dishonest and deceptive for U.S. military leaders in Iraq to claim lowered death rates in Baghdad as proof that "the surge" is working, when those lower death rates were achieved through a compaign of sectarian mass murder and dispossession. In fact, it’s downright immoral to point to lower death rates as something good when it’s murder on a massive scale that has led to those lowered death rates.

But once things settle down and everyone gets adjusted to the new political balance, things should relax because there’s considerable intermarriage between these two groups and that should help iron out some of the sharper edges.

"The new political balance." It’s an interesting euphemism, isn’t it? Ah well. It won’t be the first time a new political balance has been achieved through mass murder, will it? One could view any number of historical human tragedies through that lens, I suppose — the most horrendous one in the last century, of course, being the Nazi Holocaust, which all but wiped out European Jewry. Now *that* was a new political balance! And even there, things did eventually settle down, and everyone did adjust to the new political balance — quite happily in most cases, I would say.




 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Cathy writes about my comment:
"More than half" is not "almost entirely."

The article also says, "In places like Amel, pockets of Sunnis live in fear, surrounded by a sea of Shiites. In most of the remaining Sunni neighborhoods, residents are trapped behind great concrete barricades for their own protection."

Baghdad used to be majority Sunni; now it’s majority Shia and what Sunnis remain live in a state of daily terror surround by high concrete walls. This did not happen by Shia ringing doorbells and politely asking Sunni residents to hand over their apartments and leave.

If telling me that "more than half" is not "almost entirely" makes you feel better
I don’t know if it makes me feel better, but it is clear that "more than half" is not "almost entirely," and what Baghdad "used to be" was a city run by the Tikriti mob of Saddam Hussein, representing a national Sunni minority running roughshod over the national majority of 70% Shi’a.

So, when that regime was taken down, there were clearly going to be changes, which probably contributed to the Sunni’s engaging in so much terrorism so early, especially those elements that had been part of and beneficiaries of Hussein’s regime. No doubt the Shi’a have redressed some accumulated grievances.

That’s life in the big city.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
It was refreshing to hear in Ambassador Crocker’s testimony today
You know what would really be refreshing, Boris?
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I don’t know if it makes me feel better, but it is clear that "more than half" is not "almost entirely,"

You’re right; clearly "more than half" is not "almost entirely." But what is it? Fifty-one percent is more than half. Would you consider 55% more than half? How about 60% 70% 70% is not "almost entirely," I wouldn’t think. Would you? I would say anything over 90% is "almost entirely." Your thoughts?

...and what Baghdad "used to be" was a city run by the Tikriti mob of Saddam Hussein, representing a national Sunni minority running roughshod over the national majority of 70% Shi’a.

Yes, indeed, and now the Shia in Baghdad are massacring the Sunnis. No big deal. Maybe the Sunnis will even the balance again by turning the weapons we gave them on the Shia after we’re gone. What’s a few thousand more dead Shia weighed against the important ethical principle of payback?

Anyway, shorter Martin: I don’t care.

So, when that regime was taken down, there were clearly going to be changes, which probably contributed to the Sunni’s engaging in so much terrorism so early, especially those elements that had been part of and beneficiaries of Hussein’s regime.

I assume you’re referring to the Sunni insurgency. That was a response to the several major mistakes made by the U.S. Occupation Authority. It had nothing to do with preemptive attacks against Shiites.

No doubt the Shi’a have redressed some accumulated grievances.

No doubt. And no doubt the Sunnis now have some accumulated grievances to redress. Which means that by the time they are through redressing, the Shia will also have new accumulated grievances to redress. Not to mention the grievances that must be redressed between the Mahdi Army Shia and the Badr Brigade Shia.

Iraqis may not have electricity or clean water, or even homes to live in, but one thing they do have is grievances to redress. Maybe even a few against us, who knows?

And that’s what we invaded Iraq for — to overthrow the government so anarchy could reign, and all of Iraq’s different ethnic groups could redress all their grievances.

That’s why we are The Liberators. (Where’s the t-shirt? Where’s the mug?)

That’s life in the big city.

Not MY big city. But then I live in an American city. Our lives *matter,* man!

Or, alternatively, shorter Martin again: I don’t care.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Cathy writes:
Iraqis may not have electricity or clean water, or even homes to live in, but one thing they do have is grievances to redress. Maybe even a few against us, who knows?

And that’s what we invaded Iraq for — to overthrow the government so anarchy could reign, and all of Iraq’s different ethnic groups could redress all their grievances.
You forgot to mention that there’s rats all over the place.

Anyway, we invaded Iraq to remove a revanchist psychopath from power. His minority-based regime didn’t have a fun-loving relationship with the Shi’a (or with the Kurds or any given person of any persuasion on the wrong day). That wasn’t helped when the regime’s remnants took to blowing up Shi’a shrines and the like after Hussein was removed.

That post-regime violence was a reflection of the violence that Hussein’s regime had become addicted to in maintaining itself.

Iraq is the Arab half of the core problem of the Middle East (Iran is the Persian half), and we’re lucky to be there to shape the outcome. We should take full advantage of our presence to pacify Iraq and the region, and be willing to stay there for as long as it takes.

That’s going to require that we stop demanding instant gratification for ourselves or for anyone and/or craving defeat. We’ve solved larger problems and outlasted far worse political diseases.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
That post-regime violence was a reflection of the violence that Hussein’s regime had become addicted to in maintaining itself.

Even the Bush administration now admits that the rioting after Saddam was overthrown and the insurgency that followed resulted from lack of pre-war planning and serious mistakes made after Saddam’s overthrow, but if you want to believe the violence "was a reflection of the violence" of Hussein’s regime, who am I to stop you? I couldn’t anyway.

You forgot to mention that there’s rats all over the place.

Yes, I did forget that. And raw sewage all over the streets.

Anyway, we invaded Iraq to remove a revanchist psychopath from power.

Hey, he may have been a revanchist psychopath, but he was OUR revanchist psychopath. Until he invaded Kuwait without our permission and threatened our oil supply, of course.

His minority-based regime didn’t have a fun-loving relationship with the Shi’a (or with the Kurds or any given person of any persuasion on the wrong day).

This is true. And who would be in a better position to know just how UN-fun-loving those relationships were than the government of the United States?

Iraq is the Arab half of the core problem of the Middle East (Iran is the Persian half), and we’re lucky to be there to shape the outcome.

Like we’ve shaped the outcome in Iraq? You have an odd notion of luck. Failed states engulfed in anarchic violence is not my idea of lucky — but then on the other hand, from a certain cynical realpolitik point of view, it IS lucky. The failed state model the Bush admin has created in Iraq may not have been the original plan, but it certainly could work out well, and we might well want to duplicate that model in Iran. Failed states can’t really interfere with our geopolitical interests all that effectively.

We should take full advantage of our presence to pacify Iraq and the region, and be willing to stay there for as long as it takes.

Ahhhh! I love the stench of imperialism in the morning!!
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Like we’ve shaped the outcome in Iraq? You have an odd notion of luck. Failed states engulfed in anarchic violence is not my idea of lucky — but then on the other hand, from a certain cynical realpolitik point of view, it IS lucky. The failed state model the Bush admin has created in Iraq may not have been the original plan, but it certainly could work out well, and we might well want to duplicate that model in Iran. Failed states can’t really interfere with our geopolitical interests all that effectively.
Nobody who has the faintest understanding of international relations would consider our policies in Iraq a success; even the testimony of Ambassador Crocker and Gen. Petraeus note that it’s up to the Iraqis to make decisions, and that Iraq literally fell apart in 2006.

Iran is in a strategically strong position now, thanks to the fiasco in Iraq. They might make the same mistake we did and overestimate their strength and overreach — Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric is reminiscient of President Bush before the Iraq war. However, more likely they know just how far they can go, and they have a militia presence in Iraq and enough allies to deny the US any kind of secure base there, and can rachet up the violence to the point that the US public will demand we leave if they wish.

So the Iraq war has helped al qaeda recruit, directed resources away from counter-terrorism towards a sinkhole in Iraq, empowered Iran, divided America, strained our alliances, increased anti-Americanism world wide, cost so far at least half a trillion dollars, and — again if Crocker and Petraeus are to be believed — the future of Iraq depends on Iraqi politicians choosing to cooperate, rather than anything we can do.

This is a fiasco of historical proportions. Gen. William Odom, who has been involved in counter-terrorism since the Reagan administration and has a strong record on these issues, has called this the greatest strategic mistake in American history. I believe he is correct.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I couldn’t agree more, Scott — with everything you’ve written.

I still think, though, that some in the Bush administration (Dick Cheney springs to mind) are twisted enough to see advantages in an Iraq with no working government and in a state of endless civil war. For one thing, it gives the U.S. an excuse to stay there forever, and to build those military bases. I think if the U.S. really wanted Iraq to be a healthy, fully functional working democracy, it would be trending in that direction. Instead, it’s going in the opposite direction.

It’s not what *I* want. But I think it may be what *they* want.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Kathy writes:
Ahhhh! I love the stench of imperialism in the morning!!
Let’s try to break it down to a few concepts:

Murderous regimes with insane ideologies and murderous weapons.

Pacifying that and giving it a yank in the direction of modernity is not imperialism, it’s a rational self-defense move. The world is a very small place.

And alloting a half-century or so to the process is a blink in historical time.

And not a lot of it is going to look like Massachusetts anytime soon.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Boris Erb writes:
Nobody who has the faintest understanding of international relations would consider our policies in Iraq a success;
There’s an unfortunate assumption there, Boris: That you have the faintest understanding of international relations. What you have is a squirrelish adherence to an academic Marxist understanding of international relations (witness your comments on Western civilization in another thread).

For starters, there’s your conflation of Iraq’s internal problems with the external relationships. Those are two matters, not one, so merely an understanding of international relations doesn’t get you to any clear understanding of Iraq, even if you had such an understanding.
even the testimony of Ambassador Crocker and Gen. Petraeus note that it’s up to the Iraqis to make decisions, and that Iraq literally fell apart in 2006.
Things falling apart is a fairly standard thing in the world. In Iraq that’s a trade-off when you remove a regime run by someone whose ideology (Ba’athism) is a derivative of Nazism and whose role model for government was Joe Stalin and whose security services were trained by the KGB. Not that you minded any of that, so long as the regime remained hostile to the U.S.
Iran is in a strategically strong position now, thanks to the fiasco in Iraq.
The Iranian regime is behaving as if it’s frightened of everything, including its own people. I would expect you to characterize that as indicative of a "strategically strong position." Being about five minutes away from having your nuclear weapons facilites pre-emptively bombed is not a strategically strong position; neither is having the American military right next door.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Murderous regimes with insane ideologies and murderous weapons.

That covers the majority of regimes in the world — some of which the U.S. considers "friends" or "allies" and gives billions of dollars in military aid to. Sorry for ending a sentence with "to."

A significant portion of the world’s population considers the current U.S. administration to be a murderous regime with an insane ideology. I am one of those people. And certainly, regardless of which party is in power, we have the most murderous weapons in the world, and in the largest numbers.

And not a lot of it is going to look like Massachusetts anytime soon.

Do you want it to? That in itself says a lot. The Middle East is not Massachusetts. Not only *can’t* it look like Massachusetts — ever; the people who live there would not want it to look like Massachusetts — and neither would I.

Pacifying that and giving it a yank in the direction of modernity is not imperialism, it’s a rational self-defense move. The world is a very small place.

Depends on how you go about doing that. If you make your own country into a "model of modernity" (I assume a country would have to value democratic institutions, individual freedoms, and human rights in order to be considered "modern") to encourage other countries to go that route, that’s rational self-defense. If you use your country’s resources to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, house the homeless, and heal the sick, that’s rational self-defense. But clearly the word "yanking" implies force, not peaceful methods of persuasion. That word "pacify" in the sense you mean it is something of a misnomer, as well. The dictionary definitions of "pacify" are (1) to ease the anger and agitation of; and (2) to end war, fighting, or violence in; establish peace in" (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition). But the word "pacify" also has, in contemporary parlance, a more sinister connotation. Clearly, war is not a pacific enterprise. "Pacifying" in this sense means "crushing" or "terrorizing." "Pacification" is achieved through massive bombing campaigns, through military occupation, through the creation of a pervasive sense of fear in the population one wishes to "pacify." If you kill everyone who does not want "peace" under the terms you are "offering," you *may* eventually get peace — the same kind the U.S. military is now crowing about in Baghdad: the peace that comes when "they" are all either dead, dispossessed, or cowering in terror behind concrete walls.

And that is not rational self-defense. It’s not any kind of self-defense. Quite the opposite, in fact: that kind of "pacification" usually ends in a lot of chickens coming home to roost.

If you want to call bombing campaigns, invasions, military occupations, semipermanent takeovers of other countries (remember, 50 years is only a "blink in historical time" to YOU, because YOU are not living through it), and puppet governments "rational self-defense," then again, your choice. But with apologies to Billy Joel, it’s still imperialism to me.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
But with apologies to Billy Joel, it’s still imperialism to me.
So be it!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Kathy writes:
That covers the majority of regimes in the world
Indeed, it’s a dangerous world. That’s why you prioritize.

For instance, the Chinese aren’t exactly nice, but they haven’t acted out in years and have a lot staked on joining the world community.

The notorious monsters in New Zealand are, of course, always worth keeping an eye on. Ditto the Canadians.

The Iraqis, however, fell afoul of that great liberal institution, the United Nations, and got run into the courtroom well over a dozen times after they tried to take over their neighbor, and that after nine years of war with another neighbor.

That and having an angry revanchist psychopath with billions in oil revenue ruling through a regime composed of his equally demented cronies from Tikrit.

He needed to be taken off the board, and he was. That cracked open the seal on the mess he’d nutured in Iraq and left a little ironing out to be done.

Now you would like to run away from that, Kathy, but should the U.S. exercise that option I bet two things: 1. Your terribly heartfelt concern for the Iraqis will disappear; and 2. You’ll find some other cause.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Indeed, it’s a dangerous world.

And much more dangerous now than it was four years ago, thanks to Pres. Bush’s decision to invade a country that was no threat to us and had no connection to 9/11.

The notorious monsters in New Zealand are, of course, always worth keeping an eye on. Ditto the Canadians.

I don’t know what your point is here.

...with billions in oil revenue...

In other words, it’s about the oil. Finally, we agree on something. It’s not about a revanchist psychopath, it’s not about how small the world is, it’s not about self-defense. It’s about the oil.

He needed to be taken off the board, and he was. That cracked o pen the seal on the mess he’d nutured in Iraq and left a little ironing out to be done.

In other words, you are essentially agreeing that the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq has had disastrous, catastrophic results, and that life for Iraqis now is at least as bad if not worse than it was under Saddam — but you simply don’t care. That you can reduce the hellish nightmare of Iraqis’ lives as a result of the U.S. invasion and occupation to "a little ironing out to be done" is utterly repellent. As a metaphor for the conditions Iraqis are living in, wrinkled clothing needing to be "ironed out" is actually pretty monstrous.

Now you would like to run away from that, Kathy, but should the U.S. exercise that option I bet two things: 1. Your terribly heartfelt concern for the Iraqis will disappear; and 2. You’ll find some other cause.

Run away from what? If I were running away from the reality of Iraq, I would be agreeing with you that the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, the dispossession of well over two million, and the destruction of an entire society are equivalent to the problem presented by a pair of wrinkled jeans. Re "should the U.S. exercise that option" — what option? My heartfelt concern for Iraqis will not disappear as long as Iraq is the hellhole it is. And I can hold more than one cause close to my heart. Most of the ones worth caring about are connected to each other, anyway.
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Kathy writes:
And much more dangerous now than it was four years ago
Much more dangerous for jihadists and rogue regimes.

There’s always an internal danger for the U.S., of course, from the Left, which doesn’t waste time blowing up buildings when there’s a civilization out there to destroy.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Yeah, but Martin don’t question her patriotism!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Much more dangerous for jihadists and rogue regimes.

It’s actually a more dangerous world for everyone.

It’s a more dangerous world for Americans and all the other people living on the planet, because the number of terrorist incidents worldwide has skyrocketed, and anti-American feeling is vastly increased, since March 2003. Literally, the Iraq war has been a terrorist recruiting tool far more effective than anything OBL could have imagined in his wildest imaginings.

It’s a more dangerous world for any regime anywhere that doesn’t go along with Bush’s "my way or the highway" approach to international relations, because this administration has made it clear that any country that defies the will of the United States will be bombed, or at least runs a strong risk of being bombed. So yeah, sure, most of the world’s regimes regard the U.S. with enormous fear — either because they are on the U.S. list of countries to be destroyed, or because they fear the blowback from the countries we’ve marked for destruction.

There’s always an internal danger for the U.S., of course, from the Left, which doesn’t waste time blowing up buildings when there’s a civilization out there to destroy.

The internal danger for the U.S. is very real, but it comes from the right, not from the left. It comes from the clampdown on dissent, and the very deliberate and conscious decision on the right attack and gravely damage or even eliminate bedrock American legal institutions and principles. The regime you and I live under is becoming more and more like the "rogue regimes" you mention every day. In fact, if you define "rogue regime" as a regime that ignores and defies its own laws as well as international law, and arrogates to itself the "right" to act unilaterally in any wish it wishes in the world, regardless of internationally recognized protocols, legal principles, or historic precedent or understandings, then there is no question the Bush administration is a rogue regime. Just like Dred Scott, who, as a black man and a slave, was judged to have no rights that white men were bound to respect, other countries and other peoples (and our own people, too, for that matter) are judged to have no rights that the U.S. government is bound to respect.

And so SShiell’s joke to you, "Don’t question her patriotism!" is irrelevant and meaningless, because "patriotism" as you define it and practice it is a refuge for scoundrels. And I’m happy to say I am not a scoundrel.



 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
Two corrections:

... decision on the right TO attack...

and

... act unilaterally in any WAY it wishes in the world...
 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
But don’t question her definitions or her patriotism! And speaking of irrelevent and meaningless, Show me something to back yourself up:
It comes from the clampdown on dissent
Anybody hauling your butt off to the Gulag for your comments? Any body hauling anybody’s butt off for dissent? Show me the concentration camps. Except for me calling you out, which is well within my constitutional rights, show me where dissent has been squashed? I’ll wait - Yawn.
if you define "rogue regime" as a regime that ignores and defies its own laws as well as international law, and arrogates to itself the "right" to act unilaterally in any wish it wishes in the world, regardless of internationally recognized protocols, legal principles, or historic precedent or understandings, then there is no question the Bush administration is a rogue regime.
Again, show me the money. Iraq? Congress and the Senate voted - show me where we have ignored our own laws? "Act unilaterally" - again show me the money. You can stand on your soap box and shout til the cows come home but that doesn’t make it right.
regardless of internationally recognized protocols, legal principles, or historic precedent or understandings
Once again, show me the money. The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously for the invasion of Iraq. Go look it up. Show me where we have violated these so-called recognized protocols, legal principles or even historic precedence. Again, all of your hand waving doesn’t make it right, much as you may want it to be.
Just like Dred Scott
Is that a joke? Where does that come from except the fevered mind of a liberal?
And I’m happy to say I am not a scoundrel.
Whether you are a scoundrel is debatable but it is obvious you are just plain wrong!
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Kathy writes:
It’s actually a more dangerous world for everyone.
It always was a dangerous world. It’s now a much more dangerous world for jihadis and rogue regimes.

Recall just the terror attacks and plots from the ’93 attempt to bring down the WTC through 9/11.

Very dangerous for us, not so dangerous for jihadis. Now still very dangerous for us, much more dangerous for jihadis and rogue regimes.

Removing Hussein didn’t hurt our security; it removed the single most revanchist regime in the world. And we were the most obvious target of his revanchism. He could have outsourced three dozen 9/11s just on a fraction of his personal kitty.

After 9/11 there was no way to justify letting him continue on as a cornered rat in Baghdad, pretending that containing him in the conventional sense would be of any use against what he could do via terrorism.

Just the fact that Iraqi intelligence was all over the world trying to kill ex-pat Iraqi dissidents was enough to make any president say "That’s it. He’s got to go."
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Okay, so Shiell will start worrying about clampdowns on dissent when he (or she) sees the concentration camps. I’ll let Martin Niemoller reply to this one: he was more eloquent on this point than I could ever be.

... show me where dissent has been squashed?

I used the term "clampdown," not "squashed," but I think a better descriptive word would be "discouraged" or "threatened." There *have* been instances of individuals being arrested or threatened with arrest for holding up an antiwar sign, or for wearing an antiwar t-shirt in the "wrong" place, but for the most part Americans are not yet being arrested or imprisoned or prosecuted or deported for their opinions. And I do understand that, for you, free speech and the right to dissent are not in danger unless the government actually passes a law explicitly stating, in these exact words, "Anyone who publicly criticizes the war or the government will be arrested." I understand that, for you, it’s only a problem if people are deported to Outer Mongolia, or tortured for voicing unauthorized opinions, or if you start to notice your neighbors being dragged off to those concentration camps. I don’t mean to be sarcastic. I truly believe that, to you, "squashing dissent" or "threats to free speech" are only to be taken seriously if antiwar speech is officially criminalized, and Americans are thrown in jail or tortured or exiled.

I would argue that those actions are *never* taken until dissent has already been actively discouraged through various less formal and less tangible means, for quite some time. And I think it is pretty much unarguable that the Bush administration has been profoundly hostile to dissenting voices, and has discouraged dissent in any number of ways.

Iraq? Congress and the Senate voted - show me where we have ignored our own laws?

Congress includes the Senate; you mean the House and the Senate. And what is it they voted for? To authorize the Iraq war? To allow Americans’ private communications to be read and listened to without a court order, without probable cause? To abolish habeus corpus? If your point is that Congress has gone along with everything the Bush administration wanted, you are absolutely right. If your point is that Congress’s approval (or spinelessness, more accurately) means it’s lawful, you are wrong. The Constitution does not enforce itself. It’s only as good as the degree to which the institutions set up to defend it, actually do so.

The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously for the invasion of Iraq. Go look it up. Show me where we have violated these so-called recognized protocols, legal principles or even historic precedence.

No, it did not. The UN Security Council voted to authorize war IF certain conditions imposed on Iraq were not met. That is NOT the same as voting for the invasion. There was a second vote that was supposed to take place, *after* the deadline for Iraq meeting U.S. demands, but it did not take place, because the Bush administration knew the vote was going to go against the authorization of war, so they stopped the vote, and just invaded.

But that was not even what I was referring to when I wrote about international protocols and legal principles being violated by the U.S. I wasn’t even thinking of the Security Council vote. I was thinking about the Bush administration’s rewriting the definition of torture to allow practices that are clearly and unequivocally forbidden by international human rights law. I was thinking about such things as the Bush administration’s unilateral and arbitrary decision to ignore the Geneva Conventions in the treatment of detainees. I was thinking about such things as the Bush administration’s announcement that the Geneva Conventions Protocol for the Treatment of Prisoners of War did not apply to detainees in the "war on terror" because those detainees were "enemy combatants," not "prisoners of war." The United States did not have the legal right or authority to make that determination. But they did anyway. International law is for our enemies, not for us.

Me: "Just like Dred Scott"

Is that a joke? Where does that come from except the fevered mind of a liberal?

I’m not sure what it is you are questioning here. Are you saying you’ve never heard of Dred Scott, or are you saying you’ve never heard of Judge Taney’s famous words about black people having no rights white people are bound to respect?

Whether you are a scoundrel is debatable but it is obvious you are just plain wrong!

That’s not obvious at all, except in the fevered mind of a right-winger. :-)

It always was a dangerous world. It’s now a much more dangerous world for jihadis and rogue regimes. Recall just the terror attacks and plots from the ’93 attempt to bring down the WTC through 9/11. Very dangerous for us, not so dangerous for jihadis. Now still very dangerous for us, much more dangerous for jihadis and rogue regimes.

If I’m understanding correctly, you appear to be arguing that the world is a more dangerous place for "jihadis" and "rogue regimes" because now we have a policy of bombing and invading anywhere on earth, at a moment’s notice. But if all that our bombing and invading accomplishes is to motivate more individuals in the Islamic world to join terrorist networks, then I don’t see what we are gaining from making the world "more dangerous" for such people. Same with "rogue regimes." Yes, we can bomb Iran into extinction, but if doing that means that jihadis will pour into Iraq from Afghanistan and Pakistan to attack U.S. troops; or if it means (God forbid) that one of those rogue regimes explodes a nuclear weapon over an American city, then we are worse off, not better.

If we have made the world more dangerous both for terrorists AND for Americans and the rest of the world, how can that be seen as a positive accomplishment? The world is either more dangerous or less dangerous for everyone, and if it’s more dangerous, we have won nothing.

So I don’t see your argument as reasonable or logical at all.

Removing Hussein didn’t hurt our security; it removed the single most revanchist regime in the world.

You really like that word, don’t you? I’m not sure why you associate it so strongly with Iraq in particular. "Revanchist" means "retaliatory" or "vengeful"; it also means seeking to regain lost territory or political standing. I’m not sure how that meaning gets so strongly attached to Iraq under Hussein. Maybe you mean that Saddam Hussein’s regime was the one regime in the world that most obstructed or threatened U.S. access to the Middle East’s natural resources (aka oil).

Saddam Hussein had no connection to 9/11 or to the terrorists who planned and carried out 9/11. And he had no interest in or ability to plan or carry out any kind of attack on the U.S. Osama bin Laden did, however, and we let him get away, and allowed Afghanistan to go back to being a breeding ground for terrorism and a haven for a resurgent Taliban.

I’m glad you feel safer. I sure don’t.

 
Written By: Kathy
URL: http://libertystreetusa.blogspot.com/
I’m glad you feel safer. I sure don’t.
Sounds like the only way you will feel safer is if you can return to the pre-9/11 days of joy. Where you could just hate Bush and all the neo-cons for - well - just for whatever. You don’t feel safer? Good - stay that way! Meanwhile, we’ll enjoy the day.

And when the next Dhimmocrat (Hillary?) takes office, we can start looking over our shoulders.

Feel better now?
 
Written By: SShiell
URL: http://
Sounds like the only way you will feel safer is if you can return to the pre-9/11 days of joy.
Actually, some of us knew even then about the danger of terrorism. I used to "scare" my students in International Relations by talking about al qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, nuclear terror, anthrax, cyberterrorism and the like from the mid-nineties onward. I think they thought I was just being alarmist. Whenever I’d go to New York or Washington DC I’d wonder if I might have chosen a time to visit when a terror attack would come (sort of like visiting California and thinking about earthquakes — not enough to stay away, but it’s in the back of the mind).

And, keeping up with the literature, I can say that I am absolutely convinced that we are not safer now than then. However, there is a bright spot. Terrorism is unlikely to claim many victims, so almost everyone is pretty safe from a terror attack, even in 9-11 it was only a miniscule fraction of the population that was hurt. Compare that the dangers of the Cold War, and terrorism is a minor threat.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm

 
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