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"I don’t support the troops"
Posted by: mcq on Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Kos diarist, lurxst, blurts it out:
This has been digging at me for, oh, about 4 years now. I have been hesitant to express this thought, in comments sections and in discussion with other people about the Iraq quagmire for fear of, I don't know, being called mean. Or, un-American. Or something.

Supporting the troops essentially means supporting the illegal war. It seems that us anti-war types have been doing all sorts of mental and philisophical gymnastics to try and work around this. What has emerged is a sort of low impact, mealy-mouthed common wisdom that is palatable to everyone but is ultimately going to allow us to stay in Iraq for years to come.
Note that line? That has been the argument for years, i.e. you can't support the troops without supporting the mission. That seems obvious to most, but then most don't want to have it both ways. And lurxst hits on the crux of the matter - as long as anti-war types make the claim, they're virtually handcuffed in terms of actually doing what is necessary to stop the war.

So there is a level of honesty and integrity in the lurxst post that you find rarely among anti-war types. Of course I disagree with most of it, but can respect the fact that s/he seems to have figured it out and isn't willing to pretend.
Now, I don't intend to demean Jim Webb. He is determined and impressive in his stance against the war and the crippling of our military. But this kind of legislation allows us to comfortably continue to support acts of aggression, as long as we give the troops a long enough break in between.
I'm not sure that Jim Webb, whose amendment went down to defeat last night (for a second time) would enjoy seeing his effort called an attempt at "crippling the military", but that is certainly one way of interpreting his attempt.

Lurxst also recognizes the fact that its a volunteer force fighting in Iraq. S/he then heats up the rhetoric:
You signed up, you get to go to the desert and risk being shot at by brown skinned people who don't believe the lies you've been told. A war of aggression is immoral, period. If you believe in God, you can damned well be sure you are going to hell for your participation in it. The only troop I support is the man or woman who refuses to be deployed so that they can make the middle east accessible to profiteers who don't give a flying F about morality or democracy. Or a soldier's life.
A bit of religious overreaching there, but an indication of the depth of this persons feelings concerning both the troops and the war, no matter how misguided it might be. My guess is this is actually the feelings of many among the anti-war side who continue to mouth the feel good but logically twisted phrase "we support the troops, but not the war". Lurxst gets it right - you can't do that and have any integrity.
Can an anti-war proponent look at these Iraqi resistance fighters with the same admiration, even though they worship differently than us and when they eventually win are likely to install a distasteful (to Americans) theocratic tinged state. Can a person who doesn't believe in violence support that people's right to govern themselves, perhaps violently.

Of course a person can do all of those things, whether illogical or short-sighted or both. And lurxst seems bent on doing that. But give credit where credit is due. Lurxst has at least admitted to the fact that the claim made by the anti-war crowd is so much twisted crap. Despite all of the other nonsense in the post, that, at least, lurxst gets right.

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[Aside: For those of you inclined to think this is a prank or a plant see the Technorati tags on this diary which say "Troll diary" and "LGF plant". Check the previous tag versions next to that. The last set have been added by someone who is not the diarist. The diarist tagged it "Iraq, insurgent, war". The latest set is an attempt to discredit it as being written by an LGF troll. That doesn't appear to be the case.]
 
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I guess there are shades of honesty.

Calling the war illegal is not honest.

First it would be a violation of our UN agreements/treaties which are not the same as laws. Laws would put us under the authority of the UN and not a partner to an agreement. (Although this is way I think it should be, perhaps we did sign away our autonomy at some point.)

Secondly, it appears we are technically operating within the original Gulf War authorization since Saddam did not comply fully with those terms and his non-compliance left the authorization open for individual states to act.

You can qualify it as ’barely’ authorized or ’stretching’ the authorization but the case that it is illegal has definitely not been made to the point where it can just be thrown out there as a given.

 
Written By: jpm100
URL: http://
Maybe it’s not an LGF troll but it is a first post on an open web site. It no more represents others at Daily Kos than my comments here represent you. Yet the bloviating idiots of the world like O’Reilly will try and make it appear that this is the view of everyone at Daily Kos.

For the sake of open discourse on blogs, can we start saying things like, "lurxst is a moron" and stop this guilt by involuntary association?
 
Written By: Not the senator
URL: http://
For the sake of open discourse on blogs, can we start saying things like, "lurxst is a moron" and stop this guilt by involuntary association?
Other than factually pointing out that the writer is a Kos diarist, where was such an association ever attempted in the post? I talked only about lurxst and what lurxst said and how that related to the anti-war left.

If there’s any "involuntary association" being made here, it is being made by you.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://qando.net
In the comment about "crippling the military", I believe the original poster was referring to the widespread idea that the Iraq war is inexorably destroying America’s military capacity.
 
Written By: sammler
URL: http://stonecity.blogspot.com
You assume that this is an honest diary instead of a plant.

Long story short, the person is an egregiously hateful asshat of one stripe or the other, and either way does not represent the place.
 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
Geek,

If the diarist is an asshat and doesn’t represent the other diarists at Kos, why does lurxst still have posting privileges? Why is the post still up? Why has Kos allowed someone like that to post on his website?
 
Written By: A fine scotch
URL: http://
you can damned well be sure you are going to hell for your participation in it
Guess I’ll see this ass-hat there, huh...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Repetition of the "illegal war" trope has been fairly common on the Left. For instance, a local politician in my town always doubles it up: "illegal and immoral war." Kofi Annan, of course, quite blatantly mistook his position of high-clerk at the UN as one of juridical authority and used the term to the delight of the Left internationally

But I do see a fall-off in its use, especially since the Democrats took over the Congress. What I mean to say is that I hear it less often, I think.

One of the things that I think we’re seeing is the really hard "antiwar" Left (like the ANSWER types) being deflated and put back in its box. That process will be completed should a Democrat win the White House next year. (Cindy Sheehan will doubtless be persona non grata at the Democratic convention next summer. Her star has faded and could be all but extinguished by then.)

As I’ve said many times, most of the people who rage on about the war in Iraq will have an entirely different mood if Hillary becomes president. She could strip down to her sports bra and panties, take the cockpit of an F-16, strafe innocent peasants along a roadside, and most of those roaring raging antiwar liberals would clutch their hands to their breasts and sigh, "Isn’t she just wonderful."

Hillary, as a crypto-Stalinist, is I think quite a murderous character and will not have a light touch when in command of U.S. military might, and her crowd will swell mimetically with her instincts.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
I’m not sure that Jim Webb, who’s amendment went down to defeat last night (for a second time) would enjoy seeing his effort called an attempt at "crippling the military", but that is certainly one way of interpreting his attempt
.

Perhaps he might not, but frankly it’s the only way to interpret it.

There is a blind, stupid brand of sinister driving the left, that they can ignore such signs as have been coming from Iraq, these days. I don’t think the majority of them smart enough to be sinister in their intentions toward the United States. Rather, I suspect that they are blind to what the consequences are, of what they recommend in terms of our policy in Iraq, and the rest of the world. That said, the end result of the following their advice, is the same as it would be if they really intended harm to the U.S…. and to the world.
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
For the sake of open discourse on blogs, can we start saying things like, "lurxst is a moron" and stop this guilt by involuntary association?
More leftists disassociating themselves loudly from such nonsense, would be a help.

Yeah, like THAT’s gonna happen...

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
She could strip down to her sports bra and panties...
Brain bleach, please. Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/
I didn’t mean to imply that you were one of the people attacking the site instead of the Dairist, which was why I mentioned O’Reilly instead of citing something you said.

I was responding to your addendum and the fact that websites like daily Kos and LGF that invite contributions without prescreening them are used as strawmen to attack the political blogosphere and stifle dissent.
 
Written By: Not the senator
URL: http://
About Jim Webb:

More Cindy Sheehan than John Murtha. More Chuck Schumer than Harry Reid. More Rosie O’Donnell than Ellen Degeneres. More John Kerry than Jimmy Carter.

In other words, Webb is a lot more than meets the eye.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Tom Perkins writes:
Brain bleach, please.
Try this Albert King video, it helped clear my head the other day after I watched one too many of those Chris Crocker YouTubes.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
"Perhaps he might not, but frankly it’s the only way to interpret it."

I beg to differ. My interpretation is that the commentor was saying Webb was determined and impressive in his attempt to prevent the crippling of the military. Such prevention was, for example, the stated purpose of his recently defeated amendment.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
You can qualify it as ’barely’ authorized or ’stretching’ the authorization but the case that it is illegal has definitely not been made to the point where it can just be thrown out there as a given.
When it comes to international law, what’s legal is what you can get away with, which would make the Iraq legal, since no one is being dragged into the Hague.

On the technical points of the law, the UN Resolutions, and the interpretation by virtually every member nation is that there was no legal way to interpret an authorization for legal invasion from the existing resolutions.

Richard Perle, one of the leading architects of the Iraq war had this to say on the legality...
"I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."
And this..
"international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable
On September 16, 2004 Kofi Annan, the Secretary General of the United Nations, said of the invasion, "I have indicated it was not in conformity with the UN charter. From our point of view, from the charter point of view, it was illegal"
So, as I said, it’s legal because we did it, and no can do anything about it. But considering that the body that is responsible for making and interpreting international law says it is not would put lie to idea that it is technically legal under international law.

Calling it illegal is more right than wrong, technically.

If I live in a neighborhood with 200 people, and me and another guy beat up a neighbor, and then argue it’s legal, while everyone else in the neighborhood says it’s illegal, including the neighborhood association, then it’s illegal, but if no one dares prosecute us...

Cap

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
If the diarist is an asshat and doesn’t represent the other diarists at Kos, why does lurxst still have posting privileges? Why is the post still up? Why has Kos allowed someone like that to post on his website?

How do you know that the diarist has posting privileges still?

And, regarding diary deletion: Either the site admins delete it, and get accused of covering things up, or they leave it up and get condemned for not deleting it. Seems like a can’t win.

 
Written By: Geek, Esq.
URL: http://
Clearly a random guy posting for the first time on Daily Kos speaks for then entire left. Even you are better than this Bruce. Supporting the troops does not mean you blindly support the mission packed full of failure. It never has and it never will.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
The idiot Sarcastic writes:
On the technical points of the law, the UN Resolutions, and the interpretation by virtually every member nation is that there was no legal way to interpret an authorization for legal invasion from the existing resolutions.
Nonsense.

Kofi Annan had no capacity or authority to interpret a Security Council resolution. That’s a matter for the Security Council.

Resolution 1441 says what it says, and so does 1483, which implicitly endorses the regime change post-war. Military action and regime change became the "serious consequences" threatened by 1441. And 1441 explicitly restates 678, which was never rescinded and authorized the use of force to enforce all Iraq-relevant resolutions subsequent to 660. There was no further need to authorize the use of force when that authorization was pre-existing.

I’ve been through this with you, you f****ing moron.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
Clearly a random guy posting for the first time on Daily Kos speaks for then entire left
Indeed, Oliver?

Does this mean you’re willing to come out and flatly say the guy is wrong?

I’ll wait.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Well if one can’t support the troops without supporting the mission, it would appear that nobody in this country supports the troops. Surely missions notably lacking support from the right like Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia have not been entirely forgotten. Looks like the troops are SOL on any support from any quarter.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
Illegal war? Really?
If I remember correctly, a whole lotta Senators specifically authorized the use of force in 2002. Or did you miss that year?

And if my memory serves me correctly, we were still at war with Iraq in 2002, via the UN and a few dozen resolutions starting in about 1991. So which illegal war are we referencing again?
Clearly a random guy posting for the first time on Daily Kos speaks for then entire left.
Of course he doesn’t speak for the entire left Oliver - his post includes both logic and reasoning, which you and the rest of the Cowardly Crusaders have refused to recognize for the last half dozen years.
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
So, as I said, it’s legal because we did it, and no can do anything about it. But considering that the body that is responsible for making and interpreting international law says it is not would put lie to idea that it is technically legal under international law.

Calling it illegal is more right than wrong, technically.
Actually, calling it legal is 100% right.

We followed our Constitutional procedures to the letter.

That’s all that ever really counted.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
urely missions notably lacking support from the right like Haiti, Somalia, and Bosnia have not been entirely forgotten.
Once the troops were in combat, which actions from the right do you interpret as not supporting any of these missions?
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Of course the guy is wrong. The Iraq war was stupid, not illegal.
 
Written By: Oliver Willis
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
If more leftists would make Oliver’s argument they’d probably make more progress.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
It was probably illegal under Iraqi law. Then again, facts and precise use of words are such a drag. It’s all about me and my feelings. If it wasn’t illegal, it should have been.

Brought to you by the same folks who believe it’s OK to ignore the laws you don’t like.

 
Written By: MarkD
URL: http://
I’ve been through this with you, you f****ing moron.
And you have been wrong
you f****ing moron
Only the US and GB interpretation of the SC resolutions allows for invasion, and the US and GB interpretation is at odds with the interpretation by the rest of the world.

Simply put, and see if you can grasp this, if our interpretation of the resolution was correct, then we would have returned to the UN for validation of our interpretation.

The reason we did not return, was that we KNEW that the GB and US interpretation would have been repudiated, as the other members of the Security COuncil, Russia, the People’s Republic of China, and France made a joint statement that U.N. Resolution 1441, did not authorize the use of force and that a further resolution was needed.
The legal right to determine how to enforce its resolutions lies with the Security Council alone (UN Charter Aricles 39-42)[22], not with individual nations. Critics have also pointed out that the statements of U.S. officials leading up to the war indicated their belief that a new Security Council Resolution was required to make an invasion legal, but the UN Security Council has not made such a determination, despite serious debate over this issue. For example, to secure Syria’s vote in favor of U.N. Resolution 1441, Secretary of State Powell reportedly advised Syrian officials that "there is nothing in the resolution to allow it to be used as a pretext to launch a war on Iraq."

These critics have also pointed out that the statements of U.S. officials leading up to the war indicated their belief that a new Security Council Resolution was required to make an invasion legal.
It’s legal because we did it, and SC did not declare it illegal. It’s illegal because it was illegal by the majority Security COuncil interpretation of the resolution.
If I remember correctly, a whole lotta Senators specifically authorized the use of force in 2002. Or did you miss that year?
It was perfectly legal under US law, the Congress absolutely gave the executive authority to declare war. We’re not (or at least I’m not) talking about US law.
 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
That’s all that ever really counted.
That’s all that matters when no one has the ability to do anything about it.

The Iraq invasion of Kuwait was legal under Iraqi law, how’d that work out for them?

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Nice dance, Oliver.
Care to try for two out of two?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Hey Cap, are you purposely being obtuse?

It’s very simple: We were and are in a "legal" war since 1991. It was authorized by the UN in 1991, and we were in a "cease fire" until 2002, after Saddam ignored the 2 dozen or so UN resolutions (those "legalities" from the UN you CC’s are so hyped about) and continued to fire upon us daily. We never declared any end to the original Gulf War, nor attempted any peace treaty with Saddam, through three presidents terms, from either party.

When it was no longer tolerable for the United States to allow sworn enemies to continue to support terrorists (and don’t deny Saddam wasn’t supporting terrorism at 25k a pop), to build or WMD’s (we thought), to ignore dozens of UN resolution’s (whatever they’re worth), and continue hostilities with us, we ended the cease fire and restarted a fight that should’ve been finished in 1991.

So please, if you’re trying to argue that it was illegal even in international law, then sell that on Daily Kos or Firedoglake, not here...
 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
The imbecile Sarcastic now tries extra-judicial statements to justify his assertion that 1441 did not reaffirm the pre-existing authorization to use force:
The reason we did not return, was that we KNEW that the GB and US interpretation would have been repudiated, as the other members of the Security COuncil, Russia, the People’s Republic of China, and France made a joint statement that U.N. Resolution 1441, did not authorize the use of force and that a further resolution was needed.
The legal right to determine how to enforce its resolutions lies with the Security Council alone (UN Charter Aricles 39-42)[22], not with individual nations. Critics have also pointed out that the statements of U.S. officials leading up to the war indicated their belief that a new Security Council Resolution was required to make an invasion legal, but the UN Security Council has not made such a determination, despite serious debate over this issue. For example, to secure Syria’s vote in favor of U.N. Resolution 1441, Secretary of State Powell reportedly advised Syrian officials that "there is nothing in the resolution to allow it to be used as a pretext to launch a war on Iraq."

These critics have also pointed out that the statements of U.S. officials leading up to the war indicated their belief that a new Security Council Resolution was required to make an invasion legal.
It’s legal because we did it, and SC did not declare it illegal. It’s illegal because it was illegal by the majority Security COuncil interpretation of the resolution.
Well, nitwit, if any one of the permanent members of the Security Council had voted against 1483, the post-war resolution that names the U.S. and the U.K. the occupying authority in Iraq it couldn’t have passed. Nor did any of them insist on language citing the invasion as "illegal" or even some lighter language admonishing some sort of indiscretion. So you don’t have any case. And nothing you’ve half-cited above examine what 1441 and the underlying resolutions actually say.

Yes, I’m sure that for ceremonial diplomatic reasons the U.S. would have liked to have yet another resolution, but the point is that they did not even need 1441. The U.S. and the U.K. were the Member States who had been left holding the Iraq bag for the UN for 11 years prior to the passage of 1441. They had continuously enforced violations of the ceasefire.

In the preamble of 1441 the pre-existing authorization to use force to enforce all Iraq-relevant resolutions is explicitly restated.

In other words, "Member States" had already been authorized throughout, from the passage of 678 onward to enforce all resolutions. So there was no case of an individual state enforcing a resolution on its own authority. (Although I would happily support that had it been the case vis a vis Iraq.)

1441 officially declares Iraq to be in violation of the ceasefire: "continuing material breach."

1441, "by this resolution," gives Iraq "a final opportunity" to comply. Not by "a resolution yet to come" or "a next to final opportunity."

1441 says that anything less than complete and immediate compliance will result in "further material breach" the first time Blix indicates any lack of compliance, and Blix did made such indication more than once.

1441 promises "serious consequences" should that happen.

And after the war, 1483 names the U.S. and the U.K. the occupying authority and never says so much as "boo" about there being anything illegal about their action BECAUSE THERE WAS NOTHING ILLEGAL ABOUT IT.

Now, up against that you can stack all the extra-judicial pronouncements you want, by whomever you please, but where the rubber meets the road, in their own succeeding post-war resolution, the Security Council was absolutely in accord with the the military action and the regime change. They even sent the UN’s own agencies into Iraq and they were there until their headquarters got blown up by terrorists, when they fled in...terror.

What you are wittingly or unwittingly participating in is an attempt to characterize the U.S. as some sort of international outlaw or criminal regime, when that is so far from the truth that it’s laughable.

Read the resolutions, nitwit.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
the Security Council was absolutely in accord with the the military action and the regime change.
Russia, the People’s Republic of China, and France made a joint statement that U.N. Resolution 1441, did not authorize the use of force and that a further resolution was needed.
How many members of the SC are there?

How many would have denied approval for the use of force had the second resolution been requested?

Call it extra-judicial if you want, I call what it is.

We did not go back to the UN because we were going to invade, with our without their approval, but we did NOT want something on the record that specifically and unequivocally prohibited an invasion, so we settled on the path that would allow us an argument, however weak it was.

The bottom is this, it’s legal because we did it and the SC did not call it illegal, it was illegal because there was no authorization and the SC would have been well within the Charter to have called it illegal.

Because you can argue something is so, does not make it so.

Take your argument up with Richard Perle, who admitted that the invasion was illegal.
"I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."
And this..
"international law ... would have required us to leave Saddam Hussein alone", and this would have been morally unacceptable
What you are wittingly or unwittingly participating in is an attempt to characterize the U.S. as some sort of international outlaw or criminal regime, when that is so far from the truth that it’s laughable.
My statements are irrelevant, we are there. I am just pointing out the facts.

If my statements were relevant, and the US could be indicted based on how I came down on this issue, I would of course lie through my teeth and adopt your argument.

 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
and don’t deny Saddam wasn’t supporting terrorism at 25k a pop
This is called a pretext, a purpose or motive alleged or an appearance assumed in order to cloak the real intention or state of affairs.

To suggest that Iraq’s support of Anti-Israel groups like Hezbollah and Hamas is provocation for invasion is pure, unadulterated bullsh*t.

We haven’t even censured some other Arab states who continue to support Hamas, and the vast majority of Hamas funding comes from Saudi Arabia.
According to Israel’s Center for Special Studies, as of 2003, up to 60 percent of Hamas’s annual budget came from Saudi Arabia, including from official sources, government-sponsored telethons, and government-run charities, as well as from Saudi individuals and organizations. The Saudi flow of money to Hamas has been so great, historically, that long before he became PA president, Mahmoud Abbas was complaining about it, as attested to by a December 2000 letter he wrote to Prince Salman, governor of Riyadh, discovered by Israeli forces during Operation Defensive Shield in April 2002.
Sell stupid somewhere else.

I’m just being honest. I am not arguing that anyone should be dragged to the Hague, I am and have all along argued that the invasion was a supremely bad idea, but I also acknowledge that since we are there, we have a responsibility to do the best we can to make Iraq a stable state. I am not confident that we’ll be successful, but I won’t be arguing for a complete withdrawel unless I believe our forces on the ground believe that the mission is not worth it.


 
Written By: Captin Sarcastic
URL: http://
Of course it’s pretext! There’s always pretext, and that Saddam supported terrorism is one of many. Heck, remove the support for Hamas/Hezbollah, and that evil POS was still supporting terrorism, and it’s still a true "pretextual" argument. So quit trying weasel past it by focusing like a laser beam on the part that mattered least. Oh, and the "pretext" we had for invading was that we were still "technically" at war (a point I’ve yet to see you address). That’s the only pretext that matters, UN resolutions or not. (And the UN resolutions that Martin has whipped you with are the official "pretext", and going back to the UN for another resolution is just more unnecessary claptrap. We were done trying to talk him to death through that corrupt and worthless organization.)

Oh and as for the "...other Arab states who continue to support Hamas, and the vast majority of Hamas funding comes from Saudi Arabia.", you’re throwing out, if I remember correctly, we’re not at war with them. And they at least make some attempts, however feeble, to go after these fools. [However, I will partly agree with you on the larger point in regards to Saudi Arabia: I would love to see our dealings with this terrorist producing country change radically, although probably not in a direction you would appreciate.]

So I dion’t need to try to sell you stupid any more CS - you seem to be all full up.

 
Written By: Warrior Needs Food Badly
URL: http://
Only the US and GB interpretation of the SC resolutions allows for invasion, and the US and GB interpretation is at odds with the interpretation by the rest of the world.
And the US and GB both have vetoes that de-legitimize any contrary postition taken even by all 13 other members of the SC.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://tomdperkins.blogspot.com/

 
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